Tag Archives: Skill Injectors

New Skill Injectors for Those on an ISK or Skill Point Budget

In addition to the announcement earlier about new PLEX being paid out to those remaining holders of Aurum, today also brings a new type of skill injector to New Eden.

With today’s update (I’m a bit surprised CCP didn’t hold this for the YC119.6 update, but sometimes you undock as soon as you’re ready to go I guess) there will be two flavors of skill injectors/extractors on the market.

Things capsuleers do to themselves…

The previously existing injectors, which hold 500,000 skill points will now be prefaced with the word “Large,” while a new set of injectors/extractors will be available today with the word “Small” up front.  These new small units will work pretty much the same as the old injectors, they will just do so in increments of 100,000 skill points.

As with the original extractors the amount of skill points delivered will depend on how many skill points your character already has.

For Small injectors:

  • For characters with less than 5mil SP:  100k SP
  • For characters with 5mil – 50mil SP:  80k SP
  • For characters with 50mil – 80mil SP:   60k SP
  • For characters with more than 80mil SP:   30k SP

For Large injectors:

  • For characters with less than 5mil SP:  500k SP
  • For characters with 5mil – 50mil SP:  400k SP
  • For characters with 50mil – 80mil SP:   300k SP
  • For characters with more than 80mil SP:   150k SP

Of course, skill injectors have been around for a while.  They went in with the YC118.2 update on Mardi Gras last year and there was immediate activity. as well as the usual comedy and abuse and commentary in the community.  At Fanfest this year CCP gave us a peek at how popular the skill trading, as they refer to it, really was.

Skill trading stats as of Fanfest 2017

There is something telling in those most extracted/injected skills.

For me, with the characters I use well over 80 million skill points, injectors seem like a waste of ISK.  I continue to skill up the old fashioned way, by simply waiting.  But I have an alt who, when he isn’t training a skill he needs, just trains up skill points to extract, something that has provided a decent income.  I sold an injector in Jita on Sunday for 740 million ISK which, less the price of the extractor (I bought a pile of those when there was a bit of a glut on the market) netted me some spending money for other things.

Now we will have both large and small injectors on the market.  Price wise, large injectors should be five times the price of small injectors, so small injectors ought to show up somewhere between 140 and 150 million ISK, if the price of large injectors holds stable.

But will there be demand for smaller injectors?  All things equal, one large is the same as five small and the prices should be locked together by the 5 to 1 ratio in Jita.  However, markets are not always logical, at least not in the short term.   If 100K skill points isn’t as desirable as 500K, will the new injectors end up being a drag on the price?  We shall see as time rolls on.

A Few Slides from the Fanfest EVE Online Keynote

EVE Fanfest kicked off in Iceland yesterday and included the EVE Online keynote.

Fanfest 2017

Some of the keynote was spent reviewing what happened over the last year… or year and a bit in one case… with some statistics.  And I love statistics so, since I happened to be home and able to watch the keynote, I grabbed screen shots of some of the slides with numbers to share and have to hand to compare against any future updates.

Citadels

Citadel stats as of Fanfest 2017

Citadel stats are something where I have a previous count from EVE Vegas 2016, which happened at the end of October last year, so we can see how that has progressed:

Deployed:

  • Astrahus 14,322, up 7,632 since Vegas
  • Fortizar 1,772, up 1,025 since Vegas
  • Keepstar 38 , up 24 since Vegas

So the count for all citadel types have doubled since the end of October 2016.

Destroyed:

  • Astrahus 2,353
  • Fortizar 270
  • Keepstar 4

Engineering Complexes

Engineering Complex stats as of Fanfest 2017

Engineering complexes came in with the Ascension expansion on November 15 of last year, taking over production abilities from the old school Player Owned Starbase, or POS.  In the less than five months since then they have sprung up all over.

