Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


OK. Some of you are going to want to argue with me because I'm about to say something contentious again. Ready? Theme statement first:
5-15 man fleets are dying in EVE Online null-sec except as a tool for ganks.
At ganks, I assure you they are still excellent. But if the age of the 15v15 or 15v20 or 15v25 fight isn't over, it will be over very soon. It's dying of four things simultaneously:
  1. The overall skill point inflation of EVE Online players as the EVE population ages.
  2. The prevalence of easily accessible data on fleet doctrines and the spread of those doctrines.
  3. The risk aversity of EVE Online players, particularly two- to four-year-old players.
  4. The ease of getting newer EVE Online players into T1 logistics ships.
Once upon a time, there were ~elite PvP~ alliances in this game. And these alliances excelled at using three things to defeat larger fleets ("punching up"): higher skill points, better fits and doctrines, and the ability to bring link ships. They used these advantages to take on somewhat larger fleets, or to use skirmish tactics to nibble at the edges of much larger fleets. Now everyone has those things. Is that a bad thing? No! Not at all! But it's having an impact, and that impact is to drive the size of fleets on the low end upward.

"Small gang" in this game is becoming 30-40 ships, not 5-15.

This impact doesn't seem to be affecting the "solo" pilot too much, except the solo pilot tends to have two or even three (or four) link ships. And this impact doesn't seem to be affecting what I would call "micro-gangs": five or fewer. These fleets can much more easily choose their battles -- though they sometimes run afoul of those last few 5-15 man fleets and get one or two of their number ganked. But what I would have previously called a small gang of 15 is finding it nearly impossible to find equal size fights. The opponent of a 15 man gang isn't another 15 man gang. More often than not, it's a 30 or 40 man gang.

My alliance-mate Namamai had a lot to say about this topic on somethingawful recently and I want to quote some relevant bits (edited here and there for clarity):
Here's the issue: these days, a micro-gang (5-15 people) is good for ganks only. And in particular, it has three flavors:
  1. Use moderately priced ships. You gank one or two ships at a time, and then either cloak up (in the case of black ops) or scatter (in the case of inty swarms / sniper BCs).
  2. Use cheap ships. You gank one or two ships at a time, and then die to the response fleet and not give a fuck. (Nano Thoraxes, etc.)
  3. Use powerful but slow-moving ships. Everyone runs from you until they have a proper defense fleet up, and then dunk you.
At best, you're getting a easy (almost boring) gank and then blue-balling a response fleet.

Now, if you were playing a few years ago, there were tons of examples of a small, well-comped fleet being able to take a few kills off a fleet, and maybe even do sustained fighting with a larger fleet for a bit, and then disengage. There were a couple ways to do it, most of them focusing on speed (Vagabonds, 100MN Tengus, arty Tornados/Muninns, etc) or highly flexible damage projection (Zealots, Rail Proteuses, Navy Apocs with a single triage carrier, etc). These days, trying to do this kind of stuff will largely get you killed, with little or nothing to show for it.
He goes on to list a few reasons that he sees, which I more or less agree with (again edited, this time for brevity):
  • Warp speed changes. If you're flying anything cruiser or bigger that can't cloak, hostile inties and dictors will absolutely get ahead of you, no matter where you warp.
  • Changes in fitting meta. Railguns and sentry drones provide huge flexibility in range and tracking. The strength and relative cheapness of sensor-dampening ships remove many of the advantages of kiting/skirmish fleet comps. There are relatively few "hard counters" left in the game.
  • More accessible logistics. Logistics is no longer the realm of bitter-vets who train for months to be good at repping; there are now T1 logistics ships, and most fleets with 20+ people will have 3 or more logistics ships.
  • A general raise in median SP, especially with respect to capitals. Having a carrier alt isn't the sign of an old player anymore; it's rapidly becoming the norm. Capital escalations are common.
Now again, this is not to say you can't get kill-mails with such a gang size. You absolutely can. But they'll be in singles, pairs, maybe as many as five. You can gank mining ships, you can gank ratters. But as Namamai puts it, you can't get a "really pounding-pulse we-won-a-sustained-fight-with-1/3-their-numbers PvP, of the kind that used to be possible just a year or two ago."

