Soon everyone who plays Eve Online (except for Alpha accounts) will be able to create their own ship skins. Custom ships skins are coming to a station near you. This is one of the big things coming in the next expansion and if you want to learn more you can watch CCP's stream from the other day. I don't want to get into the nuts and bolts here, there are other places to learn more about this feature. And I want to be perfectly clear up front - this is awesome and cool. Custom ships skins. A dream come true. Right?

Maybe. Let's back up a tiny bit before I dive into this concept. It looks like you'll need Plex in order to create skins and these skins seem relatively limited based on your skill level (new skills?) and the amount of Plex you are willing to throw at them. So that immediately creates somewhat of a bottle neck for some players. Some elements needed to create skins are limited by usage and some are not. Plus it appears that there is some additional "stuff" needed to help you create these skins. So yet more bottle necks to the process. And then, one last major bottle neck - there is actually zero customization allowed.

The SKINR is a lot like the process of creating Corporation logos. There are a lot of built-in stuff that you can combine, layer, and organize in different ways - but you can't load anything you've created to truly customize the process. So Corporation logos tend to come in a wide variety of basic themes. That process hasn't changed much at all in over twenty years. SKINR, although much fancier, feels a lot like the Corporation logo process to me. You have some layers in which you can combine built-in textures, but no process for adding anything at all customized to your skin. No personality. No uniqueness.

Let me explain what I mean. So immediately I'm going to create some cool Stay Frosty themed skins for everyone in my Corporation. I've gotten asked about this a hundred times already, so that will be my first task. And I'm sure they will be awesome, because why wouldn't they be? But there will not be a single thing about them that someone else can't also create. I can't add some cool tribal pattern, or broken ice, or a pirate skull here and there. The only elements we can use are those canned elements given to us. And sure, of course, there will eventually be some special elements that come along here and there. But everyone has access to this tool and anyone can create whatever they want. As an artist, I'm sure my creations will be cool and I hope to make creating and selling them something I do - but I admit I'm a little bummed I can't add anything to make them truly special.

This is actually NOT a criticism or complaint. It isn't. I can only imagine how freaking complicated this entire process is and has been to create. Heck I just spent the last few weeks working with T'amber on creating skins for the Board Game, so I know a little about it and the technical limitations involved. I'm just expressing some frustration about it is all. I worry that what makes skins special will be lost when the process becomes open to everyone.

The sheer amount of pink Thorax skins will be insane.

I remain hopeful and I do look forward to creating some really amazing skins. I also wonder if my skins will be easily found in this new store? Can I create personal collections so people can find my creations more easily? Does my name go along with the skins I create? 

A lot of questions.