On the latest o7 show, CCP announced a major change to the way ship skins are being delivered. Likely coming in the February release, ship skins will now be applied to the character, rather than the ship itself. Along with that will come a new addition to the fitting window where players will be able to toggle available skins for their ship. I took this screenshot of the prototype while watching the show (sorry for the low quality and such...):
I don't think many others have noticed this yet, but note that 3 of the skins for the megathron shown in the prototype do not currently exist...a teaser for what is to come, maybe? (I would personally love a Serpentis edition Mega, considering how cool the Serpentis edition Brutix looks.) I hope that the ship skin fitting window can be minimized, as I can imagine some players may not usually want to see it (and might get annoyed at having BUY icons on screen).
This a a major change, not least because it means that custom ship skins--which now only just make more expensive loss mails--will be common place. (So common place, that I would expect CCP to eventually raise the AUR prices on existing store skins given that they will no longer be "lost.") There will be no reason not to have custom skins, considering that many skins are currently very cheap. As I've posted about before, I am a huge fan of custom ship skins, even in their current, limited iteration. If the ship I am flying has a custom skin, and it is not extremely rare, I currently fly the skinned edition of the ship, just for fun. I've been flying the custom destroyers a lot recently, for instance. I would like it if the skin type (not the price, since it isn't lost) showed up on killmails still, though.
As some readers may have gathered, I don't spend a lot of isk in EVE. I make a decent amount trading, but I mostly (currently) fly tech 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers. I also don't exactly "collect" ships like other players do (I prefer to explode them). However, collecting ship skins is something I definitely will do now, considering that they are applied to a character and cannot be lost. And upon hearing this news, I stocked up on the current skins in early preparation for when they are character-based.
This brings me to how I then made a roughly 3 billion isk misclick... After hearing the news on the show, I decided to cash in one PLEX for AUR in order to buy one of each available skin in the new eden store. I've been buying PLEX off regional buy orders for fairly low prices lately, so I thought I would put one to use. I went to a regional trade area where I had a PLEX and cashed it in. What I didn't notice, though (I was distracted, a bad reader, etc.), is that I cashed in not one, but six PLEX. Opps. This left me with 21,000 AUR. What the hell am I going to do with 21k AUR?? (Of course, you can now buy multiple character training with AUR, so realistically it wasn't a waste, but I also don't have a use for them at this point.)
I just laughed it off, because the isk means little to me as a lowly bottom-feeding-frigate-pirate. I went ahead and bought 1 of each current skin for future use, and I still have over 16k AUR. I will save some of that for future skins added to the store.
However, as a long-overdue thanks for reading, I am going to give some of this AUR in the form of ship skins away over the weekend to readers. Here's how it will work:
To participate in the drawing, put a bounty of any size on Sven Viko VIkolander. Then, by the end of the weekend (by 23:59 game time on 01/18) I will randomly draw ten players from the pool of players who put a bounty on Sven. If you are one of the 10, you will get your choice of any ship skin(s) adding up to no more than 500 AUR.
So, that means if you are one of the ten players who put a bounty on me and are selected, you can pick from a dreadnaught skin, one battleship plus one cruiser skin, one battleship plus three frigate skins, three cruiser plus two frigate skins, each of each of the eight frigate skins plus one cruiser skin, or any other combination of ship skins in the new eden store which add up to no more than 500 AUR.
If you are savvy with the new notification settings, you can turn off bounty collection notifications to avoid being spammed with notifications every time I die. Or you can leave it on as a reminder of how bad some people are at PVP!