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Average wage in ISK? 💰

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#1 - 2017-01-22 12:34:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Is there something written about how much people on planet earn monthly? ISK to planetary legal tender? I once heard that 1 ISK is a lot, but we pay for a Quafe with more than 1 ISK usually.

Some products prices from Jita:
0.1 m3 (100 L) Quafe = 224 ISK. 1 L = 2,24 ISK.
0.5 m3 (500 L) Dairy products = 170 ISK. 1 L = 0.34 ISK.

And now for something exported from planet:
0.38 m3 (380 L) Water = 570 ISK. 1 L = 1.5 ISK. (bottled? Icon looks like its bottled water)

So if a janitor makes 1000 ISK per month, he could buy:
446 L of Quafe or 2941 L of dairy products. Or 666 L of Water from planet across the New Eden. Sometimes those items are slightly cheaper.

I think that empires could use ISK for exchange of legal tender. And people in space could be paid normally with ISK. This could include Marines, Janitors, Scientists and all those Caldari Light Marines that are employed in space.

What do you think? Could ISK really be a legal tender for everyone in space, normally exchanged for empire money and not actually with big difference? I think its not a big difference, because POCOs dont really take a big money when moving stuff in both directions. And value of things? Could it be only difference in POCO tax?
And the Janitor? Would he be a healthy man drinking all this milk? Big smile
#2 - 2017-01-22 13:16:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Xepharious Wryn
Hi Nana,

This is something I struggled with too. And if there is a clear community conclusion on it that would be really helpful, but I've always worked with the idea that Isk is somewhere around 1000x 1 normal tender.

To explain the Quafe: Have you every purchased soda at an airport vending machine? It's like 5x the price in some airports. Price isn't about cost, it's about willingness to spend. The Quafe company could easily charge that much for a can or bottle in a primarily capsuleer area because the only customers likely to be there are either capsuleers or those catering business to capsuleers and therefore rich enough to afford that addictive beverage. I could go into the elasticity of demand on this but I'll spare everyone the econ lesson. :)

As for goods purchased off planet like milk: Here I think we have to bend the fourth wall a little to make the game mechanic work. I've always just assumed that the milk had to be specially packaged not to jostle, freeze, or explode due to the immense pressure changes possible in space. So, each package of milk might need special care which, again, someone on planet could charge a premium for.

Adding it all up for the janitor: Personally, given all this, I wouldn't have a janitor paid such a wage in one of my stories, but maybe this janitor worked for a massively rich company who really liked him. If it was a reference to a much earlier story or chronicle (don't recall) I guess we could just kinda ignore and mentally adjust the figure in all our heads to make the story plausible.
Given that a lot of companies would actually be making massive profits off capsuleers, most of the corporate officers are likely making their salaries in isk. But then this isn't anything new. Currently in the real world we have the same thing with about 99% of the wealth held by 1% of the people, or something like that. I'm not saying this to be political, but rather as frame of reference for fiction. A CEO who wants to 'play capsuleer' sound like a might fine catch for a story.

Others' thoughts?
#3 - 2017-01-22 13:37:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Taking into accout that Janitors have to eat something, and it would be probably space food in space, I think they should be paid in ISK to buy stuff in stores in Jita.

Or could they eat corporate gruel and protein delicacies for a fraction of ISK daily and wash with corporate water recycled from urine? Shocked

But then, why would there be so much food across New Eden, and who would want to be a space Janitor if he could not buy a bottle of quafe from time to time.
#4 - 2017-01-22 15:50:14 UTC  |  Edited by: Teinyhr
AFAIK ISK is space money. There are planetary currencies which are near worthless in comparison to ISK. Amamake credits for one are mentioned in the story "Khadrea", the exchange rate there was 6 million Amamake credits to 3,600 ISK.

And drawing from other stories, again as far as I know ISK can be traded to planetary currencies easily, I recall, bartenders in stations occasionally retiring after getting tiny tips (to them) from drunk Capsuleers.
#5 - 2017-01-22 16:17:13 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Teinyhr wrote:
AFAIK ISK is space money. There are planetary currencies which are near worthless in comparison to ISK. Amamake credits for one are mentioned in the story "Khadrea", the exchange rate there was 6 million Amamake credits to 3,600 ISK.

And drawing from other stories, again as far as I know ISK can be traded to planetary currencies easily, I recall, bartenders in stations occasionally retiring after getting tiny tips (to them) from drunk Capsuleers.

These conversion rates speak nothing really about the value of things planetwise, because one bottle of Quafe could have been valued at 3K Amamake kredits. And people could have been paid with millions of Amamake kredits.

