Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Passive aggressive

I'd like to make one more point about my DUST-related post, below.  An anonymous commenter asked:
Skill points accumulate passively and build up "in the bank", so to speak, and you can apply them to skills when you've accumulated enough? Am I understanding that right?
Yes, you're understanding it perfectly.  That's how it works, and that's public information that they released at Fanfest.  Then he goes on to list an implication (edited a bit)...
That's a change they could make to EVE, and if they do that then consider a new character on a newly subbed account who does nothing but accumulate skill points. Minimal logging on for a couple of years. After 2 years of this, the character is put up for sale and with a nice chunk of SP to be spent, would be an attractive purchase for many.

What the above scenario results in is this: A character with no injected skills, but with a vast reserve of SP just waiting to be applied...
...and I'm going to stop you right there.

This is why passive skill point accumulation will probably never come to EVE, no matter how much we all might like it.  Characters are far too easy to trade and to sell in EVE.  Characters with 25 (or 50, or 75) million unallocated SP would instantly put pretty much everything else in the Character Bazaar out of business.  Even characters with only a couple million unallocated SP are commanding a nice premium in the Bazaar right now.  As I said, DUST doesn't have this problem because I can't imagine DUST ever having a Character Bazaar.

There's a true irony here, though.  CCP has flat-out said that they want to make people log into EVE periodically.  That's why the SP system is built the way it is in EVE.  If you're subscribed, you must log in at least often enough to add skills to your training queue.  And EVE, of course, costs either money or PLEXes to play.  This is the game that CCP is making you log into periodically.

Whereas DUST 514, the free-to-play game, that costs you nothing to log into?  According to publicly available information:
  1. Log in today, start a character.
  2. Avoid the game for six months.
  3. Then log in and reap the benefits of six months of free SP.
In other words, do exactly what the anonymous commenter suggests.  CCP is not making DUST players log into their free-to-play game.  It's not game-breaking, of course.  But it's weird.  It's a true irony because CCP should be doing every possible thing they can to encourage as many people as they can to log into DUST frequently.  But in this way, they've not done it.

Of course, this is an easy problem to fix.  My suggestion would be to put an upper cap on unallocated SP in DUST 514.  Depending on the upper limit set, that would encourage more frequent log-ins.  Just a thought.

Thanks for your comment, anonymous!

19 comments:

  1. The reason is to make "unsubscribed" players to return. If you got fed up with DUST and don't log in for a year, you have an extra reason to return: your character will be much stronger than last time.

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  2. I guess there are no attributes which influence your SP generation like implants do in eve. It looks like an interesting approach with those unallocated SPs but an upper limit would do well to keep people checking in for news.
    On the other hand it keeps players who left the game still in the position of "I have been there from the beginning" which is to some players very important. Further more it will increase the initial "Storm" to the game since everyone knowing about it is going to say him self "i will create my account now, if i don't want to play it now maybe i want it later" and ccp can say "hey we got xy thousand registrations during the first week.

    ccp stated that there won't be a pay to win and nothing you can't get through playing will be sold. don't know how strict they stick to that. maybe they offer time boosters but in my opinion that would be game breaking. but a option for "remap" for some $ could work. Bound to an object like a plex and it would be available for everyone.

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  3. Maybe different levels of experience gain: passive versus actual logged in time at a higher rate, with additional "bonus" xp for missions completed, battles won etc... This would also enable them to sell experience modifiers, one shot health/resist etc items.

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  4. F2P games can't punish people like that.

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  5. o/ Jester! That was my comment you're referring to in this blog entry. I guess I wasn't insinuating that I'd like to see such a skillpoint-bank system in EVE, as much as wondering if CCP might go ahead and implement such a thing regardless of what the existing players might think about it. They have the ability to pool SP and let the player apply them already: they did it with the removal of the Learning Skills on TQ, and on SISI they give free SP to players who take part in the mass tests. They'll probably make use of it again when the battlecruiser ship skills are re-tooled in a few months. The mechanism exists. By lengthening the skill queue out to a month (or more) and allowing the players to activate a "SP Acculumate" mode on their training - possibly at a reduced rate - they could make it more attractive for generally inactive accounts to remain active. And paying.

    I've got no real idea of where they might or might not go with something like that, but I have always contended that if there was a way to attract 1 million new players to eve, CCP would throw the existing playerbase under a bus in a heartbeat. If they have success with Dust, I can't help but think they may consider a sea change (not exactly a NGE though) with how they view their EVE subs. The game is over 9 years old now, and if they're truly stuck in the 350-400 thousand active account range, at what point would they decide to take some chances with it in order to try and grow that number? Would Sony?

    Glad I gave you something to think about anyway :)

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  6. What you don't address is that Active Skillpoint gains also exist in Dust...and they're much greater than the passive skills. The player who doesn't play for a month has some incentive to log back in because, "Oh yeah, that Dust game will have some free SP laying around for me to try something new," but the player who played that entire month will be leaps and bounds ahead of them in SP gained. In other words, the Passive SP are a reason to return, not a reason to not play.

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    1. Has this information been released to the public or is it under NDA?

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    2. I remember hearing this from a CCP dev on one of their videos. I think it was the Dust presentation at fanfest or something.

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    3. Find me a public reference to it and I'll be happy to speak more on this issue. I haven't been able to find a public reference to it.

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    4. First Anon again (but not the other anon response), you can check out http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2012-dust-514/731553 Starting around 1 min for the 1 SP every 4 seconds tick. Check out http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2012-dust-514/731551 at 4:40 to see a match ending screen and the player awarded SP. If CCP hasn't said it explicitly (they may have, I have trouble keeping track of what things are and aren't under an NDA at this point), then anyone can still look close enough at the gameplay footage that's been released to make that inference.

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    5. serpentinelogic has it: "CCP Praetorian: Yes. We share EVE's passive skilling or the overall concept of passive skilling. And then that is modified with active skilling, or success in battles and other PvP can speed up your skill point accrual".

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    6. This is hitting the nail on the head. For players that are only half interested in the game this provides the leverage needed to get players to give the game another try after they've applied their XP/Skill Points/ect. It does leave players that are mostly interested in the game but not quite enough to log in regularly with little additional incentive to log in but CCP's clearly banking on that being smaller then those who are half interested in the game. There's also a lot to be said for getting players to try your game a few times with different experiences to try to hook them in.

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  7. And a good reason to make... well, as many accounts as you can to sell them in future? I know, market rules state that if there is oversupply, price will certainly be low. But there will be no good reason to actually subscribe as a fresh player in, lets say, a year. It is like players will sell the game, not the CCP.

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  8. "Characters with 25 (or 50, or 75) million unallocated SP would instantly put pretty much everything else in the Character Bazaar out of business."

    So? That's not a good enough reason not implement a great idea. CCP making changes that significantly and adversely impact a market and/or a group of players? Been done before, and no big deal, life goes on.

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  9. Yeah, conventional wisdom is you can't punish f2p players like that or they'll just quit. You have to give them bonus SP for logging in or something.

    LoL has a "first win of the day" bonus for example.

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    1. "Conventional" is ALWAYS right - like the "conventional wisdom" that said the Earth was flat...

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  10. The longer you go without playing DUST, the more options you have when you come back. If you don't log on for 6 months, you have whole skill trees you can add to your character and lots of new options for what to do in-game. This _is_ an incentive to log back on; you get to play with the new shinies! (and you probably pay real money to buy the shinies since you haven't been grinding up ISK in those 6 months)

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  11. Jester have you seen the game trailer videos from E3? Should allow a lot more information to be used in future posts.

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