Monday, 12 October 2015

The Devil's Choice

CCP is proposing that remote assistance modules will be subject to falloff, like all other ranged modules bar gang assists and missiles are; turrets, EWAR, etc. all suffer from having an Optimal and a Falloff attribute.

To my mind, this is vital for addressing logistics over-proliferation in the metagame and doctrinal and fleet design of larger entities, and also equally vital in rebalancing them in terms of their effect on small gang combat.

The situation at the moment is that a Logistics cruiser has a range of 71.4km and projects perfect reps to the edge of its range. A typical 4/2 Guardian reps 285.6 armour hit points per second at 71.4km and a Basilisk reps 307.2 shield hit points per second at 71.4km. So two Guardians are 571.2 hp/s and 2 Basilisks are 614.4 hp/s as long as they are within range.

The smart thing to do, obviously, is to stay at least 38km away from an enemy, which is to whit, the range of Curse and Armageddon neuts. Add a few klicks if someone has splashed out on a Bhaalgorn. If you can achieve this, you have infinite capacitor and can even be beyond the range of drone attacks (typically 57km) which leaves your logis in a serene golden land of fucking up small gang combat and making T3 cruisers with their 80% plus resists incredibly strong (eg; ~3,000 EHP/s tank). I mean, i'm not going to mince my words, there are a lot of corps who won't take fights without their twin Guardians, beacuse it's not quite an I-win button but its pretty disastrously OP.

With falloff, you will have a devilish choice - stay comfortably at range and take up to a 50% hit to your EHP repping power for the benefit of neut immunity, lower risk of DPS and being in ECM falloff to enjoy less outages (and greater problems from damps)....or come in closer and rep more but take more damage, more neuting risk, more drone damage rik and greater ECM outage risk (but less damp problems).

This is not to say that intra-logi blob reps will be much affected, because logis will tend to blob up around a logi anchor, so their reps to and from each other will still be within optimal, and their cap transfers will most likely be unaffected by any falloff degradation.

There is still an argument that cap chains between massed logis (3/3 guards are a thing, you know) are too strong, which provides issues in busting them with neuts. I've been in situations where 3 Basis have held off 6 Ashimmu/Curses and stagnated 20 a side fights into bullshit territory. This definitely shows that cap chaining is far too strong, and falloff attributes on cap transfers are unlikely to affect anything because of logis anchoring on each other.

There is also an opportunity in introducing falloff and optimal to rework the hull bonuses of the Logistics cruisers to provide some differentiation between the tandem logis and the solo logis (Scimis and Oneiros). For example, the solo logis should get a bonus to Optimal on their repair modules so they rep to range better, but the tandem logis should get a bonus to Falloff.

  • If the range of the Large RR is 8.4km, and this splits 50/50 to 4.2 Optimal and 4.2 falloff, the current split would be 35.7km Optimal + 35.7 Falloff. 
  • However, if you make the hull bonus 75% per level bonus to Optimal and 225% bonus per level to falloff for the Guardian and basi, the final numbers would be 17.85 km Optimal + 53km falloff
  • The Scimi and Oneiros could have it the other way around, giving 53km Optimal + 18 falloff, which allows them to be more autonomous and differentiates them.

However, the addition of falloff will definitely cause disruption to the meta and break up some of the small fleet setups where you have 30%-40% logistics compositions and stupidity ensues. With falloff in reps, a logi blob will become more of its own organic micro-fleet component, sitting at range and having to make more of a nuanced choice as to exactly how far away they stay. If you can force them to range you are more likely to crack the enemy fleet's DPS component due to degrading their repping power.

Falloff does, however, make range-damping logistics counter-productive, as it forces them in closer and strengthens their repping power; that may be a ploy to drive them onto your neuts, but damps should be used surgically to break locks intermittently and not blanket the whole blob.

Of course, this may result in people just fielding more logistics, but right now that will be ludicrous. For example, I have seen NDORD run a 22 man armour Ishtar fleet where there were 12 Ishtars and 10 Guardians. Total gayflotilla behaviour, anyone would agree. No amount of falloff is going to make that a fleet anyone would want to fight or could fight. But I will take what i can get.

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