Skills progress versus ISK accumulation

3rd August 2009 – 5.56 pm

When it comes to replacing my Sleeper-destroyed Drake battlecruiser my instinct is simply to get a new Drake. After all, I've been piloting a Drake for months now, and it is comfortable, reliable and manageable. I like to think I know what I am doing in a Drake. But with the profits from my industrial efforts and the new wormhole expeditions it looks affordable for me to invest in a battleship, with the deadly silhouette of a Raven being a natural progression from the smaller Drake. As most of the damage both inflicted to and received from Sleepers in the wormhole comes from those engineers flying battleships it is perhaps time to upgrade. But I still pause to consider my options.

I remember my initial progress in New Eden, starting out in a frigate before getting excited about being able to afford training for flying a cruiser, and then the cruiser itself. It isn't long before I train in all the new ships my piloting skills gives me access to, learning how to fly destroyers, battlecruisers and even battleships at such an early point in my career in the Navy. My only disappointment is seeing the cost of battleships and wondering why I am able to gain the skills at a rate that far exceeds my ISK accumulation. I quickly find myself saving up for my first battleship, until I get distracted by wanting to join a corporation.

It is only later that I realise throwing myself in to a battleship would have been a mistake, made more evident with the introduction of EVE Online's certificate system. Whilst it is true I trained in the relevant starship skills until I had the requisite ones to pilot a Raven it was at the expense of neglecting other skills. The obvious skills overlooked—at least, they are obvious now—consist mostly of what are deemed core competency skills in the certificate system. Without sufficient core skills any capsuleer would struggle to achieve adequate performance from the capacitor, CPU and power grid from such a demanding ship, which is vital in being able to fit appropriate modules for defensive and attacking capabilities.

And it's not just core skills that are important, because fitting and using the modules that turn a ship from a naked hull in to an effective tool also require skills to be trained. Without training in the appropriate weapons, shields, armour, electronics, mechanics, drone and engineering skills, a new battleship could be reduced to being little more than a sturdier cruiser, because of substandard fittings, instead of a potent weapon of destruction. In turn, this could lead to the loss of the battleship from being overconfident about the ship's inherent abilities, instead of taking time to bolster them with the capsuleer's own skills.

Even now I am finding new skills that would benefit piloting my battlecruiser, partly because of my previous diversifications in to EWAR for PvP and then industry. Some of the skills simply need to be learnt from level four to five for maximum benefit of the available system capabilities, others make use of the ship's rôle bonuses to be more effective in combat or as part of a fleet. It seems preferable to become a competent, if not expert, battlecruiser pilot first so that when I am training the secondary skills necessary to fly a battleship effectively I can simultaneously put my learnt battlecruiser skills to active use as part of a fleet. And once I have learnt all the necessary skills I can make the transition to battleship pilot more fluidly. So, for now, I shall continue to pilot my trusty Drake.

Even though it first seemed to be that skill training times are quicker than ISK accumulation I find it is more an illusion based on ignorance of relevant skills. In reality, unless a capsuleer is heavily specialised, the relationship between skill training times and ISK is the other way around, and there exists a potentially deadly temptation to move as swiftly as possible to bigger hulls. It is important to understand the utility of the core competency skills, as well as all of the secondary skills that are used as part of fitting a ship effectively. EVE Online's certificate system can help guide inexperienced capsuleers in to training important skills that not only prepare the pilot better for future ships but can also make the current ship more capable.

  1. 3 Responses to “Skills progress versus ISK accumulation”

  2. Or, to stay in a smaller hull, maybe I'll cross-train for a Damnation command ship.

    I hear they are made in the Uttoxeter region.

    By pjharvey on Aug 3, 2009

  3. You've reached a conclusion that, to this day, manages to escape the vast majority of pilots in the universe. All to often they rush headlong into a battleship at the expense of core fitting and support skills. They end up squeezing and squirming to fit modules and making those decisions based not on what is best, but instead on what will fit. Often if you see more than one piece of "helper" equipment [PDC, RCU, CPUs etc]on a fit, it's a sign that the pilot doesn't have the skills to fly without it.

    On a person note, I'm proud that you think a battlecruiser is still a good idea. I would feel awful lonely. I've got about two more weeks of science skills and then it's off to more support skills.

    By Kename Fin on Aug 4, 2009

  4. I'm happy to continue piloting battlecruisers and similar hulls. If nothing else, I can't have my charge flying solo.

    By pjharvey on Aug 5, 2009

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