Tag Archives: Skills

Infomorph Synchronizing and Wish Fulfillment

The Odyssey 1.1 patch dropped yesterday while I was at the office.  In the grand tradition of EVE Online, I had long skills set to train… just in case.

There is a long history things not going as smoothly as one would like.  As we used to joke about Apple in the early 90s, some days “Quality is Job 1.1.1” seems to be the corporate motto. (reference: System 7 tuner 1.1.1)

But so far it seems to have gone well.  I was able to patch all ~750MB and get into game fairly readily.

The patch itself was dense with changes.  The release notes are long.  There were 28 ships rebalances, including industrials, heavy assault cruisers, command ships, and the Dominix.  The only ship on the list I fly on any sort of regular basis is the trusty old Mammoth, which retained its name/role.  Iteron pilots were not so lucky.

Mammoth, from back in the day…

There were changes to modules as armor repairers and shield boosters were improved and an attempt was made to bring nosferatu modules back from the dead.  Bugs were fixed, the UI was altered, skills were renamed, skill groups were reworked (The EVEMon guys were ready with a patch for that right away! Good job!), and a couple of new skills were added.

And, as with every long set release notes, there is one entry that jumps out at me; the two new skills.  They are:

  • Infomorph Synchronizing
  • Advanced Infomorph Psychology

The first on the list, Infomorph Synchronizing, is one I have been waiting for.  Just 18 months ago in one of my semi-regular “wouldn’t it be nice” wish list posts, I pointed at Blizzard’s change from 24 hour to 20 hour lockouts and said that EVE Online really needed this sort of change for jump clone.  You can read my reasoning in that post.

And now CCP has delivered, though in a very EVE Online sort of way.  We have been given a skill that, with each level trained, reduces the timer for jump clones by one hour.  So if I train this skill to level IV, which I am doing even as I write this (Level IV is more than a full day of training for me, damn charisma influenced skills!  And, of course, it is interrupting my capital ship training plane, which interrupted my subcap plan, because this is EVE and the serial training queue was created to drive you mad.), my “between jumps” timer will be reduced to 20 hours.

Which is exactly what I asked for.  I guess I need to be more specific in the “how” department next time, but it still isn’t bad.

The second one is not a skill I was really thinking about.  It is an adjunct to Infomorph Psychology, the skill that controls the total number of jump clones you can have.  I have it trained to IV, which means I can have four jump clones.  And, at this point, if you don’t know the game well, you are probably asking, “What the hell is a jump clone?”  Go read this entry in the EVElopedia.  (Did that help?  I didn’t think so.  Welcome to EVE.)

Four is about enough during times of peace or focused wars.  But I have been feeling a bit stretched lately, so I think I am going to invest the week to get that Infomorph Psychology to V so I can grab the new skill and get seven or eight jump clones going.   If nothing else, it seems like it might be good to leave a jump clone in 1DH-SX from now on, as we seem to return to that station on a regular basis.

Anyway, that is what the Odyssey 1.1 patch meant to me in the short term.  I am sure that wiser minds than my own will tell me what other aspects of the patch will impact my corner of space.  I might have to look into the industrial changes.  With the deployment to Delve, the supply train has yet to catch up and so there has been call for things on the market, a good time for those with a mind to make some money.

Meanwhile, on other fronts in New Eden, there is Potshot, who is celebrating his first patch day in null sec and who just posted some of his own lessons learned in the wilds of player controlled space.  Lessons learned the hard way usually stick the best.

Thinking On Tank Crew Skills

My time with World of Tanks can be divided into two eras.

There was beta, launch, and immediately after, during which I played a lot but then tapered off, with my last surge coming when I bought the Type 59.  And then there is Patch 8.0 and beyond.  Patch 8.0 was the great physics update which revitalized the game for me, fixing some of my key annoyances, and got me to come back and play.

Of course, a lot had changed between these two eras besides the physics.  Tank trees, tanks, countries, and skills had all be shaken up in that time.  I have taken on things by turns, and now I am looking at skills.

For those who do not play the game, you tank has a crew that actually translates your inputs into actions.  So you may aim and click the button to shoot the cannon on your tank, but the skills of your gunner play heavily into the accuracy of that shot.  And you increase the skills of your crew by playing.  They gain experience over time.

