Xander PhoenaShareTweetLast week on CZ Minutes, we discussed the prevalence of alts in Eve and their necessity for certain play styles. This week, it’s all about the dolla dolla bill yo…Xander: One of the most overused terms in our wee CZ Skype channel when speaking to Niden and Tarek is ‘poors’. This led me to thinking, what constitutes ‘poor’ in Eve? More importantly, how much do you need to have to be considered ‘rich’? How wealthy do you consider yourself in Eve and what barometer do you use? How to you predominately earn your ISK? Is it too easy or difficult to generate income in New Eden?
Jeg: I am rich with all those EVEbet trillions they give us every month.
Tarek: I consider myself well off if I can undock everything I have in my hangar without having to worry about losing it. The income I need for that then depends on the type of ships I fly. That sliding scale could range from a few frigates and destroyers for some, up until supercarriers and titans. I would consider myself rich from the point on where I can spend ISK on things that I otherwise wouldn’t necessarily need for my everyday activities. PLEXing my accounts, buying a carrier or jumpfreighter alt with ship included, several sets of high-grade implants. That kind of stuff. In comparison to my needs, I would say I am quite well off.
As far as income generation goes, well I gain LP on the side while looking for fights, and I hunt for clone soldier tags to repair my own sec status. The surplus I can sell for good ISK. I refuse to go any further into PVE content because I find it uninteresting and a waste of my time. With current PLEX prices and my RL salary I am much better off buying PLEX and exchanging it for ISK. For my own playstyle, I consider the possibilities to generate income sufficient in the lowsec environment of today.
Mangala: I tend to the use the term “poors” to mean people who join my fleets complaining to have to even fly a T1 cruiser, or those for whom isk generation remains a mystery. How they get by at all boggles my mind. And of course as a general derogatory term for my lowsec cousins.
As to what is considered poor, well off, rich, or Mynnna.
Poor: being in a position where every ship loss no matter how trivial to me, matters.
Well off: as Tarek says, able to lose what you are flying and manage to replace it just fine. Its all about having a cushion of isk to get you through the dark days of eviction, perma dec, and so on.
Rich: as with well off, having a cushion to let you do x or y over and over again, plenty of assets scattered around the galaxy, investments that pay off regularly, and can even sub your accounts with plex with minimal actual effort.
Mynnna: just being able to tot up your assets and liquid ISK and see bloody huge numbers, regardless of what you use it for or how much you have!
Personally I tend to bounce between well off and rich, depending on what my actually ISK has been doing during a given period. Either I am funding new clones and command ships for ganked, or am throwing it at RvB events and wartime ship setups. I really do not make ISK much at all nowadays, I reached a number a few years ago and decided I was happiest there, that I did not need MORE. And the past few years have seen me slowly wear that number down.
Niden: The only reason I have some ISK in my wallet is because I hustle (CZ welfare and handouts for ‘artwork’ from others), I’m horrible at EVE ‘work’. A bad combination with my occasionally expensive habits (for a ‘poor’ in the lowsec hood). I wouldn’t mind being filthy rich. I’ve tried running a business and doing some speculation and investing. I ended up realizing that to make money that way you need two things: experience and money, and I had neither.
As EVE ages we have seen classes emerge, a wide spectrum from the dirt poor to those with ‘more money than God’. On the low end those unable, for one reason or another, to escape poverty. It can be anything from very limited play time to an inability to understand complicated concepts. The middle, or working class, would be the majority of the player base, able to keep themselves with ships and the means for a decent life. Maybe able to save for a carrier or two at the height of their career, perhaps dreaming of a retirement from the PvE grind with some well-made investments or an industry business. At the very top there is a clear business and upper class.
Just as IRL the upper class sustains itself by exploiting those below them. Investment capital and political power maintain the fortune. Buying out entire markets when the prices are low, just to sell them back at a profit. Able to speculate with vast resources, essentially controlling the free market. Letting space to those without the political clout or military power to take it for themselves, ensuring a steady stream of labour and income.
I just can’t help but think I’ve seen this all before. Unavoidably I end up wondering when a revolution will come. Perhaps the power is too absolute? Or is it just not ‘bad enough’ yet?
Tarek: Since you seem to refer to real-life history there Niden, let me return to the subjectiveness of poverty. Sure, compared to someone who can replace five jumpfreighter losses without a thought, I am dirt poor, but that also does not matter to me at all because I do not fly jumpfreighters. The same goes for the less affluent in other regions of EVE. As long as they are provided for and protected they are fine with their leaders being incredibly rich. The gap between rich and poor only becomes an issue once the poor purely struggle for survival and get no support from those who could easily afford it.
