Thursday, 31 October 2013

How Do PI

Today's post is a bit of a cop out in that I'm reposting some things. They are my things, but they were produced a little while ago.

It's a series of four graphics that explain a simple basic process of PI for those that have never done it before but would like to try it out - which I encourage you to do.

It's fantastic easy passive income that's fairly under utilized. I'm also predicting an increase in profit after Rubicon due to the fact PI materials are used to make POCOs.

Disclaimer: I am very aware that this is not the be all and end all of PI, there are many different ways to do it, but this is the way I do it, as do those that helped me create it.

It was produced when I was living in 0.0 space, so some things are not applicable if using it for lowsec or highsec purposes. It's also Test branded despite none of the authors being in Test any longer.

I am more than happy to answer any of your PI questions and you can contact me here on the blog, on Reddit as Nibron, in Eve as Notmo or on Twitter as Notmo_EVE. You could contact me on Facebook too, but I'm not giving you my real name.

EDIT: Apparently blogspot shrunk the images so here are the four links to the full res versions:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Projects and Poor Decisions

Before we get to the content, I'd just like to let you all know that thinking of post titles is hard.

So last night, we did another roam using the new concept I talked about the other day.

It took us forever to scan down the chain and we got absolutely fuck all in terms of good exits. We eventually found a semi-passable one and those of us that are pirates had to race through four systems of high-sec in armor ships.

The roam itself was rather quiet, and it took us 30-40 minutes of dropping on single frigates before we found a gang to fight us. We won. We killed two Stabber Fleet Issues and the rest of their gang got out. We didn't lose anything.

About twenty minutes later, we encountered a HUGE gang of SFIs with all the trimmings (logi, ECM, other EWAR) which our FC, in his wisdom, decided we should engage. We lost, although I escaped due to me having a name that starts with a letter from the middle of the alphabet. Never name your characters with the first letter A, Z or a number.

Those who were in Test or know of Sevak Inderas and his 14b badly FC skilled FC character "1verted" can chuckle with me here.

I just wanted to quickly talk about some of the new changes, despite them being covered more comprehensively else where.

Interceptors and warp speed shit is going to be amazing, and awful, but mostly amazing.

Interdictors are going to be amazing, you can now expect a  bubble every 20 seconds, or three bubbles in close succession. Oh, and they can only fit one launcher so expect all the other dictors to have a fit similar to the RibEye Sabre of ages gone by.

The Siphon units to steal moon goo was a little disappointing, as they can be accessed by anybody rather than just by the person/corp that dropped it. It also anchors 50km away from the POS (I assume from the shield edge) which is also a bit shitty. However, I htink I read that they won't show up on any API calls, and will in fact lie to the API call, so there is no particularly easy way to know if they are there other than by visually checking your POS, which is good news for me and bad news for the large blocs.

The SoE ships are pretty exciting but I probably won't try it out until the price drops considerably. (I imagine they'll be pretty damn expensive for a month or two after release)

I'm also working on a couple of long term projects, one of which includes having two "standard" EFT fits for every single ship in the game. This means having an armor and a shield fit, or a brawl and a kite fit. You get the idea. It's a long project, and isn't going as fast as I'd like, but when it's done I'll probably upload the fits file with an explanation of how to use it and how to change the fits around to suit what you're doing etc.

Another project is this list of lowsec/highsec systems with stations. It's kind of almost done and was inspired by me wanting to know a list of these station and being unable to find it. Another long term goal is to have some kind of web app where you put in a station, and it tells you what stations are in range (at various JDC levels) and whether that station is a kick out station or not, oh, and what facilities it has. All of this information is available, but is scattered in a variety of locations. If you want to take this idea and develop it yourself, please do (credit me bitch) because I don't even know where to start on it and I'm pretty technically retarded. Apparently I need to learn Ruby?

Finally, if you saw this video:

