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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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fit of the Week: Griffin EAF

HACs aren't the only ships being put out of business by the T1 rebalancing.  EAFs are also kind of worthless right now, none more so than the Kitsune.  Here's its current replacement:

[Griffin, Starter]
Signal Amplifier II
'Hypnos' Signal Distortion Amplifier I

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I
Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I
Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I
Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I

Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket

Small Particle Dispersion Projector I
Small Particle Dispersion Projector I
Small Particle Dispersion Augmentor I

Warrior II x1


I spent a good bit of my early EVE career in jamming ships so I don't have the hate on for them the way many EVE players do.  They're just a tool, the same as any other in the game.  You (probably) wouldn't complain about getting killed quickly if you didn't fit tank to your ship, so why do you complain if you get taken out of a fight in other ways?  If you're bothered by it, protect yourself against it, the same way you'd tank against any other tactic.

And if you want to be the one making people rage, you can fly this ship.  ;-)

Prior to the T1 re-balancing, the big advantages that the Kitsune had over its T1 counterpart were an additional low slot, targeting range, and jamming strength.  No more.  The Griffin has reached parity in two areas with equal jamming strength and the same two low slots.  And the Griffin's lock range is now far superior to its T2 counterpart.  This is something that you can even further enhance with a Signal Amplifier.  This boosts un-bonused lock range beyond 100km.  This is the secret to jamming ships in EVE (and indeed, to most forms of non-weapon attack): your survivability and effectiveness are decided by your operational range.  The farther out you can operate, the more likely you are to be successful.

As a result, two of your three rig slots go to extending the range of your jammers, with the second low slot and last rig slot devoted to their strength.  This will give you an overheated jam strength of about 11 with good skills.  This is obviously nowhere near a properly fit Falcon's 15 or higher, but not too bad for a throw-away T1 frigate.  ;-)  You can bump it up another 3% using a second Signal Distortion Amplifier in your second low, but I'd rather have the additional lock range, locking speed, and the extra two targets granted by the Signal Amplifier.

You'll notice virtually all the key mods are meta: this both reduces the expense of the ship and provides another key advantage: meta jammers are more resistant to overheating damage and are just as effective as their T2 counterparts.  There's currently no reason at all to use T2 jammers.  The meta Signal Distortion Amplifier is also equal to its T2 counterpart and cheaper.

I cannot stress enough the importance of correct use of overheating when using a jamming ship!  In particular, in any sort of set piece engagement, your first jam cycle should always be overheated.  Just pre-overheat all four jammers as you warp to the battle.  Early in a fight, you want as many of your opponents jammed as possible and overheating will give you the best chance of that.  In addition, a jamming ship is obviously going to be the other side's early primary.  You may well only get one jam cycle off per jammer before exploding.  Wouldn't it be nice if that jam cycle was effective?  As the battle continues, you'll then have to manage your overheated and non-overheated jams based on the overheating damage you take and the types of jammers you're carrying.  More on that last bit in a moment.

Warping to combat range is also critical in this ship.  This is not a ship you want to warp directly into the middle of a fight.  With good skills, your jam range starts at 64km, so warping in at 70km is the smartest choice.  If possible, warp into the fight five or so seconds after the rest of your fleet warps off.  This will give the enemy FC a little less time to react to your presence; hopefully, he'll have already called other primaries by the time you arrive.

Though you are carrying rocket launchers and a drone, you do not want to mix it up in this ship.  You are literally an afterthought kill.  If you are within 50km of virtually any laser-armed ship or anything with a flight of drones, you're dead.  The weapons and drone are purely defensive in nature, intended to be used against enemy drones set against you.  Given how thin you are and how unlikely it is you're going to be able to protect yourself against even a few light combat drones, I do not blame Kitsune or Griffin pilots that just forgo weapons entirely.  The same advice I give to Recon pilots, I'd give to you: if you're likely to take damage, just warp off and warp back.

Finally, your choice of jammers will sometimes be set by the FC; he will have specific types of fleets that he's looking to engage.  You might even have the benefit of knowing exactly what types of ships you're going to be fighting, since jamming ships are a lovely defensive response ship, particularly against small enemy roaming gangs whose composition you know in advance.  But if you're going to roam in a Griffin, it's a good idea to carry a mix of jammers suited to the types of opponents you run into frequently.  Don't bother remembering what type of jammer goes with what ship.  Just remember that the color of the jammer matches the background color of the enemy ship image.  Red jammers are for Minmatar, green jammers for Gallente, yellow jammers for Amarr, and blue jammers for Caldari.  In general roaming situations, I like "two red, one green, one yellow."  Other than Drakes, Caldari ships are both more rare in PvP and have stronger sensors than other types.  It's usually a waste of your time to try to jam them in a Griffin.

