Jump to content

Ecm: A Dialogue?


632 replies to this topic

#621 Rip Snorgan

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • The Raider
  • The Raider
  • 920 posts
  • Location"Soylent Green. It's what's for dinner."

Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:12 PM

P.S. Not at all meaning to seem disrespectful, and I can appreciate that some/many people may not see it my way, perhaps even strongly so.

Merely trying to understand how this has become a "game-fix" priority to so many, especially when considered along-side any number of other potential PGI in-game projects it could divert from.

Thanks much,

-Rip

#622 MischiefSC

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • The Benefactor
  • The Benefactor
  • 16,691 posts

Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:54 PM

That's the topic Russ picked.

He's since walked that back a bit saying that maybe we'll start with something easier.

ECM has been a thorny topic since its inception and is, in many ways, the source of a lot of complex and often dissatisfying balancing decisions. It could stand to be better I think most people would say (the need to balance it by limited availability for exmaple) but it's probably not where things will truly get started.

#623 DocBach

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Legendary Founder
  • Legendary Founder
  • 4,828 posts
  • LocationSouthern Oregon

Posted 18 September 2014 - 06:20 AM

More or less, the biggest disparity between ECM in MechWarrior and the lore is the way that MechWarrior handles missile locks. Missiles can be fired at any spotted target in Battetech, provided it is in range and LOS (or in the LOS of a dedicated spotter), regardless of it is in an ECM field, unimpeded with its full function. MechWarrior also includes a penalty to lock on times, which is not necessarily canon, unless you consider it a feature of the third mode (which does not appear in MechWarrior), rolled in with disrupt.

In MWO, the function of LRM's in the presence of ECM is severely reduced to dumb fire mode, which is ineffective against anything but shut down units at closer ranges. MWO also differs quite a bit in the fact that radar is LOS dependent -- in Battletech, since if you could see it and spot it you could shoot it, sensor rolls were more for detecting 'Mechs beyond LOS.

Probably the best way for any ECM fix would be for ECM to keep all of the functions it currently has. Full stealth for an entire team under the bubble -- with a change that would allow enemies inside ECM in line of sight and in sensor range to be manually targeted by placing the reticle over an ECM shrouded 'Mech and pressing R (simulating the visual spotting mechanic from Battletech's Tactical Operations rules). Targeting this 'Mech incurs a target information gathering penalty, so though ECM 'Mechs that are manually spotted can be tracked and locked upon, ECM still shrouds information such as weapons configuration and damage condition, making it still a useful tactical tool for withholding information.

ECM 'Mechs would still have a great deal of stealth against an unaware enemy, especially in conditions with poor visibility such as night or hazy visual effects, but an aware opponent that spots an enemy can manually visually spot it to use his weapons against it -- note that the lock on time penalty for ECM still remains, meaning that though LRM's are not hard countered, they still are soft countered with a longer locking time. Light 'Mechs, especially scouts and snipers, would be largely unaffected by this change, as they generally carry long range weaponry that they can use outside of the 800m range of sensors, though inside 800m they would be required to use more cover and concealment to avoid manual detection.

Another change I would make would be to expand the range in which passive sensors can detect enemy ECM 'Mechs to 240 meters, as outlined in my essay -- sensors have the same margin of success of detecting ECM 'mechs at 240m as they do at 200m according to TacOps, which gives 'Mechs a better chance of using Streaks or even LRM's if they are caught by surprise by ECM 'Mechs to use them before getting into minimum range.

Lastly, ECM's ability to stop all locks inside of its bubble should be removed -- the 100% lock on penalty would provide enough of a penalty to guided missiles (including Streak missiles, which effectively will have its functionality greatly reduced against the light 'Mechs in which it is most useful against).

Edited by DocBach, 18 September 2014 - 07:31 AM.


#624 Cimarb

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Caladbolg
  • Caladbolg
  • 3,912 posts
  • Twitter: Link
  • Twitch: Link
  • LocationA hop, skip and jump from Terra

Posted 18 September 2014 - 06:58 AM

View PostRip Snorgan, on 17 September 2014 - 08:46 PM, said:

Question.

IF ECM is truly as overpowered as it seems to be perceived that it is, why then do so many of us forgo its use entirely by piloting mechs that aren't even capable of equipping it?

