Hitting Your Target

A question that keeps coming up on the forums is why missiles and turrets have such different skill trees. With the Rubicon release, some of those questions will go away since the skills will undergo the teircide treatment, but the underlying reason will remain the same: because they're not the same. This is an entire accurate but completely meaningless answer that is usually tossed into the discussion when people feel that the poster could have just searched for one of the many threads on the topic. So what does it mean? How are they different?

This post will go through the main differentiator between missiles and turrets: their respective hit and damage calculation mechanics. A lot of this can be found in wikis around the web, but few (if any) of them go into the various components and what they mean in practical terms.

Newbie Skill Plan 2.3: Vanguard Edition

It's an age-old complaint about the EVE skill system: it takes too long to get going and without a bajillion SP, your character is useless. The only thing as old is the simple fact that this complaint is not true. A series of previous posts have answered why the latter issue isn't nearly as much of a problem as it's said to be (cf. EVE Skills, parts I, II, and III). This post will go into detail about why the first issue is greatly overstated as well.

EVE Skills III: The Myth of “Catching Up”

As discussed in the previous part, the dirty secret of the EVE skills is that it really is a level-based system. The even dirtier secret is that it's almost the exact opposite of how most level-based systems works, and this is what trips up most casual observers. It's very easy to look at it and see the parallels: SP look kind of like XP; character builds look a bit like classes; skills look a lot like level-specific abilities; levels look a lot like… well, levels. As such, it's also very easy to make the assumption that more SP provides an inherent mechanical advantage, and that, since SP is accumulated over time with no power-grinding mechanic available, that this advantage is pretty much unassailable. An older player will have more SP, and that translate into more “power”, right?

EVE Skills II: The Level System

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.

EVE Skills Part I: Ranks and Points

War EVE… EVE never changes. At least not the forums where — now, as always — there is a constant trickle of threads bemoaning the unfair and newbie-crushing state of the EVE skill system. Specific problems are classics such as the unbeatable advantage of having more SP; the inability for new players to catch up with old ones; and that gear (unlocked by higher SP) wins over player skill. This series of posts will take a trip through the mechanics and effects of the EVE skill system to study how this all fits together and whether or not there's any truth to the rumours of the predetermined assured loss of the newbie.

Warning: maths and tables ahead!

TTK — CONCORD response times

All hail the doughnut!

The current favourite topic seems to be suicide ganking and the ways to protect yourself from it (and, occasionally, the supposed futility of trying to do so). A lot of the discussion is centred on what some given set of ships can do before CONCORD arrives to ruin their fun, and that all depends on how long it takes for them to put their doughnuts down and show up on the gate/asteroid field/whatever. However, there seems to be a wide spectrum of of guesstimates for how long it actually takes — anything from 15 seconds to 30 seconds has been used as a standard measurement. So I decided to go on Sisi and find out…

As it turns out, it was actually both! Kind of. The impatient might want to jump directly to the results or to the generalisation of the observations; the more patient might want to know how those numbers were collected and should just read on.

The newbie skill plan

An note on Odyssey

This skill plan was initially made during the Incursion era, and the blog post was released after Crucible had been released. Since then, the Retribution expansion switched around ship and weapon stats a fair bit, including a couple of skill changes. If you've come here through some old link, you should probably have a look at the updated post-Odyssey version instead.

Population & patches

In the weeks and months after Incarna was released, there was a great amount of debate about what effect the expansion had had or would have on the population and subscription numbers (the latter being a bit more difficult, but as the QENs and previous populations numbers had shown, online averages and subscriber numbers correlate quite nicely).

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