Friday, April 8, 2016

The New Eden Daily

CCP are introducing the concept of "dailies" to Eve Online. If you don't know what is ment by "daily", its an incentive to log into the game at least once a day to do some simple task for an extra reward. In the case of the current plan for Eve, the reward is an extra 10,000 skill points for killing an NPC once every 22 hours. Put down the gun.

On the surface, I like the idea. I do find it hilarious that in the pre-skill trading world the mantra was "SP doesn't matter, player skill matters". Post-skill trading and suddenly the entire fucking game revolves around an SP total. Now, with the mere suggestion that more skill points will be available to everyone each day, not only are skill points the single most life giving important aspect of the game, but everyone will have too many and ,that makes them meaningless.

Its important to point out something I just said a second time: these skill points are available to everyone, much like the 24 hours that make up each day. I've seen it said that this is a bad move because when time is the only factor for gaining skill points, then everyone is equal. Unlike skill injectors, which do have a price of admission that keeps plenty of people from using them, the daily reward is equal in that anyone can access it. Certainly, there will be days that individual players won't be able to log in and collect, but most if not all players will miss days. The only people hurt by this would be anyone not logging in for weeks at a time or anyone who lets their subscription lapse, and I can't be bothered to give a crap how they feel about it. Its nice to see an extra incentive for actually logging in and playing the game, however briefly.

And skill points are the only incentive that make sense. ISK rewards would only lead to extra inflation go against the idea of a purely player driven market. Similarly, in-game assets would also screw things up. And there is no way things that can be bought with actual money are going to be given out on a mass scale, so Plex and Arum are out. CCP wants you to play, not cut into income streams. Beyond all that, the only real way CCP could offer a reward is in skill points.

The only things that rub me wrong here are the limited activities that offer the reward, the set flat amount of SP rewarded, and the fear of "what comes next".

Firstly, the incentive should be tied to every playstyle possible, not just NPC killing. Hacking a can, mining a rock, shooting another player, selling an item, jumping a gate or wormhole, scanning a sig hell, spinning a ship...all things I would open up to receiving the extra SP. It should legitimately be that when a player logs in and does WHATEVER THEY WANT they get the bonus. Limiting it to a few activities forces all players to do those things, and that isn't Eve.

Second, 10,000 skill points at a time anywhere always is just silly. Like any other reward, this should scale with risk and effort. Lets go with the proposed NPC killing reward. It should not be "kill one NPC anywhere and get 10,000 skill points". It should be more like "1 skill point per high sec rat killed, 100 per lowsec rat, 500 per nullsec rat, 1000 per sleeper (in wormhole), up to 10,000 per day". Similar models for different activities. A flat rate is boring, lazy, and does not encourage actual gameplay sessions. It encourages log in, do quick thing, log out. Yawn.

Third, for this to work in the context of Eve, it HAS to remain limited. There needs to be a hard cap on the amount of skill points that can be earned each day through the daily rewards. You can only passively earn so many SP over 24 hours, after all. If we stick with the 10,000 SP amount, that needs to be the limit across ALL activities that can earn the SP reward. It cannot be rat for 10k, the mine for 10k, the market for 10k, then explore for 10k,et cetera. 10k a day, per character, period. No double days, no extra rewards. Keep it simple and keep it limited.

Again, I'm not against the concept here, and I still believe that skill points don't matter. But if this is going to work, it needs to be done right within the context of Eve. Otherwise, its going to be a laughing stock. Tread lightly, devs.

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