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Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.09 01:26:00 - [241]
 

Alright, I was about to edit my post to sound less huffy, as I have no interest in antagonizing you.

Still don't, so I'll just respond and try to watch my tone.


First off, you're absolutely right about CS/PS & trade. I'm not reading like I should have been before responding. In fact, I wrote up a bit about the price ceiling vs. international trade model before you posted almost exactly like you wrote. Point taken, and I yield. As you might have seen, I was reacting earlier to general wrong-headedness in this thread and took your swipe at my comments as more of the same. Sorry to have been so dismissive, it was wrong. I'll assume my snippyness motivated yours.


There are some areas of contention still, however.

1. Never hire an economist to tell you how to run your business better, they don't know. Thats the realm of finance, accounting and management types, a club to which economists generaly don't belong by mutual agreement.

An economist will tell you that your wells will have a host of outcomes, and probably tell you what to look for as the situation develops. They will also caution you to try to understand why their isnt a well there in the first place before you start digging. But they will understand if you still choose to dig 100 useless wells because you are doing it to feel good. They ought to also suggest that a charity well out in arid parts of Africa will likely do more harm than good. The best would suggest you give the poor folks' kids scholarships, and help the family to move somewhere less arid, but thats well beyond the scope of a discussion appropriate here. See Paul Collier's book, if you want to.

2. The primary flaw of the EVE economy is the insurance system. I have talked about it before and will again, but I disagree that persisting with an infinite supply of trit at a price is a useful solution to the problems it causes. If I understand you correctly, you want trit available in unlimited quantities so that its price cannot influence the value of high-ends that are productive compliments. A useful reform of the insurance system done in conjunction with the elimination of NPC trit supply still wouldn't make you happy. That's reasonable,but its still rent-seeking.

3. It is disingenuous to equate the consumer surplus derived from NPC trit as currently possible with the "player-driven economy" economic welfare it is screwing up. Thats not to say its bad in and of itself, but it can only be defended as a "high-end miners and manufacturers have more fun this way" than the benefits of a realistic market in trit would allow. That's where its a balance decision. We are dealing with false scarcity here, and thats always a tenuous thing. Currently, empire factory slots are supplied (in effect) perfectly elastically, so they are a non-issue. You want trit to be the same. Not wrong, but not obviously right either.

4. Maybe I'm not following, but I thought we agreed that actual binding price ceilings reduce total surplus, The lifting of the cap does indeed potentially reveal supply and demand not otherwise realized. Whether the proposed change is seen as removing a price control, or prohibiting trade, it allows prices we haven't seen before. Therefore, we'll see new parts of supply and demand. We have no prior experience of the quantities supplied or demanded of trit in Jita at a market price of 12 isk/unit. 12 may not ever be equilibrium due to elasticities, but we can see more prices without the cap/perfectly elastic npc trade than we could with it. "Seeing" that part of supply and demand has no intrinsic value, but people in this conversation have made very specific statements implying what it looks like, but we don't actually know.


Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.09 01:27:00 - [242]
 

Edited by: Aeco Feife on 09/10/2007 01:36:21
5. "We feel that NPC trit supply is making cap ships too easy to build, so we'll dump it" is a terrible public motivation for a good idea. By doing so, they will win back more direct control of the trit supply, but even if that was their primary motivation they should have come up with a better line.

6. He is arguing for a more realistic economy, which is exactly what I'd expect a good economist to do. If he has any feelings about whether cap ships are too easy to build or whatever, thats not from his economics, thats from his ideas about game design. I'm entirely happy to yield the floor to you if you want to fight him on game design. As I said before, a more realistic economy is not necessarily what EVE wants, so I'm not saying we need to get the economics just right. But that doesnt mean what economists have to say is wrong.

7, Game design is economics. I don't mean to contradict (6), but every "balance" is an economic decision based on creating a game that makes people happy. Game design has opened up facinating fields of economic inquiry into people's experience with scarcity, utility, satisfaction, risk etc. Consider Sisi for a second. Its EVE with the scarcity relaxed, and its just a video game. I see your argument as wanting a variant of the Sisi tritanium market on Tranquility. Not wrong necessarilly in game-fun terms, as video games are fun too, but not what an economist would recommend. He's pretty good.

I hope this post has reflected a closer reading of what you wrote, and that I didnt misrepresent what you said or think. Sorry again for earlier.

Lincoln Armm
Posted - 2007.10.09 02:28:00 - [243]
 

I was thinking about what exactly the role of a economist is in MMO development. Its actually quite odd when you think about it. Instead of trying to analyze a system that you have little or limited control over, they are trying to create the conditions to have a system complex enough to be interesting.

In EVE for instance, given the power of CCP, a economist could eliminate scarcity of anything and everything. Outside of EVE this would be great! Everybodies happy. Of course it would not improve EVE as a game. As I see it they do several useful things:
a) analyze the system as it exists.
b) Project the economic effects of this system, current trends etc.
c) Forcast the effect of proposed changes to the system, ethier those under CCPs controls and those that are not (shrinking or growing subscription numbers for instance).
d) Make suggestions to change the system when a), b), and c) are not effecting gameplay in a way the designers desire.

These are superficially the task any economist does but they differ greatly in detail.

Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.09 03:01:00 - [244]
 

Edited by: Aeco Feife on 09/10/2007 14:47:19
It's not as foreign as you suggest, but it is a totally new aspect of the science.

Economists don't hate scarcity, just inefficient responses to it (if I can characterize the group). In-game, scarcity is vital to a sense of accomplishment so game design must preserve it. In fact, the worst games are those that are too easy, which is an idea thats like candy to economists.

The real raw material of economics is the decisions people take to make themselves happy in the face of scarcity, not scarcity itself.

So virtual world economics is a pure-bred application of traditional economic theory, but in a perfectly controllable setting.

I had professors who did all their experiments on rats and pigeons. I got to participate in experimenting on undergrads, but we had to pay them and they were always confused. Now, we have (in a manner of speaking) 30,000+ people participating in an ongoing experiment that is perfectly observable, with players who are very motivated to figure out how to "play". It's a whole new world.

I often refer people to terranova.com, where alot of social science discussion about virtual worlds takes place. Yall should check out Nate Combs articles about EVE. Wonderful stuff.

Edit:
Economists like to make the distinction between “positive” and “normative” analysis, with positive referring to “the way things are / the way things work” and normative being “the way things ought to be / what’s fair or right.” What economics can offer game design resides entirely in the former, imo.

Dev’s are in control of everything in game except the players. Economists have been studying peoples’ interaction with each other and the world in terms of production and consumption, choices and valuations for at least the last 200 years. They have something to say about “the way things are” after you mix people into the world designed by the dev’s. It’s a good fit.

Economists don’t have any special talent addressing “the way things ought to be,” but they can tell you a heck of a lot about the way things work once a system is in place, and how changes in design will result in changes in decisions.

But economists stand to gain far more from games than games do from economists. EVE is effectively an every-day large-scale economic experiment / festival. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I’m teaching a class in the spring on virtual world economics. Pioneer, me I guess. Not the first though. I’m dang excited.

Reverend Revelator
The Collective
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2007.10.09 19:43:00 - [245]
 

Well, at least now we know why Dr Ey dont participate in the market forum: He doesnt want to spend hours and days of his life reading walls of text from the Jita 4/4 jockeys. Very Happy

Donathan Slade
Death By Consequence
Posted - 2007.10.11 14:00:00 - [246]
 

Originally by: CCP Wrangler
Originally by: Donathan Slade
This Blog doesn't show up in the "Archives" Link, but the newest White Wolf dev blog does. Just an FYI
Thanks, I've reported it so hopefully it will be fixed soon. Smile


This still has not been fixed.

Hamfast
Gallente
Posted - 2007.10.13 18:10:00 - [247]
 

I hope this is not to late a post to be added here...

If Economics is the study of the allocation of Limited Resources with alternate uses, then any study that includes Tritium in it's current state is in error...

If the supply of Trit is endless (as it is now) and can be gained almost everywhere (as it is now) then it is not a limited resource thus falls out of the realm of Economics.

It also means that any economic argument with Trit at it's root is in itself based in error.

Once the Supply of Trit becomes limited to player gained sources (Rats and Mining) it can be readded to the Economic Study.

Juwi Kotch
KOTCH Construction and Anchoring
Posted - 2007.10.13 20:28:00 - [248]
 

There are some glitches in the Dr.'s analysis which I would like to see corrected (like not putting the increased number of population into relation to the increased number of ship production and losses), but that is not my point. Generally he delivered lots of very useful information and raw data, we all can dig into.

My point is the discussion on the Trit price cap. Of course it needs to be removed. The EVE economy is totally about demand and availability. To artificially increase the availability limits this free market mechanics at a very vulnarable point.

When Trit would cost twice its present price, it just would cost twice the price. There would be less bigger and more smaller ships, and people would be more careful in what to burn in PvP and PvE. It would not hurt the game at all, but would make it even more realistic, immersive, and scary.

Juwi Kotch

Rocka Stargirl
Falasha
Posted - 2007.10.14 04:18:00 - [249]
 

Well, I'm a new player and I'm mining only Veld in empire right now. And life is good. I tried mining Scordite, but the money just wasn't there like it is for Veld. If you eliminate the cap I could get richer, faster, which would be awesome FOR ME. So do that, please.

Thanks!

Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.14 18:50:00 - [250]
 

Hamfast,

The "limited resources" aspect of trit is not necessarily just its absolute availability anywhere. In the sense that it can be "produced" either by mining or refining NPC goods, it is not limited in absolute terms (at least in the relevant range). What is limited is the time, effort, and willingness to spend them producing it (same as all other minerals / inputs) by players. Its all artificial scarcity, but its vital.

Economics is not inappropriately applied. Trit is just less interesting economically than it could be. Boring math is still math, boring economics is still economics.


CCP Dr.EyjoG

Posted - 2007.10.16 13:37:00 - [251]
 

Thank you all for the great discussion that is now up to 250 posts since we released Econ Dev Blog no. 2.
Though not active in replying I have enjoyed reading the posts. Much of the questions posted have been answered by players in the same manner that I would answer them so I decided to allow the thread to continue without my replies. But it is time that I step in now and add a few comments, though some of this will be replication (or confirmation) of what players have been posting so far.

