Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm supporting the Skill Packets

The new Dev Blog is out announcing a planned change that allows pilots over 5M skillpoint to pack 500K SP into a tradeable "packet" after paying some Aurum (that comes from PLEX) and sell it on the marketplace. Pilots buying and applying it get unallocated skillpoints, depending on their current skillpoint, full value below 5M, 80% until 50M, 40% until 80M, 10% above.

The community is against it, Rippard, Sugar, Sort Dragon, Mike Azariah, Steve Ronuken explicitly expressing dislike. I also don't like it and consider it something against the immersion and "order of EVE". Yet, I have to support it.

My reasoning has no in-game basis, it's strictly out-of-game. In every game there is illicit character trading which also comes with all kind of unwanted activity, like account theft and real money scamming. Against it, CCP introduced the Character Bazaar where you can buy and sell pilots safely. Since most buyers prefer being safe, most illicit character sales are outmarketed. Now you can tell it was a bad move. You can tell that CCP shouldn't have done that and should be cancelling it now, disallow movement of pilots between accounts not on the same e-mail address and come down with force on those who share or sell accounts.

What you can't tell is that it's OK to buy a 100M SP pilot, but it's not OK to buy an 500K SP packet, because it's dumb. Only a madman would tell that #1 is worse than #2 from the point of immersion, stability and sticking with your decisions:
  1. 100M SP pilot in PL turns into 99.5M SP pilot in PL, while 20M SP highsec miner pilot turns into 20.4M SP highsec miner pilot
  2. 100M SP pilot in PL quits PL, stop answering mails and convoes and shows up in a highsec mining corp, mining, while a 20M SP highsec miner pilot quits his mining corp, stop answering mails and convoes and shows up in Karmafleet.
My point is that if someting (Adam getting a high SP pilot for ISK) is allowed, than it's allowed and the developer must properly support it, or else it will get into the dark zone, giving unfair advantage to "those in the know" over the other players. SP increase should be disallowed or made easy to access. There is no reason for the current status quo where you can get a high SP pilot if you survive the mess of the Bazaar.

Not only the SP packets make it easy for fixing your pilot without having to sell it and buy a new one, suffering the Bazaar and making a mess in-game where people have to learn that X is now you, while Y is not anymore. The SP packets clear practically every pilot below 50M out of the Bazaar, making it much less crowded. Anything under 50M is easier to reach with the new feature, making most current SP traders (including myself) never having to look at that damn thing again. What's left there will be a few 50M+ pilots being traded by those who abandon their main for downsizing and bought by those who want some "uber-epic" pilot.

However I'd add a little suggestion that would take the edge of the riots: change how unallocated skillpoints work. Now if you have them (and with packets, you'll have a lot), you can instantly learn whatever skill you want and have budget for. Instead I'd suggest that unallocated skill points should be manually unusable and automatically double skill training speed. I mean you train your skills and receive SP according to implants and remap just like now and every time you receive 1 SP, you receive 1 SP bonus from your unallocated pool. This way you'd still have to train, but having packets would give a serious boost.

PS: This is contagious! Another retarder carrier killed with medium shield booster.


Borat Guereen said...

I fully agree that the neural skill packages should replace the character bazaar once they have been introduced, and the balance of costs has been worked out properly.

I do like your idea of not using un-allocated skill point for immediate gratification, but using them to accelerate training. We could discuss the exact proportion, as I believe doubling only the training time may not be enough to get most of the benefit of allowing younger players to ramp up fairly quickly to their objective. It could be 2 un-allocated skill point bonus for every skill point trained, or even 3.. but I like the fundamentals that there will still be some kind of training time, even if accelerated greatly.

Zyan said...

I didn't like the idea of instant training, but your idea with unspended skillpoints as boost, is a great one.
another up/down side, you can't say any more that 2 month old char in that ship will be an easy kill... you will never know how many SP he has.

