It would seem I’m not the only one intrigued at the thought of being able to jam gates. I was rather overwhelmed to get some very encouraging replies to my last post (BB30) and within those replies some excellent points that I thought made the idea worthy of a little more nutting out. So thank you to those who weighed in to the debate, this is what the banter is all about.
Seismic Stan would be relieved to hear that this is definitely not about getting a statue made.
EveHermit focused on a point that everyone brought up – gatecamps. I really don’t think gatecampers need any help with their shenanigans, so I tend to agree with him. They’re probably crap at carving statues anyway …
How to address this issue? Mr. Hermit had a suggestion that you could make it so “that it only works if the gate hasn’t been activated for at least, say, 90 sesconds, maybe even a bit longer. That allows someone to still use the mechanism to jump into a camp, wait out their timer, and then crash back through the gate.”
Now, we could make this fit logically by saying that the gate has to be “cooled down” after a jump before the gatejammer ship can get a lock on the gate. That cool down time would be around the suggested 90 second mark, giving the victim enough time to get out of Dodge – if he doesn’t melt first.
I agree too that the jam should only affect outbound traffic, something that is easily rationalised by saying that the gatejammer actually prevents any ships jump capability interfacing with the gate the jamming ship is at, not the one at the other end of the wormhole. Therefore it blocks exit only, not entry.
Orakkus, on the other hand, puts forth an interesting counter to that – “though maybe instead of preventing people from leaving, you could prevent people from entering for say 5 to 10 minutes at a huge fuel/cap/whatever cost. That would require a bit more strategy to both sides of a conflict.”
The perception of blocking entry or exit to an area all hinges on the location of the gatejammer, doesn’t it? If you want to prevent entry to an area, you would need to deploy the jammer “outside” the area you want to shut off. This would present all sorts of tactical ramifications for both the gatejammer and the opposition. That was in the back of my mind when I suggested the jammer would have to be a capital class vessel with a capital sized tank. With the onset of The Crucible however, the jammer would still need a sub cap support fleet in most situations.
Personally, I don’t think the idea of shutting off an area in null is all negative. Whilst it’s open to abuse, the same as supercaps obviously are; there are all sorts of difficulties and ramifications with regard to locking yourself in down in null. For instance, closing off gates to an area using gatejammers would require costly support fleets, time and fuel. Pretty much the same amount that is required to lock down an area the old fashioned way. The real benefit to using one of these things is the possibility of interruption to an operation, completely ruining the flow of the oppositions plans. Moving the goalposts for the opposing FC. Changing things up for null sec operations to motivate pilots to create a new set of innovations to overcome with.
Hence if a fleet is trying to access an area, they may well find they have to fight a sizable battle just to get in to where they want to go, they could then also find themselves having to fight their way back out, if the opposition has decided to shut the gate behind them.
One of the nefarious tactics that could be employed: Careful timing could be used to rescue fleet members who need to crash a gate with a jammer sitting on it. This could be achieved by fleet members who jump through a gate from the opposite side to invoke the ninety second rule and burn back and jump out right beside the fleet member/s who just arrived from the other side of the system.
All this sets off a veritable chain reaction of tactical possibilities, as fleet actions could be hindered or helped or even made necessary by the deployment of gatejammers at critical locations prior to a big fleet fight.
The gatejammer pilots themselves would find it a challenging role, as mere seconds could make the difference between locking in a hostile gang or stopping your fleetmates from jumping through after them.
Kinix raised a good point too – “I’d recommend it changing from being a gate jammer to a person jammer – that way it would be something feasible for lowsec which I think is the one thing not being improved in this new expansion.”
How’s this Kinix? Due to extra security measures and stronger encoding on gates in low sec, gatejammers don’t have the capability to jam the gates themselves. As the gates themselves are too strong to be jammed, a more focussed, lower strength ( and therefore lower cost) jamming module is available which can be used to attack a ships jump interface itself. This can be mounted to a smaller secondary gatejammer with similar bonuses to its big brother, but more maneuverable and still with a hefty tank. However, the cool down rule still applies to a ships interface, just as it does to a gates interface, so the ninety second (or so) rule still applies to ships that have just jumped in.
This means your average small gang low sec PVP’er will still need to bring enough face melting DPS to a gate camp to prevent a burn back to gate, but will be able to utilise a gatejammer to cut off escape of an individual target that is on the run.
And Stan? Hopefully this rids us of the grim spectre of a statue, hmmmm?
It’s all in the mind, you know.