February 25, 2010

Why skillpoints don't matter.

Recently Manasi wrote a post about skillpoints, what they mean, what they don't mean and a general guideline for newer players. He did an excellent job explaining why skillpoints mean that you may have a capability to sit in a ship, but it means jack. Support skills are always hugely important.

I run into this many times with my gangs. I always ask what shiptypes they have/ are bringing. Some of my pilots I know their ships and skills. Some I don't. If I'm not sure I ask, how do you have that ship fitted. Every so often I will say "dock that up and get me something you can fit right". Or I will help them fit it correctly. This may be a bit harsh but its very true. If you are in a Falcon with crappy jamming skills you are not an asset. You are an expensive primary that cannot support the gang effectively. If you are in a Zealot with horrible gunnery skills you are an expensive liability. You have no tank to begin with, and your DPS (which should be pro) will suck, assuming your tracking even lets you hit your target. The list goes on and on and on. Manasi summed up this very well.

I am writing about the other aspect that makes a good pilot aside from his skillpoints. This is something that cannot be taught. Sometimes trained but never taught. Its called intelligence. As a newbie pilot to 0.0. less than two weeks into EVE I was in a Drake (which I lost to two Vagabonds in less than a day :/ ) It was T1 fit and barely able to tank rats. In less than a month I was one of the top killers in my corporation. Given, it was not the greatest corporation for PVP, but I was out there making kills with the Alliance more than anyone else. I picked up on information very quickly and learned things that people don't know after years of playing the game. I have an ability to absorb massive amounts of data and sort it and issue orders based on what is happening. This works on the micro level as it pertains to my own ship. This works on a macro level as it pertains to FCing. Some people can handle this, some people cannot. EVE is not a first person shooter. Quick reflexes help, but quick wits win. As I progressed through this first year (I am coming up on my 1 year mark in April, believe it or not) the ships and modules I unlocked merely enhanced my ability to kill you. The mindset of a killer is something that comes naturally to some, and some may find later in their EVE life. I have people in my corp that are new, whether to the game or to PVP. Yet they are extremely promising. Given some good instructions and a shove in the right direction they will become cold and calculated killers. Then there are people, new and old, who you have to watch closely and remind frequently to prevent them from dieing, screwing up, or any number of bad things. They may be flying t1 frigs or command ships, yet I still worry for them. In fact, old players who have no PVP sense worry me the most. They usually are the ones that drop the super expensive faction fitted crap lossmails that I have to yell at them about.

I guess what I am saying is that in addition to sitting in your ship, AND properly fitting your ship, you need to have the wits about you to use it effectively. You need the experience to understand the situation, know when to engage, how to engage, and how to function once engaged. Sometimes you even need to know when to GTFO. So basically I agree that skillpoints can tell you quite a bit, and help you in many different ways. But they also mean absolutely nothing at the same time.

That is all.


Anonymous said...

You are damned right inteligence is a must the ability to think quickly on your feet is critical, sadly you can only evaluate this once a pilot engages in combat.

Latro said...

Just to pile on a bit, but it also sounds like you've exercised good basic troop-leading skills as well Those are also key to meshing pilots with various skill, as well as skillpoint, levels into a good team. There will always be a spread of both. A good corp with good leaders to identify and train those folks makes everybody's experience more effective and hence fun in the case of the game.