EVE Online’s economic changes may cost its scum and villainy

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EVE Online, the world’s largest economic experiment disguised as a space opera MMO, is changing the way its currency works. One of the attractions for EVE players currently is that the in-game economy is player-driven, risky, and easily converted to real-world money. Unfortunately, that same economic hazard can be off-putting to new players and CCP Games wants to change that.

It’s all a bit The Big Short, but Plex, one of the currencies for EVE, is being made more granular and safer, while Aurum, another kind of virtual funny money, is being done away with. The crux is that for the hardcore EVE Online community, the fact that Plex was an item in-game that had to be hauled in players’ ships as cargo was a feature of the player-driven economy. Attempting to shuttle around with a large amount of Plex was a gamble because if your ship was destroyed, you could lose all your money when it too was blown up or fell into the hands of looters. In fact, a few of the biggest events in EVE’s history were player-on-player piracy. The proposed changes to Plex include a virtual vault that will allow skittish players to move the money without risking it in their ships. While the risky old-fashioned Plex cargo method will still be available, it won’t be required. To concerned players, this new safe option for money transport is contrary to the spirit of EVE Online’s dynamic economy.

Players are encouraged to leave suggestions in the official forum. CCP Games says they will have more information on the proposed Plex changes in April.