Whenever a mechanics change is proposed on behalf of ‘new players,’ that change is always to the overwhelming advantage of richer, older players.
-Malcanis’ Law as generally quoted
It isn’t that I don’t get CCP’s idea. Their dev blog this week about making skill books easier to buy is something that will help new players. I both see the logic in this and agree that it will probably help out new players. No longer will they have to figure out the market and where to find the skills they are trying to buy.
The plan is to allow people to buy skills directly from the skills tab of the character sheet.
Purchasing from there will inject the skill directly into your character. No more hunting around in your hangar trying to find the skill.
In addition, any info window that has a skill requirements tab will also let you buy skills directly from there.
It is not tough to see how this might things simpler for new players.
But as soon as I saw this my mind went rather to players out in null sec and wormhole space, players far from NPC stations that sell skills, and what a boon it will be for them. If you’re out there on an alt and realize that you’re short a key skill for something, it will likely be immediately available to you through the skills tab.
Special skill books that require LP to purchase won’t be available, but anything that is generally available will be on demand if this change goes in as planned. Life will be much easier for those who live away from empire space.
There will be some changes to pricing. This direct injection purchasing will cost more than purchasing from NPC stations. That is something that might drive a new player to save some ISK by going direct. But if you’re beyond the fringes of empire space, you’re likely going to pay a bigger mark up from anybody reselling near you.
Which, of course, brings up a secondary question about the skill resell market. Many an enterprising new player has made their first foray into the joys of arbitrage by purchasing skills from an NPC station and bringing them to Jita or Amarr or another likely system to resell them for a markup. Likewise, there are entrepreneurs out in the distant corners of New Eden who fill the skill needs of their fellow pilots while enriching themselves.
What happens to that market?
There is already a floor on skill prices set by the NPC station. Now there will be a ceiling set by the direct purchase price. And anybody looking to make money in that particular game will have to live in what I imagine will be the very short space in between.
As I wrote earlier, I can see why CCP is doing this and even agree. But I also see the bigger advantage that will go to the established player base outside of empire space. Malcanis would be proud.
Others writing about this: