Sunshine and Lollipops
|Posted - 2011.08.17 01:16:00 -
You don't really have to look at it as binary as that.
There's no real need to "max out" any particular ship class until you really know that you will need it and use it often. What people talk about when saying that you should wait with the bigger ships is that people who rush often tend to forget about the kajillions of support skills that you need to make the bigger ships work properly. It's actually these support skills you need to max out the most, rather than the ships themselves, because they are the ones that let you fit your ship properly and improve all the base characteristics that make those fits work. This holds true regardless of the ship class you're looking at.
Additionally, training and flying the smaller ships interspersed with training these support skills gives you something to do while ˘waiting to get done÷, so to speak. It also lets you train your skills as a player in something smaller and cheaper, so you get a feel for what the (character) skills give you as you progress. It also gives you a better understanding of what different ship classes have to offer, which is a rather important lesson to learn in EVE: this is not a game where bigger is better ¨ bigger is just bigger, which comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
As for the more direct question, sure, the T1 frigates and cruisers aren't really up to snuff for L4s, but many of their T2 variants are, and flying those in missions offer a rather different kind of game play than sitting in a big bulky DPS-heavy battleship (or even your standard turtle-tanked BC). It's also worth noting that ˘maxing out÷ cruisers is pretty much the same thing as maxing out BCs, with the obvious exception that you need to keep training the BC skill rather than your racial cruiser (but you still need the cruiser skill at lvl III to get the second-tier BC, which is the one you want). All other support and weapon skills are shared with the cruiser ships, so maxing out one pretty much means you've maxed out the other.
It's also worth noting that, depending on what ship and weapon systems you pick, you're going to have to train those smaller ships and weapons to a somewhat useful level anyway, as they are prerequisites for the bigger stuff. Missiles and drones are the only real exception here (which, not so incidentally, also happen to be two of the more popular mission-running weapons, quite probably for that very reason) but here too, a large part of the actual training time is dedicated to the myriad of support skills that make them work properly and which you, once again, need to train regardless of the class of ship you're in.
˘If you're not willing to fight for what you have in ≡v≡
you don't deserve it, and you will lose it.÷
¨ Karath Piki