CCP has announced some vague changes to the way the Eve racial ship tier system will work in the upcoming patch/ expansion. No one is quite certain what they are planning or how they will implement it, but the prospect of the changes has me in a mental quandary…
Should I postpone my current skill plan for a month, effectively halting my improvement as a combat pilot during that time, for the chance of a huge power payoff down the road?
In order to understand the question, and reason out the best answer, you need to understand the way ship skills work in Eve, and what the proposed changes are likely to look like.
New Eden has four player character races, the Minmatar, Caldari, Amarr and Gallente. Every player starts out as one, but may cross-train into the other faction’s ships by purchasing skill books and investing the time necessary for the trainings. Ships are designed currently to be reachable in tiers… Each skill has five levels I-V, and as your skill progresses you unlock the ability to fly ‘better’ ships of that skill type.
Now occasionally you come across ship classes that are grouped into one skill, rather than racially… The examples we will use for this discussion are Destroyers and Battlecruisers, because it is widely expected that these two skills are on the chopping block.
If I wish to fly the Caldari Battlecruiser, Drake, I need to train the Caldari Cruiser skill to III, and Battlecruisers to II. Once Battlecruisers is trained, simply training another race’s Cruiser skill to III will open those additional ships without any additional skill training at the Battlecruiser level.
Concurrent to this situation, is the reality that only a few ships of any class are really useful. Sure some people fly contrarian builds, but they are the exception, and many ships collect dust while their newer and more powerful sisters are the ship of choice. CCP is proposing to fix this by making changes to the ships, their bonuses and roles in gameplay. How they will do it, and whether it will work is another discussion entirely, but for now we have laid the ground work for the Tiericide changes.
CCP has said publicly that when they implement the ship skill changes, they will not punish players who already can fly certain ships… i.e. if you could fly Caldari Battlecruisers before the changes, you will be able to fly them in whatever form they appear after the skills are reworked… based on precedent, it is assumed by many, that this will be in the form of a skill point reimbursement (like a free respec) that players will then ‘respend’ those points buying up the new skills until they have the ability to fly all the ships they could previously…
As a very new player, I have an unprecedented opportunity to advance my pilot, if these changes occur as it is speculated that they will. Currently I can fly two racial Battlecruisers… the Caldari Drake and the Minmatar Hurricane. In order to fly the remaining two racial BCs, I have approximately 4 days of training. To take the current Battlecruiser skill to V, I have approximately 24 days. With very rough math, this will be the equivalent of around 750,000 skill points in Battlecruisers.
When the patch changes split Battlecruisers into 4 separate skills, I will need 3,000,000 skill points to regain the same ship hull skills that I had before, because each racial (i.e. Caldari Battlecruiser or Amarr Battlecruiser) subskill for the Battlecruiser hull will require training to V to maintain the same effectiveness I had before…
Thus they will reimburse me 3,000,000 skill points, which I would then divert 750,000 into Caldari Battlecruisers, and the rest I would use to ‘buy up’ near perfect Drake piloting skills, core fitting skills to V, and missile skills to as far as I can take them.
I would be trading 30 days, that I need to train eventually anyway, for four months of free training that I need to do eventually. My 2 month old pilot would then fly like a 5 month old pilot.
It is quite possible that all the speculation will be for naught, and CCP will uncharacteristically design a solution that reimburses the relative time, vs. the mathematical equivalent… In that case I will have spent my second month doing very little to progress my pilot, aside from training a skill that I probably wouldn’t have on my radar for another 6 months or more…
What would you do, if you were me? What do you think CCP is going to do with Tiericide? How have you adjusted your skill plans to account for these potential changes?