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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Logistic Diagnostic

Ah, logi-bros.  The people who love them the most want to be them the least.  Logi doesn’t appear on killmails, despite how much they help the fleet.  And while a combat ship stands at least a chance of surviving if they have to disconnect mid-fleet, logi ships tend to be utterly helpless when traveling alone.  Sure, it’s a role that requires you to be actively thinking and responding to the battle – particularly if you’re a logi anchor – but when the fleet loses, you’re the second person (behind the FC) that your fleet blames.

But they’re absolutely essential to any fleet, right?  How many doctrines have you seen that won’t undock without at least 20% of the fleet flying logi ships?  In small gangs (though, you could argue that “gangs” have no logi, while “fleets” do), the presence of even one more logi can make the difference between victory and defeat.  I’ve seen fleets with three logi successfully brawl fleets with only two without taking any losses.  Every logi matters.

Only… let’s look at what logistics really accomplishes: it repairs damaged ships to keep them alive for longer.  When working correctly, it denies the enemy a kill.  When it works highly effectively, it denies the enemy any kills at all.

But the ripples in the pond don’t stop there. 

Fleets are designed with a minimum number of pilots necessary to overcome a potential enemy’s logi.  The result is the “alpha threshold”, the minimum number of dps pilots needed to coordinate their fire to destroy a ship before the enemy logi is capable of repairing it.  If a ship can’t survive long enough to be locked by logi, it won’t survive.  If your fleet has enough dps to alpha enemy ships, you get kills.  If you can’t, the enemy fleet loses no ships.

Fleet battles where only one side has enough dps to alpha enemy ships result in landslides – dozens or hundreds of kills for one side with no losses at all.  Where they are balanced, you see trade-offs on kills as alpha strikes are exchanged, followed by a slaughter once one side falls below the alpha threshold.  And if neither side can overcome the alpha threshold, nothing at all is killed.

And the consequences continue to escalate.  No one enjoys welping an entire fleet, so many FCs simply won’t undock without a sufficiency of logi pilots.  When they achieve this number, they do so by pushing people into non-preferred activities.  Some people really enjoy being space priests, and some do it only because they don’t want to deny content to their alliance mates, and want to “contribute”.

For, denying content is exactly what happens if the FC doesn’t get enough logi volunteers.  The fleet stands down.  No fight happens, and both the FC’s and the enemy’s fleets go their own way.  Potentially hundreds of pilots have effectively wasted their time, all because logi is so effective that its absence is intolerable.

So, on the one hand, you see a dps race to achieve the alpha threshold, while on the other hand you have the logi race to maximize repair ability, both which result in ever-escalating fleet fights, one-sided fleet fights (dozens of kills for one side, none at all for the other), and denied content when FCs can’t get appropriate numbers.

Can you blame the FC for this?  Given the dominance of logi supremacy to victory, and the incessant trolling of FCs who suffer losses, it’s the logical and appropriate consequence of the way logi operates.

Nonetheless, it’s a problem that reduces space violence and denies content to those who have formed and want to enjoy it.  It has to change.

This sort of discussion isn’t terribly new, of course.  But these kinds of theoretical discussions always pop up when Eve suffers from a lack of big stories, and this is definitely one of those times.  Sure, we’ve got lots of entosis timers, but we’re really lacking in the big stories that would otherwise populate the Eve-ways.  And in a way, FozzieSov provides a timeliness to the conversation that commenters seem to be responding to.  After all, one of FozzieSov’s goals is to lower the barrier to entry for sov, reducing the effectiveness of supercap blobs – and any blobs, for that matter.  To gain sov, all you need is a “chip and a chair”, or in this case, one ship with an Entosis link and a sov structure.

Are the calls for a logi revamp out of order?  I don’t think so.  If you consider modules and their effects as a whole in Eve, logi stands out as an odd duck, suffering no stacking penalty.  Ships suffer diminishing effects from each subsequent target painter, tracking disruptor, stasis webifier, or sensor dampener applied to them, whereas a ship can receive reps from 100 ships at once, all at full power.  Remote repping is unlimited, where even native repair is limited by number of fitting slots.

