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One Hundred and Thirty Million Skill Points October 13, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I missed the big battle at CCP-US, where we traded a titan for 60 dreadnoughts, and the pipe-boming fiasco of Sunday afternoon, so all I really have at the end of the weekend is another round number to write about.  I have hit another meaningless milestone in the eternal quest for skill points in EVE Online.

I think the skill point thing was perhaps one of the best moves CCP made in designing EVE Online.  It is practically money in the bank, as some people will stay subscribed for ages because they are making progress on that front, even if they aren’t really playing.  And with the new limitless skill queue coming… money.

Anyway, the milestones so far, which act sort of my progress chart through New Eden as I have bounced from one thing to another over the years:

The pattern of milestones is a bit odd, though that too reflects to a certain respect my engagement with the game.  And, of course, I never hit 100 million skill points because CCP broke out Battlecruisers and Destroyers into racial skill with the Odyssey expansion, giving those of us who had them trained to five an instant boost of about six million skill points.  That jumped me from around 99 million to 105 million skill points, and spared you all one of these numbers blog posts.

Anyway, here we are at the next round number and here are how my skill point distribution stands.  Those categories marked with an asterisk changed since the last milestone, so that is where my training time went, while the numbers in parenthesis show how many skills out of the total number I have for each category.

Spaceship Cmd   35,466,680 (42 of 67)*
Gunnery         13,915,745 (36 of 39)*
Missiles        10,311,505 (21 of 24)*
Navigation       9,362,039 (12 of 13)*
Drones           9,309,104 (17 of 20)*
Leadership       8,507,855 (13 of 14)*
Armor            6,899,137 (14 of 14)*
Engineering      5,748,120 (12 of 14)*
Shields          5,643,314 (11 of 12)
Resc Processing  4,569,908 (22 of 28)
Science          4,408,426 (21 of 39)
Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 13)
Electronic Sys   2,458,519 (6 of 15)
Targeting        1,521,805 (8 of 8)*
Scanning         1,412,995 (7 of 7)*
Neural Enhance.  1,384,785 (5 of 8)*
Subsystems       1,320,000 (10 of 20)
Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12)
Corp Mgmt        1,108,784 (4 of 7)
Social             943,765 (5 of 9)
Planet Mgmt        769,335 (5 of 5)
Rigging            580,275 (10 of 10)*

Total         ~130,000,000 (295 of 398)

I am clearly guilty of trying to have one character do everything over the years.  I will recycle, once again, Jester’s skill point chart that gives a general view of the whole.

Skill Points Mapped Out

Skill Points Mapped Out

There are, as always, chunks of training time spent around optimizing for fleet doctrines.  But far and away the majority of my training time over the last cycle has been devoted to Leadership skills, with more than 6.1 million skill points accrued.

This was due to me decision back in June to train to be a fleet booster.  Getting Leadership maxed out, which means all the way up to the Fleet Commander V skill, has been described as a year-long process that you just have to buckle down and dedicate your training to.  Certainly there are not a lot of happy, useful mid-points, at least not in our fleet doctrines.  You have to have a lot of level V skills to take on the role.  My first plateau, the point at which I might actually be useful, will probably come by the end of this year, at which point I will Wing Command V and the appropriate Warefare Link specialist roles trained up, along with the Command Ships skill, so that I can fly the Damnation command ship as an on-grid wing booster in Baltec fleets.

Damnation in a POS

Damnation in a POS

Let’s hope Baltec fleet is still a doctrine by then.  Given that leadership is shown as ~12 million skill points over all, my next milestone will no doubt feature mostly an increase in that category again.

All told, my character knows 295 different skills, up from 283 at the last milestone.

Level 1  - 4
Level 2  - 23 
Level 3  - 48
Level 4  - 71 
Level 5  - 149

Only four of the new skills were in the Leadership category, while another four went into Rigging, while the final four were in Targeting where I discovered I was missing the racial sensor compensation skills.  That discovery was largely because of the skill review at the 120 million skill point level, so I suppose these milestones are not entirely meaningless.

At the end of these posts I have traditionally put in a calculation about how far I am from flying a Titan.  Way back in time that tended to be a hilariously large number, to the point of seeming unlikely to ever come about.  As time has marched forward, I have managed to edge closer and closer to that ability, to the point that I last reported that I was about 50 days of training shy of being able to fly (but not fully equip) a Titan.  49 out of those 50 days were tied up in Capital Ships V, something I am unlikely to be training in the near future.  And so that number seemed to be static.

However, in the CFC, we have a utility that shows you where you stand on your skill progression if you want to fly in one of the capital fleets.  This shows you what skills you are missing and the minimum training level that the CFC will accept, so I can now list out how long it will take me to fly a fully operation titan.  In this case, the shortest path is to a Ragnarok, the Minmatar titan. (See its doomsday weapon in action. Not a super laser like the Avatar or Erebus.)