The first issue is about active spaceships. We simply defined active spaceships as those ships which are associated with accounts that have an active status. Knowing that players do have many ships and some ships are used more than others we decided that the easiest way to estimate which spaceships where the most used ones was to see production of spaceships and spaceships killed. This gave us an estimate for which spaceships are the most popular ones, overall, where popularity is defined through use rather than preferences.

With regard to the profitability of the Caracal we used the average price for all regions, and assumed 20% production efficiency, through skill training, blueprint research or both. Hence our results do show possible profit margin for the Caracal, specifically if you shop around (this has been confirmed by at least one response in the dev blog) and if you train manufacturing skills. There also is considerable regional difference in price of minerals, as anyone who has focused on trading knows. The point being that you can make good profits by shopping around, and by training your manufacturing, research and trade skills. So start that training now!

And to the tritanium price cap! The answer to that question would really require its own blog but the short version is simple. It is our objective that supply of all products within EVE-Online should be player based, i.e. behind every single item there should be the blood, sweat and tears of hard working EVE pilot struggling to make a profit (and keep alive) in the harsh environment of EVE. From an economic standpoint having a price cap is the same as having price subsidies for that product - which leads to inefficient use of resources and causes undesirable effects on the market, such as making veldspar mining almost a zero-profit activity.

It has been interesting to see how much of the discussion is about economics in general and how economics can help us to understand behavior. It is obvious that we have some well trained economists in the group – and I do think that many people are learning from these discussions, so keep those comments flowing.

We are now working on the Quarterly Economic Newsletter, compiling a lot of data to give you some interesting information and analysis of the economic system of EVE Online. When the QEN is out we will start a special thread in the forums where we can discuss individual sections of the QEN. Until then this thread will continue.




Bu Jinkan
Posted - 2007.10.16 17:30:00 - [252]
 

Edited by: Bu Jinkan on 16/10/2007 17:36:26
Edited by: Bu Jinkan on 16/10/2007 17:30:25
So what if the trit cap makes the market inefficient? You haven't told us why it makes for better gameplay.

Someone out there calculated that you'd need the equivalent of hundreds of hulks mining veldspar 24/7 with perfect skills to meet the daily consumption of tritanium. Is that the kind of game we want?

The real way to make veldspar worth mining is to increase yield.

Jakiri
GoonFleet
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 17:31:00 - [253]
 

Edited by: Jakiri on 16/10/2007 17:31:34
To put credentials on the line, I'm not an economist. I have no formal economic training of any kind. I am a physicist, however, so I do have experience in the areas of evidence gathering, presentation and analysis.

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG
Knowing that players do have many ships and some ships are used more than others we decided that the easiest way to estimate which spaceships where the most used ones was to see production of spaceships and spaceships killed. This gave us an estimate for which spaceships are the most popular ones, overall, where popularity is defined through use rather than preferences.


It does give you an estimate, but unfortunately it's a bad one. It assumes that the rate of destruction of ships is constant, not only with respect to the level of usage but also independent of the ship type itself.

If the tools you are using do not give you the ability to check what's being flown more often, which is the case from what you've said, then I wouldn't have called it "popularity", because what you're measuring isn't popularity, although it's obviously not independent from popularity. There's a heavy bias towards the more easily destroyed ships.

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG
With regard to the profitability of the Caracal we used the average price for all regions, and assumed 20% production efficiency, through skill training, blueprint research or both. Hence our results do show possible profit margin for the Caracal, specifically if you shop around (this has been confirmed by at least one response in the dev blog) and if you train manufacturing skills. There also is considerable regional difference in price of minerals, as anyone who has focused on trading knows. The point being that you can make good profits by shopping around, and by training your manufacturing, research and trade skills. So start that training now!


To reply to this deserves a seperate post, which I will be writing shortly.

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG
And to the tritanium price cap! The answer to that question would really require its own blog but the short version is simple. It is our objective that supply of all products within EVE-Online should be player based, i.e. behind every single item there should be the blood, sweat and tears of hard working EVE pilot struggling to make a profit (and keep alive) in the harsh environment of EVE. From an economic standpoint having a price cap is the same as having price subsidies for that product - which leads to inefficient use of resources and causes undesirable effects on the market, such as making veldspar mining almost a zero-profit activity.


I agree that all products should be player based. However, I don't think the repurcussions of making veldspar mining more profitable are particularly good for the game. Encouraging macromining is a particularly bad effect - in an ideal world, rewarding cheating is not a particularly lofty goal. Another one would be removing the economic pressure to head out to 0.0 space, which would have a knock-on effect throughout the entire PvP aspect of the game.

Mining veldspar shouldn't be encouraged. Mining tritanium should be encouraged.

If you have time, would it be possible for you to answer my question about your trit sold/trit used graph? That is, how are you measuring these quantities?
Some of the information may have been misleading, and I just want to make sure that correct.

Jakiri
GoonFleet
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 18:14:00 - [254]
 

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG

With regard to the profitability of the Caracal we used the average price for all regions, and assumed 20% production efficiency, through skill training, blueprint research or both. Hence our results do show possible profit margin for the Caracal, specifically if you shop around (this has been confirmed by at least one response in the dev blog) and if you train manufacturing skills. There also is considerable regional difference in price of minerals, as anyone who has focused on trading knows. The point being that you can make good profits by shopping around, and by training your manufacturing, research and trade skills. So start that training now!



