Posts Tagged ‘Skills’

Training Times

Recently the time came once again for me to start looking at the next set of training for Hark to undertake. The last time I wrote about this back in 2013 I talked about how setting a skill queue to maximise the skills within a primary and secondary attribute (back then Int-Mem) allowed me to gain an additional three months training over an un optimised queue over a period of a year and a half. Two years and millions of skill points later, my point still stands and so I once again find myself looking to commit to years of skill training in a particular attribute mapping. It’s a big choice, and my options look something like this:

Memory, Perception (drones) 135d
Perception, Willpower (Weapons) 624d
Willpower, Perception (T2 ships) 163d
Charisma Willpower (Command ships & Clones) 130d
Now in reality anything which takes less than 365 days to train isn’t worth re mapping for which given my choices, only really left Perception Willpower as an option. Alternatively I could have rolled together Char-Will, Will-Per and some of Mem-Per to create a 360 day plan. However because of the mishmash of primary attributes, this would mean committing into a Will-Per mapping even while not training relevant skills.

In the end as I predicted all the way back in 2013, I elected to tackle the largest of the skill pools, re-mapping into a Per Will map, and starting to perfect my weapons. Leaving the smaller pools to tackle in a few years’ time.

Secretly I hope that CCP will remove Skill Attributes before the next time I come to making this decision. At the end of the day the Attributes system seems like an unnecessary complexity for the game, adding little value and likely confusing a lot of new players in a way that is really unnecessary. Very few interesting game decisions have resulted from Attributes.

In the mean time I will just have to enjoy having a good 500+ days in skill training lined up for the future.

Fly like a SP hoarder,

Hark

Year in Review 2014: Progress

Year in Review 2014 Posts:

It’s that time again when it feels a good idea to look back over the past year and judge how life has been going. It’s been a rocky time for me eve wise with a wedding and a small house fire disrupting my play time heavily though most of the year. However despite this things are looking pretty good and I am happy with where the year has taken me. This post is going to be a general overview of the changes my characters underwent with a good look at the skills each has trained and learned. I will follow this with a post about my year in trade, one with a review of the years blogging and a final post rounding up my plans and goals for the next year so that I can easily review them next year.

So let’s take a look at Hark first shall we? At the end of last year Hark had reached 100m sp, and un surprisingly this is an increased by 21m SP over the course of this year. This works out at an average of ~2490 SP/Hour, which is excellent considering the maximum is 2700 (+5 and skills optimized) or 2520 (+3 optimized). The following categories are Harks top 5 with comparison what I wrote in my 2013 review skills post:

  1. 38m Space Ship command (+1m)
  2. 16m in Gunnery (same)
  3. 10m in Missiles (+1m)
  4. 8m Engineering (new entry)
  5. 7m in Mechanics (new entry)

The changes at the bottom of the top 5 are due to my current Int Mem mapping which absorbed almost all of the 21m SP (Electronics, Engineering, Mechanics, and some T3 sub systems).

Here is a full breakdown of those skills:

Hark currently has 262 known skills broken down as follows:

Skills

  • Lvl 0: 2
  • Lvl 1: 9
  • Lvl 2: 9
  • Lvl 3: 11
  • Lvl 4: 94
  • Lvl 5: 137

She has also accumulated 76,244 free skill points for emergency fitting situations. Her current skill queue will finish on the 19th of June in 2015. She is also just a shave over five years old.

So what has actually changed over this year? Well Hark became Un-nerfable in Feburary meaning that she can currently fly every combat ship in existence (only excluding the command ships and the newly added confessor which I will be training soon). Next up she perfected her Drug and Overheating skills to give me an extra edge in combat situations. Finally towards the end of the year I began training all my rigging skills to level 5 maximise their efficiency and to give me some extra fitting room on certain ships and rigs.

Next year I will be continuing my Int-Mem mapping plan by finishing off my rigging skills, and moving into becoming an e-war pilot, something which I have only dabbled in so far. Once that has been completed, I will need to pick a new optimisation mapping to move onto. Not sure what the new mapping will be but I would guess at Perc-Will (For Weapons Skills & T3 Destroyers), Char-Will (for Command Ships) or Will-Perc (for T2 ships). Whatever it is I look forwards to planning it in the later part of this year.

As opposed to Harks planned and projected skill plan, Xa has been a bit wayward this year. Oscillating from Ganking, scanning and Faction Warfare with reckless abandon. This is due to her becoming a bit of a jack of all trades designed to do all the same things Hark does, but outside of Nullsec, mostly for fun or profit. Looking back I wish I had had the foresight and willpower to separate her and Hark’s roles clearly, had I specialised her in capitals and Hark in sub capitals I could by now an immensely specialised  capital pilot at 70m skill points. On the other hand I wouldn’t have had the freedom to experiment and play with Xa over the years, which has earned a lot of money and fun.

Xa and Hark are also no longer the only accounts I have running. With a dedicated industry account now active and training I have a new revenue stream opened to me in the latter part of the year. The account has been profitable, however branching into a second product seems to be proven over taxing for my limited playtime. Perhaps as my time increases I might be able to ramp things up again. That’s not the only account change which has had an impact on my game play this year, as dual account training allowed me to double up one of my accounts to bring a new Dreadnaught pilot into my ranks. I’ve stopped paying for the dual training for the moment, as I’ve not utilised the Dread as much as I had hoped I would. However it is getting tempting to fire it up again to cross train the character into carriers allowing for easier transport of my assets in Nullsec in the post Peobe universe.