Free wheeling Ragnarok

Free wheeling Ragnarok outside the POS

This is largely due to the fact that I have trained up the skills to fly the Minmatar Naglfar dreadnought, and the capital ship level weapons skills apply in both cases.  The training plan to fly this beast looks like this:

1. Capital Ships V
2. Astrometrics V
3. Jump Portal Generation I
4. Jump Portal Generation II
5. Jump Portal Generation III
6. Energy Pulse Weapons II
7. Energy Pulse Weapons III
8. Energy Pulse Weapons IV
9. Energy Pulse Weapons V
10. Doomsday Operation I
11. Doomsday Operation II
12. Doomsday Operation III
13. Doomsday Operation IV
14. Minmatar Titan I
15. Minmatar Titan II
16. Minmatar Titan III
17. Minmatar Titan IV

According to EVE Mon, that is 6 unique skills, 17 skill levels, with a total time training time of 130 days, 17 hours, 44 minutes, 40 seconds.  The training time number was generated when I was in a clone without implants, and my attributes are sub-optimal, so I could cut that time down some if I so desired.  Any of the other titans would add another two days to the training time, which isn’t very significant.

Meanwhile, if I went the super carrier route, I could be flying an Aeon in about 105 days, thanks to the Amarr carrier skills I trained up for the Archon.

The Aeon looks half finished

The Aeon looks half finished

Of course, this is just an amusing numbers exercise.  I won’t be flying either a titan or a super carrier in the foreseeable future.  In part, that is because I do not have the patience to actually earn enough ISK to buy either class of ship.  I would be stretched to fork out the 3 billion ISK required for the Naglfar I have already trained to fly.  But mostly it is because titans and avatars pretty much require you to dedicate a character full time to them.  There is no docking up and swapping ships.  Once you are in your giant space coffin, you are stuck with it.

So, while an amusing metric, super capitals aren’t really a goal for me.

Anyway, off for the 140 million mark.  At least I don’t have to upgrade my clone until the 150 million mark.  Maybe I will be “done” training by then.

Sometimes you can even catch me in high sec buying skills or just sitting in my training implants clone.

New Eden Alt Creation Becomes Easy with Phoebe October 10, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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CCP put up a dev blog listing out what will be in the next expansion, Phoebe.

And while there are many tasty tidbits to digest on that list… including the whole jump drive nerf, which has gotten some alterations based on feedback… the one stunner for me is CCP removing the limit from the training queue.

You will be able to pile up as many skills as you want in your training queue.

Training queue to infinity...

Training queue to infinity…

Some people may never have to log in again.  I cannot tell if this is truly awesome or horrifying.  I know I like it, though you do have to wonder what eventually changed CCP’s mind on this.

And being able to identify a bitter vet will eventually go from those of us who remember when there was no queue to those of us who remember when the queue was only 24 hours long.  We have had the 24 hour skill queue for more than five years now.  It came in with Apocrypha back in 2009… along with a lot of other stuff.  Look at the list on that link.  Wormholes.  Ship fitting windows.  Blue lasers for ice mining.  Damn, we take for granted these days.

It isn’t the be all, end all of course.  Unless you can inject and queue skills that you cannot yet train, there will have to be some logging in now and again.  But it looks like I will be able to load up the remainder of my fleet booster training plan and let it ride after Phoebe drops on November 4th.

Makes me want to create another alt… which I am going to guess is part of what changed CCP’s mind.

 

Boosters Must go to Five June 27, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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One of the things I always shoot for is to be useful when it comes to fleet ops.

That started off with making sure I could fly ships appropriate to the fleet doctrines in use.  Way back when it was Maelstroms, then Drakes, then Tengus, then Megathrons, and then Dominxes for a short bit when drone assist ruled the world and crashed nodes.   More recently we have gone to Apocs.

There has been some catch up for me to do as things have changed.  I needed some training for the Maelstrom fit, but we were all shield tanks back then and I was pretty well covered on that front.  Later we changed to armor tanks and I had some training to do.  And weapons have changed along the way, missiles, arty, rails, and blasters have all shown up at one time or another.  Recently, with the Apocalypse fit, lasers finally made it back and I was able to train up there, closing what I think might be the last gap I had in gunnery.

Once caught up on the main ship of the current doctrine, I have tended to train some of the support ships, starting with logtistics.  While it is not a role I really enjoy flying… the pet peeves of a logistics pilot are manifold, and everybody loves logistics at exactly two moments during a fleet op, when we save their ass and when there are enough of us in fleet that the FC shuts up about not having enough logistics, otherwise we’re invisible… I fill in when we are short.   Having finally picked up Amarr cruiser V a few weeks back, which got me the Guardian, I can now fly the tech II logistics cruiser for all four empires and am pretty close to max skills there.

The Guardian!

The Guardian!

So what is next?

Boosting ships have recently been much in demand.

Well, they have always been in demand, but of late we seem to be very short on pilots willing and able to fly boosting ships, which run the warfare links that increase the performance of all the ships in their fleet wing.  But of late the situation has gotten a bit more desperate.  There is one FC paying people to fly booster ships in his fleet, while the other night Reagalan posted a lower skill boosting fit in fleet, asking people to fly that as it was better than nothing.

So I decided to take the plunge and start training up to fly a boosting ship.

The problem is that even Reagalan’s lower skill, battlecruiser based boosting fit required a lot of level 5 skills under leadership, which is a problem.

It is a problem for the obvious reason, in that level 5 skills take a long time to train, and it is a problem in that people tend to optimize their character attributes, which directly affect training time for skills, towards combat related skills.

