As a member of CSM X, I saw discussion from multiple CSMs, including myself, asking CCP to consider the removal of Attributes and the remapping system that goes with it. That was two years ago.
CCP has publicly stated that this system is entrenched due to the implant market. Most implants are inherently tied to attributes, and also heavily tied to LP stores and the game economy as a whole. Simply removing attributes would require a huge rework of implants and could destroy LP based markets in the process.
With the implementation of Alpha/Omega training speeds (1x for Alpha, 2x for Omega) last year, I wonder if it might soon be possible to work around this obstacle. If attributes were removed from the game, every character could have the base 2x training speed. Then simply give implants that currently boost attributes a direct training speed multiplier instead. For instance, certain implants could give 0.15x more training speed each. Or a pirate set might give 0.5x more training speed, but only if you have the full set installed.
Why Remove Attributes?
While many RPGs have attributes or something like them, most games provide meaningful gameplay or character play style possibilities around them. A character with high strength might deal more melee damage or carry more equipment. A character with high charisma might have more dialog options with NPCs or lower prices on goods.
In EVE Online, attributes do nothing interesting. They affect your training rate of specific skills, and nothing else.
I’m not advocating for the introduction of gameplay modifiers from attributes. Implants already serve this role. However, a system that serves no gameplay purpose other than to force you to change your life he allocation of a set of arbitrary values once per year is not interesting or valuable. You might as well ask players to play one round of Starcraft each year for a small boost to XP.
Players who defend attributes, in my experience, believe it either makes their character unique, or they believe it is a valuable form of min/maxing. But without the ability for other players to know what your attributes are, either directly or indirectly, that specialization is primarily in one’s own head. If we move the entire system to implants, at least kill mails can tell the story of how a pilot is personally specialized.
I’m curious to know what others think. And I’m curious if the training speed bar introduced with Alpha players is a sign that CCP does intend to move in this direction at some point in the mid term future.