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.