What are Remote Support Services (RSS)?
Often referred to in EVE and on the EVE forums as Remote Repping, RR, or logistics. The logistical profession is also known as Remote Support Services (RSS). This guide uses logistics and RSS interchangeably.
A clear and simple definition of Remote Support Services is: one ship (or ships) providing another ship (or ships) with remote support.
Specifically, RSS or logistics is providing a target friendly ship with support via one or more of:
The goal of RSS is to provide friendly ships with extended support which they would normally be unable to provide on their own. Self preservation of one’s ship in EVE is generally the end goal of most combat engagements. The secondary goal is the destruction of an opponents assets, such as a ship or POS. With proper logistical support, a fleet with fewer members on the field than their opponents can win during a hasty or well prepared engagement.
Other Types of Support
Player owned stations (POS) can also be the recipients of RSS. Typically this kind of support is generally done by Capital Ships fitted with capital sized repair modules. See the article on Carrier support for details.
For hauling, technically a type of logistics in general terms, see hauler.
What skills support remote support?
While not as skill intensive as other professions in Eve, logistics is well represented in the skill tree.
Additional skills useful to RSS are discussed in Basic Tactics later on.
Remote Armor Repair Systems: These modules are primarily used to remote repair the armor of another ship that would generally be considered an armor tanking vessel, like a Megathron for example. Several Large Remote Armor Repair Systems can easily fit onto Logistics Ships like the Guardian and Oneiros.
Shield Transporters: These modules are primarily used to remote repair the shields of another ship that would generally be considered a shield tanking vessel like a Raven for example. Several Large Shield Transporters can easily fit onto Logistics Ships like the Basilisk and Scimitar.
Energy Transfer Arrays: These modules transfer capacitor from one ship to another. A -50% power need for energy transfer arrays on both the Guardian and Basilisk are excellent bonuses and come heavily into play when it comes to keeping a fleet capacitor stable.
Remote Sensor Boosters: These modules remotely boost the target range and scan resolution of a friendly target ship depending on the script fitted to it. They can use scripts to improve one function at the cost of the other:
Tracking Links: These modules can remote boost the turret range and turret tracking speed of targeted friendly ship. The Oneiros and Scimitar have bonuses that allow them to use tracking links to a greater efficiency. These modules will only remotely support ships that are using turrets. They will not help in any manner for missile fitted ships.
Technically speaking, almost any ship could be used for RSS. Ships the size of frigates all the way up to capital sized ships have the ability to be Remote Support Ships if the pilot has the skill to use the modules.
However, there are ships designed with special bonuses that are more suited for RSS.
Tech 1 Logistics Cruisers
These cruisers typically have a minor bonus to a secondary effect, such as Tracking Links, and a range bonus to their primary support service, such as Remote Armor Repair.
Bonuses for cargo hold capacity or mining lasers and ample fitting capacity see these ships multitasking as salvager or miners in a fleet.
Tech 2 Logistics Cruisers
Logistics Ships since they have greater role bonuses uniquely tailored to being RSS ships such as the range in which they can use modules, and the decreased need for capacitor and CPU/PG.
These all require the racial cruiser skill for their type to be trained to level 5.
The Dominix does not receive any bonuses to repair or support per se but is a popular RSS ship. The considerable capacitor recharge with proper rigs and high slots makes this tier I Battleship a low skillpoint method of gaining access to Large Remote Armor Repairers. Also the Dominix] has the ability to field 5 Large Maintenance Bots with considerable range at low skill investment.
Rigs, impants for you ship that are lost if it is repackaged or the rig is removed, can offer substantial support for RSS. As expected, the Capacitor Control Circuit rig that increases capacitor recharge is useful for offsetting the drain of large remote repair modules. These rigs are specific to improving support effects:
Remote Repair Augmentor - an armor rig that reduces the capacitor need for a ship's remote armor repair modules at the expense of max velocity. Does not affect capital modules. 20% bonus for Tech 1 and 25% bonus for Tech 2 with 10% velocity penalty each.
Drone Repair Augmentor - drone rig this increases drone repair amount at the expense of the ship's CPU capacity. 10% bonus for Tech 1 and 15% bonus for Tech 2 with 10% CPU penalty each.
Known as Maintenance Bots, these drones have light, medium and heavy variants. Logistics drones come in Tech 1 and Tech 2 varieties. They use the same models as racial specific drones.
Armor Maintenance Bots – Functions as a mobile Remote Armor Repair module that does not use capacitor from the launching ship. The Guardian and Oneiros receive bonuses when they utilize Armor Repair Drones. These look like Gallente thermal drones.
Shield Maintenance Bots - Functions as a mobile Sheild Transfer Array module that does not use capacitor from the launching ship. The Basilisk and the Scimitar receive bonuses when they utilize Shield Repair Drones. These look like Caldari kinetic drones.
