Wednesday, September 7, 2016

You Jammy Bastard

Continuing on with the theme of useful Alpha Clone pilots, I'm turning my attention to eWar. Specifically, ECM and Sensor Damps as Tracking Disruptors and Target Painters aren't even nearly as widely used. You could make an argument for an Arbitrator as a Energy Neutralizing loadout, but it'll be fragile as fuck and get primaried off the field in nothing flat. At least with ECM or Damps you can actually force your quarry to disengage almost instantly and use range to your advantage.

The frigate options are probably not worth discussing at length, it's not rocket science how to fit them and they're very squishy in a fire fight, so yeah, I'll leave that to your imagination. When it comes to the Cruiser hull options of the Blackbird and Celestis however, things are looking up.

The Blackbird has long been the go-to poverty pack, throw away eWar boat of Eve and is as hated today as it's ever been, consistently seeing it called primary the moment it appears. Frankly, if you're rocking ECM, expect to be shot at and probably trolled in local. That's your lot in life. The key is to surviving the initial contact long enough to land your jams and disrupt their own eWar so your DPS boats can deal some damage. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes not. But even with a shitty Alpha clone pilot, you can be that guy. That really, really annoying guy.

Compared to a max skilled Falcon pilot, it's not terribly impressive. Your range is only about 36km's but you have a whopping 41km's of falloff to retreat into. But where it's really let down compared to a well skilled pilot is in the jam strength, roughly one third the strength of a Falcon, depending on how you fit it. Which of course means you have to overheat your jams before landing and pick on Tech 1 ships for the most part. You'll need a fair degree of good fortune to jam out anything Tech II or Tech III, so know your limits. With the prop mod off you can keep your jams going for about seven minutes which is probably about 6 minutes longer than you'll live, so you may as well just keep that MWD running and pull as much range as you can. The 23K or so of EHP you have might just buy you an extra minute, you never know, right?

The Celestis, I think, is a better option. Not only are they not so universally despised as the ECM Ships, they've got a full wing of medium drones to send out and deal a little damage. In much the same style as the Blackbird above, the guns are for decoration more than anything, a little self defence from a tackle frigate that gets too close, that's about it. The value is in the damps though and the whole fit is geared around putting as much sensor disruption on the field as possible.

Sensor damps are so useful in so many roles and it's a big reason why I prefer them to ECM, other than the obvious one of not being reflexively shot at by literally everyone. Do you have a problem with a kiting Orthrus? Damps. Falcon jamming everyone from 50km's? Damps. Logistics wing staying out of reach? Damps. Pretty much anything? Damps. Damps. Damps. Jack of all trades eWar and with a useful, if not impressive, 29K of EHP.

Now I'm not going to pretend these are good options, they're serviceable, at best. The point is to give your F2P members a sense of value to the fleet. Give them a taste of what PvP is like, pretty soon they'll get the hunger to fly some of the shiney shit you take on roams and before you know it you've got a useful guy in your Corporation that was just making up the numbers before. It's what you want, it's what CCP wants and hell, isn't more people to shoot at what we all want?

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