Niden: ‘Struggling’ is relative. There are plenty of people in North Korea that will tell you that their life is fine. You cannot isolate your economy from that of the wealthy and say it doesn’t matter; when you buy from the market a portion of that is making its way up. The filthy rich aren’t filthy rich just ‘because’, the only way to reach fortunes we’re seeing is with other people paying for it. The poor will struggle endlessly if they are ignorant of the source of their struggle, the best businessman in the world is one who can make you believe that they conjure money out of thin air.
Another example and angle is renters; they spend a considerable portion of their time working for someone else’s benefit, thus also never developing the PvP skills needed to fend for themselves. Essentially they are the labour force that feeds the nullsec powers that be, so used to the yoke they are rendered unable to revolt.
Forlorn: Hi hello. I exploit all of you.
Joran: The more I learn about renters the more I understand why it’s a valid way to play. There’s plenty of multiboxers that can lose repeated carriers. I think those guys just don’t want to PvP, or are guys that PvP but make money with an alt in a rental corp. I know some guys like that. I feel you’re poor if you worry about what kind of ships you fly. For instance instead of taking out a HAC soloing you’d do it in a T1 simply because of your wallet, not because of other considerations. Rich, well-off, I think that’s all the same for a lot of people.that PvP. Like Mangala said, once you hit a certain number it really doesn’t matter, unless you’re a businessman who likes to show off your education by making yourself space rich.
Tarek: I didn’t know that Niden is a marxist revolutionary. Neither did I know that nullsec powers are exploiting me. Puns aside, EVE is not real. We do not die in this game and we never really lose anything we can not recover. There is only one real thing we can lose in this game, and that is time. If that time is spent doing things we do not enjoy then we are truly poor. What is enjoyable will again be subjective. For one it may be shooting the most red crosses per day. For another it could be advanced spreadsheet wizardry to do market PVP. Yet another person might enjoy spending half of their waking life determining the course of thousands in a game or getting the most spectacular solo kill after scores of losses.
ISK, and everything you can buy with it, is just a means to an end: enjoyment. Only if you hate what you are doing in this game, then you are truly poor, and then it does not matter how much ISK you have.
Xander: Contrary to the aforementioned trillions of ISK from Eve Bet, I wouldn’t say I am rich but I guess I am comfortable. I have one of every Bastion PvP doctrine including an Archon and a Naglfar with more than enough to add to that as new doctrines come out. Obviously if any of those die in combat, they are replaced under SRP. In my head, if you aren’t PLEXing accounts and you don’t fly supers or Titans, why would you ever need much more than, say, 10b ISK? That may be a pittance to the Mynnnas and Forlorns of New Eden but I was able to raise that in around six weeks of running complexes in an Ishtar (actually it was four or five Ishtars because I am bad at Eve). I’m probably as financially as well off in Eve as I have ever been right now though.
Joran: I think that’s absolutely correct. There’s very little reason, unless you want to be Forlorn or Mynnna, to amass a huge amount of ISK. I will make the caveat that new players need to build up the infrastructure to be able to accomplish that, so there’s always players to do the dirty work. But eventually you become enough of a veteran and you just either have the ISK or have enough of a system set up to make the ISK you need, and it’s basically autopilot money.
Niden: I’m not marxist, I’m just poor. I’m certain I’d be a capitalist asshole along with the worst of them if I had fat stacks. It’s easy being an idealist when you don’t have any money. I don’t place any real moral value in the facts discussed, it is what it is and absolutely a part of the freedom of EVE. You don’t get filthy rich by being a nice guy, that’s just the way it is.
My wet dream is of course that PvP itself was a source of income in some clever way that avoids exploitation. It is not uncommon that players suffer PvE so they can finance PvP, ideally either choice would generate income and it would just be a matter of preferred play style. Considering mechanics to accomplish this gets tricky fast however and I have yet to see a feasible idea.
Tarek: But are you really poor Niden? I fly with you, I am on Skype with you and I am on comms with you. I never heard you complain about your financial situation. I heard you complain about some plex farmer you could not kill, but never about money. Would your PVP experience change for the better if you had three trillion ISK?
Forlorn: As far as my wallet is concerned I am not feeling rich, although my wealth is much higher than the common EVE player manages to get. My list of assets and char value far outshines my liquid ISK and with SRP I am not concerned with lossmails. My real wealth comes from my corp and alliance. The quality of them, the trust I can put in them and the personal stable connection makes my EVE time worth it.
At current PLEX prices I need to make around 37 bil ISK per year and EVE easily allows me to generate that with ingame mechanics. I made 40 bil ISK last month. Getting rich has never been an issue in EVE, the problem has always been motivation.
Niden: I learned to stop whining so much, there are plenty of people who have less than me, even though I’m quite poor at times. And yes, my PvP experience would improve if I had lots of money, but not having it has also taught me some hard lessons about restraint (well sort of, I still lash out more than is healthy). I only have myself to blame, if I had some character I’d spend some quality time with PvE and ISK-making.
Tags: cz minutes, isk, plex
The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.