Tobold's Blog
Thursday, April 22, 2010
 
Tell me what you think about EVE skills

I was browsing my newsreader and stumbled upon this blog post from the Nomadic Gamer. I'll quote the main part of her post here:
My 2nd account has been training Hull Upgrades V for the last 12 days and today I finally have a smidgen of free time in the Queue. Once this skill is completed it’s back to training for the Dominix which should take seven days. I’m excited about flying this ship, as my second account has been doing nothing but training for the last few months and hauling for my main account. My main account also has free time in her queue this morning, after finishing up Gallentean Starship Engineering IV which will allow me to work with a L4 R&D agent (for those specific cores at least) as well as granting me a much higher amount of RP a day. I should be able to purchase an entire core a day, which really pleases me. Another day or two and I’ll be able to purchase enough for another hulk blueprint attempt. I’ve been putting off finishing up training for the hulk because it’s a 23d training skill and that seems like such an incredibly long time to go without seeing the message that makes me so happy. I keep reminding myself that I’m in this for the long haul, and that flying the hulk instead of the retriever will be well worth it. Some how, that hasn’t been enough to convince me to put Mining Barge V into the queue. Maybe today will be the day.
When reading this, two thoughts shot through my head. One was that hey, I already understand enough of EVE and terms used to discuss it to completely understand the meaning of this paragraph. The other thought was that while intellectually understanding what she says, concepts like "my second account has been doing nothing but training for the last few months" or learning a skill for 23 days of waiting feel still extremely foreign and weird to me.

I had the impression that it was mostly EVE players who commented on my previous EVE posts. But what I would like is to launch a discussion between people who play EVE and those who don't about what you all think about the quoted paragraph describing a typical player's interaction with the EVE skill queue. Am I the only one who thinks it is weird to have a second account on which you *don't* play for several months and just train skills? Or would you say I got infected by the attention deficit disorder culture of instant gratification, and EVE is the more Zen way to play MMORPGs? Whether you play EVE or not, I would like to hear what you think!
Comments:
For those who don't know my background: Long time WoW player with a love for immersive world simulations as well as good gameplay.
This is why I sporadically tested EVE. I love the main concept. I hate some of the implementations.

What do I think about the paragraph? Well ..


Or would you say I got infected by the attention deficit disorder culture of instant gratification, and EVE is the more Zen way to play MMORPGs?


You would like to actually play the game you pay for. That is understandable and reasonable. Or, to put it the another way: Everybody who disagrees is a fanboy.

You could also draw a parallel to the Ensidia blog post you cited in the prior post.

Is it bad that you need to wait for days or weeks or even a year to gain something? No.
Is it bad that you have no influence at all after setting up the training queue: Yes, definitely.

I played VGAPlanets for years. A highly complex play-by-email game where one 'match' can take years. I loved it. I don't have a problem with big time delays. Infact, I just argued in the last topic that nowadays WoW gives out items(=character progression) way too fast. That is every few months.

EVE would be better if there were no skill system at all.
 
I don't particularly like the skill system although I am a fan of EVE. To me the skill system is an artificial constraint on what you can and can't do in the game. Such a constraint goes against the idea of a sandbox game.

Nevertheless I must admit I cannot really think of a better alternative.

Ideally I would prefer if there was no skill training required at all but I realise that probably wouldn't work. People expect mmorpgs to have some kind of progression mechanic and in EVE skill training is it. I also realise that people keeping up subs in order to skill up on accounts that are not actively being played is probably an essential revenue stream for CCP.

One change I would definitely like to see would be for CCP to reduce the depth of the skill queue by removing pre-requisites. If someone wants to jump straight into the game and learn to fly a Titan let them. Don't force them to learn to fly frigates, cruisers, battles ships etc etc etc first. I know that is a completely silly example but I really do think EVE would be better if the maximum time it took to do achieve any one thing was measured in weeks rather than in years as it is at the moment.

By the way the one saving grace about the current skill system is that you are legally allowed to buy and sell ready trained high level characters for in game ISK. Given that you can buy ISK for cash that sounds like a gross abuse of rmt. In any other game it would be but I see it as a necessary kludge to get around the disadvantages of EVE's skill training system. If you spend two years skilling up your main character as a combat pilot and then decide you would like to try a bit of manufacturing you don't have to go back to basics and spend another two years skilling up that. You can instead buy a ready made manufacturer on the character bazaar for a few billion ISK.
 
First i want to say, Tobold, that i love the direction your Eve posts are going. One can tell that you actually play the game now and that you know what you are talking about. Before you got back into Eve it just seemed so third-hand information'ish with a lot of gossip and smacktalk mixed in. Keep it going, me likes it.

On Topic:
As a long time Eve player it doesn't feel weird...anymore. I am sitting on top of 4 accounts now, 2 of them are logged on daily, 1 about once a week and the last one just to change skills, since the alt on this one is just training strictly towards flying a supercarrier. It just opens up more options, since you have to specialise your alts to get really good in their fields of activity. My biggest problem when i got my second account was, that i didn't want to pay for two subscriptions, but i also changed my mind on that. Paying for four accounts is still cheaper than my other past time activities, so i got over it. Sometimes i pay with ISK, but most of the times i keep my ISK invested and pay with real money.
 
