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blankseplocked [Proposal] Review and Rebalance Electronic Attack Ships
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Genos Occidere
Posted - 2010.10.17 22:13:00 - [1]

I propose that Electronic Attack Ships are reviewed and (hopefully) rebalanced to make them a more viable choice. In their current state, they don't perform really well, and it may not be a surprise to know that according to the 2010 Q1 Economic report, There are currently more Super carriers actively being flown than there are Electronic Attack Ships, I think this speaks volumes about the their current iteration.

TL;DR "Why do Electronic Attack Ships suck?" in a nutshell: Huge signature radius combined with worse than Stealth Bomber EHP and almost as bad agility, several of the bonuses feel weak and out of place, and in the Keres' case, it's role overlaps pretty heavily with interceptors.

I will list here what I think needs to be reviewed/changed, as well as my own personal experience with each ship and the problems with each one.

  • "Ability to 'evade' damage versus effective hit points".
    I think this is the first, and most important thing that needs to be reviewed, currently electronic attack ships have the biggest signature radius' for all frigates, around about 40%~ more signature than the average frigate for this class. They also have fairly bad agility, and engagement ranges which put them in the line of fire for Close range medium weapons, unlike interceptors, they also get tracked while mwding in their engagement ranges. Fitting a plate or shield extender to these ships, which many consider mandatory further emphasises this problem.

    Personally, I feel like their signature radius should be tuned down to around about the racial stealth bomber values. The agility on them could also do with tweaking a bit.

  • Keres
    Ok, this one is probably in the worst shape out of all the EAS. It has 2 cap bonuses, and yet still can't run a mwd and tech II disruptor at the same time, let alone if you want to run dampeners on it. It's main problem though, is that is overlaps incredibly severely with the tackler interceptors (30km versus 36km points), combine that with many of the interceptors strengths such as being much more cap stable, higher EHP, Faster, more agile, Signature Radius while MWDing is only slightly bigger than the Keres base signature radius. Really, there is almost no reason to ever fly a Keres when you can fly the Ares.

    I propose increasing the base capacitor stats, while replacing the cap related bonuses with more useful bonuses related to the Keres' survivability. It needs to somehow stand out and be a viable alternative to the tackle interceptors. Personally, I feel making the Keres a bit more combat orientated will do this, such as giving it increased drone bandwidth and drone bay, and swapping out the cap bonuses for turret damage related bonuses.

  • Hyena
    I don't think this one is that bad, although I must say that 20km engagement range at EAS5 is a little short for my liking. It also has some fairly bad bonuses, 3% to signature radius reduction per level being probably the worst bonus on any frigate. I'd recommend buffing the stasis webifier range bonus from 20% to 30%, that'll give it 25km at EAS5, which seems a lot more reasonable to me. I'll also suggest the same as what I suggested with the Keres, and make it hit a little harder, a small drone bay (10m3?) and some turret bonuses would help it out quite a bit I think. Increase the base capacitor stats a little to account for the mwd cap bonus being replaced.

  • Kitsune
    No real individual complaints here, over than what has been said that applies to all EAS. My only pet peeve with this ship is that it gets a optimal range bonus to ECM while having a horrible lock range, I'd recommend buffing the base capicitor by 25%, and replacing the 5% to cap amount with 7.5% to lock range per level.

Genos Occidere
Posted - 2010.10.17 22:14:00 - [2]

  • Sentinel
    Is currently the best, and probably the only EAF which is currently 'flyable'. I wouldn't recommend tweaking it too much, but it could do with getting the cap recharge bonus built in and given a drone hitpoint bonus or something similar.

I'm not a game designer, the changes and values I've suggested are mostly placeholders for the proposal, just to give it a little more direction and so it doesn't get rejected for not having a clear proposal so please don't berate this proposal if you don't agree with me on a changes/numbers level.

Another suggestion which props up quite a bit is allowing them to use the Blackops Jump Bridge, which I think is a good idea and meshes well with their theme of being 'decentralised electronic warfare'.

+ Buff agility and signature radius
+ rework weak ship bonuses
+ maybe allow them to use black ops jump bridges

Ascetic Virtues

Posted - 2010.10.18 03:52:00 - [3]

Avan Sercedos
Gunpoint Diplomacy

Posted - 2010.10.18 03:59:00 - [4]

Pretty much yeah.

Darek Castigatus
Immortalis Inc.
Shadow Cartel
Posted - 2010.10.18 11:48:00 - [5]

Edited by: Darek Castigatus on 18/10/2010 11:49:49
Nice ideas, would be cool to see more EAFs around, theyre nice little ships that are currently sorely underpowered.

