Disrupting the nerve center
In January of 2012, a CCP developer started a thread in the Features & Ideas Discussion EVE Online forum soliciting ideas for new modules. Over a year and 87 pages later, players are still adding to the suggestions. Spurred on by my thoughts in this response to a different post, I added a few ideas to the torrent of mostly bad ideas — maybe mine should be included in that judgement. This post will look at just one of the three I posted.
Before leaving the game over a year ago I spent some energy to advocate restricting warfare links to a single grid — the grid where the link ship was flying. I did this because I firmly believe that any ship influencing the fight should be on the grid where the fight is occurring. Cloaky tech 3 link alts just make me queasy as I don’t think they really add anything to the game.
Before my lengthy break I never saw a Rote Kapelle gang that used off-grid links this way. We always brought along a command ship or combat capable strategic cruiser with the appropriate warfare links for our fleet composition. Now that I’ve returned I’m seeing this infestation everywhere. On any given night it’s about fifty-fifty whether our links will be in a cloaking, interdiction-nullified strategic cruiser or something with combat capability. I’m also seeing these more frequently with other gangs; it’s become the go-to solution for everyone. The word on the street seems to be that CCP game designers would like to see this change — but there doesn’t seem to be any concrete evidence of this.
There is evidence that CCP is not happy with the balance between Strategic Cruisers and Command Ships when it comes to warfare links.
Regardless of whether links are restricted to a single grid, the Network Disruptor helps pilots counter the benefits of warfare links by disrupting communication to and from the target ship. The disruptor would completely negate any bonus on the target ship from nearby warfare link ships. Additionally, when used against a ship with active warfare links reduces the effectiveness of the warfare link bonuses by some percentage.
I see this as an active mid-slot module which puts it alongside other standard electronic warfare modules. The module should have a targeted effect against a single target with a very short range (~10 km, similar to a stasis webifier).
Maybe the disruptor could have the added bonus of interfering with the directional scanner — just because that’s cool and when CCP eliminates local chat as an omniscient intelligence tool it will be that much more interesting. Not that I think local is going away any time soon, but I can dream.