One of the most limiting aspects of EVE is the real-time acquisition of skill points.

One could argue that this is a good thing as it gives people a chance to learn the game and develop the “player skills” needed to make use of the “character skills” you learn. I actually rather like that you can’t jump in to a Titan with a 3 month old character and that if you want to fly a Gallente ship, you require Gallente skills. On the other hand, this method of progression has the effect that it can reduce your enjoyment of the game and I think I’m currently hitting that point.

Jezebelle is currently flying a Megathron Navy Issue the best fit I can field: Shadow Serpentis tank modules, Meta 4 guns and Tech 2 everywhere else. Without further training, if I want to increase my damage output options are fairly limited.

Matching hardeners to missions I can tank fairly reasonable damage. For example, last night I ran The Assault and at one point during the first room found myself tanking 8 battleships at once. Now you could say I was running the mission wrong if I pulled that much agro, but that’s not the point. (In reality, I shot the “passive” group 4 and the whole pocket agro’d on me including warp scramming frigates so I didn’t have a lot of choice.) The best option to increase my mission speed (and therefore my enjoyment) would seem to be increasing my damage. I have a couple of options I can consider to achieve this:

  • I could drop 2 hardeners for Tracking Enhancers. This would literally half the damage I can tank which is not acceptable and so isn’t an option.
  • I could upgrade my guns for a theoretical gain of  between 25 & 100dps. I’m 65 days away from having Tech 2 rails/blasters and while this is in the plan, it won’t help me now. Faction guns would help me now and give me around the same damage increase as Tech 2, but at a cost of ~1bil ISK for the set. I could afford this, but it would wipe out about half my funds. Officer guns, which give the biggest increase are even more expensive at upwards of 1bil ISK each.

Bottom line is that I’m pretty much at the limit of damage potential with the ship/skills I have. So the next obvious consideration is my choice of ship. I could switch, with no training, to a Dominix which, from what I’ve read, will probably just give me more tank and no real increase in gank. (Smaller guns, bigger drones).

Looking wider, the Machariel is widely considered to be one of the the best level 4 mission ships but they’re running about 1.2bil ISK at the moment. Achievable, especially if I trade in my Megathron but it requires around 2 weeks training to be viable (I have no skill points in projectile weapons and, to date, I’ve mostly been focused on training armour tanking skills whereas the Machariel is usually shield-tanked so I’d need to do some cross-training there.) All this considered, I would see around a 50% dps gain with an increased tank as to boot so maybe I’ll give this a try.

Another alternative is to consider training up Jhiqui’s combat skills some. I have a plan in EVEMon to train her to fly a Drake, which can be done in around the same time it will take Jez to train for a Machariel. So this is another avenue I could look in to.

 

I guess the biggest problem right now is that WoW is calling to me. A lot of my former guild-mates are drifting back to WoW and I do miss the social aspect of playing with them. I could join a corporation in EVE rather than sticking to my private one, but the biggest problem would be finding one that suits me; I don’t PVP and I don’t mine. I don’t relish the constantly having to look over your shoulder aspect of null sec. In high-sec I can minimise local and just focus on what I’m doing, if I did the same in null I have a feeling I’d be floating in my pod (or worse) within a day or two.

Curse you Blizzard for making one of the most addictive games in history!!