Last week, we covered CCP's
new plan to change EVE Online's
30-day sub currency, PLEX, by effectively breaking it into smaller chunks
and turning it into more of a cash shop currency that's more easily fungible and tradeable.
It was an announcement not without its detractors, as Massively OP's EVE columnist Brendan Drain explained over the weekend: Some players were miffed that PLEX will be transportable without the risk of ship-to-ship movement, while others grumbled about the short-term effect on the market and poor conversion rates for the secondary currency, Aurum, and the lack of conversion for players with fewer than 1000 Aurum. And as is common with such in-game economies, still others are up in arms over apparent market corruption, as it appears that players with insider information began trading ahead of the announcement to manipulate the economy -- as Brendan suggests, likely a CSM (player council) member privy to information ahead of the embargo lift.
Today, CCP posted an update meant to assuage some of the concerns about the new program.
This week CCP Games
announced that some big changes are on the way for PLEX
in EVE Online
. The PLEX or "30-day Pilot's License EXtension" is a virtual item that represents 30 days of subscription time and can be bought for cash and then sold to other players for in-game ISK. This simple mechanic has proven to be one of the most important innovations in the subscription MMO business model over the years, allowing players with lots of in-game wealth to effectively play for free while permitting cash-rich players to buy in-game currency without funding dodgy farming operations that can disrupt the game world. Dozens of games now support some kind of player-mediated currency roughly like PLEX
The proposed changes are intended to simplify EVE's business model by merging PLEX with the microtransaction currency Aurum. Players will also be able to put their PLEX into invulnerable account-wide PLEX Vaults that are accessible at all times rather than having to move the valuable items manually by ship. There's been significant backlash from the EVE community over the newfound invulnerability of PLEX, plans to delete some microtransaction currency from the game without compensation, and the possibility that someone leaked the announcement to friends early in order to make a profit. So what's the deal with these PLEX changes, and why are some EVE players going nuts over them?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the upcoming changes to the safety of PLEX, the opportunities that more granular PLEX could have for EVE, and why players are up in arms over plans to delete Aurum from thousands of accounts.
announced this morning that it's overhauling PLEX
in EVE Online
. As the currency works now, players buy the 30-day sub token known as PLEX with cash and then either use it or sell it to other players in exchange for in-game currency, isk.
"We really like PLEX because it lets you players in the in-game market decide what trade-offs you want to make between time, isk, and real money," CCP Seagull explains in a new video today. "It also gives us at CCP a type of income that doesn't mess with the integrity of the game design." The overhaul won't impact that philosophy, but here's what is changing:
PLEX will be broken down into smaller chunks; one current PLEX, worth around $15 or 30 days of sub time, will now work out to 500 new PLEX, which is intended to allow players more flexibility in trade and allow CCP to effectively sell smaller sub lengths (although it has not announced its intention to do this) as well as smaller items in the cash shop using PLEX as currency.
Possibly of more interest to non-EVE players is the fact that the new PLEX Vault in the player inventory will allow players to move PLEX without actually putting it in their ships. No more wacky stories about people losing thousands of dollars' worth of PLEX while dragging them in ships across the galaxy!
It's said that you're never truly safe in EVE Online
unless you're docked or logged off, and sometimes not even then. If someone wants you dead badly enough, he can get to you even in the heart of high-security space surrounded by legions of CONCORD police ships. The police in EVE
will get revenge on anyone who attacks another player in high-security space, but they aren't very big on crime prevention and take a few seconds to kick in. If you can get enough players together in high-damage ships, you have enough time to take out some pretty big prey before CONCORD comes to promptly turn your attack fleet into floating scrap.
That's the premise behind suicide ganking, and it wouldn't be EVE if someone didn't turn this most heinous of crimes into a huge player-run event or even an annual tradition. Starting in 2012, the Burn Jita event sees hundreds of players in the Goonswarm Federation alliance flock to EVE's main trade hub system of Jita for a weekend to suicide gank as many industrial ships, freighters, and random passers-by as possible. Burn Jita 4 took place recently, and killboard records estimate the final damage total to be over 750 billion ISK (worth roughly $10,000 to $14,000 via PLEX conversion at current rates). According to the latest economic report, this impressive figure is actually only around 2% of the total ship value destroyed game-wide throughout February.
It's been another busy year for sci-fi MMO EVE Online, and an absolute roller coaster ride for both players and developer CCP Games. On the development side, we've had two major expansions with Citadel and Ascension and a significant business model change with the introduction of a free-to-play account option. Fan events EVE Fanfest 2016 and EVE Vegas 2016 brought us some fantastic insights into the future development, including a peek at some amazing work on future PvE gameplay and an all-new EVE FPS codenamed Project Nova.
Proving once again that the players in EVE are the most engaging content, this year brought us the political twists and turns of the now-infamous World War Bee, which became the largest PvP war ever to happen in an online game. We also delved into some absolutely crazy sandbox stories, including one player using $28,000 worth of skill injectors to create a max skill character as a publicity stunt, and the controversial banning of the gambling kingpins behind World War Bee.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look back over all the biggest EVE stories of the year, from the political shenanigans of World War Bee to the surprise free-to-play option and how expansions have changed the face of the game this year.
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG Business Model of 2016, which is a new award we're doling out for the first time this year thanks to a proposal from reader strangesands. This award is intended to recognize a live MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated an exemplary business model specifically in 2016, regardless of its past performance. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMORPG Business Model of 2016 is...
In the political sandbox of EVE Online
, colossal player-run military coalitions frequently war over territorial conflicts, in revenge for past transgressions or just for fun. Circle of Two alliance recently found itself the target of a massive war not long after it had built a colossal 300 billion ISK Keepstar citadel in the historically contested nullsec system of M-0EE8. Opposing alliances set up their own smaller citadels next to the Keepstar and used them as staging points in an all-out attack on the system. Following two intense battles over the Keepstar in which hundreds of billions of ISK was lost
, the explosive final phase of the conflict took place last night in what has come to be known as The Siege of M-0EE8.
I arrived in M-0EE8 in a cloaked covert ops frigate at around 18:30 EVE time to watch the event unfold, and it wasn't long before a world-record-breaking 5,300 pilots had poured into the star system. A cluster of anchorable warp disruption field generators hung like bright lanterns in space, with great swarms of Scorpions and shoals of Machariels swirling inside. A constant stream of weapons fire flowed from these blinding death bubbles to the Keepstar, whittling down its immense structure like a swarm of insects nipping at a Tyrannosauros Rex.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give a brief account of the Siege of M-0EE8, share some screenshots from the event, take a look at how the server coped with the enormous battle, and drill down into the battle stats to see just how record-breaking the siege was.
If you're anything like me, you don't spend a great deal of time thinking about the large picture of MMO economies. It's mostly just a selfish "how much money can I make?" and "what can I spend it on?" It's probably a very good thing that there are devs who have put a good deal of thought and design into economies to keep these games enjoyable.
In a recent Extra Credits video, the crew discusses how MMORPGs used to suffer from hyperinflation due to players being infinite money-printing machines. You might have seen the solution to this but not quite understood what it was or how it works to keep that inflation down. The concept is called "reserve currency" and it has to do with those tokens, diamonds, and gems that are paid for with real-world money and can be traded for in-game gold.
It's a fascinating watch that will make you appreciate all of the effort and complexities that go into MMO economies. Check it out below!
The folks at Guinness World Records may have once counted RuneScape as the world's most popular free MMORPG, but it's had an optional subscription, albeit a relatively small one, for a very long time. What it hasn't had consistently is an array of subscription packages with discounts and bonuses, and that's what it's getting today with what Jagex is calling "Premier Club."