Or at least I was so optimized.  I trained spaceship command or gunnery skills at a fast rate, at the expense of skills in categories like social, trade, or leadership.  But most of those fleet boosting skills… or most of the ones I am missing… those fall under leadership.  And they trained hella slow with my attributes set as such.  So I used my yearly attribute reset and… well, I couldn’t bring myself to optimize for leadership and such.  There was only eight months of training at the slow setting.  But I flattened out my attributes, so I am only optimized for mediocrity in whatever I train for the next year.

So the plan, listing out only the level 5 skills I need, is:

  • Warfare Link Specialist V (need that for the Command Processor)
  • Skirmish Warfare V
  • Skirmish Warfare Specialist V
  • Armored Warfare V
  • Armored Warfare Specialist V
  • Siege Warfare V
  • Siege Warfare  Specialist V
  • Wing Command V

That lot will take me 191 days in a clone without implants.  I will shave some time from that by spending off days in my high sec clone that is fitted with +4 implants.  And Wing Command V is icing.  I could shave 40 days off the plan by just skipping that, but I want that in the long term.  I will probably push it out some, as after I finish up the rest, I still have a bit of training on the ship side of things to firm up the fits.  One of them requires a Legion as the hull, which I cannot fly as yet, though I am covered for the Tengu and Loki fits.  And could get into command ships in a day, though I understand that is like flying with a giant “shoot me first” sign on the side of your hull.

So that is my training plan for the balance of the year, which will move along at 1,800 skill points an hour without implants.  That will push my 130 million skill point post out a bit, though not as far as it would have been pushed if I trained all that without any remap.

Still, that should give me enough time to figure out what to do with a boosting ship once I have all the skills.

One Hundred and Twenty Million Skill Points April 7, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Months pass, seasons change, and suddenly I am at another round number with my main character in EVE Online.  You can see the timeline of round numbers so far:

At this point, coming up on 8 years of playing EVE Online… with a few breaks… and hitting a big number like 120 million, you might well feel like asking, “Are you through yet?”

Heh.  Ha ha ha!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oh my, no.  As far as I can tell, nobody has trained everything yet and there are people who at least claim to have been subscribed and training continuously since day one back in 2003.  By way of illustration, I am going to borrow a chart from Jester and his post about alts in EVE Online.

Skill Points Mapped Out

Skill Points Mapped Out

Those divisions are rough cuts, not exact counts.  You will note, for example, that I have 9 million SP in drones, 1.5 million more than the 7.5 million on the chart.  I have yet to train fighters or fighter bombers, which would count towards capital ships, and I still have a large amount I could train, at least for specializations.

But as a quick view of where skill points can be trained, and how many there are, the chart is a sufficient illustration.  It shows 270 million skill points possible, so I am not even half way towards being done.

Not that I would ever want to be done.  In capital ships especially, there are a lot of skills I wouldn’t bother with.  Why would I, as an example, ever train all four racial titan skills up to V?

Well, to be a completionist yet… but otherwise that seems like a silly (and expensive) venture.

Instead, as Jester put forth in another post, people tend to train into roles.  And that drives people to have second accounts, because if you want to perform two roles… especially early on… it is much easier and much quicker to divide your efforts and specialize.  I started off my second character that way, pushing him into industrial roles while my main trained subcap combat skills.

However, over time, they two characters have grown more similar.  When I got my alt out again about a year ago, I put him on the path to duplicate the combat skills of my main so that I could have two characters capable of flying fleet doctrine ships.  This was motivated by the fact that we now have staging points in four corners of the galaxy and I had been caught a couple of times with a fleet going up where I was not while my jump clone was still on cool down.  So now I have two characters that are becoming more and more focused on combat sub caps.

Anyway, 120 million skill points buys me a big chunk of that chart, but not all of it by any means.

Here is where my skills stand.  The numbers in parentheses represent the number of skills in that category, while the asterisk indicates if the point total for a category changed since the last round up post.

Spaceship Cmd   34,410,952 (41 of 67)*
Gunnery         12,753,934 (30 of 39)
Missiles        10,278,191 (20 of 24)
Navigation       9,323,289 (12 of 13)*
Drones           9,053,104 (16 of 20)
Armor            6,345,000 (14 of 14)*
Engineering      5,747,620 (11 of 14)*
Shields          5,643,314 (11 of 12)*
Resc Processing  4,569,908 (22 of 28)*
Science          4,408,426 (21 of 39)
Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 13)
Electronic Sys   2,458,519 (6 of 15)
Leadership       2,447,530 (9 of 14)
Subsystems       1,320,000 (10 of 20)
Scanning         1,301,230 (7 of 7)
Targeting        1,223,765 (4 of 8)*
Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12)
Neural Enhance.  1,162,510 (5 of 8)*
Corp Mgmt        1,108,784 (4 of 7)
Social             943,765 (5 of 9)
Planet Mgmt        769,335 (5 of 5)
Rigging            326,509 (6 of 10)*

Total         ~120,000,000 (283 of 398)

The category seeing the biggest change is probably armor.  This is because our fleet doctrines have moved from shield tanked ships… Caldari and Minmatar… to armor tanks ships… some Amarr, but mostly Gallente.  I realized that while I had the minimum skills for such ships, I had a long way to go towards being proficient, so a lot of training time has been spent filling in that gap.  Last time around I had rounded out gunnery.  Not sure where the big point increase will come next time.

