EWAR balance proposition

Hey guys!

I’ve been playing a full dedicated Ewar character for a while now and I got to a point where the balance of the game in that aspect is kinda annoying me. I’ll explain all this in the next few points.

For this, I’d like to go over what is considered ewar and which ships can efficiently fit each type.

Each main faction of the game has a set amount of ewar modules that have different ship bonuses.

Amarr: Tracking disruption (and guidance) - Mid slots. Neuts/Nos - High slots

Caldari: ECM - Mid slots.

Gallente: Remote sensor dampening - Mid slots. Scram/Disruptors - Mid slots.

Minmatar: Target Painting - Mid slots. Webs - Mid slots.

I’ll go over those types real quick and give my feeling about it for you to understand where I’m going with this post.

Webs and Scrams:

Among the most used ewar modules due to their ability to “catch” someone. I don’t really need to get too far into detail, but basically, webs are good for brawlers/range control and scrams (and disruptors) are good to avoid people running off or shutting MWDs. Obviously it’s a little more complicated than that, like webbing slow ships to make them warp, etc. But I’m trying to keep it simple :stuck_out_tongue: they’re basically used by all ships whether there is a bonus or not. They’re universal.

This feeling is also reinforced by the existence of ship classes that specialize in this role across all factions such as interceptors and interdictors. We kinda lose the gallente side of this type of ewar.

Webbing drones? Maybe. Occasionally. Why not. And for sure, no point drones, that would be really super broken.

ECM:

Probably one of the strongest and most used “dedicated” Ewar. ECM drones are dope, ECM ships can shut down another ship by preventing it from targeting anything but… People can always target the source of the ECM, which is a fine balancing option imo, yet pretty poorly implemented.

ECM drones are basically OP because the source of the ECM is a drone, duh. They are very useful to get away or even in clutch situations. Since there are no bonus to ECM drones strength, they basically have the same strength throughout the game and can be fit to any ship, disregarding any kind of specialisation.

Also, ECM is the only entirely luck based module in the Ewar class. Considering cycle times, missing all ECM jams in a gang for example is simply a “welp, I tried” situation. It’s simply too unpredictable. That’s also combined with the fact that “rainbow fits” use a whopping 4 mid slots to cover most situations or switch to multispectrum but risk the higher random results.

ECM are exclusive to caldari which are mostly shield tanked. It’s very hard to shield tank something when 4 to 6 slots are reserved to ECM and propulsion.

Finally, ECM has upgrades! Target spectrum Breakers and Burst Jammers! And for battleships! The only kind of EWAR with a battleship option! Or an upgrade! With continuous jams!

Tracking/Guidance disruption:

Those modules are definitely interesting to use as they can mess with optimals and tracking, which in turn helps mitigating damage to a ship or fleet as they will make weapons miss their targets. It won’t prevent other utility modules from functioning, but that’s totally fine.

Well… That being said, it’s the only module type that applies to a specific weapon type and is split into 2 categories: turrets and missiles. So unless you have intel about what is coming your way, you have to basically fit a little bit of everything to be capable of coping with different situations. Or just admit the fact that you can only be useful in a single use case.

Fun fact, tracking drones only apply to turrets, they have no effect on missiles. Why?

Sensor Dampening

Sensor dampening is probably one of my favorite ewar style. Compared to ECM, it’s a lot more predictable and can even be combined with ECM to break target and then increase locking time like crazy. Reduction in target range are also a great plus in kiting situations or when disrupting capchains.

SD drones are a mere joke at best.

Target Painters

I don’t understand what it has to do with electronic warfare. In the end it’s a power added as much as guidance computers, tracking computers etc. They don’t change the game, they don’t disrupt the fight. They just help add a little more dps overall.

Why does TP drones exist?

Neuts and Nos

Neuts and nos are high slot and therefore useful on any ship with open high slots. Also because they don’t use midslots, they allow the user to complete a fit with proper utility and maybe even other types of ewar. They also have increased sizes with small, medium and large versions to compensate with increasing cap sizes.