But, beyond any “fairness” considerations are the balance considerations.  Right now, it’s pretty clear that logi creates a barrier to both content and destruction.  A decision to blue-ball a fleet is more often than not the result of poor logi numbers.  Any problem of negative content generation deserves immediate attention, for it diminishes the overall value proposition of Eve.

In short, wouldn’t you rather join a fleet where you lose your ship but get to kill 10-12 ships first than a fleet that stays docked up and stands down because you don’t have enough logi?  I know I would.

So let’s apply stacking penalties to incoming reps, while increasing the repping power of each individual logi module.

After all, if even 3 ships are normally applying 4 reps each to a ship under “max rep” situations, you’re talking about 12 modules.  Without tweaking how stacking penalties work – and I don’t think we can, given how baked-in that code is – we’re looking at a maximum of three effective modules and a fourth that barely helps.

That’s a huge difference, and each rep has to do more to accomplish a similar effect under those restrictions.  After all, the goal isn’t to make logistics useless, but to cut out the effects logi has on overall fleet size and content denial.  Applying stacking penalties but upping the benefit if each module has a whole host of positive effects.

By allowing each logistics ship to do more, you reduce the need for as many ships.  Yet applying stacking penalties prevents “more is better!” from applying to each individual ship.  Sure, having more logi will allow your fleet to repair more ships at once, but dps battles are done on the individual level, not the fleet level.  If you can only repair 50 units of damage in one cycle for each ship, for all intents and purposes to that ship in jeopardy, your repping power is 50 units of damage, regardless of whether your fleet can apply that 50 to fifteen ships at once. 

On the opposite side, allowing fewer logi players to sustain each individual ship creates opportunities for the attacking fleet to disrupt reps in a real, meaningful way.  Jamming out a single logi ship has a much larger effect on the survivability of the primary.  In this way, a savvy FC or target caller can still inflict damage by applying ewar to the right ships at the right time.  Intelligent application of fleet assets can gets some kills, even if hopelessly outnumbered.  No fleet should be entirely safe because of the protection of their logi.

In effect, as each logi ship becomes more precious, the value of having “too many” becomes smaller than the value of having some extra dps or ewar.  Nor does this change cheapen the time pilots spent training logi or reduce logi to uselessness.  Training Logistics V takes a lot of time, and is often undertaken only by hardcore space priests.  Any change that kicks sand in the faces of those pilots is the wrong change.

Such a change would also reduce the effectiveness of logi in large fleets without reducing its value in small gangs.  With stackable value, more is always better.  But when each individual ship can only receive reps from a small, finite number of logistics modules, you help promote small gang warfare. 

Sure, that happens to benefit my own favorite playstyle, but it also helps content in general.  Increasingly, smaller fleet comps are more viable, as are smaller numbers of logi per fleet.  The net result is are smaller minimum fleet size, which in turn puts less pressure to form massive blobs, which reduces the “coalition or death” choice so many alliances face.  And isn’t that a good thing?

So let’s implement a change to logi that maintains its situational usefulness, reverses fleet creep, and eliminates one more reason for players to actively choose to avoid creating content: stacking penalties with increased module rep power.

32 comments:

  1. You called it. Your bias that is. I might as well start out with the ad hominem to get my own biases out of the way. I read a number of blogs about eve. Most of them has a bias of some sort. Yours is singular in the degree to which you suffer from the "my eve is the right eve".

    With your own "I like small gang" skirt hanging out, most of what you argued above is unfortunately tainted to the point where very few beyond your small gang band wagon will be interested.

    Some people like big fleets. BR was great. Fights still happen. Entire fleets still die to APPROPRIATE enemy fleets.

    More logi means more logi. Bring them. Larger groups should beat smaller ones. Larger "fleets" should not be afraid of your "gang". Larger groups should not have a disadvantage to cater for the bias of Tal. Larger groups also pay subscriptions and should be catered for.

