They’re Core for a Reason

So Ripard has started “Throwing Grenades” at the Core Skills.  His reasoning behind it is frankly… bizarre.

…but if you think about it, I think you’ll agree it’s still pretty bad.

That 25 million SP or some subset of it consumes anywhere from six months to a year of training… six months to a year in which your sensors are getting 4% stronger or your ship is getting 5% faster or your ability to fit a shield upgrade module is being improved by 5% or your kinetic armor resistance is going up by 5%. They represent a lot of little incremental increases that the bulk of us EVE veterans have come to take for granted and just assume that any character worth anything is already going to have.

These skills provide a very important multiplier that separates people who use them from people who don’t.  Same as Implants, same as Faction ships and ammo.  If there aren’t advantages to be gained then some people won’t have as much of an incentive to keep playing, to keep striving to improve their character across the full spectrum of available advantages.

Yes these skills are going to be tied up in Malcanis’ Law, but as the law points out, it’s rather all-inclusive.  I am a huge fan of easing the curve for new players, but there has to be a curve.  This is what Ripard very notably leaves out.  These skills don’t “Just” provide 2-5% per level to a whole range of ship attributes.  They also gate modules.  Let’s look at two different viewpoints of Hull Upgrades (and yes I’m picking a skill with a lot of modules, deal with it) Ripard merely points out 5% to armor amount, as if that’s all it produces.  Let’s look at a bit more comprehensive view.

  • Level 1
    • Armor Plates 50mm-100mm (T1)
    • Damage Control (T1)
    • Expanded Cargohold (T1)
    • Intertia Stabilizers (T1)
    • Nanofiber Structures (T1)
    • Overdrives (T1)
    • Reinforced Bulkheads (T1)
    • Resistance Plating (T1)
  • Level 2
    • Armor Plates 200mm-400mm (T1)
    • Expanded Cargohold (T2)
    • Intertia Stabilizers (T2)
    • Nanofiber Structures (T2)
    • Overdrives (T2)
    • Reinforced Bulkheads (T2)
  • Level 3
    • Armor Hardeners (T1)
    • Armor Plates 50mm-100mm (T2) 800mm-1600mm (T1)
    • Energized Plating (T1)
  • Level 4
    • Skills – Armor Compensation (All)
    • Armor Plates 200mm (T2)
    • Damage Control (T2)
    • Resistance Plating (T2)
  • Level 5
    • Skills Capital Repair Systems
    • Armor Hardeners (T2)
    • Armor Plates 400mm-1600mm (T2)
    • Energized Plating (T2)

That’s a bit of a difference.  These skills aren’t just boosting core abilities of the players’ ships.  They provide access to modules and playstyles that otherwise aren’t available.  Is it possible to play and enjoy the game without them?  Ask Brave Newbies!

Usually the Slippery Slope argument is a logical fallacy.  The argument when Learning Skills were eliminated was that it was the first step on a slippery slope.  I more or less ignored it, partially because I supported the initiative, and partially because I don’t buy a slippery slope argument when it’s based on one action.  Now we have someone who is smart, capable, and influential arguing for the next step.  Now I’m speaking up.  People shouldn’t be handed access to everything.  Players need to learn to handle the basics, and step up into bigger, more potent ships.  Handing them every module included in these skills, handing them every benefit that older players have earned, devalues it.  It roughly parallels theme parks handing out level-capped toons to new players.  You don’t get more good players by doing it, you get a horde of people who barely understand what they are doing.  Sure things could be fine-tuned, some skills could be rolled together (Armor/Shield compensation being high on the list) but simply lopping off all these skills seems a completely ludicrous idea.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on January 12, 2014, in CSM Hijinks, Things I think I think, Things You Should Know About. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. My take, my wish, is that new players could learn these skills faster by using them in some manner.

    • I would love in-game ways to earn SP through use. I also like perpetuums skill system.

      • I don’t really now Perpetuum. Can you increase EP gain by actively playing? I’d be interested in what tasks you can think of for SP gain in EVE, eg – Afterburner, that draw a player in, keep him there, educate her, entertain, promote social activity and are fairly resistant to gaming/Malcanis law. I’m not demanding at all. Oh not me….

      • Perpetuum just gives you sp. You allocate SP after its earned. Not a huge improvement over eve but a nice idea.

        Using modules, using science or industry slots, taking hits with defenses up. That’s just off the top of my head.

      • I gave a few examples in my BB52 post but the damn thing won’t leave my head. I’ll probably end up elaborating at some point. It’ll never happen but it’s good to dream.

  2. “Players need to learn to handle the basics, and step up into bigger, more potent ships.”

    That sounds awefully exciting and a lot better than…

    “Players need to wait 3 weeks before they can use T2 EANM”.

    Seriously what exactly are they going to be learning over these 3 weeks?

    • This is why I like Space Noob’s idea. If you play constantly for 3 weeks, you should be able to move into the new hotness faster. If you play for 1 or 2 hours a week tops, it should take a bit longer. Beyond that, ship fitting, how to use your ship’s movement to defend itself, or enhance your damage, how to fly in a fleet, how to move on your own. You know, the basics.

