Greedy Goblin

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Too hard Core

Ripard wrote a post how CCP should remove core skills like they did with learning skills. According to Ripard: "that 25 million skill points that any alt in EVE needs to have to be at all useful. That's Engineering and Shields (or Armor) and Navigation and Targeting and Rigging and Scanning and Neural Enhancement... all of those skills that make it possible to actually fly the ships."

I strongly disagree and believe that his conclusion came from his highly elitist background.

Below you can see the skill distribution of my Rens trader:
She has 19M skill point and no longer trains skills, because I deemed this pilot complete. Not 25M plus specialization. 19M all together. This pilot can do her job perfectly: trade, fly transport Tengu, fly Orca, Freighter, do PI, research blueprints. She simply doesn't need more skillpoints.

My second example is my first pilot who joined TEST first time. She barely had 10M skillpoints, yet perfectly complied to the TEST skill list for one ship: the Scimitar. And she was flying... a Scimitar.

But my favorite example is this:
This is a Nyx pilot in early stage of training, only core skills, no drones or Spaceship command. 11M skillpoints. Now let's see what CCP thinks of her:
Yes, according to CCP she just needs 200K more SP to have level 4 mastery for Nyx on the core skills front (the x-ed skills are drones or spaceship command). Not for some random frig, but for a supercarrier. Of course you can come and say that CCP is a bunch of scrubs who have no clue about EVE Online.

There aren't 25M core skills. You need 25M Int/mem support skills if you want to be in the position that as soon as you can sit into a hull, you can fly it too. Yes, if you want to fly armor battleships and shield interceptors and cap transfer logi and ewar ships and kiting T3 then yes, you need 25M worth of int/mem skills. But if you have a clue what do you want to be in EVE, you don't. Miners don't need armor skills. Nor targeting skills. An interceptor won't be saved by that +5% shield HP or +1% kinetic resist from passive hardeners, it speed tanks. A battleship can live if it flies with 200m/s instead of 210m/s. A trader, PI or researcher doesn't need to fly more than 200K SP worth of ships.

Above all, the newbie won't die because his guns burn out 5% faster. He dies because he has no clue how to use his dscan or how to make a perch or what is "tracking". The forced specialization helps learning the important stuff by locking the player into one ship type. I became a pretty good logi pilot because I flied nothing but logies, so I could focus on things like range, transversal instead of "oh my god what are these buttons again and why am I making zero damage... damnit I'm supposed to be in brawling range with this ship".

Instead of giving 25M free skillpoints to everyone, I'd bypass the "I'm useless for months" state by the following feature: after subscribing I'd let the newbie pick one subcapital ship (except T2 battleship or Command ship) and he'd instantly get the requirements and mastery level 4 skills for that ship. However these skill points aren't free, they create an "SP debt" that takes away 2/3 of the trained skillpoints until it's fully paid. So the newbie would have a good pilot for one ship and due to the 1/3 SP training, he'd be practically locked into this one ship, so he'd be forced to learn the game instead of learning various ships.

Update: I'm pretty dissatisfied with the alliance implementation of CCP. First, I had to let the war with GSF lapse to be able to apply to the Lemmings, despite the alliance was at war with the same entity. Then, after the application is accepted, I have to wait 24 more hours, having to turn down fellow Lemmings who called me to a POCO shoot. I hope that soon I can rejoin the war.


Unknown said...

Finally a good point not mired with bullshit. Straight to the point with simple facts and examples to back it up.

In my humble opinion you should write more pieces like this and less "bombless bombers" are bad because of test propaganda.

Anonymous said...

But most people DO NOT have a clue what they want to do, or they want to do multiple things with one character because they don't want multiple accounts. Ripard is completely right, there are too many core skills which are just placeholders in the sense that they are pretty much mandatory for most ships/roles and represent no decision. Unless you restrict yourself to a single role/ship, that is. Maybe it's not 25M sp but still quite a lot.

Raziel Walker said...

Totally agree. Only characters that want to be able to do everything need 25m in core skills. If I train a new character for a specific purpose the odds are it will take 2 months at most.

