CCP Games have announced, via a news post on their official website, that the EVE Online February release has been deployed. The February release brings with it a number of UI and other fixes, as well as a long awaited and hotly debated game change; players in EVE Online can now trade and sell skill points to one another.
Without a doubt the most important and controversial change in the EVE Online February release is Skill Trading. Skills in EVE train in real-time; a player selects a skill they wish to improve and it automatically gains skill points until it is full. Some skills take many weeks to complete, and characters who are many years old may have 100,000,000 total skill points or more, thus possessing some advantage over younger characters. However, that has changed somewhat; players can now purchase a Skill Extractor from the New Eden Store for Aurum – EVE Online’s in game premium currency – and use it to extract 500,000 skill points from their character’s previously trained skills. The skill extractor can freely be bought and sold on the in-game market as well, so players need not necessarily purchase Aurum to obtain them. The character must also have at least 5.5 million skill points trained in order to use the extractor, and a few skills – ones which would cause serious in-game problems, like Infomorph Psychology – can never be extracted. A number of other restrictions are in place concerning the use of the extractor.
Once filled, a Skill Extractor becomes a Skill Injector, which can freely be bought, sold, traded, and contracted between players. A character may consume a Skill Injector and gain an amount of unallocated skill points, which will go into a skill point pool that can be found by accessing the character sheet in-game. These skill points may then be spent to train skills instantly; the number of skill points a character obtains by consuming a Skill Injector depends on the total number of Skill Points the character has; new characters with less than 5 million total skill points will receive the full 500,000, whereas older characters will receive fewer and fewer; a character with 80,000,000 skill points or more will only receive 150,000 skill points to spend. Thus, Skill Injectors provide the maximum benefit for younger characters.
For completeness, 500,000 skill points – the amount that must be consumed to make a skill injector – represents 1.5 to 2 weeks of skill training time. People who wish a more thorough explanation of the new Skill Extractors, Skill Injectors, and their mechanics and restrictions should read the official patch notes.
It’s no secret that this author played EVE Online for many years, and also that I have recently taken a break from the game. If/when I do return, it will be nice to have a way to get something out of those skills I trained that I will never use. It provides new players with a way to get a kickstart, without having to trawl the Character Bazaar for a character that 1) they can afford, 2) has skills they actually want, and 3) has a name and race that the player wants. Bravo CCP… now, can haz Jaguar tweaks please?
Source: EVE Online News PostRelated: CCP Games, EVE Online, News, Update