A year ago, this PLEX was right around the 500M mark. In terms of ISK/day, it meant I had to earn just over 15M/day in order to stay afloat, not to mention all the shiny ships and fancy skillbooks I needed to have. While I started my career in a mining corporation, it wasn't long before I felt the call of wormholes and started my adventure on this path of being a wormhole CEO. Since then, planetary interaction has been my bread and butter. It is fairly simple for a character with only a couple weeks training to easily pull in 10M/day. This requires dedication and a daily interaction with the planets but when you consider three characters per account, that 30M easily covers the PLEX and then some.
Fast forward a year (almost) and I now run three accounts, all paid with PLEX beyond the initial startup but that same PLEX now costs me right around 775M. That works out to almost 25M/day, more if you factor in missing days. Despite our love, most of us can't play EVE every single day of the year. That PI that once funded the accounts so easily is now scraping the bottom of the barrel and barely covering the expense. And because of how my alt characters are structured, my three accounts equates to 6 PI characters. Before, that was 1.8B per month to pay for 1.5B in PLEX. Now that 1.8B doesn't cover the 2.3B needed.
Thus I often find myself doing the dreaded ISK/hr calculation
- PI - 60M/day, 6 characters, about 1 hour of work, 60M/hr
- Ice mining (I have an alt that does this) - 20M/hr
- C3 wormhole anomalies - 60M/hr
When you start to combine the two (ISK/day for PLEX and ISK/hr value) you start to factor in how much time you can spend in EVE. It starts to color your view on everything you do: "If I can run wormhole anomalies for 2 hours on a weekend night, that equals 4 days of time". Quite a slippery slope I find myself on.
Of course, not every activity in EVE requires you to be in game to take advantage of it. Lately I have been experimenting with market activities. It stemmed from my ice mining where my co-founder and I saw the value in refined products over raw products and I moved from mining ice to buying ice and refining for profit using my co-founders standings. This worked well until the isotope market made some moves that made the refining where we were operating less profitable to the point of it being "not worth it". This was just a pure numbers game. It was a regional issue since the value in Jita was still much better, just required hauling.
Since I had trained to fly a freighter, I looked for intra-regional and inter-regional buys I could make that would net a profit. That 25M/day was not hard number to hit but by the end of the month, when the PLEX man cometh, my capital was reduced by a harsh 760M (I found a deal on PLEX that day) and my ISK making velocity had decreased again dramatically. It takes money to make money and EVE is no different. I not only needed the ISK stream to hit the PLEX goal but also plenty of ISK on top of that to keep the wallet flush for the next market buy.
As an aside, at some time I would like to write up some thoughts on the EVE market. It vexes me. I read plenty of other blogs like marketsforisk or EVE PLEX in 21 days which revel in the ISK that can be made on the market hand over fist. I must be very bad at it because I can't seem to implement the concept with any degree of success. Even Sugar Kyle with her inspirational low-sec store leaves me frustrated with my own inability to implement the same idea.
As the head of a corporation, there are additional aspects to my game I have to keep in mind. Most notably, how to fund the corporation. Similar to how I view each of my accounts as distinct entities (with very little sharing of resources between them), the corporation too has its own identity and goals. As wormhole residents, we have towers to fuel which equate to PLEX as without them, the corporation ceases to function. As such, the corporation has an income goal that it must reach, but it can only reach this goal via some very specific methods. Yes, we have corporation taxes but most of our players are not operating in normal space where bounties are paid out. For those that do occasionally, we appreciate every penny. We gain income from our customs offices, but that is dependent on our members taking advantage of PI. Generally speaking this is good income for us but somewhat cyclical as not everyone is 100% dedicated to running theirs. Besides that, we have little else in the way of corporation "dues" or even any in game method of collecting them.
I don't want to run a corporation that has the feeling of charging its members for everything. Operating in that way adds a burden to the individual player who may already be running through many of the same calculations that I do and trying to keep their wallet positive. At the same time, if the corporation wallet falls short, I have to simply add that to my own calculations as one more item to be accounted for personally. I don't begrudge this, it is how the corporation operated when it was just myself and my co-founder and it is simply how we choose to operate.
I'm not sure how other wormhole corporations handle their expenses. I've seen various posts or comments suggesting that there are a variety of ways ranging from PI donations to loot taxes to outright dues per player. I have hope that the future revamp of corporations (and alliances) includes some new management tools to enahnce this type of bottom-up corporation funding. I believe that for a corporation that provides value, such as a POS in wormhole space, its members are more than willing to contribute to the success and necessary funding of that corporation. Corporations may end up abusing this relationships by over taxing their members, but I suspect those corps would not be long for this universe. Tools and options will always be a welcome improvement to corporation management in EVE.
I'm looking forward to Crius and some additional options it will provide us in wormhole space between manufacturing and mining. How our members and thus the corporation can take advantage of it remain to be seen. In the meantime, I'm continuing to refine my personal finances (no pun intended) and make sure that I have my house in order before the next big changes land.