Friday, December 26, 2014

A Quick History Of Christmas PLEX Prices

With the recent drop in PLEX prices since the release of the latest security dev blog on Friday, I wanted to find out if the change was just seasonal or if other forces are at work.  I have information on the PLEX market in The Forge going back to November 2011, so I pulled up the data for the last four years and created a couple of quick tables.

Christmas Day Price Changes: 2011-2014, In ISK
First, yesterday's 21 million ISK drop in the average price of PLEX sold on Christmas Day seemed rather steep, but prices were at all time highs.  Was the percentage change in line with the last few years?  Well, historically, the price of PLEX has dropped, but not quite that much.  Yesterday's price decrease was almost double the drop from last year.

Christmas And The 6 Days Prior: 2011-2014, In ISK
Next, I wanted to see the change from the 19th, the day CCP published the dev blog, to Christmas.  Once again, history shows that prices decline during this period, but even in percentage terms, PLEX prices took a big hit this year compared to the previous three years.

Before I run off and start claiming that the security dev blog is responsible for the drop in PLEX, I need to point out what occurred in 2012.  In that year, like 2014, PLEX surged to record highs.  On 10 October 2012, the average price reached a then record 647.1 million ISK, with some PLEX sold for over 660 million ISK.  A bargain today, but at the time the surge in price was so great the EVE Central Bank apparently intervened and the price dropped 11.6%, down to 572 million ISK, only two days later.  The market did not bottom out until the average price reached 551 million ISK on 31 December 2012.  Over those 11 weeks, the price fell 14.9%.

So, was the large drop in the price of PLEX over the past 7 days just a natural reaction caused by the PLEX market declining due to a bubble bursting combined with the Christmas holiday?  Or are other forces at work?  Personally, I think the bubble burst first, due to the price hitting 1 billion ISK on 19 November 2014 and the inevitable profit taking that ensued, with the price dropping 3.3% from 19 November to 24 November.  But I think the bubble burst even harder when six days later, CCP Falcon published the input broadcasting ban.  At that point, the market expected demand to dramatically decline with the expected exodus of ISBoxer accounts, and the prices showed.  On 25 November, the day that CCP Falcon's post appeared on the EVE Online forums, the average price of PLEX dropped 5.1%, from 945 million ISK down to 896.8 million ISK. 

The price has fluctuated pretty wildly since 26 November, when the price fell to 878.5 million ISK.  Overall, however, the trend continued downward, as from 26 November to 19 December, the price dropped another 3.9%.  So anyone betting the market probably foresaw this week's declining PLEX price, just due to historical trends, both seasonal and in reaction to the bubble bursting.  But the bubble is bigger this year, with the market falling 19.7% over the past five weeks.

So my conclusion?  Yes, the prices declined due to seasonal trends.  But the decline was greatly exaggerated due to the effects of a bursting market bubble.  As for the effects of upcoming enforcement changes?  Well, I think they may have played a hand in the market falling as far as it has.


  1. There may be a bit more tot this as well to be fair though. If you look at the graph of PLEX in the forge: it shows up quite well.

    About 2 weeks prior to the announcement on the forum, PLEX price suddenly shot up. You can see starting around 11/11, there's a clear jump in PLEX price which peaks just before the announcement, then the volume spikes as the price crashes. Without that increase, the crash wouldn't be so bad.

    I'm pretty sure that someone in the know (probably someone in the CSM) was pre-empting this by pushing the price up as high as they could, buying in, then selling immediately prior to the announcement, so it causes what appears to be a catastrophic crash. Then they can buy back in at a considerably lower price once everyone has panic sold.

    I think it's too much of a coincidence to assume that the sudden push up in the price of PLEX occured right before the accouncement. This is one of the problems with the CSM. While they sign an NDA to stop them talking about what they know, nothing is in place to stop them acting on what they know.