Hey Nil's, I was active in the VGA Planets community way back too, ran one of the first websites called The Neutral Zone, also contributed to the e-zine the Planeteer. :)

As far as skilling in Eve, at times having progression in your ability as a character not linked to actual in-game progression and achievment can be a zen-like experience of demanding only as much time as you want to spend in-game.

As a sandbox game, your character takes a backseat to the world and the events you're part of in it.

Really the only time consuming thing, depending on your goals in Eve are whatever your method for generating ISK to cover the costs of day to day improvements or losses of your equipment and ship(s).

Even then if you're smart, just stick to Tech 1 ships fully insured with good T1 or average T2 but not the above market priced named or T2 components and money isn't much of an issue at all if you're looking for a bit of pew pew.
 
I do love how people justify the second, third, fourth accounts et al in EVE.

I know Tobold loves that people with more money can use it to benefit themselves in game, but I think it's rather an expensive burden.
 
Long time WoW player. I tried out Eve once but didn't stick around very long because I didn't like some concepts and my fiance hates the "its about space ships and you don't see your actual character at all".

Well you already mentioned the negative points: It can take an eternity to get what you want and meanwhile you might not be playing at all.
I want to add some advantages:
- It is still somewhat casual. Even if you only have a couple of hours a week, your character will be blessed with the same amount of skill points as a 24/7-gamer.
- Its vastly different from WoW. Being a bit burned out that actually is an advantage for me ;) Even if I don't play it myself, I can't help but love a game that is so very different from WoW and still works.

All in all I think the skill system is not so bad an idea but the numbers might need some tweaking. And did I mention I love it because its no levels?
 
I've started playing Eve again, even though I quit playing before because I didn't like waiting for skills to train. After your recent Eve posts I thought let's give it another go :)

And at this point I'm not really bugged about the skill system anymore.
There's a lot of skills that aren't of any use to me right now anyway, since I cannot afford the equipment that those skills will allow me to use efficiently.
On top of that, I'm able to afford named items now, which actually require less high skills, because the items themselves are more efficient.
And the icing on the cake, is that yesterday my 2.5M SP character, flying a T1 fitted frigate, destroyed a T2 fitted frigate which was flown by a 32M SP character. It was an extremely exciting battle and I haven't felt such a rush in a game in long long time =)

As for rolling alts. If I'm not mistaken, it requires additional accounts to train skills on multiple characters at the same time. I've never paid for multiple accounts in any MMO, and I don't plan on doing that in Eve either.
 
The "2nd account" thing that was also actively promoted by CCP through programs like "The Power of Two" always put me quite off.

The more you play EVE you get the idea why it is really nice to have two accounts, they are not only useful for dual boxing.

But as new EVE player you should not worry so much about it. You are far away from the two account things. Sure, you can think about it, but you are a bit on a dangerous lane that might lessen your EVE experience.

You already began playing EVE in the "tourist" mentality, and I think you are doing yourself a disservice in terms of fun and and enjoyment of EVE when you start dissecting the game so much before you have barely jumped out of the starter frigate.

This does not mean you should not write about EVE - quite the contrary. I find your EVE posts to be extremely interesting and thought provoking.
 
Why it would be weird if a online game would be played mostly offline and with no actual playing? I don't see any weirdness in that.
 
Personally as a *secondary* game, I love this feature of EVE. It allows me to play at a fairly casual level while still feeling as though I'm making a lot of progress in game. I use my main account (since it's my post mentioned above) for things like mining and grinding standing, invention and the like while my 2nd account is training to fly a battlecruiser. In fact having two accounts makes me feel even better because while one is working on something that's going to take a month to train, I'll have more inclination to log the second account in. Knowing that while I'm NOT playing both are still making progress is enough incentive to keep each account running.

I enjoy having a secondary game that doesn't require me to log in 24/7 in order to play. Whether or not I'd enjoy this aspect of skill training if EVE were my primary game of choice, I'm not sure.
 
Eve player here (since June 2009), former long time WoW player.

Skills are something of a guilty pleasure for me. I shouldn't like them - they are clearly designed to differentiate people almost entirely based on the length of time you've been playing - but I do.

In a game like WoW or AoC I'd power up to 80 as fast as possible then rather miss the experience of levelling. I liked getting the dings and the new skills as I progressed and it's something of a shame when it all turns off.

In Eve it never turns off.

Next it's highly strategic. I spend a lot of time thinking about skill queues and what I should go for. It's a series of interesting decisions.

Psychologically I think we value skills because they are not entirely safe. I've been podded and lost a skill level twice now. That makes you value your skills although it is a rather negative game mechanic.

I was interested in your post a few days ago on Learning skills. I hadn't really thought about it but it is a pretty terrible mechanic. The only thing I would say in its defence is that there are players like me who optimise multiple characters (I have 3 accounts with 8 characters actively doing something useful). It's probably good that I can't get 9 passive income characters fast or 9 suicide gankers etc.
 
EVE's skill system is basically Farmville. You click a few buttons (plant a crop/buy a book) and then you do nothing to actually 'learn' the skill, it's just a matter of time.

WoW's "instant gratification", as many call it, puts it in the same boat with almost every other RPG ever made. If you want something you have to play.

I mean, the idea that you'd go out and buy, say, FF13, take it home, install it, and then not play it for six months so your character can level up -- that *is* insane, right? Why am I the only one who thinks that?
 
