It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
I can honestly say I've never had so much fun in an mmorpg as I did when I started playing EVE back in 2003. It was a truly unique experience, one that the developers of EVE should be commended for. over time though, one of EVEs biggest selling points has shown it self to be a fundamental flaw. Im referring of course, to the EVE skill training system. The skill training system in EVE was designed to remove the level grind and to allow casual players to remain on par with hardcore players, and in that respect it initially did an impressive job. The skill system however, can be quite unforgiving. If you decide to change the focus of your character from say, gallente ships to caldari, you have what are essentially wasted skill points. If you decide to go from production to combat, you have wasted skill points. Now thats not to say in either example that you couldnt continue to make use of those skills, but if you decide you'd rather focus on a different aspect of EVE, you have skill points, and thus time invested, giving you little/no benefit. On an even more basic level though, if you trained any skills before your learning skills, you have what is essentially wasted time.
That however, is not the problem. Those issues only serve to make the disparity more obvious. Lets look at two players, one I'll call player A, a veteran player with 40 million skill points, and another I'll refer to as player B, a rookie pilot with 1 million skill points. Putting aside isk, since isk is not directly based on the age of your account, lets look at a combat between these two individuals. Flying identical ships with identical setups, we should expect to see player A win 100% of the time. That makes sense, player A will do more damage, be likely to take less damage, and overall be able to sustain more damage. In this circumstance it seems perfectly reasonable, but when we examine what this means a little closer, the problems become much more apparent. Aside from seeing player skill play little/no role in the combat, a concern I wont delve in to here, we see that it is likely if player B will lose consistently given a level playing field, he will always lose. This is where the disparity exists. No matter how much time or effort player B invests, in a PVP battle he will likely never be able to compete with player A. Over time the gap will remain, and in fact it will continue to widen until player B has trained his learning skills and acquired implants on par with those owned by player A. At that point the gap will stop growing, but should remain indefinitely.
The only way to close the gap is to find player C, a player that has a skill point total similar to player A, and for whatever reason no longer wants that character. The gap between player A and B is eliminated only by purchasing a better character with isk, a truly poor solution to the problem. Not only does it encourage Real Money Transactions (RMTs), the need for such exchanges clearly indicates that the character player B created could never possibly be as good as the one created by player A.
This disparity exists across all career paths in EVE, but is most clearly visible in PVP where players are in direct competition. It is a problem that will only worsen over time, and one with no obvious solutions. Giving new characters faster skill training times would help to end the disparity, but would essentially just create an underclass in the EVE society, consisting of those people who have around 10-20 million skill points, and would eventually find themselves disadvantaged. In fact, if EVE continues to run for another 4+ years it would simply put all those currently involved on opposite sides of the disparity. The ability to retrain skills would offer a solution for those who made suboptimal choices, or who would like to experience something new. Missions that award levels in key low end skills would also help to lessen the disparity. The simplest solution would be to open up a second server. This would not solve the problem, but would create an opportunity for players to start fresh on a new playing field. I would expect a strong negative reaction to this suggestion, since an exodus of players from tranquility would decrease the power of those already well established characters and corporations, power being both situational and relative.