Tag Archives: Skill Points

One Hundred and Seventy Million Skill Points

Another milestone in training as, even in the age of skill injectors, I continue to roll on forward the old fashioned way and let my skill points accumulate slowly over time.  Call me cheap… though because I have so many skill points a skill injector only nets me a 150K skill point gain, so I am cheap with reason.  Actually, I am about a day early with this post, but I had posts planned for the rest of the week and nothing for today, so here it is!  The posts never land exactly on the exact mark in any case.

Anyway, another seven months down the line brings us to another post.  Here is my skill point journey in New Eden so far, if you feel the need for the historic precedent behind this post:

This is how skill points are currently distributed on Wilhelm Arcturus.  An asterisk indicates that the skill point total has changed since last post.

 Spaceship Cmd   51,351,483 (55 of 75)*
 Gunnery         17,197,141 (36 of 46)*
 Fleet Support   12,896,000 (14 of 15)* new name
 Drones          11,704,870 (22 of 26)
 Missiles        10,836,471 (22 of 26)
 Navigation       9,660,314 (13 of 13)
 Engineering      7,253,895 (15 of 15)
 Electronic Sys   7,189,415 (14 of 15)*
 Armor            6,131,137 (13 of 13) 
 Shields          5,994,039 (11 of 13)
 Science          5,462,151 (21 of 39) 
 Resc Processing  4,569,908 (22 of 28)
 Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 14)
 Targeting        3,207,765 (8 of 8)
 Neural Enhance.  3,202,510 (5 of 8)* 
 Subsystems       2,186,840 (20 of 20)
 Scanning         2,045,230 (7 of 7) 
 Rigging          1,312,395 (10 of 10)
 Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12) 
 Social           1,130,040 (5 of 9)
 Structure Mgmt   1,084,784 (2 of 6) 
 Planet Mgmt      1,069,079 (5 of 5)* 
 Corp Mgmt           24,000 (2 of 5) 

 Total         ~170,000,000 (338 of 428)

The additional 10 million skill points saw an additional six skills added to my list, bringing the total up from 332 last time to 338.

Spaceship Command continues its reign at the top of the list.  Internet spaceships does seem to require training that is focused specifically on internet spaceships I guess.  That got a boost this time around from training current skills up to level V.  I finished Transport Ships V, trained Command Ships V for a bit before swapping out, and I have been working on Amarr Carrier V for the last few weeks.  That provides a boost both for me carrier and my fax machine, so seemed worthwhile as a long term goal.

Archon, also in Purity White, hanging off a Fortizar

Archon in white

Electronic Systems got a big point boost as I trained up Tactical Logistics Reconfiguration so as to be able to run the Tech II triage module on my Apostle.

Medical White Apostle

Medical White Apostle

On the new skill front, those were actually easy for me to remember this time around.  There were four skills in the Drones category related to fighters that I needed to train up so as to get my carrier skills up to the CapSwarm requirements.  The other two were under Neural Enhancements; Neurotoxin Control and Neurotoxin Recovery, which are related to the use of skill enhancing drugs.

Use More Drugs

Use More Drugs! The station ad commands it!

Then there is the side effect of doing these posts at regular 10 million skill point increments.  Not only does it track my own progress, but it also tracks how skills themselves change over time.  For example, we now have the category Fleet Support, which is mostly a new name for what was once Leadership.  I am missing only Spacial Phenomena Generation, which is a titan skill.  But that change also heralds the changing in fleet boosts and structure.

Another fleet boost hitting

Imagine that boost effect on drugs

My skills, broken out by level:

 Level 1  - 2
 Level 2  - 8
 Level 3  - 45
 Level 4  - 101
 Level 5  - 182

182 at level V puts me five up from last time.

