Closing the Skillpoint Gap

 

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:

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).

eve-online-learning-times

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?

Tags: attributes, hvac, pvp, remap

About the author

HVAC Repairman

LIKES: EVE Online, twitter, Payday 2, Marvel Heroes, trolling Xander
DISLIKES: EVE Online, Blawrf McTaggert, people who use the phrase ‘€œcowboy up’

  • Saint Mick

    I’ve got a better plan. You get a small bonus to SP learning rate, on top of everything else, only if you are logged in AND undocked. “Nothing beats the university of life, Son”.

    Yes, there will be a few station trader types that will whinge a bit, but frankly, they’re the ones that are already sitting there with their +5’s in and a perfect remap.

    • HVAC Repairman

      I don’t know how I feel about that, that would just lead to AFKing in a POS or more AFK cloaking

      • Saint Mick

        Sure, but mistakes happen when people are undocked and although your examples are ways of mitigating that risk, they don’t eliminate it completely. I much prefer that somone with a stack of +5s plugged in was sat in a POS than in a station, there’s a tiny chance they get bumped, or forget to tend the fuel etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like the “local jump clone” concept you’ve described, but shouldn’t improvements in the game mechanics incentivise undocking?

  • Kamar Raimo

    Certainly, older players are more optimized in their gameplay. On the other hand, they usually also have skills to train that take much longer. No newbie will be learning Command Ships V or Amarr Carrier V any time soon while they happily fly around in cruisers and frigates. On short skills the attributes really don’t make that much difference.

    What I see as much more of a problem for newbies is the stupid amount of skills you have to train to be able to effectively do anything at all, especially when it comes to weapons. I think EVE could use a system like the good old P&P RPG Shadowrun. There you could derive an unlearned skill from a related one which you are proficient in. For example if you know Heavy Pistols, you could also shoot with a Light Pistol but at a lower skill level.

    Similarly, skillpoints in EVE could count at a reduced ratio for another skill. For example I could get 1 skillpoint in Heavy Assault Missiles for every two I gain in Heavy Missiles. Once I have Level IV, I would have level II in HAMs already and that would be the upper limit I could gain that way.

    Obviously that should only work for base skills and not for specializations.

  • Messiah Complex

    Proposal:

    1. Increase the number of remaps per year to 3 for characters less than one year old.
    2. Increase the number of remaps per year to 2 for characters greater than one year old.
    3. Eliminate learning implants.
    4. Set the training rate for a character less than one year old to 3000 SP/hour when fully mapped to the relevant attributes (e.g.: perception/willpower).
    5. Set the training rate for a character greater than one year old to 2500 SP/hour when fully mapped to the relevant attributes.

    Consequences:

    1. No more learning clones sitting in station.
    2. No more avoiding low sec, null sec, or PvP in general for fear of losing implants.
    3. New players have more room to make and learn from mistakes in training and remapping.
    4. Older players aren’t locked into a remap for an entire f****** year, but are still rewarded for “long term planning.”
    5. New players can be effective, try different things, and find their niche more quickly (that’s also a player retention thing).

    • Malcanis

      Why not just cut to the chase and remove stats?

      • Messiah Complex

        That was my first thought, but since the OP likes that part of the system, I made the concession.

        But yeah: killing the (otherwise meaningless) attributes would be entirely reasonable. So, the alternate proposal includes only parts 3, 4, and 5 of the original, while retaining all 5 of the consequences.

      • Joran

        You’re cutting down a huge portion of the game. Well planned training takes hours to optimize, so much so we have API applications for it. You would be able to train any skill at equal rates.

        Removing learning implants would cut down on a ton of the hassle for newer players like not being able to afford 2700 SP an hour but leaving the basic framework of smart training intact.

  • Tryaz

    Jump Clone change proposed is a great one.

  • Elite Noob

    Fly your Caldari frigate for more than 50 hours.
    Congratulations you have just reached level 1 in Caldari Frigate 😀

  • Tegiminis

    Remove attributes’ ties to skill points. Make all characters train passively at the same rate. Make attributes instead tie into global bonuses to the skills they would logically affect.