Monday, 7 October 2013

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.


  1. Seems like your missing cyno alts, or do your others do double duty?

  2. Murdoch who can't spell7 October 2013 at 16:50


  3. Murdoch who can't read7 October 2013 at 16:51

    Or, maybe I just can't read at all.

    Just delete all my tripe, man.


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