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Sunday 28 September 2014

Skill Training in EvE

One of the first questions people ask about EvE is "What Skills do I Train?". There are a few things you should know initially that will help you train faster and give you some confidence that you at least have a basic idea of how it works. This is a complex topic when you understand how it all works and you should spend some time researching this further when you get a chance.

Can I train the wrong skills from the start? NO
First of all let me start with this. If you have chosen to pursue a particular skill at the start of the game or even a particular skill path that you suddenly decide to change then don't restart and create a new character. There is no need and it will not be any faster to create a new character and start again. Keep those skills you have trained and just switch to the new ones you wish to pursue. My first character has skills all over the place but when I look to pursue different paths during my time in game the skills I trained early on have had a definitive impact on shortening some of the requirements at a later date!

What should I train from the start?
There is no skill you should train from the start unless you have already decided which path you wish to pursue. There used to be a skill that improved training time but this no longer exists so train what you wish to train. Follow the introduction and pickup the skill books it provides and train those as needed would be my best suggestion. Get a taste for what the game involves and what interests you and then pursue a particular skill path from there. You CAN'T go wrong, any skill you train will be useful to you at some point further down the track. I would also suggest that maybe you should not pursue training any skills to level 5 unless you require it for a particular path you have chosen. At least not in the first 3 months.

Skill training looks like it will take a long time, how can I speed this up? 
There are effectively 2 ways to do this, both of which relate to your basic stats and utilising both can significantly reduce your training times. Both of these have their risks though much like everything in EvE. These stats are recorded on your character sheet and are listed as follows, Intelligence, Wisdom, Memory, Perception and Charisma. All skills have a primary and secondary stat that has an effect on how quickly you can train that skill. If you increase the stats related to the skill you are training then your training time will be reduced.
Method 1: Stat Remap. Firstly you need to know that these are limited. Be careful in choosing a particular remap because from memory you start with 2 free remaps and you get a new remap every 12 months. You may want to hold off on this until you have a clear direction that you wish to pursue, so I would suggest utilising this facility only once you have decided on at least 6 months worth of training. You could end up with no remaps available and very LONG training times if you have reduced stats in something you need to train!
Method 2: Implants. These can be bought off the in game market and depending on the level of implant they increase your individual stats according to the implant slot they are associated with. You can only have one implant per slot and each slot relates to a specific stat. These are also found on your character sheet. If your pod is destroyed then your implants are destroyed with it and you will need to replace them if your clone is activated. So be careful in the utilisation of these particularly if you are inserting the most expensive bonus stats to your character. You must also train cybernetics to implant these and the higher the bonus the higher the training required.

I want to fly the biggest baddest ship in game as quickly as possible because then I can just explode everything that moves!
Training Battleships to 5 may not be the best start. I respect your decision but there is no easy mode to this game. You will quickly learn that flying a battleship, for example, is not always going to be the most effective way to win a battle. You might consider that a frigate, if flown well and correctly built, can evade the attacks of a battleship indefinitely. The said frigate can also stop you from moving effectively and "hold" you in place until assistance arrives. Bigger is not necessarily better if you can't fit the battleship properly and don't have an understanding of how the game mechanics work. I would suggest that you don't try to push past cruiser in the first 3 months but hey, it is a sandbox, go nuts!

Are there any tools out there to assist? YES and use them!
There are various tools that use the EvE API (allows 3rd party applications to access some of you account details but NOT those that would allow them to actually access your account or make any changes). Please do your research until you are confident that providing an application with your specific API key is safe. Basically your API allows these applications usually built by players to access the character details and only DISPLAY them. You cannot change the skills you are training without logging into EvE for example but by the use of your API an application can display what you are currently are training or have trained.
So here are a couple that I use - again please do your research as to where you are downloading these from and utilise them at your own risk, I have no affiliation with them!

EFT (on my PC) - assists in building new ships as it allows you to identify what modules you can fit on a ship and what requirements you need to train in skills for a specific fit of modules.
EvEMon (on my PC) - Displays what you are currently training and can definitely assist in creating training plans!
Neocom (on my iPad) - I haven't found any other "apps" out there but I do like this one. It is well thought out and easy to use. Kind of a combination of the first two.

There are likely many more out there so don't just stick to these.

Remember, fly dangerous, it doesn't affect your skill queue, or does it!

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