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The Initiative.
Posted - 2009.01.07 07:22:00 - [1]

I've been purely a typical minmater pilot, where all my skills are focused on maximizing dps, but I've been training an alt who will tag along on as I pvp and I'd like him to be an EW pilot, but I have no idea how to best rise him or what ships he should fly. I'm currently split between caldari EW frigates, the caldari blackbird, and the HAC falcon. I'm hoping for something quick and low sp dependent so I can take him on his first battle fast.

I've been eyeing remote sensor damps, more so than actual ecms, mainly because I don't understand how they work. I look at their maximum jamming potential (with the help of EFT) and look at the largest target I'm aiming to encounter (BCs) and I can't help but notice that ecm's jamming strength, even with t2 signal distortion amps, and basic level 4 skills, caps out at about 9-10. That's 6-8 points lower than any battle cruiser out there. It's just enough to perfectly jam some destroyers however, if I were aiming for them I wouldn't need an assistant tackler.

Anyway, I'm almost certain I've completely misunderstood the mechanics of ECM devices. If I were more knowledgeable, I'd probably choose them over remote sensor damps, so if anyone could point me in the right direction to credible information where I could aptly rid myself of this ignorance, or kindly explain it to me yourself, I would greatly appreciate it.

Summary: I need to know what is a cheap, low sp, Electronic Warfare ship + loadout that can handle all the webbing, scraming, and/or ecming, etc that will allow my main ship to equip a more durable/feasible tank/dps setup. At the same time, I would also like to know how ECMs work.

Thanks in advance.

Hatsumi Kobayashi
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2009.01.07 08:11:00 - [2]

Edited by: Hatsumi Kobayashi on 07/01/2009 08:11:18
1. I think both popular opinion and actual performance agree on the blackbird being an extremely effective yet cheap ship for ECM purposes. While a falcon might be more successful in surviving (read evading destruction) and jamming its targets, as well as being way more sneaky, it is also more expensive and SP intensive compared to the blackbird.

2. I don't believe there are any ships that can jam, web and scram a target at once and reliably without ending up in pieces in a few seconds. Might be wrong or misinformed on that one, though.

3. The way ECM works, is that the jamming strength is opposed to the target ship's sensor strength as a percentage roll. For example, a ship with a sensor strength of 10 has 50% chance of being jammed by a jammer of strength 5. Chances do not add up together , so if you activate 2 jammers of strength 5 on that ship, you do not get an automatic jam. Just two rolls that each have 50% of succeeding.

4. Sensor dampeners reduce your target's locking range and/or scan resolution depending on loaded scripts. They always work, but suffer standard module stacking penalties if more than one are applied on the target at the same time. If they reduce your target's lock range enough they can cause it to lose a lock, and they will be unable to reacquire it again unless they get in range again, the dampeners' cycles end or they get sensor boosted (either locally or remotely). You might want to correct me on this last one, by the way.

edit: in before falcon alt whiners!Razz

De Guantanamo
Posted - 2009.01.07 08:24:00 - [3]

The Kistune, tech 2 EW frigate, is a very cheap and effective EW and tackle ship. While most people I've seen use it as a mini falcon (its Electronic Attack Ship bonus gives it 10% optimal range bonus per level), it can be equipped with a 24km point and afterburner to tackle and tank while you get into position.

Take note that it is paper thin and will NOT be able to fit a full rack of racial jams after adding point/mwd. Also, the lack of insurance for tech 2 obviously applies.

I have a friend who utilizes the ship in just this way and has had success in doing so.

In saying all that, blackbird does require less sp, is fully insurable, has 1 more mid slot and can fit some DPS to add to the fight.

Pros and cons both ways. Kitsune is however, not to be dismissed.

Colonel Xaven
RAZOR Alliance
Posted - 2009.01.07 08:31:00 - [4]

Hatsumi is right with the point that there is no ship that is dedicated to scram, web and jam at the same time. However, you can put an ECM module in every ship in theory. But with the ECM focus I agree to Hatsumi to give the Blackbird a try.

Here is a good guide to jamming.

Dagda Morr
The Initiative.
Posted - 2009.01.07 12:56:00 - [5]

I have to agree about the Blackbird. Sensor damps are good but they don't actually shut anyone down, just increase the lock time or locking range. All they have to do is wait a little longer or get in range. Sensor boosters are the natural countermeasure to dampners and are widely used since they have extra benefits - eccm modules are used much less frequently since they have no other use.

Blackbirds are fantastic ships for the price and ease of use - fit them with meta 2 jammers and insurance and they are practically throw away ships that let you lock similar sized ships out of the fight completely.

Gartel Reiman
The Athiest Syndicate
Advocated Destruction
Posted - 2009.01.07 13:44:00 - [6]

Originally by: LeJen
Summary: I need to know what is a cheap, low sp, Electronic Warfare ship + loadout that can handle all the webbing, scraming, and/or ecming, etc that will allow my main ship to equip a more durable/feasible tank/dps setup.

Somwhat echoing what has been said above: ECM ships are very vulnerable, as to be effective they need to use the vast majority of their midslots for ECM, and the vast majority of their limited lowslots for signal distortion amplifiers. Thus you really want to take advantage of the relatively long range of ECM modules, in order to keep them out of harm's way as the majority of PvP fitted ships can only damage targets within a close range. Consequently you should either handle to tackling yourself on the main combat ship (which wouldn't be too much of a problem for most armour tanks), or get a third ship to act as a dedicated tackler.

