Improving Logistics: The Pocket Carrier (NEME)

Every fleet Pilot knows how important Logistics are. Every Fleet Pilot worth his salt has at some point had his arse saved by a Logistics Pilot and typed something along the lines “Thanks logi”. Yet as always there is always a shortage of Logi Pilots whenever a fleet is forming. Why? This isn’t World of Warcraft, it’s not like were all stuck in one role. With just 2 months of training any pilot can make a huge contribution to a Logistics team. So why don’t more pilots do so?
I’m actually in the midst of writing a guide for logistics at the moment, and this is a question that I keep hitting up against. The only answers I can find are:
 1. Too complex
 2. Too skill intensive
 3. Too boring
 4. Too expensive
 5. No kill mails
 1-3 are complete crap and oh so much misinformation. Flying logi does not need a PhD (I can do it for Christ sake). Flying Logi is easy to train into, base line Logi takes around 2 months. Flying Logi is not boring when it hits the fan you are going to have more fun than you can handle; you’re also the only active people during repping operations!
4 is a fair point if your fleets run Battle Cruisers or below, but as soon as you hit BS and T2 ships, you’re actually cheaper than the Ships of the Line. Most Alliances worth their weight will also have a ship replacement core in place for Logistics pilots; some even allow Logi pilots to make money out of the deal.
So the only solid reason I can see for not flying the Logi, is the lack of kill mails. Now I think that’s a succinct summery for a deeper issue; people like to feel directly involved in the battle. The kill mail is just the visual evidence of that. Pilots like to kill things, and don’t feel involved in the battle, unless they are doing damage.
Many have stated that the solution is simply to put repping ships on kill mails, and this is a rather interesting, if uninventive solution, it also appears to have been easier said than done. Here is an alternative; Pocket Carriers.
Pocket Carriers have been bandied about for a while now, but have never actually been officially acknowledged. I’m suggesting they should be added as a balanced alternative to Logistics. The class uses Tier 3 battleship hulls (Rokh, Abbadon, Hyperion and Maelstrom) and should require the following skills to fly:
            – Battleship 5
            – NEME Ships (Nanobot Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) 1
                        Logistics 4
                        Drone Interfacing V
You might note the new skill called NEME ships in there. Yeah it’s a crappy acronym, but it’s based on the British Army core dedicated to Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (REME), which seems a good fit for a repair ship.
I really don’t like having to have Bs5 in the pre-reqs, but the CCP mould says T2 ships must always require LVL5 in the hull type, so I guess there is no real choice. This means that training will take around 3 months, an extra month on top of Logi skilling. My hope is that the awesomeness of these ships will draw people into them, gaining Logi on the way.
The NEMEs are balanced between each other in a very similar way to the Logistics ships, although for fun I suggest we switch around the chain/solo types to the opposite of the Logistics counterpart. I.e. Amarr & Caldari work solo; whereas Galente & Minmatar Chain. They also use the same high slot layouts as Logistics:
                        Chain – 2 Energy Transfers | 4 Racial Remote Reppers
                        Solo     – 4 Racial Remote Reppers
I should add that as these ships have NO hard points for guns or missiles, pilots have no choice to but fit utility highs. Right now your probably thinking “But Hark, these are just maxi size Logistics, why would I want to fly that!?” Here is where the big difference comes. NEME ships are also heavy drone users. With a bay size around 225m3 they can fit a full flight of Heavy, Medium and light drones, and still have space for ewar drones. They also have a far bigger tank than Logistics with a maxed out tank of around 100-120k ehp (in eve hq).
I can hear your cries again now “Hark you’ve gone too far the other way! Now no one will ever fly the old Logistics!”. Oh my ever unsatisfied reader, let’s look at my suggested Bonuses:
            (Per level battleship)
            250% bonus to ETA range
            250% bonus to RARS range
            6% to done damage
            (Per level of NEME skill)
            % reduction in capacitor usage to make the ship stable when running full reps/energy transfer with an AB + about 1-2 cap mods (inc rigs)
            (Role bonus)
            % bonus to CPU/PG needs of remote transfers to balance
            -20% repair amount transferred
 So what does this mean? Well the reps can now go further than Logistics (105k @L5 compared to 63K). You should also notice the negative bonus to repair amount (yeah that’s not a typo); this means that on a NEME Ship, a T2 remote repair module will be slightly less effective than the Meta 4 on the Logi.
 To summarise the NEME/Logi Comparison looks as follows:
            Both fit similarly
            NEME rep further but less
            NEME tank more, but can’t sig tank
            NEME can actually put damage on the field (about 390-440DPS), but costs a bit more (aim for 300M hull)
It’s just a rough draft for discussion, and I’m sure there are holes that need filling and tweaks that could help. But it’s worth a thought. Doubt it will go anywhere, but you never know.                       

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