Congratulations on your promotion to Prince! The Emperor will likely be in touch soon to offer you a place in his royal guard – or so they say.

You may have completed much of the Advanced Skills available to you, saved up lots of cash and been looking forward to being promoted since you first piloted a Rustclaw.

Before you rush out and buy that shiny yellow Mooncrusher… there is one more thing you should consider.

Take a look at your cloak skill

Are you satisfied with your current level of cloak skill and your ability to cloak? The Mooncrusher is almost as large as a small asteroid – and it’s hard to disguise an asteroid. Being bright yellow doesn’t help either!

Unfortunately for many young Princes and Princesses, by the time they discover that they can’t cloak their new ship, it is already too late. They have paid upwards of 38 million on their new ship and are not interested in trading out of it.

Why do I need cloaking skill?

If you want to ambush and engage in PvP then you need to be able to cloak.

A high cloak skill means you can cloak at your ambush site quickly and hopefully remain unseen doing so. A low cloak skill will mean you spend more time visible at your ambush site – providing your enemies a chance to notice your exact location. At 100 APs per cloaking attempt, it is also an expensive activity!

If you don’t bother training your cloak skill until after you have your Mooncrusher, you will likely remain disadvantaged for quite some time. The huge ship size means that you will fail almost all of your early attempts at cloaking.

Why not just cloak train in the Mooncrusher?

The Pardus Manual tells us:

… Your skill in cloaking … will increase with every successful cloaking attempt (and also a very small amount with every unsuccessful attempt) …

So even though your cloak skill improves with a failed cloak attempt, it is only by a “very small amount”. Because of the low success rate caused by the large ship size, you will end up spending huge amounts of APs cloaking (or attempting to at least) for just a few points of cloak skill.

If you were to cloak train in an SSC with a cloak skill of around 15, your cloak skill will reach 16 in less than 2 days. Using a Mooncrusher will take almost 18 days.

Cloaking the Shadow Stealth Craft – smallest of Imperial ships, even with a very low cloak skill, provides an excellent chance of success (giving the best cloak skill gains) for the amount of APs used.

It is not expensive to do it since you don’t need guns, armor, shields, etc so pay no maintenance costs. Just sit on a friendly starbase on an Energy tile and cloak… uncloak… cloak…

How much cloak skill should I train to?

Aim to have a cloak skill of 30 at least before you step into the Mooncrusher. If you take a week out between each of your ship upgrades to sit in an SSC and cloak train, you probably won’t need to do anything special.

How long will it take?

To improve your cloak skill from 10 through to 35 will take about 563,000 APs in an SSC – about 97 days of cloaking from start to end. That time can be significantly reduced by taking drugs to provide you up to twice as many APs per day.

Make sure you understand how to get optimal AP gains from drug use… you don’t need Trip Control and Meditation, but it will be a little more convenient if you do.