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Guardian Ecm Suite

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#1 David Bradley

    Game Designer

  • 39 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

Hi folks!

The upcoming patch on December 4th will see the addition of the Guardian ECM Suite to the game. Because it's a somewhat complicated system, I've put together this post to let you know what to expect.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: All values given are subject to future tuning and revision.

The Guardian ECM (electronic countermeasure) suite is a piece of equipment that weighs 1.5 tons and occupies 2 critical slots. When it is equipped to your Mech, an entry for it shows up in the weapon groups HUD element that displays the ECM’s range as well as the mode it is currently in.

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The ability to equip an ECM suite to a Mech will be limited to specific variants. At first, only the following variants will be ECM capable:
  • Commando COM-2D
  • Raven RVN-3L
  • Cicada CDA-3M
  • Atlas AS7-D-DC
As we add new Mechs into the game, some of them will be ECM capable, and we may even go back and reconsider existing Mechs deserving of the capability.

By default, the ECM is in “disrupt” mode. While it is in this mode, it creates a bubble of sorts that scrambles enemy communications and sensor systems. Mechs carrying an ECM in disrupt mode are marked with an ECM icon.

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All friendly Mechs (including the one with the ECM) within the range of an ECM in disrupt mode (180 m) are ‘cloaked’ from enemy sensors. Mechs that are hidden in this manner are marked with a symbol that looks like an eye.

When a Mech is hidden by a friendly ECM:
  • Enemy Mechs will have to come within 1/4 the normal distance (200 m instead of 800 m, by default) for hidden Mechs to show up on their battlegrid and HUD.
    • The Beagle Active Probe is of no use in extending this range.
  • It takes twice as long to achieve a missile lock against a hidden Mech.
  • Narc beacons will stick to hidden Mechs, but they won’t provide their normal bonuses until the Mech leaves the ECM’s range.
  • Artemis IV does not provide any bonuses against hidden Mechs.
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When you enter the range of an enemy ECM in disrupt mode, your Mech will be cut off from communications with your teammates and some of your targeting equipment will cease to function. Mechs that are within the field of a hostile ECM are marked with a symbol that looks like low signal bars.

When your Mech is disrupted by an enemy ECM:
  • You will not know where your teammates are, and they won’t know where you are, unless you have direct line of sight to each other.
  • You cannot share any targeting data with the rest of your team, and vice versa.
  • Your Beagle Active Probe ceases to function.
  • You cannot achieve any missile locks.
  • Your TAG laser can still fire but provides no bonuses.
  • Your battlegrid and targeting information will flicker.
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Between the ECM’s 180 m range, and the 200 m range for detecting Mechs hidden by ECM, there’s a 20 m radius band where you can detect a hidden Mech, target it, and get a missile lock and/or share the targeting with your teammates.

If you are not being disrupted by an enemy ECM, any hidden Mech on the other team that you hit with a TAG laser will be revealed as if it wasn’t being hidden. This allows you and your teammates to target and lock on it for as long as you can keep the TAG beam trained on it.

If you press the button to toggle the mode of your ECM (‘J’ by default), you can switch from “disrupt” mode to “counter” mode and back again.

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Counter mode provides none of the benefits of disrupt mode. What it does do is counter enemy ECMs that are in disrupt mode.

Your ECM in counter mode will:
  • Cancel the effect of one enemy ECM on Mechs (friendly or enemy) within range of your ECM (180 m)
    • However, two enemy ECMs affecting the Mech would require two counter ECMs, three would require three, etc.
  • Completely cancel all effects of an ECM in disrupt mode equipped on an enemy Mech that is within range (180 m)
    • Mechs countered in such a way have their ECM symbol replaced with a crossed out version.
    • You can only counter one enemy ECM in this manner.
      • I.e. If there are two enemy Mechs with disrupt mode ECMs in range, one will be countered while the other will function normally. But two counter ECMs will counter two disrupt ECMs, etc.
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Coming into the game at the same time as ECM is your Mech’s status bar. This is a series of icons on the right hand side of your HUD that denote various effects your Mech is experiencing. Currently you’ll see if your Mech is being hidden by a friendly ECM (including your own), if your communications are disrupted by an enemy ECM, and if your ECM is being countered by an enemy. In the future, more status indicators will be added to this area.

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#2 David Bradley

    Game Designer

  • 39 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

After some discussion within the dev team, we have decided to remove the ECM capability from the Jenner JR7-D. The first post will be edited to reflect this.

We would also like to remind people that the ECM is not all powerful. The rock to its scissors is the TAG laser. If you use it to hit anyone cloaked by an ECM, you and your team will be able to target them. Like any new addition to the game, this just requires a shift in thinking how to equip your Mech and/or team.

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