Sunday 15 June 2014

How Rich is Rich

I had a short but interesting conversation in game last night. A few guys in a starter corps were talking about how rich they were with amounts like 2 billion, 500 million etc. There was a little talk about whether the best way to make ISK was missioning or mining.

I resisted mentioning how rich I am at first because it would probably come across as bragging and they might not even believe me. But as the conversation went on I just couldn't resist anymore. I told them I'm worth 628 billion, should break 650 within a month and I made it all trading.

Someone commented about how many hours it took him to make 2 billion missioning and mining. He said there's no way he could spend the time it would take to make 600 billion. I said I only spend an hour or 2 a day trading.

One guy called me a liar stating that 600 billion would put me at number 7 on the list of the richest players in Eve. I responded with an "I don't think so" and went on to explain that most players don't have all their money on a single character and not all of it is even in ISK in the first place. IOW, how wealthy a single player is simply cannot be determined by how much ISK a single character of his has.

For example, I said, I have 30 characters, nearly half my net worth is in assets for sale, another 130 billion or so is in escrow, leaving only about 200 billion in wallet cash spread out across all 30 characters.

He called me liar again, saying there's no way I could have 30 characters and only spend 2 hours a day because it would take at least an hour just to log onto them all. I asked him "What makes you think I do log onto all of them every day?"

Never did get an answer to that.

I slapped up a link to last month's Financial Report but the conversation died after that. Obviously at least one guy didn't believe me, thought I was lying and making it all up.

I half expected not to be believed in the first place but the point that really stuck out for me is how he thought 600 billion would make me one of the very richest players in the game. I don't think I'm anywhere near the top 10, not even close. From indications I see on the market I believe there are quite a few players a lot richer than I am. I'm fairly certain there are more trillionaires than most players would believe and quite a few multi-trillionaires but I really don't know just how rich the very richest players are or just how many of them there are. All I can be sure of is they're a lot richer than I am.

So my questions are:

How rich is rich? Really rich that is, not just comfortably wealthy compared to the average player.


Just how rich are the very richest players in the game?


  1. I think the real question is, "What's discouraging them from purchasing manhours to pursue their objectives?" If those trillions were put to work in the range of martial activities, you would know about them, or at least the entities representing them.

    What's the major obstacle to mercenariedom being a normal part of the NPE?

    1. For one thing their objective might be simply to gather wealth. They don't want to spend their wealth, especially not on others, they just want to keep on growing their wealth.

      And then there's scammers and liars. For example, Noir scamming Gevlon out of billions. He thought he'd bought them to fight Goons for him but they were taking pay from Goons at the same time, co-operating with Goons and working against their contract with Gevlon behind his back.

  2. I guess it really depends on what you do with the ISK. If the game for you is the accumulation of ISK all you want to see is that number going up and making bigger jumps more efficiently. I fly Atrons in Lowsec so for me a loss is a little over 11million ISK, which is very different to someone that flys T3s everyday. I make my ISK with very slow velocity swing trading, over the summer I bought up around 40Billion ISK in faction items. and have relisted them. They will sell over the next couple of months and make around 10Billion in profit. I only have a single account which I pay for once a year, so dont require ISK for plex. 10Billion can buy a lot of Atrons. So for me 50Billion is Rich as its what I need to fund my play style comfortably with the minimal amount of actual ISK making.

  3. well, if you'd like input from someone who's always scrabbled by on subsistence wages since launch, the maximum isk i've ever had was probably just under 2 billion. My total assets at any one given time are probably (and this is just a wild guess) is probably 10billion isk conservatively. Definitely less than 25b

    So what's "rich" to me? someone with 100b isk assets, and 10b isk cash flow at any one time, would be considered by me to fall into the "rich but still working for the isk"...ten times that, at 1trillion isk assets and 100b isk cash flow would be my definition of 'rich' (aka when the isk works for you not the other way around)

    1. sorry, for clarity, when i said 'cash flow' i meant 'isk in wallet'; and for honesty's sake i don't really think there's a point in the game where the isk actually works for you - therefore i doubt we could ever label someone in game as truly rich.

  4. One thing I do always wonder is how people work out how much time they spend playing. I do a lot of trading and a lot of just messing about (and these activities are usually not separated), but if I were to try to work out exactly how long I spend trading, I'm not sure I could. Especially when you consider the time spent doing things outside of the game as well. So you say you spend 2 hours a day, which is something you hear a lot from traders, but is that really it?

    As for "what is rich", that's not really something that can be measured, since like real life, it's subjective. To a new player, having 1b would make them rich, to vets that pocket change at best.

    1. I often wonder the same thing. As you say trading is often mixed in with other activities so the question is what counts as trading time and what doesn't?

      If you spend 5 minutes updating orders, then chat for an hour without doing anything else, then spend another 10 minutes updating orders does that count as 15 minutes or 1 hour and 15 minutes?

      What if you do the same thing except while chatting you put a character on autopilot to transport some stuff, how do you count that?

      Or what if you have multiple characters flying transport on auto at the same time and occasionally tab into one of them to check progress while spending most of your time exploring, ratting or gate camping on another character?

      The way I look at it is if my primary activity is trade related (including manually flying transport) I consider the whole time trading time. If not, then I only count the portion of time I'm actually doing something trade related. I don't sit there with a stopwatch timing it though, so it's estimated.

  5. time at keyboard = time playing. AFK mining is no different than station trading in that regard.... it's too bad it's dismal income.

    as far as who owns what, what I find more important is who the richest new players are. MMOs have a problem with first adopters gaining leads that cannot be met, but take every character under a year (two, whichever) and see who is the wealthiest.

    Theres going to be old Money. Booda still has his 100 PLEX for faking a TEST disbanding. EveUni has two trillionaires i believe. CFC has a few market whiz who boast the same, not sure how much they got to keep though. TEST had a few who stole moons for a good year, and we still have a few high rollers (I consider high roller anyone richer than me)

    but yeah, on top of that, if someone is just hoarding for the sake of hoarding, they are essentially an inflation buffer, and I'm willing to bet they (and PLEX hoarders) are hiding a massive Eve bubble in money taken out of the economy.

    forgot the point now. damn

  6. When playing the game, rich is a way of playing that does not worry about isk. Atm I am sitting on 30b NW and am comfortable playing the game, and not having the urge to log in everyday, can survive an orca gank, etc... I check meta-gaming sites and stats on aura daily though.