Thursday, April 11, 2013

Point of Skills

My main (Kirith Kodachi obviously) reached over 115 million skill points some time in the last month or so. I barely noticed. Since achieving Battleship V in all races last year every skill trained since then has been hardly worth thinking about. Just 2% here, 1% there... I'm sure it all adds up but I hardly notice anymore. I think I just finished Gallente Drone Specialization V this week.

The only time recently I got excited about a skill to train was when the new Armour Honeycombing skill dropped in Retribution that lessened speed penalties of armour plates. Faster ships? Yes please, especially for short ranged blaster ships that I don't want to go active tank on.

But this brings the topic around to the new skills. Other bloggers have written about this before but let me add my voice to the mix: its bad for younger players compared to veteran players primarily because vets like me with no crucial skills missing can stop whatever he is doing and train it up post haste while the neophytes have to make a decision between this skill or something else they need to improve their PvP.

And this brings me about to the upcoming skill rationalization where the Destroyer and Battlecruiser skills are going to be divided into four skills each, one for each faction.

When first floating this idea they (i.e. CCP) were still reeling and stinging from the Summer of Incarnage and the wrath of the veterans that was displayed in full force there. So when proposing this skill division they decided to make the call to say "if you can fly the ship before the skill change, you will  be able to fly it after".

Big mistake.

Essentially, this decision ensures a veteran like yours truly with all race's cruiser skill trained up gets a massive leg up over another player with only one cruiser skill trained up to unlock the battlecruisers. I effectively will get a windfall of 15 free levels of skills compared to the hypothetical other. For no extra training time at all.

What CCP should have done is this:

CCP: "OK everyone, we are splitting the Battlecruiser skill into four skills, one for each race. We will remove the battlecruiser skill from everyone and refund the skill points trained in it and the skill book cost to every player. Then you can invest those skill points and ISK however you want."

Bitter Vets: "What the hell, CCP? I can fly all the battlecruisers but after this I will only be able to fly one race's ships?!"

CCP: "Yes, that is an unfortunate side effect but as you are a long term player you have plenty of wherewithal to buy the skill books and retrain the race's as you need. We're sorry but this way is the most fair to everyone including newer players and best for the game."

Bitter Vets: "*insane rage*"


I personally would not have cared. Like any vets, I have my favourites and if I really wanted the other ships I would have taken the month or two or even three to get back to all ships at level V. What's three months to someone playing over seven years? (Hint to Jester: That's Quote of the Week material right there! No? Sigh. Always the bridesmaid.)


  1. Insane rage is an understatement. As someone that specifically trained all the cruisers to 5 and BC5 specifically for a max leadership toon your plan would have effectively nerfed me out of 3 ships without dedicating another 3-4 months after a training plan that took over 18 months to begin with.

    1. And for me, starting a toon now? You cool with me needing to spend those extra 3-4 months? What makes you so high and mighty important that 3 months of your time is too much, but 3 months of my time is just fine?

    2. Yes.

      I have a character who will benefit from the change and one who will have to do it the new way at a later point. Taking away something a character in an mmo can already do is not smart from a business perspective.

      Now if they had done something like remove all of the current ship skills and replaced them with one racial skill and separate hull skills a sp refund would probably be the best way to do it.

      CCP can HTFU when I unsub my accounts because of some stupid (I can fly it now but can't fly it after ) decisions they make.

  2. If someone is trying to fly one ship decently as fast as possible, it will be faster, no? If someone is trying to fly one ship perfectly as fast as possible, the change will make that faster, no?

    If someone is trying to get to the point where "every skill trained since then has been hardly worth thinking about. Just 2% here, 1% there..." as fast as possible, then they should just earn enough ISK to buy a toon like yours, right? 7 years, or 7 years and 3 months, what's the difference, eh? You're complaining that there's nothing worth training, then bemoaning the fact that new players will take longer to get to the point that you just complained about? Why?

    Look at it this way: The change to destroyer/BC skill was because it didn't make sense to have some ships be racial, and those not--but would you rather be a newbie now, or a year ago? which is more significant to a real newbie, slightly increasing training time to cross-train destroyers and BCs, or the massive buffs to frigate and cruiser usability, and balancing the 4 empire factions so that all factions have viable ships at all ships sizes? How many real newbies were cross-training early in their pilot's life, anyway? Theorycrafting for maximum SP acquisition doesn't seem to have a real connection to how actual new players experience the game.

    1. No. It will take exactly the same amount of time to fly your first racial BC for the new player, compared to the older player.

      But to fly each subsequent racial BC, the new player will have to train up a new BC (rank 5) skill. The older player got this for free.

    2. Well, you say it's exactly the same amount of time, but I'm basing my understanding on reading the devblog and you've completely failed to support your claim with any sort of reasoning; so unless you're aware of recent changes with links, or can support your claim that CCP Ytterbium is wrong, I'm unconvinced.

      CCP Ytterbium: "However, since prerequisites have been lowered from 4 to 3 to hop into the next class, reaching a ship size you interested into will be faster." from

  3. To me they seem to be going in different directions between skills and ships. Skills they are separating them into racial, ships they are somewhat taking the racial away and making all the races have the same type of ship. The are classifying battleships as combat, attack, disruption. Why do you need to train 4 battleship skills? Why not switch the skills to match the ship balancing and have 3 battleship skills, comabat, attack, and disruption.

  4. Skill training is already an artificial method to slow down player "progress", and almost any change will always benefit high SP characters over the Low SP ones. The only remotely fair way to balance new changes would be to retroactively apply every skill change in the game to the current SP totals and let everyone respend all of them. Have fun with that.

    CCP may be better served to toss out the current SP system for something that rewards gampelay...

    1. Anonymous3:15 am

      "CCP may be better served to toss out the current SP system for something that rewards gampelay..."

      Sure, give us endless grinding to level up XP so the powergamers can reach level cap in few weeks. (End sell those characters on Ebay maybe)
      No thanks, the time based SP system to hold players on an equal rate is fine. But some changes in direction of dust, to accumulate SP and awarding them later would be helpful. Very few events to increase that amount like research point generation with daily missions.

  5. Anonymous3:03 am

    First of all, there is one important change in it: You only need cruiser 3 to proceed to next level, battlecruiser in this case.

    Adding more skills to eve is indeed hard for the newbee, but you have to step away from the "all V" thinking. In the first few month trying out the game it is sufficient to train the basics to 3. New skills like honey combing only add a few hours there. Once you know where to go you can specialice by bringing those you need to V but that was and is the core concept of eve. Try it out with low time investment and specialice in it if you like it.

    Alternative solution to the "what you could fly before you can fly after" would be tro grad those old players these skills in advance but stalling the skill queue until enough SP is generated "to fill the new skills to all V". It's still a huge advantage over the one who has to train it from ground but you don't get that SP for free.