In addition to general balance passes, the introduction of the new flag cruiser class, changes to sov and jump mechanics, and an overhaul of the chat system, today CCP announced it will be making changes to how the New Eden Store is managed with the March release. The New Eden Store is the in-client shop where players can purchase exclusive items for PLEX. In particular, old skins will now be discontinued over time in a series of weekly sales. New skins, when added to the store, will be retired after 3 months. In an EVE News post, CCP Falcon also announced the first winners of the Fanfest 2018 Attendance Contest, with Goonswarm Federation showing the highest number of attendees so far, followed by Test Alliance Please Ignore and Pandemic Horde and Legion.
New Eden Store pruning
The change serves to de-clutter the store, making new material more readily visible and removing old material that is not likely to attract new sales. Some skins currently available on the market have been there for years. Starting in March, old skins will begin going on sale at discounted prices weekly, after which they will be removed from the store permanently. While it may be possible that some skins will return to the store after being removed, this will only occur when it is thematically appropriate for some reason.
The changes aim to keep the PLEX shop fresh and make sure that new content enjoys a brighter spotlight. In a vacuum, the series of rapid, weekly sales could be looked at cynically as an obvious cash grab, and in the past CCP has been criticized for manipulative or outlandish cash shop practices. However, as part of what is proving to be a very substantial update prior to Fanfest, this update to the New Eden Store seems like a common sense and welcome change. This is no $60 monocle, but instead a reasonable offer of a last chance to buy ship skins prior to their permanent discontinuation, and a chance to breathe some fresh life into the store.
In addition to the obvious benefits of uncluttering the PLEX shop and better highlighting newly released cosmetic content, it should also create a potential for speculation on skins, which should see their ISK values increase dramatically once they are permanently unavailable.
Flags to Fly at Fanfest 2018
Fanfest 2018 looks to be an especially good Fanfest, marking the 15th year of Eve Online. Eve’s loyal players are showing their support already through registration for the event, to take place in Reykjavik this April. In appreciation of its supporters, CCP has offered prizes for alliances showing high attendance at the event. The first wave of the competition is now completed, and any alliance with more than 10 registered attendees will have their logos printed on flags to be flown in the main presentation hall throughout the event.
The winners of this first wave of prizes were Goonswarm Federation (54 registrants), Test Alliance Please Ignore (37), Pandemic Horde (23), Pandemic Legion (22), Mercenary Coalition (18), Curatores Veritatis Alliance and Northern Coalition (17 each), The Initiative and Sixth Empire (11 each), and Badfellas Inc., Chaos Theory, and Ivy League (10 each). All will see their alliance flag flown in the Eldborg presentation hall.
The next phase of the attendance competition is a drawing from a pool of alliances with greater than 15 registered attendees. The winners of this drawing will have access to a special “VIP” table with drinks included at the “Party On Top of the World.” Alliances interested in being registered for this drawing still have a chance, as the deadline for inclusion is April 1st.
Finally, the alliance with the single most attendees will win an honorary participation trophy to be awarded at the closing ceremony.
CCP shows its thanks
With 15 years of history behind Eve, CCP seems particularly keen to demonstrate its appreciation this year for the players who have made it possible. Very few MMOs last as long as EVE Online and even fewer enjoy such a passionate and enthusiastic fan-base. Beyond simply throwing a great party, CCP continues to show its gratitude for its players through continued development of the game, working with the CSM to address player concerns and ensure the game stays interesting. Changes to mechanics based on player suggestions and a willingness to work together with the players to come up with solutions to challenging game mechanical problems have brought Eve to where it is today, and so far this year CCP seems committed to continuing this long tradition.