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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Comment of the Week: Not beneficial

Was I stirring the pot a little?  Yeah, I was stirring the pot a little.  I do that from time to time.

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.

58 comments:

  1. I posted this on the related FHC thread, but I figured I should repost it here, since the fact that you moderate comments means you'll be certain to at least glance at it. ;)

    1) Get rid of off-racial jamming.
    2a) ECCM that matches your ship's sensor type works the way it does now, increasing your sensor strength and making you more difficult to jam.
    2b) ECCM that doesn't match your ship's sensor type gives you weaker secondary sensors. If your primary sensors are jammed but the secondaries aren't, they allow you to lock targets at some reduced efficiency related to the ratio of (secondary sensor strength)/(primary sensor strength) - reduced lock speed, maybe. These secondary (and tertiary, etc, if you have the slots for it) sensors can be jammed independently. 2c) As long as they aren't jammed, ECCM's additional sensors provide a small boost to your targeting while active, again related to the same ratio.
    3) Multispectral jammers and jamming drones always jam your primary sensors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Posting it once was already a mistake.

      Delete
    2. Anon2, there's a thing called "constructive criticism". I know this is the internet, and I know you're hiding behind anonymity like the mental 12yo you are, but you might want to look it up and try acting like an adult for once.

      Delete
  2. Change ECCM mods so they fulfill the same purpose as Sensor Boosters, but increase sensor strength too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "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."

    Amusingly, you're continuing the 'all or nothing' theme by treating the issue of whether ECCM is used by PVP'ers in a very black and white way-and quoting the comment that put it in a very black and white way, whereas many responses were much more graduated. This is ironic because this all or nothing approach is exactly what people don't like about ECM and ECCM.

    A. This is about % of use, not "it is used" vs "it is never used".
    B. IMO, another level of gray here is that this is more centrally about "do people LIKE to use ECM and ECCM (and why is that)" not just "do people use ECM and ECCM".

    So, let's look at it from that perspective. How could we change both ECM and ECCM so that people thought they were more fun/balanced mechanics?

    How about this attempt at graduating the effect of ECM modules: each ship currently has a certain amount of targeting slots. Change the ECM roll of ECM strength versus sensor strength to have a variety of results, causing the ship/operator to lose between zero and all targeting slots. If the ship has 8 slots, and the roll causes it to lose 3 slots, then those 3 are lost at random. If the ship had only 4 target lock slots in use, the roll still takes all 8 slots into account, so that each of those 4 targets still has a 12.5% chance of being lost. The ship will then be down to 5 remaining target slots and can immediately relock any lost targets. This seems like a fairly large nerf to ECM, but the exact numbers can be adjusted all along the range of results to leave ECM as powerful as desired.

    This would be combined with some additional benefits for ECCM modules as well, similar to your suggestion above.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't mind the idea of giving it something more beneficial. But I don't know what. Just about anything you'd give it there are already mods made specifically for that stat. So either you start walking all over that mods place in Eve, or for some reason stacking works weird and ECCM becomes mandatory because all the sudden you can get a battleship to the sig radius of a frigate(hyperbole). I dunno, it's hard.

    The only thing I can come up with is shuffling some of the mods around. Say warp stabs(not actually that, just first under used mod my brain grabbed), and remove them from the game. Give ECCM a bonus to warp strength.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tweak ECM so that it knocks out one locked target every five seconds rather than all targets for twenty seconds. Tweak ECCM so that, like signal amplifiers, it adds locked target slots. So now you choose what to have with your serve of more target slots: faster locking times, or less chance to lose a target when jammed.

    This also emphasises the need to mix ECM with sensor dampers, since ECM just unlocks a target and you can start re targeting immediately. No more "waaaah permajammed ECM sux waaaaah."

    Of course this answer, being simple and elegant, is obviously completely wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, cause unfortunately ECM has another problem for the ship fitting it. It is that ship's tank. Sacrifice mids to fit the ECM, and sacrifice all the lows to fit ecm boosts. If you do it that way.. the ecm ship is dead dead dead.

      Delete
  6. I already know how you can use ECM in some large fleet fights. :Smirk:

    ReplyDelete
  7. An idea I've been tossing around.

    Make Sensor Strength reduce effect from ALL Ewar, not just jamming.

    Sensor Strength would become a "Resilience Stat" for EVE. Sensor Strength would represent the robustness of your ship's electronics, and it's ability to power through the noise projected by enemy Ewar to find the signal, whether this be Sensor Dampening, Tracking Disruption, ECM, or perhaps even target painting. While Sensor Strength would not be as effective as type specific countermeasures (ex. when damped, a sebo will still allow you to lock better than an ECCM, but an ECCM would also protect against TD and ECM.).

    This aims to solve the problem of ECCM being "Wasted" by broadening it's usage rather than adding a stat bonus. Players might fit ECCM whenever they feel that the enemy will be deploying Ewar rather than just jams. Although a small signature reduction effect would be welcomed, perhaps representing the ECCM's tighter control over ship electronics reducing background emissions.