I have yet to see someone use EV drones

Now if we go over all the ships capable of doing these kinds of ewar, you’ll start to really see where the issues lie here.

Caldari (ECM)

  • Griffin - decent frigate especially for newbros. Squishy but does the job
  • Faction Griffin - ECM drone bonus is really strong (thank you rebalance, I love it)
  • Kitsune - because caldari only has ECM, the kitsune benefits from ECM bonus with both it’s frigate level and electronic attack ship level
  • Blackbirds are basically as strong as a Griffin, but a lot slower
  • Tengu can fit ECM but its strength is not even on par with a Griffin, even overheated
  • Rooks and Falcons have ECM bonus that makes them roughly on par with a kitsune, at 4-5 times the price
  • Scorpion is one of the only T1 ewar battleship, yet barely as strong as a griffin but with range
  • Widow is basically a falcon

Gallente (sensor damps and points)

  • Maulus is the only T1 ewar frigate and can only handle sensor dampening. It’s a fairly good choice for entry ewar and really does the job for cheap
  • Maulus Navy issue is a point specialized ship and doesn’t have a sensor dampening bonus. If we follow the trend of these type of ships, it kinda makes sense as reducing the range of damps basically renders them useless. The +2 scram strength is amazing but it does not offer a disruptor bonus.
  • Keres, just like the Kitsune is the best ship in this category. Scram and point range bonus is insane and has a decent sensor damp bonus. The only issue I have is that it’s usually used for it’s point range rather than damps and is very hard to fit for both as both use mid slots. A point to note too, the electronic attack ship bonus only applies to scram and the frigate skill only applies to sensor dampening. So If a player wants to play sensor damps, the maulus does the same amount, it simply has one less slot.
  • Celestis is the last t1 ship with a sensor dampening bonus. Like the Maulus, no point bonus though. Sensor damps are not much better but the range is much appreciated.
  • Proteus only has a point range bonus
  • Arazu and Lachesis have the same range bonus, but better. They do have a sensor dampener bonus but it’s really not that popular and I don’t think people usually sacrifice mid slots for that. It’s also no better than a t1 maulus
  • None of the battleships have ewar bonus

Minmatar (target painters and webs)

  • Vigil is a flying target painter. I really don’t think it has any kind of use in a fleet, but hey, it’s fun.
  • Vigil Fleet Issue is a long range webber, very fun, yet weirdly not so super useful when fit with rockets as a standard web range is basically the range of rockets. The 50% is not amazing here
  • Hyena is also a long webber. Like the Keres, it benefits from both target painting and webbing bonus, but in all seriousness, no one fits target painters on it
  • The bellicose is saved by it’s missile bonus as the target painter bonus is fairly underwhelming. It is also the only t1 cruiser with both ewar and combat bonus. No webbing bonus though.
  • Rapier and Huginn have both web and target painter bonus which makes them a little more versatile in their roles and it has happened that I would fit both on a ship. It’s nice.
  • Loki only has a web range bonus
  • There are no battleships with either web bonus or target painter

Amarr (Neut/Nos and weapon disruption)

  • Crucifier is a great weapon disruption frigate
  • Crucifier navy also has a weapon disruption bonus rather than the expected neut (if we follow trends for frigates). It feels like Neut/nos is not put on the ewar level and that we’re supposed to really look into weapon disruption but all further ships drop this idea. Also, because of the range drop, it is impossible to fit a non kite ship as weapon disruption optimal range drops down to roughly 15km, it has to brawl it’s way. Which get tricky when these types of frigates are quite squishy. Frankly, for the lack of damage output and the real gain in weapon disruption, it’s better to fly any other ship and slap a weapon disruptor on it.
  • Sentinel has 3 bonus to Neut/Nos (out of nowhere) and a simple weapon disruptor effectiveness for shits and giggles. If you see a sentinel, you know it won’t really use weapon disruption, like not seriously.
  • Arbitrator, back to weapon disruption. Good drone boat, pretty fun to fly, but hey, we can put neuts on it anyway :wink:
  • Legion is back to Neuts and Nos, and let’s forget the weapon disruption altogether.
  • Curse and Pilgrim do have weapon disruption bonus but realistically it’s used for their neut power
  • And finally Armageddon! With a neut bonus because again, weapon disruption is not useful aside from frigate and cruiser fights, right?

