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CCP’s Most Calculated Endeavor

Author
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2017-05-10 04:15:24 UTC
This is a tinfoil hat type post, enjoy.

TLDR; CCP is slowly turning EVE into a FTP game.

Preface

The EVE community always throws out the term “Adapt or Die”, this applies to CCP as well. EVE is great as a niche game, but the problem is that the number of people willing to play this niche is declining. Most new gamers are accustom to the FTP/PTW model with instant gratification at the tips of their credit cards (I blame smartphones). Due to this shift in the attitude of the majority player base, EVE must also Adapt or Die.

FTP Basics

There are two key characteristics that are at the core of all successful FTP games. The first is, at minimum, dual currencies. The first is a currency that is one that is easy to earn in-game and is used for the most basic of transactions…ISK. The second is a currency that cannot easily, if at all, be obtained in-game and is used to purchase special equipment…PLEX. The next characteristic is the special equipment store. This store must contain items that are not “required” to play the game, but make it faster and more enjoyable…the NEX store.

Now that we have the core characteristics of a FTP EVE established, we need something in the store that makes people want to spend PLEX. My theory is SP Injectors. CCP will either reduce or remove the acquisition of SP through training, and instead sell Injectors (note, not Extractors).

The Signs

We can look at changes that have already occurred or have already been announced to see the trend in this direction. Looking at what has already been introduced, we have SP Extractors/Injectors, Clone States, and to a lesser extent the NPE. These features were never requested by the community, but still showed up. They were received with many rage quit posts, but since their release they have shown to be successful introductions.

SP Extractors/Injectors

The SP trade has shown CCP that the community is willing to buy SP packets even after the arguments that SP are sacred. With the path forward to a FTP EVE, this feature facilitates an easy transition by removing Extractors from the NEX Store and adding CCP filled Injectors. This allows them to be the sole source of SP once again.

Clone States

The clone states have shown CCP that not only did the “false” advertising of “EVE is Free” bring in lots of players, new and old, but that the community as a whole accepted players who do not want to pay. It also showed them that many of those players were eventually willing to pay to increase the quality of their gameplay.

NPE

This is a minor change that hides a hint at the FTP EVE model. During the NPE, all new players get a packet of unallocated SP. This is further compounded by the new Buddy Invite reward of even more free unallocated SP. Neither of these Free SP features caused any uproar in the community, which is odd considering the previous complaints about how SP should not come from nowhere. This is also key to the FTP EVE because it shows that CCP is planning on providing new players with the needed SP to start earning ISK to buy PLEX in the future. It also shows how important they think unallocated SP will be to new players.

We can also look at the upcoming features, Granular PLEX and no PLEX for Character Transfer, as signs of the impending FTP model.

Granular PLEX

When this was first announced, many players asked why CCP is using the 500:1 ratio. Why not something divisible by 30 for the days in the month, or by 3500 for the PLEX:Aurum ratio. The reason I see is that neither of those numbers work well with the 1.5-2m SP a character can train in a month. If CCP sells Injectors in 1 newPLEX units then new players will be able to buy 3-4k SP for 2.4m ISK at current rates, which will be a lot easier on them than the 1.5-2m SP for 1.2b ISK.

No PLEX for Character Transfer

CCP recently tried to hide that a “technical” issue will prevent newPLEX from being able to be used for Character Transfer. This has been a tough pill for many players to swallow. But once again, I see this as misdirection from CCP. If the control of SP is going to be the key method of CCP earning capital if it goes FTP, then the Character Bazaar is a problem. This change will allow them to obsolete the system, just like the dead Timecode Bazaar. The change will most likely cause players who would normally sell their character to use PLEX to extract SP and sell those instead of pay the $20 for a whole character transfer. As the numbers draw off, either a “technical issue” or “feature” will make it so that the Character Bazaar is no longer a method to transfer SP.

Future Changes

The biggest change that I could see happening that will help support the idea of FTP EVE would be the removal of Attribute Implants. CCP can use the player requested reason of “It makes PVP more inviting”. But it would also help move in the direction of no more Skill Training. And Attributes with no training does not make sense.
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2017-05-10 04:29:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Amarr Citizen 92653611
If CCP would put a locksmith in the game they'd make a frikken fortune. You know, to unlock the door.

Edited as I forgot to include: I agree with what you've written.
Trigger Warnings
#3 - 2017-05-10 04:55:19 UTC
time to add 24 hour invul POSes that you can anchor anywhere in space for a low price of 4.99 bucks (one use item)
#4 - 2017-05-10 05:27:18 UTC
Whatever the case, the era of monument shooting possibility seems past.


