Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Season Of Skills: Everybody Gets Skillpoints

At the end of June, people started to lose their minds over CCP including 1 million skill points in a starter pack package on the EVE Online site. Some people objected to CCP creating skill points out of thin air. I blame the influence of Big Injector for much of the controversy. I understand why Big Injector doesn't want to compete directly with CCP. So I wonder what reaction we'll see when the Season of Skills begins today.

Technically, The Summer of Skills began with a flash sale that ran from 15-17 July. Buy 3 months of game time, and receive an offer to purchase 3 months of multi-character training for an additional $1. If I understand the offer correctly, these are not objects players can sell on the market. The training time just begins when purchased.

I consider the Season of Skills to truly begin today. Beginning at downtime today and running through the 25th, players can receive skill points every day just for logging into the client. Alpha accounts (aka F2P players) can earn up to 200,000 skill points while Omega accounts (those paying a subscription) can earn up to 650,000 skill points. The post also teases at an unspecified number of cerebral accelerators that will help speed training even further.

Starting on 24 July, an event called "Skilling Spree" begins.
Answer CONCORD's call to arms and fight the Triglavians by gaining as many Skill Points as you can during Skilling Spree between 24 July and 21 August for destroying NPCs! Get rewards ranging from 10,000 Skill Points for one kill, to the rarer 50,000 Skill Points for more kills per challenge. Then, use those Skill Points to train essential skills for piloting bigger, better ships with advanced weaponry.
Honestly, this event may encourage me to log in everyday, although real life will still probably get in the way. More importantly, though, is what this may portend for the future. Right now, Triglavians are only appearing in high sec. Is New Eden about to see the Triglavians begin to assault low and null security space as well?

But wait, there's more! From 23-26 August, CCP is conducting another skill point givaway weekend. Alpha accounts that log in every day over the weekend can earn 75,000 skill points while Omega accounts can accrue up to 250,000.

At this point, I'd like to point out a couple of things. First, from a historical perspective, holding a Season of Skills during a historically slow period makes a lot of sense. The most valuable commodity in EVE Online is skill points, so giving so many away as a way to maintain user logins makes sense. Also, the propensity for EVE players to min/max everything means a lot of players are going to upgrade some of their accounts from Alpha to Omega status.

Next, putting in a daily activity for four weeks from the end of July to the end of August when null sec is undergoing delayed local is hedging CCP's bets from a business perspective. The developers have to know a not insignificant number of players are going to unsubscribe excess accounts. What better way to off-set that than by giving out skill points? Subscribed accounts earn three times the amount, at least when the requirement is just to log into the game.

Finally, CCP keeps hinting at events yet to come. with Monday's lore news post just the latest example. The sales material pushing the event kind of implies an expansion of the Triglavian threat as well. Is CCP trying to keep players involved in the game so if they spring a major surprise, players will witness it?

Of course, Big Injector probably will express a lot of rage at the developers handing out skill points like candy. Look at all the lost sales opportunities.

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