    Ditto the guys that fly capitals/supers/dreads/titans (as an example) - these ships are big. They are expensive. They take significant amounts of time to train for. They should have some advantages. So what if they can jump all over the place? By virtue of the attributes above they have paid for their right of passage - so what if they can cross from one end of the eve universe to the other quicker than a 20mil isk interceptor?

    Ships and skills should have meaning - all of them. Tactics should have meaning. Every play style should be catered for as far as possible. I acknowledge that that includes small gangs. But one can argue that the advent of Fozziesov has already endowed that play style with an over abundance of options and advantages.

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    1. Did you read the same piece I did?

      Because of all the flaws this post has, and I think there are one or two, a 'leet smallgang pvp' bias isn't one of them. If anything, it's biased against small-gang.

      Can you please point exactly where this bias is, I'd like to know what I mis-read.

      Rob K.

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    2. Ugh... yes... I've seen you lurking around the eve blogs too...

      Feigning sincerity but all the while acting like a troll. For you I will start of with:

      “I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”
      ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

      Then continuing on the theme I will point you to the blog of one Wilhelm Arcturus on the 17th of August 2015 (https://tagn.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/fozzie-sov-crazy-taking-our-own-sovereignty/) and would like to quote the part of his response to you that also happen to suit my needs at this time:

      "@Rob Kaichin – I suspect you skipped over a ton of what I wrote, read the bullet points, and and commented, otherwise you might have at least noted that..."

      Different day, different blog but true to form. Sniping from the side and offering nothing of substance.

      Of course I could quote from the post of this day on this blog:

      "Such a change would also reduce the effectiveness of logi in large fleets without reducing its value in small gangs"

      "...you help promote small gang warfare."

      "Sure, that happens to benefit my own favorite playstyle..."

      "Increasingly, smaller fleet comps are more viable..."

      " The net result is are smaller minimum fleet size, which in turn puts less pressure to form massive blobs..."

      "...reverses fleet creep..."

      But given that my biased opinion of you is that you are a mere contentious, quarrelsome eristic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eristic), what can possibly be achieved here?

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    3. Let's keep the discussion, but keep it civil.

      I've openly stated my agenda multiple times in the past. I do prefer small gangbecause i believe it results in better pilots and more personal involvement in the result. That's a bias, but not a deception.

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    4. @Tal: I agree. You were/are honest about your small gang preference and there is/was no deception on your part.

      Nothing wrong with that per se.

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    5. "Feigning sincerity but all the while acting like a troll."

      Well, whatever. Common standards of decency are apparently not so common. You're free to pigeon-hole me however you like.

      I'll admit, my opening line was not exactly productive, so I'm sorry about that. However, this is because my understanding of 'small gang' is very very much different to the 'small gang' that I believe you're talking about.

      To me, therefore, your post and Talv's seemed to be talking about very different things. If I may, I'll quote this: " “gangs” have no logi, while “fleets” do". So yes, this post has no bias against the 'small gangs' I'm familiar with. Now, does it have a 'small fleet' bias? Somewhat.

      I'll admit that my choice of opening line was a reaction to the "They should have some advantages. So what if they can jump all over the place? [...] so what if they can cross from one end of the eve universe to the other quicker than a 20mil isk interceptor?" part of your post.

      This is a personal peeve of mine. Yet I didn't comment on it because it was unrelated to the original post. A simple rule to follow, in my opinion.

      Finally, if you really have seen me "lurking around the eve blogs", then you will have seen the multitude of posts where I have participated productively with politeness and honesty. See previous posts on this blog, or Sugars' for example.

      But like I said, pigeon-hole me however you wish.

      Rob K.






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    6. It's funny because the first who would benefit from such a change *are the people who like big fleets*.

      You are obviously to dense to know anything outside of your "big fights in EVE as used to be", so let me drop this realization on you.

      Every PvP game out there has limited the power of healers. GW2 got rid of them, LoL has littered them with disadvantages (See Soraka), even the clueless WoW limits the number of heals you can have in a fight and start a massive heal debuff if a match drags on.