I mean, the idea that you'd go out and buy, say, FF13, take it home, install it, and then not play it for six months so your character can level up -- that *is* insane, right? Why am I the only one who thinks that?


Because if you want to play Eve you won't do that. It's a hypothetical situation. Got it finally?
 
I also realise that people keeping up subs in order to skill up on accounts that are not actively being played is probably an essential revenue stream for CCP.

Isn't that problematic? Imagine World of Warcraft would announce some super talent which wasn't trained like other talents, but bought in the Blizzard shop for $10. People would be outraged, far more so than about the sparkly pony. Now imagine Blizzard would also say that there is a 3-week wait for that $10 special talent, that would cause even more protests.

But learning the skill to fly a Hulk in EVE during 23 days is EXACTLY THAT. You pay $10 to CCP and wait 3 weeks to access to something which is better than what the other players have. The second account not played for several months and skilled to do something different than your main means paying CCP $50 for access to what is essentially a different character class at high level without playing.

Why is it that other games would be shredded to pieces if they dared to offer similar services, but in EVE half of the player base buys them without even a comment? Just because the time scale is different doesn't mean it isn't a RMT payment to CCP.
 
Because if you want to play Eve you won't do that. It's a hypothetical situation. Got it finally?

It is only hypothetical for the case of people with a single account. But second (third, fourth) accounts in EVE are often played like that. And the quoted text describes exactly that situation.
 
Because if you want to play Eve you won't do that. It's a hypothetical situation. Got it finally?

That's irrelevant. Of course if you want to play EVE you play EVE.

What I'm questioning is the wisdom of the EVE/Farmville time-based progression system, and especially the argument that anything else is "Instant Gratification".
 
EVE is cool, but these things make it discouraging for a new player :/ theirs no level cap I can catch-up to and begin doing end game content - the whole game is end game content!
 

But learning the skill to fly a Hulk in EVE during 23 days is EXACTLY THAT. You pay $10 to CCP and wait 3 weeks to access to something which is better than what the other players have.


That's a very good comparison, in my opinon.

Buying several accounts is something I never accepted as a good idea. I respect that people have fun that way just like players in Everquest had fun with extra buff chars on extra accounts that followed the main char around.

Actually it works against the feeling that I play one char. Immersion suffers this way and it costs extra.

So, I don't buy this; literally.
 
"Because if you want to play Eve you won't do that. It's a hypothetical situation. Got it finally?

It is only hypothetical for the case of people with a single account. But second (third, fourth) accounts in EVE are often played like that. And the quoted text describes exactly that situation."

That sums it up exactly. Remember this is not my main account, it is a second account I started specifically to haul for the main account. It's like using a recruit a friend except without the enormous perks. My main account is constantly busy, training or not. The second account I purposely use for hauling and not a great deal more aside from training.
 
@Boatorius: "What I'm questioning is the wisdom of the EVE/Farmville time-based progression system"

Empirical evidence suggests that, in terms of subscriptions over time, it's working.

"I mean, the idea that you'd go out and buy, say, FF13, take it home, install it, and then not play it for six months so your character can level up -- that *is* insane, right? Why am I the only one who thinks that?"

Perhaps. But the players involved obviously believe the benefit to their quality of play derived from controlling occasionally training-only secondary accounts is worth the incremental cost.

Note that the cost to a proportion of these players will be via in-game currency, thanks to PLEX trading. So they will be supporting their additional accounts by playing the game.

CCP has happened across a method of allowing strongly embedded players to invest further in their game of choice without causing widespread festering resentment amongst the player-base.

That's awesome.

Disclaimer: I control four EVE accounts. They're all as active as one mouse, three very large screens, and human frailty permits them to be.
 
What I'm questioning is the wisdom of the EVE/Farmville time-based progression system, and especially the argument that anything else is "Instant Gratification".

So you question it. I don't, i like it the way it is. And come on, you're not really comparing EVE to Farmville, are you?

@Tobold
It is only hypothetical for the case of people with a single account. But second (third, fourth) accounts in EVE are often played like that. And the quoted text describes exactly that situation.


No it doesn't. The quoted text describes the situation for a single account situation. As soon as you have two accounts, with one dedicated solely to train for a highly skill-intensive profession, you still are playing and enjoying the game while playing the other account. Another point is...it would take out a lot of incentive for me if i could just choose to sit in a titan instead of having to skill for 2-3 years to fly it properly. Those are long term goals and there are some players, including me, who really enjoy to have those. (Btw you can get the 80 billion to buy the Titan in a far shorter amount of time)
 
(Btw you can get the 80 billion to buy the Titan in a far shorter amount of time)

That's only because so few players can fly one. If more could fly one, ressource costs would soar.
 
I am not an Eve player, but rather your post reminded me of my years of British playing play-by-mail power games. St Vals, Delenda Est, Absolute Power...

If you chose you could act quickly from a position of weakness or build and consolidate for a major action. With many of these being hand moderated games, better for the game to encourage quieter low impact building moves than labour intensive attacks.

What I read in that paragraph is sweet anticipation of future glory. This is clearly a process that is consuming much pleasurable thought in or out of game. Something that I used to love with my old PBM games.

What more can you ask of a game? Tempted to give Eve a whirl.
 
That's only because so few players can fly one. If more could fly one, ressource costs would soar.


