The Great PLEX Bubble

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I always walking away from a Mynnna article feeling like it's one-half educational piece, one-half super meta market manipulation.
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Eventually the price will be so ridiculously high that nobody buys them anymore and the market crashes. And then the cycle repeats. Prices plummet, people buy plex again, and prices rise again.
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Either way, I always walk away feeling I've learnt something
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You're half right
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Agreed.
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I left the game a long time ago due to rising plex prices. If it is indeed that players are simply stockpiling them as a speculative market then yes there will be a top somewhere. Based on market long term though I do not think we are there yet.
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I mean I'll tell you, it's really nice being able to trade a plex for a Redeemer.It'll be even better when we can trade a plex for an Archon.
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Interesting thought, the long-time established players will have an interest in low PLEX prices to fund their multiple accounts. Considering that most players on mittani will be veterans this is a clever piece of indirect market manipulation combined with legit macroeconomic observations.But new players buying PLEX with rl-money as well as CCP will have an interest in rising PLEX prices to force people to throw money at them...
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Honestly, regular and/or large quantity buyers of PLEX are going to tend to be long term established players themselves. Newer players may do so as well, but things like that hilarious Raven from a month or so back are the exception - the norm is that they do not have expensive tastes and are by no means guaranteed to stick around very long.
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There is probably no greater compliment.
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I understand what you mean, but the PLEX prices are a more or less (now less) balanced by new and old players. Old players will buy like heck, new players will sell to get a headstart.And it seems that there are currently less people really getting into EVE, thereby selling. Would be interesting to get some statistics and how many new players stay hooked :P
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Not necessarily. Dr Eyjo also made a point of saying that PLEX prices on Serenity were up over 3.6B ISK. It's about real value and purchasing power; the nominal price is just a number.
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I've bought plex here and there in a less spacewealthy past. I'm finding it difficult at present to justify even lazy, high-income in-game activity as 750m+ per [real-life income to plex ratio] is unattainable without a dozen accounts :/Add SRP on top of that and.....isk lasts a loooooooong time.
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I was able to plex 4 accounts off simply doing Incursions when I was actively playing. Incursion ISK was super good ISK, I would not be surprised it is still the best way to make ISK in high sec.
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Well, see, that's the thing. Good incursion runners hit 200-250m per hour these days. Even for someone who only makes a plex of real money an hour, that's three hours of their time doing spacework.
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Spot on target - the similarity of PLEX in game and gold in Real Life is exactly the right analogy. As a hedge against inflation, PLEX is the only choice. I wonder how much of the inflationary pressure in EVE Online is driven by new demand from increasing subscriptions, though I suspect that is dwarfed by the relative increase in demand for goods from established players as their skills and capabilities improve over time - more and bigger toys demanded by those who can increasingly afford them. If the rate of new players joining the game were to drop, I would expect that would not affect demand very much, and affect PLEX prices hardly at all. I don't see how inflationary pressures would be reduced, therefore - and so the price of PLEX could continue to rise to much higher levels for quite a while.I'm not confident in this view enough to go all in on PLEX speculation myself, however. I'm sure I'm missing something that wiser minds see?
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I don't see how you can lose investing virtual isk into a virtual game card. After all in the end you can always buy 30 days play time for you. (by definition , if CCP change that - all bets are off). Only thing i can imagine is eve going free to play actually.
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There are several major points in New Eden which cause that comparison to real economy is flaud. First is that you simply cannot go bounty hunting for free money in that scale and second is market manipulation which exists in real life. CCP does things that influences value of assets, but their intervention is far from the RL where governments babysit private companies and inject/create money if needed. It will take way longer time for Eve players to really panic than lets say recent HDD price bubble caused by floods in Thailand.
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It's not a bubble, it's a pyramid scheme. A noob starts off by supplying plex as they cannot farm isk yet, but once they level up they flip from PLEX supplier to PLEX consumer, that means they need another newb to come in below them and do what they did. If they start making an army of alts, they need several newbs below them. By consuming PLEX you are essentially getting someone else to pay your sub for you, and eventually "you run out of other people's money", as someone once said. Full time pirates and rvb'ers won't keep the whole thing up.
