A week ago, I wrote about how I purchased the $5USD Starter Pack for both of my accounts.
This was not in response to or a judgement on if the pack was a good idea or not. My purchase was a small pro CCP action within a larger anti CCP maelstrom. It was a minor example of putting my money where my mouth is.
Wilhelm Arcturus looked logically at the value this Pack had for players:
In short, a new pilot with less than 5M Skill points would have to use 2 Large Skill Injectors to get 1M SP. With a current going rate of 996M ISK each for the injectors, the Starter Pack can be worth 2B ISK to them.
Due to diminishing returns, a veteran player with more than 80M Skill Points would have to use 6.6 Large Skill Injectors to get 1M SP. For them the Starter Pack can be worth 6.6B ISK. A notable bargain.
ISK and Skill points are easily defined and measured, and it is a valid – startling – comparison.
It is also a comparison that I don’t think matters as much as it seems.
I did not apply the Starter Pack Skill Points to my main pilot. 1M SP went to my Industry Alt, who has 22.6M SP. The conversion worked out to be 2.5B ISK of value. The second 1M SP went to my Industry Support Alt. They have 15.8M SP, so again the conversion worked out to be 2.5B ISK. I ended up with 5B ISK of value for my $10USD spend.
Did I mess up? Would it have been smarter to apply the Skill Points to my Main Pilot on one of my accounts? On paper the value would have been 9.1B ISK instead of 5B ISK.
In my situation 1M SP on my Main Pilot does not have much value. They were born in 2006 and have been actively training the entire time since. They can fly every hull, fit every module, perform every in-game action that I need them too. Aside distractions such as the Triglavian skills, for years now most of my training choices have come down to turning bits of my Ship Tree Gold ..
.. or finishing off a skill category ..
Little of that has really enhanced my game in a discernible way.
That is not to say it would have no value to another 2006 pilot. 1M SP might have a tangible and immediate value, particularly when it comes to getting into Capital hulls and T2 Capital modules a couple weeks quicker than standard training allows. That might be the difference between joining a once off in game Operation or not.
Generally however, there will be a bigger impact from that 1M SP for a new player over an old one. Adding 1M SP to a new pilot with 1M SP increases their skill points by 100%. Adding 1M SP to my main increases their points by less than 0.4%.
That is the quandary about measuring value. Value is subjective and personal.
Giving 2M SP to my Industry Pilots should give me some value – however I have not yet spent any of the points. Both those pilots do everything I need them to be able to do. The skill points are there to be able to respond quickly to any unexpected future needs. The value will come later.
At this point, I’ve spent $10USD (around $15AUD) on a few Frigate skins I don’t particularly like.
There is one another aspect to this I find interesting, and I mention it as it explains in part why I am OK with veteran players also having access to the Pack, even if the value is not as impactful.
The idiom “keeping up with the Jones” refers to comparing yourself against the perceived social and economic benchmark set by your neighbour.
I wonder at the focus newer players have and are encouraged to have – in comparing themselves to the Jones – the veteran players. It is unhealthy.
If you started a fresh pilot as of today and wanted it to have the same number of Skill Points as my main does, you would need to use 1,520 Skill Injectors. That would cost 1.5 Trillion ISK. Your 1M starter pack skill points – to me or to you – overall makes little difference to that gulf.
Here was my reality. The most fun I’ve had in EVE was when my Skill Points were south of 50M. When I was having to scrounge for ISK, when I sat up late watching a skill train finish so I could try out some new hull or module, when my choices in game really mattered to my game. ISK and Skill Points are not the be all and end all in EVE, nor is trying to keep up with the Jones. Your focus needs to be on finding and having fun – in whatever individual way that works for you personally.
The on paper value difference highlighted by Wilhelm Arcturus is real, however I don’t think it is as important as players having fun. I can see how a Starter Pack could help a new player find fun a bit quicker. I think that is a good thing. I can also see how a (purchase once only, contained 1M SP) Starter Pack could help a Veteran find some fun. Frankly I think that was a good thing too.