Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The War On Logi - Boosting Update

Last December I wrote a post on how CCP has been making a lot of changes to the game mechanics that increase player participation while at the same time decrease the effectiveness of Logistics ships, i.e. Space Healers. I noted how the changes to remote rep modules to have optimal ranges and reduced effectiveness in fall off range was part of a plan to reduce logi's ability to easily repair ships in the fleet and then I ended that post with the following:

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.
Now we have coming in November a massive change to the underpinnings of modern EVE fleet warfare, warfare links moving from off grid fleet effect to on grid area of affect as described in detail in this dev blog. I think this is the latest salvo in the War On Logi.

Back in 2011 I wrote a soon-to-obsolete EVE Masterclass article on fleet boosting called The Mechanics of Command, and in that article I layout all the skills, modules, ships, and implants that deal with boosting. I use a theoretical pilot named Joe to give examples of how the math adds up:
 Pilot Joe has Armored Warfare V, Armored Warfare Specialist V, and an Armored Warfare Mindlink implant. Using the Armored Warfare Link - Passive Defence on a normal battlecruiser he gives 22.5% bonus to all armour resistances to the ships he is boosting in fleet. However, the same pilot and module in a Damnation Fleet command ship with Command Ship skill at level IV gives a 25.2% bonus to armour resistances, and he could fit and activate two more warfare link modules as well.
If pilot Joe trained up for a Legion strategic cruiser and fit his Armored Warfare Link - Passive Defence module on it with the Warfare Processor subsystem and Amarr Defensive Subsystem skill at level V, he would give a 28.12% bonus to armour resistances.
That is one warfare link, the "Armoured Warfare Link - Passive Defence" module, and a properly fit Tech 3 Strategic Cruiser can fit three of the modules. As you can see, the end result of a trained up pilot with implants and command ship is a dramatic improvement to the ships in the fleet. There aree three armour warfare links:
Armored Warfare Link - Damage Control: Reduces the capacitor need of remote and local armour repairers by 2%.
Armored Warfare Link - Passive Defence: Increases armour resistances by 2%.
Armored Warfare Link - Rapid Repair: Reduces the duration of remote and local armour repairers by 2%. 
So imagine a Legion or Loki with those three warfare links running for the fleet, with perfect skills and fancy implant, and the fleet having a wing of Guardians with faster ~28% Remote armour repairers aiding ships with ~28% better armour resistances... the impact is dramatic, and all from a ship relatively safe in deep space far from the fight, unaffected by enemy tackle, Ewar, or weapons. Shield warfare links have similar effects.

Come November that is all changed. Now a boosting pilot will be on grid and have to watch out for enemy attacks. They may have to decide between being in range of the Logi wing to boost their reppers or being in range of the DPS ships to boost their resistances. Fleets may need multiple boosting pilots to cover both circumstances, or to step up and replace lost boosters when they get alpha'd off the field. With all the coordination required and danger involved, it seems nearly impossible to achieve the same end result of having your fleet get boosted resistances and faster and more efficient logi reps all at the same time for the duration of the whole fight.

Another successful broadside from CCP in the War on Logi.

Hey, as an upside to this change, fleets that that practice and perfect getting as many boosts consistently applied to the fleet as possible will have a serious advantage over fleets that don't master that art form, unlike the current situation where it is trivial for both sides to get perfect boosts for the whole fight. This is a chance for elite alliances to shine.


  1. I'd argue this is all upside. Fleet boosts, at their heart, produce safety. Perhaps it was intended as a way for small gangs to compete, but that isn't the reality. The large get larger under the current boosting mechanics.

    Under new mechanics, yes, you could get multiple boosts, but they'll last for a little over a minute before you need to re-up. That requires a lot of coordination happening repeatedly, which is unlikely.

  2. And the small gang player gets hammered more than the blob. Blob's have the luxury of redundancy with minimal impact to the blob. Losing 2 or 3 more ships in a null sec blob from a pure combat role to a CS role translates into a 1% loss of efficiency.

    Losing 1 pure combat ship in a gang of 10 in order to maintain logistics or boosts is devastating.

    And of course, the cartels and their toadies in CCP are just gloating over the damage they have done to high sec income streams. Once again, high sec takes for more damage than any null sec activity.

    Mining, hammered.
    Incursions: A 20-30% reduction in efficiency.
    Burner missions: Many will be unplayable.

    Couple these nerfs to high sec and small gang warfare with the decrease coming to mining income, ratting income, and high sec risk levels skyrocketing, you have a perfect storm.

    Yup, the PCU will look good for many coming months, but the amount of PAYING customers is going to take a further hit.

    1. Another way to look at the effect on a small gang: under current mechanics, a fleet of 10 logged in characters would have 9 fighting and 1 boosting off grid. After the changes, all 10 would be fighting, just some would be flying command destroyers, T3s, battlecruisers, or command ships. Fleet compositions will change, boosting abilities will be spread between multiple ships instead of having one ship on grid doing nothing but boosting.