Thanks for the point. Another plus for EVEs skill system. It stabilises the ingame economy.
 
It seems to me that the system works to everyone who has 2 or more accounts. Better saying, to actually work you NEED 2 or more accounts. Am i reading it wrong?

So, the ones with better... hmmm... skills are the ones willing to spend more money on the game.

And yes, paying to wait weeks or days to raise a skill is silly. You're actually paying the equivalent of GearScore on WoW with one exception: in WoW you do play while collecting gear and you set the pace. In EVE, you pay to wait so you can wait some more.

And having 4 accounts? That's... i won't say silly but i want to. But having 4 accounts on WoW would be considered an addiction.
 
The alt that the quoted player has training is not 'doing nothing' its being useful by hauling stuff around for his main character. So its still useful even if its ultimately training to do something else.

I think the confusion arises from the mistaken assumption that skill training is the only way to measure character progression in EVE. There are many ways to measure such progress in EVE, such as ISK generation, Kills, standings, manufacturing output, and reputation. Many of these are not hard coded into the game, and encourage the player to really set their own goals and how to achieve them. This is the true measure of whether a game is a 'sandbox' (an overused term with too many meanings to be useful IMO) or not. You choose how to measure your progress and if you fixate on using the skill system then you're missing out on a whole slew of other measures.

I'm also enjoying your take on EVE as well Tobold, keep it up. If you ever want to try the PvP thing drop me a line in game and I'll see about tagging along on a roam with my main's corp (Jmarr Hyrgund).
 
@ Plaque:
Thanks for the point. Another plus for EVEs skill system. It stabilises the ingame economy.

The soaring ressource costs would eventually balance with risen demand. Why do you think the economy would be 'unstable' ?
 
This would be a lot more interesting if the OP hadn't added "and hauling for my main account". A hauler adds a lot of efficiency to mining. And if you have R&D mission agents spread out, your hauler can be gathering the cores to your base of operations.

The second account is being played like an apprentice. Doing all the dirty work, hauling industrial materials about, while studying up to do what the character REALLY wants to do: pilot a mining ship of their very own. And not just ANY mining ship. A HULK!
 
@Anti: "It seems to me that the system works to everyone who has 2 or more accounts. Better saying, to actually work you NEED 2 or more accounts. Am i reading it wrong?"

There's very few things a second account can do that a corpmate couldn't do; other than be entirely trustworthy and always there on time. ;)

So no, multiple accounts is far from necessary. Useful, certainly.

"So, the ones with better... hmmm... skills are the ones willing to spend more money on the game."

Remember, this only parallelises gaining of access to content. It doesn't halve the time to reach a particular training sequence, just double the number of targets can be reached in a particular time.

"And yes, paying to wait weeks or days to raise a skill is silly. You're actually paying the equivalent of GearScore on WoW with one exception: in WoW you do play while collecting gear and you set the pace. In EVE, you pay to wait so you can wait some more."

People play with accounts simultaneously too, so the comparison isn't entirely accurate.

"And having 4 accounts? That's... i won't say silly but i want to. But having 4 accounts on WoW would be considered an addiction."

Would that all addictions were so enjoyable. :)

EVE's pacing and control mechanisms are such that it is quite reasonable to engage multiple accounts on some tasks without going insane, more like an RTS.
 
@Bill: "while studying up to do what the character REALLY wants to do: pilot a mining ship of their very own. And not just ANY mining ship. A HULK!"

And invent a hulk at that. Nifty. :)
 
There are 3 main uses for alts in EVE. It is never necessary to do any of this with different accounts, but it DOES HELP.

1) Dual/X boxing. Even with an MMO that rewards large corp sizes, there are times where you'd like a hauler and none are available in your time frame. This is especially relevant when you trip onto the tactics of using a hauling alt to negate any need for jetcans when mining (no jetcans = no can flippers).

2) "I can't be two places at once" your main can be in w-space/0.0 and you could be running a research corp up in high sec using an alt to get your BPO collection copied so the BPOs stay in high sec while you spend most of your time in whisky space or null sec. Or maintain an alt in Jita so you can price check quickly and without having your main fly all the way there.

3) Spies. Feel like a bit of cloak and dagger? Planning on attacking a corp/alliance but not right away? Don't want to burn your main? A lot of CEOs ask for the limited API key before you join their corp - so you dont' want to use the same account as your main and the API key would reveal your 3 chars on that account.

The biggest difference between the mains and the alts is the pattern of skill learning you'll use. Alts tend to be very specific purpose - you'll usually skill them until you get them to a certain level of functionality then move to skilling a different alt on the same account (at least until all 3 alts can do something - then you'll start specializing).

You need to factor in the Metagaming/Skulduggery aspect of EVE. Newbies don't (nor should they) get involved too quickly with that level (both due to the cost and the complexity). This is definitely a blue pill red pill aspect of the game. There is a much larger potential with alt use in EVE compared to other games than is immediately visible.
 
"There's very few things a second account can do that a corpmate couldn't do; other than be entirely trustworthy and always there on time. ;)"

Yup. You pay to avoid being forced to group with other people.

Alternatively you could argue that it's crappy game design that allows a second account to be so useful whilst doing so little (ie. if a real person had to follow you around and do the haulage, they'd be bored out of their brains, which is a game design issue possibly.)
 
