Moar economy! Now clustered and compared.

Post: 

So, yeah… why just leave the numbers there and not do something with them that might at first glance somewhat resemble something that could be confused with remotely useful?

First of all, let's see if we can spot some trends:

  • Market transactions are up 59% since 2010.
  • Bounty payouts are up by 2.3%
  • Agent mission rewards are up by 8.3%.
  • Agent mission bonuses are up by 12.2%
  • In total, “PvE payouts” are up by 33.3%
  • LP store transactions are up by 35.9%.
  • Broker fee spendings are up by 36.4%.
  • Sales tax spendings are up by 33.9%
  • Clone spendings are up by 34.2%
  • Insurance payments are up by 57.6% and pay-outs are up by 12.4%.
  • PI construction is up by 106%

At first, one might have guessed that the drastically increased LP store use was due to the introduction of incursions, but seeing as how it sits pretty much in the middle of the road of all the other activity and especially considering that if you combine all the “PvE” income (bounties, incursions and mission rewards) it is 33% higher than the old combined PvE income, the conclusion should perhaps be the opposite: it's not LP store use that has gone up spectacularly, but mission-running and ratting (in its various forms) that has gone down, relatively speaking.

The increased competition from incursions as a means of earning a hgh-end income and the anomaly nerf that happened after the last set of numbers were provided can explain why neither bounties nor missions have increased at nearly the same pace as other economy-affecting activities. The median increase is somewhere in the region of 35%, which might be used as a basis if we want to speculate about or extrapolate new (otherwise missing) numbers from the old numbers we have.

The PI number is pretty much safe to disregard at this point since PI has changed quite significantly in the mean time: links have been made cheaper, and at the same time, the introduction of POCOs might have shifted people's willingness to install new sites, not to mention forcing some to tear down their own installations and rebuild them elsewhere. An increased (re)creation cost beyond the normal is pretty much to be expected with this increase in dynamics. Likewise, this change means we can't really use our median number to make any useful extrapolations from the old PI import and export taxes — the tax rates are completely different and are no longer clear-cut ISK sinks.

Next, let's look at the market:

  • Market transactions: 9.33 trillion ISK, up from 5.85 trillion in 2010 — a 59% increase as previously mentioned.
  • Broker fees: 63.8 billion ISK, up from 46.78 billion in 2010 — a 36% increase.
  • Sales tax: 56.5 billion ISK, up from 42.2 billion in 2010 — a 34% increase.
  • Taxes and fees sunk 1.29% of the traded ISK value, compared to 1.35% in 2010 — a reduction of 15%.

Unlike the previous erroneous numbers, this passes a basic sanity test. This change falls within what could be considered reasonable when we simply have more trades done by higher-skilled and/or higher-standing traders than a year and a half ago.

Now we can look at some paired faucets and sinks, including a nice new stat that we didn't have before:

  • NPC trading injected 337.4 billion ISK and sunk 429.7 billion, for a total NPC market sink of 92.3 billion ISK.
  • “Loyalty-point PvE” (for the lack of a better term to cluster missions and incursions together) injected 447.7 billion ISK through rewards and bonuses and sunk 183.9 billion through the LP store, for a total influx of 263.8 billion ISK.¹
  • “Bounty-based PvE” (missions again just to make matters complicated, complexes, anomalies, ratting) has no similar counter-balancing sink and thus simply inject their 896 billion ISK.
  • No new insurance numbers were given for 2012, but in 2010, ship insurances cost 43.02 billion ISK and paid out 111.9 billion, for a total injection of 68.9 billion ISK. If this follows the trend, it should be somewhere around 93 billion ISK injected in 2012.
    Updated: numbers for February 5th were provided after this was posted. Insurance for the day in question amounted to a cost of 125.8 billion and payouts of 67.8 billion for a total injection of 58 billion ISK.

Of these, the NPC market was perhaps the biggest surprise (well… aside from incursions, the sizeable effect of which incursion-runners always tried to down-play — the surprise is mostly that they down-played it this much). When discussing the previous faucet/sink day slice, everyone pretty much agreed that the NPC market probably wasn't all that significant a factor, but as these numbers show, it's actually by far the biggest sink and the second-largest faucet. When balancing sale orders against buy orders, its total effect as a sink is still relatively big: it is only beaten by the LP store.

Another potential surprise was the updated insurance numbers: less was injected during this day than the day slice back in 2010, largely due to insurance payments making up a much larger part of the pay-outs during the day CCP Diagoras checked. This can be attributed to a number of things. First of all, since CONCORD-induced deaths no longer pay out any insurance, the amounts paid out should naturally be lower than expected, but on the other hand, the insurance costs should be lower as well — no-one is going to insure a suicide ship if it doesn't pay anything back. With on average 604 ganking ship invalidating their insurance per day the preceding month, this could make a difference of a couple of tens of billions, depending on what ships are used. However, the more likely story is probably that insurances are not really well measured using a single day as a sample. The insurance process has a twelve-week life span, and the activation of the contracts will vary heavily depending on what is going on in the universe, so there is nothing that ensures that there is a daily balance between input and output. Ships insured today in preparation for the big fight tomorrow will either show up as a massive sink (if the day before the fight is used as the sample), or as a massive faucet (if the fight day is used). This is a case where the daily variance can be very high, and average numbers — preferably spanning the 12 weeks an insurance contract covers — would be far more accurate.

An interesting added detail to this that was posted later was that, out of the 337.4 billion/day injection from NPC buy orders, some 223.9 billion of that came from sleeper components. This actually makes w-space a fairly significant source of injected ISK.

¹ As Liang Nuren suggests here, we can probably backtrack some additional ISK sinks that come of this. Based on my completely anecdotal experiences and rough guesstimates, this would also incur a taxes-and-fees sink of 3.86 billion ISK. My (severe lack of) logic behind this number is: a cost of somewhere around 900 ISK for every LP in the store (high-volume items tend to adhere to the 1:1000 ratio, single items tend more towards a 1:300 ratio, but are fewer in number and also tend to include item costs that give us roughly the same ratio); an average of 1k ISK profit per LP (so sinking 900 ISK into a single LP means you expect to earn 1900 from selling it, many prefer to try for higher but as the LP piles up, low-return/high-volume becomes the only option to get rid of the points); so 1k ISK sunk into the store means ~2.1k market value, taxed and fee:ed at a total of ~1% (21 ISK) for a final conversion rate of 21 ISK additional ISK sunk through taxes for every 1k ISK sunk into the LP store. I have no doubt others can come up with a better estimate.