Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"IMCOMING!"

With a hat tip to Massively.Com's James Eagan, I heard that the Nerfbat is coming to visit an ECM ship near you and me very soon. Xiphos83 from A Misguided Adventurer has already weighed in. Since I've talked about Falcons and ECM in the past, I figure I should get off my tired duff and read it.

Venerable CCP Chronotis writes:
Generally the ECM optimal range is a little too long with massive optimal ranges possible which would place the ECM specialised ships so far out of the fight to be almost completely safe but suffer no effective hit quality decrease. To bring them closer to the fight we are looking at swapping the base optimal and falloff ranges so at the longer ranges jammers would be operating more in falloff and hence have a lower chance of 'hitting' with their jammers at the extreme ranges.
No issue with that. I love the long range on Falcons but I can understand it being frustrating and possibly breaking to have it so.
The [Signal Distortion Amplifiers] are something of a conundrum. They are really only worth fitting on the ECM specialised ships and are the only EWAR enhancing module we have besides the rigs. Currently they increase your ECM strength and we were looking at swapping this to an ECM range bonus and altering either the base strength of the jammers or the ECM strength bonus of the ships so they become less required in every setup and the low slots could be used for tanking for example.
Odd... we'll have to see how this plays out.
We have been looking at all the ECM ships (Griffin, Kitsune, Blackbird, Falcon, Rook and Scorpion). We wanted to ensure each ship had a more focused role which was not just bigger, longer range and better than the others so only one wins outright. The two main themes we were looking at was short range brawler and long range sniper. The brawler would focus on ECM strength at shorter range and the sniper would be longer range but weaker with niches in these areas for each of the ships.
Er, Widow? Beyond the glaring omission from the list of ECM ships (defined by me as ships with an ECM bonus) then I lick the concept of two types of classes. Let's see how they intend to proceed.
The falcon has been changed to be similar to the pilgrim in its role as a ECM brawler at shorter ranges. It has a bigger ECM strength bonus whilst losing its ECM optimal range bonus. In addition its agility and base velocity and have been increased to allow it to be more manoeuvrable at shorter ranges.

Summary Falcon changes

- ECM Strength Bonus increased from 20 to 25% per level
- ECM Optimal Range Bonus removed (52km optimal / 81km falloff w/ 2*SDA IIs)
- Increase in general manoeuvrability (might give agility bonus to it to replace the ECM optimal range bonus)
Agility bonus, while appreciated, might be better served by a shield/resistance bonus if its going to be a short ranged "brawler". Also, fix the weapon layout while you are in there and give it three turrets like a true Ishukone tech II ship (Vulture, Eagle, Harpy).
The rook operates at longer ranges, able to attack at distance and whilst having a weaker ECM strength but longer ECM range than the falcon can lay some real damage on its target gaining a heavy/heavy assault and standard missile velocity bonus in addition to a small drone bay for additional utility.

Summary Rook Changes

- ECM strength bonus decreased to 15% per level
- ECM Optimal Range bonus decreased to 15% per level (92km optimal / 81km falloff)
- 5% Heavy/Heavy Assault missile velocity per recon ship level added (105km range with heavy missiles at max skills)
- 25m3 drone bay / 25 mbit bandwidth added
Whoa! That is a HUGE drone bay for a Caldari cruiser, and a sniping ship at that. (Again, the Rokh gets the finger.) Personally, I think they are mixed up; I would have made the Falcon the weaker strength / long range sniper and the Rook the close ranged Brawler with higher strength ECM.

Scorpion:
We are looking at putting the scorpion into the short range brawler role. To that end we are looking at removing its ECM Optimal range bonus, increasing the ECM strength bonus a little and adding a cruise/siege launcher rate of fire bonus so it can get close and personal.

Summary Scorpion Changes

- removed the ECM optimal range bonus
- increased the ECM strength bonus to 20% per level
- added a 5% RoF bonus to cruise & siege missile launchers per level.
If you're going to do that (and I kind of like the idea) then give it a fifth missile launcher hardpoint. It will still be less DPS than the Raven but give it a reason to think about brawling.

