BB 49 – What is “rich” in EVE? Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality? Can you actually be poor? Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back? If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?
One of my Grandmothers was asset poor, lived in a council retirement unit, and survived on the pension. She never seemed to do anything, instead staying at home complaining about money and her struggles.
At the time I knew an elderly man who was also asset poor, lived in a retirement unit, and survived on the pension. He was never home, always out on some tour or visiting people. He made the very most of his limited income, and took full advantage of all the subsidised resources and activities available to him.
Two people with the same circumstances, yet one’s life was rich, and the other’s was poor.
I saw this contrasting example in my early teens, and I’ve seen the same thing over and over again since.
Wealth is not a number; it is a frame of mind.
So how does that relate to EVE?
I think an EVE player is wealthy when they are happy that they have enough ISK to achieve their goals and meet their needs, with a buffer for replacements. It is the point where they don’t need to grind ISK if they don’t want to.
By my own definition, I consider myself wealthy in game. My version of wealth currently comes to 21.0B ISK in the bank, 20.5B ISK of Assets, and some 700+ researched BPO. It was gained slowly over time through dabbling in mining, mission running, manufacturing, exploration, PI and trade – whatever took my interest at the time. It might be considered a paltry sum to some, or a King’s ransom to others.
That’s the thing about wealth – it means different things to different people.
If all you do is PVP in frigates, a few hundred million ISK might cover all your needs. Someone focused on Null Sec battles might be comfortable with a fleet of Alliance Doctrine hulls and the means to move and replace them. Someone focused on owning Supercarriers will need a much higher bank balance.
If that isn’t a vague enough answer, wealth is also fluid. What makes you happy one day might be insufficient the next. Your circumstances can change – a month of losing battles, altered goals, or even just giving too much credence to keeping up with the Jones. If a player feels they are forced to go back to grinding ISK again, then they have probably dropped out of the zone of what they consider wealthy.
Of course in contrast to being wealthy, you can also be poor. I suspect most new players spend the first year or so of the game feeling poor – I know I did. Always having to save up for that next skill book or hull upgrade. Having to undock in ships you really couldn’t afford to lose. Or maybe you are like my Grandmother, and it doesn’t matter how much ISK you have, you will never be happy.
I have only lost everything once in the game – and that was within the first week of playing. I had mined furiously and sold off everything I had to afford my first destroyer. Within minutes of undocking someone had suicide ganked me. I also remember changes in circumstances where my wealth was suddenly insufficient – the transition from Hi Sec to Null Sec saw my reserves quickly depleted. Buying that first Carrier was a big hit. I had a couple of times where the bulk of my assets came close to being locked in stations we subsequently lost access to. If there wasn’t that risk of being poor however, I am not sure EVE would hold the same allure or feeling of accomplishment.
So now that I have suggested that you are wealthy when you feel like you are, I am going to say that wealth does not actually make you rich in EVE. The rich players are those that love the game and are thoroughly entertained by it. And for that, you don’t need ISK, you just need the right frame of mind.
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