Friday, January 16, 2009

The Problem With ECM...

... is not that its "too powerful".

... is not that its "too long ranged".

... is not that its "too unbalancing".

... so forth and so on....

... no, the real problem with ECM is the ships that use it.

They have extra mid slots so that they can fit ECM AND shield tank, but no sane ECM pilot bothers with that. At most, they might fit armour mods in the lows like on a Scorpion. If they somehow capped the number of ECM mods that could be fitted (3 for frigate, 4 for cruiser, 5 for battleship as opposed to 5, 6-7, and 8) then suddenly the supposedly overpowered ECM ships are not so hot. Still useful, and still have numerous whiners complain about them, but not as many I bet.

So how to accomplish such a cap? Simply reducing the number of mid slots makes the ships too weak. I suggest either coding a cap much like you can only fit 1 AB or MWD on a ship now; it will encourage players to use the other mid slots like they were intended: propulsion, shield tanks, sensor boosters, etc.

The reason I post this is because I believe simply by gaguing the amount of whines on the forums that sooner or later Falcons and their ilk (but especially Falcons) will be toned down. I admit that the way they are becoming the go-to Recon ship beyond all others suggests some balancing is required. Sigh.


  1. I like this idea quite a lot. It still offers choices without throwing the whole candy store at ECM pilots. Is there a stacking penalty for ECM mods? If not, maybe that's a solution. Your thoughts?

  2. Stacking solves a lot of problems with other modules, but not so with any "weapon" module. Guns, drones, missiles, smartbombs, lremote reppers etc do not stack since they affect the target and not another module on your ship. Same with ECM; each ECM mod is an individual chance to jam based on the module's strength against the targets sensor strength.

    Calculating some stacking formula doesn't work because the ecm mods can impact the same target or different ones, whereas weapon upgrade impact all weapons on your ship.

    The only way stacking could be managed is a complete re-working of how ECM operates. I prefer the slight tweaking approach in this case as I think ECM is closed to being balanced.

  3. I am not an expert on ECM or programming, but is there a way to have a stacking penalty for multiple modules pointed at the same target?

    If the modules are used on separate targets, nothing changes. But if multiple modules are used against the same target, wouldn't there be some basis for saying they affect each others effectiveness and give them a stacking penalty then?

    Would that be too complicated to program?

  4. i like the idea of limiting the number of ecm modules you can fit to a ship like 4 for a falcon would be a good number, but for a ship like the rook you may want to give it a bonus so it can use 5-6 or give the rook much better combat capabilities to counter balance the falcons ability to warp cloaked(maybe making a caldari recon a viable solo pvp platform??)

  5. The Rook already has much better combat abilities compared to the Falcon. Its still insufficient to make it attractive compared to warping while cloaked. In fact, I can't think of anything that would make me select the Falcon over the Rook unless it had the tank of a Drake and offense of a Cerb. :P

  6. sorry, Rook over falcon in above, not vice versa.

  7. Anonymous9:27 pm

    Instead of coming up with another nerf, where is the fun in that??, ccp should just give the players more options to counter them. f.e. adding a "need sensor strength" option in the fleet/gang menu and adding a logistic ship that is "specialised" in upping the sensor strength of ecm-jammed ships, i.e. via remote eccm modules..