Posts Tagged ‘Logistics’

Blog Banter #54: Polarizing Express

Today’s topic comes Diaries of a Space Noob blog and other sources:
Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO’s try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:
 
Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can’t exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don’t have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?
And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it?
From The Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah

Eve is Real. It’s the marketing statement (which seems to have waned a little of late) which CCP uses to tagline eve and, by comparison, CCP does have a fair point, eve apes real life far better than, say, Guild Wars II: People interact, they touch each other’s in game life and affect others as they pass. A characters progression in Eve is the result of millions of factors defined by the game, and its players, developing a unique individual story unlike any that have come before it. I believe that this is why we don’t have any of what classic video games describe as “Heroes”, real life has none either. Games such as Guild Wars and World of Warcraft tell us that the Hero is an individual who through some means or another ends up making choices and performing actions which are clearly for the greater good (The Greater Good). They can see the bigger picture and they act as they see fit to help their cause. Yet in eve, as in real life, it is never so clear cut as to what is good and what is bad. Often things which seem good now, a few months down the line can turn out to be detrimental to the greater good (The Greater Good). If you can find a person who can tell me what the greater good (The Greater Good) is, even just within eve, I will find a person who has blinkered their perception to a limited scope. I think that the same is true for real life as well.

But let’s expound the in game side of that further; Games like Guild Wars II and Warcraft, tell us a story, they show us our Character and carefully craft a story around them showing how they progress from nobody, to (what a Video Game considers a Hero. Eve on the other hand gives us a character, and asks “what is your story?”. Because of this lack of control we cannot be engineered to be Heroes which other games prescribe us, we have to make our own choices, and some will always be wrong. In Guild Wars, there is no wrong decision, things will always turn out all right, and our character (short of not playing) will always become the Hero (or at worst, the Anti-Hero). In eve we have no such omnipotence (Ironic for the “God like” capsular), and so we can never be the classic “Video Game Hero”, because they cannot exist in a world of free choice.

“But Hark”, I hear you cry,” there are Hero’s in real life, what about people like Mother Teresa? Or Gandhi? Or even War Heroes such as Thomas Lawrence? Or how about Local Heroes like Firemen and the Police!?”. And you’re right, these examples, and millions more, are Real life Heroes, nothing like their Video Game and Movie counter parts (except perhaps Lawrence, but I’ll get to that in a bit), and eve has better analogues to them, than it does to other games definitions of Heroes. Of course pacifist Heroes, Rights Heroes and Caring Heroes struggle to survive in a universe of equal, immortal war mongers, but you could draw parallels to people such as Sindel Pellion (The Angel Project), Grevlon Goblin (who is no hero to me, but again more on that in a moment), and others. You can also look to Logistics pilots (of both kinds), for the nearest equivalent of Local Heroes. But again, this is where we get to the issue of perception, which is an issue in real-life just as it is in eve.

You and me might look at someone like Arthur Harris (a.k.a Bomber Harris) and declare them a Hero. A man making tough decisions to fight the Nazi movement. Commissioning raids to defend the United Kingdom, and crucial to the War effort. Yet that perception of “Hero” comes from our own personal beliefs, feelings and social alignment. For example, I feel that Extremists (in any form) are wrong, and in a situation like World War II where Extremists attempt to subjugate they must be opposed. Therefore to me, people who stand up and fight them, are heroes. Yet if I were an extremist, say a White Supremacist, or indeed a Nazi, I would consider someone fighting against whatever my movement was, as an enemy, and not a hero.

Now most people in the free world are governed by social acceptance, and we are brought up to think in a certain way; so 99% of people would answer like I do with conviction that the Nazis were wrong, and that the Allied Forces of WWII (and their supporters back home) were heroes. But in eve, no such mass social governance is in place. If your character “Grew up” in High Sec, you might have been taught that Goonswarm are evil and should be eradicated (I will use Goonswarm a lot in this as they are a very polarising group). On the other hand if you “Grew up” within Goonswarm, reaping its generosity to newbie members you would consider them just and right.

Because within eve there is no base level of social moral code, our personal convictions are whimsy, and can be easily influenced by the current political situation and personal circumstance. A Test pilot not so long ago, would have preached praise for brother Goon, where now they would likely speak of betrayal and revenge. Because “Good” and “Evil” are dependent on where you stand, likewise, “Hero” and “War Criminal” are also based on perspective. My Heroes, are my enemies scoundrels and targets, and his mine.

