The concept of trading skills between players in New Eden was floated by CCP late last year. It was an idea designed to correct problems inherent in the Character Bazaar, a special forum where players could trade characters for ISK.
After months of letting the community hash it out, CCP has gone ahead and allowed players to trade skills between their characters. It's a bit of a big change.
Let's back track slightly: why did CCP want to introduce this at all?
The problem stemmed from having to go outside of the game and, as a result, use third party services when shopping for the right character. Rather than neatly taking care of this in-game, players had to use a forum-based auction system and didn't get any customisation options. And that's before dealing with the annoyance of a locked skill distribution and reputation, the latter of which could have a vastly detrimental effect on your EVE experience.
"We also discovered that the vast majority of complexity involved in character sales goes away if you make them more granular," one of the CCP developers wrote when the feature was initially floated. "Rather than requiring that characters be sold whole, we could allow them to be broken up and sold in chunks. This means that buyers get to retain all the individuality associated with their characters and sellers can make some money off their training mistakes or unused skills without having to part ways with an entire character."
So after a month or so of letting the community hash it out — EVE is famous for its in-game democracy and level of player agency, after all — the developers opted to introduce skill trading.
It's relatively simple: if you want to add or sell skillpoints, you can do so through the Skill Injector/Skill Extractor items. It's certainly a lot more straightforward than trading through a forum.
"You mark skills for extraction until there are 500,000 skillpoints worth marked. Once you’re happy with the skills you have chosen, you hit Accept. Now you will have a Skill Injector in your item hangar and the Skill Extractor you used will be gone, along with the 500,000 skillpoints," CCP explained last month ahead of the feature's release.
There's one important catch: according to the patch notes, Skill Extractors can only be used if the client was started using the fully supported game launcher. It's to ensure two-factor authentication support still works, and is worth noting if you're just playing EVE Online through Steam.
EVE Online has already been patched and regular fans should, if not soon, have downloaded the update already. The new build also comes with a new default camera that includes first person view, better control over zooming and marquee select. Plenty of balance tweaks and bug fixes have been corrected too, and you can read all about those here.