Thursday, March 26, 2009

A better proposal

No matter how loudly the checker players whine about Falcons sitting out at 200km 'permajamming' and how emphatically they support the currently proposed changes, their real beef is with jam strength.

And the proposed changes do not affect that at all. Falcons are still going to jam an interceptor with one module everytime and have a 94% probability of jamming a cruiser sized hull with 2 modules.

I suggest the following changes that address the real issues, but neither require scrapping the entire mechanic nor assigning another Caldari role to the scrap heap.

1. Decrease base jammer strength 20% across the board (reduced probability of jam).
2. New ECCM module that adds flat 15 points to sensor strength (more anti-jam, particularly for small ships)
3. SDA bonus applies to all EWAR modules (including ECCM, TD, TP & damps)
4. Falcon base optimal/falloff of 45/45 (brings Falcon in closer)
5. Split Cruiser skill bonus to 10/10 for Optimal and Falloff (brings Falcon in closer)

The results from a Falcon pilot's view:

- 17% reduction in jamming strength and 55% reduction in optimal (max jam fit)


- 26% reduction in jamming strength and 34% reduction in optimal (max optimal fit)

Falcons won't be as powerful, but they will continue to have a role in fleet/small gang work.



Kraftmann said...

I agree with your conclusions, but disagree with your characterization of proponents of ECM rebalancing as checkers players.

To strech your chess analogy a bit, force recons are the back row - the rooks, knights, and bishops. Just as those pieces have very specific ways they can and can't move, most force recons have very specific roles in assisting or disabling certain enemies:

Arazu - disables some opponent offense from low scan res or short targeting range ships. Short to medium range.

Pilgrim - disables some opponent offense from turret and cap-based weapon systems. Short to medium range.

Rapier - assists most offense against smaller targets. Short to medium range.

Then there's this other case, which appears to have queen-like power with both more effective scope and range:

Falcon - disables most opponent damage and all opponent EW. Long range.

As things currently stand, most gangs quite logically stack queens. In my limited experience, I often hear "How many falcons do we have?" in any reasonably-sized gang, but have yet to hear that for any other EW type.

Consider instead a dampner Arazu in conjunction with a Falcon. This combo would make targeting a real nightmare for the enemy gang and sounds like a good challenge to pull off successfully. Right now, though, it's simply more effective to have two falcons.

Complimentary teamwork using pieces with different strengths seems a lot more chess-like than the current go-with-two-falcons standard. A big group of identical pieces is much more like checkers!

Your suggestions for lowering ECM range while boosting the other ewar types and adding more ECCM tools would make more such combinations a lot more viable, and make the ewar game much more interesting as a whole.

Dee Carson said...

@ Kraftmann:

Sorry I wasn't clear. I'm not just painting the ECM rebalancers as checker players. I'm aiming my ire at all those who refuse to employ available fittings, available tactics and/or available ships to counter the threat and instead bitch and piss and moan about 'fairness' until devs have to make changes simply to hush the mob.

It was that was with nanos and missiles. It appears to be coming with ECM. Sniping will be next. Mark my words. "It's not fair that a Rokh can hit me from 249 km away and I can't even target him! Rebalance! Nerfbat! Fix it!"

The trend is toward less diversification, less specialization, less need to do anything but warp to zero on your target and start hitting F keys. The game will be less interesting, less challenging and more like checkers than chess as a result.


Orontes said...

I really like that you are able to proprose changes that actually do decrease your favorite weapon system. I'm a Arazu pilot and the SD nerf hurt, but so many of my fellows denied there was anything wrong with SD's at all, and then starting crying about Falcons the minute we got nerfed. It's nice to see a nuanced compromise.

Too bad, the screaming mob will probably burn down the castle anyway :)

Altaree said...

Now that the changes have been out, what do you think? I am looking forward to hearing your take on this.

Dee Carson said...

@ Altaree

I haven't flown the Falcon in action since the nerf, but that will change shortly. ;)

The bottom line is, shorter range but better strength. A bit of a buffer tank will be needed (plate in 3rd low slot, I suspect), but the folks who were concerned about Falcons being able to completely stop a 5-6 man fight are not going to be satisfied. If anything, the increased jam strength and the availability of an additional midslot for either another jammer or an ECCM mod will make Falcons more powerful in that arena.