Archive for May, 2015

Little Red Crosses

It should not shock anyone to know that eve is not the only game that I frequently play. Anyone who has read a monthly update (when I do them), will also know that I make my money in eve through trading. Furthermore, if some poor fool has frequently read my Monthly updates, they would also know that in the past I have had several other tributary revenue streams in addition to my trading.

 

Should you possess all of this information, you would know that PvE has never been an income source for me for any serious length of time in the last 3 years. This is not for a lack of trying. Indeed, I began my eve carrier as a mission runner, working with the Dirties to slowly climb the mission levels, and along with it my ships. Later after moving to Null Sec, I did a fair amount of ratting for my living, and this almost became what I would now classify as a main income stream, but never lasted. At several points, I have tried to re-invest in mission running as an income, and have even dabbled once or twice into running incursions to earn the big money. The issue is however, that so far I have found none of eve’s moneymaking PvE content entertaining to the point of preferring to play it over another game.

 

Why would I suffer through worlds collide, when I could instead play a round of World of Tanks? Why would I traipse between incursion sites rather than have some fun in Elite Dangerous? The simple fact is that the money earned in PvE and the enjoyment to had do not outweigh higher level of enjoyment I get from doing other things. I say all this because I am on the verge of having another go at trying to make incursions a secondary income stream. But every time I think about doing it, I find myself saying “when are you going to pick PvE over something else?”, at what time am I going to prefer playing an incursion rather than just firing up a better game? Have I missed something? Is there a fun way to play PvE? Is it just me that hates the monotony of shooting red crosses in any guise?

 

Fly like the damsel,

 

Hark

 

 

The price isn’t right

Once again, it would appear that CCP has proven that they do not quite understand the “Micro” bit of Micro transitions. Skins are ridiculously expensive in eve.  Aur currently works out at 252Au/gbp when purchased in £16 packages. This means that when you are looking at the store prices of ship skins, you are looking at prices ranging from £2.93 up to £22.77 distributed as you can see below in the chart:

SkinCosts

Alternatively, a Mean of £10.08, a Median of £9.48 or a mode of £6.11. None of these numbers is particularly “micro” in my book. A frigate skin is going to cost you around £6 on average or as much as £17 if you want something more extravagant such as a Merlin Nugoeihuvi. However, that is only for frigates, if you are looking for something like a Cruiser or Battlecruiser, you are looking at £4 per skin at cheapest. If you want any kind of choice in skins, really, you are looking at around £10-20 at best. Let us be honest, it is not exactly like there is a huge amount of choice. When Mosaic hit, I looked at grabbing a couple of skins for my more frequently flown ships. However, the only two ships in my deployment fleet that I could skin were the Caracal and the Archon and the prices were not exactly enticing:

ArchonCaracalPrice

To put that into perspective bear in mind that £10 will buy you a month’s game time!

Now I will admit that at no point has CCP branded the skins as “micro” transactions, but looking at other games in a similar market, nobody is going to believe that these should be anything other than a micro transaction. When the choice is between a ship skin, a month’s game time or 800m isk where do you think the best investment lies? I certainly know where mine does.

All this leads into my second big issue with skins. Eve is still a monthly subscription game, (something I have no issue with and hope remains the case), yet here they are offering additional (cosmetic) content for extra (extravagant) price. I guess that I don’t mind CCP trying to make some extra cash via cosmetics but charging the monthly fee and exorbitant cosmetic prices at the same time feels like having your cake and eating it.

Of course therein lies the issue. CCP probably can have their cake and eat it. Some people will pay these prices for skins, without complaint or hesitation. Perhaps we are not entitled to free content from CCP (at least not cosmetics like this), but I cannot help but feel a little put out (yet again) by the price model, especially as it seems from the bug early in release that the skins do not take all that much effort to create (or at least wont going forward).

I would have pushed for a tiered system of pricing for each class: Standard (base price), Elite (+10%) and Legendary (+20%) adding this to the base price of each ship. Something like this:

CostSpread

Which would convert to a spread closer to this:

NewCostChart

With a £5 median a £4.93 Mean and a £1.30 mode. Something that to me hits that “hmm that costs less than a pint” impulse price point which I think would result with far more sales. Perhaps it could even be a bit more expensive than this as long as there were still a lot of options, which sit under around £3 for impulse purchases.

Fly like your wearing very expensive jeans,

Hark

Monthly Update: Long time coming

Well it’s been a while since I last posted, a couple of months to be precise, and I am not sure I can tell you why. It’s not been an especially busy few months and in fact I’ve been playing eve more than I was last year. Success hasn’t been an issue in eve either of late, the PvP with Hark has been going well, the trade character has been breaking all kinds of personal records. Yet for some reason I have been drawing a blank on what to write on here. I just never seem to really have much to say. But don’t mistake this for a closing down post. You will have to pray harder for that to happen any time soon. Even during this post drought, the blog still serves its purpose for me well, it still brings thoughts and plans to my mind which make me ask questions about eve, and indeed about my gaming in general. So I will be making an concerted effort to put those thoughts to electronic paper, starting with a return to the monthly update and continuing onwards. I doubt that I will manage to break this year’s blogging goals, but damn it if I won’t keep the cobwebs off the server, and indeed my mind. With all that said, let’s do a bit of an update on how things have changed for me in eve since the last update posted.

 

Hark, has been through several move ops now, and these have varied from horrific (the first six hour debacle) all the way through to easy (moving two real-space jumps). I still stand by the fact that I both love and hate the new changes, I have only had 2 Capital fights so far since the JD nerf, and both of those were relatively minor, nothing like the wrecking ball fleets of old. Sub-Capital fleets have been far more prevalent than ever before (in my game time), and this is something I love. On the other hand when it comes to relocating assets (something PL does pretty regularly), it is a complete pain in the arse and I hate the changes. But I guess that’s the price we have to pay.

 

The upshot of all this is that my old Dreadnaught character has now been retrained into a Carrier to help Hark during relocations. PL requires a lot of ships and as we no longer tend to deploy via Aamamake, there  are less opportunities to drop off old lesser used ships to make space for newer ones. This means that moving a single carrier load of ships around quite simply doesn’t work (at least for me so far). Hence the change of carrier (excuse the pun). Multi boxing the move ops has been stressful, but at the same time ok, and I might even consider thinking about moving her up to combat status, should the need ever arise and her skills improve enough.

 

The only other front which I have really been pushing is my trading character and it’s been pretty successful so far this year. This first quarter the Trader has made 6.5bn, which took me four months to earn early last year (making me a clear month ahead).  I have also managed to earn over a billion per month so far this year in the longest positive earning streak of my ledgers. Should I manage to continue this trend (I don’t count on it) I currently project that I will end this year having earned 20bn (bringing me to a 51bn total). Remembering back to how hard I found it to break the 25bn mark, this sudden growth has shocked me somewhat. Part of this success is my recent push to invest more of my liquid assets in buy orders, reducing my movement capital by 5bn down to ~15, a figure I still don’t expect to ever use half of through purchases and might consider further reducing it at a later date should I find this current balance stable enough to push it further.

 

It’s not all good on the money front. At the moment I have (due to shear laziness) closed all of my alternate revenue streams. No PI, no manufacturing, no Faction Warfare, no exploration. I really want to continue these endeavours, but the effort to return on them just seems astronomically high compared to their returns. Perhaps I need to make an effort to at least try to restart one of these over the next few months.

 

I think that’s probably all the update that I have for you right now, but I will be attempting to get the momentum going once again.

 

Fly all out of excuses,

 

Hark