Why all the kerfuffle about CCP selling SP or injectors?
I honestly don’t get why some people are up in arms about CCP selling SP - either as SP packages or through Injectors. SP sales are a clear example of “good” monetization (selling early access to the same things everyone else in the game can have) as opposed to “bad” monetization.
- Selling cosmetics and status items that don’t affect gameplay, for a reasonable price.
- Selling bundles/boosts/packs that enhance or accelerate gameplay satisfaction and provide player convenience at a good price.
- Selling “catch-up” packs that allow newer players to quickly access the game content they’re interested in and to somewhat level the playing field against existing, long-established and skilled players - at a price that’s fair to both newer and veteran players.
- Selling “overpowered” items or things not available through regular gameplay that give an advantage against anyone who doesn’t buy them (P2W).
- Luring naive buyers into bad/overpriced deals with flashy advertising - this is “bad faith” monetization.
- Charging ludicrous amounts of money for shinies (Monoclegate).
Good monetization allows new players to quickly get into the gameplay they want. It provides extra cash for CCP they might not otherwise get, it disadvantages nobody, and it creates a more even playing field between players with excess time and players with excess cash.
Bad monetization either creates unfair advantages for P2W, or it creates a “bad faith” relationship between buyers and CCP. Any player who feels CCP “ripped them off” or “gave them a bad deal” on a package is going to be reluctant to spend more money on EVE in the future.
I’ve seen a number of reasons why some people dislike sales of SP or injectors:
Some people don’t like the ‘semi-passive income’ aspect of SP farms. Personally I can’t see how this is different from industry, PI, station trading, etc.
There’ve been some complaints SP sales can milk players for more money, and get players into expensive fits and ships for cash before they’ve got the “EVE player skills” to use those SP properly. There’s some validity here - a less skilled player thinking that buying his way into a T3D or marauder will “increase his power” is likely just buying an expensive killmail. Myself I think a player at that point in the game who isn’t doing his own homework and research has nobody to blame but themselves for any fails.
A lot of players seem to want this both ways, especially PvPers. On one hand they’ll tell you “EVE has a flat power curve and of course new players can be competitive. Within weeks they can be doing PvP/mining/exploration just fine. It’s about player skill, not SP”.
And on the other hand, they’ll tell you that selling injectors and SP has “ruined the game” and made it P2W.
EVE has always been P2W and sold SP. CCP just used to sell it in the form of “SP per month for your paid sub”. Want more SP? Buy an MCT! Want even more? Sub a second account. Then buy an MCT for that too! Want more? Buy a character on the Bazaar, pay CCP for the transfer!
That was fine when EVE was young and people were looking ahead to the SP they would earn. It’s not fine when you’re trying to attract new players to a two-decade old title and those newer players want to get in on the action without being at a tremendous disadvantage.
It would also potentially be P2W if CCP was selling SP ‘cheaper’ than a subbed player could earn them. However any SP I see in packs is either a small amount as a ‘sweetener’ on an ‘okay’ bundle (eg. 500K in Gold Starter pack for $50), or they’re selling straight SP for much more than the cost of SP earned through a sub: eg. Training bundle, 1.5million SP + Accelerator for $40. This is about 2.5 times the price of earning SP with your sub.
In fact a lot of the complaints about this strike me as “Hey I did my P2W for 10 years or more and I want to keep my P2W advantage and I really hate that new players can just come in and spend money to get their SP!”
News flash: spending money is how you got your SP. And the games much too old now to expect newer players to wait years to play higher content.
All other things being equal, new players can’t directly compete with someone who has even a year’s more worth of SP training than they do. Selling SP isn’t any more P2W than selling Plex you can trade for ISK. It allows players the convenience of trading RL cash for limited play time.
It cheats the player economy
SP was traditionally never part of the game economy. Selling SP is and always has been CCP’s market. For most of EVE’s history, you paid CCP for a sub and got more SP (along with the ability to play the full game). Character trading and Injectors is CCP allowing players to cut in on their market.
CCP broke their promise
Well, this one is true. Although anybody who’s upset by CCP not upholding their promises should be long gone by this point. Frankly, it’s a promise CCP should never have made, given their need for income and lack of things to monetize in the game. I suspect they only promised this because they had an idea how much entitled vets clinging to their SP hoards would object to it.
TL;DR: EVE is a decades-old game where long-term players have tremendous advantages against newer players and also compete directly against them in every aspect of the game - including starter and career systems. There’s no separation where the max levels and the new guys are in completely different parts of the game.
CCP needs the income from SP and Injector sales, and this allows many benefits to new players and old that’s exactly in line with what a competitive sandbox game should provide. SP sales are an example of one of the kinds of monetization CCP should be doing.