Deployed:

  • Raitaru 5,522
  • Azbel 875
  • Sotiyo 123

Destroyed:

  • Raitaru 471
  • Azbel 72
  • Sotiyo 4

Alpha Clones

Alpha clone stats as of Fanfest 2017

Alpha clones, the limited “free” option for EVE Online, was the big feature that came in with the Ascension expansion last November, and they have popped up all over.

Alpha Clone Stats:

  • Ships Lost 1,217,366
  • Final Blows Landed 40,941
  • Ships Destroyed by Alpha Fleets 32,065
  • Ship Manufacturing Jobs 228,342
  • Module Manufacturing Jobs 580,657
  • Market Transactions 33,377,966

Those numbers would be more interesting if we knew what percentage of the total of New Eden they represented.  But Alpha clones are out there.

Fighters

Fighter stats as of Fanfest 2017

The coming of the Citadel expansion in late April of 2016 not only brought new structures to New Eden, but also force auxiliary capital ships and changes to carriers and super carriers.  Rather than drones and old-style fighters, they would use a new type of fighter.

Produced:

  • Heavy 5,686,882
  • Light 4,104,542
  • Support 355,939

Destroyed:

  • Heavy 10,419
  • Light 205,112
  • Support 11,286

Of course, I wonder how many fighters have been lost ratting as opposed to PvP.

Skill Trading

Skill trading stats as of Fanfest 2017

Skill trading, skill injectors, and skill extractors came along in February of last year as part of what I called the Mardi Gras release, since it fell on fat Tuesday.

  • Skill Extractors Used 2,227,528
  • Skill Injectors Used 2,198,120
  • Skill Points Extracted 1,113,764,000,000
  • Skill Points Injected 832,396,750,000
  • Most Extracted Skill – Mining Barge
  • Most Injected Skill – Drone Interfacing

So there are/were 29,408 skill injectors on the loose or on the market representing 14,704,000,000 extracted skill points.  Of course, the one stat I really want is how many skill points disappeared because somebody took a 500K SP injector and only got a 150K SP boost.

Battles

CCP also highlighted three large battles that took place over the last year.  Last Fanfest took place during the Casino War, but any large scale battles from that had already occurred and we were in the midst of the three months of skirmishes before the Imperium moved south to Delve.  However, all three of those battles can be seen as fallout from the Casino War and all involved Circle of Two and citadels.

Conflict with Neighbors

The Battle at Oijanen in November of last year was over a Project Mayhem Astrahus and saw the Drone Region Federation lined up against alliances from the north including CO2 and TEST.

Death of a Keepstar

The final battle around the CO2 Keepstar in M-OEE8 in December was the culmination of the invasion of Tribute by Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion.  Once the Keepstar was destroyed, CO2 and their ally TEST evacuated the north to look for greener pastures.  I was there for this battle.

Two Fortizars coming online

The battle at F4R2-Q in January was the other side of the coin from the battle at M-OEE8, as it represented CO2 and TEST attempting to grab new territory in null sec from the Stainwagon coalition.  The battle itself was sparked by two Fortizars coming online, one for CO2 and one for TEST, that would give them a foothold in the Catch region.  While they lost both Fortizars, Stainwagon resistance crumbled and the alliances have taken over much of their old space.

I was also there for this battle which will be remembered as the one where we managed to get Asher to give us 10 participation links, something he has vowed never to do again.

Anyway, those were the review slides that held statistical or historical interest for me.

Skill Injectors, Meet Experience Injectors

I believe that whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes youstranger

-The Joker, The Dark Knight

Daybreak Week continues here at TAGN as the company continues to cough up good news to counteract last Friday’s announcement.  (Though not all of the news this week is good.) This time it is on the EverQuest II front, though there is a bit of an EVE Online theme mixed in, as the title suggests.

There was a live stream earlier this week by the legacy Norrath team that listed out all the things they have planned for Game Update 100.  Feldon at EQ2 Wire has it all summed up nicely, and I will say that it is a ton of stuff.  As Bhagpuss noted, there was enough stuff on the list that it would count as an expansion for some other MMORPGs… though since you have to be a Daybreak All Access subscriber to get some of the new stuff, maybe the line between updates and expansions isn’t colored in as thickly as you might imagine.

