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.