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EVE of Procrastination

Thoughts of EVE Online and my free forum.

Time and Space

I played EVE Online hard all weekend and throughout most of the week, time I should have spent doing class projects. The end-of-semester wrap-up is just around the corner, I need to get those projects done quick, so my character will probably spend a lot of time skilling up offline in the near future.

Overall (not counting beta back in 2003) I've played EVE Online for a week now. It turns out that prospecting is a pretty lousy pick. As one of those, I spent about 320k of my 800k starting points on Refining skills. Yet, unrefined ore sells for more than I can refine it for. This is probably because established players can refine better than I ever could, short of owning my own space station.

Another reason why prospecting has lost its luster is because it seems combat is more lucrative than mining. I had a few days head start over my brother. After starting a combat character and performing combat missions constantly, he's earned about twice the isk (money) than I have.

For these reasons and others, temptation to reroll set in... but I reconsidered. Why? Several reasons, really:
  • Because there's no skill point caps, I can just train my combat skills over time anyway.
  • Prospecting, for all its apparent lack of immediate payoff is, at least, a lot safer than combat.
  • I can use my level V Mining skill to get access to strip mining equipment faster than training it up.
  • Even my "useless" refining skill is also used in reprocessing parts. (I think - don't quote me on that.) Thus, it can be potentially lucrative in the common event that nobody is buying parts for what their resources are worth.
It seems that my prospecting character is far from screwed after all. Although, were I the game designer, I'd have redesigned the Prospecting skill set. These days, prospectors are fairly defined by their access to the Mining Barge ship class, yet start with relatively few of the prerequisite skills to use one.  

Picture Caption: I'm currently piloting a Catalyst-class Destroyer that's been fitted for mining, salvaging, and minor rat (NPC pirate) destruction. I've dubbed it the "Meek Opportunist" for good reason.

My plan is to get a Retriever-class Mining Barge and an Exequror-class Cruiser. My mining barge is for when I'm just looking to grind some easy money in high security space. The Cruiser is for fun, probably mostly combat missions with a bit of salvaging thrown in.

To achieve these ends, I need skills and cash. Skill-wise, I still need "Industry V," "Astrogeology IV," and "Mining Barges III" for the Retriever. That's about 2 weeks of time, and the main reason why I think the Prospecting kit needs a redesign. With only one rank of "Gallente Frigates" and "Gallente Cruisers" to go, I could have the neccessary skills for the Exequror by the weekend. (Incidentally, you can easily create a character who is just a "Cruiser I" skill away from piloting a cruiser in character generation.) Cash-wise, the Exequror is 3.5M isk and the Retriever is 6M isk, not counting insurance (another 25%) and installed equipment (most of which I already have).

In the immediate future, I'll probably be leveling up my "learning" skills offline as I, ironically, work on my real life learning skills through schoolwork. With the exception of setting up the next skill to learn, there should be no more EVE Online for me until I finish these projects.

Forum thoughts I'm not worrying about my forum [edit 11/4/10: now defunct] until I get done with this school semester, which wraps up in a few weeks. I'll eventually put some interesting seed topics out and (heaven forbid) even tell other people besides the readers of this Blog it exists. Long term goals are to link the forum to a Blog, or even several Blogs, the forum becoming a sort of central hub of commentary between them. It seems like a sound plan, but I can't help but wonder if perhaps forums are becoming obsolete in the face of MySpace or Facebook-like services. Am I really just tinkering with a fossil of the old ways of online communication? I wonder if there's a better way of going about this and, if so, if that technology is accessible to me.
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