Of course, some bits are making people cranky.  The fact that the team is re-using some old zones to host new content is being unfairly dismissed by a few in the comment thread.  Personally, I am a huge fan of that idea.  For example, they are using one of my favorite mid-level zones from the original release, Zek, the Orcish Wastes, to host a new story in what will be called Zek — the Scourged Wastes.

The Outpost?

The Outpost where Zek starts

I love this.  It is a great zone, but it is a level 30 zone in a game where the cap is level 100 now and the rate at which players level is so fast now that you’ve level out of the zone long before you’ve finished the main quest line.  So it seems right to re-use this landscape for another story line, complete with new orc models, while the old version remains in place.

Again, I am a big fan of the idea, and this isn’t the only zone they are going to use.  The landscape artists are no doubt busying working on new zones for this year’s expansion, so this gives the team a way to deliver some new content without an impact on that time line.

There are a number of other items listed out for the update, but aside from the content based on reusing zones, there was just one that leaped out at me.  This one:

XP Vials

Adding a new system called an XP Vial where you can Siphon your excess XP into an XP Vial which you can sell to other players on the broker or transfer to alts. You can claim a bunch at a time. It is a tradeable item. Empty XP Vials must be purchased from the Marketplace. Combat XP only.

Where have I heard about this sort of thing before?

Oh yeah, back in February, with what I called the Madi Gras release, CCP introduced its skill point trading system, wherein players could remove skill points from one character via a skill extractor and sell them on the market, allowing other players to buy and inject the skill points into their own character.

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit...

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit…

This set the market aflame in New Eden, with skill related transactions making a lot of people pretty wealthy.  The traditional method of advancement, basically time, was unglued from reality and the character bazaar was suddenly a place to harvest skill points as opposed to buying a character with the skills you needed.  A skill point from Fleet Commander V is the same as a skill point from Caldari Frigate I when it is in a skill injector.

In fleets people were talking for weeks about injecting skills to fly new ships.  I know people in-game who have a million skill points injected and unallocated, set aside in case they need to learn a new skill quickly.  And, of course, there was the character that was boosted up to have all the skills, using up 1.8 trillion ISK in injectors.

Also showing off with that wallet balance

Also showing off with that wallet balance

This idea is coming to EverQuest II.

Not that this is the first time SOE/Daybreak has taken an idea from EVE Online.  PLEX was without a doubt the inspiration for Krono, which plays a similar role in the markets of EverQuest and EverQuest II.

All About Krono

All About Krono back in 2012

But, while Krono sort of works in Norrath… the market isn’t as brisk as in New Eden, it is divided up across multiple servers, and in a game you can play much of for free there isn’t as much incentive to use them… I do wonder how Experience Vials are going to work out.

To start with, there is the stark difference between skill points in EVE Online and Experience Points in traditional MMORPGs, mostly because EVE doesn’t have something as straightforward as levels..  People often conflate the two, mistaking skill points for a form of experience.  Aside from the fact that you earn skill points even when logged off, skill points have always stuck me as more of a skill tree/specialization system of sorts, where you choose the shape of your character’s knowledge, rather than something as linear as simple level advancement.  There are a lot of parallel paths for skill points.

And those paths are deep.  Iron Bank up there with his 474 million SP represents more than 20 years of continuous training, at a decent 2,500 SP/hr rate, in order to get all the skills full trained.

Compare that to the effort required to get a character in your standard MMORPG up to the current level cap.  Barring the sort of meandering efforts I have been prone to at times, that is a time frame where years don’t really enter into it.  We are talking about efforts best measured in days or weeks for most of us, or maybe hours when talking about those intent on the goal.

So the potential market doesn’t seem to be nearly as vast, while the ability to generate experience to be extracted into vials seems ripe for optimization.