Play wise things have pretty much followed the status quo, I’ve had some periods of inactivity, some periods of war. I still struggle a little with the internal culture of PL, but not enough to cause friction, certainly not enough to stop enjoying to combat and efficiency they provide.  I have been sad this year to see the loss of my wingmen & fellow Dirties members from the game. I still hold out some hope that they may come back at some point. Ex certainly has dabbled back into the game, but only enough for some smaller scale money making endeavours. Really the game is not the same without my friends flying with me, it doesn’t change things enough to stop me from playing, but it does detract from my overall experience. This year I managed to get on ~624 kills with March standing out as the highest kill count month for the year. The three biggest fights that stand out in memory for the year was one in October in Hysera with Snuffbox + friends. Carriers were dunked and Snuff took quite the licking, something which no doubt rankled them a bit considering how salty they got over the whole “kings of low sec” thing. The second was iirc an Aeon kill event we party crashed in Haras in May, if I’m honest I remember there being a lot of kills, but little else detail wise. The final and largest fight was a massive set of brawls in Sendaya with HERO in what was a great little skirmish using Hawks and Talwars. It’s funny that my biggest brawl of the year was in the smallest ship. Fighting HERO and specifically BNI is an interesting experience which I hope to write about soon.

All in all its been a productive and interesting year in eve despite the limitations of real life. Which brings me onto the next year: My key goal for the next year is to dramatically up my kill count. With the other dirties out of eve for now it seems to me it’s about time I caught them up on kills. Both of them are sitting on 3k+ kills where I am only on 1.5k. My aim for this year is to get as many kills in a year as I have gotten in the past 6 years on my main character. I am looking to break 3k kills which works out at an average of 125 kills per month and 30 kills per week. Achievable, but tough and something I’ll be monitoring in my monthly updates from now on.

 Fly like its soooo last year,

Hark

Monthly Update: Back in the Saddle

Well it’s been not been a bad first month back in, although time has not been as abundant as I had hoped. It turns out that eve was not the only thing waiting for me to stop being busy with planning a wedding to consume my free time. I still found time however to get a few things done in eve and indeed help Arian out. As pretty much everyone one knows now Bothers of Tangra (PLs Renting and PvE group) has seeded most of its space over for Shadow of xDeath, and so Arian needed to move his PvE farming Macharial out of its home and back to highsec before the change took place. Unfortunately  the logistics group were doing shipments out of a station 8 jumps (2 constellations) away from where Arian had been ratting. So I flew an alt out to scout him through the jumps with an interceptor. The operation was entirely uneventful, but still quite nerve inducing, reminding me of why I enjoy eve (risk).

 

Since then Hark has also moved home and participated in a good fleet fight (which was a wonderful 5 sided melee in which I managed to bag around 50 kills (iirc). The fight was an excellent excursion for my Legion which hasn’t been aired in a little while now, and I managed to use overheating without burning out my weapons (this time) so clearly I am improving. Skills wise Hark is now really digging into her Int Mem mapping I started way back in July of 2013. That’s 495 days since I began my first foray into attributes. I estimate that this mapping has gained me 450 additional SP per day compared to the even attribute mapping I’ve previously had. In total that’s 222,750 additional over the time period. It’s not exactly buckets, but it all adds up I guess. Currently I have another 262 days of Skill training planned in this configuration before I begin the next remapping. No doubt I will do another Attribute Optimisation post when that time comes picking what I train next.

 

Xa has also been active, after doing the scouting for Arian she invested in an Astero and delved into Nullsec to try earning some cash. I’ve found that shallow Nullsec is pretty much barren of sites at the moment and I am thinking about going deeper to find more. My hope is that I might be able to train up a BLOPS bridge character at some point to make getting loot in and out easier. That’s a good distance into the future however, and for now I am just solidifying my scanning skills to ensure a faster hunting rate.

 

The Trader has also been much more active this month despite being away for most of it I managed to rake in 1bn ISK, which is back to my average (despite only 3 weeks of trading). Current projections forecast that I might manage to break 30bn in non-asset cash before the year is out, but that’s not for certain. I am also negotiating for a small investment of capital on a % profit basis which might up my trading capital for the next year. My growth rate is pretty variable, but tends to average around 0.125% per day. That means that even a 1bn investment could bring my profit per month up by around 40m per month. Again it’s not a signal to start filling the pool with money, but it’s not chicken feed either. We’ll see how the negotiation goes however. On other fronts I am warming up the PI chains as well with an eye to opening that revenue chain once more. I still haven’t sold of any of the created stock from that yet and estimate that I have around 500m ISK waiting to be sold on the market. Something I really should get around to doing.

 

The Industry character is also being warmed up again but to a lesser degree. My struggle right now is getting back into the habit of doing the daily maintenance needed to keep both this and the trader operational and profitable. To begin with my concentration has been on the trader, and so since I got back the Indy hasn’t really had the same amount of time invested in it. Currently she is sitting on around 500m’s worth of product A with another 500m having been sold at market just before I left on Honeymoon. She has also now trained into a second product line, which I will be interleaving with the original. I need to really sit down and work out a more exact plan for how that’s going to work, but have yet to have the spare time to do so. Product B is currently at level 4 of invention training, so I am still bringing her up to level 5 at time of writing, that should end next month when I will chose my next set of training (could be a dilemma!).

