As of right now I’m dabbling in mining and industry, and I’m now starting to consider support salvaging/hauling. Should I just stick with the first two and not bite off more than I can chew? Or will broadening my roles help me more?
That kind depends on what you mean by “Specialize”.
You can start hauling with only a couple of hours worth of SP invested into various racial Industrial ships (I recommend the Caldari Industrials for the Badger, since it can be tanked very well against those alpha Tornadoes around Jita). Doing so will give you a quick taste of what it’s like.
With enough time you can “specialize” into many roles, since there’s no limit on your training except that all skills cap at level 5 and there’s only so many skills. But, focus on getting better at one thing before moving on to something else, unless you find yourself getting really bored and not liking it. Then, later, you can extract those SP for ISK.
There are two main simulations in Eve - Economy and Combat. Builders and destroyers. Some people do both, some prefer to focus on one or the other.
For the economic simulation, you will train for multiple roles - production, research, resource harvesting, markets - each link in the value chain adds to your income and the only scarce resource is your time.
i agree with Xuixien
you have to take into account several things:
initially (several months) you need to level up the skills for your main activity, to be good at it, rather than spreading your skill points among different “careers”, because you will want to get isks and more efficient/expensive ships for this activity. Being “bad” in several tasks is worse than being good at one and very bad in others
after a while, you will become good at several different activities
you should not get bored and frustrated. Eve is very repetitive. You must have fun.
so if ONE activiy is your favorite one, and you never get bored of doing it (for me it is exploration), then you should focus on being very good at it until you have perfect skills, and when you are good at it, you can earn more isks and buy skill injs which will help you to become good at doing something else. This is the most efficient way.
but if you get bored after one hour of mining (or ratting, or explo, or trading, or…), then try to get a correct level in skills for different activities, which will allow you to switch from one to another
Don’t burn yourself
The true benefit of having more than one character each with their own specialisations is location.
Your builder is going to be in a specific location, your hauler will be in random locations. Any PVE activity will probably be yet somewhere else and PVP is possibly in an entirely different type of space.
The question isn’t so much about how many specialisations you choose, because there’s really no problem in that and is actually encouraged. The real question is if you should do all on one character.
Rhys is perfectly right