WCS & ECM

My hatred of Warp Core Stabilizers ( WCS ) is legendary by now. I've been on an anti-WCS crusade for years and I won't be stopping any time soon. I believe that Eve is no place for "get out of jail free cards" and I will continue to think that until the day I am podded for real.

I believe it is time to expand the "limited region" feature that is a hallmark of some of Eve's more devious mechanics. For example - Warp Interdiction bubbles in their various forms. A scourge of Null Space, but not to be found in Low or High Sec Space. Can't use 'em. Same with Bombs. Can't fire 'em.

Why is that? Bubbles and Bombs are great! But they just don't work in the more cultured sections of New Eden. It is a rule that expands outward to other parts of space and affects many modules, rules, ships and effects.

It is time to expand that list to include WCS and projected ECM.

• WCS should only work within 150k of a StarGate or Station. This is where they make sense, you have an important ship to move, or cargo to get out, I get it. I may have moved ships with WCS on 'em myself from time to time. This is a feature that saves that benefit without transferring it across all of known space. There is some kind of transponder thingie that activates the feature when in range, but disables it when it isn't.

• ECM should be scaled. In other words, in Low Sec the use of projected ECM, from a Falcon for example, should balloon the sig radius of the Falcon to 2x its normal radius. In hi-sec the sig radius should bloom to 4x the normal radius. This will fairly give the defending party the chance to destroy the ECM ship instead of sitting there helpless while he is destroyed for the next five minutes. There should be danger involved, consequences to engagement. Right now there just isn't enough.

I'd also support the concept of ECM working against specific weapon systems, instead of just a general "you are helpless now" mode we have today. For example, my guns won't fire while being jammed, but my drones still work and I still have point. Something along those lines would also be far superior to what we have now.

Even as a pirate I am not against self-protection. In fact I want everyone to defend themselves and to do so extremely well. I am pro pilot. I am pro PvP. But Eve has suffered long enough under general, blanket effects. It is time to declare the next decade the age of refinement and work towards making specific, targeted, and regional effects the norm. Not the exception.

That is my rant.

What do you think?



38 comments:

  1. I like the idea of ECM working against slot bars rather than targeting. Essentially, one flavour of ECM shuts down high slots, another shuts down mids, and another shuts down lows. You could have a final one disrupting the link between drones and vessel.

    Theoretically you could completely shut down one person, but that requires some dedication... and his fleet mates would ruin the ECM ships day.

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  2. I disagree. :P :)

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  3. So, ECM... Doesn't that seem like something that should work against Missiles? How about ECM and ECCM become the Tracking Disruptors/Tracking Computers for missiles? From that point, since it wouldn't be used as it is now anymore, make sensor strength work as a resistance against damps. For example, damps are 25% less effective on a ship with 25 sensor strength.

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  4. For every action, there should be a counter.

    The concept of a WCS as a get out of jail free card is a bit of a stretch. Simply make it that only one can be fitted. That is done for several modules, I cannot see a argument against limiting it to one.

    As for ECM, a counter is provided, ECCM. ECM is chance based, which is already an interesting concept. You may argue that a single ship fitting ECM can shut down many ships. This is also true of the counter. Your failure to bring ECCM to support your tackle is a decision you made. Like the decision to fit a web or scram, ASB or hardeners.

    There are many tools in the box - you cannot counter them all.

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    1. http://eveoganda.blogspot.com/2013/02/limit-wcs-now.html

      I've made the one per ship argument before.

      ECCM is not an effective counter for a wide variety of reasons. Personally I'm for removing ECM from the entire game, but as always I try to find an effective and intelligent solution to doesn't require a total ban. Not sure why the sig radius bloom is a bad idea in your opinion, since you did not directly address it.

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    2. I will grant that ECCM as a counter is not effective, based on the fact that ECCM without ECM on the target is useless, and therefore a poor choice unless you know your target sports ECM.

      I'd love to ECM dropped entirely as well, but we're stuck with it.

