From the Patch Notes for Vanguard, 6th heading down, Skills…
All new characters will now start with approximately 400,000 skillpoints rather than 50,000.
I find this interesting and potentially… mebbe not smart. I do get the whole let’s make EVE easier to play for the newbs cause no matter how you look at it PCU is down, CCP stopped sharing any hard numbers on the subs a few years ago and no matter how you slice it or look at it, I don’t believe anyone can say the playerbase is growing… it’s not.
So CCP is making changes, as any good company would, to try and boost sales, secure their financial stability and increase profitability. Hence the increased focus on improving the NPE (New Player Experience) and refreshing the game by breaking the stagnation of nullsec and opening up those areas of the game for more players.
This change, a relatively large bump in new player base SP, is pretty obviously a part of the NPE strategy. Get players into a few T2 weapons and Frigate L5 on the very first day. There is debate on this and some hard feelings and others who feel it is naught but good.
Sugar Kyle said something that resonated strongly with me, in her CSMX - Post #29…
“It is a fine balance between helping new players invest without taking away rewarding first moments. I'm not convinced that skilling them into T2 weapons and Frigate 5 on day one is the path to go. For one, not everyone wants combat capabilities and for two, you take away so many early accomplishments that your help can also hinder.
We who play, who write these blogs and argue these mechanics are vested in Eve. We have to invest new players first in the very concepts of our game.”
Investment… I am vested in EVE. I have spent 5 years playing EVE, from a few hours a week to 5, 6 or more hours an evening. I started in Nov. 2010 and I had but the std. 50k SP. I, as we all have, worked my way up the skill tree, the vaunted Learning Cliff of EVE. I am proud of this, I am proud of my accomplishments.
As Sugar said, we have to invest new players to our game… not give them cart blanc, just hand them the power and abilities without any of the costs, consequences… and the wonder of exploring and the joy of discovery. Something handed to you for free is worth exactly what you paid for it… it is worthless, you have nothing ‘invested’ in it.
Let’s define this…
2. to devote one's time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.
“…with the expectation of worthwhile result.” OK, what is a ‘worthwhile result’?
1. worth the time, money, or effort spent; of value or importance.
“…of value or importance.” OK…
We need to define exactly what it is we place value on or feel is important in the time we invest in skills in EVE Online. Is there actual value or importance in the Skill Points?
Obviously yes as skills are how one gets access to new ships and modules and activities in EVE. Access to almost everything is skill based and skills are accrued over Real Time, not Game Time as in so many other games where grinding while logged on is how one accrues skills and abilities.
And the dual crux for me is this…
EVE is such a complex game with so many paths that can be taken that not everyone necessarily wants combat capabilities right off the bat.
What if someone joins the game because his buddies talk about building ships and modules and the market… or even building Supers or Titans?
What about explorers who are mainly interested in scanning and searching covertly? What about players who come to EVE because of the market with no desire to ever undock again once they get to Jita?
And then there is this…
Just ‘giving’ such a higher number of SP at the start really does remove so many of the early accomplishments all the rest of us went through. I don’t know about anyone else, but as frustrated as I sometimes was back in my noob days… frustrated feeling I wasn’t keeping up, frustrated that I felt wasn’t really contributing to the group because of my low SP… even then I knew that it was OK, that this is how one learns and grows.
I look back now and I remember my noobhood as a fantastic and amazing time, one that I would not now change for the virtual life of me. This ‘gift’ of SP denies new players some of this experience… and as in real life the only thing we take from EVE, the only thing of real value… of real worth… is our experiences and memories.
I have a saying I try to live by…
“All you can take with you when you die is your memories… Pack carefully.”