It only means how much 1 Amamake Kredit is to 1 ISK.
#6 - 2017-01-22 19:22:19 UTC
You're not the first to complain how that info tells us nothing, but off the top of my head it's one of the very few times anything about money is explicitly mentioned in PF.
Villore Accords
#7 - 2017-01-24 00:29:51 UTC
I would actually be very surprised if there is a direct conversion rate. ISK and for a greater extent the whole capsuleer market are completely independent of planetary economies. There would be very little need to exchange ISK for Planetary currency and doing so could easily crash a planets economy. If an infomorph needed planetary currency for something it would probably be more efficient to buy currency by volume then by converting it directly from ISK. As a thought you could probably even buy it in m3 units.

Just my thinking on the whole currency issue.
#8 - 2017-01-24 08:00:02 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Tristan Valentina wrote:
I would actually be very surprised if there is a direct conversion rate. ISK and for a greater extent the whole capsuleer market are completely independent of planetary economies. There would be very little need to exchange ISK for Planetary currency and doing so could easily crash a planets economy. If an infomorph needed planetary currency for something it would probably be more efficient to buy currency by volume then by converting it directly from ISK. As a thought you could probably even buy it in m3 units.

Just my thinking on the whole currency issue.

Well, what you think fits in general to the perception of planetary money by playerbase. I think the other currencies must be tied to the ISK because of people on planets that have to be paid in some way or another, and paying them in nature wouldnt be as easy as paying them real money. Walue of work have to be described to someone if he have to be employed, things he buy must be valued at some point. So imagining someone like Caldari businessman journeying from his planet palace to a space corporation office, involves in my imagination him paying for maintenance of his shuttle, paying for a dinner, paying for a journey in fact. Would he pay using ISK everywhere, and then his money would be exchanged for planetary money? Well, I think at some point it have to be exchanged and all those fees have to be based on value of work and trade goods.
Villore Accords
#9 - 2017-01-24 19:50:33 UTC
Nana I think that is a very good point those midway jobs would definitely need to be payed. My thought on them is that those jobs would be payed on contract and those contracts would have pay outs in Planetary Currency or ISK and that would be decided at the time of the agreement. I think those specific Midway jobs in New Eden would have a very interesting time valuing themselves. Obviously the concept of Net Worth would still apply but i would not be surprised if that was shown in multiple numbers instead of in single numbers as it is on earth. If you look at USD, and try and compare it to ISK I think you will see that the individual value of a single ISK is much more fluid then USD. I think USD is an excellent way to look at planetary currency but we even have to go a step beyond it before we see ISK.

This is amazingly fun to think about by the way thanks for putting it together.
#10 - 2017-01-24 23:35:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Teinyhr
As a reminder, ISK stands for InterStellar Kredit (also a nod to the Icelandic Króna, currency of Iceland). As far as I've understood, it is almost exclusively used in interstellar trade - which is what I meant when I said it was a space currecny. However there have been times, particularly in the older stories, where measly sums of ISK have been given to "baseliners", propelling them to fortunes beyond the dreams of an average joe on a planet. So there apparently is a way to convert it into planetary currency, or how else would these people become "millionaires" overnight. Also it is generally considered the main reason we have people lining up to be our crews, because we pay them a lot of money, and even the most destitute capsuleer can afford this.

Found this old forum thread (second to last post), sadly I can't trace the newsitem it was referencing to, wonder if it was purged with the site update?

Also, to my knowledge ISK is an entirely digital currency - so the closest contemporary equivalent we have today would be the Bitcoin, not USD. And Bitcoin can be exchanged to AFAIK any currency on earth, or any currency can be exchanged to Bitcoin. Of course Bitcoin isn't exactly like ISK - for one, unlike Bitcoin, ISK's value seems to be pretty stable, but since it is an interstellar trade standard currency, that alone should give it stability few other currencies can enjoy.

Edittimesinfinityagain: So referencing Bitcoin and in the vaguest sense I know anything about it, if standard wages could be directly translated in to ISK, my poorly-educated guess would be that an average joe doing a 9 to 5 in a soul crushing office job would earn something like 0.0000045 ISK / Hr. Give or take some zeroes either way.
#11 - 2017-01-25 09:26:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
There is one more thing about "measly". Its relative to earnings. Lets say some market trader makes 1 B daily. For him measly sum can be 1 B. For new capsuleer its a great sum, not measly. So for a commoner in office 1M ISK would be a big fortune if he would make even 5000 ISK monthly.

