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As I said, I noted how the most effective use for kidnapping via the Command Destroyer was to disrupt logistic wings of fleets since losing even a single member could be disastrous for a fleet. While it can be argued that in this particular instance it simply a spin off effect of the desire to introduce a new cool tool to the box of pilots, I think it is telling that there is a lot similar things coming in the near and far future that also have a negative impact on the ability of logistic ships to repair friendly vessels.
Most damning is the remote repair module tiericide changes coming this month (emphasis mine):
Remote armor, shield and hull reps all now have falloff (this falloff reduces effectiveness as you get further from your target, just like the neut falloff)And here is one of the graphs for T1 Logi cruisers remote rep ranges before and after changes:
Armor reps are more focused on optimal, Shield reps are more focused on falloff.
Frigate logistics skews further towards falloff, while cruiser and larger bonuses tend to apply equally to both optimal and falloff.
Rep cycle times are getting slower (~20% slower for armor reps and ~60% slower for shield reps). This will make target switching more powerful against overwhelming logi numbers, and increase danger of overhealing. Overall providing more room for very good logi pilots to shine.
Overall rep/s is remaining fairly constant since rep amount per cycle is increasing.
Capacitor use on shield and armor reps has increased a bit. Logistics ships are getting larger cap pools (but not better cap/s recharge) to compensate. Overall this makes it harder to be fully cap stable but easier to fly with a logi that isn't quite cap stable if you're not repping constantly.
Base ranges on the reps have increased, and ship range bonuses are smaller to compensate. This makes the skill curve less steep and buffs non-range bonused RR ships such as RRBS and T3 Cruiser logi.
No matter how you cut it, their maximum effectiveness range is reduced1 so they need to be closer to the action to maintain best reps, their cap stability is lessened, and their ability to rapidly respond to target switching of the enemy fleet is hampered.
Throw on top of all of that you have the news from the capital changes in the future such as:
- titan doomsday that can displace a portion of your fleet across the system (goodbye logi wing!)
- remote area of effect supercarrier ewar besides the remote ECM burst; imagine what a remote sensor dampener field could do to a logistics wing
- only triage-capable Force Auxilliaries can use remote reps so you can't have massive remote repping blobs any more since triaged ships can't receive remote reps
- can't refit with a weapons timer
Overall there is a definite theme to break down the ability of fleets to act like a brick and resist damage. But why?
Behind The Nerfs
Right now I'm willing to bet if you asked people what the major problems are in PvP that logi would not figure high in the responses. This is because logistics as it stands right now is balanced in that it is readily available, fairly straight forward to use with practice, and has known counters such as electronic warfare, cap warfare, and positioning tactics (i.e. attempting to warp in on the hostile logi ships).
But I believe the issue is that we've become so used to it and how it affects the meta we don't see the fundamental flaw, and perhaps CCP has. Let's walk through an example to illustrate the point.
Say you have two small fleets moving to engage each other, Fleet A with 15 DPS ships and Fleet B with 20 DPS ships (i.e. no logi). Assuming everything else is equal and they fight it out to the end, no retreat. Its obvious Fleet B will win because the aggregate damage will remove the enemy fleet from the field before the incoming damage will destroy their own fleet, but still they take some attrition so that the end result is 15 ships destroyed but they still lost say, 8 or 9 friendlies. The winning side is happy because they won the battle and can loot wrecks or take the objective, and the losing side goes off to reship but has some satisfaction because they damage the enemy fleet and if they get back fast enough will have an advantage in the next fight.
Now let's do the same fight, but this time Fleet A is comprised of 10 DPS ships and 5 Logi while Fleet B has 14 DPS ships and 6 Logi. The first fleet does not have enough DPS for long enough to break the logi wing of fleet B (when you include resists and the like) but the 14 DPS ships were enough to overwhelm the logi wing of Fleet A so if it remains it gets wiped off the field without inflicting any damage on the enemy.
What I'm trying to say is that most battles between fleets involving logi come down to a tipping point where one side can break the enemy logi and win the battle and the other side just plain dies. There is no or little attrition inflicted by the losing side and the winners win big. This is why fleet commanders scream for more logi pilots all the time and as fleets get bigger and more expensive the logi wing becomes a larger portion of the fleet (like seeing ten Cerberus HACs with ten Basilisk logi).
We who have been playing in this environment have internalized this logic and for the most part have come to accept it, its part of our culture. But its easy to see from the outside why this dynamic is offputting if you take a few steps back. Consider describing the second battle to someone not familiar with the game and their reaction would be "Fleet A lost everything and didn't take any ships in Fleet B down?! Sounds stupid..." Attrition in warfare is a basic concept everyone understands but the current logistics-fueled meta currently negates that concept.
I agree I highly simplified the scenario to make a point and there are a lot of factors that come into battles that impact the outcome beyond simple logistic count, but the tipping point of a battle exists and can be experienced often if you PvP in a regular fashion. The downside of this tipping point is that it encourages smart fleet commanders to calculate DPS versus rep amount and decide not to engage altogether because "there is no point, we can't break their logi". If logi were less of a factor, then attrition warfare comes into play more often in pitched battles and the logic can become "we may not win but we came to fight and we'll take some of them with us". This is a more familiar attitude to people outside of EVE's meta and one that can be more easily understood by the larger audience.
The Crystal Ball
The War on Logi is part of a broader campaign the CCP has been launching that could be titled The War on the Blob (TM). There have been many initiatives over the past year to make players more active in piloting their ship and fighting with thought and intent rather than just locking primary and hitting F1, broadcast for reps.
- changes to fleet warp mechanics
- killing multi-input aides like ISBoxer
- Phoebe jump mechanics nerfing capital jumping tactical and strategic utility
- Fozzie Sov's distributed capture warfare mechanics across constellations
- Force Recons getting Dscan immunity
In the future:
- area of effect doomsdays (Scythe, Hand of God) and more area of effect electronic warfare
- Remote Rep capital blobs will be a thing of the past as Force Aux cannot repair each other under triage
- Dreadnoughts / titans getting weapons for fighting subcaps
- carriers with long distance fighter operations
- much larger grids
All of these things have, to one degree or another, negative impacts on mindless blob warfare, forcing fleets to spread out at a minimum and think and act more independent at a maximum. Expect to see more features and changes that encourage smaller groups of capable individuals and discourage n+1 blob warfare.
1 - Not 100% sure on this point due to changes to ship bonuses, still want to see the end result in game before being certain.