Pirate Factions

Pirate factions kinda mix up with different factions to make an interesting mix of things.

Guristas: Caldari and Gallente, no ewar bonus

Sansha: Caldari and Amarr, no ewar bonus

Mordus: Amarr and Minmatar, web range and an amazing neut and nos bonus

Angel: Gallente and Minmatar, no ewar bonus

Serpentis: Gallente and Minmatar, an insane bonus to web efficiency

SOE: Amarr and Gallente, no ewar bonus

Mordu’s: Caldari and Gallente, a great bonus to scram and point range

There is no bonus in any kind of way to ECM, Weapon disruption, Target Painting, and sensor dampening.

Suggestions:

Now it’s all good and all to speak about the issues, making suggestions can also bring the debate forward :slight_smile:

Ewar in general:

I think that having all ewar types in mid slots except for neuts is a bit weird. Again, It’s too easy to fit neuts on any ship that has a free slots but no one ever has free midslots. In the example of tracking disruption, we need 2 modules to cover both cases, added with a propulsion option and maybe a cap booster, that’s already at least 4 slots used for simple needs. A griffin can fit a weapon but that’s entirely useless at best. All slots are needed to fit a rainbow.

Here’s an idea that might become controversial real quick: move all disruptive ewar to high slots. Web, scram, point, and OK target painters can remain in mid slots as they are utility, which is mostly a mid slot thing. But moving weapon disruption, sensor dampening, and ECM could become a fun variety if moved to high slots. Players could specialize more easily, and we can see more and more diversity in PvP fits. Fit a drekevac with 2 neuts and an ECM? Sure! Why not! Obviously the reduced strength will impact efficiency, but it would make for fun changes. This also serves at diminishing the easy option to slapping neuts in every available slots as there isn’t many other options right now.

I also think that, and to help balancing the above, ECM, weapon disruption and sensor dampening should receive a break down into small medium and large modules with varying intensity.

Ship classes should be unified. It doesn’t make sense to have a ECM battleship but no sensor dampening battleships. It doesn’t make sense to have ECM bonus on a tengu but no weapon disruption on a legion. Why doesn’t the redeemer have a neut bonus? It’s a T2 armageddon!

Electronic frigates (mostly) could benefit with having 2 ships available, one for each type of ewar. Doesn’t need to be really different, but having a specialized weapon disruptor would bring some fin in fights, especially if they have to use high slots as opposed to just slapping dem sentinel neuts.

And electronic warfare drones need a serious revamp. Combat drones or ECM drones are the only current viable option. TD drones should definitely have at least an equivalent for guidance disruption, if not the same drone doing both. If a player decides to sacrifice his damage, there should be a reward. None of the utility drones feel rewarding.

Finally, adding battleship specific modules similar to what Target spectrum Breakers and Burst Jammers have to offer but for other ewar types would be a great addition to the game. For example, how about a module that deviates missiles getting too close but also disrupts it’s own missile launching? Like random magnetic fields? Wide area energy neut, including fleet members and our own ship? FREAKIN TARGET PAIN LASER SHOW AMARIGHT???

This is just an idea, but you guys see where I’m going at with it :slight_smile:

ECM:

I think the ECM is fairly good where it stands. The only suggestion I would make and that with ship size increase, sensor strength also increases. It doesn’t make sense that a Kitsune jams just as well as a Widow.

Weapon Disruption:

I think it would be great to merge both tracking and guidance disruption in a single module called weapon disruption. And then it’s up to the player to switch around scripts to define if it should be targeted at weapons or missiles. Unlike ECM which still works with reduced strength on incorrect ships, a guidance disruption is absolutely useless on a turret based ship.