 

Finally my Dread alt is coming into the vinegar strokes of her training with only one months’ worth of training left before she is a competent Dread alt. The question now remained as it if it is worth cross training her into the other dreads, finding something else she could do (BLOPS bridge?) or just stopping the dual training on her account. I think that last one is going to win out to be honest.

 

The Dirties are certainly going into a decline within eve, which saddens me, but at the same time doesn’t surprise me. I am trying my hardest to fight that trend for myself, as I am still enthused about eve more than I am for any other game, but it’s hard to predict how the loss of the group might affect my enthusiasm. The group seems to be quite enthused about Elite Dangerous at the moment, and I have to admit that I am enjoying the beta quite a lot at the moment. Who knows perhaps there is a place for two space games in my life. Perhaps the same is true of this blog as well. More on that in another post.

 

Fly active,

 

Hark

Dirty Guide To Eve: Training into Nullsec

Although I have many characters in many places in Eve, Nullsec has always been where my heart lies. Pretty much all of my other characters, are in some way or another designed to support my main in Null. As a Null player I think that it’s important to always encourage new players to venture out into Nullsec, to ensure we don’t get too bitter. To this end, this series of posts aims to aid new Nullsec pilots in their training, by specifying ships which are used in multiple doctrines; past, present and future, in Nullsec. Divided up into three posts (Quick Trains, Medium trains and the Long Term), pilots who follow this advice will find themselves quickly able to be useful within an Alliance. They will also be well poised to train more specialist ships to further flesh out their arsenal.

 

I think it’s worth prefacing this with some text about how Nullsec fleets work (at least in respect to ensuring you are always able to fly in them). This is where the concept of the Doctrine comes in. Doctrines are almost like recipes for fleets, supplied by the leadership of your group, which specify what ships are needed, in what quantities and how they should be fitted. Fleets generally consist of Ships of the Line (A main damage dealing ship like a battleship), Logistics, and a smattering of support ships (Electronic warfare, tackling and other utility ships). If you, as a new pilot, want to break into Nullsec, you won’t be able to simply rock up in your favourite PvE ship (with a point) and just get stuck in. You will need to fly ships which will be accepted into the doctrines of your group, and which will work within your fleets makeup.

This may sound simple. You look at the Ship of the line in your Alliances Doctrines, train for it, and get going. However, you need to understand that the metagame in Nullsec is constantly changing. Everything CCP does to balance, or modify the game, tends to have massive ripples in Nullsec. Some doctrines do hang around for long periods, but within most Alliances of note, they change on a monthly basis. As a new pilot, with lower skills you will find that constant rate of change hard to keep up with. In my early Nullsec days, I was constantly trying to catch up with the curve, training into a new ship just as it went out of fashion. But this guide is all about avoiding that race by training for ships which are accepted in multiple fleets; ships which are always useful for an FC to have no matter the fleet composition. The golden example of this of course is logistics, almost every fleet in the game, for a good few years now, have required a good backbone of Logistics ships. If you can fly a Guardian/Onieros and a Basilisk/Scimmitar you will be accepted into pretty much any fleet currently in the meta (The only exceptions to this I can think of are: Bombers, Black-ops hot drops, and Capital fleets). However to fly a Logistics properly takes a very long time (Logistics V and Remote Reps V are requirements, not niceties), so this set of guides will discuss other, similarly flexible ships which will help you become useful in Nullsec in a far shorted amount of time.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t train for the Battleships, if you have them trained already, you might only need to mop-up some skills here and there (T2 guns etc), and you’ll be all set. However you should consider just how long it’s going to take before you rush towards the Rokh/Apoc etc. If you need to train Ship, Tank and support skills, it will likely take at least 4-5 months. On paper it looks like you can get into a battleship just a few weeks, but the reality is that flying one properly, will take a lot longer, and trying to shorten the training time is going to cripple your usefulness. This post looks at the true fastest ways into Nullsec combat, in 50 days you will be accepted into almost any Nullsec fleet, in 100 days you will be welcomed into fleets and in 6 months you will be begged to join fleets. While the foolhardy pilot spent a month training the basic requirements for a battleship, then another 5 months perfecting it, just in time for the next expansion to come out, and the composition to change completely. You will have 12 ships which you can pilot excellently, most likely unaffected by the changes in meta. These ships, have never gone out of fashion (and not because they were never in fashion).

You should also note that this guide assumes that you will be training all four races at once for the ships we discuss. This is advised because it maximises the likelihood of you having at least a ship which works with the fleet. It will also stand you in good stead for future training, bringing you closer to having all the ships. If you desperately need to trim the training times, you could consider only training two races, one shield and one Armor (I would advise minmattar and Gallentte). But it’s a big risk, so don’t blame me if your caught with the wrong ships!

Sales pitch over, let’s get on with the first group, Quick Trains; for the brave new pilots brought in by B-R this one is for you:

T1 frigates

I said it was quick didn’t I? If you have completed the tutorial you’ll already have one race’s T1 ships trained. Furthermore to train the other three races (to level IV) will take you around 6 days in total. There are of course plenty of support skills which are going to be important to you, but we will discuss them in a moment. First let’s look at specifically which ships you should be looking to use, and how you are going to be expected to use them.