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Excellent article. I have to wonder if DrEyjoG (or perhaps his boss) have concerns over what will happen if/when the PLEX bubble pops. I would assume many EVE players would be upset, likely to the point of rage-quitting. It could impact CCP's profitability. If I was the boss, I'd be concerned and motivated to mitigate the situation in some way. I think it might even make sense to lock the price of PLEX in some way. It feels like they are playing with fire here and I don't see why they'd take that risk.
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On Serenity botting is being completely ignored they are not presuming botting there at all. If you bot obviously you wont care if a plex costs 3,b or even 4.. because you still make more then that.
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Actually he isn't right or wrong... Hes both states at the same time...
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Flawed*Please use some line-breaks and spaces when writing posts that long, else no one will bother to read them. Including myself.
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Yes, I recognize he used a price index to show deflation, but within that index is all of the little items that make up the basket. Some went up, some went down, some stayed the same. In aggregate we showed deflation. It doesn't mean that all prices went down. Inflation isn't bad in an aggregate sense. It really never has been. And it isn't a good indicator of where the price of PLEX has gone or is going. Check around the 9:00 mark where he talks about what is driving the deflation
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the only thing inevitable about bubbles is that they burstAlmost true. All bubbles burst except one: the most marketable good, the one with the best store of value.From a 2006 article, The Global Financial System is About to Collapse:
The first rule of investing is that it's never a good idea to buy anything just because everyone else is buying it. When the price of an asset is the result of herd behavior, not fundamental value, it's called a "bubble," and bubbles always pop.This rule is absolutely right - except in one case.In English, a bubble that doesn't pop is called "money." Money is always fundamentally overvalued. Its purchasing power is independent of its direct physical usefulness to anyone. This is obvious for paper money, but true even for gold and silver.
Now, EVE will always have ISK. But at least given current rules, ISK is a inferior currency for holding value. Why? Because it can be created by players. Indeed, that is one of its main attractions for CCP: to redistribute income from highsec to null and wspace.PLEX is also arguably superior as money in a second way to ISK: it is more liquid than ISK in one important way. Now it is obvious that ISK more liquid than PLEX for in-game purchases. But what do we value most in EVE? Access. The subscription itself, which is prior to all other values we might have. You cannot run your shiny new faction whatsit if you cannot log in.
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They don't know that, and they sell them because they need ISK now not later.PLEX consistently go up, but it's more like 20-30% a year not every 2 months..Personally I have a stockpile of 60 plex right now that I plan to sell as soon as a better investment comes along, or I just feel placing a large wager on eve-bet..Keeping your ISK in the form of plex is good, but there are much better investments to be made.
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"And, the most famous example of income driving prices (post-Inferno FW farming) was actually a massive isk sink. The rise in prices following that was so severe that DrEyjoG was forced to intervene in the PLEX market for the first time (that we know of) in history and CCP had to push changes to FW out ahead of schedule to curb it."No. A massive isk sink is like shrinking the money supply. So unless velocity increased more than to compensate prices should have gone done.This is a pretty standard result based on the quantity theory of money identities.
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"Supply goes down, price goes up. It's macroeconomics 101...."Actually, micro economics.
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"What's actually pictured here is a drop in the average velocity of PLEX trade...."No again. Money has a velocity in the economy because when you spend it it does not disappear like a consumer good. If I spend $2 on a loaf of bread and eat it, the loaf is gone, but the money is now in the hands of the guy who sold it too me. He can then sell it, or put it it in the bank...to be loaned out to someone else, etc. The $2 does not get used up. This is even true for capital goods (plant and equipment) and durable goods which basically depreciate away.As such, PLEX are typically used (except those that are being used as a hedge against inflation), once used they are gone. Those being used as a hedge are also not being moved around the Eve economy either...at least not until they are sold again in which case most of those will be consumed and disappear from the Eve economy.So, PLEX do not have a concept of velocity. Just as nobody talks about the velocity of loaves of bread or even things like gold...unless it is being used as money. So unless PLEX are being used as money--i.e. PLEX are being used to buy things in the Eve economy, this notion is not really applicable.
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I would like to point out that I have not seen a post yet here by the 'chicken guy'.... just pointing it out so we can get some levity to this topic :)
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This is so true. Years ago back in 2008 making isk was a serious affair. When I made my first billion i felt very secure cause plex was 360mil around that time. Now...making a 100 million isk per hour is easy. many make much more than that. sometimes my wife and i we go nuts and earn about 700mill each in a one sitting watching movies...ratting. Years ago...that was pipe dream. Incursions, the buff to anoms in null, wh's, level 4's, and finally mining....many people have billions of isk. When I broke the 35billion mark i thought wow im rich.... Now...i have over 50 bill and...I dont feel rich at all!
