Well That’s Different
So CCP has put in a module that will change blob warfare, and I think opens the door to a concept I think is LONG overdue. From today’s Dev Blog
MagSheath Target Breaker I - Mid slot. A module that has a chance of breaking the lock of ships targeting you, the chance increases the more ships target you at one time. Also breaks your locks. Reduces scan resolution significantly as a downside. Only one can be fitted at a time and the can not be fitted to capital ships.
Well then…. that should change things a tiny bit. Blobbing people with tons of cheap ships suddenly gets less effective. Smaller fleets of more capable ships with better pilots become preferable to huge blobs in some circumstances. What circumstances those are depend a lot on how widespread the module is, and the hard numbers on exactly how easily it breaks locks as numbers go up.
First thought – 20-30 close range gank ships can use this module to really go to town on large blobs.
Second thought – Logis will HATE this. Soon as someone pops that mod they had better broadcast for reps because there’s no discrimination between friendly locks and hostile locks.
What’s going to make a big difference is how common the module is. At first it will command a princely sum, how long that lasts depends a lot on how common the BPC drops. I won’t go in to how bizarre it is to not have BPOs for this item, but having it as a drop for a while might be fun. I might even run a few profession sites. Or not. If this ship shows up only on the specialists, like Arazus, Rapiers, (or Lachs and Huggy bears) then it won’t affect much in the game, if it shows up on Drakes and other line-of-battle ships, expect some shifts in the fundamental nature of fleet composition.
If it’s only on small ships then you will get “Hit Squads” of small, skills players flying faster ships to go in and assassinate people against whom the massed firepower of the fleet may not be effective anymore. This actually sounds really cool, not sure how well it would play out in real life.
If it shows up on every shitfit drake in a 400 man fleet… well the other guy might go with a smaller fleet equally heavily supported with these modules and try to carve apart the larger fleet using their own numbers against them. Also might make escaping ganks easier in PvE ships. Heck might be a fun module for PvE ships in general if it works against rats. At the very least provides a somewhat reliable GTFO button.
No matter what this module ends up doing it signals a clear sign that CCP is pushing back against the Blob. I’m glad to see it, but I think it brings another problem into focus. Discriminating between “Friendly” and “Hostile” locks.
In modern aviation and even in ground combat vehicles transmit their location and information to friendly units and commanders through transponders of one sort or another. This potentially reduces or eliminates friendly fire and allows friendly assets to support each other without making the enemy’s job easier. In EvE if you want to assist your buddy with reps or such you have to lock him. There is no difference between locking your buddy in one of the (currently outdated) RRBS gangs and locking onto a hostile. The same mechanics applied for friendly or hostile targets. This is… well… unusual. If I was designing a system in an environment where the safety of my ship was likely to depend on friendlies being able to target me, I’d include something in the transponder code to “boost” my signature to people in fleet, allowing them to lock faster. Additionally targets locked that are friendly should show on a separate bar stacked below or to the side of the normal one, depending on orientation. The “selected target” should NEVER jump bars. This would allow ships that use both offensive and defensive modules (carriers, Domis, bad scimitar fits, RRBS if they ever come back into fashion) to quit whoring in on their buddies KMs, and encourage supporting modules in fleets that could benefit from them.