      I don't have enough experience in small gangs to know how the sig bloom effect would be sufficient deterrent. Myself, I can see the decision being along the lines of "if ECM's gets me out of danger, why do I care if I have a large sig rad?"

      the concept about ECM being limited to a single slot bank as an interesting one. With scrams/web being in different slots from guns, at least there is some chance of ruining someones day.

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    3. Keep ECM as it is now, scrap ECCM and SBAs and add a sensor strength boosting effect to SigAmps and SeBos. Give SeBos a third possible script that only boosts sensor strength, but does so with greater effectiveness.

      Now you can fit a counter to ECM that isn't totally useless in all other situations.

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    4. I always LOL at how bad so many hate ECM and any version of weapon that does not do direct damage but is a disabler... ECM is a fact of RL and is a fact in EvE... Like you tell all those you assplode and who then get all butthurt, HTFU bro, its a GAME. =] And the limitations on various mods is one reason I HATE Hi and Lo... I don't want them removed or changed, I just hate flying there so "I" fly where I can use everything the game allows... including ECM/ECCM/Dictors and bubbles...

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  5. there's nothing about WCS that can't be fixed by having multiple tacklers. teh only people who have real issues with WCS are solo pilots.

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    1. That is a myth. I'm in dozens of corp chat channels and it isn't only solo pilots bitching about 3x WCS ships.

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    2. then why aren't they all fitting points instead of complaining?

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  6. I understand your stand on WCS(s) but they are the counter to Scrams, and with there penalty they should balance ok. Obviously in your opinion they get overused. 3 or more on a plexing ship? Looks like penalty isn't high enough. limiting them to 2 would help to shake of one scram, combined with DSTs you get additional +2 WC-Strength (or a Venture)

    On the other hand, if he don't want to fight you, why should he? Because you want it? Unconsensual PvP yes I get that but the right reason would be "because it is too valuable to give up now".
    If he uses his "get free of jail" card to save his ship, the action he did was either too easy or not valuable enough to risc the ship.
    Guess you talk about your FW Plexing vexor with 4 WCS, would longer timers but higher rewards for completing it help?

    ECM is, in its current state, a win or loose tool. 10 seconds are damn long for both sides. Jamming specific Slots sounds cool, or a chance to reduce ships max targets, instead of just loose every targets would lower its effect. Scalling with chances, weak hit only lowers max targets by 1 or 2, good eliminates 4 targets (making most frigates blind) and the critical reduces max targets by 7.

    With the ECCM the ECM has a valid counter method and once the HAC rebalance is through all hacs will have ~25 Sensor strenght on base. That might make them THE ECM Killers.

    In any case, avoiding the fight should still be an option. Just because you want fights all and everywhere doesn't mean eve will be build to that. The chances of hunters and prey need the right balance but where is that? In your opinion too far in favor of prey, I guess some will disagree with you.

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    1. Well I am a Pirate and a vocal advocate for all things PvP and I am not ashamed of that or feel it is a stance for which I ever need apologize. Having said that, I also try to be fair and balanced in my approach. I'd like all targets to be good targets, smart and equipped to fight. That would be the thing that would most make me happy.

      But there is something fundamentally wrong with an Incursus fitted with a cloak and 2x WCS even being in low sec to begin with. And that has nothing at all to do with my desire to destroy his ship. In my opinion at least.

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    2. Guess I see your point there. I don't understand what he is doing there too. Such a setup should yield any result except than being a scout ship or currier vessel. If he can use that setup to engage with NPC Rats, yeah, the disadvantage of the modules might not be high enough.

      All things PvP? Yes, I'm looking forward to the day where my nice Occator can actually fight an tackler instead of "snailing" back to gate. But until we get the PvE part more equal to PvP... as long as you have to decide to be good at one of it, the PvEer will always try to get away at least until he has a valid PvP fit/ship in hands.
      The FW plexes are already designed towards PvP so fighting with a plexing ship shouldn't be the problem. Its the players attitude, but how do we change that?
      Why does someone like your described Incursus pilot wants to be in low in the first place? Is it too easy to get money this way with an almost save ship?