    There would be a "benchmark" Sensor Strength, ships with more than the benchmark will be less affected by Ewar, and conversely ships with less than benchmark will be more affected. Given the trend of bigger ships having more sensor strength, a celestis applying damps to a battleship will be less effective than dampening a cruiser.

    This could be taken even a step further, by making Ewar effectiveness based on the relative sensor strengths of the Ewar ship and target. Cruisers would have a hard time dampening battleships, but battleships Ewar (cough, more disruption battleships) would be able to shut down a cruiser more easily. This also comes with the effect of making the low-slot "Sensor clusters" effectively become amplifying mods for Ewar, a Celestis pilot confident in his ability to avoid damage can choose to fill his lows with sensor clusters rather than armor mods to make his damps more powerful. At the same time this would allow CCP to remove the terrible terrible signal distortion amplifier mods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been thinking the same....

      Complete e-war immunity ,however seems to be overpowerd. So make the module need charges. Balancing eccm e-war immunity then is a question of charge consumption

      Another possibility is to give the eccm module a fixed cycle time. When time runs up the module deactivates and only becomes available again when the cool down time has passed.
      Balacing eccm immunity then is a question of activation and cooldown time

      IIf the module is passive (not turned on) i works like before, simply boosting your sensor strenght. (....maybe add another small benefical bonus here)

      While the eccm module consumes charges it might as well gives you immunity against stasis effects

      At the moment ECCM is provided by a passive low slot module (called sensor backup array) and an active mid slot module (ECCM sensor) and there are 9 (7 meta and 2 tech) eccm modules of each racial sensor type. There are also 6 omni modules of the mid slot and of the low slot module
      I think in total there are 2 X ((4 X 9) +6) = 84 different types of eccm items .... we need to get rid of some because it makes the thing looking far more complicated then it actaully is.

      Delete
    2. It's not complete Ewar immunity, but rather limited resistance to Ewar with extra effectiveness vs ECM. I've stated in the original post that an ECCM will be less effective than the proper "counter module" but has an advantage in coverage.

      Ex.

      A ship is damped by a decently skilled celestis, cutting lock range to half of the normal lock range.

      Countering with a sensor booster 2 will improve lock range by 60%, making the ship's lock range 80% of origional.

      Countering with an ECCM will raise the ship's sensor strength, reducing the effect of the damp, but the ship will only be able to lock to 70% of the original range, less than the 80% from fitting a Sebo.

      If the ewar sensor strength idea is implemented, it could work like this.

      say an ECCM improves sensor strength of a ship by 50%
      on a Celestis with 20 Sensor Strength damping another Celestis, the effect of the damp will be the square root of the ratio between sensor strengths. in this case, sqrt(20/20)=1

      if the target is fitted with an ECCM, the effect of the damp will be sqrt(20/30) = 82% of the original. ex. a 50% damp will now only damp for 40%. However, a Rokh will have 30 sensor strength after some sensor comp skills, so the same damp will only be 80% effective on a Rokh.

      the problem with this system is that if a celestis with 2 ECCM (40 strength) damps a 10 sensor strength frigate, the effect of the damp will be over 100%, which will cause problems with code interaction. The simple solution is to just use the original EWAR value in cases where the Ewar ship has more sensor strength than the target ship.

      But i do agree the mess of ECCM mods needs to be fixed, a universal ECCM mod would be sufficient.

      Delete
  8. when i was a new eve player, large fleets used to have a scorpion wing.
    either armor tanked as best as they could - in that case the scorpion wing was usually dead after the first 30 second of the fight.
    or glas cannon like fitted for max range and jam strengh. in that case it all depended on the engagement situation and in there was a good scorpion wing leader (like the logi anchors today, kind of sub fc). if the scorpion wing was able to place itself like 200km off the enemy fleet everything was fine. if not the scorpion wing was dead after 15 seconds.
    the same with small scale and falcons (they once could jam at 200km+ distance)

    problem is 1. ecm does not scale very well with rising number of enemys.
    1 ecm ship can lock down 3+ enemys without much risk. in special cases even 5+
    2 ecm ships can lock down maybe 5-6 enemys without much risk
    5 ecm ships can lock down like 5-10 ships without much risk
    10 ecm ships probably die against 20 targets since a small mistake in the communication about who jams what and the ecm tank breaks apart.

    in a fight that involves 200 ships on both sides the only thing that could make ecm usefull would be to place the ecm ships far away which is impossible due to bubbles, almost instant probe scans and sson 3 sec warp ins from small ships.


    and thats why no one uses eccm. of course a swarm of ecm ships could lock down the entire logistic wing for a while until they are all dead. but the enemys should also ask themself if the same number of pilots wouldnt be more usefull inother ships.

    in small scale you see ecm often enough and small gangs have at least on their logis eccm fitted. so the problem for eccm is in my opionion the unbalanced ecm itself.
    against 1-5 enemys its way overpowered and in large scale with 100+ ships per fleet its completly useless.

    i dont have a solution that doesnt require any coding and solves that issue, but that is what ccp should fix. make ecm less a solo + emergency falcon tool and more something that has a strategic use without making it so that goons will deploy next winter in 1000 scorpions to grind down regions.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think that ECM has already been nerfed pretty majorly.