You should watch this one:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

How To Train Your Newbro

So today I'm going to write about something I feel pretty strongly about. You may disagree with me, and that's OK, but then again, I'm pretty sure I'm right.
Newbros, newbs, n00bs, new people. All coming into a game that has an incredibly steep learning curve, despite CCPs efforts to make the transition from character creation to flying around knowing-what-you're-doing as smooth as possible.
We were all there once, and I know that some of us were luckier than others, going straight into corps that had a good training program or playing with real life friends and learning together or even being "adopted" by someone who took you under their wing and showed you the ropes.
I constantly see posts on Reddit, or even cries for help in local where a new player is out of their depth and is asking for help. I also see a lot of responses that go along the lines of "what's your ingame name, i'll send you some iskies". This is my biggest gripe. I strongly believe that giving newbros money, whilst helping them in the short term, detracts from their experiance later on in the game. The problem is that the new player suddenly goes from 1-2 million (which they have probably been grinding or mining for) to, for arguments sake, 400m. I've seen it happen dozens of times, sometimes more sometimes less, but in either case, a gigantic ISK boost to a player who has no idea how to spend that amount of money.
You could say the same is true of new players who buy a PLEX straight off the bat and decide the best way to spend that ISK is on shiny faction mods because High Sec is safe right? Right?.
What actually happens is they blow the money, either very quickly, or over a period of time. Either way, the same thing happens. They run out of money and have absolutely no idea how to make it back for themselves. They then get dejected and quit, or forever sit at the bottom of the pile (of being space rich) and fly T1 frigates until T1 frigates gets too boring and they quit.
If you are going to give a newbro some ISK, please consider not doing so. Instead, give them the ship they need (properly fit), or some proper market advice (buy x here, sell x there), or offer them your salvage for a couple of sites/missions, or invite them to fleet and go for a roam and let them keep the loots. Do something productive, don't just drop ISK on them.
One of the other problems that I see quite often is that newbros get funnelled into a "system" that exists, a funnel from which they exit as one of three pilots.
  • This game is cool, I like shooting red rats and making money
  • This game is dangerous, I'll stay in High Sec and mine
  • Fuck the system. I'm going to go explode
Whilst these three roles actually provide a fairly even distribution of carebears, industrialists, pirates and the rest, I think it also leads to large numbers of pilots never experiencing the full wealth of what Eve has to offer. They get sequestered into this niche role, never leave it and eventually the niche role gets boring and they quit.
Things like Eve Uni and RvB are fantastic, but are also the key offenders. They are meant as training institutions, where new pilots go, learn the basics and then move on. What I see more and more frequently is pilots who have been in E-Uni for years and never done anything other than go on E-Uni fleets. There isn't any problem with this if that's what they enjoy and is what suits their play style, but then again they've never had to think for themselves, or provide content for themselves, and that makes me sad. I don't want to say bad things about E-Uni, but I've attended some of their lectures and been on a couple of their fleets and I think it's WAY too structured and there are FAR too many rules. I understand why it happens and how it has come to be like that, but I would never recommend a new player to join them.
On the flip side, one of the other largest recommendations is to join RvB or BNI. This is the complete opposite of E-Uni, where you are literally thrown in at the deep end and told to enjoy yourself. I'd love to see the retention figures for either of these two entities, and I'd put money on it being pretty terrible. This style of learning is called the FOFO method (which stands for Fuck Off and Find Out, not Friend or Foe) and is defintely not suited for the majority of Eve players, especially ones that have been playing less than a few weeks.
The problems can arise from the newbro too. Often, they are so over their heads that all they can muster is a general cry for help, rather than a direct question. "What do I do now", "What corporation should I join" are the type of questions that solicit such a shitty response in terms of helping new players. They are suddenly presented with an incredible amount of information to which they clearly have no understanding or background, and as such can't really make an informed decision. We should be encouraging newbros to ask more directed questions - which tend to get much more detailed and narrow responses with proper explanations which the newbro can learn from. Some questions you should ask yourself:
When a newbro asks you for a skill plan, do you give him the EveMon .xml, or do you spend 2 hours talking them through each skill, what it does, what it affects and what they should train it to (and why)?
When a newbro asks you how to fit a ship, do you link him the fit, or do you spend 2 hours going through each module, what it does, how it works, what skills make it better and how to use it?
When a newbro tells you they are poor and can't afford a ship, do you give him enough ISK to buy it, or do you ask him how he makes his isk, give him some tips or let him tag along with you?
[Hint, the second part of each question is the proper way to help the newbro]
I've witnessed some fantastic programs that take newbros and turn them into real pilots who can make decisions, fit ships and sustain themselves without grinding.
One of them is ENL-I Academy. ENL-I (Enlightened Industries) is a nullsec dwelling corp that has their own dedicated training which they inspiringly called the Academy. My own opinions of ENL-I aside, the way they run their Academy is exemplary and I have, and will continue, to recommend them to newbros seeking that type of thing. I'm sure there are plenty of other corps that do similar things, but I know there are a lot of corps that don't. What they do is TEACH newbros. I'm not au fait with the detailed specifics, but from what I can gather, the Academy doesn't have the same blues that the main corp does, and they go out and kill anything they can find. They encourage their members to go out and do things themselves, supporting them as they do so. They provide a huge amount of content for those that wish to have it, and push people to both create their own content and create content for others.
The Angel Project, run by Sindel Pellion, is also a very good initiative. It's a bit like a food shelter for noobs, where they can ask for assistance in the form of items or isk, or just advice in general. Whilst they have broken my cardinal rule of no isk giving, they do provide a fantastic service and you should donate ISK to that project and direct your newbro there rather than giving it to a newbro direct.
As with everything, different people learn in different ways. For some, being thrown in at the deepend works, and that newbro has the drive, determination and enthusiasm to work out how to kick their legs, stay afloat and survive. Some just sink.
Those that sink might be better suited by having private lessons with a mentor who guides them and shows them how to do things. I have one concern with One to One Mentors (either as a mechanism within a large group, or just two individuals) and that is that there is no knowing whether what is being taught is correct or not. Mechanics and Meta changes often and quickly in this game, and what could be good advice one month could be drastically altered the next. As wel as this, the advice they are getting is very niche, and in some sense, crowd sourced advice can be much much better.
So, I've waffled quite a bit today. But I leave you with this:
Next time you come across a newbro in need, consider taking the time to teach them properly rather than just throwing them ISK and moving on.
A quick AAR from last night. We went out and did all the sites in our C3 static. The static had a a C5 connection that was pretty active, and by active I mean we killed a bunch of their minig ships and they got a bit upset. The static itself also had one dude who was rather active and determined. While we were running the sites, we kept noticing various ships popping up on D-Scan and launching probes. We had eyes on all the holes to watch things coming in and out, but a couple of pilots came in and never left. The first time we noticed probes on scan, our Noctis (who normally stays in the previous site hoovering) went back in to the Home Hole and waited. We finished all the sites without incident and all went to reship to combat ships to protect the Noctis while it salvaged.
The cheeky bastards had boomarked a few of our sites and few looting all the good loot.
We spread out amongst the sites, most of us in cloaky ships while a detail of ECM boats guarded the Noctis.
We were watching D-Scan like hawks and whenever a hostile appeared, we all tried to find them. We had a couple of close calls where we landed in a site just as the baddie warped off but eventually we got lucky and they landed in a site with a Cheetah where I had my instalocking Helios cloaked. I de-cloaked and burnt at him, and somehow managed to get into scram range without them warping off. I also managed to NOT slingshot myself and lose the tackle like I normally do. We killed him and his pod, which was worth a pretty penny.
During the chasing, we'd also noticed a Legion, a Loki and a Manticore slip into the hole and not leave. Eventually, they sprung their trap and tried to catch our Noctis as it finished a site. The Manticore launched a bomb an the two T3s decloaked. The Noctis YOLO'd out with minimal armor damage from the bomb, someone uncloaked and pointed the Legion, I uncloaked and jammed everything. Unfortunately, they Loki and the Manticore got away. Fortunately, we had a sabre and killed the Legion pod.
We saw the Loki go home, but the Manticore decided he'd be cool and torpedo all the wrecks in the last site (of like eleven sites). We weren't really bothered. We're a PVP corp and we killed just under 800m in ships and pods without losing anything.
One last thing, I'm looking for a comprehensive list of lowsec systems that meet the following criteria:
  • Has a station
  • Has a gate to a non-island High Sec system with a station
If you own such a list, I'd be very interested in seeing it, and might even pay you for it.
I can do it manually, and in fact I have started, but I'll probably miss a few systems.
Additionally, if you know of any way to find out the distance between System X and Systems Y, W and Z without having to manually type it all into Dotlan/GARPA, that would also be pretty neat. Bonus points if you do it for me as I'm pretty much computer retarded.

Monday, 28 October 2013

All In A Tizzy

Today's post won't be very long as it's my first day back at work and I have some ~catching up~ to do.

The weekend of Eve was pretty busy. I went for a roam into Nullsec (Providence) in a bomber on Saturday afternoon. I was actually mostly looking for data and relic sites, as I've decided I actually quite enjoy running them. I run them with a Cov Ops, but always have a bomber cloaked up within scram range so I can get a fairly easy gank if anyone comes a-calling.

I don't think I've ever been to Providence before, and definitely never solo, so I was quite shocked to see some people actually form up to try and fight me... There were like 20 of them though, so it wasn't really a fight I wanted to take.

