So later today the skill Minmatar Cruiser V completes and as it does I will lay claim to the Quadfecta of Tech II cruiser access. I still need tech II medium projectiles but that is next and followed by Minmatar battleships and large projectiles, but that is another post.
I was going to write a piece about the best/favourite ships in each class (and I still might someday) but that is too mundane for post #1988 so I had another thought, a question to ask and answer:
What's the skill that has given the best bang for the effort to train now that I have access to all four race's cruisers and frigates?
My answer has to be Battlecruisers V.
Why? Well, for a single race pilot the skill is nice to start with as it improves performance of your workhouse ships (Tech I battlecruisers) AND it opens up the way to the very useful and powerful Command Ships class. Its worth the ~25 days to train as is.
But once you start to crosstrain, this skill keeps giving immediate benefits. For example, all the tech I battlecruisers require their racial cruiser skill to III to fly, but derive all their bonuses from the Battlecruiser skill. This means you need a short couple days to train a new race's frigate skill to IV and cruiser skill to III and you get two fully bonused new battlecruisers opened to you.
Similarly, if you take the time to train another race's cruiser skill to V, you not only get access to their Tech II cruiser variants that you have trained for your primary race, you also get their Command Ships when you have Battlecruisers V. It feels like they require no extra training at all.
So in essence, in the long term, that 25 or so days to train Battlecruisers V is a huge win. Compared to trying to crosstrain other race's carriers, each one requiring racial Battleship to V. *groan*
Now, you could argue my assertion by pointing out that other skills have similar crosstrain benefits, such as Assault Ships, Recons, Heavy Assault Ships, etc in that they come for free in the new race as the basic frigate and cruiser skills are brought to V. However I counter that by pointing out that they do not benefit Tech I ships in any way unlike Battlecruiser V which is a staple skill of the newb and vet alike. Only Destroyers has similar properties but for much less powerful tech I and tech II hulls.
So readers, what skill do you think is the best reward for investment?