There are few thoughts in my mind right now that are not related to the weather and how much it will disturb my plans to pickup my puppy on Sunday. My puppy food was even delivered today. However, I was hanging out on Twitter and caught the someone entering into a conversation that had happened a bit earlier in the day. Work ate my day off so I back tracked to see what was going on.
Nosy Gamer has written his opinions about the new skill point trading system. I've expressed my own feelings that I am not a fan. I'm still not although I both understand and accept that Eve is going to change. However, the actual topic that caught my interest was Eve's playability.
Over the years I've played, I've been in many discussions about PLEX and payment for your game of Eve. Before I started playing Eve, I did not know that 'buying gold' was real. It never occurred to me that someone would pay money to get a bunch of game currency that they could earn on their own.
Looking back, I had little understanding of fast game play. I played games as I enjoyed them. I played games because I enjoyed them. I might not enjoy every piece of a game. That is one reason I got into sandbox types games. I hate racing challenges for instance. A game that makes me win racing challenges to continue will be a game I put down.
In the twisted strands of the Twitter conversation the question of playability emerged. Nosy finds a game that requires him to pay real money to continue is a game he does not want to play. Other's point out that they enjoy the ability to skip pieces of Eve's gameplay by obtaining PLEX and using it to skip activities they do not wish to do or accelerate into activities they do wish to do.
I'm not focusing on the fact that we all have opinions on value and our disposable income. Instead, the aspect of the topic that discusses a games playability caught my attention.
Often, I focus on the individual aspects of Eve as a game. If a player wishes to play the miner and another wishes to play the PvPer, I accept that both are acceptable ways to play the game. Each player has entered into the game and chooses what aspects of the game they wish to play. That leaves choice as a focus of playability in Eve. And from that I sift through the sand to see how buying advancement will change the balance.
Back when this was first announced it was pointed out that the Character bazaar was available for a player that wished to accelerate their playing. I agreed. I had no problem with the character bazaar simply because it kept money in CCP's pocket. But, I could ignore the bazaar in a way that I cannot ignore the skill training changes. To step away from liking or disliking the change the potential impact the change will have to the games climate is huge.
It asks, will Eve become a game where you have to pay to catch up?
I use italics for have because there are few things we have to do. We don't have to buy PLEX. We don't have to go to Jita. We don't have to do many things but if those things are not done will it put Eve into a state of unplayability?
In pay to win games where a player can leapfrog over everyone and step into badassery with the swipe of a credit card, what options are there for players who choose to approach the game without assistance? I ask a question because I am ignorant of the answer. I've not played other MMOs nor have I been drawn to any particular Pay to Win style games.
It seems the closest place to seek an answer would be to research the changes to World of Warcraft when they introduced the ability to buy a maximum level character from the start.
I want to believe that Eve will remain playable with the changes. After all, carving out your niche in the game has a lot to do with you as a person. Much of what I have enjoyed has had little to do with skill points and much to do with my approach.
In reality, I am confused, but thoughtful. I'm curious about how this will change Eve's environment. I'm now old enough that my appreciation and thought process for what Eve is will probably not change. But, there will be a new generation coming along and I wonder what their world will be like.