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Saturday, 7 February 2015

CSM9 Winter Summit - discussion on Plex

In the CSM9 Winter Summit there was a discussion on Plex which perhaps deserves more attention for those holding and trading in Plex.  The relevant part is below and my 6 bullet point summary is below that:

"The next topic was PLEX prices. The price has dropped recently from recent high prices (around the 1 billion ISK mark) to around 800mil, but it did dip down to 700-600 mil. CCP Thomas also showed some statistics related to customers using PLEX for subscription. There were some discussion about whether CCP is manipulating the market at present and what their metrics are in that regard. There were some questions regarding player manipulation of the PLEX market, which CCP confirmed as happening just like any other item in game.

There were some questions about the conversion rates following "This Is EVE".

There were more questions about PLEX prices and whether there was a target price. CCP Thomas explained that there wasn't a set price they were targeting, and it was more about the delta in prices. There was discussion about player reactions while PLEX was around 1 billion ISK, and the actual number of players using PLEX was relatively stable.

 There were also some questions about the number of PLEX used for other services, especially multiple character training. At this point, CCP Foxfour also explained that they wanted to move away from people directly buying PLEX and instead move to people just buy AUR. This AUR could then instead just be used to buy PLEX from the NES store along with everything that is currently using PLEX, moving from a three currency system to a two currency system. There were questions about whether it would be possible to directly trade AUR for ISK on the market. CCP Cognac responded that there are no plans to do so. Sugar Kyle brought up the topic of sending AUR to other players. It was explained that while it would be desirable in some contexts (such as gifting someone else some AUR) there are some issues, including some legal ones that need to be covered."

Source: CSM9 Winter Summit Forum Post

The summary of the above is:

1) CCP knows how much of the Plex is being used for Subscriptions vs Other Services vs holding for investment

2) CCP knows / believes the Plex price is being manipulated by some players

3) CCP is more concerned with the change in the price of Plex, not the level

4) When Plex hit 1bn the number of players using Plex remained stable

5) And, the interesting part, CCP may want to move away from Plex for US$ towards Aurum only.  This Aurum would then be used to buy Plex as normal

6) No plans to trade Aurum on the market for ISK

The key points of interest are (5) and (6)

Firstly, the bad news is that CCP may break the direct link between US$ and Plex by gettung Aurum in the way.

Secondly, the good news is that Plex will still be the way to extend Play Time and for Other Services.

But, the route to Plex could be interrupted by a Player stopping at the Aurum store and spending the purchased Aurum on something else instead of Plex.  In other words, the change CCP is thinking about can only reduce the supply of Plex (or leave it as before, at best).

That, all things being equal, would push up the price of Plex.

However, all things are not equal.  Aurum can already be used in the place of Plex (and the other way round).

In Jita prices (1st Feb 2015):

It costs 3500 Aurum to do Dual Training vs 1 Plex at 800m ISK.  That implies 1 Aurum is valued at 0.23m ISK.

1000 Aurum is selling for 500m ISK and buying for 200m ISK (not a very liquid market - hardly trades at all) which implies 1 Aurum has a spread of 0.20m - 0.50m

It I assumed the Buy orders for Aurum were fair, then the current Aurum / Plex price is about right.

So far.

(edit: edited the price of aurum to reflect i missed the "m", i.e. 0.23m ISK not 0.23 ISK per aurum)


  1. "4) When Plex hit 1bn the number of players using Plex remained stable"

    Did CCP actually say that or are you just inferring it?

    I don't see how they can claim the number of players remained stable at the 1 billion price when:

    a) It was only at the 1 billion price briefly
    b) The price very quickly dropped back down around 800 shortly after that.
    c) There was strong resistance to the price going over 800 million. The daily volume actually went down for a while when the price broke 800 mil not very long before it got pushed (manipulated) to 1 billion.

    1. He is understanding it correctly.

    2. i was somewhat surprised by that also. I did not think there was enough time for CCP to make a measurement.

  2. The RSI of Plex before the rapid rise was much above 70 indicating heavy overbuying and the prices were usually well above upper Bollinger band. It was clear that we had a bubble ready to burst. On 25-30th of November someone dumped a boatload of PLEX in Jita causing the burst and even almost reaching oversold territory. On 3rd December volumes stabilized and prices rebound fluctuating a bit until stabilizing about a month later.
    All in all, it was a classic manipulation, nothing more. At the moment we have a bit more selling, than buying and trend is slightly downward.

  3. Quote: "It costs 3500 Aurum to do Dual Training vs 1 Plex at 800m ISK. That implies 1 Aurum is valued at 0.23 ISK.

    1000 Aurum is selling for 500m ISK and buying for 200m ISK (not a very liquid market - hardly trades at all) which implies 1 Aurum has a spread of 0.20 - 0.50"

    I am assuming that you just neglected the "m" after the 0.23 ISK since the value in your discription is actually 228,571.43 ISK or 0.23m ISK. Same for the next section. Appreciate the clarification.


    1. yes - you are correct. Thank you for that. I have updated the post.