My pvp alt is close to having all these core skills Ripard mentioned and if I want to fly a new ship or fitting all I need is to train the hull to rank 4 (or 5 to be 'pro')and I am set to go.

There is a big difference between 'must have' and 'nice to have'

Alim said...

I disagree with you. If you're in an a lets say interceptor for example, and some one catches you in an interceptor with all the exact same skills as you, except that 25m He has those. He will win. He will be that much % better than you across the board. My honest fix is getting rid of Level 5 on those skills, newbies don't want to train capacitor managmnet for at least two weeks or more. (I know there are three cap skills one takes 12 days and I can't recall how long the others take)

Gevlon said...

But making up your mind what do you want to be is one of the core decisions of EVE. "I want to be everything" isn't a supported choice. It's possible, but then get your wallet and buy a 80M SP pilot (or wait 4 years).

Anonymous said...

Some of this post is spot on... other bits are going off on some tangent that no one else is talking about.

Firstly, you're right that Ripard's "25M" is WAY too large of a number... I have several sub 10mil characters that are complete. So it's a decent counterpoint to his argument that "even alts need 25M as a baseline". (paraphrased, but close enough)

Unfortunately, your rather autistic approach to eve means that you really only have what the rest of us would call alts. Most people do _not_ focus on one and only one type of ship, while they busily take over the Dodixie rig market(or whatever) on other characters.

This doesn't actually mean you're wrong. But it does mean that your counterexamples are useless to trying to improving the new player's experience.

And unfortunately your proposal ranks up with the worst of the ones in his comments section. Every single noobie (and non-noobie), would immediately fill all three characters with ships he wanted, then stop training except on a non-"bonused" alt. (or the cheapest bonus... if it was an option) Standard advice would then be to fill your alt-slots with "a logi", "a battleship" and then train on your last slot for frigs or whatnot. That's not even considering the fact that it's far more complicated than you want to throw at a new player.

Gevlon said...

Such exploit could be easily countered. You can pick the "instant ship skills" on one character/account and you can't stop training this account until the debt is repaid (you can use dual training of course).

A real new player doesn't want or need alts anyway.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a market for characters already so if you don't want to wait you can just buy one that's already done. Go markets. It seems like people just want a super guy who can do everything the best right from the start and what fun is that if everyone has one it jut becomes boring.

As for noobs as I am one we don't need a ton if skills the time let's us learn and we still die in funny ways.

Peter said...

This post is the perfect illustration of Malcanis' law.

What you propose would lock new players into a choice made while just learning the game.

This would obviously be to their detriment, as a genuinely new player needs to have the freedom to experiment and find the aspects of the game they enjoy.

It would however be very useful to someone who already understood* the game, and wanted to create an alt for a specific purpose.

Also, while Ripard clearly overstates the number of skillpoints which are required in 'core' skills, you seriously undermine your case by having all three of your examples be completely incapable of doing any damage.

* for a given value of 'understood'.

Gevlon said...

@Peter: I believe it would be better for genuine newbies if CCP would pick them a totally random ship and lock them into it. The problem that newbies from other MMOs bring is "grind out bigger": the noob who get his railgun Cormorant roflstomped by an Rifter with tracking distruptor will "naturally" learn to fly a cruiser or battlecruiser and grind out ISK for the Navy version, because that will definitely pwn the pesky Rifter noob.

Instead he should be learning some basic mechanics of tracking and range and come back in a webbing blaster catalyst.

Raziel Walker said...

@Peter: Yes Gevlon only has specialized characters and not a single allround character and most don't have combat skills. But that is only because he has no desire to do so and has clear goals and fits he wants to fly.

I recently created 3 new PI characters. They can fly cloaky quadruple stabbed shield tanked epithals including the skills to scan down wormhole exits. This only took two weeks.

I want to train up some characters to fly a drake to run combat sites. This takes less as 2 months and I will be close in performance to a character with 25m SP in those core skills.

Von Keigai said...