    The general increase of sensor strenghts as part of tiercide, the range nerf to falcons, the sensor strenght skills giving additional reduction of chance base of actually being jammed have all contributed to huge loss of efficiency of ECM boats.

    I for one would really hate further nerfing of ECM boats as it will make the prevalence of Logistics even worse than it is today. The DPS race is what really makes the fights boring, not the ECM mechanics. Unfortunatelly the nerf to chance/range is the easiest tweak CCP can make and also unfortunatelly most likely to actually happen.

    I for one would like to see something that actually impacts the biggest issue with ECM in general and that is that it effectivelly eliminates the target for 20s. I mean tracks and damps do the same, but the effects are not as obvious and one doesn't feel as helpless.
    As such I would like to have scan resolution having an effect of how long the target is actually jammed. This would make faster locking ships regain locks faster and longer locking ships spending more time jammed. It could be entirely countered by the existing modules (sensor bousters and signal amplyfiers) while ECCM could be pretty much abolished.

    And when CCP are at them, what I would like to see is giving Minmatar something more useful of an EWAR other than stupid painters. Now that is a waste of a mid slot if there ever was one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If a pilot could knew how many jamming attempts he evaded thanks to his ECCM module, the whine level would be much lower I think :)

    Also, adding max locked targets bonus to ECCM modules would be nice.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Even though the ability to target things IS beneficial.

    The ability to target things is beneficial, but ECCM currently does nothing to improve it. So let's remove Auto-Targeters from the game and roll their effects into ECCM mods.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The problem is that there really are no realistic beneficial effects ECCM could give which would justify their use.. and CCP does not seem to like dual-purpose modules as they nerfed Adaptive Invulns with their passive resistance bonus.

    The other issue is they are mid slot only and as such are completely out of the question on a lot of shield fits as the trade off you would have to make is huge

    ECM is simply **broken** and until the mechanics are changed so you can't take a person completely out the fight for 20+ seconds at a time they will remain as such. All e-war has a counter with how you fly. ECM has gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. backup arrays...low slot eccm.

      Delete
  13. While I'd love Falcons to return to their glory days of 7 multi-spectral jammers = perma lockdown of 7 different targets, ECM & ECCM has been through several iterations.

    First ECM pretty much was an "I win" button, where any jammer, from multispectral to racial, was a guaranteed jam. ECCM pretty much did absolutely nothing back then.

    Later, we got ECM (collectively) had to beat a ships sensor strength. This began the start of ECM being very racial dependent. If I put 3 racial Gallente jammers on you (and had more jam strength than your green blaster boat had sensors) I won, and you were jammed as long as I could maintain the jam to run the jammers.
    ECCM countered this, by increasing ship sensor strength making each jam ship have to work harder to beat sensor strength.

    Third iteration, which I believe is current or close to it. Sensor strength means very little, each jammer has a luck factor built in. Jam Strength / Ship Sensor Strength = % to jam (Jam/Sensor=% for you formula guys) If you had a really bad RNG streak, it didn't matter if you fit 100% racial (for your target or not), a bad luck streak and you're a pod. Hit a lucky streak, and you get screamed at for cheating and making your jammers return to "glory days" circa 2007-2008.

    For jamming to once more become viable, we need a return somewhere to the second iteration. Where successfully jamming is not luck based, but fittings on both ships can play a part in success. If Tracking Disruptors, Sensor Dampening, webs and points were all suddenly whacked with anything like "well this program rolls a d10. If you get 8+ you win. If you get 7 or lower, you failed to point the target, it just warped away because RNG hates you" there'd be incredible screams from pvpers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about the time spent jammed is dpendent upon senor strength vs jam strength.

      So lower chance and each jam is shorter in duration

      Delete
  14. Simyaldee made an interesting typo in the comment on other post:

    ECCM drones.

    Super easy fix for CCP. Obviously you could only use them to project ECCM on other ships, thereby not fixing the problems with ECM in solo PVP, but solo is dead anyway right? :-p Any drone boat fleet buddy should obligatorily carry a set of ECCM drones to put on you if Falcon. And they could still be smartbombed off and what not as a counter counter (ECCCM? :-p)

    I'm not fond of adding sig bonus to ECCM mods. Too powerful and too off the mark. If anything, they should have added number of target locks, but that also totally sissy and doesn't solve anything anyway... Someone oughta run the numbers on how many ECCMs you'd need to be fairly safe from Falcon, since that guy with the two drakes' story is kinda worrysome.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jester, If CCP have not yet done so, please do your CSM duty and get them to add an overhaul of ECM into the long term plan. ECM is worst possible mechanic - it's an anti-gameplay mechanic for goodness sake!