  2. The significant PCU drop in the days around Christmas may or may not be significant. Outside of extended server downtimes (due to DDoS attacks and such) the PCU on December 24 was the lowest it's been in 6 years. When you write, "...historically, the price of PLEX has dropped, but not quite that much.
    Yesterday's price decrease was almost double the drop from last year," you could substitute "PCU" for "price of PLEX" and have an equally true statement. Christmas and New Year's have always shown significant dips in PCU, but this year it's really noticeable and more dramatic (hate using that word but there it is).

  3. and how do you expect someone to rise the prize of plex so high? 200 000 000 diffrence on an item that is being traded 2 000 - 3 000 times a day. At the same time You didnt showed one important thing - volume traded for that period. the ammount of plexes traded in that period is actaully slightly lower than in previous periods, so no one just went and bought up all the cheep plexes because it would show on market volumes.

  4. There's a multitude of ways. If you're an active trader of PLEX is large volume, simply slowing down how many you buy and sell will widen the gap. You can also manipulate the price with guard orders you don't expect to be filled. You can even push pretty hard with margin trading, as legitimate traders will price over you.

    Volume is deceiving, because you can't see what was just one PLEX going back and forth across the market vs unique sales. Instead of buying 200, then selling 200, then buying 200 again, simply buying 600 wouldn't show a difference in volumes, yet an extra 400 PLEX would be taken from the market. Clearly that price was manipulated up, it didn't just suddenly spike for no reason.

  5. So I'll take it by that you either don't understand how it works, or you do and have no way of denying it. I accept your defeat, even if it is written in broken English.

  6. An interesting theory that appeals to the conspiracy theorist in me. However, that period corresponds to the ramp up of the hype for Rhea. Here's the relevant events:

    7 Nov - o7 show announces Thera
    7 Nov - UI dev blog
    11 Nov - New Sleeper exploration sites and Polarized weapons dev blog
    11-12 Nov - Fozzie teases his dev blog, stating 101 new wormhole systems to be added in Rhea, on 2 podcasts.
    13 Nov - Thera/Shattered wormholes dev blog
    14 Nov - Manual controls dev blog
    14 Nov - CCP Seagull's Rhea dev blog

    That led to a rise in PLEX prices that week:

    10 Nov - +0.4%
    11 Nov - +1.0%
    12 Nov - +1.0%
    13 Nov - +2.5%
    14 Nov - +0.9%

    What happened the following week when the average price rose to from 907 million to 977 million ISK over the course of 3 days (17-19 November)? I don't know.

    But considering the price for the business week actually went up a smaller amount than the week of all the Rhea release dev blogs (47.5 million ISK/PLEX vs 51.5 million ISK/PLEX the week before), I'm having a hard time believing in insider trading based on the input broadcasting ban causing the November PLEX bubble.

  7. "Nothing", except for the fact that IA keeps an eye on us in much the same way that they keep an eye on actual CCP employees. Maybe you forgot about Larkonis back in the day?

    You should spend less time arguing in Gevlon's comment section, it's rotting your brain.

  8. Believing that some players on the CSM wouldn't be past gaining from insider information is quite different from the lunacy on Gevlon's blog. And all that article means is that a CSM member would be more careful in how they do so.

  9. If you believe the drivel you're posting then I invite you to send it to so that they can have a look.

  10. I'd not waste CCPs time unless there was considerably more evidence than market prices, I'm just saying it's not something that should be entirely discounted, and could stand some level of consideration by the community. It's not like CSM members are entirely above such things. Not yourself obviously though, you'd never exploit to gain isk, would you?

    No need to take it so seriously though.

  11. So you know you're full of shit and are just stirring the pot. Thank you for your admission.

  12. I would expect that if it was purely from release hype, that it would be reflected more in volume as accounts get activated by players that don't actively trade. A price increase without a significant increase in volumes suggest someone going from cyclical trading to hoarding. It also seems to steep and too sustained for just release hype. None of the other releases had a significant impact like that. Could I be over thinking it? Certainly, but that doesn't mean it's not a possibility.

  13. No, I know it's a possibility and refuse to dismiss that simply because a CSM member tells me it's not true.

  14. Whether "some players" on the CSM would be morally capable is neither here nor there; IA watch them like hawks, and they're perfectly aware of alt accounts. As you are perfectly aware; you're just throwing shit at the wall knowing that some might stick.