Not a fan of your newb proposal. But you're right that Teg drastically overestimates the core skills required to be effective. 25m? I still don't have that! As I said over there, you can get a pretty good core -- more core than I had for the first six months or more of playing -- in just 2m skillpoints. This is easily verified with a quick session in EVEMon. Two level Vs (CPU and power), and then mostly level IVs with a few level IIIs. I expect one could get a tolerable core in considerably fewer skillpoints, using mostly level IIIs.

The idea of giving away millions of skillpoints to newbs is way too much. Hey: I enjoyed training up my core! Lots of progress in not much time. But I think it might be nice to give newbs just a bit of a push in the right direction. It's relatively hard to discover that skills exist when nobody tells you about them. So, here's my counter suggestion: give newbs level I (or even level 0) skill in core skills. Perhaps have a newb mission that gives them the skillbooks. The point is not to give away skads of skillpoints, just to get them started in the right direction, and to let them know that these skills are relatively important.

All V said...

"the noob ... will "naturally" learn to fly a cruiser ... because that will definitely pwn the pesky Rifter noob."
Maybe this noob will just quit the game and move on because he can't see a way to be competetive with someone who is 5+ years ahead in skills. The noob, even if highly motivated and couraged, can't catch up within 6 month, no matter how hard he tries.

It's funny you mentioned the Rifter as my first loss was to a Rifter and I was in a Rifter, too.
After the fight he gave me suggestions how to focus on skills and paid me enough ISK to buy 10 Rifters. After he had checked my Bio he knew I was only 2 month old and that I would lack a lot of the core skills while he was close to "all V". All he had to do was "orbit at 5000m", "F1, F2, F3, F4" (scram, web, weapons, afterburner).
Equal ship hulls, pretty much the same fitting (meta4 vs T2) but he couldn't lose, no matter how "superior" I would doubleclick in space.
His agility was way higher, his Cap lasted longer, his guns had better tracking, more range and more volley, his afterburner accelerated faster, his repairer was more efficiant and he had more eHP. All because of core-skills.
Did he enjoy killing a noob by pressing "orbit at..."?
Did I get motivated to try it again?
Did I do sth wrong?
Would I have won this fight if I had xM+ SP in core skills?

No, no, no and no.

Today I am in the position of having most of the core skills at V and I don't like to engage a new player in lowsec... Winning a fight because of Acceleration Control V, Evasive Maneuvering V, Fuel Conservation V and Navigation V isn't satisfying.
I don't want to win because I have Advanced Weapon Upgrade V and therefore am able to fit a second damage rig.
I'd love to win a fight because I am more experienced, know how to approach, know how to manage my Cap.

It is not motivating to lose a fight not because YOU suck but because you missed to subscribe 2 years ago.

If you take equal ships (equal fitting) you should be able to beat your opponent by making better decisions, no matter if you are a trial or a bittervet.

Taking out the core skills would make fight more equal, no matter if we are talking about 1M SP, 5M SP or 25M SP.

Anonymous said...

And now, if you add together the distinct core skills of all your chars, what do you have now?

One point of Jester's posting is that people use alts to quicken learning... so proving your point by listing several specialized alts missing the mark by quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I am a "jack of all trades" main toon, it took about 2 years to get a spread of skills in everything but capitals, although nothing is specialized but in a fleet of 80 that's hardly noticeable.

I personally don't see the point in paying for a game and then choosing only to play only a fraction of its content.

Raziel Walker said...

I suck at pvp and don't have the reflexes and awareness other players have. I depend on the fact that I have more SP to equalize the playing field and give a chance.
And those reflexes and situational awareness are often more important. Just as over time that new player will get close to my SP, so can I with training increase my situational awareness.

Anonymous said...

locking people in ships or giving idiodprove welfare SP. NO!

I totally disagree.

You don't like to read? than don't play EVE. it is that plain simple. if it takes 200m SP to finally rightclick -> showinfo. fine .. so be it.

A game should be able to let you fail.

Peter said...

@Raziel Walker Precisely. Gavlon already knows what he wants to do with his characters, and has lots of alts which specialise.

