Statics: retaining skills already purchased to encourage player retention

(Pestilen Ratte) #1

The economics of playing Eve can be a bit difficult to enjoy, when compared to other costs in life. The monthly subscription is about a sixth the price of a new release game. So every half year, you are buying a full price, new release game.

Alpha clones are extremely limited in scope. You can play for 5 years, essentially paying for 10 games, and if you don’t resubscribe you are sent back to Alpha state, the same as someone who has not played at all, and who has never paid for anything.

I wonder what would happen to player retention if you kept your skills when you stopped subscribing, but simply lost the ability to train new skills?

In this way, a player could keep the value of what they had paid for, and if they want to train a new thing, they can elect to pay subscription for as long as that takes. Or buy skill injectors.

Either way, CCP are still earning the same amount for the same thing, which is player progression. Although CCP would not be earning from static players, they don’t earn anything from Alphas either.

So, who cares, who really cares, if someone who has already paid a lot of money for their character is allowed to use it?

In this way there would be three classes of active player. The alphas, who have paid nothing and get awesome value for money. The statics, who have paid to play at a certain level and who can only play at that level. And the crusaders, who are actively training up skills to become more powerful players.

That seems fair to me, and it would end my gripes and moaning about value for money. I think I’m pretty typical, in that I complain a lot. I’m one of those folks who can’t tell if they love Eve or hate it. I know there is a lot to love, but that it is eye wateringly expensive. Folks who can fly titans make crack fiends look thifty.

I’m also someone who probably would have paid exactly the same amount of subs to play so far, simply because I’ve always resubbed in order to get into new ship classes and train better skills. The deal, for me, has always been money for skills. It has never been money for access to New Eden itself. If it was that deal, I’d be happy with an alpha, and I’m not.

The big evil of the current deal, which puts itself out as money for access to the game, is that it makes the subscriber look at new releases as though these are the value proposition for the money. That is a failing calculus for CCP, not because they suck at game dev, but rather because Eve is a sandbox, and the content is player generated.

Lookit, I don’t give a rats fanny if moon miners get nerfed, so long as i get to fly a blops one day. That’s my deal. And yet, I’m peeved about the Great Moon Goo Nerf of 2017 because… because why I am paying subscription for a mining sim that has a mild facelift because folks are working on the Valkyrie? That is a suck deal, but that is the deal I am contemplating due to the way the basic deal is set out by CCP.

The deal where CCP win, where we all win, is where we pay for skills, and we all play for free with the skills we’ve purchased.

This incentivizes CCP to develop new ship classes, new skill sets and new refinements to old skills. Show me the incentive, I will show you the outcome.

(Nana Skalski) #2

It is not what management would like to hear at the table probably.

Giving people stuff for free if they currently still want to buy it.

(Durhur Atruin) #3

The bills at CCP are paid by the core subscriber base. Giving them the option to stop paying and just keep playing using their current skills would be financial suicide for CCP, because a lot of people would take that option.

Personally I don’t need to keep training my main. I’ve already trained 99.999% of the skills I use on a day to day basis, and at least half the skills I have now are basically just backup skills in case I ever want to go do things I don’t normally do.

I train because… why wouldn’t I? If CCP gave me a choice between training randomly and not paying, that’s not a difficult choice.

(Pestilen Ratte) #4

Both valid points, thanks.

I guess that it would be a gamble, and a new deal.

The new deal is that you get a better deal as a customer. What you buy, you keep. You buy skills to put on your Alpha clone. You get the alpha shell for free, like everyone else.

Skills would be like skins that alphas buy for their ships.

Would folks stop subscribing because they’ve already trained most everything? Maybe. I would not stop, but I’ve not even reached blops yet. But maybe folks who have been paying for ten years might stop.

But they might stop anyways, no? And if they stop anyways, they will never log on and pay, and generate content inside the sandbox.

And if they would have stopped, but in fact do not because CCP lets them keep what they’ve paid for, then we all win because more skilled players means more and better content creation.

