Monday, May 24, 2021

The April 2021 Monthly Economic Report: Faucets And The Dynamic Bounty System

The April 2021 Monthly Economic Report (MER) was notable due to some of the data and charts consisting of March data. CCP Larrikin updated the data files, but one notable chart containing commodity information was still missing. Fortunately, the data files allow for the creation of custom charts.

Data from RegionalStats.csv, January 2018 to April 2021

Looking at the data from the regional statistics file, we see the amount of ISK collected from bounties has declined from 55.8 trillion ISK in October 2020 down to 27.2 trillion in April. A 50% decrease in bounties is draconian, right? But one chart makes the decline appear even worse.

Faucets and Sinks from the April 2021 MER

The ISK Sinks and Faucets chart readily displays how the data in the MER has changed over the last 6 months. While the regional data displays players collecting 27.2 trillion ISK in bounties, the ISK Sinks and Faucets chart only displays 21.1 trillion ISK in bounty prizes distributed. A 62.2% decrease seems disastrous. Unless one remembers a major change that occurred in November.

In November 2020, CCP introduced the Dynamic Bounty System. A part of the scarcity push, the DBS works as follows:

Every solar system will now have an ever-changing bounty multiplier that is applied to any bounty payout earned in the system. As an example, if the solar system multiplier is at 110% and you kill a pirate that has 100,000 ISK bounty, the payout will now be 110,000 ISK. However, some of that will be captured by the revamped Encounter Surveillance System (ESS), which you will hear more about next week.

This multiplier will always be visible via the starmap so that you can locate high-value solar systems in which to hunt pirates.

This multiplier will get adjusted constantly based on what’s happening in the solar system:

  • Excessive ratting? Multiplier goes down
  • High level of player combat and death? Multiplier goes up
  • Empty system? Multiplier stabilizes at an equilibrium value.

Of course there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to set the rate of change, but the three points above are all you need to effectively plan your bounty hunting activities.

In November, the ESS Main Bank Autopayment category was added to the MER. If the ESS entry is added to the bounty prize amount, we see a total of 29.8 trillion ISK. The difference between the data files is still in the trillions, but not as drastic as appears at first glance. Also in November, players in null sec could no longer avoid the ESS

From commodity_sinks_and_faucets_over_time.xls, April 2021 MER

Players in MMORPGs will move to different areas of play if their favored play is nerfed. In EVE, players began engaging more with wormholes and Triglavian content. The trend is visible looking at the value of the top commodities in April. 

From October 2020 to April the value of the commodities increased 16.9%, from 30.7 trillion ISK to 35.9 trillion ISK. The two commodities that increased most were Sleeper Components and Triglavian Data. The amount of blue loot from wormholes increased nearly 25%, from 16.4 trillion ISK in October up to 20.4 trillion ISK in April. Triglavian Data, sometimes referred to as red loot, increased from 4.4 trillion ISK up to 6.6 trillion ISK over the same amount of time.

Data from RegionalStats.csv, January 2018 to April 2021

One final factor to consider is the the current war in null sec. Despite the fact that bounties in Delve dropped from 4.1 trillion ISK in June 2020 to 1.7 trillion ISK in October 2020, overall bounty generation in New Eden increased 1.6 trillion ISK over the same time. After the introduction of the dynamic bounty system, Delve saw bounty revenue decrease from 1.7 trillion ISK down to 540 billion ISK last month. In absolute terms, the decrease in Delve only made up 4.2% of the decrease in bounties in the entire game during the time.

Overall, April's  ISK faucet of of 97.4 trillion ISK was only slightly below March's 101.4 trillion ISK when averaged at a per day rate. But I'm not sure if CCP is satisfied with the result. In October 2020, the ISK faucets totaled 113 trillion ISK. Is a 400 billion ISK decline in the ISK faucet enough? If not, what is next on CCP's nerf list, wormholes or the Sansha incursions?

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