Here come’s my second issue with the label of “Hero” in eve, I chose Bomber Harris as my real world example of a polarising Hero, not only because he would be considered bad from the Nazis point of view, but also because you could debate his actions from other point of view. Harris, was a proponent of “Area bombing” over “Precision bombing”, despite its higher civilian “collateral damage”. He was also a large part of the planning and execution of the Dresden Bombing, which killed more than 22,000 people, mostly civillians. Now I have my personal views on this, as every person has a right to, but the fact is that because of things like this, Bomber Harris, and many Heroes like him, have debatable status as Heroes. In eve, within the lore of the game, we as capsular are an aloof elite, killing millions, cold and uncaring of the stricken poverty and squalor bellow us, surely more than any real life analogy, no matter what we do, our characters status as “Heroes” is always going to be debatable.

So let us summarise (and welcome to all who skipped the wall of text). “Video Game Heroes” don’t exist in eve, because there is no guiding narrative to build them. Video Game Heroes, don’t exists in real life because they require the omnipotence of a predefined narrative to create them and, as with real life in eve, we define the Narrative. Because of this eve is more like Real life where Heroes are a matter of perspective, and eve’s lack of moral guidance makes perspective a far more variable thing than in real life. Furthermore because of the limitations of a Video game, the sacrifice required to become a “Real life” hero, is hard to make. Even more limiting is the fact that the game lore dictates that our characters are all, by definition, at least a shade of Evil, meaning again as an amplified effect of real life, all our Heroes morals can be called into question.

Fly bombers,

Hark

Splitting Hairs

I’ve found it very interesting observing my adaptation to the windows 8 operating system.  Specifically the things which I find most annoying about the new environment. You might think it would be the in-your-face start menu replacement (TIFKaM or The Interface Formerly Know as Metro), buts its not. You might think its the memory leak which shows it hungry jaws every time I launch battlefield 3 but its not. No the biggest annoyance so far, is that I can no longer press the windows key to bring up the start bar, and thus the time. Literally since the standardisation of the windows key, I have been using it to find the time, and now I have to press windows-c (or side swipe on my tablet) instead. The windows key was never intended to be a time telling button, but I like many others have been using it as such for years. Its a hard habit to break. Its things like this which begin to cause problems when you want to bring in change, or fix a problem. The effect it can have on the things people did with the item which you never expected (or are not accounting for in you change testing).

 

Its this entanglement of expected usage vs. Actual usage in eve which I really want to talk about today. Because I believe there is a fine line (which has been crossed) between “Emergent Game play”, and missing functionality. The problem as I see it is that although emergent game play is a great thing which helps define our game, it also ties together items when it comes to balance. If item One is used for Action A and action B, and A becomes over powered, the nerf to Item One could affect how well it performs Action A as well as Action B. Confused? Let me cut to the chase then.

Often referred to as the suitcase carrier, the carrier class ship has become the defacto standard for personal logistics in nullsec. When an alliance moves homes, or deploys to an area of operations, I would bet my bottom Rifter that 90-95% of ships are moved within the ship maintenance bay of a carrier. An i think that 5-10% are mostly ships which wont fit in a bay. The reasons for this are simple; the carrier can carry 2 BS sized ships (or more of smaller classes), the carrier can carry ships assembled and rigged (unlike the Jump freighter), the carrier is cheap (unlike jump freighters or Super Carriers). So most Nullsec Pilots will have a carrier for moving their things around (or will rely on friends to do their moving for them with a carrier). Yet at the same time, a carriers intended primary role is combat logistics. It seams to me that one of the 4 biggest fighting ship classes in the game is used just as much for fighting as it is for shopping. Its like watching an old lady beat a thief around the head with a handbag, or use a rocket launcher to carry melons home from the supermarket. Some might call this emergent game play. I call lack of functionality tying two actions together.

 

If tomorrow CCP decided that carriers contributed to much towards power projection, and nerfed their jump range by half, it would directly effect both Carrier Combat and Player Personal Logistics drastically and I don’t believe this should be the case. I believe that this is evidence of a hole in the current industrial ship menagerie; that of a ship transporter.

 

To split the function of Personal Logistics from Combat, Carriers should be split into two; a combat capable ship very similar to the current carrier, but with a hold only capable of holding 1-2 cruiser class ships (because ghost riders are the most balls out example of emergent game play I have ever seen), and a transporter; thin skinned and incapable of combat, but able to hold 1.5x the current cargo/SMA capacity of the carrier. I would even be for allowing for “retro-fitting” the current carriers between these two roles with a module i.e normal carrier, triage carrier, transport carrier. I cannot reiterate enough, that currently the logistical ability of the average Nullsec character is at the mercy of how CCP thinks the combat carrier needs to change to be better balanced. Think on this with a mind that sees the current nullsec stagnation, the amount of blame “Power projection” is getting for this and the ever increasing speed of the ship rebalancing.

