Thursday, January 5, 2012

Electronic Attack Ships Should Attack

I want to talk about Electronic Attack Ships, but first, a quick rant on a faction war topic ....

Do you know what really grinds my gears!?!? The Caldari Militia of 2012 so far. In one night we camp a squid in station, so what does he do? He drops militia. Yes, he actually changes corps so we have to go GCC on his ass. Second uber-fail of the night, we chase a small Caldari fleet (with a small fleet of our own) and they don't think they can run fast enough, so what do they do? They pull a mass logoffski in space. The.... entire... fleet! FFS, if you are in the militia grow some balls and PvP, stop hiding behind game mechanics you cowardly ball-less wimps. Yes, I am mad bro!

Anyway, back to the subject matter at hand, Electronic Attack Ships.

My T3 Destroyers post entitled Destroyers Should Destroy got a few comments about how those ideas should be applied to Electronic Attack Ships as they are in serious need of loving. Not sure I agree with that totally. Yes, EAS need some CCP loving but the key word in their name is "attack". Destroyer roles are to protect, not attack. The modules I described in the previous blog post were defensive mostly. EAS should not be using defensive modules, they should be more offensive than me after half a bottle of vodka.

So what's wrong with Electronic Attack Ships and what can we do to make them useful?

It's quiet possible that you're trying to think of the existing Electronic Attack Ship right now.... and you can only think of one....

The Kitsune (Caldari)
The baby ECM ship. A T2 frigate with bonus to jam strength, jammer cap use, jammer range and capacitor capacity (so it has a big cap and a cap bonus for ECM). However it's uber squishy!

It will - Give you the raspberry..... jam!
It is - A baby Falcon

The other electronic attack ships are:-

The Sentinel (Amarr)
I shall call it...... Mini-Curse. Bonuses to energy vampire and neutralizer amount and range, bonus to tracking disruptors and a capacitor recharge buff.

It will - Suck your cap dry
It is - A baby Curse.

The Keres (Gallente)
Bonus to sensor dampener range and cap plus bonus to warp disruptor range and cap.

It will - Point you from 32km and damp down your sensors so you cannot lock it.
It is - A baby Arazu

The Hyena (Minmatar)
Bonus to MWD cap and bonus to target painters. Also bonus to web and reduction in sig radius.

It will - Web you from 20km and blow your sig radius up.
It is - A baby Huggin

When you actually look at the useful bonuses, they are not that bad. However, apart from the Kitsune, they are hardly ever used. When was the last time you saw a Hyena? Why?

One of the reasons is "squishyness". They die fairly quickly as they are frigate hulls. Cruiser and below sized weapons rape them, and drones do the same job for larger ships. They lack the "toughness" of the more popular T2 frigates, the Assault Ships.

So what can we do with them? Firstly they need to be a bit tougher. They need a EHP buff to make them survive slightly longer, more like Assault Ships but without the DPS. This could be done in a number of ways with the resists increased, signature radius reduced or armour/shield hitpoints increased.

So we now have a tougher ship, but are they useful enough to use more, or will people still favour the Recon Cruisers that do the same jobs, just way better.

So how about some specific "bad ass" modules for EAS so they are something people want to fly. Currently it's a case of "Why fly a Sentinel when you can fly a Curse?". Each EAS is basically a squishy version of the better recon class ship. Forget them being better than another ship at disrupting tracking etc, lets give them some nasty mods only they can use. All of the following should have a decent range, allowing the EAS to sit back from the main fight and lay down some nasty eWar onto the enemy.

Shield Harmonic Scanner - Resistance is Futile-er
How about a module with an effect like a target painter that reduces shield resistances. Could be very useful against hard targets like logistics. The EAS scans the frequency of the shields and transmits this to other ships in the area. Could be a general debuff to all resistances or could be a specific damage type.

Suggested race - Gallente. Well, they want to poke holes in Caldari shields don't they!

"OK the Drake's explosive resist is down, switch to explosive ammo"

Combat Armour Scanner - Get in the Hole!
Same as the above shield resistance dampener, this is used on armour boats and reduces resistance by scanning for weakpoints in the armour plates and transmitting them to other ships in the area.

Suggested race - Caldari. They want something to use against the old enemy don't they.

"OK the Myrm's thermal resists are down, switch to thermal ammo"

Interdiction Dampener - Point! Oh Never Mind?
Like a sensor dampener or a turret optimal range distruptor, this module works on a enemies point. 24km point? Not any more, your long point now has a range of 12km. Short point? Too right! It's now down to 4km. These are particularly useful if the fight is not going well and you need to GTFO or as anti-kiting!

Suggested race - Minmatar. With their speedy ships, they have ultimate GTFO-ability

"Confirm he had a long point?"
"Yeah he pointed me at 20km"
"OK his point is now down to 12km, keep out of that range and you can warp off if you need to."

Warp Beacon Projector - Where the **** did YOU come from?
OK this might be a bit much. How about a laser that tags an enemy ship and allows ships in your fleet to warp to that point? Your little EAS is 70km off the enemy fleet who are taking potshots at you. You target a ship in the center of the blob and activate this mod. Suddenly your fleet mates all warp in at point blank range from the pounce they were waiting at.

Suggested race - Amarr. Because nobody likes slow-boating in armour tanked ships towards a blob!

"Beacon up"
"Warping squad on top of them"

There are four idea's for the four races. But one thing I was thinking about was that there is eWar to counter turrets, but nothing to debuff missile ships. Perhaps the shield and armour resistance "debuffer" could be one unit? Nerfs the resists of both shield and armour? Then the Gallente could have an anti-missile boat module.

May be this could be another idea...

Gravitational Missile Dampener - Not so Much as a Whoosh as a Plop
This module is like a optimal range dampener for use against missile boats and could either debuff flight time or missile speed for the targeted boat. Whichever it does, it leads to the same thing, the missiles from the enemy doesn't reach as far as they did.

Suggested Race - Gallente.

"The Drakes missiles are damped, should have less than 40km range now"

Just a few ideas there for ship type specific modules that could make EAS' popular. However, I think the EHP buff is the main thing that is needed for these ships to be a real option in a small fleet.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure about the "resist damping" ideas. After all, at that point you marry a couple EAFs full of those with "kinetic" scripts to a DRAEK!!! (or two, five, or twenty) and automatically win at EVE.
    Also, "damped" missile range of

    Agreed, though, that EAFs need a survivability buff, especially given that unlike their recon counterparts, they can't cloak. A lil more CPU and PG wouldn't hurt at all either. As it is my typical Keres fit (which still only has about 5k EHP) can only fit one turret. All the CPU and PG is taken up by trying to have a "tank", and the RSDs and longpoints, I can't even fill the highslots. :-/