Economic Ramblings: Of Bounties and Mining

Avatar
This is true, and having no way to specifically account for them, they're not included in my most recent mineral supply estimates.Market prices show that my conclusions are still accurate, though.
Avatar
How did you come up with (or obtain) the mining and usage numbers for the various minerals?
Avatar
The exact ratio between the Drone Alloy and Meta 0 nerfs isn’t crucial since they generate the same affliction: Ratters and Mission Runners growing increasingly ISK rich but resource poor (a recipe for inflation if I ever heard one). Mining is supposed to make up the difference but it’s an entirely different career and a mind numbingly boring one even when compared to the not terribly exciting Ratting and Mission Running professions.
Avatar
Usage is the result of several hours spent stitching data from devblogs, CCP tweets, etc together, plus some educated guesses to fill in the holes. Mining numbers are basically the same, except no educated guesses required.
Avatar
actually demand can exceed supply and can do it permanently though highly unlikely, it all depends on where the equilibrium price of a product (where the demand for a product and the supply of the product is equal) is and where the sell price for that product is in relation to the equilibrium price. if the sell price is below the equilibrium price then less sellers will sell the product causing there to be excess demand. if the sell price is above the equilibrium price then less buyers will buy the product causing there to be an excess in supply as more sellers will enter the market to sell at a higher price.
Avatar
Yeah that's all well and good and isn't actually what's happening with minerals.
Avatar
Maybe so, but making a blank economic statement about basic economic theory that is patently false in an article about economic ramblings makes one give pause about the article. Though highlighting a problem with mineral production does need close attention.
Avatar
And veering off into an unrelated corner-case of classic supply and demand theory is bad writing. Deal with it.
Avatar
Wait a second, are those labels mixed up or am I missing something? Pre-Drone has Usage, then Mined, where the others have Mined, then Usage. So according to the labels as per the key (and the inconsistent order of the bars in the graph), Usage has always been higher than Mined. WTF?
Avatar
this makes rich high sec corps even more powerfull because they can just get everybody steamrolled by placing a multi-billion bounty on them which isnt much compared to what they have in their wallets.I usualy dont agree with the carebear scrub winers but this one is right. This leaves barely any room to mine in for small high sec corps because the big corps will just avoid the pain in the ass of wardeccing them by just placing a bounty on the little ones that will make a living horrible for them. The power swifts entirely to the rich corps leaving no habitat for newer , hopefully growing but still small groups of people.the easiest solution in my opinion is following : add a part of the old bounty mechanic just a little changed .- Bounties can only be placed on pilots with a security status of -1.0 and worse. No Isk Limit.- You can place a bounty on a pilot that doesnt meet that requirement if he killed you or as a ceo a corpmember . this oppertunity expires after one month . The bounty cannot be higher than 100% of the loss' costs inflicted by that pilot.Bounties are the less annoying way of wardeccing - and this needs to be balanced.
Avatar
If this bounty system was in place a couple years ago, I would still be a care bear pubbie. The #1 for moving to null space was because I could shoot back at those that would shoot at me. No regrets and don't let my 5.0 sec status fool you I love to pew pew.
Avatar
That is accurate, although you're right about the mixed up order of the charts. :( Pre-Drone is pre-drone nerf and it also has "total" which represents all supply - mining as well as minerals from drone alloys.
Avatar
If you were in highsec bounty hunting I'd hesitate to call you a carebear at that point... ;)
Avatar
"1 Week after release, nearly 8 trillion ISK in bounties have been placed. #csmsummit"That's a lotta goddamn bounties.

Bounties and Sinks

Retribution has been live for a couple of days now, and the Bounties system in particular has been... interesting. Some self-described carebears are finding they can use bounties to retaliate against their tormentors (whether advertising this fact was a good idea for him is another matter), while others are feeling a bit abused. Still others, such as the perpetually quitting blowhard Krixtal Icefluxor, have found that their detractors have a new way of expressing their ire. Unfortunately, a CCP mod cleaned the thread (read, "made it less interesting"), so most of his response to the four billion isk bounty placed on him by goons (a quarter of that from yours truly) is gone. Nevertheless, the "consequences for actions" aspect that his tears demonstrated is of particular interest to many, as it extends potential in-game consequences to one's actions on the forums, both official and otherwise.

I did say these were economic musings, though, so I digress.

It occurs to me that CCP has implemented a bit of an isk sink here. Many bounties, regardless of the reason they're placed, will never actually be claimed. Forum warrior alts won't actually ever undock, while actual players may not ever appear in space in something ganked easily enough to justify the bounty, and so on. It's a soft sink, to be sure, but nevertheless, some non-trivial portion of isk spent on bounties is likely to never re-enter the system again.

Unfortunately, CCP does appear to have limited the size of the sink. While there's no mention of it that I can find in the original patch notes, a line in the December 6th update reads "Bounties on inactive users were sometimes being reimbursed too early." This seems to imply that if an account is unsubbed by its owner, any bounties placed on that account's characters are returned to those who placed them. Quite a pity, as otherwise any bounties on unsubbed (or banned) characters could have turned into a hard sink instead, and Eve desperately needs more hard sinks.

Ah well. They can always change their mind, right?

A Look at Mining, Again

CCP Recurve (who seems to be the replacement for CCP Diagoras, if only he tweeted like Diagoras did) posted a devblog about mining and the price indices. The blog makes some ill-advised claims about how the barge buff "increased diversity of miners" (it did nothing of the sort, and here's why), but it also has some nice pretty graphs. One in particular shows the volume of mining since January, which itself raises a question obvious enough to have been asked: If mining volume in highsec has gone up so much (by roughly 30%, eyeballing the chart), then why are low ends so expensive?

A more canny poster further down the page nails it: CCP removed a major source of minerals, the drone alloys.

Textual answers are boring, though, so let's have some charts of our own.

First, the low end minerals, average daily supply and demand of each. Three time periods are represented - just prior to the removal of drone alloys (back in March, specifically), early May at what would have been the peak of Hulkageddon, and roughly now.

Higher end minerals require their own chart, since the numbers involved are so much smaller. Again, we're looking at daily supply and demand.

Two key points to take away here. First, when drone alloys existed, everything was being produced in excess. Second, the demand for high ends was fully or very nearly met just by mining, even then. The same could not be said for low-ends, though.

And, yes, the demand (the "usage" bars) numbers are a bit funny. How can demand exceed supply? It can't, or at least, it can't permanently. But recall, the chart represents daily production, and the drone regions were producing alloys for years. Significant stockpiles built up, and got sold off as prices rose, allowing demand to continue as normal. But, with new supply diminished, those stockpiles eventually vanished, and production became limited by mineral which has the worst relative supply - in other words, by the bottleneck (or "limiting reagent" for the chemistry nerds). Collectively, that's the low end minerals, although some are more under-supplied than others.

Naturally, CCP could address that with one stroke if and when they so desire (and fix many other problems as well). Perhaps someday they will.

Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.