    As for your question, you have jumped the gun. Please understand that almost any side-effect of an ECCM module is going to be irrelevant (apart from maybe additional tank) when you are jammed by a Falcon. So, the first thing to do is make ECCM modules actually effective at what they are supposed to do:

    - Vastly improve the effectiveness of ECCM modules to ensure a much higher proportion of Falcon / Rook jamming attempts fail.

    Only now can we can talk secondary effect.

    ECM is almost always used with bonused hulls & fits which allow jamming out to very long ranges (100km!). There is one obvious secondary side effect that comes to mind to counter the "get away easily" attitude of most ECM hulls:

    - Have ECCM modules provide a point range bonus.

    HOWEVER, to avoid abuse of the secondary effect, if ECCM modules have been buffed as stated above, make it so that only one ECCM module can be fitted per ship. Either that or have the point range bonus only apply when trying to point an ECM ship and / or ship with ECM modules fitted (feasible?). The extent of this secondary effect would require discussion / balancing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As well as the added bonus to sensor strength, have ECCM reduce the jam duration from 20 secs to 10 secs, and give a slight boost to scan resolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed.. this would give people at least the option to lock target and fire a volley.. anothef option could be diminished return on jam strenght the longer the module is locked on target.. one thing we have to be careful of is to not need it too much.. ecm has issues as it is atm

      Delete
  17. It is going to be hard to focus on ECCM when ECM is so terrible in its basic function of no targeting at all for 20 seconds and if the roll continues you just die. I guess it was made to balance against missiles with fof back in a more archaic age when people trained classes.

    How about if ECCM allowed you to always retain or regain one target at least. That puts the ECM boat at risk (heh cuz 100k away).

    It at least allows the target not to sit in space dying because of falcon. The down and out for twenty seconds has to change. If that.comes through ECCM people will fit it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This breaks your rules, but what the heck.

    Sensor damps already work kind of how it would make sense for ECM to work. Given that, I would change ECM to work like tracking disruptors, only against missiles, and change ECCM to work like tracking computers for missiles. That kills 2 birds with 1 stone.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is hard to tell form the outside whether something is hard to do or not. We can just suggest what might work and the devs have to check themselves if it is doable or not.

    Currently it is an all or nothing gambling. If you as a jammer get lucky your enemy won't harm you much. But you are dead if you don't have luck.
    1) Tweaking the Jamming Formula
    Blocking someone out of locking for fix 10 second (or was it 20?) is a long time. Tweaking the formula to take the Sensor Strength into account might help. High sensor strength → only jammed for 2 seconds.

    2) Decouple jammed from ECM cycle
    The module is independent from the “result”. The cycle time of ECM is lowered (to say 4 seconds) and you get feedback on which target it was successful. If you jam low sensor guys they are locked out for 10 seconds and a single ECM guy against a large fleet can knock out several ships if he is active. Adjusting chance to new cycle time is needed of cause, but balancing will always take some time.

    3) ECCM improvements
    Lowering Signature radius sounds nice but needs to be used very carefully. With 1) in action it would already bring the jammed time down.
    In addition it could work as “only 2/3 of targets are lost”, so an ECCM boosted ship needs to be hit by 2 successful cycles in short order to loose all target. Combined with 2) the ECM Pilot needs feedback about an ECCM mod, so he knows he must hit that one again to have full effect.

    4) Using Scripts
    For ECCM it isn't that important as you know which ship you will fly but ECM has a steep cliff in usability if you have the “wrong” module fitted. Making all ECM Multi-spectral and adding scripts against each race would make it more flexible. Maybe distinction between long and short range versions? Is anyone using ECM Burst Modules?

    5) Disrupt Drones but catch AT-Missiles
    If a Ship gets jammed the drones go wild, not focusing on the jamming ship. Even Idling if no other ships are around. Maybe that would be effected by fitted ECCM too so your drones better react against jamming enemies if you have one and focus on those.
    Auto Targeting Missiles get a bit more brains and focus on ECM sources. Think of a missile support fleet that spam AT-Missiles to counter ECM boats. Or Hyperions in a Megathron fleet using the coming rapid heavy missile launchers with ATs to protect against ECM.

    As I said, hard to tell what would be hard or difficult to implement but maybe the ideas help to find a nice solution some will be happy with. (you never get everyone being happy ;-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These ideas have some merit as they don't turn the ECM boats into a waste nor an "I win" button.

      Delete
  20. How about its passive ability being increasing the amount of time it takes for someone to lock them (the eccm itself distrupting the sensor lock of the other ship)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fram a solo/small gang perspective, jamming is far more power the fewer people that the other side has. The is no way, besides fitting eccm/implants that you can compensate for being jammed.

    Every other form of ewar you can compensate for to some extent. You can get closer and be able to lock things again if damped. You can manually pilot to reduce transversal or get closer to be able to shoot things again if tracking disrupted. You can fly at a higher transversal to deal with turrets tracking you if you are target painted. Alternatively if fighting missile boats you can turn your mwd off and pulse it so the cycle ends before the missiles hit and you are still going at ~70% mw speed which mostly takes care of your tp sig increase because of how missiles work.

