What are your thoughts on the death of Ghost Training?To which I responded off the cuff:
My thought is "its about time!" If people didn't abuse it, I could see leaving it alone.I figured I'd expand on my answer this morning.
But people were abusing the feature to the point of getting months of free training time. So fuck em, make them pay like the rest of us.
Eve pilots are spoiled. Name another major MMO where your character's abilities progress when you are not logged in. I can't think of any. Every other significant MMO on the market uses the standard experience points / levels dogma. And I use the word "dogma" on purpose here as it practically has become an unchallenged religious point in MMO design that there are levels and you get them by earning experience points for your activities.
In Eve we are free of this limitation (amoung many others to be sure) in that our characters progress in ability even when we are off at work or busy with other hobbies. It allows a casual player like me to be able to fly a capital class ship like the Chimera carrier namesake of my blog. If you are smart and set up other sources of ISK funding beyond standard mission bounties and/or ratting, you can run your Eve career with minimal logging in to do only the operations and activities you want to do as opposed to those you have to do for the "grind". Imagine getting a WoW character to level 70 with the best gear by only logging in 2-4 hours a week. (NO ebaying!)
"Ghost training" was an unintended consequence of the training-whilst-offline feature. Since they didn't send an explicit command to your account to pause training when your subscription ended, the training continued to its logical conclusion as if you were merely offline. And for normal account activities this was not deemed a big deal.
But like power-gamers the world over, someone had to figure out the min-max solution to a problem that didn't exist. They get multiple accounts and spread their subscription money between them while the "inactive" accounts completed training of long skills, like how Caldari Carrier V would take 63 days for me or Advanced Weapon Upgrades V takes 27 days. In essence they would scam a month or more of free training for their accounts, only paying for subscription renewal when they needed to log in and start training a new skill (spending a month to train a lot of short skills and prep the account for another multi-week skill).
By going back and forth each month, you can essentially get the training of two accounts for the subscription cost of one. Multiply that by the tens or hundreds of players abusing the mechanic and you get, in essence, a form of major fraud. Its an exploit, an unintended advantage derived from game mechanics, and it had to be stopped.
I can see some counter arguements; although the account was training, the character could not be played, for example, or ... well that's all I can come up with to be honest. And its a stretch as I would counter with the point that skill training is a form of playing a character and hence one should pay for the privelege.
So, to summarize, I support CCP's decision to pause training when an account subscription expires.
Next thing for CCP to worry about: inactive accounts whose characters are still accumulating Research Points that, when the account is reactivated, are turned into Datacores and then ISK. For essentially free.