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.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Jammed

Just a quickie.  CCP Fozzie, the dev formerly known as Raivi, has posted a set of "tweaks" that are going to be applied to electronic warfare of all four racial types.  And most of them do indeed qualify as tweaks.  However, there are a couple of straight-up nerfs, and both of them are being applied to Caldari e-war, otherwise known as jamming:
  • Reduce Optimal Range and Falloff of all ECM modules by 10%
  • Add four new racial sensor compensation skills that increase each type of Sensor Strength by 5% per level (Requires Electronics 4, rank 3 skills in the Electronics category)
The first is being balanced by optimal range and fall-off bonuses being applied to the Blackbird, jamming Tengu, and Scorpion.  Notably though, the Rook, Falcon, Widow, and Kitsune are getting no such compensatory bonuses.(1)  And thanks to four new skills to train, sensor strength will be going up right across New Eden.

The net result here is going to be to try to push players out of Falcons, Rooks, and Kitsunes, and push players away from jamming tactics in general including ECM drones.  While jam strength itself is not being directly nerfed, giving players 20-25% stronger sensors is going to indirectly result in an effective 20-25% reduction in jamming strength.  The range nerf, meanwhile, will either force Rooks and Falcons to operate much closer to danger or accept a further reduction in jamming strength thanks to the same factors that reduce DPS as a ship moves out of its optimal firing range.

Put another way, your five jam drones will no longer have a 50% chance of jamming an Ares tackler off you; that chance is being reduced to 42%.  Likewise, the chance of a max-skilled over-heated Falcon jam working on a Hurricane drops from 100% to 77%.

Did I say the Falcon is the best Recon in the game?  I lied.  The Rapier will be taking the title away in about 31 days.

Like taxing corporate jets, the interesting thing about this change is how few people will be upset by it and how happy such a change will make most people.  But also like taxing corporate jets, I have the impression that the people that are hit by this one are going to be extremely vocal about it, but will work behind the scenes rather than being public in their opposition.

Another interesting impact is going to be how widely trained those new skills are going to be.  It's a bit of a chicken-egg problem.  Will people train them quickly assuming that Falcon pilots aren't going to get frustrated until they fail jam after jam?  Or will Falcon pilots dock their ships assuming everyone out there already has the skills trained?  Reality is likely to be somewhere in the middle.  This is the first "must have" PvP skill that CCP has introduced in some time and I think we're going to see a few upset players who either:
  • have PvP alts where the player involved had no intention of training them further; or,
  • have toons that are too close to some clone-level SP limit and unwilling to train more SP and in so doing break that limit and have to buy the new clone level.
Time will tell.

In the meantime, there are now both defensive mods and defensive skills that you can train to counter three out of four racial electronic warfare types.  Scared of jamming?  Train the new sensor strength skills, and fit mid- or low-slot ECCM.  Scared of damping?  Train Long Range Targeting and Signature Analysis, and fit mid- or low-slot Sensor Boosters.  Scared of TDs?  Train Sharpshooter and Motion Prediction, and fit Tracking Computers or Enhancers.

Scared of Target Painters?  You're shit out of luck.  There's no skill to make your signature radius smaller, nor any mod to do so.  All you can do is fly a smaller ship and armor tank it, never use MWD, or fly a Hyena.(2)

Wonder if that will change?


(1) Go Blackbird!  The buffing of T1 ships at the expense of their T2 counter-parts continues!
(2) Or fit Halo implants.  More about that tomorrow.

35 comments:

  1. "The buffing of T1 ships at the expense of their T2 counter-parts continues!"

    That's why it is called tiericide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrong. Tiericide refers to the balancing of t1 ships within in their class. I.e. there is now a reason to fly a slasher.

      Delete
    2. Also a good way to nerf tech until next year when they get around to tech2.

      Delete
  2. I've got three guesses about what happens to T2 after T1 buffs are done.

    1) T2 gets even more buff in primary role,
    2) T2 gets some role buff plus a bunch of (nominally) useful secondary buff,
    3) T2 remains only a little better in role but gets serious secondary role buffs.