    If you get ecmd, which can happen even if you have infinity sensor strength (it only effects the chance to jam not the length of jamming) you are locked out of targeting anything for 20 seconds. There is nothing you can do to compensate for being jammed aside from only flying drone base boats or switching to low damage fof missiles which will shoot drones on you long before they ever shoot the falcon/blackbird.

    Rebalance ecm so that eccm reduces the length of the jam. Make ecm drones only break lock and not lock you out of targeting at all. Afer a certain level of sensor strength just have ecm only break lock. Suddenly you almost remove the permajam issue and as long as the ecm cycle is longer that its base effect you can make it so it always hits and people can still fight vs ecm on a smaller scale. Additionally it makes ecm more viable in larger fleets because logis constantly losing their lock even without being locked out of their ship can be devastating.

    ReplyDelete
  22. First off, CCP already recently mildly nerfed ECM. They added skills that increase your ship's sensor strength, by race. If you haven't trained those to at least level 4, then griping about ecm is just :whine:.
    I think the thing that every pilot hates about ECM is being permajammed and sitting helplessly while your ship or somebody else's dies. I don't see any way to prevent permajamming with the current mechanics without nerfing ECM so hard it never gets used. Making it a target slot reducer is pointless, IMO, because as long as the pilot can target the called primary or, in the case of logistics, target the ship that's being primaried by the other fleet, then ECM is worthless. You'd have to reduce the locked targets of the ship being jammed to zero to be effective, and we're right back at being permajammed.
    Most games that have a stun mechanic for pvp also have a way to keep it from being applied continuously, either through abilities with cooldowns or through diminishing returns. If a cooldown (reactivation delay) is added to ECM modules, then you can still permajam a ship through careful management of multiple jammers, so that doesn't accomplish the goal. Diminishing returns does offer a hope of a solution, however.
    The discussion before about ECCM modules, I think, points the way towards a solution. Instead of nerfing ECM or ECM specialist ships into the ground, perhaps adding functionality to ECCM modules might be the way to go. All of the projected ewar modules (target painting, damping, ECM, turret disruption) have two associated skills, a base skill at rank 3 that reduces capacitor use, and a secondary skill at rank 5 that increases functionality. I propose to add similar skills for ECCM modules. The base cap use of ECCM modules would need to be adjusted, but then training the base skill would mitigate that. Once the base skill is trained to level 4, like the other ewar skills, then the secondary Rank 5 skill can be trained. The secondary skill would add a diminishing return function to ECM vs ECCM calculations. I imagine it working as a 2/4/6/8/10% increase to ship sensor strength for each successful jam cycle against it, benefits to last for 2 minutes or something like that.
    The exact numbers would have to be carefully tweaked, of course, to make it balanced, but making this work would make ECCM modules a much more powerful module. The juggling of reward for fitting it would continue, which is how it should be. Ewar pilots would have to be more careful how they apply their jammers, since landing a successful jam while the target is already jammed will simply build their sensor resistance even more - no more apply multiple jammers and afk.
    The big question, of course, is whether this can be done without any significant backend programming.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I had an idea for this, leave the ecm mechanic as is, but add a rule you can't use shield or armor repps while ecm modules are active. Make them glass cannons. Also makes drone boats a viable counter.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ideas
    * Reduce the range of ECM mods by 30%

    * Make ECCM mods low slots that also increase scan res or targeting range

    * Modify ECM effect to only allow 1 target to be locked at a time and resued scan res,
    forcing you to decide to keep on the primary or kill the jammer.

    * Boost the jamming resistance to an existing ship per race (crusier hull maybe, or a desy), creating an option to fly an "anti-ECM" ship that excells are clearing the field of ECM ships.

    With the changes to the Kitsune we are going to see a strong re-showing of ECM applications...hopefully nothing game breaking but hell - this is eve and its possiable that even a revamped frig can change the game!




    ReplyDelete
  25. Just a wild thought: merging of ECCM with Sensor boosters / Singal amplifiers.

    For SEBO another type of script (+lower efect without script) and for Sig Amp a static effect

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ways ECM is useful in a very large fleet fight.
    1. Jam out the FC (for bonus points get a soundcloud of the rage on their comms). For even more bonus points jam him just as his primary hits low armour so he calls a new target.
    2. Jam out the backup drone bunnies while you are at it if you have a spy on their comms
    3. Cycle jams across the logi at random so the logi spend more time worrying about their cap chain than applying reps

    ReplyDelete
  27. Here's an idea with associated "back of a fag packet values".

    Have the Navies collaborate (Minmatar & Gallente, Amarr & Caldari) and all ships gain a set of secondary sensors. So for example we might have:
    Sleipnir LADAR 20 MAG 16;
    Incursus MAG 9 LADAR 6;
    Nightmare RADAR 28 GRAV 20.
    Then, when the ECCM is activated (with associated visual ship effect) the ship starts using it's secondary sensor set.

