You know the saying, Out with the old, in with the older. Wait what? That’s not quite right… I thought this latest change was meant to be bringing in a new module? It would seem that CCP have picked up an idea that they found on the ground and brushed it off ready for use in 2021! What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll get to that in a moment. For now, make sure that you check out the latest Quality of Life patch notes by CCP Aurora. Here’s a brief tl;dr of the changes, though:
- You can now have multiple Jump Clones in one structure
- Fitting a Burst Jammer will disable interdiction nullification
- Wormhole jump masses have been updated in the following way, see this article for clarification on my number system:
- Medium Holes (C1) from 20 -> 62
- Large Holes (C2-C4) from 300 -> 375
- Very Large Holes (C5-C6) from 1480 -> 2000
- No change to frig holes
- The Target Spectrum Breaker module has been removed and replaced with the Signature Radius Suppressor with an appropriate Skill: Signature Masking
I would say that the Jump Clone and Burst Jammer changes are both very simple and easy to understand. Not needing multiple structures purely for the sake of holding your clones is an amazing quality of life improvement, especially for wormholers. In my eyes, this is as good as returning to character selection! Awesome job CCP.
The Burst Jammer preventing nullification isn’t something which has really affected me or my corp and I can’t argue with it. Being able to warp in, ECM Burst, warp out sounds pretty unfun for everyone involved to be honest, especially with little counterplay. Besides, if you really want to continue doing this then use a two-man Jump Dessie team to jump in, ECM, jump out. Maybe even take someone with you.
Bravo, another good change.
Wormhole Changes and Stealth Systems
As for the wormhole changes, I think most people see the change to jump mass as a positive change too. The changes are listed above and will be updated in my articles soon, but it doesn’t really have much impact on the fundamentals of which ships can go where. What this does is it resolves a pain point that has been around since the Wormholes with Love update last year where a bug was fixed, preventing capitals from one-shotting a wormhole, rolling it in just one back and forth pass with a capital prop.
By increasing the jump mass (no not the total mass!), CCP have made it so that all wormholes will still allow the same amount of total ships through and ships are still limited to the same holes as before, but now there are fewer restriction within those classes. This allows heavier battleships such as the Typhoon to once again become rollers and allows players to fit an armour plated Megathron through a wormhole rather than being forced into using a hull tank. Most notably, C1s are now more easily rolled by a Higgs Anchor fit cruiser and capitals will fit through a hole with their prop mod on again.
Now for the Target Spectrum Breaker. This is where things get pretty spicy. CCP at this point in time have completely changed this module and the related skill, Target Breaker Amplification. It used to be a pretty rarely used piece of tech with a very niche effect. The more people that would lock your battleship, including drones etc., the higher the chance that a Target Spectrum Breaker would simply break those locks. As you approach 30+ locks the chance tended towards 90% and beyond for a lockbreak. This acted more like an ECM Burst, but with unlimited range and no care for sensor strength whatsoever. Of course, someone can lock you back up straight away, but the effect is enough to disrupt hostile alpha damage and allow you to catch reps.
There must be a catch then, right? Well there were three major downsides to the TSB which contributed heavily to their lack of use across New Eden:
- They were locked to battleships only
- They would permanently reduce your signature resolution in the same was that a fitted cloak does
- You also break the locks of friendly logi on you!
The result is such that using a TSB was more of a play for small groups to get away with fighting back against larger foes. We (Foxholers) famously used it last December against Hole Control in our successful eviction defence where we decided to go all-in on the Target Spectrum Breaker and forgo logi almost entirely. The plan played out perfectly and we won the battle and the eviction fight overall partly thanks to this lovely little module. You can watch the video below if you like.
So what have CCP replaced the TSB with? A Signature Radius Suppressor, a module which is also limited to battleships and has an active effect of reducing the signature radius of the ship activating it drastically. You might have wondered why I keep referring to this as a “Stealth System”. That’s because, well, it is a Stealth System. Not a cloaking device but an entirely separate module that has existed in the game files for a very long time.
Stealth Systems were never released, though we can read into what they would do. They were split into Small, Medium, Large, and Huge Stealth Systems with an active effect which would simply reduce your signature radius by a set percentage while active. The effect would range from just 20% for frigates right up to an 80% reduction on battleships and 160% for capitals. Ever since I noticed that this existed (with that cloak-style icon) I’ve always wanted one. It’s just a shame that it has arrived by trampling on the corpse of the Target Spectrum Breaker. Here’s what the new module does:
Signature Radius Suppressor
- Limited to battleships (for now)
- 10% signature reduction while fitted
- Active bonus to drop your signature by a further 70% for 12 seconds, time increased by skills
- Cooldown of 2 minutes 30
- I’m calling it a Stealth System because I have wanted this module for years!
From how this is set up with the short term sig reduction it seems like this is pretty much an anti-bomb module primarily. It will also be helpful to battleship fleets when fighting against other doctrines which use battleship or capital weapons. The effect should be much more pronounced vs missiles due to missile mechanics, but overall it’s really interesting. It’s like a battleship version of an assault damage control in a way!
Let’s take an example, though, and what better example to use than my own Praxis fit. It has a base signature of 465m which is reduced to 419m with the “Stealth System” inactive. Activating it will reduce the sig further right down to a tiny 127m! I’ve gone ahead and put an X-Type heated AB on there to simulate any other afterburner battleship. Now we can simulate it with three conditions: No Stealth System, Module fitted but inactive, and module active. I’ve used a cruise Praxis and arty Machariel as the aggressors here.
As we can see, the damage reduction by dropping your sig is pretty incredible and makes battleships super attractive to use (if you can get around their other issues). It makes me wonder if this is going to be something which gets opened up to more ship classes than purely battleships at some point since it’s effectively like a soft Assault Damage Control. You can work around it with enough paints and webs, but an unprepared long-range fleet will have difficulty breaking ship which make clever use of the
Stealth System Signature Radius Suppressor.
The only problem I have with this is like I said before. The Signature Radius Suppressor came in trampling all over my lovely Target Spectrum Breaker. If I were the one calling the shots, then I would have been looking to bring in the actual Stealth System again with this design over repurposing an old module. Just put them both into the same “category” like the Damage Control and Hull Energizer. Make it a choice between Spectrum Breaker and Sig Suppressor/Stealth System! Both have options for counterplay and both are really fun and unique modules.
That’s about all I have to say about this new update anyway. I’m generally happy, I just want my TSB back 😛
Oh and I’ll just leave this Tweet here: