Follow the Money


“The problem is,”  Mike said, looking down at his comms, “money.”

Free waited for Mike to continue his thought as she now recognised the tone change as him going into lecture mode.  Tanta was now in her quarters and others had taken over the shift to watch over her (and the countess but most worried more about Tanta than some unknown nobility/celebrity)

“I been readin the Minutes of the CSM and a lot of it seems to be coming down to isk, time and time again.  Thems that has it and means to make it worry about automation passin them by.  The powers that be see them usin too much o dat automation and bad tings may come to pass.”

“You are tired not really making a whole lot of sense, you are not.”  Free said and leaned back.  “Elucidate.”

“Elucidate, oh lawsy someone done got a word a day comm calender.”  Mike laughed and counted off on his fingers.  Mining, Anoms, Skill farms.  Ways the Big organizations can and do make the beaucoup bucks.  Thing is they can be automated, ‘bots’ we call em.  Allowing the bots to run rampant would well and truly screw up an economy.”

“So you make them illegal.”  Free said.

“Killin folks be illegal, too.  But I don’t see you ready ta slow down just yet.  There is isk to be made and folks willing to make it.  Some of the Big boys think/hope that they be ‘too big to fail’ and if they is caught they will be warned off, to keep the economy solid as opposed to properly prosecuted. Maybe they do it through cutouts or puppets, keep their own hands clean.  Maybe they good enough, for now, to get by without having to resort to such methods.  I don’t know because I ain’t in the inner circles.”

“Do you wish that you were?”

“Nah, I aint well suited to taking orders.  I do what I do and get by, somehow.  Right now, though we is seeing a lot of what Malcanis used to talk about.  Any fix we set to reign in the big boys will be easily adapted to by them and a hindrance to the little guy even more.  Or so the Big ones keep sayin.”

“You usually swear by Malcanis law.”

“Still do, thing is it is a game of percentages.  If there is a  . . .say 20% drop in mining the little guy takes a hit on his income, sure enough.  Buy 20% of a little guy does not have the same isk total ass 20% of the big uns.  IF it is even partially effective then they is still gonna take a hit in a far higher total value, even if they do adapt.  Mike tapped his pad.  It’s like this, suppose the 20% hit gets a little guy making 2 bill a month, he loses 400 mill, right?  The big guy adapts and the hit is only 5%, but his income is  . . . lets round it to a trillion.  May be more may be less but that is a nice easy to play with number.  5% hit to them comes to 50 Billion . . . a month.  A billion here and a billion there and soon you talkin real money.

Thing is, even if the CSM reps from those big alliances do the math (oh and I Know they does math better than me) they also know that if the whole economy collapses we all will be just making rock piles in the rubble that is left.  So they has to help even if it do hurt some in the short run.  They just try to minimize their losses and ‘control the fall’.”

“The Minutes, you said, are heavily edited and a lot is missing . . . a lot.”

“Ayup, and no I don’t know what is being said behind the NDAs but I am good at makin guesses and I do know how things happen in there.  But readin through the minutes I keep hearing isk at the back of it all.  That be why hisec and lowsec pretty well got completely ignored.  Aint a lot of money there.  Aint nobody speakin up for them unless the topic is brought up.  And it wasn’t.  Leastwise not in the parts they let out.  Even wormholes were, for the most part, ignored.”  He sighed.  “A lot done but . . . ”

“But not done to the things you care about, not them.”

“Zactly.  But dance practice starts early in the mornin so I is gonna take a drink an walk the perimeter one time before catching some shut eye.”  He stood and bowed in a formal manner.  “I always appreciate having a person to chat wif.  Specially one willing to lissen.”

Free smiled and headed off to her own quarters.  But she loaded toe comm channel with the minutes and decided to see what he was looking at first hand.



Minutes are here

I have been skimming the reddit commentary on them as well as the forums.  I won’t bother defending the CSM here (again) but some folks had less to say about the minutes and more about mad that their part of the game was getting hurt and or ignored.  Given how the nerf hammer was swining in some sessions I am kind of glad Hisec did not see a lot of mention.

Been a while since I did much writing, feels good to get back in the swing of things.

Oh and for those of you stubborn enough to read this far?  Draw for a battleship.  Just make a comment within the next week or so.

Last thing, the Bus will be doing a very special run through the career systems next week.  Gnosis and implants, I am thinking.  Remind folks you know to keep an eye on local in the career systems.

fly it like you won it



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4 Responses to Follow the Money

  1. Dinsdale Pirannha says:

    The fix is actually quite simple, but the null sec RMT cartels will never allow it. And CCP is still in the hands of those cartels, even with new owners. If all the buffs to null sec profitability were rolled back, and I am talking over the last 5-7 years, the economy would resume some kind of sanity again. But you start talking about cutting the value of a null sec ore belt by 70 or 80%, or cutting the value of the NPC’s in a null sec site by 50%, well, there would be a lot of scared people at CCP.

  2. I’ve spent what seems like decades of my life in meetings and reading the CSM Minutes… I have to agree that they’ve been heavily edited. It seems to me that the present CSM voting system is broken in favors of the biggest Corps who organize their members for vote for their own slate of nominees. Organization, while valuable in a democracy, can also be subverted — just ask Mayor Daley’s Chicago “voting machine block”. So let me propose an off-the-wall idea: CCP will choose half the CSM using the game server data to find 1) someone who has been in the game for more than a month but less than 5 years plus their activity in-game will show 90% of time in high-sec, or 50% in low-sec and at least 30% in high-sec, or 50% in WH space and 50% in high-sec. That would be three members right there who are not part of the big alliances. Right? So, yes, I’d like a battleship if it drops in my lap. I’m improving my lap armor, just in case. LOL

  3. Continuing to think on this… maybe CCP needs to hire an economist whose background and skillset allow him/her to think objectively about game economies. These must be some bastard son of macroeconomics, I suppose. Probably first they would need to specify a goal for their ownership: maximize RL income to CCP on net (most likely), maximize a steady-state in-game economy, minimize user dissatisfaction… and so forth, but if expressed quantitatively, the goal might be some defined combination of these or other factors. Just CCP putting together a goal and stating it would be interesting to many in the game.

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