Posts Tagged ‘Skills’

Attribute Optimisation

neuralRemap

I am ashamed to admit that I have never really put much effort into my skill queue before. I still put more effort into it than most of the Dirties group (generally I have a month’s skill queue racked up in eveMon), but still the dark arts of Attribute Optimising has always scared me off.

For readers who are unaware of this particular practice. Let me summarise: All skills have primary and secondary attributes. Your characters level in each of these attributes directly effects how fast you gain skill points in them. For example a character with base attributes (17 across the board) will train Battleship V in 39 days and 3 hours. Where a character remapped to 27 Perception (primary) and 24 Willpower (secondary) will train it on 27 days 21 hours.  Quite a difference, and that’s only within a month. Once per year CCP allows players to remap their skill points to new values. So here is how it works: You commit to training only skills which have the same Primary and Secondary attributes, once the year is up, you can remap to another set of attributes, and train only their skills. Doing this a capsular Doing this a player can save hundreds of days training per year. That’s a lot.

Before you all go running off to eve mon to set a 365 day skill queue, you need to understand the downsides to this practice. Eve skills tend to come in miss matched. For example as a new player I could optimise my skill points to Perc/Will for a solid year to train T1 Ships, Gunnery and Missiles. However in order to get the maximum out of my training, I would have to avoid training Drones, Shields, Armour and Fitting skills until I could remap to a new configuration. All in all it would take 3-4 Remaps (or years) before you had a character balanced in all the key skill areas. In the long run, this is quicker, but in the short term it means you’re going to be shit at flying and fitting ships until years down the line.

Attribute optimisation is also very inflexible. For a Nullsec pilot such as myself following FOTM is a must. If you can’t fly ships complimentary to the Doctrine, you shouldn’t be flying at all. This means that if you are missing skills that a fleet fitting requires, you have to quickly flip push your skill queue aside in order to fit in with the new ship of the month.

All in all, my opinion has been that attribute optimisation is another good example of Malcanis’s Law. So why am I suddenly looking at using it? Well the fact of the matter is that I am one of the “Older players” mentioned in Malcanis’s Law, and in just 80 days I will be “Un nerfable”. With my current skill queue in 80 days I will be able to fly every T1 ship in the game (saving mining ships, including capitals), every T2 ship in the game (again excluding Mining ships, Command ships and T2 industrials) and use 90% of their modules to T2. I believe that this means that no matter what becomes the Flavour of the month in the next 12 months, I will be ready to fly it without changing my skill queue. It’s a bold claim, and one which could be foiled by a few things; New ships/Modues, exhumer fleets, Command Ship fleets etc. But that’s a gamble I feel is worth taking.

This new found inflexibility coupled with the bare fact that I am running out of non Lvl V skills to train means that attribute optimisation has suddenly become a very attractive prospect. So for the next 80 days I am training for the last few modules and ships, before I start training and optimised skill queue. For other older players, looking at perhaps doing this as well, or newer player who are think they might benefit from doing similar, I will loosely go over how I have planned mine.

First of all eveMon is a must for this exercise. It has a wonderful set of tools precisely for the purpose of optimising you skill queue. Not least of which is the ability to filter skills by their attributes. For reference here are the different remap sets:

All the Skills

P.s. I did this on purpose to make you think you had a hair on your screen…

PercWill – Gunnery, Missiles, T1 & T3 ship command, Offensive and Propulsion T3 Subsystems

CharInt – Planet Management (command centre upgrades & Planetary consolidation), Social Skills

CharMem – Trade Skills

CharWill – Leadership Skills, Jump clones, Contract skills

IntMem – Electronics, Engineering, Mechanics, Planetology, Science, T3 Subsystems (defence, Electronic & Engineering)

IntPer – Navigation

MemChar – Corporation Management, Research Project Management

MemInt – Industry

MemPerc – Drones

PercMem – Weapon Upgrades (though not advanced)

