Specialist or generalist?

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_tolokonov'>tolokonov / 123RF Stock Photo</a>When I started my first character in EVE, I was all over the map. Suzariel spent a lot of time being a skills magpie. If it was shiny, she bought the skill book and trained it.

I was more focused with Ystvan and Weyland. Yst has trained industry stuff almost exclusively — mining, hauling, manufacturing, inventions, PI. Wey’s more into corporations, leadership, and trade.

All three are good miners and can fly CovOps and Orcas. I felt that was worth doing with every one of them. There are ships I love because they’re fun to fly, and there are ships like Helioses and Orcas that are just insanely useful.

From an optimizer’s point of view, I screwed up Suz because I took so long deciding what she was going to be. Ultimately, she became my combat-focused character, but she’s not as far along as she could’ve been if I’d locked her into that track from the get-go.

Do I regret it?

Actually, no. I learned a lot by experimenting with different mixes of skills. And I had fun. I can’t count that as a loss.

If I were given a chance to completely redistribute Suz’s SPs, I probably wouldn’t take it. She is what she is, and those detours and what-the-hell-why-nots represent her history in-game and all the things she’s been through.

I did do one bit of specializing for Suz, though. About five months into my subscription, I decided to change things up and try a Drake for once instead of my old standby, the Brutix. A couple of my personal EVE heroes flew them, so I figured it was worth a try. I loved it, most of all for the shield tank. Armor tanking with the Brutix always made me nervous — like, you spend most of your time with one whole layer gone! 🙂

At the time, I heard a lot of Drake hate, and I figured I was permanently branding myself Bad@EVE in some quarters by flying it. But rather than cave to popular opinion, I decided I was going to become the best Drake pilot I could and push myself to fly it into situations where it wasn’t the best ship for the job. I trained all the skills I could think of that’d squeeze every last drop of performance out of it, and I practiced a lot with techniques that played to its strengths.

OldIronysidesIf Suz is good at anything in EVE, it’s flying that damn Drake. Old Ironysides, FTW.

Faced with the choice of being a specialist or a generalist, my temptation is to go all Kirk and try to figure out a way to do both…sorta. With Suz, I’ve spread her SPs across a fair number of areas, but specialized in a few things I’m particularly interested in.

Although I’ve made what some would say are smarter choices with Ystvan and Wey by keeping them on career tracks, I actually prefer logging in with Suz because she has more options, even if she isn’t as good as they are in their areas of expertise.

If I were in the EVE advice-giving business, I’d say to do what you find fun. Not what people tell you should be fun, but what you actually like, whatever makes you eager to log in after a long day at work. Life’s too short to spend leisure time on things you’re not enjoying.

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About Suzariel Kel-Paten

Software developer by day, writer and EVE player by night. My three mains are Suzariel Kel-Paten, Ystvan Chang, and Weyland Zaslow. I live in the Southeastern US with my husband and our cats and dogs. I have a Twitter account (@suzariel), but I mostly just read and don't often post there.

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