Where the massive response to the dev-blog-october-balance-pass going into near 3k posts, it’s a concern of all the suggested possible solutions for the ECM, none were looked at by CCP, or suggested by the CSM to CCP development team, especially @CCP_Falcon you started the topic.
Many issues with the ECM is around small frigates jamming much larger ships. Suggested have talked about including a cool-down timer between jam cycles, similar to cloaking modules (though timer times are subjective atm), others have focused on the solo side of ECM, there are heaps of comments, ideas and suggestions in the dev-blog-october-balance-pass topic.
I’d like to ask others to post their suggestions here. And hopefully we can avoid the massive amount of fighting that has happened in the dev-blog-october-balance-pass topic and the newer october-2018-release-general-feedback.
My personal view is change how ECM works, change it so it’s a basic strength vs strength (ECM attacker vs Target), instead of a chance based system, something similar to the EWAR system.
We know the following;
Hornet EC-300 +1.0 ECM jammer strength to all types to 7.5km
Vespa EC-600 +1.5 ECM jammer strength to all types to 11.25km
Wasp EC-900 +2.0 ECM jammer strength to all types to 15km
Ship ECM I modules +3.0 ECM jammer strength to primary sensor type and +1.0 to all others to 24.0km Opt
Ship ECM II modules +3.6 ECM jammer strength to primary sensor type and +1.2 to all others to 28.8km Opt
Ship Multispectral ECM I +2.0 ECM jammer strength to all types to 16km
Ship Multispectral ECM II +2.4 ECM jammer strength to all types to 19.2km
Signal Distortion Amp I +5% to strength and range
Signal Distortion Amp II +10% to strength and range
We also know the following of standard ships;
Battleships @21 sensor strength in one type
Battlecruisers @17 sensor strength in one type
Cruisers @15 sensor strength in one type
Destroyers @10 sensor strength in one type
Frigates @10 sensor strength in one type
Corvettes @6 sensor strength in one type
Industrial @9 sensor strength in one type
Mining Barges @10 sensor strength in one type
Under the old ECM system you always had a chance to jam a target no matter your ECM strength, call it blind luck.
This system is so bad that an 1 ECM str against a boosted battleship with 28 sensor str will have an 3.5% chance of success.
I suggest it should be based on the actually ECM strength and the actually sensor strength, and the ranges should be reduced for optimal to not higher than 10km, but the Effectiveness Falloff range maintained. Like the turret system the farther you are away the less strength the ECM will be.
The other thing is as it’s strength vs strength, ECCM and sensor booster modules would be worth having as if you have a higher sensor strength against ECM attacks, meaning some may go with pure ECCM fits for the sole propose of hunting jammers, and in fleet actions these sort of ship fits would be as important as logi ships.
The idea of adding small/medium/large/XL ECM modules could be do-able too, where the increase increases the ECM strength and range of the module (similar to how the current drones are done. If this was done, I have wondered about making the fitting cost like the EWAR modules, where it’s possible to mount much large modules to a smaller ship, but doing so requires a lot of skill, powergrid and CPU upgrades and the sacrifice of mounting other modules so you can do so.
This could lead to pure ECM attack ships, which would have to rely on support from drones it carries(if any) or fleet m8’s.
An idea @Malcom_Duke suggested is a cool concept;
I think take this a step further and increase the cycle times, so a low success means the ECM module is unable to rejam till cycle is completed, even if the jam is only a few seconds long.
Also as part of the above, I would even suggest that small ECM modules are limited to one target as it is, but with the larger modules increase to number of targets, medium to two (with reduced range and strength), large to three (with same penalties as medium) and XL to four (with same penalties as medium and large).
So if you target multiple targets with ECM your modules strength/range is reduced by the number of targets. Now this would require a means to allow a module to take more than one target, but its somethjng that could be added to make ECM interesting.
So as an example sizes:
Small ECM I +2.0 ECM jammer strength and optimal range of 7.5km
Medium ECM I +3.0 ECM jammer strength and optimal range of 10km
Large ECM I +4.0 ECM jammer strength and optimal range of 15km
XL ECM I +5.0 ECM jammer strength and optimal range of 20km
Now with multiple targets;
Medium ECM I on two targets has +1.5 ECM jammer strength against both targets and optimal range of 5.0km
Large ECM I on three targets has +1.33 ECM jammer strength on all targets and optimal range of 5.0km
Large ECM I on two targets has +2.0 ECM jammer strength on both targets and optimal range of 7.5km
XL ECM I on four targets +1.25 ECM jammer strength on all targets and optimal range of 5.0km
XL ECM I on three targets +1.66 ECM jammer strength on all targets and optimal range of 6.67km
XL ECM I on two targets+2.5 ECM jammer strength on both targets and optimal range of 10km
*note this is only on the primary ECM type in the example.
I could see players try to use the above in fleet actions, and would suggest the ECM strength of multiple modules should be stack-able, as they are trying to overload the targets sensors.
Now I also suggest that remote sensor boosters, completely negate ECM on a target ship, now this is providing the remote sensor booster ship isn’t also jammed. The reason for this is the Remote booster ship if not jammed is using it’s unaffected sensors to provide jammed ship with new sensor data from another unaffected source. Like wise an jammed Remote sensor booster fitted ship wouldn’t be an unaffected source of information.
I do like the idea suggested elsewhere that the ECM modules have a cool-down timer between cycles, as this could give the target time to get lock on ECM jammer and maybe get a shot or two off before being jammed again, or warp out if fast enough. This would mean the ECM player would have to think carefully about his/her plan of attack, “full ECM strength from all modules” or “hold something back just in case?”. I can see it adding an extra element to game-play.
As for ECM Burst modules, I would go the same way, but increase the strength of the ECM, but decrease the ECM burst Radius based on size of the module. And also add an Falloff range to add the effect of the blast. Yes it’d make it hit other ships nearby, but at a much lower strength, but if it hits an weak sensor strength ship on your side or the targets side, it could make things very interesting. Also make for a good counter ECM option by reseting ecm drones and ecm ship targets.
Anyhow the above is a few thoughts on possible ECM concepts, looking forward to see what others can come up with, or even suggest to upgrade what I have thought might be a solution.