A Fun Little Idea
***WARNING: HERE THERE BE MATHS***
So a few nights ago a friend of mine came up with a little suggestion that I think should get some looking at.
Being a new character in EvE can stink. You can develop your personal skills at a pretty considerable rate, especially if you have a good group of friends in-game to help you out. You simply can’t do much about player skills. No matter how much or how little you play you have to WAIT to get that shiny new [Insert module, ship, weird science skill] and that discourages people from playing. I’m not talking about playing in general. I’m talking about logging in, hopping in a ship and DOING something. Finding new and interesting things to do in game. Yes, there are rewards for this kind of activity right now, but really they don’t work that well. I like to think I do a pretty good job of encouraging people to play EvE, but when someone asks “How do I do this” and the answer is “Train for 3 weeks for a better ship” they start thinking “I can level another 85 in WoW in 2 weeks….” and maybe we don’t need that guy. Maybe we do. Maybe he turns out to be the next great FC, the next great logi pilot, hell the next great spear carrier in your regular roams.
EvE needs to be engaging, it needs to reward people right from the get go. Part of that reward should be helping people to do more of what they do, and making PvE more rewarding in general. I’m not talking about isk, modules or anything. I’m talking about helping you get to your goals faster. I’m talking skill points. WAIT! DON’T GO FOR THE COMMENT BUTTON JUST YET! Let’s look at a few things.
- When you’ve played EvE for two weeks, being told you have to wait 2 months to fly a Drake well is hugely discouraging. Realizing there is literally nothing you can do to help is even worse.
- The more you play EvE, the better you get, and the more you enjoy playing it because you are better.
- CCP has stated that over a certain number of skillpoints (I want to say 35 million) players rarely quit permanently. Anything that helps people get to that faster without sacrificing player quality is to be encouraged.
- Skillpoints are much more valuable at the beginning of the game. The difference between 5 and 10 million SP is MUCH bigger than the difference between 50 and 60 million SP, or even 70 or 80 million SP.
Now with these factors in mind here is a system that I might use. Activity in a certain sphere gains you SP that can be used to improve your skills in relevant skill categories. For example I run a level 4 mission in a domi with railguns, drones, and an active tank. Each tick I get: Isk, depending on my kills, Security Status, depending on my most valuable kill, and loot and salvage in the current system. In the system I’m suggesting I would add SP based on: Damage done by guns (Combat) Damage done by drones (Drones) Damage Mitigated (Tank) now here’s where it gets tricky.
- Combat SP can be spent on: (A)Gunnery, (A) Missile Launchers, (B)Spaceship Command, (B) Subsystems
- Drone SP can be spent on: (A) Drones, (B) Spaceship Command, (B) Subsystems
- Tank SP can be spent on: (A) Engineering, (A) Mechanics, (B) Electronics (B) Spaceship Command
In category A you get 1:1, that is, each skillpoint is a skillpoint in a skill in that category. In a category B skill you get a reduced amount, say 0.8:1 or 0.7:1. Combat and Drones would be based on unresisted damage done. That is the damage you see in your damage logs over the course of the “tick” while Damage Mitigated would be based on how much damage the shot DIDN’T do as well as how much damage you repaired. The actual numbers would require some real fine-tuning. Also there would be limits. First: No one can more than double the BASE SP/hour that they would get with training alone. In other words if you can train for 1800 SP/Hour without implants, you can’t get more than an additional 450 SP/tick (assuming 15 minute ticks) These SP would be split between the categories you participated in depending on the degree to which you did each. This means that your character would get better at the things he actually does. I know it sounds absolutely batshit crazy, but trust me, it’s not. You could base mining [(A) Industry and (B) science] on M3 mined. Science on Successful completion of jobs (and no I don’t know exactly how it would work) Trade on the isk value of completed transactions.
Now there have to be some limits. Anything PvP, out. I’m not giving you SP to shoot your corpmate’s ubertanked Maelstrom in your BC. Nor am I giving your corpmate SP for tanking damage that isn’t going to kill him. Way too easy to game. Trade might work that way as well to be honest. While this can nearly double your SP / Hour (remember it won’t take into account implants) we don’t want to encourage people to play 24/7, so there would be diminishing returns. Maybe after the first hour (4 ticks) your limit is 0.9 times your max, then 0.8 etc until it gets to 0.5 at which point you get that 0.5 * your earned SP for the rest of the day (until downtime.)
In other words, lets say that (before implants) you get 1800SP / day in your best category. The first hour you can earn 1800 SP, the next 1620, etc. etc. until it hits 900 an hour. So if you go for 24 hours straight you get 43,200 (+ your implants) and an ADDITIONAL 24,300 SP for playing the game.
I don’t think this will be a game breaker for Corelin. At 81 million SP even cutting Amarr Carrier by 5 down by 1/3 means playing the game pretty much nonstop for another 30-35 days, at something that gives me spaceship command at a 1.0 modifier. Straight. No breaks.
Now let’s look at a nooblet wanting to get into a drake. They completely optimize to 2250 an hour. To get level 4 in racial cruisers requires 226,275 SP, and level 4 in BC requires another 271,530 , or 497,805SP total. Or 221 hours. That’s a week plus, just to sit in it. Now let’s say you play 2 hours a night and max your SP. 8.5 Days against 9.2 Less than a 10% difference. Hardly earth shattering. But it encourages better play. It encourages MORE play and it rewards you more for doing more. 4 hours a night cuts it to 8 days and a bit. 15-20% faster. Sounds like a pretty worthy reward to me. Cut that 2 months to get EVERYTHING down to just over 50 days. Less with a marathon day or two in there.
So lets looks at my points again
- When you’ve played EvE for two weeks, being told you have to wait 2 months to fly a Drake well is hugely discouraging. Realizing there is literally nothing you can do to help is even worse. Now you are in control of how long things take to get into, not completely, but the point of EvE is to let you control your experience
- The more you play EvE, the better you get, and the more you enjoy playing it because you are better. Players should be better prepared for new ships and equipment because they are encouraged to fly something to help them get into it.
- CCP has stated that over a certain number of skillpoints (I want to say 35 million) players rarely quit permanently. Anything that helps people get to that faster without sacrificing player quality is to be encouraged. Getting you to that point 10-15% faster may not change the face of EvE, but getting more people into the “permanent player” category is good!
- Skillpoints are much more valuable at the beginning of the game. The difference between 5 and 10 million SP is MUCH bigger than the difference between 50 and 60 million SP, or even 70 or 80 million SP. Again 10-15% isn’t game breaking, but the less time you spend feeling like a weak nooblet, the better!