I didn't actually kill anything, because I'm terrible at solo PVP and there were only three notable encounters. Before I tell them to you, I must point out, again, that I'm a terrible solo PVP'er and that when I jump into a system, it takes me at LEAST a minute and a half to actually locate where somebody might be. I could use combat probes, but it's too much effort and I need to get better at D-Scan and just knowing where people might be and how to catch them.

The first encounter was with a Raven, in an anomaly  I found the wrecks on scan (eventually) and located which anomaly it was. The Raven was still there apparently, so I warped in, only to land (cloaked) 100km from it. It was also in the process of warping away. I have no idea what took him so long to notice me and warp out, and I'm sure that if I'd used probes, I'd have killed him. Once he'd gone, I bookmarked a wreck that was close to where he warped from and then left system. 

I quickly scanned a couple of sigs in the next system (an EOL WH and a bad combat site) and then re-entered the system with the Raven. Immediately, I warped to the bookmark and landed about 35km from him. I started manoeuvring between the wrecks to get within point range when I noticed he was shooting me. Must remember to activate cloak on cloaky ship. Considering one volley put me into incredibly low shield (like 3%) and I was in a bomber, I warped the fuck away.

The second encounter very much highlights why I need to include combat probes in my setup. There was a system, that had no station, with tons of wrecks on scan, and in the same direction, a Noctis. Annoyingly, the system was bloody massive and there were tons of signatures. The Noctis never even noticed I was there, but I could not find him for love nor money.

The third encounter was a huge ego inflate, as somebody convo-ed me and asked if I was, and these were his actual words, "that famous Test guy". He'd been in Test on an alt at some point in the past and recognised me. He was out on a solo roam in a Thorax, and asked me if I wanted to join him. I had to decline, but my epeen grew a few inches that day.

Saturday night involved running all the sites in our C3 static, and then all the sites in our home hole. Unfortunately, we had no capitals online to escalate them, but they were still worth a pretty penny or two. It also made me resolve to sort my cap alt and cross train into another carrier race and decide on a dread. I'm going for a Naglfar, mostly due to it's utility to be able to fit either Shield or Armour, and also because it's vertical. I still haven't decided whether to train into a Chimera or a Nidhoggur for my second carrier, but I can at least start training the capital shield support skills.

Yesterday was a fairly standard day until the evening. The evening was scheduled for a roam with a new fleet concept we've been excited to try out. It's a T1 cruiser fleet, using two fairly broken fleet mechanics. We also discovered a third mechanic to abuse, but we didn't really get to try it out.

The first mechanic is drone assists, which provide a single ship in our fleet hilarious DPS and he basically turns on God Mode and kills everything. 

The second mechanic is Remote Rep. Instead of fitting guns, we fit unbonused reps, fly very close together in a big ball of rep love and basically tank everything. 

The third mechanic is linked to the first one, and is something we discovered recently. When you fit a cloak to any ship, and then decloak, you have a  few seconds where you can't do shit. This means that catching targets, or even engaging targets, becomes much harder. What it doesn't is the time it takes to decloak, launch drones and assign them to someone. That someone being a bait ship. An instalocking bait ship.

Like I said, we didn't really get to try that one, as we had a very good turn out for the roam and only idiots would engage a ship in a stationless system with 30 people in local. We will endeavour to try it out on a much smaller scale, with high hopes for success.

The roam was in lowsec, and the chain dropped us into an area of high activity.

Within a few minutes, a SCUM. fleet of similar size jumped into us on a gate, and we quickly stomped them, only losing a Keres. This is where the title of the blog comes from, as it's been a while since I've micromanaged so many bastard things on a ship during a fight. Cap boosters, remote reps, pre-locks, anchoring, utility slots, tackle and GTFOfactor was all in play. Oh, and I was multiboxing an alt at the same time (but not in the same fleet). The rest of the fleet was in the same boat, and it's surprising that we actually won the engagement.

After that fight, we headed to towards the Test staging system, which (as always) showed plenty of activity. Our scout reported that Test were already formed up, in much greater numbers than we had so we sort of hung out one system away and waited. Within a couple of minutes, two more large fleets were seen jumping into the Test system, and we decided we wanted a slice of that pie. We waited a minute or two for the fight to get started before making our way into the system and over to the grid where the fight was taking place (a Medium FW Plex). 

We landed on grid at 0 to the acceleration gate, and at the same time we landed, a 40 man Waffles destroyer gang landed 50km from us, and alpha'd our FC. The only real way to escape was to take the gate in the site, where a pretty large fight was going on. We landed and started killing things. Our setup has two utility mids, so scrams and points were rampant, and we managed to kill quite a lot of stuff. I think the two sides fighting (Test v someone else) had noticed Waffles on the gate and decided that a three way wasn't really what they wanted, so started to leave. Waffles never actually came into the site, so we mopped up everything that was slow to warp away without losing anything.

It was then decided that we'd pushed our luck a little more and Bob might not be so favourable to us for much longer, so we warped to a planet while we decided what to do. A call was made to warp to the station and dock up, and was quickly rescinded as we realised that there were three hostile fleets in system, on one station, and that it might very well be camped.

Unfortunately, everyone except me had already warped. Typically, this was when a Tornado landed 10km away from me, and two stabbers landed 50-60km away. Cursing, a thought I might as well fight it out, and pointed and webbed the Tornado, launched a flight of Warrior and went at it. 

Unfortunately, my Vexor has a AB, and pretty much very Tornado ever, fits an MWD, so even with the web, he still out paced me. Due to the close range, he couldn't actually hit me very well, and I did my best to keep it that way. This bought me enough time for the rest of the fleet to warp back to me and rep me up from about 10% armor. They launched their own drones and soon enough the Tornado was no more. Once the rest of the fleet landed, the Stabbers quickly realised that they'd had-enough-thank-you-very-much and left their Tornado friend to die.

It was late by this time, so we headed home, skirting around a massive camp and narrowly avoiding the returning Waffles gang.

This post actually became rather long, and I still haven't got any work doe, so I've added some reaction GIFs to break things up a bit.
Related kills mails are here:

1% vs Everyone Else (very very very messy BR):

Tomorrows post will probably have some actual real meaningful content rather than being a glorified after action report.

NB: People are still going on about SomerBlink, RMT and other related things. No-one cares. Please stop.

NBB: Fuck you USAmurican people who got super cheap PLEX. Two of my accounts run out tomorrow and super duper cheap PLEX would have been handy.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Something Witty Should Go Here

I got back from my vacation yesterday, so I'm still a bit in holiday mode rather than sit-down-at-my-keyboard-and-string-some-words-together mode.

So I'll keep this brief.

