Do distortion probes work?

Do distortion probes work? I was talking to some players and I am getting the feeling they are not useful or just plain do not work.

Hello,

I suggest waiting for next patch as most of the systems are being reworked =)

Yeah, thanks, but unfortunately for me, that doesn’t really answer my question.

I guess no one uses them at all for some reason.

Mystery 


They work

I’ve had a chance to test them with a friend.

they also have larger sensor ranges than regular probes do, so what you’re getting is a better probe that can hide its self.

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I tried using Distortion Probes myself, but whether it’s because I was just playing the CPU or because of a bug, they always seemed to know they were there and got destroyed pretty quickly. Didn’t see much use beyond that.

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I think scouts and other probes have no trouble cutting through the distortion. other ships will see them if they get really close. I only really use them for the extended sensor range

My understanding is the sensors distortion probe set the ‘visible in secondary sensors’ flag to false for all ships in its area of effect, but for most ships, primary and secondary sensors are almost the same size, so there’s little practical benefit. Scouts and the distortion probe are the only units that have ‘visible in secondary sensors’ false by default.

My understanding could be way off, so if you know more, please share.

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The effect I would expect from a Distortion Probe, would be something like deviating a formation of their course. Primarily, the bigger ships. LIke a 90Âș slow turn. When the formation reaches the end of the effect, then it would be able to destroy the probe.
That’s one option.

any documentation on the detection strength attribute? I always felt that sensor distortion and cloaking had to be equal or higher than the detectionstrength of the ship

for example the cloaking generator for taiidan (bold denotes ‘cloaking strength’)

addAbility(NewShipType,“CloakAbility”,1,2,1000,3000,3,50,1,1500);
AddShipMultiplier(NewShipType, “CloakingStrength”, “OwnShipsWithinRadiusExcludingThisShip”, “Linear”, 1, 1, 1000)

sensor ping also impacts detection strength vs cloaking but seems to apply to cloaking only
 which is redundant with the ability multiplier 'cloakingdetection’
addAbility(, “SensorPing”, , , , )

but sensordistortion in the ecm probe doesn’t affect enemies, but the owners ships sensor ranges ?AddShipMultiplier(NewShipType,“SensorDistortion”,“OwnShipsWithinRadius”,“Linear”,0.6,0.6,6000);

karos says this about the multiplier

SensorDistortion There are three values. The first two are the min and max of sensor distortion multiplier - Enemy ship sensors strengths are multiplied by this number. The third value is the radius.

I’ve always had some difficulty understanding exactly how the below parameters interact on the ship in terms of when they attack and how far away they start attacking, I know in some cases the ship will not retrun fire if another ship outranges it and it is not on sensors so it looks like primary/secondary sensors interact with the return fire logic. Visual range as stated seems like a minimum threshold that the ship will always initiate or return fire.

NewShipType.retaliationRange=4000
NewShipType.retaliationDistanceFromGoal=800
NewShipType.visualRange=5000
NewShipType.prmSensorRange=16000
NewShipType.secSensorRange=16000
NewShipType.detectionStrength=1

karos has this about the primary and secondary sensors

PrimarySensorsRange This value is the radius of detection around a ship, represented by the blue spherical area in the Sensor Manager. You can completely observe enemy activity within this range.
SecondarySensorsRange This value determines the radius of detection beyond the primary sensor range, and is not represented in the Sensor Manager. Smaller ships do not appear in secondary sensors.

I agree on the sensor distortion providing misdirection, It should be able to ‘simulate a target’ and waste the enemies time and range advantages.

I think there are a few different implementations that can be done for a ECM type ship

  1. Jammer: use addshipmultiplier to reduce enemy primary and secondary sensor ranges and detection strengths
    addability to reduce detection strength
    may also use addshipmultiplier to reduce enemy accuracy, though this has the counter intuitive issue of making close visual shots poor accuracy but long range would not be impacted.

  2. sensor fusion coordination: use addshipmultiplier to increase friendly visual and sensor ranges and CloakDetection and decrease CloakingStrength, probably can throw in accuracy boost as well

  3. probe/radar: long sensor ranges and visual ranges, including high sensor detection strength with addability to provide a cloak detection on command, “pilotless” sensor could not have visual range

This is effectively equivalent to

as the minimum and maximum multipliers are the same resulting in the effect not being scaled with the ship’s health.

It does effect enemies if the correct sTarget is used:

AddShipAbility

  • OwnShipsWithinRadius grants the ability to all friendly ships within radius; This means that all ships within radius of the ability-granting ship will now cause enemy ships within radius of themselves to be effected by the sensor distortion.

  • OwnShipsWithinRadiusExcludingThisShip will do the same thing except the ability-granting ship itself will not cause enemy ships to experience sensor distortion; Only surrounding friendly ships will.

  • ThisShipOnly is the logical opposite of OwnShipsWithinRadiusExcludingThisShip; The ability-granting ship will be the only one within the ability radius capable of causing enemy ships to experience sensor distortion.

  • EnemyShipsWithinRadius is the factional opposite of the previous three; It will cause the ship to grant the ability to enemy ships within radius and then your ships will experience sensor distortion when scanning for the enemy.