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When is Gevlon going to grace us with his economic acumen and weigh in on this matter?
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You also have players like myself who can't be bothered actually taking the limited time they have to play the game waste it by grinding isk and instead buy plex at pre-determined intervals (for me, I get myself a 12 pack of plex each christmas as a present), this lets me fund my activities for the year without actually grinding anything. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I do some ratting or exploration or industry on the side, but thats more to occupy myself if nothing is going on when I log in. My account is kept funded by my monthly subscription fee (and the two other accounts I have as well). I suspect there are a great number of players like myself who use plex because we don't have a great amount of time to spend in game making money.For us, the rise in plex prices is only a good thing.
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Yeah a drop in velocity does not in and of itself equate to a drop in supply.
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Phnar phnar
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Failure to understand irony? You, sir, must be an American.
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Not a failure to understand it, just a failure to care about it.Have a nice day.
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For someone who doesn't care, you sure do seem to want to tell the whole world about it.
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This, pretty much. If/when the bubble pops, a few unwary speculators may cry (briefly), but most people will be happy... and then the speculators will get back in the game and start buying again, because that's what you do when prices are low.
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*screams into his mic* WE GOT FOUND OUT, SELL ALL PLEX, ABANDON SHIP!
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I don't think mynnna is completely right but neither is he wrong. The plex price will probably keep going up until it reaches a point were people are no longer willing or able to spend that amount of isk every month to plex their account and either switch to subs or unsub entirely. The real question is how much effort / time does one have to invest into obtaining a plex?Lets take a look at nullsec the best possible income on a semi-active level would be carrier sentry ratting were we are looking at 90-120mil per hour that means right now you have to spend 6 to 8 hours ratting to keep your account plexed buying a PLEX (formerly 60 days gtc) via a reseller costs $34.99 thats $17,5 per plex. Not sure about you people but I'd argue that most people in earn more then $17,5 in 6-8 hours A LOT more. I pay for all my 10 accounts via pre-paid 1 year sub thats 11€ per account per month. Because I could never be bothered to grind that much in an mmo that hast THE WORST PVE ever seen in any kind of MMO.Its the year 2014 and eve is still in the stone ages of 2008 in terms of PVE and PVE content. Lets not even talk about UI and other stuff:)Now do I think eve is worth 110€ per month? no its not which is why once this years pre-paid subs run out I'll be down cutting to 3 accounts. Hack if I'm being honest eve is not even worth 11€ per month why? Because it leaks new content when we have MMO's like Marvel Hero's and GW2 that are FTP yet they push out new content every 2 weeks and have live events pretty much every week. Eve simply does not compare. Eve has not seen any REAL new content in 3 years now and given their statements it wont for another 2 years that is pretty depressing. CCP can go on record stating that eve is a sandbox all they want while that maybe true PVE is not a sandbox PVE is content provided to us by CCP and it is the WORST content out there right now. The middle ages were boring mindless stupid grinding for the sake of grinding was acceptable MMO mechanics are over.
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Bye, you are not the intended audience for EVE.
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The one who can be many places at once... He is the shortening of the way.
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That was always true. But today, that might be... ~10-15% more true?
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maybe you should play a game that is PVE, instead of playing PVP sandbox where PVE is just something extra, a half passive source of income quite like mining..to dig into the GW2 and Marvel Hero's content comparement, Imagine how much effort does it take to make some small adjustments (and we have seen some major ones tho you stated otherwise) to EVE since every little change affect the game in its every aspect, compared to releasing new content for such trivial games (compared to EVE) like GW2, or creating a ground where players can, and do create events on weekly basis, instead of doing some simple event-nobody-really-cares-about once a month..and for the income part, are you really so stupid to expect anyone but few newguys would be selling plex for isk if they would be able to make more ISK per hour ingame than in their job, converting it to ISK thru PLEX?You should realize CCP is not the one putting ingame pricetag on PLEX, its the guy who sells it, so even if you would make 10 times ISK per hour, the PLEX price would be 10 times ISK aswell. It's the basics of economy, ingame or out-of-game its the same.TBS your comment is invalid, its not CCP's fault that EVE is not the game YOU want it exactly to be.
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Two step suggested they sell plex from banned accounts at a csm meeting a few years ago.
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yhup provided ship and module values dont increase at the same rate as plex prices increase, your in a win win situation.
