Monday, 28 May 2012

80/20 rule - or why I have many skills at level 4

In Eve, skills take longer to get the higher your skill level.  The game is designed so that even with 'perfect' allocations it still will take years to get all the skills you want; I have been playing for months.

From, we get the following list of how many skill points it takes to get a skill level:
  • level 1 - 250
  • level 2 - 1415
  • level 3 - 8000
  • level 4 - 45255
  • level 5 - 256000
There is a multiplier to this for skill difficulty, and the number of skill points you get per time unit is set by your attributes (adjusted by remapping and implants).

You get something like (Primary attribute + Secondary Attribute/2) points per minute.  As an example - take a standard '1x' difficulty skill, with 20 attribute points in it's primary and secondary abilities, and you get 30 points/minute; turning the above table into (very rounded):
  • level 1 ~ 10 minutes
  • level 2 ~ 1 hour
  • level 3 ~ 5 hours
  • level 4 ~ 1 day
  • level 5 ~ 1 week
In essence the 80/20 rule is that the you get 80% of effects from 20% of causes.  For most Eve skills, Level 4 is generally 80% of the benefit of Level 5, but only take 20% of the time.

Now some skills have pre-requisites; for example Wholesale needs Retail 5.  If I want to have Wholesale at any level I must spend the time to get retail 5; but then the decision happens again - huge benefit/training time for (eg Wholesale) Level 1 skills, and marginal benefit/training time for level 5.

I can tweak the values of attributes moderately; getting anywhere between mid 20's points/minute up to mid 40's points per minute. Doubling my training by choosing where to allocate my attributes is useful; Choosing what to (not) train has an nearly an order of magnitude of difference.  For the time to take a single Level 5 skill, starting toons have a choice of:
  • 20 different Level 3 skills OR
  • 5 different Level 4 skills OR
  • a single Level 5 skill.
I have chosen Trade, Social and Science as areas to work on my skills.  I am currently working on skills to get research missions as I think they will be important for me in the future.  In the meantime I have a lot of skills at Level 4.

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