      That because everyone has realized *for years* that being able to infinitely delay the death of everything is bad in a PvP game*.



      So sorry, Tal is in the right here, his realization is in line with what many smart people are realizing in gaming in general, and his agenda actually has some good it could do to the game.

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    7. Also, as a FW dweller I can see all the wrong in your thinking when in comes to Capitals (and not just that by the way).

      Low-sec could breathe because whatever you would do would suddenly make a giant blob of caps appear, and that in a space where the populace was not here for capital blobs.
      That earned right to be wherever you wanted was killing an entire part of the game.
      Now with Phoebe, low-sec is thriving and FW is one of the most active place in the game, with big battles *and* small gang warfare.

      That was the real goal of jump fatigue, keeping each playstyle it belongs, funny how your thinking would lead to the exact opposite of what you advocated.

      Now if you want to complain about *how* power projection was nerfed, there are proposals to drastically reduce jump fatigue when it comes to null -> null, so you guys can have all the Suddenly PL you want.

      But just letting you do whatever you want just because *you think* you earned it? That's hardly a solution.

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  2. Give logi penalties to tracking and an optimal/falloff range.

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  3. +1...
    I am also a proponent of stacking penalties for every non DPS effect in fleet, so as to match the model deeply ingrained with ship fitting, and moving away from the "no losses" mentality that has developed these past years. The differentiating skills between blobs becoming calling the right targets first and then the coordination of the fleet members themselves to apply DPS to the called targets. Unfortunately, this will not get rid of the diktat of the killboard stats on the mind of some players, and may cause these "stat conscious" players to stay docked regardless...

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  4. Agree 100%. Stacking penalties ideas have been thrown around for quite some time, but no focused movement yet. This is very valid for small gangs, especially in w-space. Hard tanked t3s with crazy resists getting reps from few logi can withstand crazy amount of dps. I had many battles that ended as soon as logi were down on one side.

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  5. As you name it “If your fleet has enough dps to alpha enemy ships, you get kills. If you can’t, the enemy fleet loses no ships.“
    In my opinion this is the greatest problem of eve combat. And as an engineer in RL I always find it very unbelievable (even with automated nanites) that you can repair armour faster than you can wreck it. But in contrast to your opinion I don't think stacking penalties for repairs is the solution. If I have a thousand nanites repairing my hull that's better than having just three hundred.

    I believe the core problem lies in the “alpha them off or you can't win” status. Yes repairs are too strong, but a mighty battleship ripped into pieces in just a few seconds isn't right either. Even if 200 enemies shoot at it, it should sustain for some time.

    So my question is, what would happen with the combat in eve if all repair modules would only do half of what they currently do and all HP on ships get doubled, maybe even triple or quad? Set them so high it gets impossible to alpha it off. The reps could only sustain a limited amount of DPS and it needs more time to rebuild the amour than to wreck it.
    Would fights get more interesting by such a change? They surely would take longer as it is less fast decided who wins and who looses. Every individual has more time to react, evasive manoeuvres of the target. Even a place for slow motion damage types like torpedoes could be back.

    My reservations towards your suggestion is simply: if only logistic gets lowered we even more get a "point, click, death" battle scenario. Call the target, shoot it, and go to next. All ships in new Eden are too fragile, or the guns too powerful, make your choice.

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    1. I like anything that encourages more strategy and elongates fights. Into that space, pilot skill pours in.

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    2. Interesting.

      If you think about it, the insane power of reps could be seen as a natural consequence of the power of Burst in the game.
      When you have ships that can be easily exploded in a sec you need repping power that can full rep in a sec, else logis become useless.

      Many games have resorted to reducing the power of healing by making it more akin to sustain. I think something like that could work for EVE.

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  6. I think the bigger problem is FCs try to overcome the repping power of logi by trying to alpha things off the field when truly they should be trying to diminish the effectiveness of logi in the first place.

