Disclaimer: Spoiler - This will be a rather long post, sorry if you hate long walls of texts. - This represents just a personal opinion, and I definitely don't claim that everything (or even anything) I'll say here necessarily represents a fact. - I'm a newbie, so my opinion may not be the best or most informed one . Fact one: Talking about TT value, returns will always be lower than inputs - and that's OK MindArk, called during the rest of the post MA, (and the Planet Partners, called during the rest of the post PP) have expenses and are here to make profit. And since the game by itself it's free to play and it has no sign-up costs, no monthly costs or anything like that, is quite obvious that the only way where MA and PP can make the money for both their expenses and their profits is from the money we all cycle in the game. That's not a scam or a hidden secret, is quite an obvious fact - in a world where (pretty much) every item is backed up by a real life value and where PEDs can be exchanged (back) in RL$ at any point, there must be a money sink somewhere to make sure that, universe wide, the money that could be potentially withdrawn are less than the money that were initially deposit. We are practically paying a share of our cycled money to have access to the facilities. Actually, as a fun fact, I am kinda in MAs shoes every time my brother's friends come over to our place for a poker night. I provide them "hosting services" as in hang around and bring them cold beers from the refrigerator when they ask for (their own beers, I just provide the "waitress service"), clean up the house after they leave and deal the cards for them so they don't end up arguing that someone cheated the hands. In exchange, on every hand they play, they put a coin in my jar; they even make fun of me because of how small my "payment" is (I asked for the lowest possible coin in my country - need like 40 such coins for an icecream ), but the idea is that I get my coin each and every hand they play, no matters who wins. The more they play, the more I win. At the end of the evening some won, some lost, more or less, but I always win (just too bad they don't do that very often - lol). And, trust me, I don't give a dime on how the game goes and who's winning and have absolutely no temptation to try to cheat the cards or so - I know that no matter how the hand ends, who wins and who loses, my jar will receive its four new coins. And that brings me to... Fact two: EU is a casino only if you treat it as one A famous quote says "Either you think you can do something or not, you're right."; trying to expand from this, I would say that "Either you think EU is a casino or not, you're right." If you treat EU as a casino (for example - buy nano cubes from TT, hit craft, sell explosive projectiles to TT) then it really is pure gambling - you may lose (eventually lose big), you may break even or you may win (eventually win big). With only one mention - since we already figured that, universe wide, returns will be lower than inputs, you have a higher chance to lose than to win. For example, let's presume that MA has a 5% (and yes, I think that's about the right number) tax on the cycled money, that means that, on average, if you cycle 1,000 PEDs crafting explosive projectiles, you should realistically expect to get about 950 PEDs at the end of the run (yeah, it can be much more or much less, but statistically that's what you should expect - 950, not 1,000+). In practice though, things can go better or worse. How they can get worse Basically that means getting a higher cost. For example let's presume that a mob has a base kill cost of 10 PED (just shooting him down); presuming same 95% return rate, that means that, on average, it will give 9.5 PED loot. But problem is that you can make your live harder yourself, by spending more than the base kill cost (using a lower eco weapon, getting some damage and decay on your armour, healing and getting decay on your fap, letting the mob regen and having to shoot a bit more to kill it), so instead of spending 10 PED, you will spend 11 PED to kill said mob, while the average loot would still be 9.5 PED, which though would represent only 86.36% return rate. Now let's go one step further and say that while your TT cost was 11 PED, some of that costs was in items that had a MU, so the effective cost was no longer 11 PED, but 12 PED, average loot staying the same at 9.5 PED, but your return rate now going down to 79.16%. And, if you ask me, I think that's the first of the three points where most people fail in this game - hurrying up to "move up" and going on challenges that are too hard for their level, and raising their costs. As in hunt mobs about their level, though having to use expensive armors, expensive FAPs, shoot uneco weapons, shoot too many times and give mob time to regen and so. How they can get better Imagine said casino, with 95% rate, but where at the exit there are people fighting to buy your chips for more than their numeric value. Yeah, that's it, selling your loot to players, instead of TT-ing it. How