Friday, January 11, 2013

Differences Between Level 4 Skills and Level 5

One thing players, especially new players often hear is that they shouldn't worry about skills because a skill at level 4  is usually only 5% less effective then level 5. In fact, often the difference is much less. It sounds good, but it is not really true. What people often forget is that skills multiply. A 5% rate of fire decrease, and a 5% damage bonus, gives a 10% bonus. Having multiple skills at level 5 vs another player with level 4 skills, adds up quickly to be overwhelming. Lets look at a Rifter as an example.

Below is the quintessential rifter fit with all level 5 skills.

Here is the same fit with all level 4* skills:

* Note: Having all skills at level 4 is actually impossible since some skills (like small projectile specialization) require other skills to be at level 5.

As you can see there is a huge difference. A 19% drop is DPS is nothing to ignore. But that is not all. Since skills such as fall-off, range and tracking are also impacted if you look at the DPS graph with one ship going at full speed, the difference is even more extreme.

Here you can see at even the best range for the level 4 skilled ship, the DPS is dropped by fully 22%. Hardly the 5% difference that is often claimed. The level 5 player will not even be in structure when the level 4 player is popped.

While it is very true that skills are not a simple 'I Win' button; tactics, positioning, picking fights, understanding mechanics and all that do matter more; they do matter a lot. Don't discount them.


  1. The multiplier is actually much higher, since it isn't just about DPS.

    A level 4 skilled ship will tank less, fly/accelerate/turn slower, have lower cap capacity/recharge, require more cap for guns & other modules, be easier to target and slower to get its own target lock, easier to jam with ECM, etc.

    CPU/PG fitting issues also used to be a hallmark reason for skilling up to 5, but, thanks to Fozzie's tweaking of ships' and modules' CPU/PG stats, this is not as much an issue as it used to be.

  2. This makes all the difference on interceptors, recons, heavy assault ships. I'm actually training interceptors 5 now that I've flown a stiletto and man its worth it.

  3. I agree entirely with the thread.

    I really do not understand all this "dont train beyond 4". Though, I beleive this mainly comes from newer players (and others) trying to get into bigger and bigger ship to early.

    I joined Agony Unleashed when I was relatively new to the game and learnt very quickly the power of a highly skilled and SP pilot in a small ship.

    Since then (around 20m SP) I have always strived to have at least 50% level 5 skills.

    Oddly enough, now that I am mid 90m SP I have dropped below this 50% when, if you listen to most people, this is when I should pushing for more.