Long-awaited skill queue coming to EVE Online

James Egan
J. Egan|02.04.09

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The sci-fi massively multiplayer online game EVE Online stands apart from other games in the industry in several ways, one of which is that it uses a real time skill training system rather than experience-based advancement. This is a feature many players like, as they're able to advance even when they're offline, but the downside is that you need to log in frequently to change the lower levels of skills (due to how quickly they finish.) For anyone who's bothered with it, actually getting up for 4am skill changes? Not cool.

Getting a skill queue is one of the issues that the player-elected Council of Stellar Management (CSM) brought to the game's developers, CCP Games. (The CSM are representatives of the player base that work with the devs to ensure that development reflects what EVE's subscribers really want from the game.) Apparently the message got through loud and clear. EVE Game Designer Eris Discordia announced today that a skill queue is indeed in the works, in her dev blog "More Queue Queue."
The concern CCP Games had with implementing a skill queue is that if a player could queue up a long string of skills, they might spend more time AFK than if they were logging into the game more often. Eris said, "While it's cool that you can advance your character when you are offline, we did worry that if we introduced a skill queue some players might just set a queue for a year and become less active in EVE. That's not what a massively multiplayer ONLINE game is about. EVE is a social game and we want you exposed to other players so you can start making legends out of you or corporation and strive for dominance. A long abstinence from EVE would ruin this for us."

The solution, or compromise, CCP is going with is limiting the skill queue to a 24-hour window -- you can line up as many skills as you'd like, provided they can begin training in the next 24 hours. The skill queue is a feature in progress, and as such the devs are looking for feedback from players and would also like to hear what the playerbase thinks about other skill enhancements. Eris mentions the possibility of a skill planning system or possibly even connecting skill plans to certificates or modules.
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