Amarr Empire
#5 - 2017-05-10 07:15:25 UTC
i was kinda hopeing i could buy like 6 days of omega time for 100 plex but you know that's to complicated to add in Shocked
CODE.
#6 - 2017-05-10 07:51:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Ima Wreckyou
Yes, the signs are very obvious. Also did you noticed that those changes came suddenly out of nowhere without the CSM being informed beforehand or without any hint, while with the normal features they hype the **** out of them months, sometimes years before a release?

This combined that there is not really any big content on the radar, looks like there will not even be a summer expansion right now... I am 99.9% sure they are working on something and the fact that no one is talking about it makes me think it is once again a big move in the direction of FTP or a change which would be highly controversial.
Gallente Federation
#7 - 2017-05-10 09:12:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Jahweh
I loved this game, I play it since 2006.

The changes made by CCP however related to FTP and P2W are stupid.

Loads of old and new players will dissapear like snow for the sun and imo CCP doesnt care about you me or CSM.
Amarr Empire
#8 - 2017-05-10 09:21:46 UTC
They've seen how much money they can make by putting a bunch of whales in a tank and charging them for each and every ship, weapon, and round of ammo worth using.

I'd blame mobile for teaching players to run straight for the door if they look in and see free-to-play/pay-to-cheat (please don't call it win, that gives it too much credit). "I can't afford to play free-to-play games" has been a thing for years, and it's not something you want to see here.

For one of those PVP+pay-to-cheat games to work, the wallet warriors need a bunch of minnows to stomp on and a lot of stupid annoying . Except, when you shove the minnows out to where the wallet warriors can stomp on them (not-hisec or not-NPCorp), you end up with a game you couldn't give away for free. If I started today, I'd have left and not looked back. CCP knows there are people who will pay through the nose to be able to crash a gatecamp like one of those streamers. We'd be idiots to think there aren't. CCP would be idiots to think that designing for those players exclusively would keep critical mass.

A signature :o

Goonswarm Federation
#9 - 2017-05-10 12:05:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Yebo Lakatosh
Sister Stetille wrote:
TLDR; CCP is slowly turning EVE into a FTP game.
Not sure what do you mean. Playing since january, plexing two accs, never payed a dime.

EvE is F2P. Deal with it. It makes awesome people like me to arrive.

It's also very cleverly disguised as pay-to-win, so whales spend a lot only to realize it's not.

Elite F1 pilot since YC119, incarnate of honor, integrity and tidi.

#10 - 2017-05-10 15:03:24 UTC
Yebo Lakatosh wrote:
Sister Stetille wrote:
TLDR; CCP is slowly turning EVE into a FTP game.
Not sure what do you mean. Playing since january, plexing two accs, never payed a dime.

EvE is F2P. Deal with it. It makes awesome people like me to arrive.

It's also very cleverly disguised as pay-to-win, so whales spend a lot only to realize it's not.


How many hours a day do you play to plex two accounts? Also if someone else paid CCP to create a plex that you purchased from that player to use for game time, how is that FTP, maybe for you, but CCP still made the money.

*activates thermal hardeners for incoming flame

Cohortes Triarii
#11 - 2017-05-10 15:22:06 UTC
Harute Zateki wrote:
i was kinda hopeing i could buy like 6 days of omega time for 100 plex but you know that's to complicated to add in Shocked


It's not too complicated to read the appropriate page.

Team Size Matters wrote:

"Our current plan is that PLEX will only be redeemed for game time in 30 day chunks, just like now. If you were worried about seeing cyno alts subbed for 3 hours at a time, don’t worry."

♫ ♪ ♪

Gallente Federation
#12 - 2017-05-10 15:34:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Tipa Riot
I think CCP will never go full FTP (relying one few whales to finance all the leachers), because the sub, PLEX, injector eco system is just too profitable and stable income imo. Hence free accounts will remain severely limited, and players will be encouraged to buy a subscription or PLEX.

The big question now is, what can/will CCP do to

1. attract and keep more players, vastly more, like double, tripple population
2. keep existing veterans (who are the content providers) happy
3. scale the revenue stream with the new players (make a significant portion pay)

I'm my own NPC alt.

Goonswarm Federation
#13 - 2017-05-10 15:43:19 UTC
Xzanos wrote:
How many hours a day do you play to plex two accounts?
I play too much. With some passive incomes, it takes about 3 afternoons of active grinding to PLEX an acc. Working on turning more and more of that to passive, and trying to increase my active ISK-printing efficiency too.

But I spend the majority of my time by going on fleets and spinning ships, like everyone else.

Elite F1 pilot since YC119, incarnate of honor, integrity and tidi.

Gallente Federation
#14 - 2017-05-10 15:44:09 UTC
Tipa Riot wrote:
I think CCP will never go full FTP (relying one few whales to finance all the leachers), because the sub, PLEX, injector eco system is just too profitable and stable income imo. Hence free accounts will remain severely limited, and players will be encouraged to buy a subscription or PLEX.

