Training skills in EVE Online has always been kind of confusing. Instead of focusing on gaining XP through gameplay, players earned skill points in skills they passively trained. There came along ways to boost training speed with attributes and implants, but this core system was unchanged for years. The introduction of Alpha Clones further muddied the waters. But with this September, players get some reprieve from the confusion.
This new feature will be led by the inclusion of a major change to skill training. That new change is called Skill Plans. This is a new integrated system within EVE Online that offers players the chance to share plans for skills. This is a feature that has relied on third-party apps for years, and seeing it in the game is great for player groups.
You will be able to share any Skill Plan in a chat, EVE Mail, corp bulletin, etc., just as you can share ship fittings. You will even be able to leave a link to a corresponding Skill Plan in a ship fitting description. This is a huge change for new players in noob-friendly corps. Along with the new pointers and a focused gameplay loop, it will be far easier to get into the game.
Enter Milestones and more
The big part of the AIR NPE Skill Plans that focuses players is the milestone system. Players can set certain milestones to achieve, up to five per plan. These milestones will most often be used to preset a goal for players to achieve. CCP gives the example of flying a Hurricane, a popular Battlecruiser hull. Its bonuses focus on Minmatar Battlecruiser IV and unlocking the relevant skills to use the 425mm AutoCannon II. This would take great advantage of the role bonuses on the hull, thus a skill plan should be focused on those milestones.
Certified Skill Plans and new Sheets
Certified Skill Plans are CCP-created plans that players can use and share. These are shared by CCP through both in-game and external means, allowing players to see what goals the developers set. There’s no reason you have to follow these plans, but new players might find it helpful. Some player groups may even recommend following Certified Skill Plans as a brand new player.
Along with all this other stuff, some UI changes are thrown in. Players will notice that a brand new character sheet is coming. The goal for CCP is to add clarity of information. New players will be able to more clearly see what skills they are missing for what ships. The old way of perusing the Ship Tree and looking at Masteries was pretty clunky, so it needed a redo. Good more, CCP.
Every one of your characters will be able to save up to ten Personal Skill Plans as well, allowing players to focus their three characters per account into different roles.
All this will be added to the new AIR NPE, scheduled for release next month. “In September, the AIR New Player Experience (or AIR NPE) will launch with its first chapter, marking the beginning of a new journey into EVE Online,” said developer CCP in a new Dev Blog.
For quality-of-life changes, players will notice a few things as well. The current limit of 50 skill entries in the queue will be increased to 150 for both Alpha and Omega clones. Also, the current restriction of the Alpha clone training queue allowing only the skills that would start training within the next 24h will also be removed. This makes planning and implementing Skill Plans easier.