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heh no, not really, because at some point its easier to just work an extra hour at a rl job and spend that money on plex to be sold ingame, and save yourself some hours of having to do "stuff" to make said isk, I dabbled with hiring an indian village to mine for me for awhile. its like $5 a person a day or something rediculous, and it was cheaper for me to pay some other people to mine for my corporation and sell mins on market, than it was to a)mine b) buy plex and sell on market.
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You repeatedly imply that the price for PLEX is being held up by players' desire to use it for game time, but the presentation stated that the actual usage of PLEX for game time had dropped as the price had gone up. Both can't be true. If a steep initial drop (let's say, your 20% number) makes players who are hoarding PLEX lose confidence in its usefulness as a long-term value store &/or investment, the price will drop even more steeply until the impact of players buying up the PLEX to redeem for game time stops the descent.Where that stops is pretty hard to say, because it depends a lot on the ratio of usage to new PLEX purchases, but since much of the demand for the use of PLEX for game time at lower prices might come from players who have already written off the idea because current prices are too high, there's likely to be a lag before that demand kicks in, as players start to talk about the low prices.
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Do you have a contact number for that Indian village? Is it an India Indian village, because they are good with computers. But damn good idea. Please advise.
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so.. you really DO beleive there is no market manipulation by wealthy players, do you? read some articles, dev blogs or so, almost every 5th has market manipulation mentioned in it...
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I don't recall it saying in the presentation that the usage of PLEX for game time had dropped. If you have a timestamp I'll check it again. He did say PLEX usage has grown every year since it was released in 2008. I'm pretty sure that even at current levels, the demand for PLEX to be consumed remains strong. Whether that is for subs or the various other uses they have created is somewhat inconsequential. Consumption of PLEX is all that really matters.I don't doubt that in the possible case of a bubble, a feedback loop could occur as sellers follow other sellers into a downward spiral. Theoretically anything is possible. I just happen to think there are more fundamentals holding the price up than there is the potential for collapse. A decline is always possible. A bubble bursting and corresponding collapse of the price seems less likely. That's obviously just my opinion. I'd expect a more orderly decline to some new equilibrium level than the type of collapse that we know from real-world markets. Those are usually associated with an erosion of underlying fundamentals. But who knows.And by the way, players hoarding PLEX over a certain number are restricted in some manner. I have been trying to get the details on that, but so far nothing. So there are some curbs in play for large holders.
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If I was a millionaire I'd buy thousands of plex and sell them at 500 million to fuck with the market. Alas, I am not so I can only hope the market will crash.
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I want better PVE merely to benefit my members who spend a large amount of their time in my space ratting for isk. EVE PVE is shite, and if CCP sold a 4-plex expansion that only improved PVE, I guarantee it would sell like hotcakes.
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I never plexed my accounts too and only once bought/sold them in order to get myself a solopwnmobile for ISK generation. I never liked the fact of having to grind ISK for both fun activities like PvP and the subscription.Also considered the time I've spent on EVE per month those few bucks were well worth it.
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There are definitely people who quit because of plex price spikes. I've done that before and probably will again. The main reason I play Eve is because I can play it without paying real money. I'm guessing CCP knows this is how a lot of people behave, and that's why they don't want prices to rise too quickly.But I do not believe there are enough that will quit that it will matter much for prices, any more than it did when I left the last time. They might remain somewhat stable as long as CCP keeps them that way, but people with too much isk are not going to panic-sell plex because they know it will always keep going up in the long run. There is no disincentive to holding on to them for a very long time.I think prices are more likely to shoot up heavily once CCP ceases the intervention, than crash.
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If you like to do exploration for a living, prices for that loot only keep going down since odyssey. Personally I couldn't be arsed to rat or mine enough to pay for my plexes, I do it a bit but it's simply too damn dull in the long run, I rather go try some other game,Also, why do I have to work harder because people who hoard and speculate for a living should make more? No, I'd rather quit.
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No you're not.
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Not sure if you realize that we are FORCED to deal with that bullshit PVE content that is arguably the worst ever seen in any kind of MMO to get to that PVP content.. besides PVP in eve is overrated the effort that goes into finding a fight is simply insane and the more nerfs hit PVE income the harder it gets to find fights. Which is pretty understandable nobody wants to engage when the odds are not 100% in their favor because losing a ship means spending x amount of time doing that god damn PVE shit. See a problem here?
