Like many other players, I often fall into the shorthand jargon of EVE Online and, while I do attempt to explain things now and then, some things I gloss over or forget about. So when I got a message on Discord asking what “SRP” was, I figured that might for a decent blog post topic.
“SRP” stands for “Ship Replacement Program” and gets thrown around as a noun or a verb depending who is speaking. It refers to a feature of many larger null sec alliances that reimburses pilots when they lose ships when on sanctioned operations. The idea is that if you’re out there losing ships for the objectives of your corp or alliance, you shouldn’t bear the full financial burden for meeting those objectives.
There was a time when elite PvP groups disdained the idea of SRP, but most large null sec groups these days have some sort of way to compensate member losses. It is pretty much seen as a necessity to be able to keep the membership bulk required to sustain a null sec empire beyond a certain size. A small, tight group can get away with giving SRP a miss, but when you get beyond Dunbar’s number you start having to make people feel the taxes collected are being used well and that being a part of the organization doesn’t drive people away due to combat being financial disincentive.
And different groups have different methodolgies for dealing with SRP. I have been told, for example, that Pandemic Horde has a currency system for reimbursement and that presence on operations ears you credit towards SRP.
I will describe how it works in Goonswarm Federation and KarmaFleet, as that is what I am familiar with. GSF, in the words of The Mittani, had strived to achieve “fully automated luxury gay space communism” for its members before the war and has managed to maintain many of the perks from when the “Delve Time Unit” was generating a large amount of income for the alliance. That includes an SRP program that offers good levels of reimbursement.
For my example I will use one of the fights from 3-DMQT where I lost several ships. I went out in a Drake on my main account with a Scythe on my alt, both in the same fleet.
I had purchased the initial Drake off of an alliance contract for 140 million ISK. I purchased the platinum insurance, which is assumed in the GSF reimbursement calculations, for 20,772,702 ISK, putting my total investment in the ship at 160,772,702.
And, as related in my post about the fight, it blew up.
With its destruction, Pend Insurance paid me 69,009,242 ISK, so I was now in the hole for the loss 91,763,460 ISK.
I then filed for SRP. We have a web app called “Affordable Care” for that in GSF. You have to provide the external kill mail link from you character sheet (interactions, combat log, losses) and paste that in. That points to the API entry that will return all the data about the loss. You also have to past in the fleet op ping that came over Jabber. This includes information about the fleet so they know what doctrine you were supposed to be flying, who the FC was, and how the fleet was classified. In this case it was classified as a strategic operation, or StratOp, which generally yields the highest level of reimbursement.
There are about a dozen categories in the Affordable Care app that cover a variety of situations, but most line members get “strategic,” “peacetime,” or “shit shack.” As noted above, “strategic” gets you the most reimbursement and is provided to pilots flying correct fit doctrine ships on designated operations. “Peacetime” is basically not used right now, but before the war that covered roams and other PvP action using doctrine ships. “Shit Shack” is for things outside of doctrine fits that you have opted to bring on your own without the FC requesting it, and is largely at the discretion of the SRP team. It can sometimes be used when you bring the right hull but the wrong fit so you get something for your loss, but you don’t qualify for strategic reimbursement.
But for that Drake I qualified for strategic reimbursement. That got me 95 million ISK from the reimbursement team, which paid me before I had even managed to get back in the fight. The Affordable Care app even gives me a little report on each loss I submit, so for my Drake I got this.
My ship blew up at 00:59:57, I submitted my loss at 01:05:24, and was paid at 01:05:54, or basically 30 seconds after my submission. SRP isn’t always that fast, but when a big fight is on the SRP team doesn’t like to fall too far behind, so when they are on deck the response is quick.
And, after all of that I was 3,236,540 ISK ahead. Not exactly retirement money, but losing that ship did not ding my wallet at all.
Because the fight was still going on I bought another Drake off contract, again for 140 million ISK, insured it again, undocked and got back in the fight. Unfortunately I made a total rookie mistake and forgot to check if the rigs had been fit. That Drake was blown up as well and you can see the rigs in my cargo in the kill report linked. I didn’t notice until I got the Affordable Care update and found my request denied.
Another quick response, this time in under 30 seconds. I guess they look at your rig slots first. That mistake on my part made my ship considerably more vulnerable to destruction. I was actually getting reps and, had the rigs been there, might have survived. Instead, my dumb mistake put me back 91,763,460 ISK. But when you get burned you learn.
I would not have even filed for SRP had I realized I had forgotten to fit the rigs. I was just so intent on getting back in the fight that I forgot to check.
So I was back in 1DQ1-A again and purchased a third Drake off of contract, again for 140 million ISK, insured it, and was back in the fight… but not before checking and fitting the rigs. A good thing too because that Drake was also destroyed. Three ships down.
This was at about the crescendo of the fight, so I guess I can forgive the SRP team for taking two whole minutes to get me paid. They were working furiously behind the scenes. As I mentioned in a past post, one person filed for SRP on seven Drakes.
And, of course, being back in 1DQ1-A again, I bought a fourth Drake, fit the rigs, undocked, and got back in the fight once more. By this point, however, the lowest price Drakes had all been purchased. That Drake was 145 million ISK so, had I lost it, I would have been down about 2 million ISK. That is the price of some T2 modules though, so wouldn’t have bothered me.
Fortunately I did not lose that fourth Drake.
My alt, however, lost his Scythe towards the end of the fight. Logi, especially T1 logi, generally benefits from generous SRP. So while I bought the ship for 28 million ISK, spent 3.5 million ISK on insurance which paid out 11.5 million ISK, leaving me about 23.5 million ISK in the hole, SRP paid out 25 million ISK, making me whole on that front.
And then KarmaFleet, which has an add-on SRP program to encourage people to fly certain ships, such as logi, put another 15 million ISK in my pocket. So I made money on that round.
Overall though, I put four Drakes into that fight because I knew that, if I did my part of things correctly, the alliance would make me whole on the price of the ships. Had I been paying my own way entirely, I am pretty sure I would have stopped at two Drakes and let the fight play out without me. And, given our losses, I suspect that others would have not re-shipped and we would have not ended the fight with as many Drakes as we had.
Of course, things are not always perfect. Drakes that day were the right price with the right insurance and the right reimbursement. But the price of ships depends on the market and the SRP team, while it does keep up, can’t adjust every time the market is a bit tight and there are only a few pricey contracts left up for grabs. And certainly for ships that do not insure well, like the T2 and T3 hulls, the SRP is a balm. A Jackdaw nets you about 4 million ISK on insurance, but cost over 110 million ISK on contract usually. Getting 90 million ISK in SRP gets people reshipping in those.
And then there are capital ships and special SIG and squad fits that have their own dynamics in the program. The only time I felt I had been denied SRP it was for a SIG fit and when I asked the leader about it, they reimbursed me themselves.
But for most line members if you have the doctrine right ship with the right fit, and remember to fit your rigs, the program buffers you from bearing the financial burden of fights. That, in turn, incentivizes line members to go all in, even with losses, so the alliance can win its objectives.
Basically, with the war on and the losses I have sustained, which I track in the weekly updates, I’d be, if not close to broke, much more conservative about joining ops, were it not for our program.