~Elite PvP~ is dying. It's not dead yet. But it's falling over, and the wolves are circling.

Before you yell at me, remember: I'm talking null-sec. I know this size gang is still prevalent in low-sec, particularly in faction warfare. I know this size gang is sometimes worthwhile in w-space. I know it has its place in high-sec war-decs. But I'm talking the old-style roaming gang of 2009-2010 that used to be as common as dirt: ten DPS ships, two or three tacklers, two special teams ships (usually a Lach/Arazu and a T2 logi), probably a dictor. That meta is what's dying.

Now here's the tricky part: there's not going to be a lot of metrics that can be used to prove this thesis statement. When two 15 man fleets meet in null-sec these days, more often than not a fight doesn't happen. And since the fight doesn't happen, it doesn't generate kill-mails. Therefore: no metrics. One side looks at the other and sees four Exequrors, or two Scimitars and a Falcon, or a pile of T3s and simply decides not to engage. The typical 15 man fleet out there right now is four inties, six DPS ships... and four special teams ships which more often than not are four logi. Or perhaps three logi and a dictor or three logi and a Rapier or Loki. Or if they're hunting your 15 man inty gang, maybe a Keres.

To break even two logi, you have to bring 50% more numbers. To break three, you have to bring almost double, or a couple of jamming ships. Think that 15 man gang is gonna engage if they see 25 or 30? Or if they see you brought two Falcons, Griffins, or Kitsunes with you? Hell no. They're gonna disengage, safe up, and let that gang go by. Therefore no fight, therefore no kill-mails, therefore no metrics. This thing is happening silently.

Which is why instead you're seeing these 15 man fleets dunk on a few ratters or a couple of mining ships or perhaps a solo boat or two. They're doing their hunting in renter space, usually going for things that can't fight back. Again, ganks are cool! I like kill-mails as much as the next fella, maybe more. But I also like fights and in this fleet size they're becoming a hell of a lot tougher to come by.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of cheap logistics, good numbers, alts, and high SP -- plus the ever-growing desire to dunk these 15 man gangs -- is pushing the "small gang" up to 30 or 40 ships. I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. But I am saying it is a thing. Inflation isn't just hitting the cost of things in the game. It's hitting the size of fleets in the game too.


  1. I blame Killboards, they are a blight on this game. And people shaming other people for losing ships. Thats what I love about my corp. We don´t care. I say to my newbies: Do you embarrasing loses here in your training corp, so you don´t waste your next corps. I would prefer if I do not have to say this, but so many Corp leaders out there are drama queens, bursting into tears at the slightest sign of red on the KB.

  2. TL;DR: EVE is aging bad, case #28.

    A game that naturally rewards knowledge and numbers will naturally kill the uninformed and the smaller, thus averting its future growth and eventually spelling doom on such game.

    The only way to prevent that is to see it coming, and CCP's concept of foreseeing stuff is to develop in 2013 a plan to implement by 2016 a elitistic cure to the bottomfeeder stagnation started in 2009 and which the 2011 crisis turned into a slow death.

  3. Problem in nullsec is theres no real way to get content in that small of a gang reliably. The ESS looked like it would be great for changing that, since 'micro gangs' could run around stealing resources and forcing locals to respond but you can do that anymore with people putting them in fully spawned anoms. This doesn't effect the system owners ofcourse since they don't need a ship to use the ESS (completely bypassing all the rats).

    Nullsec just really isn't viable for actual small gangs anymore, or rather it can be but that viability is shrinking and with it the reason for smaller gangs to even bother going null.

  4. There's really nothing to motivate gangs in the 15-30 range. They're too large and unwieldy to roam effectively while imposing higher organization costs if you want them to be vaguely effective. Which also makes them hard to form against, because it takes longer for a modestly-sized pvp group to scrape together credible opposition. Once you're past the small gang, you need to be looking at creating fights, not stumbling across them, and there aren't many options for fight-creation in that range.

