Friday, 26 August 2011

Being Logical

Those that have read my earlier posts (all two of you) know that I prefer support class ships in PVP.  I’ve created one post already with my opinion of the ECM ships I fly and I wanted to take some time to discuss the shield logistics ships.  

When I first started flying logi ships I read through several different forums to help gain a baseline understanding of which ship is better in which situations, and to what level should skills be trained.  One thing that kept showing up over and over was that if you’re going to commit to flying logi you should train logistic ships to V.  The reason to spend over 20 days training is capacitor stability.  The additional boost to capacitor efficiency is usually the different between an additional Large Shield Transporter (LST) or having to downgrade to a smaller sized repper.  Tank can also be affected due to a requirement to add a capacitor recharger or capacitor booster in a mid slot.  Overall the value of training to Logi V is completely worth the training time for anyone that intends to fly a logistics ship as a primary playstyle.

Next I wanted to know which ship was better.  Balance is almost never achieved in MMO’s and we all know that there is usually a item or class that is favored over others.  I found out that both ships are unique enough to have no clear cut winner.  Instead the choice between flying a Basilisk or a scimitar for a PVP roam usually boils down to fleet composition and individual play style. PVE is a little bit different and usually the Basilisk wins out as long as they can be flown in pairs and if you are the lone logistics pilot in a PVE fleet you’ll want a scimitar.  Let’s explore those differences a bit more though.  

PVP:  When determining which ship you want for PVP you have to ask a few critical questions.  
Will I be flying solo or with other logistics?
Is the roam going to be large fleet or small gang?
Is the fleet composition Battleships and above or Battlecruisers and below?

  Those are the three questions I ask myself when picking out which ship type to fly.  When solo the Scimi is almost always the better choice.  It’s faster, has a smaller signature radius, and is easier to make cap stable on its own.  The Basi can be cap stable by itself but the slot layout differences typically favor the Scimitar.  When flying with other logi though the tables are turned and the Basi becomes king of the ring.  Two or more Basi with a cap transfer chain can throw out more reps and have better tanks than a similar number of Scimitar.  The Basi’s are still slower and with bigger sig radius, but the raw healing and capacitor power makes up for those weaknesses.

  Next the logi pilot should assess whether or not they are going to be flying in a small gang or a large fleet.  A small gang is usually faster and more dependent on positioning.  The Scimitar is the better choice for small gangs due to speed and sig radius.  Even if you have a couple of logi pilots it’s usually better to fly Scimis.  The converse of this is true for large fleets where the Basilik shines.  On grid speed isn’t as important in a large fleet because the fleet relies on firepower and EWAR more than maneuverability.  

Finally the logi pilot should consider if the roam will be larger, slower ships or smaller faster ships.  A small gang BS fleet is better served by Basi’s and a large BC/Cruiser fleet is typically better with Scimitar.  Another consideration is BS’s are typically more cap thirsty and having a spare cap transfer or two can be the difference between a win or loss.  

Typically I fly a scimitar for almost all PVP because it seems to be more forgiving when I make mistakes staying at the proper range, and because most of the fleets I’m in are nano BC roams.  

PVE:  When picking a PVE ship the determining factors are much simpler. 
Will there be at least two Basi or will you be solo?  
Will you be fighting sleepers or incursion NPCs?  

  As pointed out earlier, if solo your better choice is usually the Scimitar.  When paired though you will almost always want a Basilisk.  Speed and sig radius aren’t critical for the average PVE mission but having more cap, higher tank, and higher shield reps can be critical.

  When engaging sleepers or incursions the popular ship is the basilisk.  These missions see lots of cap neuting, large amounts of webbing, and high incoming dps.  All of these stacked together means the basilisk shines while the scimitar struggles.  I have read however that the scimitar is ideal for mothership incursions due to smaller sig radius and subsequent lower damage from bombing runs, but I have no firsthand experience with those fights.  These types of PVE fights are another area where having Logi V helps.  A logi IV basi pilot requires two cap transfers to be stable while a logi V basi pilot only needs one cap transfer, freeing up a spare transfer for other ships in the fleet.  More information regarding incursion fits can be found on the left side of the blog in the ships library.

  So we’ve made our choice of which ship to fly and now it’s time to get modules installed, rigs rigged, and drones bayed.  There are a multitude of fits and opinions about what constitutes the best way to setup a ship.  I’m going to talk about a few rules I try to follow in my fits and I’ll toss in a few links for setups I prefer. 
PVP rules:  MWD is usually a staple to ensure proper range is maintained and ECCM mod due to logi’s being the second highest priority for jams.  Otherwise I try for cap stability and then as much tank as I can pile on.  Drones are usually ECM for personal protection.  Long ranges involved usually means shield drones are slow to get to target and have the potential to get out of control range.  Warriors could be used to engage enemy drones as well, but I haven’t tried that yet because most enemy fleets are over 80k away.

PVE rules:  AB is acceptable, no real concern for ECCM, cap transfer or cap booster to counter neuting, and as many LST as you can fit.  Drones are usually light for added reps.

Preferred fits:   

Basilisk PVP (can swap T2 MWD for Meta 3 version) 

  Fighting in a Logi ship is relatively simple because you are out there to only do one thing.  The complicated part of flying a logi ship is the pilot is required to operate using his personal judgement and does not have an FC dictating the next series of steps to take.  Who should get reps and how soon should you change targets?  Should you divide your reps around or concentrate on one person?  Should you orbit an anchor ship or manually fly around to maintain range?  Move closer to rep the hero tackler or stay with the fleet until it closes range?  Jump through the gate/warp off to come back, or stay on grid and trust the fleet to peel the drones/damaging ship off?

  Each fight requires constant monitoring of several different windows and rapid target lock and unlock to ensure reps are being placed where they are needed.  Keep people healed seems like a simple task but I think it’s the most demanding role I’ve played so far.  Most of the roam you warp around waiting for action, then the fleet gets into a fight and you’ve got more going on than you can keep up with.  

  I’ve found a few things to help guide me in the decision making process though.  The first is that if we are on a gate/station, and I don’t have proper range to work with, I don’t do anything that will give me a jump timer.  Instead of range for a defense we have the ability to instantly egress and reappear if we start taking damage.  The fleet might be without a logi for the 30secs it takes to cycle through, but that’s better then not having logi until it can reship.

  When I have range to work with I make sure to pulse the MWD and not leave it on.  I try to maintain a maximum of 50km from the main fleet and endeavor to keep the fleet between me and the enemy.  I prefer to manually pick a direction which gives me transversal against the enemy fleet and still allows me some form of celestial to have instant warp.  When there is no celestial to align to I wait till I get locked up and then align even if the direction isn’t ideal.  

  Finally I watch the broadcast history for target selection and use the watchlist for other logi, ecm, and scouts/warp in targets.  I don’t feel the need to have the watch list full just to have it full, I prefer to have some room on it to make adjustments as new scouts are called or whatever might be required.  Most logi ships can have 10 targets locked and I like to keep 5-8 locked at any one time.  Normally this will be the other logi in fleet, ewar ships, and then the tackle.  The other spots are left open for whoever is broadcasting.  There’s no hard rule for when to drop a target, just use your discretion based on current situation.   

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