Monday, January 18, 2016

Skill Trading = Pay To Win?

Back in October of last year, CCP introduced the idea of making skillpoints a tradable commodity in the player market. Ostensibly, this is intended as an alternative to character trading but not an outright replacement, and as such I think the idea is a healthy one for the game. Of course, if you'd like to read that this is the worst thing in the history of New Eden, you could start with the 320+ page threadnaught on the Eve-O forums, but you should consult your regular physician first.

Today, CCP clarified and tweaked the original plan with a new Dev blog. The core concept remains the same. Players can take skill points that they have already trained and convert them into an item that can be sold for isk, and that item can be consumed by other players to recieve a certain amount of skillpoints, and that amount will be smaller depending on the consuming players total amount of skill points in game. The only major difference now is that the amount of skill points received has been increased for advanced players, but not significantly. I would imagine that the SP amounts will remain something that will be constantly tweaked about this system as CCP searches for a decent balance over time. More interestingly, the new blog confirms that the "skill extractor" item will be purchasable with AUR, meaning that actual money will need to be spent in order to scrape knowledge out of your head.

Personally, I don't really see a reason to sell any of my skills. Most will point to mining skills as an example of 500,000 SP they would rather turn into isk, but I enjoy getting out and about in my Prospect and digging into some wormhole rocks so that's not for me. I've got some corp management skills trained that I'll probably never use again, but why get rid of them? And God knows there's none of the ship, industry, trade, or exploration skills I would ever want to give up. I've already paid for the time it took to train these skill points and I just do not see a reason to pay again to remove them. If I need isk that badly, I'll just stick to plex.

That said though, I can see where the system has benefits. The ability for newer players to quickly turn some of their isk into making themselves more effective in fleets is a good thing. The limits on older players prevents the system from being the "pay to win" death spiral that many are lamenting. And giving players an extra level of control over the value of their characters is a good thing. To be clear, I have no problems with the idea of skill trading and do no think it will turn Eve into a game where you can just buy your way to an "I win" button. This is no more "pay to win" than a day old noob with a credit card dropping 12 plex on a fully maxed pvp toon in the character bazzar is now. It's just taking the idea of character trading and turning it into a microtransaction. Big fucking deal, this is Eve. HTFU.

As a seller, I don't think I'll be involved with this any time soon and I really don't see much motivation for anyone else to be either. I expect the market for these "skill injectors" to level out below the price of plex, and I just see plex as a better option for someone looking to turn real world cash into space bucks. As a buyer, I could absolutely see myself throwing down some of my own space bucks to speed up some of my training goals (I'd currently be getting 400,000 sp per injector), but I recognize that at some point the benefits wouldn't justify the cost. On the whole, I like the way that the system is structured and I look forward to watching the player base evolve and acclimate to the idea.

Or riot and shoot the monument. That'd be fun to watch too.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed... i think this make alts and all the sp market more equal for everyone. I might not have 12 plex to buy an alt, but i might have 1 to speed up a bit.