As for my “fly all the subcaps” metric that replaced my somewhat dates “fly a titan” metric, I did actually make progress on that.  Another of the Spaceship Command skill I raise to level V was Amarr Industrial, so I can fly the Amarr blockade runners and deep space transports.  That leaves the following on my list:

  • Expedition Frigates (Prospect, Endurance)  – 10 days
  • Gallente Transports (Occator, Viator) – 20 days
  • Loki strategic cruiser (subsystems trained) – 45 mins
  • Marauders (all factions) – 90 mins

Of that list, only Gallente Transports is in my current queue, next up after Amarr Carrier.  So, as a metric, that list is getting as thin as flying a titan was.  While I should train up the Loki just for completeness, I am unlikely to train Marauders due to the expense.  Expedition frigates I might do on a whim some day, but they are not at all a priority.  That doesn’t leave much room for change.

So feel free to suggest a new metric, or else I am going to have to come up with one before the next post.  Granted, that gives me some time, as I expect that won’t come to pass until late August or early September.  However, I am likely to forget about the whole thing in the interim.  Maybe I could come up with a skill set that would be “enough” and allow me to move the training queue to an alt on my account.  But what would ever be “enough?”  And then CCP would add some new skills and I would have to chase those as well.

We shall see if I come up with anything before the next post.

One Hundred and Sixty Million Skill Points

Another skill point milestone, made somewhat more meaningless than usual by the advent of skill point injectors, which lets players buy skill points from other players, so that those with enough ISK can have as many skill points as they want.

My skill points have all been “earned” the old fashioned way, via the skill queue and the waiting game.  That is less a point of pride and more an admission that I am a cheapskate, along with the fact that, with more than 80 million skill points, each skill injector is worth only 150K SP to me.  If I had a brand new character I would be much more inclined to inject skill points.

Anyway, here is my skill point journey so far:

At some point I imagine I will have “enough” skills, but I haven’t reached that point yet.  There is still a 700 day long list of skills in my queue that I want.  Also, I would never extract any of my skill points, as you never know when they might come in handy.  As I mentioned yesterday, all those mining skills from way back when were useful again as we had a mining op in Pure Blind to raise ADMs.

Rock crushing in a Procurer

Rock crushing in a Procurer

So here are how skill points are currently distributed on Wilhelm Arcturus.  An asterisk indicates that the skill point total has changed since last post.

 Spaceship Cmd   47,008,495 (55 of 75)*
 Gunnery         16,202,145 (36 of 46)*
 Leadership      12,803,000 (14 of 14)
 Missiles        10,836,471 (22 of 26)*
 Drones          10,070,483 (19 of 23)
 Navigation       9,660,314 (13 of 13)
 Engineering      7,253,895 (15 of 15)*
 Armor            6,131,137 (13 of 13)* (skill moved/removed?)
 Shields          5,645,390 (11 of 12)
 Science          5,462,151 (21 of 39)* 
 Electronic Sys   5,141,415 (13 of 15)*
 Resc Processing  4,569,908 (22 of 28)
 Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 14)
 Targeting        3,207,765 (8 of 8)
 Neural Enhance.  3,072,000 (5 of 8)* 
 Subsystems       2,186,840 (20 of 20)
 Scanning         2,045,230 (7 of 7) 
 Rigging          1,312,395 (10 of 10) 
 Social           1,130,040 (5 of 9)
 Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12) 
 Structure Mgmt   1,084,784 (2 of 6)* (new section)
 Planet Mgmt        769,335 (5 of 5) 
 Corp Mgmt           24,000 (2 of 5)* 

 Total         ~160,000,000 (332 of 423)

Spaceship Command remains at the top, both in total points and in total points gained, up by about 6 million SP.  Flying ships trumps all.

There was some swapping about of skills and categories.  There was one less skill in the Armor category.   I am not sure where that went, but it took 768,000 skill points with it somewhere.  Then, with the release of citadels in New Eden, a new section called “Structure Management” appeared, which borrowed some skills from Corporation Management, like Anchoring and Starbase Defense Management, which accounts for all my skill points in the new category.

I added nine more skills to my list since the last update, bringing me to 332 skills, up from 323.  But I am not keeping up with the total number of skills, which is now at 423 (if I added them up correctly), a 25 skill boost since my 150 million skill point post back in December.

My skills, broken out by level are:

 Level 1  - 3
 Level 2  - 9
 Level 3  - 44
 Level 4  - 99
 Level 5  - 177

177 skills at level V puts me 8 up from last time.  There was also a general rise, as level IV and III skills went up in number, while levels I and II decreased.

