Starter Pack Frenzy

I suppose we should not lose sight of a key bit of irony that has stemmed from the controversy surrounding the whole EVE Online Starter Pack thing this week.

The reasonably priced packs

By objecting loudly to the Starter Pack, by bringing attention to it to as many people as possible, those against such things have probably been able to sell a lot more of them than CCP would have otherwise manage on their own.

CCP dropped this Starter Pack update on their DLC page right after EVE North and without any fanfare and a group of angry capsuleers went and did the marketing for them.

One of the arguments for the Starter Pack has been that a million skill points isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things.  For any but the youngest character a million skill points isn’t going to change the world, and for a crusty old vet like me, with over 200 million skill points on my main, the Starter Pack barely moves the needle.

But that is the wrong way to look at this.  That ignores what will be the motivation for many, which is value.

The blurb on the Starter Pack says “Worth $10,” but that is wrong… very wrong for some people.

A million skill points is two large skill injectors worth.  A large skill injector was selling for around 1 billion ISK when I last checked.  (EVE Market Data confirms that for the moment.)  With PLEX past the $4 million mark each, you need to buy about 500 PLEX in cash to end up with enough ISK to buy two fill skill injectors.  So a million skill points is roughly worth 2 billion ISK, which even at the current end-of-quarter sale prices, comes out to more than double that “Worth $10” statement, if you buy the 1,100 PLEX pack.

But that assumes that you have a character who can get the full benefit of a skill injector, which have diminishing returns the more skill points you have.

  • < 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

So for a vet like me, a large skill injector is worth just 150,000 skill points.

350K SP go to waste

That means that a million skill points is actually worth almost SEVEN large skill injectors to somebody over 80 million skill points, or 7 billion ISK or 3,500 PLEX or somewhere past $100 even at the current PLEX sale prices.

Basically, a lot of people read this deal and see “Seven Large Skill Injectors for $5!”  Why wouldn’t you throw a bit of change at that, even if you can only buy it once?

And then, with their promise to change the Start Pack, presumably in the near future, CCP has put a time pressure on getting the deal, so people think they have to buy it now or miss out!  I mean, CCP could have yanked it from the buying options immediately.  They have that power.  Instead, they let it linger.  It is still there as I write this.  I doubt it will be gone before Monday.

Hilmar was on Twitter discounting the idea that this Start Pack was going to sell enough units to have any real impact on the financial numbers, but I suspect that whatever modest goals they had for it have been exceeded in less than a week, all thanks to player rage.  Talk about having your cake and eating it.  They get the money, the attention, and the good will for walking back their change, but only after it has had time to sell even more units.

Well played CCP, well played.

5 thoughts on “Starter Pack Frenzy

  1. anypo8

    As Nosy has pointed out, one of the chief unique features of EVE is gone.

    Long ago, when I joined (3 years ago :-) ), there was literally nothing you could do to change how your skill points increased. I mean, I think there were some kind of obscure cerebral accelerators, but they were almost impossible to find and nearly unusable. You couldn’t buy skill points with cash, you couldn’t do activities that rewarded with skill points. You just had to wait. There was no free-to-play, so everybody got the same skill point earning rate.

    To be honest, I loved it. I read a lot about how to manage my skills, and very carefully husbanded them to make a character whose abilities I was, for the most part, proud of. Hey, look at what I did with my two years in the game: I have a really cool subcap pilot with a bunch of cool abilities. I was just starting to look at capitals as a possible next step, specifically haulers, but I was in no hurry. The game was fun without them, and the risk was more than I was excited to take. I never flew what I couldn’t afford to lose. I was starting to get the hang of treating ships like ammo.

    Now anybody with a few hundred dollars in their pocket, or who works the skill point bonuses carefully, could be me in a few months. There are a half-dozen reasons I haven’t played EVE in a year and may have won the game. This is one of them.

    I get it. This is EVE: you adapt or die. I ded.


  2. Mailvaltar

    I still haven’t extracted any skillpoints from my main ever, not even those I really don’t need, and I haven’t used a single injector with him either. The reason is basically what anypo8 described. The character has grown into what he is now over many years, his skills are basically his identity.

    That being said, I’ve always gladly taken any free SP CCP have given out one way or the other, and I’ve also bought this starter pack for both of my accounts. Like you said, Wilhelm, it’s just too good value to pass up. I’m not even going to use the SP right now, I like having a million or two up my sleeve for urgent matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Mailvaltar – Like you, I have neither injected nor extracted skill points from my main, or my main alt. Despite many skill points invested in industry and mining, neither of which I have used for years, you never know when you might suddenly need something like that. But free skill points… those I have taken without qualm. I think my biggest skill point boost might have come from when they split the destroyer and battlecruiser skills into racial versions. I have both up to level V, so ended up with six more level V skills after the split, which was enough skill points that I never did a post about hitting 100 million SP because that vaulted me well past and close to 110 million.

    I am currently sitting on 2,250,000 SP from various give aways. You never know where you might suddenly need a skill. And since you can buy skills on demand, even in space now, who knows if I might come across something like an abandoned Nyx and want to buy the Gallente Carrier skill so I can hop in it and fly it away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mailvaltar

    Yeah, that Destroyer- and BC-split was huge. Unfortunately I didn’t have Destroyers 5 at that point for some reason, so I missed out a bit, but I did have BC 5 at least.


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