From even his first developer blog, Dr. EyjóG has shown that
he has an amazing way of presenting knowledge and numbers that he has
garnered from the EVE archives in a fashion that is relatively
accessible to those individuals who are looking for these types of
numbers. But are there economic areas or specializations that Dr.
EyjóG is looking for in particular?
"We're looking for the general economic indicators that everyone is
interested in," Dr. EyjóG said. "Many people see economic
information as merely being entertainment. Everybody's waiting for the
latest numbers on the stock market, on unemployment, etc. The same goes
for the people that are playing EVE."
"One of the things that I was most interested in when I started looking
at the game was the basic concept of specialization," Dr.
EyjóG continued. "It seems to have been something that
happened immediately. Now these specializers are getting really really
good at extracting things like extra tritanium during their operations.
We even have people that are specialized in hauling goods for other
individuals, as time is a resource that is very very important in the
EVE Online space. Then there are our PvP specialists that are the real
economic engine, since they always need bigger, better weapons and
CCP has always kept a
"I think people jumped into these specialist roles early on because it
was human natures," Dr. EyjóG said. "You excel at what
you're good at. That's what we do in real life. We find a path and we
try to be the best in that particular area."
The Ten Ton Hammer team was also curious on the degree of intricacy
that Dr. EyjóG analyzed the statistics that he pulled from
the EVE logs. Using world economies as an example, economists are often
just as concerned with individual segments of the economy - state
economies and even personal budgets - as much as they are concerned
about the global outlook of the entire world. However, we wondered if
this sort of micro-inspection translated well to EVE and if Dr.
EyjóG was going so far as to analyze the economics within a
corporation or an alliance. "Right now we're really looking at it from
a broad perspective," he said. "But as we get more universities and
people that want to do research on the EVE economy, the more greater
the level of focus on particular player groups in the game."
Luckily, Valerie Massey, the PR and communications director for CCP,
informed us that they weren't lacking for people that were interested
in doing research on the EVE universe. "We've had so many inquiries
that we have been sorting through them and picking the universities
that seem more appropriate," she said.
Despite the intense analysis that Dr. EyjóG has been giving
the economics in EVE, he wasn't particularly interested in immediately
jumping into the game world and adjusting resources and good prices
artificially. Like the rest of the EVE development, he's taking the
laissez-faire approach and letting the players drive the economy. "We
try to keep our hands off of things from A to Z," Dr. EyjóG
said. " We wanted to stay out of it as much as we possibly can. What
I'm looking at right now is more in terms of future planning."
"For example, the players have been discussing advanced financial
systems," Dr. EyjóG continued. "They've been starting things
like banks all by themselves. The problem is, however, that there's a
lack of trust in the current arrangement." And that distrust is
rightfully there, as the last person to set up a really prolific
banking system ran off with 790 BILLION ISK. News agencies like Cnet picked
up on the story and ran it with the rest of their tech news,
which shows just how unique the EVE Online world is compared to other
games of a similar nature.
One of the many
But even with that bank theft, the CCP team is totally understanding to
that particular player's desire to run off with a HUGE stash of money.
"In a way, that's part of the game," Dr. EyjóG
said. "There's nothing built into the game that punishes the player for
breaking that trust. There are banks in the game world now, but players
have to put up collateral that is 1.5 times larger than the money that
they take out. In the real world, it'd be like putting up a house and a
half to buy one house. That doesn't really work out in the long-term.
So the question is, 'Should we be creating advanced financial
institutions in EVE?' If the answer is yes, we need to find some way to
build that trust."
"In the end, we may have to develop a system that builds trust," Dr.
EyjóG said. "Look at the federal reserve system in the
United States. They exist simply to create trust. When the stock
markets or bond markets are having a bit of trouble, the federal
reserve is there to back it up."
From an academic standpoint, I can only imagine how interested I would
have been in a class that did all of its research in an online gaming
world. Even to be a part of that sort of scenario would have been an
amazing experience for me. Luckily, it sounds like even schools outside
of Iceland are approaching Dr. EyjóG for a chance to take a
look at the game. "Actually, they are more or less foreign universities
that are approaching us, at this point," Dr. EyjóG said.
"But we are also working with the University of Iceland."
"At the University of Iceland," Dr. EyjóG continued, "we are
looking at democracy and how we can extend to the community in more
democratic ways. That's a long term project."
Finally, we asked Dr. EyjóG to try to explain, in simple
terms, what's in his latest blog. If you haven't checked out the blog
yet, make sure you click
here and give it a read. It's a phenomenal look
into an online world that is incredibly complex but can be broken down
into something that's readable to the even a hard-headed guy like
myself. In any case, Dr. EyjóG was more than happy to give
us an explanation.
As EVE continues to
"This first blog that I put up is a historical overview of the mineral
markets," Dr. EyjóG said. "The mineral market is made up of
six basic minerals and we looked at how things have developed over
time, particularly in production and trade. What is interesting to see
is that there has been a general price decline over the past four years
of our operation. This tells us that people are getting more efficient
at what they're doing. The economy is growing, demand is growing, trade
is increasing, and its still fulfilling what the basic gameplayer
needs. Though prices have been declining, those prices still fluctuate
where we have areas of high inflation and deflation. It was interesting
to see how - in the beginning - there were price fluctuations of up to
20% inflation and deflation, which is enormous. Since then, it has been
stabilizing, especially this last year as the mineral trade has been
increasing. This is the same sort of development that we've seen in the
real world, where better technology and production efficiency help
drive prices down, even when demand is higher."
Ten Ton Hammer readers, I'd like to thank you for attending EVE
Economics 101 with Dr. EyjóG, transcribed by Cody "Micajah"
Bye. Just like the rest of the EVE universe, the economics of EVE
Online will only continue to become more and more intricate as the game
expands and develops. However, I'm certain that with Dr.
EyjóG on the CCP team, EVE Online will never face the sort
of rampant inflation issues or any of the other economic nastiness that
other MMOGs have had to deal with. With each new development in the
realm of online economics, the Ten Ton Hammer staff will make sure to
chat with Dr. EyjóG and gain his amazing insight into online
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