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It is CCP's fault that eve has not evolved and people like you defending CCP are the reason EVE is still in the stone age. The argument that it takes more effort to add content to eve then to GW2 or Marvel Hero's simply is NOT true. Adding new missions is trivial at best adding new types of anomalies or complexes is just as trivial why? Because the mechanics are there, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Even capital escalations could easily be added to highend nullsec systems why? Because the mechenics already exist!The simply truth is most of the money ccp has been making has not been invested into eve for a every long time. Dust (Failed), WOD (scrapped), EVE.Legion and EVE.Valkyrie.It is not THAT expensive to add new PVE content but as long as people keep defending CCP they simply have no reason to address stuff.
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If this data is to be believed (which I honestly think it is), then the bubble will burst. Writing about it has the likelihood of accelerating the crash, which I believe will be better for the economy overall. Hopefully, this will see the return of -players- to the game rather just extra toons.
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Hum.. Who do I believe, the all studied guy who got paid for doing this stuff and made a good presentation of the data it's based on, or the goon who is known for cheating and manipulation, who just copies what was said and adds the claim "it is a bubble" without any real explanation.
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Not sure I learned anything from this except that Mynnna wants plex prices to go down.That the price is currently set mostly by speculation and hoarding was confirmed by the presentation, sure. But for it to be a bubble would mean that people must be willing to start selling at a significantly lower price and I don't see that happening ever.
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Name one PVE in any other MMO that was EVE doesn't do. Quests that makes you go collect 20 bear arses? Why yes, we call them missions! Farming? Of course, we have got ratting! Dungeon raiding? How about complexes that you can scan down and invite friends to clear out and loot/salvage? Social quests ala GW2? EVE has that too, we call it Incursions. For bonus points it also doubles as a Raid dungeon that does not wait to be invaded.If you have better ideas on how to improve PVE, go and forward it to CCP.
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I am talking about in-game price, not rl price.
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It can make a big difference to how much you enjoy the game. Last time I tried Eve I was having to grind to get anything, this time around I could afford to buy a plex for ££ which has taken a lot of the scraping for ISK out of my game. If I need a skill book I can just buy it, rather than having to go run missions for a few hours.So, higher plex prices suit me well.
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So what you're saying is you can't see people ever being willing to sell tulips at a lower price?
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1. Hell No2. Shit No3. Fuck No4. WTF you rambling about?!?5. No
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Tulips are perishable, PLEX lasts forever.
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Until used. Then it only lasts 30 days.
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gank plex hauler
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You made me spray my coffee!
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You spray so easily.
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I see only rage guy who says something is shit without telling us why excatly it is shit, or proposing how to make it not-shit..same I could say "this game is shit because it makes me train like hell before I can fly titan, I want to fly it day 1, get 1 free and a new one when I destroy it"harden the fuck up and stop complaining like a little bitch, If you dont like it, a) try to do someting with it b) get over it c) gtfo..seriously, nobody gives a damn about someone complaining that something is shit..and open your eyes, you are not forced to do anything, idiot...if you dont like PVE dont do it, there are plenty of ways making ISK in eve, if you thing you are forced to PVE, something is wrong with your brain..
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So basically you're saying you work 60 hours a month to play EVE.
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No, my friend, I pay for game time with my card and use the loot I get in-game for manufacturing, invention and things like that. I'm one of the guys who sell PLEX to get ISK (and I invest that ISK in BPOs).I merely pointed out that it's not difficult to get the ISK for PLEX if you feel like doing so.
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yup, actuallly stopped winning for a while to sell all mine off. it was literally paying for the plex to skillqueue online two accounts, just by the income gained by rising prices. I know everyone likes the BRN, and i don't see it hitting 1bn. At that point, I'd rather just pay, and keep the money for dreads
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fear drives irratic behaviour.
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people bought houses in 2004, and they went up until 08... don't know why that many years is signifigant, but if something is going to happen, 4 years seems like the time to do it. and we are on a 4 year benchmark now, with no new numbers of suckers, or mining bots
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I am waiting for the poetic to come back and defend his RMT honour over this
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I'm worth around three trillion isk and plex twenty accounts. I don't give a shit about the price going down for my own purposes, but I will freely admit that watching it go into a roller coaster as collective knowledge that it's a bubble competes with the overt feeling of safety would be pretty fun to watch. :)