While I was away, apparently one of my accounts lapsed and the sub didn't automatically renew. It's annoying because I was expecting JDC V on one of my alts to be ready so that I could jump both my carriers to a LowSec/HighSec system and offload all my assets to some scrubs in a market hub.

I've thoroughly decided that the WH life is for me, it allows me to be the "bad guy" and scare all of the poor ratters in lots of different regions, as well as plenty of actual fleet PVP with my corp. This means that I'll be selling all my capital ships, and cross training into ships that will work a bit better in our home hole. I heard recently that Rorquals don't trigger capital escalations in Sleeper sites, and I'm looking forward to trying that out. The Rorqual can pack a mean tank and can actually do a pretty reasonable amount of damage, as well as having a bonus to shield transfers.

I'm also only a few weeks away from finally getting a dreadnought, but I'm still not decided which one to go for. I've been training the tank and support skills before the weapons systems, just because I can't make my mind up.

Going back to capital escalations. I apparently missed a big super cap fight, although from what I've read, it wasn't so much a fight than a massacre. Shame I missed it. I'm guessing Makalu was pretty fucking smug when he yolo'd back into the POS shields in his titan.

He's getting a bit cocky though that Makalu, cheeky bastard doing a drive-by just a day or two later: 

Finally, when I checked the corp killboard last night I came across this beauty and was PRETTY FUCKING SPEECHLESS:

Look at that! Seriously, click the link again and take a good hard look at that. 

That, my friends, is a fucking solo kill and a half.

Apparently Zed was just roaming around our WH chain and came across this dude ratting in a C3, he watched for a while and noticed that the dude couldn't even tank the sleepers and had to warp in and out. Once Zed was in position, the Drake warped back in, caught all of the Sleeper aggro before Zed de-cloaked and killed him. He got the pod too, although one would expect something a little better considering the price tag...

I'm reliably informed that comms during the time were rather hilarious when Zed looted the wreck.

Go and look at that kill again, I'm still laughing about it. I'm half expecting TMC ALOD post about it

Next post will be on Monday, when I'm back at work. Topic undecided.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The (W)Hole of this Week

I'm going to write this backwards, as the end of the week was way more exciting that the beginning, either that or I can't remember what happened at the beginning of the week. Friday's blog post will always be a summary of the past weeks activities.

Thursday: Last night was so intense it got me banned from League of Legends. I logged on when I got home and we were rolling the hole to find more sleepers to shoot. When the C3 collapsed, we found that not one but two new signatures had appeared. As we finished scanning them down, there was some panicky screaming as we discovered that one of the holes was a connecting C5. In itself, this is not a problem. The problem was that it was one of the Kill It With Fire C5s, and they were sat on the other side of it with a huge T3 blob.

With the amount of pilots we have, it wasn't really possible to have a fight with these dudes. They outnumbered us just in T3s, and can call on a lot more pilots if we did start an engagement. So we did the honourable thing and reshipped to bombers and watched them moving around (they were looking for a good exit or a fight). Once they had finished whatever they were doing, they started to roll the hole, so we reshipped into a DPS doctrine and a Heavy Interdictor in case they fucked up with their dread/orca. Unlikely, but it does happen.

Once they'd gone, we rolled that C3 and the new one had a very good number of sites and an uncomplicated, fairly good chain to K-Space. We ran all the sites, which as a logi pilot, was very boring as by this time we'd picked up a fleet of around 13 pilots. There was so much DPS by the time I'd locked everyone up, the site was almost over and I only needed a single rep to get them all to full.

We cleaned up the pesky sleepers and just as we were landing on back on the POS, someone started shouting for DPS. He was in an interceptor and had a couple of ships chasing him towards the nullsec connection (they were all in nullsec). Annoyingly, I'd just logged all my characters out, but I quickly reversed direction and started logging them in. By the time that was done, the majority of the fleet had assembled and was about to jump out of the home hole. I took a logi cruiser and SURPRISE, FALCON and just as I was landing on the hole, the interceptor pilot told us that there was a Macharial and an Onyx camping him into a dead end system. How he managed to get himself trapped into a dead end system I'm not sure, but all of our ears perked up at the M word. We made haste, with me lagging a jump behind whilst discussing the best way to make sure that mother fucker didn't get away. We were held on the in gate to the system when the 'ceptor pilot started shouting that he'd got tackle and for us to come right the fuck now. So we did. My falcon was still one jump behind, but my logi landed with the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately, I was seconds too late to save the initial tackle ship (the ceptor), but by that time there were several people pointing the shiny, who for some unexplicable reason, had deemed it wise to burn off the gate to engage a ship he couldn't hit with his guns. He died, without me activating any offensive modules on him, so the kill will not furnish my personal killboard but can be found here: I also just noticed that of the kills we got, three of them were the same guy. 

We turned around and sped back to our home hole like super cool ninjas, not wanting to hang around and get counterdropped by an upset macharial-less russian and his friends. Once we got home, we rolled the hole again, and once again, as well as the C3, we also ended up with an incoming C5. By this time, I'd logged out again as it was getting late, and was a few minutes into a game of League of Legends where I was dominating my mid lane.

More shouting. T3 gang, on hole. Commit. Engage. Form up. Those were the things I heard as I apologised to by top and bot lanes before exiting the game and logging back in. I probably got reported and will probably be banned. Worth it.

This gang outnumbered us, but not by that much and they were in armor T3s. I missed the start of a fight, but from what I gather, they got super baited by one of our drakes, we committed and so did they. Between then and the fight kicking off properly, one of our directors managed to lose a Cerberus he'd only just purchased and had been smugging about all day. We have a battleship doctrine to fight on home turf (which makes great use of our home hole effects and is literally designed for this type of fight), but it arrived in dribs and drabs as people rage logged in. the enemy escalated and jumped in an Archon, to which we immediately applied neuts. Unfortunately, it was not enough and the Archon was able to produce very good epping power under out combined fire. SUPRISE, FALCON soon made an appearance and I amused myself by jamming all the things, to which they responded by bring an ECM Tengu, to which I counter-responded by immediately jamming it and keeping it out of the fight for a large percentage of the time. He did get a few jams off on me, and then onto our logi, but I just burned out of his range, and then back again and jammed him. I also had the auxiliary role of shooting all the ECM drones that plagued our logistics ships.

I also bought my plexing ship and sat 70km away from the fight and shot at random things. One of the things that amused me greatly was the carrier using his fighters to try and kill the Falcon, to which I responded by sitting still and using my ASB to easily tank them. Note to Carrier pilots. Fighters cannot easily hit a cruiser sized hull that is sat still with no MWD.
We eventually broke a couple of their ships and they ran away while we smugged and looted the field. We lost a Rupture, a Drake and the Cerberus, and we killed a Hawk, a Curse, a Loki and a Tengu. So we won.

