Just about seven months ago a controversy got stirred up about a new Starter Pack for EVE Online because it was selling one million skill points for the low, low price of five dollars.
This seemed very much against the grain of a statement from CCP in a past dev blog about the nature of skill points in the game:
It’s very important to note here that this means all the skillpoints available to buy on the market in EVE will have originated on other characters where they were trained at the normal rate. Player driven economies are key to EVE design and we want you to decide the value of traded skillpoints while we make sure there is one single mechanism that brings new skillpoints in to the system – training.
Here were packs with a million skill points, two skill injectors worth, being generated out of thin air and sold for cash.
CCP was quick to point out that players could only buy the starter pack once per account, though the math of getting a million skill points for five dollars even once was pretty compelling. As I calculated out, for a veteran player who was only getting 150K skill points out an injector, this was like getting seven large skill injectors for five bucks. An unbeatable deal, and there was even a bit of a rush to go buy the things due to that value.
The rush was also due to CCP responding to protests the next day in a dev blog in which they promised to do something about the starter pack.
And then they did nothing for seven months. I was going to put up a post every month that the starter pack was still available, but I only did that once. The crowd had moved on… there was the Blackout and the Drifter attacks and the cyno nerfs hitting after that, driving players out of space much more effectively than just breaking their word again about selling skill points.
Earlier today CCP posted an announcement about new “value” packs for capsuleers and I am happy to announce that you can no longer have access to a one-time straight up buy of one million skill points for five dollars.
Instead, you now have access to a one-time straight up buy of 250K skill points for ten dollars. Or twenty-three dollars. Or fifty dollars. Or ninety dollars.
Admittedly, a much less appealing deal. I don’t think people will be rushing out to grab that in the numbers that ran after the starter pack seven months ago.
But yes, the new range of “value” packs, which come in Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels, all include 250K skill points.
If you are only interested in skill points… and frankly aside from PLEX or Omega time there is little else of value in these packs… the best deal is the ten dollar Bronze Pack.
60 PLEX won’t buy you much in game, though I suppose you can just sell it for ISK.
Oddly, if you are looking for value for money, the more expensive packages might be better deals, depending on what you want out of them.
The four packs are:
- Bronze – $9.99
- 60 PLEX (~$2.50)
- Cosmetic outfit
- 4 frigate SKINs
- 250K SP
- Silver – $22.99
- 30 Days of Omega ($15)
- 110 PLEX ($5)
- 4 destroyer SKINs
- 250K SP
- Gold – $49.99
- 60 Days of Omega ($30)
- 500 PLEX ($15 or $20)
- Vedmak SKIN
- 250K SP
- Platinum – $89.99
- 90 Days of Omega ($45)
- 1500 PLEX ($45)
- Drekavec SKIN
- 250K SP
The only things of value, in my opinion, are skill points, Omega time, and PLEX, and the latter two are the items you can buy, and likely do, buy from CCP. So you can look at the amount of PLEX and Omega time you get as an off-set to the price paid for the pack.
For example, with the Bronze pack 60 PLEX is about two fifty… you cannot buy it in increments that small… so the offset price of the pack is about $7.49 for that 250K of skill points.
In the Silver pack we get into Omega time and PLEX increments we can work with. We’ll give Omega time its highest value, $15 a month, and you can get 110 PLEX for five dollars, so that gives you $20 of value in the Silver pack, meaning you’re paying about three bucks for the 250K SP.
With the Gold pack things start to get interesting. 60 days of Omega is $30, and 500 PLEX is worth a month of game time, so another $15. But to buy 500 PLEX costs $20, so you could value it that way as well. So the offset is $45 to $50, making the 250K SP somewhere between $5 and the few cents I glossed over to get even numbers.
Finally, the Platinum pack gets you 90 days of Omega for a $45 value and 1500 PLEX, which in game time is another $45, meaning that you can get something close to $90 of value out of a $90 purchase and have your 250K skill points on top of that.
The thing is, you can only do it once. All of the new packs are one per account.
That assumes you want to do it at all. I am not convinced. I don’t need the 250K of skill points… CCP just gave me that many last weekend for just logging in… I am not burning for some PLEX and I’ll buy my Omega time the old fashioned way I think.
So we went from a five dollar starter pack that was a really attractive deal that caused a good amount of outrage to a set of less attractive deals… that still have the stigma of selling skill points.
I don’t know. I get that CCP needs to make money and these “value” packs are a way to boost income and that, due to the nature of the game itself, they walk a fine line in trying to offer something of value versus breaking the game and outraging the core fan base. And skill points are a bit of a hot button issue for many players. But what else is CCP going to throw in there? Ships? Already trained skills? (This certificate good for Amarr cruiser IV) Even more cosmetics?
Meanwhile, there is that Best SKINs of 2019 pack for fifty dollars that contains nothing like any of what I would consider the best SKINs, for ships I don’t fly, all priced well beyond a point I would pay. For fifty dollars straight up cash I want something like the whole Purity of the Throne Amarr SKIN sub-cap collection or all of the Caldari Ghostbird sub-cap SKINs. But that might just be me.
Anyway, people are disappointed that CCP is still selling skill points, but the outrage seems weaker this time. Either this isn’t as bad or we’re all just worn still out after a summer of outrage. Or both.