 

I  suspect that the carrier isn’t the only example of this, but its certainly the one which worries me the most in the near future. It would not surprise me at all if before the year is out, I will have to make double if not tripple the number of jumps to redeploy in Nullsec. I am all for emergent game play, but there comes a point where pointing at players shoehorning something into something else completely unrelated and shouting ’emergent game play’ becomes an excuse for lazy development.

Elevation

Well its been an expensive month in my little corner of our universe. When I first joined my Current Alliance 3 months ago I was admitted on the condition that I immediately being a strict training course directly into their main ship of the line (take note and newbies, this is pretty normal out in 0.0 and you should embrace it!).

Thankfully I am a dedicated logi 5 pilot, with maxed out skills* so the past 3 months has been spent pretty much exclusively in Logistics ships keeping our dudes alive where I can. Usually I don’t have any problem slipping into most normal ships an alliance requests (all races all weapons systems trained to T2), in this case however our main doctrine is purely capital based, so even flying logistics, I’m missing out on a lot of fleets. But Hallelujah my training queue has almost completed. As of right now I can sit in my shiny new Archon (and do nothing but spin), with all its mods installed, and in just 19 days I will level 4 or higher in every skill which matters (at which point I will be combat ready). It’ll still be another 3 months until I have every skill required by the Corp to its proper level, but for now I am just looking forwards to getting involved in my first consensual capital combat action.
That said there is a LOT of organisation between now and my first Capital Op, but more on that later.
This will be my third capital ship trained out of the four available. My first capital train was into the wonderful Chimera, chosen simply because it was (and still is) without a doubt my favourite looking ship in the whole of eve online.  This is likely heavily influenced by the amazing Fan Video “Day Of Darkness II“, I’m no serious roll-player, but this vid always gets me going.
Then, when my Alt came to the age that it was an actual possibility, I realised that it would be amazingly useful for my alt and main to share a single carrier (or at least fly each others). As my alt was a dedicated Minmatar pilot, who already had Minmatar Battleship 5 trained (as did my main) it made an awful lot of sense for me to bite the bullet and trade in my pretty chimera for a Rough and Rusty Nidhoggure. Don’t get me wrong, the Niddy is a good looking ship in its own Minmatar way, but if were doing a looks contest, the Chimera is the gorgeous chiselled Young Sean Connery, the Nidhoggure is the rough tough bad boy Gerrard Butler (I like boobs, honest).

Sadly the latest trade in has been for the now aging Sylvester Stallone, the Archon. I mean seriously its tough as old blood boots, but the thing looks like its only half finished! I have enough cash that I may end up getting my alt a Niddy just so I can move my stuff around the universe in something better looking, its that or get the Ark (Daniel Radcliffe… Oh gods I’ll stop it now, I promise, boobs damn it).

Sadly the switchover hasn’t exactly been as easy either. When I swapped the Chimmy for the Niddy I was lucky enough to have a manufacture resident in my preferred low sec system who sold pre-fitted Carriers on contracts. I just jumped the Chimmy out, striped my travel fitting off, put the hull on contracts and waited 48 hours for it to sell. Then I bought the Niddy, tweaked the fitting (read fitted all cap mods), and jumped back home again. Easy. This time things haven’t been as smooth. First and foremost buying a combat fitting turns out to be a lot more expensive than 5 Cap Rechargers 6 Capacitor Power relays. I currently have 6 completely different fittings I need to purchase, as well as 20-30 modules which need to be stored in the ship encase we need to do the old switcher-roo mid-fight.
Between the cost of the fits (faction and dead space kit is standard where I live), the fact that carriers gained about 4-500 Million Isk in value since I last bought one, and “HOLY FUCKING SHIT STICK BATMAN, FIGHTERS COST A LOT”, its been a painful experience.  Don’t get me wrong I can afford to lose 5-6 of these before I’m bankrupt, I’m not about the break the golden rule of eve online here, but even having a fifth of your isk value invested in a single combat ship isnt something I’ve done since I was a fresh player in the game. As a result of seeing a large chunk of cash come out of my main wallet, I have done a little universal spring cleaning to generate some cash. Turns out I had a 4bn isk in assets I never fly anymore (Macharial, Orca, Hulks and Tengu). Which has generated enough instant cash to make me feel a bit better about the purchases.
Perhaps this is a good time to explain what an obsessive compulsive bastard I am? You see I have four main Characters I play:
  1. The Main (0.0 fighter extraordinaire)
  2. The Trader (main accountant and isk holder, also mines in a dire stretch)
  3. The Alt (Makes money through any shooty means, incursions, missions, FW etc)
  4. The hauler (no skills except for moving things and lighting cynos)
The Trader holds pretty much all of my liquid isk, and uses it as capital to invest in my many schemes. The Main char gets paid a salary of 300m isk per month to buy new ships and resupply old. But any additional outgoings from the Trader Char to any of my characters is placed in a debt spread sheet to be paid back into the trader account whenever another account makes some money. As result my trader keeps a steady level of isk in its wallet, slowly increasing as its investments mature and return. Every so often (generally when a wallet gets to fat on The Alt), I will deposit all the cash made across all the characters back into The Traders wallet to give it a little boost in investment cash.
For example with my current expenditure I had 600m saved up on the main for PvP ships. The Trader then lent the main 1bn to cover the purchase the Hull. The hauler already had 1bn saved up from FW exploits, and so was also lent an additional 500m from the trader to cover the Fitting costs. As a result the next 1.5bn made by any of my accounts (in this case by selling their old ships), will be paid directly to the Trader to nullify the debt.
I did mention was anal right? What can I say?

Hopefully the result of this will be something bigger than a Battle Cruiser to fly in combat. Quite a lot bigger in fact. Its been more than a year since I flew a Battleship into combat; sadly my old alliance was desperately short of logistics pilots. As a result I was always either in a Logi ship, or on the rare occasions I could fly combat, we didn’t have enough Logi to bring anything bigger the BC’s, but that’s a story for another time. Ah well, lets hope I don’t lose it to quickly!
Flying a little bit suspect I think,
Hark
*Seriously a tip for any pilot who hasn’t done it already, train into logistics ships. Max out the skills if you can (logistics Ships 5 is a bare minimum requirement btw), every alliance and every corporation wants more logistics pilots, you really wont waste you time.

Expanding the IP

DUST 514 is going to hit the market (well the F2P market) very soon, and CCP is likely hoping its success could spell the end of its reputation as a one trick pony. With Dust now almost in the bag (at least in terms of release, success is never guaranteed) and World of Darkness deep into development (?); CCP should be looking at further ways to expand its IP and game portfolio.

I believe that with two very different markets covered CCP should be looking to reinforce their current holdings by brining in further games which strengthen their position in the market, while providing potential additional income streams. In layman’s terms: Create some easy to play games which hit the biggest potential markets, and encourage people to try out their core holdings.

IP expansion objectives (in rough order):

  1. Publicise existing products to the biggest market
  2. Encourage new players to try existing games
  3. Create new profit streams for CCP
Now for the purpose of this blog I am going to ignore Dust 514, for the simple fact that I really don’t know enough about it to make observations on game play expansions (or relocation) to other platforms. But for eve I have some thoughts:
Case 1: Browser Games
In this example lets look at a VERY wide market area CCP could expand into; the Browser game market. Other AAA titles such as Age of Empires and Command & Conquer have successfully explored this market and CCP has what I think is a great basis to create a Browser game on. Most browser games are based around construction, as the “build times” allow for a slower pace of game play bringing players back at regular intervals to refresh their build queues and units. Lets look at my idea of an eve IP browser game.
Players log in to create and manage a planetary extraction and production chain. Players are given an initial planet at random on which a command centre in placed. With this they can begin extracting materials from the planet. To begin with players are limited to extracting raw materials and placing them on a market (available to eve players & other PI players). However once the begin earning money, they can spend ISK on upgrading the science and capacity of their planet. This leads to further extraction plants and processing facilities being added to the planet over time. At the top level players will have manufacturing plants on several planets (advanced players may even have holdings in different regions, which require them to use eve courrier contracts to move goods around) and buy and sell goods on a regional sale to and from eve players.
Objective 1 is met: browser games can be played by anyone with a PC
Objective 2 is met: the browser game would introduce players who enjoy management games and industry to eve, and encourage them to jump into the deeper world of eve for further fun. We could get a whole new generation of industrialists
Objective 3 is met: Browser games can, and are monetised. Cash for extra build slots, is a normal occurrence.  CCP would need to ensure that P2W features don’t affect the eve markets but monetisation is a definite possibility.
Case 2: Mobile Gaming
The mobile gaming market is a very popular place at the moment. Lots of big game manufacturers are getting involved in “App” versions/spinoffs of their AAA titles, and the market is massive. This would most likely be the hardest type of game to tie into the eve universe as a direct affecter, as popular mobile games tend to follow the formula of easy access, simple games (not exactly what CCP is known for), but we could see games such as “Danny Dare the Planetary Archaeologist” a simple pause-able exploration game (procedural generated dungeons) where completing a level gives items which can be sold to eve/dust players for isk, which can then be spent on upgrading Dannys exploration suit.
Objective 1 met: Mobile games have a massive market
Objective 2 met(ish): causal mobile players are most likely not exactly grade 1 eve online players or even great dust bunnies. but if CCP could develop a popular high profile game it could bring in a few new players.
Objective 3 met: mobile games can be popular, assuming CCP can make it using very little resources and garner at least some popularity with mobile gamers. again microtransactions are very much the norm in mobile gaming.
Case 3: Browser game or Standalone
This one is really open to any platform as its pretty simple. We have all seen the NPC industrialist caravans leaving and entering stations. Why not turn these into a strategy trading game on another platform? I’d like to think that 90% of players find moving their things around the galaxy is one of the most boring activities in the game. So why not take the boring game play out of eve, and place it in a new context where people can enjoy the process. The game could work by allowing players to transport goods as a freelance logistics expert (or part of a logistics company). Players would start with a single automated hauler, and slowly upgrade their fleet and ships/ships AI to more efficient and faster models. The main aim of the game would be to complete eve player contracts for goods movements. But some money could also be made from transporting goods from region to region buying low and selling high.
Objective 1 met: A good platform would have a large market
Objective 2 met: Players who are interested in logistics and trade might be interested in exploring the wider game
Objective 3 met: Game purchases and or microtransactions are the norm in both these markets.
Final thoughts
I find the idea of eve expanding to further platforms, partly because it would give us eve players other ways to interact with the game outside of the Home PC environment, but also because it would help CCP develop itself as a major producer, and out of niche market they are currently in. Further more every new player in eve, is someone else to blow up.
Fly faster for just $5 extra!
Hark¬

