Thought experiment

What would Eve Online look like if…

  • skills didn’t exist
  • market pressure was the only limit

Join me in thinking about what it would be like.

For once I think I would be able to get my friend group to actually join me in this game.
My friends want to grind, however they want to be able to translate effort into where they want to go. so the skill limitations is a hard barrier to entry.

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I have no idea what this means.

They already can. You can train whichever skill you want to.

The only limit is the ones you place on yourselves. It literally takes a day or two to skill into something fun to do. I can skill into a frigate and have fun PVPing all day.


I am talking about what would happen if anyone could fly anything and use anything. Then the only problem to solve is how to afford it. the limit would be on your corp/alliance’s industry potential. making the Indy players much more important. I believe this could revitalize this game. and griding meaning making isk. not staring a timer. also teaching new players to skill into anything is a high ask because this is a complicated process. Just think about how much isk will be destroyed! pvp will be happening very often. the price will be the main limiter on what you can fly for solo and for fleets.

Not true. The newbies who all can suddenly afford it would just get blown up in shiny expensive stuff compared to people who have their soft skills fully developed.

The opposite, because skills aren’t really the limiting factor on the economy except maybe some supercapital ships, and at that point flying those is limited by pilots who know how to use them, not skillpoints.

We literally had one of these threads a month or so ago. Skilling up isn’t going away. You can grind for ISK whenever you want, it just might not be „the perfect grind“ and you have to figure out what your perfect grind is with imperfect hard skills.

Or just not grind and have fun playing the game. That would increase PvP destruction too! Imagine a world where people weren’t afraid of losing ISK and had that mentality! You wouldn’t need to get rid of skilling up, and players would be more confident and prone to playing with constraints and succeeding despite them.


Yes, and I love it. the soft skills will be the edge experienced players have. and let new players blow up shiny things. It will make the price of those goods go up! eventually the market will correct for the increase in players blowing stuff up. It will increase the number of encounters everyday tremendously I think. yeah I get your pov. I just think there is still amazing potential in this game. I want my friends to join me ASAP on the front lines. and in reality they have to wait months. or pay obscene amount of money to be able to join me. I could see this game pushing the limit if we just removed the friction. the amount of understanding required to skill into any ship and be effective in it is complicated as hell. and it takes so much energy to show people how how fun eve is!

That is not what happens.

People who want to grind, never stop and decide „Ok NOW I’m going to PvP“. They think „OK I have to get to CRAB beacons to afford replacing my PvP ships“ but even when they get to that end game capital grinding, they don’t stop to PvP because they don’t want the inefficiency of missing a day.

It’s a mentality problem not a game mechanic one.

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All I know is… I remember when we used to have 30k + active players. I think we could get that number into the hundreds of thousands if we went this route. I think people would pay the subscription to have access to a character that has all of the skills unlocked. maybe the alpha clones keep the skilling over time game systems. or maybe we have a higher monthly payment for x types of professions. idk what is best… but I am hopeful this game can have a resurgence!

Then why are you posting this in the Newbie Q&A? It doesn’t belong here. You’re not a newbie.

Also, this is a horrible and unconvincing motivation. Every „great massive game changing“ suggestion to Eve is made with the justification „I am trying to increase the player count“. Your thread is just one of a hundred at this point.

Do you know what game mechanics were out when we had population peaks of 2009-2011? Dangerous high sec. Making money was harder not easier unless you pirate. That drove conflict. Why not bring back those mechanics?

Instead of a population boom of grinding players, we’d get back the lost pirates who were forced out of the game. That would increase us back to >50k daily players!


Interesting thought experiment, let’s see what the removal of skills would do.

1 Without skills, names are useless.

Without skills, any character can fly any ship. That means I can make a new alt, and have that alt instantly sit in my carrier.
I could camp someone’s space in a cloaky recon ship, and every time after I have caught someone, I recycle the character at no extra cost, so they never know who the character in their space is hunting for.

When people can chante their name at any time without any downsides of significance, names become useless.

2 Without skills, there are no consequences.

People could gank in high sec space until they lose enough security status to be hunted, and make a new character with perfect skills to continue doing so, because…

without skills there are no repercussions for any actions in the game that might harm the reputation of your character.

3 Without skills, there is no specialization.

Do you know that type of gameplay where the player or group you’re often fighting is specialized in certain ships and always seems to bring ship type X?
Where you - if you are smart and do some digging into the available information - can adjust your strategy to fight them based on what you know about the specialization of the others?

While people can also change their strategy based on yours, changing strategies in EVE takes time, due to the fact that not everyone can fly every ship. Players in EVE are specialized in certain ships, and most cannot easily bring the hard counter to your setup at any time, simply because not every character can fly every ship well.

4 Without skills, there is no way to get known for your skills

Do you know that one guy in your corporation with perfect refining skills that everyone sends their ore to? Do you ever fly command bursts in fleet and know which bursts the two other pilots can be using according to their skills? Do you know the person who can build a certain ship for you?

