A player could be a ratter, warping from asteroid belt to asteroid belt in 0.0. Another could be a market whizz, manipulating the market of Jita in order to maximise his profits. And the last could be a mission runner, tirelessly running Level 4 missions (or perhaps even Level 5 missions!) in order to generate the ISK he needs. All that ISK produced is then (typically) channeled into his PvP, purchasing new ships and new fittings and then taking them out, losing them and starting all over again.
Why not break the cycle? Why not produce ISK whilst PvPing? Wouldn't that save time and increase your enjoyment of Eve?
Most call it economy unfeasible. Other, wiser individuals know that it is possible up until a point depending on the ship classes you fly. For example, Tusker CEO Ka Jolo blogged about it at length, discussing the fact that he was easily making a profit PvPing whilst flying a T1 Frigate but it became suddenly more difficult to keep out of the red once he started flying T2 Frigates which cost significantly more and then almost tipping over when he started flying T2 Cruisers on a regular basis.
Nowadays, it is common to see him in a Battlecruiser, a fairly inexpensive ship class for the amount of firepower it can lay down.
Now then, what about anyone else? In the Tuskers, we have a fair few pilots who have to resort to other methods to fund their PvP, roughly 40%. The rest tend to earn just enough ISK to stay afloat as long as they keep their spending in check.
Now, for the final case study, myself. I get a few fair Evemails from fans and victims asking why I do what I do; why I am a pirate. The reason? Simply put, it is the only profession in Eve where I can make ISK whilst enjoying myself the entire time I am playing. I have tried mission running, I have tried ratting and they are boring. Dedicating time to generate enough ISK to do what I want later is a waste of time for me, when I could be out there having fun and making a profit.
Now then, the final question is how much ISK do I earn? They say a picture is worth a thousand words so..
|Yes, I am a handsome chap|
Piracy is a profession like any other and you can indeed make a profit out of it. Whilst it appears relatively small compared to other sources, this is not a true indicator of how revenue I get. Currently, I am waiting to receive about 500M worth of loot splits from various fights I have been in. On top of that, I have also invested a substantial amount of ISK into my alt whilst at the same time for my future development by purchasing multiple ships I cannot currently fly yet, just sitting in my hangar and gathering dust, at least for now. They are not earning me ISK and are currently just a dead weight.