My Most Elite EVE Online Certificate

Certificates.

In EVE Online, certificates are something between an achievement, a diploma, and a tool.  As CCP puts it:

Certificates are a tool for EVE pilots to allow them to, at a glance, identify which skills or set of skills are recommended for a ship, item or activity the certificate is associated with. They allow for easier skill planning and help pilots to keep tabs on what skill sets they already possess. Pilots may also choose to allow anyone to view their certificates on their character sheet so no one can doubt their ability and the skills they possess.

In theory, certificates should thus be a way for a pilot to see if he has the skills required for a given ship.

For example, due to there being a new fleet doctrine in the CFC, I have been training up to fly the Oneiros, the Gallente logistics cruiser.  It is the armor repair version of the Minmatar Scimitar.  Why CCP chose to use the term “logistics” for repairs, I have no idea.  They seem to use the term differently elsewhere.  Still not exactly correctly to my mind, but whatever.  Anyway, training for the Oneiros will let me play “space priest” and heal in the new fleet doctrine.

Towards that end I dropped 200 million ISK on an Oneiros with the required fittings for the fleet.  In the information about the ship, it shows the recommended certificates if one is thinking of flying it.

OneirosCerts

Standard level Core Competency, Logistics Chief, and Armor Tanking certificates are shown.

Now, if I were designing this window, I might show the user what level they have attained.  For example, I have the elite certificate… the levels are basic, standard, improved, and elite… in Core Competency, which is related to capacitor and energy management… so why not just call it that, right?  Go see my comment above about logistics.

I also have standard certificates in the other two and thus should be well on my way to flying the ship.  Of course, then there is the prerequisites tab, which shows the actual skills I need to just fly the ship.

OneirosSkills

That is a little more detailed and, in many ways, unrelated to the recommended certificates.  And it also shows me which skills I have already via the green check mark.  I look to be set for the Oneiros, don’t I?

Except, you will note above, I said I was “training” and not “done training.”  This is because of the ship’s fittings, which are sort of touched on by the recommended certificates and completely ignored by prerequisites, but which are required for the ship to be of any use.  I am still working on a skill in that regard related to armor maintenance bots, which are, in fact, logistics drones, but which everybody seems to call repair drones or repair bots.

Seriously CCP?

Anyway, to me this illustrates how certificates are less of a tool… having the recommended ones helped a bit I suppose… and more of a diploma, a method to recognize that not only have you trained up a pile of skill points, but that you have trained them in specific areas.  Though, even that isn’t as instructional as one my hope.

I have, as noted above, the standard certificate for Logistics Chief.  I looked to see what it would take to get the elite certificate. (There is, for some reason, no “improved” certificate for Logistics Chief.)  This is what the certificate planner shows me:

LogisticsChiefElite

Shield emission systems I have covered.  Remote armor repair systems I will have covered soon.  I only stopped on that when I realized I couldn’t use the repair drones I had.  And then there is energy emission systems, which involves the transfer of capacitor energy from one ship to another, and which is not used in any of our subcap fleet doctrines currently, and so I am unlikely to bother training it.  Thus I remain with the standard certificate.

All of which is a round about way to lead up to another one of my elite certificates, which is for hull tanking.

HullTankingElite

The description for this certificate reads:

This certificate represents an elite level of competence in the infamous practice of “hull tanking”. It certifies that the holder can fully use all modules relating to hull tanking. The holder is aware that “real men hull tank”, and also that hull tanking is really dumb. With this certificate, you’ve maximized your ability to rely on your structural systems to absorb damage, although hopefully you’re smart enough to know what a daft idea that is.

Which sounds a lot more like an achievement than a tool or a diploma.  Which makes me wonder if CCP really knew what they wanted with this feature in the first place.

Of course, a random, half-baked, over-complicated feature tossed into the game and left to stew for  a few years… that sounds like the standard CCP process.

They probably have a certificate for achieving that.

13 thoughts on “My Most Elite EVE Online Certificate

  1. City Dweller

    The certificate planner has always seemed to be archaic to me. It does seem to be a way to track milestone training achievements, but, as you stated, the certificate doesn’t nearly reflect all of the book skills required to competently pilot the ships.

