Friday, July 13, 2012

Skill Training Management

I've decided that EVE Mon is a tool of the devil and griefers. For those that like such things, EveMon can be downlaoded from battle clinic.

I've been working on Chella's skill plan. I managed to build something that sounded perfectly logical to me. Then I looked at the days till completion and it told me that it was over a year away.

If I have not been working so hard to get some length to my hair, I'd have ripped it all out. Instead I burst into tears, collapsed under my desk, and shook for a while. Then, once I was lured out with cookies and hot chocolate, I reassessed the situation and started to face some basic facts of acceptance.

Or, I should say face some more. My original skill plan given to me seemed like an overwhelming task. It would take the better part of six months to get the bulk of it learned. Six months has passed and the bulk of it is learned. Sugar is a very, Minmatar focused PvP pilot. I say very when I should say is a very focused Minmatar pilot. I've wandered off to the side with some ore training for my Noctis but that is about as far off the path as I have walked.

Now I have a combat pilot, a logistic and future cap pilot, and a scout to debate and plan the futures of. Eve's skill system is a major bonus once you get around the fact that obsession will not give you an edge on skill acquisition speed.

If I go the normal route I would maybe turn my scout into a links pilot as well. I am not sure. There are so many rumors about editing boosters. However, a leadership alt is always useful. But then, how far do you craft your future in reaction to possible future changes?

Eve is a game of stratgy. Even if the stratgy is just making basic decisions for a possible future, those decisions need to be made. I run three accounts because it works for me. Some of it is nothing more then raw impatience. Having multiple accounts allowed me to specialize each account across more areas and do more things.

Sugar pewpews stuff. Chella is logistics, hauling and industry. My scout is scanning, scouting, cloaky stuff.

It is common to need at least two accounts in low and null sec. Just moving myself around is enough reason. I've avoided many a gatecamp with a scout. For example, I fly a Noctis in low sec. My Noctis is a fat cow of a ship with no agility or speed. I have to be very careful with how I manage the ship because it is a big, fat, slow, mooing target.

However, its made me billions of ISK. So I love it and am willing to deal with the inconvenience. Risk vs reward. When it comes training its ability vs reward. I could train fewer things to lower levels and have a less capable charater but not have to watch my skill counter tick down for months. CCP added a blue bar to the NEOCOM to show the skills as a status bar. It is a terrible, terrible thing when a long skill starts and that bar doesn't even start to turn blue for days.

Some people become frustrated and start to play skill training online instead of Eve online. The general concept that if they get their skills to X point they will be able to do Y is a flawed concept.

Skills do and do not matter. I have a pretty uninteresting year ahead of me for Chella when it comes to skills. She will have very few moments of 'omg wow new ship' or 'new ability'. A lot of the skills are support skills and will not be as tangible and switching into a new ship. Jump Drive Calibration V? Its important for the sometimes it will be important which isn't every time its used.

While the immediate will not be filled with instant gratification the end result is an achieved desire and an accomplished personal goal. A kick ass capital pilot.

Skills matter but so does playing knowledge. When I was failing the Sister's of Eve Epic Arc terribly, one reason was my pathetically fit catalyst. I had about 4 different types of guns all loaded with different ammo and my guns trained to level 2 or maybe 3.

If my guns had been at 5, or even better, small hybrid turret specialization learned for T2 turrets, I'd have been dealing more damage more effectively. In this, my skills would have made a tremendous difference in my playing. Let's say that I was also rocking a hobgoblin II in my catalyst's drone bay because I learned T2 drones as well.

However, if I had not been playing Eve but only training skills, I might have still had 4 different types of gun with different types of ammo. I might have hit harder, but less effectively. I might also have launched my drone before I obtained room aggression, causing it to die in a tiny little ball of fire due to my lack of understanding of game mechanics.

The lack of skills also removed power leveling from the game. No one can grab a new player by the hand and advance into high end game play by letting them tag along. But, Eve allows a new or low skill point (for we don't have levels) character an opportunity to actively participate in higher end game play. The opportunity is built right in to the 'no ship is useless' structure. (not that some are not useless but they try really hard and give all types validity)

A new player can effectively do things like kill frigates and small ships in missions, scoot along to collect items from mission containers that will take a battleship forever, and tackle and provide ewar (electronic warefare) in combat. They can do all of this effectively without a high skill point investment.

I often feel like the barrier that people feel about skill points is not really a barrier as it is a series of personal wants.

1 - A player wishes to play Solo: Eve can be played solo. However, as mind boggling as the idea is, as a MMO, Eve is meant to be played socially. There may be a thousand reasons or excuses that people have not to play socially, but none of them eliminates the fact that the game, at its core is a social platform. Because at its core it is a social game the complaint of not being able to do things alone is more of a personal problem. It is one that I often have. However, I will also acknowledge that I could make other decisions that would help to circumvent those problems. I just may not get the gratification that I want from making those decisions.

