Eve Online turning pay to win?


EVE Online has always been pretty unique in the MMO genre, not least of all due to its time-based skill training system. Instead of earning experience or skills through gameplay, EVE characters train skills in realtime even when you’re not logged in. This approach made a lot of sense for a subscription-based MMO back in 2003, but it’s not been without its share of problems. VeteranEVE players today have a several year lead on skill training over newbies, and there’s currently no way for a new player to close that gap. While number of skillpoints doesn’t directly translate to increased power in EVE‘s gameplay, the idea of never being able to catch up is commonly cited by prospective players as a major barrier to entry.

In a new devblog, CCP’s Team Size Matters announced plans to tackle this perceived issue by allowing players to extract their skillpoints and sell them on the open market. The plan is to introduce a new consumable cash shop item called the Transneural Skill Extractor that extracts 500,000 skillpoints from one of your skills into a Transneural Skill Packet. That packet can be sold on the open market just like PLEX and other items, and can be injected by other players to add skillpoints to their character. To prevent players from rapidly respeccing characters by extracting skills and re-injecting them, each packet will yield only a fraction of the extracted skills depending on your total skillpoints. The response to the devblog has been mixed, with many complaining that this is essentially a pay-for-skillpoints system and others pointing out that you can already buy fully trained characters from other players on the Character Bazaar.