As if by serendipity, each quarterly review has seemed to be immediately preceded by some kind of revelation or epiphany. This one is no different, and my thoughts on skill investment (and my general lack thereof) has dominated this review and my plans for the future.
As I mentioned in my last post, if it does not increase my ability to deal or absorb damage, I'm not training it. This is the logical extension of my observation that Punisher fights pit my tank and damage skills directly against my opponent's tank and damage skills. It will probably take me about a month to get the "direct" damage skills to V (Surgical Strikes, Rapid Firing, etc), and then I'll consider getting the support gunnery skills from IV to V (Controlled Bursts, Motion Prediction, etc).
I will also be training my tanking skills, although these are fewer (and better developed) than my gunnery skills - Hull Upgrades V should finish by the middle of next week, and Mechanics V finished some time ago. This largely leaves the repair system and armor compensation skills.
Once my gunnery and tanking skills are maxed out (or close to it) I will start focusing on my other support skills.
Combat record & Target selection:
I have not had a kill since Punisher 6. As I mentioned in my last quarterly review, I think this is largely down to my Molden Heath move, as I'm now playing with the proverbial "big boys".
However, other choices have also played a role, and in particular my target selection. Of my last five Punishers, three were destroyed by the same pilot. Having utterly crushed me the first time, what did I really expect to change the second and third time?
Actually, that succession of encounters has been very, very helpful in opening my eyes to various issues, but it does not change the fact that I have been making poor target selection choices. The trouble is that enjoy the pvp experience too much. I have a blast even when I am losing. This makes all but the most one sided fights very tempting for me. It's worth noting that a number of my recent fights occurred when professional pvpers called me out and challenged me to a fight (that they were confident they would win); my reaction (often literally) tends to be "how can I say no to that?"
Well, I can say no to that. And I should. So my goal with the final five Punishers is to destroy at least as many ships as I lose (ie, five). This means that I'm going to take my time and look for fights that I can and should win.
This will take a while, and I accept that, but it's a player discipline that I really need to learn. I'll continue to post, but it will mean that far more of my posts are about topics rather than experiences, at least in the short term.
Fortunately, New Eden is a pretty interesting place
After the Punisher Plan I want to start a similar training plan for flying Crusaders. The exact timing will depend on how my skills are developing; I certainly don't intend to jump into Crusaders without a decent skill investment.
However, 20 Crusaders will cost me about 240 million, with fittings costing me about another 100 million. I don't have anything like that kind of cash, so I'm going to have to start pve again, something that I have been able to largely ignore recently. The timing is good, though, as it will give me something to focus on while my damage and tanking skills are developing.