"…and there was no end in sight…"

One question that comes up every now and again among my corpies, mainly when we are gate camping or on a slow roam, is when will the skill training end?  EVE is a constantly evolving game, with more and more being added in the way of ships, modules or abilities with every expansion.  Where do you decide that you have your character trained for what you want to do?

My main, the good ole Ga’len here, started out as a missioner/miner (yeah, to hunt the carebear, it helps to have been one) and then very early on moved focus to PvP.  I cross trained for Caldari and Gallente and only in the past 6 months, moved training back to my Amarr roots.  I am actively training for being able to properly use Amarr command ships, then carriers and ultimately the Amarr dreadnought.

With the oncoming expansion in a few months introducing Tech 3 ships and very likely another batch of skills to use these ships, what in the heck happens to our lovely planned out skill training schedule?

For many people, it gets sidetracked.  You either start an alt with a focus on these new skills and a whole new set of goals or you end up moving sideways on your skill training. It’s very frustrating.  I understand the group participation concept that is EVE online, where you are not supposed to be able to do everything and I really like that aspect of the game, but with more and more complexity being introduced with every patch, the “EVE Online Learning Cliff” becomes more and more daunting to those who have are new to the game, let alone a 3 year vet like myself.

Where do you decide this is where I want to be?

Well, to help you out, this is what I had decided to do. Ga’len will train up to carrier, possibly dreadnought and then I may look at the new skills that are being created.

The key with open ended character advancement is that you need to set goals for yourself and stick to those skill training plans.  The “end game” in reality is what you decide it to be.  You decide exactly how skilled you want a character to be in the end, so, stick to what you wanted to do. Now, many of you will say that it’s close to impossible to do with all the changes that have been introduced into the game.  For those of you saying this, ask yourself this question.  Have you trained up a hauler alt?  What about a scouting alt?  You were able to get those trained up and then you stopped the skill training, right?  You decided that you needed an ability in the game, idetified what skills you needed and trained the character to that end.

You can do the same thing with your main.  Stick to your training plans.  In the long run, it will make things a lot more fun for you.  The problem with training all these news skills as soon as they come out is that you really do not know what you are getting into.  You don’t know what path your character will be set on when you do this and before you know it, you have a more expensive clone than you should because you have all these skills that you really do not need.  Stick to your training plans, let the new ships, modules and/or ships come into game and let all the quirks be worked out.  Then and only then, take a look at what these items can do and really evaluate if these things will truly assist you in your game play style.

Once you do this planning for your character, things like the “Power of Two” promotions become a very useful tool.  I recently took one of my alts and moved it to another account I created with the recent “Power of Two” promotion and was able to get this alt all trained up for Freighter and Orca operations.  At the end of the six month run, I will move the character back onto my second account as he will be all trained up.  True, paying 2 character transfer fees does cost you some money, but in the end, maintaining discipline in a training plan, planning things out to take advantage of a promotion, has led to a well setup character that I will be able to use for carebear activities, logistics or to simply sell off to an industrialist that would love to have a focused character.

Stick to your training plans, they will pay off.  Don’t feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the various directions for your character.  Choose your path and stick with it.  You will be much happier.

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~ by J. Riley Castine on January 21, 2009.

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