    As a logi pilot myself, I've been on the receiving end of jams, neuts, damps, etc and it certainly can create chaos in your logistics wing, giving the opponent more opportunities to kill friendly ships. However, it tends to be rare that you see recons brought along instead of T3s, for example, because FCs are worrying more about applying alpha instead of messing up the logistics team.

    I think any reduction in the effectiveness of reps is likely to cause FCs to require MORE logi to come along on fleets instead of less, in order to compensate. It would also make it easier to alpha things off the field because all you'd have to do is come up with enough alpha to overcome the maximum reps someone can receive with stacking penalties.

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    1. And that's exactly the result I'm hoping to avoid. Sensor dampening and jamming was used to great effect during the Alliance Tournament. Why isn't it used in TQ? Is it simply easier to use a sledgehammer, or are the groups capable of fielding alpha strikes and 30 logi in one fleet the ones least-suited to leverage ewar effectively?

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    2. I think the reason ewar doesn't get used as much is just because it doesn't scale as well as DPS and logi do, which is basically due to the efficiency of broadcasting.

      Being a DPS or logi ship doesn't really get significantly more mechanically or conceptually difficult in larger fights - it makes little difference to the individual pilot whether there's 20 other DPS/logi ships or 60. Either way, you're still anchoring up and locking broadcasts just the same, and since neither damage nor repairs suffer stacking penalties there's no reason to *not* just go through focusing on single targets using broadcasts, which reach all fleet members the same regardless of the size of the battle. And so, doubling the size of a fleet literally does double its DPS and logi capability.

      Meanwhile, ewar just doesn't scale as naturally, because you specifically want to *not* focus. Even if stacking penalties weren't a thing, damping a half dozen ships would be better than damping one. And so, as the fight gets larger, each individual ewar pilot's task gets harder, as they have to keep a larger, more complex situation in their head, juggle a longer list of targets, and coordinate with a larger number of other pilots. And since everyone is only human, that means that each ewar pilot's efficiency goes down, and so doubling the size of the fleet and fight *doesn't* necessarily double the ewar capability.

      If I had to guess, I'd say that, ultimately, the reason you see more DPS and logi than ewar is that adding more DPS/logi is almost automatically effective, while adding more ewar is only effective if you can *leverage* it, which gets increasingly harder in larger fights.

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    3. Very interesting take and description!

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    4. Quick comment before I leave for class:
      Just read the article and comments, wanted to reply to this in particular.
      1) AT and TQ are 2 very different beasts
      2) It's easier for a fleet to all fly the same ship and all shoot the same thing (sledgehammer), safety in numbers and whatnot. i.e. If there are 20 Caracals in fleet, each Caracal pilot feels safer than if they were the only Caracal (This same group mentality brought about the duckfoot pistol to prevent shipboard mutiny)
      3) I kinda touched on this with 2, but the ship that stands out gets alpha'd. If logi are EWAR'd, that EWAR gets alpha'd and then it's back to sledgehammer tactics.
      4) I think the best thing would be to somehow make it harder to alpha ships off the field, insta-damage turrets certainly don't help. I don't know how it could be done though, so this isn't a very constructive point.

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    5. This definitely seems to be the track the community is headed down. However, here's the question... how can you make ships harder to kill when dealing with alpha damage without making it impossible for them to be killed by solo hunters? For instance, if you boost hp by 50%, solo hunters of blingy ratting ships will have a much harder time, since the victim will have 50% more time for help to arrive.

      Perhaps this is where we can kill two birds with one stone... Make links on-grid only, but also make them much more effective. So effective that ensuring your links survive is priority #1. I envision a corps of bodyguard ships whose job is to clear threats from on-grid boosters. If your links go down, your ships suddenly lose 50% of their armor strength, for instance.

      That would make for some interesting tactical decisions! But it'd be predicated on on-grid links only.