I don't know if I've told you this, but I fucking love SURPRISE, FALCON.

Wednesday: This was a kind of boring day. We had loads of direct nullsec connections, so we went to camp a fairly busy pipe with a couple of drag bubbles. There were about six of us, but as soon as we arrived and got set up, all the traffic stopped. Which was annoying. After about an hour of this, an interceptor gang arrived, and by the time we realised it was not just one interceptor, but 8, my Sabre was in a bad position and I died. Which was sad. Earlier in the day, a small C3 plexing fleet got jumped but managed to mostly get out.

Tuesday: I was at a work thing all day and night, so didn't log in.

Last Weekend: Literally nothing interesting happened. A small group of us dual boxed and ran some C3 sites and made loads of money on one night and I played a reasonable amount of GTA V and LoL. That was it.

As you know, or I'm telling you now, I don't write things at the weekend. The weekend is for playing games and doing things, not writing about them. That means that this is my last blog post for two weeks, as I'm going on vacation. Vacation is for getting tanned and sunbathing, not for writing about Eve, so I doubt I'll be writing anything until I get back. Normal service should resume on the 28th.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Support Skills and Other Skills I Missed Yesterday

So, the blog post yesterday was pretty successful in my eyes. I got more hits than all of my other posts combined, as well as tons of comments on both the blog itself and on Reddit.
However, some of the comments pointed out that I either got something wrong or informed me I'd missed something out, or that I was wrong.
Let me just take a second to explain how I wrote this blog. I have a list of topics that I think I'd like to write about, and every day after my first cup of tea, I open up Gmail and start typing. I actually start with the title, and yesterday I thought the witticism of V skills to V, was pretty good, so I only came up with five items. Once I'd written those five items, I decided I might as well include rubbish ones too, which got a little out of hand as I scrolled through the list of skills and found another one that I thought was worth mentioning.
So, yeh. Some people lambasted me because I didn't include support skills, so here's a list of some often overlooked support skills that I consider important as well as a couple that didn't make the list yesterday. I plan on writing a blog that details all the normal support skills, and why they are useful, but it won't be for a while and in the meantime there's already of horde of information on this subject.
Leadership: For every level of this skill, you give 2 members in your fleet 2% extra targeting speed. At level V, you can pass this bonus on to ten people (which is a full squad). This is pretty useful, especially if you have logistics ships in your squad or are flying in larger ships with a slower lock time. It's also the primary prerequisite for all the other boosting skills, of which the application is incredibly useful to fleets of any size.
Advanced Weapon Upgrades: Every level reduces the amount of PG needed by weapon systems by 2%. At level V, that's obviously 10% PG for your weapons, which is an incredible amount. Have you ever been fucking around with EFT and found yourself needing to squeeze an extra bit of PG from somewhere or compromise your fit because you had to fit a fitting module in order to get that extra bit of PG? Of course you have, that's why you need to train this skill. I personally don't have it yet (Fuck you FC5) but it's next on my list and I'm reliably informed that it opens up a whole new world of fittings.
Drone Interfacing: This is one of the drone support skills, but it's probably the best one as it increases the damage done by your drones by 20% per level. Per level. That means (for the math inept) that at level V, you do twice as much damage. It also has the same effect on mining drones and their yield.
Armor/Shield/ECM Compensations: I'm grouping all of these together as they all serve very similar functions. For the Shield and Armor skills, there are four skills under each tree - one for each different damage type and for the ECM ones, there are four - one for each race type. The ECM (known as [racial] Sensor Compensation) increase your sensor strength for that race by 4% per level. This can be pretty helpful against those pesky ships that fit an ECM mod in their utility slot to surprise you. I do this on all my industrial ships, and it's saved me more than a few times, and I'm sure others do it too. I struggle to think of anything worse than being jammed. It's incredibly frustrating, so i value these four skills alot. The Armor and Shield compensations function in the same way. They give a 5% increase in the resistance to a particular damage type. the Shield skills only apply to the Amplifiers, and the Armor skills only apply to Coatings and Energized Platings, so they are only applicable to certain fits and modules. They aren't to be underestimated though.
Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing: One of the most misleading skill names in the game. Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing is the skill that is the prerequisite of using the EWAR drones, but it's most useful attribute is that it adds 3000m to your drone control range, which is very useful. It means your drones can shoot at things that are even further away the higher your level in this skill, which is always a good thing.
Thermodynamics: I include this skill as I often see new players not having it, or not understanding it, or only having it to level I. Thermodynamics enables you to overheat a module to increase performance but at the expense of damage to the module itself, as well as modules close to it. The benefits gained are substantial and can include more range, more damage or faster cycle time. Like anything though, if you abuse it too much, the module will 'burn out' and will become unusable until you repair it. Normal damage can be repaired by either station services or by Nanite Repair Paste while you are in space. A burnt out module can only be repaired by using station services.
Jump Drive Calibration: This is a skill that is only used by Capital sized ships (and Black Ops) and the higher the skill level, the further the ship can "jump". As Capital ships can't use gates, it's pretty important to have this skill as high as possible. The way the systems in Eve are distributed means that by having this skill at V, moving a capital ship becomes a lot easier than if the skill is at IV. For carriers, you can get away with having it at IV, but for dreadnoughts, supercarriers and titans having at V is invaluable.
Biology: Drugs, or boosters, are not in fact bad, despite what anybody tells you. You should be chugging boosters whenever you can, as they give you pretty significent boosts to your stats albeit for a limited time. Biology is the skill that allows you to chug drugs, with the two Neurotoxin skills (Control and Recovery) minimising the side effects you can get. The subject of boosters is planned as a future post, but in brief, there are eight main types of booster, and each comes in a number of strengths. As someone who has never lived in High Sec, I'm hazy on the details but the strongest boosters are not allowed into High Sec space, but as far as I know, Concord doesn't kill you they just confiscate them. The bastards.
Yesterdays blog had a few bits that I got wrong by the way. So I thought I'd make some corrections here, with the excuse that I don't get everything right, try as I might.
The part about targeting was a bit cloudy, and auto targetters don't have to be active in order for them to give you the extra target count. They are still, however, a waste of a high slot in my opinion. Carriers who go into "Triage" also gain an extra target or two.
I also got the part about rigs wrong. I admit I have fuck all idea about rigs and how they work, but I plan to find out and write more words about it at some point. All I can say is that, in my experience, I've never felt I've lost out by not having them trained higher than level I.
There are also a number of things I've left out on purpose, specifically skills at the higher end of the Capital spectrum. If you need to know why having Triage II or Doomsday V is important, perhaps you should re-evaluate if you should be flying that type of ship. I'm also thinking about writing a blog post specifically about capital ships, but I'd probably get it all wrong.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Top V skills to V

