EVE is an easy 7/10 on Josh Strife Hayes' Pay2Win scale

It’s just one level below a gatcha game. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Video with the whole categorization explained:

The reason why it is an easy 7/10 is because that level directly mentiones WoW-token, which is a system to exchange gold for playtime and it was directly inspired by PLEX which does the exact same thing. It essentially allows you to spend whatever amounts of money you like in exchange for in-game resources.

If you now feel the urge to defend EVE with the usual "YoU CaN’t WiN EvE BeCaUsE [enter stupid excuse here], go watch the video, it’s probably already addressed in there.

That being said, if you like EVE and you probably do if you play it, this categorization should not bother you personally, as you already don’t think it affects you to the degree that you stop playing. However, it will affect the perception of new players who see the game for the first time.

I think this scale is a good way for players in a game to have an objective reference to compare their beloved game to, to see how people who are not already invested will judge it.

Frequently Uttered Excuses:

E: Buying a powerful ship and skill points doesn’t guarantee win
A: Yes, but it skips the grind or time to acquire the resources or skills

E: EvE can’t be pay to win, because EVE has no win condition
A: The expression “Pay2Win” is a deliberate exaggeration, it means paying for various things in a game that affect your experience, in-game resources or power. For an in-dept explanation watch the video, because if you thought that was a clever response you either deliberately play stupid or you may need to learn what people other than you mean with this term.

E: I don’t have the time to grind and paying for in-game resources allows me to enjoy the game despite my otherwise very busy work schedule and family responsibilities.
A: You just wanted to tell us that you have a successful career and had at least once sex. We are impressed. Moving on.

E: EVE is Pay2Lose, because you can lose all the money you have spent to a ganker
A: I agree that ganking and unconsensual PvP is lowering the impact of purchasing unlimited resources with RL currency. It doesn’t change the fact that you can purchase those resources for RL money and hence does not change anything about the scale.

E: This is all required for new players to catch up
A: Expecting new players to catch up by paying thousands of dollars to not even get close to the amount of resources and skills older players have is the worst “catch up mechanic” possible. This is hands down one of the dumbest excuses ever uttered and you should be ashamed for repeating it.


I wonder how many fingers are going numb due to rage typing a novel length reply to the OP right now.

Hang on, Billy. This is going to be one heck of a Sunday thread.

Mr Epeen :sunglasses:


yyy Josh who?

What the ■■■■.

EVE Online was pay to win since 2004. Good to see you finally realized it around March 24th, 2024. I bought the “EVE 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” because that’s how I win even more! I hope this bait post attracts a lot of people but I’m afraid it’s low quality. :smiley:

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On one hand, P2W refers to having to pay to win, that is, the one who pays the most wins the more often, so in that regard you need to pay a bit to have your frigate full of mutated officer modules…

On the other hand, you can do a lot more in Eve than creating killmails so I don’t think this is actually relevant.

The PVP part of the game, indeed, is P2W, though. Especially considering gankers who need to multibox . (or other HS war deccers like parit or MW - they are all the same to me) . Getting an edge by multiboxing is IMO the most important P2W factor in Eve, also this included booster alt, and still includes cyno alt, scanner alt, etc. Regarding non PVP part : industry alts, or mining alts. Basically the need for alts is what makes it a P2W.

Now I watch the video, may change my mind after.

edit : that footage of PoE is wrong. There is no P2W, you pay to enjoy the game.
Paying for the stashes is a one-time payment, just like the game without them is a trial mode.

L1 : mandatory
L2 : comestics : you have ship skins in the NES
L3 : head start : you can buy ships in the NES
L4 : removal of annoying mechanism : the skill queue limited to … 1D ? for alphas but this is not P2W because alpha is “trial” ; however the new things that adds skills temporarily.
L5 : boosting : SP are sold in the NES ; money is sold in the NES (with plex) so you can buy injectors
L6 : acces to specific mechanisms : you can’t cyno without an alt, but that’s not really it. I can’t find it otherwise.
L7 : pay for power : well this is the multiboxing. Nothing to do with plex.
L8 : gacha : some may argue that hypernet but I don’t think it is. I also agree with him on how much of a parasitic system it is. But I think L7 already is.
L9 : paywall : there is no way to compete without paying. I don’t know of such a mechanism in Eve.
L10 : …?

This was so random lol.