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    6. Me again, got a minute before class so here goes a couple thoughts:
      I don't know how to directly address alpha, I don't love it as a mechanic because of the stacking. Links could be one way, and it could be taken further as well. If on-grid links, based on proximity, can be done without too much server load why not have passive leadership role boosts be based on proximity? Without completely devaluing bonuses from leadership in system you could add 50% for being close to your squad commander. This seems to be the direction the Devs want to take things, where wing and squad commanders actually do something and FC's do more delegating. If individual squads and wings will be progressively more emphasized, why not encourage actually flying with your leadership?

      Finished this in a hurry but I think you can get my point. What do you think?

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    7. Certainly valuable thoughts to contribute to the discussion!

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  7. Totally agree, after some contentless roams i would gladly welp a t1 fleet against a bigger fleet if i thought i'd get a shiney kill or 2, as it stands you count the number of logi figure out if u can break anything and then run away...

    I'm not sure people are risk adverse because they are likely to loose some ships, they're more risk adverse as there is no gain to taking the fight in most cases

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  8. So, speaking of bias, I should get my own out the way first.

    1) Logistics doesn't *need* a re-work at the moment.
    2) Player attitudes are *the* problem in the 'no fights' agenda
    3) Hail Mary Solutions to non-problems are bad.

    Now, the main thing I want to bring up here is that 'alpha is the only counter to logi' is just plain wrong. Jeff is exactly right, and I can only echo his experiences with my own.

    Jams, Damps, Neuts. These are the best way to to render Logi useless .

    The problem is that no-one (in null-sec) tries to use them (or if they do, it's as an aside [in another fleet, like Brave or Goons]). If Eve is a game of total war, most people aren't using all the tools in their arsenal to win.

    I'm going to talk about an example armour fleet in low-sec of 100 people, and a similar fleet in null-sec. (The null-sec fleet may be somewhat incorrect, my understanding is based on talking to former null-sec pilots and various battle reports).

    LS Fleet: 20 Logi, 40 Faction BS - DPS (20 Rebos, 20 Damps), 20 Faction BS - Webs, 10 Faction BS - Neuts (Long Webs also), 10 T3 - Long Webs and Tackle.

    NS Fleet : 30 Logi, 50 Faction BS - DPS (tracking disruptors), 10 T3 (Long Webs, Tackle), 10 Dictors and Interceptors.

    Now, both fleets are adapted for the environment they operate in. The main difference is this: the NS fleet makes little to no attempt to inhibit the enemy logi. They win the fight via DPS solely. An example of this is the fleet Circle of Two brought to Placid recently. 80 Arty Munins, 3 or 4 Celestis, 20 Logi (as I recall).

    The low-sec fleet is different. It is much more adaptable. It is also slower, and less logi heavy. It is probably also more expensive. (No bubbles!)

    Now, this isn't a 'low-sec is better' argument, but a point about the uni-dimensional aspects of null-sec 100 man compositions. A comparison between LS and NS Machariels brings out the key difference. LS Machariels inhibit their enemies' logi via damps and ECM, whereas NS inhibit their enemies' DPS via tracking disruptor. (NS machariels all use the same prop-mod, 2x TE, 1 x TD, Sebo midslots, LS machs are an assortment).

    I hope I've got my point across: Logi has counters that people (in null-sec) aren't using.

    BUT if you did want to see logi being less effective, here are my suggestions. Make the counters to logi stronger.

    1) Reduce Lock-range and Scan-resolution. (Damps are stronger).
    2) Reduce Sensor Strength (More likely to be jammed).
    3) Reduce the Capacitor Capacity of Logi, and increase their regeneration. (Neuts are stronger).

    Damps, Jams, Neuts, see!

    Point 3 would also make Logi V less required. I like being a hardcore space priest though!

    Rob K.

    P.S: MuonNeutrino is right about 'scalability', but co-ordination and player skill should be encouraged, right? A good ECM/Damps wing will make flying logi a real challenge (like it does already!!!)

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    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/3iguke/my_thoughts_on_logi_and_those_that_cry_for_nerfs/
      .
      Just wondered if you saw this also?

      Rob K.

