I'll have to beg forgiveness for chewing on this topic. I'm probably asking questions out of order. Yesterday I dove into the center of a very complex question. At the end of it, I wound up with a lot of side questions to ask. As I sit here, stocking my market before I go to wheeze and gurgle my congested head upon my pillow, I cannot help but think of profit.
Why do a run a market? I don't run a market for the reason most people assume, which is making ISK. I do make ISK with the market but I've never considered it my personal ISK. The market is a project that has become part of my life. It's one of those things i randomly attempted that accidentally set me up to learn about parts of Eve I didn't know existed. But, I run it to help out other people because that's something I enjoy int he game. I play a weird game where I do most of my things alone but with the focus on helping those around me.
I've never considered myself an altruist. Sometimes I give people things but I do it for the same reason I give any gift, because I want to. I did try some altruist things at one point and I've never much discussed them. I didn't like the outcome at all. I may have picked the wrong path but when I look back on that entire situation I rather regret it.
Be that as it may, most of my actions in Eve gravitate around making ISK or gaining something. I'm not keen on losing ISK. I'm okay with breaking even. But, I don't like to lose even when my goal is to help and worth with others. At the same time, I don't function under any particular equation to give a cost or value to my time and energy. This makes me rather frustrating for those who want to measure out quantifiable sums for everything.
I don't mind donating to a cause. I've become a bit more picky over what causes I will donate to, but when I do I don't mind. But, that isn't everything. And yesterday, when I was wondering if Eve can actually support the independent industrial machines that it would need I skipped over the entire part where people got some type of payment for what they do. That went for everyone.
PvPers might be easy to pay. Give them what they need to go off and destroy things and they pay themselves with destroying things or making that effort. Yet, they still have subscriptions to pay. They may want to pay those with PLEX and free spaceships for ops and patrol are not PLEX.
An industrialist may get a major dose of satisfaction out of building things. I do. But I don't think that the joy on my corp mates faces is enough to pay for the mining and building everything that they destroy. An industrialist may also want to use PLEX.
Then there are all the little things. Skillbooks. Ships just because. Implants. And personal projects of every shape and size. All of these things have to be gained in some way and that way is normally ISK.
And there is that whole thing where many people do more then one thing with themselves. We have all of these 'careers' but many of us are jacks of multiple trades that occupy our attention and satasfy our goals and wants. We make a profit. We make a profit off of each other. We make it off of those who are willing to make less of a profit. Sometimes it is a matter of convince. Sometimes it is a matter of superior knowledge. Whatever it is, a lot of Eve rotates around making ISK and spending ISK.
And that will involve a lot of people. A lot of neutral people that consume and produce.
There are plenty of things that motivate someone beyond profit. Are they great enough to keep players a cog in a machine?