Facing the Future

A recent DevBlog from CCP talked about upcoming changes to the cosmetics of Eve Online. And I mean that in the fullness of the word. I’m talkin’ make-up here. As in eye-shadow and blush. However, there are also cool MANLY things like piercings, and scars, and FACE TATTOOS. Nothing says hard-core like a face tattoo. Not just some namby-pamby tear drop in the corner of your eye. No, what we have here are full-on,  Minmattar, war-paint, scare-the-fuck-out-of-the-other-guy, style of tattoos.

The service will work like any other station service, and will take you to the character creator interface straight away. You can change all sorts of other things beyond tattoos and makeup. Clothes, hair, backgrounds, poses, lighting, and all the other superficial aspects of your appearance. No gender, racial, or physical structure changes though. Only in the universe of EVE you can clone yourself to your heart’s content, but plastic surgery is forbidden! (whether that’s a technical hurdle or a design choice, I don’t know – but I guess the latter).

One of the best parts about all of this is CCP’s usual trend of not doing what other’s in the genre believe to be the “way”. This service will be totally and utterly free. Not one isk will be put towards your new look. In other games, cosmetics will frequently cost you, at-best, in-game currency. At worst, a service like this would require participation in a game-sponsored RMT to get a “token” to change your race or visit a barber – monetizing fluff. CCP seems to have taken a look at that “inevitable future” of MMOs and said, “Fuck that, let’s do it a different way.”.

The more time I spend playing this product, and partaking of this service, the more and more impressed I become by it. I think it was Gordon who once said (paraphrased) that, after having experience their patch cycles, it’s kind of hard not to come back to see what’s new. This based on the sheer simplicity and smoothness of updates (LINK – you can thank my OCD for not wanting to leave that statement unverified).

What do you think of CCP’s choice to offer this stuff, and heck, all their expansions, for free? Are they missing a great opportunity to increase revenue or using the subscription model for what it was meant for?