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maybe you should find out something about coding games, and especially editing 10 years of code, and about economics and game balance in such complicated multigame before you start arguing about it..none of those are found inside GW and such.. devs just create something, debug it and throw it in.. in eve you have to calculate the effect of new content in every part of New eden, remember that new PVE will have affect on everyone, people who dont even get in touch with it can be put into disadvatage by this.in EVE everything new has great impact on economics and game balance.. make new PVE and you may crush the old one, like missions, incursions or ratting, because it will no longer be worth of doing.. and there are people who enjoy it, and others who depend on it (eg. salvagers)if you want to argue about effect our money made, lets take a look at one of most played game, which makes most money of all, World of Warcraft..take a look the effort devs put into it - releasing new content which adds new locations and maybe race once in a while (only visual changes) making "new" quests (which are basicly visually changed copies of old ones) and new boss (same as quest) and its for free! ..oh wait, its not, tho you are paying for the game, tho you basicly funded the development, they make you pay extra money to get your content.. and because they know you dont want it, they raise the max level as a part of the release to make you buy it.. and remember, this is just simple, trivial game without realistic economics, without other game aspects (you either PVE or PVE and than PVP) without other games linked to itand now EVE.. CCP releses new content every 6 monts, which is not just re-created old content, but completely new gameplay, things like wormholes, incursions, FW, deployable structures and so.. they allow you to play without paying real money, allow you to legally gain ingame money for real currency via trading plex with players, allows players to elect their representatives to make sure the game is going the way most players (those who care) want.you can admit that there are lots of good F2P games, but you are only half right, because most of "F2P" is actually Pay 4 Win..If you find one you like more than you like EVE, than there is no place for you here anymore, if you dont, than it is pretty clear EVE is best game you found, why else would you play it, right?so be greatfull of the CCP and instead of throwing mud on them, you could try to help them do something about it..if enough people would be unhappy with the PVE, they would elect CSM representative who will fight for new PVE.. so it seems like nobody but you really cares..the reason I'm defending CCP is because I like them, and I like them because they are one of very few game developers who actually care about their players, instead of just sucking out their money..
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Seems to me that anyone who thinks there is going to be a massive drop in the price of PLEX will be disappointed. There is no reason at all to think that the PLEX allegedly being “horded” will EVER be resold. Why is it more likely that they will get sold then the person/persons buying them will stop playing all together?CCP mentioned that people by the PLEX to maintain their purchasing power when they stop playing. Seems to me that a lot of people have sold off their stuff (Evidenced by the “Deflation” talked about in the video.) bought PLEX as a passive investment and then stopped playing. Even if they do come back there is no reason to think they would sell all their PLEX just so they could buy back the same idle assets that they had before quitting.No reason to think that any other explanation for the drop in PLEX quantity is more reasonable then the one I am postulating.
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I'm another of those guys. I buy plex anytime I need it due to losses incurred in near-continuous pvp ops. My losses per ship are low, but I tend to lose a lot of ships in spurts. Before a deployment I try to buy at least a two pack to keep me funded for the duration.
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The Plex bubble can never burst because its a real life commodity. If PLEX becomes worthless then people will not trade real life dollars for them. CCP would never do anything to reduce PLEX price and would go as far as a full server restart if they thought that would keep it high.I like high PLEX prices it means worthless trash like IS boxers have to be twice as sad for twice as long to make their ISK
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You can't see PLEX going down in price, ever? If selling happens, it will naturally bring the price down, as a selloff had this effect. You can't see a couple changes at CCP ever bringing down PLEX prices? I don't think you are very familiar with markets and liquidity, and with a contrived closed system such as EVE, this can happen readily.
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I think this is the most insightful comment.
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seems that you are either poor troll looking for food, or a terrible ( in terms of performance) pirate that desperately needs more victims, because, lets face it, you seem to suck.If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me, I allways admire new perspective, just make sure It's worth of reading
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If I was a millionaire, I would buy every titan I could and that make an event "Kill my titans, bitchez", sadly I'm not :(now seriously, thousands of plex at 500M a piece would be sold pretty fast, some to stock up and sell at higher price later or to put isk in, same as gold, some to fuel multiple accounts or train multiple chars, some to buy cheap aurum stuff and sell it on market, some would make newguys happy they are able not to pay for the game for a while.there are at least 27k accounts active any time, few thousands of plex would make no difference unfortunatelly.the plex price is and will be dependant on isk/h ratio of majority players, nothing to change there
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"The Plex bubble can never burst because its a real life commodity."Except real life commodities burst all the time in real life. All it takes is an influx of plex or for people to simply stop thinking of them as particularly worthwhile and its all downhill from there, particularly if the plex hoarders panic sell.

