Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Planning Ahead

Over the past week I've spent time considering the future of my characters and what direction I want them to follow with regards to their training.

I have four accounts with my four main characters and a mix of cyno and PI alts, of varying skill levels, occupying the character slots on these accounts. it's the main characters I'll be talking about, providing a little background but also setting out what I want them to do in the future.

Shared Background

All of my characters started off with a mining focus, training to fly mining barges and then Exhumers with two being cross trained to fly the Orca and, later, the Rorqual. This is how I got my start in EVE Online, either running or participating in Mining Fleets in high sec and null sec. It wasn't moo goo money but it was a regular source of income and I really enjoy mining.

Since finishing their initial mining training they have all gone off in different directions in EVE but now I'm taking a longer term look at their uses and will plan training queues for them to maximize my return from them.


EVE Mon has been extremely useful, no vital, in helping me see my available options even if the results have been slightly depressing when I saw how long each skill plan will take to complete. But the advantage of planning my skill training for the next three, six or twelve months means I have objectives and am not wasting my game time on things that I will not benefit from in the long term.

I've now got four plans that I will be following as closely as possible until they are complete. I cannot predict everything and requirements may change so there will be some variation but I have a plan to follow that will open up more ships, modules and professions for my characters.

Main Character (Capital / Logistics Pilot)

93 million skillpoints
This was the first character I created in EVE but I don't use him everyday as I once did. He now spends most of his time in High Sec space supporting the activities (via logistics/manufacturing/invention) of my other characters.

Primarily an Amarrian ship flyer this character recently and he can fly every sub-capital ship bar T2 frigates and he has recently injected the Amarr Titan skill book (I had spare ISK and it completed a long term objective). He can use all guns but T2 rail guns and he has poor missile skills but he is not a combat pilot he has always worked logistics for me. As a result he can fly all racial Freighters/Jump Freighters and has most science and production skills at Level IV.

One aspect of his skills that I am disappointed with are his Drone skills, considering he flys drone ships and carriers his Drone skills are woefully inadequate. This is what I want to change and as a result I've used EVE Mon to work out a skill plan that will get all Drone skills to Level V.

Not ISK will be needed as all the skills are injected but the total time to get the entire branch to V will be 203 days at 2700 sp/h (Memory/Perception).

Once Drones are complete I will move back to Perception/Willpower attribute mapping and continue to work through the remaining Gunnery and Spaceship Command skills that I have either at Level IV or haven't started to train. This training will add another 360 days training, once a remap to Perception/Willpower is performed.

All in all, this character has his skill plan set for the eighteen months.

Miner / Booster / Logistics (Capital / Sub Capital)

90 million skillpoints
This was the first alt I created and was done so to meet the requirement of a pilot who could fly an Orca and boost whilst my main mined. When I was deciding to move to Providence I realized that I need to train all the remaining Leadership skills and thus, my Booster alt was fully born.

He can fly ever single racial ship below Battleship class and he is also a max skilled Rorqual and Jump Freighter pilot. This is nice as he continues to live in Null Sec where these skills are very useful for managing my towers and helping to move input/outputs about.

One peculiar thing about this character is that he maintains to this day the same gunnery and missile skills he was born with, they have never been improved and there has never been any need for him to have done so.

I have considered the role and at some point I will be adding Science and Production skills to his abilities but for the time being I will continue working on Support Skills to Level V and when this is done he will change to finally getting all racial Battleships and T2 Spaceship Command specializations to Level V.

According to EVE Mon will I have another 127 days on the Support Skills with Science (excluding T3 construction skills) at 491 days and Production at 259 days. He's going to be chock-a-bloc full of skills and will make a superb Industry addition to my roster.

Fun Fact: It was my wife who designed the portrait for the character and I haven't changed it since she did as she periodically checks his image and when I did once change his appearance I copped all kinds of hell over it.

Combat Character (Sub Capital pilot)

80 million skillpoints
I created a second alt a couple of months after the first because, well, I could mine more with two miners and a booster. It was only when I was living in a wormhole in 2011, and after he was able to fly Exhumers, that I changed his direction to being a sub-capital combat pilot.

After I moved to Providence this character become my defacto main and I recived a lot of encouragement/learning from the FC's that were active at the time. His skills adapted to the needs of the fleets I was in, moving from T1 vessels into T2 based Recons, HAC's and HIC's. He is well trained to use all T2 guns and HAM/HM/Torpedo's with just Level V specialization needing completing for all these.

It was this character that prompted a lot of my planning when I discovered he was only just over a total of 7 days training (and an injection of ISK) from being able to fly all racial dreadnoughts and able to use all capital sized guns.

He's now training for dreadnoughts/capital guns and will move on to finishing all sub-capital ships and gunnery skills to V. Something that EVE Mon tells me will take just 797 days with 204 days of to get each racial dreadnought to V.

I'll need more jump clones for him at some point but I am lucky to have at least four spare clones.

Miner (Scanning / Sub-Capital pilot / Manufacturing Alt)

58 million skillpoints
The youngest and most cross trained of my characters, he was born with a singular purpose: to be a perfect mining character which he achieved in about six months of training.

Has since become my scanning character after spending about 3 months training every scanning skill to V, which he completed two days before the release of Odyssey and the revamp of the scanning system.

He moved on to training to fly all racial sub capital ships under Battleship size and also able to fly the Amarrian Jump Freighter. As a result he acts as a back up jump freighter pilot for me in null sec. For the past year he's been working on Support Skills.

In planning for the future I've decided that I need another character to be able to manufacture modules and ships and so this character will be starting on Science and Production skills and will do until they are all Level IV and he can make all ships but T3's and Capital's.

EVE Mon tells me that this will take 77 days for all to Level IV and then another 125 days for the Production skills I'll need to actually do the building of modules/ships that I need to. Once this is done I'll have a remap available and I think getting Drone skill maximized (much like my main is now) will be a good choice for another 230 odd days training.

No Plan Ever Survives Execution

I have plans for each of my characters and I will be following them as closely as possible but there will be times I will have to make a detour and train skills I wasn't planning on. This has happened before and will happen again but my aim is to remain on the path I have chosen as much as I can.

The skill plans I have created will improve existing skills but more important open up new ships, modules and adventures to be had.

I'm looking forward to the training even if it will consume most of the next two years.

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