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Tracking Disruption (TD) for Anti-ganking

v1.2 by Astecus published 06.06.2014 and last updated 22.12.2015

Pros and cons:

  • Potensially guaranteed effect if done right (no miss and very hard to counter).
  • Effective against all gunships, larger ships may only require additional TD modules.
  • Countering with tracking computers/enhancers is next to useless compared to ECCM against ECM.
  • Different people disrupting the same ganker will stack for increased effectiveness.
  • More effective when the target is moving, great when freighters are being bumped.
  • Disrupting a suspect/outlaw will not prevent him from turning criminal, like ECM can.
  • Gankers may not realize the magnitude of disruption before hovering over their guns.
  • Great range overall, while the crucifier can get up to 145 km optimal.
  • Training Amarr Cruiser also helps the Augoror, the best armor logi for AG.
  • Can protect itself as well as others.
  • Needs high strength - depends on maxed skills, maxed fleet boost, overloading and bonused ship.
  • Sometimes it can be hard to know for sure how much of a difference you made.
  • Can be hectic spam-locking multiple gankers as soon as they land and spread modules between them.
  • Useless against missiles (which is very rarely used for ganking)

A maxed and overloaded TD pilot with maxed fleet boost can reach a range disruption of 95% on each TD module - two such modules pointed on a gank catalyst will leave it with around 22 meter optimal, making it next to impossible to hit anything besides hugged structures. If the gank target is moving or is further away than 300m, one such TD module should be enough.

(The tooltip to the right only shows falloff, but optimal is reduced also)

Insane scaling

Tracking disruption basically has an insane scaling to it - the disruption percentage will increase linearly, while the effect it has on the target goes through the roof at higher percentages. As you will see in a table further down, a maxed TD pilot basically becomes 4 (four!) times stronger when receiving maxed fleet boost. In essence, TD is mostly useless for AG at lower strengths, but becomes incredibly effective at the highest strength.

Disrupt range or tracking speed?

This is easy to answer - if the target is stationary, disrupting tracking speed will be useless, while disrupting range can still be effective. If the target is moving, disrupting tracking speed can be effective, but disrupting range becomes even more effective. The answer is to always use range disruption scripts.

A peculiar thing about range

It is possible to disrupt a ganker's range way below how close they can reliably get to a ship. Due to EVE physics, they will have problems getting/staying closer than:

  • 100-150 meters when approaching a stationary ship.
  • 350-400 meters when approaching an actively moving ship.

While there are some rare cases where they can get closer, this usually involves the target approaching them as well, or something to that effect. With ships bumping into each other, they will usually be bumped away again quickly.

Stationary structures are however easy to stay within zero meters from, as they don't get bumped away, so using TD to stop such ganks can be unreliable.

Some gankers might not be prepared to have most of their range removed, so sometimes they might forget to approach and remain at 2000m from their target while your poor TD strength has lowered their range to 500m or so, completely stopping their damage. You can be lucky like this, but with high enough strength, you don't have to rely on luck at all.

Futile to fit against

A regular gank talos engaged with 2x 95% TD is reduced to 58m optimal. If that talos fits 5x Tracking Enhancer II, 4x Tracking Computer II with range script and uses T2 null ammo for range, it is reduced to around 150m optimal instead, barely enough to make a difference, and sacrifising lots of dps in the process.

Table: Disruption strength percentages

This table shows the disruption strength you get in different situations (always overloaded and maxed TD rigs). Level 4 fleet boost means every related fleet skill at level 4, from for instance a Vulture fitted with Electronic Superiority I.

TD pilot No fleet boost Level 4 fleet boost Maxed fleet boost
Unbonused ship, skills at level 5 56.86% 63.27% 69.12%
Bonused ship, skills at level 4 70.96% 78.97% 86.26%
Bonused ship, skills at level 5 78.18% 87.00% 95.03%

Table: Remaining range as percentage

The same table inverted, showing the range that the target would be left with after being engaged by one such TD module. This shows that a maxed TD pilot is over 4 times stronger when he enters a fleet with maxed boost.

TD pilot No fleet boost Level 4 fleet boost Maxed fleet boost
Unbonused ship, skills at level 5 43.14% 36.73% 30.88%
Bonused ship, skills at level 4 29.04% 21.03% 13.74%
Bonused ship, skills at level 5 21.82% 13.00% 4.97%

Table: Remaining range in meters

This table shows remaining range in meters, after being engaged by 1-3 TDs with various strengths. The catalyst and talos has standard gank fit and maxed skills. A brutix should land somewhere in between. Stacking penalties give 86.9% and 57.1% effectiveness for the second and third TD. Remember that a ganker will have trouble getting closer than 100-150m, 350-400m if the target is moving.

