More plans for skill training and certificates

13th January 2009 – 10.29 am

My first mission back as a lone capsuleer in high-sec goes smoothly, even though I find I need to relearn some aspects of combat, so I hassle my agent for more work. In-between picking up missions, blowing up everything in a deadspace pocket and salvaging dozens of wrecks I examine the certificate planner again. I may have set a skill training that will take a week to complete but there are a vast number of skills available to learn and different ranks in the skill make different certificates available. It is no longer the case of learning a skill until the time/reward benefit of learning it becomes too great, or learning it purely as a pre-requisite to another desired skill. Simply being awarded certificates offers a third reason to learn a skill.

When I first poked around EVE Online's in-game certificate system I was only really looking for certificates that I thought were pertinent to my immediate aims in the game, looking to be awarded some quick certificates for a minimal time investment. I looked at passive and active shield tanking, along with missile control certificates, all because I was piloting shield tanking missile boats. This was good in a way, as it gave me a reason to use the certificate planner without it being an overwhelming or confusing experience. That the planner is also nicely constructed and laid out is a good help, with a hyper-linked interface for simple browsing. Having gone back to the planner several times now I am finding even more useful information.

For a start, I find that I am lacking in some core competencies, nearly all of them in fact. I don't have the complete skills to be awarded the basic level core competency certificate, and no core skills are at the standard level. Even if it is arguable whether I will make direct use of them all they are called 'core competencies' for a reason and there are a few, particularly the core capacitor skills, that would be useful to train.

I also take some time to read the text that is presented along with each certificate. Rather than being some corporate nonsense blurb that can be ignored the text tries to offer useful reasons why a capsuleer would want to be awarded the certificate, such as if you are a Minmatar or Caldari pilot flying a cruiser, for example. The certificate may even highlight which ships are ideally suited for a capsuleer awarded the certificate, letting you catch up on some vital training you may have missed or learn some new skills in advance of a future purchase. It's all rather handy.

With my time spent looking through the certificate planner I find I have another dozen or so skills I would quite like to improve. I may have a skill in training for a week but learning skills is never that simple. Because the skills are learnt in real-time, and the time needed to learn skills can vary between a few minutes and a few weeks, it is important to be conscious of your own schedule when planning skill training. I make note of which skills will take longer than eighteen hours to learn and which don't, where the former can be left to train overnight and whilst I am at work and the latter are better learnt during sessions I am in New Eden.

Even if a skill takes eight hours, which is too long for a single session, I can set it to train for a few hours one evening, change to a longer skill overnight and learn the rest of the first skill during another session. Using this method I can pick up new skills relatively quickly whilst also making substantial progress in the skills that take much longer to learn. I just need to make sure I keep on top of what I am learning and how long it will take.

After all this poking around the certificate planner and making plans to learn just about every skill in my character sheet I give myself one last task for the night. I realise that training takes quite some time and that the time can be reduced if my abilities are increased. Increasing abilities is unsurprisingly difficult and I already have my learning skills, which boost ability scores, at their optimum levels. However, another way to boost abilities is through implants.

With quite a few level three missions completed I was previously getting storyline missions granting implants as quest rewards. Unfortunately, I lost my +2 implants when I thrust my Drake in to a gate camp. My pod death slowed down skill training a little as I only bought +1 implants as replacements, as implants are expensive on the market. But with a healthy wallet that isn't being put to use I think it's time to treat myself. After a bit of procrastination about spending so much ISK I buy almost a complete set of +3 implants, only leaving out the social set for now.

With the new implants plugged in the decrease in learning time is noticable and probably worth spending almost thirty million ISK. I had best continue running missions to replenish my ISK reserves quickly, as I'm feeling a bit dizzy from spending so much.

  1. One Response to “More plans for skill training and certificates”

  2. The long-term benefit of certs sorta became apparent well after they were introduced and people stopped being so overly-critical of them.

    Skill training in EVE really is a skill in and of itself.

    By PsycheDiver on Jan 13, 2009

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