Wednesday, May 21, 2014

the 100th monkey syndrome

never really paid attention to ECM before, after reading GamerChick42's latest blog entry, so this will seem completely random - although not out of character i suppose. I'm suggesting a change to how ECM works - to remove it's ability to negate locking ability and replace it with optimal/falloff range reduction instead.
"Like Kaeda touched on, small gang pilots in low-sec often employ strategies and a gameplay style where each member of their gang is important on an individual basis. This also means that the chance of having a member taken out of the fight by being tied down with ECM is an even more devastating prospect then it would be in a situation where you may be at risk of losing the firepower 1 of 30 Caracals, or etc.
It is for this reason that ECM seems to be disliked most by members of the low-sec community. In my experience, ECM is more or less an anti-conflict driver in small gang warfare, where you have very small numbers—such as less than a dozen pilots. The threat of ECM will often cause a fight to fizzle out and never begin, and the arrival of even a small amount of ECM on field will often cause one side to disengage and remove themselves from the situation."

"The frustration comes from not being able to make a counter play.
When you get tracking disrupted you can still affect whomever does it (with your own e-war or by piloting to counter the effect). When you get neuted you can still manage your capacitor by being selective about what models you cycle and when you cycle them, your capless mods work fine too. When you get damped you can pilot to counter the range effect and you don't necessarily lose existing locks. When you get webbed or scrammed you still have options too.
When you get ECM'd. Well you can leave (provided you're not tackled). The only exception is if you have drones which were set to aggressive *prior* to getting jammed. Or if you are one of those odd balls that carries auto-targeting missiles. Neither of those options allow you any control either though and rely entirely on luck (so you're still unable to make a counter play).
And in this ECM is different from all other e-war mechanics, it allows no counter play. It is also why I think it's fundamentally a bad game mechanic." 
Kaeda Maxwell

 I think the main point of the blogger was that ECM is really only good in small gang (Yet, what is the solution? It's all well and good to say something is bad, but what is better (without having the fix being worse)? All you're really accomplishing is a nerf, yet as Anon6:43 pointed out, sensor damps do just that - paper tiger ecm boats best defense is range.
So what could ECM do instead? certainly couldn't be an area affect weapon (say decloaking things or what have you...that would be silly. you'd have jump autocloak ganks all over new eden) since what attribute would it lower? targeting range and scan resolution are both taken (damps), as is signature radius (painting), and tracking speed & optimal range (disruptors)
What about falloff & target count: ECM had scripts for both lowering falloff or target management by a percentage?

OR how about going outside the box completely and deconstructing tracking disruptors? Why the HELL can a module actually lower the physical attributes of a turret rotating? seriously!
Firstly, If we're going to have an EW that hampers the actual turret on enemy ships by slowing it physically down, why not go all the way and say, "look, if we're physically going to fuck with turrets speed why not turn the disruptor into something that affects (via script) either turret speed or reload time...i mean, think about it for more than 5 milliseconds. Both are electromechanical devices...
Secondly, if you remove optimal range from disruptors you've got to think about the tracking computer as'd have to fiddle with that too in order to replace the missing script option for optimal...

Thirdly, what do we have then to fill the gap? Since, modules that dealt with optimal AND falloff range are theorized, the gap would be the range modules. You'd now have a range disruptor/booster module combo to create or modify existing, yes? So a new module, or a change of an old one that drives people crazy currently?
Therefore, How about "ECM" to lower optimal/falloff (aka screwing with targeting chances to do damage)...i mean Caldari are missile based right? They'd want to fuck around with turrets, whereas Amarr do "Disruption" that could affect missile based weapons finally (reload times along with it's current electromechanical turret tracking 'disruption')

  • So "ECM" would be optimal/falloff affecting, 
  • "Disruption" would be tracking/reload, 
  • "Damps" would stay the same. 
  • "Target painters" would....well, increase just the signature radius?
  • "Sensor Boosters" would stay the same
  • "Targeting computers" would be tracking speed and reload boosting, 
  • "Range computers" would be optimal/falloff boosting.

So...what do you think?

Alternatively, what if ECM lowered the signature radius? instead of offensive, make it a defensive module like ECCM. It would be a bit harder to rationalize, and i like my previous suggestion, but hey if we're brainstorming anyways.