Remember never to jam your FC's primary unless it's a gank situation: you want the primary shooting back at your fleet and staying aggressed.  Keep your jams to enemy logistics, enemy e-war, the secondary target, and enemy DPS, in that order.  It's also a good idea to keep one jammer in reserve if you at all can, for things that come after you specifically.  Finally, stay mobile at all times and when I fly a Griffin or like ship, I like to stay aligned to something as well.  The Griffin now has plenty of capacitor endurance: you can run your MWD and all four jammers for more than three minutes, so I like to just MWD around the edges of the battlefield aligning to something in my general path of travel.  If I start to take heat, I'm already prepared to just warp off.  Warp back to your FC at 70km when you land and go back to work.

All in all though, don't expect to live long: it only takes one solid hit to kill you.  Until then, have fun making people rage! 


All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well.

18 comments:

  1. In the past, EAFs have always been useless or marginal, so it is an exaggeration to say that the T1 rebalancing put them out of business.

    Also, the recent nerfs to ECM - incl the Sensor Compensation skills - have pushed the Kitsune from marginal, to useless.

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  2. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the Kitsune's lock range has always been pretty terrible compared to the Griffin. That's part of the reason it was used so little even before the buff - it had an extra mid, but needed a sebo to be able to jam from the same distance as its t1 counterpart.

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  3. Great write-up, and good explanation of ECM tactics. (As an old Scorp pilot, this warms my heart. =) I'll definitively be giving the Griffon a look.

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  4. First off, countering ECM is nothing like "bring moar tank", simply because it's a chance-based mechanic, thus broken.

    I can't say I HATE ECM, but I simply will not fight anything if I catch any ship ECM-bonused on dscan.

    Eagerly waiting for CCP to delete ECM from the game :)

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    Replies
    1. @ Anon 7:55 - ECM will not be removed from the game as it has to great a role to play and is an unavoidable step in basic technological progression... The invention of sensors dictates the invention of a counter to sensors. Plus ECM is, in my mind a VITAL part of the game cause I don't even have to be on grid to make you dock the eff up... However, I do sincerely hope your wait will be long, uneventful and full of fear... LOL

      I have been flying Blackbirds recently in Combined Arms T1 Cruiser lowsec roam fleets... and I am always stunned by the way almost ALL warp off the second I decloak or land on grid...

      I do believe you don't "HATE" ECM.... I believe "FEAR" would be a much more accurate description of your reaction to it... and as for ECM being "broken", two Blackbirds (one actually as mine was lost early) in a mixed 13 man T1 Cruiser Fleet (plus various reinforcements), supported by x3 Logi Scythes... assisted in killing an Archon, Abaddon, Absolution, Zealot, Hurricane and a Cynabal... while only loosing 2 ships... Yea ECM is sooo broken! ECM FTW! LOL

      @Ripard, I had never looked at the Griffin until now... I like the fit... Ima give it a go I think. =]

      Delete
  5. Why you so bad Jester?
    The kitsune has 25% more jamming power then the Griffin. So lets use similar fits:
    Yours:
    Jam Opt is 64km+48km fall-off, locking range of 105km and 9.4 racial jamming strength before O/H.

    A similarly designed kitsune
    [Kitsune, New Setup 1]
    Signal Amplifier II
    Signal Amplifier II

    BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM
    Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
    BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM
    BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM
    BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM

    Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
    Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
    Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket

    Small Particle Dispersion Augmentor I
    Small Particle Dispersion Projector I

    Jam Opt is 84km+48km fall-off, locking range of 86km and 9.9 racial jamming strength before O/H and has 100 more scan res.

    So it can lock the targets a little faster, out to 64km they both have 100% jam strength at which the Griffin starts into fall-off losing strength and stays behind the Kitsune out to kitsunes max locking of 94km(basic leadership bonus). At that point where the Griffin is 30km into fall-off and the Kitsune is only 10km in. After that point the Griffin picks up again as it is locking out to 116km though it would be in secondary fall-off at that point.