Coming from a WoW player who doesn't fully understand EVE:

I don't think it's weird to have a second EVE account just to level up skills. In fact, even though you juxtaposition EVE's style with an "instant gratification" style that I think WoW is representative of, I don't think they are all that different.

If I may use WoW as example of the "instant gratification" case: WoW may not have time as a limiting factor (at least to the same extent as EVE it seems) but there is another limiting factor: the number of skills a character can have. So while it doesn't require a second paid account, WoW players are still motivated to create "alt" characters just to train up new skills. The second account in EVE and the second "alt" character in WoW are both functions to work around game design. So not only are both styles not mutually exclusive, they are also rather similar if you think about it.

So no, it's not weird to me nor is it more Zen like or whatever. Maybe it's because I have a level 80 miner/herbalist in WoW doing the gathering stuff so that my other characters didn't use up a skill slot with a gathering skill, but I understand what's going on in that blog post by the Nomadic Gamer.
 
If you only log in to change/update skills - you're not playing the game.

While in the beginning, you spend a lot of time waiting, by the time you've reached a goal (Cov Ops frig for instance), training becomes an afterthought.

This time should be used to explore the various mechanics of the game, while the penalties are still very cheap. Sort out what constitutes aggression, get familiar with the system ratings. Locate the trade hubs...

There's perhaps too much to do in Eve - and to the uninitiated, maybe it seems like a waiting game.

Most players that run multiple accounts do so while playing one 'main'. these station queens can then just sit and train for a particular role.
 
I think the EVE skill system is just a money grab. I would never pay for two accounts just to play a game. If they want $50 a month from me, make sure I'm getting that much worth of content every month on one account.

To think that this game can not be compared to Farmville is laughable. Plant your crops and do something else until they are ready to be harvested.

Or, start up a skill and wait a week, then come back and start another one?

No thank you.

If I pay a monthly fee for a game, I better be able to play it no matter what my character is doing in the game.
 
I think the big difference in how strange this seems is less the passive vs. active leveling system and more that in Eve you can only advance one character per account, which encourages second and third accounts. If you were playing your main and your alt was happily training away silently on the same account, nobody would think it odd at all. It's the paying for the second account to do so that makes it seem odd.

Is the Eve situation really all that stranger than grinding alts by sitting at the computer for 50 or 60 hours while doing nothing but grinding quests according to the arrows and instructions from a WoW leveling guide add-on? I enjoyed raiding, but hated WoW leveling and spent far too much time staring at Jame's and Questhelper. I far prefer Eve's system.

On the whole, I think the skill system is overdue for an overhaul to let people get a head start a bit faster. Alternatively, they could tweak some systems to make lower level ships and T1 fits a bit more useful in the large fleet game.
 
Several years ago I tried out EVE. I enjoyed learning the basics. But at some point, after stepping away from my computer while I traveled, mined or trained made me question why I was paying to play at all.

Sounds simplistic and naive but that's how I felt and I ended up unsubscribing.
 
The fellow may make enough ISK in EVE to purchase 30-60 day time (GTC or 30-day Pilots Extension). Doing so, he's not paying a $15 a month subscription cost. Plenty of experienced EVE players do just such a thing. Another option to consider is that he may be training a character to sell for ISK, which unlike other games is perfectly legal in EVE. A player could do what amounts to a refer a friend on themselves, train them to something valuable (mining/hauling/research), then turn around and sell that fresh 30-day or so old character for 1.5-3 bil ISK. By doing the referal, they gave themselves a free month, and really are only out of pocket from normal expenses $5 (as EVE charges $14.95/mo + $5 for the game first time round).
 
My initial EVE experience was: I was a completely clueless noob. I had no idea about the skills system or how the attributes worked in to it. I figured I'd start it like any other game and start a "fighter character" to kick around for a few days before starting my "real character" once I'd learned the mechanics of the game. During character creation, skills were mentioned, and in any other game I've played having a lot of skills was always a good thing, so I bumped my INT stat on creation thinking that would get me more.

I was lucky, really. In reading the racial descriptions and trying to make a "fighter" I'd stumbled upon the Caldari Achura. I didn't get the "optimal" 9/9/9/9/3 attributes due to my bumping INT, but 12/8/8/8/3 wasn't far off, really. Still..... as I started the tutorial missions I almost immediately ran in to the "they gave me a module I can't fit" problem. Fortunately, the skillbook was available in the station I was in and it was only 15 minutes of training to get it so I could fit the module, but I was pretty annoyed.

I ran into the same problem again a little while later, only this time I need 4 hours to train the skill to where I needed it. I logged off the game in disgust, actually. But 4 hours later I was back, switched to a new skill when that was complete, mounted the module and. . . . I've been playing ever since -- 25 months now.

It took a while for me to "change my mindset" to the one that says "play with what you got now, the other skills will come" and I'll admit that I still hate training any individual skill for longer than 2 or 3 days, but .... it is what it is. I just finished Amarr Cruiser 5 this morning and that took 19 days. But now I can fly the curse, pilgrim and zealot, so I'm very glad of that!

Only ever had 1 account, only ever plan to have 1 account either, fwiw.
 
I like EvE. I do. But I hate the idea of having a second account that is not even getting played. I just can't get that idea. If I play an MMO, it will always be single account.