Unfortunately, this is implausible.

By and large, the cheapest ships will be in Empire, and the more expensive ones in 0.0. Mineral prices are a bit more varied - locally mined highends, such as megacyte and zydrine, will be cheaper in 0.0 as they're more plentiful. Lowend prices tend to be lower in Empire.

Not particularly controversial so far.

The problem lies in one (well two, but I'll come to the second later) very specific area: the high cost of travelling.

To move things between different regions of Empire, you need a freighter character in an NPC corp, to set the autopilot and then to go away from the game until it reaches its destination. There is no risk involved - you don't even have to be near the computer!
The startup costs, both in terms of isk and training time, are fairly high but nothing that an individual can't dig up within a couple of months. The running costs are zero as you cannot lose your freighter barring a truly spectacular array of firepower arrayed against it (in the order of 50 tech 2 fitted Tempest battleships given the extremely swift lethal response from CONCORD, a scale of suicide I've never heard of). Once you are setup, you can run things around to your heart's content.

And thus the major market hubs in Empire tend towards the same prices. You will get small differences (for example, I found Sleipnirs a couple of million isk cheaper in Rens than in Jita) but, compared to 0.0, quite small relatively.

To move things around 0.0 you have at least the same startup costs (assuming a freighter), but they could be higher; carriers are very popular vessels for this kind of logistics as well and are much more expensive, albeit with a combat use. Looking at running costs, we see a major discrepency - both in terms of the risk of losing isk and in terms of man hours. Set autopilot to your destination and there is a very high chance you will not reach it - even if you don't encounter other players, you may be killed by NPC pirates which spawn on the jumpgates. You need to be at the keyboard, then. No small feat when freighter escorts can take several hours to reach their, nearby, destination and several hours to return. But that's not all. You'll need an escort, as even a piloted freighter can die to gate pirates, NPC or player. How large should this escort be? How about 20?

Probably not enough, given that TSC lost a freighter escorted by a similar number of players to one of AAA's titans recently. But lets assume 20.

That's 20 more accounts to pay for, 20 more ships to buy. 20 more people who have to spend several hours at their keyboards than in the Empire case, where one person needed to spend minutes. If you're using a carrier you have a substantial cost irrespective of this, as you need to use fuel for each jump you make.

And, after all that, even if you reach your destination safely, you may not be able to dock because you're not allied to the corporation that holds the station. Aint life grand.

But lets assume that you do reach the target area with your Caracals, and set up on the market.

This is where the second factor, turnover, enters play. I'm not going to patronise you, you know what it is and why it's necessary for a business.

Jakiri
GoonFleet
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 18:18:00 - [255]
 

Part 2:

In The Forge, a region of Empire space containing Jita, between 100 and 300 Caracals were sold every day in the last month, generally around 200.
In Tenerifis, a region of 0.0 controlled by the alliances KOS and Goonswarm which is adjacent to the front lines in the southern war, more than 5 caracals a day were sold on only 3 occasions in the past 30 days.

And even then, if you find a profitable area you will probably be undercut by someone else trying to eke out a living, until the venture very quickly becomes worthless.

I have tried to avoid patronising you during these posts. I don't know the degree to which you have experience with the world of Eve, and I have tried to avoid using unexplained acronyms or examples. If I have been patronising, then I apologise.

It is unfortunate, then, that you have been extremely patronising to the producers who rejected the numbers on your Caracal example. I have manufacturing skills maxed on one of my characters, have access to blueprints which have a very large amount of time invested into mineral efficiency research, and there are many other people who can say the same. To suggest that we start to consider training these skills, or to do efficiency research on our blueprints, is downright insulting. We are suggesting that your numbers are incorrect, or are ignoring other factors that must be considered, because there is no ingame way to improve the process, a process that will become much harder if CCP decide to severely reduce the compression of certain modules as you can move fewer minerals or ships around for the same risk and time investment.

The kicker is that, during your analysis, for half the time you consider players of Eve to be rational operators, but for the other half you consider them to be ignorant of game mechanics.

The economic analysis of Eve has the potential to be both interesting and informative (although I personally would prefer that you went into far more detail than would be sensible for a devblog), just be aware that forums smoke is not always without fire, and to remember that the goal of game design should be to get people fighting over the control of 0.0 space, for it's this competition that drives every other aspect of Eve.

Xar Zhun
Posted - 2007.10.16 18:23:00 - [256]
 

Edited by: Xar Zhun on 16/10/2007 18:27:34
Edited by: Xar Zhun on 16/10/2007 18:25:29
OMG they want to get rid of (npc/shuttle/insert easy fix) trit supply!!!! How am i gonna get my capital ship etc etc etc rinse and repeat

The false economy of providing trit by NPC's was fine during the initial "setup" phase of EVE, but with the current mining community there is NO NEED to provide players with materials and minerals - they should all come from players efforts

Ever wonder why noone mines velds? could it possibly be the low prices from hours of work providing the basic material for the EVE universe and then getting called "carebears"??