The other boosts have largely been around capital ships.  I have a carrier that I needed some more skills for and I am now capable of flying a Naglfar dreadnought, though I haven’t actually purchased one yet.  I have a few more skills to train up in order to be able to join in cap fleet operations… plus I haven’t actually had my carrier out of the hangar since I bought it, so I am not inclined to invest heavily in another hangar queen.

Archon in 0P-F3K

It is still just sitting there

Of course, since I have been barely logging into EVE over the last month or two… or maybe three… I might need that carrier to haul my crap out of null sec when the corp decides to kick me for being a slacker.  I think my last fleet op was B-R5RB, though I did come out for corp day to mine ice.  Life in space.

Actual skills I have injected stands at 283 now, up from 260 previously.  Those break out as follows:

Level 1  - 9 
Level 2  - 14 
Level 3  - 53 
Level 4  - 69 
Level 5  - 138

The new skill are primarily capital ship or armor tanking related.  The 9 additional level 5 skills are all in armor tanking.  Those cover so many ships that they seemed like a good investment for the long term.

As for my long running measure, how far away am I from flying titan, that has not changed.  I noted last time that there were only four skills left to train:

  • Factional Titan Skill I (I could choose any one): 1 hour, 36 minutes
  • Jump Portal Generation I: 1 hour, 38 minutes
  • Astrometrics V: 12 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes
  • Capital Ships V:  49 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes

At this time there is not much to be gained by investing in any of those.

So that is where I stand.  The only other big change is that I had to upgrade to a higher level clone, so now it will cost me even more every time I get podded.  On the bright side, CCP cut the price of clones a while back, so the latest upgrade puts me back to about the same price range I was in before the cut.  It doesn’t make me happy… 30 million ISK on top of every death is annoying… but it is what it is.

 

A Postcard from the Imperial Academy Hangar January 10, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I haven’t done much in New Eden recently.  I have spent a lot of time in a high sec station that sells skills.

Somewhere in Amarr space

Somewhere in Amarr space

Some of it has been that I haven’t had the time to get in on fleet operations that have been going on in Curse since our redeployment back down there.  But more of it has been around the fact that I have a long list of things I want to do in World of Warcraft and it is frankly easier to log in and get busy on that list than it is to hang around hoping a fleet op will come up.  Accessibility wins for the moment I guess.  Plus my corp leader, El Supremo, has been slacking even more than I have.  I see him playing Farming Simulator 2013 on Steam some nights.

Still, things move along all the same, so I have a couple of items to bring up.

Naglfar Capable

I am finally fully skilled up to fly the Naglfar in CFC capital fleets.  Back when I started down that path, I put the timeline as ~20 days of training.  Of course, I ran into a couple of additional skills I needed along the way, but it only added a couple more days.

Now I just have to purchase one.  I have held off on that just in case there was another doctrine change and in hopes that Naglfar production will ramp up and there will be more choice at slightly lower prices.

Alts and Skill Points

Jester has been thinking on skill points and alts and the distribution of the skills we train and so on.  Good stuff.  Worth looking at just for the charts.  There are two posts so far:

And there is a promise of more.

Anyway, it got me thinking of my own approach to alts in EVE Online.  They always start out as an attempt to cover a segment of skills that my main does not have.  But over time I seem to aim my alts back at my main in order to let them act as a backup pilot in the same roles my main fills.  Meanwhile my main, now at 116 million skill points, tends to eventually pick up some portion of the role I was attempting to fill with the alt.

Right now I am only running a single alt, but his skill plan has been to try to catch up to all the subcap doctrine skills required for CFC fleet ops so I can be two places at once in space.  I have cloned jumped with my main on a couple of occasions only to have a fleet called and 16 hours left on the clock until I can jump to the start point.  So my alt is purely about operational flexibility at this point, allowing me to show up at one of our staging points able to fly.

Because Gevlon

The Greedy Goblin has found a new purpose in EVE Online.  A purpose is an essential part of sticking with a sandbox-like game.  This time Gevlon has decided to war on Goonswarm.  He has a declared a forever war against Goonswarm in high sec.  He also has a thread up about it in the official forums looking for allies.

Now the question is, how will this play out?

On the one hand, there is no shortage of hate for Goons.  At no time since the Goons appeared in the game have they lacked for some alliance opposed to them.  There is a whole EVE Online news site devoted to hating them.  So a “shoot Goons” platform seems like one for which there might be a line trying to get in, especially since it will be in high sec.

On the other hand there is Gevlon.  He is space famous.  In fact, he is probably more famous in game than many alliance leaders or a couple of the members of the CSM.

Not green in EVE

Portrait of the Goblin as a Spaceman

And while Goons might be hated, Gevlon is not exactly the Dale Carnegie of New Eden.  I admire his fortitude and his ability to set his own rules and proceed to win according to them.  He clearly belongs in EVE Online and the game would be a poorer place without him.  But if you haven’t been categorized as a moron or a slacker by his definition, you are a rare person indeed.  So I am going to guess that there is a not insubstantial Goon-hating demographic that wouldn’t mind watching Gevlon attack as much for a chance to see him get stomped on as to see him pester the Goons.

