I’ll give people that EVE is a complex game compared to other MMOs. But man, is it really that difficult to understand? It might be a game about spaceships, but it appears that some consider the mechanics on par with rocket science given how they talk about it.
I made my short post about the vanity item additions to EVE because, honestly, I assumed it was pretty self-explanatory. Queue the “assumptions” saying.
Let’s go over some basics before we jump into the deep end. The items are vanity-only, so CCP is not adding direct power to the game. We good here? Not direct power.
Next, the items are not BoP, meaning they can not only be traded to other players, but they also now factor into the economic game. This is one of the +1 reasons for CCP’s shop over MMO X. In MMO X, when you buy a vanity item, the only in-game effect it has is it lets everyone know you enjoy standing in line for a $25 reskins. Helpful, perhaps, but not a huge impact overall. In EVE those who are into the trading game will have something else to factor into the profit equation, and how vanity items trade between the new currency and ISK should be interesting.
Finally, the all-important fact that so many either forget or ignore is that in EVE, items of power are not permanent. This simply can’t be left out when discussing the game, be it balance issues or vanity items. Case in point, this comment from Tobold’s blog (which always does a wonderful job of spreading EVE misconceptions):
on the other hand, there’s bugger-all i can buy in the LOTRO Store that’s going to advantage me with respect to other players – some pots, basically, and yet i honestly don’t know anyone who’s bought them. whereas, i purchase an enormous quantity of PLEX, and i *can* (given scarcity limits, already mentioned) buy my way to end-game Titan happiness.
In LotRO, or just about any other MMO, once you buy something from the cash shop you own it (or own it until the game takes it away, with things like temporary power boosts). It does not matter how many times you die, or how often you play poorly, once you buy that power item from the shop, you have that power forever (or until the company looks to cash in again by selling something even better). To make things worse, often that power is ONLY available in the cash shop, so not only is it permanent, it’s a simple choice of “buy or stay under-powered” (the degree of UP is another issue here, but lets ignore it for now). Even if CCP turns the vanity items into +stat items, players would still have the choice of paying cash or playing to earn them. That is a very, very important difference.
But going back to the quote above, it again highlights a major misconception that non-EVE players have about the game and just how PLEX/ISK works. Buying a Titan with PLEX is not only foolish, it would not get the player what they are looking for. You would NOT have end-game Titan happiness. What you would have is an expensive wreck shortly after you complete the purchase. Congrats, you paid a ton of money to play the role of a temporary loot piñata for some Corp in 0.0. Thank you, come again!
On a lesser scale, the same applies to quickly jumping into high-level missions in Empire, or going deep-end with the market. Simply put, the game will eat you alive before you even realize it, and all that “power” you buy goes poof until, wait for it, you L2P. And once you do, you start to realize just how much impact PLEX really has.