Back with the Uprising expansion, almost two months ago at this point, CCP introduced the Paragon Corporation that would allow you to run missions for it in order to earn EverMarks, their currency, which you could then use to purchase corporation and alliance logos for your ships.
On the plus side, corp and alliance logos were absolutely something players were asking for.
The downside was… well.. the implementation. You can do a daily mission for Paragon out of one of their stations, which are located in the five major high sec trade hubs and a series of nearby (to the trade hubs) low sec systems. The systems are:
I think the primary criticism was why do this elaborate (and slow) mission system rather than just sell them for money like some very loud voices in the community had been suggesting for ages.
I mean, I get the idea of making people invest their time, giving them something to do, but that works a lot better if it is something interesting, rather than being somewhat dull and artificially constrained by a 23 hour timer… and, also inconvenient if you live nowhere near one of the trade hubs. (And the EverMarks are character bound so you can’t run the mission on an alt then buy marks with your main.)
I’ve read some theories… this was supposed to be a different system, this is how CCP is trying to whitewash selling fit ships somehow, NFTs or blockchain were supposed to be involved until players threw a fit about Hilmar’s ongoing flirtation with crypto, causing him to finally back down… but whatever it was, this is what we ended up with.
And I pretty much ignored it for the first month. Not only did it look dull, slow, and inconvenient, but there were also a limited number of hulls being supported by the feature initially.
However, with the coming of the annual Winter Nexus event, CCP started giving out EverMarks as part of their daily login rewards. They also announced an expansion to the hulls supported, including heavy assault cruisers, the staple of null sec. So I thought I might be able to collect at least one for a ship I had. And the, part way through the event there was a Thera wormhole connection from Querious to Thera, then Thera to Placid and a system two jumps over from Aubenall, which is where one of the Paragon stations sits.
So I grabbed Buzzard out of my hangar and took a little trip up north, found my way to the station to look at the price list. As it turned out, I did not have enough for the Ishtar logo.
However, while I was there I decided to see what the missions were about. They seemed pretty easy I guess. You have to go fetch a particular ship hull, bring it back, repackage it, and turn it in. My first mission was for a Rifter, for which I would get 2,500 EverMarks.
Basically, a shopping trip. I looked at the local market for a hull, but the ask was 550,000 ISK, which seemed to me like a lot for a Rifter. I know it got a bit of a buff recently, but it is pretty rare to see anybody flying New Eden’s most iconic hull if they have other options.
I wasn’t too far from Dodixie however, so I figured I could fly over there in a corvette, pick up a Rifter for cheap, fly it back, and be done. But when I crossed the lines into Sinq Laison, the prices were even higher.
So I turned around and headed back into Placid, where the prices were a bit cheaper and the hull I wanted was closer to the delivery point.
Having flown it back to the station, I turned it in, collected by 2,500 EverMarks, and was told I could go again in 23 hours.
So, in order to collect enough EverMarks to unlock more than a few ships you really have to be committed with you main character to doing this routine daily in one of 11 very specific locations. And if you’re an Alpha clone, who gets a 10% of the EverMarks an Omega does for turning in hulls… forget about it. It is very much a “Fuck you, subscribe already!” move by CCP.
I did find out the whole thing was more quickly done in Jita on one of my alts. You can go to The Agency, start a convo with the agent in system, accept the mission remotely, then just buy the appropriate hull off of the market, fly it over, turn it in, and be done for the day. Fine if you’re corp or alliance isn’t war dec’d with a couple of ista-lock Tornadoes sitting at the undock waiting for you to show up. Not so good for my main.
I did, eventually, collect enough EverMarks for my Ishtar logo though the Winter Nexus login rewards… and then accidentally bought the corporation logo rather than the alliance logo for the hull, so rather than the distinctive Fat Bee on my ship I have the rather generic KarmaFleet unicorn on display.
And, of course, it is barely visible on my hull.
The logo is also visible on the rear of the ship, but it is even harder to see there.
Now I have to scrape together another 11K EverMarks to get what I actually wanted. Or, more likely, forget about the whole thing for now.
All in all, I am a bit underwhelmed. I will collect EverMarks if they keep giving them away with login rewards, but I feel like the effort required to actually earn them is well beyond the reward on offer. One of the prime complaints about SKINs is that ships are so distant that you can’t see them unless they’re on a titan or you’ve zoomed in on somebody. Now we have these logos that are hard to find on your own ship, even when zoomed in.
Such is life.
I suppose one interesting side effect to watch for is what happens with hull prices and industry. Looking at Jita, where supply is most plentiful and the market most closely reflects the value of items to New Eden Rifters, as one example, have seen a bit of a jump in pricing since the introduction of EverMarks and Paragon Corporation missions.
They aren’t crazy expensive, but it does seem like there is some value in producing them at least, if only to serve the mission market that turns around and takes them out of the economy immediately.
Of course, it could be just the rising price of minerals like isogen causing the Rifter to get more expensive as well and that the demand is actually just finally getting people to produce them and then sell them at close to cost.