I was reading the Shave & A Haircut post on Rixx Javix's blog and it bought back all those memories of boosting from within the safety of a POS.
As Rixx says:
Put them on kill-mails, bring them on-grid, or give me the tools I need to catch them with reasonable proficiency.
I agree with this, wholeheartedly and without reservation.
The Booster Alt really is a force multiplier that can allow the solo player or a small fleet to punch above their weight/class.
Boosts provide benefits in four main categories, Armour, Shield (Siege), Skirmish and Information. It is the first three that are mainly used although the latter one does have benefits in certain situations. Most boosting ships can fit only 3 links by default but with Command Processors and a suitable fit you can get, and run, more links but at the expense of defensive/offensive abilities.
Having the ability to point a target at nearly 35km instead of the base 24km means kiting further away resulting in lowering any damage you might receive not to mention you can catch that target on the other side of a gate without having to waste precious seconds moving into range.
The Life of a Booster Alt
The first time I was introduced to boosts was when I started mining and suddenly found I could reach 13km and not the 10km my Miner module was supposed to do. I found out quickly what mining boosts were and then learned about the other types of boosts and what I would need to train to be able to provide them.
Just after I moved to Providence I skill remapped one character and started them on the path to complete all boosting skills to V and then to be able to provide boosts in T3’s and Command Ships. The boosting skills took about 6 months to complete and I spent another 3 and a half months getting the Spaceship Command skills to the maximum I needed.
At the time I trained T3 ships received a better bonus to boosts (5% vs 3%) than Command Ships so it was very normal to see boosts provided by a T3 not a Command ship.
After I was trained my alt would spend countless hours as Fleet Commander and sitting in a POS orbiting the tower with all links running. Having advertised the fleet people would join/leave as they needed and benefit from the boosts whilst they were in the same system.
Boosts just worked, fleet members would benefit from a warp disruptor range increase from 24km to 30km, warp scramblers from 9,500m to 12km/13km and webifiers from 10km to 13km and that’s just for T2 modules BEFORE overheating. Other boosts increase speed from propulsion modules, decrease signature radius and increased shield/armour resistances (the less used ones improve ECM and ECM modules)
With faction modules and specialized ships (i.e. Recons) pilots could see ridiculous increases in abilities. I can remember a faction fit Arazu being able to warp scramble at over 50km and point out to nearly 90km. Webifiers were much same and I can remember at least one Rapier fit I saw that had a web range of in excess of 100km!
What you should understand, even after the rebalancing of them in 2012/2013, is that boosts are good and could mean the difference between your ship or the target exploding.
Refinement of Killmails
Killmails are fun and it’s always nice to be on them or get the "final blow" and have it in your character sheet. However being a booster pilot you get used to not appearing (same as for logistics pilots).
This never sat well with me as some killmails I've seen have shown a pilots tearing through other ships and getting five or six kills in a short space of time without losing their ship. Not to mention 1v1 engagements where the ships where very evenly matched and one pilot was able to win thanks to the use of boosts that the other did not.
As a result I really believe that Killmails should have a spot on them to include any boosting ship/pilot. We’ve seen a lot of killboard padding since Crius and Hyperion were released (nothing new there) and points awarded should also be effected by the use of a booster that appears on any killmails.
It would certainly be interesting to finally see how many pilots are reliant on boosters in their fights, running a booster isn’t easy (multiboxing never is) but they provide so much for so little.
I’m pretty sure no-one from CCP reads my blog (:sadface:) but there are people who do and if you see a thread on the EVE Online forums or elsewhere for these functionality please support it, we really do need boosters (and logistics) appearing on killmails.