Tag Archives: New Eden Store

Where Are All the Ship SKINs?

The joke that isn’t really a joke has been about CCP being unable to run a store to sell EVE Online merchandise.  Granted, there are difficulties serving a world-spanning audience, and everybody who says, “They could make so much money if the just sold…” is completely wrong… I went over all that already… but it still seems to take them to get something going only to be disappointing.

The in-game store though, the New Eden Store, that ought to be different.  That has no shipping or currency conversion or inventory cost issues.  Just get the art team to make some nifty, infinitely reproducible ship SKINs and put them up for sale.   I know there are people who don’t like ship SKINs, but there are people who don’t like puppies and kittens as well.  And judging from the fleet ops I go on, there are plenty of people who do like SKINs.

Reavers fleets are always full of skinned ships

And if you have a titan it seems like having a SKIN is almost mandatory judging from what I saw of those fleets over the summer.

Something, something, titans will never be common…

So, with that in play, you would think the New Eden Store would be full of ship SKINs.

Not too full, mind you.  I get the whole scarcity and exclusivity thing.  And, of course, the UI of every online store becomes a burden when there are more than 20 things in any given shopping category, so you want to avoid bloat.

Even given all of that, I still fully expect that I should be able to open up the New Eden Store and find a SKIN for the ship I am flying, no matter which ship it is.

But, this is CCP, so of course I can’t.

It is the holiday season… you know, when people go shopping for gifts, a time when it is good to have a full selection of items available… and the Reavers had a Secret Santa gift exchange again this year.  The person I drew wanted an Apostle and I figured I could swing that.  But I hate to give just a ship.  I like ship SKINs and so throw some in with every Secret Santa gift.  I even have a few of the Blaze SKINs socked away to go with gifts at a later date.

So I wanted an Apostle SKIN.  But when I opened up the New Eden Store I found that there were no Apostle SKINs for sale.  Frankly, there are barely any Amarr SKINs for sale… or Minmatar.  There are just five Amarr and six Minmatar SKINs in the store.

I hope you are flying one of these ships if you want an Amarr SKIN

Gallente is a bit better.  They have some coverage, though it is far from universal.  Only the Caldari, of the four main empires, seems to have a good selection of SKINs.  They are mostly the white Ghostbird SKIN, which I admit I really like, but at least you have an option as Caldari. (The Triglavians, the new hawtness, have a couple SKINs per hull available, and the Gila is also well covered.)

But no Apostle SKIN.

I had to get out an alt in Jita to go shopping.  And that is okay.  I understand that SKINs from events and old SKINs area meant for the secondary market.  And I was able to find a Purity of the Throne, a Dark Iron, and an Exoplanets SKIN to go with the gift.  I had to run them out to Aridia in an interceptor so my main could pick them up and fly them back into Delve, so a little inconvenience, but not much.  I just feel lucky that I was able to find three quality SKINs without breaking the bank.  If he had wanted a faction battleship SKIN I might not have been so lucky.

I won’t pretend I am an expert on in-game, cash shop marketing, but it does seem like the holiday season would be a good time to have a selection of SKINs available for a much wider selection of ships.  And the art team at CCP has show itself able to knock out a good SKIN on short notice for fundraising events.  So what is going on here?

SKIN Scarcity and Rotating Stock

The now standard turnover of items carries on in the New Eden Store, the in-came cash shop in EVE OnlineWe got notice of a new set of SKINs, the Octopus Orange Flight SKINs for some Caldari hulls.

Octopus Orange SKIN on a Raven

Not a bad SKIN if you like bright colors.  A pity that the meta in null sec is mostly about armor tanked ships, so I don’t fly Caldari ships that much these days.  Plus I might have enough SKINs for Caldari already.  Either way I won’t be rushing out to grab any of these SKINs just yet.

Actually, there is another reason I won’t be rushing to buy them.  They’ll eventually be removed from the store and put on sale when that is announced, as happened to a bunch of SKINs as part of teh Octopus Orange Flight announcement.

On the news item, after the list of hulls for the new SKIN, there is a long list of SKINs that will be leaving the New Eden Store.  The Valkyrie set will be going, along with the EoM sets for Amarr ships, the remaining Ruby Sungazer SKINs, the Kopis Edge SKINs for Gallente hulls, and a few others.

I’ll actually miss the Kopis Edge SKINs.  On Gallente hulls it is probably the best looking set of SKINs after the Quafe set.  I picked up a couple of those on sale for hulls I might fly some day, though for some reason the Oneiros isn’t on the list though the Exequror, which shares the same basic hull, is available.  But I have the Oneiros version already… though now I can’t recall where I got it.  Was it an EVE Vegas give away?

Kopis Edge Oneiros undocking with a fleet

Anyway, this the the natural order of things in the New Eden Store. Like most online shopping interfaces, it isn’t made better by having more pages of products to scroll through.  CCP weeds out old items as it adds new ones.  This also lets them play the scarcity card, encouraging players to buy things they might want before they disappear, either for their own use or for speculation.

This has turned into an issue for the Reavers.  While we don’t have a required ship SKIN (though there was a push to get people into the CCP Blaze Ishtar SKIN, which you can see in the background of the screen shot above) we do have an official jacket.  The idea is that when we blow something up the kill mail will have a list of participants wearing the same jacket in front of the same background and in the same pose.

Almost the same pose…

However, in a previous purge our jacket, the Interbus Marshall model, disappeared from the store.  I think it was purged back in March when I had RL issues on my mind, because if I had noticed I would have bought a few to have around for new members.

So now we’re in a bit of a lurch on that front.  It is a bit like real life where, any time I buy something and end up liking it I wonder if I should go buy another because by the time I need another the item will have been discontinued and have disappeared.  This seems especially to be the case with shoes.  Oh well.

At least things that get retired from a virtual store front can be brought back I suppose… eventually.