IF YOU COULD FLY IT BEFORE, YOU CAN FLY IT NOW
The details of the impending Great Tiericide have been announced. Many had already been madly training the Destroyers and Battlecruisers skills to level V in expectation of this change, but if you haven’t begun training, you probably should. Those two skills (at max level) will prevent you from having to potentially train an extra 6.2 million skill points to fly the related ships after the change - a savings of quite a lot of time in the future.
On to the things you may not have expected!
First off, because destroyers are going to be a prerequisite for cruisers, you will have to have racial destroyer 3 trained to fly a racial cruiser. The same goes for battleships. To fly a battleship, you will need destroyer 3 as well as battlecruiser 3 (in addition to current prerequisites). Taking the “if you could fly it before, you can fly it now” at its word, training battleship skills for each race should allow you to fly them after the expansion, though you will not get the new prerequisite skills.
Carriers currently only require you to have Jump Drive Operation lvl 1 to fly them (as well as battleship 5). After the change, they will only require battleship 3, but will require Jump Fuel Conservation 4, which requires JDO 5. According to this comment by Ytterbium, you will be able to fly the carrier even though you may not have those skills finished. This is CCP, however, so I strongly suggest training them (even though I’m sure you already have quite a bit of pressure to train those already). Do not expect to get those skills for free; to reiterate, the only skills you will get for free are racial destroyer and battlecruiser.
Dreadnoughts are having their battleship 5 requirement slashed to battleship 3 as well. Instead of the jump fuel requirement, like carriers, you will be required to have the skills to fit a siege module: tactical weapons reconfiguration (something you probably will have anyway). Why the carriers will not require the triage skill to match is likely because no sane person uses a dread without siege, while carriers are used to great effect without triage. Anyway, don’t expect to get Advanced Weapons Upgrades 5 (the requirement for the siege skill) for free out of this one.
Titans shouldn’t be a big deal. Not every titan pilot uses jump bridges though. Potentially, there are titan pilots out there who do not have that skill trained. It will be a requirement to train it in order for you to train the titan skill after the expansion. Again, you SHOULD be able to sit in the titan after the expansion, but it might be safest to train Astrometrics 5 so you can train Jump Portal 1 just to be safe (if you haven’t already).
Tech 2 ships are undergoing drastic changes
Electronic Assault Ships will no longer need electronics upgrades. They will require long range targeting, a skill most of those pilots really, really, should have trained anyway, since the ships live and die on their ability to mess with other ships at range. If you don’t have it trained, stop being bad and train it. It won’t be “required” if you can already fly the ship, but you should do it anyway so you don’t look foolish.
Interdictors. I’m sure there is some wonky fringe case where a dictor is useful without the need for dictor bubbles, but seriously, you should have that trained. You should train Engineering, Science, and Propulsion Jamming to 5 and Graviton Physics to 1. Outside the annual Alliance Tournament (or some similar event), I really have a hard time believing there is a reasonable function for a dictor without its bubble, especially after Fozzie put his loving on all over the tech 1 ships. Heavy Interdictors are also getting the same “you should be trained to fit a bubble” skill requirements, which again makes sense.
Heavy Assault Ships are no longer Engineering/Mechanics 5 and the racial cruiser of your choice. Energy Grid Upgrades, that skill you trained up to give you the small CPU increase that allows you to fit that really tight RCU fit? Yeah. You will need to train that. Recon ships are getting the same treatment. I guess if the skill isn’t high on the usefulness scale then make it useful by adding it as a requirement on a dozen ships is the approach here. Again, if you can already fly the ship, you shouldn’t need to train EGU to 5, but you should train it up anyway with much grumbling and angry stares at Ytterbium when you see him next.
Command Ships are going to be fun. No longer will you be required to have Logistics trained (I still think that was picked by pointing at a list of skills while blindfolded) to fly fleet command ships. Likewise, the field command ships will no longer be on the same skill tree as assault ships. Both will now require a crap ton of leadership skills. They already require Warfare Link Specialist, which makes sense for the fleet command ships anyway. Field command ships, when they actually are used, are used as slightly bigger, more expensive versions of HACs though. Now both will require you to train armor, info, siege, and skirmish (why they don’t name siege “shields” and skirmish “navigation” is a rant for a different time). Hopefully, this is a signal that command ships are going to receive some loving on the leadership side of things. You know, so they aren’t a dying breed of ship.
Industrials and Haulers
Now for the industrial and hauling ships, where there are a bunch of huge skill changes incoming. Granted, CCP could put flashing lights in the middle of the login screen that say “these changes are happening and it is important to you high sec industrialist types” like they tried to do with the mining barge changes, but half the people who use the ships will still not notice the change. It will lead to hilarious complaints in the forums after the fact, like the mining ship changes spawned.
The most interesting change is to racial industrial ships. Tiericide turns a ton of those ships into useless hangar garbage. Most notably is the Gallente line. It was already apparent that the Gallente industrial line had too many ships. Iteron 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Really? The only rationale for the different ships had been the training time. So, the Iteron 4 is fairly common, as the couple weeks to get into a Iteron 5 is a bit prohibitive. The Iteron 2 sees some action as it only takes an hour or so, compare to the days for the 4 and the weeks for the 5. It is still not a terribly widely used ship. The 1 and 3 are basically nonexistent though, with the exception of “they were the only hauler on the market and I was in a rush” situations. Tiericide means everyone and their sister can sit in an Iteron 5 with under an hour of training. There isn’t a noticeable price difference to create a niche for the different ships, so with training flattened, why buy a Bestower, let alone an Iteron 4 when you can get an Iteron 5. Fozzie has his work cut out for him making all those ships useful without horribly breaking the game. Good luck to him!
Freighters are going to require Advanced Spaceship Command 5 to train the skill instead of the racial industrial. Fortunately, if you can fly it already, you’ll theoretically fly it after the expansion. It is going to make switching from a Providence to the bigger hold of the Charon painful, but other than that (assuming there aren’t bugs from the expansion) it really isn’t a big deal. Besides, ASC gives you a slight agility boost to those horribly sluggish to align freighters, so it is a worthwhile skill to train anyway.
Mining Barges will require Mining Frigate 3. Not a huge deal unless you are running a high sec mining bot and get ganked a few times in a row and your bot fails to upgrade the clone, and you manage to lose the mining barge skill and are confused why you have to train… oh forget it. It is absolutely not a big deal at all. Plus, it only takes 3 hours to train the skill, so if you are paying attention, you should train it to be safe from the threat of a CCP-Expansion-Day-Oops.
Orcas won’t require you to train mining barge to 5. So, I guess I didn’t need to train that skill for the Orca that I don’t use anymore because of the ship flipping change followed by the scanner change. I guess they are good at hauling rocks still. They just need ORE Industrial 3 now. It basically cuts the skill training to a third of the time, which should lead to more new-ish players picking up all the Orcas that the bitter vets, who had been using the ships for purposes outside what CCP had wanted them to be used for, have been dumping onto the market over the last few months. That should stabilize demand a bit.
The Rorqual will now require you to be able to fly an Orca and fit the Industrial Core instead of a mining barge. It makes sense. Again, if you can fly your Battle Rorq and had no interest in compressing ore to begin with, you don’t have to train it.
Considering the enormous scope of these changes, vets are betting something goes wonky somewhere. If the tiericide goes through without a hitch, I’ll hook each member of the team working on it up with a beer at the following Fanfest. They will deserve it and more for this superhuman undertaking. To the players reading this, do the safe thing and train the new prerequisites and set a multi-day skill when the expansion comes.