Skill Training for PVP
Whether you are devoting yourself to PvP full time or training up a PVP alt, it is essential to know how to train up your character to get the most out of the time it spends training up skills. A new character with low skill point count is much more limited in what he or she can fit on a ship. It also cannot do as much damage or tank as well as a character that has been training for years. However, proper training that is focused on important PVP skills can let you compensate for this.
So that means we race right to Interceptors right? Wrong! This is one of the biggest mistakes that players new to the game make. They want to undock in that newer or bigger ship and they race right through the prerequisite ship skills to get there. However, once they get that new ship they find that they can't fit it well, can't do much damage, can't tank. They see that the ship is inferior to what they are used to flying and that they are useless in it. The euphemism often used for this is "growing into a ship," which translates to "I'm flying this too soon and hoping I get the skills before someone crushes me." Instead, your best bet is to think about what support skills the ship requires and concentrate on training up these. In EVE some skills are beneficial for flying practically any ship - these are called core skills.
Core skills are the base gunnery, navigation, missile, drone, electronics, engineering and mechanic skills that will allow you to fly your ship better, equip more guns, run more drones and hit better with missiles and turrets. Keep in mind that you don't have to study drones if you don't intend to use them; same goes for missiles, while turrets are a requirement in most tech 1 frigates. The skills that you should focus on are the following.
- Combat Drone Operation: +5% Bonus to drone damage of light and medium drones per level
- Drone Durability: +5% bonus to drone shield, armor and hull hit points per level
- Drone Interfacing: +20% bonus to drone damage, drone mining yield per level; level V required for carriers
- Drone Navigation: +5% increase in drone MicroWarpdrive speed per level
- Drone Sharpshooting: +5% increases in drone optimal range
- Drones: operation of 1 drone per skill level; level V required for T2 drones
- Elecronic Warfare Drone Interfacing: +3000m to drone control range of all drones per level
- Scout Drone Operation: +5000 meters per skill level to drone control range; level V required for T2 drones
- Electronic Warfare: -5% capacitor need for ECM and ECM Burst systems per level; level IV required for T2 jammers (useful for Caldari recon pilots) and use of ewar drones
- Electronics: + 5% bonus to ship CPU output per skill level
- Electronics Upgrades: -5% in CPU need of modules that require Electronic Upgrades skill (signal amplifiers, co-processors, backup arrays) per level; level V required to pilot covops, stealth bombers, and electronic assault frigates
- Propulsion Jamming: -5% to warp disruptors, warp scrambler, and stasis web capacitor need per skill level; level IV needed for T2 web; level V prerequisite to interdictors
- Sensor Linking: -5% capacitor need for sensor dampeners and tracking links; level IV required for T2 dampeners (useful for Gallente ewar pilots)
- Signature Analysis: + 5% improved targeting speed per level
- Target Painting: -5% capacitor need for target painters per skill level; level IV required for T2 target painters (useful for Minmatar ewar pilots and battleship pilots)
- Targeting: +1 extra target per skill level, up to the ship's maximum allowed number of targets locked; level V required for logistics ship pilots
- Weapon Disruption: -5% capacitor need for weapon disruptors per level; level IV required for T2 tracking disruptors (useful for Amarr recon pilots)
- Energy Grid Upgrades: -5% in CPU need of modules that require Energy Grid Upgrades skill (power diagnostic units, capacitor batteries) per level
- Energy Management: +5% to capacitor capacity per level; level IV required for use of Micro Auxiliary Power Core
- Energy Systems Operation: -5% in capacitor recharge time per skill level
- Engineering: +5% to ship's powergrid output per level
- Shield Management: +5% to shield capacity per skill level
- Shield Upgrades: -5% in shield upgrade powergrid needs (shield extenders, shield rechargers); level IV required for T2 shield passive hardeners
- Tactical Shield Manipulation: skill at preventing damage from penetrating the shield, including the use of shield hardeners and other advanced shield modules; level IV required for use of T2 shield active hardeners
- Controlled Bursts: -5% reduction in capacitor need of weapon turrets per skill level; do not train on Minmatar ship pilots as projectile weapons use no cap to start out with
- Gunnery: +2% to weapon turrets' rate of fire per skill level; level V required for large turrets
- Motion Prediction: +5% per skill level to weapon turret tracking; level IV required for short-range T2 medium guns
- Rapid Firing: +4% bonus per skill level to weapon turret rate of fire
- Sharpshooter: +5% to weapon turret optimal range per skill level; level IV required for long-range T2 medium guns
- Small Turret: +5% damage to damage per level; level V required for small T2 turrets
- Surgical Strike: +3% bonus per skill level to the damage of all weapon turrets
- Weapon Upgrades: -5% per skill level in the CPU needs of weapon turrets, launchers and smartbombs; level V required for piloting HACs
- Mechanic: +5% to structure hit points per level; level V required to pilot assault frigates
- Hull Upgrades: +5% to armor hit points per level; level V required for T2 armor active hardeners and T2 EANM
- Remote Armor Repair System: -5% capacitor need for remote armor repair system modules per level
- Repair Systems
- Missile Bombardment: +10% to all missiles' maximum flight time per level; level IV required to fit a bomb launcher on a stealth bomber
- Missile Launcher Operation: +2% to missile launcher rate of fire per skill level; level V required for siege and cruise launchers
- Missile Projection: +10% to all missiles' maximum velocity per level
- Rapid Launch: +3% to missile launcher rate of fire per level
- Rockets: +5% bonus to rocket damage per level; level V required for T2 rockets
When training the skills, you want to get the most out of the time you spend training; this means that the benefit you get from the skill should be significant for the time that you invested into it. For example, Controlled Bursts skill gives a 5% reduction in capacitor needs for turrets. The first level takes maybe 20 minutes, the second perhaps an hour and a half. Training this skill to level II will result in 10% reduction in capacitor needs within just 2 hours of training. However, to go from level IV to level V of this skill would take about 7-10 days, just to gain another 5% bonus to capacitor need reduction. In that same time you could have trained 3 or 4 more skills from level III to IV and gotten significantly more bonuses in other areas. So the moral of this story is: train level V skills only when you absolutely have to or have nothing else to train.
It is advisable to get all of your core skills to level 2 as fast as possible. Then you will have achieved 10% bonuses in many areas: reduction is capacitor needs, 10% better tracking, 10% more missile damage, and so on. Your pilot will be vastly improved in a very short period of time. Once you are done with level II's, start moving these skills to level III and finally to level IV. As a general rule, train a skill to level II if you are going to occasionally use it, to level IV if you will often use it, and to level V if it is a "gate-opener" skill (prerequisite for another skill) or relates to something you want to heavily specialize in.
As you work through your training you will pick up other skills here and there that you will need to train to level II or III as prerequisites. When you pick those skills up, train them up quickly and then resume your training process.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will be able to maximize abilities of your low skill point character. Just remember not to use your best implants unless you can set a jump clone because in PvP it's only a matter of time before you will get podded.
An indispensable tool for monitoring your skill training and planning your future in Eve is EVEMon. This program will let you compile a skill plan spanning over a year as well as optimize attributes for you skill plan in case you wish to respec your character.