Jamming proposals

One of the biggest reasons people tend to play Cybran is because of the stealth of both land units and air units which is integrated and only countered by Omni. Meanwhile, every other faction which has jamming never gets any significant usage out of it , due to how easy it is to distinguish jammed/ fake units and that the jamming unit stays spotted when its been spotted ONCE.
To fix this issue , my proposal would be to make jammers switch the spotted unit with any of the fake ones , or to make radar identifications be lost once visuals are gone , along with making the jammer blobs move in random directions, this way , it'll be harder to estimate unit counts and have a effectiveness closer to that of the cybran stealth.
Another change could be to make jammers switch radar ID's around (aka a T3 Air fighter could be switched with a T1 scout) and be kept like this until visuals are obtained or the unit leaves the jamming radius, ideally this should mess with defense targetting priorities .


About jamming:
Once scouted, you can turn it off and on and the signals will appear again. Which is quite useful when playing navy later on with infinite frigs or using t3 airscouts to let your ASF cloud look way bigger than it is.

The fact Cybran has stealth isn't really a big factor for playing it. Sure, it's nice to have it on the ACU, but it gets countered by a simple t1 scout-stream (which is ofc an investment, but counters the entire upgrade). So I disagree on that take. Mobile stealth fields are nice to have, but not that common and same as before, scouts rule.

Also implementing a teleportation-mechanic (if I understood your idea correctly) is just installing another RNG-thingi into the game which is definitely not that liked in some scenarios such as frigates or t3 gunships. Cuz "whoops my unit is suddenly 50m closer to the opponent" (or vise versa, spreading the dps apart) definitely has impact. I'm aware you can turn off jamming, but then you loose the advantage of showing bigger balls on the radar.

Required rating for participation in balance talks when?

@sladow-noob said in Jamming proposals:

Once scouted, you can turn it off and on and the signals will appear again. Which is quite useful when playing navy later on with infinite frigs or using t3 airscouts to let your ASF cloud look way bigger than it is.

This happens automatically, see also:

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Oh nice, didn't notice it's a thing now. That's neat!

Required rating for participation in balance talks when?

@sladow-noob There is no teleportation mechanic , its just switching radar ID's (aka the unit icon , not the unit itself)
Cybrans have a significantly easier time with T3 bombers hitting their first salvo compared to other factions due to stealth, it is also a preety major factor for stealth drops and the ML experimental.
Both jamming and stealth would get countered by a T1 scout stream tbh.

Then I got that idea wrong, my mistake.

I can see stealth on a stratsnipe being an argument, however as you mentioned if you're that late in the game both a t1 scout stream or just general intel via buildings around the map should be the case. So at least for me (when thinking about high rated games) that never was a problem. Only reasons why ppl don't do that I can think of is either that they simply forget it or are too lazy. Can't think of a single counter argument.

I agree with the ML though, kinda forgot about it.

Required rating for participation in balance talks when?

@sladow-noob High rated lategames might get more interesting if jamming would be more usefull in general. I think we'd see radar snipes left and right at high-level play if cybran wasnt the only faction with mobile stealth.
(And if a T3 radar didnt cover the entire map by default)

@spcr Game obviously needs those anti-drone rifles they're using in Ukraine!

@spcr Jamming is alrdy used by e.g. mixing in t3 scouts into your ASF cloud.
Besides that big snipes are not a thing, especially since fullshare is a thing, so it's usage is automatically a bit lower.
Overall Jamming isn't supposed to be on the same level as stealth and even though I'm usually making fun of "fAcTiOn DiVeRsItY" I do think it's in a good spot right now

Required rating for participation in balance talks when?

@sladow-noob Personally , these changes wont put stealth and jamming on the same place , since stealth is still considerably better (dont even have a idea the unit is there). These changes are more so jamming is more relevant to the game and not a useless feature some units have.

If I may give my two cents:

I believe the biggest 'issue' with Jamming is how it interacts within the game, and not how it works or operates on the surface.

What I mean by this - and I was shocked to find out about this (Just ask @Jip) - was that Jamming blips are actually ignored by enemy units UNTIL the main unit, the one with the jammer, moves into weapons or attack range of the opposing target.

Let's make a quick scenario to help demonstrate:
Blue and Red to distinguish opposing armies and sides.

