Statement Regarding Skill Point Packages

Today was originally going to be a day for the EVE North recap, but CCP revealed the ability to purchase skill points in starter pack equivalents directly for money, so I felt it warranted a post on its own.

This is a major change in tack from previous messaging on the matter, going back all the way to the first dev blog. A significant part of the reason many people, myself included, were not overly opposed to skill injectors was the following line:

It’s very important to note here that this means all the skillpoints available to buy on the market in EVE will have originated on other characters where they were trained at the normal rate. Player driven economies are key to EVE design and we want you to decide the value of traded skillpoints while we make sure there is one single mechanism that brings new skillpoints in to the system – training.”

While alpha injectors operate someone opposite to this, they act more as a simplified booster than direct SP purchasing, due to the 24 hour cooldown. Indeed, CCP explicitly stated that this was an alternative to the boosters to avoid needing to implement additional mechanics. This is a step over the bridge, and then a sprint straight across it, and onto the side of originating from nothing while being exchange for isk. PLEX have remained in a state where you purchase plex with money, and sell the plex for isk, creating a market approach to the issue. With this, that market approach is ignored, and instead you have a direct pay to win scenario.

This is a very bad sign of things to come, and it’s particularly worrying that they waited until right after EVE North to show their hand, as it indicates they knew this would go over badly, and were actively trying to hide it. I fear the further expansion of this trend, and I do believe there will indeed be an expansion if CCP does not see much resistance from this. To that end, I feel it is critical that sales of the pack are minimized, as even if they get bad press, if they’re seeing enough revenue, they will likely continue anyways.

The other notable issue with these is the damage booster. While the fears of the fleets of injected titans are unfounded, what it does have the very real potential to impact is roaming. It’s a straight up pay to win buff, where by giving CCP money, you get to roam with a 20% damage bonus. And because it’s roaming, the SP requirement is lower, which means you may very well see people out and about in ships which are already on the broken side, and now have a ludicrously large damage bonus. If this becomes something available outside that age limit, it’ll only worsen the issue, as at that point, you’re in a full on pay to win state, where the people who pay have a 20% damage bonus unobtainable without spending real money. This is a classic slippery slope situation.

Cornak Firefist