Logistics: Repper’s Delight

Introduction
Logistics in eve has always been a great passion for me in eve. When organised right, a good Logistics Core can make or break an alliance. It’s also most likely the most intensive and challenging aspect to flying in a fleet. Some people are content to jump in an Abaddon/Rokh/FOTM and just blindly follow the FC’s orders face-rolling the keyboard when told and lemming’ing through gates with wild abandon. Others prefer a challenge, a sense of independence and responsibility in their fleet; these people are, or should be, Logistics Pilots.
Logistics Pilots Operate on a different plane to fleets, we often have our own Logi FC within the fleet and we require our compatriots to be able to do more than smash their foreheads into the F1 key every few seconds. We are also; unfortunately comparatively rare, probably due to the lack of rewards the game gives you for fulfilling this role.
Lore wise armor Logistics ships use Remote Armor Repairs to project Nano-assemblers onto the armor plating of friendly ships, which then repair any damage done. Shield Transfers, despite how the name sounds, does not direct transfer shields from your ship to another. Instead these modules generate Shielding energy and project it directly into the targets shields, effectively bolstering the shields energy. In layman’s terms these modules provide the effect of a Local Repair module. Remote Reps only come in the form of Small, Medium, large and Capital, although The T2 Cruisers effectively use oversized reps (large).
Fleets tend to use Remote Reps over local rep because of its versatility. A local rep takes up a valuable mid or low slot and can only repair the ship it’s placed on (admittedly to a higher value than a single remote rep). By comparison, dedicated Logistics Ships can repair any ship in the fleet (at the cost of one less DPS ship) and when all the reps a concentrated on a single ship it will far out perform even the tankyest of tanky ships.

Types of Remote Repairs

I’m pretty sure that every one of my readers has played eve for long enough to guess that Remote Repairs is pretty much the remote version of a Local tank, and as such mirrors the Shield Boosters and Armour Repairers we see in PvE. Here are the (comparative) facts for both Armour and Shield Remote Repairs
Shield Reps
 – Called Shield Transporters, although Meta versions may have different names
 – Meta 4 is [Size] S95a Partial Shield Transporter
 – High Slot
 – Cost more CPU to fit (a lot more)
 – Cost less PG to fit (a lot less)
 – Rep the exact same amount as Armour Reps
 – Cost more to activate
 – Apply the repair immediately upon activation
 Armour Reps
 – Called Remote Armor Repair Systems
 – Meta 4 is [Size] ‘Solace’ remote Bulwark  Reconstruction
 – High Slot
 – Cost Less CPU to fit (a lot less)
 – Cost More PG to fit (a lot more)
 – Rep the exact same amount as Armour Reps
 – Cost less to activate
 – Apply the repair upon completion of the cycle (4s)
As you can see the balance between the two is pretty good and no particular method comes out on top. Some will argue the point on this one, but 90% of the time it’s really just one person’s personal preference dressed up in fake facts and provides situational advantages. I’m yet to see an argument that makes one better than the other, and until I do I will continue to state “It’s situational” on the subject. However whatever your Fleet decides to roll with, the logistics will be able to help.