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    2. I didn't until just now, but I find his argument a bit flawed. Yes, ewar is a great counter, and it's being used elsewhere. However, the fact that ewar has been in the game for so long and ISN'T used in null-sec suggests to me that it's not going to be used in null-sec, for whatever reason.

      The effect is the same as the status quo: large numbers of players denied content because player choice has resulted in all-or-nothing battles and, knowing this, the "nothing" side chooses simply not to play.

      "Not playing" isn't an acceptable result to anything in this game; CCP should be actively encouraging these interactions to take place. If it requires a shove (nerfing logi) to make it happen, then so be it. When players don't take advantage of the tools at their disposal and it's actively hurting the game, CCP needs to step in.

      Balance the game as it is, not as we'd wish it to be. You can always reverse it out if the problem corrects itself and players learn to adopt ewar heavily.

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    3. I don't know where you get no one uses EWAR. My corp is based out of fountain, and while we are a small single corp alliance, have been using ewar for the last couple of months to great effect on the timers. Even FCORE have been using them back at us in our fights.

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    4. "However, the fact that ewar has been in the game for so long and ISN'T used in null-sec suggests to me that it's not going to be used in null-sec, for whatever reason." "Balance the game as it is, not as we'd wish it to be."

      This...seems to me to be counter to the sandbox nature of Eve. Players adapting and overcoming and theory-crafting is central to what makes Eve so great.

      If you want an example of people adapting, look at Jester's article on PL's initial Tengu fleets (apologies that I can't remember the comp name). The Tengu fleet was revolutionary (so revolutionary that NC struggled to kill 1 of them!). Eventually, people found counters.

      If you want to play a game where CCP dictates exactly what ships should be used, how they should be used, with one choice only, be my guest. I don't think that uniformity of choice is going to be very fun, however.

      In my opinion, you're analysing two different problems here.

      1) Why do players go straight for alpha instead of ECM/Damps/Neuts for countering logi?

      2)Player choice (or the problem of free will :P)

      The first one, no matter what you say, is important. Players not using the tools available to them is a player problem. CCP shouldn't involve themselves in player problems, unless they're caused by mechanical issues (which this one isn't).

      For example, a 1.6 mil Griffin with 4 Multispec jammers has an 80% chance to knock out a Nullsec Scimitar. 80%! That's nuts. Change up to a MJD scorpion, and you have an 85% chance with 90k ehp (120k with boosts). These are all omni jammers. you can change to a racial and get a 96% chance to jam out an enemy logi. That's a(n almost) 1-1 counter ratio.

      If people aren't using ECM, that's their problem...

      ----

      I said above about my bias in the "Player attitudes are *the* problem in the 'no fights' agenda". So I'll try to keep this short and sweet.

      All or Nothing Battles are a null-sec phenomena. They are therefore a null-sec problem. Only WH space sees similar examples of fights, and that's often to do with polarisation timers and bubbles.

      Bubbles are a part of the problem. You want more skirmishing fleets with extended fights? Remove bubbles. Anchorable bubbles are an awful mechanic anyway, but that's another thing.

      If you can only hold down ships you have tackled, support and anti-support are suddenly hugely more important. Good tackle pilots become the lifeblood of a great war machine. Small skilled groups will be able to out-fly and out-kill lumbering 'right-click, approach' fleets. (It also makes brawling much more viable, and that's awesome).

      Not playing isn't an acceptable result, yes. I find it hard to foresee exactly how you can change that, considering its is a player problem.

      So, where does that leave us?

      Penalising not contesting space seems to me to be one way of doing it. The ESS becoming a static structure that can be interdicted, and thus bounties interdicted, seems to me to be the best way of doing it, (but that's because I'm in love with my own idea, I suspect :P). Station services are already vulnerable, and I suspect the new structures will be vulnerable also.

      Rob K.

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    5. You raise a number of very good points, particularly regarding the null-sec focus of these problems. I'm going to let them stand on their own, but I did want to comment on one piece: "Players not using the tools available to them is a player problem. CCP shouldn't involve themselves in player problems, unless they're caused by mechanical issues."

