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