Apologies for no blog yesterday, I was at a RL Work thing all day and didn't get back until very late. You'll be pleased to know that yes, I am suffering today.
Thinking about going away got me thinking about my skill queue and what to put in it to ensure I continue training for the full two weeks. That got me thinking about level V skills, and that in turn got me thinking about something I say quite a lot: "xyz is one of the best skills you can train to V".
So, here is my list of five skills that are more useful to train to V than any others. They aren't in any particular order, and they don't include the support/fitting skills because you should already have these to V, or at least in your current queue.
Recon Ships: Each level of this skill gives ~significant~ bonuses to you usefulness when flying any recon ship (force or combat) For example, each level of Recon ships gives you an extra 30% ECM Strength on a Falcon, or 60% range to the stasis webifier of a Rapier. That's huge. Not only does it make you super awesome support, but it also enables you to have a much better fit on your Force Recon (the cloaky ones). Each level of Recon Ships gives you a 20% reduction in the CPU for cloaking devices, which means you can use that extra CPU in much better places than on your CovOps cloak. A lot of people only train this skill to IV, as it's a fairly long train to get to V. Those people have to gimp their fits and are dumb.
Logistics: Why would you ever not train this skill to V. One of the hardest thing about flying logistics ships is managing your capacitor. The large majority of fits aim to be cap stable, or very close to cap stable and with Logi V, this becomes much much easier as each level of this skill reduces the capacitor need of the repping mods by 15%. Logi IV fits often have to have either less tank or less reps, both of which are pretty bad things to have to compromise on.
Evasive Manoeuvring: This skill affects your ship's agility, and each level increases it by 5%. It's not as noticeable with the smaller sized hulls, but when you get up to battleship and capital sized hulls, 5% is a huge increase and can easily mean the difference between your ratting carrier being caught, and it warping off while you smug in local.
Command Centre Upgrades/Production Efficiency: I've been a bit naughty on this one and actually combined two skills because I didn't want to exclude anyone. If you do PI, having Command Centre Upgrades to V is a pretty good time investment. It allows you to upgrade your Command Centre to the maximum level, which in turn gives your more PG and CPU. Having more of these things means you can build more structures, meaning you are both more efficient and more profitable. Do it. Production Efficiency is super useful to anyone who makes anything. It basically reduces that amount of materials you need to build an item, and therefore directly increases your profit margins. Why would you not do that?
Signature Analysis: I didn't realise the importance of this skill until after I had trained it, and it's not particularly obvious what it does. Well, it make you lock things faster. Ever got to the party late and just missed out on the killmail? Ever missed getting point on that faction battleship because you didn't lock it fast enough. These are all things that could potentially be reduced by having this skill to V. It's a prerequisite for a couple of things, but I consider it pretty important for new players to get to help them become even more effective fast tackle early on in the game. If you've been playing longer than six months and don't have this skill to V, you are stupid. This even benefits people doing PVE and Mining.
While we're at it, we might as well do the five skills that you should definitely never train to V.
Advanced Target Management: Previously known as Multitasking, each level of this skill increases the number of targets you can lock. However, this is limited by the amount of targets the ship you are flying can lock. The prerequisite to this skill is Target Management, which is the exact same skill but with a different name. You don't start the game by being unable to lock anything, so by maxing out both of these skills, you can potentially lock 11 targets. As far as I am aware (with the small amount of research I did on my smoke break), the ship class with the highest amount of lockable targets is Logistics and Marauders, with 10. The only way to increase this is with an Auto Targeting System, a high slot, with the T2 version able to lock an additional three targets. However, this module (as given away by the name) will automatically target something close, so is actually pretty fucking useless and a thorough waste of a high slot.
Rigging Skills: I'm grouping a number of skills together here, but I fail to see why anyone would ever train these to V. The T2 rigs only require level IV to fit, so it's not that. I don't really get the drawbacks mechanic, but for as long as I've been playing as well as extensive EFT Warrioring (checking the difference between All Level V and my own skills) leads me to believe they are all absolutely pointless. I'd be interested to somebody proving me wrong on this one, but until then I consider it absolutely pointless.
Armor Layering: Whilst I was in Test, someone much smarter than me ran some numbers involving the time it takes to train skill vs the benefit it has. Armor Layering is a skill that reduces the mass penalty for fitting armor plates. In the most basic sense, armor plates increase your align time, which is a bad thing. But the actual math of how this is calculated means that the difference in align time if you trained this skill to V, even with loads of plates fitted is absolutely minimal. We're talking thousandths of a second minimal, and considering the server tick is like one second, it's beyond pointless.
Sovereignty: No offence, but it's incredibly unlikely that you'll ever be in the position where you need the space for an extra 1000 pilots in your corp. Especially if you already have this skill to IV, which gives you 5300.  In the rare fringe case that you are one of those people in that position, there are a number of people who have trained this skill already and would be more than happy to be CEO for 5 minutes while your max number is increased. And before you think you can make money by training this skill whoring yourself around, you can't.
Target Breaker Amplification: Target Breakers were introduced a few expansions ago, and were largely ignored considering it's chanced base and takes up a mid slot that could very easily be used by something that is guaranteed to work. It's not even like each level of skill gives you a decent increase in chance of this module working, 5% is a terrible SP investment.
Auto-Targeting Missiles: Yes, I know this is the sixth skill, but I'm enjoying myself and it's my blog so get fucked. Auto-Targeting missiles are hilarious. They target the nearest thing and shoot it. Previously known as FoF Missiles, it's an incredibly fun fleet doctrine to take out and fly around. Training this skill to V however, is as dumb as a bag of bricks.
Cloning Facility Operation: As I mentioned in a previous blog, Clone Vat Bays are pretty stupid and no-one uses them. This skill increases the maximum number of clones you can have in the Bay by 15% per level, which is a significant increase, if anyone ever used them for anything. Ever.
Remote Sensing: Allows you to view a planets resources when you aren't in the same system. Why you would ever want to look at a planet 9LY away is beyond me, and I'm one of the people that advocates PI...
I was tempted to include Fleet Command V in there as well, as herding 256 autists around on a regular basis isn't particularly very common. However, I'm currently training this skill to V and still trying to convince myself that it will be worth it once it's done.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Real Life Busy

No blog today as I'm doing a real life work thing all day and into evening. (Technically this is one but whatever)

I might write something short and scathing when I finally get in but it depends very much how drunk I get.

