April 07, 2010

ECM in depth: Part 1 Introduction


The glorious Caldari Electronic Warfare: Electronic Counter Measures or more commonly known as ECM.  You can get a brief run down on all the various forms of electronic warfare from the EVE wiki (a wonderful source of info on all things EVE) here, the specific type of EW (Electronic Warfare) I will be going through however is ECM.

There are a few basics that need to be covered off before even thinking about getting our feet wet with ECM:
1. Jamming does not always work
2. if you successfully get an ECM module activated on a ship they will not be able to target for 20 seconds
3. you will be the primary target for hostile pilots.

As the ECM pilot you will not be dishing out the damage and you will not be the first responder so there will be no ship tackling or being in the thick of things.  You will be sought out from amongst the fleet and in your ever so flimsy ship be the primary target for anyone who happens to stumble across you.  So why on earth would you want to train to become an ECM pilot? Because you can potentially do more against the enemy in a ship that costs 5 million ISK (Griffin or Blackbird) than a 2 year EVE veteran with with a 250 million ISK setup.  How can you do that?  By being a force multiplier.  A capable ECM pilot should be able to take out anywhere from 1-8 ships in a fleet engagement within seconds - what other pilot and ship can do that? None, if that doesnt perk up your interest towards ECM then pop over the the Rifter Drifter for a great beginners guide to pew pew.

The Ships

Beyond the ships specific bonuses and your own skills there is a very small list of items that can boost your jamming strength, certain rigs and single low slot item.  Caldari have 7 ships with bonuses to their race specific electronic warfare, those ships are sorted by their hull type in the list below.

Frigate Hulls
T2: Kitsune (Electronic Attack Ship)

Cruiser Hulls
T2: Falcon (Force Recon)
T2: Rook (Combat Recon)

Battleship Hulls
T2: Widow (Black Ops)

The Maths of ECM - formulas credited to Ryysa

To figure out your chance to jam your target the following formula can be used:
  [Your Jammer Strength] (divided by) [Target Sensor Strength] (multiplied by) [100%]  

To figure out the falloff for your jammers this formula can be used:
  [[Jammer Strength] (divided by) [Target sensor strength] (multiplied by) [100%]] (multiplied by) [[[Falloff*2] - [[Range to target] - [Optimal]]] / [Falloff*2]]  

The maths is straight forward but doing it on the fly can be quite a head fuck so before you undock your ship make sure you know what ranges to operate at!  Your skills, ship and fitting will have an impact on your ranges and your specific ship will put a soft cap on your ranges so be sure to right click the module to get your actual ranges.

Rather than making one giant post of information I will be breaking up the content into several parts with a PDF document published at the end which will hopefully become a beginners guide to getting into Caldari Electronic Warfare.

Part 2 of this guide will look at:
- Frigate hulls and their fittings
- Effective beginner skill plans
- How to operate as an effective ECM pilot in a fleet

(one of my Kitsunes sitting in OBE)


  1. Nice intro post, can't wait for the second part and the PDF. ECM is a godsend and nessessary in any good fleet.

  2. Excellent beginning. I've never even considered ECM as a training goal or of any real interest for me at all but you may have given me a bit of a taste for it.

  3. If I can get people interested in ECM through this evolving set of details and instructions then that is great!

    Keep popping back to the site to check for updates to the guide and feel free to contact me in game with any questions you might have.