Monday, July 29, 2013

Want Not for Waiting

With a roaring scream a beam of searing golden light burst down from above and illuminated my body. The intensity was such that every vein stood out in stark contrast against the radiance of my skin. For a moment, the beat of my heart echoed as a thousand angels raised their voice in sweet chorus to my achievement. Power flowed through me, crackling beams of electricity that arched into the air to sear the very fabric of reality around me...
My internal view of my skill point achievement and the actual, visual ones are a bit different I guess. Over the weekend, I finished Advanced Weapons Upgrades V. It is a x6 train and took most of the month to chew through. I had tossed it into my queue at the start of the month when I was away from the game for a few days. I used that momentum to  keep going.

I have stacks and stacks of skills to learn. My short trains tend to be a week long. While they do not feel long, knowing I can't fit certain doctrines causes frustration at that week. I often need or want a skill right now. My magical talent is that whatever I learn is no longer going to be called for for a few months if ever again.

When I complain about being a dog chasing its tail in regards to reaching or finishing certain skills it may sound as if I think I have no other place in a fleet. That is not true. I note the chase of the skill to point out that for most players, the first several years of playing Eve will be a skill point chase. On one hand I have a set of amazing abilities. I have T2 large blasters and large projectiles in both close range and distance. I have the ability to T2 tank ships, fly a range of maxed hulls and for the most part I can always bring something solid to a fleet.

On the other hand, the doctrine dreamers flow with the changes to the game itself and the game is in a current, constant state of change. With the hand of re-balance flowing across all of the ships in the game, players like myself not new and not old are the hardest caught in the change when it comes to flexibility. Eve is about specialization but small gang work is about flexibility. While some small gangs may only fly armor tanked Guardian supported fleets, others use flexibility to their advantage to surmount the basic disadvantage of being a small gang inside of a game of numbers.

But flexibility is painful to achieve. It is an eventual goal but it clearly shows that Eve is a game of time. Doctrines spawn and fade away, leaving middle ground members lost amidst a maelstrom of choices where every path has potential and every choice may not be called upon for weeks or months. Drones or lasers next? I've opted for drones, tentatively, because they have the maximum spread of efficiency across all of my fits.

Of late I have read two forum posts that focus on the wait for skill points and the frustration of a new player. One has the ground work for a transcendence to ranting immortality. The other is smug arrogance wrapped up in a three week old package. Both speak of the same concern that is spread across many new players to Eve. The wait for skill points.

Advanced Weapons Upgrade V is an amazing skill that will unlock a lot of fits for me. This unlocking effect does not grant my access to things I did not have before. It improves my effective abilities and efficiency with various things. Such as fitting a full rack of Neutron Blaster Cannons on my Talos without sacrificing anything else. Eve players spend a lot of time focusing on the small, fine numbers that their vocal focus is so loud that it drowns other things out.

You are not useless with fewer skill points. When AWU V completed, I was not filled with vast amounts of energy as a new power source was tapped into and my potential expanded. I felt as if I should be because it is a useful skill and a celebrated skill but the difference is still specialized.

Normally, when discussing skill points new players are counselled to patience and reminded that they have a place. I agree with that. If one hinges their entire game upon the smooth voice of Aura calling out completed skill points, it's going to be a long, long time stuck in the station. Which would be very, very silly.

7 comments:

  1. Good points - but were you one of the voices speaking of not undocking ships until you could "properly" fly them? I'm guessing that's IV or V in the skill (plus supports). I'm taking that as IV for most ships about now, except for the ones that unlock more options. But then, I'm largely about exploring new options.

    T2 Large weapons though... mm... tempting long haul.

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    1. I believe in waiting for some things in PvP because of effectiveness. Like battleships. With the cost and knowledge needed bouncing into them early is foolish IMO.

      But people argue over frigates and cruisers as well. This is a rather old point in that people become obsessed over skill training at the cost of playing.

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  2. As a fleet commander it's important to either expect your pilots to be fully effective in their chosen hulls, or to know that they aren't.
    It may sound cynical, but once upon a time when I was running a lot of fleets that were open to groups outside of my inner circle, I had a strict personal policy of not counting unknown pilots in my fleets for purposes of threat assessment.
    Even now there are certain pilots that simply do not count when I am calculating whether or not we can take an engagement.

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    1. Aye. But at the same time as a FC you would ask ppl who you did not know where they were or how fit. I'll see if I can complete this posts thought on this subject.

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  3. Oh god, that link to that new player asking about pvp.

    A "16 year old twitch kid" is now apart of your universe. Except I'm 23, learn games with ease and do not limit myself by server restrictions.

    That's just pure comedy gold.

    As for your actual post, very recognizable as a 58M SP main. Especially now that I've switched from a gallente lovers corp to a minmatar lovers corp. What tornado's? you actually fly those? crap, guess it's time to train large projectiles.

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  4. I think that knowledge and skill points are interlinked when it comes to pvp, a new player a month old could kill my Merlin in a Condor if they can keep range, where as two month old pilots in rifters couldn't kill it before dying to my superior skills. There is no fast route to winning in EVE to a certain extent I think that you need to study how to play, experiment and train up skills before you get anywhere.

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  5. The long haul on skills with no real payoff to your character are the hardest. I currently have Cyno Theory IV and need to make the 20 day trek to get Cyno V. I don't magically become a better pilot just because I spent 20 days training on skill level, I don't move any faster, shoot any harder, tank any better, etc.

    When I'm done I'll be able to light a covert cyno. That's it.

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