Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ECM Jamming Comparisions

Al asked in a comment to last post for an exact comparison between Kirith and Optivus based on the jamming abilities that Optivus specialized in compared to Kirith and his more scattered approach to training.

First off, definitions for the non-Eve readership. There are several types of Electronic Warfare in Eve which amount to either making it harder for enemy ships to hit you or your allies, or making your ship and your allies hit the enemy harder. Electronic Counter Measures (aka ECM) are modules you put on your ship and when activated against an enemy ship they will attempt to overpower their sensors and break all locks they have (called jamming), a powerful ability as most weapons and utility modules in the game require locks on target ships to do anything.

The Caldari faction has several ships that give bonuses to ECM modules making it the "racial" electronic warfare type even though any ship or any faction can use ECM modules if they desire.
OK, now on to the comparison of the skills that allow and affect ECM jamming.
Electronic Warfare - allows use of the modules and 5% less capacitor need per level. Kirith IV, Optivus V
Frequency Modulation - 10% bonus to falloff1 for ECM modules. Kirith IV, Optivus IV
Long Distance Jamming - 10% bonus to optimal range2 for ECM modules. Kirith IV, Optivus IV
Signal Dispersion - 5% bonus to strength of ECM modules. Kirith IV, Optivus IV

As you can see, except for the Electronic Warfare skill the characters are at the same level. Where then are the other 2 million skill points Optivus has in Electronics? Well, ~400K comes from the Electronic Warfare skill, another ~800K from Long Range Targeting that Optivus trained to V, another 200K in Signature Analysis, and Signal Dispersion is 79% trained to level V for another 800K skill points.

Now, another thing that affects ECM jamming is the bonus of the ships being used since your skill in using the ship affects how much bonus you get. The relevant ship skills:
Caldari Frigate - Kirith V, Optivus IV
Caldari Cruiser - Kirith V (finally), Optivus V
Caldari Battleship - Kirith IV, Optivus IV
Recon - Kirith 0, Optivus V

So while Kirith can get 10% more ECM strength in the rarely used and paper thin Griffin frigate, Optivus has a vast advantage in the Recon ships (Falcon and Rook) because while I'm having Kirith train for them, I don't see him going all the way to Level V for the skill. Level IV should be fine for me which means Optivus still gets a 10% strength bonus in the Falcon and 20% strength bonus in the Rook, impressive improvements.

While Kirith is pretty much equal to Optivus in jamming in all T1 ship classes, the latter has a definite advantage in the T2 cruisers even after Kirith's training plan for those ships completes. Should my corporation or me go back to Null sec space to live again, having a scout like Optivus could prove useful.

1 - Falloff is the distance from optimal range at which your chances of hitting have fallen from 100% at optimal range to 50%. In theory, at optimal range + 2 x falloff range you have a 0% chance of hitting your target.
2 - Optimal range is the farthest point at which your chance to hit is still 100%. In theory everything below that range is 100% to hit but tracking issues come into play more as you get closer. Hence optimal range is the point where tracking difficulty and to hit difficulty intersect.

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