WillChar – Trade Skills

WillInt – Doomsday Devices

WillPerc – T2 Ship command

Now for me, as a combat pilot, the key areas which I want to improve first are; Tank, Spank (gunnery, missiles and Drones), Ship skills and navigation. Now Drones and Navigation don’t have a full years’ worth of training in them for me (200d and 78d respectively) I also have them trained to a level with which I am pretty happy. That leaves Tank (IntMem) and Gunnery, ships and Missiles (PercWill). Armed with this, I created a skill plan which gave me my un-nerfable status, then remapped to IntMem for perfect tanking and some Electronic warfare skills. Once this is completed (400 days), I will be planning out another years’ worth of skills, likely using Perc/Will to perfect Gunnery and Missiles. The result of all this? With a balance remap (23 in all except Charisma at 19) and +3 implants this queue takes 592 days, Optimised it takes 509 days. Giving me three months of additional training for a year and a half of skill queue.

Do I lament not doing this before? Not really, until recently the nature of my game has mean that I needed the flexibility of a balanced attribute mapping. I always tried to take a years’ worth of training and optimise my attributes to that particular mix (which means I’ve never had much Charisma, no surprise there). But now my skill plans are featuring more and level V skills it really does seem like it’s worth it.

Fly optimal,

Hark

The Skill Dilemma

Seeing as there have been a lot of people looking longingly at their skill queue these last 18 or so hours, I figure it’s a good time to post some thoughts on the training system. For a note to all of those talking about re-imbursements, Poetic does make a very good point about what to expect. Besides, you should all stop complaining, I was on a gate, engaged in a fight when the servers went offline… I doubt CCP is going to reimburse me for my soon to be inevitable loss! Because these downtime is not due to errors, I do wonder if CCP might take advantage and release Odyssey early, after all downtime is downtime right? Anyway, on with the original post.

 

The skill system, is harsh mistress to us capsulars. I can remember as a new player, how over whelming the skill sheet can be; so many skills which you don’t understand, so many ships you want to fly, and so many things your friends say you should train for. When you first start eve the skill queue is like a wall to climb, a barrier between you and the ship of your dreams. So you pick a target, set a straight line, and run for it. Forgetting all the nice to haves, and even some of what people tell you is essential, all go sit your ship quicker.

Rokh

A stack of Rokhs waiting to go on the market

 
For me it was the Rokh. Even though back then, it was only able to field 4 missiles (I was a missile only Caldari like so many before me), I loved a tanky ship, and it doesn’t get much tankier than a Rokh. I didn’t care that with my skills it would have the DPS of a limp slap. I wanted to get one fast, and the skill queue set a strait path towards it. That’s what the skill queue is to a new player, something to rush up. And as you zoom towards your chosen role, you, as I did, miss things. T2 weapons aren’t essential are they? Who needs tech II drones of every race? Level 4 shield resists are high enough right? I can fit what I need with only minor fittings skills so sod em’.

Then you get the big things you want and the skill tree changes its nature a bit. You’ve hit the mid game and you start to look back, and you realise that the wall you have scaled isn’t actually complete. There are some pretty huge holes in it. But there are still goals upwards, still things on the horizon you want so bad. Capitals look amazing, and the other races would be cool, so you could fly  in fleets with your alliance. So you keep climbing onwards towards the bigger goals, but now you take more care, and you don’t rush for ships like you used to. During this period, you might even go back and fill in some of the glaring holes in your wall, just because you have to justify some of the bigger more expensive ships you have or want.

Then, at last, you hit the big time, everything you really wanted is trained, all the races, all the T2’s and a few capitals of course. The skill queue changes its nature once more, it’s not a wall to be climbed, it’s a wall to be painted and patched. So far your rapid accent has left only a few upward strips, so it’s time to go back and fill the rest in. You double down and go back to getting the basics you guiltily knew you should have gotten during the first accent.

