The Blackout is a man-portable, short-range EMP generator. The primary function of this device is two-fold, namely to disable currently active devices as well as draining device energy preventing their use preemptively.
Operating the Blackout requires the Support to build a steadily increasing charge increasing effective radius. As the operator starts the charge phase, a warning light on the back will begin to flash and high-pitched whine can be heard by allies and enemies alike. Once the system has reached maximum charge, the system will begin overcharging, sounding a warning tone audible only to the operator whilst the charge bar slowly fills red. As the system charges, the operator will see an expanding red ring indicating what the blast radius would be should the operator activate the EMP at the time. Failure to activate the system and deploy the EMP blast manually will cause the system to deploy automatically once the overcharge bar is fully filled.
When the EMP is activated, all enemies caught in the blast will have their electronics overloaded, scrambling their vision for a short period of time. The targets are not stunned and may still move during this time although they cannot return fire. The blast is fully spherical and goes through walls and cover. The operator does not need line-of-sight on their target and can strike enemies above and below provided they are within the radius of effect.
Operators can choose to unleash the EMP before the system is fully charged, but will have a proportionally reduced blast radius and effectiveness. If the operator is killed during the initial charging phase, the system goes into partial cooldown. The operator can still set off the EMP despite being knocked down or suppressed.
Note: Previously over-charging Blackout and failing to release the EMP charge before the overcharge bar filled produced a backlash that dealt damage and scrambled the operator's electronics instead. This feature has since been removed in favor of the auto-deploying feature.
The Blackout Mk. I has a charge time of 3 seconds, and at full charge will produce a blast 13 meters in radius and will disrupt targets for 2.5 seconds and disable their electronics for 2 seconds. The basic cooldown period is 138 seconds. Operators can upgrade the system to gain access to upgrade nodes. These nodes can be slotted with specific upgrades which can improve various parameters of the system.
|Blackout Mk. I||0||50 RP / 10 GC|
|Blackout Mk. II||1||2950 RP / 499 GC|
|Blackout Mk. III||2||16000 RP / 1699 GC|
|Upgrade||Cooldown||Blackout Duration||Radius||Stun Duration||Activation Time||Cost|
|Base||138 sec||3 sec||13 m||3.5 m||3 sec|
|Field Enlarger Mk. I||-||-||14.9 m||-||2.5 sec||6000 RP / 300 GC|
|Jammer Kit Mk. I||-||3.6 sec||-||4.1 sec||-||6000 RP / 300 GC|
|Thermal Pipes Mk. I||180 sec||-||-||-||-||6000 RP / 300 GC|
One of Blackout's greatest strengths is that the blast penetrates cover, allowing for skilled operators to approach a targeted blast site in a manner that minimizes exposure to enemy gunfire. Despite the reduced blast size and stun effectiveness, a low-powered blast is useful for minimizing the amount of warning the enemy has before the EMP goes off.
Due to the nature of the Blackout, countering its use is difficult and is limited to two methods:
- Kill the operator before they can activate the EMP (best whilst charging the device and trying to close distance)
- Disable the Blackout device with an allied Blackout
Due to the blast's cover-penetrating nature it is possible to affect targets who are otherwise unable to counter the Blackout, even while it is charging. Should countering the Blackout be deemed impossible, the best tactic is to simply attempt to evacuate the likely blast site.