Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fanfest 2014 - Economy Second Decade

Today at Fanfest I got the opportunity to sit in on the economy lecture by CCP Dr. EyjoG, and this is a brief overview of that lecture.  He discussed the general state of the economy for the last 15-18 months and the state that leaves EVE Online in for the future.  In short, the economy is looking pretty good and coping with much of what we throw into it.

Economy From January 2013
The Gross User Product showed a stable economy from a high level, with the main price indices reflecting this, with slight deflation throughout the system.  The moon mineral changes brought down the Primary producer index while the ore compositions changes affected the mineral price index in June 2013 as expected, but both picked back up later in the year.  Price level inflation showed a general deflation with drastic ups and downs related to change made in EVE, but the overall deflation is a sign of increased efficiency due to changes rather than a sign of EVE dying.

The Secondary Producer Price Index was quite interesting, with statistics clearly detailing how the changes to salvage have effected both the salvaging activity and price.  The introduction of salvage drones with Retribution caused a 67% increase in salvage activity, with the price of salvage reducing steadily since then.  The introduction of MTUs in Rubicon further boosted salvaging activity by 20%.

Sinks and Faucets
The isk sinks and faucets were discussed with the top faucet being Bounty prizes by a large margin with is not uncommon.  The top sinks were Skills with LP store following closely behind.  With the changes being made boosting activity in certain areas, there's always to risk that sinks and faucets can fall out of balance, but overall the net isk being added to the system on a monthly basis has remained relatively stable.

One area of concern within the community over the past few months has been the PLEX prices.  Some players believe the overall price of PLEX is increasing too quickly and is a bad sign, and this was addressed here.  The average price of PLEX has been steadily, though rapidly, increasing throughout the year.  But the use of PLEX has been increasing year on year since it's introduction in 2008, so it's quite understandable that the price will continue to increase.  Interestingly though, the volume of sales of PLEX on the market has decreased as the usage of plex for subscriptions and services are increasing.  While services (such as dual character training) do use PLEX, the are a marginal driver, with subscriptions still consuming the majority of used PLEX.

A question that has been asked numerous times over that past few months was also cleared up.  Are CCP intervening with the PLEX prices?  The following quote has been seen before:
EVE Central Bank may, or may not, take actions to intervene with the PLEX market if its stability is severely threatened.
  - Important to note that it does not mean that there is a specific target for PLEX prices or money supply in the future.
In this presentation he reiterated this, but stated that during 2013 no interventions were taken at all.  In 2014, following an alarming trend in March, action was taken in mid April to stablise the prices by introducing more PLEX to the market from EVE Central Bank reserves.  So for everyone now asking if CCP have intervened in PLEX prices recently, as of April, yes they have.

Consumption is good for the economy, and by consumption, we all know that what is meant is destruction.  January 2014 unsurprisingly supplied a huge boost in consumption, with destruction spiking to 53T isk lost in that month alone, primarily causer by the fight in B-R5RB.  April was also a good month for consumption, with Burn Jita causing a significant (though considerably less that B-R5RB) spike in explosions.

Speaking of B-R, the stats were released comparing that battle to Asakai.  while B-R was a considerably longer battle, the peak pilots numbers for Asakai was 2723, while B-R reached only 2670.  It was also pointed out that a battle on Serenity (China's EVE server) peaked at 3001 pilots and ran as long as B-R, so we've definitely got to get another one in to reclaim our title.

Graphs for Titan production and destruction by quarter were also shown, with construction showing 60-70 created per quarter with destruction only being around 10.  This means that the number of titans in the game is increasing with there being between 1500 and 1800 titans in game today.

Player Analysis
One important part of the game is the ability for players to analyse the market data and make predictions and assessments based on that data.  CCP believe that they need to provide more data (some of which is coming with CREST), and provide a peer reviewed process of assisting players in interpreting high level data.  With that in mind, from June 1st, CCP will be putting in a process where players will be able to submit papers to CCP for a peer review process which will then allow papers to be published on the CCP blog system.  Specific information about what will be provided and what the process will entail will be in an upcoming blog, so keep your eyes open for that.

Final Notes
So overall the economy is stagnant, but in a good position.  The upcoming industry change will be the largest industry changes since the creation of EVE affecting a vast array of areas within industry, which will stimulate the economy.  After hearing the economy lecture, and seeing stats from CCPs perspective, I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea that the economy will cope with the industry changes when they get released.

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