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What triggers crew experience increases?

In faster than light I sometimes find myself in a star system filled with asteroids which are hitting and damaging my shields.

Does my shield operator gain experience from these constant asteroid hits?

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marked as duplicate by kotekzot, Frank, l I, pixel, Wolf Sep 21 '12 at 14:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Shield operators gain experience for every shield bubble filled during combat and combat only. I does not matter if the bubble needed to be filled because of enemy fire, asteroids, or even because the shields were manually powered down and up again.

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The manual power down/power up exploit has been patched out, recently. – Shadur Jul 15 '13 at 8:18

Anytime you are in combat and your shield refreshes, your shield operator gains experience. This includes asteroids, weapons, and even you powering the shield off and on. As long as you are in combat he will continue to gain experience each time he brings a shield level back on-line. (even if you are the reason why it happened)

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The on-off trick no longer works; it's been patched out. – Shadur Jul 15 '13 at 8:18

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