DSCN2842

Totaly my skill tree

 
The final stage is what I am looking at crossing into now. All the holes are plugged, and the wall is looking pretty damn solid. All that I have left in front of me is decorating it will a little splash here and there. Sure there are a few ships left to unlock, but none which I can see me flying anytime soon. I’m having to start to think about capping off to level 5’s because there is just no new goals to train towards any more. I suspect I am going to have to set my own goals now, looking at ascertaining “perfect” tanking, or “perfect” gunnery, that’s going to be a long project though.

That’s not to say I am losing interest in the skill queue any more. Far from it, I have enjoyed every stage of the skill game so far, and I expect I will enjoy this next stage just as much. It’s just a sad passing for me now that nothing has that fresh ship feel any more. At this stage in the game the furthest I am from a ship (excluding titans, in which I have 0 interest) is around 60d and that’s just because I would need to train a lot of leadership skills prior to embarking. I’m missing BLOPs, but that’s 7d, I’m missing Marauders, but that’s 6d… even The last carrier I can’t fly is only 38d away (but that will reduce to 9d as of the 4th).

It’s kind of sad that there is no new ship class on the horizon for me, but really I wouldn’t trade my position for anything. There are still plenty of ships I have skilled and never flown, so I am content just enjoying the freedom of having the SP to do whatever I want.

But here is what this whole post comes down to. A message to newer players: I won’t give you the same advice that no doubt everyone around you has given since day one. I won’t tell you to train T2 before you go up a ship class, or to train fitting/core skills before rushing to battleships. I never followed it, and I suspect, nor will you. Here is what I will advise though. Enjoy the progression. Enjoy the rush of finally getting in a new ship, because that will dry up one day. Make sure you make the most of whatever part of the skill game you are in at the moment.

 

Fly like a bitter vet,

 

Hark

The new Icelandic Bank

 Note: this is a bit late comming out as I am currently having a very busy time IRL (I know priorities right). Pretty sure it all still applies though. I’ll be trying to get a couple of posts out before fanfest hits (*squee*).
Its been simultaneously busy and quiet this month. On the playing eve front things have been very quiet, few fleets and fewer kills. I wrote recently on the first release of information about the odyssey expansion, and mentioned specifically that I didn’t think it looked like a nullsec expansion.  Boy do I hope I am wrong: For whatever reason, nullsec has become deathly quiet at the moment and I have never felt so strongly that it requires a gigantic shakeup. A snow globe with all the snow settled is just a small bulb of water; put it on an earthquake simulator and we’ll talk.
On the alt I have been indulging in some faction warfare and really enjoying it. Now that I have proved you can make serious money even in the worst circumstances, I have settled into an even balance of making money and making wrecks (my own and others). I have even gone so far as to be invited to join a solo pvp channel: which has resulted in some excellent fights and helped me learn the game even better.
Arian has gone even deeper into FW, as far as I can tell he has invested some serious hours into some of the fleet warfare going on… I don’t care for the politics of it, but when a Nullsec pilots have to go to Lowsec for fleets…well, I’ve made that point already.
Some of my more passive characters have also become more active this month, after a concerted effort to
re commence my trading account. Its gone well with an average 0.21%  increase in wealth per day and growing. My increased activity has lead me to discover however that I have not got enough ISK to cover everything I want, and so have opened up an investment plan to the Dirties, no idea if anyone will take it up yet, I just hope we can keep things clearly defined. As a saying goes “There are two sure ways to loose a friend; one is to borrow, the other is to lend”.
Anyway, onto the busier side of things. The blog has changed quite a bit since my last monthly post. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Blogger default themes, way to clutterd and way to little excitement. So using some of my web developer skillset, the jQuery library and a good dash of the web equivalent of a rubber mallet: I have managed to create a theme I am pretty happy with. There are still a few lacking areas, but I hope to address them over the next few days leading up to fanfest. I am expecting to do a lot of writing over the fanfest period (*squeee*), so I am hoping this clean and striking layout might help us in the campaign to spread the good word of Dirty.
Skills wise, this month I have been mostly covering areas I should have covered a LONG time ago. The main has finally trained T2 drones of races other than Caldari (I know, I know), and I have started to catch up with the newer skills added to the game last year. Going forwards I have hoping to add to the CV appeal of the Hark with the addition of Starbase defence management (watch as CCP remove that from the game in Odyssey), and generally continue brushing up on stuff. The alt on the other had has been skilling for pure fun, with Rocket launchers hitting Specialist IV she is so close to read for The Hookbill (just in time for its nerf). It also means I can add the Breacher to my hanger stock. She will stick with the fun theme for a good while now, with tracking disruption opening up even more options for frigate fittings, and a further investment into overheating (which is also on Harks list as a thing she should have done by now).
Ah well, fly like a special snowflake in a static pool of water ,
Hark

