Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Summer is Coming

It's not even the end of winter here on the East coast of the USA.  I'm tired of being cold but not so cold that its cold enough to really bed down for winter.  Things keep thawing back out so the ground never freezes.  It's just a bond cold damp muddy nastiness that is exhausting.

Anyway, it's always cold in space.

A year(ish) ago CCP told us that they were going to separate battlecruisers and destroyers into racial skills similar to all the other basic tech one skills in the game.  There was no 'when' only 'soon'.  The players reacted and many learned their skills. Others chortled and rubbed their hands together for they already had these skills maximized due to the power of bitter.  And then people forgot.  Because that is what people do.  Suddenly, fall came and again 'soon' was 'start now soon' and people reacted.  A wave crossed over the game and skill plans were shattered under it.  The hopes and dreams of many were sundered as they were advised to learn these things now because free skill points are not to be passed up.  Until finally  it came from the depths of the offices that soon would be the summer expansion and an almost date was upon us.

The preparation for the racial split has been fierce.  But, when CCP Ytterbium delivered the changes to other ship in his Dev Blog, being finished with my destroyers and battlecruiser skills I took heed and listened.

The first thing I noticed, since they were the first images listed, was that capital ships are going to become easier to get into.  Although the time frame to skill into the ship is staying almost the same the skills are changing to skills that pilots needed to fly the ship effectively.  An example of this is Jump Drive Calibration and Jump Fuel Conservation.  Before, you could skill into a capital with almost no ability to move that capital around.  JDC IV is considered a bare minimum skill for moving a capital ship and most people will put the almost two month task into JDCV.  So before you learned everything to get into the carrier and the extra skills.  Now the extra skills replace things like Battleship V.

For an currently skilled capital pilot, crossing into other capitals will be a lot easier.  JDC is a static skill.  Once you have it, it applies to everything.  Racial battleship on the other hand had to be learned four times over.  While it is a useful skill not everyone wants to fly battleships.  Capitals are not big battleships anymore then newbie ships are tiny drones.

Other ships and skills are being switched around some.   Some of the changes make sense and are skills you would already want or skills that the items needed to make the ship special needed anyway.  Some don't make that much sense to me.  Energy Grid Upgrades V for Heavy Assault Cruisers for instance.  This was made to replace needing assault ships (aka assault frigs) from the prerequisites.

The one side of this change means that you no longer have to graduate from T2 frigate to T2 cruiser.  Now you do T1 cruiser to T2 cruiser.  The other side is that some of the skills look as if they have been put into place to fill in the time gap that the restructure has created.  It is not as if they are putting useless skills or irrational skills into place. I won't need mining barge IV to fly a Heavy Assault Ship for an example that makes no sense.  However, some things I could fly now if I plugged in the skill book and I will have to learn other things to fly it once the changes come in.

The biggest of these changes that stuck out to me were the ones for command ships.  The entire progression path is being somewhat rewritten when it comes to the skills that will be needed.  Because of this, I am running my characters into the skill so that it is out of the way.  Some may say 'why fly a command ship without boosting skills?'.  Because I don't lead fleets and most of my time in my command ship is spent killing red crosses.  They are good at that.

Will the price of Orca soar or plummet?  They are going from 49 days to train into to 17.  That will not be a 'good' Orca but it will be exactly what many people use them for.  A place between a hauler and a freighter.

The question became: Will we be able to train skills that we no longer have the prerequisite skills for due to the changes.  If I have Command Ship I before the expansion, when the expansion hits I cannot train Command Ship II without the prerequisite skills.


From CCP Ytterbium:


Just to clarify one valid question.

Even if the prerequisites change, you can still fly the ship as long as you had the main skill before the overhaul. This is not in question here.
However, if the prerequisites change, you cannot train the skill until the new prerequisites are met.
Ex:
You have Amarr Freighter 1 after the change but not Advanced Spaceship Command 5. You can still fly the Providence, but not train Amarr Freighter past 1 until you have Advanced Spaceship Command 5 trained.
We are considering changing this so you can still train the skill even after the prerequisites are changed, we'll keep you posted as soon we have an answer.
I didn't notice when the answer hit because I've been doing other things.

From CCP Ytterbium:
Alrigh folks, good news.
We'll change the way training works so that you can still train the skills you have after change, even if you don't meet the prerequisite anymore.
Ex:
You have Amarr Freighter 1 after the change but not Advanced Spaceship Command 5. You can still fly the Providence and you will now still be able to train Amarr Freighter past 1 as long as you have the skill injected.

Hope that's clear - trying my very best
This is very good news.  It will make life more interesting for people who have been podded and lose skills.  Also, it means that cramming the skills that will be changing into ones head before the summer expansion is a sensible thing to do.   I will be fitting all sorts of things into characters that I have no interest in flying now but may want to fly later without training a new set of skills

2 comments:

  1. The command ships may be a good solo ship now, but from the Dev Blogs it looks like soon it will be more specialized to do more, well, commanding. Of course now I can’t find the blog in question. But there was the whole thing about changing how links work so there were three levels of command ship: fleet command, field command, and strategic cruiser. So I guess my warning for people (as much as a noob warning is worth) is that if someone rushes to get into a fleet command ship before the skills change because they want an awesome PVE solo ship then they shouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves barely capable of flying a ship meant to command a fleet instead (and which then sucks as a PVE solo ship).

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    1. That's Fozzie and in the thread hr said he ESS pretty happy with them and wanted them more viable on field with links but wasn't planning to Nerf them useless. People wont use them if all they can do is throw links ob grid. I'm going to be objectively hopeful.

      I will wail and gnash my teeth if he Nerf bats them. However commandship the skill not the ships is a super short train from battle cruiser V.

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