Saturday, January 24, 2009

EVE: Skill trainng queue revisited

I while back I wrote a blog post requesting an EVE skill training queue that was picked up by Massively and a few other sites. It generated quite a bit of comment on both sides of the argument. Newer players were generally in favour of a skill queue while more experienced players seemed to prefer the status quo. Perhaps this is another case of old timers who have learned to live with the current system not understanding why newbies should get an easier deal than they did back in the old days.

Although I am not playing EVE at the moment that post still generates the occasional comment. This morning an anonymous commenter posted a detailed proposal for a scheme in which you pay a fee to put skills in the queue, the fee being dependent on the both the length of the queue and the value of the skill being queued. I think that is a brilliant idea. Such a fee should help to dissuade afk character farming by making it unprofitable.

The suggestion was posted anonymously so I cannot give proper credit but I am reposting the comment below because I think it deserves a spell on the front page.
Anonymous (now known to be Solbright) said...

== Proposed formula for the upcoming skill training queue ==

Refined a little ... Adding a skill queue to Eve's skill training system introduces one problem for CCP - Pilot farming becomes a lot easier to automate. The result will be more people will engaged in the practise, with the accompaning drop in money value of EBay'd pilots. I suspect this will be deemed unacceptable. There is a simple solution that can counteract this likely problem and at the same time make the use of a skill queue a service that still needs to be worked for.

Charge an ISK fee for each skill that is queued in it (Here's a possible starting rate):

ISK_fee = skill_size * 10 + queued * 1000000

* "ISK_fee" is, obviously, the amount subtracted from the pilot's wallet for having a specific level of a skill appended to the skill training queue.

* "skill_size" is the skill points of the level to be trained.

* "queued" is the number of queued skills to be trained when you add the new one.

=== An example ===

Say we have an existing skill, Minmatar Battleship level 3, in training. The skill training queue is empty, then add the following to the queue for later training:

* Trade is a rank 1 skill. Level 1 is 250 skill points (SP), requires this skill to have been previously started training.
** As first skill in the queue: 1,002,500.00 ISK = 250 * 10 + 1 * 1000000

* Mining is a rank 1 skill. Currently at level 2, level 3 is 8000 SP.
** As second skill in the queue: 2,080,000.00 ISK = 8000 * 10 + 2 * 1000000

* Anchoring is a rank 3 skill. Currently at level 2, level 3 is 24000 SP.
** As third skill in the queue: 3,240,000.00 ISK = 24000 * 10 + 3 * 1000000

* Anchoring will be at level 3, level 4 is 135765 SP.
** As forth skill in the queue: 5,357,650.00 ISK = 135765 * 10 + 4 * 1000000

* Minmatar Battleship is a rank 8 skill. Will be at level 3, level 4 is about 362040 SP.
** As fifth skill in the queue: 8,620,400.00 ISK = 362040 * 10 + 5 * 1000000

* Minmatar Battleship will be at level 4, level 5 is 2048000 SP.
** As sixth skill in the queue: 26,480,000.00 ISK = 2048000 * 10 + 6 * 1000000

There is a complexity in providing the correct skill level to be inserted in the queue depending on what levels are already queued or in training.

Another complexity I perceive here is what happens to the original ISK_fee if a queued skill is then removed from the skill training queue before training of it was started. The seemingly most obvious solution is to have a memory of each item's ISK_fee, and refunding it if the skill is removed before training is started.

Actually, the only sensible option here is to clear the whole queue - refunding all the ISK_fee's contained in the queue. Otherwise you end up paying for deeper queue positions than needed.

Edit: The anonymous commenter has revealed him/herself as Solbright.

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