We’ll see how this one plays out and whether Gevlon has a new purpose in a month or two.

One Hundred and Ten Million Skill Points September 17, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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The beat goes on, as does my obsession with nice round numbers.

It is time again to talk about where I stand with skill points in EVE Online.  Another milestone, another post tracking my skill point progression in New Eden.

The story so far:

You will note that there is no entry for one hundred million skill points.  I was sitting at just about 99 million skill points when the Odyssey expansion dropped.  One of the big changes in that was breaking out battlecruisers and destroyers into  racial skills.  So before Odyssey there were just the skills Destroyers and Battlecruisers, afterwards there were those two skills for each of the major factions, Amarr, Minmatar, Caldari, and Gallente.

CCP's chart, no is jpeg format

The new path with Odyssey

In order to preserve the concept that no update will keep you from flying what you could already fly, players were given credit in each of the eight new skills relative to how many points they had in the two old skills and prerequisites.  Since I had both skills trained up to V, I got the maximum skill point boost, which sent me from ~99 million to ~105 million skill points in a single patch.

So, technically, I have never had exactly 100 million skill points.  And that is how CCP saved you from at least one of these posts.

And, just to mess up my ability to track my progress even further, Odyssey 1.1 just dropped the other day, and it included a re-organization of skill point categories, along with some renaming of skills.  The categories are probably more understandable.  They just don’t nicely map to what has come before.  So we have something of a reboot of the category chart this time around.  Here are are the skill points laid out by category:

Spaceship Cmd   33,008,465 (37 of 67)
Gunnery         12,075,111 (30 of 39)
Missiles        10,278,191 (20 of 24)
Drones           9,053,104 (16 of 20)
Navigation       7,566,399 (11 of 13)
Shields          5,632,000 (10 of 12)
Engineering      4,834,275 (10 of 14)
Science          4,408,426 (21 of 39)
Resc Processing  4,291,323 (21 of 28)
Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 13)
Electronic Sys   2,458,519 (6 of 15)
Leadership       2,447,530 (9 of 14)
Armor            1,871,530 (10 of 14)
Subsystems       1,320,000 (10 of 20)
Scanning         1,301,230 (7 of 7)
Targeting        1,159,765 (4 of 8)
Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12)
Neural Enhance.  1,154,510 (4 of 8)
Corp Mgmt        1,108,784 (4 of 7)
Social             943,765 (5 of 9)
Planet Mgmt        769,335 (5 of 5)
Rigging            188,494 (6 of 10)

Total         ~110,000,000 (260 of 398)

This time around I appended the number of skills in that category I have trained versus how many there are in the category total.  That gives a sense of how many total skill points there are available in a category.  A category that only has five skills, like Planetary Management, is never going to be high on the list because there just aren’t that many skill points to train in it.  I have trained almost half (48.87%) of the current skills in EVE Online.

EVEMon also shows the percentage of skill points for a given category I have actually trained.  Those numbers are surprisingly small.  This is because, for any given skill, the level 5 version of the skill requires 5-8 times as many skill points as levels 1 through 4 combined. (Multiplier pulled out of my ass based on glancing quickly at some level 4 vs 5 training times.  Feel free to correct me.)  So you go to level 5 skills only when you need to or when you think a skill is important enough to your operations to refine it that extra bit.  Generally, the benefit from levels increase in a linear fashion, unlike the skill points required.

At the top there is, as always, Spaceship Command.  It has the most skills, it is the category that holds the keys to the basic ships across the board.  That gives you a sense of how many ships there are in EVE Online.  Yes, some of the skills like, say, Amarr Titan, unlock exactly one ship.  But the frigate skill for any of the factions unlocks, as you can see in that chart embedded above, unlocks a good six different ships and sends you on the path to more.

There there are the “shoot things” skill.  I have spent a lot of time training gunnery of late.  I had a lot invested in missiles and drones already.  Then it goes into flying ships (navigation) defenses (shields) and the ability to operate modules (engineering).

After that we start to drop into the “Wilhelm is all over the board” skill points.  Resource Processing is a mining thing, and I haven’t mined in ages.  Subsystems is for strategic cruisers.  I can fly a Tengu or a Loki.  I just never do.

I don’t even own a Loki

I also threw in some time to train Planetary Management at one point with an eye to getting some semi-passive income going.  I trained all the skills up to 4 and then haven’t done anything with it.  My usual method of operation.  I have a lot of skills trained up that I have never used.

Meanwhile, if I am going to continue to fly in armor tanked fleets, I need to invest some time in the Armor category.  I have a lot of points in shields, but not so many in armor at this point.

As noted above, I have trained 260 skills in total.  That is up 37 skills since the 90 million skill point check-in.  Of course, I got six new level 5 trained skills for free as part of Odyssey.  My 260 skills map out as follows:

Level 1  -   4
Level 2  -  15
Level 3  -  51
Level 4  -  61
Level 5  - 129

Nearly half of my skills are trained up to level 5.  That is 17 more level 5 skills than there were at the 90 million skill point mark.  I suppose that shows commitment or some other mental defect.  Level 4 skills are up 10, level 3 skills up 7, level 2 skills remained the same, and somewhere I picked up 3 more level 1 skills.  Checking EVEMon, those three skills were all gunnery specialization skills so I could mount tech II guns of various types.  I guess I didn’t think they were worth training beyond that at the time.