Removing all price caps would put the power back into the hands of those who deserve to wield it, the PRODUCERS of EVE not the destroyers, that is capitalism and economics

If you want a militaristic view of EVE get CCP to employ a military person

***the carcal debate is a little pointless, i think it has more to do with the lack of real data than the doc making a mistake - he can only workoff what he gets****

***the missing hulks - how many hulks are either on the markets or under contract - and not "active" - better indicator would be the number of players with the exhumers 3 skillbox***


Waterfowl Democracy
The Ministry of Indigenous Affairs
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 18:36:00 - [257]
 

In a completely player driven economy for every battleship I lose someone somewhere has to mine for around 10 hours (in a decently skilled hulk) to replace the minerals used in that battleship. Now I'm not damn well going to mine that much and I doubt many of the people who claim to want a completely player driven economy are either.

Does the Doctor mine that much?

Jakiri
GoonFleet
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 18:44:00 - [258]
 

Originally by: Xar Zhun

Ever wonder why noone mines velds?


Plenty of people mine Veld. Macrominers, mostly, although right now Veldspar is worth more than most of the ores that can be mined in the game, included some only available in lowsec and 0.0. It's not far behind Arkonor in isk/m3, and let us not forget that Arkonor is described as "The rarest and most sought-after ore in the known world. A sizable nugget of this can sweep anyone from rags to riches in no time." in game.

Originally by: Xar Zhun
could it possibly be the low prices from hours of work providing the basic material for the EVE universe and then getting called "carebears"??


No, it's because mining isn't very interesting, and I say that as someone who has mined (at keyboard, before someone cries macrominer) for 12 hours in a day before. In any case, removing the trit cap won't improve the lot of miners - look at how the removal of the 2.6 isk/unit trit cap affected ore prices.

As for the carebear thing, anyone who doesn't PvP is called a carebear. Hell, there's a thread in CAOD right now calling Band of Brothers carebears.

Originally by: Xar Zhun
Removing all price caps would put the power back into the hands of those who deserve to wield it, the PRODUCERS of EVE not the destroyers, that is capitalism and economics


Without competition over territory, there's little incentive for PvP. Without PvP, there are fewer ship losses. Without ship losses, there are no profits in manufacturing. With no profits in manufacturing, the miners get less money and have fewer people to play with all of a sudden.

The two things are pretty inextricably linked, with another thread going in the reverse direction making PvP dependent on the producers.

But that's not really relevent: removing the trit cap is a bad thing for miners, considerations of other areas aren't required.

Originally by: Xar Zhun
***the carcal debate is a little pointless, i think it has more to do with the lack of real data than the doc making a mistake - he can only workoff what he gets****


Were I writing a devblog which is used as a resource to change game balance, then I would try to be really quite certain that my assertions were in fact supported by real data. Either way, a mistake has been made - whether it's a misunderstanding of game mechanics or a misrepresentation of the data is something that we can't really find out about without further input.

Xar Zhun
Posted - 2007.10.16 19:05:00 - [259]
 

Originally by: Jakiri

Originally by: Xar Zhun
Removing all price caps would put the power back into the hands of those who deserve to wield it, the PRODUCERS of EVE not the destroyers, that is capitalism and economics


Without competition over territory, there's little incentive for PvP. Without PvP, there are fewer ship losses. Without ship losses, there are no profits in manufacturing. With no profits in manufacturing, the miners get less money and have fewer people to play with all of a sudden.

The two things are pretty inextricably linked, with another thread going in the reverse direction making PvP dependent on the producers.

But that's not really relevent: removing the trit cap is a bad thing for miners, considerations of other areas aren't required.




The point i was trying to make is that there is a rampant disrespect for any non PVP character that goes all the way thru the PVP population.

As for the conflicts over territory etc etc maybe if they had to pay more for their equipment and ships they would be a little more circumspect in what fights they got into.

As a side point, i am really loking forward to finding out who is hoarding isks in the nov report and to see if these guys are in the PVP brigade.


Jakiri
GoonFleet
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.10.16 19:23:00 - [260]
 

Edited by: Jakiri on 16/10/2007 19:31:28
Edited by: Jakiri on 16/10/2007 19:24:08
Edited by: Jakiri on 16/10/2007 19:23:40
Edited by: Jakiri on 16/10/2007 19:23:06
Originally by: Xar Zhun

The point i was trying to make is that there is a rampant disrespect for any non PVP character that goes all the way thru the PVP population.


There's rampant disrespect for the PvP population going all the way through the PvP population as well. You're making a class issue out of the fact that most people are jerks, and maybe if you play games to attempt to win respect you're engaging in the wrong activity.

Originally by: Xar Zhun
As for the conflicts over territory etc etc maybe if they had to pay more for their equipment and ships they would be a little more circumspect in what fights they got into.


You fight for two reasons: for fun, or for territory. Making ships expensive while simultaneously removing the economic benefits of 0.0 will remove the first one (not a good thing for a game), and remove one side of the second. Fleet battles, due to Eve's unfortunately rather laggy nature, tend to be rather one sided which creates a positive feedback for the outcome of the next engagement, as the winning side from the first one will have disproportionately better ships than the losing side, making the same result infinitely more likely. One thing to note is that there is some level of this already, but not nearly to the same degree - and generally only applying to non-insurable, Tech 2, ships. You don't have a choice about this, either; you bring fewer people, and you get destroyed by your opponent. You don't turn up, you get destroyed by your opponent. You bring inadequate equipment, you get destroyed by your opponent, and all of a sudden there's more people fighting over The Forge's veld supply.