    To repeat a very appropriate quote

    "So I'll take it by that you either don't understand how it works, or you
    do and have no way of denying it. I accept your concession of defeat,
    even if it is written in broken English."

  15. Wow, that is some pretty full-retard level conspiracy theorizing there.

    Firstly, few CSM members are anywhere near rich enough to manipulate the PLEX market. Realistically, you are pretty much just talking about mynnna, and he is way, way too smart to risk IA coming after him.

    Secondly, I am quite sure that CCP looked very closely at anyone dumping large numbers of PLEX right before the announcement.

    Thirdly, nearly every CSM member will tell you that being on the CSM *decreases* their chance to engage in market speculation. I know that before I was on the CSM I used to do things like dump Sisi/Choas and use that info to play the market, but getting on the CSM put a stop to that. Now that I am off the CSM, I am back to doing this, and it can be quite profitable. I make far more ISK off the CSM than I ever did while on it, and I am not alone in that.

  16. Even if there was some funny business going on, it doesn't automatically mean that CSM members were involved.

    There are a lot of non-CSM players who have had in-game friends who went to work at CCP - friends who talk a lot, esp over a couple of beers, and leak information that they don't always realize can easily be extrapolated to advantage in the game.

    So, it is best not to publicly accuse any specific individual, or a group of individuals, unless you have actual proof of misdoings.

  17. I simply believe it's a possibility, and too much of a coincidence that the price was manipulated up when it was. I get it, you don't believe that's the case, but that doesn't mean I'm "throwing shit". Perhaps you'd have a point if nobody on the CSM had ever done anything wrong, but let's face it, that's not the case.

    As for IA, don't make me laugh. Having a new account with a new hardware signature, IP address and personal info is so trivial it's barely worth mentioning, then it's simply a case of laundering across the isk, which isn't really a challenge. Sure, they can catch someone who while still in Iceland attending the CSM summit decides to buy into a specific product they'd just been talking about, but come now, let's not pretend CCP are too competent.

    At the end of the day, I don't trust the members of the CSM, and think there's a significant chance that one of them could have done something like this. Other CSM and ex-CSM members coming along insulting me and telling me I'm full of shit won't change that.

  18. Very true, it certainly could be someone like that. I suppose the CSM popped out as the most obvious avenue, occam's razor and all that.

  19. I don't believe that for a moment. Most of the CSM member if not directly loaded with ISK have access to plenty.

    As for CCP looking closely, I'm sure they did, but they aren't just going to ban an account for hoarding PLEX. Any number of reasons could be given for why that occurred, as Noizy has listed for example. Unless they had categoric evidence, they'd do nothing.

    And I'm sure the CSM would tell me that, but don't you get it? I don't trust the vast majority of the CSM. Nothing they tell me would mean a thing. I'm aware that they couldn't directly engage in market speculation over things they are discussing, even if they were sourcing the info to do that from elsewhere, but that doesn't mean they couldn't do it on alt accounts.

  20. Why do you people constantly overlook the most simple and eye-catching answer? There may, of course, be isolated incidents of climbs and drops that create some of the peaks in the graph, but the steady rise over the years is due to nothing else but an overflow of liquid ISK.

    CCP have shifted much of the Tech II appeal, along with certain aspects of the Faction market, over to Tech I. Tech I is insurable and insurance comes back in artificially generated ISK. On top of that, every new income source implemented in the game has come in the form of ISK and LP, crashing the existing LP markets (which, much like the tech-shift, may have been intentional) and further promoting ISK over minerals (and equippable commodities of value).

    Each day that passes, there are more and more players who have free ISK and no ships to spend it on. That free ISK drives the PLEX prices up, because if you don't need it for ships you spend it on other things that are valuable - such as playing the game for free.

  21. This year's higher seasonal PCU drops can be more easily attributed to the change in the skill queue. There is no longer any need to log in frequently, to update alts on multiple accounts, which are training and not doing much else.