Smelly Bait
Posted - 2010.10.18 12:24:00 - [6]

Edited by: Smelly Bait on 18/10/2010 12:25:31
Keres is only good for regional gate camping, try this fitting:

[Keres, keres fleet tackler import 1]
Overdrive Injector System II
Overdrive Injector System II
Capacitor Power Relay II

Gistii B-Type 1MN MicroWarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
True Sansha Warp Disruptor
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Targeting System Subcontroller II
Small Targeting System Subcontroller II

Warrior II x2

On L5:

3500 m/s
2528 scan res
50 km point on overload
insta tackles almost everything

Sphit Ker
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2010.10.18 15:30:00 - [7]

Originally by: Suitonia


From where I stand, it need a greater locking range. It's Tracking Disruptors can quite easily out-optimal it's maximum locking range. Please boost the locking range to match or better the Crucifier.

Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
Posted - 2010.10.18 18:04:00 - [8]

It has always bugged me that the Kitsune has a lower lock range and scan res than the griffin.


Reliables Inc
BricK sQuAD.
Posted - 2010.10.18 21:52:00 - [9]

Yep, they need a buff.

Scatim Helicon
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.10.18 22:48:00 - [10]

My overall feeling is that EASs being terrible is just one aspect of a wider imbalance (tl:dr is that interceptors are all-round really good at all the things you'd want in a pvp frigate hull which makes the other pvp frigates mostly surplus to requirements).

Having said that, an EAS tweaking would be nice to see.

darius mclever
Posted - 2010.10.18 22:50:00 - [11]

while my initial thought was ... buff their EHP to the level of an AF, this sounds good aswell.

Morar Santee
Posted - 2010.10.19 17:13:00 - [12]

Making EAFs more viable would be nice indeed.

Nexus Aurelia
Posted - 2010.10.19 17:14:00 - [13]

Either this or make them cost half as much to make, the former is still better.

Aineko Macx
Posted - 2010.10.19 19:27:00 - [14]

Reasonable and welcome changes.

Maxsim Goratiev
Imperial Tau Syndicate
Posted - 2010.10.19 19:45:00 - [15]

Valid. Concise. Purposefull.

Jakub Trokowski
Unseen Nomads
Posted - 2010.10.19 20:35:00 - [16]

Great idea!

Posted - 2010.10.19 21:03:00 - [17]

Edited by: RedSplat on 19/10/2010 21:04:23
Yes. The EAF's simply dont do anything unique at the moment and they all to one extent or another require festooning with faction mods to have any chance of doing what the bonuses suggest they are meant to.

Wishlisting from here on in.

Hyena... I'd like to see 25km T2 Webs and a 5% velocity bonus per skill level rather than making it a frigate killer by giving it a dronebay of note and turrets. Crazy fast frigate neutralizer? Please. Being able to web something like a dramiel to the point you can outrun it and take away its almost pre speed nerf agility? Nice.

Sentinel is pretty good as is, but I'd like to see it be able to field 5 light drones (with having no turret or missile slots as penance).

Keres is pointless unless you want to set yourself a challenge. Let it Scram people at 20 KM with max skills and t2 and make it HATED and loved; perhaps a range bonus to warp scrams only and not disruptors?

Kitsune needs serious ECM cap reduction to make that idea work, an increase in lock range and sensor strenght and possibly redesign of slot layouts.

Liang Nuren
Posted - 2010.10.20 00:06:00 - [18]

Edited by: Liang Nuren on 20/10/2010 00:07:19
Originally by: Suitonia
There are currently more Super carriers actively being flown than there are Electronic Attack Ships

Says it all. I agree with the tl;dr, but I'm not so sure I am a fan of the specific bonus changes. When the Keres was announced, I was *so excited* to be able to fly a frigate damping platform that was worth a damn - finally something to replace my Damping Helios! But it isn't - because no damping platform was worth a damn by the time the Keres hit the market.

Blah. The idea of EAFs gets me all super excited and happy... but the execution makes me roll my eyes.


Ed: I support this. And you should too!

Laina Delapore
Shadowed Command
Fatal Ascension
Posted - 2010.10.22 11:24:00 - [19]

Confirming that my Kitsune has been gathering dust on a shelf in my hangar since...well, when I bought it, pretty much.

EAS just go 'squish' too easily for you to get the full measure of use out them vs. Cov Ops or the T1 equivalents. And yes, having to rig a Kitsune to take advantage of its ECM bonus is annoying.

Dro Nee
Posted - 2010.10.22 14:47:00 - [20]

Edited by: Dro Nee on 22/10/2010 14:48:50
Having never flown any of the EAF's I am not going to touch the balance/design particulars. That being said, there are two immediate questions/comments that result from reading this thread:

1) If you argue that EAF's need a sig reduction, perhaps it is best not to say that a 3% sig reduction/lvl (hyena)is the most useless bonus a frig can have. I understand what your driving at but it seems contraditory on its face.

2) It occurs to me that it isnt clear where these ships are supposed to function. If CCP thinks that EAF's should be mostly used when attacking frig/dessie size targets, and design the bonuses around this, then they will probably never be used to any great extent. The lack of use is more a function of current pvp style (bad expression sorry) and not so much a function of being underpowered for its job. Additionally, if this is thier focus, then EAF capabilities do not need to be all that robust,in general, unless they envision EAF's being used solo.

