June 4, 2018

Skill Injectors: A Newbie Trap

Warning: this post contains preachy grumbling from a bittervet. Proceed with caution.

So you started your life in New Eden! It's a wonderful big galaxy, with tons of stuff to do, but... Tragedy! You can't do most of that stuff immediately! You can't run the best missions, can't fly the biggest ships, can't explore the most fascinating stuff, and your DPS numbers look like a banana left in the sun for a week. Worst of all, many corps have "minimum SP requirements" so you can't even join them! This is all very terrible, but there is an apparent way out: skill injectors! So you buy some PLEX and spend it on injectors, thinking "it's a one time investment" to get you started. Easy, right?


But why? Why are you trying to keep newbies down?!

I'm not. However, if used without care, skill injectors are one of the most wasteful ill-advised decisions a new pilot can make. Let's look at some reasons why.

1. You always need more than you think

Suppose you would like to jump right in to black-ops ganking, and the easiest way to participate is to be part of the squad of stealth bombers that jump in to destroy the target. How hard could that be? It's a frigate. I plugged the bare minimum (Covert Ops I and the ability to use any torpedos) into EVEMon, and here's what I got:

You can either train for 24 days, or buy 3 large skill injectors. Given the prices at the time of writing, that is just under 2.4 billion ISK. A big investment, to be sure, but maybe worth it?

Nope! Because guess what? Your ship needs other modules too! A covert ops cloak, propulsion mod, etc. Let's use the suggested T1 Hound fit from Eve-Uni and see where that gets us.

We're up to 4 skill injectors, over 3 billion ISK. It doesn't go any higher, right? Sorry, I only have bad news. If you try to use this character in Pyfa (or worse, fit the actual ship), you will realize... you're using 27.22% too much CPU for the ship! Making sure the requisite skills to manage CPU well are in -- CPU Management V, Electronics Upgrades V, Weapon Upgrades V -- all of which are required for this fit, brings you up to 5 skill injectors, almost 4 billion ISK.

At this high cost, you would expect to be done now, yes? Nope, the bad news continues. While you would be able to fly and contribute, your contribution to the fleet's damage would be a measly 233 DPS, something that you could have done with almost no training in a T1 destroyer. A "full fledged" stealth bomber pilot reaches 558 DPS with that same fit, but it would require you to spend a few more billion ISK to be anywhere close to that.

Summing it all up, in order to be pigeonholed into a single ship with sub-par performance to your peers, you would need 4 billion ISK, or 1360 PLEX, or (if you are paying with real-world money) around $40. Is that worth it?

2. It leaves you unprepared for actually using the ship(s) you unlocked

Browse any kind of social media concerning the affairs of capsuleers and you come across stories like this one: a Widow Black Ops battleship lost while flown by a capsuleer only a few days old. That is over 10 billion ISK in skill injectors in order to fly a ship worth over 2 billion ISK and lose it in hisec. Hisec is extremely safe; outside of suicide ganks (which this was not), it is virtually impossible to be forced into losing your ship. And yet... Here we are.

More recently, the event that precipitated this long rant is this request for help in the Eve Forums. This is another new pilot in a Black Ops battleship, but this time wondering how to use the Black Ops jump drive and jump portal generator, without any clue as to the existence of Cynosural Field Generators, or their restrictions (unable to be used in hisec space).

The worst part? I cannot blame these pilots for their decisions, or even laugh at them. Skill injectors are tantalizing and give a deceptively simple view of how New Eden works. Unfortunately, being able to use a ship is a far cry from remotely knowing how to use it. I have no doubt that if either of these pilots opted not to use skill injectors, and instead slowly train towards using Black Ops (which would take over a year) while flying other ships, they would have had the background knowledge and experience to make appropriate choices and decisions. Unfortunately, they did not.

3. Skill injectors are addicting

Not much to say on this that isn't self-explanatory. Using a skill injector to skip over long wait times makes future wait times seem all the longer by knowing how easy it is to skip them. Combined with the previous two points, this creates a self-perpetuating state in which inexperienced pilots spend exorbitant amounts of ISK to jump into the figurative "deep end", where they proceed to figuratively drown, either due to their own inexperience, or due to the experience of those who took their time getting there (like myself).

Personally, as a pirate and overall mean dude, I'm fine with this. I quickly check a pilot's age before engaging them in combat, and if they seem too "young" for their ship, I know that I can confidently attack them, as they are unlikely to have either a complete suite of skills trained to properly fly their ship, or a complete set of actual technical skill to fly it right. But, if you are a new pilot: do not fall into this trap.

There are plenty of things to do without tens of millions of skill points. Join a group that can mentor you and help you immerse yourself in your chosen career. Skill injectors are not a way to "quickly make it on your own".

OK, so I will never use skill injectors, got it

That's not what I said. Skill injectors are valuable and provide you with a powerful way to train skills quickly. There are ways to use them responsibly:
  • Emergency training, for some purpose or another (like stealing a Black Ops someone ejected from because they didn't know they shouldn't)
  • Topping off missing skills for ships you already know how to fly (like cross-training a Sin in addition to the Widow you already know how to use well)
  • Bankrupting your corporation/alliance by draining their funds and using them in an irreversible way
  • Training a huge skill plan in one go (even the stealth bomber one I complained about above), with the advice of a trusted veteran pilot who can guide you through using a more complex ship
  • (For veteran capsuleers) extracting skill points from unused skills to sell them for truly obnoxious amounts of ISK
What I'm trying to say is: be smart. Also: if it seems too good / too easy to be true, it probably is.

But, most importantly: Patience is a virtue.

Kids these days, I swear...


  1. How to get evemon working with ESI?

    1. Read there: https://forums.eveonline.com/t/evemon-4-0-1-beta-under-new-ownership-conversion-for-esi/75953

  2. Use the ESI eve mon version google it