The theory behind the alternative EVE corporation

Sunday, 18 August, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

1Bitcoin is going to be a month old in about a week. So far it's doing okay what with 150 ME / 50 PE Raven BPO, 80 ME / 50 PE Megatron BPO, tons of researched rig BPOs, billions in ships, modules, minerals, Space Station apparata and whatnot. Probably worth something towards 20 Billion ISK by now, all told. EVE players worth more than that definitely exist. Not many. EVE corporations worth more than that also definitely exist. Also not many. None of these people or corporations are a month old, however, and none are going to be a month old in about a week (or twelve days if you're one for precision).

Differences in results always match up with differences in ideology, no matter what the defeated might be saying. The difference of ideology is well captured in this discussion, earlier today :

Bingo Severasse > Morning. I got your mail about the "Incident" with the new recruit.
Alina Onescu > Heh. He's like 3 years old too, I dunno what he imagined he'd do.

Bingo Severasse > And all to kill a retriever.
Alina Onescu > With nothing on it lol. This game actually has a lot in common with Bitcoin tbh. Anyone can scam. It's not really worth anyone's time, not really, but hey.

Bingo Severasse > It sure seems to. I'm wondering who the new guy is in the bitcoiniverse.
Alina Onescu > I doubt he's anyone. Bah all retriever bps are like 2bn. Do you want to haul some retrievers ?

Bingo Severasse > Sure. I could haul some retrievers. I'm just brining the shiny new mission ship back to Iro.
Alina Onescu > Which ship is that ? 3.75k m3 packaged. Can you fit 10 ?

Bingo Severasse > Historicity I picked it up because with a few different modules it might work as a Thorax killer. I can probably fit 9.
Alina Onescu > Ok, here's what we do : I give you cash for 9, you fly to Rens, Brutor Tribe Treasury, buy 9, come back. That work ?

Bingo Severasse > Is there somewhere closer, or is Rens just that Good a price?
Alina Onescu > 26.3mn, cheapest in the world. One at 25mn if it will still be there.

Bingo Severasse > It might take a while, but I can probably do it.
Alina Onescu > Hmm, actually you have a point. How's Leva ? 7 jumps. 26.5 there.

Bingo Severasse > 7 Jumps is good.
Alina Onescu > Coolness. 9 or 8 ?

Bingo Severasse > I can fit 9. If the price is that good I might make a second trip to bring more to Iro for sale.
Alina Onescu > I'm thinking put a coupla for sale, use one, have the rest in corp storage if anyone eneds them. So imo 9 is plenty.

Bingo Severasse > Sounds good.
Alina Onescu > I'ma run over to Jita pick up some trims meanwhile.

Bingo Severasse > Cool, just docking in Iro to pick up the Itty.
Alina Onescu > Were you thinking of moving into manufacturing after hauling ? Or was it mining ?

Bingo Severasse > Probably a bit of both. Get a retriever after the freighter since that is only one week more. Then look into manufactering.
Alina Onescu > Yeah, I've done the research, Retriever way best t1 miner.

Bingo Severasse > A Covertor might be better if we routinely mined in huge fleets with support, but that's quite a ways out.
Alina Onescu > Honestly, I'm not so sure we even want that model. Every other corp does that. It has problems, as the bigger you get the more it costs and there's ganking even of Orcas. I think we could do great like the Dutch did it in the 1600s, or the Venetians in the 1300s. Just... loosely federated independent agents.

Bingo Severasse > Yeah, that probably works better.
Alina Onescu > Sure, you don't get "perfect" results. Until you sit down and figure the perfection out.

Bingo Severasse > A mining op still is probably only perfect on paper as well. I imagine there are quite a few inefficiencies that creep in.
Alina Onescu > Moreover, the admin anal probing necessary to keep it "perfect" ruins the game for everyone.

Bingo Severasse > Yeah. And once the Orca and haulers get their cut mining solo was probably the better choice in the first place.
Alina Onescu > Fact of the matter is, I still made 20mn mining yest in spite of losing a barge. I'm very curious if a ganked orca + 10 miners => 1.5bn losses could say the same. And that's counting on 7-8 of them surviving. If all 10 die in pimped out hulks it's like 7bn or some shit.

Bingo Severasse > I doubt they could. Especially since the Orca has a bay with moar ships for them to lose.
Alina Onescu > Right hehe.

