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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
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Electronic Attack Frigates- A Discussion.

Author
Jaigar
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2011-12-12 06:39:00 UTC  |  Edited by: Jaigar
Seeing as CCP said they were going to be buffing EAF in this winter expansion, and also assault frigs, I think its a good time to start laying the groundwork for a role discussion for these ships and the problems they face in their current incarnation.

Lets start with Electronic Attack Frigates. These ships are "supposed" to be relatively inexpensive eWAR platforms that can aid in fleet fights. Currently they are neither inexpensive nor useful (outside the AT of course). And sadly lowering the price on these ships isn't an option due to economic impact.

So how do we make EAF useful? I think it is required to look at each of these frigates individually because of their varied role; while they all play a support role, range, speed and tank all play a different factor in each of them.

Lets look at the Hyena. It grants both painter and web bonuses. Great, but the web bonuses require the hyena to be dangerously close, and bonused target painters (while good) aren't helpful when the hyena has such a short targeting range. Plus its signature radius reduction bonus is practicly nothing. So, how do you boost the effectiveness of a hyena while not making it too overpowered? Survivalibility or greater effects? Personally I would like to see survability increased in some way and make a defensive AND agressive builds possible with them, IE a longer range hyena setup w/ painters, or a closer "in your face webs". I like the idea of it being a MWD and speed tank, but its sig radius blossoms way too much (its only 10% smaller sig radius base than a thrasher now).

Now lets look at the Sentinel. Personally I love the sentinel and I really want to get one to work, but to no avail; even testing on SiSi, 3 tracking disruptors on a daredevil and still perfectly tracks me with its blasters. Thats cool and all, EAF should get eaten by nasty little frigs, but its so fragile. I like to focus on the tracking disruptors over the neuts, and just use to neuts defensively to keep pesky little frigates from webbing and scramming you down while trying to stay a good 50km+ away from the blob.

And Kitsunes and Keres, I've never flown them, so I have no experience with them.

So role wise, should EAF function simularly to SBs, where they offer great support but are incredibly vulnerable without proper fleet support?
Duchess Starbuckington
Doomheim
#2 - 2011-12-12 14:00:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Duchess Starbuckington
All EAFs - a small decrease to sig radius

Kitsune - small lock range increase.
Hyena - Better web range.
Sentinel - is fine. In response to the bit in the OP about them: tracking disruptors are insanely powerful if you use them right. You didn't.
Keres - is really not that bad, just overlooked in favour of interceptors (probably because more people can fly those)

Edit: 5 mins of EFTing on the Keres gave me a ship with so-so speed, but 4.5k EHP, 43km overheated disruptor range and 16.2k overheated scram along with 2 sensor damps. Scan res is the only iffy bit, maybe a small buff there would help?
Inmei T'ko
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2011-12-12 14:16:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Inmei T'ko
Yes the Keres is actually decent, you can set it up to be reasonably fast, so it becomes like a more expensive, longer-range point interceptor. But not very many people can fly them.

I think across the board EA frigs should get longer range and faster locks (they are supposed to be technically advanced right?) and they should have smaller sigrads. Maybe an increase in speed would be good as well. They are always going to be glass cannons so it would be nice if they could actually kite a little. Optimally it would be cool to see 4-8 man gangs of EAs capable of heading out there and being effective as specialty hit and run groups.

Another buff for EAs I'd like to see would be the ability to black ops hotdrop them. THat would be sweet. A fifth class of frigate, the logistics frigate, would also be interesting to add into the mix.
Duchess Starbuckington
Doomheim
#4 - 2011-12-12 14:18:27 UTC
Quote:
I think across the board EA frigs should get longer and faster lock ranges (they are supposed to be technically advanced right?) and they should have smaller sigrads. Maybe an increase in speed would be good as well. They are always going to be glass cannons so it would be nice if they could actually kite a little. Optimally it would be cool to see 4-8 man gangs of EAs capable of heading out there and being effective as specialty hit and run groups.


Good idea, to be honest.
EAFs don't need a radical overhaul, but tweaking their speed and targeting attributes would make them a lot more viable in general.
Daedalus Arcova
The Scope
#5 - 2011-12-12 15:20:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Daedalus Arcova
Been thinking a bit about this lately as well.