I have played games, even tonight that had anywhere from roughly 0 to 5 ECM equipped mechs, MAAAAYYYYBBBE 6, but to my knowledge, I can't recall ever seeing a match that had even a 50% ECM equip rate present, much less the same preponderance of equip rates that Pop-Sniping used to enjoy, or that LRMs currently enjoy.

So why are we so hung up on ECM right now?

Just curious.

We currently have 184 mech variants in game. 5 of those are able to equip ECM. That means 2.7% of the mech population is able to equip it.

Even if there is only 1 single ECM mech per team, that is 8.3% of the team in that match, which is three times the number that should be represented.

Since there are very few matches were only a single ECM is in each team, the actual number is probably closer to 3-4 per match. That means ECM mechs are over six times more likely to be chosen over there non-ECM brethren.

If every mech could equip it, the use of ECM would skyrocket, and the only people NOT using it would be those that know there will be so many in the team that it would not matter if they personally used it. It is a broken system, and it needs fixed.

#625 nehebkau

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,384 posts
  • LocationIn a water-rights dispute with a Beaver

Posted 18 September 2014 - 07:21 AM

View PostCimarb, on 18 September 2014 - 06:58 AM, said:

We currently have 184 mech variants in game. 5 of those are able to equip ECM. That means 2.7% of the mech population is able to equip it.

Even if there is only 1 single ECM mech per team, that is 8.3% of the team in that match, which is three times the number that should be represented.

Since there are very few matches were only a single ECM is in each team, the actual number is probably closer to 3-4 per match. That means ECM mechs are over six times more likely to be chosen over there non-ECM brethren.

If every mech could equip it, the use of ECM would skyrocket, and the only people NOT using it would be those that know there will be so many in the team that it would not matter if they personally used it. It is a broken system, and it needs fixed.


You ever consider that its LIGHTS that are being chosen... and they are being chosen because their survivability is so bloody low with current game mechanics that you take all that you can get.

When I take ECM, not to help my team, but to make sure my light mech to reduce the chances that I get 1-shotted by a 50 point alpha in the first 2 minutes. Luckily I've learned to get by without it in a fast jenner or Firestarter (IMHO better light mechs then most ECM mounted variants), but for many other light pilots -- its nearly mandatory.

If you really wanted to be accurate in your 'counting' then you should look at just LIGHT mechs and then just ASSAULTs mechs that are using ECM , not across the board at every variant. You look that way and you will find that very few assaults use ECM on drops, and yes way more lights use ECM on drop. The way you put out your figures skews the view of use in the same way that fox news skews things.

Edited by nehebkau, 18 September 2014 - 07:24 AM.


#626 Cimarb

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Caladbolg
  • Caladbolg
  • 3,912 posts
  • Twitter: Link
  • Twitch: Link
  • LocationA hop, skip and jump from Terra

Posted 18 September 2014 - 07:39 AM

View Postnehebkau, on 18 September 2014 - 07:21 AM, said:



You ever consider that its LIGHTS that are being chosen... and they are being chosen because their survivability is so bloody low with current game mechanics that you take all that you can get.

When I take ECM, not to help my team, but to make sure my light mech to reduce the chances that I get 1-shotted by a 50 point alpha in the first 2 minutes. Luckily I've learned to get by without it in a fast jenner or Firestarter (IMHO better light mechs then most ECM mounted variants), but for many other light pilots -- its nearly mandatory.

If you really wanted to be accurate in your 'counting' then you should look at just LIGHT mechs and then just ASSAULTs mechs that are using ECM , not across the board at every variant. You look that way and you will find that very few assaults use ECM on drops, and yes way more lights use ECM on drop. The way you put out your figures skews the view of use in the same way that fox news skews things.

I have seen you several time in lights, and I know you are very good with them, but in this case your experience is leading to a high level of bias.

Consider Assault mechs, then. There are 46 variants available for us to choose. Only ONE of those is capable of equipping ECM, yet there is a very, very high probability that you will see at least one in a match, and likely one on each team. So, your 2.1% of the Assault population is represented by 16.6% of the typical matches' Assault mechs (only considering a single one in the whole match). That is a HUGE disparity (eight times the amount that should be represented.)