Overall I am opinion-neutral on the changes. As long as I can still jam a couple enemy ships with reasonable confidence, I'll adjust my piloting style to make full use of that ability.

(I'd post these comments on the Eve Online forums but after ten pages of rants, accolades, and general whinging I figured I'd avoid that cesspool and stick it here.)

* * * * *

UPDATE: Apparently CCP Chronotis visits my blog as he took my advice today. *waves at CCP devs*
The falcon is the "sniper" of the two ECM roles having less ECM strength and more ECM range.

Falcon:
Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus:
20% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer Optimal Range per level
10% Bonus to Medium Hybrid Optimal Range per level

Recon Ships Skill Bonus:
20% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level
-96% to -100% reduction in Cloaking Device CPU use per level

Attribute Changes:
+1 turret hardpoint / -1 launcher hardpoint


The rook operates at shorter ranges, able to launch a stronger ECM attack and whilst having shorter ECM range can lay some real damage on its target gaining a heavy/heavy assault and standard missile velocity bonus in addition to a small drone bay for additional utility.

Rook:
Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus:
10% Bonus to Light & Heavy Missile Velocity per level
10% reduction in ECM Target Jammer capacitor use per Level

Recon Ships Skill Bonus:
25% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level
5% bonus to heavy and light missile kinetic damage per level

Attribute Changes:
+25m3 drone bay
+25mbit drone bandwidth
Extra turret for Falcon, check. Rook as close range brawler, check. If you're going to change ECM this way instead of my EWAR Hardpoints idea then this makes the most sense. Now we just need that extra missile hardpoint on the Scorpion...

8 comments:

  1. Im torn over the changes. Firstly, they would need to make the falcon a lot more sturdy if they intend to make it a closer range ship - a bit like the caracal (and lesser, the cerberus) it relies on its range as its tank. Swapping the falloff and optimal ranges to make it 'less likely' to score a hit would be a decent idea though. Id even live with a reduction in strength from 20% to 15% or so.

    I think the Falcon should still be the long range boat, and a rook (with its speed increase from stealth which I presume they get (cant say for sure havent looked in a while) should get some tanking bonuses and be the close in 'high strength' ecm boat.

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  2. Rook has no cloaking special abilities.

    I can see the case for making the Rook long ranged like its contemporary the Cerberus, but calling the Falcon a close-in combat ship? With the DPS of a wet noodle and tank to go with it? And no other Caldari vessel to be described that way out of the box? Makes no sense.

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  3. Combat recons dont have stealth bonuses ? Damn thought they were the 'stealth bomber' equivalents to force recons covops ships. Cant say I looked to any great deal though.

    Making a rook a good combat capable ship (not necessary any dps ability, but enough survivability to get in close and soak up a few hits whilst the jammers do their job) would be great. The only way to make a falcon anywhere near survivable at the moment is to have it at range so that it simply 'isnt there' when someone comes to shoot at it - the only way to make that possible with the ship in its current guise is to have a 'lock breaking pulse' which breaks all the locks on it and then allows it to cloak up again and disappear... I loathe to make a WoW comparison, but think of it like the vanish ability.

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  4. Updated main post based on new Dev post.

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  5. Well hmm. Falcons going for sniping rooks for close in ( I thought that's the way it already is? ) I understand people wanting the i-win ship , none the less, say goodbye the fleet scorpion. There is no way in gos green earth that a scorpion will be able to be a brawler. Flat out. No way. They will fall like dominoes. I know a hyperion that is armor tanked and absorbs hundreds of DPS and falls in seconds when called primary, now they want Scorpions to be in close? FFS. I love my Scorpion but no way in hell will I do that. I trained like crazy to be able to fly the ECM boats and now, well im a little unsure what will happen. I knwo fleets will ditch them, they are slow for small gangs, they are not a powerful as Rook/Falcon, so I wonder what their role will be now?

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  6. LUCKY A DEV READS YOUR BLOG!

    Changes are imminent, I'll see and then react, let convincers like you do the talking.

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  7. @Tony: you do realize I'm joking about that part, right? :) My suggestions were hardly earth shattering. LOL

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