The Incursion hose.

Post: 

Buried in the numbers CCP Diagoras has been posting for the last week or so is another tidbit that we previously had no data on: the contribution of Incursions. It's quite a lot nastier than many might have thought…

To begin with, as the numbers in my previous post show, a single day of incursions injects roughly one third as much ISK as all of the bounty pay-outs combined, or twice as much as the mission rewards and time bonuses combined. In all of January, bounties and missions injected some 31.4 trillion ISK (27.03 trillion from bounties, and 4.37 trillion in agent rewards).

Let's (incorrectly) assume for a second that all of that is due to missions; that no-one ever rats or runs any complexes or anomalies that might generate NPC bounty payouts. During the period, some 180k characters ran missions, which means that in January, the average mission runner earned 177 million ISK. That equates to 5.7 million ISK per character per day.

During the same period, some 8.13 trillion ISK — again, roughly one third of the amount paid out by our inflated mission-running number — was paid out to incursion runners. So how much does that equate to per runner? As it turns out, some 169.5 million ISK per participant for a single day(!) Granted, that February 1st number is about 15% higher than the average if you look at the total payout mentioned by CCP Diagoras, so maybe it's only on average 145 million ISK per incursion runner per day… but that's still as much as the average mission runner makes in a month, even using our inflated mission income numbers. In reality, those mission numbers are lower since the missions don't account for all the bounties, so their income could even be as low as half that number (assuming a 1:4 ratio between agent rewards and bounty income on a standard mission). No wonder the incursion community has become so tightly wound and protective, considering the vast improvement in income it represents over standard missions.

Now, as Mara Rinn points out in a flood of posts in response to the first version of this post, the comparison perhaps is a bit lopsided. The mission average probably includes a ton of people who just run mass-run L3 couriers for standing and similar (very) low-paying missions — missions serve more purposes than just earning ISK, which introduces an interfering variable into the mix. On the other hand, the mission average also includes bots spamming missions 23.5/7, which should bring that average right back up. As for his argument that people run mission until they have “enough” ISK and then go off and do something else, sure, maybe… but then that's probably true for incursions as well, so the effect will be much the same: people take the shortest route to the ISK they need for the month and then go off and have fun with it. It should affect both averages equally.

Another comment made on twitter was that the incursion average might be skewed higher because they pay (a fair bit) more in low and nullsec. That would be true if it weren't for low and null bringing the average down:

@CCP_Diagoras:
1st Feb, payout by sec group for incursions div. by # of participants; High: 171,948,377, Low: 141,711,651, Null: 162,743,409.09

Granted, they didn't drag the average down by much since the number of low/nullsec incursions run is very low:

@CCP_Diagoras:
In Jan 2012, 91.63% of Incursion payouts were in High sec, 3.31% low sec, 5.07% null sec.