Question About ECM Drones

Specifically, Hornet EC-300 drones. I’ve read that “Electronic Countermeasures, also known as ECM or ‘jamming’. ECM gives a chance to cause the targeted ship to lose all targets it has locked (with the exception of the jammer)…” [1]. When it comes to drones, who is the jammer? Drones may be deployed in both passive and aggressive modes. Passive mode requires me to target a ship then manually engage the drones. Am I the jammer in that case? Aggressive mode may result in the drones engaging the target of their own accord. Am I the jammer, or are the drone(s) the jammer? Does it make a difference? In the case of drones, am I always the jammer, meaning that the target can maintain a lock on me, or are the drone(s) the jammer?

[1] Electronic Countermeasures - EVE University Wiki

The drones are the jammer, otherwise they would be useless in you escaping from being tackled. The drones break your enemy’s lock on your ship long enough for you to warp out.

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@QuakeGod Thanks for the response. That’s good to know. I was concerned based on other (perhaps unreliable?) articles that a nerf was introduced to ensure that any ECM issuing ship (drones or otherwise) would remain targeted, which, as you mention, would defeat the purpose of solo tackle avoidance in the case of drones.

That is

  1. Mainly for rats
  2. Make 1v1 more of a “fair fight”

They dont stay locked, youll lose your lock sometimes and youll have to relock the jamming ship(s)

ECM is unreliable even on ships bonused for it, but ECM drones are extremely unreliable. They will, uppon successful jam, break a targetting locks on anything other then sources of successful ECM effects on the ECM drone’s target.

This means if a Blackbird (for example) has successfuly used an ECM module on a target, which in return lost targeting locks on anything other then the Blackbird, uses the drones on it’s targets successfully, it will remain locked, as it is also applying an ECM effect on the target.

If the drones had been locked by the target before they successfully jammed it, the drone(s) that successfully jammed the target will remain locked.

If the Blackbird does not (successfully) use an ECM module on its’ target at the time one of its’ ECM drones successfully jams, the target will lose its lock on the Blackbird, but it keeps the lock on the drone that jammed it, if it had the drone locked previously.

This means you can’t spam ECM modules with an army of alts on any target and it will render incapable of locking anything, but instead it will be able to attack all those ecm sources.

The primary use for ECM drones is to get out of a hostile warp scram effect, most notoriously with a single large and poorly manouverable ship that is being engaged by another single large and poorly manouverable ship. If you’re significantly more manouverable then the single opponent you want to escape from, you can just outmanouver the scram effect. If instead the opponent is too manouverable, the ECM drones might fail to get within their ECM range. So what you do is to align your (battle)ship to a safespot or proviorial safespot (warp 100/70/50/30 to something), lock the BS/Cruiser/BC that is scramming you, if you don’t have it locked already anyways, deploy the ECM drones and spam the ‘F’ key (drone attack hotkey) as well as preparing to warp to your safespot or improvized safespot. Once the effect is applied and the warp disruption inhibited, warp off immediately and don’t bother about recovering the drones. The drones can be attacked and most people will attack them, so put them on your opponent as quick as possible and hope for them to apply their ECM effect successfully.

The drones attempt to jam the target is considered an aggressive PVP action, and will deny you from docking, tethering, or jumping stargates for 60 seconds, so do not warp zero to a station/citadel/gate, as the jammed ship can just follow you there, relock, and scram again… assuming it knows the correct distance to warp to. Warping zero would be the assumption as someone might have spammed the warp-to / dock-up button without considering he cannot dock there with the aggression timer.

If the choice is available, NPC stations make better safe havens then citadels. If you forget about the warp-to-distance and warp zero and get tackled there again, but don’t commit any PVP action for 60 seconds after the drones aggressed on your command, the aggression timer runs out and you can dock into an NPC station. A Citadel on the other hand disallows docking and tethering if you are warp scrambled, and most large ships will be equipped with a warp scrambler, in order to inhibit you from using a potentially present Micro Jump Drive or Microwarp Drive.

Tackle frigates are in general too fast for ECM drones to catch up, making the ECM drones useless to break out of warp disruption effects applied by them. However, most tackle frigates will stay on distance with a significanltly larger ship, to prevent potentially getting

  • energy neutralized or nosferatu-ed, which might deplete their capacitor to a point they can no longer cycle warp disruptor modules
  • Warp Scrammed, which will disable their microwarp drives that they often rely on in order to speed tank
  • Webbed/Grappled, which significantly increases damage application of weapons meant to attack large targets
  • ECM Burst Jammed, which would break their lock, and therewith their warp disruption effect. ECM Burst module usage in highsec gets the user CONCORDed though, even in a limited engagement
  • Smart Bombed. Like the ECM Burst, using smart bombs in highsec gets the user CONCORDed

For this reason, a tackle frigate (Condor, Slasher, […], Crow, Stiletto, […]) will usually not even be fit with a warp scram module, as the frigates’ tactic is to not be within range of that module. But as they rely on Warp Disruptors, instead of Warp Scramblers, to prevent their target from warping out, the target is still able to use a Micro Jump Drive, which makes it leap 100km forward, and most likely renders it out of range to the tackle frigate. Micro Jump Drive does not change the ships orientation, so it should align before using the MJD, and then warp off immediately, as the tackle frigate will probably close in again.

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Which would be more effective, abandon ecm drones or recall and relaunch when using alts and to save a fleet?

@Moko_Musana Thanks for the response. A lot of information to digest. Do I have the following scenarios correct?

  • An enemy ship has a lock on my ship. My ECM module jams the enemy ship. My ECM drone jams the enemy ship. The enemy ship maintains a lock on my ship.
  • An enemy ship has a lock on my ship. My ECM drone jams the enemy ship. The enemy ship loses its lock on my ship.
  • An enemy ship has a lock on my ship and a lock on my ECM drone. My ECM drone jams the enemy ship. The enemy ship loses its lock on my ship but not my ECM drone.

If you’re significantly more manouverable then the single opponent you want to escape from, you can just outmanouver the scram effect.

I presume you’re thinking of afterburners here?

“The drones attempt to jam the target is considered an aggressive PVP action, and will deny you from docking, tethering, or jumping stargates for 60 seconds…”

This applies even if I was attacked first? Are there any exceptions?

It’s really simple: You can always target the thing jamming you, meaning that if you use an ECM module on your ship then the jammed target can still target you or keep you targeted. If he gets jammed by an ECM drone of yours then he loses target on your ship but can still target, or keep targeted, the ECM drone(s).

So an ECM module does not work in a 1v1, an ECM drone might. ECM modules are now support only, preferably used from far away. ECM drones can very well work for solo stuff or to try and getaway from a 1v1 encounter, There are ships that get bonuses to ECM drones even.

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