Strangers waiting in the night

So another month has passed, and its been a busy one here at E-V. Between the beginning of the CSM election process (or at lest the beginning of the beginning) and our surprise entry to Faction Warfare, the blog has had its bloggyest month yet at 17 posts. I cant promise that the almost Rippardian fever of posts we have churned out in the last week will continue here onwards, but Arian has a few month things he wants to write about (mostly new an interesting ways he is killing people, and getting killed), and perhaps even a new toy to talk on. It might also help that I have now started a new job, which gives me 30 mins on the train to write and edit blog posts.

For me on the other hand its been a mixed month. Four weeks ago I finally purchased an Archon with the hope of getting on a few more opps with the alliance, but what seemed like a nearly complete skill queue has stretched out over the last few weeks until I am only just finishing it even now. My hope is that in the next week I will take a capital into (consensual) combat for the first time. I have to admit that makes me very nervous. Even aside from the price of the thing, I really don’t know what’s going to be expected of me during the op. Its like back when I went into fleet combat for the first time, way back in ED. Things others will take for granted, I may not understand; and my alliance isn’t exactly known for training people. My intent is to have a good chat with Lore about he experiences with capital ops and try to prepare as best I can. Incidentally now that I have had a month for which the Archon’s looks to grow on me… In still think its ugly as a sin.
The Faction Warfare front has also gone a little quiet for me as well. This is going to sound ridiculous, but ever since the Caldari threw off the oppressive Gallente push and fought them back to t1 control (taking t3 for them selves) I have not really done as much. I’m not sure if its the lack of space to go plex in, the surge of people logging in to farm, my change to the Merlin for combat, the longer distance between me and the plex’s, or just plane old burn out. What ever it is, I have only done a few plexs in the last month. On the plus side, I did manage to get a couple of kills in the process (losing 3 Merlins finding them, but that’s by the by). I am pretty sure that the Slasher was my first ever true solo kill (not counting cyno’s), it felt good.
On a FW side note, I cant help but notice a slight disparity between the Caldari and Gallente low sec space. Black rise, if memory serves has about 19 station systems (between around 40 systems), where as Placid  seems to have one in almost literally every one of its low sec systems (25 stations/31 systems) . It strikes me that this is a little unbalanced giving the Gallente a far better reshipping advantage in its final defensive systems. Its also very annoying trying to plex here, when neutrals and war targets enter system, scan you down, then dock up and bring out a counter ship to whatever your flying. But I am sure there is something balancing the system (I’m only new!)
With just over a month to go the fanfest hype within our group is starting to rise as well, with me Lore and Arian all heading out this year for the first time, were all giddy with school girl excitement. Its like the night before an Essex prom, and were all thinking of getting our vjazzles done. The three of us haven’t met up  in a little while now, so that just adds to the anticipation. I am hoping that with the tablet, I will be able to do a little on site blogging, so watch this space for future updates on the one.
Plans for next month? Well I’m still thinking about getting a faction battleship to join fleets with, but I really need to wait a little while to get used to Archon combat before that. Still knowing me, and my love for spending isk, it may happen sooner rather than later. Other than that really there isn’t much more to do except hope for more combat opps in my timezone, last month is saw a single fleet I had the right ship for (aside from not having a capital, I have a logistics ship for both shield and armour, so its not a lack of ships). Lets hope I can see that change soon.
Skill queue hasn’t changed much, except that I have spotted some more gaps that need plugging. But then there always are… Perhaps there is a post in there somewhere.
Fly inspirationally,
Hark

Epic Skill guide

Just a quick one today to highlight something that I meant to do before I took my little break form the ‘sphere.

