Monday, March 19, 2012

EVE: Reflection After Two Weeks

I am almost half way through the months sub I used to reactivate my EVE account. Time to reflect on where I have gotten to and where I am going.

During those two weeks I unlocked level 4 missions for the first time and I have been running them successfully in a newly equipped battleship. I am still new enough to this that I need to pay attention and plan carefully for each one but I have about a dozen missions under my belt at this stage so I think it is safe to say "I can do it". Missions are a useful source of ISK income and at  the moment I am finding each new mission an entertaining diversion. I have little doubt  though that they will soon a repetitive chore. It is time to start thinking about my next goal within the EVE universe.

Perhaps the most obvious goal would be to optimise mission running. While I can see missions themselves becoming tedious I still very much enjoy the meta game of ship and tactics design. The main difficulty with this is that I would require months of skill training to advance to the next level: Two months alone to unlock for tech 2 artillery for example. 

A few weeks back I thought about skilling up for some kind of covert ops ship and becoming an EVE tourist. This is still one of my goals although I have no idea how long it will keep me entertained. I also anticipate a lot of ship and pod kills along the way as I blunder through the more dangerous parts of EVE. Again I would need some serious skill training to make this a reality although I might be able to make a start in something like a Vigil (cheap fast Minmatar frigate that I can already fly).

I have been enthralled by blogs about Wormhole living and I do hanker after what is surely the true wild frontier of EVE. I went so far as to make a skill plan to get me up the the minimum entry level recommended by Doyce from Random Average. I need to be honest with myself though. I cannot see myself being able to put in the kind of uninterrupted commitment that wormhole living requires.

I know I have yet to mention the most obvious thing to do in an mmorpg - join a corporation of like minded people and set about doing multi player stuff. There are many who would say there is no point playing a game like EVE unless you participate in the multiplayer aspects of the game.  While I wouldn't rule this out I am not sure I am prepared for the increased level of commitment that a multiplayer engagement would require. Even my current missioning career tends to happen in fits and starts with breaks in the middle for "real life".

Another consideration is that CCP have announced some major incoming changes which will completely overhaul the standard (tech 1) level ships. Since these are the only type of ships I can fly this is bound to have a big impact on the game for me. I don't know when this expansion is due but it will probably be a very good time to be a newish player as everyone is thrown back to the same level getting used to the new ship configurations. That Massively article suggests that some well thought out investments in skill training might pay dividends when the overhaul finally hits. Battlecruisers to V for example it might allow you to fly a wide range of battle cruisers after the expansion hits.

A common theme of most of the suggestions above is that I need to train more skills. My queue of desirable skills is already stretching out many months ahead. That in itself is not a problem but running missions is not going to keep me entertained for all of those months which raises an interesting possibility that I have never done before with EVE - if I get bored of playing I could just keep paying a sub to keep training skills.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy a certain level of freedom operating a blockage runner, namely a Prowler.

They are pretty good at getting around and have the bonuses of cargo space and enough tank to absorb up to about 30 smartbombs. They do lose out on probing to the covert ops ships but if you are happy with only non-ship scans then they are find for that. The Prowler is the only blockage runner that has two highslots so is the only one that can fit a cloak and a probe launcher together.

There is another even more expensive option and that is that strategic cruisers can be specially configured to even warp through bubbles in nullsec.

All that said, when you have low skill-points it's just as easy to jump in a cheap ship and see how far you can get.


Anonymous said...

PS: The sacrifice a Prowler makes for it's bonus highslot is it has the smallest cargo hold and with only two lowslots can't be expanded to the 10k cargo that all the other BR's can achieve. Meaning it can't transport a packaged cruiser sized hull.

Eutheos said...

Great post! As someone who's entered Eve three weeks ago, with 6-year prior wow experience, and a real life and a casual approach, I love your writing. Keep it up! :)

mbp said...

Interesting choices Solbright. I have to take a long hard look at my skill plan to see what is possible within a reasonable timescale.

Welcome to my blog @Eutheos. What race did you choose? You character portrait could be a Minnie. If so I approve. In Rust we Trust!