As for the ship itself, it should definitely be a Blackbird. Very cheap, surprisingly effective at the jamming. I'd give you a setup, but it simply is 2 Signal Distortion Amplifiers in the low slots and 6 jammers in the mids. Most if not all of the jammers should be racial as opposed to the multispectral; fit them according to what you expect to fit, or perhaps just one of each and two additional ones. Multispecs can be useful, but as their range is much shorter than racials and you really want to be as far away as you can (i.e. near your racial optimal range) this can be a liability, either drawing you closer to the enemy or reducing their strength further due to being in falloff.

You might in fact need to change one of those jammers for a sensor booster, if your skills give you a longer jamming range than you have targeting range. Generally speaking, the further away you can jam from the safer you will be. 100km jamming is doable with level 3 in Caldari Cruiser and Long Distance Jamming skills, which is entirely reasonable.

As for the high slots - these can be anything you like that will fit. You almost certainly can't get the same range with weapons as you can with your ECM, so one or two launchers filled with defender missiles are not a bad idea, and you might want to equip a salvager or two as well. Realistically anything you fit in the highs is unlikely to fulfill your primary purpose of jamming things.

Celestial Apocalypse
Posted - 2009.01.07 14:10:00 - [7]

If you are going to use two ships then the real question is what will your damage ship be and what range will it operate at? Also where will your targets be? Near stations, near gates or in belts? Also 0.0, highsec, or lowsec?

There is no E-war that will stop drones, although you can agro then outside drone control range which can prevent them agroing.

Rough guide to e-war

Sensor damps on an Arazu or Lachesis combined with disrupter can let you engage right on the edge of drone control range and prevent the target ship locking. If faction disrupter you can safety stay at a great distance from your target. If your damage dealer is a long/medium range ship then you can attack with complete immunity.

However you arent using webs and/or scram at 46+ km. So if near a gate then either using scram on arazu or else using second ship to go in closer have to be considered. Then there are issues with tier3 BS and recons as targets at certain ranges, and almost every single ship at closer ranges.

Falcon/BB/Other ECM boat can prevent the target ship locking and so prevents everything except drones and fof missiles. However, you might end up with drone agro and/or fof on your damage dealer. And your damage dealer has to be your tackler in this case.

Pilgrim/Curse can prevent your targets turrets working effectively and so shuts out the main offensive option in the game except drones. It can also prevent neuts working effectively and make it much easier to break opponents tank.

All these options will decrease the damage your main takes depending on what ship your main is flying.

The Initiative.
Posted - 2009.01.07 21:40:00 - [8]

Whoa, thanks for the info everyone. Based on your input I've come up with the following two setups. Meira Lei is the alt. Don't worry about the cap stability on the blackbird, in another two weeks my alt will have the skills to make it reasonably stable, assuming the MWD and smartbomb won't remain on constantly, which they won't.

Please visit your user settings to re-enable images.

My main character flying the 'cane has all the skills needed to fly the setup you see above with the exception of Hull upgrades V, Repair systems IV, High Speed Maneuvering IV, and Energy Emissions System IV. With my Mael, which I fly often, I've been predominately a shield tanker, so I'm only now starting these armor tanking skills. Some of the figures you see will rise in the coming weeks. I basically just want the opinion of all of you from these two setups and the gang combo itself. Blackbird & Cane.

Also, what are your thoughts on my choice of drones. I'm considering them for the extra tank assist. Presently, they add a minimum of +350 armor hp every 5 seconds.

Note: I'm aiming to fight other BCs and smaller, preferably in an asteroid belt, and definitely away from gates and stations with guns. I'm not at all sure how well my 'cane will stand up to that kind of fire. I also doubt I'll be able to break the tank of most BSs.


Gartel Reiman
The Athiest Syndicate
Advocated Destruction
Posted - 2009.01.08 09:00:00 - [9]

Originally by: LeJen

Assuming you've plugged in the skills you expect to have, the Blackbird fitting really doesn't need a sensor booster as it will already be able to lock at its maximum engagement range. Likewise, the missile launchers won't work offensively (I see you have them loaded with EM missiles) as they just won't have the range - it would be a bad idea to actually sit at 30km in order to use the heavy launchers as you're probably within range of most medium- and large-sized ships' weapons (and definitely within drone range).

Ideally you would work on the Long Range Jamming and Caldari Cruiser skills to push up the range you can jam at, and warp in at that. The MWD is an interesting idea that may be useful depending on how exactly you intend to deploy these ships, and while it can help if you accidentally warp in at the wrong range, or want to engage immediately after jumping through a gate, in general I don't think it would be that useful, especially given the opportunity cost of fitting one less jammer as well as the cost to cap regen (which looks tight as it is).

The Hurricane could really do with some damage mods, especially as you'll have an ECM tank supporting it as well. I'm not sure you'll have entirely enough cap to run both reps effectively anyway (you are not going to get 12 cap/s from the dual NOS with any reliability), and given the tank figures you're getting even with dual reps (206 seems pretty weak) you might well be better off with a plated setup, again especially given that this will allow the blackbird more time to warp in to assist. A hybrid (one plate/one rep), while generally considered suboptimal, might work well too (the plate giving decent EHP, and the rep allowing you to regenerate it over time, particularly while the opponent is jammed).

In any case, one or two gyrostabilisers will make a massive difference to your damage output (as will using faction ammo if you're not already) - and with a setup like this, you really want to be able to gank things quickly before they get reinforcements. Additionally, just from a pessimistic point of view, I'd use an X5 web instead of a fleeting - they're much cheaper, and as the Hurricane has such a good base speed anyway I don't think there'll be a situation where the 2.5% speed difference makes a difference, except to the wallet when you lose it.

Brutal Deliverance
Gypsy Band
Posted - 2009.01.08 10:03:00 - [10]

Blackbirds are great throw away ships in small gangs. Everyone will love you. Just don't fit anything too expensive.


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