    The relative weakening of nano tactics is probably a good thing for overall balance. Skirmishing is a low-risk tactic and is frankly overpowered in the absence of kiter-repellents. The ability to disengage with impunity is problematic in a game like Eve.

    Lastly, I'm not sure I accept your premise that this style is dying as opposed to changing.

  5. You're describing the increasing virulence of the dreaded "Risk Aversion Plague" (RAP) that is spreading from deep within null sov.

    RAP is growing and spreading with the stagnation of null sov. Very little fresh matter is getting through to sweep away the stagnant infested filth that has been polluting null sov.

    Far too many nullbears (now around 95% of null pilots) have become accustomed to only ever losing 1 or 2 ships a year during a big battle. Anything more than this and deluges of infected tears flood the universe, further spreading this horrid plague.

    Witness the recent (past year or 2) increase in fear over cloaky campers. Cloaky campers have been a thing since cloaks existed, but recently even the mere thought of losing a ship whilst in their safe home system is sufficient to cause a lot of nullsec dwellers to dock up & and cry.

    To get back to interesting and exciting small gang PvP where skill, coordination and knowledge are major factors, where losing a few ships is all part of the fun, we're going to require a potent antidote and vaccination for RAP.

    I don't suppose anyone has either of these lying around somewhere? Anyone???

  6. Well, it's not as fun as in the old days, we hear.

    Bittervets are getting bitter(er), because they are getting older (eve-wise). That's it.
    Metas change, and the good old metas from the golden days (~elite~=OP in this case) are gone.
    It's not like only 10% of the ships can be made useful anymore. Any noob in an atron can fuck your day up. And that's fine. Eve contains all the tools to counter the noob in an atron, and all the tools to flee the archon alt. Or... wait, maybe the carrier alt needs a small fix.

  7. I agree with alot of what you are saying here, however i also feel the "fix" is not going to be simple.
    The point about t1 logistic ships hit home also, even though i dont think it has that much to do with t1 as it has to do with the overall power of remote reps.
    I have for a long time thought that remote reps should have a stacking penalty, so that while 1-2 logistic ships are as effective as they are now, from there they would go down in power and mayby the sixth logistic ship has no effect enymore.

    Right now you need massive alpha to have eny hope to kill ships with logistic support and it only gets worse as you move up the ladder. This game needs more options then "bring more guys".

  8. You suggested the warp changes, you were happy with t1 logistics....and now you list those changes as causes to the dead of null-sec small gang meta? not sure i agree.

    I wouldn't put the problem there, "elite-pvp" worked back in the day because those guys had 2 important things, the skills and the budget, which was not available to everyone .....today people in null-sec have the ability to field and replace expensive ships.

    Most probably all this "small-gang" meta will get boosted once a proper T2 rebalance is put on the table.

    1. No no no no nononononono. Don't misunderstand me.

      Small gang is fine, small gang is generally doing great. It's the *definition* of small gang that's changing.

    2. uhm, then your message doesn't get across very well, because you are implying that a specific "size" of the small gang meta is dying...but the meta itself is not.....

      If i get that right, then you could say that by today standards a 30-man gang can still engange a larger 50-man gang by using elite-pvp skills and ship loadouts.....but then Nanamai's quote is false

      "you can't get a "really pounding-pulse we-won-a-sustained-fight-with-1/3-their-numbers PvP, of the kind that used to be possible just a year or two ago."

      What i understood from your entire explanation was that given today's tools and doctrines, and the fact more people find new/unique/effective ways to deploy ships in doctrines, the ability of elite pvpers to hold ground by sheer skills and ships is no longer as feasible as it was in the past. And therefore gang sizes increase to diversify the catalog of ship combinations to be used to gain a slim advantage.

      Not sure if thats a change on the "definition" of small gang.....i think it is a change in the "scope" of what a small gang can achieve compared to the "golden age of elite pvpers".

    3. Eh, fair enough, I suppose.

      See my comment below. 15v25 fights and nibbling at the edges of larger fights with skirmishy fleets was a play style I really really enjoyed. I can't help but be a little sad about it dying off.

