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?