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Sinks and Faucets
Ripard Teg of Jester's Trek beat me to posting on this subject, but I figured I'd put it up here anyway.

When people talk about ISK sinks or ISK faucets, they are talking about how ISK is generated and how it is removed from the game. The people that generally talk about this topic are usually complaining at the high cost of, or the rising cost of, products in Eve, and they blame it on the fact that there is too much ISK in the game, all of the ISK faucets and too few ISK sinks are making too many people rich. They are complaining about inflation.

They complain about Incursions, ratting, complexes, drone regions, sleepers. But they also complain about mining and tech moon farming. They don't understand that ISK is only created or destroyed by a handful of financial interactions.

ISK is neither created nor destroyed, only transferred between players.

The above is a maxim, a general truth with one exception. An example of these interactions are as follows.

Player A has ISK. He direct trades a ship for ISK from Player B. Player A undocks and loses that ship to Player C. Player B uses that ISK to buy a PLEX from Player C. Player B uses that PLEX to get 30 days of game time. Player C uses the ISK to buy a ship from Player B.

The ship is destroyed. A PLEX was destroyed. 30 days of game time were authorized. No ISK was created or destroyed in this player interaction. And although ISK transferred several times, Player B has all of Player As ISK.

Do you get it?

ISK is created and destroyed through financial interactions with NPC corporations.

So kill a rat, or clear a complex and get a bounty? ISK created.

Lose a ship and get paid insurance? ISK created.

Complete a mission and turn it in for the reward? ISK created.

Buy insurance, upgrade a clone, pay tax or fees for a trading transaction? ISK destroyed.

Build a Stabber using manufacturing facilities in a Station? ISK destroyed.

Buy some implants from the Loyalty Point Store? ISK destroyed.

That's right. Destroyed. You buy something from the LP Store, you have to give items and cash and LP to receive the item.

Faction War Plexing (Incursus Orbit Version) was viewed as a huge ISK faucet, one that unbalanced the game, but it wasn't an ISK faucet, it was actually an ISK sink. Faction War Plexing is a Loyalty Point faucet, not an ISK Faucet. You need Loyalty Points and ISK to buy things from the LP store. That makes the Loyalty Point Store both an LP sink and an ISK sink.

Do you get it? Do you understand? The amount of ISK in game is finite, and grows only as players gain bounties or rewards from NPC corporations. Everything else in Eve is a transfer of already existing ISK between players, unless the ISK is used to buy a commodity or service from an NPC corporation.

One of our first students, Kaatchina of Agony Unleashed, taught me the difference between ISK generation/removal and ISK transactions a couple of years ago. Just figured I'd pay it forward. Shy
Fly Safe or Fly Dangerous, Just Don't Fly Stupid.
Eve Killboard - East US TZ
In the business of maintaining the high cost of implants since 2009.

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