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blankseplocked Pottsey Theroy vs. Payoff Theory for Learning Skills; Who was right?
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Yendor Widdershins
University of Caille
Posted - 2010.12.22 09:40:00 - [31]

The reason why there is so much argument is because the two sides are measuring different things. They aren't competing theories in the sense that one is right and one is wrong.

The payoff theory asked "How long do will it take before someone with maxed learning skills has more non-learning skill points than someone with level 4 learning skills". This question can and has been answered with formulas -- if I remember correctly it was around 5 years.

Pottsey's argument is that maximum learning skills have a separate, less measurable, effect: They allow you to be the first person to max the new skills as they come out. Being, for example, the first person able to fly a T3 ship has value over just the sheer count of skill points. Her argument is/was that someone with maxed learning skills has an advantage every time a new batch of skills is released, even if they are "behind" someone with fewer learning skills.

And of course, in 20/20 hind sight, the people who did max learning got the faster training time AND the skill points.

Posted - 2010.12.22 10:57:00 - [32]

player is hardcore, or the hardcoreness of both players are equal

player knows what he is doing, or the knowledge of both players are equal.
(assuming player A does not know what he is doing by probability x%, then player B under the same assumption should also wont know what he is doing by probability x%. This means by comparison, it is better to assume ceteris paribus.

player just started playing and doesnt want to buy isk with PLEX.
(if the player is buying isk with PLEX, both players will reach their target simultaneously by buying a toon on day 1)

Learning skill first is bad. The example is simple.

character A: train V/V/iv learning, fly raven, earn isk (50 days of learning)
character B: traning III/IV/III learning, fly raven, earn isk ( 5 days of learning)

apparently character B flies raven 1 month faster then character A
on day 30, character B has raven (end of 1.6m sp bonus)
on day 30, character A is still learning learning.
assuming hardcore enuf for 40m isk/hour 800m isk a day, he earns 4b in 5 days.

on the 35th day, character B can buy a toon with perfect learning, any T2 ship or V battleship he wants, even a cap pilot, or a mission grindier

on the 35th day, character A cant even do anythng yet.


this argument is actually flawless.

Even if he wants to go gallente or whatever, character B with only III/IV/III will always get the target first, because he will be the first to earn 4 billion iskies on day 35. This means character B can buy ANY toon character A wants.

While, by learning V/V/iV, he will still be training the skills with <100m iskies. No matter how hard he tries, he cant do lv 2 missions without the skills for it. even if he plays 24/07, he cant leverage on better agents on a better ship.

Learning skill is bad, unless it is an alt.

Enheduanni Foundation
Posted - 2010.12.22 13:07:00 - [33]

Nanferr said " this argument is actually flawless.
Even if he wants to go gallente or whatever, character B with only III/IV/III will always get the target first, because he will be the first to earn 4 billion iskies on day 35. This means character B can buy ANY toon character A wants."

It's far from flawless. No he won't always get to the target first, sometimes yes but not always.
If character B can make 4 billion a day after 35days then after 70days character A can make 4billion a day and train new choices faster so your whole isk point it mute. Sure there is a short timeframe where character B is better off. What about after 6 months or 1 year? Character A can adapt to all new changes and new choices much faster than Character B ever could. As for buying another toon not only is that not always practical but for case's like T3 and other new stuff it doesn't matter. Character A with learning it still going to get to the target goal first.

Take my real life orca example. I had learning skills and the core skills and isk was not a problem. The only problem was the training time for the new skill plan. Almost no matter what Character B with only III/IV/III will take longer to train and longer to fly the new ship in that situation.

The short version is once Character A has learning skills and the core skills to earn isk he can pretty much always adapt to new changes far faster than the Character B with only III/IV/III.

Kalinda Farstrider
Posted - 2010.12.22 14:58:00 - [34]

Edited by: Kalinda Farstrider on 22/12/2010 15:13:21
(I keep having to edit to correct the tense!)

I don't understand why this is so hard.

Payoff theory assumes that all non-learning skillpoints are equal.

Pottsey theory assumes that inevitably your skill plan will change.

Both theories are correct, given their assumptions. Which is correct for you depends on what your goal is, and how confident you are that you'll stick with it (and in particular, how confident you are that e.g. CCP won't nerf your planned skills, or add new skills that you want more).

If your goal is to have a particular set of skills as quickly as possible, payoff theory was obviously correct and could predict exactly which learning skills you needed to learn and in what order.

If your goal is to take your avatar on a meander through EVE, discovering what you like and what you don't like - and particularly trying out new things quickly when they're released - then obviously training learnings gave you some value beyond "payoff".

I don't think anyone is suggesting that e.g. your basic pvp tackler alt needed to train V/V before doing the 2-3 days of training it needs to do its job. However, even a cursory glance at the character bazaar ought to demonstrate that people change their minds an awful lot.

That said, I think you'd have to be extremely hardcore to have considered Presence V worth training regardless of payoff. Congrats! You got Command Centre Upgrades V a couple of hours before someone with V/VI and the guy with the balanced map still beat you :P

Me? I trained it because I'm o/cd and couldn't stand having 1/11 learnings not at 5!

Spaz Twit
Posted - 2010.12.22 21:50:00 - [35]

It was worth every second of training those to L5, because I now have ~5 million skill points banked on multiple alts that I can use whenever some new hotness comes out.

OMG Hai11
Posted - 2010.12.23 11:42:00 - [36]

Originally by: Clementina
I want to know who was correct for learning skills training theory. Recall the Pottsey Theorists believe that a person should train the both the basic and the advanced old learning skills to level 5, in order to be able to take the most advantage of changes in the game that would necessitate training for some new item. Meanwhile the Payoff Theorists believed that it was not necessary to train the old advanced learning skills to level 5 because the payoff from having the advanced learning skill that high did not happen in a reasonable amount of time. One of the debates the skills forum had is Here.

Yes, because the learning skills have been removed, this is an academic argument. However, this is probably the best time to have this argument because nobody is invested in the outcome any longer, but at the same time most of the people reading still have had experience with the old learning skills.

(For full disclosure, My first Level 5 skill was Analytical Mind, and my second Level 5 skill was Logic (Both Intelligence boosting Learning skills) when learning skills existed, I leaned more towards Payoff Theory, but I had garnered several Level 5's in Advanced Learning skills.)

Look what you did.

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