The login rewards for alpha and omega characters last weekend gave players a quick boost in skill points, which is useful for pilots enduring long grinds early in the game.
Where many players will see this as an attempt to raise server population levels over the weekend, I for one see it as the first step going into CCP’s -2 to 30 days plan. If you missed the presentation at Eve Vegas, the plan is to improve players’ experience from when they first see an advertisement for EVE Online through the first 30 days of gameplay.
The rewards give alphas 25,000 skill points per day for two days just by opening the game and accepting the reward. Omegas can acquire 50,000 skill points per day. This is not the first time CCP has given daily rewards; in the past they offered skill points for carrying out simple tasks like mining or shooting a few rats in the belt. However, this is the first time in recent memory that CCP offered rewards for just logging into the game.
In Eve, there are two major resources which affect a player’s ability to play the game and have fun. This is a player’s skill set and a player’s experience of the game. Skills increase naturally over time as long as the player is training, whether it is into a battleship or a carrier. However, with the introduction of skill extractors and injectors, it’s possible for a player to effectively buy their way into the skill set needed to fly any ship from day one.
However, you can’t buy your experience in flying the ship. Noteworthy examples include titan pilots – who have played the game for years – accidentally pressing the “jump to” instead of “bridge to” button, which sent the butterfly effect into full motion. If experienced players make these mistakes, then players who have credit-carded into big ships will most likely perform worse.
When a new player picks up the game, their skill and experience grows quickly as they explore different career paths and activities that you can take in Eve. However, the issue comes when you decide what role you wish to play and the slow grind starts for your skills to catch up. For example a mission runner running level one missions can pass on their knowledge when they start running level twos. However, it takes longer to train into ships for level two missions. They also need to grind standing to be able to access the higher level missions.
This, in turn, means we have a player who’s got the experience to move up into the next ship class, just not the skills yet to do so. This is where the daily log in bonus, the extra small boosters here and there help bridge the space between their skill set and their experience.
Using the crystal ball that is Hoboleaks, as well as items recently added to the main server, we can see a couple of things that might be coming up as a daily log in item for the next event. These range from ammunition of various sizes, Abyssal fragments and possibly new boosters which give you free social standing, possibly to help you grind through lower-level missions.
I for one welcome the addition of daily login bonuses, and anything that helps lower-tier players build up their skill sets to effectively catch up with capsuleers who have been playing the game for a long time.