Types of Logistics

This guide is going to concentrate on the T2 Logistics ships specifically as, currently; they are the most prevalent type of Fleet Logistics used in the game. As such you need to understand that there are two different types of Logistics Ships. There is no official name for the types (all are classed as “Logistics” ships in the market, and all require the exact same skills to fly), however for the purpose of this guide I will refer to them (as many do) as Chain and Solo Logistics.
Solo logistics, despite their name still operate in fleets, however each Logi is its own independent island working towards a goal with the other Logistics, things that happen to other logistics, do not directly affect the performance of you own. The Minmatar and Gellente Field these ships with in the form of the Scimitar (shield) and Oneiros (armour) respectively. These Solo Logi operate on the thin edge of cap stability usually will a full rack of Reps running & a Prop mod these ships will deplete their cap slowly rate, they often stem the tide by deactivating one or two of the Reps for a short amount of time. The Solo Logi is more susceptive to Jamming, but thanks to their Individualistic nature, assuming all your Logi are not jammed, the net effect on the fleet is minimal. Interestingly the Solo Logi also receives a bonus to tracking Links; however this is rarely used outside of PvE. Solo Logistics are also significantly faster than their Chain Counterparts (the Oneiros less so due to Armour tanking penalties), and so are generally (by no means exclusively) used by fast moving small hulled gangs (BC/cruisers), where their speed allows them to keep up with all but the fast tackle.
Chain logistics are fielded by the Caldari (shield) Basilisk and Amarr (armour) Guardian as the more complex of the logistics Brethren. This is because unlike the Solo Logi these ships rely on groupings to remain cap stable via the “Cap out of thin air” method (more on this in the next section) requiring them to fit (normally) 4 Remote Reppers and 2 Energy Transfer Arrays. These ships have more natural ECCM, to protect from jamming, however because of their dependence on cap Chains, if a Jamming cycle does land on them, the effects can be devistating. These ships are slightly slower than Solo Logi, although they can make up for this with a slightly better tank.

Cap Chains (for Chain Logi)

Thanks to the bonuses Chain Logi Remote Energy Transfers use considerably less Cap to activate than the amount they actually transfer to the target, this means that if you take two logistics and set them Remote Energy transferring to each other, each Logi will have more capacitor recharge than with no Transfers running at all (the “Cap out of thin Air” method). This excess Recharge rate is used to fuel their reppers indefinitely, running caps stable with all reppers running and prop mods. It should be noted at this stage to in order to run cap stable in a Logi chain you will need to have at least level 4 in both logistics Ships and Energy Emission Systems alongside some good core capacitor skills, at level 5 the Logi can even run stable with only a single transfer active on them. Chain Logistics in fleets however don’t run in pairs (because of the dependency this creates), and instead generally run a “Cap Chain” method (hence the name), either in 2 down or 1 down formation (more on this in a second) The standard structure of a Cap Chain is based on the alphabetical position of the character flying the ship, usually using a logistics chat channel for reference.  Using this ordering method you can then apply the 2 down or 1 down method to work out where your Energy transfers should be applied. In 2 down mode, you will be applying 1 transfer to the next pilot in the Chain, and your second Transfer to the character 2 down in the cap chain to you. In return you will be receiving an energy transfer each from the two people above you in the cap chain. In one down mode (generally used out of fleet combat to allow Logi to supply Cap to High energy consuming ships such as abandons on a POS bash), you simple apply a Transfer to the next person on the cap chain, while receiving from the person one link before you. If your fleet uses Chain Logi Exclusively (or even just more than Solo) your Logi Commander or FC should tell you how they are ordering the Logi (its usually the Alphabetical method with Z looping back up to A), If your fleet has only a handful of Chain Logi (and a majority of Solo) you will need to organise your own Cap Chain (please remember that 3 is the absolute bare minimum number of Chain Logi you should run with, not 2).

 

