Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Training for Covert Operations - The Art of Espionnage

I've been playing EVE for almost 5 years now, and in this time, I've done lots with my main (and my only character really). From mining by myself (which I still do) or as part of a corporate operation, to trading across multiple regions, to running missions (3 at a time thank you very much!), even to a fewmedium and large PvP encounters.

Yet, as I mentioned recently in the 7th EVE Blog Banter, there are plenty of things I'd like to try. Amongst them, the art of espionage and covert operations.

In order to reach such a noble goal, I've relied on the expertise of my corporation; finding out what skills I need to train, and to which level. The list below is provided through Phoenix Labs Member Only site. It's a list of the skills needed, according to our in-house experts, in order to perform at the necessary levels.

The ones in bold red are the ones that require further training in order to meet the desired skills of expertise. As you can see, I'll need to request Cloaking and Covert Ops, in order to train them to level 4 each. These will be the ones in my training queue over the next few weeks.

Skills Required for Gallente Covert Op - Frigates
(Skill Required-Level Required-My Current Level)

Electronics ::
  • Cloaking-4-0
  • Electronic Warfare-4-2
  • Electronics-5-5
  • Electronics Upgrades-5-4
  • Long Reange Targeting-4-5
  • Propulsion Jamming-3-2 (currently in training)
  • Sensor Linking-3-4
  • Signature Analysis-3-4
  • Targeting-3-5
  • Weapon Disruption-3-2

Engineering ::
  • Energy Grid Upgrades-3-4
  • Energy Management-3-4
  • Engineering-3-5

Gunnery ::
  • Gunnery -3-5
  • Small Hybrid Turret-4-5

Navigation ::
  • Acceleration Control-4-5
  • Evasive Maneuvering-4-5
  • Fuel Conservation-4-4
  • High Speed Maneuvering-4-4
  • Navigation-4-5
  • Warp Drive Operation-3-4

Spaceship Command ::
  • Covert Ops-4-0
  • Gallente Frigate-5-4
  • Spaceship Command-3-5

I'd be curious to get your opinion on these requirements. Remember that these are not the minumum levels required to actually fly a covert ops frigate. They're meant to be the minimum corporate requirements as Phoenix Labs experts see it.

Do you think that they're adequate? If not, then why? What skills have YOU trained in order to perform as a covert ops pilot? I'd really appreciate to know more.


michael, St E said...

Maybe some astrometics/scanning skills? Might as well use that ship bonus. :)

Chainer Cygnus said...

While not yet into Cov Ops, this is my desired area, as I enjoy small ships and I feel I can benefit my corp by being a forward scout, gathering intel on our enemies, especially as we are planning on taking over some 0.0 systems.

From what I have seen around the intertubez, this seems to mesh pretty well with what it takes to be an efficient and worthwhile Cov Ops pilot.

Kirith Kodachi said...

Definitely add some scanning skills in there to make use of the Scan Probes. The Helios and its ilk are the best there is at it.

Also note this skill opens up Stealth Bombers... :)

Manasi said...

Well I am curious ( and not at home so I could not call up my char accounts to see)

These struck me as a little odd..
EW to 4?
Propulsion jam to 3?
Weapon disruption to 3?
Sensor linking?

If your going to fly a covert ops frigate (which is what I am assuming your going for) why even fight? You are the eyes and ears not the hands of the fleet. As such speed, alignment and basic ship skills are certainly important. It seems as if they are not focusing on soley a eyes/ ears role but that's what the cov op frigs do...I agree with the others Scanning skills might help instead.


EVE Agent said...

I think the jam/disruption skills fit. Once you're done being the eyes and ears you can turn into the icy hand that locks a ship down.

Seems like a good training set.

Agent EVE, AFK Gamer

Erbo Evans said...

Since I've been flying Amaranth (my own Helios) so much recently, I'm qualified to comment. :-)

Amaranth is fitted for exploration work, and to use a Helios for such, you definitely would want the Astrometrics group trained up, ideally all to 4 or better. Also you might want Hacking (requires Science L5) and Archaeology (requires Science L5 and Survey L5), to fit codebreakers and analyzers, as you may be probing down sites where those will be needed.

Some of those skills you list are good to get to Level 5 anyway, as they're worthwhile for any ship. Among those are Signature Analysis and Energy Management (to name two you're not at 5 on yet).

I'm now training Minmatar Frigate up to L5 so I can try out one of their Covert Ops ships...and yes, training Covert Ops does open up stealth bombers, too. (Lexx has a Nemesis, the Gallente stealth bomber; she named it Parthenogenesis. Bonus points if you can figure out why.)

atsumayishami said...

Hey CK,

Glad to see your working towards some of the goals you discussed in your banter ^^.

The first thing I'd do when your looking at the Covert Ops Frigate is think about the kinda role you want the ship to fulfil. If you want to use it as a scout, the skills needed after you actually can fly the ship aren't huge, you only really need to be able to use the Covert Ops Cloak (which allows you to warp while cloaked and requires Cloaking lvl 4).

The Propulsion Jamming might come in useful if you've say probed down an enemy and the fleet asks you to tackle while they warp to you or something, but with being able to us the T2 Scramblers/Disruptors with lvl 2 Jamming, I don't think lvl 3 is really needed...

The next use is as an exploration ship, given that it gets a big bonus to it's probe's scan strength. Ideally for this you're gonna want all the Astrometrics skills up to lvl 3 or 4 to make it efficient. Other skills needed for exploration are general combat skills, hacking and archaeology but in my opinion the sites should actually be done in a different ship. Probing skills also come in handy if you ever have to probe down an enemy ship for your fleet.

As for the other skills on the list, I don't think some of the electronics ones are really needed (ewar, weapon disruption, sensor linking and maybe propulsion jamming). The navigation ones aren't essential but will help the ship with it's role and should probably be trained sooner or later anyway.

I hope this helps, I've been trying to do some research on the ships myself recently and should be able to fly them by the end of next week ^^ (Electronic Upgrades V finishes on Wednesday). This comment really turned into more of an essay to be honest :P

Best of luck and Fly Safe,


andy said...

cov ops is also something i'm interested in, and the nemesis was the ship that made me wanna play eve in the first place.

cant say i have enough experience in either cov ops or SBs to be able to help you tho! ;)

i do have pretty much all the skills you have listed in preparation, just not had the opportunity to use em, altho i am planning a trip into 0.0 to collect some faction loot i got, so a cov ops is a must i think.

Kas said...

If you use your CovOps to engage hostiles you are doing it wrong and you will end up loosing your ship pretty quickly. Go for the probing instead. If your fleet cannot be there in time for a tackle they most probably cannot be there in time to safe your ship either.

See everything (including safe-spoted ships) but don't be seen is the motto of a CovOps pilot.

Letrange said...

Scanning skills - you can drop the gunnery and other combat style skills. Those are for Recons. If they see you you're doing it wrong. Although the scanning skills can be used for exploration - as a "combat" cov-ops pilot your job is to find the enemy and busting safe spots.

The ultimate goal of a cov-ops pilot is to provide a warp in solution to his fleet where the tacklers arrive withing 1km of the target and everyone else at their optimal.

CrazyKinux said...

Thanks guys for all the feedback and suggestions. I'll be posting an update with my skill training queue, based on your precious advice.

Hirebrand said...

You will want the skill to anchor Small Warp Disruption Bubbles, of course. >:) (Anchoring I if I recall.)