Monday, February 15, 2016

Did 1ronBank win Eve?

1ronBank, he of the fame/noteriety, ran a live stream on Twitch where he injected enough skill points to raise the level of every skill in the game to five, making him Eve's first ever maximum skilled character. Predictably this lead to much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the large crowd of players who insist that this whole skill trading thing is just giving people the ability to pay to win the game. There's also a significant portion of people lamenting that what once had to be achieved over the course of years could now be done in a single evening. Excuse me while I don't freak the fuck out with them, because I don't see how 1ron has won anything and I don't see a big deal over a max skill player existing. Here's a few reasons why.

1. No matter how many skills a player has, they generally can only focus on doing one thing at a time when they undock. This is why the game has its reputation of being a "game of alts". People use multiple characters to do different tasks so that they can train those characters simultaneously, thus reducing the overall amount of time it takes to have a serviceable character skilled to do whatever it is you want them to be skilled to do. Your freighter alts, logi alts, link alts, falcon alts, incursion alts, market alts, gank alts, pvp alts, titan alts, and so on and so forth. Those toons are going to be trained to be as perfect as possible in their assigned roles. 1ron is now, basically, all those alts rolled into one. Yeah, he has perfect skills for whatever he wants to do, but he's still just 1 toon, and has to decide exactly what it is he'll be doing when he undocks. You know...same as that specialized alt you've got lying around.

2. There were always going to be max skilled players. Well, ideally there would be anyway. Regardless of how much time it took to get there, as long as Tranquility is running then every single one of us is slowly marching along to the hallowed grounds of being "All V". The only thing that would have ever prevented that would be the game actually shutting down, and nobody wants that. So the existence of character with maximum skills isn't sacrilegious, it just happened a bit quicker than we were expecting.

3. Player skill always has been and always will be more important than a character's skill point total. Let's say, as an example, that our friend with maximum skills decides to take up a jaunt through wormhole space looking to hack up a few relic and data sites, which just so happens to be one of my preferred ways of playing. Is it instantly assumed that he will be more successful than me simply because he has perfect link and market skills? No. In fact, in the skills relevant to scanning and hacking he will have a very marginal advantage because I've trained those things up on my own and have a pretty respectable skill set in that regard. What sets us apart is personal situational awareness, knowledge of how probing and hacking mechanics work, and amount of actual experience in hunting down and clearing those sites. I'll stack my player skills in those regards up against anyone, mainly because I've already been competing against players who are supposed to be better than me for almost two years and have still managed to carve out my own niche there. The same applies in other scenarios as well. Maximizing DPS skills doesn't mean that a player knows the ins and outs of PvP, maximum market skills doesn't mean a player knows how to read and predict market trends, and maximum mining skills don't matter because they're mining skills (*pats my Prospect and Procurer* shh, shh, I was just making a point).

4. The learning curve of Eve has never been tied to skill points, or at least it shouldn't be. Someone who purchases a highly skilled character off of the character bazaar and then drops billions worth of plex to fit out a blinged up battleship forever will be an expensive killmail waiting to happen if they don't know what they're doing. This will be enhanced ever further if that person first spends money to gain the skills to fly said blinged out battleship rather than just buying a character. A person buying a character at least kind of knows what they're looking for, after all. I'd liken this to owning a powerful piece of software versus using a powerful piece of software. For instance, I have access to Adobe Photoshop. I could open it up right now and poke around and maybe draw a line or something. Meanwhile, my wife, who has spent most of her life learning and re-learning Photoshop and photography in general can pop it open and whip up something remarkably gorgeous in a matter of minutes. Skill points are like owning the software, they're the same regardless of who owns them. The thing that takes time and investment is learning, and that's still true.

For these reasons and others, I don't see a problem with the idea of someone paying their way up to having maximum skills. I don't view it as game breaking, and I don't consider it to be "Easy" mode for Eve. It's just another option in the sandbox.

No comments:

Post a Comment