Bingo Severasse > Yeah the T2 mining barges seem rather excessive.
Alina Onescu > They give slightly more, I'd use it in high sec. But I mostly mine in WHi these days. I wouldn't hulk there.

Bingo Severasse > And think about all the other activites you could train skills for beyond that slight improvement in mining output. Things like trade skills to place more orders, manufactering skills...
Alina Onescu > yea

Bingo Severasse > Since there were only 12 retrievers there I bought them all. I'll be returning here later to find a good place to sell my 3. Your 9 are on the way to Iro nao.

Now let's go into the intricate detail of all this.

I. The open corporation model. Some guy called IIIMAPOBOgKA approached me last night wanting to join. Within ten minutes he was in, and within half an hour he had blown up my Retriever. Something like this :

[ 2013.08.17 21:04:39 ] Alina Onescu > welcome new member.
[ 2013.08.17 21:04:45 ] Alina Onescu > make sure you read the bulletins
[ 2013.08.17 21:04:55 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > thanks
[ 2013.08.17 21:04:59 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > will read :)
[ 2013.08.17 21:05:05 ] Astor Mayfair > o hey, welcome
[ 2013.08.17 21:07:36 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > wow, a lot to read :)
[ 2013.08.17 21:07:41 ] Alina Onescu > :)
[ 2013.08.17 21:12:48 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > you guys mining and need orca boost ?
[ 2013.08.17 21:13:06 ] Alina Onescu > i am mining atm in iro but not sure orca boost is worth your time
[ 2013.08.17 21:13:28 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > bah eating my lunch and readin news :)

* insert sound of Retriever going pop *

[ 2013.08.17 21:25:58 ] Alina Onescu > lol
[ 2013.08.17 21:26:15 ] IIIMAPOBOgKA > lol

That's about it, I sent a corporation circular with the kill mail and I guess I'll sack the guy when I get around to it or whatever. Now let's take a moment to quote here from the wisdom of the crow(d) :

Checklist Before Accepting New Members Into Your Corp
Employment History -- Email past CEOs about the character. What are their past corps like? Are they all one man corps? Bad sign. Lots closed? Also bad.
Contracts Info--Whatever is currently public is worth looking at.
google search: eve online + Character Name The most amazing stuff comes up.
Have they left public info settings on their character? Certificates and the like. Awards.
Standings -- What's public and what's not at this point?
API number check -- Full API is what's called for. Don't let them sweet talk you into limited API. YOU CAN'T HURT ANYONE OR HACK THEIR ACCOUNT USING THESE NUMBERS.
test eve api site This is hard on the eyes, but interesting
test eve api another site This is easier to use
People & Places-- Search Character name to find any similar names and see what corps they are in etc. This is very very useful for info on corps and characters
Dotlan EVE Maps and Corp Info
Check their killboards for ships flown etc.
crime and punishment forums -- Do a search for that character's name (athough a google search should cover it)
Interview in EVE Audio if they claim not to have Teamspeak.
Audio interview

This is the stuff you have to do before accepting people in your corp. But why ? Supposedly so you don't accept someone who then attacks your other members.

Sounds good in theory, but does it actually work in practice ? Let us quote more to see!

To The Watchmen of EVE
An open letter from Praxis Astra

Good evening. Gentlemen. Ladies.

Its good to see so many of you at this webcast tonight. All of you have corps and alliances to look out for; people who depend on you even if they don't know it. And this channel, while not open, can't help but compromise some of you. Let's make this brief.

You have deliberately moved in silence. I respect that silence and would never break something so valuable to us all.

But I will say, on behalf of the people you protect. Thank you. Thanks for doing what watchmen always do: tracing a circle in the dirt with the tip of your sword and putting everything on the line to keep everyone in the circle safe. You know you'll fail. Everyone who does it fails. But it has to be done.

And some of its exciting but a lot of it is tedious. You spend a lot of time watching. You watch your charges. Or you watch the watchers of your charges. You watch yourself, because you might weaken or make mistakes and that just isn't permissible. Not when their safety is at stake. You are the ones who stay alert when everyone else is mining or chatting or talking in the voice comms.

And, worst of all, the work you do can only be measured by what doesn't happen. The thefts, cons, blue kills, ambushes, and sabotage that doesn't succeed or even get started. Insult to injury, even you won't know how well you really did. Not like all the other people with ISK and killmails and stats.

You just get a feeling that this guy should be passed over for membership, and you act on it. Its like that.

