The fallacies of skill training plans in EVE Online
New players to EVE Online invariably receive the same advice from those more experienced: train your learning skills as soon as possible. Each skill level gained in the learning category adds a point to an attribute linked to that skill. Attributes determine your skill training times, so by boosting your attributes as high as you can, as fast as you can, you dramatically reduce your skill training times further down the road. This becomes especially noticeable when training higher ranked skills. But Dee Carson, from the Miner With Fangs blog, says that diving right into training your learning skills instead of getting a feel for the game can be a mistake. He should know. Carson is a director of EVE University, a corp that has trained thousands of new players since its inception and helped them to become competent pilots.
Carson points out that training up learning skills right off the bat serves to crush a new player's interest in the game. In those first weeks and months, when players could be out trying new things in EVE, they're limited by the fact that they're simply not progressing in any noticeable way. Yes, training up your learning skills is important if you're in for the long-term, but for those just trying out the game, locking yourself into skills that don't unlock new ships and modules kills the fun.
Not all players are able to plan out their long-term goals when they're starting out. Nor should they. Carson writes, "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." It's a game, not a job. Your interests will change over time and so will your style of play. If you're not having fun, you should step away from what you're locking yourself into and go with what seems like more fun.
Some players take the opposite approach, however, and train whatever their heart desires, ending up with a plethora of partially trained skills that are all over the place. The ideal then should be a middle-of-the-road approach, according to Carson. He has a number of suggestions about diversifying your skill training and incorporating enough flexibility to keep the game interesting while ensuring you're moving ahead. It's well worth a look if you're a newer player or are considering playing EVE for the first time.
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