    So that's the ECCM side, on the ECM side we could reduce the power of Multispectral Jammers and make them scriptable (shamelessly stolen from Chanina). Using the T2 MSJ as an idea, reduce it's power to 1.8 per type (which sums to 7.2 the same as a racial jammer. When loaded with a script, this then bumps the selected strength up to 3.0, and suppresses the rest down to 0.5.

    Under this system, if a pilot is jammed, they can switch to their secondary sensors and start locking up targets again (probably slowly because of Celestii, or Ishtars). But the pilot of the ECM ship will be able to see that secondary sensors are being used, and can change either the jammer or the script. Then the EWAR war becomes a constant to and fro.Then the EWAR war becomes a constant to and fro and pilots on both sides are kept engaged.

    :2 pence:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this.Though I think the default secondary sensor strength S/B 1 with a scan resolution of Huge.

      But in the end this is more a nerf to ECM that making the eccm module more popular.

      Delete
  28. The problem is that whilst there are a lot of good ideas out there, all of them will require back end work, so if you want to tweek anything your kinda left with a std database change in stats....

    If its a minor tweek, how about a small % increase in cpu output?

    or more radically take all the ecm and eccm units out and replace the with a series of basic meta 0-4 units and use scripts to get the desired effect. ECM scripts (racial) and ECCM scripts (racial) that way a ship has the option to adapt to circumstance.

    But is suspect that would require back end work too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good call about back end work.
      Wonder if a negative CPU requirment would be possible.

      EG: The ECCM module provides additional CPU processing power to sort through the noise caused by some forms of ECM. As a relult ECCM moduls cost -50CPU or -10%..by costing negative it is really a posative.

      I have no idea how the client works...but based on prevouse examples of negative tracking going below zero I assume this would work.

      Delete
  29. Jam ECCM functionality into sensor boosters with a script (or not). Done.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sugar's comment above made me think of a very low-impact way to decrease the power of ECMs: make auto-targeting missiles functional.

    As things are, what auto-targeters go for is a bit of a mystery to me. I know they will shoot bunkers in deadspace rooms, even though there are closer red ships that have me locked and are shooting at me. (Not to mention the occasional Gurista ECM.)

    So here is my change: I would like to see the target priority for auto-targeting missiles set as follows:
    1) ships currently jamming the ship I was fired from
    2) ships that the ship I was fired from has locked
    3) ships that are close to (and in range of) where I was fired
    4) modules, with same jam/locked/close heirarchy
    5) bunkers and other shootables, with locked/close heirarchy

    This idea won't solve all the problems of ECM. But they would create a predictable way to attack ECM boats, namely: bring a missile boat with auto-targeters. If the ECM boat jams you, no problem: your missiles now prefer it. If it doesn't jam you, you need only lock it (and nothing else) and your missiles prefer it. If you want to lock multiple ships, you need to get closest to the one you want to shoot at.

    This would also make auto-targeting missiles more generally useful, so they might, you know, get used some.

    ReplyDelete
  31. ECM IN GENERAL
    My favorite idea when it comes to ecm is making them act like ASB/AAR. They would provide jams based on a certain number of algorithms/charges (this could be accomplished through ammunition-like charges in the module or just in the nature of the module itself) so that, after x number of chance-based jams, the module would have to "reload/search for new jamming algorithms" for a certain amount of time. Ecm-based ships would get a bonus to the number of jams before they have to "reload", or simply have more of them given all their mids.

    But, the general idea is to make ecm a module of diminising returns over time, whether that be a reduction in strength (ships' electronics adapt), cycle time (more chances to miss), etc.

    There are also plenty of clever ways to make ecm powerful while removing permajam, but these ideas would break your rules
    - ecm could "stun" a ship, breaking its orbit/approach function and making it impossible to change your course for x seconds
    - ecm could "jam" an enemy ship's module at random (one cycle it jams out 1 or 2 guns, the next one of your armor reps, etc) which make an enemy's ship much harder to pilot
    - ecm could cause interference with an enemy's HUD, making it hard to find the primary,manage tank/cap, manage speed, manage range, etc.

    FLEET FIGHTS
    The biggest issue with ecm in large fights is getting everyone to portion their jams evenly across the enemy fleet. The solution to this would be to make ecm AOE.

    This could be accomplished by scripting current modules or just making a subcap version on the remote ecm burst. This would need to be coupled with a drastic reduction in the chance of jamming any single target so that it would take an entire wing of ships to jam out any significant amount of enemy dps, and the law of diminishing returns would mean that no fleet could be jammed out entirely. This could, conversely be coupled with a mechanic that would reduce the jamming potential for every target jammed (so that jamming a single, random target in the AOE is reliable, but is exponentially harder from there) or any other number of clever ways to make sure it's not OP. Also, the first mechanic is already in the game so it wouldn't take an enormous amount of backend work (remote ecm bursts are already here). And all this could be balanced through the AOE range of the ecm, the jam strength, and the number/strength of modules available to any ship.