Then add in the fact that you can simply buy a level 90 character for Daybreak Bucks, or whatever the micro-currency is called these days, and it doesn’t seem like there would be sufficient demand.

And to top that off, it is just combat experience, at least initially.  If you could extract for AA experience or, even better, crafting experience, I could see at least a somewhat expanded market.  I would be tempted to buy some crafting experience at times.

All in all, the Experience Vial thing feels like one of those classic SOE, “Don’t think about it, just do it!” moments we’ve all grown used to over the years.  I will be interested to see how this turns out and who will end up being the market for these vials.

If you are interesting in seeing the EQII GU100 live stream, it is now up on YouTube.

Further Anecdotes from the Skill Injector Front in New Eden

It has only been a week since the Madi Gras release, when skill injectors/skill extractors hit EVE Online, and already we have some of the usual stories.

My view on skill injectors was that they were perhaps a necessary evil in a game where skill advancement is a function of time subscribed.  You can argue as to whether new players really need to be able to “catch up” or if they should build up their skills the old fashioned way… by waiting… so that they grow into their abilities, but after more than a decade sometimes that skill point wall can seem pretty damn huge.

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit...

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit…

However I forgot one of the iron rules of MMOs in general, and of EVE Online in particular.  That rule says that there is almost nothing you can do to a game to help lift up new players that won’t benefit older players even more so.

And so it goes.

First we had the tales of Spaceman and Stromgren, alluded to over at TMC, who used skill injectors to get to the top of the skill points chart over at EVE Board, a site that lets you track and compare characters that register with the site and which is used as an adjunct to the character bazaar, so you can display what you’re selling or see what you’re buying.

Spaceman, a 2003 character, went for the “just a bit better” route to top the previous champion, and also of 2003 vintage, Dr Caymus.  Then Stromgren, a character also dating from 2003, decided to go for a decisive lead.

Neither of them stayed at the top of the list long when, as noted over at EN24, the gambling site I Want ISK took a brand new character named IronBank, created on February 11th of this year, and decided to learn all the skills available in the game.  That character had an average skill points per hour rate of 4,441,578.9 as I started writing this and has apparently “won” EVE Online or some such.

Also showing off with that wallet balance

Also showing off with that wallet balance

That leaves the skill point leader board at EVE Board looking like this for the moment:

Top 5 highest skill Points

  1. IronBank (473,344,000)
  2. Stromgren (400,795,578)
  3. Spaceman (291,817,863)
  4. Dr Caymus (291,375,384)
  5. Shaleen (278,343,002)

All of which goes to prove that nothing now stands in your way of getting the skills you want, or even all the skills available, if you have enough cash.  The total spent on IronBank was calculated at 1.8 trillion ISK, which if you acquired through the purchase of PLEX via real world money, would total up to something like $25,000. (You can see where I stand in the rankings.)

The secondary lesson is, of course, that if you make a leader board of some sort, somebody will try to get to the top of it for no other reason beyond being number one on that leader board.  Whee, internet fame!

Meanwhile, in the land of less ambitious immortals… for through the miracle of cybernetics and infomorph psychology all capsuleers are effectively immortal… skill injectors are now the answer to all problems.  Can’t fly a ship, new doctrine requirements got you down, want to fly something new without all of that waiting around, then skill injectors can help you out.  I have heard a fair share of comments in fleets over the last week about pilots boosting up to a skill they wanted via injectors or people being admonished to inject to be able to fly a given fit.

Which is fine I suppose, provided you have the ISK to buy them skill injectors.  If you’re setup to AFK carrier rat for hours on end our in a quiet null sec system, you can afford some.  If you are a new player… well, I have seen some injector hand outs for new bros and such.  But you’re unlikely to be able to afford an injector on your own… unless you go buy some PLEX.  And PLEX is moving pretty well since the introduction of skill trading.  So I am sure that, from the CCP end of things, this new feature is looking pretty good.

But I have a hard time seeing this as anything but the rich… those rich in ISK and skill points… simply getting richer while the average low skill point player continues to grind on.

