Saturday, August 17, 2013
Public Health Services
Eve is full of people who do services for other Eve players. It is another very fun part of the game. You are not limited to hitting wolves over the head and skinning them. You can supply the knives or offer to tan the skins.
The problem is that Eve is also full of evil people who will backstab you in a moment. That alone will make most people shy away from a concept like this. But, this is not the first group that has appeared and offered to be logistics for THC2 or 7-2 or any group that they think might need a logistics wing.
The idea of a logistics corporation is simple and elegant. First one has to realize that there is Logistics with a capital L. That stands for the spaceships that repair (heal :P) other spaceships. The action of doing logistics is more a player created occupation to function smoothly in Eve. Technically, the concept of Logistics Cruisers being a mobile repair ship makes sense for logistics capabilities. However, it is Eve and logistics is a word that has become technical language. Today, we are focusing on Logistics with a capital L.
Logistics in Eve involve a fair bit of time. The recent buff to T1 logistics has made what was a very steep curve of entry easier and more obtainable. While logistics cruisers and frigates have always existed, it was not until the re-balance pass last December that T1 logistics surged into the lime light and T2 logistics started their retreat to more specialized and serious engagements.
What this did is allow people to try logistics. Before, learning logistics was a long train and sitting in a logistic cruiser was a longer train. To truly make a T2 logistics cruiser shine logistics learned to level V was a basic minimum. It was a daunting task to become a healer and then it was a thankless task once it was accomplished. It also created the interesting side effect of logistics being a way to become invaluable to a group. It was a check mark on the resume.
Anyway, healers. Healers are important. But they are specialized. The train takes months and that is months that you are not learning other skills to improve other abilities to survive in Eve. The first group that I talked to wandered in and had a plan. They were going to find an active pirate organization and offer to become their logistics wing for basic protection in low sec. It would be a symbiosis that made perfect sense. After all, pirates are well known to sow destruction and sup from the cup of DPS.
But the opinion of pirates is often narrow. More of my corporation mates and associates can put a fully skilled logistics pilot on the field than cannot. Because logistics do not show up on kill mails finding out if people have logistics is not always easy. But we do. However, I can forgive them for not knowing that we are broader in ability then expected. It makes sense to offer it to us.
I think that the concept of providing logistics abilities to a corporation is more romantic then it is. It is a thankless task. You will lose ships. You will be primary. You will be expected to sacrifice yourself to get other ships off the field. I understand that there are contracts to be made and goals to be fulfilled but there is a difference between sitting on a field with every module overheated dying in a fire trying to save a corporation mate and being a logistics pilot who is helping out in a fleet for a spotty bit of protection.
Because protection in low sec is hard. We own and push and defend based off of our immediate strength and personal skill molded into a groups ability. Unless we are Ueberlisk.
And then there is a basic trust issue. Yes, there are awoxers. I know lots of people who awox. I don't really care. They are not corpmates. Your corpmates are the people you hang out with. They are the people you undock to go and save. They are the people you throw your ships away to help them and you think nothing of it. Your corpmates are the people who you buy stuff for or who give you ISK to buy things and you don't have to do convoluted bursts of trust.
Or at least. My corpmates are. That is the type of corpmate I am used to. I have no desire to find a different type. The side effect is that a group who is being protected will not have the same passion as the group that actually loves you. And they will not have the same trust. If we are putting billions of ISK on the field it only makes sense that we have taken the time and trained the people to take care of those ships. Hiring another group to come in and expecting that same level of dedication baffles me.
But, to approach the topic fairly and move away from my own passion for the people I play with and the things that we do, most people don't know my side of life in Eve. Our logistics pilots are amazing people who are very skilled in the game. It is not just target ship click on reps. It is as complex a fleet position as any other with independent and group actions, self awareness and situationl awareness all wrapped in an expensive, highly skilled package that is mostly unable to defend itself.
For high sec, I can somewhat see groups offering logistics. For low sec and null sec and wormhole space, I cannot wrap my mind around trusting a group 'hired' for logistics. It is such a sweet concept. It makes sense. It seems like a niche no one else has discovered. But some gaps are persistent. It is always possible that someone will develop a truly elegant solution to the problem. But while that solution is to find a pirate corp to live with and service, it seems one doomed to failure.
Where they do shine is Incursions. The incursion community is the closest comparison to a healthy, public logistics service. And even they fail. People lie about skills and fits. People stop repping. Awoxing happens. It is not a perfect system but as one that I have spent my fair share of time in, it does work. It is also a lot of work but it is highly appreciated and more fulfilling then burning in a fire in a low sec battle you don't care about for people that may not be able to help you achieve the goals you need.