Blue has a T2 PD and a T1 radar.
Red has a Sparky (with Jamming)
Red places the Sparky just outside the max range of the PD, but not inside of its radius.
Blue will see some fake blips move into range of the PD, but nothing will happen - the PD will not auto-engage unless manually ordered to do so.
It is only when Red's Sparky makes it INTO range of the PD, that all blips become 'active' and are shootable.

This is already a big issue, as all units with Jamming need to be in weapons range for their ability to be active, rather than effective.
However, another drawback here, is that all units will focus on known units over unknown ones.

If we go back to our example and give Blue a T1 scout to obtain vision on the Sparky;
Blue now sees the Sparky, and its fake jamming blips, but the PD will prioritize the Sparky over the other, (nearest) jamming blips.

The fake blips remaining inactive until weapons range; correct me if I'm wrong @Jip, but it was a sort of engine optimization, and removing it would be very difficult if I'm not mistaken.
And, the scouted unit being targeted over the fake blips is taken by the engine as target priority and threat level, I believe.

Both of these 'mechanics' will always hold back Jamming's true potential.
And even if it had these benefits going for it, Jamming would still fall short to Stealth.
It's an old game, with an even older engine.
Stealth takes advantage a little better of all of this more than Jamming does.

~ Stryker

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

@sladow-noob said in Jamming proposals:

@spcr Jamming is alrdy used by e.g. mixing in t3 scouts into your ASF cloud.

no one does that bro, spy planes are too expensive for that

@jip This comment amuses me: Removed broken check for if a unit is a hammer

@spcr I think it would be useful in this discussion to talk about how jamming works in real life, as this can be a source of inspiration.

First jammers can be directed or omni-directional. The Air Force EC-130 Compass Call is an example of a directed jammer - like a gun, it directs the jamming at a specific enemy target or location. (Note that the gun does not have a barrel, as the jamming beam is electronically controlled.) An example of an omni-directional jammer is the Army's Thor III, a backpack counter-IED jammer. This backpack is omni-directional because soldiers don't typically know where the IEDs are, as the enemy intentionally hides them.

Jammers can also vary on the type of signal that they jam. A radio communications jammer will jam the targets' communications, allowing the target to transmit information, but not not to receive any. The aforementioned IED jammer prevents the bomb from receiving detonation signals. A targeting system jammer, such as a radar jammer, will attempt to jam the target's targeting system, attempting to prevent the target from firing its weapons. This is more like shining a flashlight or a laser into a soldier's eyes or into a tank's optic system to prevent them from acquiring a target.

Then you have more interesting cases, such as GPS jamming. As everybody knows, the GPS (or GLONASS, or other) is a network of satellites around the Earth that are constantly transmission signals. GPS-receivers can receive these signals in order to identify their current location. GPS-guidance is widely used in various weapons. GPS jamming disables this method of positioning and targeting. (I don't think this would apply to FAF exactly as, technically, most of the planets shouldnt have such a satellite network in place.)

Now onto FAF. FAF's jamming only seems to mimic omni-direction radar jamming, and only sort of in an counter early-warning radar sort of way. As in, the "jamming" produces more return signals than a non-jamming unit would produce, therefore creating a the extra "blips", or the sense that there are more radar targets than exist in fact. This is, certainly, a very primitive and not very effective use of jamming.

FAF could, potentially, implement more effective jamming. Here some ideas:

