After finding out that Velvet Tail is on par with Clavius in terms of combat skills yet manages to successfully run missions, I threw caution to the winds last night and accepted one from an Intelligence agent, and ran it successfully. With Salvaging, I made about 600K ISK on it, although it took about an hour to kill all the bogeys, loot some, run back to station to empty my packed-to-the-airlock seal cargo hold, then come back and loot the rest and salvage all the wrecks before turning the mission in. I finished up the evening with over 8 million ISK, which I consider to be fantastic for a character that’s only a little over a week old.
I also hit a million skill points yesterday, but I’m going to lose training time today – Caldari Frigate IV was set to finish training up around 10 AM EST today, and when I tried to log on before heading to work to change in something else, Tranquility was still in downtime. Advice to new EVE players: never assume that Tranquility will be back up exactly on time.
But hey, live and learn – the Osprey is docked on the other end of Empire anyway, so I probably won’t go get it tonight, even though I intend to sell my Bantam. When my wallet hits ten million ISK (and if I can run three or four missions tonight, it should,) I’m going to buy an advanced learning skill, then keep buying them every time I hit 10 million until I have them all. This is an area I neglected in my previous brush with EVE; things seem to be moving smoother financially this time around.
Thanks to the EVE Ships Wiki, I’ve started doing some research on ships; I’ve even gone so far as to start putting all the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet so they can be compared at a glance. So I have something of a plan up through cruisers for combat, and moving towards a Retriever for mining.
The Merlin (my current combat ship) appears to be reasonably suitable for L1 work; it’s a bit light on powergrid, but that’s something I can work on through skills. But the cargo hold is tiny, and at my current level of Engineering skill I cannot fit more than three non-garbage weapons to it, although I can get a Salvager in on top of that. So I’m thinking about flying a Destroyer for mission-running; the eight high slots would let me fit plenty of weapons along with a Salvager (or even two) and a tractor beam, which combined with a higher maximum number of targets, a slightly higher targeting range, and assuming that I’ll get myself a higher rank in Salvaging (I’m currently at 1,) should speed things up quite a bit. The Cormorant is a little on the slow side, but it’s approximately twice as tough as a Frigate even without a tank, and the cargo hold is over three times larger. I would only need Destroyers I, and I have the prerequisites, plus the ship itself is pretty cheap; the Caldari Cormorant runs a bit under 900K in my current area. After looking at the numbers, it seems silly not to make this move, so consider that my next step in piloting. I might get there tonight or tomorrow. Next up to train are going to be higher Salvaging, Tractor Beams and Microwarp Drives, along with higher Engineering, Mechanics and Electronics and improvement of my meager Gunnery and Missile skills.
After that, I have been advised that the Caracal is an ideal ship for running Level 2 missions, so I will be sticking with Caldari ships through Cruisers, and possibly Battlecruisers (the Drake looks nice as well.) Post-Cruiser… well, none of the Caldari Battleships make me warm and fuzzy. Truth be told, I’m considering going Amarr when I get there, although that’d be a long way off.