Disruption strength Optimal / falloff, T2 Catalyst Optimal / falloff, T2 Talos
0% 2531m / 2343m 6750m / 6250m
71% 735m / 680m 1960m / 1815m
71% x2 282m / 261m 751m / 696m
71% x3 168m / 155m 447m / 414m
78% 552m / 511m 1473m / 1364m
78% x2 177m / 164m 472m / 437m
78% x3 98m / 90m 260m / 241m
86% 348m / 322m 927m / 859m
86% x2 87m / 81m 232m / 215m
86% x3 44m / 41m 118m / 109m
95% 126m / 116m 335m / 311m
95% x2 22m / 20m 58m / 54m
95% x3 10m / 9m 27m / 25m

Green numbers are cases where you can expect a major effect with little chance for the ganker to counter it.

Guns can do 100% damage out to optimal range, roughly 50% damage at optimal+falloff and approaching 0% damage beyond optimal+falloff+falloff.

The table shows some interesting things:

  • 95% x1 or 71% x3 might not affect an approaching catalyst that much.
  • 95% x2 will stop any catalyst/talos in most cases.
  • 95% x3 will make a talos unable to do any damage beyond ~80 meters.
  • You need fleet boost to be able to disrupt much below 100m.
  • Gank targets that are moving can make a huge difference.

Skills

If you are remotely interested in trying out TD for anti-ganking, I strongly recommend maxing these skills:

  • Weapon Destabilization level 5
  • Amarr Frigate level 5
  • Amarr Cruiser level 5

If you want to work towards maxed fleet boost, this is what you need:

  • Information Warfare Specialist level 5
  • Warfare Link Specialist level 5
  • Command Ships level 5
  • Amarr Battlecruiser / Caldari Battlecruiser level 5
  • Information Warfare Mindlink / Imperial Navy Warfare Mindlink / Caldari Navy Warfare Mindlink

Choosing the ship

There are 5 ships which all have the same bonus to TD strength: Crucifier, Sentinel, Arbitrator, Pilgrim, Curse. The Crucifier stands out with very low price, good warp speed, good lock speed and the same number of midslots as the Sentinel and Arbitrator. It also has a nice bonus to TD range which none of the others have. The Pilgrim stands out with the ability to warp cloaked. The Curse has one more midslot than the pilgrim, which you could use for MWD or a 5th TD. These 3 ships should fill any AG role better than the Sentinel or Arbitrator, so I recommend skipping these two.

Choosing the rigs

To get the highest strength possible, you would always fit 2x T1 Tracking Diagnostic Subroutines, even though it might seem a bit weird leaving a rig slot empty.

Choosing targets

I generally recommend using 2 TD modules on each ganker, even if they fly catalysts. This is after I tried with 1 module on several catalysts and not being impressed by the damage reduction visible on their target's loss report. Now, this is a little overkill on catalysts while being just right for a talos, so this means that you should always focus on the biggest guns first, to stop the most DPS.

If you know the gank target to be moving a fair bit, perhaps from well-timed friendly bumps, there are some situations where one 95% module is plenty, even on a talos. Learning to recognize these situations should come with experience.

A Crucifier Fit

Has the best locktime even without a sensor booster, and has decent speed and range to even keep up with some bumping, at least much better than the Pilgrim. 3-5k EHP is enough to survive a few hits from thrashers. Highslots are optional - salvager or drone link might be an idea.

A Pilgrim Fit

Cloaking can provide uncertainty in gankers, but remember to decloak as soon as gankers show up on overview, to be ready to lock when they land.

The 3 neuts can insta-drain one catalyst, so if they try to gank you and you always stay moving, you can silence 5 gankers singlehandedly and still have around 46k EHP to tank the rest.

You really need at least one sensor booster, otherwise it takes around 5 seconds to lock a catalyst instead of 3.

A Curse Fit

The Curse's main advantage over the Pilgrim is one more midslot, which is great for a MWD, making it easy to keep up with bumpers. You could fit a 5th TD instead, but you really need at least one sensor booster, otherwise it takes around 5 seconds to lock a catalyst instead of 3.

The 3 neuts can insta-drain one catalyst, and the MWD might make it safe enough to orbit within neut optimal.

RIP 'Investor'

The storyline module 'Investor' Tracking Disruptor I once allowed a maxed TD strength of 98%, or 2.5 times stronger than 95%, but was nerfed during the 08 Dec 2015 patch. It is hard to argue that it wasn't overpowered, but it would have been nice if the change had been mentioned in the patch notes at least.

In closing

It may take some testing to get the feel of TD, I did a lot of testing on SiSi and learned a lot from that. TD may be the best counter against larger gank ships, but if you don't have good fleet boost, your effectiveness will be unreliable. In that regard, it can be like an end goal for the dedicated anti-ganker, shining in organized fleets.