The Other Currency

When you are in space you sometimes have time to think,  Moving from one gate to the next or on point, watching a station.  You can spend some of that time catching up on news of the day or chatting with friends but still, thoughts intrude.

Mike was drifting in a distant orbit around a station in Haatamo watching to see what Heth would do next. Not that he had a personal vendetta against the man but Luminaire was in the right hands currently and it was prudent to make sure it stayed that way.  But as the wily old badger was holed and welded into his den, there was time to think.

The news was filtering in through the mesh of various biased news sites about the battles in the Fountain region.  The hardest thing was being able to tell who was winning the war.  Each side claimed different objectives and when those objectives were all achieved both would be able to claim victory.

Another sweeping orbit of nothing but space.  In the end it was about cost.  The CFC had said they were invading for the moons and control of them, to be able to keep living the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed.  TEST was the current occupant of the region so they were being convinced to leave.  Except they had not left yet.

So it was for currrency.  Mike had once read that wars were armed robbery, written large.  But what cost?  that was the other argument about the wars.  The ISK battles.  Each time there was a battle in fountain the accountants would come out and compare ledgers and declare one side or the other the winner based on the current value of ships destroyed.  Then they would argue about how much of a war chest each side had and how long this battle could go.

Mike looked at one of the battle reports and then frowned and looked closer.  There was another currency, one that was not showing on the accountants ledgers.  Time.

It was spent in so many ways and in the current battles, a new way.  With the doctrine of T3 strategic cruisers there was a cost that didn’t show on the accountants ledgers.  Time.  Pilots time was as valuable as isk.  Quite often activites would be rated on return per ‘tick’ with the tick being a measure of time (20 minutes, for some).

A fleet that was blueballed or taken out and then stood down without any engagement might not lose isk but there was the time that the pilots invested and donated to the cause.  If you took a T3 out then there was the risk of damage to your training.  Die in a Loki or a Tengu and you might be set back DAYS of training.  Lose a fleet of them and the loss could be measured in weeks or months.  Mike wondered what level of dedication it took to be willing to face that loss over and over.

Was the war worth it?  When you could all fleet in small ships such as Caracals and still darken the nebula with your power?  The battles in Fountain were showing more than just fleet doctrine, they were showing levels of dedication.  It wouldn’t be who had the most isk, it would be who could take the damage and keep coming back swinging.  In the past, Goons have always managed to keep up the flow of pilots and isk and stayed the course.

Or, as some tinfoil hatters had asked.  Was this just bread and circuses for the masses of pilots?  Was Fountain just a Thunderdome of bloody spectacle to hide from pilots the truth of the unending servitude they had signed on for?

Mike smiled and set for docking.  He had meals to cook and people to talk to and answered to few save his own whims and the favours he owed friends.



I have been in fleet engagements and read of many more.  Tidi to the point where you can leave for 10 minutes while you warp to station.  Entire fleets watching movies because nothing is going on in game.  Do you value your time?  Is it a currency for you?

SOME of us still pay subscriptions and expect gameplay for that money.
Up until I was elected I have paid, never managing to save enough to plex.

Seldom regretted any activity I was involved in because I knew that if I got bored there are always other things to do.  And usually friends around to do them with.

fly it like you won it


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9 Responses to The Other Currency

  1. evehermit says:

    I try not to over think my time in EVE. When you get caught up in evaluating the ISK per hour and all the various pros and cons of each activity, the end result always seems to end up being a little less fun. So I tend to focus on what amuses me the most, and appreciate the game for its entertaining distraction from RL.

    Paying for the subscription in cash instead of PLEX certainly helps give me that mind set though. It is not as if I have to “work” in game X number of hours every month to pay for each account. Paying yearly makes it very cheap – a little under 40 cents local a day per account. It is easy to get “a return on investment” at that price.

  2. Bleys says:

    One could argue that one of the reasons I am rich in game is because I don’t PLEX for the time on my two accounts. I have been tempted in the past, especially when I consider how many years my small fortune could pay for… if liquidated.

    But what fun is that? Eve is a hobby and the price I pay per month toward it is relatively small. However, when AI play I actually play. I am not scrambling to obey the orders of my master. I am not scratching the dirt to look for ISK. My riches pay for my whims and interests.

    Call me a gambler, but I doubt many Eve pilots actually play. Instead they are always working. Sometimes for themselves, but often enough for their masters. I like to play.

  3. Because income is commonly measured as ISK/hr, and skills only train over time, one could argue that time is the only real currency in EVE.

    • mikeazariah says:

      Kind of the point I was driving towards, thing is time is a currency that is harder to exchange. How often have we heard, “well there goes another 90 minutes of my life I will never get back” as the review of a movie?


    • Deth Delkanara says:

      Time is the only real currancy at all.

  4. TurAmarth says:

    Strangely, I do not mind at all, as some do, long minutes or even hours total spent warping from gate to gate in order to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’… We had a Frigate Null Roam last night, for some it was a 4 hop pipe out to hisec, then another 7 to Amarr, then like 18(ish) to the target system… and back. I was in Empire at our HQ in Eglenaert so then to Amarr and on with the roam fleet… an back to Amarr.

    We spent quite a lot more ‘time’ traveling than we did engaged, chasing around trying to get engaged, sitting on gate listening to the FC & scouts do their thing… and yet, I regret not one second of it… I have heard some complain bitterly about time sinks such as travel, but to me, the fact that we cross tens, hundreds even thousands of (virtual) LIGHT YEARS in seconds or minutes… is perfectly acceptable to me as compared to the actual months RW space travel will most likely take once (no not if, once) we break the light barrier.

    I too pay for my sub w/ the cold hard recycled electrons of our online banking systems… My ISK is mad by Tur and is for Tur’s virtual life and needs. What I resent, dislike, etc. is when no one else is on… Keep in mind SYJ is a pretty good sized Alliance and we are mostly all jammed into a wormhole together… (the number of towers in here is simply stunning…) but there are still times when no one is really ‘on’… they’re in COMMS but playing Dota or WoT or something… which I simply do not understand at all. I mean how in the ‘verse could anyone want to spent their precious time playing ANYTHING else but EvE??? =]

    • mikeazariah says:

      I read once about fantasy stories and that the protagonist traveled at the ‘speed of plot’. I think this is true for some of us who do engage with our fellow pilots and admire the view as a whole. I think that my time in a wormhole was when I would get the most ‘lonely’. When the others were on there were things to do but if they had other duties . . . there were fewer alternatives for a solo pilot in a c4.

      That being said I think that wh space players are amongst the most efficient and organized. They have to be.


      • TurAmarth says:

        You know, CCP Seagull has talked about “colonization”… as if it’s a new thing in EvE. We Anoikians (Anoikii?Awakened) have been colonizing and holding, fighting over, losing and starting over in Anoikis since Apocrypha… Creating and holding REAL Sov in the only way that actually counts, building shelters and a community and fighting for that community. CCP is behind the curve here.

        And you’re right, you don’t anchor 20+ Lrg POSes in a single System and keep them fueled, active and defended without planning, forethought and a truly serious commitment to the virtuality we share on the other side of the sky in Anoikis.
        I LOVE this game!!!

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