Saturday, May 01, 2010
As I mentioned before, the closest EVE has to linear progression is moving from very small combat ships to increasingly larger ones. I went from frigates to destroyers and cruisers, and am now training to fly battlecruisers and battleships. While a bigger ship isn't the solution to everything, especially not in PvP, it sure makes PvE missions a lot easier, and allows you to play higher level missions for better rewards. But if you look closer, bigger ships don't have all that many more slots for weapons and modules than cruisers. What they do have is a lot more CPU, and PowerGrid, which allows you to fit *bigger* weapons and better modules.
So far so good, but in EVE any new item comes with new skill requirements. So while in a few days I could theoretically buy a battlecruiser and fly it around, I could only put the same kind of weapons and modules on it that are now on my cruiser, which gives me a ship which is barely better than the cruiser I have. To use the battlecruiser effectively, I need a collection of skills to fit all those bigger guns and better modules. Helpfully there is a so-called "certificate" system, where one tab of the ship info lists the certificates you should have to effectively fly it, and the certificate planner tells you which skills you need to train up to have that certificate. That gets even easier if you use a program like EVEMon, where you can say which ship you want to fly, and the program designs the most efficient skill plan for you to get all the necessary skills. So I did that for the battlecruiser I wanted, and EVEMon gave me the list of skills I needed to train up: Total training time a bit over 92 days. 3 BLOODY MONTHS!!!! With nothing I could do in-game to speed the process up, except log on for 5 minutes every day to queue up the next skills.
At that point I remembered that I have a level 79 paladin in World of Warcraft, who will not advance at all when I don't play. But if I play I could get him to 80 quickly enough, finally use his smithing skill to craft some epic gear, do heroics for more gear, and follow the fundamental MMORPG formula of "you play, you advance your character". In EVE I can only wait and play "just for fun", only that the activities I found in EVE high security space up to now aren't all that much fun by themselves. Not even crafting and trading are much fun, because it turns out that it involves a lot of flying around to transport stuff, and flying around in high sec is rather boring. So I think I'd rather level my paladin this weekend.