    This also has other side-effects like
    -In the start of the fleet fight, not as many ships die as they are all clumped together and jammed. As the fight goes on, the ships would spread out and jams would be less important, but range to a target would be more important. So positioning in a large fleet fight would become more important, requiring a little more pilot skill and involvement
    -Different wings of the same fleet would be encouraged to separate and come in as different groups to avoid AOE based ecm
    -Using this mechanic to jam out a single target in a small fight would be silly, as the lower jam strength would represent such a low chance to jam
    -etc, this would make personal piloting and more capable FCs more important in larger fleet fights

    Just some brainstorming and food for thought - Gorgoth24

    ReplyDelete
  32. ECM has already been nerfed through skills and boosts to ship sensors. To be used effectively right now takes a fair amount of skill points. "Brobirds" don't really do so much anymore.

    ECCM mods work great. The problem is when they don't work... Their effect is too binary. You are jammed or not jammed -there is no in between.

    If ECCM mods effected how long players were jammed their value would be more obvious. If sensor strength had any useful PvP purpose other then as an anti-jamming tool they would be seen as valuable. (No, being difficult to scan down is not an in-fight PvP purpose.)

    Finally, as someone who flies the Rook (not as often as I'd like) I can tell you that using it well takes a lot of finesse. It is very strong, but also has glaring weaknesses. Overall its just great how it is now. Personally I hope it receives very little change.

    ReplyDelete
  33. A couple of separate ideas:

    Change the duration of ECM effect to be a function of the jam strength vs the jammed ships sensor strength instead of a blanket 20s, set the function to reduce jammed time to 0s when sensor strength is greater than jam strength.

    Make ECCM increase the radius at which you can decloak a cloaked ship? This could result in very odd ships using ECCM.

    I liked the idea of using scripts to change the jam type of a jammer.

    ReplyDelete
  34. ECCM's secondary benefit makes a ship harder to probe down. I use it on my boost ship.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ECCM feature that would make me want to put it on any ship.

    When active gain a % chance to detect cloaked ships. Compare ECCM enhanced sensor strength to cloak strength less ship signature. Bigger ships are easier to spot. On Grid only. Information warfare links are now REALLY FREAKING COOL!

    Looking at the Honorverse.

    ECM has three prongs. First it is doing things with your ship's signature to disguise the ship as something else. Second, is presenting false targets causing you lock and fire at the wrong thing. Third is improving your attack profile to do more damage. ECCM is overcoming all of these.

    The first would manifest in EVE as making one ship type look like a size class above or below on dscan possibly even the overview. This would only break if the disguised ship activated an attack module or somebody clicked on Look At or managed to get within range for the player to SEE what ship is really there. The player action to defeat this would be to get close enough to click on the look at and SEE that it is not a freighter. A complete change? Yes. New interface? Yes. Creating new content even bittervets will love? I think Yes. New module, new skill, ECCM defeats it.

    The second replaces a chance to lose locks for 20 seconds with a chance to miss. Targeted module effects (positive and negative) miss the target Jam/Sensor*100% (maximum = 75%) of the time. For logistics ships, the transfer has a chance to miss. Drones, I'm inclined to say jamming the drone boat has no effect, but if the drones are ECM'd they lose target for a time and return to orbit (ECM Bursts good!). ECM of course will "hit" 100% of the time within optimal. Ships with weak sensors will lose cycles at higher rate. Stacking ECM should suffer stacking penalties. You are better off jamming four targets once than jamming one target four times. I think this is the least change that would keep the ECM module worthwhile to use but not OP.

    ECM Burst remain as they are forcing dropped locks a % of the time.

    The third type of ECM is covered by target painters, webifiers, warp scramblers, and energy drains.

    ECCM should NOT increase sensor strength. Instead...

    Change ECCM modules to reducing the effectiveness of all Ewar used against a ship. Meta 0 ECCM reduce incoming Ewar by 20%, T2 - Meta 5 reduce by 33%. Include stacking penalties. A ship with ECCM has general protection from the effects but not direct immunity. Faction warp scramblers with 3 strength vs. a T2 ECCM suddenly only have 2 strength. A 60% webifier vs. a T1 ECCM drops to 48%. A medium energy neutralizer instead of costing me 120 cap vs. an ECCM module only costs me 108 cap. Make sure anti-effects take place before the ECCM effect, such as cap batteries vs energy neut. I picked the 20% numbers with stacking as a starting point that can be tuned for each type of Ewar. Set it to 0% if you don't want ECCM to work on Warp scramblers for instance. But leave it a tunable thing to make programming changes a matter of updating a master table. ECCM works better against several attacks than the specific counters, but is less effective in a small gang environment.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Jester, ECM needs a good fixing just like POSs do. Just rip the bandaid off and get it over with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it were for me to do, I might agree with you. But it's not. I'm just telling you the reality here: the people who could reprogram and rebalance the ECM game mechanics have WAY bigger fish to fry right now.

      Delete
  37. I still like the idea of having a sig reduction bonus to fitting ECCM, however that might screw with too many formulas in the game, from targeting to damage to probing, ect.

