Tracking disruptors are the primary Electronic Warfare system of the Pilgrim, and if you have already flown the Electronic Attack ship the Sentinel, or the Tech 1 Arbitrator you will already be familiar with these modules.
To understand the role the tracking disruptor plays in how the Pilgrim fights we need to understand the concept of tracking itself. An easy analogy to understand is to imagine the massive guns of a naval battleship trying to hit a small, fast speed boat. If the speed boat is heading directly towards the battleships guns ‘tracking’ is not an issue – sure the target is small but it has no lateral movement and the battleships guns have an easier time of it. Now imagine the same scenario, but in this case the speed boat is circling the battleship. The battleships guns will now have hard time traversing around fast enough to keep up with the speed boat.
Although a rather simplistic picture, that in essence, is how tracking works. For a much more detailed analysis there’s a rather useful tracking guide over on Chribba’s EVE Files here.
Clearly TD’s have no effect on non-turret based systems, so unlike the sensor dampener which can nullify a targets overall locking range, or ECM which can nullify a targets lock entirely the TD is somewhat of a niche weapon. However because it is so specialised fewer pilots will fit specifically to counter its effects (opposed to the dampener which falls victim to sensor boosters, or the popular ECM which has it own issues against ECCM modules). Unlike the Caldari and Gallente Recons which rely heavily on their Electronic Warfare modules to prevent damage the Pilgrim can also fit a relatively strong armour tank irrespective of its EW systems.
TD’s are scripted EW systems, with one script which reduces the turrets optimal and fall off range. Generically this is less useful for the Pilgrim which traditionally needs to get within neut/nos range (circa 12km) in order to apply those systems to disable its prey. However vs short ranged turrets, like blasters a highly skilled Pilgrim pilot can reduce the optimal and fall off by around 60% per TD with this script.
More useful are the ‘tracking speed disruption’ scripts which, provided the Pilgrim can maintain a reasonably high transversal, seriously impair or even completely nullify a turrets damage at close range (again around a 60% penalty depending on skill and module type). It’s probably worth noting that with good skills even without a script loaded the Pilgrim can achieve around a 30% reduction per TD to both range and tracking attributes; useful if you’re in a very fluid battle or against multiple targets.
The primary skills you will wish to train up for the use of TDs are:
Frequency modulation: 10% bonus to TD fall off
Long Distance Jamming: 10% bonus to TD optimal
Turret destabilization: 5% bonus to Tracking Disruptor modules’ tracking speed, optimal range and falloff disruption per skill level.
Weapon Disruption: 5% less capacitor need for weapon disruptors per skill level.
Well that’s all well and good, but tracking disruption is nothing without achieving a high transversal and that means speed, but speed generally means sacrificing armour which in turn makes the Pilgrim more vulnerable to non turret based weapons. . .
Next time I’ll look at the fine balance between speed and armour. Until then, cloak up!