None of this applies to new players. Gevlon's 'New players' suggestion isn't designed for new players, it's designed for Gevlon - the perfect example of Malcanis' law.

@Gevlon You said plenty of sensible things, but failed to notice that they undermine your point.

Yes, optimally a new player whose catalyst is killed by a rifter would come back with blasters and webs rather than a larger ship. It is therefore unfortunate that Gevlon goblin has decreed that 2/3 of his skillpoints will go towards training for a raven rather than the blasters he's so keen to bring to bear.

Gevlon said...

@Peter: a new player should know what he want to BE (not fly) in EVE. From there, there can be a wiki page picking the "ship for you":
- Miner: Mackinaw
- Missioner: Raven
- Explorer: Buzzard
- Trader: racial freighter
- Pirate: Tornado
- FW fighter: racial assault frig
- Nullsec: read the alliance MOTD
- WH: Tengu

If you can't even pick what you want to be, you'll quit EVE anyway.

Peter said...

Really? Because a while back you decided you wanted to be a suicide ganker, and then you decided you wanted to live in wormholes, and now you want to either wardec goons or take credit for other people wardecing goons.

People change their minds, new players doubly so.

And when a new player decides that mining isn't for them and they're going to try something else, it's incredibly cruel to force them to continue spending the majority of their SP training for a damned mackinaw.

Locking new players into decisions they make before they're in a position to understand the consequences of those decisions isn't good for anyone.

Your plan doesn't benefit new players, it benefits people making alts, especially those who make a lot of very specialised alts.

Your plan benefits you. It hurts new players.

Dersen Lowery said...

How can you pick what you want to be in EVE when you have no idea what the options are?

After all, you don't really know what's involved in any career in the game until you've hit Ripard's experience level (or so).

Imagine some hapless newbie who thinks it would be cool to be a bounty hunter in EVE. You... can... but because of the implications of game mechanics that our bold newbie has no grasp of, it doesn't work the way anyone new to the game would imagine it works. And then, what?

Gevlon said...

Why can't he be a bounty hunter? Many highsec PvP corporations specialize in hitting people with kill rights and they usually have bounties too. While sitting in a seboed Tornado is not my game, why can't he choose that?

Anonymous said...

When I started EVE I wanted to be an explorer. After 100 hours exploring in high, low and null I finally realized exploring was easy, boring and unprofitable. SP wasted.
Then I wanted to be a missioner. I read what to do and trained up to a raven. Then I realized L4 was not as good as they said. Bored after doing the same missions again and again. No thanks. SP wasted.
Then I decided I wanted to be a trader. I liked it and traded for 1 month long. That was ok but I decided I *also* wanted to do other things than *just* trading. Why not PVP. Roamed during 1 hour and a half in low sec before I could find someone to fight. Lost my kestrel fit with T1 rockets to a hookbill, barely scratched his shields. Awesome.
For an other reason wanted to fit T2 weapons on a BC (I finally learned that T1 weapons are worthless). Took evemon... "try again in 59 days, noob".
I love this game...

Nielas said...


That might not be the type of bounty hunter he wanted to play.

I know that when I fist played EVE, I wanted to be a miner but had a wildly different idea what I thought playing a space miner would be like. I thought that I could be a "mountain man" or "grizzled prospector" type who would go out into null space, set up a base on an asteroid and then searched for valueable deposit of rare minerals. Once I had a full load, I would go back to civilization and sell off my spoils. I figured it might take me a week to fill out my cargo and I would be far from any other players.

Of course the reality of EVE was way different and only years later have wormholes made that scenario slightly more possible.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was suggested in a comment recently or possibly in one of your posts, but would not the better solution be that you get a boost in learning skills that you are using? So that 25 Million is much faster if you actively play the thing you are trying to make.

NoizyGamer said...

Just have to say that your proposal would let botters choose their favorite ratting/missioning ship, the Raven, straight off. No diverting to a Tengu because it is easier to skill into. And instead of having to maintain a farm of bots for when CCP bans the active bots, they could just activate a new account and start botting.