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    Replies
    1. The jam strength is a good point, and one aspect I think is often overlooked. The Kitsune's jam strength bonus comes from it's Frigate skill, and not it's EAS skill level. This means that for outright power output, the Kitsune is on top. Not until you get Recon Ships V with a Rook will you be able to match it in sheer strength (without help from mods.)

      That being said, I don't Jester is without merit here, as we've seen T2 combat recons rarely used in anything other than smal gangs and ganks. (And usually the Falcon is chosen for this purpose.) Because of the severe range limitations, You have to bring a much more expensive ship, without a tank mind you, in much closer than you would a Griffin.

      So you hedge your bets, spend less, and sit further out. And while your immediate effectiveness may be reduced, the survivability you gain by being able to persist a little bit more in the fight (flying further out) gives you a much better ability to harass over time, which is what ECM ships are all about.

      Delete
    2. But 90km vs 100-110km? the difference isn't all that great in Frig fights.

      Delete
  6. I am wondering what kind of power creep the PL guy has introduced into the game with the buffs to T1 frigs and T1 cruisers.

    Your Griffin example is a good one. What kind of buff does he give to the Kitsune to make it relevant again? (and in the cases of some of the EAF's, relevant for the first time ever). Does he buff the jamming strength? If he does that, what does that portend for the Falcon and Rook, since who would fly a 200M Recon when they can fly a 25M EAF for almost the same effectiveness?

    I think that the T1 frig/cruiser buffs went way too far, since to make so many ships relevant again (Navy ships, HAC's), he is going to have to buff them a lot. I recognize that Fozzie wanted to close the gap between T1 and T2 to make new players feel more relevant, but the result is he has wiped out entire ship classes, and I don't see how he can fix that without serious power creep.

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    Replies
    1. Unlike other CCP devs, Fozzie actually is aware of and has acknowledged the power creep problem.

      T1 ships were indeed buffed to close the gap between them and the T2 ships - as well as the gap with the BCs. So, there is no plan to buff the T2 ships, except possibly for certain under-powered and less popular ships.

      Rather than increased bonuses, T2 ships are more likely to receive tweaks to other stats, to separate them from their T1 counterparts - more CPU/PG/cap, faster recharge, higher sensor strength, etc. Particularly those stats which will most affect the more defined role for each T2 ship class.

      It is also possible that Fozzie will add more new skills, which will uniquely benefit T2 ships.

      The net result? T2 ships will be superior than their T1 counterparts in a specific role, but on par or slightly inferior in a more general-purpose role.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous, so what niche do the HAC's and Navy ships fill when this tiericide is finally completed? They would have to be superior to a combat or attack version, and that superiority would have to be significant to justify the cost differential. Presently, that differential does not exist, at least in the PvP setting.

      Delete
  7. Couple points:

    1: Pre-balance, the Kitsune also had an additional mid slot than the griffin.

    Also, IIRC meta jammers (going from memory here) use less cap and CPU.

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  8. Thank you for this post, the Griffin was my favorite ship when me and my friend first started fooling around in lowsec a couple of months ago, but I never actually had an idea how to go about jamming ppl effectively and how to fly such a vessel efficiently.
    You can see the above as simple guidelines but for a complete beginner like me, this post is full of very useful tips!

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  9. Also, I don't see how the Crucifier compares to the Sentinal(Nuet/nos bonus/cap bonus, extra drone/ x3 flights) or Maulus to the Keres(disruptor bonus/extra mid, -drones though). Hyena vs Vigil I could see, though MWD bonus is nice.

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  10. Its interesting how the ship re-balancing effort has been so far..neat place to make ISK, even more interesting for little tidbits like this. I haven't done the EWAR thing before, but seeing something like this makes me think I will have to go try it, dip my toes in, as it were.

    Another interesting article!

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  11. I'm a big fan of the T1 Ewar frigates except the Griffin. The Griffin is as eclipsed by the Blackbird as it in turn eclipses the Kitsune. On a boat that defends itself by distance the Blackbird operates at close to double the range, has 6 mids, and can still find room for a solid armour tank.

    Unless warp speed is a factor, eg frig gang or ass frig gang Blackbirds are close in price and miles better.

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  12. Also, it's "Griffin", not "Griffon", as you spelled it in almost the entire article.

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