Very often the player either fits both and only has minor ecm efficiency of has to make a choice and is only useful in some situations.

I would also bring a little bit of a change of gameplay where ECM has to pick the right one when weapon disruption will be juggling between scripts to make the best out of it.

Sensor dampening:

Similarly to how sensor boosting has ECCM script, adding a script to weaken sensor strength could be a great tool. Sensor resolution is a great match up if landed after an ECM, but what if we could also make ECM land easier?

Target Painting:

Target painting needs some kind of rework. In the current meta it is difficult to really find it’s use when tracking and guidance computers help achieve the same result. It feels redundant and most players I’ve spoken to don’t really understand what it actually does. They just heard the rumors that it makes missiles hit easier.

I also think that it should be removed from most ship’s bonuses

That’s about it for EWAR!

And while I’m at it with electronic systems. I seriously feel that cloaks are too overpowered in EvE. While the game plays a lot on the rock paper scissors, there is not direct counter to cloaks except for waiting for them to drop said cloak. It’s extremely frustrating.

If someone wants to have “eyes” somewhere, he can just cloak up in a system and stay there the entire day. You can’t find him because safe spots are a thing. You don’t know if he’s watching you or AFK. There’s no hunt. Just wait and see. You could have 20 ships cloaked in a system you would still not be able to do anything with it.

I think the whole Idea of being AFK in space should not be a thing. And for this I have a few propositions:

  • Make cloak duration based. Maybe 5 minutes? Ish? It will force cloaky ships to be active and if they go AFK, their ship is bound to appear on scans. It would also force cloaky ships to actively get in position when on grid with someone as time would be limited.
  • When we cloak, we can see our ship in transparency. This should also be valid for others. It’s hard to see in space with nothing on overview, but players should be able to catch a glimpse of that shimmer of a cloaked ship on grid (if you played on old school world of warcraft, that how you could catch a rogue)
  • Using the cloaky trick on a T1 hauler should not be a thing. At all. It’s too easy to get away from anything without needing to invest in ships like DSTs (talking about low sec here).

I might have missed a few things in here (like how the golem has a target painter) but if you have any points you want to discuss or clarify, feel free to comment and I’ll gladly chat about it.

1 Like

Personally, I wouldn’t care as long as it doesn’t revert back to how it was in the past where it could easily perma jam people with multispecs even when the user only has average skills in ewar.

Also, this might be a good read if you want to look at some further info about how the caldari ships differ in regards to their ewar capacity.

Didn’t even get half way. Can you condense it or make a TLDR?

I cover quite a few topics and it’s difficult to “tldr” the whole thing

TLDR ewar is treated inconsistently throughout the game and some ewar ships/modules/category/slots could need streamlining or revisiting

You are very, very wrong here. The Sentinel is supposed to be a small Curse, so the bonuses don’t come from “nowhere”. The combination of both the Neuts and TDs makes a very powerful force multiplier. The Sentinel is one of the most feared small gang ships in small plexes in FW as it can neut/TD out past 40km. We also will use cloaky Sentinels in plexes with bait ships to annihilate Kikis/Draugurs with the Neut/TD combo.

You also directly contradict yourself when you say:

that was actual sarcasm :slight_smile:

I love Td and I think stuff bigger than cruisers could make good use for it. The fact that the redeemer has no ewar bonus, the geddon and the legion only neuts gives off the feeling that it’s only useful on small ships.

Same point with the neut out of nowhere for the sentinel. T1 to T2 should feel like a progression. It shouldn’t be based on how the sentinel should be a mini curse.
If you look at the Keres, Frigate bonus is still based off the T1 frigate, and the electronic specialization is the introduction to new mechanics. The sentinel on the other hand lost one of bonus (range for TD) for neut drain amount.

