EVE Online

ESS Maths: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BRM

As one does, this started off with a very late night discussion about EVE mechanics that progressed into spreadsheets, data gathering, scratching ones head, and learning that most of the things you believed to be true were wrong. Apologies for the length of the post, you can skip to the bottom for the TL;DR:.

Disclaimer: All the numbers below are true for today. If CCP tweaks them, they may not hold tomorrow or next week.

There's not a lot of actual hard information on BRM/ESS mechanics, what little you can find out there is almost all player generated, and much from SiSi in early testing. Some common theories I've heard:

  • 30%-50% of your bounties are "stolen" and placed into the ESS.
  • ISK going into the ESS bank is then split between main and reserve (I've heard 60/40 to 90/10) splits.
  • Not all the money you put into the ESS gets paid out (variations of some to reserve, some vanishes, some to CCP's wallets, etc)
  • The ISK in the ESS main bank is not taxed when it's paid out, meaning you avoid tax on 10-50% of your ticks.
  • The BRM effects both ticks and ISK in the bank.
  • Ratting in XXX% BRM is equal/worse/better than ratting pre-ESS/BRM, you have to rat in XXX% BRM system to break even. (Usually the break even number is 110% to 130% BRM.)
  • 180% BRM means your ISK generation is (almost) doubled.

Turns out, none of these are true. Who knew!

Before I get into the mechanics, a few basic things to understand.

  • BRM does not impact bounties at all for your ticks, it only applies to the ISK that goes into the ESS main bank (this was enough to figure out that I'm completely ignoring the reserve bank and the mechanics there). This is easily tested by killing the same rats with the same bounties in two different systems with different BRM values, wait 20 minutes, the paid bounties will be identical.
  • One small note on the reserve bank, the ISK that goes into there is 100% bonus/generated, all of the ISK from the bounties are accounted for. I did not calculate how much ISK goes into the reserve bank, or if it's effected by BRM as well.
  • ISK paid out by the ESS *IS* taxed, the capsuleer does not see this in their wallet however. If you have access to the corp wallet you can run tests and see that when the ESS pays out, the corp gets their cut of it. This ISK appears to be generated from nothing as 100% of the money that goes into the ESS is paid out from the main bank. I do not not have access to a corp wallet, so cannot speak directly or definitively to this.
  • If your "tick" is 100k ISK or less, then there is no corp tax applied and it bypasses the ESS entirely. So I guess if you really REALLY hate BRM/ESS mechanics, just limit yourself to 100k ISK per 20 minutes. Stick it to your corp CEO and to CCP, it's win/win/win!
  • Corp tax is a little screwy. Even if you set it to 100%, the chars earning the ISK still have (very small) ticks in their wallet. Not sure if that's because of the 100k ISK mechanic above.
  • ISK goes into the ESS when the pirate bounties are paid (hits your wallet, aka ticks), not when the bounties are generated. This means that potentially you could have a delay of up to 2 hours and 20 minutes before you get paid out from the ESS.
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Example time:

To break down the ESS mechanics and how the ISK flows, I'll walk through an example.

  1. You rat and earn 100m ISK in a single 20 minute pro-gamer level APM ratting session.
  2. When bounties are paid out, 81% goes into your wallet. (Side note: the corp tax shown in the wallet applies to the amount that hits your wallet, not the original bounty amount.). Note that BRM does not matter here, if you are in a 30% BRM or 180% BRM system, your ticks are the same.
  3. The remaining 19% goes through the BRM, doubled, and then into the ESS main bank. For anyone playing at home the formula is: Bounties*.19*BRM*2. Note that this is the logged bounties which are NOT the same as the amount that hits your wallet (that's the bounties * .81). This formula is NOT perfect, but it's within a few tens of thousands of ISK for every BRM and tick amount I tested.
    If you are ratting in a system with:
    180% BRM becomes 19*1.8*2 or 68.4m ISK.
    100% BRM becomes 19*1*2 or 30m ISK.
    30% BRM becomes 19*0.3*2 or 11.4m ISK.
  4. When ESS is paid out, you will see 100% of the main bank paid into your wallet. The corp wallet will see the tax % of the amount paid out in addition (effectively ISK generated from nothing).
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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The TL;DR:

If you hate the BRM/ESS mechanics, you can rest easy and happily ignore the BRM. I cannot find any hard numbers, but I have found some reports that 5% of bounties pre-BRM were disappeared, so apparently even pre-BRM you weren't making 100% of the bounties regardless.

To break down effective ISK earning potentials, in the following scenarios you will earn:

  • ESS Stolen: 81% of earned bounties
  • 30% BRM: 92.4% of earned bounties
  • 50% BRM: 100% of earned bounties
  • 100% BRM: 119% of earned bounties
  • 180% BRM: 149.4% of earned bounties

Effectively this means as long as you defend your ESS, you are earning close to what you would have before ESS mechanics were introduced, even at 30% BRM. The true break even point is 50% BRM, anything above that is generated ISK.

Thanks to Dax Farseeker for his help with figuring this out.

Source: reddit.com

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