 

The role you are aiming to fill here is that of poor man’s interceptor. Cheap T1 hulls designed for nothing more than getting into the enemy fleet, and tackling (preventing warp) enemy ships. As such it’s the faster, agile ships in each races selection which you’ll be flying. Specifically the Executioner, Condor, Atron and Slasher hulls. These ships are fasted in class, and receive a bonus to their Propulsion jamming systems. Perfect.

 

With that bonus, and your role in mind, your important modules are going to be as follows:

  • Nanofiber Internal Hull T2 -make you faster and more agile
  • Damage Control T2 – often your only tank
  • Medium Shield extenders T2 – your tank when it’s not just the Damage Control
  • Warp Scramblers T2 – stopping warp, Micro Jump and Micro Warp drives
  • Warp Disruptors T2 – Stopping warp at a longer distance
  • Stasis Webifier T2 – slows things down
  • Afterburners T2 – making you fast
  • Microwarp Drives T2 – making you really fast.
  • Micro Auxiliary power core T1 – Helps fit big things to little ships

If you can use all of the above modules to T2 you should also look into getting the following support skills to level IV (Ordered by importance):

  • Navigation
  • Acceleration Control
  • Evasive Maneuvering
  • Mechanics
  • Shield Management
  • Shield Operation
  • Fuel Conservation
  • Highspeed Maneuvering
  • Warpdrive operation
  • Astronautic Rigging
  • Signature Analysis
  • Long Range Targeting
  • Weapons Upgrades
  • Target Management
  • Drones (as needed)
  • Small Guns in all Races & Rockets and Light missiles (damage is not that important tbh)

 

Training all of these plus the frigates themselves will take around 55 days. Ask your fleet mates about exact fittings, to ensure you fly something which works with their fleets. Once completed most fleets will accept you in as light tackle (dependent on how strict they are). Once in combat, simply move into the enemy fleet (consider learning more about Traversal) and pick an enemy to tackle, then lock him down until your friends kill him. Depending on the size of the fleet, and how your FC likes to operate, you may be asked to call out who you have tackled, so that the FC can prioritise targets you have made vulnerable. This is the most basic (yet essential) of Nullsec roles, and it has an immediate next logical step, right into the:

 

Interceptors

These are the faster cousins of the tackling frigates you have been piloting so far. Harder, faster, more agile than the T1 versions and with a bonus to Microwarpdrives, Propulsion jamming and damage. Of course they also cost (a lot) more than the frigates, so make sure you can fly them well before graduating onto these wonderful little ships. Training these takes an additional 50 days (for all of them) on top of the T1 frigates, but as they share the same important modules and support skills, once you have trained frigates V and Interceptors to IV for each race, you’re ready to go.

 

If you have learned how to fly the T1 frigate well, you will know how to fly these. However you will find that they will survive where your T1 frigate would have evaporated. This is a clear and simple upgrade to what you were doing, and they are even more acceptable in a fleet because of their specialism.

 

As a supplemental bonus to their use as fleet ships Interceptors also have a role in making you money in Nullsec. Not only are they fast and agile, but then can also ignore Warp Bubbles, meaning that they can often (with a little skill and practice) effectively run gate camps. If your struggling to make money (or need a bigger buffer to fly interceptors in fleets), consider using the Interceptor as a miniature blockade runner, moving small items into Nullsec for sale. Skillbooks, drugs and small amounts of modules can be bought in Highsec and ferried out for sale in Null for a healthy profit. Doing this will soon fund any habit you get for loosing ships. Just don’t pack them full of your life savings and losses it all to an insta-lock gate camp (they are a thing). The next ship may just require you to have a little more cash.

 

Interdictors

These ships are the Area of effect tacklers of eve, where the interceptor runs in and stops a single ship, the interdictor runs in, drops an area of effect tackle zone, and races out of dodge. There not entirely different to the Interceptors and T1 frigates you have flown so far, but there is a significant difference in flying them that is going to take a little bit of getting used to. Interdictors will also be your first step up class wise, as they use Destroyer hulls, one above the frigates you have been flying so far. Sadly there is no T1 version of this ship (although Talwars are currently popular in null), so the training time reflects the need to train through all five levels of destroyers, and four levels of interdictors as well. Because of this longer training time, and the fact that the Destroyer, and Interdictor skills are required for nothing more than progressing to Cruisers, some people might be tempted to skip this 30 day train. However I would advise that the humble Interdictor is probably one of the most called for ships in eve, second only to the Logistics ship. If you can fly all of these you will be accepted into nearly any fleet of any size, and you will also be first port of call should a capital, or super capital be caught. Interdictors also have a healthy ability to do both solo and small gang combat, so the 80 days spent will truly give you a lot of versatility. Again they also share supporting skills with Interdictors and Interceptors, so once that 80 days is up, you’re ready to rock and roll.

 

That’s it, 6 months of training to ensure your future usefulness in Null sec, and you’ll be flying within the first month of training as well. Below you will find an eve mon skill plan, which will guide you thought what to train (note that it’s not prioritised, so use the post above to order the queue!). Happy hunting, and next time I will post a set of ships and training which will improve your acceptance even further, but at the cost of longer skill training, carrying on from these basic three ship classes.

EveMon

Fly fresh,

Hark

Edit: Missed some skills which were dramatically reducing the total training time (lvl V ships, derp). added them in an updated the training queue.

Tuesday Training: Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players. Yeah so once again I missed this one out last week as it was the beginning of a very long working hours week (which I am now writing to you from the of, so please excuse the large number of mistakes!).