WoW-tokens or PLEX is merely an ingame legal alternative to RMT which enables a couple of things:

  1. it allows the developers of the MMO to earn money (that otherwise would have gone to the people who hack, bot or credit card scam to fund their RMT)
  2. it reduces the amount of account hacks, botting and credit card scams in the game (as the RMT market for it is much smaller due to the existence of legal PLEX)
  3. it allows players who have a lot of time to play the game even though they don’t have money
  4. it allows players who have a lot of money to play the game even though they don’t have time

PLEX has a whole lot of benefits.

And yes, you could also consider a game with such a system to be Pay-To-Win.

I seriously doubt you’re ever going to be able to have an economic MMO without such a system like PLEX nowadays. If CCP were to delete legal PLEX from EVE, RMT would scale up to take it’s place and the game would be just as Pay-To-Win as before, except now with all the downsides caused by rampant RMT.

If this existence of PLEX is enough to put EVE at a 7/10 of this person’s P2W scale, then I think this says more about that person’s Pay2Win scale than it says about EVE.

What even is the purpose of that scale?


That’s not it, he just did not listen to the video
“While in LVL 6 there is a cap and stop, here in L7 there is no cap. The power gain continue. Yes, it gets absurdly expensive. It just keeps going. You can have more army, more defense, more lives, more power, no matter what an ennemy throws at you you will always be able to potentially throw more money at it to survive”

Well, TBH it’s a tempest in a teapot really. I’ve often said EVE was pay-for-advantage, which isn’t quite the same thing as actual P2W. And it’s been one of the most PFA for the longest.

So what? If I spent 10 years developing a character, do I honestly care if some retired boomer comes along and drops $2,000 on the game to get a quick start? Am I threatened by him?

Do I care if some guy in Null drops $100/month on the game so he can play however he likes without having to grind? Is my game made any better or worse depending on whether he can drop cash or has to multi-box 3 farmboats?

Yeah, sure. EVE is pay for advantage, pay to have more resources, pay to catch up. It’s 100% obvious and always has been. So what? More money for CCP and no skin off my back.


You only care about what you care about.
If you don’t care about the game, sure you won’t care about cheating, bots, P2W.

People who are loud about it are people who actually care about the game not becoming worse just to become more profit.

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Or it shows just how willingly you swallow CCPs excuse how this is just for fighting the gold sellers. PLEX did not fix the gold sellers, it did not fix botting either. They still sell at a much lower price than if you go the PLEX route.

You completely forgot to mention what introducing PLEX ACTUALLY did. Before PLEX, paying money for advantage was consideret cheating. It is not anymore. It is now part of the game and CCP has an additional revenue stream.

The whole gold seller excuse is a nice trick. People actually believe it to this day.


Before PLEX there was GTC, which was the exact same thing. It stemmed from the fact that Eve Online was sold in a box on shelves and inside was a physical card with game time. Here’s a 2004 post from Hellmar talking about how it’s already existed. Then, it was already trading for ISK by 2007.

Is your assertion that buying GTC to sell for ISK was “considered cheating” before ~2014 (when PLEX replaced GTC) or before 2007, or before 2004?


I’ve played MMOs for a long time. Gold selling has always been a thing.

When I heard about EVE I was pleasantly surprised to see how EVE reduced (yet not entirely removed) the negative effects caused by RMT by offering a legal alternative. And I’m glad to see how many other games copied EVE and picked up this strategy to make money that otherwise would have gone to people who make the game worse go to the people who make the game better.

This isn’t ‘swallowing CCPs excuse’, this is seeing the mechanics for what they are.

I get the feeling you’re very judgmental about PLEX and still may consider it cheating. Why?


Usually, the people I see upset about paying for anything at all other than cosmetics are the ones who want all the things in the game, but don’t want to spend the money or time that others do to get them.


Yeah that is just calling the same thing by another name. Pay2Win is in most cases simply if you can pay for an in-game advantage. It can have other forms (watch the video), but that is actually the most recognizable kind of Pay2Win.

This is not about your feelings. The video lays out a clear scale from a single-player game where you purchase the whole game with no possibility for additional purchases to modify that experience, to Diablo Immortal on the other end of the scale, where you can literally pay for power you can’t get otherwise in the game.

The levels in between those extremes are well explained and there is a clear progression to it. It’s a very objective way to classify all this games and EVE managed to be rather high in 7/10.

