A certain well known (some would say infamous) blogger posted something recently about how miners like to say the game couldn't function without them, and how people how pay for PLEX with isk like to say they are paying for the game. His post was along the lines of how if all the miners left the game tomorrow then CCP could put another source of ore in the game, and how people playing with PLEX could all leave and those buying PLEX could sell to an NPC. I want to say I have respect for this person, even if I disagree with a lot of what he says with regards to the community in Eve, and the player interactions that he so obviously despises. His wallet says all I need to know about how he plays the game. At the same time however, I cannot let this one go by without some comment.
I am a miner. By my own admission, both here and on the Eve forums I call myself a carebear in the industrialist meaning of the word. My ore goes into building ships, weapons and ammunition to fuel the PVP that other players enjoy. My ideal night of Eve involves logging in just after downtime (thanks Western Australian time zone) and shooting asteroids with lasers until my hold is full, while chatting with members of my corp and alliance. I go and shoot reds, but I'm not going to lie and say its what I look for every single time I log into Eve.
A lot of people who suicide gank or bump miners are under the impression that we are doing it because we aspire to be some kind of bot, that we deserve to be treated as though we were botting. While I'm sure there are people out there who literally mine for hours, even days because they just want to sell it to make isk, the majority of miners I talk to do so because they like it. Personally I don't have the time to invest into a large scale null alliance that would be required of me, so I get involved with my corp by mining, producing ships and talking with them.
Replacing me with an NPC that sells minerals, or heck if you are going so far as to do that why not straight up ships, does two things. First, it loses CCP a subscriber. If I cannot do something like mining, I don't particularly have the time to dedicate to getting involved in PVP beyond somewhere like RvB. Eve becomes pointless for me to play. Some of you would say that nothing of value is lost, but I have been a part of this game for years, and so have many of the industry people I have spoken to in the game. Second, Eve loses something that captures people. When I tell friends that the Revenant lost by PL earlier this year was assembled by players, with materials gathered by players, they all look at me like that's the most insane thing they have ever heard. The fact that nearly every item in the game is player made is a major draw in this era of theme park MMOs.
As for the PLEX thing, CCP still gets the money either way, and a large transfer of ISK happens at the point of sale. Selling directly to an NPC would introduce more isk with no loss to the buyer (as the NPC would have infinite isk). That's not good for any economy, as there always needs to be sinks for the isk to go into. I think the blogger in question needs to temper his disdain for people (as it really comes across that he wants Eve to be a single player game), with a realistic outlook on what is good for the game in the long run.
As always folks: