Thursday, November 25, 2010

Learning Skills Going Away in Eve

Today is Thanksgiving here in the States and today CCP gave us something to be thankful for: the end of learning skills.  Tentatively scheduled to apply in time for Christmas, here is the current plan as outlined by CCP Greyscale in his latest dev blog:
Ok, so about a fortnight ago (that's two weeks for those of you who don't speak Proper English), CCP Zulu (our august and esteemed Senior Producer) decided he was totally and completely fed up of being asked when we were going to get rid of learning skills, and told us (Team Yggdrasill at your service, m'lud) that he wanted them gone. And there was much cheering. And then someone asked "when shall we do this?", and verily did he reply unto us "by Christmas, or I'm going to give you lot a right proper bollocking and no mistake". And then we went away and dug through the big stack of plans we've made to deal with this in the past - "just as soon as we find time to do it" - and found the best one, and then figured out how to implement it in the time available.

THEREFORE, let it be understood that we have now the following plan:
  • As of downtime today, all NPC sell orders for the eleven skills in the Learning group (hereafter referred to as "learning skills") have been CANCELLED. They're really not much use in the long run, we don't want to complicate later steps with unusual inflows of skillbooks, and it might go some way towards limiting the amount of scams that we know you're going to be running. Please, think of the children newbies.

FURTHERMORE, as of a patch which should arrive on (or about) the 14th of December:
    • We're not kidding. In your head, in your hangar or in your anything else, they're gone. Vamoosh. Deleted. Sent to the big recycle bin in the sky. Etc etc.
  • All skillpoints invested in learning skills will be reimbursed, including all the fiddly corner cases. If you have 2,012,692 SP in learning, you will find yourself down those skills, but with 2,012,692 skillpoints to redistribute.
  • All skillbooks not currently injected into people's heads will be reimbursed at the old NPC sell price. The money will go to whichever character or corporation owns the container that the skillbooks are in. For example, things in cans you've anchored for yourself will be reimbursed to you, things in corporate hangar arrays or the "deliveries" bin will be reimbursed to the owning corporation.
  • This will also involve cancelling any and all market orders containing these skills. Contracts containing learning skills will have those skillbooks substituted for copies of the Pax Amarria.
  • All new and existing characters will have an extra 12 base points (ie, non-remappable) in each attribute.
  • The 100% training speed bonus up to 1.6m SP will no longer be available. People partway through this bonus will lose the remaining bonus amount. They will of course gain a huge attribute bonus to make up for it.
  • Miscellaneous other cleanup tasks will be performed that are not very interesting, details available on request.

This, as it stands, represents THE PLAN. We've talked to the CSM about it a bit, and taken their concerns onboard, but the point we're at right now is that there's very minimal room for alterations if we're going to deliver our Christmas presents on time. We will of course be monitoring feedback here for any serious concerns, but please be aware that we've considered pretty much all the options, and we're of the opinion the plan as outlined here represents the best balance between being nice and being sensible. While reading this you may find yourself thinking "wouldn't it be better if you..."; it's very likely that we've already thought of this and dismissed it because it increases the technical workload and therefore (by proxy) the deployment risk, and we don't have time for that sort of thing.
I have just posted the general plan.  CCP Greyscale gets into more specifics in his dev blog.  I can just say I'm happy about this, especially since I did not start up a third account during the last Power of 2 promotion.  I have two people who have expressed an interest in Eve at work and I'm really glad I won't have to try to explain learning skills to them if they do jump into the game.

The reinbursement of the skill points is nice too.  While Wandering Rose only has 500,000 skill points invested in learning skills, Rosewalker has 1.6 million.  That is going to help speed up my training plan a lot.

One additional point to make.  Remember when some players were outraged (well, at least concerned) about CCP making the mechanics to award players skill points?  Well, that system is coming in handy now.

(NOTE: Props to Illwill Bill for calling this use of the ability to grant skill points 5 months ago.)

The response thread is here.  Looks like the CSM was tipped off, since they dominate the early posters.  And they approve.

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