Blog Banter #64: Take the Flak

Blog Banters changes hands, and we get an opportunity to look at upcoming changes to missile boats, and theorize how we can best counter the terrible threat of missiles.

With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new ‘missile defence eWar’ to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb ‘firewalls’ enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!

Boy, would I love to see anti-missile e-war to become a specialization in EVE. My vision for this was captured very well ten years ago: Battlestar Galactica. Remember those insanely cool flak screens, encircling the Galactica making it tougher for incoming missiles to reach it? Oh yes, I want flak screens in EVE.

Smart bombs had their day. They’re great for impromptu discos, and probably easier to implement in server code as a timed proc, but from a strategic sense it doesn’t have a lot of finesse. You activate the module, and things within a specific range take damage or destroyed every time it reactivates.

Defender missiles never really have been realistically usable, and after years of them being in the game have rarely garnered any real intention.

Why not a new specialization? A new type of ship, that takes special advantage of a new type of module that creates flak screens. This module can be scripted to either create an arc of flak in the direction of a targeted enemy, or to create a screen of flak around yourself or a targeted ally.

The flak ship (why not another destroyer?) would have a new skill book associated with it, with higher levels of said skill improving the effectiveness of the flak screen. The flak itself is a persistent cloud of pretty explosions that are designed to do basically what smartbombs do now, but persistently (not only once per activation), and with a certain degree of randomness. Ships and missiles CAN penetrate the screens, but have a significant chance of getting destroyed or veer off and miss the target.

The neat thing about this would be that ships, drones, etc. can penetrate the flak (likely taking damage) and actively engage the target protected by the screens without additional damage. Skilled pilots can navigate around flak arcs, or fly screaming straight on through to attack with reckless abandon. Missiles however are much more likely to be completely negated.

This would be great for fights at standoff ranges, but what about up close and personal, in-your-face fleet furballs? Why not point defense lasers. If activated, the module will actively target and shoot down incoming enemy missiles. Again, these could be scripted to be set up to save yourself, or defend another target.

The idea here is to provide some interesting specialization to defend yourself or your allies, similar to other types of e-war. One cool side effect: the craziest disco ever.

Read more entries for Blog Banter #64 by clicking here.


Michael Lastucka

Also known as Winterblink in-game. Warp Drive Active's overlord.