Thursday, October 7, 2010

Recommended Skills and Certificates for Successful Missioning

EVE isn’t a game that hands anything to you. For a beginning player, even the most basic things in the game can be confusing. In the last episode I went over how to find better missions and agents. In this episode I will recommend some more skills and certificates to help you be more successful with missions.

I am focusing on combat missions here. Courier, mining and industry missions will require different skills. I think the combat is a little harder to figure out because there are so many skills to choose from. If you’re having problems with your other types of missions, let me know, and I’ll write up an episode on them as well.

Keep in mind that skills in EVE work together and have cumulative effects. Some of the skills may not seem worthwhile at first glance—a 3% bonus here, a 5% bonus there—but when they’re all combined together it makes a big difference to your performance.

You can browse the certificates in-game by opening your character sheet and clicking the “Certificates” button on the left-hand side. Now click the button that says “Open Certificate Planner.” You can now browse the certificates.

In order to claim any certificates you’ve earned, click the button that says “Claim All Certificates” in the Certificate Planner window. Once you’ve claimed certificates, you will see them listed by category in the first Certificate window.

It is nice to browse certificates in-game and see which ones you have, but in order to plan the skills for the certificates, you can use EveMon. Open your training plan in EveMon and click the “Certificates” tab. You can now browse the certificates. To plan a certificate, right click on it and select “Plan…to” and select the level—Basic, Standard or Elite. EveMon will now add all the skills and their prerequisites to your training plan. Please see my Big 3 episode for tips on using EveMon.

At this point I’m assuming you’ve followed the previous guide and already know about the Connections, Diplomacy, Negotiation and Social skills.

Level 1 Missions:

In level one missions you will be flying frigates, and eventually destroyers. You will want to work on the following two skills and their prerequisites:
  • (Race) Frigate
  • Destroyers
In the beginning focus on frigates, and when you feel you’re ready, move up to destroyers.

I also recommend working on the following certificates:
  • Core Competency Basic. This is actually a collection of certificates (many certificates are). These are basic fitting skills, etc. and will be useful to you no matter what you end up doing in the game.
  • High Velocity Helmsman Basic. These are your navigational skills and will allow you to use afterburners and microwarp drives.
You will choose among the following three certificates depending on what kind of tanking you do with your ships. These are your basic tanking (defensive) skills. They’re good to have if anyone is ever going to shoot at you (it happens to us all!).
  • Armor Tanking Basic
  • Passive Shield Tanking Basic
  • Active Shield Tanking Basic
You will also want to train some of the following offensive certificates. Which ones you choose will depend on what type of weapons the ships you fly use. Figure out if you use turrets, missiles, and/or drones. If you use turrets, find out if you use hybrid, projective, and/or energy turrets. Train the certificates relevant to your ships.
  • Frigate Hybrid Turrets Basic
  • Frigate Projectile Turrets Basic
  • Frigate Energy Turrets Basic
  • Missile Control Basic
  • Frigate Launcher Control Basic
  • Drone Control Basic
  • Combat Drone Control Basic
Please note: I really recommend you read the skill descriptions. These certificates are recommendations. Decide what is best for you; don’t just train certificates blindly. You may find skills in the certificates you really don’t need. For instance, Core Competency Basic requires Targeting IV. I still haven’t trained Targeting IV because I have no need to be able to target more than 5 targets. Eventually I will train it, probably because it will be a prerequisite for another skill I want, but for now I have decided not to train it because I don’t need it.

Also note: When you start flying destroyers, they use the same turrets and missiles that frigates use—which are small turrets and launchers. Cruisers and battlecruisers generally use medium turrets and launchers, and battleships generally use large turrets and launchers.

Level 2 Missions:

Once you’re ready to do level 2 missions, you’ll want to start flying cruisers. Of course you will want to train the Cruiser skill for your race and its prerequisites.

I also recommend the following certificates in addition to the ones above (choose based on the ships you fly):
  • Cruiser Hybrid Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Projectile Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Energy Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Launcher Control Basic
Note: In EVE you can fly any ship you want. However, in the beginning I recommend you stick to your race’s ship. Hopefully you picked a race with ships you like! The reason for this is simple—as a new player you have a lot of skills to learn. Learning to fly multiple races’ frigates will only add to your training time. I really recommend you focus on your own races’ ships until you get to a point in the game that you really need to branch out. Every ship in EVE has a purpose. Don’t listen to people who say “that ship sucks”. You can learn to fly any ship well, it’s all in how you fit it. Consider it a challenge to work within the strengths and weaknesses of your race’s ships, and avoid the temptation of branching out too early. It will make you a better player, and the more tightly focused your character is, the more effective she will be in her chosen role(s).

Where to Go From Here?

Once you’re doing level 2 missions in your cruiser, you should have a pretty good grasp of how the skills and certificates work in EVE. You will be able to plan your future. You’ll want to train into battlecruisers and then battleships as you get into level 3 and level 4 missions, and you’ll want to learn the appropriate skills and certificates. You also will want to keep firming up that foundation you built with those beginning certificates by getting them to the standard, and eventually elite, levels.

I hope this guide helps you and gives you enough to get your missioning career off to a good start. Enjoy all that EVE has to offer.

Fly smart.