  9. Ok, the meta is changing. Change or die.

    How has this been different than things before ?

    Are you saying that overwhelming numbers trump tactics? Are you saying that changes introduced with the intention of increasing low SP pilot participation in fleets is causing fleets to grow ?

    Change or die.

    And if null-sec is no longer an uncontested buffet table for a certain ship fleet size, that means that your desired game play has become niche. The more niches in an ecosystem, the stronger it is. Revel in your limited role, as the biodiversity is increasing.

    Large mass predators (megafauna) died out as biodiversity increased and competition from more efficient, low mass predators prevailed.

    It could be that your gamestyle is inefficient, and that other gamestyles are able to get the resources (fights/kills) that you are competing for. You might be too slow, you might be to big, you might have several ganglia nodes instead of a central brain. You might be too adverse to risking those super expensive implant sets.

    I don't know.

    But change or die.

    1. Yep, I agree with you. I'm just pointing out one of the things that's changing.

  10. You already point it out yourself. It didn' t die the small gang meta simply shifted away from 0.0 to lowsec. Many of the people now in lowsec were in 0.0 two or three years ago.

    Organizations like Rote & Agony are well -don' t take this the wrong way- artifacts. You're in 0.0 trying to play a game almost nobody in 0.0 plays anymore. 0.0 is the domain of sov sized fleets and carebears who if they PvP at all are rarely willing to leave their undock let alone their constellation to do so.
    Most ~Elite PVP~ people moved to where the action is, which is as you pointed out lowsec. And why shouldn't they? Other then bubble mechanics 0.0 offers little that lowsec doesn' t, fights happen at plexes,poco's, towers and yes even belts not gates these days, so even gate-guns aren' t a thing most of the time. Pods are relatively save meaning pirate implants become a non-insane option on even fairly average ships, FW income is better then anything syndicate or curse (or stain or venal) offers. And not living in 0.0 doesn' t take away your access to it (7-2 lived in Pertineere when we were on our Syndicate campaign and I now live in Placid two hops from Syndicate and regularly murder things there) but it does remove having to deal with bullshit like bubbled undocks or difficult logistics (for those of us that don' t own jump capable ships).
    And negative security status penalties are also a non-issue to the wallets of most veterans nowadays, ISK can fix that after all.

    Seriously I challenge you, produce one really convincing argument other then bubble mechanics to live/fly in 0.0 and not lowsec (possibly bordering 0.0) these days if ~Elite PVP~ is your thing? :)

    1. I still hate gate guns with a passion. Ban gate guns.

    2. Solution - bubbles in low sec. Everyone is happy.

    3. Kaeda, I think for a wast majority of 0.0 guys bubbles is extremely major issue. You are right to a degree there is definitelly a shortage of these fights in 0.0 but there are still quite a few to be had, and the emergance of groups like Brave and Geemu are evidence that there are a lot of people who do indeed have prefer what 0.0 has to offer.

      Also as you know Agony as a corp who lives in 0.0 has ventured to low sec same as many other entities and have found it lacking. The gate mechanics, guns and no bubbles are pretty major issues but loss of sec is also a major one. Tags for sec notwithstanding, it is a major hinderance to fleet movements, logistics and roaming style being locked out of high-sec, which happens pretty quickly to anybody PVP-ing in low.
      So yeah, it is not just bubbles.

    4. Good article, I can't say I agree completely but there are aspects that IMO are definitelly spot on.

      One of the issue with T1 logistic increase is also the continuing nerfing of ECM. The range reductions to Falcon, the new skills increasing sensor strenghts all have eliminated ECM as a viable counter, which these days simply means bring more deeps or reps. A major pitty and definitelly a reason for lack of those 15man gangs.

      Now having said that there are a lot of gang types Agony keeps experimenting with and having success most of the times and having fun most of the times. It is quite simple and fun to change to the everchanging conditions, however the risk adverss-ness is an issue and more and more groups these days move to 0.0 en masse rather than like in the yee'ol days. However I think the reason for this probably has more to do with the 'staleness' of EvE, the lack of growth and issues you have blogged about before, rather than simply the changes in the mechanics.