(regarding your kill posting: the medium shieldbooster is a common fit for goon ratting carrier, keeping them cap stable to jump - if not bubbled. this was introduced and explained 2 or 3 weeks ago in Mittani-Twich "newbee tuesday")

Gevlon said...

@Zyan: it must be some in-joke or troll to laugh on the idiots who really fit a medium shield booster. Check out the battle report of the kill: no bubbler was involved. Simple inties held it down, as pointed carriers can't jump. Also, why jump when you can stay aligned and instawarp?

Anonymous said...

"making most current SP traders (including myself) never having to look at that damn thing again"
This is what it comes down to, you like it because it benefits you. Though I think you're underthinking it. One of the problems is that SP will be flooded from characters with loads of excess SP, and it's likely to drop in price to the point that it's no longer worthwhile to plex a characters purely for sale of SP.

Gevlon said...

PLEXing an account only for SP sale should not be profitable. An account currently allows you to
- gain SP
- log in and play

By claiming that gaining SP alone is enough reason to have an account, you are claiming that "log in an play" has zero or negative value.

Anonymous said...

It is a good liberalisation of the market. Where once you could only get boosts all bundled up with predefined qualities set by the seller you now have the freedom to buy the fundamental unit and and build up bundle however you would like. This should see a increase in demand while opening the market up to more sellers.

As for immersion, I've read plenty of SF where learning is done by one individual then extracted and downloaded into another.

Anonymous said...

"What you can't tell is that it's OK to buy a 100M SP pilot, but it's not OK to buy an 500K SP packet, because it's dumb. Only a madman would tell that #1 is worse than #2 from the point of immersion, stability and sticking with your decisions:"

Because, everyone would have an problem if you bought the 100M SP Pilot, and you could reallocate his 100M SP however you want.

You missed the main problem with it....not all SP are created equal.

JDC is more valuable (for example) than Mining Barge V for a PvPer. Under char bazaar system, you are stuck with Mining Barge V if the guy trained it, under the new one, you can just switch your SP around as you like (You could even conceivably do this to your own char, so effectively "reroll" your SP if you wanted)

Pashko Zpc said...

CSM people are strange. These guys proved to be good in planning and analysys but yet standing against such feature.
1. The competition among ~20kk sp trained alts for sale will grow - thats fine.
2. Vets like me don't gain or lose anything with our 60-80-100 mil sp characters.
3. A new player can spend a plex, get some sp, assign it in a chaotic order and waste em (we're talking about a new player). Though he'll be able to get in his drake/relic buzzard/venture a bit faster and he WILL be happy about it. He will get his experience, both positive and negative, faster.
4. We've been introduced a design where sp are drained away from game at an immense rate. This is wonderful.

The only downside is that a one day old char can be a covert cyno but hey, fuck it's just a game.

Pashko Morgan from -nano

Gevlon said...

@Anon: at first you can't reallocate 100M SP, since you lose 500K for every packet creation and get 50K for every usage. You can reallocate a 5M pilot and somewhat lossly a 50M. Secondly, as there are 70 sales per day, you can be sure that all kind of SP is available readily, so you can buy both a 5 JDC or a 5 Mining Barge pilot as you desire.

The only real change is that if you have both and don't need it, you can sell the one you don't need.

Rodolphe Ortalo said...

Good idea that "double speed idea" IMHO. I second it, though primarily for lore reasons at first glance. Without much thinking. (You can imagine that what you extract from one skilled pilot clone brain is a kind of booster for the other one. Hmmm, if only I dared propose new in-game usages for these clone VAT bays... :-)

Anonymous said...

There are enough kills that should prove that the medium shield booster was not an exception:

In any case, some corps in goons will either hand these out, or reimburse them.

Tsed said...

"Simple inties held it down, as pointed carriers can't jump. Also, why jump when you can stay aligned and instawarp?"

A few reasons. For one, if you align, you can end up out of aggro/drone control range, which obviously has problems.

