New role for Electronic Attack Frigates: "Cannot be detected by Local Chat system"

As the title says, I suggest we give the four Electronic Attack Frigates the following:

Role bonus:

  • Cannot be detected by Local Chat system
  • Cannot activate cloak devices*

This role bonus would apply to the T2 Ewar frigates:

  • Kitsune
  • Sentinel
  • Keres
  • Hyena

*Regarding the ‘cannot cloak’ role bonus: I personally think it’s nice not to have cloaky local-chat immune ships in space, but if you have good arguments to remove that role bonus(/malus) I would like to hear it.

What does that mean?

Any pilots flying one of these ships would not be able to connect to local chat and their names would not show up in local chat for anyone else in system.

What is the point of this change?

Local chat is one of the ingame intelligence tools to see incoming threats, like D-scan, the Overview and in case you have combat probes: the Probe Scanner window.

EVE offers players a counterplay tool to each of those types of intel:

  • The Overview does not show cloaked ships
  • Combat probe information can be countered by keeping your signature radius low and sensor strength high. Or with a cloak you don’t show up at all
  • D-scan can be circumvented with the four Combat Recon cruisers which have the following:

Role bonus:

  • Cannot be detected by directional scanners
  • (And another way to circumvent D-scan is again a cloak)

Local chat, as present in high, low and null sec, does have no such counter. Every experienced player has a long list of local chat open to see all the other names in system in these parts of space. And if you enter the system, any player who is paying attention to their local chat will know you are there. There is no way to circumvent this intelligence tool, no way to hide oneself.

With this new role bonus to the Electronic Attack frigates, a role similar to the role of their bigger brother the Combat Recon cruisers, I would like to add such a counterplay tool.

Rationale behind this change

We all know the story of the blackout. It seemed a good idea to some, bad idea to others, but the result is that people really don’t like it when local chat in null sec is just like wormhole space and most people stopped flying in space. I do not wish to go back to the blackout.

However, I do believe local chat intel is strong and requires some kind of ingame counter, without being too powerful, of course.

As such, I want this ‘local chat immunity’ to be on a ship that has the following features:

  • no other ‘immunities’ such as interdiction nullification, covops cloaks or d-scan immunity, instawarp
    (the ship, when found, should not be too hard to catch)
  • low solo combat effectiveness → smaller ships, such as a frigate without weapon bonuses
  • not too easily available → T2

This leaves us with two options: logistics frigates or electronic attack frigates.

I don’t think this bonus makes much sense on logistics frigates, but it does make sense on electronic attack frigates as their bigger brother, the combat recons, already have a very similar role bonus regarding D-scan immunity.

Effects on the gameplay

Local less reliable
Players can no longer rely on their local chat alone to be absolutely certain there are no threats in the system. D-scan and combat probes both can pick up electronic attack frigates if the frigate did not cloak.

New form of scouting
The purpose of the local-immune frigates is to scout a system ahead of the group without spooking the locals. The frigate can scout their target with d-scan and maybe combat probes, but to do so they and their probes will show up to d-scan to the locals as well. The ship will be slower than an interceptor, less reliable at catching a target than a bomber and people can easily see it coming. If they pay attention to things beyond local chat, that is.

Blessing and curse
Since the electronic attack frigate has no way to connect to local chat and see the player numbers, the locals could easily set up a trap for the roaming fleet. The frigate is essentially ‘flying blind’. They could even coordinate the counterattack in local chat. :stuck_out_tongue:

New fleet doctrine?
Fleets of T2 EWAR frigates could easily surprise many players, but I wonder if they will be used beyond a meme fleet. No one in the fleet would have an idea of the player numbers in local. And if fleets consisting of purely T2 EWAR frigates were effective in combat, I would expect to see them today as well. It could be a nice meme fleet though. :smiley:


I think local chat is a powerful intelligence tool. And I think it should have a niche counterplay option, just like the other ingame intel tools have counterplay options. For this reason I would like to give one ship hull type in the game a special role bonus to ignore local chat. This role bonus suits the Electronic Attack frigates well.


Even being against nerfing local, i like the way you approached the subject. I would agree if it is locked to frigates only, as cruisers can be powerful even if don’t have a role for dps.


I think you should have the option to decide if you want to connect to the local channel in any ship.

Why? Because it would make afk ratters cry.

I’m not (specifically) trying to make the AFK ratters cry though.

I’m trying to introduce new game mechanic that hopefully is fun to play with, play against and improves the game.


Think a ratter broke your heart… spit it out and start the healing…

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I don’t understand the question.

Any downsides to that incredibly powerful ability to scout without being counterable by MOOBs? You could just stay cloaked in system, check out everything and no one would even be able to get you out because no one ever knew you are there. If these ships are local immune, they should at least not be allowed to cloak, they should also get a massive sig radius increase and should not be allowed to use ECCM which would make them harder to probe.


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Thanks for the feedback Zhalyd!