Now consider Lights, which have by far the largest number of ECM-capable variants. They have 37 total variants, with 3 of them being capable of equipping ECM. Even though I think the number would be much higher normally, let us assume the same thing as we did with assaults: 1 ECM light in the whole match (24 players). The ECM-capable variants represent 8.1% of the weight class, but would still be 16.6% of the lights in the game, or twice what it should be in a balanced system.

Edit for typo...

Edited by Cimarb, 18 September 2014 - 07:41 AM.


#627 nehebkau

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,384 posts
  • LocationIn a water-rights dispute with a Beaver

Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:11 AM

View PostCimarb, on 18 September 2014 - 07:39 AM, said:

I have seen you several time in lights, and I know you are very good with them, but in this case your experience is leading to a high level of bias.

Consider Assault mechs, then. There are 46 variants available for us to choose. Only ONE of those is capable of equipping ECM, yet there is a very, very high probability that you will see at least one in a match, and likely one on each team. So, your 2.1% of the Assault population is represented by 16.6% of the typical matches' Assault mechs (only considering a single one in the whole match). That is a HUGE disparity (eight times the amount that should be represented.)

Now consider Lights, which have by far the largest number of ECM-capable variants. They have 37 total variants, with 3 of them being capable of equipping ECM. Even though I think the number would be much higher normally, let us assume the same thing as we did with assaults: 1 ECM light in the whole match (24 players). The ECM-capable variants represent 8.1% of the weight class, but would still be 16.6% of the lights in the game, or twice what it should be in a balanced system.

Edit for typo...


Your argument is: "ECM is powerful even overpowered because so many people use it when given the opportunity. There is a much higher % of use than there would be if it had neutral bias."

My argument is: "ECM is powerful, but many other game systems are even more powerful requiring ECM, wherever possible, to mitigate those other overpowered systems, this is indicated by the level of use. ECM is a means to put other weapons and systems in the game on a more neutral bias."

My testing is here:
http://mwomercs.com/...26#entry3733226

If you fixed instant-pinpoint damage and you eliminated group target-locking (i.e. required LOS for LRMs and SSRMs) you would see a big drop in ECM -- I know I'd have no reason to use it.

Edited by nehebkau, 18 September 2014 - 08:17 AM.


#628 Cimarb

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Caladbolg
  • Caladbolg
  • 3,912 posts
  • Twitter: Link
  • Twitch: Link
  • LocationA hop, skip and jump from Terra

Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

View Postnehebkau, on 18 September 2014 - 08:11 AM, said:

My testing is here:
http://mwomercs.com/...26#entry3733226

If you fixed instant-pinpoint damage and you eliminated group target-locking (i.e. required LOS for LRMs and SSRMs) you would see a big drop in ECM -- I know I'd have no reason to use it.

I responded to your biased testing thread.

As far as PPFLD, I agree with you that it needs fixed, and I have several threads pre-Clan where I was a huge advocate for changing that (the Clan systems have actually made it much less of an issue, so I am just hoping that it will filter over to the IS weapons as well eventually).

I also think that group target-locking needs some refinement, as we get too much information from indirect targeting currently. The info we get from UAVs, though, where you can get a lock, but no actual target info, is how indirect spotting should be handled.

ECM is a completely different aspect than both of those, though. ECM, by design, was only made to prevent targeting info, not completely block all lock ons, and having to use 6-8 other systems, all that outweigh the actual ECM itself when combined in any way, is very unbalanced and the reason that only FIVE variants of the 184 available are allowed to even equip it. Name a single other piece of equipment similarly locked to such a small number of specific chassis variants - please, do that... I will wait over here patiently for you...

#629 Mcgral18

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • WC 2018 Top 12 Qualifier
  • WC 2018 Top 12 Qualifier
  • 17,982 posts
  • LocationSnow

Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:26 AM

View PostMischiefSC, on 15 September 2014 - 06:44 PM, said:


He's said to wait while he puts together what.

What is a simpler topic than ECM though?

Oh snap.

Is it can it be PULSE LAZORS?!?!

Posted Image


I can haz WubFox again?

#630 r4plez

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Bad Company
  • Bad Company
  • 769 posts
  • LocationFoundry

Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:33 AM

First you have to get rid of ECM buble crazy thing - than allow it on only command mechs as it should and name it Guardian ECM.

