I propose a ship that would offer a similar service. The details are below. If you have comments, please post them. As I've said before, EVE players are sometimes not that good at seeing the obvious holes in their own proposals. So if you see a few holes in this one, please let me know. So here it is, a formal proposal for the idea of a...
Destroyer Class Tender
The biggest annoyance with being behind enemy lines in null-sec is the massive advantage granted by those that live there by the stations. They are able to refit, repair, rearm, change ships, and perform the myriad of functions available at a station. The roaming gang has none of these advantages. This is not to say that the roaming gangs should have all of these advantages, but they should have a few...
Fleets have been operating far from their home ports for hundreds of years. And in the last 150 years or so, the capabilities have existed for ships to refit and rearm far from their bases. It makes sense that the capability should exist in New Eden as well. And giving roaming gangs this capability will introduce new game-play options.
The class name for the new ship will be "Tender". It will be a new T2 destroyer-class (or perhaps industrial-class) hull unique to each race, and based on a new T1 destroyer hull:
- the Caldari Tender will be called the Dove;
- the Gallente Tender will be called the Asclepius;
- the Amarr Tender will be called the Cleric;
- the Minmatar Tender will be called the Scalpel.
The primary skill requirement to fly the Tender will be racial Frigate V. The secondary skill requirement to fly the Tender will be Destroyers V. The tertiary skill requirement to fly the Tender will be racial Tender I, which will be based on Engineering V and Energy Emissions V.
The Tender will have the following class bonuses:
- Destroyer Skill Bonus: +10% cargo capacity and +5% speed per level
- Tender Skill Bonus: 20% reduction to Shield Transport, Remote Armor Repairer, and Remote Hull Repairer capacitory use and +10% to repair amount per level
- Role Bonus: -50% CPU and grid need for Shield Transporters, Remote Armor Repairers, and Remote Hull Repairers; and +100% penalty to remote repairer cycle time
Each Tender will have four high slots, and as you can see from the bonuses, would partially be a "mini-Logistics." However, its primary advantages would be two-fold: first, it would be able to fit and deploy the new salvage drones and would have sufficient drone space to do so. And second, the Tender would have both a small Corporate Hangar Array and would have the Orca and Carrier's ability to serve as a refitting point for fleeted ships. Mid- and low-slots would be set sufficient to equip a moderate tank and sufficient cap mods to power two medium and one small repper of various types. CPU and grid would likewise be set with two medium and one small repper in mind, plus another utility high slot. Fitting a couple of CPU mods should just make it possible to fit an Expanded Probe Launcher with smaller reppers.
I also have the vague idea that it would be fun to have a Covert Ops Cloak-capable Tender for the express purpose of serving as a logistics and refitting point for cloaky Recon/Stealth Bomber gangs behind enemy lines. Perhaps the Tender could be given the ability to jump through Covert Cynosural fields without itself being able to warp cloaked?
My general idea is that the Tender would, once fit properly, have a cargo bay of about 700 cubic meters and a CHA space of about 500 cubic meters... just enough to hold spare ammo on the way out and loot on the way back. Lock time and sig radius would be comparable to the existing destroyers. Lock range would be somewhat less than the current destroyers.
Tenders would not be particularly viable as in-combat Logistics ships both due to their thin skins, the value of the cargo they were carrying, and the cycle time penalty applied to their Shield Transporters and Remote Repairers. One would call in the Tenders after the battle was over, not while the battle was on-going.
The primary role of the Tender would be to act as an in-space refitting and repair point for small- and medium-size gangs behind enemy lines. Like the submarine tenders of World War II on which the class is based, Tenders behind enemy lines could hold a large amount of ammunition, spare modules, Nanite Repair Paste, Liquid Ozone, isotopes, et cetera. It fills an important void: it allows gangs operating behind enemy lines to refit ships for different capabilities as needed without the need for docking rights. This would create a lot of emergent game-play: a small group of tenders with a battle cruiser gang, for instance, could refit for short- or long-range depending on the enemy gangs that they encountered and the tactics the BC gang wished to use.
However, the smaller platform is also itself viable behind enemy lines, unlike the Orca or Carrier, which are too-specialized to operate in this sort of role. Unlike the Orca or Carrier, the Tender does not have a vast cargo hold, and as a result, a large fleet wishing to refit for a different role would require a large number of Tenders to make that possible, or perhaps one or two Tenders plus an Industrial. The Tenders could also help bait ships fit additional tank, or if bait ships were not needed, remove the bait fitting for a more universal fit. Tenders could also carry additional drones in their cargo bay to replace drones lost in space by roaming gang. And of course, it might be handy for the Tender to carry a Cynosural Field Generator or two in its CHA...
If the Tender were given the ability to use Covert Cynos, it could operate as the primary logistics platform for Stealth Bomber and Recon gangs operating behind enemy lines. The Tender's ability to allow the bombers to refit would give them the ability to fit for bombing fit or ganking fit depending on the fleet's needs, and the cargo space and CHA could be used to hold Bomb Launchers and spare bombs. Tenders operating with Recons (particularly Falcons or Rooks) could carry the spare racial jammers needed to affect a fleet found during a long roam, or additional e-war or tank as needed for other Recons.
Tenders would be reasonably useful for PvE fleets operating in low-sec or null-sec, particularly for carrying loot.
Finally, the platform does allow for a certain amount of LOL-fleets with two-gun, two-repper Tender fleets, or Tender fleets refitting on the fly to equip different weapon types as needed depending on what they encounter in space.
The Tender creates an extremely versatile "mini-logistics" and refitting platform that would somewhat reduce the inherent advantage that null-sec alliances enjoy far into 0.0 space. With a viable platform to offer refitting, rearming, and repair services, null-sec gangs could travel deeper into 0.0 and reduce the safety that those in deep 0.0 currently enjoy. The ship does not replace the existing Logistics class and offers capabilities that would not be matched by the current industrial ships. Making the Tender a destroyer would make it a relatively fragile target that would be easily destroyed if caught.
The primary goal of the Tender is to drive emergent game-play: this proposal lists only some of the advantages to which clever EVE players could apply this platform...