April 07, 2010

ECM in depth: Part 2 Starting out

Continuing on from Part 1, where I mentioned the ships used in conjunction with Caldari Electronic Warfare, basic principals and the maths behind ECM.

We all must have a beginning, so if you are starting out with ECM then the information contained in these articles should get you on track to becoming a force multiplier within any fleet that you are a part of.

Skills and Skill Plans

If you do not have it installed already then First of all grab EVEMon, now install it and setup your character.  These skills are the pillars of producing an ECM pilot:
  • Electronics Upgrades - 5% reduction of sensor upgrade CPU needs per skill level.
    • required for Signal Distortion Amplifier and requires Electronics and Engineering both to level 3
  • Electronic Warfare - 5% Reduction to capacitor need per skill level.
    • required for jammers, level 3 will let you use meta 4, level 4 will let you use T2
  • Frequency Modulation - 10% bonus to falloff per skill level.
    • requires Electronics 3 and Electronic Warfare 2
  • Long Distance Jamming - 10% bonus to optimal range per skill level.
    • requires Electronics 4 and Electronic Warfare 3
  • Signal Dispersion - 5% bonus to strength of all ECM jammers per skill level.
    • requires Electronics at 5, Electronic Warfare at 4
With the necessary skills covered off you need to be looking at getting your skill plan organised for the next few weeks, as with any other profession there is a significant time requirement to get the ECM pillar skill to a respectable level.  Give yourself 1 week to get into a good Griffin fit and upwards of a month for a Blackbird fit if starting from a new character. So here is what to train and to what levels:

Caldari Frigate 3
Electronic Warfare 3
Electronics 4
Electronics Upgrades 3
Frequency Modulation 3
Long Distance Jamming 2
Targeting 3

(your skill plan should look something like this, click to enlarge)
I will not go into specifics of learning skills, but briefly, you will notice in the bottom left hand corner a link 'Suggestion'.  Clicking on that link will provide details of learning skills that will make your overall training time much faster.  Throughout the guide I will be providing skill plans for each ships and their recommended fittings.  All the skill plans are going beyond the base entry point for each ship and modules though as having the skills to fly something is not the same as being able to use it properly.

Griffin for a Beginner

The mighty Griffin!
To go through the fitting in this guide go grab yourself a copy of EFT (EVE Fitting Tool) so you can add in your own items as budget and skills allow.  The basic fit for a Griffin will be:

(EFT fitting details with the above skill plan completed)

[Griffin, Starting Block]
Signal Distortion Amplifier I

ECM - Ion Field Projector I
ECM - Spatial Destabilizer I
ECM - White Noise Generator I

ECM - Phase Inverter I

If you right-click on one of the ECM modules you can get the statistics and information for that module.  You can use this preliminary information to get an idea at your operating range and your ECM strength.

So with this information I know that I need to increase my jamming range to help me live through more fights as being in that close is just asking to be smashed back into our pods, but with all things EVE getting that jamming range improved is a whole bunch of skill levels away.  So we will persevere with what we have.  Something to look forward to if you stick with a longer term skill plan however is a jam cycle strength of 16+/- at a stretch with overheating and a comfortable jam strength of 14.

Operating as an effective ECM pilot

This will be a shortened bullet point list that I will expand on and add to later on as I go through the different ECM ships.


  • Do not be the first to warp to a fight or gate when in fleet, ideally you want to be landing in the middle of the crowd or dead last with smaller groups..
  • When warping to a fight, DO NOT WARP TO ZERO!
Fleet smarts
  • Ensure you have enough capacitor to jam before jumping into a fight, if you have been warping around and have an almost empty capacitor you will not be able to perform your role
  • You have a very small signature radius, but that is negated if you dont keep moving, set the smallest orbit you can while maintaining full speed - you can orbit a fleet mate
Damage dealing
  • Dont worry too much about shooting at hostiles, your job is to stop them from shooting at your and your fleet
  • You damage will be measly but the Griffin can fit a single drone which you can set upon someone and if using missiles in your high slots then your damage is best used on the faster targets
The right ships
  • Sometimes Fleet Commanders will not want any ECM out of disregard/hate for them or because they do not know how to use them effectively
  • If the fleet you are in is Battleship size and going after a similar ship composition then a Griffin is probably not your best option unless it is your only option
That concludes part 2 of this guide, I had planned on detailing the Kitsune but I will do that in part 3 as it fits in much better as a step up from the Blackbird than it does here.  As always please leave a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.  I will leave you with the 5 types of ECM modules, see if you can identify them.


Keep an eye out for the next part of the series: ECM in depth: Part 3 The Blackbird

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