Assuming that anyone's going to bother to fight over 0.0 once you remove the "fun" aspect that goes with the horrific logistical issues that face a spaceholding alliance.

You still seem to be missing that in all the above cases the demand for ships will decrease, and where will that leave your, and my, precious industry then?

Laendra
Universalis Imperium
Posted - 2007.10.16 19:46:00 - [261]
 

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG
It is our objective that supply of all products within EVE-Online should be player based, i.e. behind every single item there should be the blood, sweat and tears of hard working EVE pilot struggling to make a profit (and keep alive) in the harsh environment of EVE.


Then you need to provide the blueprints for all station components, all deployable structures, etc., and give us the ability to produce trade goods, instead of having them fed from the NPC market. As it is, CCP is still controlling the market in these regards, and are keeping them out of player-driven control. Also, you need to strip everything off the NPC market, so that no items are provided by NPCs except blueprints. That is when you will get to a truly player driven market.

Also, to prevent the collapse of the player driven market, you need to take steps to make mining more interesting, as it is so mind-numbing that it has forced the player community to develop macro-mining as the cure for such boring work (the only time it was interesting was when I first started...it quickly devolved).

CCP Wrangler

Posted - 2007.10.16 20:25:00 - [262]
 

Originally by: Xar Zhun
If you want a militaristic view of EVE get CCP to employ a military person
Strangely enough, they employed us formerly military persons to manage the community instead.. Laughing

Matalino
Posted - 2007.10.16 21:58:00 - [263]
 

*snip*

Originally by: CCP Wrangler
Originally by: Xar Zhun
If you want a militaristic view of EVE get CCP to employ a military person
Strangely enough, they employed us formerly military persons to manage the community instead.. Laughing
I guess those military community managers were too effecient at killing the trolls and hiding their remains. Laughing

Well I guess, I had better go hide lest they come after me for discussing forum moderation. Embarassed

Brujo Loco
Amarr
Brujeria Teologica
Posted - 2007.10.17 06:17:00 - [264]
 

Hmmm interesting blog, but as an Amarr I find highly disturbing that we are the LEAST popular race in terms of ships owned, flown and built ... Neutral

Can this show to the world how Amarrs sux compared to the other races? Twisted Evil(and not precisely huge amounts of cap, wich coincidentally we do ...)

Or am I making things up here? ugh

Sertan Deras
Gallente
Merch Industrial
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2007.10.18 19:26:00 - [265]
 

Edited by: Sertan Deras on 18/10/2007 19:27:14
I have one issue with all of this: Not a single CCP employee has told us how any of this is going to make EVE more fun. In fact, to the untrained eye, all of this looks like it's going to make EVE LESS fun. This is a disturbing trend with CCP lately. They seem to think EVE is some kind of real world simulator, it's not. It's a video game, and we spend our entertainment time and dollar on it. The second I have to expend "blood, sweat and tears" to "enjoy" EVE, I am quiting.

CCP, I am begging you, and I am sure I speak for others: Before you go off half baked and make sweeping changes to the way the game is played, ask yourself: Is this fun? Is having to mine veldspar for 8 hours to make a battleship fun? Is having highsec full of macrominers fun? Is making ships more expensive across the board, so less people can fly their ship of choice, fun?

This is not a real economy, this is a video game. Some perspective needs to be kept here.

Lab Technician071548
Astro-Support Services
East India Company
Posted - 2007.10.19 04:59:00 - [266]
 

Edited by: Lab Technician071548 on 19/10/2007 05:02:25
Hello again, Dr.

9 pages into this discussion, I'm going to chime in on the Caracal business. As others have stated, it is at least misleading and probably just wrong.

First, the numbers simply do not mesh with reality. I stopped building cruisers with little exception because my manufacturing slots are more profitably directed at building other things (often for lower margin but higher straight ISK value). I don't know of any T1 ship from which you can reliably pull a 40% margin in empire (including low sec).

When you talk about "average market price", what exactly are you referring to? Buy order prices? Sell order prices? Prices including convenience sales (e.g., reprocessed shuttle you just used because you get more value out of the trit from the reprocessing than you would get selling the shuttle itself)? Substantial quantities of minerals are purchased in stations off the beaten track at well below buy orders in the hubs where bulk sufficient to run a sizeable industrial operation can be had easily. Did you do a median based analysis? Would you present one?

I emphasized easily because, as I argued in response to your introductory blog, Eve is full of arbitrage. Arbitrage makes it fun. Arbitrage keeps it from being an easily modeled game for slide rule monkeys. You can sit in Jita and see minerals of all types in considerable quantity available well below Jita prices all in the same region as Jita. Sellers don't take it to Jita because it's a pain in the exhaust nozzle and they don't care to. Buyers are not eager to go pick it up as quickly for the same reason. There's value in sending your freighter army out to afk run around to the best mineral prices available but the opportunity costs of doing so are prohibitive for the average manufacturer, not to mention the nozzle pain issue.