They won't thank you and they don't thank you and why should they? The better you do your job the more invisible you will be. You want to be able to stand right next to two members gossiping and for them to have no memory of you being there, after all is said and done.

You are the Watchmen of EVE and the less we know we need you the more we surely do.

Can you believe that crap ? "A circle in the dirt" ? "The less we give a shit the more needed you are" ? How about no ? Just, you know, no.

Not needed, not useful and not productive. Just more pointless security theatre of the typical US sort. Just more faggoty circlejerkingii of the online crowd. Just more nothing to keep people busy dreaming their life away.

1Bitcoin is not about that. 1Bitcoin is about ISK/hour, and consequently it's never getting any of this pseudosecurity. There's just no point, we're not in the business of feeding people's illusions of their own importance. That's a different business model.iii

II. The Corporation Credits system. Perhaps you've noticed in the original conversation the part where I sent a corporation member about a quarter billion ISK on a whim, and together with the foregoing you're thinking I'm pretty fucking stupid, even for a noob. Perhaps you're right, but let's consider one of those bulletins the actual newb didn't read in spite of claiming otherwise :

Corporation Credits System

If you mine, you may dump your ore in the 1Bitcoin hangar in Iro IX - Moon 6 - Ishukone Corporation Warehouse. If you mission or salvage, you may dump your random mods/salvageables in the 1Bitcoin hangar, same place. Provided you notify Alina Onescu with the total value of your dump (as shown by your inventory interface) you will be credited that value by the Corporation.

Should you wish to obtain any item in the Corporation hangars for your own personal use, you may ask for it. Your request will likely be granted, especially if you have enough credit with the Corporation to cover its value. Even without any credit you have a pretty good shot getting tech 1 mods, ammo and whatnot.

Should you wish to obtain items in the Corporation hangars to resell them in some market you should specify this. You are expected to pay a 10% premium over the inventory value of the items. Other than that you are not expected to share your profits, kudos to you for having found a market.

You may also redeem your credit for cash, at 90% of the face value. Your request will normally be processed the same day, often enough instantly. The point of this system is to allow people who don't have the patience or aren't interested in playing the markets to still extract most of the value of their own work while also helping the Corporation as a whole. There are significant economies of scale to be realised simply by pooling together random loots as selling them one by one isn't too efficient.

Once your credit with the Corporation passes the value of one share (currently trading 2.4bn/2.6bn), you will be granted that share. You may redeem it for cash or for S.MPOE shares as detailed in the Corp Shares bulletin.

A special bulletin will be periodically updated to include the present and historical total credit of Corporation members. Those with historical totals over 1, 10 and 100 bn ISK will receive the the appropiate decorations.

This system, which I imagine to have invented until such a time as someone comes forth with proof of an earlier implementation, works superbly and has a bevy of advantages. One of them is that I may send a quarter billion to a member without concern : he had about half a billion credit with the corp at that time.

It's not a matter of sticking things in everyone's anus to "make sure" they're honest. It's a matter of creating an environment where honest people can live sane lives. That's what 1Bitcoin is all about, at odds with both church and state.iv

So yes, random missioneer or miner saves a lot of time through the unlimited marketplace that the Corporation hangars constitute. This time means, you've guessed it, better ISK/hour. I, as the CEO, and by extension anyone that trusts me can then extend credit to Corporation members, on the basis of their CC. This increases ISK velocity, which means, you've guessed it again, better ISK/hour. Corporation makes a little predictable spread, born tradesmen have a dazzling array of items to work their trade with, the benefits are endless. Nothing can stand up to the power of good organisation, neither church nor state.

III. Imperfect perfection. Let's quote the Complete Miner's Guide by Halada :

Achieving perfection

There are many skills and modules that will increase your yield in this game. It is possible for a miner to max those skills and achieve what I like to call, "the Perfect Miner". A perfect miner is someone who has no other possibility to increase his yield.

The problem with perfection, at least as implemented in EVE, is that costs swell liniarly at best and often geometrically, whereas returns diminish. People usually realise the problems with researching ME past 100 or 1000 or whatever, but don't usually realise the problems with modules, or ships, or characters.

To help drive this point home, the early part of that first quote : I can lose two full sets of my tools of the trade each day and still call that day a wash. My current setup yields about 52k m3 of ore an hour, nominally. I could get a theoretical 108k as the absolute maximum of the "perfect miner". That's roughly double the output. I would need about 10-20x as much capital locked in ships, modules and implants however. In that situation each time I die I lose ten days' work, not half a day's work. Is it "better" ? In which sense of the word, better ? If I die once a week in my current outfit I make six and a half days' worth of ore, net. If I die once a week in the maxed outfit I make negative three double days' worth of ore. Basically I lose about as much as the "cheap" "noob" makes.

