Chapter III - Skill Training For A Newb Pirate
So the bottom line is that there are a TON of skills in Eve. To go over every one that could be effective in combat is an entire guide in itself. Because of this, I am going to only highlight the most important combat skills to get early, the general area of skills to specialize in as you progress and some tools to help pilots be more effective at training the right skills.
(a) Mandatory Skills for Combat/Pirating
i. Propulsion Jamming I - Why? Because this skill gives you the ability to equip Statis Webifiers and more importantly, Warp Scramblers/Disruptors. If you cannot lock your targets down, then there isn't much point to the fight, now is there?
ii. High Speed Maneuvering I - Requires Navigation IV and Afterburner IV. This skill is required to fit a MicrowarpDrive. In 99% of situations YOU WILL NEED A MWD ON YOUR SHIP. An afterburner is rarely acceptable unless you are flying support or long range ship in a gang, and even then it is iffy. Speed is life. (NOTE: After I wrote this, the latest dev blog came out detailing some potential nerfs to MWD's. If these things are actually implemented it may make my previous statements obselete)
(b) Suggested Skills to Train Early for Combat/Pirating
i. Learning Skills - This one is arguable. Training these skills will pay off both immediately and in the long run by increasing your stats and thus making other skills train faster. However, to max them out takes time and a serious commitment. I have personally trained all the basic skills for Perception, Willpower, Memory and Intelligence to IV and the advanced skills for those same stats to III. This is what a lot of people suggest as the "minimum" to train immediately when you start you character. The truth is however that Eve is a rough game when you are new and to spend many days training only learning skills when you first start is boring and doesn't give you anything new or fun to play with. If your personal preference is to only train these skills slowly or not even as far as I have early on, it is not a wrong decision, just a different one. If your personal preference is to max out all your learning skills as the first then you do, that also is perfectly valid. When it comes to learning skills I tell people to do what is going to help them enjoy themselves.
ii. General Combat Skills - There are a ton of these so I won't go over every one. Just know that you are going to need to skill up a ton of things in the Electronics (for targeting), Engineering (for capacitor and shield skills), Gunnery (if you are training a ship that uses turret weapons), Mechanic (for armor and hull skills), Missile Launcher Operation (if you are training a ship that uses missile weapons), Navigation (for speed and agility skills) and Spaceship Command (to gain the expertise to fly different types or races of ships).
iii. Specific Ship Skills - Depends on what race of ships you decide to specialize in first. I would suggest that all new pirates start with a frigate and train into it. You will become effective with the ship fast and a majority of the skills you train will be useful when you move on to another ship anyhow. Examples of some specific training regimens for ships:
- Rifter: Gunnery Skills for autocannons (Gunnery, Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Small Projectile Turret, Small Autocannon Specialization, Surgical Strike, Weapon Upgrades), Armor Tanking skills (Hull Upgrades, Mechanic) and Minmitar Frigate skills.
- Incursus: Gunnery Skills for blasters (Gunnery, Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Small Hybrid Turret, Small Blaster Specialization, Surgical Strike, Weapon Upgrades), Drone Skills (Drones, Scout Drone Operation, Gallente Drone Specialization, Drone Sharpshooting, Drone Navigation, Drone Durability, Combat Drone Operation, Drone Interfacing), Armor Tanking skills (Hull Upgrades, Mechanic) and Gallente Frigate skills.
iv. Fitting Skills - Engineering, Electronics and Weapon Upgrades are probably the first of these that should be tackled. Engineering V and Electronics V will open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to fitting your ships and a large majority of the suggested fits you find on the web will assume that you have at least these skills. Having more CPU and Powergrid available from your ships will allow you to fit bigger, better and more mods in combination without having to worry about things like Micro Auxiliary Power Core's or other fitting mods. There are also additional fitting skills that apply specifically to certain types of mods but many of them are not really as beneficial as the three listed here or they simply are advanced and will take a long time to train (ie: Advanced Weapon Upgrades).
(c) Tools to Help
Many people will already be familiar with these tools as they are almost mandatory third party applications for Eve. But just in case you are not familiar:
- EVEMon: Uses your characters API to display your current skill information out of Eve. Gives you the ability to browse every skill, every item and its skill requirements and also has a great skill planner so you can create plans and see how long they will take.
- in EvE: Lets you post your skills on the web via your API or a character xml file.
At last glance, there were around 300 possible skills to train in Eve. It would take many years to train them all and to max them out. It is no simple matter to not only train but understand them all so do not be discouraged if things seem complicated. Ask for help from other players and your corp-mates, read up on descriptions to understand your current skills (and how they benefit you) and look at the requirements of items/modules/abilities to see what is needed to use them. It will all come together as you learn the game and chances are you will always have a backlog of days, months or even years worth of skills you want to train anyhow. Be patient and good luck with whatever path you choose!
Tomorrow (we finally get into the good stuff): Chapter IV - Life as a Pirate.
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