"Featuring subscription discounts and exclusive bonuses that support players of both the modern game and its hardcore 2007 version, Old School RuneScape, Premier Club readies the community both new and old for a busy and exciting year ahead, including three new expansions, and the introduction of a dynamic weather system. Available for purchase now through Feb. 5, 2017, the three tiers - Bronze, Silver, and Gold - will also feature limited edition content. Those buying the Gold tier will receive an exclusive in-game outfit, 30 percent membership discounts to both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, entry into next season's Deadman Tournaments, bonus amounts of loyalty points, and more."
The packages range from $24.99 to $79.49, including three to 12 months of membership and comparable loyalty points and other perks. Do note that players can also buy packages with RuneScape bonds, which are akin to WoW Tokens or EVE Plex.
While some of us are toiling away on the ground in plate armor while fighting furry monstrosities, there's a whole world of internet spaceships STO-ing, EVE-ing, and SWTOR-ing their way through MMO space. Check out some of this year's gift offerings for the best space pilot on your friends list!
expansion goes live in just two days on Tuesday November 15th, introducing the new free-to-play alpha clone state and completely overhauling the game's new player experience. The new tutorial represents the best opportunity new players have ever had to get into EVE
, and the removal of the mandatory subscription fee means you can can take your time and play as infrequently as you like. Free accounts will have access to a limited pool of skills
that will restrict them to flying tech 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers of just one race, but you'll still be able to take part in most of EVE
's gameplay using those ships.
As CCP Rise demonstrated at EVE Vegas 2016, alpha clone players should be able to make enough ISK to fund PvP and even get some nice solo kills if they know what they're doing. I've done similar experiments in the past in which I started a new character and attempted to compete in Faction Warfare after just a few weeks of skill training, and found the same result. Being effective in EVE is less about the ships you can fly or the skills you can train and more about learning from actual experience or having the benefit of someone else's. With a good foundation tutorial and just a little direction from older players, new players should be able to beat the learning curve and become highly effective players in just a few weeks.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dish out three essential tips from my own experience that should help any new alpha clone players get a leg up on the competition.
A week from today, one of the last bastions of the MMORPG subscription model goes free-to-play. I'm talking about EVE Online
, of course, and its long-awaited Ascension
expansion, which will not only allow free players into the game via the clone state system but overhaul the tutorial and expand the citadel system with engineering complexes.
CCP has released a features video this week to catch everyone up on just what's coming in the update. Capsuleers, the EVE Portal mobile app is also ready for download on both Android and iOS.
"EVE Portal is now available for download in beta, allowing pilots to view basic character information, track skill training, send and receive EVEmail, utilize the in game calendar and purchase PLEX and Aurum, all with push notifications to keep busy capsuleers up to date with what's going on in New Eden when not connected via the EVE Client."
If you've been reading the gaming news this week, you may have heard about the enormous amount of wealth that was recently removed from EVE Online
's economy when the players behind EVE
gambling website IWantISK were banned for real money trading. The figure was initially rumoured
to be around 40 trillion ISK, but the only sources for this information at the time were one of the banned players himself and a third party using guesswork. With the release of CCP's latest monthly economic report
, we now have a verified primary source to work from.
Digging into the CSV records attached to CCP Quant's October economic report, we were able to see that on the day of the ban (October 12th), total ISK supply dropped by 24.85 trillion ISK overnight. Accounting for the average upward movement of ISK over the previous month gives us a figure of around 25.77 trillion ISK that was likely part of the ban wave. This amount of ISK could currently buy you around 20,295 PLEX game time codes on the in-game market, which have a real world value of between $303,000 and $405,000 US depending on the price paid per unit.
Keep in mind that these figures account for only the liquid ISK in the banned players' accounts. The value of any assets frozen on those accounts could bring the total even higher, but the frozen assets can't be verified at this point. The bans came after intensive investigation of the accused players for real money trading offences, and happened on the same day that CCP announced that all third-party EVE gambling websites would have to shut down.