I saw it coming a mile off. This might be why I’m not exactly frothing at the mouth. You likely know already, but they are removing learning skills. This isn’t a clearcut good or evil decision, much like anything in life.
From a marketing standpoint it makes perfect sense. It means new peeps don’t have to spend months plumbing away at those learning skills to just get into a position where they can train fun stuff at a reasonable speed, which should in turn mean a greater influx of said new peeps because that ‘first step’ isn’t quite as high as they have previously been led to believe.
Of course the other side to this is that those newbies no longer need to have even a fraction of the patience needed previously in order to get to the ‘fun stuff’. I think this is going to lower the quality of the community. Not that I’m ever one to advocate a class-based society (even though we do live in one), but quick-rewards have always been the domain of other, faster-paced MMOs. Which is not to say that model is wrong, it just doesn’t strike me as something in the spirit of our beloved Eve.
A Personal Spin
Historically, when I’ve taken noobs under my wing, I’ve been insistent that they train some fun stuff, and play the game how they want to play it. Ask questions and experience stuff. Try as much out as you possibly can in your trial and even your first paid-for month. This gives you the best overview of the game you can get, and you’ll get an idea of if you want to play properly or not. Then I tell them to train some learning skills.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting that patient people will no longer be joining up; they’ll just be buried under swathes of impatient people that have little or no concept of investing time for their rewards.