CCP’s “Expert Systems”


CCP announced today the upcoming launch of a pay-to-play option to help new players get embedded in the game more quickly. Called “Expert Systems,” it will allow players to temporarily buy trained skills in the EVE store. These skills (not skill points) will be applied to a character and usable for all in-game activities until their expiration, at which time they can be purchased again, or added normally to the skill queue.

New player retention has been a long-running challenge for CCP and the EVE community more broadly. EVE is hard, the learning curve is steep, and the skills that make a new player able to fly ships, participate in fleets, and earn ISK all take time to train. Improving new player retention by letting new players temporarily experience aspects of the game that otherwise might take weeks or months to train is the stated goal of this new feature.

CCP said that with “over 1.3 million distinct human beings (not counting alts!) trying EVE Online for the first time in 2020, helping new players find their footing in New Eden remains one of the most important projects for the game.” They added that feedback from new and veteran players alike has “regularly referred to the complex nature of deciding what path to tread at the start of one’s New Eden adventure. Expert Systems will provide a solution for players who want to try a profession without committing fully to the skill training it will require – whilst not undercutting the value of skill training, Skill Points and Skill Injectors.”

In their announcement, CCP highlighted a number of critical aspect of this new system:

  • Trained skills will be available for purchase through this system, not skill points.
  • Groups of related skills – not individual skills – will be available for purchase, and CCP will define these groupings (“Expert Systems”) to focus on skills valuable to new players (such as core spaceship operation or basic mining skills).
  • Trained skills purchased through this system will be temporary and need to be either trained normally or continually re-purchased for a player to maintain access to them.
  • A player’s skill queue will operate as normal while they have an Expert System applied. They will be able to queue and train skills, including the skills in the Expert System, normally.
  • Expert System skills persist through death, like accelerators.

Whether this feature and the Expert Systems available will continue to be focused solely on new players, as CCP has said in their announcement, remains to be seen. The EVE community can only hope so.

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  • Guilford Australis

    I don’t see this contributing to CCP’s stated goal of making the game more accessible to new players. I also don’t picture many new players spending real money on the EVE Store to buy skills that will disappear in a week, particularly if, as CCP acknowledges, those players are still trying to figure out whether they even want to stick with the game.

    This will turn out like every other mechanic CCP introduces for the sake of new players – it will be abused by longtime veterans (e.g. by creating swarms of new, cheap, freshly-skilled alts for a big upcoming fight) and be ignored by the new players it is supposed to benefit because it is so pointlessly bewildering.

    February 25, 2021 at 2:44 PM
    • Wouldn’t be surprised if they know it…
      Abused by vets = money
      Actual new player buys temporary skill for whatever reason = money

      February 25, 2021 at 10:38 PM
    • Garreth Vlox Guilford Australis

      this has nothing to do with new players. This is a pay to win game mechanic right out of the pearl abyss handbook and how to monetize a video game.

      February 26, 2021 at 7:46 AM
    • kwnyupstate . Guilford Australis

      It is a high interest rental agreement which only benefits CCP.
      It’s like renting an apartment vs home ownership.
      It’s like getting newbies hooked on the crack of good skills and making them pay or experience withdrawal.
      CCP is screwing newbies.

      February 26, 2021 at 5:54 PM
  • darth

    First temporary skins, now temporary skills? WAT THA…. DUCK
    You don’t need lvl 5 carrier and fighter skills to know if ratting is for you. Gnosis/ myrm with t1 mods will do the trick.
    You don’t need hacking 5 and cov ops to know if “exploration” is for you. Magnate with t1 mod is enough.
    You don’t need t2 (x ship type) to know if flying (x ship type) is for you
    No need for industry tree at 5 to know if you like crafting (wont make profit with low skills, but you will know if you like the activity or not)
    No need for t2 haulers to haul stuff. Low value anyway. Which is what a new player with no isk will be hauling.

    Seriously, If I started the game in 2021 instead of 2010 I’d NOT play it. Being showered with “gifts”, login campaigns, “special offers”, temporary cosmetics, EXP boosts (or skills in this case) smells of a cheap mobile game or an asian MMO way past it’s prime (look what happened to L2)

    I am a little disappointed and concerned.

    February 25, 2021 at 10:33 PM
    • Garreth Vlox darth

      ” smells of a cheap mobile game or an asian MMO way past it’s prime”
      This was the exact feeling I got from the game when I returned this past summer.

      March 22, 2021 at 11:30 PM
  • kwnyupstate .

    Yeah nothing makes new players feel welcome like being charged high interest on skills which they need to pay every month or removed. After like a month its not worth it but lot of new people will keep paying not knowing better.

    February 26, 2021 at 12:49 AM
  • Carvj94

    I don’t imagine this will actually be a useful feature for noobs or vets. It’s essentially already irrelevant cause Skill Injectors are much better.

    February 26, 2021 at 1:36 AM
  • Garreth Vlox

    Took awhile but CCP finally came around to the pearl abyss way of doing business. Today it’s temp skills for real money, tomorrow its ships for real money by the weekend its pay to win ammo. So long what’s left of classic eve it was fun while it lasted.

    February 26, 2021 at 7:43 AM
  • I’m happy to see CCP get their money

    February 27, 2021 at 10:46 PM
    • they keep messing with the skill system though, don’t they. which suggests the skill system is fucking painful and people want ways around it.

      February 27, 2021 at 10:47 PM
  • Garreth Vlox

    honestly part of me thinks that’s why they made some of the rat changes they made the last time they changed ratting. Now the value of your ratting decreases the more you rat providing the perfect opening for them to sell you an “increase” in rat value that just gets you back to what it used to be before they fucked with it.

    March 22, 2021 at 11:29 PM