Many industrialists recognize the need to use multiple sources of minerals, including buying at sell order prices, to ensure that they are manufacturing and selling at rates that keep shelves stocked. JIT manufacturing is relatively easy in Eve because the time requirements to build ships are not very high. However, the time it takes to run a freighter around to hand pick all the cheapest minerals in a few regions to make a few extra bucks is not worth it. The only people I know doing that sort of thing are unemployed and not in school. You could more than make up that money by running level 4 missions while your ships are in the oven, having been built with buy order cost minerals, and it would be a lot more fun or, at the very least, a lot more engaging.

Your analysis states that the Caracal's price has remained "relatively" stable since 2004, although you show a relatively large window of 4 to 5 million ISK. That is relatively stable relative to what? When the T2 BCs came out, we were reprocessing battleships left on the market by people too lazy or ignorant to update their prices to reflect what mineral demand had done to prices on end products. How much did that 3 month ISK extravaganza throw off averages and "relative" stability? Accounting for these natural experiments would raise precision considerably. Such opportunities have occurred at several points in the history of the game.

According to MLCalc, a Caracal BPO with ME 28, built by a char with production efficiency 5, will cost 3.73m to build at recent Jita sell order prices. Your chart shows the pricing to have been 2.6m in August. Your chart is wrong. If I drop the trit price from 3.67 to 2.0, the manufacturing cost goes to 3.22 and the other mineral prices just don't make up the difference. Pye has gone down since August. So has Nocx and Isogen. I suspect that the arithmetic mean is a bad measure of central tendancy given the likely distribution of these data (minerals = wealth: consider pareto or other distribution reflecting wealth inequality for better results; non-parametric or discreet even better)

Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.22 16:57:00 - [267]
 

A few points about trit, economics, and optimal game design:
What makes for a realistic economy does not necessarily make for the optimally fun or rewarding game. I don’t think anyone would recommend a change to the economy only for the purposes of mimicking an RL phenomenon. Fun is the bottom line.

Any obviously artificial aspect of an MMO economy is anti-immersive, and often makes game play less meaningful to players. Economic realism is one of the few parts of “real” realism that MMO’s need to preserve (in general) in order to hit the buttons of what most MMO players want out of their experience in the long run.

In my judgment, the less realistic the economy in a MMO is, the more quickly players lose interest. Just as an FPS on god-mode gets old really quick, it is scarcity and limitations in EVE that provide the foundation for the challenge, the satisfaction, the excitement, and the fun on playing EVE. That the current player base chose EVE over the alternative says something. Imo, EVE is at an extreme in economic reality relative to other games. The decision to move further away from the pack in that direction will depend ultimately on CCP’s feel for where its market is. My impression is that lots of EVE players got bored with WoW before they came here, and I interpret that as evidence that economic realism pays in the long run.

All in-game scarcity is artificial, and has to be consciously designed. Not everything has to be scarce to drive an MMO economy, and some things probably shouldn’t be. What is scarce and what isn’t and to what degree are game design decisions. There is no right answer.

A good should be scarce to the degree that it makes EVE more interesting, more dynamic, and more rewarding, but plentiful whenever its scarcity is just a major PITA with no net benefit. For people focusing on high-end mining and manufacturing, who are worried about building stations and capital ships, trit is a PITA, and they want it to be plentiful. For noob miners, etc, its anti-immersive to have half of the roids in high-sec be economic losers. Game design depends on weighing these tendencies. There is not a right answer, but we should be able to agree on the forces at work in the decision about trit availability / scarcity (price).

Turns out, however, free markets seem to allow noob miners to reduce the PITA high end manufactures face in a way that enhances the “meaningfulness” of the game for both parties. See the articles referenced for the most recent Nobel prizes in economics for more on that.

Aeco Feife
Posted - 2007.10.22 22:00:00 - [268]
 

Edited by: Aeco Feife on 22/10/2007 22:13:36

Re: Measurement in EVE

Spaceships: The useful measure of “active” spaceships depends of the question being asked. Even then, any measure has its drawbacks which constrain the way you can meaningfully use the results. Precision and the ability of a measure to communicate anything useful are often at odds.

It’s not uncommon for physicists and engineers to become unglued watching economists do their work. It’s the nature of the beast. Economists often become unglued watching health professionals in their research for the same reasons (though we're more honest about our limitations, imo).

Depending on the question, my most "active" ship is either a shuttle, a Raven, a Hulk, a Bustard, or a Caracal. I end up buying and selling shuttles most, and losing Caracals in fights. Ravens come in second in loses, third in turnover, but fourth in time spent. The Hulk is the most "active", but I've only ever had to buy one (fingers crossed). The question defines the measure, and the report was fine on its own terms.

Caracal: Most likely, the costs used to estimate the total cost of building a Caracal were the best available anywhere at that point in time. No one would actually hunt all over empire to get every last unit of mineral to minimize the cost of building, but it still makes for a reasonable model of build costs. It’s a rare model in economics that accounts fully for the time and the hassle of using the market at the same time as everything else.