      I disagree. The sandbox nature of Eve is a feature that supports the overall health of the game. But when that feature is turned to a cancer, CCP absolutely can and should intervene with the sandbox through changes to mechanics. Eve is a business, after all, and CCP cannot abide players ruining the game for others. Clearly, no other strategy has successfully countered the "alpha dps over ewar" approach, or the Imperium wouldn't be able to sledgehammer pretty much whoever they want whenever they want with the same blunt force tactic every time. This meta is here to stay because it's the optimal approach, at least for null-sec.

      And it's a cancerous approach. It discourages any non-forced battles whose result is clear from the outset. It's a content-denying approach, and that's not good for the health of the game of CCP's best interests.

      I don't believe CCP should intervene to force players to a predetermined result. A system that sits idly by while someone uses the system to destroy the system is a bad system. When the cost of doing nothing is significantly reducing content at a time when content is precious and rare, the ill will generated by interfering with the sandbox is understandable in the long run.

      I want Eve to continue, and if that means I can only enjoy sandbox play 99% of the time instead of 100%, I'm okay with that. It's better than Eve shutting its doors and me being able to enjoy it 0% of the time.

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    6. Looking at the T1 and T2 Logi Cruisers, a 100mm scan-res nerf and a reduction in sensor strength of 1-2 point seem to be enough an initial change to me that it will have a noticable decrease in logi rep power, whilst being counterable by ECCM and Rebos.

      Ideally, I'd like synergy of DPS, Support and Logi to be the optimal fleet composition. A well trained and co-ordinated fleet would therefore be far stronger than a "everyone get into Munins, we need more logi" style fleet.

      This would also mean that knocking out DPS could be an optimal solution to counter their Logi, because it makes it more likely to be jammed and damped. It also improves the "anchor, control+click, F1" state of DPS piloting.

      Finally, I've not mention lock-range here because I'd like a more holistic approach to be taken. I don't know enough comparatively about T1-T2 cruiser lock range to give a good answer to whether it should be changed. I think it could be a little shorter, but I think lots of DPS and lock range should be a little shorter, personal bias once again.

      Rob K.

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    7. That's the key, though. To some extent, null fleets will always be n+1. So the strategies that those kinds of fleets will employ have to be deployable by 300 pilots of varying skill levels - from hardcore PvPers to carebears forced to participate for pap points. The tactics of null-sec will invariably be more simplistic than small gang tactics, simply because the least-common denominator skill level of 20 people can be much higher than that for 300.

      If we're pinning our hopes on null-sec alliances deploying comprehensive and effective ewar in stead of the relatively simpler logi, we're committed to a fool's crusade.

      The result will inevitably be content-denying actions in null-sec (which questions the health of the overall structure) or mechanics changes to make ewar preferable to alpha dps and more logi.

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  9. Replying down here to your second point down here, because two posts in one place will get confusing.

    First off, you're right about LCD of skill being lower in larger groups. However, this doesn't mean that people cannot train (or hire) specific groups of players to use ECM/Damps/Neuts. I'm thinking of a Special Forces to Army to Territorial Army (National Guard) comparison. Shouldn't 'special forces' like BL be able to leverage the tools available?

    As for 'pinning our hopes...fool's crusade'. I think that's unfair. PL, and PL alone, has proven that same size fleets can brawl effectively without the logi and capital advantage. PL is absolutely one of the best alliances in terms of average skill. The solutions are there, but no-one is using them.

    All in all, I'm a combat optimist. I believe that people will eventually use the tools available to strike their enemies. I'm looking forwards to the 'Counter' Revolution, where lumbering giant fleets are destroyed by the precise application of ECM and Jams. I believe it will come. I just don't know when.

    Until then, we're stuck in a bad place. Tweaking Logi might restart the engine, or it might break it completely. I'd rather have the engine ticking over, even if it isn't fully starting. (Apologies for a bad metaphor.)

    Rob K.

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