much I hate depending of other people and how much I love playing in single player mode, I have to admit that in order to "win" the game, you have to learn to interact with people. And yeah, many people do that (although, suprisingly, not all), but this is not all... most people that do it, do it in the wrong way (and I don't talk here just about selling too cheap or so). That means just hunting/mining/crafting what they feel like, blindly, then sell their loot, for whatever MU said loot has. And while that is a far better option than just TT-ing things, it is far from ideal. What you should ideally aim for would be to do the reverse thing - get to know what items have high MU, where they drop from and choose to hunt, mine, craft those things. Hunting a mob that has, on average, loot with 105% MU and hunting a mob that has, on average, loot with 106% MU already represents, in our scenario of average 95% TT returns, the difference between loosing (0.95 * 1.05 = 0.9975) and winning (0.95 * 1.06 = 1.007). And, again, if you ask me, I think that's the second of the three points where most people fail in this game - selling what they loot instead of hunting/minging/crafting in such a way that they aim to loot what they want to sell. Now I imagine some of you saying "F**K you, kiddoo! You only talk BS! Wanna see what you do with your stupid MU when you have 50% return rates on all your runs." and that only makes me smile and leads me to... Fact three: "For any statistic to be relevant, you need a big enough samples size" or "The random factor tends to become irrelevant if the samples size is big enough" I'm quite sure that if we all would now take a coin and throw it up 10 times we would get a tons of different results... quite sure there will be people that will get 8+ times head (and I'll call that a HOF), just as sure as there will be people that will get 8+ times tail (and I'll call those NRFs). Now though, if we all would throw same coin 1,000,000 times, I can almost bet my life that noone will achieve 80%+ of cases either head or tail. Sure, during those 1,000,000 times we may have really amazing series (with lots of consecutive heads) or really terrible series (with lots of consecutive tails), but they will negate each other and, in the end, we will probably end up all with very close (percent wise) values both of 50% and of each other. It is totally normal for any of us to have bad streaks or amazing hits, is just that we have to avoid being shortsighted (funny thing to say coming from someone who is totally blind without her glasses - lol) and see past those streaks. If we presume that 95% is the average TT return rate, then the more we'll play, then the closest we'll be (percent wise) of that value - we'll probably have terrible days maybe with even lower than 50% returns, we'll probably have really lucky hits that will make everyone envious on us, but in the end, we'll pretty much be all in about the same place. And if you don't believe me, just ask people that tracked results over years and years, cycling maybe millions of PEDs, and you'll be surprise to hear that they all have about the same return rates. Now the main problem is that if we get a long bad streak right at the beginning or at the wrong time, we may not be able to eat the temporary loses and keep going on 'till the luck changes and the bad streak is cancelled by a good one. And, again, if you ask me, I think that's the last of the three points where most people fail in this game - not having a big enough PED balance for what they're doing, which to allow them to cycle enough money so they can cancel the random/luck factor. Personally, I wouldn't start hunting a new mob, if I wouldn't know I can afford to hunt at least a few thousand mobs. Soo... resuming... 1. EU is not a scam, EU is not a casino unless you treat it like one. 2. In order to "win the game" you need three things: - minimize your expenses (never try to do something if that something is not eco for you - example if you need to wear expensive armor, hire a fapper and hit a mob more than 10-20 times to kill it, then you're probably hunting the wrong mob for your level/gear). - maximize your income (never TT things, never sell on a lose, never sell what you loot, but instead aim to loot what you want to sell). - make sure you have enough money to cycle so you can negate any luck/random factor (at the bare minimum, have enough money for at least 1,000 mobs/drops, but ideally much more than that). PS: I know that EU is a game and doing the "right thing" all the time can be really boring and unattractive. That's why I don't blame at all the people that play for fun, doing what they feel like and not care about every little detail that can give them 0.1% better returns over time. All I want from those people is to understand that said gameplay represents a personal option, treat EU as an entertainment, and accept that entertainment costs money - just as when you go to the cinema, you just want to watch the movie and have a good time, not expect to get the money back or even make profit.