Closing the Skillpoint GapHVAC Repairman
One of the benefits of having a twitter account is the ability to follow all your fellow EVE players and read all the comments on #tweetfleet. Many different off-the-cuff discussions take place which end up covering a great deal of topics everyday. Those topics can range from everything from breaking news to your run-of-the-mill trolling. Some tweets end up sparking interesting serious business conversations, like the one CSM9 representative Ali Aras sent out two weeks ago:
Hey #tweetfleet: what if characters had flat attributes & no remaps, but everything else was as-is? Better? Worse? #death2allremaps— Ellen McManis (@ali_of_space) May 24, 2014
The idea is that newbies and younger players who actively play the game are at a fundamental disadvantage to the bitter vets who optimize their skill plans and sit in a clone with +5’s for most of the time. The limited amount of remaps you have, combined with the year-long wait after you’ve exhausted them makes long-term planning an absolute necessity. But that’s not very optimal for younger players, who often have to change between many different skill groups. This makes using the base default somewhat optimal. But really, how much of a difference separates the bitter-vet playing skill queue online and the adorable younger player who actively engages in PvP everyday?
A fully optimized bitter-vet using +5’s to his attributes will gain 2,700 skill points per hour. The active younger player using the default attributes optimized to train everything (20 for INT/MEM/PER/WIL, 19 for CHA) and using +2 implants (because you’re constantly getting podded) gains you 1,980 skill points per hour. Using rudimentary mathematics, we can find out the difference between the two:
Younger player actively playing: 1,980 * 8,760 = 17,344,800 skill points per year.
Bitter veteran doing skill queue online: 2,700 * 8,760 = 23,652,000 skill points per year.
Using a very conservative estimate for the newer player, the difference between the two is roughly 6.3 million skillpoints. If the newer player does any optimization and doesn’t actively play every day, the gap starts to shrink considerably. So while the bitter-vet does have an advantage, it isn’t as large as some people might think.
Remaps provide interesting gameplay and reward those who make a longterm plan and stick with it and punishes those who don’t. I’m fine with that, if you want to spend a significant amount of time optimizing yourself to train the leadership skills, you should be able to. But you should also be punished when Mittani announces a switch to a new capital doctrine, requiring you to train new capital skills and guns at painfully slow speeds (author’s note: FUCK YOU MITTANI).
While I do like the remap system and the rewards it provides for long-term planning, I also don’t believe players should be punished for actively playing the game. Unfortunately, expensive learning implants and basic ships don’t mix so a younger player is actually better off not playing the game to advance quicker. This is inherently a bad design mechanic and something that should have been changed years ago. So what exactly can be done to give the active players a boost?
One idea I liked was revamping the clone system to ignore the 24 hour timer when you’re switching clones in the same station. It doesn’t make sense that it would take twenty four hours to jump again if you’re switching clones that would be five feet away from the other one. This would allow players to jump between their PvP clones and learning clones within the same system and not punish those who actively play the game. The only problem is that you’re not allowed to have two inactive clones in the same station, so if you jumped out off station one of your clones would be destroyed. That would need to be changed for this mechanic to work.
Ultimately, while I feel the skill revamp system is fine the way it is, there need to be other changes that help bridge the gap between the active newer players and the bitter-vets. Sounds like something Xander should be pushing for in CSM9, don’t you think?