Following my change over last time from tracking how long it would take to fly a titan to how long until I can fly all the subcaps as a random metric.   Here is the current list of sub-caps I cannot yet fly and the time required to train in order to get into them (rounded up to the nearest convenient value value):

  • Expedition Frigates (Prospect, Endurance)  – 10 days
  • Amarr Transports (Impel, Prorator) – 20 days
  • Gallente Transports (Occator, Viator) – 20 days
  • Loki strategic cruiser (subsystems trained) – 45 mins
  • Marauders (all factions) – 90 mins

That list got a lot shorter since the last post, standing at about 50 days now, down from about 80 days previously.

I knocked out interdictors and tech II logi frigates and the T3 destroyers and electronic attack ships and a few other, which were all a few minutes in order to get the minimum skill level required, though I trained them all well past that.  The biggest skill I trained for that list was Minmatar Battleships V, a 30 day skill, which gave me the Panther Black Ops battleship.  I can now fly a blops… well, all the blops… once I figure how.  There is always a gap between having the skill and having the actual skills to use that skill.

Our blops finally arrives

A Panther Blops

However, I am not sure what I would bother with when it comes to the rest of the list.  The Loki might be useful, and I could get it to level III or IV in a short enough time.  Expeditions frigate might be worthwhile at some point.  But do I need Gallente or Amarr transports?

Meanwhile, right now I am training up Tactical Weapons Reconfiguration V, with Minmatar Dreadnought V next on the list.  If suicide dread bombs are going to be the supercap killing machine, as they were at Okagaiken, I would like to have the option to join in on that at some point, and the Minmatar dreadnought, the Naglfar, is the dread of choice.

A Naglfar at the shoot getting hit by fireworks

A Naglfar displaying vertical supremacy

I can actually fly the base CapSwarm Naglfar, but those two skills will allow me to fly the upscale fit.  And then I have to actually find a hull and fit it.  Details.

I have also started abusing my alt account for skill goo.  I decided to set him up to farm skill points.  He was past 115 million, but I stripped out about 5 million points for skill injectors and now have him optimized so I can keep him stable with his skills and pull out a skill injector worth of skill goo about once a week.

The weekly cycle means I can be patient and get a better price, both for buying extractors and selling injectors.  The skill goo market is still very active… I price well above the current low offer and still sell within a day… so this is now pretty much a 400 million ISK a week income stream for me.  This has made me more ISK rich than I have ever been in New Eden.  I am not Gevlon rich by any means, but I can afford that Naglfar and a few replacements.

So that is where 160 million skill points puts me.  Given the ~7 month cycle time for me to train 10 million skill points, I should get to 170 million at some point in February of 2017.

Further Anecdotes from the Skill Injector Front in New Eden

It has only been a week since the Madi Gras release, when skill injectors/skill extractors hit EVE Online, and already we have some of the usual stories.

My view on skill injectors was that they were perhaps a necessary evil in a game where skill advancement is a function of time subscribed.  You can argue as to whether new players really need to be able to “catch up” or if they should build up their skills the old fashioned way… by waiting… so that they grow into their abilities, but after more than a decade sometimes that skill point wall can seem pretty damn huge.

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit...

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit…

However I forgot one of the iron rules of MMOs in general, and of EVE Online in particular.  That rule says that there is almost nothing you can do to a game to help lift up new players that won’t benefit older players even more so.

And so it goes.

First we had the tales of Spaceman and Stromgren, alluded to over at TMC, who used skill injectors to get to the top of the skill points chart over at EVE Board, a site that lets you track and compare characters that register with the site and which is used as an adjunct to the character bazaar, so you can display what you’re selling or see what you’re buying.

Spaceman, a 2003 character, went for the “just a bit better” route to top the previous champion, and also of 2003 vintage, Dr Caymus.  Then Stromgren, a character also dating from 2003, decided to go for a decisive lead.

