Players rightfully got upset when CCP first started selling SP directly to players. Not only was it a step in the direction of P2W, but they asserted that CCP had broken a promise. Now, to be fair, CCP didn’t actually promise to never sell SP directly to players (see below image), but what they said did help alleviate concerns about injectors. Thus, I can see why players took it as an implied promise. Moreover, they said it was important that all SP originated from players training at the normal rate. So, is that no longer the case, or has their desire for money overridden other concerns?
Anyway, players threw a ship fit, and CCP said, “we heard you.” Their response, however, amounted to little more than a token effort to placate us. They changed the +3 accelerator so that it could only be used on characters under 35 days… and then kept on selling the 1 million SP. After that, they made another batch of DLC’s selling SP. And then another. Which brings us up to today, where we get a DLC that includes capital skillbooks. Needless, to say, I find this disconcerting.
Now, some people might say, “what’s the difference?” You can just buy plex, and use that to buy the skill books. Well, for one, this diminishes the isk sink of buying skill books, but more importantly, it’s a step in the direction of P2W -which I believe we need push back against. CCP might not be as evil as the likes of EA or whatnot, but the video game industry is filled with companies that keep trying to innovate in the areas of P2W and anti-consumer practices. And the only things that help reign in their more egregious schemes are player pushback and lost revenue.
So, this is my pushback.
- I am not okay with CCP generating SP out of thin air in order to sell it directly to the players.
- I am not okay with CCP selling Skill Books directly to players.
- I am mostly not okay with CCP selling anything to players that affects game balance.
- The only reason I accept plex is because (A) it has other benefits (such as wealth storage and allowing people to use isk to buy omega time and skins), and (B) because the single biggest factor in determining outcomes is still player skill. And I want to keep it that way.
I am not freaking out yet, but I am growing concerned. I don’t want to see CCP keep taking baby steps in the P2W department. First it was Plex, then SP, now skill books. What’s next, Gilas? Gold Ammo? Straight up loot boxes? I’d like to think CCP would never go there, but I can’t rule out that possibility.