The composition of fleet fights in faction warfare lowsec have changed radically since Retribution was released. I’m not so sure for the better.
Before December 4th, flying with logistics was a rarity. Something done occasionally to mix things up, to try something new. Fweddit experimented with a Circlejerk doctrine involving Drakes. We had some success with it, but it was a specialty doctrine, useful only in particular situations.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in logistic fleets since I joined faction warfare until the release of Retribution. Nearly every fleet I’ve flown in since Retribution has had a contingent of logistic ships.
With the release of Retribution, any fleet over 15 ships, and logistics has become a necessity. FCs won’t undock a mid- to large-sized fleet without logistics. If your logistics pilots aren’t online, then you don’t undock. And even if you have the logistics pilots available, there’s still some grumbling. People just don’t seem to enjoy flying logistics. People are sucking it up, climbing into their Augorors, because the fleet won’t undock otherwise.
Faction warfare doctrines pre-Retribution barely paid any attention to logi. Faction warfare doctrines post-Retribution have logi fits built into them.
Those days of just undocking with 15-20 people, heading out on a roam, are over. Now it’s all about making sure you have the right fleet comp before an undock is even callled. It requires more planning, more of the right people with the right skills.
Ad hoc fleets, spontaneous roams. A thing of the past. And that makes me sad. Faction warfare has always been improvisational to some degree, and that’s been lost with the advent of powerful T1 logistic cruisers. Now, if you don’t have the logi, you don’t fly. You can’t compete in fights without it. As a result, doctrines have all started to look the same. The fights have started to look the same. Stalemates are becoming more commonplace.
Logi one one side needs more logi on the other side as a counter. Thus there’s little in the way of ingenuity in fleet composition. It’s logistics escalation. That doesn’t strike me as great design.
I’m not sure the solution. Or if there should be a solution. It’s hard to call the logistic changes bad, but neither have they been good for faction warfare. All I know, is that fighting in lowsec has changed, and it doesn’t feel like it’s changed for the better. Something crucial has been lost. And it feels like a shame.
You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.