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Alternative to Skill Trading

Moac Tor
Cyber Core
Immediate Destruction
#1 - 2015-10-21 18:27:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Moac Tor
During the Vegas keynote Seagull mentioned that skill trading is an idea in which she feels will benefit the game, but also understood that this is a fundamental change to the game and so asked the playerbase for feedback / suggestions on how to go forward. With this in mind after some time to fully reflect on the consequences of the change, I offer the following constructive suggestions and criticisms of the proposal below.

To consolidate my criticisms of skill trading I will link to the relevant thread, and then post my ideas on a better solution below:

Issues with the Skill Trading Proposal


Skill Remapping

I have always been against this, but if this will help newer players by making the skill system less unforgiving, then upon reflection if it is implemented in a moderate way then it shouldn't be too bad. So here is my suggestion.

You buy a Neural Modifier from the market (or Aurum store) which comes in the types below:

Basic Neural Modifier - allows character to reallocate up to 3m SP - cost 1 PLEX - cool-down 1 year.
Enhanced Neural Modifier - allows character to reallocate up to 5m SP - costs 2 PLEX - cool-down 1 year.

To stop the kind of exploitation which you would get with the instant reallocation of unallocated SP in the skill trading proposal, the skill remapping would have a cool-down period of one year. You could reallocate during the cool-down period although you will get diminishing returns. So in practice the reallocation would only confers the full benefit if you wait for one year after the previous reallocation. If you reallocate for instance 6 months after the last reallocation (50% of the cool-down period) then you would get 50% of the benefit (1.5m or 2.5m SP).

These prices are still high for a newer player (who will be the one who needs them the most), and so to make the skill system is even less unforgiving for newer players (and due to the malleability of a new player's brain) they would have the opportunity to reallocate their SP more freely during their initial stages. As a result all new characters would come with 2 free Neural Modifications which would allow them to reallocate 2m SP each time for no cost and with no cool-down (this would be fixed to the character and could not be traded).

I believe skill remapping would make the skill system less unforgiving as choices could be undone to a limited degree and at a cost (again would be much more favourable to a newer player). This would achieve some of CCP's goals without introducing the type of grind you would get with trying to buy skill packets, and all and possibilities of exploitation that come with that.

Cerebral Enhancers

Another of the issues that CCP mentioned was that newer players were quitting because they didn't feel as though they could speed up their progress. I think this is also a fair point and newer players should be able to speed things up to some degree, although very importantly they should not be able to just completely skip straight to 50m SP if they have the out of game money.

The exception to this is obviously the character bazaar, although with another method in place to speed up skill training though I believe newer players would not feel so inclined to take the jump and buy a character from the bazaar. I don't believe that using the CB is a good gameplay experience for a new player (and usually doesn't end well) so offering them a valid alternative should give more choices to a new player and hopefully increase retention. The CB should be more of a tool for advanced players wanting to trade highly specialised character, and genuine new players will be catered for by the proposal below.

Cerebral enhancers would come in the 2 variations below:

Standard Enhancer
increases SP gain by 100% for 7 days.
Estimated market price - 1/8 Plex (150m)

Advanced Enhancer
increases SP gain by 150% for 7 days.
Estimated market price - 1/4 Plex (300m)

The effect of the enhancer is modified based upon the SP total of the character it is used upon.

0 – 10 million skillpoints = 100% effect (150% increased training speed - 6750 SP hour max)
10 - 25 million skillpoints = 75% effect (112.5% increased training speed - 5737.5 SP hour max)
25 - 50 million skillpoints = 50% effect (75% increased training speed - 4725 SP hour max)
50 – 80 million skillpoints = 25% effect (37.5% increased training speed - 3712.5 SP hour max)
80 + million skillpoints = 20% effect (30% increased training speed - 3510 SP hour max)

Using cerebral enhancers which heavily benefit newer players over older players would mean that if newer players chooses to do so then they could speed up their skill training for a reasonable cost . As this proposal is not as exploitable as the instant unallocated SP you would get with skill trading, I don't see this being quite as desirable to veteren players (particularly considering they benefit they would get is only 1/5 of that which a new player would get). As a result the market would reflect a price that is attainable to a new character.
Exotic Dancers Union
#2 - 2015-10-21 19:17:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Mornak
one of the major downsides of this idea (it's even worse for CCPs approach) is the fact that you take away important intel for small-gang/solo players.

So far, checking a characters age allowed you to estimate the maximum possible SP a character can have. A character that is 5 month old can now have the SP's of an almost one year old char if he uses your advanced implants (there's no way at all to guess this in CCPs approach). And there's no way of telling if a pilot uses this implants (or has in the past) or not.

if two 5 year old characters fight one another, this is not a big deal, you'll only use a fraction of your SPs on a specific ship/fit anyways... plus you can expect both pilots to be at least close to max.skilled for the ships/fits they fly.

But if two young players meet in battle, it's VERY important to at least be able to guess the SPs the other pilot has.

I'm fully aware that player skills are in most cases much more important than a few SPs and that "guessing" a characters SPs is always a very risky thing since you don't know what skills that person actually skilled.... and I'm not saying that it will "break" the game or so, but i would rather have people get an advantage for gathering intel (going the extra mile) instead of adding an additional "random element" to fights.

in this respect it's an improvement over CCPs idea... but it still worsens the situation in comparison to now.