Two, if you don't align, you can sit on a depot in case things go south, allowing you to (if you are awake/competent, refit to stabs to get out or more tank if calling friends.

Finally, with the MSB, you keep your capital navigation window open. If hostiles are coming out of warp (and you're not just planning on calling for help), you select a beacon and jump out -- you might lose some drones, but you're instantly out, *before* you're pointed. No risk of an inline bubble or other such shenanigans.

The mistake these people are making is ratting in Dek while the majority of our useful carrier ratters have moved to PB -- not their fit.

Xenon said...

I like the idea. being able to move SP like that would be a great boon, although the real advantage depends on how flexible those SP are.

50m SP is about 2 and a half years, and 80% is about a weeks worth of SP per package. getting a weeks worth of effort right now will be worth quite a bit to a lot of people, and this is also the SP range where you can make a lot of isk on your own without needing to plex. if this demographic is large enough, we should see a packet of SP being worth 25% of a plex for base value, with spikes in that value early on for 'a fool and his money'. convenience is important, but I don't expect it to cause a significant long-term price increase over plex equivalence.

if sale cost gets higher than plex cost to train those skills, then some pilots will do it for a living, supply increase and cost drop. if purchase cost is lower than equivalent plex cost, then cost should rise until it matches plex. so the cost should stay between those two points. the real question is then, what age group is buying the most that sets the price?

NuTroll said...

I like the comment about 1 day old cynos and gankers.

I just wonder when Chribba or Mittens is going to have a toon with all the skills trained. I'm sure there are a few eve trillionares who are bored enough to try it 50k sp at a time.

Lets say it takes roughly 8000 packets (napkin math, 2013 figure of 434m total) to reach max sp for a toon with 100m already.

Since 500k is slightly less than about half a months worth of training, at current plex prices, lets say each packet is 500m (it depends on aurum amount vs market competition, but i want simple math so 500m it is).

so 1b for 2 packets. so 4000b ? thats like what? 4T?

You scoff, but someone is going to do it. Massive iskflation will result if so.

S Riojas said...

Actually, making it into an speed boost, as opposed to the instant allocation, makes a lot more sense in terms of the game overall. THAT, I can support. What I cannot support is the instant SP that this will put into the market.

As for people suddenly becoming miners in high sec: all those deaths do something to your mind, eventually your personality could be effected. There is more story support for personality changes than sudden jumps and gains in skills. - Took Jamyl Sarum 2+ years for her brain to get re-wired and then she wound up a second personality in her head.

As for medium shield boosters: they must be sufficient for ratting... and keep them cap stable... still... with MOA on the prowl, you would think these people had more sense.

Luke said...

If I see some people that seems to be quite levelheaded (Sugar, Steve Ronuken) to be so vehemently opposed to something that seems good, then there is a possibility that something is left unsaid, that was presented to CSM but not exactly to us.

From the tone of their responses there is a strong hint of microtransactions that will be involved in seeding the market with extractors.

This is actual, real cost that might be missing from equation. Currently you need to spend 2 plex for transferring the character. How much will the Neural Extractors cost?
If we look at whole thing from that perspective, you would suddenly have 2 classes of newbies, ones that bought the packet and those that did not. Given ability of older alliances to buy those packets and then give them to loyal supporters, you have clean means of enslavement by addiction.

Currently, the bazaar characters and process are not something you are pressured to use. Sure, if you have spare isk, but not "do it or be a sucker"

With skill packets, they will become de-facto obligatory - at least to skip first 6 -12 months of being almost useless.

Also this should be seen in light of current player-groups running de-facto isk-printing opeartions.

Add to that developer that would gain financially from 1) extractor sales 2) PLEX sales to finance that obligatory skill buy-in. All in all it boils down to large financial investment up-front to play the game - or be relegated to pauper league.

In a subscription based game.

And this, I think, where from that opposition comes from.