    If I had to guess, (2) would be my choice. And I would also guess that some secondaries will be too strong and others a near waste.

    What I do not expect is to see T2 left as is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is exactly how it been planned from what I've read.

      Delete
  3. Or if you need a smaller sig radius, pop x-instinct boosters like Pez.

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  4. Four racial skills that increase a basic ship attribute and do nothing other than that? Sure, make it a skill, but just create one skill.

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  5. Out of curiosity, will these skills affect scanning ships down at all? It's been a bit of time since I've done anything with scanning (unsubbed at the moment), but since the scan formula involves a target ship's sensor strength, won't these skills also make you at least a little harder to scan down, as well as less susceptible to jamming?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Fozzie did confirm that this will make ships more unprobeable and they have some mysterious plan to deal with that.

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  6. hmm did he say how what is the racial sensor comp skill training multiplier, 1x/2x 0r 3x?
    will it make ships unprobe-able?
    might see more of command claymore roaming gang that hard to scan down

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  7. It is also a nerf to combat probers and a buff to the safety of off grid boosters.

    ReplyDelete
  8. About damn time. ECM, like projectile weapons, are way over-used, which is a pretty good sign that they are currently OP.

    With the buff to the Celestis, it looks like damps might make a comeback. At least, however, we should see a wider range of EW being used, at all levels of PVP.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "All you can do is fly a smaller ship and armor tank it, never use MWD..."

    Er, some of us actually do this already.

    Despite an obvious bias by the devs, not every ship should be a shield-tanked, MWD-fit BC.

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  10. Increasing sensor strength is sort of a combat scanner probe nerf, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please 5 more people repeat this question

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    2. "Comments must be approved before they are shown." I'm sure the 2nd-5th commenters would have refrained had the 1st comment been showing when they hit publish.

      Delete
  11. Well, I predicted that this so-called tiericide rebalancing would just result in yet another round of power creep. The T2 round will consist of more of the same, under the excuse that they have to be better than their T1 counterparts. Then, CCP will go back and buff the T1 ships yet again, as their use diminishes yet again in favor of the buffed T2 ships.

    Eventually, every ship will begin to converge on 8 low slots, 8 mid slots, and 8 high slots, with enough CPU/PG to fit any module. But, ofc, CCP will just add more slots and even more powerful modules requiring more CPU/PG, right? After all, they just need to tweak a few numbers in the code to make this happen.

    Bad game design, but not uncommon. This even happened before in Eve with the speed creep.

    Balancing a game takes skill and experience - both of which are sorely lacking in the current crop of devs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you take the example of logistics ships with T1 you're getting ~80% of a T2 logi ship. It's a fraction of the cost and nearly as powerful, but this comes with a paper thin tank compared to a T2 logi. I really think with the teiricide they're more clearly defining the strengths and weaknesses of classes.

      Delete
    2. If you read between the lines of some of Fozzie's comments, T2 may not be just more powerful than the T1 - it will be specialized.

      Delete
    3. T2 ships were originally all about being more specialized. That is why the logi's are T2 ships in the first place, and why the Logi skill does not benefit any T1 ships. The T1 logi's were specifically designed to have sub-par performance, just to whet your appetite for logi's, and as an incentive to train for the T2 logis. The same goes for T1 inty's vs. T2 inty's - the T1 inty's were never meant to be used for tackling by vets, only by noobs until they can train up to T2 inty's.

      The introduction of these beefed-up T1 logi's and T1 inty's is a big mistake, since it breaks this design paradigm, without any thought as to how they will fix it, with regards to the T2 ships.

      In all likelihood, they will just take the brute force - and wrong - approach and just make the T2 ships more powerful - more tank, more repping power, faster, etc. In the end, this will just break more game mechanics - just as the speed buffs did in the apparently now forgotten past.

      Fozzie, as Raivi, should know better, so there is no excuse for his bad decisions.