Neither of them stayed at the top of the list long when, as noted over at EN24, the gambling site I Want ISK took a brand new character named IronBank, created on February 11th of this year, and decided to learn all the skills available in the game.  That character had an average skill points per hour rate of 4,441,578.9 as I started writing this and has apparently “won” EVE Online or some such.

Also showing off with that wallet balance

Also showing off with that wallet balance

That leaves the skill point leader board at EVE Board looking like this for the moment:

Top 5 highest skill Points

  1. IronBank (473,344,000)
  2. Stromgren (400,795,578)
  3. Spaceman (291,817,863)
  4. Dr Caymus (291,375,384)
  5. Shaleen (278,343,002)

All of which goes to prove that nothing now stands in your way of getting the skills you want, or even all the skills available, if you have enough cash.  The total spent on IronBank was calculated at 1.8 trillion ISK, which if you acquired through the purchase of PLEX via real world money, would total up to something like $25,000. (You can see where I stand in the rankings.)

The secondary lesson is, of course, that if you make a leader board of some sort, somebody will try to get to the top of it for no other reason beyond being number one on that leader board.  Whee, internet fame!

Meanwhile, in the land of less ambitious immortals… for through the miracle of cybernetics and infomorph psychology all capsuleers are effectively immortal… skill injectors are now the answer to all problems.  Can’t fly a ship, new doctrine requirements got you down, want to fly something new without all of that waiting around, then skill injectors can help you out.  I have heard a fair share of comments in fleets over the last week about pilots boosting up to a skill they wanted via injectors or people being admonished to inject to be able to fly a given fit.

Which is fine I suppose, provided you have the ISK to buy them skill injectors.  If you’re setup to AFK carrier rat for hours on end our in a quiet null sec system, you can afford some.  If you are a new player… well, I have seen some injector hand outs for new bros and such.  But you’re unlikely to be able to afford an injector on your own… unless you go buy some PLEX.  And PLEX is moving pretty well since the introduction of skill trading.  So I am sure that, from the CCP end of things, this new feature is looking pretty good.

But I have a hard time seeing this as anything but the rich… those rich in ISK and skill points… simply getting richer while the average low skill point player continues to grind on.

I am also sort of surprised at how many people with more than 80 million skill points are willing to buy and use injectors at only 150,000 skill points a shot.  That is about three days of training.  For the 650 million ISK price I’ll just wait the three days.  But I am a notorious cheapskate, and also not a fan of waste.  Watching 350,000 skill points disappears doesn’t make me happy.

  • < 5 million total skill points = 500,000 skill points per injector
  • 5 million – 50 million total skill points = 400,000 skill points per injector
  • 50 million – 80 million total skill points = 300,000 skill points per injector
  • > 80 million skill points = 150,000 skill points per injector

I will be interested to see if CCP gets together some data on the whole skill trading scheme.  I’d like to hear how many skill injectors went into pilots in the various skill point ranges… and how many skill points disappeared from the game due to the built-in wastage.  How much did it off-set normal training?

Of course, I suspect if the data shows the whole thing ended up as a case of the rich getting richer that we won’t hear much about it.

Others still commenting on Skill Trading:



First Night of Skill Point Trading in Jita

It was fast times in Jita last night as a mass of traders, speculators, scammers, and other interested parties descended on what one might call the Commonland’s Tunnel of New Eden, the economic capital of the game.  A record number of players were in the system, thanks in large part to the fact that the Brain in a Box feature, which came in back with the Parallax update last November (which was also the last named update in Syndicate), let CCP increase the hard cap they  have on the system to 5,000 players.

So there was room for more.

Still, ~3,600 pilots in the system is a lot of people.  At 6VDT-H, still the biggest battle in EVE history, we topped 4,000, but that was a special occasion and the system was heavily reinforced by CCP and we still ended up with time dilation so bad that the UI simply wouldn’t respond for extended periods of time.  But then, we were also shooting at each other too.

Anyway, lots of people were in the system, and they were there for skill trading, which went live with yesterday’s update.

That is 30 billion skill points extracted by 21:00 EVE time yesterday.  That is a lot of extractors purchased and used, considering each one only grabs half a million skill points. 16 billion skill points were applied with a reported wastage of 5 billion skill points… 10,000 skill extractors worth of skill points gone missing.

