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A Significant Change To Ecm

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#1 Paul Inouye

    Lead Designer

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:34 PM

Hello MechWarriors,

It's been a while since I addressed you all about some of the upcoming balance changes coming to MWO.

You may have heard that there is a new system coming down the pipe that will revisit/change/remove the current quirk system. In order for this new system to work properly, some fundamental changes need to be made for role warfare/information warfare aspects of the game. The first of these changes comes to the almighty ECM.

This change to ECM is a first pass of what may or may not lead to further changes in its operation. By change I'm referring to reducing the effective range of ECM from 180 meters to 90 meters.

NOW HOLD ON! Before you lose your cool, please examine the following points.

First off, ECM was never meant to be a magic bubble used by 1 or 2 'Mechs to protect an entire 12 player team. 180m doesn't really sound like much but in reality it is a very large area being covered. Remember, 180m is the RADIUS for the ECM cover. That's a total of 360m from one edge of the bubble to the opposite edge. That's bigger than 3 football fields worth of distance.

Second, let's look at the visible implications of this distance. In the following two images you will see a 'Mech standing at 180m and 90m respectively:

Posted Image

Notice how far away that 180m 'Mech looks. It is crazy that a 'Mech that far away from an ECM equipped 'Mech is covered by it's protective bubble. At 90m it makes much more sense. (I actually tested at 60m and that makes even more sense but that is too high of a nerf to range to start.)

The gameplay implications this brings is that 'Mechs will have to stand closer together to get ECM coverage. This opens up a vulnerability that standing in close quarters results in collisions between 'Mechs and enemies can blind fire more easily into the cluster to shear armor.

Further tuning will result in BAP ranges being reduced to closely reflect that of the new ECM range.

A thing to keep in mind is that this isn't necessarily a direct nerf to just ECM. It's the first in many steps of getting role and information warfare more relevant in the game. The changes in role and information warfare will help us distinguish roles in a more defined manner and further separating the reasons to bring multiple weight classes to the battlefield and will also help control any type of arms race as new technologies are brought into the game.

An example of this could be specialized 'Mechs having extended sensor ranges over other 'Mechs, or some 'Mechs may become specialized ECM carriers with associated buffs to the system.

Yes, you can read this as the first set of changes toward the new way 'Mechs will be quirked. Once we have everything in place, we will implement the new quirk system/balance pass as a global change in a single patch. Because of this approach we need to make some minor adjustments to the game as mentioned here and ECM is one of the first. More changes will be made and I'll update you at the earliest possible times so you are all aware of what to expect. We will also be putting these changes into a few PTS runs so you can see how the new systems are affecting the game.

Feedback can be provided in this thread: http://mwomercs.com/...hange-feedback/

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