My main complaint about EAFs is their fragility. They are supposed to be 'resilient' (according to their class description), and yet they have the fattest sig radii of any frigate, and lower HP than interceptors (even with the better resists).

My solution would be to buff their hitpoints, fitting stats and sig radii to make them about (or nearly) as durable as AFs. A lock range and scan res buff wouldn't be out of the question either. By improving their tank, they would become useful in small to medium-sized gangs of cruisers and BCs, where currently a stiff breeze is all it takes to make them explode.

You might say 'but their tank is their EWar!', but you'd be wrong. If they have to use their EWar capabilities to keep themselves alive, then they aren't actually contributing anything useful to a fleet.

Oh, and give the Keres 10mb drone bandwidth to match its 10mb drone bay!
Inmei T'ko
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#6 - 2011-12-12 17:23:59 UTC
The problem always is that as soon as you buff something you start to make it OP. I'd like to see EA frigs tougher but if you do that you start to make standard AFs obsolete. That's why I favor a speed increase, sigrad reduction, and increase in scan res and target range over making them tougher. Then it requires that he pilot fly them in an intelligent way in order to be successful.
Sphit Ker
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#7 - 2011-12-12 17:27:51 UTC  |  Edited by: Sphit Ker
"Sentiel is fine"

I don't believe it is. A Tracking Disruptor II can be made to out optimal a Sentinel maximum targeting range. How do you do that? You slap a TD on it. Done. That's it. That **** ain't right...

It knows what you think.

Mirei Jun
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2011-12-12 18:09:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Mirei Jun
EAS came pre-nerfed, much like destroyers.

- Half the targetting range of their T1 version
- Huge sig radius
- half the bonus of their cruiser equivalent

I think the original designers were afraid they would be uber ships that could endlessly kite larger hulls and outclass all other EWAR... This is clearly not the case.

There are two factors that come up frequently amongst EAS complaints. These being their targetting range, and sig. Honestly, I think if they just had the targetting range of their T1 counterpart they would be fine.

While I have little experience with the Amarr EAS, the other 3 are decent when used well, but almost never worth having over a recon, or even the T1 EWAR boats. The Keres, in particular, is actually quite good right now, but this is mainly because it has enough lows to extend targetting range to an acceptable distance while keeping its mids open for dampening, OR it can be a beastly tackler on gates -quite versatile.
Daedalus Arcova
The Scope
#9 - 2011-12-13 13:36:40 UTC  |  Edited by: Daedalus Arcova
Inmei T'ko wrote:
The problem always is that as soon as you buff something you start to make it OP. I'd like to see EA frigs tougher but if you do that you start to make standard AFs obsolete. That's why I favor a speed increase, sigrad reduction, and increase in scan res and target range over making them tougher. Then it requires that he pilot fly them in an intelligent way in order to be successful.


Rubbish. Buffing EAFs won't make them OP since they're underpowered to start with. Why do you think they're so rarely used?

AFs need a buff of their own, but even if EAFs were made tankier and AFs were left as they are, it still wouldn't make AFs obsolete (any more than they are already, anyway). Tanking is not a role, it's what you do with it that counts.

It's even possible that a buff to EAFs might even make AFs more popular, due to the synergies between them.
Kittamaru
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#10 - 2011-12-13 14:22:05 UTC
Buff EAF's with a longer locking range and HP similar to AFs, and you'd see these actually become very useful. Tie them in with the Logistics Frigates idea... well, then you'd have a wolfpack that can make lone wolfs and even the occasional 3-5 man roam tremble!
Noisrevbus
#11 - 2011-12-13 15:17:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Noisrevbus
I must admit it's been a while since i looked at them myself, but as far as i can remember they had four larger issues:


  • sig (300 m3 over 3km/s on a ~5k EHP hull meant to operate within range of drones and most weapon systems is squishy).
  • sensors (i'm not sold on this; it was only ever a problem in distinct cases, when the EAF got compared to other ships).
  • cap-stability (can be dealt with, but on a frigate hull you're low on slots and cap for MWD and EW is crucial for survival).
  • fitting (assuming you aim for MSE or 400mm, you'd rarely fit anything in the highs and still be looking at implants).


What direction you should take the ships in is in my oppinion very dependent on the overall direction of related design. A typical example is that Blops are also up for review, and wether fuel-consumption for different classes is looked at or not sway heavily in favour of making EAF more in tune with their Cov-op brethren or not.

