Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Detour With Training

Eve online varies greatly from other in games in one major point which is the skill system.  With the kind of system that Eve employs being a real time training process, there is no reward for playing Eve more or less.  Normally this kind of a system does not work because time is precious and people don't want to wait for a skill to train in real time.  To add to that, when you start the game you can't just fly any ship or even use your current ship all that well.  To become perfect in any one skill takes at least a few days and if you try for one of the high end skills you could be waiting several months.  I believe CCP chose this model of "leveling" to eliminate the grind that comes from other games of forcing yourself to get to the next level.  While the skills have a set time which you can affect by implants or attribute changes it is still a set time.  The key to this model is that people are allowed to focus on what they can do instead of grinding to the next level.

This is where everything falls apart, because people want to be the best or do not want to do things sub-par they end up not playing the game and doing things which their current skills enable.  But end up waiting for the next skill in line.  The issue with this is that if you came late to the party, for example I started in mid 2012 and Eve was released in 2003, you are way behind compared to everyone else.  I have several friends right now who seem to just play skill queue online.  While this is understandable due to real life commitments it becomes more curious when they pay a monthly fee to just update skills but never actually play the game.  There are always more skills to train and for a new-comer this can be pretty daunting at first.

My current skill plan is following the intelligence-memory route and should be finished in approximately two months.  While still planning on finishing this, something came up that detoured my training into some combat skills.  With some planning I figured the minimum time I would need to train before my attributes and implants made things too long come to about three days.  Wanting to try something new I decided to change my skill training for three days and then get back on to my original plan.  Now with the skills that I am going to train most will be level 1 or level 3.  I'm not going to be able to dominate or even do what I'm trying particularly well.  But it's a new thought I had which could result in some interesting situations.

Time begins to play a big role in what you choose to train, and because you can change attributes and plug in implants that will raise attributes you can train things faster.  While this may not appear to affect the lower level skills too much when you start to specialize it can shave off weeks or months of training time.  This is why my detour is only three days and I won't be really any good at using missiles.  If I had decided to go all out to become better at missiles without changing my attributes it would have taken me 47 days, I could shave off 13 days by adjusting attributes.  But you can only remap your attributes once a year which requires you to plan ahead and determine what you want ahead of time.

So if there is a skill or something you want to try but can't, look to see what the minimum requirements will be and then go from there.  Start doing what you want now instead of waiting to play the game later.  Just make sure you can always cover your expenses.

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