    Also, with the loss of a large number of the casual high-sec industrialists, the PCU was significantly altered this year, as those players let most, if not all, of their paid-in-advance subs slowly run out (many of these multi-account players did keep one account for PVP). Those players logged into multiple accounts each day, to update industry jobs. The loss of these accounts probably accounted for most of the downward trending during the year, but should level off around now..

    We'll have to wait and see if the kick-in-the-nuts to multi-boxing restarts the downward trend of the PCU or not.

  22. Or... Job market recovered a little and gas prices TANKED! So people could spend a little extra else where. With tens of thousands new noobs also new to eve drawn in by the eve ad. Who are now buying plexes and continuing to do so?

  23. Wow. Lucas, You should know when to let it go, dude.

    Re-read this whole comment section as if you were a 3rd party and look at how you look on it.

    Your initial comment was actually good up until the part where you randomly accuse "probably someone in the CSM" of breaking the NDA. Then you make it worse by arguing against every other commenter.

    I give it odds of 3:1 you reply to me too. However, If I were you, I would let it go.

  24. MoxNixDecember 30, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    He's just doing his usual thing... Trolling.

  25. Unless of course the CSM are botters

  26. Nice try indeed but this is the one that shows how you're losing money

    Furthermore, when you claim that the plex you previously bought will be used to plex your accounts if you can't sell it for profit while you keep on trading on plex, only shows how little you understand about economics. You're falling for the same fallacy that leads miners to believe that what they mine is free so any price at which they sell is inherently profit. Plex is plex. and when you buy high and sell low, it's a loss. It doesn't matter that in your head you believe the plex you're using to plex accounts was the one you bought for 900 mil or the one you're buying now.

    The other point is your constant reference to how much isk you have. However, the numbers just don't add up. To put it in simple terms, you can't afford to lose a few tens of billions. At least not without having to seriously downsize. Your wealth in isk and assets is well under 100 bil in total. Which also means that you may have created as many accounts as you claim you have, but right now you couldn't afford to plex them all without wealth month on month.

    Now the issue of trolls. You're in a bit of a conundrum because trolls are just about all you draw here with your asinine posts. Even you find yourself having to troll and create new discuss accounts to cheer for yourself. Like it or not, that is your audience, and you either take it or you'll be posting to yourself. And the trolls themselves are not the ones to blame. The audience and posters you get is dictated by the quality and intelligence of your own posts, so you get what you deserve. Here too you have a prime example of markets at work namely supply and demand.

    You wish you could be like Nozy and you keep plugging your blog on his comments hoping for attention like a kid getting on his tiptoes to appear taller. So while you may claim to go for women, you act like you just want to blow the man.

    Finally and this is actually extremely sad, you spent your new year eve posting this utterly pointless endogamic recessive verborrhea instead of being out partying. Trust me, there are better, easier, less pathetic ways of being socially relevant than this.

  27. "I give it odds of 3:1 you reply to me too. However, If I were you, I would let it go."
    Yes, nice try. You post with this as the final sentence as a trap. If I respond, you win because I didn't "let it go". If I don't you win because I followed your advice and "let it go". So I may as well respond, since I couldn't care less what you or the other commenters think about me anyway.

    What you are really saying here is that my comment was good up until the part you disagree with? Then the comment was bad? And because I refused to accept a CSM member (who has been punished in the past for exploiting) and two ex-CSM members insulting me as proof that they didn't do it, I'm somehow even worse?

    The fact is that the market shows clear evidence of manipulation. Go ahead and look at it. As I stated to Larry B, I agree with his suggestion that it could be someone outside of the CSM, a friend of a dev, etc. The reason I suggested CSM as the source of corruption is because it's the simplest solution. It's a group of players who by their very nature are far more invested in the game than most, and let's face it, their past isn't exacly clean. If they have legitimate conterpoints, fine, but I'm not just going to keep quiet because a couple of CSM members insulted me. Like I siad to mynnna, there's no evidence to take to CCP, it's all speculation - food for thought if you will. If you don't agree, fine, disagree, make a counterpoint, convince me I'm wrong. That's the entire purpose of a discussion like this.