It was carebear day. I ran backup to a few people for some stuff, but nothing really got off of the ground for pewpew. Instead, I spent a lot of time in my Noctis, spinning in space.
One question I see, constantly is, "How do you make isk?"
I always reply, "Just like everyone else." If the question is directed to my pirate or low sec life.
I reply, "Doing whatever I can figure out to do," if the question is in general followed by a list of my various ISK attempts with a note of what I don't do that has value..
Back in January I was terribly, terrible butthurt when I was called a leech by someone very important to me for salvaging instead of focusing on running my own missions and PvPing. While that person has since apologized, the damage was done. Forgiveness may be great but it doesn't fix things and my newbie self esteem took quite a while to glue back together.
I never gave up salvaging as an ISK source. While it is not a spectacular or glamerious ISK source it is a viable one. At the same time, I came to understand the concept of sharing more. Perhaps it is odd that I discovered the mutual gain of working together and sharing ISK in low sec where the people are supposed to be the coldest then in high sec. I was told countless times that I was motivating other people to do missions by salvaging and that I was providing company and another set of eyes.
I learned a lot about living in low sec salvaging missions, talking and absorbing information. I learned how to spot combat probes. I learned how to scout myself around. I learned about safe spots and countless other things as I piloted a Noctis in low sec.
There was value in all of it. Even though salvage for the most part, sells in small pieces, small pieces was something I could handle. I hauled catalyst load after catalyst load out of low sec to sell. Later, I trained into my Viator and compressed 6 trips into 1. I learned to value items, reprocess others, and attempt to drain every ISK out of my items that I could.
I've since had long conversations with people and fought against the concept of ISK per hour as a defining reason to do anything in the game. Today I scanned down an anom that escalates and got the escalation only for it to spawn us nothing in the end. For the first site I had one alliance mate help. For the second, two more joined in and we ran down to null sec. Our total profit from item drops was the 52 million for the overseers effects. We split it 4 ways and everyone said thank you for being 12 million isk richer.
The possibility was in the billions (this one drops Machariel BPCs) but it didn't happen today. How would that be defined in ISK per hour? A waste? Yet, we enjoyed each others company. We received around 20 mil in bounties each. We had fun.
ISK has a value to people. How one views the game through their ISK creates some interesting dynamics. I had debated discussing loss in and upon itself, but I think that loss is really more about ISK.
ISK means everything to some and nothing to others.
One thing that used to drive me crazy was when people reverse calucated their ISK into real money (PLEX). Now, I understand how that time and value dynamic works for them. However, I am still irirtated when they look down upon other people for not wishing to do real life conversion. ISK making is a valid type of game play. On the other hand, I also do not believe that in game ISK earners should look down upon PLEXers.
In the thread I linked before, about the abused null sec alliance member, one of the posts stood out to me. A member of TEST asked "Why do you need to make ISK?" My first reaction was, "What the hell?" but then I stepped back a little and realized the validity of the question.
ISK, so precious to me to buy my stuffs and fund my ideas may have zero value to someone who has all their stuffs given to them. Their play is what they do in null. They are given all of the tools to do that play. Earning the ISK for that play is not part of the equation. To a certain extent, having to earn that ISK individually would break the greater flow of the play style of massive sov warfare.
My second reason was simple. I like my ISK. I know that ISK earning is not for everyone. For me, its a subgame that I play.
But, without those two needs, what value did ISK have? Not valuing it personally adjusted the entire focus of the game for the player. Instead of stuff being the focus the society becomes the focus. ISK still has value as a need for a greater whole just as a spaceship is needed or POS fuel. I felt that I understood the differences in view points that a player can develop a tiny bit more. Why it was 'hilarious' to lose ships and shoot 'blues'.
There is also ISk the bragging right. ISK the bragging right is a very, powerful weapon.
I may not feel it, but my ISK is too close to me. I go out an attempt to earn it. I work for it and it develops value based off of the effort I personally put into it. If the ships where given to me without that personal effort, the value of the ship becomes what it is worth for why it was given to me. That task may be to amuse myself or defend my alliance or use for my own needs.
But it may not convert directly into personally valued ISK.
Its an interesting show for the various dynamics and games within games that Eve provides. I believe that much of them have been unexpected and organic (buzzword!) creations.