    5. Most of the fight occurs in gates/stations, wich makes light and hit and run tactics imposible due to sentry fire. Try to fight with a 2-4 gang under gate fire.

    6. @Quest but Brave is a lowsec group, founded in lowsec, still living in lowsec, and while they have presence in syndicate I see much larger numbers of them in Placd then in Syndicate on a daily basis. They in fact do exactly what I describe they live in lowsec near nullsec so that they can have access without any of the issues.

      On ECM, while it is a major tool for 10-15 gangs, it utterly destroys the ability of 2-5 gangs (like the ones I fly in) to engage said 10-15 gangs. So I'd rather see ECM redesigned in some way then just buffed again, because while that may boost the play style of the likes of Agony, it cripples mine.

  11. Could this also be a symptom of the huge blue donuts? It's a lot easier to put together a 30-40 ship fleet when you're polling from 5000+ members who'll get together than when you're lucky to have 500 logged in.
    Also, this is mostly why I was interested in moving to low-sec. While there is plenty to learn flying in fleets with your alliance/corp, there's even more to learn when you are 20%-100% of the fleet.

  12. Why change the terminology? The size of the Small gang isn't increasing from 5-15. The typical gang size is increasing to a Large gang of 20-40.

    And the reason it's increasing is due in part to Risk Aversion, which is not limited to the demographic you've implied.

    1. I'm confused by the desire to change the terminology as well. I think I've got it figured out and it has to do with the answer to the following question: "Small Gang PvP is dead, true or false?" Change the terminology and the answer is 'false', accept that typical gang sizes are now Large and the answer is 'true'.

      I would propose that there has never been a good definition of "Small Gang". People use it to mean whatever they want it to mean. Just like "Solo". Solo is even worse for people using it to mean whatever they want.

  13. Nice writeup!

    Exactly this is the reason most old-school small gang pvp'ers stoped playing the game. (Like i did)
    Or they went into tournaments-only mode like Hydra.

    And in my oppinion, it is the cancer of eve.

    - Eshnala

  14. So, does Logistics in general need a nerf? I see the TMC articles about slowcats and how carriers managed to keep warp disruption bubbles repped in the face of a small fleet worth of dps and I wonder. I'm a "newish" character, so I don't know - has Eve always had the battle summary of "we worked for 30 minutes and couldn't break the enemy reps so we went home"?

    1. They was a good number of carrier involve and when your single fleet is under fire by 3 other fleets your dps decrease by each ship you lose. That fight is not a good representation of how logi are in battle.

    2. Confirming that since I recently trained all relevant skills to 5 in order to fly Guardians and Scimitars perfectly, there will be a nerf to Logistics incoming shortly. It has happened 3 times in my 4-year career that I trained to have perfect skills in some area and then it got nerfed.

      I'm planning on Capital ship skills starting in the Spring :) Maybe I'll detour and do all the off-grid boosting skills first.

  15. Cass used to say when we couldn't get a fight, "go tell them to blob up some more" Looks like they took his advice.

  16. Eve is ever changing and it is better for it. You feel that fleet size now and numbers are important and you mention that logi is too easy now.

    I feel quite to opposite. With the changes to ships new fleet comps are possible and available to even the smallest gang.
    More variety is seen and i would say spices up the fights. Before there was only little possibility to succeed in smaller gangs. Now you can do inty roams, hac roams, kiter, brawler, t1 cruisers fleets, assault frig roams, and whatnot.

    Without the changes most cruiser hulls were rubbish, now they have a place, t1 logi was abhorent, there was really only 1 inty to rule them all etc.

    I would agree Battlecruiser need a new niche, they dont offer the bang for buck currently, but apart from that? I think eve has become an more open game really. More is possible.

    Dont get me wrong there are problems, who wants to fight a domi sentry blob? But in broader terms speaking, the game works better than a year ago. I think they should push that concept even more, giving more ships use and making things accessible.