2 - A Desire to be a Badass: I often read people discounting frigates as a ship type. I can comfortably say that most players have seen a month old character in a battleship. Eve forces a player to lose concepts of scale/size that are so common in games. Bigger is not always better and will not always crush smaller. This is repeated day in and day out but it is hard for some. In general, many people just want to be a badass and it takes time in the game to understand that you can be a badass in a frigate.

3 - Insecurity. Eve is a game of Egos. I'm amazed at how much absolute crap I see spouted off. People blow up their self importance and put down others with amazing speed and finesse. On top of that, some people have played eve for 9 years. Since skill points take 22 years to max out, it seems as if there is no ability to catch up because the top end players do not reach the max level and cap out.

There are plenty of other reasons, those are just three off the top of my head. Number 3 is one that can be solved by learning game mechanics. One of those mechanics is the understanding that a skill or ship can become maxed out. While the player may have a hundred million skill points, skill points are not a multiplier in and among themselves. Skill points are focused into the skill learned. 40 million skill points in industry is not going to help someone with damage from their missile launchers.

Number 1 is a personal thing for someone to solve and number 2 is what it is.

EVEMon also keeps notifying me that I have unclaimed certificates. Its getting irritating. I don't train for certs, they just happen.

/rant on

Idle aside: As I'm rambling along here I notice someone in a chat room who has been MIA for a few months. This is a person that once pulled me aside (aka private messaged me) and had a very long argument with me about how it was my responsibility as a female playing a game to be a good role model and set a good reputation for all women in games. He and his girlfriend could not stay girls that flirted and acted silly. I was also told that I should not flirt or act crass because that would only reinforce the male gamer's view of women. I was supposed to be bold and strong and a force for females everywhere.

I asked him when it became my responsibility? Why was I supposed to act out in a way he proscribed as correct for me so that someone would take some other chick seriously? How did he figure that he could assign me the moral responsibility? In fact, I'd prefer to prove myself through my game play vs standing on a gender soapbox screaming 'take me seriously, I have breasts and speak for all other breasts'.

/rant end


  1. I know guys who have 5+ accounts. I feel sorry for them, but, I'm the guy who thinks 1 player should = 1 account. Ya get 3 chars on it, and that's it. Oh and, no dualboxing, obv. ;-) Anything else is an 'exploit' of intended MMO mechanics (relying on others to help with things your char can't do on its own), that's conveniently overlooked cause :dollarsigns:.

    In other news, saying 'take me seriously' is an excellent way to..._not_ be taken seriously. Breasts, however, especially of the speaking variety, tend to garner quite a bit of attention, especially from the male gender, and will most likely be taken very seriously. While we all already knew that, it never hurts to sometimes get a bluntly-stated reminder of the blindingly obvious. :-)

    1. I can understand the sentiment. However, since CCP encourages our duel/tri/quad/oct boxing I happily participate.

      I've had a few people tell me they feel it is cheating. I have no problem with admitting that it takes the place of other people... but then some of the intel I've gotten from other people... blah.

      And as for the second part... the problem is that the breasts would be the only thing taken seriously :P

    2. You actually use intel? :-/ I've spent a good part of my EVE career dashing madly from place to place, hither and yon, and only on rare occasions has it gotten me fucked up.

      However, I've figured out that there's a trick to it: if I take a ship, ANY ship, out with the intention that I'm going to crash gate-camps in every system whilst DIAF horribly, maybe getting a KM or two myself... nothing ever happens. Nobody's on the gates, or it's just a failcamp of 1 or 2 people who're easily dodged or blown up.
      However! Corollary to this: if I actually have something I want to accomplish, or am trying to do (even if as simple as getting a ship from A--->B for a roam, op, CTA, etc), I will invariably run into the most well-organized, efficient, and "pro" gatecamp possible, resulting in my near-immediate destruction upon dropping gatecloak. :-/

      I've just decided to LEEERROOYYYY every gate. Damn the camps, full speed ahead. :-D

    3. I agree that they are but words and such things, but people are still influenced by them :)

      If you go to your blog control panel and select 'my blogs' down the page on the left hand side you have a 'reading list'. There is an add button right after that. Maybe I can add a follow button as well and feel cool about myself.

    4. P'raps you could. And possibly not. Only you know what makes you feel :cool:.

      But I do like yer writing style enough to keep track of ya. :-) So lemme go figure this shit out. lol

    5. Yay, figured it out. *pats self on back, then you for explaining it*

  2. "small hybrid turret SOCIALIZATION" made my day. Fix it for "specialization" though.

    The skill learning can be seriously (I mean 100days/year) shortened by smart remaps and +5 implants. Of course those things make you completely unable to play. My logi/carrier pilot has 6.3M SP and never undocked as all these skills are int/mem and int/perc support skills.

    EVE Offline needs either other accounts to play or some extreme level of OCD.

    1. ROFL. I fixed it. I'm giggling over that one.

    2. "Social" hybrids are low-metas and not very effective. To be truly effective you have to train them up to the Rational level, according to the Goblin. ;-)