Skills needed for logistics

Flying a Logistics is a high Skill and Skill point job, and in most fleets has the most “Elitist” view of minimum skill levels (very dependent on the group you fly with however). The core areas for Logistics Pilots to concentrate their skill training are as follows (in rough order of importance).
1. Logistics Ship Skill
This will greatly increase your effectiveness in combat. Most Logi groups will specify Logi 4 as a minimum requirement, and Logi 5 should be trained asap. The higher this skill is, the further out you can repair, and the longer you will remain cap stable.
2a. Remote Reps (for all)
again directly effects performance duration, good skills will help you save your cap for when the shit really hits the fan, level 4 is the minimum needed to fit Tech 2 Reppers (not always used) and should be considered the minimum.
2b. Energy Emission Systems (for Chain logi)
Same as 2a.
3. Capacitor Skills
Aiming to have the Core Capacitor Certificate to Standard is a minimum (Energy Grid Upgrades IV, Energy management IV, Energy Systems Operations V), again because Cap is Life for Logi
4. Fitting Skills
I’d be torn between setting the minimal level of the Core fitting Certificate between Standard and Improved (Electronics V, Electronics Upgrades IV, Energy Management IV, Engineering V, Weapons Upgrades IV and Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV, Electronics Upgrades V, Energy grid Upgrades V + all of the before Certificate Skills) for the minimum level before staring, however this really is dependent of your Alliances Logi Fitting. Chances are, the fitting will be VERY tight on resources, and you may even require more than the above to be able to fly it. This means this is more down to alliance requirements than a general rule of thumb. That said; aim for as high as you can to prevent further fitting headaches down the road.
5. Navigation Skills
This kind of comes in two sections. Firstly you’ll need the navigation skills for your prop mod to reduce cap needs to at least level IV to help you remain cap stable. Secondly you want to be as fast and as agile as you can, both to help you keep up with faster ships, but also to help you sig tank. Again a minimum of IV for Navigation and Evasive Manoeuvring, you should also consider getting Space Ship Command to IV as well
6. Targeting Skills
Also Logistics can target up to 10 ships and should be able to target at absolute minimum 6. Base Pilots with no skill can target 2 ships, meaning you need at least Targeting IV to increase this to 6, but you really should be aiming to train Targeting V and Multi-Tasking III to maximise your locking (note as far as I know Logistics is the only ship able to target 10 ships with no ship able to target more, therefore, unless you intend on using Auto Targeters there is never any point in training Multi-Tasking Beyond III.
7. Tanking skills
Only this low on the priority order because I would assume that even a Frigate Pilot should have tanking skills to level four but just encase you’ve been Station Trading all your Toon’s life until now (when you suddenly got the burning desire to be a Logi Pilot, Looking at you Grevlon) you will need ALL relevant Tanking skills to Level IV before getting in a Logi, The only possible exception to this is the Shield [Damage Type] Compensation skills, but only IF your fleets fitting requires no passive shield Modules. Even then you should have it any way.
In addition to the above you will also need the following to actually fly the ship:
Racial Cruiser V
Logistics I
            Space Ship Command III
            Signature Analysis V
                        Electronics I
            Long Range Targeting V
                        Electronics II
Here is a link to the Skill plan for a Blank Char to get into a Guardian (you can change the racial cruiser to your choice and adjust the remote rep type). You should note that it takes 127 days without Implants (93d with +4’s) to train from literally no Skills to the minimum perquisite for Flying Logi. I would expect this number to be far lower for any current 0.0 Pilot. To get to what I would call Optimal (but not perfect) would take a further 49 days (41 with +4’s).

Fitting Logistics ships

As with any fittings there is always a lot of debate about how to correctly fit a Logistics ships. General agreement can be found on the following Points:
Always fit a DCU of some kind (most contentious of the generally agreed points)
Always fit a Prop Mod
Solo Logi Use 4 high slots to fit Remote Reps
Chain Logi Use high slots for 4 Reps and 2 Energy Transfers
Try and be as cap stable as you can, without nerfing your tank/speed
If you are not doing any of the above (with perhaps the exception of the DCU), chances are you’re doing it wrong. Further than this point is generally quite situational and subject to FOTM and you should follow your Alliances fitting Codes. Although you should always check to ensure you have a good balance of Resists to buffer.

Joining a fleet as logistics

Joining a fleet as a logistics pilot for the first time is always quite daunting as there is no “shallow end” to the eve pool. Don’t expect to get into a fleet and just cruise along, using your drones/gun to get on kill mails and slowly learning the ropes before getting actually involved with the repping. If you’re in a Logi ship you will be expected to pull you weight immediately and will be under a lot of pressure to perform. You will (or should) find that you also put a lot of stress on yourself because you will feel like the survival of the fleet relies on your skills and abilities (note, this feeling never goes away, you just get more confident that you can do it). This all said however, most alliances recognise the stress of being a new Logi and so often cut a little slack to new Logi Pilots and help guide them along the way. Because of this you should always let your Logi FC / fellow Logi Pilots know if you’re a green hand at Logistics.
With all this in mind, here if a check list for joining Fleet as a Logi:
 – Check your ship adheres to the Alliance fittings, and matches the fleet tank type
 – Find out the logistics channel and join it, this is also an opportune time to find out if you have a Logi fc and if so who it is
 – check to see who your anchor is (if you have one)
 – Link your fitting in the logi Channel
 – If you’re a Chain Logi, check that there are at the very least 3 other Chain Logi in the fleet, if not either swap out to a Solo Logi, or if you cannot let your FC/Logi FC/ Logi Pilots know (some may switch out to support you.
 – Find out what kind of Cap chain your fleet is running and work out your cap buddies add them to the top of your watch list
 – Add your FC and any Target callers to your watch list
 – Add as many fellow Logistics ships to your watch list as you can
 – Fill the rest of your watch list space with Fragile ships which might need quick help
 – Set up your Fleet Broads casts to see Remote Rep requests
And a list of things to be constantly checking while flying
 – Am I Cap Chaining correctly?
 – Am I in the correct position?
 – Are we on top of any broadcasts?

