Friday, November 07, 2008

More on the Falcon

In the last post Galen commented that the Falcon is also popular due to having higher ECM strength than other options. He also commented that:
Many people feel that they are overwpowered for a recon, in the same manner that the curse and pilgrim were overpowered.
Let's take those two issues on in more depth than my response in the comments.

There are seven ships with bonus to ECM modules in the Caldari fleet. We'll look only at the strength attribute bonus of the ships.

Griffin - Tech 1 Frigate - 15% bonus to strength / level

Blackbird - Tech 1 Cruiser - 15% bonus to strength / level

Scorpion - Tech 1 Battleship - 15% bonus to strength / level

Kitsune - Tech 2 Frigate - 20% bonus to strength per level of Caldari Frigate

Falcon - Tech 2 Cruiser - 20% bonus to strength per level

Rook - Tech 2 Cruiser - 20% bonus to strength per level

Widow - Tech 2 Battleship - 20% bonus to strength per level

The formula for calculating the strength of an ECM on a ship (before other module or rig bonuses) is:
Base strength + (Base strength * Bonus Amount * Ship Skill Level)
That is to say you get the same amount of bonus per level, it is not cumulative.

My relevant skills are at V for the Cruiser, Frigate, and Battleship skills and IV for the Tech II skills. So the highest strength ECM module I could throw on would be on the Kitsune, followed by the other 3 Tech II ships.

Of course, there are other factors. Signal Distortion Amps need low slots, Partical Dispersion Augmentors need rig slots, ECM range and capacitor use are also important. But my main point is that the ECM is not intrinsitcally stronger than other available options considering that the "bonus * level" factor for the Tech I ships equals 0.75 while for the Tech II it equals 0.80 due to my lower skills. If I took the time to train to level V for Recons it would be more noticable.

So to summarize, I get about the same ECM range and strength out of a Scorpion as I do with a Falcon and it comes down to other factors like agility, targeting speed, and that oh-so-powerful Covert Ops Cloak. After all, if it wasn't for the cloaking device the Rook would be more popular than it is today.

Should Battleships have stronger ECM than cruisers? That is an interesting question, I assume the thought being that the larger and more powerful vessel should have more resources to pour into ECM efforts. I do not share this opinion. One could argue that the Tech II ships should have better abilities and that the Widow, a Tech II battleship, dedicates its efforts to its jump drive and bridge technologies as to why it does not have a 25% or 30% bonus as a battleship.

Is the Falcon overpowered compared to other Recons? My gut says no.

The Falcon does one thing and one thing only: jam. No tanking, no DPS, no tackle. If there is a coordinated and capable enemy force the Falcon is dead or forced off. If the enemy used available ECCM modules or even projected ECCM, the Falcon can be rendered useless. And on top of all of that, ECM jamming is chance based.

If anything, I think the game needs a new ship class dedicated to utilizing projected ECCM, Tracking Links, and Remote Sensor Boosters much like Logisitic ships work with armour/shield/cap transfers. This Anti-Recon class would give fleets an option to counter all the Recons (except the sad sack Minmatar EWAR... Target Painting... heh).

Well that is my thoughts. Being a Falcon pilot I'm biased I know, but I remember vividly that time Captain Santiago undocked in a Drake with ECCM fitted and ruined my Falcon with a couple salvos. Fortune favours the prepared.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:35 am

    Now that I have read your argument, I must agree with you that they are not overpowered.

    The issue does lay with the Scorp versus the Falcon. They are identical in abilities as far as ECM. Should a T2 cruiser be as powerful as a battleship? That's the real question.