Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"How old are you?"

One of our members posed that question on our internal forums and added a poll to allow folks to both respond and to display the results.

With nearly 200 responses, the results are not only interesting, they are statistically valid for Eve University and close to being statistically valid for the Eve Universe as a whole. The results as of this morning:

How old are the Unistas?
8 - 12
1% [ 2 ]
13 - 18
3% [ 7 ]
19 - 23
12% [ 25 ]
24 - 29
22% [ 44 ]
30 - 37
26% [ 52 ]
38 - 44
23% [ 46 ]
45 - 51
5% [ 11 ]
52 - 60
3% [ 6 ]
0% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 194

What interests me is the almost perfect distribution curve around the mid-thirty age group.

First of all, I was surprised to see how old the central band was. I really expected to see more players in their mid 20's than in their mid 30's. That younger expectation seems to be the general consensus of other estimates of the average age of Eve players.

Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'm not as much of an anomaly as I thought. There is a decent proportion of us that listened to Paul McCartney before Wings and actually dialed a telephone, rather than punching numbers!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On hardwiring....

Most folks immediately understand the value of implants to speed skill learning. Far fewer seem to have a handle on the value of hardwiring.

Think of hardwiring as "mind-rigs".

The hardwire modules impact a specific attribute of the ship that you are currently flying in the same manner as rigs installed on that ship. If you need more cap, you can install a Semiconductor Memory cell rig on a particular ship. Or you could plug in a Squire CC series hardwiring to give you additional cap on every ship that you fly!

Like rigs, hardwirings are lost if they are removed, so you do need to think about what you plug into the clone head that you are inhabiting.

If you have multiple clones (you _do_ have multiple clones, right?), this gives you the opportunity to design a set of harwires to compliment your personal style & ship choices.

Like most of Eve, there is no single _right_ answer. There are simply choices.

Here is a spreadsheet to help you examine the various hardwirings and their impacts. THe organization will be obvious when you look at it.


I've also included a few suggestions for typical harwire sets for those kinds of characters that I am most familiar with (Caldari railgunners who mine), but I'm not suggesting that these are optimal. You should use them as a starting point for your own exploration of the benefits and costs of using hardwirings.

Oh, and the disclaimer:

Use at your own risk. No warranties are provided, either expressed or implied. Your mileage may vary. Side effects are generally mild and include bloodshoot eyes, flat wallets and bruised foreheads from contact with desktop. In some instances, may result in a significant improvement in the capabilites of the character in question, leading to combat losses by those shooting at you. Do not use in connection with the ingestion of alcohol, perscription drugs or other mind altering substances, regardless of their legality. Do not operate heavy machinery for 12 hours after first exampination. If you experience epeen tumessence for more than 4 hours after plugging in your first hardwire, please consult a physician.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

On training....

Many of the questions we see often asked on the Eve University forums and in various convos relate to skill training. New pilots want to get the 'right' answer. They seek a roadmap of specific steps to allow them to reach an undetermined future goal in the minimum amount of time.

Eve doesn't work that way.

Certainly, if you have a specific ship and fit in mind, EveMon will help you optimize the time that it takes to get there. But there are a couple of human problems with that approach.

First of all, rarely does the initial ship/fit goal of a brand new player survive more than a few days. As you gain a deeper understanding of how Eve works and what you find enjoyable, that initial ship will be shelved more often than not. So any initial plan that aims for a specific goal is quite likely to result in a mishmash of unco-ordinated, disjointed skills and some wasted time.

The alternative approach is to train nothing but learning skills in the beginning so that when you turn your attention to 'real' skills, your pumped up mind will minimize the training time required. That approach is clearly mathimatically valid. It's also no fun! While those that join the game at the same time as you did are off flying cruisers, you are still poking around in a low level frigate doing mental pushups. Bah!

For most people who want to balance long term efficiency with short term fun, a middle ground must be found.

Here are a few personal suggestions:

- Push a standard learning skill up quickly so that the next level takes 18-24 hrs.
- Train that skill when you are not in the game. When you get that one up to L4, pick another standard learning skill & do the same thing.
- While you are in game, train lots of different L1 skills. They train quickly and let you get into new ships and modules so that you can have some fun.
- A couple of weeks of this will help you settle on a realistic short term skill plan (say 3 to 4 weeks). Use EveMon to help you plan, but balance efficiency with fun!
- Never buy a skill book until you can train it.
- Never fly with a purchased skill book in your cargo hold. Start training it as soon as you buy it, even if you only train it for 30 seconds. A skill book in your head cannot be mislaid, lost, sold by accident, destroyed or dropped as loot if you should have a close encounter of the pod kind while returning home from the store.

Generic skillplans are just that. Generic. The right skill plan for you is the one that provides your personal balance between having fun now and having more fun later!