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The Almighty Buck Games News

In Isk We Trust: the EVE Online IskBank Exposed 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the massively-multiplayer-black-market dept.
riverni writes "Eve News 24 is running a couple of articles uncovering the lucrative 'black-market' existing in EVE Online, a sci-fi themed single-server MMORPG. The overall scale of the operation is breathtaking. While there exist legal ways to exchange real world currency for in-game currency, the black market, primarily driven by botters (users who utilize automated macros to perform rewardable tasks in game), remains strong. One article reports on how Iskbank.com made approximately $290,000 in sales during a 10.5-month period. These figures do not include any sales made through their sister site, Eveisk.ru and yes, those are US dollars."
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In Isk We Trust: the EVE Online IskBank Exposed

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  • by feedayeen (1322473) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:10PM (#35445102)
    CCP's attempt to combat real world traders is called the PLEX system. You purchase a 30 day time card using $20 and you can sell it in game to other players for the equivalent of ~350,000,000 ISK (the in game currency). This produces a base exchange rate of about 17.5 million ISK to one USD. The black market does not directly deal in PLEX's, but it is safe to assume that the conversion ratio is at least as high, if not higher in order for it to be profitable for other players to take this route. Because of this, and the company's transactions of $290,000, it is safe to assume that the real world market trading has a value on the approximately of 5 trillion ISK. The second link reports that the company holds an estimated 4 trillion in virtual assets making the total value of this to be 9 trillion. Because the population in EVE is ~300,000 active accounts, this sums to be nearly 30 million ISK per user, the total wealth which based on their most recent economic reports (yes, CCP hired an economist to write these), shows the average subscriber has 300 million ISK. While this is not an insignificant sum of wealth, it is only about 10% of the games GDP.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:18PM (#35445214)

    That's completely false. I know of several people ( that were caught ) buying isk. They all knew exactly what they were doing and did it because they wanted "that extra 500 million isk" to play around with or they didn't want to run missions for isk. A LOT of people buy ISK to fund PvP.

  • Re:EVE is terrible. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @03:04PM (#35445748)

    It has a *lot* of ships and even ship classes. I haven't played for years and even then it was pretty diverse in that regard. Even ship classes do not limit you to a certain style of play because anyone is allowed to fly any ship class. Some are just harder to train for and to obtain than others.

    There are definitely generalized roles that you can get into, but you have a great deal of choice in how you spec yourself. Since skill learning is done in RL time, and not based on "levels", you do have to make some choices about what you are going to do which will be difficult to alter. That is made even more time consuming because the skill trees are very deep. However, there is no bar to one player learning every skill in the game, except for the fact that there are so many skills that no one is ever going to have the time to learn them all unless they stop adding classes and you play for years.

    You could, for instance, in a relatively short amount of time become a freighter pilot and also become very, very good at a specialized combat role like flying as a tackler (slows/immobilizes enemy ships so the more powerful warships can catch up to attack it) in a small, but fast interceptor. Being a freighter pilot and also being a tackler are both important, if not overly glorious roles. This also doesn't prevent you from flying a Titan (the biggest capital ship available), but unless you start down the skill path to that end, the skill trees and the realtime skill progression does postpone that day into the far, far future if you are not focused on it.

    So, I would say that it absolutely correct to say that there is no class system in EVE. It is clear that there are some broad roles that exist, such as tanking, mining, crafting, logistics and electronic warfare, but players are not forced to select skills based on a class, they select skills based on how they want to play. A priest in WoW may be able to spec for healing or damage, but they will never get to use warrior or warlock or mage skills. In EVE, your one character can use any ship or capability that they have the skills learned for, and later on, they can decide to learn something else, and they don't lose the skills they have already learned.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein

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