The Level Cap
The dirty secret of the EVE skill system comes down to this: it really is a level-based system. It's just not the levels you see in D&D-derived games, which is what most computer games with RPG elements are. In those games, you have a class or profession or archetype, and you pour experience points into it to gain higher and higher levels, which in turn give you access to new powers, new abilities, more bonuses et cetera. Some of them let you multi-class so you can spend those XP on proficiencies that you wouldn't otherwise have, and some of them (especially computer-based ones) have level caps that
demonstrate the limit of designer inventiveness tells you it's time to try a different path. EVE is the ultimate multi-class design.
In EVE, every skill is effectively such a class structure, but with very limited sets of abilities and bonuses to unlock, and with a ridiculously low level cap. All you can get is lvl V. As discussed in the previous part of this series, taking a skill that far can actually often be counter-productive since you're looking at increasingly marginal improvements for exponentially longer training times. In this part, we're going to look at the bigger picture of this cost-vs-reward relationship and see what that level cap actually entails and how much you (supposedly) miss out on by not going for it.