It is no secret the the Noble Exchange (NEX) was a dismal failure. There has been a lot written on why and how NEX went wrong but I've known for a long time the simplest answer is usually the cirrect one. The NEX just didn't have what capsuleers want. If we really wanted a monocle, the price wouldn't matter. "Must have" trumps budget every time. Take a look at the state of the real world's economy of you doubt that simple truth. The fact is, we don't give a crap about what our avatars look like. Eve isn't about biology. It's about technology. Our egos are wrapped around us in layers of titanium and pyrite. That's what we care about! That's what the rest of the Eve universe sees when we undock.
"So what's this got to do with making Eve real?" you ask. Well, to make Eve more real we need the ability to express our individualism. In the real world no two people are alike - not even clones (known euphemistically as identical twins. *grin* ) We spend the majority of our lives trying to differentiate ourselves from our siblings, from our school buddies, and from our coworkers. Humans are driven to stand out. This truth is self evident in the current fashion trend of tattoos and piercings.
Yes, there are some few who've managed to do that through blogs, the CSM or what not but that does not address the needs of the other 99%. They too must be able to feel like they matter. It also must be done inside the game. That way, every other Eve player has a chance to see it.
But just skins for ships won't go far enough. Here is a list (incomplete I'm sure) of what I think should have been in the NEX from the very beginning:
- Ship logos both personal and corporate.
- Kill markers to go below the cockpit.
- Ship skins to contrast with our logos and kill markers.
- Colored engine trail modules.
- Custom POS shield colors.
- Custom warp bubble colors (why not?)
- And while we're at it, how about custom drone skins?
- How about the ability to buy back lost, one of a kind ships that CCP has given out over the years so long as you don't already have one. Would anyone object to that? It really doesn't affect game play but it sure as hell would gut the collectors' market.
- And the piece de resistance, a personal, anchorable billboard that can accept my OWN recruitment ad or whatever else I want on it!
- Oh, and I want my damn SNOWBALLS back!
Now, is any of this stuff something a capsuleer would spend real money on? Oh, you betcha bubba! Had the NEX been about FiS rather than WiS, this last summer could have been completely different. CCP would have a new revenue stream and most of the pieces in place to do all those other things. Eve would be more real and FOR REAL again. It's not too late.