      Delete
    4. I think you'll see the buffing slow down dramatically once we reach BCs, possibly even battleships. Part of the goal was to remove some of the gap between smaller and larger hulls, so there was a little more parity between hull sizes, and BCs didn't obsolete all smaller hulls for pretty much any purpose. The Hurricane has been nerfed, not buffed, and the Drake has also through the HM nerf.

      The design goal for T2 seems to be that ships get a T2 resist profile, a second set of bonuses, and possibly a role bonus to match their specialism. I suspect they will also reduce some of the power gap between T1 and T2, so we avoid a situation where T2 cruisers are just far and away better than T1 ones.

      Finally, I'll be interested to see how they rebalance T3. The whispers coming out of CCP seem to be that they don't like where T3 is at the moment, and it looks like they will be nerfed down to being generalists, with less dps and tank (perhaps comparable to a HAC, but less than pirate cruisers), but more flexibility? Time will tell...

      Delete
  12. One thing that Blizzard discovered is that players don't like to be disconnected from their character.

    I would hope that ECM changes from a jam to a "mirror image" - confusing your opponent's tracking computer into occasionally firing at ghost images. The chance to shoot the correct target will be determined by the ECM strength of the attacking ship versus the sensor strength (augmented by ECCM) of the target ship.

    The effect is similar, incoming DPS is reduced, but the victim does not lose total control of his ship.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Evasive Maneuvers fleet link reduces sig.

    [quote]"There's no skill to make your signature radius smaller, nor any mod to do so."[/quote]

    Looks like it time to finally get around to Skirmish Specialist V. (only 6.8mil in leadership and I thought I was all done at the Improved level).

    Evas Man (link) + Sensor Integ (link) + new Racial sig skill = the new unprobe?

    Players have been bitching forever about "because of falcon". And here I thought Fozzie had confessed earlier that Damps had been over nerfed - no sign of that being... corrected. Cognitive dissonance is flying an Eos with a smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damps are being buffed. Range on damp mods are being increased, as well as the bonuses on ships such as the Celestis.

      Delete
  14. So, now the only counter to Logi in smalll gangs will be overwhelming DPS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not like ecm will be useless. And neut (and maybe dampeners again) are good at it too.

      Delete
  15. JAM?!?!?! RASBERRIES!!!
    ~DarthNefarius
    ps: Being a person in a smll leet oriented Allianceouta syndicate Jester I'd hinkyou are supportive of this nerf? TBHI hate all nerfs & believe buffs are better ( so I like the newracial Sig skills buf & dislike the rest of the nerfs )

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  16. So, as a noobish Gallente, does this mean damps are worth fitting and experimenting with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is always a good idea to experiment, esp. with EW. Read Jester's guide to EW.

      Unlike ECM, damps always hit. They are particularly effective against kiting ships, flying at the edge of their targeting range, and can be used to force some AC ships to engage within blaster range.

      They should also be effective against Jester's Rokh snipers.

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    2. Damps had their places. Just because the vocal majority screams how useless something is (in their onesided opionion) doesnt meant, that it actually is. I had lots of fun using damps und Support ships like Blackbirds, Logis etc. even a Tackle Proteus is kinda pointless (pun intended) if damped down.

      Delete
  17. 4 th of December is still enough far away, CCP, please make some more mess in the meantime, you are so good in that business.
    regards all.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Scared of Target Painters? You're shit out of luck. There's no skill to make your signature radius smaller, nor any mod to do so. All you can do is fly a smaller ship and armor tank it, never use MWD, or fly a Hyena.(2)"

    Funny, I think I talked about this once....somewhere....? Like maybe http://carebearswithclaws.blogspot.com/2012/07/time-for-another-stupid-idea.html it's time for another stupid idea? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. The 25% sensor strength bonus reduces your opponents chance to jam you by a factor of 0.8 (or 20% in other words) relative to what it would be without the bonus.

    That applies as long as it wasn't 100% chance to jam before at least.
    Its not enough to make ecm useless but enough to make it a lot more unreliable against high-sig strength targets.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tweak to the tweaks:

    One change to report at this time, we're extending the range boost to the Kitsune as well.

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2140180#post2140180

    ReplyDelete