      I would never expect an apology for someones opinion or play style. I like what you are doing even if I wouldn't do it myself. ;)

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    3. Actually, lowering the time a jam cycle lasts actually makes ECM even more broken. If the module cycle time lasts as long as the jam cycle time, a shorter cycle means that if you miss a jam, you don't have to wait as long to try again, and you could effectively permajam a target even if you miss several of your jams, because by the time he achieves a lock, your next jam attempt is already on the way.

      If the module cycle time is longer than the jam cycle time, then it pretty much makes ECM ships one-hit-wonder suicide ships. Might as well just get rid of ECM all together, for all the use it would do if this was the case.

      Also, Stabs need to die in fire.

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    4. I'm all for getting rid of ECM entirely from Eve. poof gone.

      That may not happen of course, so we are left with what to do with it? I agree that cycle time isn't the place, so what are we left with? Sensor strength obviously. Jamming skills, true true. But we have those now. If we are stuck with it then how do we make it a valid offensive and a counter system? Personally I thought the idea of scaleable sig radius was an interesting one. You can still jam your target, but you become more vulnerable to other people. This would make the choice to engage one that needs careful thought and consideration.

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    5. Well, the problem with the scaleable sig radius is that the ECM ship is ALREADY vulnerable to everyone its not jamming, because you cannot have an effective ECM setup and an effective tank at the same time. All the scaleable sig would do is make the penalty for a screwup come a second or two quicker. They are still going to be the bane of solo pilots, and the only counters are still going to be either more ships in the gang and/or ECCM.

      Personally, I'd like to a New Eden without ECM. But I might as well ask for long range blasters and cost effective Tech 3s while I'm at it.

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  7. I totally agree with you. The amount of players I see now in days using stabs is terrible. I mean going to low sec should be dangerous, not an easy farming ground as it is now.
    You can say that it helps newbies from not getting so easily ganked. Well if they're new then they should be in high sec in the first place. Besides I see players playing since 04 with stabs. It's a module that is being abused and it really needs some changing.

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  8. I think if DSTs got some love and were actually good for the job they exist to do. WCS would not be required. I also think that DSTs should not have a turret/launcher mount point. In fact I think the best way to fix WCS is to not allow them to be fit to any hull with a turret/missile mount point. kinda solves the problem with PvP boats hitting the easy button. You got guns use 'em to break that Scram.

    ECM should be more like EMP. Boom one shot, takes EVERYTHING including the dude firing it out for 10 seconds, with a long cool down. More lock a Bomb than a module. Limited use but potent if managed right. Jamming should be similar. If you are jamming a racial racial you should be Super vulnerable to another. Jamming Multi, super vulnerable to all.

    Cheers

    EVE SOB

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    1. They already have mods with the 'EMP' effect: ECM Burst and Lockbreaker Bombs. And they both REALLY suck.

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    2. Oh I know sir. ECM burst has saved me once and failed me many, never got a lock breaker to work.

      Cheers

      EVE SOB

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  9. One of the problems with ECM, is how the counter (ECCM) works. If your opponet doesn't bring ECM, you've completely and utterly wasted a midslot on ECCM, and fitting almost anything else in place of the ECCM would have been useful.

    - Using that midslot for more tank is useful regardless of what happens,
    - Fitting an extra tackle it's useful whatever happens,
    - fitting a web it's useful whatever happens.

    ECM in a midslot is always useful in pvp
    ECCM in a midslot is very often not useful in pvp

    This is out of sorts with other forms of e-war.
    Tracking Disrupter - Tracking Computer. the Tracking Computer is useful even when you're not being disruped.
    Webs - Nano-fibres and prop mods. The nano's and prop mods are usefull even when not webbed.


    So somehow ECCM need to be useful even if you're not under attempted jams or ECM mechanics need to be changed.

    Without a massive amount of thought, I'd propose ECCM modules act in a similar way to Power Diagnostic Systems.
    PDS's give small bonuses to mulitple things, like cap amount, shield HP and shield recharge amount.