The whole point of my original post is to point out inconsistent progression across the different ewar type and the overwhelming use of some types versus very niche use of others. Plex cloaky sentinels are as niche as it can get :wink:

When I said that the Sentinel was a mini curse, I wasn’t saying that’s what it should be, that is just a comparison that can be made. I don’t think that they should change the Sentinel, as the range bonus would be a waste unless you fit modules/rigs that increase your locking range. The range of neuts is low enough that it needs the range bonuses and the amount bonus. Maybe they should drop the falloff bonus or roll the two range bonuses into one. If they should change any T2 EWAR frig it should be the Kitsune as that should get a second EWAR type. I don’t know what that is, but all the other frigs have two EWAR types and the Kitsune doesn’t.

You’ve got a lot of ‘fluff’.

Even if you make a section of the post that summarises just the mechanical changes, with none of the fluff around it, it’d make it easier to read.

that’s because caldari only has one faction ewar when all the others have two (web/paint, neut/TD, point/sensor damp, and the lonely ECM). One of the many inconsistencies pointed out :slight_smile:

Maybe a optimal range bonus for TD would be a waste on the sentinel, it just makes sense in the first place. I don’t have a solution, but I find it rather confusing, especially when you get up the ship types into recon ships. Some look like a confused mess of different bonuses that were inherited by their t1 counterparts.

Like when the pilgrim inherits the arbitrator bonuses fully (drone and TD) and then the lachesis gets a weapon tracking bonus or the arazu with a damage bonus? Like we should perceive these ships as actual combat ships? Where’s the sensor damp range bonus gone when the arazu has such a better targetting range?

Same for the Rook and Falcon. The blackbird benefits from a strength and range bonus, but that’s completely changed into an activation cost and weapon damage bonus while the strength bonus is moved to the recon ship bonus and let’s drop the range on, again, a ship that targets much further.

Or when the rook and falcon both get a damage bonus because they use different weapons but the lachesis is only getting a tracking bonus.

You’re going to find a lot of inconsistencies in all of the ship bonuses in EVE. This gives them flavor and prevents ships from becoming armor/shield clones of each other.

So if I want to specialize in sensor dampening specific ship, I’m basically stuck on T1 cruisers with no progression in view for me? Because it’s the only one with a range and effectiveness bonus?

Like that’s it? A maulus and a celestis are my only options?

If I want to do a fleet support specialized in weapon disruption, I’m stuck with an arbitrator? Because it’s 20 times cheaper than the curse and pilgrim which have basically the same bonus anyway?

Let’s take the progression of Maulus → Keres (my personal favourite ewar frigates).

When I started as Gallente newbie the Maulus was one of the first ships I used in PvP fleet combat.

These days, if sensor damping is all I want to do, a Maulus is still a very good (and cheap!) option.

However, the Keres may be more expensive, it also offers better stats, an extra mid slot for more damps if I wanted, or the extra bonus to point and scram range.

If all I want is cheap sensor damps, the Maulus is good, but the Keres is better. And as I have progressed as player to the point that I can easily afford losing Kereses as I could afford losing Mauluses back then, I usually fly a Keres these days out of the two.

I think the ‘progression’ for EWAR ships, in this case, is fine as it is.

1 Like

but you don’t have a battleship alternative. That’s my whole point here.

A combat pilot will move from frigs to destroyers to cruisers and so on. A dedicated ECM pilot will move from griffin to kitsune and maybe into blackbird to finally have a Scorpion (although, I find it barely better than a kitsune). There’s a progression.

A sensor dampening player can fly a maulus, and then maybe a keres. it does have an extra slot, granted, but doesn’t have the range. What’s that for a progression? Going from a frigate to a slightly better frigate?

Even if we look passed that progression aspect, there are only a few of the ewar types that actually make it to higher end ships. Like neuts and ECM. Not tracking disruption.

Training in all ewar skills is a pretty intensive investment, we can’t consider it a only a new player’s gameplay. But in the end the best options are basically the frigates because they do just as much as any other ship and are faster and cheaper.

Again, I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m trying to explain that it needs streamlining to give more options to players to play around with these modules. Create interesting progression that incentivize specialization.

