Greed Is Good, Greed Works

Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic comes to us from Ga’len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility.  He asks: “What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe?  Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a ‘nerf this, boost my game play’ post like we see on the EVE forums.”

. . .

Erbo Evans, speaking for the Ralpha Dogs and crediting Cain Jacobi with the idea for this post.

With as rich and dynamic a game element as EVE’s player-driven market is–complete with CCP’s own Ph.D. economist, “Dr. EjyoG,” to keep tabs on it–there are a few elements that could make it even more rich and dynamic.  To wit: The concept of financial services.

Start with banks.  We already have a number of player-run banking organizations, such as EBANK; is there any reason why NPCs couldn’t get in on the action as well?  There are currently several NPC corporations that are described as “banks,” namely the Bank of Luminaire (Gallente), Garoun Investment Bank (Gallente), Intaki Bank (Syndicate), and the State and Region Bank (Caldari).  What if these corporations, and possibly others, had a “banking agent,” where you could go to create deposit accounts, or negotiate with them for a loan for that new battleship you’ve had your eye on?  In the latter case, what if the chances of a loan approval, and/or your interest rate, depended on the standing you (or your corporation, if you’re negotiating on behalf of them) had with that agent, or the corporation, or the associated faction?  What if defaulting on a payment lowered your standing, and became another way to “turn outlaw”?  (Yeah, some people might try to “game the system” in this respect.  But people “game the system” all the time in real life, too.)  A banking system that was “guaranteed safe” might motivate players to make more use of it than they do of the existing player-run banks…which you can never be sure aren’t scams.  Would player-run banks have to “compete” for business by offering greater return in exchange for the (perceived) greater risk?

Beyond that…We have this concept of “shares” in a corporation, but we have no mechanism where they can be traded openly, on the market or through contracts.  What if we had an actual stock market as part of the existing market, where shares of corps could be listed?  A corporation that had been engaging in successful business for awhile could float an “initial public offering” of stock to raise money, and thereafter other players could invest in corps that were known to be successful.  This could provide the basis for whole new levels of gaming and metagaming within EVE, offering opportunities for, not just moneymaking, but skulduggery of all sorts.  Imagine, for instance, people investing in Goonfleet as a “solid investment,” then someone managing to enlist a group of Goonfleet investors in a “proxy fight” to wrest control of the corp from Darius JOHNSON?  If it sounds farfetched…well, did the infiltration and dissolution of the Band of Brothers Alliance sound any less farfetched, before it actually happened?  In actual practice, Goonfleet might choose to remain closely held, forming a number of “daughter” corporations for various purposes and unloading the minor interest in each to gain funds…but perhaps opening the daughter corporations up to influence from others opposed to the parent corp’s mission.  Naturally, there’s tradeoffs everywhere.

From here, you could extrapolate the whole financial system we have in the modern-day world, including a number of things that have gotten people and companies in trouble: derivative securities, subordinated debentures, venture capital, hedge funds, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and all manner of things that would make Gordon Gekko and his ilk rub their hands with glee.  But I think that’s quite enough for one day.

“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind…”

. . .

Other articles published from around the EVE Blogosphere (links will be updated here as new posts are added):

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20 Responses to “Greed Is Good, Greed Works”

  1. I dunno… without a governement to provide laws and consequences for enforcement of the laws and regulations I can’t see how this would work. :/

    • Well, if one wants a government, it can be provided for. What if the penalty for an infraction against the market were exclusion from the market for a specific time? And I mean all aspects of the market, including regular buying and selling of ships, modules, etc. That might provide a suitable “negative incentive” to cheat…or it might create a new career for people supplying “market-banned” characters with goods, maybe at a substantial markup. This is just one idea though.

  2. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  3. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  4. At least two bloggers suggested adding a real stock market, and I for one wish I had. This is a fantastic idea and would open up opportunities for gaming that would be incredible. There would need to be ways to get lots of information about corporations that currently do not exist. However, this would be an awesome addition to the game!

    Bill

  5. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  6. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  7. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  8. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  9. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  10. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  11. As I’m starting to actually build up some wealth the financial markets are beginning to interest me. I obviously want my excess cash to work for me a bit more so I’d love to see some improvements in this area.

  12. […] The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works […]

  13. I would like to think that this kind of idea could be refined more and implemented, but CCP and the player population will screw up somewhere along the chain and whine about it.

    @Wensley, if you want your excess cash to work, just send it to me 😉

  14. I can’t imagine that this won’t ever be implemented. It makes way too much sense in a game with a player driven economy and market as complex and realistic as EVE’s

    @Tony – Come’on mate, a little more faith! :p

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