EverMarks are earned by completing Paragon missions. They’re used to purchase alliance and corporation emblems for ships, and to lease SKINR decorations for player-owned structures. Essentially, they’re a cosmetic currency in EVE Online, introduced in summer 2023 with the Viridian expansion.
When we asked the Just About EVE community what they thought of EverMarks, we admit that we weren’t expecting quite such a heated debate. But after reading through the arguments made by advocates and detractors, it’s apparent that this topic is just an aspect of a deeper discussion about creative direction and the value of cosmetics and identity.
Heavy stuff, eh? Let’s dive in.
EverMarks: the case in favour
For @Rdog, EverMarks are a non-problematic plus for EVE. Essentially, his is a ‘why not?’ attitude.
“EverMarks are a cool concept. It’s fun to fly around with our corp and alliance flags hanging and the personal touch can totally brighten up your screen.” Original post
While you couldn’t do much with EverMarks at their introduction, CCP has since added new use cases, and will continue to do so with Havoc. @macgybo shares Rdog’s positivity and is excited about what they could evolve into.
“EverMarks started out great even when all they could do was put an alliance logo on your ship. Then skins for citadels came along and we all went ‘ooohhhh!’. Being able to share and donate them increases their worth further. And with SKINR coming to ships, EverMarks increase in value again. Their potential is amazing. I love them.” Original post
As heralded in Heraldry, the concept of identity is core to CCP Games’ cosmetics push. It’s clear from our bounty submissions alone that the idea of showcasing identity is more important to some players, like @Ben_Candian, than others.
“Oh those EverMarks! How can you not be sweet on ‘em, eh? They’re like our little space bling-bling, the currency that makes us as unique and charming as a lumberjack in a tuxedo. They’re our way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m part of the gang, and I’m damn proud of it, don’t ya know.’
Whether they’re splashed across our ships or plastered on our structures, EverMarks enable us to strut our stuff in style […] We’ve been dreamin’ of slappin’ our alliance and corporation logos on our ships for a dog’s age, and now we can, and then some!” Original post
Rushlock doesn’t spend much time admiring his ships, and so - police drone skins aside - doesn’t place much value on cosmetics. In what he describes as ‘#tinfoilhatcommentary’, he believes CCP’s EverMark push is financially motivated. “My understanding is that they’re a carrot on a stick to inflate login numbers via daily tasks awarded for active gameplay.” But before you accuse him of cynicism, he argues that in doing this, CCP can keep investors happy and funds flowing towards EVE’s development - something that all players should welcome.
EverMarks: the case against
Some EverMark critics, such as @BrotherGrimoire, only take issue with their execution: “Conceptually, they’re great. A player completes menial daily tasks to get a currency to buy things with. In practice, however, they suck harder than a brand new Shop-Vac.”
Grim’s issue is how easy it currently is to acquire all of the cosmetics that you’d want. “There are only so many people who care about pink stars and only so many ships that you would want to pimp out with an alliance or corporation logo.” If players are already satisfied with their cosmetics, then “daily login rewards and the GalNet crate from Twitch Drops are bloated with something that means nothing.” He acknowledges that Havoc will grant more cosmetic options and holds out hope for the new looks they could offer, but what appeals to some players puts others off.
That issue ties into a broader debate about how widely EVE, which has a certain dark aesthetic, should adopt zanier cosmetics, like cat ears. Other MMOs have had the same challenge: New World boasted a realistic look, and unsurprisingly, many players took umbrage with the immersion-breaking ‘rainbow lion’ pet skins that soon took over doorsteps in every house in Aeternum. Some called this the beginning of the end for Amazon’s once-mighty MMORPG, but hey, they wouldn’t have spread if they weren’t popular with others.
In our (highly recommended) interview with CCP Hellmar, EVE’s CEO identified the importance of identity, and laid out CCP’s approach of embracing these exact controversies using EVE’s existing in-game mechanisms.
For @JAKEL33T, it’s more an issue of resource allocation. “EverMarks just feel like another useless currency that holds no real value other than the cosmetic […] Their existence doesn’t affect me, but I’d rather have other useful gameplay features.”
While @Rushlock is also no great fan of cosmetic items, he defended EverMarks in the face of @JAKEL33T’s criticism, arguing that it’s fallacious to “wish one thing doesn’t exist because it comes at the cost of another.” He says he doesn’t begrudge other players enjoying a game feature that he doesn’t, because he loses nothing.
But Jake counters Rush by arguing that there is a cost, one that’s being felt all over the gaming industry: the prioritisation of development resources on cosmetics over technical stability and quality content.
“If they spend more time on cosmetic features over meaningful gameplay additions then those of us that don’t care about cosmetics lose out in the end.” Original post
Our community members who didn’t fall strictly into either camp were @funinc, @Ninjawolf, @orikKado, and @Salartarium, all of whom argue that further customisation options are needed for EverMarks to succeed.
orikKado and Ninjawolf both want the ability to adjust the placement of logos and emblems, on ships and in stations. orikKado also wants the ability to renew the SKINR licence without having to redesign stations. Furthermore, they suggest allowing industrialists to create their own brand and use EverMarks to imprint it on capital and supercapital ships. They argue that this sort of functionality would truly excite industrialists and other players, and in doing so ensure that “players truly want to use and acquire EverMarks.”
Funinc loves the concept of EverMarks but wishes there was more corp logo customisation. They want NPSI groups to have the ability to design and licence their own skins too: “just imagine a fleet of Raptors with go-fast stripes, bells, and whistles (and horns) with hexagonal textures on the wings.” They suggest a ‘community projects’ equivalent to corp projects, whereby custom skin licensing would act as an additional income stream that could help groups focus on content creation rather than grinding to fund Ship Replacement Programs.
Unlike @Rdog who believes there should be a way to convert ISK or PLEX to EverMarks, @Salartarium praises EverMarks’ closed economy. They believe that EverMarks add enjoyable complexity to the game that rewards in-game effort over simply buying your way to glory. However, they see EverMarks’ potential as so-far unfulfilled:
“I can’t look into my magic crystal ball and determine the new things CCP will come up with to spend EverMarks on. I do hope CCP adds group content for earning EverMarks like special Homefront Operation rewards. Overall, I just hope it continues to iterate on this mechanic until it reaches maturity.” Original post
If the Fanfest reveals were anything to go by, continuing to iterate EverMarks and cosmetics is firmly on CCP’s to-do list. To keep the player base happy, two challenges must be met: ensuring that cosmetics expand what the devs are able to add to the game elsewhere rather than detract from it, and finding the Goldilocks balance of desirable, varied cosmetics that give everyone plenty of choice without leaving EVE looking like Fortnite Season 23,361.
Some quotes have been edited for brevity and clarity. You can find the original text in the bounty post.