The big question now is, what can/will CCP do to

1. attract and keep more players, vastly more, like double, tripple population
2. keep existing veterans (who are the content providers) happy
3. scale the revenue stream with the new players (make a significant portion pay)


No FTP is totally free, they all rely on whales to buy premium items. And with the model I have laid out, everyone that wants more SP would have to spend money. And essentially that is half of what you buy now, 1 month access and 1 month SP (if you keep up on your queue)
Dredd - The Purification Project
#15 - 2017-05-10 15:46:26 UTC
Sister Stetille wrote:

SP Extractors/Injectors

The SP trade has shown CCP that the community is willing to buy SP packets even after the arguments that SP are sacred.

Small point here, but this 'has shown' nothing, except the fact that being competitive and generating ISK is far more 'sacred' than any idealistic wish about how the game should work. Those who are not 'willing' but are able are handicapping themselves, and in EvE, that is not okay. Like it or not, approve of it or not, Skill Extractors and Skill Injectors are another tool, and if they can be used, they must be used.
#16 - 2017-05-10 16:06:33 UTC
As I understand the main theme of the topic is that buying SP is PTW. To some degree it is. But not entirely. I for instance, have more than 100mil SP, earned old way, and have almost perfect combat skills. And I'm still bad at PVP. How anyone new to the game who buys all the SP right away could be better than I?

It is constantly being reminded that having SP and gear does not guarantee win of any kind. One can buy a titan, one can buy skills for titan, but can one fly a titan? Longer than it takes to light a cyno?

Actually I see it as the perfect manifestation of Malcanis' law. Those who will benefit most from the new system are those who are already well rooted in the game.
Evictus.
#17 - 2017-05-10 16:12:46 UTC
There is no question that CCP is making it easier to buy stuff in the NES. There was nothing in that store I wanted badly enough to trade an old PLEX for 3500 Aurum. Replacing Aurum with granular PLEX is one of the smartest moves they've made in a while.

I don't think Eve can work using a normal micro-transaction based F2P model. This game doesn't entertain you, you need to entertain yourself and the people who stay with Eve tend to get involved with the meta-game at some level - politics, economics, group dynamics. I don't see how to monetize that player to player interaction using micro-transactions.

Making ISK in Eve is easy once you know how. There have been days when I made a billion ISK overnight while I was sleeping. The markets don't care if I'm logged in or not. What CCP needs to do is make it more fun for me to spend that ISK in game instead of using it to PLEX my subscription. A rigged Azbel is roughly equivalent to a one year subscription but only needs to survive for a few months to pay for itself.
Sev3rance
#18 - 2017-05-10 16:21:21 UTC
the butt-hurt is swollen in this thread

IB4L...
CODE.
#19 - 2017-05-10 16:44:21 UTC  |  Edited by: Ima Wreckyou
hmskrecik wrote:
It is constantly being reminded that having SP and gear does not guarantee win of any kind. One can buy a titan, one can buy skills for titan, but can one fly a titan? Longer than it takes to light a cyno?

The expression "pay to win" does not mean that you literally pay to win the game. It usually means that you can purchase an in-game advantage be that currency, gear or speed up timers and such. There are a lot of f2p games out there which make their game by selling only vanity items, hence it is not possible to purchase an advantage, EVE is not such a game.

Also it is usually the case that all players if p2w games will make up some seriously weak arguments like "if you are bad at PvP you can't just buy win" to convince themselves that they are not playing such a game. I like EVE, but I accept that it is pay2win and so should you. There is no gain in deluding yourself.

The fact that EVE is a dynamic player driven sandbox means that in most cases this advantages have an impact for you but not necessary for everyone else. At least it does not make a difference for other people since they will judge your strength by the stuff you fly and your kb history and if necessary just bring more people or not engage at all.

A real problem only manifests if you have some really really rich dude who starts to influence the sandbox by actually financing whole wars with his credit card, which is actually possible and indeed happened. How can anyone in the light of such events pretend that EVE is not p2w is beyond me, but here we are again.
Mercenary Coalition
#20 - 2017-05-10 17:28:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Rowells
I don't play many FTP/P2W games so maybe I'm wrong, but the biggest difference I see in CCPs model is that besides the access a subscription gives you, there is no exclusive content or advantages you can purchase. Aside from vanity items and PLEX subscriptions, everything in this game is attainable in by means everyone has (special cases like AT ships aside).

Someone had to mine the ore for the Titan, someone had to pay sub + train skills to get that SP, someone had to eat that isk into existence. Your not necessarily buying an advantage, you're trading for it.

What passes for Eve's P2W model started with the introduction of PLEX. This has been going on for years, so it would be my guess that he real impact has already happened. The recent changes have only expanded on it. This isn't the earthwuake, these are the aftershocks.
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