Of course, that was 60,000 skill extractors obtained through various means yesterday as well.  Since you have to buy them via Aurum, which somebody has to purchase through a straight up cash transaction at some point, it looks like something of an immediate, if minor, economic victory for CCP.

I can remember it for you retail...

You can even buy they for cash directly…

Of course, I had to log in and take a peek.  I had my alt sitting in Jita and when I logged in CCP was night enough to let me know right away that skill point injectors were available and how many skill points I could add to my character with each one.  However, since he is past the 110 million SP mark, that wasn’t very much per injector.

350K SP go to waste for me...

350K SP go to waste for me…

I also saw the scam du jour in Jita local, which was to offer a contract allegedly for a skill injector at 50 million under the current market price when, in fact, the contract was for a a skill extractor, hoping some anxious buyer looking for a bargain wouldn’t notice the difference until it was too late.  One can learn many lessons about unscrupulous behavior in Jita local.

The market price for skill injectors in Jita last night was up above 650 million ISK per, with plenty listed on the market.

Injectors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Injectors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Skill extractors were running at about 300 million ISK per unit at the same time.

Extractors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

Extractors on Feb. 10 ~05:00 EVE time

So, at that moment at least, 500,000 skill points looked to be worth about 350 million ISK after costs.

Of course, this was the first night and the market was flooded with excess inventory, fresh demand, and a full of people trying to figure out how to make some ISK out of the whole deal.  Gevlon reported making 350 billion ISK yesterday on skill sales and extractor arbitrage  How the market will look in a week, a month, or a year may change, but last night was the crazy time.

JonnyPew emptied out a 121 million SP character to boost his main from 7 million to 80 million SP, letting 41 million SP disappear forever.  Some people do things just to say they have done them.

Noizy reported that PLEX sales in the first six hours of the day were way up and suspects that yesterday might have been a record day for sales overall.  The price of PLEX itself was up to the 1.3 billion ISK mark, making my six year old stock screen shot of PLEX on the market even more comically out of date.

Current prices are around 800 million ISK in Jita

If you had bought at this price in late 2009 you would have made a billion ISK

As for me, I neither extracted nor injected, I just watched the whole thing for a bit before going off to read a book.

Some day, if I need to boost up a cyno alt quickly or some such, I might buy an injector.  But for the moment I have no skill points I consider excess on either alt or main and both have so many skill points already that they are far end of the diminishing returns.  They can train an injector’s worth of skill points… 150K for either of them… in a little over three days, so I’ll just do it the old fashioned way.

EVE Online and the Madi Gras 2016 Release

CCP has given up on naming their seemingly now monthly releases (though I think YC 118.2 might be an option), but that doesn’t mean I can’t give them names myself.  Happy Madi Gras 2016 release!  Laissez les bon temps roulez, such that they are.

Anyway, the baby in CCP’s king cake today is likely a skill point extractor, as that is the big thing coming with today’s drop.  CCP riled up Noizy by doing their first reveal on Twitter, but they were also having some logon issues, so maybe that went out prematurely.  In any case, they followed up in the manner to which we have become accustomed and put out a Dev Blog-like post on the prices and the various methods by which you may obtain skill extractors.

Skill Extractors - Base Price

Skill Extractors – Base Price

If you want to skip the Aurum or ISK route and aren’t interested in the bonus extractors with subscriptions and what not, there is also a straight up cash price for them as well.

I can remember it for you retail...

I can remember it for you retail…

And, as is the way of things, all the essential information is spread out over three sources.  So in addition to the above post, you need to look at the Skill Trading Dev Blog and the Release Notes for today’s update.  The release notes give the most conscience round up as to how things work, including a short list of skills which may not be extracted.

While I am still not sure how I feel about the whole skill stripping thing, as with so much in the game these days it seems like a lot of complications for a limited amount of benefit, I am, as always, fascinated to see how this plays out.

The eventual pricing for skill injectors, once things settle down, seems to be contentious, with Noizy calling 300 million ISK a floor for the pricing (with a final price estimate of 720-750 million ISK per based on the injector pricing post) while Gevlon has declared that the ceiling price.