How is the Celestis and then Lachesis and Arazu not a step up from the Keres or Maulus? Much larger tank than the Keres or Maulus can have.

They don’t do sensor dampening better. They’re just more expensive. Granted you can fit one or two more sensor damps, but they cost 200 mil more for a ship that’s barely better at doing that specialized role. Celestis is in effect a better sensor dampener than an arazu. Optimal range for sensor damp is worse which means that it puts you in a more dangerous situation in the end.

Sure you have more tank, but is trading off speed and range for tank a better option for a ship that virtually does the same thing?

Oh wait, you’ll probably mention the point range thing :wink: but that’s also what I mentioned above, passed a certain point, it becomes the main thing about those ships, point range.

And where’s the battleships?

Sensor dampening does not have any kind of tiering. A maulus or a celestis doesn’t make a huge difference if it’s not just an extra slot or two. Tank is barely relevant when you sit 100-150km off your target. It’s up to you to move around and avoir getting caught. Want extra damps? just bring another dude in a maulus, maybe a newbro or two. Easy enough.

Can a Celestis light a covert cyno (or an ordinary cyno for that matter)? Is it immune to Dscan? These are all things that you would want to consider as you pick the ship you want to use. Look at some of the best PVP pilots in the game. They will still fly T1 Cruiser Logi in blingy small gangs because in certain situations, those T1 Cruisers outperform their T2 counterparts.

That doesn’t necessarily need to be a “better” option. Instead, you need to look at your situation and decide what you need. Are you in a fleet setting where a frigate would get alpha’d off the field? Then you probably want a tankier crusier. Are you flying in a small gang where range control is paramount? Then you probably want to use a EAF. A dead ewar ship doesn’t help anyone so it is up to the pilot to figure out what they need for each instance. I think part of your problem is you are assuming that the progression is T1 Frig → EAF → T1 Cruiser → Recon when I think it’s more T1 Frig → EAF with T1 Cruiser → Recon is a similar path, but separate.

Don’t worry I won’t mention them.

No idea, and when CCP is looking into this, I would appreciate that they look at the Widow.

The Keres and the Lachesis/Arazu get T2 resists, which is very helpful in avoiding any damage that you take. That can be the difference between the one Mach that is able to lock you alphaing you off field and not. Tank is always relevant. If your opponents bring a handful of corms, one or two will still be able to shoot you at 100ish km where transversal is 0. You need to have enough tank to handle situations like that if you wish to remain on field. There are also plenty of situations where you can’t, or don’t want, to bring more characters.

Overall, I don’t expect, and frankly, don’t want CCP to have bonus progression be uniform across all of the races and all of the ship lines. It provides flavor and situational usefulness to all ships, which can help prevent ships from becoming obsolete.

1 Like

Exactly.

Also you don’t need extra range on the Keres. While you can fight at 100km in a Maulus, you want to be somewhere in range of the 50km point in a Keres. Similarly for the cruisers, you would ignore the strongest bonus of the Lachesis if you fight at 150km like it is a Celestis.

If you want to fight at max range, you’re better off flying the T1 ships instead, which is good because that means every ship has their own role and no ship is strictpy better than another. They’re only better for specific roles.

Why do you think a bigger ship is progression?

Progression is going from t1 to t2 ships. Going from small ship to bigger ones opens additional possibilities but in many cases small ships can be a better choice.

Yep.

The main end options for veteran players wishing to fly tackle are frigates too. Perhaps the occasional dictor or hictor.

My question to you is: what’s wrong with small ships?

1 Like

An extra mid slot can be a large difference in how a ship can be used and to what effect it can have. An eccm-scripted ship is harder to be probed down, for example. A remote sensor booster/tracking computer, target painter etc. are all useful. Support ships by design are force multipliers and enhance their fleetmates as well as cover weaknesses.

If I had one suggestion for ewar today, it would be to remove the racial variant modules of ECM and make them a single scripted module.