In the first era there was but one skill.  Each crew member had a function, like gunner, loader, or driver, and a skill level associated with that.  At 100% you were done training and that was that.

At some point when I had faded from the game, Wargaming.net added in secondary skills.  So now, after your crew hits 100% in their primary skill, they can learn additional skills to help them at their job.

I handled this the way I often handle these sorts of skill changes.  I picked some likely looking candidates and moved on to play.  After a while and a bit of reflection, I came up with a pattern, a standard set of skills I assign my crews.

First off, the secondary skills are actually divided into skills and perks.  Skills come into effect immediately and get more effective as you learn the skill.  Perks, which tend to be better, do nothing while you learn them, only providing benefit when you get them to 100%.  That can take a while, as the game wiki points out.

A Graph! How much exp per skill!

A Graph! How much exp per skill!

I never know how long I am going to play a given tank.  So my first decision was skills only, avoid perks.  And for quite a while I was in no danger of getting to 100% on skills or perks, so it seemed like a wise course.  I settled down to the following as a general template:

  • Commander – Mentor (+10% primary skills for crew)
  • Gunner – Snap Shot if vehicle has a turret, Armorer if not
  • Driver – Controlled Impact (because I love when people die ramming me)
  • Radio Operator – Situational Awareness
  • Loaders – Repair, Fire Fighting, or Camouflage

So my KV-3 crew follows that pattern. (Which you can verify if you know what the tiny icons mean.)

KV-3 Crew

KV-3 Crew

After a while, I started getting to crews that had a skill trained up to 100% and needed to start on a second skill.  But I had chosen all of what I perceived as the “good” skills the first time around.  And since the climb to 100% for the second skill is, as the chart above indicates, about double the effort, I didn’t want some useless perks idling there for all that time.

So I looked into retraining.

You can reset you skills and perks for a price.  For 200 gold, which seems like a lot (and which is probably the point), you can simply swap them out with no penalty.  For credits you can swap them, but lose 10% of your skill points.  I have chosen both options at this point, but the skill point loss isn’t so bad if you wait for a bit getting into your second skill.  I am happy so long as I don’t have to do that last 5% over again to get the first one to 100%.

With a reset, I could inject perks into the first position and then put the same skills I had been training before into the second slot.  Being mildly obsessed with crew skills, I went with Band of Brothers for the first slot across the whole crew.  This perk boost crew skills beyond 100%, but only if everybody in the crew has it.

So I have a couple of crews that look like my T-150 crew now:

T-150 crew with Band of Brothers

T-150 crew with Band of Brothers

So you can see that with Brothers in Arms across the whole crew, plus the commander training Mentor again, plus ventilation added to the tank, my gunner is running at 121% skill level.  And he has Snap Shot well under way, though it you look at that curve above, 74% is about the half way point to being done.  A long ways to go yet.

I was generally satisfied by this, with the view that better crew skills was the optimum choice.

However, when I finally got my Type 59 crew up to their first skill at 100%, I began to wonder if a 5% skill boost was worth tying up the whole first slot.  So I decided to experiment with them.  The Type 59 was the crew where I first picked skills and perks, and did so at random, not yet understanding the whole “skill  vs. perk” thing.  So they had some perks mixed in that I never bothered to retrain.  So I decided to stick with them.

Type 59 crew

Type 59 crew

For the commander, I chose Sixth Sense, which I am beginning to really depend upon.  I play the Type 59 either on the flanks, looking for a good shoot, or as a passive scout, parked in the middle of what would otherwise be a giant gap in our lines as the rest of the team tries press up either flank.  3 seconds after I have been spotted, a little light bulb shows up on screen, and I know it is time to trot.  Now, in that 3 second gap, the bad guys can, and often do, take a shot at me.  But not always, and it at least keeps arty from raining down on me.

The for a second skill, I chose Mentor, which is my standard.

My gunner has Deadeye, which is supposed to increase critical damage.  The boost is only 3%, so I am wondering if I ought to retrain and take Designated Target instead, which keeps targets in your scope visible for an extra two seconds than they otherwise would.  That can be the difference between getting off a good shot or not.

