Saturday 20 September 2014

Basic Skills Training for Blockade Runners

As you may have noticed if you follow this blog much, I really like Blockade Runners. Blockade Runners are awesome, they're small, fast, agile, can warp while cloaked and cannot be cargo scanned, all of which makes them fantastic for hauling valuable not too bulky cargo around quickly and in relative safety.

Technically speaking you can get into a BR with just under 1 month of training. But that's just to sit in it, to fit and fly it half decently you need closer to 2 months worth of skills.

The following is the basic BR training plan I follow on all my alts.

The training time near the bottom of this post is for a new character with the default attribute map, no implants and no skills pre-trained except social I and contracting I. Of course you can lower training time with implants and attribute remaps.

Minmatar Industrial I - V
Industry I - V
Transport Ships I

The above are the 3 skills you must have just to sit in a blockade runner. They take 29 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes to train. I fly Prowlers so I train Minmatar Industrial, naturally if you want to fly a different flavor of BR you'd have to train the applicable racial industrial ship skill for that ship.

Transport Ships II - III
CPU Management IV
Cloaking I - IV
Power Grid Management IV

These 4 skills are pretty much essential too. You need Cloaking IV to fit a Covert Ops Cloaking Device and if you're flying a BR without a covert cloak you need to have your head checked. CPU Management IV is a prereq for Cloaking, you'll need Transport Ships III for the 20% per level reduction to cloaking devices CPU requirement and you'll have problems fitting your BR properly unless you have Power Grid Management IV too.

The rest are what I consider bare minimum skills to fit and fly a BR half decently. While you can get by with even lower skills and you could even skip some of them altogether, I wouldn't recommend either. It only takes another 10 days to train them all anyhow.

Hull Upgrades I - II
Capacitor Management I - III
Capacitor Systems Operation I - III
Electronics Upgrades I - III
Energy Grid Upgrades I - III
Acceleration Control I - III
Evasive Maneuvering I - III
Afterburner I - III
High Speed Maneuvering I - III
Warp Drive Operation I - III
Mechanics III
Jury Rigging I - III
Astronautics Rigging I - III
Shield Management I - III
Shield Operation I - III
Shield Upgrades I - III
Tactical Shield Manipulation I - IV

23 unique skills, 68 skill levels; Total time: 49 days, 2 hours, 2 minutes, 28 seconds; Cost: 35,305,500
N.B. Skill costs are based on CCP's database and are indicative only

This is just a basic training plan. After it's finished if you're going to use your BR very much I highly recommend training every skill in the plan to at least IV and several to V. Evasive Maneuvering, Navigation (which isn't in the basic plan since you start with Navigation III anyhow) and Warp Drive Operation should be the first skills trained to V. In fact after completing the basic plan I usually train Evasive Maneuvering IV and V before anything else because it's so important for fast align times.

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