I am also sort of surprised at how many people with more than 80 million skill points are willing to buy and use injectors at only 150,000 skill points a shot.  That is about three days of training.  For the 650 million ISK price I’ll just wait the three days.  But I am a notorious cheapskate, and also not a fan of waste.  Watching 350,000 skill points disappears doesn’t make me happy.

  • < 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

I will be interested to see if CCP gets together some data on the whole skill trading scheme.  I’d like to hear how many skill injectors went into pilots in the various skill point ranges… and how many skill points disappeared from the game due to the built-in wastage.  How much did it off-set normal training?

Of course, I suspect if the data shows the whole thing ended up as a case of the rich getting richer that we won’t hear much about it.

Others still commenting on Skill Trading:

 

 

First Night of Skill Point Trading in Jita

It was fast times in Jita last night as a mass of traders, speculators, scammers, and other interested parties descended on what one might call the Commonland’s Tunnel of New Eden, the economic capital of the game.  A record number of players were in the system, thanks in large part to the fact that the Brain in a Box feature, which came in back with the Parallax update last November (which was also the last named update in Syndicate), let CCP increase the hard cap they  have on the system to 5,000 players.

So there was room for more.

Still, ~3,600 pilots in the system is a lot of people.  At 6VDT-H, still the biggest battle in EVE history, we topped 4,000, but that was a special occasion and the system was heavily reinforced by CCP and we still ended up with time dilation so bad that the UI simply wouldn’t respond for extended periods of time.  But then, we were also shooting at each other too.

Anyway, lots of people were in the system, and they were there for skill trading, which went live with yesterday’s update.

That is 30 billion skill points extracted by 21:00 EVE time yesterday.  That is a lot of extractors purchased and used, considering each one only grabs half a million skill points. 16 billion skill points were applied with a reported wastage of 5 billion skill points… 10,000 skill extractors worth of skill points gone missing.

Of course, that was 60,000 skill extractors obtained through various means yesterday as well.  Since you have to buy them via Aurum, which somebody has to purchase through a straight up cash transaction at some point, it looks like something of an immediate, if minor, economic victory for CCP.

I can remember it for you retail...

You can even buy they for cash directly…

Of course, I had to log in and take a peek.  I had my alt sitting in Jita and when I logged in CCP was night enough to let me know right away that skill point injectors were available and how many skill points I could add to my character with each one.  However, since he is past the 110 million SP mark, that wasn’t very much per injector.

350K SP go to waste for me...

350K SP go to waste for me…

I also saw the scam du jour in Jita local, which was to offer a contract allegedly for a skill injector at 50 million under the current market price when, in fact, the contract was for a a skill extractor, hoping some anxious buyer looking for a bargain wouldn’t notice the difference until it was too late.  One can learn many lessons about unscrupulous behavior in Jita local.

The market price for skill injectors in Jita last night was up above 650 million ISK per, with plenty listed on the market.

Injectors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Injectors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Skill extractors were running at about 300 million ISK per unit at the same time.

Extractors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Extractors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

So, at that moment at least, 500,000 skill points looked to be worth about 350 million ISK after costs.

Of course, this was the first night and the market was flooded with excess inventory, fresh demand, and a full of people trying to figure out how to make some ISK out of the whole deal.  Gevlon reported making 350 billion ISK yesterday on skill sales and extractor arbitrage  How the market will look in a week, a month, or a year may change, but last night was the crazy time.

JonnyPew emptied out a 121 million SP character to boost his main from 7 million to 80 million SP, letting 41 million SP disappear forever.  Some people do things just to say they have done them.

Noizy reported that PLEX sales in the first six hours of the day were way up and suspects that yesterday might have been a record day for sales overall.  The price of PLEX itself was up to the 1.3 billion ISK mark, making my six year old stock screen shot of PLEX on the market even more comically out of date.