Anyway, isn’t it reasonable and fair that players who have been supporting the game for a decade be allowed to retire at an exalted rank in the community?

Who is going to say those folks have not paid their fair share already? At what point do CCP have their pound of flesh?

The deal for alphas is already that they play for free but pay for skills. That deal isn’t working, because losing your skills when you stop paying sucks. Hence we do not see a lot of alphas turning into paid up players.

If it failed it could be financial suicide. It it worked, it could be the thing that makes eve grow and grow, into something vast, and significantly more profitable.

The thing is, everyone who visits new eden love the look and feel, and would probably come back to farm what they’ve grown, if only the cost were not so very high on a mandatory basis. That participation is critical for any sandbox, because players are the content creators, not the devs.

It depends on the risk calculus of the directors and the vision of the CEO and owners. Everyone must be aware that if Eve had ever reached and maintained a critical mass of active players, new and profound sources of revenue and promotion would emerge to take the enterprise to a new level of operations.

(z0rberg) #5

You reminded me that i can fly all i need without paying the sub. an unironical thanks, man, though i feel a tad silly now. an even bigger, likely highly sarcastical “thank you” from all those i can gank without paying anything. i don’t even know why i blocked that part out of my mind.

(Keno Skir) #6

It’s not a gamble, the result is a sure thing. The vast majority of older players would unsub and keep using their leveled characters forever.

Yes. Definitely. I would.

CCP are continually paying folks to work on EvE so your LB of flesh analogy doesn’t work. You pay for ACCESS to EvE, you do not actually own anything in it. On that note, CCP’s LB of flesh will continue to be required as long as CCP are spending their own LB of flesh producing updates for the game you want to play for free.

That’s not how it works. Only increased subscriptions will make EvE grow into something vast and more profitable. Your idea only reduces subs.

The cost is neither high nor mandatory. You are allowed to use the Alpha skillset for free, and if you are any good at it you can use that skillset to become Omega. Many people do not sub and enjoy playing as Alphas even though they could afford Omega.

The risk is a loss of thousands of subs, and the gain of very few. CCP will not be doing this, because they actually calculate risk.

(TheGreat Gazoo) #7

Newbie here, so go easy . . . seems to me, the players with the tens (and hundreds) of million skill points may not be paying RL money anyway, no? What would a meet-you-in-the-middle option be? Alpha pays nothing - can only train to Alpha class limit. Bravo pays some amount (half?) to keep what they’ve already paid for but is frozen from anything new beyond the Alpha class. Omega pays full boat and is unlimited.

Eh, just a thought. What do I know (admittedly, not much). LOL.

(Keno Skir) #8

Welcome to EvE Gazoo o/

Everyone actually pays real money. The one’s who use ISK to buy PLEX are buying PLEX that at some point somebody spent real money on and is selling in game for ISK. Every PLEX is game was paid for in real money initially, who activates it is beside the point.

You must understand that CCP have already allowed plenty enough options to cover all useful demographics of people. Demographic one is Alpha clones, who do not want to invest money but still want to be involved in the EvE universe. Alphas contribute slightly by making New Eden busier and more full of activity, and contribute also in that they might one day subscribe. Demographic 2 is Omega clones that PLEX their accounts. They pay CCP by keeping up demand for PLEX in order to sub, and by making New Eden more active and busy. Demographic 3 is Omegas who pay with RL cash, these people directly fund CCP and EvE just like the Omegas who pay with PLEX do.

From a financial point of view there is no 4th demographic. Alphas who don’t PLEX, Subscribe or have any intention of ever PLEXing or subbing because they already have the game experience they want are literally only useful as targets to make the place seem busier and on it’s own that is not a reason to give them a discount and lose a good chunk of their current sub count (everyone who has the skills they want already will drop to half sub).

Again welcome to EvE, if there’s anything i can help with in game don’t hesitate to drop me an EvE Mail. There are no stupid questions, only stupid people :fastparrot:

(Chocolate Pickle) #9

I would unsub both of my main accounts. I don’t need to train either of them any further, but I do need their Omega skills.

