Saturday, October 26, 2013

Goals & The Power of Specialization

As of this post, I have 4.8 million skill points, which automatically puts me at a disadvantage in the majority of my solo engagements.  Eve can be daunting at times, because of the sheer number of skills and the amount of training time required in order fly ships to the best of their capability.  Many of my corpmates in Eve University are able to fly a wide range of ship classes for many different races, but I find it difficult to imagine that many are able to fly them to their full capability.  Honestly, this is probably fine for fleets & gangs; a meta-fit cruiser is probably better for dps roles than a T2-fit frigate.  However, for solo PVP, I'm pretty certain that flying higher ship classes would simply lead to more expensive loss mails for me.

Although there are a lot of different ships I'd like to be able to fly, I've come to the realization that I'd be much better off if I focused my skill training.  After all, skills needed to fly a Prophecy are useless if I am sitting in a Frigate (which I am, 95% of the time).  Last week I made the decision to put aside most of my training plan, and focus exclusively on flying Gallente frigates and training the associated support skills.  This decision makes sense for a number of reasons:

1. I already have T2 small hybrid guns trained
2. My drone support skills are decent; I have Drones V, Scout Drone Operation V, and Drone Interfacing IV all trained.
3. Hull upgrades V is trained, meaning I can fit a T2 armor tank

All of these are well-aligned with flying Gallente frigates well.  Furthermore, the Incursus, Tristan, Atron, and Maulus are all very viable options for solo & small gang PVP.  As much as I love the Merlin, the remaining Caldari frigates would require me to cross-train a lot of missile support skills, and that is going to have to wait.

This is an Incursus fit that I have been flying recently:

[Incursus, Rail incursus v2]
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I

Hobgoblin II x1

With my current skills, this gives me 4379 EHP, 115 DPS, and overheated speed of 1176 m/s in EFT. An all V's character will have 4479 EHP, 144 DPS, and a speed of 1356 m/s with this fit.  Clearly, I have a LOT of room for improvement here.  With proper training, I can improve my DPS by 25% and my speed by 15%.  My gunnery skills in particular need a lot of attention.  This my short-term training plan:

Gallente Frigate V
Navigation V
Acceleration Control IV
Evasive Maneuvering IV
Rapid Firing IV
Sharpshooter IV
Surgical Strike IV
Motion Prediction IV
Trajectory Analysis IV
Small Railgun Specialization III
Small Railgun Specialization IV
Cybernetics IV
Gunnery V
Combat Drone Operation IV

This will take about 4 weeks to train, but will leave this fit with 129 DPS and overheated speed of 1261 m/s.  I added Cybernetics IV (which is long overdue), primarily to unlock Zor's Custom Navigation Hyper Link, which gives me another nice speed boost.  My implant set will then be: 

[Slot 1] Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1
[Slot 2] Memory Augmentation - Basic
[Slot 3] Neural Boost - Basic
[Slot 4] Genolution Core Augmentation CA-2
[Slot 6] Eifyr & Co. 'Rogue' Navigation NN-603 (+3% Speed)
[Slot 7] Eifyr & Co. 'Rogue' Evasive Maneuvering EM-703 (+3% Agility)
[Slot 8] Zor's Custom Navigation Hyper Link (+5% AB/MWD Speed Boost)
[Slot 9] Inherent Implants 'Lancer' Gunnery RF-903 (+3% Firing Rate)
[Slot 10] Inherent Implants 'Noble' Hull Upgrades HG-1003 (+3% Armor)

Which then pushes this same fit up to: 133 DPS, 4512 EHP, 1344 m/s speed (over-heated), which will leave me only 8% below an "all V's" character in terms of DPS.  This is only the beginning; I still have a lot of skills support skills which need attention, but I am completely convinced that this is the best path to improving as a player.  One of the most successful PVP pilots in the Eve-Uni LSC also flies Gallente Frigates the majority of the time, and has skills like Small Railgun Specialization V, Drone Interfacing V, and Gallente Drone Specialization V trained.

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