There are Target painting drones that enhance tracking by affecting a target ship. These are properly classified under the EWAR drone class and beyond the topic of this guide. See the Drones Guide for more information.
Drone Support Skills
These skills are specific to improving the effectiveness of Maintenance Bots.
To repair or not to repair?
Timing can be everything when it comes to RSS. In Empire Secured Space, remote supporting a ship too early might gain you unwanted aggression. However, remote supporting a ship too late may result in the loss of a ship or possibly an entire fleet.
Have a clearly defined agreement between the RSS squad and your friendly targets as to when/why you will begin to support and who will be supported. Practicing your remote support is very important in helping the RSS squad determine their potential (half glass full) or limitation (glass half empty).
While your fitting will depend on what your player skills will allow, the ideal logistic ship should try to be capacitor stable. Meaning you can run all of your remote support modules indefinitely. Running out of capacitor in the middle of an engagement could spell tragedy.
What happens to me when I remote repair someone else?
If you remote support someone, you will become aggressed to whomever they are currently aggressed to.
A Remote Support ship does not obtain a docking timer from a station, or a jump timer at a gate like a ship who is shooting a weapon at an enemy ship.
If you are outside a station and within docking range, and you begin to remote support another ship, you have the ability to dock at any time as long as you do not shoot a weapon or any kind of aggressive act like webbing, warp scrambling, nossing, or neuting.
You are flying around in the system. You happen upon another pilot who is blue to your corporation 50km away from you. We will call this blue pilot “Joe”. You see Joe in his Rifter fighting someone we will call “Pete” who is flying a Thorax. You decide to lock both targets to assess the situation. Pete has Joe warp scrambled and you see your friend losing armor. The destruction of Joe’s Rifter seems imminent. After mulling it over you decide to remote support Joe’s Rifter with armor and energy transfers. The moment you begin to remote support Joe, you become aggressed to Pete and your ship will start flashing red to him. Now, Pete has the right to fly towards you and engage your Guardian if he so chooses.
You will also become aggressed and begin flashing red to any corporation and/or alliance that Joe is currently at war with. So if Joe is at war with Pete’s corporation, Pete’s entire corporation also has the right to engage your Guardian.
See the section on Scams bellow.
Tracking Links and Tackling
Tracking Link modules are important if you think a friendly target ship may want to get a target lock jump on the enemy. One example is a Battleship which has very low scan resolution. Increasing the scan resolution through remote sensor boosters will allow the Battleship to lock an enemy target faster.
Another example Remote Sensor Boosters could be used for is to increase the targeting range of a friendly ship. Some ships, fitted correctly would be able to hit a target from a sizeable distance (known as sniping). But perhaps that ship would not have the modules fit to lock that far away. For example, a pilot has determined that his Tech 2 Cruise Missiles can hit a target at a distance of 180km. He can’t lock that far however without fitting Targeting Range Sensor Booster(s) of his own. A Remote Sensor Boosting ship with the correct script could increase his target range for him allowing him to lock further out without having to give up a mid slot.
Spider tanking is when several ships will remote support each other. This is an effective way to transfer armor, shield and/or energy at a more efficient rate than one ship would normally need to expend on its own.
Some small fleets use Buffer Tanking with remote repair on selected ships. While exposing the fleet to the countermeasures discussed bellow, this can ease fitting on DPS-focused ships that have marginal CPU and powergrid to spare. As long as the fleet is orbiting gate waiting to leave, fleetmates can be repairing each other.
Remote verses Self Repair Analysis
As an example of just how effective spider tanking, and by extension remote support, can be a simple analysis can be given.
So for example, the Myrmidon can tank around 188 DPS from Serpentis (Thermal/Kinetic) with two Medium Armor Repair II modules but with 6 Remote Armor Repair II modules repair a fellow Myrmidon for 1,152 DPS while being capacitor stable. As the majority of damage from a well-skilled Myrmidon pilot will be from drones, even a small fleet can tank significant swarms of NPCs.
Also, the huge base repair rate of the Dominix with 6 Remote Armor Repair or Shield Transport Arrays should be obvious.
Like all ships in EVE, logistics ships have ways of being made a non-factor in combat.
Aside from being shot at and possibly destroyed, a logistical pilot can expect to be jammed from the onset of an engagement or from time to time to limit their ability to support their fleet. Having several logistical ships in a fleet will obviously make it more difficult for an enemy to jam all of you; making it possible for others to remotely support during your jammed cycle.
Be wary of who you remote support.
A common tactic is for someone in a cheap ship such as a frigate to ask for remote support. Once you begin to remote support the frigate, he will fire at the station or another ship. The frigate is promptly destroyed for committing a criminal act, and so are you for remote supporting him.
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