Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Do People Hate Me?

The majority of PvP players in Eve hate me. When I appear on field they stop shooting the primary and target me. They blame me for ruining their fun. They blame me for ruining their PvP. My fleet mates love me, my enemies hate me..... for I am a Falcon pilot.

"Nobody likes an eWarfare ship" - Charlie Fodder, Gunner, Clear Skies.

Falcons, you either love 'em or you hate 'em..... depending usually if they are in your fleet or against it! I don't fly Falcons all the time, but I have been flying them a lot more recently. I tend to swap favorite ships every so often. Once one ship becomes my particular flavour-of-the-month I tend to fly that ship a lot more than others. A while ago it was Nano-Drakes, then I went through a fairly long Arty-Cane spell. Now I'm back in the Falcon.

In case you aren't up on the most hated ship in Eve or never come across Caldari ships, Falcons are a Force Recon Ship (T2 Cruiser) with a big buff to Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) strength. These are a chance-based mid-slot module that prevent the target ship from locking any targets. With Recon V (30% bonus to jam strength per level!) and the right racial jammers, a Falcon pilot can easily take 3 battlecruisers out of the fight. In small gang warfare a Falcon is on a par with logistics as a force multiplier. A 6v6 fight can be turned into a 5v3 with a good Falcon pilot keeping three of the opposing side locked out. Add in that they can fit the Covert Ops Cloaking Device so you'll rarely know you are up against one until it decloaks and starts jamming, they are a nasty ship. They are also ideally suited to being away from the frontlines, and the enemies firepower. Optimal range for the jams is over 70km when you have the right skills and fit. With falloff you can still get lucky jams at well over 100km out. However, Falcons do have drawbacks.

The main drawback with Falcons is their tank, or should I say lack of it. If you can hit me, I'm in trouble. Falcons will usually sit away from the fight, aligned out so if they start to be engaged they can warp off quickly. Fitting a shield tank reduces the number of jammers you can fit. Fitting an armour tank reduces the number of distortion amplifiers you can fit, making your jams weaker with shorter range, whilst also slowing your ship down and reducing your GTFOability.

Therefore heavy missile Drakes are a major threat, in fact I have a Drake specifically fit as an anti-Falcon ship*. Artillery Hurricanes are also a ship to be wary of if they have long range ammo in their cargo holds. Obviously any sniper ship that can put DPS out around the 70km mark is a hazard.

The Falcon pilot also needs to have good spacial awareness. Get tackled and you need to be quick to stop your jammers cycling and target whatever has you pointed. My best one was when I got tackled by 4 ships and still managed to GTFO. They are not an easy ship to fly if you don't want to lose too many!

Another drawback is that jams are chance based. It is possible to miss cycles of jams when really you should be catching them everytime. Therefore if the fight plan is relying on the Falcon to jam certain ships and you don't, things can deteriorate rapidly.

Finally, it can be hard to get a fight if they know you have a Falcon. Especially when you have even numbers and a smallish gangs. Most people would avoid the fight knowing that the enemy had a Falcon.

There are other ECM ships, so why is the Falcon the one singled out for such hate? The other ships that receive a bonus to ECM are...

The Griffin - Bog-standard Frigate
The Kitsune - The Electronic Attack Ship.
The Rook - More fire power than the Falcon, no covert ops cloak
The Scorpion - The Battleship.
The Widow - Black-Ops Battleship.

These ships are all ECM boats. Their primary purpose is to jam the target and stop it being able to lock and therefore take it out of the battle. But the Falcon is the one that people really hate. Why?

I have a couple of theories. Firstly, could it be due to the ability to fit the covert-ops cloaking device? The enemy that you cannot see is often the most scary. Think along the lines of horror flicks. The invisible killer stalking you, he's there, he's going to get you, but you cannot see him.

Or is it that perhaps the others have significantly greater drawbacks than the Falcon. The Griffin and Kitsune are uber squishy, haven't cloaks and a relatively low number of jams making it easy to kill. The Rook has no cloak so you cans see it coming a mile off. The big lumbering Scorpion is a juicy target, it's easy for a very fast tackle to grab a warp in on it. It's also got a very bad tank for a battleship and goes down quickly under fire. The Widow Black-Ops is an expensive kill and everyone likes to kill a Black-Ops! Then again the Widow is also a very rare sight. How often do you see one deployed? May be if they were more common they'd be just as hated as the Falcon. Although getting Black-Ops to level V would be a pain so it's jams are unlikely to be as effective.

So yes, the Falcon is very nasty ship in the right circumstances and with the right pilot. Yes, it can turn a fight into a gank on its own just by turning up. However, it has it's weaknesses and is easy to kill if you do it right. They are squishy and their weaponry is chance based. There's always the possibility that all jams will fail leaving you exposed and vulnerable.

Just remember, hate the game, not the player!

*And no, you cannot have my anti-Falcon Drake fit!

P.S. Thanks to S810 jr for pointing out errors in previously holey version o.0

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