But then, we can have only poorly educated guesses here I think. What would only be a base of something to estimate, is value of common daily things you need to live. That is why I included all those figures for water and dairy and Quafe in beginning. To tie it to realities of market in New Eden (no matter how silly it can look). Blink
#12 - 2017-01-25 10:36:13 UTC  |  Edited by: Teinyhr
Relativity is precisely why looking at the neocom market is a poor choice for comparison purposes - even though it's a logical choice to start with, you must keep in mind that even with space elevators, commodities exported from a planet will have a premium. And as the trading is today done by capsuleers to other capsuleers, we have relatively more ISK to spend than most other people would have.

Second, the devs haven't been exactly diligent on things as mass and volume attributed to commodities in the past, so the volumes you used in the first post for example might not be accurate at all, because the source can't be considered reliable enough to use. A notorious example, "The Damsel" used to have a volume of over 10,000 litres and weighed 200 kilos.
#13 - 2017-01-25 11:39:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Yes, that is why I looked at it in slightly humorous manner.

But there is all we have, and while there are some really low prices sometimes, if we talk big volume trading, the prices have their average traded price on market. Its like you would go to a garage sale somewhere and pick up a really cheap, slightly used golden chandelier and everybody around would think its a shiny paint or some kind of cheap metal, but not real gold. Then you go to where gold is traded and everyone knows how much its worth.

That is why I used Jita prices.

As for some things having funny looking volumes, I dont think its a rule, but exception. Or a mistake. Or Damsel is really fat. Pirate
#14 - 2017-01-26 17:55:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Telegram Sam
This old thread discussed and did calculations based on the ISK price of Wheat, Tobacco, etc. Some of the posts are pretty well thought out. One poster's conclusion: Average planetside annual salary is approx. 1,400 ISK. Another one's: Space station resident's daily food cost is maybe .02 - 3 ISK.

This thread from 2012 links to an EVE News story saying: "To put this in perspective, an average family living on a planet might, in the course of a lifetime, accrue savings of about 10,000 isk." (The link doesn't work though-- it goes to the current edition of EVE News).
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2017-01-30 08:33:36 UTC
Did read the posts in this thread, and I had the impression that one important detail is overlooked by the participants: the costs of launching something from a planet to space.

That is pretty enormous IRL. Water is heavy and takes a lot of volume compared to for example computers. One square meter of water is a lot cheaper than the same volume of microchips down on Earth, but this is not the case once on orbit. The amount of expensive fuel needed to take something out of a planet's gravity raises exponentially with it's mass. Not to mention that an astronaut will consume water every day, while computers and other equipment last for long.

There are some phenomena that suggests that it isn't entirely different in New Eden. Ships (and kinda' everything else) is built in space, from materials that are mined in space. And there is ice mining. The fact that it's a pretty lucrative business suggests that the vage of capsuleers using (at least) a million ISK worth of mining equipment is still the preferred option against launching freely available water to orbit from inhabited planets.

So I'd risk that products (especially heavy raw materials and liquids) in space cost maybe ~10 times more than down on planets, as the price includes either the expenses of a dangerous interstellar industry, or the price of launching to orbit.


disclaimer: I'm a new player who only read a fraction of EvE lore so far - my opinion is mostly based on RL space documentaries and Kerbal Space Program. Correct me if I'm missing important details.

Elite F1 pilot since YC119, incarnate of honor, integrity and tidi.

#16 - 2017-01-30 09:02:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
Yebo Lakatosh wrote:
Did read the posts in this thread, and I had the impression that one important detail is overlooked by the participants: the costs of launching something from a planet to space.

That is pretty enormous IRL. Water is heavy and takes a lot of volume compared to for example computers. One square meter of water is a lot cheaper than the same volume of microchips down on Earth, but this is not the case once on orbit. The amount of expensive fuel needed to take something out of a planet's gravity raises exponentially with it's mass. Not to mention that an astronaut will consume water every day, while computers and other equipment last for long.

There are some phenomena that suggests that it isn't entirely different in New Eden. Ships (and kinda' everything else) is built in space, from materials that are mined in space. And there is ice mining. The fact that it's a pretty lucrative business suggests that the vage of capsuleers using (at least) a million ISK worth of mining equipment is still the preferred option against launching freely available water to orbit from inhabited planets.

So I'd risk that products (especially heavy raw materials and liquids) in space cost maybe ~10 times more than down on planets, as the price includes either the expenses of a dangerous interstellar industry, or the price of launching to orbit.


disclaimer: I'm a new player who only read a fraction of EvE lore so far - my opinion is mostly based on RL space documentaries and Kerbal Space Program. Correct me if I'm missing important details.


