Dealing strictly with bonuses and attributes and aside from the fit, every Rifter hull is the same. When the Rifter was updated some time ago, every one of them in existence automatically updated to the new stats. This is pretty convenient when it happens, but it also hides a piece of potential gameplay that would add an entirely new dimension to the concept of the value of commodities in EVE Online.
This isn’t an article about NFT in gaming; that’s an idea that likely needs more adjustment and careful implementation in order to take hold in EVE Online. Consider this as more of a thought experiment into how the EVE Online devs might not even need to implement anything like it, whether completely scam-less or not, in order to create a positive experience for the players while creating paths to “ownership” over digital assets.
Ford has been making trucks for thousands of years by now, give or take. Not every Bronco is the same. Their engineers wrestle with financial departments and certain changes get implemented over the years. When there is an approved change, the old Ford Broncos don’t disappear. They don’t get recalled, and they aren’t immediately rendered illegal; instead they just become more rare because Ford isn’t making them anymore. After a long enough time, a couple of decades maybe, when you see one of these rare vintage vehicles on the street in good condition, it’s more impressive in a different way than a brand new plastic pickup truck.
There’s a level of authenticity, evidence of care, and ultimately, of obviously relatable value.
In EVE Online, rare ships released by CCP for special events and tournaments can be extremely valuable due to their scarcity too. CCP awards only a certain number of alliance tournament ships, for instance. Once they’re destroyed, there’s no way for any of them to ever exist again; not through purchase, manufacture, or even overheating developers. So a Rifter is basically a Ford Bronco when you think about it.
A similarly derived mechanic might give the ability to the players to unlock a new type of wealth in EVE Online. The Rifter, for instance, with it’s previous setup of four high slots, allowed the use of a utility module along with three weapon turrets. The hull had other problems with that configuration that made it less competitive with the meta of it’s day, but it’s impossible to tell how that same configuration might compete in the current environment.
The current Rifter is easily the favorite version, able to compete with other t1 frigates, but not necessarily to dominate them in every aspect. CCP actively updates certain aspects of EVE Online multiple times every year. These updates can cover basically anything, and sometimes they focus on balancing the statistics of certain ships directly. EVE Online’s system of updating ships erases the statistical points of each of that ship in existence, even if they’re already owned, or manufactured by capsuleers themselves, and replaces them with the updated ship’s data set.
It’s a clean, blanket way to ensure that ships are updated and that EVE Online gameplay tactics more closely resemble the intentions of the developers, but it also automatically prevents a vintage market, a possibly more tangible way to link actual value to in-game creations. A vintage 4 high slot Rifter might be a little more competitive in PVP combat today than when it was in circulation years ago; but then, it might not. It might have more advantages in PVE due to the emergent abyssal gameplay. We’ll never know. The Rifter is dear to my heart, and so the obvious example I chose to illustrate the point, but it doesn’t take much imagination to unpack how this concept applies to every ship in EVE Online.
Do you think a vintage version of a ship with vintage stats and slot layout could be more valuable than the current version of that ship?