  • A directed radar jammer weapon - and normally the effective range of the directed jammer is about twice the effective range of the target radar - would target a radar (or sonar) unit and, for as long as the jammer is operating, the target loses all radar (or sonar) capability. A specialized aircraft would have a weapon like this, such as one that's designed only to jam stationary radar towers or aircraft carriers (the units with the greatest radar ranges). And to clarify, the jammed target loses all radar (or sonar) ability until the jamming ceases.
  • An omni-directional radar jammer would do the same thing as a directed jammer weapon, but would impact all radar/sonar units within greatly reduced range (maybe 25% the range). A more common tactical aircraft, such as a spy plane, would have this. (In a more realistic scenario, SAMs would have short vision range but long radar range, and the tactical jamming would be used to protect a formation of planes from the SAM radars.)
  • An omni-directional radar jammer that disables weapons. This would be very useful on something that doesn't have weapons, such as a Sparky. A real-life analogy would be a stun grenade, also known as a flash-bang, which briefly stuns the sight and hearing of persons in a room, rendering them harmless to attack. The existing "stun" mechanic on some weapons mimics this sort of jamming.
  • A directional communications jammer would render a unit unable to receive additional commands. FAF already has a command that's used in missions, something like SetUnselectable, which renders a unit unable to be given commands. A specialized unit would have this, and it would probably be mainly for high priority targets, such as a strategic bomber or an experimental unit. The unit wouldn't be blind, because it could still see/shoot and act on its own, but it can no longer receive additional commands until the jamming is lifted. (In this sort of jamming, the obvious counterplay would be queuing up numerous orders in sequence for the unit to follow even after jamming starts and the targeted unit can no longer be given additional commands. In an advanced, real-life scenario, you would have standing orders of what to do in the case of enemy communications jamming. An aircraft might default to returning to base. A ground unit might be left to its own discretion based on current battlefield conditions. FAF doesnt seem to have standing orders (although "target priority" is definitely analogous) but a UI mod could potentially add them.)
  • An omni-directional communications jammer would render all units within some radius unable to receive commands. If there was no distinction between friend and foe (and in real life, there isn't), then this would be used intentionally, meaning that a unit would automatically turn off the jammer after some duration, maybe 60 seconds, so that it could receive additional commands. A tactical unit, such as a UEF Frigate, could use this type of jamming. (The obvious tactic would be as such: If the enemy has a group of 5 ships, and you have 10 ships, you issue an order to advance to enemy position, then turn on the communications jammer. This renders the enemy unable to retreat their ships, thus taking a loss.) A siege weapon could also use this, such as a specialized TML that creates a jammer unit where it hits that renders all nearby units unselectable.

*Note about communications jamming: The Commander is within the ACU itself, so the ACU would not be vulnerable to this type of jamming.

**Disclaimer: I am aware that I have not mentioned jamming countermeasures or jam-resistant technologies here, but they do exist. Like anything else, however, the measure and the countermeasure are always in a cat-and-mouse game.

@funkoff These are good points, and you understand the game way better than I do!

I can't see FaF really changing jamming to reflect different types of real-world jamming though, it seems like a 'big ask'.

My comment above, about anti-drone lasers, wasn't complete comedy... I was thinking about the UEF 'cooper', and how naval warfare might work if the cooper had a 35-damage, 50-range anti-air beam weapon with a huge 30 second reload (to keep it's DPS down). Namely, how that might tie in to UEF's T2 naval problems (bad destroyer) by allowing their frigate's jamming be less heavily countered by air scouts.
(While still having the cooper 'feel' like a support craft).

Still, it's just a thought as to how jamming could get more interesting without major changes to the game's inner workings.

jamming doesn’t need some giant rework it’s already great when implemented properly (thunderhead) and not utilized as clown gimmick feature (sparky/broadsword)

give uef cheaper spy planes/maybe scouts for jamming by enabling mixing them in your air blob to be viable, it also makes uef scout differently as you could give them lower speed and have uef rely on brute forcing half a dozen scouts to get through

can’t give asf and ints jamming for performance reasons so you need to roundabout it

land needs lobo given jamming or something

@ftxcommando Jamming on navy is made useless once a scout plane goes over tho , since marked units will be prio-targeted. It is however way more effective due to how navy ranges dont usually match the vision radius.
If land needs jamming , i think it'd be interesting if all stationary T3 mobile arties received it as a way to compensate for their lack of mobility against T2 stationary arty.
Could also be applied to heavy T3 land (Percies and Bricks) as a way to make Sniper-bots less of a hard counter.

If you think it’s useless then you just gauge your production on vibes rather than actually looking at what the enemy has.

demolishers having jamming is a joke, probably the worst unit you could give it to at t3 stage in UEF land roster

This post is deleted!

Jamming on air units is far more difficult to manage now.
It's only useful for bluffing rather than actual combat effectiveness.

ASF vision has always been larger than their weapons range.
Not to mention, that the last balance patch increased most unit's vision.
That vision change affected ASF, and that change also affected Stealth and Jamming directly.
The change made both of these intel abilities less effective, though Jamming more so because of how it interacts with vision and radar vs Stealth.
(For lack of a better word, what I mean by this is that stealth just works better in-game.
It's just how it interacts with the units and target priorities and so on.)

The fake blips disappear before the units get into weapon range.
A little sooner now with the vision increase, which means Jamming will almost never absorb a weapon's attack.
Technically, this does also affect Stealth, but with Stealth, you can still sneak up on a target, unlike Jamming.
This happens because of what I mentioned previously in how Jamming operates in FAF. ^

This does not occur with land and sea units as their weapon range is far greater than their vision hence this makes Jamming far more difficult to use on air units.

~ Stryker

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)