About a month ago I posted about how CCP had added what they called a “recurring opportunity” to EVE Online in the for of a daily quest called “The Thrill of the Hunt.” All you had to do was undock and blow up a single NPC ship and you would be rewarded with 10,000 skill points.
The plan seemed to be to entice more people to log in, to get more people to undock, and to provide a reward that would be significant for newer players.
The move was controversial… though, I say this in the context of EVE Online, where some pretty trivial stuff seems to get people inordinately worked up on a regular basis… with people angry about other people getting free skill points, about the skill point reward being too much, or not enough, and about the mere idea of introducing anything that looked like a daily quest into the game because then we will all be “forced” to go do it.
With nearly 160 million skill points in the bag already, I wasn’t dying to undock my main just to get another 10K. But I played around with a couple of alt characters. On my main account I ran one out daily to see if just that 10K daily feed would get me anywhere useful. On my alt account I switched the training queue from my main alt… sitting at 115 million skill points and training level V skills just because… to a new character to see if that added 10K would be worthwhile.
I gave up pretty quickly on the character without a skill queue… 10K a day is like the skill queue running at 20% of normal speed, which is to say very slowly… but kept logging in with the other, running a level 1 mission daily to get that kill and earn a bit of ISK. Getting what adds up to about 5 hours of free training a day… or a skill injector every 50 days… did make a noticeable difference in the skill climb from new player into being able to do something.
In a game that puts you in space and then makes you wait while skills train almost immediately, being able to dump 10K SP into a new skill, bumping it up to level II or III right then, can be quite the boon.
However nice that might be for new players, or the obsessives with alts like myself, it became clear yesterday that new players were not the goal here. Getting more people to log in was the goal, as noted in this post by CCP Rise:
I’m here to let you know that on Tuesday, in the 118.6 release, we are planning to remove the recurring opportunity “Thrill of the Hunt”.
Our hope in releasing this feature was to gain insight on how direct, daily rewards might effect and improve engagement in EVE. I can’t go into too much detail about results but I thought you guys might like to know a bit about what did happen after it launched. The biggest conclusions we can draw so far (though we are still gathering and analyzing data) are that recurring opportunities did have a significant effect on player activity in game. We saw a pretty big bump in the share of folks heading out to kill something each day, and we heard some feedback that this in turn led to some pretty funny situations (read: kills). On the other hand, we saw very little change in login behavior, i.e. if you weren’t planning to log on anyway, the 10,000 free SP boost wasn’t really going to change your mind. This is really important for us and by collecting solid data with a fast and simple feature like recurring opportunities we will be able to make better decisions as we work on larger things in the future, such as the Shadow of the Serpent event, which begins on Tuesday in the 118.6 release.
I want to thank all of you for taking the time to talk with us about the feature, both online and in person at Fanfest. While there were certainly concerns from you guys, the conversation stayed mature and productive which is fantastic for us and we really appreciate it.
Basically, nobody logs in just to get the 10K SP, so CCP is killing the feature.
I cannot say that I will miss it personally. I’ll just stop working that character as diligently, since it will go back to being easier to just setup a long skill queue and come back in a few months.
But I am a little disappointed that the sole metric that mattered to CCP was people logging in, that no other benefit was deemed to be worth the effort. As I wrote above, for me playing a new character with the default set of skills trained, having that 10K boost was an almost immediate thrill.
But I have so many skills trained on my main that I might also be a bit more aware of all the skills I didn’t have.
Anyway, you have until the patch deployment on Tuesday to collect your daily 10K. That is an extra 40K SP just waiting for you.