AddShipMultiplier

  • OwnShipsWithinRadius will cause the broadcasting ship to multiply the effect of all friendly ships within radius by the amount and scale set within AddShipMultiplier; This will cause the sensor distortion strength of ships who have the ability granted by AddShipAbility to be modified by the min/max and scale values of the broadcasting ship. With a multiplier set to (“Linear”, 0, 1) this will cause all friendly ships in radius including the broadcasting ship itself to have their sensor distortion strength effected by the health of the broadcasting ship.

  • OwnShipsWithinRadiusExcludingThisShip works likewise except the multiplier will only effect friendly ships. With a multiplier set to (“Linear”, 0, 1) this will cause friendly ships in radius but not the broadcasting ship itself to have their sensor distortion strength effected by the health of the broadcasting ship.

  • ThisShipOnly is the logical opposite of OwnShipsWithinRadiusExcludingThisShip; Only the broadcasting ship will receive the effect of the multiplier. With a multiplier set to (“Linear”, 0, 1) this will cause only the broadcasting ship itself to have their sensor distortion strength effected by the health of the broadcasting ship.

  • EnemyShipsWithinRadius is the factional opposite of the previous three; It will cause enemy ships within radius to be effected by the multiplier. With a multiplier set to (“Linear”, 0, 1) this will cause enemy ships to have their sensor distortion strength effected by the health of the broadcasting ship.

The distance that an enemy ship in regards to this ship must be within in order for this ship to automatically engage the enemy ship in combat

The distance that an enemy ship in regards to this ship’s current goal target must be within in order for this ship to automatically engage the enemy ship in combat

The minimum distance that this ship can see at all times regardless of EMP state or other sensor jamming excluding the VisualRange modifier; This value is not visually represented in the sensor manager.

The distance that this ship can see using primary sensors; This value is visually represented in the sensor manager by a blue sphere.

The distance that this ship can see using secondary sensors; This value is not visually represented in the sensor manager. Ships can be hidden from secondary sensors by setting visibleInSecondary to 0 within their definitions.

The strength of a ship’s cloaking detection. This must be equal to or higher than an opposing ship’s cloaking strength in order for the opposing ship to show up on this ship’s sensors when the opposing ship is cloaked.

Sensor distortion can’t simulate targets; It can only modify a ship’s effective sensor ranges.

AddShipMultiplier is what you want to be using here; AddAbility has no parameters that can change a ship’s detection strength.

I’ll just tell you the way they are supposed to work according to the original HW2 use. There are 2 things they do, the first, already mentioned, is they give you a much bigger view range than a probe. The second thing is they hide ships in the sensor manager. The smaller white sphere is the “cloak” range, any scouting type ship outside that sphere can not see any ships in the sphere including the probe. Once a ship enters the white sphere their sensor range settings determine the ships visible in the white sphere. They are especially good for covering the hyper gates while you build up in them.

One thing I don’t remember is if they are supposed to be invisible to the sensor ping.

They are also good for hiding your home base set up before they are deployed, so those scouts can only see larger size ships.

Now that we are talking about this probe, I don’t remember to have seen the AI building it ever. Not in the classics and not now either.

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The AI does not build anything that is considered “unique” to them in HW2, just the standard ships all races have. Don’t think the AI even did that in HW1 either.

I’ve tested sensors far and wide
this is what comes out from that testing:


VisualRange doesn’t show cloaked ships with CloakStrenght higher than its DetectionStrenght.

PrimarySensorsRange doesn’t show cloaked ships.

SecondarySensorsRange doesn’t show cloaked ships and ships with VisibleInSecondary set to 0.

VisualRange and PrimarySensorsRange create the blue sphere in the Sensor Manager.
Note: it’s not true that VisualRange doesn’t show anything in the Sensor Manager, it does.

In the Sensor Manager, ships are represented according to what SMRepresentation says (“Mesh”: the ship as it is; “HardDot”: the ship as a dot; “Invisible”: the ship isn’t represented, but the Tactical Overlay is); whatever SMRepresentation, the ship’s name and affiliation is shown by bringing the cursor on the ship.

SecondarySensorsRange misses some details: out of the Sensor Manager, ships are shown but damages and engine glows are not shown
the strange thing is that engine trails and burns are shown instead, like missiles, beams and projectiles.
Note: SecondarySensorsRange shows ships in the Sensor Manager.
Note: it’s not true that a ship can’t attack using SecondarySensorsRange.

SensorDistortion tells how much your ship’s is visible to enemy Primary and SecondarySensorsRange: the enemy sensors range is reduced when applied to your ship by the multiplier set (lower the value, shorter the range; 0 make a ship visible to visual range only; 1 and higher values don’t seem to work).
Note: it doesn’t work on capital ships (even if affected, capital ships are visible as if SensorDistortion isn’t there); the reason is unknown
Gearbox, any clarification please?

SensorPing ability reveals ships under SensorDistortion and, if its DetectionStrenght is higher than the enemy CloakStrenght, cloaked ships.
Note: SensorPing seems to be VisualRange, that can be extended to SecondarySensorsRange radius (false value) or infinity (true value) for the set time by activating the ability.

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