For sake of dynamics i belive im still in favour of mashing EAF and Cov-op together into a cloaky prober with limited EW bonuses. If you'd use Cov-ops as things stand, that's the way you'd likely use them anyway (as a prober and initial tackler with EW mids) - while cruiser-sized hulls offer stronger options in the same role (Recon, Tech III).

These are tech II ships afterall, and between four bonuses there should be ample room for two roles.
Fidelium Mortis
Minor Major Miners LLC
#12 - 2011-12-13 16:26:19 UTC
Duchess Starbuckington wrote:
All EAFs - a small decrease to sig radius

Kitsune - small lock range increase.
Hyena - Better web range.
Sentinel - is fine. In response to the bit in the OP about them: tracking disruptors are insanely powerful if you use them right. You didn't.
Keres - is really not that bad, just overlooked in favour of interceptors (probably because more people can fly those)

Edit: 5 mins of EFTing on the Keres gave me a ship with so-so speed, but 4.5k EHP, 43km overheated disruptor range and 16.2k overheated scram along with 2 sensor damps. Scan res is the only iffy bit, maybe a small buff there would help?



Agreed. A little more speed/agility, and EHP would also help a lot, they currently are a bit on the fragile side. They work extremely well in small fights, but once you get more than a couple enemies on the field they essentially pop in a couple of seconds.

They Hyena probably needs the most work, as a solo ship it currently isn't very viable, at least in comparison to the others.

As far as the sentinel is concerned. I fit mine with a set of faction neuts that brings the optimal range out to 22km that can neut out any frig in 1 cycle (generally overheat 1 neut just to be on the safe side). It's really the DD's worst nightmare, with the optimal range script dropping their blaster optimal range down to around 500m (not that they have the cap to shoot).

The Keres with a faction web can damp out the targeting range for most frigs (and some cruisers) to under 10km, and hold them without taking any damage.

In small fights the Kitsune is a pretty nasty ship.

ICRS - Intergalactic Certified Rocket Surgeon

Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
#13 - 2011-12-13 17:12:18 UTC
Is there some rule that dictates that a ship should always be able to solo? .. just askin' Smile

- Reduce mass ever so slightly.
- Reduce signature slightly.
- Increase stats such as lock range to T1 levels.
- Increase EHP ever so slightly.

Any more is overkill.

They are truly excellent in small fights and they really do pop rather fast in larger bouts .. why I hear you ask .. piloting error:
- In the small fight you go close to use both eWar types as every ship counts in small fights, if you are squandering half a ships bonuses then you are in the wrong damn boat to begin with!.
- In large fights, for Goddess knows what reason, people still go close and instantly end up as a smear on a viewscreen, take range and limit yourself to secondary eWar (TP, TD, Damps) and you will still be making a huge contribution (if done right that is).
Ines Tegator
Serious Business Inc. Ltd. LLC. etc.
#14 - 2011-12-13 17:53:32 UTC
If you compare the stats to the base hull, you'll generally find that their EHP is the same (ridiculous for a t2 frig) although they do they get t2 resists, their targeting range is inexplicably shorter, and their sig radius is significantly larger.

I think many tweaks are possible, but to start with they only need 2 things- drop their sig to match their base hull, and reduce their price to interceptor/AF levels. That'd be enough to get people into their cockpits. They are potentially powerful ships, and I can live with them being fragile. However, it's simply too much atm (the sig compensates for the increased resists, makign these as weak as their T1 counterparts), and combined with the cost they are usually not worth flying. None of this is news of course. I'll put some numbers down for a reference.

Crucifier - T1 Amarr Ewar Frig
Armor HP: 375
Sig Radius: 46
Targeting Range: 47km

Sentinel- T2 Amarr EAF
Armor HP: 375
Sig Radius: 51
Targeting Range: 36.5km

Maulus- T1 Gallente Ewar Frig
Armor HP: 351
Sig Radius: 48
Targeting Range: 50km

Keres- T2 Gallente EAF
Armor HP: 351
Sig Radius: 55
Targeting Range: 39km

Cost: (eve-central median selling price at time of post)
Vengeance (Amarr AF): 14.9m
Crusader (Amarr Inty): 13.4m
Sentinely (Amarr EAF): 23.5m