The latest patch dropped, overnight I think. Amongst the return of 8man drops, a new hero mech and the release of some more cockpit decorations (for Christmas) was the activation of Electronic Counter Measures devices in selected mechs.
It has the following effects on enemy mechs when you are within the 180m effective range:
- You will not know where your teammates are, and they won’t know where you are, unless you have direct line of sight to each other.
- You cannot share any targeting data with the rest of your team, and vice versa.
- Your Beagle Active Probe ceases to function.
- You cannot achieve any missile locks.
- Your TAG laser can still fire but provides no bonuses.
- Your battlegrid and targeting information will flicker.
Now as an LRM mech I shouldn’t be this close…. except this can be where the scouts who provide me with targeting information are. Outside of 200m, the mech with the ECM is hidden from the enemy observers radar systems (though they will still be able to see the mech, they aren’t invisible – I guess thermal will also work)
- Enemy Mechs will have to come within 1/4 the normal distance (200 m instead of 800 m, by default) for hidden Mechs to show up on their battlegrid and HUD.
- The Beagle Active Probe is of no use in extending this range.
- It takes twice as long to achieve a missile lock against a hidden Mech.
- Narc beacons will stick to hidden Mechs, but they won’t provide their normal bonuses until the Mech leaves the ECM’s range.
- Artemis IV does not provide any bonuses against hidden Mechs.
Now this has a direct effect on my ability to fire at the mechs. The scouts have to be really close (but not too close, as above) and it takes me twice as long to lock up the enemy.
So what counters have we got….
ECM carrying mechs can counter another ECM mech by switching modes, that’s counter one.
TAG visually, and I can still prosecute the target. Effective range of TAG is 450m, and as long as the TAG mech is outside of the 180m, they can target the mech visually, fire TAG and this reveals the mech. Of course you will have to keep the mech TAGged. Sometimes this can be very hard.
But I think the big one will be ECM mechs being primaried in any organised action. Similar to EVE where Electronic Warfare ships are often primaried by Fleet Controllers.
I won’t get a chance to try this out until Friday I expect. The forums are already starting to buzz on this subject too. Its a new weapon and we have to refine our tactics. LRMs are still a valid weapon, but once again…. teamwork.