If, however, CCP wants EAF's to be used by more conventional gangs (and attacking a large array of target sizes)they must find a way to justify thier use over the Recon class (or even over the Blackbird in the case of the Kitsune)while not making better in all cases (replacing).

I wont pretend to know what CCP considers the role of EAF's are, if they even had a full conception in the first place, but it seems to me this question needs to be anwered for any meaningful rebalancing to occur.

edit:forgot to support

Don Pellegrino
Pod Liberation Authority
Posted - 2010.10.22 15:00:00 - [21]

Excellent suggestions.

Sagara Takeda
Black Dragon Crime Syndicate
Posted - 2010.10.22 15:51:00 - [22]

I completely agree with everything. If Super carriers are being piloted more than EAF's....that's all the proof that's needed.

EAF is a pure PVP ship, there's nothing else you could possibly do with it. Every version needs buffed to the point where it would be a viable asset to any PVP fleet of any size.

Andrea Griffin
Posted - 2010.10.22 16:57:00 - [23]

There was a discussion about these ships in the S&M forum, and I submit that here for reference.

Zarnak Wulf
Posted - 2010.10.22 17:25:00 - [24]

The 3% signature radius reduction that the Hyena currently has is almost the same bonus that interceptors used to have before the speed nerf. The interceptors got a 5% signature radius reduction per level. It was discovered with the changes that they instapopped at the new lower speeds. Interceptors had their bonus changed to the current 15% reduction of MWD sig radius penalty/lvl. The poor hyena was left as is.

I don't know what the right level would be. The hyena shouldn't get the same bonus as the interceptors. It needs a much smaller signature radius and perhaps a 9% reduction of the MWD sig radius penalty/lvl. All of the EAS frigates need more survivability.

Alexandra Stormwing
Cry Wolf.
Posted - 2010.10.22 18:45:00 - [25]

Edited by: Alexandra Stormwing on 22/10/2010 19:39:25
Please don't boost the Sentinel, then someone other than me will fly it and I won't feel special anymore. Sad

Okay, just kidding. I'm not sure what the official role is supposed to be for EAFs, but it seems to me that they're supposed to provide EWar support for frigate gangs.

Why fly the Kitsune in a gang when the Blackbird offers more EHP and can jam at a much greater distance and is a lot cheaper?The Kitsune, with EAS trained to 5, can easily get a jam strength higher than the Blackbird. However, is the extra strength worth it?

Benefits of the Kitsune over the Blackbird:
  • Higher Jamming Strength
  • Smaller, faster, more agile
  • Higher scan resolution

Benefits of the Blackbird over the Kitsune:
  • Cheaper, even filly fit and rigged
  • Greater targeting and jamming distance
  • Greater EHP
  • Can do damage (albeit small) at range

It would seem that the trade off here would be: Greater jamming strength for reduced survivability. However, the jam strength of the Kitsune isn't all that much higher - a bit over 1 point using standard fits and decent skills. If you rig the Blackbird for full ECM strength, the benefit is about half a point and it can STILL jam out farther than the Kitsune.

The Kitsune is really only useful when you are flying frigate class fleets and need the mobility, and only economical when you're getting into small scale fights. The Kitsune simply cannot afford to get hit, while the Blackbird can take a few shots without having to warp out. This is a very limited role.

Along with the reduction in signature radius, the Kitsune may also benefit from an extra 5% jam strength per level. Boosting the capacitor bonus would be nice, too. I'm a bit on the fence about giving it more targeting range - then you could have a small sig ship sitting 80+km off with greater strength than the BB.

Zarnak Wulf
Posted - 2010.10.22 18:57:00 - [26]

Originally by: Alexandra Stormwing
I'm a bit on the fence about giving it more targeting range - then you could have a small sig ship sitting 80+km off with greater strength than the BB.

If you throw a sensor booster w/ a targeting range script it can lock out to 105km with close to a 100km optimal range on it's jammers. The problem then is that you only can fit three jammers.

The kitsune also has a higher sensor strength then the blackbird - it's harder to jam. The kitsune needs a smaller signature radius then the 58m it currently has. It also should get the same lock range/ scan resolution as the griffin - it's t1 counterpart. You could then get those three jammers out to 120km. With the optimal range bonus it's different then the rook/falcon - you actually have a reason to climb into it. The kitsune is easy to fix. And it should be fixed.

Alexandra Stormwing
Cry Wolf.
Posted - 2010.10.22 19:02:00 - [27]

Originally by: Zarnak Wulf
If you throw a sensor booster w/ a targeting range script it can lock out to 105km with close to a 100km optimal range on it's jammers. The problem then is that you only can fit three jammers.
That's true. I always try to have all 4 jammers on my ship and a MWD (I guess I'm a graduate from the Merin Ryskin School of Ship Fitting). Time to raise even more hell then, I suppose... Twisted Evil

Posted - 2010.10.22 19:25:00 - [28]

They definitely need love.

Magenta Shine
Posted - 2010.10.22 19:51:00 - [29]


Posted - 2010.10.22 19:54:00 - [30]

Bust it! :)

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