Sunday, November 3, 2013

Training Advice for the Newbros

We had an interesting talk on the show this week. We talked about some of the most frequent mistakes new players make with regards to training. A lot of people come into Eve from other MMO's, very rarely is this their first stop on the MMO yellow brick road. In just about every other MMO out there, players are encouraged to make a race for the "end game". Level up quickly, blaze through content, and get geared up for raids, or whatever label they're given in said game.

Eve, in comparison to other MMO's, doesn't really have any of that. Once the tutorial is complete, the "end game" begins. While many new players blaze through the space ship command training tree to constantly be able to fly bigger "better" ships, they leave behind the majority of support skills, finding themselves in a cruiser or battle cruiser without the ability to actually fit the ship with the mods it needs to kill or survive properly.

Poorly fit ships is something we've been encountering a lot lately. Fighting with TEST I've lost track of the number of pilots flying in cruisers and larger that have no business doing so. There are generally 3 reasons people fly a poorly fit ship:
  1. Lack of skills to fit needed offensive and defensive mods. Includes lack of skills for the mods, or lack of fitting skills for the grid needed to fit them.
  2. No one bothered to teach the pilot how to properly fit a ship.
  3. Comedy Troll fit.
 One of the challenges the directors in our Newbie corp have to deal with, and I suspect other training corps do as well if they bother with it, is to break people out of the age-old progress as fast as possible mentality. The Noob Mercs Director of Newbro Integration, Charlie Firpol, has probably lost count of the number of pilots he's brought in saying they can fly cruisers that needed to be bumped back into frigates for a period of time. The skills to undock a hull do not coincide with actually being able to fly the ship, lesson #1.

Lesson #2 is that bigger is not always better. A Tornado is great against cruisers and anything larger, but will get eaten alive by even a single frigate most of the time. I could load you up with examples of other ships that have hard times with small stuff, but it might take all day to get through it. Just take my word for it on #2 please.

Below, I'll share some general info that we pass along to our Newbros. If you accept newbies into your corp, and focus on PVP, this might be some good info to pass along:
  1. Frigates first. Until you are fully combat effective in a frigate of your choice, do not move on to anything bigger. 
  2. Pick a race that suits your style and focus on it. Don't distract yourself with other racial ships at first. It might seem cool to be able to fly a Rifter AND Punisher AND Kestrel, but the support skills for those ships are completely different. You will be more combat effective in one week of focusing on just being able to fly and fit one of those ships properly, than in a month of cross training for all of those ships at the same time. aside from the skills to actually fit the ship, the style of play to pilot them is also completely different and has to be learned as well.
  3. Fitting skills! Get CPU Management and Power Grid Management up to at least lvl 4 ASAP. They should both be at 5 before you even move on to destroyers. Other skills, like Shield Upgrades, reduce fitting needs of certain mods and also make it easier to bolt more stuff on your ship. Having to fit mods/rigs to increase CPU or PG to fit a basic ship is wasted mod/rig space.
  4. It's not enough to train for just fitting guns and/or launchers. Both missile and gunnery trees have extremely important support skills that stack up and will carry over to all mods in that class (including the larger versions) increasing your ability to hit and do damage to a target. TRAIN THEM, preferably before moving on to anything bigger than a frigate.
  5. It's ok to stop at lvl 4 of important skills when just starting out so you can get basic support skills up quicker. That extra 5% per skill isn't important right away, but should definitely be thought about before getting into cruisers.
  6. Don't rush into tech 2 before support skills are up, especially fitting skills. T2 guns look really sweet on paper, but you'll just be wasting money if they come at the expense of not being able to fit rigs, damage resists, or anything that will increase survivability.