We shall see how that plays out.

Other than that, there are just small items in the release notes.

Wrecks, which uniformly had 500 hit points, will now have hit points based on the size of the ship which the wreck represents.  This is the new break down:

  • Frigate, Rookie Ship, Shuttle, Small NPC: 700 hp
  • Destroyer: 1000 hp
  • Cruiser, Mining Barge, Medium NPC, Generic NPC: 1500 hp
  • Battlecruiser, Industrial: 2500 hp
  • Battleship, Large NPC, Officer NPC: 3500 hp
  • Carrier, Dread, Rorqual, Orca, Freighter: 15000 hp
  • Supercarrier, NPC Supercarrier: 25000 hp
  • Titan: 30000 hp

If nothing else, nobody will be popping a titan wreck before it has been looted on accident.  I wonder how much extra ammo will be expended destroying wrecks now, something occasionally done to deny the enemy loot.  Somebody call CCP Quant.

Strategic Cruisers have been given the Pabst Blue Ribbon (Physical Based Rendering) treatment, so they will now look a little different… expect shiny gold trim on your pimp Legion now… display kill marks and may some day be eligible for SKINs.

T3s and cheap beer do mix...

T3s and cheap beer do mix…

Deep down in the list of user interface tweaks is a notice that the beta camera is now an opt-out option.  If you want to stick with the old, reliable, and slightly boring camera view we have grown used to over the years you will have to find that option in the setting.  Otherwise you will be using the new camera when you log in today.  If you want to use the new camera, there is a dev blog about that.

And there are some new skills on the market for the upcoming FAX machines (Force Auxiliary capital ships) and the fighters which carriers will use when the big capital ship change up comes in the spring.

There are a bunch of the usual tweaks and fixes in the Release Notes (and not much at all on the now somewhat neglected Updates page) but those are the things that mean something to me.  Well, all that and the usual musical number, the hallmark of every update.


The Return of the Stripper

Video safe for work, it is just music.

That is the song that came to mind when I saw the CCP Dev Blog go up about a return to the skill stripping plan, though Smed over using the word “hardcore” and “extremely deep” yesterday might have influenced that line of thought.  Anyway, the whole thing is a bit lurid, something of a tease, and not making everybody in the community happy.

Officially CCP is calling this Skill Trading.  This is the ability to strip skill points from a character in 500,000 SP chunks and sell them on the open market.

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit...

For lore reasons this may hurt a bit…

There seems to be a couple of reasons behind this move.

The first was articulated by CCP Quant at EVE Vegas, where he said the desire going forward was to have players able to create as many of the items in the New Eden economy as possible, including skills… and, apparently, skill points.  This seems to fit withing that over-arching goal.

The second is the classic new player complaint about their inability to “catch up” to older players.  I’ve seen that come up any number of times, the feeling that skill points are the levels of EVE Online and that people who show up late are being unfairly penalized by a system where time alone is the only way to grind up the skill point scale.

And, true enough, no day one newbie is going to be flying a titan or a faction battleship or even a strategic cruiser most likely.  Then again, no day one newbie is going to have the ISK to buy a titan or a faction battleship or a strategic cruiser… or a 500K SP bundle, which is bound to be a bit pricey… not unless they also buy some PLEX to boost up their bank balance.

And therein lies the rub, as the whole discussion gets into the “Pay to Win” arena.  There was enough push back on this idea when CCP broached it initially a couple months back that I thought they might shelve it, but now it is slated for the February 9th release.

The argument against does seem pretty clear.  You can take real world money and, through some process, turn that into skill point advancement for your character.  You are, essentially, buying levels and, while CCP isn’t selling them directly to you, they make money along the way and thus leveraging new players for fun and profit.  I’m sure the #ResistCapitalism team would have some choice words about that situation.

On the flip side CCP makes it quite clear that they are not creating skill points out of thin air.  A quote from the Dev Blog:

It’s very important to note here that this means all the skillpoints available to buy on the market in EVE will have originated on other characters where they were trained at the normal rate. Player driven economies are key to EVE design and we want you to decide the value of traded skillpoints while we make sure there is one single mechanism that brings new skillpoints in to the system – training.

