Friday, January 16, 2015

By The Skin of your Teeth

So one of the things that came out of yesterday's CCP o7 Show was that ship skins would be revamped from the current system of blueprints and ship types to a system where players by licenses for ship skins and it applies as they desire and are not lost when the ship is destroyed.

First off, I think this is the right technical decision. When ship skins were first being released for purchase in the NEX store they came right out and said it was a test of the waters to gauge interest and not the best implementation. Well, that second part is accurate. The current implementation of ship skins led to a painful proliferation of ship types that were identical in everything except name and skin.

So this announcement confirms what I suspected: ship skins, despite being relatively expensive and temporarily (i.e. when ship dies its gone), are still popular enough to indicate that players want to customize their ships and will pay to do so. Given the evidence to support the argument from stakeholders that players want ship customization, CCP Product Owners have unleashed developers on a superior ship skinning system.

However, I am surprised by the pronouncement that players will not by individual plaint jobs but rather licences in perpetuity. This raises a lot of questions: what happens to current ships I have skinned in my hanger? Do I automatically get those licenses? What happens to existing unused blueprints for ship skins? Will there be any reimbursements? Can licenses be transferred or applied across organizations? Inquiring minds want to know.

One thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to seeing what the future is bringing for EVE's ships.


  1. Every game designer with an ounce of functional good sense would had gone along the "license" path since day 0. Destructable skins break so many good design principles that it's a bloody miracle anyone used them.

    So I am glad that someone at CCP /eventually/ opened "Game design for dummies" and read the chapter on microtransactions; perpetual licenses which generate a destructable item (the painted ship) for a ISK price (the opportunity cost) are 101 of game design.

  2. I hope they don't convert the existing skinned ships to blueprints, because I can't wait to run around in an Aliastra Edition ship that's skinned with Quafe or Interbus colors.

    That might just be me.

  3. It is the smart thing to do. Not that many of the skins appeal to me right now, but I'd gladly hand over all of my ISK for a Khanid paint scheme Rifter!

  4. I will rejoice on the day when I can paint my ships all white and lay a giant WW2 Japanese Rising Sun (red rays) in whatever position I desire.

  5. "by" is actually "buy" and "hanger" is actually "hangar".