With CCP DrEyjoG leaving CCP "soon", it seems only fitting to comment on PLEX pricing, what drives it, and why. This comes in two parts. The first part is a personal theory, based on observation over the years about how the prices react to different factors ingame. The other part, far more interesting, is born out of DrEyjoG's presentation at FanFest. But we'll get to that.

CONSUMPTION

The primary use of PLEX is, now and always, to pay for subscriptions. This is true and has remained true even as CCP adds more non-subscription uses for them. From a mechanical perspective, my observation is that there are a handful of factors that drive prices. All of them relate to available income sources, which is not at all surprising. PLEX are, after all, a tool of disposable ingame income.

  1. Magnitude of income. This one's dead obvious - the larger the amount of income you get out of an activity, relative to some arbitrary baseline, the more readily able you are to PLEX your account or accounts.
  2. Accessibility of income. The more people who have access to a given source of income, the larger the impact on prices. Accessibility moderates or amplifies the effects of the magnitude of an income source. Thousands of players making several times the baseline will have a far more dramatic effect than five players making thousands or millions of times the baseline.
  3. Effort required for the income. You can also think of this as "how passive is it" or "what's the isk per effort". As demonstrated by the prevelance of the Mackinaw amongst miners or the extensive use of Ishtars and drone ships in general for ratting, EVE players value isk per effort as much or possibly even more than isk per hour. The more passive an income source is, the more likely it is to have significant impact on PLEX pricing. Effort does ultimately come in behind the magnitude and accessibility, though. For an activity to really have an impact, it tends to have to cross a magic number that is, simply, most or all of the value of one PLEX. Even though a smaller number (such as a few hundred million isk per month) would significantly defray subscription prices, people seem to only really go through the effort if one or two characters doing something can pay for an entire PLEX.
  4. Ability to multibox the income. If you can do it with multiple accounts at the same time, you can make more money - it's a no brainer. More accounts requires more PLEX, of course, but once they pay for themselves, the 'leftover' isk will pile up that much more quickly.