    And lets not kids us. Numbers and resources always win. Be it in knowledge, isk, sheer number of people or skill. Eve has never been a fair game with fair fights and equality.
    The so called great low sec pew pew, how many times did i hear before, about links and boost chars, and those complaints.

  17. The death of ~elite PvP~ can't come fast enough. Good riddance.

  18. Logistics is a huge part of the issue.

    It is not always risk aversion. A lot of times you don't have the DPS to break reps and you know it.

    Logi is a problem, and the need for alpha in larger fights is a symptom of this issue.

    When we used to stack full racks of heat sinks, CCP saw the imbalance and started instituting stacking penalties. Offensive ewar webs/damps etc have stacking penalties, I think it is time to look at a similar solution to Reps (bring back more local tanks).

    After that they need to address alpha. Something along the lines of more missed hits as the number of people hitting the same target go up.

    To answer your question though, I think a lot of small gang pvp has just moved to low sec. Outside of Syndicate NPC null is a shadow of its former self.

  19. I think you are missing a whole lot of reasons. And I don't even think you listed the main reason.

    Null has changed dramatically over the last couple years. I think the problem has less to do with that than the types organizations that make null up politically now days. It's not mechanics, it's more social policy.

    If you were CFC, PL, or N3 would you actually devote any sort of time in creating groups to go hunt and engage small gangs down? They work in numbers of hundreds and thousands. People who want small gang pvp simply are not worth their time. If you got on comms and said a small gang of 5-15 are roaming through space and you needed help you'd either be laughed at, told to stfu, or ignored.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Nullbears/Renters.... They sit under a very large problem. A lot of bad things get written about the risk averse nature of nullbears, but I don't think most people actually give any thought to why they dock up from an organizational standpoint. And after that sentence I've written and deleted a whole lot expanding on it. The things bouncing around in my head about it got way out of scope for a talk on small gang pvp.

  20. I think your first three of your four reasons are restatements of the same thing: the EVE low- and null-sec population is generally older and wiser. And if you want to call "risk adverse" a refusal to continue to chase small skirmish gangs lolaligned to the sun so they can pick off ships at leisure while dictating range, you go right ahead but I think most low- and null-sec pvp pilots will just call that "not being stupid."
    One thing you missed: it's difficult, but not impossible, to successfully run small gangs through the great blue donuts of null because huge lists of blue pilots now know where you are, what you are doing, and what you are flying from three regions away. Low-intensity conflict is much easier with city-states than with superpowers, and there really aren't many, if any, of the former left.

  21. A metric you may not have considered, but would potentially bolster your argument, would be a measure of the volume of killmails. I would start with something basic like 'total kills in a day', and then perhaps 'volume of kill mails vs number of logged in players per unit of time'. you might need help from CCP to get some of those numbers, but you're on the CSM, they might do it.

    Also, please reconsider not running again. I voted for you, and so far you are the only CSM member that has done an excellent job of communicating to the unwashed masses. You haven't needlessly been a dick like some past CSM reps were, and you clearly take the job seriously.

  22. I don't know that the game moves fast enough to counter this. The tech tree has remained pretty well static for a long time.

    Of course, adding new tech levels just puts newbies even FURTHER behind... so what about opening up entirely new lines of ships/tech trees that can run parallel to the existing ones but which would require everyone currently playing the game to "start from scratch" to access them.

    Give the new tree some higher SP requirements, make them more powerful and expensive than the existing tree to lure people over to them.. whatever..

    but it would at least bring the newbies and the bitter vets back on level pegging for a while...as well as giving us a massive increase in the number of internet spaceships we get to play with.

  23. I haven't ever posted here before, I tend to abhor your constant "EVE is dying!" narrative. I mostly lurk and steal your fits. However, I can pinpoint the real problem in both this, and in null and I suspect PvP everywhere:


    1 Logi ship > 1 DPS ship. In fact, not just 1 DPS ship, but several. It's both easier and more economical to simply bring more pilots rather than deal with such an imbalance through fitting or doctrine. There is only incentive to bring more players. Logi, that being the ability to rep many times the reasonable amount of DPS that can be aimed at it, is the problem with Carriers. Logi is the problem with small gangs because the only real solution is to bring more pilots.

