As I mentioned earlier, I really didn't have much of a plan. I usually never do in MMOs. I am severly attracted to shineys so I tend to flit around a bit, and slowly, inefficiently, I usually end up reaching the goal post. Huzzah! The end. As Eve doesn't seem to have an end game even remotely similar to static high end instances/raids/etc like other games, even if it has a fairly static end game, I think I am years away from it. In the short term though, the "now", I need a plan for what kind of game content I want to explore, and what I need to do to explore it. Enter stage left, "The Plan". (This is where I'd cue a clever little link to some dramatic music that I need to remember to find.)
At the moment, my skills are high enough to haltingly run some very easy level 4s while I assist with an alt or two in combat and salvage. I don't mind missions, and there are so many, it's very easy to hop around and find any flavour and type I'd like. Currently though, my play schedule can change rather rapidly and I hate bailing in the middle of a mission or having to leave salvage behind, so I mostly mine as it is the fastest money maker right now. There's something peaceful and serene about mining, and I can multitask and do reading and research while doing it. Mining is definitely a mind numbing prospect as a solo activity, but at the moment I have access to more than one account, so if I have a bunch of clients going, not only is it not boringly dull, but it is rather busy. Another post or two is in the works about alts and multiple clients, but with simple mining in hi-sec, I can make about 100 million in two or 3 hours with my little mining fleet, and as their mining and orca skills slowly max out, that number slowly increases as well. Add a grav site I'm lucky to scan down, and the number goes up by at least half again. I needs me lots of iskies for my plan, and mining and running high sec sites provides me with a level of money that I am happy with.
The plan consists of 5 parts, and using mainly spoons, I'll lay it out.
1) Get all the toons up to +5 implants to accelerate their learning to max (with optimal skill remaps) and load the chosen extra implants for each toon. That amounts to about 1 to 1.3 billion isk per toon. As it takes each toon 2 weeks to get Cybernetics 5, I have lots of time to generate the money. All the toons (4 currently) aren't training cyber 5 at the same time, as there are other smaller, more "urgent" skills like PI skills to 4, and getting the relevent mining and refining skills up to 4s and 5s for the higher level high sec ores. But overall, get the toons up to cybernetics 5, and get their implants in.
2) Based on my less than focused training on my main, some of the core skills are lacking a little, and the newer toons were very focused toward minimal cobat, and predominantly indy and salavge duties like mining and transport. So, after the toons hit cyber 5, I take 2 to 3 weeks to get a bunch of the core skills up to 4s and 5s. Spaceship command to 5 on all, and then train up the most important basic navigation, mechanic, engineering and electronics to 4s. Then the basic drone skills for hobgoblin 2s, and the social skills. As the toons all train up, I'll be continuing to scan and mine, and start training up more specific long range plans for each toon, like maxxing out the Orca pilot, getting exhumer to 5 on all, getting freighter and blockade runner up on the transport toon, etc. This extra time will also allow me to generate plenty of cash for plexes and any extra ships I might need. The only thing I don't have is a freighter - I have lots of hulks, salvagers, transports and combat ships up to BS to use for the missions.
3) After the skills are all up, load up the crew in ships and transports and move them all off to start running the COSMOS missions. I want to run the mission chains at least once on my main, and then depending on how much of a pain they are, I'll either continue running them again or simultaneously on the other toons or just buy the mission kits and do them in FFWD mode. I might need to run some smaller missions on the new toons to get basic rep to even talk to the agents, but we'll see how that goes. The social skills training will help there.
4) After the COSMOS phase is done, I'll locate (already have a few in mind) some low-end-of-high sec systems with decent belts, low population and no stations, and set up a high sec POS to get the hang of research, invention and some basic manufacturing. I know I could do the research, invention and manufaturing now, but I don't want to deviate any training time away from the direction I'm headed right now, and I am in no rush with the training ques filled the way they are. PI will take care of the POS fuel, and we'll get used to running a POS and how to fit it out properly. I found a great forum thread on it anyway. The POS will be safe unless someone decides to war dec the alliance, in which case, we offline the research and turn it in to a death star. I don't think we'd have to do that, but the modules can always be un-anchored and moved later to a new POS.
5) After a month or two or more, of managing PI and the POS, the plan is to find or buy a small wormhole. Try a C1 with a high sec static, or maybe a C2 and see how things go in there.
The Point? Eve is awesome in that you can go any direction you want with your toon development, problem is, you really want to go UP with skill development rather than SIDEWAYS. Plans = focus. Focus = good. Once I hit the 3rd phase, I'll start aiming at higher level combat, research and manufacturing skills for the final stages. Some of the manufacturing skills are pretty time intensive and require a lot of sub-skills. There is no real timeline for the 4th and 5th phases as I don't know how long the missions will take. No rush though. This plan was formulated 3 or 4 weeks ago so I'll update what the progress is in a bit.