This week’s Choices:

  • Explosive Armor Compensation V
  • Surgical Strike V
  • Tactical Weapons Reconfiguration V
  • Command Centre Upgrades  V

I have to admit that it’s not a particularly inspiring line-up, being all high level boring trains which increase aspects of your character by a few percent. So I’m going to try talking less about what the skill does this week, and instead discuss why I am training it personally. So let’s go with Tactical Weapons Upgrades V. Again as usual I am going to list its official  *words*:

Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration (x8) Per, Will

Skill at operation of siege modules. 25 unit reduction in strontium clathrate consumption amount for module activation per skill level.

So what does this skill really do? Well from level 1-4 all it does in reduce the operating costs of the Siege module (and not by a lot). However at level 5 it allows you to upgrade your Siege module to Tech II, giving a significant increase to the efficiency of your Dreadnaught in Siege mode. So other than simple getting a T2 Siege mod, why am I training this? Well the character training this is my new Dread alt, currently only capable of jumping dreads from X -> Z, completely incapable of using it for anything but travel. I have decided that it’s time to upgrade this character from travel only, to a combat Dread alt. It’s a pretty significant train, at 140 days optimized and implanted, but in exchange I will be able to operate two accounts during large fights such as B-R, or Structure Bashing ops, it will also mean that when traveling between staging systems, I will no longer have to swap the dreadnought between accounts, and, more importantly, I will stop invalidating my insurance everything we move system. Who knows, perhaps one day it may lead to a dedicated Super Capital alt, but that’s a very long way off. For now I am simply looking forwards to having a dedicated capital alt.

Fly Dreads,

Hark.

Tuesday Training: Minmatar Engineering Systems

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players. Please excuse this late running post, as I was unexpectedly out of town for the last couple of days.

 

This week’s Choices:

  • Minmatar Engineering Systems V
  • Surgical Strike V
  • Capital Ships V
  • Command Centre Upgrades V

 

A fresh sheet this week, with no skills previously covered! But as I mentioned in the last training Tuesday, I’d really like to look into the T3 skills. Minmatar Engineering Systems V is the very last Subsystem skill I need to train to have a base line of V, and I have been very pleased with the ships effectiveness. But let’s take a look at the skill itself.

 

Minmatar Engineering Systems (x1) Int, Mem

Skill in operation of Minmatar Engineering Subsystems used on Tech III Ships.

 

This skill is pretty much the same as all others in the category, simply replacing the Engineering with either; Defensive, Offensive, Propulsion or Electronic, and the Minmatar with the other races.

 

All of these skills have similar shadowy skill descriptions where the actual reward isn’t shown in the skill itself, but to understand their advantage we need to understand T3’s, so: Subsystems, important enough to own their own section of the skill list, are unique to T3 ships, and allow pilots to customise the slot layout, fitting resources, hard points and bonuses of a T3 ship. Each races T3 ship has 5 subsystems slots, which can be filled by one of four sub system modules. There are lots of nuances to the system, but the core concept needed for this post is that each of these five choices will provided a different bonus to your ship, which is multiplied that Race/Subsystem skill. By having all my T3 subsystem kills to V, each T3 ship I have gives me 5 bonuses 5 times each. For example my old Loki setup gave me:

 

150% (30% per level) bonus to Stasis Webifier range

20% (4% per level) bonus to armor resistances

25% (5% per level) additional Power Grid (coming to a total of 600 additional PG)

50% (10% per level) bonus to After Burner speed

 

Now these Bonuses can change dramatically depending on the sub system itself which makes the T3 a very versatile ship class that’s popular in both PvE and PvP. Of course all things must have downsides, and the issue with the T3 class, is that the subsystem skills are the only ones your likely to have to train more than once (assuming you keep your clone up to date!). You see every time you lose a T3 ship you will also lose one level of your highest trained corresponding sub system, picking at random if they are all trained to the same level. Owch.

 

Of course T3 Sub system skills are only a x1 multiplier, meaning they take around 8-10 days from start to finish, with 3-4 days of that being level V. Levels 1-4 all take well within a single day to train. So although the loss of skills isn’t insignificant at level 5 they are still going to take some time to repair.

 

Here it is worth noting that although I have some Lvl4 mission running experience, I have never personally used a T3 to do them. I always found them underwhelming in both Tank, and DPS, despite their excellent signature and speed tanking abilities. Personally I felt that a Macharial beat them in almost every category. But at the same time I am aware that they are worshiped as PvE gods by some, likely for good reason, so if you are a young PvE player, looking for advice, the following may not apply to you.

 

T3 ships are expensive, both in training time (if you lose them) and Isk (also if you lose them), they do however feature in several current Nullsec Doctrines, and have had a place in Null for a while now. I would advise that for a new player looking to break into Nullsec, they are very much a 2.5 tier train:

 

Teir 1: Train Tackling ships & versatile hulls such as Interceptors, Interdictor and T1 logistics, to maximise your usefulness to fleets.

Teir 2: Train ship of the line hulls, ensuring that you can use all hulls and all weapon systems

Teir 3: Train specialist ships to help your fleets, such as Logistics, Recon and Bonus ships

 

Quick enough to train that they don’t quite fall into Tier 3, but also specialist enough that they are not Ships of the Line. Although they don’t take long to get into, you will need excellent ancillary skills to use them effectively. In including both overheating and drug skills, both Veteran categories which I may discuss at a later date!

 

Fly like a Swiss army knife!