    Plain and simple, Logi is the problem. But what is the solution?

    The solution is to nerf Logi. Severely. Primarily T1 Logi, which gives far too much return for not much investment. But the true problem is that this will never be done, because the implications of it are too much work to fix properly. Specifically, I am talking about the Incursion "community". Incursions have remained much the same in terms of their specific numbers (how much dps, how much reps, how much resists) for a long time now. And throwing off the Logi numbers would require all that to be revisited.

    Which is more effort than the balancing team is willing to put forth.

    1. You make very good points.

      Also, don't take this as an "EVE is dying" post. It definitely is not! It's an "EVE is changing!" post, pointing to one of the specific changes. I may personally find it a little depressing, but it certainly doesn't mean that EVE is dying. If anything, the opposite: there are way more 30-40 man fleets out there than there were 15-man ones.

      But since I enjoy the 15-man fleet play style, I can't help but be a little mournful about it. That's what you're picking up.

    2. The thing is, 1 logi > 1 dps ship needs to be true, otherwise why bring it instead of another dps ship?

      A more sensible approach would be to look at the sustainability of logistics or some other vulnerability rather than EHP/s. A valid criticism of logi at present is the comparative ease with which many of them can be made cap stable to such a degree that you need a ridiculous amount of neuting power to shut them down.

    3. No, not this post in particular. You do have that tone, however, in quite a bit of your posting. I would dub it fatalism, if I had to put a word to it.

      Incidentally, one thing I have come to appreciate myself in recent months is that best kept secret of EVE. Wormhole space. Small gang is alive and well in wormholes, as I believe you mentioned somewhere above.

  24. Meta is changing and its consolidating a path where solo players, no matter how skilled they are, can be completely nullified by a player in a t1 EW frigate wich cost around 5m isk, and the dps at 20-24 km of a 5-7 gang in vagas, cyna, nomen, etc; can be tanked by 2 t1 logistics with meta 4 fit . Kitting its taking the heavier hit only because brawling was already obsolete.

  25. I think small gang is already bounded by the fleet manager. Once you have more than a couple of full squads, about 20 people, you're no longer small. For you military types, 24 pilots is similar in strenghth to a single platoon or squadron. Exceed that, you're Large.

    Last year I wrote a blog post called "Defining the Small Gang" and discussed small gangs not being defined by the size of the ship but by how many ships you bring. 5 battleships with 2 carriers is small gang. I believe small gang pvpers flying in 30 man gangs and insisting on calling themselves Small Gang are in denial.

    The meta has changed and small gangs pvpers are now flying in large gangs, but please don't claim that large gangs are small.

    I fly in 5-15 man gangs in NPC null. 30-40 man gangs are large. Calling them small doesn't change the fact that they are a a large blob trying to overwhelm support with numbers.

    1. Well, another point of view can be that a small gang its the minimun amount of players that can be effective fighting as a group. My corp used to roam a lot a couple years ago, we use a gang of 4 to 6 nano shield dps + rapier + (sometimes) a scimitar, no links, no falcon. we could engage almost anyting, sometimes we won, sometimes we loose but it was fun and playing well it was a powerfull composition. Right now you only need 2 augurors to counter all the dps of that gang. So we need to duoble the dps, and get a falcon and as right now low sec its more active than 0.0 for that kind of gang bring another scimitar to hold sentrys.

      So our small gang needs a minimun of 15 people to be effective. For us it was imposible and most of the people left the game. Theres a reason why Blakan express/SC/snuff,etc works in gangs of 25 to 45 people, below that you are completely irrelevant againt the 85 frigate/destroyer gangs with tons of cheap ew and logistics.

  26. Null sec isn't for small gangs. Sucks but thats the way of things
    its even getting harder to get small gang action in low sec tbh. 200man test bni or uni fleets roaming around its a sad state if affairs


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