I do understand the reasoning behind it but... No.
 
@Hound: "To think that this game can not be compared to Farmville is laughable. Plant your crops and do something else until they are ready to be harvested."

In EVE the "do something else" is all the rest of the game.

"If I pay a monthly fee for a game, I better be able to play it no matter what my character is doing in the game."

You can - though progression through "build/alt content" (aka weapon systems and ship hulls) is gated by the skill system.
 
@Numtini: "On the whole, I think the skill system is overdue for an overhaul to let people get a head start a bit faster. Alternatively, they could tweak some systems to make lower level ships and T1 fits a bit more useful in the large fleet game."

They've been doing this steadily.

Apocrypha (spring 2009) revamped the new-character experience substantially, introducing the skill queue, the 1.6M "double-rate training period", and improved tutorials.

Dominion (autumn 2009) lowered the skill requirements for several key content systems (probing and exploration), and introduced tutorials for probing in particular.

Tyrannis (impending) is boosting insurance payouts for "high risk" Tech 1 ships - so tacklefrigates will be even less of a loss than they currently are.
 
I only play WoW, but it seems like the comparison of additional accounts in EVE to alts in Wow who primarily exist to access the AH or crafting skills to support the main character is a good one.

Is logging on to alt to buy something on the auction house or craft gems/potions and send to a main character really "playing" WoW? It's really just preparation for the actual game.

What if Blizzard had used a "per character" subscription system? At $5/month per character, how many would you be willing to pay for to have the convenience of alts, even if you don't really "play" them (leveling, instances, gearing up, etc)?
 
What if Blizzard had used a "per character" subscription system?

It's pretty much like that now - since you can only level once character at a time.

People get hung up on "what's next" - this is the carrot in WoW, and you're trained to expect it in most games.
 
What if Blizzard had used a "per character" subscription system?

I think that is a large part of the complaint of those who don't like the EVE system: You have to pay for your alts in EVE, but not in WoW or most other games.
 
Most MMORPG's have adopted WoW's character- and itemprogression, making it the main gameplay factor, EVE on the other hand pushes the player in the opposing direction, to go out and enjoy the game and not to care about how much xp/hour you make, which raid ID's you have yet to do this week. Thus seperating the skill system from the basic MMORPG character advancement scheme allows for a different gaming experience, one not limited by need for more xp/h or more/better epics.

Coming from WoW I started playing EVE about 8 month ago and I enjoy the change of pace.
 
Tobold: "You have to pay for your alts in EVE, but not in WoW or most other games."

EVE's ship-hull mechanic substitutes for the core of the alting functionality in most games - that of segmenting gameplay mechanics into discretely-balanced mutally exclusive classes. If a player wants to experience the "content" of a different ship hull there's no necessity to create a new character to do that. Indeed, there's several reasons why not (training speed, common core skills).

If I'm in my Malediction, I'm a fast tackler. If I'm in my Guardian, I'm a healer (and primary). If I'm in my Orca, I'm slow and going nowhere fast...

Doesn't Free Realms/The Agency do something similar with clothing?

Single-account alting can help with some logistical issues (being many places near-simultaneously).

As I think someone else said, multiaccounting is about impatience (content access parallelisation), greed (ISK/hour optimisation), subterfuge (thieves in ur corp, stealing ur stuff), or just... because that's how you like to play. :)
 
*shrug*

I always have two or more accounts in any MMO I play, whether it's for the variety (OK, let's try that class again, but this time as a Hobbit!), storage (both LotRO and (M)Age of Conan have very tight storage), crafting (OK, I have to choose between the Cook and Jeweller Guilds on my Tinker; guess I'll need to build up an alt for the guild I don't choose), or convenience (dual-boxing with an alt for a run-speed buff, tracking ability, or DPS).

Often the characters on the second account will languish unplayed for days. So frankly I don't see any difference.

If I were to get into EVE, I would probably start two accounts: one would be the "main" that I would actually "play" and use to test new things; the other would go the efficient route, just building up learning skills and maybe run "safe" errands.
 
My only issue with having multiple accounts to skill-up different character types is that you have to pay a subscription for each...

It actually comes back to the payment model rather than the gameplay.

Alts are often a good thing. They add more options to a game. Having to pay an extra sub per alt is not so good. Having to pay that sub for months while the alt skills up, also not good.
 
I think some of the outrage is caused by people comparing various aspects of EVE against equivalent aspects of WoW, except that they're not really comparable due to the radically different system.

For example, some people are saying it's outrageous that you have to pay an extra subscription for an alt in EVE, compared to WoW. Well, seen like that, yeah it seems a bad deal. But the point is that an alt in EVE isn't the same as an alt in WoW. If you're a combat pilot, and want to switch to do manufacturing, just slap on some manufacturing skills. You don't need to level up a whole new character, just train up some new skills. So you don't need an alt in EVE to fulfill the traditional use of alts, which is to explore different roles.

A new account in EVE is more like multiboxing in WoW, you have an alt that's playable at the same time and provides synergistic benefits. In WoW, there are people who play with 5 shamans or 5 hunters and solo dungeons for fun. Except in EVE, the alt can progress even without being played all the time.

Is it handy? Yeah. Is it necessary? No. So why the outrage? You need to get around the fact that EVE is not WoW, and that things work differently.
 