Current prices are around 800 million ISK in Jita

If you had bought at this price in late 2009 you would have made a billion ISK

As for me, I neither extracted nor injected, I just watched the whole thing for a bit before going off to read a book.

Some day, if I need to boost up a cyno alt quickly or some such, I might buy an injector.  But for the moment I have no skill points I consider excess on either alt or main and both have so many skill points already that they are far end of the diminishing returns.  They can train an injector’s worth of skill points… 150K for either of them… in a little over three days, so I’ll just do it the old fashioned way.

EVE Online and the Mardi Gras 2016 Release

CCP has given up on naming their seemingly now monthly releases (though I think YC 118.2 might be an option), but that doesn’t mean I can’t give them names myself.  Happy Mardi Gras 2016 release!  Laissez les bon temps roulez, such that they are.

Anyway, the baby in CCP’s king cake today is likely a skill point extractor, as that is the big thing coming with today’s drop.  CCP riled up Noizy by doing their first reveal on Twitter, but they were also having some logon issues, so maybe that went out prematurely.  In any case, they followed up in the manner to which we have become accustomed and put out a Dev Blog-like post on the prices and the various methods by which you may obtain skill extractors.

Skill Extractors - Base Price

Skill Extractors – Base Price

If you want to skip the Aurum or ISK route and aren’t interested in the bonus extractors with subscriptions and what not, there is also a straight up cash price for them as well.

I can remember it for you retail...

I can remember it for you retail…

And, as is the way of things, all the essential information is spread out over three sources.  So in addition to the above post, you need to look at the Skill Trading Dev Blog and the Release Notes for today’s update.  The release notes give the most conscience round up as to how things work, including a short list of skills which may not be extracted.

While I am still not sure how I feel about the whole skill stripping thing, as with so much in the game these days it seems like a lot of complications for a limited amount of benefit, I am, as always, fascinated to see how this plays out.

The eventual pricing for skill injectors, once things settle down, seems to be contentious, with Noizy calling 300 million ISK a floor for the pricing (with a final price estimate of 720-750 million ISK per based on the injector pricing post) while Gevlon has declared that the ceiling price.

We shall see how that plays out.

Other than that, there are just small items in the release notes.

Wrecks, which uniformly had 500 hit points, will now have hit points based on the size of the ship which the wreck represents.  This is the new break down:

  • Frigate, Rookie Ship, Shuttle, Small NPC: 700 hp
  • Destroyer: 1000 hp
  • Cruiser, Mining Barge, Medium NPC, Generic NPC: 1500 hp
  • Battlecruiser, Industrial: 2500 hp
  • Battleship, Large NPC, Officer NPC: 3500 hp
  • Carrier, Dread, Rorqual, Orca, Freighter: 15000 hp
  • Supercarrier, NPC Supercarrier: 25000 hp
  • Titan: 30000 hp

If nothing else, nobody will be popping a titan wreck before it has been looted on accident.  I wonder how much extra ammo will be expended destroying wrecks now, something occasionally done to deny the enemy loot.  Somebody call CCP Quant.

Strategic Cruisers have been given the Pabst Blue Ribbon (Physical Based Rendering) treatment, so they will now look a little different… expect shiny gold trim on your pimp Legion now… display kill marks and may some day be eligible for SKINs.

T3s and cheap beer do mix...

T3s and cheap beer do mix…

Deep down in the list of user interface tweaks is a notice that the beta camera is now an opt-out option.  If you want to stick with the old, reliable, and slightly boring camera view we have grown used to over the years you will have to find that option in the setting.  Otherwise you will be using the new camera when you log in today.  If you want to use the new camera, there is a dev blog about that.

And there are some new skills on the market for the upcoming FAX machines (Force Auxiliary capital ships) and the fighters which carriers will use when the big capital ship change up comes in the spring.

There are a bunch of the usual tweaks and fixes in the Release Notes (and not much at all on the now somewhat neglected Updates page) but those are the things that mean something to me.  Well, all that and the usual musical number, the hallmark of every update.