Here is a link to a great post on the forums from Louis deGuerre entititled Louis’s Epic Skill Guide. Its a good list of major skills every new eve player should know and understand. Its even a good bench mark for us older players to check our basics have been covered.

An Appeal: Bitter Veteran Syndrome

Bitter Veteran Syndrome (BVS) is an epidemic on New Eden; and it’s time to raise awareness. The chances are that you mix with people who right now are entering into the first stages of this disease, and neither you nor they understand enough to realize the problem.

Any character with over 10m skill points can contract BVS, but the truly vulnerable are characters with skill points above 60m. It’s currently unknown how this correlation forms, but the facts are there*. If you know someone in this skill range, you need to watch out for the Symptoms:

 – Constantly complaining about the ease of the game for new players
 – Shouting “HTFU” as a counter point to every argument
 – A belief that Super Capitals are just fine the way they are (or were)
 – Rarely actually logging into the game
 – An ability to understand game mechanics better than anyone else

 If you are afraid that a friend has contracted BVS there is a simple test you can do to be sure:

Show them a reasonable ship fitting and ask for advice.
If they immediately point out more than three errors they likely early onset BVS (assuming the fitting isn’t really shit). Severity can be judged on the amount of issues spotted, and the level of explanation given for the mistakes.

i.e. 6 issues spotted and no explanation given at all for the mistakes is a very severe contraction (if they shout HTFU as an explanation contract a support group immediately). Whereas 3 items spotted, but a calm and logical explanation of why and how to fix them is a low risk case.

Sadly there is no cure for, but it is our belief here at the Hark Science Studies Centre (HSSC) BVS department, that there is a lot we can do to help these sadly afflicted individuals, and so we ask for your generosity to help fund the research of BVS and the treatment of sufferers. Institutes such as the Pandemic Legion Bitter Veteran Home allow extreme sufferers of BVS to be with people who suffer and understand they plight. They also provide support to all members in their time of need.

But for some such a community of support is just not available, and many thousands of BVS sufferers don’t even have the money for the basic Super Capitals which they so desperately need.

So please, if you have seen the damage BVS can cause to a pilot, consider donating to the HSSC:BVS study and support group. Just a few billion ISK could keep a BVS suffer comfortable for years to come.

Thank you,

Hark

P.s. Yes I just passed 60M skillpoints… any one want to fund me a titan?

*      10m sp ~= 02.32% contraction rate (cr)
     30m sp ~= 07.66% cr
     60m sp ~= 56.79% cr
    100m sp ~= 89.72% cr
    Results from the “what does hark think study” funded by unicorns and fairies.

2p: Skill Categories

Just a quick micro blog for the day:

In these days of “New Player Experience” why are skills still sorted in such an awful way? Ok there is a funky kind of logic to the categories (Shields require electronics, Ship construction and Rigging would be done by mechanics), but really its not very user friendly. I put forwards the notion of separating skills by their primary result? novel huh?

Even if you want to keep the meaty sounding names we could still keep them:

Why not add the category “Electronic Warfare Theory”, thus allowing us to designate Engineering to Shield Skills only?

Adding “Production” and “Rigging” would make Rigs, Ship construction and Armor skills fit into neat categories.

Navigation is a prime example of what a skill category should look like.

Maybe it’s just a touch of OCD causing me to dislike having Skills share categories*, but I honestly think that this is pretty overwhelming to new players. It should even be a low hanging fruit for CCP as well…

Just my two pennies worth,

Hark¬

*OK so it’s a lot to do with this. I have no production skills, but I do armor tank. I hate the fact that despite having L4 in all armor skills, the category still looks half empty!