It has only been a week since the Madi Gras release, when skill injectors/skill extractors hit EVE Online, and already we have some of the usual stories.
My view on skill injectors was that they were perhaps a necessary evil in a game where skill advancement is a function of time subscribed. You can argue as to whether new players really need to be able to “catch up” or if they should build up their skills the old fashioned way… by waiting… so that they grow into their abilities, but after more than a decade sometimes that skill point wall can seem pretty damn huge.
However I forgot one of the iron rules of MMOs in general, and of EVE Online in particular. That rule says that there is almost nothing you can do to a game to help lift up new players that won’t benefit older players even more so.
And so it goes.
First we had the tales of Spaceman and Stromgren, alluded to over at TMC, who used skill injectors to get to the top of the skill points chart over at EVE Board, a site that lets you track and compare characters that register with the site and which is used as an adjunct to the character bazaar, so you can display what you’re selling or see what you’re buying.
Spaceman, a 2003 character, went for the “just a bit better” route to top the previous champion, and also of 2003 vintage, Dr Caymus. Then Stromgren, a character also dating from 2003, decided to go for a decisive lead.
Neither of them stayed at the top of the list long when, as noted over at EN24, the gambling site I Want ISK took a brand new character named IronBank, created on February 11th of this year, and decided to learn all the skills available in the game. That character had an average skill points per hour rate of 4,441,578.9 as I started writing this and has apparently “won” EVE Online or some such.
That leaves the skill point leader board at EVE Board looking like this for the moment:
Top 5 highest skill Points
- IronBank (473,344,000)
- Stromgren (400,795,578)
- Spaceman (291,817,863)
- Dr Caymus (291,375,384)
- Shaleen (278,343,002)
All of which goes to prove that nothing now stands in your way of getting the skills you want, or even all the skills available, if you have enough cash. The total spent on IronBank was calculated at 1.8 trillion ISK, which if you acquired through the purchase of PLEX via real world money, would total up to something like $25,000. (You can see where I stand in the rankings.)
The secondary lesson is, of course, that if you make a leader board of some sort, somebody will try to get to the top of it for no other reason beyond being number one on that leader board. Whee, internet fame!
Meanwhile, in the land of less ambitious immortals… for through the miracle of cybernetics and infomorph psychology all capsuleers are effectively immortal… skill injectors are now the answer to all problems. Can’t fly a ship, new doctrine requirements got you down, want to fly something new without all of that waiting around, then skill injectors can help you out. I have heard a fair share of comments in fleets over the last week about pilots boosting up to a skill they wanted via injectors or people being admonished to inject to be able to fly a given fit.
Which is fine I suppose, provided you have the ISK to buy them skill injectors. If you’re setup to AFK carrier rat for hours on end our in a quiet null sec system, you can afford some. If you are a new player… well, I have seen some injector hand outs for new bros and such. But you’re unlikely to be able to afford an injector on your own… unless you go buy some PLEX. And PLEX is moving pretty well since the introduction of skill trading. So I am sure that, from the CCP end of things, this new feature is looking pretty good.
But I have a hard time seeing this as anything but the rich… those rich in ISK and skill points… simply getting richer while the average low skill point player continues to grind on.
I am also sort of surprised at how many people with more than 80 million skill points are willing to buy and use injectors at only 150,000 skill points a shot. That is about three days of training. For the 650 million ISK price I’ll just wait the three days. But I am a notorious cheapskate, and also not a fan of waste. Watching 350,000 skill points disappears doesn’t make me happy.
- < 5 million total skill points = 500,000 skill points per injector
- 5 million – 50 million total skill points = 400,000 skill points per injector
- 50 million – 80 million total skill points = 300,000 skill points per injector
- > 80 million skill points = 150,000 skill points per injector
I will be interested to see if CCP gets together some data on the whole skill trading scheme. I’d like to hear how many skill injectors went into pilots in the various skill point ranges… and how many skill points disappeared from the game due to the built-in wastage. How much did it off-set normal training?
Of course, I suspect if the data shows the whole thing ended up as a case of the rich getting richer that we won’t hear much about it.
Others still commenting on Skill Trading:
- Blastrad Tales
- The Nosy Gamer (And another)
- Prosper Market Analysis
- Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah