Spiral Development Method


EVE is carefully designed so that new players on fresh characters (low knowledge, low wealth, low skillpoints) can make meaningful contributions working against and alongside veteran players (high knowledge, high wealth, high skillpoints)

Newbie vs Veteran Balance Mechanics include, but are not limited to:

  • Making linear increases in skillpoints require exponential time/capital investment (alternatively, linear increases in time/capital yield logarithmic gains in skillpoints)
    • Capital applies to using implants, skill injectors
  • Making linear increases in item effectiveness require exponential time/capital investment to acquire (alternatively, linear increase in time/capital investment yields logarithmic gains)
    • Time applies to manufacturing time of items
  • Every item in game has a purpose that it excels at in terms of performance and cost
    • Bigger ships are not better or worse than smaller ships, only different with regards to what roles they play and how they contribute.
      • A single frigate can make quick work of a battleship not prepared to handle frigates and/or its build, for example
      • Even Rookie Ships can make meaningful contributions in ways that exceed any other ship, including frigates!
      • Contributions do not necessarily scale with ship size: frigates can contribute more than battleships in many common situations
    • The negligible increases in performance in relation to cost doesn’t always justify being “The Best” when you can still win by being “Good Enough”
    • How things are used contribute far more to greatness in EVE than what is used: a “Good Enough” fit can easily defeat “The Best” fit depending on numerous factors well within your control

EVE rewards players who generalize and penalize those who specialize without first having generalized. As a rule of thumb, it is often desirable to get most skills to L3 (L2 for those with huge time multipliers) before going any higher.

Using the Spiral Method

You can “Spiral” your investment of wealth and time to maximize your gains over time

Spiraling Skill Levels

  • It takes more time to go from level N to N+1 than it does to go from 1 to N
  • You gain far more from raising multiple low level skills in the same time it takes to raise a single high level skill. Let’s take an example:
    • Alice and Bob are two brand new Gallente characters created at the same time. In the time it takes Bob to focus only on raising Gunnery to L5, Alice could train Gunnery L3, Small Hybrid Turret L3, Spaceship Command L3, Navigation L3, Afterburner L3, Gallente L2, Controlled Bursts L2, Motion Prediction L2, Rapid Firing L2, Sharp Shooter L2, Surgical Strike L2, and Trajectory Analysis L2, and still have 583 skillpoints left over. Who do you think would win in a duel? Alice every single time!
  • Mathematically speaking, you maximize your growth by always picking a skill that requires the least number of skillpoints to advance (factoring in the level and the time multiplier)
  • Many times, it is worth focusing on raising a single skill rather than multiple skills in that time period- when it comes to balancing throughput with opportunity cost, be smart about it!

Spiraling Ships (Mission Running)

  • You’ll earn substantially more ISK/LP/Standings per hour if you focus on taking the least amount of time to advance in ship class than if you invest in skills to improve your current ship class
  • Training the bare minimum skills to get to Battleships will allow you to reach and solo L4 as quickly as possible
  • Poor performance can be addressed by “overclassing”, eg. using a cruiser in L1 missions, a Battlecruiser in L2 missions, and a Battleship in L3 missions. By the time you reach L4 missions, you can focus on support and specialization skills to maximize your throughput
  • Mission rewards increase substantially as your standing increases with your mission agent, to a maximum of 10.0
  • Train relevant Social group skills to increase your ISK reward, LP gain, and Standings gain (actual and effective) to make missions substantially more lucrative ISK/LP-wise and make it easier to advance in mission level availability
  • The majority of the wealth acquired in mission running does not come from the ISK/LP reward, but rather in the value of high standings, bounties earned killing enemies (in L4 missions, bounties are over 1 million ISK each, and there are hundreds of them), loot acquired, and salvage acquired.

Spiraling Fittings

  • Low cost, low skillpoint fits can still be extremely effective compared to high cost, high skillpoint fits.
  • One approach to maximizing fits is to start with a “baseline model” that uses only T1M0 parts, and improve the baselines as your wealth and skill levels increase
    • With low skills, you will almost certainly have modules to compensate for insufficient powergrid/CPU/capacitor/etc; these modules can be replaced with useful modules as your skill levels increase
    • This method allows you to scale your performance with cost and skill levels in a manageable fashion
  • Another approach to maximizing your fits is to start with a “dream fit” model that could be fit with all L5 skills, and downgrade/change the modules until you can fit and afford it
  • Consider using a fitting manager such as Osmium to help you develop fits before buying them

Spiraling Characters

  • All three of your characters on your account can be used to ‘make money in your sleep’, even when you’re not playing on them
  • Distribute training across your three characters to maximize your passive, synchronous gains
  • For more information: Multiple Characters on One Account

Spiraling Endeavors

  • It takes a very long time to master a single trade, but a very short amount of time to get “good enough” at all of them
  • Consider making your main a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” so you achieve a relatively great amount of efficiency self-sufficiency
  • As per the previous section, it is highly recommended that you first focus on synchronous endeavors before asynchronous endeavors. Feel free to balance long-term gains with short-term fun, however!
  • As a golden rule of thumb, it is quick, easy, and worthwhile to raise most skills to L3, except for some very high-end skills where L2 is a more realistic low-investment high-return mark

Spiraling Racial Ship Hulls and Doctrinal Skills

  • It takes longer to get all the ship racial skills and accompanying relevant skills (weapon and defensive skills) to L4 (ie. up to Titan) than to do the same for all four races to L3. The same applies with respect to getting a single race’s skill set to L5 than all four races to L4.
  • Each race brings a different set of doctrines, each with their own strengths and weaknesses in different situations, so the diversity can help a fleet far better than a monodoctrine fleet.
  • Because piloting skills, ship configuration, and fleet composition is far more important than skill levels and module/rigs quality, a well coordinated diverse fleet can often outperform a brute force fleet of bad design or limited skill despite the better quality of the parts they use
  • If you end up acquiring the skills needed to fly T2, Faction, or T3 ships, then those skills will automatically apply to all of the other races once you raise their skill levels sufficiently high enough to take advantage of these advanced skills.
  • Spiraling races allows you to benefit from making ‘unconventional’ builds that, while not ordinarily useful, can help fill certain niche needs in battle (especially when the enemy is not expecting it!)

Spiraling the Corp/Alliance

  • There is more collective throughput if the entire corp/alliance spirals before they specialize
  • For example: in the time it takes for a new character to get to Mass Production L5, they could have gotten Mass Production L4, Laboratory Operation L4, Interplanetary Consolidation L4, Planetology L4, Command Center Upgrades L3, and Industry L3. So while taking the first approach allows you to gain an additional manufacturing job, the second approach gives you four science slots and four planets with modest harvesting capability. The net throughput is far greater if you spiral at the expense of a very minor decrease in a specific output you would have had.
  • If everyone has basic competency in every race, then fleets can be formed to take advantage of each race on a per-fleet basis, thereby having more effectiveness than having a limited selection of racial ships available.