  3. Ok, so how about the idea of removing learning implants from the game? Why tie SP gain to ISK? If we’re “re-balancing” in favor of the new player vs the age-old one, it makes zero sense to tie accelerated learning to ISK that newbies won’t have, and vets can afford to throw away.
    On the other hand, having to actually log-in and use a character to get “bonused” SP gain would def put a kaibosh on those playing “Alt Training Online” to make a Cap or SuperCap alt. 😉
    So, wow, looks like a win-win then! Easier on newbies, harder on those making cap/supercap alts.
    I’m in. 🙂

    • Actually ID argue that learning implants are a huge boon to new players. The skill points for even a set of +2s for a ground player are far more valuable than +5s in my head would be because I’m at that point where I’m learning random shit.

      • I don’t think this is a valid argument because as far as I know nobody wants to remove the learning implants without adjusting the attributes acordingly so that everybody has attributes like if he had +5 implants in his heads. As the learning skills were removed, the attributes were adjusted accordingly also.

  4. Coerlin, I often find myself on the other side of many issue with you (respectfully) but this time we are very much in agreement, and I do like Noobs idea… though it would have to (as everything in EvE does) be thought out and implemented VERY carefully so it ONLY assists new players… As the game ages and the older players (or older toons are sold around like High Priced Call Girls) we gave an ever widening gap between the nubbins and older players… we need to balance this without “leveling” it too much.Older players should not lose anything they have worked and played so long to gain,yet new players cannot be put in an unwinnable situation or we WILL lose them.

    A complete overhaul of the tutorials, so that they TEACH PvP. Ones that prepare new players FOR PvP and Noobs very good idea of a way to boost skill learning by actively playing… missions geared towards USING the skills needed to effectively play the game,mission that give you ISK, Bonus, AND an increase (either flat rate or a %) in learning speed while on the mish…

  5. “Ask Brave Newbies!” Exactly what I thought on Jesters post.
    The skills provide the ways to learn the stuff.

    A model like DUST for skilling where you get your regular XP but you can also earn a daily bonus would help to get players more engaged. If you can gain XP faster in the first 20m SP by playing actively that might help foster the activity of new players.

    • Brave Newbie #1 queues up hull upgrades V, so that you can fit T2 EANM. This takes 3 weeks to learn. Brave Newbie #2 queues up minmatar frigates V, that takes however long it takes. Probably about 2 weeks.

      These two guys go flying off and do typical brave newbie things. The shoot stuff. The die a lot. They have a bundle of fun. Both of them. What “stuff” as Brave Newbie #1 learnt that makes him a better EANM user than Brave Newbie #2.

      Nothing! Brave Newbie #1 (the player) hasn’t got any skills that make him a better EANM user than Brave Newbie #2. It’s simply that #1 has invested 3 weeks and 3/4 of a plex into the game, and now he can use T2 EANM.

      It’s simply time&money invested. Don’t hide behind the “the player needs to learn the skills needed to fly the ships”. That’s a cheap curtain, hiding the truth. The truth is that you need to invest time&money to be able to fly bigger and better ships and fittings. If you haven’t invested the time&money then you have to fly smaller ships and sub optimal fittings.

      You don’t need player skills to fit&sit a ship. You just need time&money invested. You don’t need to “learn stuff”. You just need to invest time&money. Time != learn stuff, it simply means wait until you are a bit older, little child. I’ve rolled alts accounts that literally just sit in station sucking up time&money until they get to the point where they are “fun to play”. I’m sure many of us have done this.

      No surprise then that the game isn’t that much fun when you havent got the time&money invested to allow you to sit&fit the ships you want to try out.

  6. I’m not sure if Jester’s idea of granting the core skills is a good idea, because it would be a ganker/botter’s dream to create new character which already have this skills. Also I have absolutly no issue if a really new player get’s this skills automatically, but I’m not sure what my opinion is about alts.

    But I don’t see any reason to call Jester’s reasoning “bizarre” and the idea “completely ludicrous” instead your arguments seem to me swallow:

    1.) In my opinion there is a big difference between between things you can buy for isk and skills, because you can increase your isk income, but not your SP gain (expect for the small amount which implants provide).

    2.) I don’t see a reason why new players shouldn’t have direct access to the modules also. That there are new players like Brave Newbies who enjoy playing the game in the current state, doesn’t mean that they enjoy the particular element and that there wouldn’t be more new players if the element was changed.

    3.) It’s a lie that “people should be handed access to everything.”. The core skills don’t give access to everything, if they would, then Jester’s idea would be to remove all skills et all, which would be a “completely ludicrous” idea, by the way. The core problem regarding the core skills is, that in the first years nobody had all core skills completed. But after more then ten years it’s normal that every pvp pilot has them (nearly) finished. Now I would say they are not only core but essential skills. That means the curve got in this regard more steep for new players.

    4.) The only devaluation I see for older players, is that the difference in the sp between old players and new players won’t be as big as before the change. But even this could be easily resolved, if on the day of the change all sp already allocated in the core skills get added to the “unallocated skill points”.

  7. A new player starts out with 55k SP. They don’t need to start out with 25m SP and all core skills at level V but 1m SP can get you alot of core skills at rank 2/3 and would allow new players a much wider range of fitting options.

    Or to reward active play, how about giving new characters 50k bonus SP to assign for each hour played during the first 20 hours?

    I considered that having so many modules and fitting options might confuse a new player but
    overall I think a newbie would like to have hull upgrades 2 or 3 right from the start. I would argue that we need to remove a lot of the meta modules though.
    -Meta 0 is player produced, 1 or 2 meta variations like with shield hardeners and propulsion modules. meta 5 (Tech2) and a reduced line of faction/deadspace/officer modules as well.

    Or perhaps we need a big range of civilian modules/ships that allow low SP players to get a taste of what bigger or specialized hulls can offer.

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