WormholesThe wormhole way of play seems to fit with what I’ll want - the ability to have a bit of time and do some PVE for money, or get together with people and do some PVP by exploring neighboring WHs, and the adding thrill that knowing that your PVE can rapidly turn into PVP. You also get a sense of a home that you helped build and may need to help defend, but without the Sov-holding feel for regular CTA at weird hours that aren’t practical for working parents with busy lives. I’ve read some WH recruiting threads and know that most will want new members to be able to fly a BS, T3 cruiser, and CovOps. Some also specify they have to be shield tanked BS/T3. So this is also informing my plans below.
For my main:
- Make ISK via Level 4 missions: My primary checklist item is successfully solo running Level 4 missions in a Battleship. Now I've already failed painfully in doing L4s with my BC. Though I know a friend of mine has been successful in doing this in his Drake, my Myrmidon died painfully fast in the third mission I tried - causing me to abandon the mission and suffer heavily in corp and faction standings as a result. As a result I've had my industrial alt build me a Megathron and I've started up on the skills needed. Those are a big step up in skill ranking and a big slowdown in speed of those skills. Gallente Battleship, Large Hybrid Turrets, and Heavy Drones all now look to be must haves to at least level 4 (I figure Ogre IIs are pretty much required but I'm not willing to shell out for T2 Sentry skill-wise). That's 21 days of training right there, enough to take me through January with a little bit of skill time set aside for my industrial alt. Until I can reliably do Level 4s I'll be doing Level 3s either in my limited skillset in the Megathron on in my Brutix.
- PVP. I want to get into the habit of regularly shifting down into my combat clone and getting out there for some PVP as my wallet allows. For January that will definitely be covered by the Frigfest, which I've already opened up my wallet for. When February comes around I'll probably reconsider FW again, but that seems like much more of a big step since I have to leave corp and then expect to be vulnerable if I try normal missioning in the meantime. People talk about FW being such a fountain of ISK but it seems like you really have to spend a lot of time PLEXing and not losing ships to make that work out. I think roams on the frigate/cruiser level should work well instead - and I'll see if I can talk my corp buddies into going along.
- Make ISK via Exploration: My friends are having fun with this so I mean to try it out more, and of course it is necessary skillset for wormholing too. So far I haven't had much luck in my Imicus as after taking a while to scan down sites it seems they are either already cleaned out or ones I don't care about (Gas, Asteroids). There's a lot to learn here about doing this efficiently, such as really understanding what people like Penny "Tiger Ears" means when she talks about big and small signatures and what that means for me. Speeding up the scanning side would help with better skills to complement the Sisters gear I already shelled out for, and take 20 days to get the various Astro* skills up to 4. Rangefinding being the long one of course, at rank 8. That time estimate is on my current Per/Will mapping, so switching to more balanced generalist mapping will drop it a bit.
- Bonus: Wormhole diving when my friends are up for it - I don’t think my wallet can afford the risk that will come with trying to solo wormholes in my Brutix.
For my alt:
- My primary checklist item is trying out T2 manufacturing. I have selected an item to manufacture that I can also use myself (see also item below). BPCs of the T1 version are made and waiting for me in a lowsec station that had a reasonable copy queue time. I have BPOs for the tools and intermediate components. Next is deciding which station I’ll do the actual invention runs in. I’d rather find one not in lowsec, but I haven’t had problems yet running a fast frigate in for the research slots.
- Build my own stuff. Building the Megathron for my main was the biggest thing I've built yet in Eve and was a good reality check on the large amount of materials needed and the hopelessness of even partial self-supply via mining. I’ll probably continue to look at building ship hulls and major items from contract-available BPCs. I know it may not be economically always the best choice, but there is a satisfaction in building my own stuff. It may fade.
- Shore up skills. My main and alt share the same account, so when my main is shifted to combat clone I’ll shift training over to my alt and let her pick up some skillpoints. If she is going to eventually live in a wormhole too then she’ll need scanning skills, as well as a lot more fitting skills. For now getting the Core Competence Certificate to Basic and then the Fitting one up to Standard should be a good way to approach it.
- Figure out better ways to handle loot. I’ve generally tried using Eve Market Guide’s Loot/Refine calculator, but it only uses Jita for data. I found one at Eve Industrialist that lets you select the region/rub, but it doesn’t accept my API for some reason. Sell Meta4 and refine the rest seems to be a pretty good heuristic.
Beyond the first quarter for my main:
- Getting into a CovOps could be a fun next step for both PVE (Exploration) and PVP (Bombing). That's somewhere around 13 days of training for me for the CovOps and then another 18 days for the Stealth Bomber side. I've intentionally neglected missile skills to focus on turrets so far, so the fact that bombs are driven off of missile skills will push me towards rounding something that I'll need sooner or later anyway. There is the whole range of missile support skills I don't have that I'll need if I even want to fly missile frigates effectively in PVP. A buddy of mine has had a lot of fun in his bomber, but we'd be a lot more effective as a team of bombers of course.
- A lot of effective Gallente fits seem to require shield tanking. Shield Mgmt, Shield Upgrades, Tac Shield Manipulation to 4 and Shield Operation to 5 will take about 17 days. Shield Ops and Mgmt will provide some small benefit even when I'm armor tanking too, so that's a bonus.
- Strategic Cruiser. Another thing on the WH recruitment list, plus the value for missions, wormhole diving etc. Very high on the cost scale of course, so it is very likely I could get to the skills long before I can afford the ship.