Oh, that may be me, but you won't die once a week ? Why not, cause you're special ? EVE is player driven, and players are idiots, just like you. They're going to go after the pimped out Hulk much more so than they'll go after the humble Retriever. There's no Venturaggedon, is there ? So no, you are going to die a lot more often in the high end ship, no matter what. Because the better it is the more it costs, and exponentially so, and the more it costs the bigger a brag it is, and that's that.

Mind that all this doesn't even begin to paint the whole picture. Do you know what the difference between me and the three year old wanna-be griefer is ? I have a little over a million Skill Points. He has well over thirty million. So what, good for him, right ? Good for him indeed, except avatars can be traded, which means they have a value. It's not simply a matter of Retriever at 20mn vs Hulk at 500mn. As Bingo astutely points out the whole story is Retriever + 1 mn SP vs Hulk + 30mn SP. A hundred million, if you will, versus ten billion or so.

Yes, it's true that toons can't quite be lost like the ships can, unless you manage to get banned or something (which from what I understand is blessfully rare). But the "loss" is not the whole story, there's such a thing as cost of opportunity. Having your capital locked into a toon denies that same capital to any other application. This is true irrespective of how you came to own the toon, whether you grew it yourself or just found it on the street one day. It's true irrespective of how you view things, of whether you consider the toon to be "you" or anything else. Opportunity cost's a bitch, and I wouldn't be spending an hour of my time trying to pop a Retriever for some tech I modules and a stack of Pyroxeres even at one million SP. I certainly wouldn't do it at thirty, it's just not worth my time.

But then again that's me, and I play ISK/hour. Other people play different games. Here's a secret tho : once someone playing ISK/hour is in the house nobody else can win anymore. That's the cultural heritage of Europe, of which cultural heritage I'm a proud if currently lone harbinger. It's not about "feelings", it's not about "fairness" and it sure as hell isn't about "equality". Not once someone playing ISK/hour is in the house, at any rate.

  1. Wormhole space, this particular sort of lawless territory. []
  2. Hey, fun fact, did you know EVE is 99.68% male, whereas 1 Bitcoin is 71.43% male, something like fifty-eight standard deviations away ? []
  3. It is, in fact, the model of all frauds in all times and in all places, starting with all religions and all governments all the way down to the three card monte artists in the gutter. In the gutter of the street that the government built, from church to church. []
  4. The state is all about creating environments where honest people can't live at all for the sake of the contemptible, whereas the church is all about creating environments where honest people can't live at all for the sake of the imaginary. Supposedly these two should be different, or at least separate. I fail to see either difference or separation. []
Category: Trolloludens
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8 Responses

  1. Haha this reminds me.. was mining some arkanor and bistot in wormspace with beginner equipment and practically unarmed venture and got mail "u should cloak yourself, stay safe"... but i don't get it. Only first trip paid the whole ship over many times, blowing it up after that would be only a minor annoyance. I play more for fun than for ISK/hour, but I don't see much fun in being so overly careful when you're immortal, either.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 19 August 2013

    Actually Ark is a bad choice, as it only pays about 240 whereas stuff like Hedbergite/Hemorphite pays 250. More importantly, because of the volume rounding (Ark is 16m3, H's are 3m3) you get even worse results with Ark.

    Consider a ship with 156 m3 per cycle, which is about where the Venture was iirc. That means either 9 Ark per cycle (ie, 144 m3) or 52 H/H per cycle (ie, 156 m3). So you can either make 34.56 with Ark or 39 with H/H, almost 13% difference.

    I'm only going through all this detail to make sure you know about it and how to calculate it, otherwise as far as one trip is concerned who cares. But you may find stuff like Celeste's chart useful.

  3. Thanks, good chart with even more interesting graphs...where almost all raw materials' prices decline on Jita last week, does 1Bitcoin have something to do with it? :)

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 19 August 2013

    No because 1BTC isn't sufficiently veteran to have a meaningful impact on the game.

  5. Hey MP.. I require your assistance and not sure how to get ahold of you..
    Hoping to trade my skills for your bills again brethren.

    Why MP is my god!

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 23 August 2013

    Either on irc or here.

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