The sum total of skill points in New Eden won’t change inflate because of this, players will simply be trading skill points amongst themselves. [And, as noted in the comments, the total number of SP in game may actually go down a bit.]

Also, for those dying to spend money to advance their skill point total, there is already the character bazaar where you can buy and sell characters for ISK, something that has been around for years without much in the way of objections.

The skill point injectors also will favor new players, so this won’t be just a way for those “rich” in skill point to get richer.  The injectors have diminishing returns based on how many skill points you already have:

  • < 5 million total skill points = 500,000 skill points per injector
  • 5 million – 50 million total skill points = 400,000 skill points per injector
  • 50 million – 80 million total skill points = 300,000 skill points per injector
  • > 80 million skill points = 150k skill points per injector

Then there is the fact that you do not actually have to spend any real world money at all on injectors and the like.  They will all be for sale, from other players, on the market for ISK.  See Jita for the best pricing.

And, finally, there is the fact that advancement does not equal winning in EVE Online, unless your goal… your personal win condition… is to merely skill up your character.  As somebody whose main character recently passed the 150 million skill point mark (while my main alt is past 110 million), I can tell you that having skill points does not mean winning any more than having ISK means winning.  In my case, it generally just gives me a wider range of ships in which to be blown up.

Still, even with those offsets, the whole plan makes me somewhat uncomfortable for a couple of reasons.  One is that even a whiff of “Pay to Win” will give those who already hate the game for whatever reason to throw stones about how CCP is exploiting new players, cash grabs, the evil of money grubbing developers, and so on.  Once you go into an area with a dubious reputation, like multi-level marketing schemes or free to play MMORPGs, you inherit some of the reputation that such has already attained.  You may seem to be selling power with the best of intentions, but it has been done so blatantly wrong before in other games that it is tough ignore.

Then, of course, I am waiting for the tale of how Goons will be the main beneficiaries out of the feature.  If your Goon conspiracy theory cannot include that, you’re doing it wrong!

But mostly I am wondering where the hole, the exploit, the unintentional outcome will show up, because if there is one thing that the last dozen years of the game has shown us is that the wisdom of crowds is a thing and that there is no way a few hundred people in Reykjavík can foresee what a couple hundred thousand people will come up with.

If they mess up with a new ship or a module or game mechanic, they can fix that in the next patch without much bother.  We’ve seen that over and over.  But when you start mucking with one of the core aspects of in-game character development, that might be a place where I fear to tread. We’ll just have to wait see how it plays out.  At least we don’t have skill point losses due to forgetting the update your clone any more, though there is still the strategic cruiser thing.

And in the long run, I suspect that the likely users of this feature will be old hands looking to quickly boost an alt, corps and alliances looking to help promising new players along, people looking for a bit of ISK out of skills they trained and never used, and maybe, just maybe, a few hard cores who want to be able to retrain lost strategic cruiser skills more quickly.

Will I use this feature?  After all, having gone beyond the 150 million skill point mark there must be some skills in there that I ended up never needing.

The thing is, this is EVE Online.  There are so many paths to follow that I can’t really predict what I might need tomorrow given how many careers I’ve had in the past.  Hell, if it wasn’t for Reavers I might run off and join Signal Cartel and be a space hippie for a year, and who knows what skills I might need for that.  So I doubt I will be stripping any skill points out of my skull any time soon.

Others on the topic currently:

Some post from when this first came up:


One Hundred and Fifty Million Skill Points

Another skill point milestone looms as, after a little more than 9 years, I hit the 150 million skill point mark with my main character in EVE Online.  The past milestones:

As I keep telling myself, at some point I will hit a threshold where I will feel I can start on an alt on this account.  But I haven’t gotten there yet.  Here is how my skill points are currently distributed:

 Spaceship Cmd   40,998,538 (48 of 75)*
 Gunnery         13,915,745 (36 of 39)
 Leadership      12,803,000 (14 of 14)
 Missiles        10,783,785 (22 of 24)*
 Drones          10,070,483 (19 of 21)*
 Navigation       9,660,314 (13 of 13)
 Armor            6,899,137 (14 of 14)
 Engineering      6,485,895 (14 of 14)*
 Shields          5,645,390 (11 of 12)
 Electronic Sys   4,743,141 (11 of 15)*
 Resc Processing  4,569,908 (22 of 28)
 Science          4,408,426 (21 of 39)
 Trade            3,271,765 (9 of 14)
 Targeting        3,207,765 (8 of 8)*
 Neural Enhance.  2,824,000 (5 of 8)* 
 Subsystems       2,186,840 (20 of 20)*
 Scanning         2,045,230 (7 of 7) 
 Rigging          1,312,395 (10 of 10) 
 Social           1,130,040 (5 of 9)
 Production       1,157,986 (5 of 12) 
 Corp Mgmt        1,108,784 (4 of 7) 
 Planet Mgmt        769,335 (5 of 5) 

 Total         ~150,000,000 (323 of 398)

This time around CCP threw in some new ships so Spaceship Command went up by a significant chunk.  We had T3 destroyers, so I trained up the Caldari version, the Jackdaw.  Then there there were the new command destroyers, which looked to be comedy gold with their AOE MJD, so I trained that up as well.

Jackdaw in sniper mode with the new shield hardener effects

Jackdaw in sniper mode with the new shield hardener effects

Then there was the doctrine change, where we went to armor strategic cruisers, the Proteus and the Legion.  I rushed off to train those up, which might be useful at some point.  But I realized that I was more likely to fly logi, for which I had long been trained up, and that I hate losing skill points when I get blown up in a strategic cruiser, so those are pretty much in the bag for some future occasion.

Finally, I filled in some gaps.  EWar has been a thing on fleets, so I trained up a bit of that to be more effective.  I picked up tech II rockets and light missiles, which I had overlooked previously.  And I got that 10th jump clone, though I still don’t feel like I have enough.

All told I have 323 skills trained (up from 295), distributed as follows:

 Level 1  - 4
 Level 2  - 16
 Level 3  - 40
 Level 4  - 94
 Level 5  - 169

169 skills at level V puts me 11 up from last time.

As suggested in the comments of my last skill point post, I am going to give up on the time to fly a titan metric, as it no longer changes.  I have trained about all the capital skills I plan to for the time being.  Instead, I am going to track how many sub-capitals ships I have left to train for.  As it turns out, with 150 million skill points in the bag, I can fly a lot of sub-caps… but not ALL of them.

So here are the sub-caps I cannot yet fly and the time required to train in order to get into them (rounded up to the nearest convenient value value):

  • Electronic Attack Frigates (all factions, 4 ships) – 30 mins
  • Expedition Frigates (Prospect, Endurance)  – 10 days
  • Logistics Frigates (tech II, all factions, 4 ships) – 30 mins
  • Amarr Tactical Destroyer (Confessor) – 30 mins
  • Gallente Tactical Destroyer ( Hecate) – 30 mins
  • Minmatar Tactical Destroyer ( Svipul) – 30 mins
  • Interdictors (all factions, 4 ships) – 30 mins
  • Amarr Industrials (Bestower, Sigil) – 30 mins
  • Amarr Transports (Impel, Prorator) – 20 days
  • Gallente Transports (Occator, Viator) – 20 days
  • Loki strategic cruiser (subsystems trained) – 45 mins
  • Marauders (all factions) – 90 mins
  • Panther Black Ops Battleship – 30 days

That comes out to just about 80 days of training time.  A couple surprised me.  I will probably train into the frigates, the tactical destroyers, the interdictors, the Loki (oops on that one), and eventually the Panther, if only because I want Minmatar Battleship V.  Marauders and the industrials seem unlikely however.  Of course, to fly any of them well I will need to invest more time that indicated.

So that is where 150 million skill points puts me.  Given the ~7 month cycle time for me to train 10 million skill points, I should get to 160 million come the end of July 2016.  Unless I start flying strategic cruisers in fleets and lose skill points.

Meanwhile, my alt is about to pass the 110 million skill point mark, and needs about 120 days to fly all the sub-caps.