My driver camo, which certainly doesn’t hurt when playing passive scout, and Controlled Impact because, as I said, I like to punish those who ram.

My loader/radio operator has Situational Awareness and Repair because… why not?

And this seems to have worked out well enough and again undermines my initial faith in Brothers in Arms as a worthwhile use of a skill/perk slot.  Is that 5% worth it or not?  It apparently also boosts mentoring a bit, but as you can see above, by all of 1%.

I have two vehicles coming up where I am going to have to decide how to move forward.  The KV-3, whose crew I showed above, and the Jagpanther, which I suspect I will be driving a lot in April, since it is the Tank of the Month and gets a 30% boost to credits.

For the Jagpanther, I am going to go with something akin to the Type 59 crew.  Sixth Sense for the commander and Designated Target for the gunner being my gut priority.

And with the KV-3, which tends to be a giant shot magnet, I am tending towards Eagle Eye, Deadeye, Preventative Maintenance, Safe Stowage, and whatever repair and fire fighting skills I can squeeze in, just to enhance survivability.  Six Sense seems like a waste as pretty much everybody seems to see me when I move around.

What do you think?  How do you fill up the skill/perk slots on your crews?  What seems to really help and what is a waste of a slot?

Ten Million Skill Points

I have hit a new level of achievement in EVE Online for my main character, Wilhelm Arcturus.  He has finally crossed the 10 million skill point barrier.

His 10 million skill points are divided, in descending order, into the following categories:

Spaceship Command   2,561,307 
Learning:           1,454,787 
Industry            1,151,142 
Electronics           998,658 
Missile Launcher Ops  923,820 
Gunnery               713,651 
Engineering           546,644 
Science               409,185 
Navigation            383,195 
Social                325,785 
Trade                 298,699 
Mechanic              177,988 
Drones                 44,182 
Leadership              8,000 
Corporation Management  2,957    

Total              10,000,000

As is probably pretty common, spaceship command is number one on the list.  All of the skills that allow somebody to fly a given class of ship, like Caldari frigates for example, fall under this.

I also have a heavy investment in learning skills, which speed up training.  I buckled down and got all of the learning skills up to at least Level 4 this Summer, which has sped things up in the long run.  I am doing the same thing now with my miner.

And then, of course, there is industry, which I have been doing a lot of work in of late, as all of my ore processing and much of the production related skills.  Industry is nice because it uses Wilhelm’s two highest attributes, memory and intelligence, so he grinds through industry skills at 1815 skill points per hour.

Electronics is something of a left over from my desire to try covert ops.  There are a number of electronics precursors to that skill.  I never finished going down that path, but it has helped me with CPU usage on my ships, something I am told is a nagging problem for Caldari vessels. 

Missile launcher operations has been largely driven my desire to stop losing Caracals by becoming more effective at missile warfare.  I have generally fallen in the “kill things faster, take less damage” school of fighting.

Then there is gunnery, which was probably really useful when I had a Cormorant with 6 75mm rail guns and a pair of missile launchers.  Now that I have gone all missiles, they just boost my total.

And then, blah blah blah, down to the end.  Drones sounded neat, but were only so-so.  Leadership was a prerequisite for another skill.  I have shown nothing that resembles leadership in-game otherwise.  And I learned just enough corporation management to create a corp, manipulate containers, and invite a Minmatar to our Caldari formed corp.

Out of that 10 million, Wilhelm has a total of 122 known skills, which are spread out as follows:

Level 1:  25 Skills 
Level 2:  11 Skills 
Level 3:  28 Skills 
Level 4:  47 Skills 
Level 5:  11 Skills

Generally, any skill worth knowing is worth knowing to level 4.  Beyond that, the effort is pretty high.  Almost all of the skills I have brought up to level 5, which takes significantly longer than levels 1 through 4 combined, have been prerequisites for other skills.

My level 5 skills are:

Caldari Cruiser 
Caldari Frigate 
Spaceship Command 
Instant Recall 
Electronics Upgrades 
Missile Launcher Operations 

In that list, only learning and instant recall were not required to get to another skill.

So now I need to figure out where I want to be when I get to 20 million skill points.