I'd also like to add that I don't think one way is better than the other, they're just catering to a different audience.

As I've said on my blog, EVE seems to cater to people with more casual playing time (maybe older, working gamers?) If you have a lot of playing time and expect your character to progress at a commensurate pace, then you'll gripe at EVE's "long" skill system. The skill system is almost like imposing an average "levelling speed" across the playerbase. If your playtime is above this curve then you'll feel restricted, if its below then you'll feel like it's great that you can progress without having to play so much.

If we consider that WoW allowed you to have a level 80 character after 23 days (real-time. not played time), some people would think that's a short time if they could only play for, say, an hour every day.
 
such an incredibly long time to go without seeing the message that makes me so happy.

how much we going to wager they know the exact second their 23 day training will complete, and they set their alarm clock to wake up at 4:36am, stagger to the monitor, turn it on (pupils readjusting to the light), and turn on their speaker to hear 'skill trained', then smile and go back to bed?

really, EVE?


...really?
 
I never had a second account, but sure "played" ever in the sense of just training skills for a few years. Also, played more actively for about 4 months once by just buying and selling ore at two stations. Made rather a silly amount of credits doing this.
 
The skill system is almost like imposing an average "levelling speed" across the playerbase. If your playtime is above this curve then you'll feel restricted, if its below then you'll feel like it's great that you can progress without having to play so much.


You compare yourself too much to other people. If a single player game had the EVE skill system I wouldn't want to play it. If it allowed me to influence skill progression or omitted it altogether I might play it.

So, you could also say: EVE is for people who cannot stand the idea that anybody progresses his skills faster then he does.
 
@Nils

You compare yourself too much to other people. If a single player game had the EVE skill system I wouldn't want to play it. If it allowed me to influence skill progression or omitted it altogether I might play it.

So, you could also say: EVE is for people who cannot stand the idea that anybody progresses his skills faster then he does.


Actually, no, because I couldn't give a rat's ass how fast other people accumulate skill points.

On the other hand, you seem to perpetually be hung up that you can't influence your skill learning speed no matter how much you play, so you could say that you are someone who "cannot stand the idea that he can't progress his skills faster than other people do"? So that's a pretty pointless comment.

It all comes down to the point that you don't know anything about EVE's gameplay, hence your obsession with skillpoints. It's not the end-all be-all of progress.
 
On the other hand, you seem to perpetually be hung up that you can't influence your skill learning speed no matter how much you play, so you could say that you are someone who "cannot stand the idea that he can't progress his skills faster than other people do"? So that's a pretty pointless comment.


Good point ! :)

But still. Could you imagine a single player game with EVEs skill mechanism ?
 
I imagine you're right that a single player game with such a skill system wouldn't work.

But I think that's because most single player games, to date, have an end. Once you progress to a certain point, you win, roll end credits tralala "would you like to play new game plus mode?" I wouldn't want to play a game where I go on vacation for 2 weeks and come back to find that my character has now progressed to max level and the rest of the game is now ez-mode.

But MMOs are by design endless, so I think such a skill system can work, because you can always progress your character. But care has to be taken that skills don't overpower all other means of progress e.g. a 20 million SP character always beats a 2 million SP character, like a level 80 vs a level 20 in WoW.

I think EVE's overall design has taken into consideration the quirks of the skill system, so overall the game works. There may be times here and there that you wish some level 5 skill didn't take days to finish training, but the rest of the game is structured that you have stuff to do while the skill training is just something going on in the background.

I think you may have misunderstood what I said in the previous comment too. It's not about my progress relative to other people, it's about my character progressing at all with limited playtime. EVE's skill system enforces a fixed speed to this aspect of character progress, so if your playing time/playing skills are good enough that you burn through content faster than your skillpoints allow, then it's natural that you would dislike such a system.
 
It's not about my progress relative to other people, it's about my character progressing at all with limited playtime.

There are three scenarios:
1) Skill progression influenced by player.
2) Skill progression not influenced by player.
3) No skill progression.

If you don't care about other players, progress/playtime unit is a rational way to measure the speed of your progress.


In the first case the "character progression with limited playtime" is equal for most players. Sure, some uberskilled and very motivated guy could adavance a little bit faster per playtime unit, but not much. Time to max level in WoW is roughly the smae for most people. The difference is a facor of maybe 5, maximum.

In the second case, the "character progression with limited playtime" can be dramatically different depending on how much you play. An EVE player who plays very little progresses very fast in progress/playtime units. An EVE player who plays a lot progresses very slowly.

In the third case skill progression doesn't play arole, obviously, I said before that I'd favour that approach to EVE.
 
Honestly, one of the things that turned me off of Eve was the passive nature of it. No matter what I did I couldn't progress my character faster than the skill queue.

I could, in fact, go out and make more money and better my situation but I couldn't progress "myself."

It quickly became obvious to me that I was better off not playing than playing. When I got enough skills to "do what I want to do" I could then log in and enjoy that for a bit.

Getting my first battleship was awesome and I really enjoyed running missions with it for a while but I quickly hit a stopping point again where it became time to just "wait it out."

I think the paragraph makes perfect sense if you're willing to put up with the passive nature of the game.
 
A lot of replies here seem to make the assumption that more skill point s equals progress. That's not really true in Eve. In Eve, real progress is made by learning the game, understanding the world, and most imporantly by making social connections.

