As of today, there's going to be a second Corollary to Malcanis's Law, which will state "Any mechanics change that is proposed to reduce blobbing will ultimately reward blobbing."
Which brings us to this dev blog and this new module:
MagSheath Target Breaker I - Mid slot. A module that has a chance of breaking the lock of ships targeting you, the chance increases the more ships target you at one time. Also breaks your locks. Reduces scan resolution significantly as a downside. Only one can be fitted at a time and the can not be fitted to capital ships.
It's been interesting to watch people bowing and scraping in the direction of this module as an "anti-blobbing" module. Corelin over at Mad Haberdashers, who is usually a pretty level-headed guy, practically writes a lyric poem in praise of the idea.
The problem is that it ain't gonna work, for a variety of reasons. Let's start with the most basic ones and work up to the really esoteric ones.
First things first: we have no idea how common or rare these things are going to be. Per the dev blog, we know that there are not going to be BPOs for this module. It will be a BPC that drops from exploration sites, with between 3- and 50-run copies. We can safely assume that initially, these mods are going to be extremely expensive. Ironically, at first, you're going to see these things fitted to the ships that already stay as far away from blobs as possible. Hulks, cloaky and non-cloaky transport ships, and cloaky T3s in low-sec will be the first beneficiaries of the Target Breaker module. Later on, you'll see them fitted to solo PvP ships. An overwhelmed triple-rep Myrmidon or the like will align to a station, fire off this mod... and if it works, warp away.
Unless the BPCs are pretty damn common, at no point can I see a situation where you're going to fit these things en masse to a large number of ships. Know why? Rumor has it that the mod also comes with a drawback of an 80% reduction in scan resolution. That means things are going to take five times longer to lock. Hulks, haulers, and cloaky T3s don't care about this, and full-on Bushido solo PvP boats care about it only slightly more. But fit a mod to 30 fleet ships that reduces scan res that much? No.
The next reason you're not going to see this in fleet fights is because it's chance-based. Now, unless I've missed it, we haven't seen what the chance of this thing even working is going to be. I'm sure that's one of the things that CCP will be balancing in the coming weeks and months. CCP enjoys them their chance-based EWAR, but for the purposes of a mod whose sole reason to be fit is escape and evasion, it being chance-based is a little silly. Again, Hulks, haulers, and cloaky T3s aren't going to care about this because a 25% or a 33% or a 50% chance of saving one's ship is better than a 0% chance. There's no reason for them not to fit the thing.
For the purposes of the rest of this discussion, let's say the chance is 33%: if you fire this thing off, there's a 33% chance that you're going to lose your locks and everyone is going to lose their lock on you.
That brings us to the next problem with this module in a fleet fight. In a fleet fight, the ability for friendlies to lock you is often key to your survival. It's called a Logistics ship, and it's probably the only thing that allowed you to live long enough to press that Target Breaker function key in the first place. Initially, we're going to have tons of people who use this module who are going to panic and forget the iron-clad rule of how to use this module: align first. If you're not aligned when this thing goes off successfully, you're still gonna die. It doesn't take that long to re-lock you. ;-)
OK, let's get more esoteric. Let's say for a moment that the 80% scan-res drawback were removed, and the module became as common as dirt. Now can we fit them to the ships in a 30-man gang and use it to fight off a 100-man gang? Nope, you still can't. Hang on, because this is going to get a little complicated.
Let's say you've got a 30-man gang and you're fighting a 100-man gang. Let's further say that all 130 ships have a Target Breaker mod fitted. Obviously this works to the advantage of the 30-man gang, right? Each of their primaries can align, and the moment they're red-boxed, they fire off the Target Breaker and there's a 33% chance that they get away clean.
While that's true, the problem is that it's going to work more to the advantage of the bigger gang. Every time the 100-man gang calls a primary, they're going to have a 66% chance of blowing their primary up, reducing the 30-man gang's DPS by 1/30th of their fleet. On the flip-side, every time the 30-man gang calls a primary, they're going to have a 66% chance of blowing their primary up, reducing the 100-man gang's DPS by 1/100th of their fleet.
Let's say it takes five seconds for both fleets to lock and destroy a primary. It doesn't, of course: the 100-man gang is probably going to have a large DPS advantage. But for the purposes of this discussion, let's say both sides destroy ships equally fast because things only get worse for the smaller gang if they don't. Over the first 60 seconds, each fleet locks 12 targets. Four of the targets on each side get away. Eight of the targets on each side are destroyed. The 30-man gang is now 18 ships, four of whom are warped off grid. The 100-man gang is now 88 ships, four of whom are warped off grid. The larger gang's 3.33:1 advantage has increased to 4.89:1 in the first minute.
In short, there's no difference between this situation and what we have today... other than a few more ships are going to escape destruction.
Someone explain to me how ships escaping destruction in a large fleet fight is a good thing. ;-)
So, no. As long as the Target Breaker mod is rare, it's going to be a rich man's toy for their expensive industrials of various types. But if it becomes common enough to be used in fleet fights, it's going to be far more advantageous to blobs than it will be to groups trying to fight blobs. Jester's Second Corollary to Malcanis's Law is in full effect here.
So let's hope that it stays rare and we get some other idea to address EVE's blob problem.