Finally, there is the metric I have used for every one of these updates.  How much training time until I can fly a titan?

The total currently stands at just shy of 62 days, which is a 4 day drop over the last update.

That does not seem like much, given that I have been investing in capital ship related skills.  I will have finished jump drive calibration V by this coming weekend… unless I change to something else.

Basically, only four skills stand between me and flying a completely unfit titan at this point.  They are:

  • Factional Titan Skill I (I could choose any one): 1 hour, 36 minutes
  • Jump Portal Generation I: 1 hour, 38 minutes
  • Astrometrics V: 12 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes
  • Capital Ships V:  49 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes

Which gets us to 61.87 days.  And that is with my high sec clone with the +4 implants.

I probably won’t get much closer than that, unless feel the need to get capital ships V trained at some point.  While flying a titan makes a nice theoretical goal, my character Wilhelm is a generalist, with skill points spread all over hell and back.  Turning him into a super capital ship pilot would be a waste, as once you are in a super you are pretty much stuck there.  You cannot dock up and swap ships.

Avatar and Ragnarok Titans

If I was going to create a titan pilot,  would start a fresh character from scratch and train him up with only the skills he needed for the job.  Plans for another time.

So that is where I stand on the skill point front.  As long as I keep that training queue filled, the total just keeps growing.

Towards a Confederation of Dreadnoughts August 6, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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It seems to be an unwritten rule of EVE Online that, once you have a training plan all nailed down and under way, something will come along to make you change it.

And then change it again.

I lucked out to a certain extent when I moved out to null sec space back in December 2011.  I showed up just in time for the CFC to start up the Drake fleet doctrine, a ship I was already exceptionally well skilled to fly.  I think I had all related skills to level IV or V at the outset and have since honed them up even more.  I have many a post here about flying with Drake fleet.

Some of us in a line

Happy Days in Drake Fleet

That luck gave me time to train up for logistics, so I was able to fly a Scimitar with Drake fleet or Alpha fleet.  I trained a little for Alpha fleet as well, but there was not much pressure because there was a tech 1 Megathron fit I could fly already.  So I could idly train whatever I wanted.

I got myself set for Tengu fleet, just in case.  I never actually flew the Tengu part, sticking to logistics there.  When Tech fleet came out as an armor tanked doctrine, I trained up that part of logistics as well.  I trained up Planetary Management, with the idea of setting up a bit of semi-passive income at some point.  I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

And then came the war in Fountain and the subsequent doctrine changes.  Drakes had been nerfed into oblivion by CCP, Tengu and Tech fleets were not holding up, so new plans were made.  Sure, I had Caracals covered when they were thrown in as a cheap stop-gap, and it doesn’t take much to fly a Celestis.  But when Batltec fleet was announced, and the mighty Megathron was the order of the day, I was a few skills shy.  I could fly logistics, but not the Megathron fit.  And while that was all of a day’s training, I was still at the very low end for armor tanking skills.  How I missed Drakes.

I have a lot of Megathron screen shots now

And then we added AHACs with lasers and Harpy fleet and I was clearly behind the times.

So about three weeks back I put together a plan in EVE Mon titled “Fly All the Subcaps!” and put in all the things that might ever get included in a future doctrine, training them  all up to level IV (or V when needed), giving me about a 200 day training plan.  You would think with 107 million skill points, I would be covered, but there are a lot of skills in EVE Online.  I biased the plan towards things that would help current doctrines first, so Armor Honeycombing was in there early, and set off training.

And then the fighting in Fountain ended and rumors started that we would be moving to Fountain.  Gaff poked me and suggested that it might be a good thing to train up to fly a carrier so as to be able to haul ships back and forth at need.  If we moved to Fountain, I had a pile of ships to move there, and if we didn’t, I had a pile to move back to Deklein.

That seemed like a plan just reasonable enough to blow up my previous plan.  And I had laid some groundwork for it during my aimless training time.  I had Jump Drive Operation up to V and Jump Drive Calibration to IV.  Flying a carrier… and I could chose any one, they were all equidistant… was just 19 days away.  So off I went on that plan, the Archon being my target.

Archon under fire

Not THAT kind of target!

And then, a week into that, with the Fountain fully taken, there was an Alliance Update that, among other things, assigned new training goals.  We were asked to max out sentry drones and work towards flying a dreadnought.  The plan is to abuse the “assign drones to the FC” mechanic (which did not work all that well for TEST at G95F or 6VDT) until CCP fixes it and to fling dreadnoughts at everything in future conflicts.

Since I was already at maximum skills for sentry drones (trained them years back and never really used them until now) I started looking at dreads.

I am equidistant in training time from 3 of the 4 dreadnoughts, though the Phoenix is out due to being unsuitable for a “blap dread” (a subcap shooting dreadnought) fit.  (Gaff, who owns a Phoenix, blames me for this, saying I told him to go Caldari back in 2007.) The Revelation is the furthest out of reach, as I am way behind in laser weaponry.  So the choice is between the Moros and the Naglfar.

