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The tyranny of skill training

James Egan

One of the nicest features of EVE Online is the fact that skill progression doesn't go hand-in-hand with a monotonous grind. Rather, the game uses a time-based system of advancement. But this seemingly casual aspect of the game is a double-edged sword; in the earlier stages of skill training, a newer player needs to log in very frequently to switch up low level skills. Some EVE players set their alarms and drag themselves out of bed in the early morning hours to switch their skill training, so as not to lose hours of time where progression halts. PC gaming blog 'Life is a Mind Bending Puzzle' has a post about how EVE's system "creates significant pressure to log on and pop a new skill on every time one finishes." Logically, a new player would assume that it's possible to queue skill training in advance. That assumption, however, would be wrong.

Thus the early career of an EVE pilot is one of setting alarms, calendar reminders, and sticky notes... all to avoid that guilt over losing hours of advancement because of something trivial like sleep or a job. But as time goes on, skill training intervals lengthen at higher levels and thus require far less maintenance. Implementing a skill queue was one of the issues brought to CCP Games by the player-elected Council of Stellar Management (CSM), as it's one of the complaints most players have when getting to know the game. How do you feel about skill queues? Is it a necessary feature that CCP should implement, or should the developers be focusing on more pressing matters?


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