Indeed, local immune cloaky ships would be a pain to deal with.
I quickly came to the same conclusion, glad you share that opinion with me.

That’s why these ships get two role bonuses: local immunity AND not allowed to use a cloak. So you would not need a MOOB to get them.

The only place they could really hide is a deep safe, but from there they cannot scout as they don’t see local themselves and they can only see what’s in d-scan range or see what their combat probes pick up, both of which will inform the locals of the presence of the scout.

ECCM is an angle I had not thought of yet, these ships - frigates with innate high sensor strength for their role - could easily be very hard to combat probe down.

I’m not sure if there is a good way to avoid this without breaking the combat capabilities of the electronic attack frigates: they need a high sensor strength and frigate-like sig radius for their role. And many of them use signal amps and sensor boosters on their fits.

I don’t think this is a big issue though: these electronic attack frigates are much less effective campers than the alternatives, even with when they don’t show up in local chat:

  • Unlike a cloaky local camper, they cannot observe without being seen as they cannot use a cloak. They need to be in your d-scan range to spot your ship with d-scan, which means that anyone they observe can spot them
  • once someone spots them and know the ship is in local, the entire surprise of not being seen in local chat is gone. Without that element of surprise these ships are rather weak solo frigate without a cyno
  • the ship has no cyno to drop his fleet members on a target, they need to have a fleet next door while they are camping, which makes these ships good scouts, bad campers

Personally I don’t think it’s a big issue that these ships are hard to probe down.

(But maybe it helps I have the tools to scan down any camping ship no matter their sig radius or sensor strength (true unprobable ships don’t exist anymore) and feel more comfortable dropping it on a single frigate than on the usual ships with covert cyno that could bait me. :yum:)

These two things aside, what do you think of the idea itself?

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Yes, yes, yes! Really like this approach, it introduces a new mechanic without just borking local and a mechanic which requires skill on both sides to use/counter and the EA frigates are not so op that they can’t be handled alone. CCPlease!


Defeat the feature if you are docked in a structure. This would be abused if you don’t.

With this you could hide an entire fleet of pilots by temporarily putting them in ewar frigs. SImilar to a log-off trap but without the delays of logging in and fleeting up.

Also what about the battleship frigate bay? Could this be abused with ewar frigs?


Great, you’re thinking of ways how to abuse the system. I like it!

I agree, it would be good if this feature only applies when undocked. No other ship stats apply while docked, so if the docked pilots in electronic attack frigates would show up in local this wouldn’t be an exception.

Good one! I had not yet thought of that.

Battleship frigate bay sounds like a fun mechanic. Imagine an entire battleship fleet all sitting in their frigates right next to their ship, hidden behind a D-scan inhibitor pretending not to be there while a lone fleet member in a different ship tries to bait enemies into attacking his ‘solo’ ship.

Or a bubble trap in a large system with a battleship to do the killing and the owner of the battleship in an electronic attack frigate right next to it to pretend there’s no one in system (so people can warp straight from gate to gate into your bubble), ready to board the battleship in case the web catches a fly.

Interesting possibilities. I’m not yet sure if it would be too strong (after all, the battleship cannot warp around while the owner is sitting next to it. Sitting next to your battleship while you’re blind to the other players in system also has some risks… imagine someone decloaking an explorer and stealing your unmanned battleship to kill you. Surprise!

Anyway, my approach with the battleship frigate bay is to initially allow it.

If it happens to be problematic, CCP can easily add electronic attack frigates to the long list of frigates that are not allowed in the frigate escape bay. The solution already exists and can be applied when needed.

Be the idea good, bad or ugly. It would take CCP at least 2 yrs to implement and probably bork it along the way. Interesting idea though.

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The realist in me tells me that CCP may get too much trouble with chat server bugs to implement such a change well. But one can hope. :stuck_out_tongue:

I mean, I remember we sometimes had ships with this feature right after the new chat system was implemented. Unintended of course, but it was fun to hear “there’s a hostile flying around and killing in system, he’s not showing up in local chat so be careful”.

With this suggestion I’d like to intentionally add something similar, minus the solo killing though, as while I think it’s an interesting role bonus for a scout, it would be too strong on a ship capable of doing the killing on it’s own.

Maybe this would give them the incentive to fix chat? :thinking:

But then the realist in me doesn’t hold out much hope sadly. Bummer since it’s an interesting mechanic. At least someone is thinking outside the box! :upside_down_face:

I still think this would be a nice addition.

Sounds like a lot of effort when you could just cyno your fleet in. I’m not seeing any differences here?

The difference is that a cyno requires at least one name to be in local already, which is an essential difference.

Delay local like W-space, then it is a personal choice to appear or not by flapping ones fingers on the keyboard in space.

Not this “hide local” specific to ships.

Not being visible on d-scan is one thing, local is another, local appearance is a consequence of flapping ones fingers.

As I said, I do not wish to go back to the blackout as we have noticed that makes most of null sec empty.

That’s their personal choice to leave null.

Somebody else can take over it.