Specializing Alt Characters In EVE Online
EVE Online's character system allows each account to have three characters associated with it, though only one character may be training skills at a given time. While most players have a "main" character that is PVP focused, the possibility exists of specializing the extra characters. These alternative characters, or "alts" can be trained with specific skill plans in order to focus their abilities and allow you, the player, to cover more ground at once.
By specializing characters for a particular duty you can save yourself a lot of work, and effectively manage several tasks at once. This article will cover several convenient options for alt characters, and a specific idea of what to train on them.
Depending on your character's race and starting skills, training skills in a particular order may offer some small benefit over a random order. If you use a skill optimization application like EVEMon, you should use that to determine the most optimal skill path for your new character. Keep in mind that while you are training on an alt, your main character is laying fallow, unable to train anything.
Below, you will find three of the alts that I think are most valuable, and Ten Ton Hammer subscribers will see an additional alt that many players probably wouldn't normally consider.
Training a character to have perfect PVP skills takes a long time, no matter what kind of PVP interests you. For very active or successful players, waiting doesn't cut it. Many opt to purchase characters with ISK, in CCP's character bazaar forum.
When doing so, most players will opt to sell their old character as a matter of efficiency. Unfortunately, if a character is being sold as a PVP character, any industrial skills that he possesses will not be factored into his price. Likewise, if he is being sold as an industrial character, PVP skills will probably not be a consideration. I mean, you can try and sell the character for whatever you want, but nobody is going to buy it if it's overpriced, and disregarding "dead" skillpoints is a major factor in character valuation.
Thus, it is practical for players that may consider trading up to train their industrial skills on a second character. Nor is that the only reason.
Many PVP characters that get involved with empire wars or null-sec conflict will end up being deployed far away from their base of operations. Or, at least in a different region. This makes putting those industrial skills to use difficult or impossible. By having a second character that trains any non-PVP skills, you can keep the wheels of industry turning while your PVP character is camped into a useless station on the other side of EVE.
For most of these alts, it will be efficient to train learning skills before beginning on the actual skills. By this, I mean the attribute enhancing skills found under the learning category, that make the character train skills faster and quickly make up for the time lost training them. The advanced learning skills are a little bit pricey to very new players, but well worth it.
For practically any alt, you will want to train most of the list below to III or IV, before beginning on actual skills. I have included the related attribute in parenthesis.
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence)
- Instant Recall (Memory)
- Iron Will (Willpower)
- Spatial Awareness (Perception)
- Learning (general)
- Empathy (Charisma)
There are also advanced learning skills. For each of them, a normal learning skill must be trained to IV, as a pre-requisite. These are not always recommended for a character, and I will indicate if they seem relevant. The pre-requisitie is listed in parenthesis.
- Logic (Intelligence)
- Focus (Willpower)
- Eidetic Memory (Memory)
- Clarity (Perception)
- Presence (Charisma)
Neural remapping may only be done once a year, per character. It allows you to redistribute your attributes. It is done by opening your character sheet, clicking on the "attributes" tab, and clicking on the "remap now" button. Note that this cannot be undone for a year, and you should be really careful with using it on your main character.
When using an alt, you may as well remap to reflect the attributes that you will be using most, since you probably won't be training things on him for very long. The interface is really intuitive. I doubt anybody will have trouble with it.
Attribute-enhancing implants can significantly lower the time needed to train skills. If the skills involved take longer than two weeks, I would recommend putting in implants that give at least +1 or +2 to whatever attributes you are training skills for. For example, if you are training a lot of ship skills, it could significantly shorten things if you implanted an implant that imparted a bonus to perception.
Get to a market hub like Jita or Amarr, and see what's affordable. You can find attribute enhancers on the market under the "implants and boosters" tab. Keep in mind that in EVE Online as in life, time is money.
Also, please note that in order to use attribute implants, you will need to train Cybernetic I.
This is the most basic alt, and also probably the most common. The idea here is to train production skills on this character so you can keep yourself and the local market well supplied without tying down your main character. In order to do that, you need good production skills so that you can run several jobs at once, without waste.
Unfortunately, this can take nearly a month to finish off. I consider it worthwhile because of the ISK that can be made running a large-scale industrial operation. In fact, I have two production alts. Because of the lengthy time investment, I highly recommend using memory and intelligence implants.
Create a new character, and remap his attributes to have as high a memory as possible, and put any spare points into intelligence. Train Instant Recall, Learning, and Analytical mind to IV. Then, train Eidetic Memory III and Logic III.
Commence the industrial skills by training: Industry III, Production Efficiency V, Mass Production V, and Advanced Mass Production IV. Once finished, this character will be able to build items without any waste, and to run a total of ten build jobs at once.
Researching and copying blueprints is a nice side project, especially if you are investing in an expensive blueprint that you want to make blueprint copies from for selling. With the space slots you can research and build your personal blueprint repertoire, research ship blueprints for resale, or keep your corporation knee-deep in blueprint copies.
Create and remap a character to have as high intelligence as possible, with any extra points going into memory. Then train Eidetic Memory III and Logic III.
For actual lab skills, train: Laboratory Operation V, Advanced Laboratory Operation IV, Research V, Science IV, and Metallurgy IV. These will allow you to run ten lab jobs, simultaneously, and to research most blueprint originals at a decent clip. This alt shouldn't take more than a couple weeks.
This is a big one for me. A second character than only takes a week or two of training, and can then sit in Jita (or wherever) to do price checks and manage market orders and contracts. Having an alt like this allows me to play market games in Jita, no matter where I am in EVE, or what I'm doing.
This character should begin with as high a Charisma as possible, and then remap to make it even higher. Put any spare points into Memory. Train all the basic learning skills to IV, plus Empathy IV. Then train the following advanced learning skills: Eidetic Memory III, Empathy IV, and Focus III.
Now you can train the trade skills: Trade IV, Retail IV, Broker Relations IV, and Accounting IV. The latter two skills will allow to put up buy and sell orders as cheaply as possible, while the former allow you to have a total of 53 market orders. If that ever doesn't seem like enough orders (and believe me, some day you'll feel this way), you can consider training Retail V, and then Wholesale, which gives you an extra 16 market orders per level. If you're completely crazy, you can even train Wholesale to V and then Tycoon. I wish I had the guts to train Tycoon, I really do, but it takes forever and it's probably easier to just train another market alt.
Freighters are pretty much the best ships to move things around high-security space with. They're huge, difficult to gank, and can carry more than any other class of ship that can move around in high-security space. If you're brave or stupid enough, a single freighter run into low-sec or null-sec space can supply a moderately sized corporation for weeks.
Keeping your main character in a freighter is silly, because unless he is in an NPC corporation (and why would you be?), he will be vulnerable to war declarations and revenge ganks. Not to mention it's boring and slow. A freighter alt can cart goods all over empire for you with greatly reduced risk of being suicide-ganked, while you main keeps running missions, PVPing in null-sec, or whatever it is that you do for fun.
Make a character with as high a perception as possible, and with extra points going into willpower. For basics, train Instant Recall, Analytical Mind, and Learning to III. Then train Analytical Mind and Spatial Awareness to IV. For advanced learning, train Focus III, and Clarity III.
Now for the good stuff: Spaceship Command V, Advanced Spaceship Command III. Pick the race whose freighter you want to train for, and train that race's frigate skill (e.g., Minmatar Frigate) to III, then train that race's industrial skill to V, and that race's freighter skill as high as you care to take it.
The Navigation and Evasive Maneuvering skills improve speed and maneuverability, respectively. This is a godsend for the clunky freighter class of ships. Consider training them to IV.[/protip]