Well, remove skills and all this is down the drain. Everyone can do everything. Boring.

5 Without skills, what sense of permanent progression is there?

EVE is a harsh universe.
Ships are tools, consumables, and explode frequently.
ISK comes and goes, and is just a means to an end.
There is just one thing ‘forever’, which is your skill progression.

(Well… technically only ship skins are forever, as skill progression could be extracted, but you know what I mean).

Without skills, there is no permanent progression in EVE. Newbie buys a big PLEX package and is now at an equal point as a Veteran player who also has that much ISK in their wallet.

Once the new player has bought their mining ship, they have nothing further to work towards, as they are already mining at maximum yield from the start.

Without progression, what is there to keep the Veteran player attached to the game, once they are getting slightly bored and ‘sunk cost fallacy’ is not a thing because of no permanent progression? It’s not that they stick around to play with the toys they can now finally fly after years.

With skills you can always buy a new Freighter after your previous Freighter has been killed, as your specialized freighter pilot can still fly freighters better than most other pilots due to their specialized skills. Remove skills, and your pilot is only freighting as well as any new day-1 character that just bought a freighter.

6 Without skills, there is no pacing.

Newbies have an incredibly deep game to explore when they enter the game. Hundreds of paths, even with limited skills.

Now remove the skills, and they can access everything all at once, if only they had the ISK. How are they supposed to know not to undock a dual tanked (defence is good right?) Golem without bastion, with 10MN propmod (gotta go fast!) and gate it to their mission in low security space?

That’s what skills are for: to protect newbies from making expensive mistakes that they could have made and should make in cheap frigates that are easily replaced in the budget of a new player.

And even for veteran players it’s nice that there still is pacing, still are new things that unlock over time. Without skills, I could have tried every part of the game in the first few months. But because of skills, years into the game I still unlock new things to try every few weeks, to keep me engaged. And that’s good!

Conclusion: skills are necessary, without skills no EVE

Because of skills, you can make a name for yourself in this MMO. Because of skills, actions have consequences. People can specialize and you can make use of the knowledge of your enemies specializations to counter them.

Without skills, we would have access to everything all at once. While it sounds fun initially, what do you do when you notice you don’t have the ISK for most of it? Buy PLEX to progress faster?

What do you do when you notice all of your progression has been killed in a fight and you’re literally back to 0?

What do you do when you’ve tried the entire game in the first few months and want something new?

EVE needs skills.


Go play on the test server.


Only market pressure? This would be much more pay to win, just buy PLEX, and you avoid any pressure.

There’s skillpoints, and there’s knowledge. A new skill is also meant to be an incentment for playing on, I was so happy to fit my first Megathron (which was a gift from CCP, yay!) after a couple of months. So without skills, it would be much more a hopp-on/off kind of game.

In the “New Citizen Q&A”, there’s definitely another point of view on this topic than as a veteran.

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Just wanted to point out to support your comment. The game started loosing player the safer and easier it got.

That is just based on me being the game for far too long. Going from 50-60k active players to now while at the same time what I did in game was nerfed or removed with the population declining more and more as these changes or nerfs were put in place.


Thank you for the suggestion, it is always worthwhile to concider new options and possibilites. It’s an interesting idea, but I really like the planning and sense of progression that comes from the skill tree.


No, the inclusion of skill injectors pretty much make it so that if you really only cared about flying everything, then the only problem to solve is how to afford it.

I can go on the market right now, and buy 10,000 skill injectors and probably max out my character with skills.

The only problem is, how can I afford it? Do I use my moms credit card, or my dad?

Why? Players have been making money in a variety of ways since the beginning of time. People go out and rat and run complexes to make ISK all the time. Why would this make indy players anymore important than any other player? You do realize the high-end ships are usually not created by a single player group? The only group of ships that are usually made by a single player group are the T1 ships, which are pretty easy to skill into already.

The number of people who come to the new citizens Q and A asking how to make isk, versus the number of people who come asking how to speed up skilling, is like 100000 to 1.

The skill timer is not the gate that is preventing new players from starting the game, its building ISK.

No its not. Skiling is a really easy process for new players to understand, because it exists in other games. The only thing they dont understand, is which skill to learn first, which is why we have the magic 14 link.

Making a lot of ISK is a much more complicated process. And what youre proposing, will have players trying to make a lot of isk.

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This is exactly what youre trying to propose, though.

Youre basically understand why its bad to have a game that requires you to pay obscene amounts of money to play the game, but at the same time, youre proposing a change that would require you to pay obscene amounts of money to play the game.

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Thank you all for contributing your thoughts. In general I think this thread will provide major insight into this game. The impetus for this thread is wanting to share this game with my friends.

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You are experiencing delusions of grandeur.

Gerard Amatin for CSM

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Thanks, but no thanks! I have no intention to take on that job. :yum: