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This is not a picture of a Falcon, I didn’t have any handy, so instead you can gaze upon the glorious prophecy, which is slightly appropriate. One of my predictions for EVE in 2009 has come true, ECM ships are changing. We all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when, and what they would do to them. Not having flown ECM ships, I can’t appreciate the exact changes to each of the ships, but as someone who specialises in PVP combat, I can appreciate how the Falcon losing its dominance on the battlefield is a fairly massive change for PVP in EVE.

First up, range:

“Generally the ECM optimal range is a little too long with massive optimal ranges possible which would place the ECM specialised ships so far out of the fight to be almost completely safe but suffer no effective hit quality decrease. To bring them closer to the fight we are looking at swapping the base optimal and falloff ranges so at the longer ranges jammers would be operating more in falloff and hence have a lower chance of ‘hitting’ with their jammers at the extreme ranges.”

This alone is a pretty big change to ECM, as ships will have to get much closer than they used to in order to have their jammer running at full effectiveness., which brings it into line with other similar forms of EW that drop into falloff range before 100k.

“The falcon has been changed to be similar to the pilgrim in its role as a ECM brawler at shorter ranges. It has a bigger ECM strength bonus whilst losing its ECM optimal range bonus. In addition its agility and base velocity and have been increased to allow it to be more manoeuvrable at shorter ranges.

ECM Strength Bonus increased from 20 to 25% per level
ECM Optimal Range Bonus removed (52km optimal / 81km falloff w/ 2*SDA IIs)
Increase in general manoeuvrability (might give agility bonus to it to replace the ECM optimal range bonus)”

The Falcon is now in a similar position to other cloaking recons, in that it loses range for the advantage of a covert ops cloak, that allows it to move, and even warp about while invisible. Combined with its long effective range, PVP, but small gang PVP in particular, in the last year has been dominated by one thought: “Is there a Falcon cloaked 100k off my fleet?”.

“The rook operates at longer ranges, able to attack at distance and whilst having a weaker ECM strength but longer ECM range than the falcon can lay some real damage on its target gaining a heavy/heavy assault and standard missile velocity bonus in addition to a small drone bay for additional utility.

ECM strength bonus decreased to 15% per level
ECM Optimal Range bonus decreased to 15% per level (92km optimal / 81km falloff)
5% Heavy/Heavy Assault missile velocity per recon ship level added (105km range with heavy missiles at max skills)
25m3 drone bay / 25 mbit bandwidth added”

The Rook now takes over the Falcon’s role as a long range ECM ship, but no covert ops cloak means that you will see them coming. It’s possible that it will become more common than the Falcon in the future, due to it’s range advantage.

“We are looking at putting the scorpion into the short range brawler role. To that end we are looking at removing its ECM Optimal range bonus, increasing the ECM strength bonus a little and adding a cruise/siege launcher rate of fire bonus so it can get close and personal.

removed the ECM optimal range bonus
increased the ECM strength bonus to 20% per level
added a 5% RoF bonus to cruise & siege missile launchers per level.”

Less of a pure ECM ship now, and more of a ECM/Combat ship, it’ll be interesting to see how this fares in Battleship fleet fights.

The one thing that makes me happy about these changes is not the “Falcon Nerf”, but the fact that these changes stop the Falcon being the only ECM ship worth flying.  The Rook now has a defined role, rather than being obsolete, and the Scorpion looks like it might be a match for other Battleships, when it isn’t fitting purely for ECM.


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