Some people know that I tend to put a lot of sell and buy orders on the market, and just as I cry a little when I make crazy buy orders and quietly cheer when I make profits, I often find myself wondering on the value of things. I say value, because I want to get a bit abstract in this one. But we’ll start with the basics and work up to the theory.
Show Me Da Money, Honey!
We all know about your basic cashflow situation in-game. Try to make more ISK than you lose when your stuff inevitably gets blown up. ISK is the lifeblood of any (active) pod pilot. We rely upon ISK generation to engage in what we shall call ‘funsies’. You make your ISK – in an innumerable variety of ways – and subsequently fritter it all away on shiny ships, modules, implants, boosters, or whatever else floats your boat. Its like real life except with less rent (for most of us), and more explosions (again, for most of us).
Everyone who’s ever made a billion ISK remembers that crowning moment; the sense of achievement that comes from gaining an extra digit on the end of your wallet’s display. Some will remember hitting ten or a hundred billion as well.
Then we have the recently-introduced Aurum. Skimming right over all the controversy surrounding this one, we can simply imply that (for the ‘foreseeable future’) Aurum is for your characters to get dressed up in a selection of different clothing items ranging in price from the expensive to the extortionate. It also has the potential to be used to other vanity items such as custom paint jobs on ships. I should also note that the market upon which this currency is used – the ‘Noble Exchange’ – is run by an Amarr corporation, and as such shouldn’t be used at all.
But then again, I might be biased.
But what else is there?
How can one measure trust? You can’t. Its a soft property; a direct counterpart to the hard properties of something you can see and touch (at least in an in-game sense), like ISK and Aurum. Its not something you can grind for over a weekend. Its not something you can gain by playing the markets. Its not something you create when you run those industry jobs.
Its something far more precious.
In a game where everyone is institutionalised into a mentality of “don’t trust anyone”, trust has to be one of the most valuable ‘assets’ in New Eden.
But just as you cannot fly around in space and ‘make’ trust, likewise, you cannot fly around in space and ‘spend’ it either. Lets take a practical example.
Chribba is a very rich miner. He has eleventy thousand characters all living under his little umbrella organisation. But where his real wealth lies, is in the trust people place in him; his third-party services are known and respected throughout the game. His external services (such as EVE-Files and EVE-Search) are well-established, useful tools that everyone has come to know and love. He’s made a name for himself as someone in the community, and he has more trust than anybody else.
Bypassing the commonly-believed truth that Chribba has considerably more ISK than you, the trust that hundreds (possibly even thousands by this point) of pilots have placed on him and the services he provides, and his unwavering sense of duty to abide by whatever the rules of the service are, makes him incredibly wealthy; way beyond what any number of digits in his wallet could possibly imply.
Its not all roses and champagne though. Just as it takes a long time to build up trust, its takes no time at all to lose it. You only have to look at the many cases of massive corp thefts, crazy scams that nobody saw coming (and even those where most people did), and dodgy IPOs to see that while there’s the odd instance of the ‘perpetrator’ continuing on with that character – milking the glory and fame it brings – the majority drift into obscurity. Most likely depositing all the valuables onto a holding character and then buying a shiny uber-pilot for whatever they need. And the reason is that nobody is likely to trust them again in the future. I say ‘likely’ of course, because we all know about how often Tyrrax Thorrk has gotten away with stealing people’s stuff only to do it again a year down the line and everyone still be shocked that it happened. This actually makes me laugh.
But anyway, I feel I’m drifting off on a tangent.
There’s other currencies as well. Reputation is a good counter to trust, because while one can have a reputation of being trustworthy, the space pirate ninja, for example, has an entirely different reputation. Nobody is arguing that she hasn’t got any influence though.
And that’s the focal point of this discussion: influence. Everyone has some – to varying degrees – and everyone uses that influence differently.
Do you influence your fellow pilots in a positive or negative way?
Note: If you want to know more, read this and start exploring from there.