It doesn’t have to feel to you like this is negatively impacting the game. It doesn’t make EVE necessarily bad and it doesn’t eve mean that this has a big impact on the game.

But ask yourself, if you could chose, if there where two worlds with two separate versions of EVE.

  • One is a world where you can earn all the skins as different in-game rewards for different achievements or by other means, even the most awesome looking ones. Where no one can buy ISK or any assets in a legal way with RL money, but has to earn it by gameplay. Where new players can catch up not by paying, but by playing the game because the game mechanics where adapted that the gap isn’t getting that large.
  • The EVE we have today, with the best skins only available in the cash shop. Unlimited resource purchase with RL money. New players are expected to drop thousands of RL cash to even get remotely to where older players are.

Which one of those would you rather play, and which one of those do you think is more pay2win.

And if you can’t answer this simple question because the cognitive dissonance hurts, do some soul searching. What do you even gain from defending this practices? Do you really think that makes the game better?

Yeah we just seem to completely disagree on the point that gold selling itself, no matter if legal or not is bad for a game. I find it clearly is. And legalizing it instead of policing it (which you still have to do, because there are still gold sellers) is just making the situation worse.

The only way they could actually get rid of the gold sellers would be if they just spawn the money and sell it so cheap that it completely undercuts the gold sellers. You think that would still be fine. After all you have no problem with gold selling anyway.

Because I consider it cheating.

That is really just a straw man. Just ask if you are confused to what my motivation is.

I object to it because I honestly think it would be a better game if this wasn’t the case.

Again I don’t think it makes EVE completely unplayable or a bad game. I just think it would be a lot better for the game if it wasn’t this way. I don’t know why this is such a controversial stance. The fact that I am the strange one with this opinion is actually rather concerning.

Sorry dude you keep trying to frame this in terms of “you people can’t stand to admit the truth to yourselves”. I’m well aware of what EVE is and always has been and I have no problem with the role of PLEX in the game. EVE has much bigger fish to fry than supposed “pay for advantage” inequities.

They’re not even inequities. All this agonizing you’re trying to dredge up is either asking for a game rewrite (earn skins and catch up by playing), which literally isn’t gonna happen, or for “things limited to the cash shop” to be earned by playtime. (News Flash for ya, CCP needs that cash to keep operating.)

You can pay cash for PLEX or you can grind ISK or other items and trade those for PLEX in the game. Pretty much everything someone is willing to pay cash for, other people can substitute play time/grind for. That actually makes it viable for players with excess money to get what they want, and other players with excess play time to also enjoy those items. PLEX gives them both options and funds CCPs’ operation.

Many games are creating an exchange medium where players can exchange essentially cash currencies for game currencies, which is basically setting up a Cash vs. Play Time converter.

So in essence you’ve declared a fundamental mechanic of the game to be cheating because you don’t like it. It’s just as unfair to say that people who can put 20 hours a week into the game should have a massive advantage over people who can only play 4 hours a week. Or that people who signed up for the game 15 years and paid for a sub all that time should have a massive advantage over people who joined last year. After all, sub time is just more P2W, right?

You haven’t made a case for this. You’ve just said spending money to get things you want in the game is bad. How exactly is the game made better by forcing people to only gain things through dedicated play time and years of subs? Which any new player can’t possibly catch up on.

All this just sounds like more “old guard” players p’d off that new players can now catch up and even, my god!, surpass them.

You may feel threatened by new players flashing their cashwads. I’m not.


Strange assumption. CCP doesn’t need to completely get rid of gold sellers for an anti-gold seller action to have effect.

Even if they sell PLEX at a rate significantly higher than gold sellers do they take off lot of pressure that RMT has on a game by offering a large portion of the customers a legal alternative.

I remember the days in MMOs before they all had a system like PLEX. It was full of competing gold spammers that all wanted to advertise their website.

I haven’t seen that level of RMT spam in games in ages, thankfully.

With less RMT happening as result of many players taking the legal option it’s much more doable to track the fewer illegal operations.

A game without premium currency nowadays is an idealist dream, but a realist expects it to be full of illegal gold sales and thus not any less pay-to-win than the game you complain about.

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No. I was there, Gandalf, 4000 years ago… :smiley:

I remember 26th of June 2007; EVE Search - WTS 1x 90 Day Time Code 400m

That is the first sold GTC after the ISD’s made the TimeCode Bazaar. It has been a chore to find decent stuff on the Sell Orders before 2007.

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