Monday, 7 October 2013

A Quick Note on the SOMER Blink "scandal"

This seems to be the hot topic of the weekend, so I thought I'd quickly mention it. CCP allegedly gave SOMER Blink some free random ships in return for their support in sponsoring events.
The ships weren't even that good. I don't have any new "gossip" , and I'm not butthurt at all - which seems to be the case with a large proportion of the "well known" Eve bloggers. Whilst SOMER Blink is a player run entity, it's also probably the biggest and richest. And they do ALOT to support other players and events.
If you are not CCP please read the following sentence, then skip to the end. If you are CCP, please skip to below:
It's not a big deal, calm down OMG WHERE IS THE PR TEAM THIS IS SO IMPORTANT is not an acceptable response to something that isn't a big deal, especially at the weekend. I suppose you don't like the government giving contracts to large corporations either do you?
If you are CCP please read the following:
This is an outrage. I will only be pacified if you make amends quickly and appropriately. Such as with a free rare ship. Perhaps one designed just for me. Any other freebies graciously accepted.

Me, My Alts & I

So, in this post I'm going to talk about my accounts and the characters on them. I'll also touch upon the subject of why it's good to have an alt (or many), and when it's good to not have them.
I have six accounts, which I pay for in real life money. I could probably PLEX them all if I put my mind to it, but grinding PLEX money feels like a second job, and that doesn't interest me in the slightest. Of those six accounts, three of them only have one character on, and I actually only have six useful characters.
I (obviously) started with one character, my main, which is named Notmo. At about 12m SP (I'm guessing here), I started getting into trading items between Jita and the Test staging system. In those days, I would pod myself between the Test office in Jita and the Test staging system whenever I need to buy more stock. I realised that not only was this annoying and time consuming, but was also costing me money in clone upgrades at each end. So I started an alt.
The Original Alt:
This alt originally sat in Jita, and I trained pretty good trading skills with her:
Level 4
Broker Relations
Level 4
Level 4
Level 4
Margin Trading
Level 4
Level 4
Level 4
Level 4
Level 4
Level 3
Before long, I got very tired of updating orders, so I started training this character to do other things. In hindsight, this was a mistake. Up until this point, this character only had trade skills. She couldn't fly any ships or shoot any guns other than the ones any brand new character could do. What I should have done is created another character on that account from scratch, and trained it up. Instead, I trained this character towards Alliance Logistics - a blockade runner and a Rorqual.
The Rorqual is a pretty interesting ship. It's designed primarily as a mining support ship and has bonuses to mining links, a 900% bonus to survey scanners, 200% bonus to cargo scanners, 50% to Capital Shield Transports and 20% to drone damage and hitpoints. It can also fit a clone vat bay, and an Industrial Core, which is like a mining siege mode. When it does this siege mode, the ship model does some cool Transformer shit. Unfortunately, I've never actually seen this first hand as I'm not a miner and have no use for it. The Clone Vat bay is probably the least used capital module in the game, and that's including Doomsdays and the Jump Bridge Portal things. No-one seems quite sure exactly how it's used and what use it does have is largely negated by stations. The Rorqual is often referred to as a ghetto jump freighter. It's a jump capable with slightly less range than a Carrier, and the same as a straight up jump freighter (5LY). The cargo hold is reasonable, and most people fit cargo rigs and cargo lows. Max cargo is about 150k m3, not including the SMA or Fleet Hangar. The SMA can only carry Industrial ships, so usually has a Noctis, an Iteron V and a couple of BRs. The Fuel Bay is also larger than a Carrier, which is nice. The main advantage of a Rorqual over a Jump Freighter is that it has some bite. A Rorqual is actually very well set up to be able to free itself of light tackle in a hairy situation. It can carry a mean shield tank, has a sizable drone bay for EWAR and light drones and can also fit Heavy Neuts and smartbombs. I have been tackled in my Rorqual 3 or 4 times, and have not lost one yet.
Anyway, back to the point. This character had a natural progression once trained into a Rorqual, and that was towards Carriers. I chose the Archon, as it's the best. I have two. I can fly the Archon pretty well, and that character is now training towards a dreadnought. I haven't decided which one to rain for yet, and it's actually fairly easy to cross train into any of them once the initial support skills are sorted. I think it will be even easier once the gunnery changes from Rubicon are implemented. I'll probably go for the Naglfar, as it can be fit either shield or armor and is also vertical. If I ever bring one into our wormhole, being able to fit shield is a big advantage, and training for a Phoenix is stupid. In the very long term, this character will be able to fly a Super Carrier.
Three of my six characters were initially started as PI alts. The theory was that I would start three accounts, train them all into super PI pilots and then stick them all onto one account, or train a total of nine PI characters across the three accounts, which would easily give me the ability to PLEX them all, plus a considerable amount extra to fund my other PVP accounts. The theory was put into practice for the first stage, and all three pilots have good PI skills:
Advanced Plateology Level 4
Command Center Upgrades Level 5
Interplanetary Consolidation Level 5
Planetology Level 4
Remote Sensing Level 3
The problem was that I then realised have nine characters doing PI would be a huge pain in the dick and would be an incredible amount of clicking that I didn't want to do. So I started training them into specialised roles - a logistics pilot (the space-heals kind), a falcon pilot and and industry pilot. The altered theory being that I could still put them all onto one account, and wouldn't need to use them all at the same time. Once again, after a fairly sizable amount of invested SP, I realised this wouldn't work as it was pretty expensive to transfer accounts and I didn't actually get how to do it. Oh well.
What I ended up with was probably worth it.
PI Pilot One - Logistics:
This pilot has Logistics V, one of best level V skills in the game. He can fly all the T2 logistics with the exception of the Basilisk (but is now training for it). His capacitor skills are top notch, has pretty good drone support skills (for dem salvage drones) and can use T2 reps - shield and armor. Before I started training for the Basilisk (which only involves getting Caldari Cruiser V), this character was training to be able to sit in, and jump, carriers. Having two carriers and a Rorqual was a huge pain in the dick when it came to moving time, so having multiple carrier pilots meant I could move both my carriers and my sub caps (in the carriers) much easier and faster. The ultimate goal is for this character to be able to sit in, but not fly, super capitals so that my actual super carrier pilot isn't locked in to a coffin for the rest of eternity. At this point, I probably will combine this character with another account.
PI Pilot Two - Industry:
This pilot has pretty good industry skills, can technically build capitals (if I injected the relevant skill book - he has all the prereqs). He can do passable research and has the max available slots. Despite having this character, I've never actually built anything other than fuel blocks.
Advanced Mass Production Level 5
Industry Level 5
Mass Production Level 5
Production Efficiency Level 5
Supply Chain Management Level 5
I've been training him to be able to fly all the freighters, as it was useful for when Test held sov, and after they were done, I started training jump skills with the eventual goal of being able to pilot a JF and/or a Rorqual. There was also a brief period where I trained into a very basic Ice Mining ship, in order to harvest ice products for my fuel blocks. I would log in this character and go mine an ice belt while I did the daily stuff on my other accounts (updating PI, filling/emptying silos etc.). By the time that was done, I would have a cargo hold or two full of ice that I could refine, and by doing this for ten to fifteen minutes a day, I easily had enough for my monthly fuel block build.
He can a Blockade Runner as well, but if you were to put him into any combat situation he would die in a huge fire very quickly as the only weapon skills he has are thus:
Gunnery Level 2
Small Hybrid Turret Level 3
Which you may notice are the ones CCP gives you when you start a new character.
PI Pilot Three - Falcon:
I'd always wanted a falcon pilot. Flying a Falcon is hilarious fun, and I've been on the receiving end of SURPRISE, FALCON more times than I care to remember. This pilot has above average ECM skills, and can obviously fly a Falcon. The reason the ECM skills are not perfect is that there are actually a disproportionate amount of ECM support skills, and training them all to V got real boring real fast. One of the prerequisites of the Falcon is Caldari Cruiser V, which is also a prerequisite for a Tengu, another very useful and versatile ship. This was the character that I used for my initial WH foray, so can actually fly a Tengu pretty well and has good missile skills.
The Forgotten Alt:
I forgot why I started the sixth of my six characters. But for whatever reason, I did. This character is not yet complete, but in another six months, will be an amazing utility character. He is mostly used as a scout, and as such, has Cyno V, can fly all the Covert Ops, all the Blockade Runners and has Recon V - another one of my top most useful skills to V in Eve (I sense another blog post topic here). Unfortunately, whilst this character can fly a multitude of ships, and has reasonable tanking skills, he can barely use any weapons systems.
The main use I have for this character at the moment is still as a scout, except now that I live in a WH, scouting invariably involves probing, which is good because this character has pretty good probing skills.
Astrometric Acquisition Level 4
Astrometric Pinpointing Level 4
Astrometric Rangefinding Level 4
Astrometrics Level 5