    ECCM could give small bonuses to scan res, max locking range and optimal range while also perfoming its usual ECCM duties
    There are other combinations of small bonuses ECCM could apply, and I'm sure someone can think of a reasonable well balanced set of bonuses.

    I don't beleive CCP will take ECM out of the game, so making ECCM more usefull seems (to me) to be a good way of fixing it.

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  10. ECM tears, best tears. Where did the poor Falcon hurt you?

    Strange how no-one mentions sensor damps when discussing e-war. They are also universal and totally overpowered in solo and small gang fights.

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  11. Why not just use an alt in a phobos with a sebo and web?

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  12. Scripted dictors laugh at WCS.

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  13. I live in a WH. "I ain't gots no local" as the phrase goes, so I need every little advantage I can scrap up to give me an edge. A WCS provides that on gas harvesting and mining ships lets you get the mules out while high cover engages the attackers. And it is my experience no matter how many ships you have providing cover, your attackers always show up with more or better ships, so having that edge to at least get the harvester out is a great boon to WH folks.

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    1. James, you may have revealed the one time and place where I could possibly maybe agree with using a WCS.

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  14. If one WCS is good, and two is better, six must be a total win. Especially on an Archon.

    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=19020469

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  15. Quite a few people talking about (or at least hinting at) the FW button-orbiters using lows filled with WCS to reap "risk-free LP".
    I've had a FW alt for a year and a half now (fun, cheap, instant-on PvP from back when I was in -A- Jr, and the PvP was neither cheap nor instant-on, and only rarely ever "fun"), and agree that the "WCS/cloak + semi-AFK orbit = collect bacon" formula is ridiculously broken and "OP".

    As it is, the timer stops counting down if a hostile enters the plex. What they need to do is modify the Plex rules:
    1) If ANY ship other than a friendly (your own or allied militia) is in range of the button, timer stops counting down (yes, including neutrals, no, pods don't count, so if you blow up the neutral/hostile ship, timer resumes).
    2) If all forces from one side vacate the Plex, the timer resets. If enemy forces now "hold the field", the timer begins counting for them immediately after reset, until someone neutral or hostile warps into the plex, and the "conflict" is decided one way or the other.

    That _forces_ the fights, at least if you want to "collect bacon" -- puts an end to semi-AFK button-orbiting as well. Yes, you can fit 4 WCS in the lows and escape with your ship, but your timer resets for doing so.
    Will help bring the risk in-line with the reward, as well.

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    1. That is a really good idea, CCP need to hear it.

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    2. If they are "fixing" that, then they need to fix the issue of LP disbursement with multiple friendlies on field. Dividing it by the number of ships doesn't work.

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  16. So ECM... what if it acted more like an MWD (at least with its downfalls)? I mean, think about it... your doing something to counter something and these somethings are monstrous machines that generate massive amounts of energy so you have to generate massive amounts of energy to counter them. Have the ECM consume more power when they cycle and also maybe reduce the hosts capacitor or somethign along these lines.

    On WCS's, what about making them have to be turned on again, I believe they were at one point and it really hindered their usage. We'd also potentially get a whole slew of kills right after the patch with WCS's in the fittings to help make us feel better temporarily :D. To address their current downfalls... reducing their locking range and sig res... really... how much of a freaking downfall is that to he who does no want to shoot others anyways? Yes, that makes us that want to PvP not fit them but we have other better reasons anyways so why not change their downfalls to reduce their agility drastically or put in something to make their warp engine spin up before activation when its actually scrambled. Something similar to how the micro jump drive works. When the stab is activated, it turns on and spins up and takes some time to counter the effect that the point is causing?

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  17. Re: WCS. Go find people that want to fight? Move out of the FW area's?

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  18. Regarding the WCS:

    If WCS shouldn't work outside of 150k of a Gate/Station then points should work the same way. Why should some people get an unfair disadvantage for defending theirselves in space while others would be favored to hold them down with scram or disruptor?

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  19. Fit more scrams instead of just one or two. If you know youre going to hunt a plexer with alot of WCS's fit, then fit your ship accordingly. Problem of WCS solved.

    HTFU

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