Where We Have Been
My progress in EVE continues to come along quite splendidly. I really do agree with the conventional (and correct) wisdom that one should learn the foundational Engineering, Mechanic, and Navigation skills (not to mention Gunnery) first, instead of immediately rushing toward bigger and ‘better’ warships. However, I broke my own advice — despite my best intentions, I’ve made almost no progress toward achieving my Basic Core Competency Certificate. Right out of the gate, I trained up to Social III, Connections III and Negotiation III, yesterday I knocked out Salvaging III, and I’m on track to finish up Amarr Frigates IV today.
I justify my decision from an economic standpoint. I knew that each of the five tutorial arcs culminated in “an important mission which will have significant impact on your faction standings”, so I wanted to make the most of them with a trained Social skill. Connections has given my access to all of the Amarr Empire’s Level One agents, meaning I was able to easily find and move to the exact agent I wanted — a high quality Command agent in the Amarr Navy. Negotiations has made my mission running more profitable. Lastly, Salvaging is currently where most of my ISK comes from — a few salvaged Armor Plates or Tripped Power Circuits are an excellent boon to my slowly-growing bank. It might not be alot to EVE veterans, but it consistently brings in the big bucks. I’m sitting pretty at 14 million ISK right now, and that’s after I’ve given away several million to help out fellow noob friends.
But happiness with my skills and my ISK situation is only part of the contentment I’m feeling toward EVE right now. I’m also really satisfied with my ship — the Amarrian destroyer Heretic’s Folly.
HZ waxed eloquent about the Regress when he finally got her. Flying a destroyer is so many levels beneath flying a recon ship that it isn’t funny, but I at least know where HZ is coming from. It is an all-round good ship, with great damage potential and excellent bonuses — and most importantly, it’s mine.
Where We Are
The Heretic’s Folly really shines in the Level 1 missions I’ve been running for the Amarr Navy out of Safizon. This is my first time using LAZORS, and I’ve been really impressed. Outside of the fact that they don’t use ammunition, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how easy and fun it is to switch out each gun’s crystal ammunition — the reload time is almost instantaneous. This flexibility has allowed me to set the tempo in battles, rather than simply kiting (like missiles) or orbiting in the same very fixed radius (like guns that have longer reload times). Of course, there are limitations to LAZORS — they always deal the same kind of damage, thermal and EM — but the NPCs don’t seem to know that.
I have a second destroyer, No Stone Unturned, which is fitted out as a salvage boat. I run about an hour’s worth of missions (roughly seven battle sites), then switch over to the salvager. Safizon is only three jumps away from Amarr Prime, and so I haul my goods directly there. The equipment drops are often junk, but the salvage itself sells very well. I’ve not actually seen much of the Amarr system, though — I’m too deathly afraid of being ganked with a full cargo hold to stick around.
Where We Are Going
But I can’t fly the destroyer forever. I’m already a good way toward having sufficient standing to do top-quality Level Two missions, and that will definitely require a better ship. I also want to explore magnetometric and radar sites, which will almost certainly require an Arbitrator — but I don’t yet have the drones skills to make flying it worth it.
Also, I’m intrigued by Planetary Interaction — is it worth it? The interface definitely looks awesome.
So, good readers — what should I do next? I’ll be sticking with my destroyer/salvage combo for the time being, but should I focus on drones (for the Arbitrator) or go toward battlecruisers instead? Or maybe an advanced frigate? Advice would really be welcome.