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The EVE Online Updates page recently received a new entry for the 24th of May called the ‘Thrill Of the Hunt’. The info text attached explains that as of the 24th of May players will be awarded 10,000 skill points for the first NPC kill made within a 22 hour period. The skill points will be added to character sheet unallocated to allow players to manually pick which skills they are to be applied to. This reward will be given to the first character to complete this task on any one account.

This mean a player who logs in once every 22 hours and kills a NPC could receive up to an additional 3,981,818 skill points over the course of a year. Of course, you’d have to be pretty dedicated to log in every single day for a whole year, but one thing EVE has taught me: there are always at least few people with that level of dedication.

Before I start really picking into numbers, lets set out just one assumption: characters gain skill points at a rate of around 2,000 skill points per hour. A chart released by CCP,  showed the distribution of active accounts and their skill point training rates, but as per usual I cannot find it when I need it! So from now on, any time calculations will be based on this rate of 2,000 SP per hour. On that basis a 10,000 skill point bonus every day gives the equivalent of almost five and a half additional hours of skill training per day.

But how will this affect individual players? It is worth noting at this point that some 25% of active accounts currently have less than 10,000,000 skillpoints and these rookie players also tend to be the most active. 10,000 additional skill points is a substantial chunk and is the equivalent of training 6 mastery level 1 frigate skills instantly to level 1. The benefits of this would be huge for a newer player and would go a long way in reducing that initial ‘I have to wait 2 days to fly this ship, but I want to do it now’ feeling that longer term players have just kinda gotten used to, or no longer experience at all.

On the subject of longer term players, what about them? Well over the course of a year this feature will provide almost enough Skill Points to train a 16x skill from level 4 to level 5 (Titan 4 to 5 for example). Cumulatively that’s approximately 83 additional days of skill points for logging in and shooting a NPC once every 22 hours, or 2.7 months of PLEX/subscription time – it definitely has value.

This feature was initially announced in a Dev Post by CCP Rise in early April where he wrote:

CCP RiseHi

I’m here to give you guys a heads up that sometime early next week a small daily activity reward feature will be hitting Singularity and will hopefully be making its way to TQ sometime just after Citadel.

As you guys surely know, having people in game and in space is great and we want to start promoting and rewarding activity a little more directly. The version of the feature we are planning to deploy first will be a simple 10,000 skill point reward that a character will receive the first time they kill an NPC ship every 22 hours (limited one character per account per day, chosen based on which character completes the task first). The skillpoints will go into your unallocated pool to be used however you like.

You will find the status of your daily skill boost in the Opportunities info panel and you will also receive notifications to let you know when it becomes available.

That’s it for now. If this goes well we hope to expand in several ways, but more on that later!

Feedback appreciate as always,
CCP Rise for Team Size Matters

Immediately this announcement sparked huge debate across the EVE Community and the thread exploded gaining 626 replies in just 24 hours. Indeed the debate still rages on to today with over 2,300 replies. Podcasts discussed the topic at length and there have been multiple Reddit threads on the subject. Similarly to the controversy surrounding skill injectors, this topic has decisively split the EVE Community in two. Manic Velocity parodied the communities feelings in a video he released earlier today.

After two days and 952 posts CCP Rise posted a response to answer some of the communities questions:

CCP RiseOkay, let’s see if I can provide some context for our decision to add daily opportunities to eve and maybe answer some of your bigger questions.

Why Dailies?
So first lets talk a little history. EVE had a daily logon incentive for most of it’s existence: the 24 hour skill queue limit. Back in Phoebe, we removed those limitations. Now, at the time, we were of two minds internally. We didn’t like the experience around being punished for not logging in to update your queue, but also knew that some of those logins might be leading to meaningful gameplay and we shouldn’t lightly let go of them. We leaned to the side of a better experience and removed the limitations, hoping that the logins we were generating were fairly empty, rarely leading to more actual activity in the universe. Well, it turns out we were wrong about that. Now, with before and after data we can see that making it into the client is a huge step towards real activity, even if the reason for logging in in the first place seems artificial. So this leads us to where we are now, attempting to find ways to create more logins that also don’t feel like such a punishment as the skill queue limitations did. This may not turn out to be the perfect alternative but that’s what we’re looking for.

Why Skillpoints?
There’s been a lot of feedback here that this kind of feature would be acceptable if the rewards were more monetary, either LP or ISK or something similar. There’s a few reasons that doesn’t really work and we feel pulled towards SP. I think the biggest one is that many people simply won’t be motivated by LP or ISK, especially in the amounts we would be restricted to giving. SP simply has higher demand across more playstyles and player ages and that just makes it a more powerful incentive. Second big reason that we actually tried designs using item and ISK rewards and it quickly creates a lot of economic imbalances. Any time we are giving something away without much activity cost we are heavily sabotaging someone’s gameplay. Whether it’s because of devaluing LP, causing major inflation, or crashing item markets, it’s all bad for you guys so we would rather avoid it.

Why so lazy?
Lots of feedback about the feature having such a minimalist implementation. First, let me clear up some confusion by saying that this feature has no relationship with the ‘Tribute’ system that was described last year at EVE Vegas. That feature has actually gone down a path more focused on goal setting and long term engagement than daily activity and so the daily part was broken off and given to our team separately. With that in mind, we are trying to find the right mix of activity and accessibility. We want you to be able to collect this reward during a lunch break or a 10 minute period where your kids are in timeout but also want to make sure there’s some real gameplay associated with it. We think getting to a belt or gate for an NPC is about the right mix and that’s why we’ve landed with this. That said, we’ve also deliberately tried to keep it simple so that we can deploy fast and adjust based on how it gets used. We are absolutely open to expanding the list of activities in the future and imagined that as one of the most likely first iterations. Small sidenote on activities: many of you mentioned PVP, remember that this is always problematic because the most effective way to PVP for rewards is just kill your own alt, which isn’t very fun or interesting.

New players
Seeing a lot of talk about this feature in the context of new players and I can just say that this is not a new player targeted feature. We hope it’s good for new players as well but for the feature to be successful it needs to be relevant to everyone.

Wow CCP
And finally the traditional MMO comparisons. While I found most of these comments to be the most entertaining, it’s pretty absurd to think that any feature which can be found in a traditional MMO appearing in EVE means we are headed down the road to battlegrounds and dragon killing. If you look at Citadel feature list you should not have any concerns about our commitment to the EVE sandbox and the hardcore nature of our game.

Hope some of this helps. We are taking your feedback seriously and if we don’t make any changes before release we will absolutely be following up shortly after release with changes based on feedback and behaviour.

The important lesson to be taken from Rise’s post is that CCP has realised a consequence of the October 2014 Phoebe skill queue changes: having a reason to log in has results in people staying logged in.

The biggest complaint however is the shallowness of the task and that it doesn’t necessarily encourage people to stay logged in for any meaningful amount of time. After all undocking and going to shoot a belt rat doesn’t take a long time. Many critics are saying that if CCP wants to encourage activity overall then the reward should be for a more meaningful task. But this is a large assumption based on player experience rather than from the evidence of data CCP probably has. Maybe just the simple act of logging in may be enough to encourage people to stay logged in? The true test of this new feature will come over the course of the next few months through the community’s response, and how CCP decides to further iterate on recurring opportunities.

So with recurring opportunities just around the corner, what do you think of them? Leave your comments below and in the EVE Forum feedback thread.

 

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