#631 Supah

    Member

  • PipPip
  • Survivor
  • Survivor
  • 29 posts

Posted 25 September 2014 - 10:44 AM

Allow LOS info gathering at a more normal speed, but disallow missile locks. The stagnant games of LRM over a hill by both teams for 15 minutes is silly, I cannot imagine that people would really prefer that. The mindset of "sit back and let me bring the thunder, hold locks for ME guys" is not conducive to any amount of community or real teamwork. It's not symbiotic, and fixing LRMs to allow someone to spam missiles indiscriminately doesn't make a fun and interesting game.

If you really want to nerf ECM to the point where LRMs are viable and a serious threat from the moment the match, starts, then there needs to be a risk/reward scenario of diving LRM boats that have a more explosive and dangerous payload than they currently have. It seems to me people want ECM nerfed solely for the sake of LRMs. I don't think they're in a bad enough spot to warrant that.

#632 Here5y

    Member

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Rage
  • Rage
  • 377 posts

Posted 25 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

My Background:

Hi , I`m Plizzken and I am a Battletech Fan since Childhood and am more a Simulator minded Player, and I`m really missing the Rolewarfare Aspect in MW:O - here's my take on the Situation:

ECM:

ECM is an overpowered Counter to an overpowered Ability - the Ability to share Target Information. The Problem is that every Mech comes with a free C3 Master and Slave Unit.

For Canonwise Background Information please take a look at:

http://www.sarna.net...C3_Command_Unit

C3 Systems were invented in Battletech Year 3050, so an Implementation would be canonwise possible.

Impact on Rolewarfare:

* Scoutmechs with C3 Units would be more important than ever to relay Target Information to their Lance Comrades.
* Lance Mates with C3 Slave Units would benefit from this information
* Players would be needed to work more as a real Team in a Lance - since the target information is just shared among the Lance.
* The Mech with the C3 Master Unit is precious and needs to be protected , since if it goes down it would result in the C3 Network going down
* ECM would not be a hard Counter against LRMs, but AMS would be and be therefore more useful (and could be buffed ) - therefore Mechs with 2 or 3 AMS would have actually a role to fulfill.
* smaller and faster ECM Mechs could Counter the Mech , that has the C3 Master Unit equipped (usually Assault Mechs ) , rendering the C3 Network useless .

Needed Changes in MW:O :

* Implement C3 Equipment for Mechs ( with Integrated TAG Functionality - see Sarna Article)
* ECM Should counter C3 Indirect Target Info Distribution
* ECM should counter Seismic Sensors, like its intended in Battletech ( its an Electronic Countermeasure and can counter Sensors),
* Implement a more general approach to share Enemy Target Location, without providing exact Location. Could be done like in Heroes & Generals for example:
- see http://www.youtube.c...u3N4bkaE0#t=334 : These small red dots, which are appearing are the Enemy Info. You just get an Idea of the Direction, but not the exact Location.
* ECM should counter NARC.
* Mechs in ECM Bubble should still be allowed to be targeted directly with Target Lock on Sight.
* ECM should not Counter TAG



LRM:

A Problem with Jumpsniping ( as an extreme Form ) or static and defensive play is the benefit of using Cover very efficently, while taking not so much of a risk. One Reason why this works ( ignoring Pinpoint Damage and stuff like that ) is the lack of good indirect Fire in MW:O (even the Drop In Artillery is fired in a direct Firing Mode).
So my take would be to give LRMs ( which then would get way less shared Target Information ) a mode so it can be fired indirectly and unguided in a more artillery way. This could be done by clicking on the battle grid map to define Target Area, for example.

Impact on Rolewarfare:

* LRM Mechs could provide indirect Fire Capabilitiies to Friendly Units and enrich Variety
* LRM Mechs would be more in need of Scouts and more specialized Mechs to get Target Locks for guided Missle Mode ( via C3 - if LRM MEch C3 Slave, NARC and TAG )

Sidenote :

A Drop-in-Artillery with Smoke would be nice to provide Cover.


Just my two cents,

Plizzken

Edited by Plizzken, 25 September 2014 - 03:26 PM.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users