The characteristics of the EVE economy and game play that Jakiri and LabTech stress as important are truly important, but much harder to model than one might imagine. If fact, in common practice, we’d do it the other way around. We would use the differential between “lowest potential cost” production and the competitive price of Caracals to estimate the marginal cost of the hassle of more fully economizing on mineral costs.

I understand the hostile reactions of people who do this sort of thing all the time being told (or think they are being told) that their costs are lower than they are, or that “smarter” or more skilled players would see such low production costs. But the cost measures Dr. E used are not evidence he “just doesn’t get it,” but only evidence that he didn’t try to model the “transactions” costs of production. And he shouldn’t have. It’s too complicated to throw in a basic analysis, and would end up detracting from the overall report.

That said, I disagree with Dr. E’s interpretation of his results. He seems to suggest they mean people need to skill up more and hunt bargains more aggressively. People have already done so and will continue.

There are some pitfalls is using lowest possible build cost, and I’m not yet 100% convinced all of them were dodged, but if those measures are pretty robust then we’ve got something here.

Forum warriors seem to have missed the useful point in the Caracal analysis. The news is that the margin is holding steady. That’s interesting, and perhaps even counterintuitive. For purposes of the “health” of the economy and the wellbeing of industrialists, it really doesn’t matter if the profit margin is 40% or 4% but how it evolves over time.

James Duar
Merch Industrial
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2007.10.24 07:07:00 - [269]
 

Originally by: CCP Dr.EyjoG
And to the tritanium price cap! The answer to that question would really require its own blog but the short version is simple. It is our objective that supply of all products within EVE-Online should be player based, i.e. behind every single item there should be the blood, sweat and tears of hard working EVE pilot struggling to make a profit (and keep alive) in the harsh environment of EVE. From an economic standpoint having a price cap is the same as having price subsidies for that product - which leads to inefficient use of resources and causes undesirable effects on the market, such as making veldspar mining almost a zero-profit activity.


Spotted the bolded bit and all I can think is...what?!

My fellow corp-mate said it more accurately, the trit-cap is more like an import. Price-caps are characterized by eventually causing a shortage. We can "import" as much tritanium as we want so there is never a shortage, and it doesn't lead to inefficiency because there is never a shortage - those providing the highest value output are still able to get all the tritanium they need.

Lab Technician071548
Astro-Support Services
East India Company
Posted - 2007.10.25 21:04:00 - [270]
 

Originally by: Aeco Feife
Edited by: Aeco Feife on 22/10/2007 22:13:36
Caracal: Most likely, the costs used to estimate the total cost of building a Caracal were the best available anywhere at that point in time. No one would actually hunt all over empire to get every last unit of mineral to minimize the cost of building, but it still makes for a reasonable model of build costs. It’s a rare model in economics that accounts fully for the time and the hassle of using the market at the same time as everything else.

The characteristics of the EVE economy and game play that Jakiri and LabTech stress as important are truly important, but much harder to model than one might imagine. If fact, in common practice, we’d do it the other way around. We would use the differential between “lowest potential cost” production and the competitive price of Caracals to estimate the marginal cost of the hassle of more fully economizing on mineral costs.

I understand the hostile reactions of people who do this sort of thing all the time being told (or think they are being told) that their costs are lower than they are, or that “smarter” or more skilled players would see such low production costs. But the cost measures Dr. E used are not evidence he “just doesn’t get it,” but only evidence that he didn’t try to model the “transactions” costs of production. And he shouldn’t have. It’s too complicated to throw in a basic analysis, and would end up detracting from the overall report.

That said, I disagree with Dr. E’s interpretation of his results. He seems to suggest they mean people need to skill up more and hunt bargains more aggressively. People have already done so and will continue.
[...]
Forum warriors seem to have missed the useful point in the Caracal analysis. The news is that the margin is holding steady. That’s interesting, and perhaps even counterintuitive. For purposes of the “health” of the economy and the wellbeing of industrialists, it really doesn’t matter if the profit margin is 40% or 4% but how it evolves over time.



Aeco,

A few points need clarifying. From my own perspective, an interpretation that wants to avoid some of the criticisms we see here, must include some commentary on scope, limits, and context. My background includes multi-disciplinary training (psychology, sociology, and economics) and publication in peer-reviewed academic journals. The material we have doesn't meet that standard and I'm not saying it should. However, there are some fundamentals missing from the descriptive analysis that, had they been present, would go a long way toward mitigating the propensity to confuse, miscommunicate, or irritate the forum grubbing community.

I have merely stated that the analysis was wrong and, as you rightly pointed out, that was not entirely correct. More specifically, the analysis regarding caracal cost of production and margins is wrong as stated in the context of what I experience as I play the game. That there may be a context in which it is right is interesting but it bears no fruit if it is not relevant to the game as these investigations are, in my opinion, primarily for an applications oriented audience and not for the denizens of the ivory tower.

Your conjecture is that the happy and meaningful result is that, whatever the actual margin is, it has remained constant. However, if the margin is 4% rather than 40%, there is more noise than signal in the message as there is 20% slop in the 4-5m figure presented. Additionally, in my experience, the low end of the T1 market has had a substantial decline in profitability in secure empire space, which brings up an important point: the secure empire market and the 0.0 markets are entirely different. Although they are linked economically in some ways, they should be described separately as well.


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