The Monthly Economic Report (MER) was released by CPP yesterday and it resoundingly announces: GOONS WIN! GOONS WIN!
That headline will be met with copious amounts of disdain from those Grrr Goons, Hat Goons types. I have to agree with Aryth’s comments a few weeks ago on Talking in Stations. The MER is perfect recruiting material for Goons. It feels a little like sticking it to “The Man”. Nerf all you want…we’ll just mine more.
All fun and cheerleading aside, the MER is a valuable tool of information for those willing to try to interpret the numbers.
What’s wrong with the MER?
The MER is a bit controversial. Some players believe it is too much information that is provided with no risk to players. Some think it is wonderful and provides insight into the inner workings of Eve Online.
I think the MER in and of itself is a terrible piece of information. Certain things in the course of natural gameplay should simply not be known. Snuggled away in my box of goodies, that would not happen in a normal universe, is the Economic data from SOV space. Alas, we live in CCP’s universe and they make the rules. I think they need to consider 60 days (preferably 90 days) delay in future releases if they plan to continue this little endeavour.
Outside the fact that this data really should not be out there for public consumption; this data is interesting to players. If CCP is going to provide it, we might as well consume it until they decide otherwise. From a pure data perspective, more detailed data would be even more interesting.
Imagine if we could correlate the data to the local population, we might have some interesting facts to investigate. Or, if we actually had real raw data rather than just the rolled up data in CSV files, used to make the current graphs, we could do some in-depth analysis.
Delve mined value jumps 26% to 9T ISK.
In my last article, I noted that changes CCP is making to mining and excavator drones were going to be negligible at the 6.7T level. If it was too high at 6.7T ISK the latest nerf should only impact Delve by the May increase. This is assuming more people are not going to move the Delve to mine even more.
The quiet but growing area of Deklein has seen mining increase 28% from 1.5T to 2.1T ISK. Imports are rising slowly and production has increased 28% as well. It’s like the scene in Wedding Crashers where Will Ferrel’s character says, “What is she doing in there?” Clearly, there is a meatloaf or two cooking in the ovens of Deklein
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
There is no way for me to validate the following information entirely. It is presented to show how taking these numbers out of context or making assumptions based on them can be dangerous for both players and CCP.
Delve mining is the big number that jumps out at everyone. But is it really that concerning? Let’s compare Delve, Deklien and Providence. I have to estimate population density. Based on the membership numbers of SOV holding alliances/corporations. This is a quick and dirty analysis. Like CCP’s rolled up numbers take these with a grain of salt.
Region Mining ISK Per Capita
Delve 269,496,145 ISK
Deklein 218,704,436 ISK
Providence 64,315,575 ISK
Providence is hard to nail down in real numbers for two reasons. They let players who are not members of the SOV holders in, and there has been conflict during May that can lower the overall numbers significantly. Provi has never been a hub of mining activity either. If we look at historical numbers, which we know are low, due to issues gathering the data properly, we don’t see much deviation. Given that these are only estimates.
The interesting comparison is Deklein and Delve not being so far apart when you consider per capita comparisons. Couple that with the number being under 300 million ISK per character/per month and those numbers that look huge lose the impact the report appears to show.
Deklein and Provi have similar population numbers. This shows the difference between organised Nullsec groups and more loosely coupled organisations. Delve has almost 4 times the population density of either of these two.
The report data is OP like other information CCP has made openly available via the API. Like a bag of Doritos and a six-pack of Mountain Dew, you’re not going to put it down just because it isn’t good for you. There is a lot of interesting little tidbits tucked away in the report if you are willing to look. The reality isn’t always what it seems to be at a glance. Lastly, CCP needs to re-assess how this and other OP information is shared with players.