Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BB64 - Missile? Denied!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 64th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo!
With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new 'missile defence eWar' to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb 'firewalls' enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!

BB64 - Missile? Denied!
I can recall a very good fight I had with a Drake once. I was in a Hawk and he agressed me on a gate. His big fatty missiles were no use against my smaller, faster hull. Eventually as his shields started to fail and mine were still high he dropped aggression and retreated through the gate. My DPS just wasn't enough to finish him off in the sixty seconds he needed to deagress and jump. With these new modules it might have been a different story. Scripting the new computer with an explosive radius script could have been a lot more painful for my little Assault Frigate. Rapid heavy missile launchers with a scripted computer may become a serious threat to even small tackle. So what can be do about it? Does anything need doing about it? The issue is we don't know. Missiles still might be the poor choice in PvP or it may become OP. We'll see after these new modules are released. However, if it becomes OP, what can we do about it in future?

Defender Missiles.
A particularly pointless system currently. You lose your own DPS. It only protects you and isn't very good at that. So what to do? New mid-slot module "Missile Interdictor Launcher Facility". Fires off defender missiles that actually do their job! To stop it being too OP it could have a small capacity and a reload timer like a ASB or AAR. You can significantly cut incoming missile only DPS for a short while then its useless for 30 seconds or so as it attempts to reload.

Tracking Distributor Missile Script
To introduce the above MIL.... oh wait a sec, that would spell... never mind... would need to drop the 'facility' from the name of that proposed module, anyway puerile jokes aside, this would mean you would fit your ship for defense against one or the other. Do you take anti-turret eWar or anti-missile eWar? I suppose that is Eve. Make your choice and live with it. Whilst discussing this topic with a colleague who also plays Eve he made another suggestion. A script for the tracking disruptor. I thought about that and it could work. Unscripted it debuffs turret tracking and range. Traditional scripts max one or the other. How about a new script only for missiles?

The Gallente hacker group, Rampant Camembert, developed this ingenious software to counter the Caldari reliance on missiles. This script causes the disruptor to form an (invisible) bubble around the ship which disrupts incoming missiles guidance systems*. The missiles will still hit the ship, but not optimally.

This could give a debuff to explosion radius and explosive velocity of incoming missiles.

So we have two very different solutions there. On the one hand a module that only helps against missile ships and the other one an eWar module that can be scripted against either turrets or missiles. I think I'd prefer the MIL. Eve is not generally about one thing that does everything well. In Eve you make your choice, undock, then spend ages worrying if you made the right one!

*OK this causes a lore conflict with unguided missiles such as HAMS and Rockets. Sure with a bit of thought we can come up with something!


  1. I'd prefer to have missile defenders in highslots - yes, using up your dps. you can only defend against missiles from a targetted ship that you assign your defender launchers to. No lock no defense. No defense against random missiles.

    Make defender missile size count. the bigger the incoming missile, the bigger the defender needed (or more smalls necessary to stop one). Make the large missile defender useless against missile/rockets smaller than it.

    Give the defenders a long reload time, and cycle times roughly corresponding to other similar launchers.

    keep the defence high slot - its a choice. Utility highs for slight reduction of incoming dps, if against a missile boat. make defender missiles a high slot choice, just like nos/neut

  2. Interesting times ahead methinks.

    As an aside, your mention of 'Rampant Camembert' made me smile. When we were first setting up our shiny new FW corp in 2008, one of the corp names we almost chose was 'Rabid Camembert' before finally settling on 'Shadows Of The Federation'.

    You can blame Gall for us not using the best choice ;)

  3. I think given where missiles are right now and what a ship must give up to improve damage application or range with these new modules that it would not be unreasonable to make the new missile counter more like anti-ewar. So the counter to ECM is ECCM. It often a special use module and only partially negates the ECM.

    I was thinking of this as only protecting the ship fit with it. Though your idea of a defensive bubble that reduces a missile's application within a tight sphere seems kind of cool. I worry that would be harder to code an AoE effect to ships within the range for a new effect that would then be used to calculate missile damage.

    Meh, at least things are getting more interesting. Personally I don't think a new counter measure is needed until we see if missiles in general are performing on par with other weapon systems. People complaining about the 2 rapid systems are not taking into account their special case scenarios.