The Moros seems to be the favored choice among many who purport to know best.  They certainly seem common.  They are a bit bulbous, looking a bit like Dabiggreenboat, to coin a phrase.

Moros Firing

Moros Firing at 3WE-KY

And then there is the smaller, but quite vocal Naglfar faction, whose primary arguments are that it uses no capacitor for its guns and looks damn cool with its vertical orientation.

Naglfars stand out among dreadnoughts

Fortunately, the work I started on for flying a carrier applies to dreadnoughts, and I have a bit of time to decide on which one to choose.

And I have to start working on earning some ISK.  This is going to cost.  The skills alone are pricy, and I haven’t even gotten a price on hulls and fittings yet.

Anyway, once I finish the dreadnought plan and then the carrier plan, I can get back to my subcap plan.  Unless something else comes up.

And something else always comes up.

Ninety Million Skill Points December 10, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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4 comments

I think I am now officially “invested” in the game.

There was a time when ninety million skill points would have seemed very impressive.  Now that I have meandered to that level of training, I have to think the bar for anything worth mentioning has to be well past 100 million.

But I will mention it anyway.  As I do at every interval of ten million skill points, I look at where I have been training.  The start date for all of my training was August 29, 2006.  Past reviews can be found here:

At ninety million, here are how my skill points are distributed.

Spaceship Command: 23,227,296*
 Gunnery:          12,890,926*
 Missiles:          9,628,426*
 Engineering:       7,514,510*
 Science:           7,170,676
 Drones:            7,069,944*
 Electronics:       4,558,761*
 Industry:          3,912,704
 Navigation:        3,330,255*
 Trade:             3,271,765
 Leadership:        2,447,530*
 Mechanics:         1,555,747*
 Subsystems:        1,280,000*
 Corp Management:   1,108,784
 Social:              943,765*
 Total:           ~90,000,000

Asterisks represent the areas that have changed since the last checkpoint.  And it looks like I have been training things all over the place, as usual.

For those who are more visual, here is a pie chart of my skill distribution.

Pie! Yum!

Pie! Yum!

Last time around my training ended up with me having a new ship on my list, the Scimitar, complete with all the skills to be a healing space priest in fleet operations.  This time around, the big change is having all of my Tengu related skill at level 5… just in time for Tengu fleet to disappear as a doctrine… as well as the capability of flying the tech II Rokh fleet fit.

A new Rokh... unfit so far

A new Rokh… unfit so far

Getting up to spec for the Rokh meant gunnery skills.  Nearly 3 million of the last 10 million skill points went into gunnery.

All of this training ended up adding a net of four new skills, bringing my total to 223.  That isn’t a lot of new skills.  Three of them were gunnery related, and for no particular reason I trained up Jump Drive Operation, just in case I got the capital route some day I suppose.  It is the cheapest skill on that path.

My 223 skills are distributed like this:

 Level 1:  1 skill
 Level 2: 15 skills
 Level 3: 44 skills
 Level 4: 51 skills
 Level 5: 112 skills

14 more skills are now level 5 from last time, making half of my skills at maximum training.  Levels 4, 3, and 2 are down 5, 3, and 2 skills respectively.  A spent more time improving the skill I had rather than acquiring more.

Then there is the constant metric I have used since I started playing the EVE Mon skill point game: How many days until I can fly a titan?  I managed to shave about 3 days off the training time for a Leviathan, the Caldari titan, leaving me just 66 days and 10 hours away from being able to fly it.  Unfit, of course.  That would probably add another 90 days.

And finally, there is the question that is clearly as old as EVE Online itself:  What should I train next?

I am almost at the peak of points for shield and missile skills.  I am covered for the upcoming changes to destroyer and battle cruiser skills, which will divide those into racial rather than general skill.  So when they are split up, I ought to actually get a free skill point boost towards 100 million when there are Caldari, Gallente, Amarr, and Minmatar versions of destroyer and battle cruiser skill.  Gaff has been trying to get me to work towards a dreadnaught, though that takes some real money.  Even the skills are expensive.  I would have to work on earning some ISK to get there.  Or I could just tune up my armor tanking skills.  I have some skill points invested there… I have some skill points invested just about everywhere at this point… but fleet doctrine might change some day.

Large projectile turrets V is actually what is training for the next few days.  After that, what path should I take?

Eighty Million Skill Points June 12, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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7 comments

I was not sure I would get to this milestone.  The last such post, a little less than 10 months ago, I was saying that 70 million skill points might be the extent of my involvement in EVE Online.    That was the height of the Incarna debacle, the Jita protests, and the potential end of EVE as we knew it.

Since then, the game has come around.  CCP has refocused on flying in space by fixing, revising, or improving what was already there, along with some incremental ship introductions, in the Crucible and Inferno expansion.

And, probably more importantly to me, I have moved out to null sec space, which revitalized the game in my eyes.  In my first five years of contact with the game, I had dipped by toe in almost all of the non-piratical high sec options.  Now new options are available to me.

And so, here I am again, at another milestone.  As as I did at the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 million skill point marks, I am going to summarize where I am and what I have trained in this last cycle.