(Cmd Ileana) #10

Think of all the super and titan pilots that need the omega status although those accounts usually stay logged of for most of the time and do not need further training…

(Pestilen Ratte) #11

Perhaps CCP would create new skills and ship classes to attract long term players to keep subbing?

(Keno Skir) #12

They don’t need to, they already have “use of Omega skills” to attract long term players to keep subbing.

(Trevor Dalech) #13

if you want to stop accumulating skill points, that option is already there. Pick a few very long skills to train. Every month extract a month’s worth of skill points from those skills. Sell the skill injectors, this will allow you to buy PLEX and pay your account.

(Do Little) #14

As an industrialist, I have several characters that are fully trained - they don’t need any more skills to do their jobs but they do need an Omega account to keep using them. These characters earn enough to PLEX their subscription each month with a reasonable profit left over. Letting people like me continue to enjoy the benefit of those skills at no cost would not be good for CCP or the game.

CCPs financial statements don’t show any drop in revenue - last year was very profitable. I think you’ll find the drop in PCU reflects an aging player population with less time to play due to real life responsibilities.

Obviously we want to continue recruiting but those looking for a classic theme park MMO aren’t likely to stay.

(Bjorn Tyrson) #15

This exactly, I have multiple industry and PI accounts that all cover their own plex costs + profit. if I could keep using those accts without the cost, or even with half the cost, I would switch to that in a heartbeat, probably put all of the extra isk into injectors to power a few more alts to the end of their training and then drop them down as well. CCP would be looking at all but 1 (maybe) of my accts dropping to the lower state.

(Pestilen Ratte) #16

Fair enough point. But, if you are correct, and all your alts earn their plex back and profit besides… how is CCP making anything from them as it stands?

Ergo, what do they lose by waiving the plex?

The thing about these Alts who produce wealth for established players is that they don’t generate space ship combat content. They are not “players” operating in space, they are hidden inside stations and folks log on to do all their business without engaging in the sandbox of space ship combat.

In other words, the content they create is to do with a mining, industry and market sim. Not a space ship interaction sim.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully acknowledge that “player driven content” absolutely includes market pvp and the economy. Our corp accidentally sold a jump freighter for a tenth of its value, thereby losing the market pvp. It was very exciting stuff. We could barely contain ourselves at the wonder of it.

But the point you make about folks creating endless alts that produce endless isk is interesting and valid. I can see why that would break the economy of the game, or at least skew it massively in favour of those who have endless time to devote to managing alts.

Even so, I’m not convinced it would be neccesarily a bad thing, if some folks spent all their lives using free alts (“free” only after they have paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get them trained to a productive level) producing excess materials. Ships would be much cheaper. The cost of space ship combat would decrease significantly. That might hurt CCP revenue, if it transpires that a lot of plex is sold to new players who mistakenly believe that shiny ships will beat the blob.

It would be a different game, if we paid for our skills and not for Omega staus. It would be less of a mining and industry sim, and more of a space combat sim.

I may very well be that CCP understand this very well, and have deliberately decided to go down the route of producing a mining and industry sim. The new release certainly gives credence to that. So does the focus on sov mechanics and citadels that are pretty much invulnerable from small scale attack.

(Keno Skir) #17

Because all PLEX in game are originally bought by someone for RL cash. He is supporting demand thus keeping PLEX price high in game, increasing PLEX sales out of game.

Basically someone else is plexing his account for him, and he is paying them in ISK.

(The Hun Terona) #18

How about a third clone state? Say, Delta, where you pay a lesser sup fee and your clone maintains its level of skills but is not able to train. CCP keeps its income to some degree and the long term players get a discount. Everyone wins.

(Pestilen Ratte) #19

I like this idea A LOT. I don’t mind paying a few bucks a month for access.

(elitatwo) #20

Sounds awesome! Now in that sooper clone state, you should only be able to join faction warfare and when you get podded, that’s it- the End.

You want EvE? Pay for it.