The short version of those four points is that PLEX price is ultimately affected by the velocity of money in EVE, and any combination of more players getting more money more quickly or easily will tend to drive their price up. Contrary to popular belief, whether an income source is a faucet or a sink is irrelevant - if there weren't already so much isk in the economy, that might not be the case. That means that the classic scapegoat - Incursions, after their initial release - impacted PLEX prices as they did because their magnitude of income was quite a bit higher than that of Level 4 missions, yet they were very nearly as accessible in many ways. And, the most famous example of income driving prices (post-Inferno FW farming) was actually a massive isk sink. The rise in prices following that was so severe that DrEyjoG was forced to intervene in the PLEX market for the first time (that we know of) in history and CCP had to push changes to FW out ahead of schedule to curb it.

This begs the question, though. After a player has paid for their account, maybe any alts they want, and they've got whatever ships they want, what do they do with the extra money?

Perhaps they invest it?

TULIPS

PLEX have, for a very long time, been regarded as a relatively safe place to stick one's money if you're leaving the game for a while. Historically, the price has done nothing but rise (on average) over time, they're always in demand, and when you come back, they're easy to sell. Perhaps most importantly, unlike virtually any other major commodity (such as minerals) that one might choose to park money in, it's as near a sure bet as can be that CCP won't go and do something that dramatically lowers their value. That notion of safety was only reinforced when the CSM8 Summer Summit Minutes recorded EyjoG as saying that CCP had no target price for PLEX - their only concern was the rate at which they rose. He reiterated that philosophy during his presentation at Fanfest 2014. Many players naturally interpreted that as "PLEX will be allowed to rise, always."

Now, the notion that speculation is a huge driver in PLEX prices has been around for a long time, but has always just been a matter of speculation itself (how very meta!) Yet, after reiterating his policy on PLEX prices, Dr EyjoG went on and did everything just short of saying the actual words "PLEX is a speculation bubble." In light of that I am honestly surprised PLEX did not crash overnight. Perhaps investors did not hear what he'd said, or heard it but didn't believe that it's what he actually said. But believe me, it's definitely what he actually said. Let's go over the evidence. You can follow along on YouTube, starting at about 15:00 in, though for the sake of clarity, I'm going to take some points out of order.

By far the most important point made in the presentation was a real-life comparison. DrEyjoG stated that PLEX do not behave as a consumer good, but rather as an investment good with potential utility, "much like gold in the meatworld" (15:30). At this point we could just drop the mic and walk out. The attitudes many people hold towards gold in the real world and the resulting behavior in its price are both well documented, and invoking that comparison ought to speak for itself. Indeed, DrEyjoG specifically stated that the purchase of PLEX as a hedge against perceived inflation, or as an investment vehicle while taking a break, is quite common (16:10). There are other relevant points, though, so we'll be thorough.

First of all, PLEX have increased in usage since their introduction in 2008. This means not just actual usage (as cited at 15:03) but the actual sales volume by CCP as well (17:45). In short, both supply and demand have increased over time.

Second, subscriptions are still the largest driver in PLEX consumption. While CCP has introduced new services over the years, those services are a "marginal driver" in PLEX pricing (18:58).

Third, even as price has been increasing over the past year, the quantity traded on the market has decreased.

PLEX Price & Volume

Supply goes down, price goes up. It's macroeconomics 101, except for the fact that, as stated earlier, the actual quantity purchased from CCP has continued to rise. What's actually pictured here is a drop in the average velocity of PLEX trade - the number of times each PLEX gets traded on the market, on average. Given the context, the conclusion is obvious: people buying PLEX off the market are tending to hoard them, rather than use or resell them.

The effects were abundantly clear. As we moved on from 2013 into 2014, the price began to rise faster and faster, which no doubt prompted more people to buy more PLEX as a hedge or investment. Finally, the rate of price increase broke whatever threshold DrEyjoG considers to be "too fast" and he stepped in, carefully injecting PLEX from banned accounts into the market, and stabilizing the price.

At least for a time.

While the good Doctor did fine work, all his intervention did was temporarily solve the increasing lack of liquidity within the PLEX market. Nothing about the collective mania changed, though, and before long, prices resumed their inevitable rise.

Of course, the only thing inevitable about bubbles is that they burst. Fortunes may be made along the way, but eventually the music stops and some poor sucker is left standing.

Just don't let it be you.

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