...just my two cents, i posted the same comment on CCPs thread.
Omnathious Deninard
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2015-10-21 19:25:22 UTC
So, while I am 100% against SP trading, I will ask the question of;
Where will these accelerators come from?

If you don't follow the rules, neither will I.

Moac Tor
Cyber Core
Immediate Destruction
#4 - 2015-10-21 19:37:59 UTC
Omnathious Deninard wrote:
So, while I am 100% against SP trading, I will ask the question of;
Where will these accelerators come from?

That is a good question. Initially I was thinking these could be found in game somehow and then sold on the market. Although on the other hand CCP needs money and this could be a good revenue stream for them, and with that in mind I set out the proposal above with having them sold on the Aurum store, and then they can be traded on the market or injected.

I've always been against the idea of grinding to get skills and especially paying for them. I don't really think it is necessary due to the way the skill system in eve works. But it seems CCP is looking for ways to increase new player retention, and apparently the ability to progress faster was one of the major reasons a lot of people quit.

The way CCP was currently headed with their skill trading proposal would have sent eve down the wrong path completely, and so I suggest this idea in an attempt to add a little more common sense in offering a solution to this problem.

The way I see it is if new players stick around long enough to realise what eve is about and that having loads of SP doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be any good if your knowledge and skills aren't up to scratch (and in fact doesn't even matter if you focus your skill training), then in the initial stages perhaps offering them the option to grind or purchase these enhancers will ease them into the game. After all many of them will have come from wow and other such games in which the eve skill system will be completely alien to them.
Frostys Virpio
State War Academy
Caldari State
#5 - 2015-10-21 20:24:12 UTC
How about you post in the feedback thread?
Moac Tor
Cyber Core
Immediate Destruction
#6 - 2015-10-21 22:56:48 UTC
Frostys Virpio wrote:
How about you post in the feedback thread?

If you don't think that this idea warrants a thread in F&I discussion forum then the correct action is that you should petition it.

I have posted this idea in that thread with a link to here for further discussion.
Shallanna Yassavi
qwertz corp
#7 - 2015-10-23 06:21:38 UTC
The big thing I see is the question of how a newbie will afford it. If the answer is "sell plex", it's back to that p2w thing.

A signature :o

Maldiro Selkurk
Radiation Sickness
#8 - 2015-10-23 11:32:20 UTC
I see no good reason why high SP players should be cheated.


Yawn,  I'm right as usual. The predictability kinda gets boring really.

Rek Seven
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2015-10-23 12:22:41 UTC
But CCPs proposals aim to replace the character bazaar not boost training time... does it not?
Serendipity Lost
Repo Industries
#10 - 2015-10-23 12:36:09 UTC
Rek Seven wrote:
But CCPs proposals aim to replace the character bazaar not boost training time... does it not?

CCP could just get rid of the character bazaar if they wanted to. Maybe they should.

The eve training system that seperates grinding from sp is a unique conerstone of the game. Incorporating any changes that cheapen the time investment into a character cheapens the game and weakens the foundation of the game. The bazaar already does this (and in my opinion should just be removed via the EULA - my opinion - keep in mind I'm not trying to open an argument on the merits of my opinion on this matter in some other guys thread.)

I will argue that CCP should turn a deaf ear to all these SP machinations. It would be refreshing if they would just put a statement in the rules for this forum section that SP mechanics aren't going to change and hand out a weak long forum break to anyone bringing up any more of this nonsense.

My interprtation of SP schemes:

All other mmos - hours of mind numbing grinding to advance
EVE - patience and thoughtful planning to advance

These SP whines - I like not having to grind, but I don't have patience - gimme gimme gimme (gimme = give me for a 3 yr old)
Moac Tor
Cyber Core
Immediate Destruction
#11 - 2015-10-23 15:36:07 UTC
Serendipity Lost wrote:
These SP whines - I like not having to grind, but I don't have patience - gimme gimme gimme (gimme = give me for a 3 yr old)

I agree with you there. I'm not sure if you've been keeping up with current events though but CCP seems set on ripping up the skill system to help new players -

If they are going to rip it up then I'd rather they follow a less destructive proposal such as the one I listed above than the one mentioned in the blog.

Rek Seven wrote:
But CCPs proposals aim to replace the character bazaar not boost training time... does it not?

I do not believe so, they will still be keeping the character bazaar as far as I know.
Serendipity Lost
Repo Industries
#12 - 2015-10-23 15:44:37 UTC
There is a saying that 2 wrongs don't make a right.

A corallary to that is compromising with a bad idea half way is still a bad idea.

Reaver Glitterstim
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2015-10-23 19:18:44 UTC
I say we allow characters to convert SP directly into ISK at some sub-par rate. This should cause some ISK inflation of the economy but also would inflate the value of characters in the bazaar.

FT Diomedes: "Reaver, sometimes I wonder what you are thinking when you sit down to post."

Frostys Virpio: "We have to give it to him that he does put more effort than the vast majority in his idea but damn does it sometime come out of nowhere."

Moac Tor
Cyber Core
Immediate Destruction
#14 - 2015-10-27 13:24:04 UTC
I have updated the OP with further details regarding issues that will arise as a result of skill trading, and also expanded on the solutions.