Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

Formatting Error

Since my last update, not a huge amount seems to have happened in eve. With all the alliances going into hibernation mode ready for the big sov mechanics update, everything seems to have gone on hold. The said there have been a couple of good fights. One of which resulted in over 100 kills for Hark! I think the total for this month ended up at around 150 kills. Overall, for a quiet month that’s not too bad at all!

Aside from Hark, once again my Trade character has been the only real other character, which has seen any sort of action and that action has continued the trend of being profitable. May brought in 1.15bn profit, which although it doesn’t match the amazing 3bn month I had in April, is still a healthy profit. Especially considering that, a large investment of 1.5bn into Harks equipment this month. Currently I am sitting pretty on 39bn total trade assets, a few million isk short of hitting the 40bn mark. When I think back to this time last year when I was really struggling to break the 25m mark it seems amazing how well it is all going this year. Of course hubris could well take its toll, and I don’t want to believe that this will last forever, but for now it make sense to me to enjoy the income while it lasts.

Despite my promises last month I still haven’t managed to re-open any of my old revenue streams, so I am entirely dependent on the trading character. There might be something coming up this month which helps a bit with that, however I think that any profit made will only be a side effect of the endeavour, but more on that in a bit.

It is annoying me that both of the posts I have made this month have been a bit negative towards eve. Both my post on SKiNS and on PvE  have really been looking at some of the worse side of eve’s progress of late. That really doesn’t reflect my feelings on the game at all, I think that it’s just that it’s far easier to write something about a negative than it is to go out and find a positive. However I intend to change that this month (relying on nothing majorly negative happening of course).

Which brings me neatly into the next endeavour that I will be working on for this blog. A little while ago, my work asked me to help create some training videos for some of our products in order to move some of our users away from using 1on1 training sessions for some of the more mundane aspects of our work. Because of this, we purchased a professional grade microphone and some video editing software for me to use on my home computer. I’m sure you can see where this is heading. Over the next few months, I am going to start experimenting with a new format of content for the blog, in which I will attempt to produce some audio/video content in addition to the current written content. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about the amount of additional work this might take (and indeed if I can support such a load). However, at the same time I am not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I am game to give it a go.

Expect to see some new formatted content coming out over the next month, let me know what you think.

Fly through a pop filter,

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