 

Hark

 

 

Tuesday Training: Command Center Upgrades

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players.

 

 

This week’s Choices:

  • Minmatar Defensive Systems V
  • Amarr Battleship IV  (out, as I covered  the Amarr Cruiser  one last week)
  • Gunnery V
  • Command Centre Upgrades IV

 

It was a tough call on which one to talk about this week. I would really like to cover the T3 Sub systems skills in another broad stroke at some point, but in the end I have chosen Command Centre Upgrades as the Skill for this week’s discussion. I’ll likely cover another T3 Sub system next week as an excuse to talk about T3 skills in general.

 

As usual I’ll start off by giving the actual skill notes from the game:

 

Command Centre Upgrades (x4) Charisma, Intelligence

Each level in this skill improves the quality of command facility available to you, in turn allowing for a greater number of connected facilities on that planet. Cannot be trained on Trial Accounts.

 

This is another skill where the true value of its training, cannot be found in the skills description itself, instead we have to look into the properties of the Upgrades available on the Command Centres themselves. First however its worth doing a quick overview of Planetary Interaction (PI from here) and what this skill means for it.

 

PI, simply defined is a capsular’s ability to build installations on planets, which extract, process, store, import and export materials. These materials, referred to as Planetary commodities are used in a number of products including, but not limited to; nanite repair paste, structures and P.O.S Fuels. The centre of any PI installation network is the Command Centre, which is the first module placed on a planet allowing further development.  Command Centres also define the CPU and Power grid available to a planet’s colony, which all other installations consume.

 

So with this ground work in mind, how does the skill work? Quite simply, a Command Centre has 6 levels. The base command centre starts at level 1 (when placed on a planet), and can be upgraded 5 times to reach level 6. Each upgrade has a cost (in a bell curve increment), but in return increases the maximum CPU and PG available to your colony. Fully upgrading a colony to level 6 will cost you 6.4m Isk.

 

My aim in this post is to give you an idea of the value of PG/CPU to a colony, as well as showing the Time taken per unit of PG/CPU each level in the skill will give you. Armed with this I will present my conclusion of each levels increase in potential value, and you can make your own choices on how important each level is to you. As an aside to this post, there is an assertion I should like to make: Any player, who has a character who stays relatively still somewhere in the universe (for more than a few weeks at a time), should have a PI colony set up. Even a simple Colony with, one or two login’s per week will net the player a few million isk each log in, although mileage will vary. My colonies with a login per day, across 1.1 characters earns me around 20m/day, 140m/Week or 560m/Month, that’s the cost of an account in exchange for 30 minutes a day, your stupid if you are not doing it.

 

But anyway, back to the main point. Let’s start giving a value to PG/CPU. PI is all about maximising efficiency CPU/PG, directly control what Structures you can place on the planet, which effect this efficiency. Let’s looks at some case points to give you an idea of the value of a unit of each type:

 

  • 500 Mw (PG) and 110 Tf (CPU), will allow you to place a new extraction head on an Extraction Control unit, increasing your raw material extraction.
  • 800 Mw and 200 tf will allow you to build a Basic Industry Facility which will allow you to process more raw product into T1 and T2 materials (worth more) and T2 into T3 materials.
  • 9200 Mw and 1720 tf  will allow you to build a new Extraction Control Unit and fill it with all 12 extractor heads, dramatically increasing your raw material extraction.

 

I’ve made a series of wild estimations (some high and some low), based on what you could add with more CPU and PG, and how much extra that will earn you. I’ve then taken these estimates and averaged them to find a good middle ground for these guesses. From this I estimate that, based on my earnings, a Unit of CPU and a Unit of PG are worth  1434.34 isk/unit and 716.21 Isk/unit respectively. Please note that this is a terrible way of estimating, and I am a terrible estimator, so this really is a massively ballpark figure, designed simply to give a rough idea.

 

So now let’s look at how much you get per level of upgrade in the Command Centre. Based off the Eve wiki chart:

 

PI Command Isk

 

Again, note the terribleness of my estimation abilities, but at the same time except that the according to this estimation (based on my personal experience of PI production in Highsec) a fully upgraded Command Centre should earn around 21m every 24 hours, damned close to what I see being produced by my colony every day (p.s. I am amazed that worked). Please note that this assumes all the other skills for PI are at Lvl 5, and doesn’t take into account any taxes or other costs involved in PI so again, mileage may vary.

 

 

So all that done, is Command Centre upgrades worth it? To what level, and to whom? Well this doesn’t really depend so much on your character age, as it does your personal engagement with PI, and exactly what you need. If your fully committed to making money through PI, and are ready to commit to a schedule of updating your miners, then the chances are that yes, its worth training it as high as you can. Its also worth checking that you are going to have a use for the extra fitting space on your planners, after all there is no point in spending 20 days training level five, only to find that there is nothing useful to do with the extra PG/CPU. For someone entering into the market however, I would recommend aiming for level three to begin with, and seeing what you can do with that. At only 17 hours training, your not going to feel lost if PI doesn’t work for you, and its enough to get started with a good colony. Once you have that up and running, you’ll also spend some time learning and understanding the system, so you’ll know what to do with the extra PG/CPU once you train it. If you do its 3 days for level 4 then another 20  to Finnish it at level 5.

 

Have fun, and fly into the ground,
Hark

 

 

Further reading on PI can be found at the Eve Wiki, and Eve University

Tuesdays Training: Jump Fuel Conservation & Infomorph Sync

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players.

