My "poem" yesterday about the fact that "nobody tanks against jamming" definitely had a purpose in mind. With assault frigs rebalanced long ago, and with interceptors and EAFs and interdictors coming for winter, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where the rebalance train is likely to go next. I don't have any firm inside :csm: information on this. But as the rebalance train passes through Falcon and Rook stations, I suspect there's likely to be a good hard look at current ECM mechanics.
So I was curious what players thought about it.
I know there's a contingent out there whose "solution" to ECM is going to be "nuke it into the ground!" Know what? That's reallllly unlikely to happen. A major mechanics change would require a lot of programmer time, for one thing. Coming up with a new mechanic would create a lot of new improved balance problems, for another. Even something as simple-sounding as "change ECM so that each jammer put on you reduces your maximum number of targets by one or two" would probably require a lot of back-end work. There are jamming POS mods, remember? Trust me: it's very safe to assume throwing jamming out or rebuilding it from scratch isn't on the table at this time. Sorry.
So when the time comes -- and I'm pretty sure it will, and I'm also pretty sure that CSM8 will have at least some influence on it -- I'm curious to get player reactions to various ways to change or adapt ECM. CCP Rise, CCP Fozzie, and CCP Ytterbium are going to be looking for non-"throw it out!", non-"rebuild it from scratch!" suggestions and player feedback. That got me thinking about ECCM: why don't people use it more? An anonymous comment summed it up most concisely:
ECCM isn't beneficial to your ship when you aren't being jammed, which is the point. You're still getting the tracking speed/range/scan res/lock speed bonuses when you aren't being afflicted by TDs/Sensor damps. When you aren't being target painted, you're still benefiting from a low sig radius.Even shorter: players see it as a wasted mod. Even if it's protecting you against jamming, and even if it works, PvPers are inclined to think of it as a waste of a slot and cap to run it. Even though the ability to target things IS beneficial. As another commenter put it: "human nature." Yep.
Right now, the biggest balancing factor in ECM is simply the fact that ECM doesn't have much of a role in large fights. Once there are 20 Guardians or 40 Scythes or 60 Megathrons on the field, unless you're willing to counter with twice as many Falcons and Blackbirds (and nobody is), there's not a hell of a lot ECM can do. So I suspect (again, with zero actual data to support this because if I had data, :nda: says I couldn't share it) that CCP is going to want to come at ECM from that direction.
So as an alternative to "nuke ECM into the ground", what if ECCM had a beneficial effect to encourage players to use it? Example: a small bonus to ship signature radius? Would that be "beneficial" enough that players might consider fitting them more often? If not that, what else might work? And how should ECM adapt for large fleet fights, if at all?
Thanks for the comments on the first post, everyone! I enjoyed reading all of them.