While its so now with current technology levels on earth, it could be completely other situation in New Eden. Energy could be harvested on completely massive levels and with less workforce required. Robotic facilities and all of that.

Ships are build by capsuleers in space because of convenience and efficiency, there are minerals in space basically, and Tritanium from Veldspar is mined in space and used in its more basic form for ship hulls just there, because its properties dont make it usefull in most atmospheres.

As for difference between value of things launched from planets, I see that its oly a POCO tax difference. Tax is taken when moving stuff both ways. It isnt big and is more about value of cargo, than volume and weight. So actually launching something isnt so expensive in New Eden and isnt really about volume and weight it seems. Of course when you make multiple launches of the same product many times, then its unefficient.
#17 - 2017-01-30 20:46:50 UTC
I did make a note about planetary commodities, and to my knowledge space elevators are a thing in-universe if not represented in the game, so the cost of bringing stuff into orbit is signifigantly slashed vs. using rockets / magnetic slingshots, but will still retain a premium over stuff produced entirely in space.
Caldari State
#18 - 2017-01-30 23:32:44 UTC
Well, I mean if it helps any, the Caldari are a corporate dictatorship, and the Amarr still utilize heavy amounts of automated devices and slaves.

You don't really need to pay robots nor slaves. Beyond that, the rest of their civilization then heads towards religion, artisan professions, etc. whose work has more of a sentimental rather than practical value, but can be upcharged. Amarr corporations raking in large amounts of dough wouldn't have to worry about paying the middle-man as much, as people filling those necessary practical occupations are likely much smaller than the enslaved or indentured populations handling mundane work.

On the caldari side of things, I'm pretty sure that depending on the corporation someone was employed under, they wouldn't necessarily make a wage per-se, as much as be given set per diem, corporate housing, and at the lowest level, that per diem might be replaced with as you mentioned, recycled ****-water and protein delicacies. A lot of Caldari pretty much owe loyalty to two things - Their family, and the business they work for, which can be interchangeable at times.

The Caldari to my understanding aren't "nice" people. They're ruthless economists that are thoroughly disciplined. Corporations likely view their people as assets rather than human beings, so employee comfort isn't really the most important thing either, unless profit margins drop due to sub-par employee morale. Dissent isn't voiced often however, and often ostracized, so I would assume that complaints sent to HR tend to enter the circular file.

The only two cultures that kind of confuse me on this issue are the Mims and Gallente.

On the Mim side they HEAVILY value tribal connections, so it wouldn't seem odd that they treat economics with more of a collectivist attitude, where everybody works to help their tribe (And corporation), and those that work hardest and best embody their tribe's values gets rewarded the most. But that's also a rash generalization.

I'm stumped at the Gallente side of things, though. I'd say they're the closest to embodying a first-world socially liberal culture, (Which is what many of us are probably used to), and cringe at the thought of corporate slavery which their caldari cousins shrug off easily. Paying a Gallente janitor would be an issue if that Janitor thinks like a stereotypical gallente. If not, then corporations would still probably follow the per diem method of economics, at least for employees located in space or primarily ISK-using areas.
#19 - 2017-01-31 18:27:46 UTC  |  Edited by: Nana Skalski
What about independent professionals? I think having money still helps, even when you are inside corporation that gives you all those things. Competition between employers and all of that. They could provide certain degrees of freedom by paying extra dosh for some vacations in domed station gardens, under the stars.
#20 - 2017-02-01 02:13:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Elmund Egivand
Nana Skalski wrote:
What about independent professionals? I think having money still helps, even when you are inside corporation that gives you all those things. Competition between employers and all of that. They could provide certain degrees of freedom by paying extra dosh for some vacations in domed station gardens, under the stars.


If you are talking about the State, no, a citizen cannot be an independent professional. A citizen of the State is basically the same thing as being an employee of one of the Megas or their subsidiaries or any of the other State organisation e.g. Caldari Executive Panel or the Caldari Navy. And even in those case, the employees are drawn from any of the Megas or subsidiaries.

If you aren't an employee, you are not a citizen and therefore you are either living at the fringes in the ghettoes or you have moved on elsewhere seeking work. Occasionally the State may draw from these 'independents', but usually, the kind of work involved are those that are 'off-the-record'.

Citizen-employees are paid in corporate scrips, but there is nothing stopping them from converting the scrips into some other currency when the need presents itself.

A Minmatar warship is like a rusting Beetle with 500 horsepower Cardillac engines in the rear, armour plating bolted to chassis and a M2 Browning stuck on top.

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