First, my skill point distribution:

Spaceship Command: 22,095,390*
 Gunnery:          10,095,065*
 Science:           7,170,676*
 Engineering:       7,093,137*
 Drones:            7,069,104*
 Missiles:          6,838,701*
 Electronics:       4,556,076*
 Industry:          3,912,704*
 Trade:             3,271,765
 Leadership:        2,394,844*
 Navigation:        2,199,295*
 Mechanics:         1,443,982*
 Corp Management:   1,108,784
 Social:              917,422*
 Subsystems:          151,865
 Total:           ~80,000,000

Asterisks represent the areas that have changed since the last checkpoint.  And it looks like I have been training things in all areas.  The only exception is Social, which actually went down since last time.  They must have removed a skill, though I couldn’t tell you what they yanked.

Mostly training went into things to help me fly and equip new ships.  So Spaceship Command went up, as did Gunnery.  Early on I needed to be able to fly the Alpha Fleet fit Maelstrom and kept on that until I could use the tech II 1400mm guns.

I also trained up to fly a fleet fit Scimitar, which I have done exactly once.  It was blown up on its first fleet op and I haven’t replaced it yet.

Wilhelm’s first Scimitar

I also just finished up the skill set for flying heavy interdictors (hictors).  And due to my getting Minmatar Cruiser V for the Scimitar, I can fly both the Broadsword and Onyx hictors since the skills are otherwise the same.

All of this training ended up adding a net of 10 new skills, bringing my total to 219.  They are distributed like this.

 Level 1:  1 skill
 Level 2: 17 skills
 Level 3: 47 skills
 Level 4: 56 skills
 Level 5: 98 skills

12 more skills are now level 5, while level 4 skills went up by 4, and level 3 skills went up by 19.  Level 2 skills dropped by 13 as I trained a bunch of stuff up.  No doubt some of that last was related to mining crystals.

So I have been not only been learning new skills, but getting them up to higher tiers.  A number of things have required level 5 skills, especially the logistics and hictor training plans.

Going back to my long time metric, flying a titan, I see that I am still just over 69 days away from the basic flying skill, almost all of which would be tied up in learning Capital Ships I through V.  Since I do not need that for any of my current plans… and frankly cannot afford to buy it just to train it for fun… a titan will probably remain that far away for the foreseeable future.  The funny thing is that, for the first time in the game, I am actually in a position where I could purchase and fly one, if I had the ISK.

And where will I head for the next 10 million skill points?  Well, there are a lot of skills to trained up to hone my options.  I am about max’d out on the Scimitar, but the hictor skills still have some room.  And I just noticed the other day that I still have a couple of skills that would affect heavy missiles that I could train up.

There is always another skill to train up in EVE.

Seventy Million Skill Points and Out August 24, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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9 comments

I came back to EVE Online for Incarna, to see if there would be anything new that would bring me back into the game.  And, in my usual method, I picked the three month subscription.  The would have given me plenty of time to explore the Incarna expansion, had it held anything for me.

Instead, it held mostly disappointment.  And drama.  That took a while to work through.

Which meant that my subscription time has been spent doing what a lot of EVE subscriptions do, training skills.  There was enough time for me to hit another skill point milestone.  So, as I did at the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 million skill point mark, here is where I stand at 70 million skill points.

Spaceship Command: 18,084,237*
 Gunnery:           8,358,825*
 Science:           6,808,636*
 Missiles:          6,620,426*
 Engineering:       6,583,849
 Drones:            6,455,156*
 Industry:          3,539,500*
 Electronics:       3,117,673*
 Trade:             3,271,765
 Leadership:        2,332,334*
 Navigation:        1,777,805
 Mechanic:          1,426,568
 Corp Management:   1,108,784
 Social:            1,015,932
 Subsystems:          151,765
 Total:           ~70,000,000

Asterisks indicate areas that changed since the last post.

Spaceship Command, always at the top of the skill point chart, surged forward and nearly double due to my skilling up to fly ships from other factions… mostly so I could take screen shots of them for EVE Online Pictures.

The increases in the skills listed above actually add up to more than 10 million skill points.  Spaceship Command alone went up nearly 9 million.

Since my last milestone at 60 million, the learning skills got pulled from the game, which freed up 4.8 million skill points for me to reallocate back in December 2010.

That change is also why my total known skills went from 209 to 197.

Skill level distribution now looks like this:

 Level 1:  1 skill
 Level 2: 30 skills
 Level 3: 28 skills
 Level 4: 52 skills
 Level 5: 86 skills

And, that one key measurement, how many days of training would it take me to fly a Caldari Titan, went UP this time around, by a little over a day.  I am now over 69 days away from the basic flying skill, almost all of which would be tied up in learning Capital Ships I through V.  I am not sure why the timeline went up since I last checked. It probably relates to how I set my attributes after the removal of learning skills.

But now my subscription is coming to its end.  In a little over a week, my account will lapse.

I have explored most of what I wanted to in EVE.  Potshot and I never did get that space station built in wormhole space, w-space being pretty well camped these days, and I never once poked my nose into a 0.0 system, but such is life.  By the time I was done in empire space, I did not want the commitment that 0.0 requires.

And I suppose this casts the future of EVE Online Pictures into doubt.  I have enough screen shots to get through the rest of the year at the current rate of two pictures posted a week, but after that I might have to put that site on hiatus.