The first long skill that I trained for and completed was Gallente Industrial 5. I had plugged in astrogeology while I was on my cruse in January (I do do non Eve stuff sometimes, surprising). I never completed it because it was so long/forever and for five week old self. I mean, holy hell like 15 days? I'd probably evolve into another being by then...
A few weeks later, need dragged me to plug in Gallente Indy 5 and wait through the two weeks of training. That need was my Viator. I was so tired of running things out of low sec in a catalyst. This was before they nerfed salvage drops of meta 0 content. (I like how I say that as if I'm all old and bitter)
The recent mining barge changes have brought with them a decrease in some skill requirements. If now was then, I would have been able to fly a covetor instead of a retriever when mining was my main income source. I am mildly jealous. I have no personal problem with the changes. I only think of how much more ore I could have mined when I mined.
Skill requirements are interesting. They are a bane and blessing.
Bane and Blessing. Damn you for looking like you are flyable so soon sexy internet spaceship.
You can go on vacation, plug in a long skill and have your character happily march towards productivity. At the same time, when playing every day, you can weep and debate self harm as the skills tick down oh...so...slow...ly. Plus, they create a mental chasm for some that they feel they have to cross to compete with other players.
Chella was going to astrogeology and then mining barge 5 (she's at 4). It all fell flat when I just couldn't grind through more astrogeology and then mining barge 5 without seeing any changes. Between the two it would be a month's worth of training to get into a ship. It felt wasted that soon in the game. I was a bit tired of mining as my sole activity and wanted more defensive abilities. I was also creeping with THC2 more and more. Their dark, evil influence was sinking in and corrupting me down to my very soul. Also, around that time I was told by the perfect legion pilot with his perfect legion alts to get into a hulk because he needed me to mine and to work on my standing because he could not enroll me with a low standing because of his POS.
I still don't know where he got the idea that I was joining him. I remember bitching to THC2 about his constant assumptions that I was joining his corp. My own first corp was wardeced at the time and dying spectacularly to some random group. I had moved out of the area and dragged one of my friends from there along with me. That Legion pilot is the straw that broke the back of high sec for me and sent me running off to low sec. He told me I was lying about salving level 5 missions as well...
But skills and skillpoints... CCP has promised(?) us a bit of reworking of our skill plans for certain ships. I am seeing some of the changes to the mining barge skill training form an early precursor to what will be happening with some combat ships.
I have Battlecruisers 5 on Sugar. I'll probably go for Destroyers 5 shortly. The promise to change Battlecruisers and Destroyers to racial divisions is a rather big impact. Right now you can fly 'Destroyers'. You will have a racial frigate prerequisite to fly each races destroyer but the whole group destroyer skill allows you fly the ships. The change will require you to have a racial destroyer skill. The same goes for battle cruisers.
What it means individually is that all characters will have another 3 months worth of training to look forward to if they wish to fly every races battlecruiser. Why that matters since we have rules like that in place now, is that people currently don't have to do that. CCP has said that we will still be able to fly what can currently fly. This perhaps means they will auto add the racial skills and artificially give us the 3 months we are missing. Or they may give unallocated skill points.
Another reason why it is a bane is shown in the Machariel above. According to the ships skill prerequisites I can fly it in five days. To fly it at that level would be insane. I don't have large guns for instance. Lets look at how long it would take me to get the guns that I need at their most basic level for the Machariel.
I also haven't learned motion prediction 5 yet? How random. Looks like that's going into my queue rather soon. However, in general, I am getting there. That is a lot of stuff devoted to shooting just one type of gun. And that does not yet mean I should fly the ship. The prerequisites are just the basics. The levels of the skill improve it greatly. Those are just two pieces of what I need to fly that ship. I haven't touched on the navigation, defense or implants. THC2 is not a corp that says you have to have 20mil skill points to join and a green killboard of 96.5% efficiency. They do say that ships need to be flown properly. Minimum requirements a proper fit does not make.
A proper fit requires skill training. It is like watching the fruit on a tree ripen. You know when it will be ready but its not ready yet. Eating that fruit early will lead to disappointment.
Let me comment on skill training other cost. The one that as a new character, I'm not bothered by but I know that older characters are. Living with bittervets helps me understand, a tiny bit, the struggles. However, I point and laugh at them about it because I'm a bitch. Also, its hard to feel bad for someone with 8 times the skill points that you have :P
But, because I love them, I feel bad for them. This is the side effect of getting all of those skill points. Your clone cost increases. When you are podded your clone has to be upgraded again. For those out doing nullsec warfare, podding is part of the daily cost of living. However, that cost starts to ramp up. While many older players can afford it, and I don't really hesitate to say most, its still a startling chunk of isk. For those engaged in massive battles they can lose a lot of pods very quickly.
I wonder if any alliances will start a clone reimbursement fund to assist their pilots and help encourage their older players to fly the smaller ships that they are so awesome in.