    It will also be VERY outdated when the new skill tree with racial destroyers and battlecruisers are introduced. Armor, shield and e-war and navigation certificates should also be updated to reflect the new skills in those categories.

    Its unlikely that CCP gave any thought to that.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @CD – There is a lot not to like about Certificates and the Certificate Planner. Things I didn’t bring up in this post:

    -Why do certificates have what is essentially their own tool?
    -Why do I have to open the tool in order to “claim” certificates?
    -Why do I have to claim certificates at all?
    -Why is the display of certificates chopped up into both type (defenses, gunnery, harvesting, etc.) AND rating (none, basic, standard, improved, and elite)?

    One of the hints about the thought process that went into the feature is how detailed the controls over what certificates you want to display is. I think certificates were really supposed to be something like achievements in their own way, an way to display your skill point prowess, probably as a tool for corp recruiting.

    But corps just ask for you API, and the API has been redone and made more detailed and flexible since certificates came out. So it all seems like a feature that really needs to find its purpose.

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  3. Mekhios

    Certs tend to be an annoying side effect of training for an EFT fit or an EVEmon fit. Many useful skills are not even included in many certs. As City Dweller said they are outdated and most people ignore them anyway. They may serve a limited use to help new players.

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  4. Coppertopper

    I’ll just add as a non-eve player, skipped the pics and skimmed the 1st sentence of every paragraph but nothing here for me. FYI I might add…

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  5. Mekhios

    I think Coppertopper is a spambot. They seem to be infesting blogs at the moment. Syncaine’s blog has also been afflicted with spambots recently.

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  6. pkudude99

    I thought I had the Elite Logistics one, so I had to go look. My my, has it really been 536 days since I last logged in to EVE? Dang . . .

    But yeah, I actually do have it. I got the Energy part of the cert since I was initially flying Basilisk and it was a giant help to have the Energy transfers when doing that so as to make the energy web work better. Of course, I’d swapped to Scimitar by the time I quit and thus it was a “wasted” skill at that point, but such is life.

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  7. Aufero

    I guess they’re decent guidelines for new players who haven’t a clue, but I look at the skill requirements for some of the elite certificates and think “why the hell would I ever train that to level 5?” (Tactical Shield Manipulation comes to mind. 18 days for the last level of a skill that’s of dubious value and doesn’t enable anything past level 4? No, thanks.)

    Eve is a minefield of half-finished projects with forgotten rationales behind them. In a way, it adds to the sense of realism.

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  8. Stabs

    I think they’re very useful for new players bewildered by the Eve skill system. I also think that it’s intended that they should be outgrown.

    In many ways it’s like DDO or Daggerfall where they had designed classes and custom skill paths/classes – the veterans always went for custom min/max builds.

    I remember certs coming in about the time I started playing – and I preferred to do my own fine tuning even then.

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  9. mbp

    Wait a minute. You are the proud owner of an ELITE hull tanking certificate? How many days/ weeks/ months of skill training does that represent and why on earth did you pursue it? Was is a collector urge or was there some dim distant time when Hull tanking was actually viable? (I don’t think so but I could be wrong. People have certainly been making jokes about hull tanking as long as I have been playing the game)

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  10. Anonymouse

    Certificates were just one of many attempts by CCP to “fix” the NPE.

    However, since the certificate requirements were obviously designed by a dev who doesn’t actually play the game, they are worse than useless in helping a new player through the chaos that is the EVE Online skill training system.

    If you use the certificates as your only guide, you’ll find that you actually won’t be skilled properly to competently engage in any in-game activity – PVP, PVE, mining, manufacturing, etc.

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  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @mbp – As it turns out, the module for hull repair (silly) and the modules for armor repair (viable) share a lot of the same skills. You also need some skills that go into capacitor management and shield tanking.

    I never spent a second training for the hull tanking certificate on purpose. I just happened to end up with the right set of skills. But at 93 million skill points, that is starting to happen a lot for just about anything below a capital ship.

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  12. The Guy with the Thing

    Best thing I use Certificates for is finding that “oh yeah” skill… I look around at the certs, and see what I’m missing to complete one… and “oh yeah” I really should take that X skill I’ve been skipping for months.

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