I realize that I am behind the times on my gaming news but even out here in Germany I do occasionally get a minute or two to think about story ideas. I just rarely get to write them. Even this one is being cobbled together at 11:20 at night after a solid 12 hours of work. I couldn’t just let something as awesome as Eve Online removing what is basically the lamest part of the game go by without a peep. If you haven’t heard the learning skills no longer exist!
Eve Online is driven by pretty much one major resource: time. It can’t be bought, sold or traded. The sooner you got in and the longer you remain the better you are, period (eventually it levels out but you can move on to another career). Now you’ll hear people say that anyone can beat anyone in a fight but that is pretty much a lie. A person with 2,000,000 skill points has little chance against someone with a solid concentration of 5,000,000. It could happen but it just isn’t likely (I know someone is going to disagree but honestly I don’t want to debate it!). There is essentially a start up time that is necessary to make you effective.
The learning skills increased your statistics. Statistics reduce training time. Therefore to be successful long term and get to where you want to be quicker you simply had to train learning skills. Otherwise you could be adding weeks of time onto your character’s goals. This was a HUGE barrier to entry. Most players understood this and wanted to do learning skills early. The major problem with doing so is that it simply isn’t fun. You’re not getting better at flying, shooting, mining, or anything. You’re just training dead skills to make life better later on. This turned a lot of people off. Thankfully CCP has realized this and removed them. It feels as if a weight is lifted. I no longer have to try to invite people in to play only to pull the rug out from under them and explain their first few weeks will offer no character improvement in the short term. I no longer have to feel guilty that one of my learning skills is only at level IV instead of V when I choose a new missile skill to train. They no longer apply!
CCP also took a page out of the new MMORPG handbook and pretty much gave everyone the statistics. This, in turn, has reduced training times slightly across the board. This is something I honestly feel the game needs. Yes, I love how hardcore Eve is. No, I don’t think a 30 day training time for a non-capital ship skill is appropriate ever. With this update most aren’t that bad. A lot of mine lost about three days or so. The whole game is just much more approachable now.
I’m excited for the changes and once more I do have to recommend trying the game out. The learning curve is steep but if you like unforgiving, traditional MMORPGs, Eve is basically the only thing out there.