Whilst not perfect, they are better than any of my other characters, and the Rangefinding skill is actually only a few hours away from being at V.
Another fairly useful skill this character has considering that I am currently living out of a POS is the ability to man the guns. Starbase Defense Management (which is nested in the Corporation Management section?) is a pretty annoying skill to train as it has fairly dumb prerequisites - Anchoring V. So on the plus side, I can anchor T2 Large bubbles.
My Main:
In a slightly backwards -and yet makes sense to me- circle, my main. I'm currently on around 54m SP, and don't recollect how I got there. The last time I remember looking, I had about 30m.
Anyway, this character is a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. He can fly pretty much all the sub caps ships at a reasonable level. He will always remain sub-cap focused.
My main achievement with him is that he has very good boosting skills. I started out training for an off-grid wing boosting Loki. About a week into that training, I realised how long it took to train all of the boosting skills, so remapped to Charisma. This is the only reason to ever remap to Charisma. Ever.
At the beginning of this training, Test was a sov holding alliance, and regularly pulled multiple full fleets, some of which I led. So training FC5 was a reasonable thing to consider. This was seven or eight months ago. I'm now no longer in Test, and no longer leading fleets anywhere close to 256 people. However, I'm on that bastard remap and I might as well make the most of it:
Armored Warfare Level 5
Armored Warfare Specialist Level 5
Fleet Command - Training to Level 5 Level 4
Information Warfare Level 5
Information Warfare Specialist Level 5
Leadership Level 5
Siege Warfare Level 5
Siege Warfare Specialist Level 5
Skirmish Warfare Level 5
Skirmish Warfare Specialist Level 5
Warfare Link Specialist Level 5
Wing Command Level 5




As of this post, I have 40d 15h left to train on FC5. When it's done, the Leadership group will have almost as much SP as my Spaceship Command group.
One of the advantages this gives me is that if I ever did want to sell this character, having FC5, as well as being able to fly the relevant command ships well, will add considerable value. On the downside, this character is not at all specialised, and has skill points spread around all over the place.
Once the Leadership skills are done, I have two training plans in mind. Firstly, I want all my weapon systems to be T2 at all sizes. I already have T2 projectiles, but I find myself needing T2 hybrids and T2 las0rs more and more recently. The other plan is to get into the other T3 Strategic Cruisers. I can currently fly a Loki on this character, but I want to be able to fly the Legion and Proteus too. I actually already have three of the four Cruiser V skills, only needing Gallente to complete the set. The two plans tie in together, as who would fly a T3 with meta guns. Idiots, that's who...
I also have a number of utility alts, characters that have the absolute minimum training and sit in the spare character slots of some of the accounts:
Utility Alt One: Sits in Jita and holds all of my ISK. Has a couple of trading skills and a bit ofCaldari Navy standing.
Utility Alt Two: Has as many skills as a 900k SP alt (the alpha clone limit) can have - which means Cyno 4, all the frigs to 3 and some other random skills. Has a funny name to confuse enemy FCs.
Utility Alt Three: Exactly the same as Utility Alt Two
Utility Alt Four: Was my scamming character. No skills other than the ones gifted by CCP.
Utility Alt Five: Corp holding alt. I once created a corp in response to someone else creating a corp that was a passive aggressive insult to me. I mostly created it in order to preserve the corp ticker, but it proved useful to stick my Tengu pilot in when I did some high sec missioning for Caldari Navy standings.
Every single character I own, except the ones with no SP, has Cyno 4. This is a necessity of owning and operating capital ships, and anyone who does so without having separate cyno characters is a fool. I think having two accounts is pretty common, and I often see the question of when to get one. My answer is always this: If you find yourself needing something that can only be provided my having an alt, get an alt. But only if you can afford it. If what you need doesn't need to characters logged in simultaneous, you don't need an alt. You need another character slot.
As I said earlier, I pay for my accounts with real money, and I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to do so. If I had to PLEX all of my accounts, I wouldn't have nearly as many, and if I did, they'd be much better organised, managed and utilized. Part of the reason my characters and accounts are laid out as they are is that when I started them, dual training didn't exist. Now it does.
My accounts mostly compliment each other. I can triple-box the ones I use most and suddenly I go from a bad solo PVPer to a pretty bad small gang. I can camp a gate with an Interdictor, a Falcon and some more DPS (or another Recon) and suddenly I'm a pretty effective force that takes a bigger, more organised fleet to displace. They also fill in all the gaps, I can literally do most aspects of this game with one character or another, which makes me increase my enjoyment.
Fun Fact: With all of my characters combined, at this point if time, I have a total of 192,835,346 SP
That makes me pretty cool.