Engineering Skills
Engineering Skills

Magic 14 – just how important are they?

The Magic 14 skills are a list of skills in EVE Online which universally improve the piloting, survivability, and fitting capabilities of every ship. They are considered essential skills and most fleet doctrine ships assume they are at Level 5. If they are not, you may struggle to fit your ships or keep up with the rest of the fleet. This article details these Magic 14 skills and explores their importance, with examples from popular doctine ships, whilst suggesting other essential skills for PVP-minded capsuleers.

Fitting Skills

These skills are perhaps the most important in the list, as alliance fits are often quite tight and they are also prerequisits for other related skills.

  • Capacitor Management – 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per skill level
  • Capacitor Systems Operation – 5% reduction in capacitor recharge time per skill level
  • CPU Management – 5% bonus to ship CPU output per skill level
  • Power Grid Management – 5% bonus to ship power grid output per skill level
Maneuverability Skills

These skills reduce your align time, maneuverability, and top speed, as well as reducing capacitor usage. When a fleet doctrine is being designed each ship in the doctrine needs to travel at a similar speed, and if there is a large difference in skills between players, the speed of the fleet will differ dramatically.

  • Evasive Maneuvering – 5% improved ship agility for all ships per skill level
  • Navigation – 5% bonus to sub-warp ship velocity per skill level
  • Spaceship Command – 2% improved ship agility for all ships per skill level
  • Warp Drive Operation – Each skill level reduces the capacitor need of initiating warp by 10%
Survivability Skills

Having more HP means you survive for longer whilst being able to apply more damage to the enemy.

  • Hull Upgrades – 5% bonus to structure hit points per skill level
  • Mechanics – 5% bonus to armor hit points per skill level
  • Shield Management – 5% bonus to shield capacity per skill level
  • Shield Operation – 5% reduction in shield recharge time per skill level
Targeting Skills

What’s the use of having long range weapons when you can’t lock far enough to engage, and why should you allow an enemy to start applying damage before you?

  • Long Range Targeting – 5% bonus to targeting range per skill level
  • Signature Analysis – 5% improved targeting speed per skill level
Let’s compare some common fits to see how the fare with Level 4 vs Level 5 Magic 14 skills.

A Caracal has reasonably low fitting requirements, so let’s look at The Initiative.‘s 50MN Rapid Light Caracal and a Pandemic Horde 50MN Heavy Missile Caracal.

The Initiative.’s Caracal is over by 62.5 (12.11%) on its CPU and 105 (13.89%) for Power Grid. It has 14,070 HP. The Pandemic Horde Caracal is over by 107.75 (20.88%) for CPU and 90 (11.9%) for Power Grid. It has 8,280 HP. Both ship’s capacitor lasts 1 minute 10 seconds without cap injection, align to warp in 5.71 seconds and have a top speed of 1,512 m/s.

Both ships serve different roles, and this is not a comparison of one alliance’s fits to another’s, but if we increase the Magic 14 skills to Level 5 we can see some interesting differences.

The Initiative.’s Caracal is now over by 41 (7.63%) CPU and 73.5 (9.33%) Power Grid and has 594 more raw HP – the Pandemic Horde one has 345 more than before and is 86.25 (16.05%) over on CPU and 58.5 (7.43%) on Power Grid. Both ships now have an extra ten seconds of capacitor, align in 5.24 seconds and have a top speed of 1,575 m/s.

These differences aren’t great.

When we consider server ticks, the align time difference is negligible, but the HP difference might provide defense against one or two more volley’s from an enemy ship. On top of this, we still can’t online all of the modules because we’re over by CPU and Powergrid. It’s not until we look at some different skills when we can start to see larger differences.

This also isn’t a realistic comparison.

There are other skills which dramatically bring fitting costs down and maneuverability up. So much so, in fact, that they make more of a difference than training the Magic 14 to 5.

  • Acceleration Control – 5% bonus to Afterburner and MicroWarpdrive speed boost per skill level
  • High Speed Maneuvering – 5% reduction in MicroWarpdrive capacitor usage per skill level
  • Launcher Rigging – 10% reduction in Lancher Rig drawbacks per level
  • Shield Upgrades – 5% reduction in shield upgrade powergrid needs
  • Weapon Upgrades – 5% reduction per skill level in the CPU needs of weapon turrets, launchers and smartbombs
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades – Reduces the powergrid needs of weapon turrets and launchers by 2% per skill level

Training these skills to Level 4, Our Rapid Light Caracal is now within it’s fitting limits, and the Heavy Missile one is over by 0.7 (0.13%) CPU, which can easily be fixed with a 1% CPU implant, or by training Launcher Rigging or Weapon Upgrades to 5. Both ships have an extra 40 seconds of capacitor and now move at 1,833 m/s. If we max out every skill, we are well within our fitting limits, have two minutes of cap and move at 1,897 m/s.

Although the Magic 14 are universally accepted as essential skills to have at level 5, it is clear that they are not the be-all and end-all of skill training. With other skills at Level 4 the characteristics of your ships can improve dramatically. Other important skills include Fuel Conservation (10% reduction in afterburner capacitor needs per level), and if you’re using active Armor or Shield hardeners, the various Armor / Shield compensation skills provide an extra 5% per skill level to the resistances gained by such modules.

Why train the Magic 14 to 5?

As previously mentioned, when alliances are designing doctrines they’ll typically assume these skills are at Level 5. Not only does this help even the board for ship fitting, maneuverability and survivability, but they also open the door to many more fitting skills. When it comes to specialised fits, Advanced Weapon Upgrades 5 can sometimes be the difference between being able to online every module and requiring an implant to do so, and Acceleration Control the difference between you losing your ship in every fleet because you’re an easy target falling behind the rest of the fleet, and staying with the pack.

The importance of training the Magic 14 is primarily determined by them being prerequesits to other related skills. If you do not need them trained to Level 5, it could be more beneficial to focus on other skills, such as Advanced Weapon Upgrades or High Speed Maneuvering / Fuel Conservation and Acceleration Control.

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