Friday, July 25, 2008

Newb Pirate Guide (Chapter III - Skill Training For A Newb Pirate)

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.

(d) Conclusion

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.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the next part :o

I know most of this stuff already, but it's nice to read new tid-bits that I can learn from

Anonymous said...

So Spectre, I might be anticipating material you'll cover in future parts of the guide... but after reading what you've written so far, I'm really tempted to give it a go!

However, I'm currently a highly respectable and clean-living citizen, who's most likely to spend the majority of my time pottering in PvE in high sec.

What do I risk (other than the wrath of my current corp!) if I decided I wanted to have a play at pirating? Is Piracy something I can 'dabble' in for a while, then come back into High Sec if it's not for me? Or is does it leave an indelible stain (some Black Spot, perhaps) on ones character?

Interested in your opinion!


Mynxee said...

Spec, another nice job. I sorta generally categorized skills as cap/grid, tank, or damage support early on. Cap/Grid skills help you fit stuff for less cost, tank obviously supports your ability to resist damage, and damage skills increase the DPS you can do. It's a fine balance but I focused on cap/grid and tank first, damage later. This resulted in me taking awhile to get T2 medium projectiles but being able to comfortably fit them and a T2 tank when I finally did. I don't think I could play Eve without EveMon and EFT.

Vestik, one thought on the risks of piracy, FWIW: Pirating in empire (low sec, or suicide ganking in high sec) makes your sec status drop like a stone. As your sec status falls, you cannot fly ships in higher sec status systems without getting Concorded (your pod is safe from Concord everywhere). Sec status can be repaired by ratting or missioning...but it's a tedious process. 0.0 tends to offer the juiciest rats and therefore the biggest gains but getting ships there is an adventure all by itself if you're not already there. I've lately tried the "sec status balancing" thing...pirate a bit, mission a bit or else clone-jump to 0.0 and rat a an effort to stay above -1.99 and maintain full high sec travel privileges. It's really annoying. In fact, I'm writing a post for my blog on this very topic.

If you want to try pirating, I'd suggest you start with a positive sec status buffer to "use up" so you're not stuck in low sec after a few kills. If you don't care for pirating or need to mission to fund more fun, it'll still be possible. If you really love pirating, you might just say "Screw my sec status!" which is where I almost am (again, LOL!).

Also, you don't want to pirate with a headful of spendy implants until you're really skilled. Naked jump clones are highly recommended!

Speaking of pirating and ISK, it ain't an easy living when you're a noob. Gets a LOT more lucrative over time...especially if you have friends to do it with.

Spectre said...

Vestik: Mynxee's comment has lots of good info, be sure to check that. The only ways pirating can really leave "stain" on your character would be:

- If you make some enemies by ganking someone. Usually this isn't an issue as the only people offended or upset by being killed are those who are extremely new and don't understand what lowsec is about.

- If you drop your sec status too much, it will restrict your travel privileges. This can be difficult/annoying to get back up.

- If you piss away all your money on ships while pirating. You will lose lots of them. He'll, I lost three today (I am very sad right now).

Despite these things, you are never forced to stick with pirating or a life in lowsec if you don't like it. You can always raise your sec status and go back to missioning in highsec or whatever it is you like doing.

Jarek Naumen said...

When attacking players with security status above -5.0, your sec status will decrease. If you attack only ships and not pods, your sec status will NOT drop like a stone. But it will decrease quite steadily.
As your sec status drops below -1.9, you will gradually lose access to high sec. First to 1.0, then at -2.9 to 0.9 and so on. Once you reach -5.0 you cannot enter 0.5 and above without consequences.

However contrary to what mynxee said, you DO NOT get Concorded if you jump into high-sec as an outlaw (unless you recently aggressed and have GCC). Only the faction police attacks you, and it is very possible to survive that (just not quite easy).

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, thanks for the info guys, some good food for thought.

I think, bearing in mind what you've said, I feel a Piratical Alt coming on... one who I can feed with cash from my CareBear main coffers while I see how it develops, and whose sec status I can absolutely trash without putting my high sec income streams at risk.

So I'll have to see how that goes!


Robert said...

I'd like to add that EFT is also near essential for determining how to fit a ship.

Spectre said...

EFT is a great tool... I was just going to put it in the end part of the guide as opposed to this section which was specifically about skill training.

Sorry for the delay with part IV everyone. I have been a bit distracted so it is coming along slow :)

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