Please read it if you haven't, then come back. Like a good citizen, I try to fully understand the implications of changes in EVE and not simply spout off in a tirade. I will try to summarize the system here so you don't have to wade through hundreds of pages of comments that mostly have amounted to semi-informed rage.
How does it work?
SP is *not* created. It is only transferred from one character to another
A full extractor can then be bought or sold on the market. The general assumption is that because you can optimally train 2M SP in 1 month, the price of the full extractor will be 1/4 PLEX (500k is 1/4 of 2M) plus the value of the extractor in ISK (ISK->PLEX->AUR formula) plus a little profit. EVE players don't usually do things on the market without profit, especially something like SP which is directly related to time. Let's say this is 400M for the sake of argument.
Spending 400M buys you 1/4 month of training in SP. However, how much SP you get upon injected depends on your current SP.
- If you are less than 2.5 months old (5M SP), you would get 500k SP.
- If you are older than 2.5 months and less than 2.5 years (50M SP), you lose 20% of the SP and would get 400k.
- If you are between 2.5 and 3.5 years (50-80M SP), you lose 60% of the SP and only get 200k
- If you are older than 3.5 years, you lose 90% of the SP and only get 50k
From these numbers, this feature strongly benefits the newest players (less then 2.5 months old) by giving them a way to spend about 2 PLEX and jump start their training. For players slightly older or for those wishing to push the envelope, it would cost another 28 PLEX or so to get to 50M from 5M. At discounted prices thats around $500 USD.
So for $500, 28 PLEX, or 33 billion ISK you could own a 50M SP character from day one.
But...I can buy a 43M SP character on the bazaar today for 20B ISK.
Transferring SP via the proposed packets is not a cost effective way to buy SP in large quantities
If "greed is good" as many players are claiming on the forums that CCP is just being greedy, the numbers show that beyond the 5M SP mark, it quickly becomes more effective to just buy the character you want. Because EVE players are also greedy, the question then becomes, who would sub-optimally buy SP in this way
It will not be most new players
It might be existing players but I doubt this as well.
I have been playing for a little over 2 years, right around that mark where 50M SP would be my optimal training amount. I'm currently sitting on 43M SP (seems I have been sub-optimal). It won't be long now before my ability to buy SP would hit a very harsh 60% tax. Short of a very very important milestone for me to reach, it just doesn't make sense to spend roughly 2.5 PLEX to buy 1 month worth of training. In a few months, it will be a significantly worse proposition for me.
The most common scenarios I see for this beyond the 5M SP mark are:
- Jumpstart into a specific doctrine, skill, or ship
- People who refuse to use the character bazaar due their attachment to their characters identity
I see virtually no downside to this. The inefficiencies in the system are such that the people who have the ISK to buy large, bulk SP are probably also the same people who would choose to optimally buy a character from the bazaar.
- New players get a cheap and simply way to skip the most boring parts of EVE in their early career, waiting for skills.
- Existing players get a way to reinvest their ISK to keep them playing in a new ship or doctrine, eliminating the requirement to wait days or even months before they can join in whatever exciting content is waiting for them.
This is not pay to win
SP does not equate to player skill.
A green EVE player buying a character or injecting SP does not make them good at EVE. Whether that be PvP skill or market saavy, nothing about SP will make a person better at those things. People today who buy characters off the market are not suddenly dominating the game. EVE is far too grand and complex for that to be an effective strategy to win.
The trading of SP, however, does soften the time hurdle of EVE that is a major barrier to many people wanting to play this game. There is a definite period of time, roughly equivalent to that 5M SP mark, where people simply are not very effective in many areas of the game. For players beyond that 5M mark, meta changes also can leave people unable to participate with their existing friends in the same way as they wait for a skill or skills to finish.
By offering a granular way to accelerate that training, CCP has come up with an elegant way for players to choose to keep playing now vs. waiting for days, weeks or months, or even being so frustrated by the prospect and never giving EVE a chance.
I hope the EVE community can stop, take a breath, and really look at this proposal for what it is, an open door an invitation for players who were frustrated by the insurmountable time hurdle of EVE to run a little bit further up the cliff wall and give them a fighting chance to fall in love with the game.