    That said, since there is no defensive module against target painters either, I say just roll them into a new ECCM module that lowers the sig radius bloom of TPs in particular.

    Something like "Increases offensive lock time and reduces offensive TP effectiveness by 40%" for a straight meta level 0 ECCM mod or so.

    That way ECCM combats both ECM and TPs, and also has the persistant benefit of making it take longer to get locked up in combat.

    Perhaps add an ECCM skill that affects these amounts. Could also add a script to single out one of the two extra bonuses. Even if ECCMs aren't given these though, I think the game does need a module that has this effect to counter TPs.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Killmails are perhaps a contributing reason why people hate ECM. Its not just that they lose out on participating, its that the other side takes away their appearance on killmails. They were there, they pariticpated, but yet they dont show up. This plight is common to logistics, scouts, the tackle which waits on the other side of the gate, boosters and everyone else that supports the effort without actually firing shots. Perhaps a simple answer it to just list everyone in the fleet as 'contributing cast' on the battle report. It wont eliminate all the unhappiness with ECM but it will take away one minor downsid

    ReplyDelete
  39. I can't see a fix without backend work. As others have noted, it's mainly due to the binary all or nothing effect of ECM, which in turn means selecting ECCM is all in or don't bother. Going from 10% of a lockon to 60% of a lockon is still no lockon.

    The backend fix I'd most recommend is to increase the cycle, ideally to once every time the gun/launcher/whatever fires. Then changing from zero to 10% of shots matters and makes picking up a little ECCM viable.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ecm is a small gang force multiplier, it works as intended most time. When used too far in one extreme is either useless or overkill, and it sometimes let's prey just deagress and jump gate and escape.
    For large fleet fights it can cripple drone assist comps.
    My corp has fought what fells like forever war between hisec and lowsec systems. ECM and ECCM has been used heavily by both sides. It adds a flavor to the fighting. We fight at least 3-4 times a night almost every night. With probly 30 minute breaks for everyone to reship and swap out ppl done for the night. Sometimes reshipping and burning back to rejoin the same fight. Sometimes we go to high sec and sometimes they come to us in low sec. Thankgod for clone tags.
    If one side over does it on ewar or logi and not enough DPS. That side will usually lose. So both sides always have to see what is being brought and ship accordingly.
    We've taken some ego hits. But we've also grown a lot too. Neutral goon logi in high sec bedamned. And double teaming us in low.
    So ewar works great as it is in small gang under 20ish. If mess with ecm/eccm too much you risk messing up small gang to F it just bring a DPS ship and 2 augs.

    ReplyDelete
  41. A Couple ideas I like:

    1) instead of totally shutting down targeting of target, have ECM counter the ability to control drones, causing an effected ships drones to go berzerk and engage at random/go inert/attack owner?

    Right now there is 1 ewar type that only works on turrets (TDs) and it sounds like there may be some sort of new mod or change in the pipeline that similarly affects missiles, why not a 3rd type of ewar aimed at countering drones?

    2) maybe just make ECM the anti-missle ewar type (as a sort of TD for missiles). Would fit that caldari be the master of both missiles offense and missile defense. I know CCP has already talked about working in some sort of method for distrupting missile use similar to the way TDs work against turrets, could be an easy solution to just make ECM fill this role. (although personally the idea of revamping defender missiles in some way, possibly with some sort of mid-slot module seems much cooler).

    3) include some sort of tracking calculations in the jam success algorithm. it makes sense to me lorewise that ECM wouldnt be a wide-beam technology (risking jamming friendlies close to the target seems to encourage the idea of a narrow beam that targets selectively, as compared to ECM burst which is more of an AOE). Including some sort of tracking modifiers into the existing formula could make them much more interactive, allowing some counterplay (get "under the guns" of the ECM, or get farther into the ECMs "falloff" to reduce jam chance, or maybe duration?)


    Just some ideas off the top of my head. Probably have plenty of holes in them, but whatevs.

    ReplyDelete
  42. One comment in the previous post when sig radius bonus was brought up was the effect it would have on probing, and maybe ignoring the effect for probing. I think the opposite should be done: ECCM should directly and significantly reduce your chances of being probed down. In large fleets, you might see an ECCM wing of battleships (perhaps a use for those black ops BS ships in fleet ops?) , all using ECCM, all designed around being incredibly hard to probe out.

    Anti-jam for small gangs, smaller sig for all gangs, anti-probe for large gangs. That sounds like a useful mod to me.

    ReplyDelete
  43. DCU/plates/EANM aren't beneficial to your ship when you aren't being shot at, 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.

    Fixed it for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Small gang and solo fights is where ECM makes the game flavorless. In the last year, every small gang fight I was in involved ECM. And the side that used it won just about every time.

    I agree with the overall consensus. Give ECCM more bonuses that are beneficial even when you aren't being jammed. But such bonuses should be determined with small gang warfare in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Have ECM reduce the number of targets the target can lock.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.