Note: I took a break last week while on a training course in Town, and was then waylaid this week due to the UK storms. Back on schedule now and hope to return to a Tuesday post next week!

This week’s skill training choices were a little more boring that last weeks. My choices were limited to:

  • Infomorph Synchronising V
  • Propulsion Jamming IV
  • Jump Fuel Conservation V
  • Mechanical Engineering V

In the end I decided to talk about two of these skills, both aimed at older player. First up is Jump Fuel Conservation V. Each level of JDC reduces the per light-year jump cost of Carriers, Dreads and the Roqual by 100 Units of Isotops. It also drops Jump Freighters by 290 units, and Black Ops Battleships by 30. If we take the current PLEX cost (~650m Isk), and break that down to a Isk Cost per hour of skill training (902,777.78) we can calculate how many light years we need to jump to save the money invested in our skill points in Jump Drive Calibration at current fuel costs (~600isk/unit).

Jump Fuel Cal

The question you have to ask yourself is: “How long will it take me to jump far enough to make it worth it?”. If your character is a dedicated Black Ops Pilot, the chances are the answer is never going to be past III-IV. For a Suitcase only Carrier (non-nomadic), level IV is likely fine. For a Nomadic Character fly Carriers, Dreads and Black Ops ships: I suspect those 1706 light-years will just fly by.

For me, PL moves home around 6-7 times per year, at an average of 2 carrier jump distance. That ends up with 3x Dread jumps, and 10x Carrier jumps to move all my ships, which is a total of 180 light years travelled per move, or 1260 light years per year just for relocations. Of course that doesn’t include random trips to high sec, or combat operation jumps. Certainly I feel that for me JDC V is justified on all 3 of my Carrier Characters.

I also wanted to quickly write a little about Infomorph Synchronising. IS is a relatively new skill added a few patches back (I can’t remember exactly which one), and reduces the delay between Jump Clone activation by 1 hour per level. For me this skill as been a “No brainer”, but one I haven’t gotten around to training since it was introduced. My eventual plan is to create a high sec +5 implant clone, which I jump after each night in Nullsec. As most of my playtime is around 5 hours on a weekday, this means that at level 5, I can Jump Clone to my +5 alt, and the timer will reset in time for the next night’s game time. Of course I will then have to spend 20 hours in Nullsec before I can return to the +5’s, but 20 hours out of 40 on 3 extra attribute points, is better than a kick in the teeth. By my calculations in fact I will spend 72 hours out of 168 (43%) in +5’s using this plan, giving me an average attribute bonus as near as damned it +4, with only the cost of replacing +3’s when I die (a saving of 40m per death). I’ll admit that’s it’s a lot of cost to gain only +1 to attributes, but again, playing the long game, I think it’s worth it.

While were talking about Jump Clones, I would also like to ask the question “In times when Slowcat fleets can maraud across the galaxy in minutes (or seconds if they are going to a TiDi battle), does the argument that a massive reduction in Jump Clone time (down to say every 12 or even as low as 5 hours) would cause an issue with force projection?” Furthermore, would the ability to move sub capital pilots, as fast a capital pilots, not give a good counter point to the current slowcat proliferation?

Fly wondering if you’re the original,

Hark

100m SP: Skills

Next! Right, well, it would be remise of me not to look at my characters skill points themselves. I mentioned briefly in the last post that my main character was a little bit under skilled for her age, and this is bared out when we look across all my accounts as well. In total I have 197,795,334 SP across my three accounts and 9 characters, with an average of 1,962 SP per hour (per account). Considering that with attribute mapping and +3’s my main is currently earning 2520 SP/Hour, that’s a little bit low.

 

Breaking that down by character the main is pretty much the backbone of that average with 2,146 SP/hour earned (considering this is my first year truly paying attention to attribute mapping, that’s no surprise).

 

Where are those skills placed then? Hark’s top five categories are:

  • 37m in Spaceship command
  • 16m in Gunnery
  • 9m in Missiles
  • 7m in Navigation
  • 6m in Drones

And here lowest are

  • 1415 in production
  • 2830 in trade
  • 15,072 in social

 

Alt Prime similarly has the most in

  • 20m in Spaceship Command
  • 9m in Gunnery
  • 8m in Navigation
  • 5m in Drones
  • 4m in Engineering

And

  • 4,500 in Trade
  • 169,000 in resource processing
  • 169,000 in neutral enhancement

 

The nine characters I have are split down as follows:

  • 1 x Main (combat, sub and cap)
  • 1x Alt (good all-rounder, combat leanings, also suitcase Carrier Pilot, losing direction a little at the moment)
  • 2x Haulers (1 T1 and 1 T2)
  • 1x trader (also Planet manager)
  • 3x Cyno Alts (inc one parked in jita for price monitoring)
  • 1x Industrialist (also planet manager)

 

So far both of these posts have been pretty factual, but now I add in a little bit of opinion to the mix. Specifically, my opinion on skills. Starting with my personal biggest landmark: Cross training. The fact that any character from any race, can fly any ship if they train the right skills is a massive bonus to this game, and even from the beginning I would have listed it as a plus. Yet for some reason, when I first started out in Nullsec I was very  resistant to the idea of training for races outside my Caldari heritage (I know, I know). However when I was finally lured into another races ships by the dazzle of lasers, it was a massive landmark for me. Being able to fly any races ship, means that you can fit in with any Alliance/Corporations Doctrines, and flexibility is key to being useful. If you fly anything other than Industrials for your vocation in eve, it’s well worth training all the races (once you have mastered one at least).

