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Time, ISK, and Effort: ESS/DBS Balance

Content of the article: "Time, ISK, and Effort: ESS/DBS Balance"

CCP has finally not only released the numbers, but more importantly, they've actually described the ESS mechanics to the point that we can actually do some thinking about them.

The Dynamic Bounty System equilibrium is 115%, and allegedly takes a fair bit of effort to push down. So we can safely guess that the average person will be ratting in a system that's around 115%. Systems with enough PvP to be significantly higher will likely be quite rare.

The ESS takes 50% of the ratting tick. So, the ratting capsuleer will receive 57.5% of the isk they would under the current system, each tick.

The split between the Main Bank and the Reserve Bank, if I caught it correctly on stream, is 70/30. so 35% of the total tick goes to the Main Bank, and 15% to the Reserve.

If, via successful defense or nobody attempting theft, the Main Bank pays out automatically. This brings the total haul for the ratting capsuleer to 57.5% + 40.25% = 97.75% of the isk they make under the current system, so about the same.

If you wanted to steal your own Main Bank to avoid incoming PvPers or to avoid theft after you've gone to sleep, you lose 30% of what's in the main bank. This brings the total haul down to 85.675% of the isk you would make under the current system.

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Of course, these don't account for potential income from getting the Reserve Bank unlocked. However, between uncertainty about the keys and processes there (and the problems you get when a lot of different people rat in the same system), the odds are good that this income is far from guaranteed. If you did manage it, however, then you get the full 115% of the income you get under the current system.

What does this mean for people in space, and subcap ratting?

When people talk PvE, they talk about isk per hour, and isk per effort. The isk per hour of an Ishtar ratter isn't very good- 60m/hr assuming no corp taxes and max skills. It is, however, good isk/effort as it requires very little effort, and it is scalable to a point as an "afk" activity.

The typical subcap ratter might have 3 or 4 accounts running- a respectable 180-240m / hour. Extreme scaling (12+ accounts) can be printing a lot of isk, but the activity becomes more active the more accounts you have to manage. In any case, the extreme scaling player will get hit hard by the DBS pushing their bounties down- so they aren't the primary focus of this post.

The ESS makes this activity more active. The subcap ratter needs to either suffer some of his ticks being less than 60% of what he used to earn, or put in the time, isk (in the form of defense ships), and effort into defending the ESS from attackers. His reward for this is the same amount of isk he was getting previously- with the potential for maybe making an additional 15% with an ESS key later.

Will people actually do this?

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I am pretty skeptical that they will. The old ESS gave players an extra 15%, but they overwhelmingly decided that the additional risk of theft and effort in defense was not worth the income boost. If a player needs to be on guard and ready to fight while ratting, they may choose to just do something else. Burner missions, or FW missions, or incursion alts, or HS Abyssal sites.

I want to be out in the world, either defending my group's ESSes or trying to steal from other group's ESSes. But I don't think that will happen with the current numbers, which constitute additional risk and effort for no additional reward. If CCP want people to actually use and interact with ESSes, I think they're going to need to boost the DBS equilibrium up enough to make subcap ratting in the optimal way (defense on standby, not over farming a system, actively paying attention) a comparable income source to the many other more active options available to players.

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Source: reddit.com

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