To access the end game in WoW requires grinding to 80 and then grinding gear to be able to raid.

The "end game" in Eve is probably considered by most to be these large alliance wars. Goonswarm has a neat little training scheme called "the ten hour hero" designed to put people in the end game, the big wars on the front lines, competently flying a tackle frigate 10 hours after they first log on.

SP is not the point of Eve. SP just balances the universe so not everyone has a titan.
 
SKill points are NOT the most important measure of progression in EVE. Not by a long shot.

ISK is more important, by far. A 100M skillpoint 'toon with 0isk is going to get podded, tut suite.

Faction reputation is just as important as skillpoints are. They determine where you can and cannot fly.

Corporation membership is more important than skillpoints are. This determies a whole host of abilities, capabilities and access to content. Try running around in 0.0 in a newbie frigate while in an NPC Corp.

Skillpoints do one thing and one thing ONLY: they give you options.

The Aforementioned 100m skillpoint player with 0isk who just got podded? He has many more ways of earning isk than a player with 500K skillpoints. He can mine for isk, he can mission for it, he can go all piratey and rob other players for it, he can go to a bank within EVE itself and borrow money, he could get his corp to lend him ships and fittings, he could even engage in a bit of market PvP. It's entirely possible to make a billion isk and never leave a station.

A new player has fewer options. Trying to tie skillpoints to progression is missing the point entirely.
 
The downside I see on the skill queue is that it's mostly predetermined, and there's nothing really you can do to help it along.

What if they implemented an "active skill training" feature to the game, where you could speed your training along by doing skill-specific missions. Say you're training Cruisers V, you could either wait the 19 days, or go the the Cruisers V training agent, and help him, for example, fly a prototpye cruiser, find parts for a cruiser, research a new cruiser technology, etc, which would take an hour off your training queue for each mission you complete.
 
Sounds extremely boring regardless of what it means.
 
Tobold said..."Why is it that other games would be shredded to pieces if they dared to offer similar services, but in EVE half of the player base buys them without even a comment? Just because the time scale is different doesn't mean it isn't a RMT payment to CCP."

Because in EvE you can lose your wealth. There would be nothing to stop the 13 y/o who bought some super wow character from melting faces. In EvE he would be shot down and his fancy ship he bought taken away.

That mechanic alone changes a lot.
 
@Ixobelle There are actually third party programs that will let you plan out your training if you have a specific goal in mind, so you will know to the second when your skills finish training. However the scenario you describe is no longer the case (much) since CCP added a 24hr queue to the game allowing you to set another skill training automatically when the one you're on finishes. So if you know a long skill finishes on a specific day, you log on at some point during that day and queue up the next one, or as many as will fit in the 24hr timeframe leaving the longest one till last.

@Roboticus You can actually speed up the rate at which you gain skillpoints in a couple of ways. The first is to train some skills (lol) which raise your base attributes and hence the training of the skills which depend upon them, and another is by using implants which come in a variety of levels (+1 to +5) and have a version for each attribute again. The decrease in training times using these methods can be quite considerable and can save days in some cases.
 
@Mandrill: And don't forgot neural remapping. Players are allowed to redistribute their skill points, assigned at character creation, once every 12 months. New pilots get two extra free remaps.

http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Neural_remapping

So, with a long-term skill training plan focussed on particular skill-groups, players can remap their attributes to match and gain reasonable decreases in training time, at the cost of slower training rates if they should change their mind and chose a skill from a different area part way through the period.
 
The EVE base likes the skill system. Ironically, it is great for casual players, e.g. where EVE is a secondary game; with negligible efforts you are accumulating skills at the same rate as a very hard-core no-lifer. I would find it frustrating if EVE were my primary game.

A rarely made point is how skills are another anchor to CCP adding new players. No matter how many times the EVE fans discuss all the diminishing returns and titan tackling on the first week and all that, customers make decisions based upon what they believe and feel, not based upon best information. How much analysis do you do on a $15 discretionary entertainment purchase? If you start out 54 million SP behind your friend, he has a 3 year head start on you and even if you play 80 hours a week, you will always be 3 years behind him. That has to inhibit new players converting their trial account. And the divide is getting larger as more people get more skills.

Blizzard is able to add BoA xp gear, reduce the XP per level and allow flying sooner and faster, all to get people through older content quicker. In order to get more people to try exploration, CCP made a change to reduce a skill requirement from 5 to 4. There were many complaints about the dumbing down, WoW, Hello Kitty...

I do not see a way out of this for CCP other than the status quo.

I have 9 80s in WoW but only been playing EVE for a year. I did not undock the first couple of months in EVE, just trained learning skills. Some people do not have the patience for that. I do not see the point of starting a skills based game and not taking skill training seriously. I do not believe that if CCP were starting over, they would have learning skills. Training learning skills to learn skills better is not why a lot of people play MMOs.

I also do not share the being online to play the game attitude from people. One of my more enjoyable aspects of WoW, and to a lesser extend EVE, is the Auction House. I do something and log off. Many outcomes, the interactions and conflicts with others, happen while I am offline and perhaps asleep. I do not see why I should need to be online for something to sell.

BTW, I have one more WoW account than I intended due to Recruit-a-friend where $ definitely bought you in-game advantages from Blizzard.
 
I would want to play a game with only one account.
 
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