 

The second biggest landmark was becoming carrier capable. For me as a Nullsec pilot who has moved home and region on a frequent basis, having a suitcase carrier was a massive game changer. It was like getting your first car; your no longer dependent on Mommy and Daddies logistics chain, further more shipping things in and out of Nullsec can be a nice little money spinner if you know how. The first few jumps are pretty scary, as is the first loss mail.. But its been worth every moment of training, even ignoring the massive usage I’ve gotten out the current Slowcat meta. I still wish that we had a dedicated “Moveng Van” jump capable ship, but that’s a mere pipe dream, and until then, the carrier is likely my most useful ship in the hanger.

 

I am afraid that my last big skill landmark is a bit boring and obvious Core Competency. The skills which effect every ship you fly. Navigation, Capacitor, Locking Power Grid and CPU. Once I had cross trained everything and had my suitcase carrier, this was my next objective. Perfecting the skills which benefit the most ships. Having to never worry about if you can squeeze in a doctrine fitting, or be the last into warp. These skills are undervalued but vital additions to any pilots resumé. Training them was a bore, but I am glad I persevered.

 

Lastly before I sign off again, I want to recommend a training both overheating and drug skills for any pilot moving into the advanced stage of combat. It’s something I don’t regret training (despite the horrific price of Neuro Toxin Control). But it’s not really something I can list in my landmark list of skills, because I don’t use it anywhere near as much as I do. I just don’t understand enough about what is best used when, to carry drugs all the time. Sure I use them when I am instructed to in the doctrine fittings, but other than that, nada. Something I should change this year.

 

Fly high,

 

Hark

100m SP: Time and tide

On the 29th of July in 2008 I decided for the first time to try eve. I won’t go into details about my history in eve since then, but 5 years and 6720 logins later, at 20:50 18/12/2013 I finally amassed 100m Skill points on my Main Character. I’ll fess up and admit that I could have gotten here faster. Indeed by my calculations (ignoring learning skill changes and starting skills), a character of my age should have somewhere between 127,370,880 SP (+5’s) and 104,626,080 SP (No implants), meaning that I have spent somewhere between 4-21% of my characters life, not training, or using subpar implants. Of course having +5’s permanently in your head is an impossibility, especially for a combat character, and trying to do so would have cost me a new set of implants each of the 16 times I have been podded which is a serious amount of money.

 

To mark this occasion (and because it’s fast approaching the new year and its always a good time to wrap things up), I will be writing a series of posts on the how the 5 years of playing eve have affected both me and my characters. For this first post I will look mostly at time, closely followed with further posts on money, and the main event itself, skills. For all of these statistics I am looking at only my three currently active accounts. I do have around 3 other historical accounts, which have been disposable or temporary, but their skills and statistics are so minor compared with the main two, I doubt they will make much difference. So without further ado, let’s get on with further facts and figures!

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, I have logged into eve a total of 6720 times, with an average playtime of 33 minutes per login that’s a total solid play time of 273,429 minutes playtime (or around 190 days if that’s easier to digest). My oldest character is 2106 days old (meaning that I log into one of my accounts around an average of 3.2 times per day), giving me an average playtime per day of just under an hour. With 1437 recorded kills just on my main account (which to be fair has killed the vast majority) I have managed to average a kill every other day of my characters life. To be honest that is a lot lower that I would ideally like, but hey ho.

 

If we start to look at the characters themselves the main account has taken the vast majority of my playtime up (unsurprisingly for a main) with 116 days of logged in playtime. She has also been logged in (again on average) twice every three days of her life, with an average play time of 55mins per log in, or 80 mins per day. I find it interesting that she doesn’t log in very often, but when she does it’s for the long haul (read lagged out fleet fights).

 

My alt prime account interestingly has the main account beat hands down on the number of logins at 3521 times (~500 more than the main). This is unsurprising, as this account holds my trader and PI specialist, who I log in pretty much every single day. This means that since this accounts creation in mid-2009, I have logged into it on average just over twice per day. However the regular, but quick nature of the traders logins does show with the average playtime per log in at only 30 mins each, or 1 hour played per day of its life.

 

Looking at just under a half years solid playtime some people might ask if a video game is really worth so much of my life? Or if the money spent on the game is worth paying? Obviously, as I have spent this time, and my subscription fee on the game, I disagree. By my best calculations I have spent ~£1500 on eve online (inc PLEX, sub and the collector’s edition). Which means that I’ve paid around half a penny (GBP) per minuet spent in game, which actually is around what I spend on most non subscription games. Outside of gaming, the cinema costs around £7 (optimistically) per film, which average around 2 hours. That works out at around .06 of a penny per minuets entertainment, slightly more.

 

There are plenty of other forms of entertainment which are both more and less expensive than eve has been for me, but that point which I am trying to get across is that although £1.5k sounds like a lot of money, when you look at it in terms of cost/minute and compare it to other forms of entertainment, I don’t think it’s that bad. Furthermore this doesn’t take into account the hours of time I have spent out of the game planning, scheming, reading, learning and generally engaging with what is, at the end of the day a wonderful community.

 

I would much rather spend that money on an intellectual and challenging video game, than rotting my brain watching The Fast and the Furious MXC.

 

Fly for an age,

 

Hark