How to save a life

When the shit actually hits the fan and you are required to begin saving people, there really isn’t any firm guide to exactly what to do. I can give you a few rough guide lines which might help, but a lot of what you do will come from gut feeling, intuition and situational awareness, all of which will come with experience. That said here are a few things to remember when you’re trying to stem the flow of damage.
 – Combat repping mostly looks like this;
            – Enemy Fleet Primaries Target
            – Target Broadcasts for reps
            – You lock target and apply a rep
            – Target is still going down so you apply another rep
            – Enemy Fleet gets bored and primaries another target
            – Target broadcasts for reps
            – You lock the target and this time apply two reps
            – Enemy fleet has split DPS and another target is getting damage at the same time
            – Second Target broad casts for Reps and you lock him and apply a rep
            – Rince wash and repeat (if your lucky)
 – You can use both your watch list and the Broadcast window to lock targets. In the broadcast window, if someone asks for reps, just ctrl-click them to initiate lock.
 – Use your gut/Experience to assess how many reps to use in a given circumstance
Assigning every repper you have to save a single ship might seem like the right thing to do right now, but the second you face-roll F1 to F4 the enemy will change primary, and another ship can easily die in 3 seconds (7 if your Armour repping), If you only had 2 reppers activated on the first ship, you could have supported the second instantly.
 – If you do decide to go all in, make sure you stagger your reps
There are situations where you need to activate all your reppers on a high priority target but unless it’s a millimetre away from 0hp, you should always stager your reps 1 second apart. This is for two main reasons. Firstly it means that just encase another even higher priority target comes under fire (or this one dies anyway) you will only have a maximum of one second before you can move a rep away from this target and onto another. Secondly, this will mean that your target will have a constant stream of smaller reps rather than a single hit, making it harder for the enemy to time (or fluke) their attacks and alpha your target to death while he is waiting for the next big rep.
 – If you do have a damage mod (you shouldn’t, but we all do it) only EVER use it, if you have already done everything you can to help your fleet
Logi’s are not in the fleet to get kill mails, if you cannot accept this fact, don’t fly one. If you absolutely have to get on a kill mail the best way to do this is to launch a single drone, and assign it to assist a DPS ship. This way you can concentrate on doing your job. Don’t launch a full flight of drones, as you won’t be likely to get time pull it before you leave grid. Don’t bother with guns, because using them will not only take up a targeting slot, but also detract your concentration.
 – Don’t unlock to fast
 If you successfully save a ship from primary, and another ship comes under fire, rep the new primary, but keep the old one locked for just a little while encase the enemy switch damage back again
 – There is nothing wrong with pre-emptily locking valuable targets, but only if you have enough spare locks.
Logi Terms and Common Phrases
Anchor: The ship you set orbit to during combat operations in order to prevent you from straying away from either the fleet or your fellow logistics
Buffer: The amount of actual Hit points on your ship before resists are taken into account
Cap Buddy: Any one you are giving or receiving Cap to or from.
Cap Chain: The order of pilots which determines who gives Capacitor Transfers to whom.
Chain Logi: Guardian, Basilisk
“Check Cap Chain” or “Adjust Cap Chain”: the phrase used to signify that a section of the cap chain has left. It implies that you should check that your cap buddies are still on the field and if not adjusting your transfers to the new order.
ETA: Energy Transfer Array
FOTM: Flavour of the month, Items that are currently popular (until the next nerf/buff)
“I’m Dry” or “Out of Cap”: Used by a Chain logi to indicate that they are out of Cap, it is implicating that their Cap buddies are not set up correctly and should “Check Cap Chain”
Logi (short): Logistics Ships
Remote Reps: See Reppers
Reppers: Either Armour or Shield Remote Repairing Modules
Resists: The % of each damage type which your ship will “Ignore” when taking damage.
RR: Remote Repairs
Sig Tank: using your signature radius to avoid damage by making it harder for enemy ships to hit you, sig tank is a combo of the following: reducing your Signature Radius and increasing your speed.
Speed Tank: See Sig tank
Solo Log: Scimitar, Oneiros