These forums have been archived and are now read-only.

The new forums are live and can be found at https://forums.eveonline.com/

Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
  • Topic is locked indefinitely.
 

Make Drones a Legit Active Weapon

Author
Anton Wiiggin
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2017-06-15 10:11:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Anton Wiiggin
Wall of text. Sorry not sorry.

Drones could be operated by high slot modules similar to probe launchers, with Drones being the ammunition. This would have a few effects:
1) gives pure droneboats a use for high slots other than more drone links or limp noodle guns for show
2) capacitor becomes a consideration again for pure droneboats
3) allows for overheating (most likely to enhance speed/tracking/durability/etc)
4) makes directing your drones much more like using turrets or launchers to direct your damage
5) ships with bonuses to other weapon types would have to sacrifice a significant amount of DPS to use them (primarily through the loss of a primary weapon)

A few changes to how droneboats operate:

  • Bandwidth is replaced with Drone Launcher Capacity. Launcher capacity determines the size of the drones you can launch. Larger ships will have hull bonuses to launcher capacity to allow for more diverse drone loadouts. Base capacity is 5 to allow for Light Scout Drones.
  • Drones skill renamed to Drone Launcher Operation, allows for up to five launchers to be equipped. Location in skill tree potentially unchanged, may need to be removed as a prerequisite for Drone Interfacing.
  • Directing drones will be mechanically identical to directing any type of direct weapon. Launchers can be grouped in the same fashion.
  • May need a new type of drone module to complement this new system, ideally another high slot option to provide some variety beyond Drone Link Augmentors. Possibly move Drone Damage Augmentors to high slots.
  • Launchers would still be S/M/L for fitting requirements, but base capacity would not change. Drone sizes would correlate to launcher size, with Large launchers allowing for both Heavy and Sentry drones. Hull bonuses to Destroyers and Battlecruisers would allow for oversized launchers with higher skill levels.
  • Drone panel on the HUD would need to be updated, allow for sorting drones into groups within the pane and dragging groups from drone hold to a new element for launchers to load them.



Ships like the Vexor would need to be reworked to something like:

VEXOR

Fitting:
Slot Layout: 5H 3M 5L
Hardpoints: 3 Launcher hardpoints

Gallente Cruiser bonuses per skill level:
10% bonus to Drone hitpoints, damage and mining yield
5% bonus to Drone tracking speed

Role bonus:
+20 to Drone Launcher capacity
50% reduction in Drone Launcher fitting requirements

Limiting the Vexor to 3 hardpoints but granting a +20 bonus to capacity keeps its drone complement options mostly unchanged while allowing extra high slots for drone mods. The Gallente Cruiser bonuses are more focused on drones, since the Thorax is the preeminent gunboat cruiser for the Gallente. Helps to define the Vexor's role as a droneboat and away from a jack-of-all-trades vessel since Cruisers are the hull size that seem to start honing in on hull roles. Shifting a mid slot to a high reduces utility and shield tank potential, but extra high slots should ideally provide equal utility with some changes to drone upgrade modules. Reduction to fitting requirements for drone launchers may be necessary, since I assume having them similar to probe launcher fitting requirements would be a good balance.

So, what do you think guys? I hope I've thought this through well enough for it to be seriously considered.
Avaelica Kuershin
Paper Cats
#2 - 2017-06-15 10:25:48 UTC
It could be considered that in the standard cruisers, there are no pure drone boats. The Vexor having bonuses to both weapon systems.
Move to the VNI, Myrmidon and Dominix, and you have ships for which drones are the primary weapon. The high slots often have drone link augmenters in (or at least mine do) . Of course, the drones used on those ships may often be sentry drones.
Dark Lord Trump
Pandemic Horde Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#3 - 2017-06-15 10:27:02 UTC
1. File a support ticket with CCP containing all the info you can remember about your old char, from what I've heard they're good at getting accounts back.
2. You are aware that an Exequeror Navy issue is supposed to be an upgrade, right? Navy issue > standard.
3. Are you seriously using a flight of light drones on a drone cruiser and complaining about DPS? If I put small guns on a Thorax, does that mean guns need a buff?
4. Drone launchers sound annoying to code, will have major effects on the economy as you screw up pretty much every subcapital ratting boat, delete the Gecko, and will probably make Gurista ships insanely powerful. Losing all your high slots is probably a nerf to PvP drone boats too.

I'm going to build a big wall that will keep the Gallente out, and they're going to pay for it!

Merin Ryskin
Peregrine Industries
#4 - 2017-06-15 10:49:08 UTC
Anton Wiiggin wrote:
All fits use Hobgoblin II as active drones


There's your problem. You're using light (frigate class) drones on a cruiser. Use Hammerhead IIs and the damage gap shrinks considerably. And then remember that paper dps is meaningless, and a drone boat will apply a much higher percentage of its maximum theoretical dps than a pure gunboat. Rails have tracking problems, and blasters have range problems.

Once you understand where you're going wrong you can come back and delete this thread, as your proposals are not necessary.
Do Little
Bluenose Trading
#5 - 2017-06-15 12:40:10 UTC
Obviously you've never flown a Gila! With augmented hammerheads and rapid lights you can get over 700 dps - and you can optimize this for different opponents for maximum application by changing the type of drone/missile. You can also get over 50K ehp and 270 dps shield regen in the same ship. You can comfortably run level 4 missions. The fit requires good skills, CPU in particular requires maximum skill but you can downgrade T2 mods to compact meta whthout reducing the effectiveness of the ship too much.

[Gila, Gila]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Damage Control II

Drone Navigation Computer II
10MN Afterburner II
Caldari Navy Large Shield Extender
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Caldari Navy Large Shield Extender

Drone Link Augmentor I
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Inferno Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Inferno Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Inferno Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Inferno Fury Light Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Purger II
Medium Core Defense Field Purger II
Medium Core Defense Field Purger II

'Augmented' Hammerhead x2

Daichi Yamato
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#6 - 2017-06-15 13:06:37 UTC
Vexor does more dps than a thorax when combining guns and drones, AND has more ehp. A Vexor uses a combination of 2x heavies, 2x mediums and 1x small for its dps wing. That's where you are going wrong.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Donnachadh
United Allegiance of Undesirables
#7 - 2017-06-15 13:24:30 UTC
Been a drone pilot since I joined the game in 2009 and you are wrong about drones being second class.

In PvP drones can be an issue because they cannot be overheated for extra damage and they cannot be repaired using nanite paste during the fight and a remote rep is not always practical and in some rare cases not even possible. Also drones can be destroyed by your opponent which can be a serious problem, even with those and other limitations drones can be an effective weapons system in PvP in fact there are those among us who think they are over powered in PvP and need a major nerf and that includes your Vexor and the VNI.

In PvE a drones ship's primary advantage is it's versatility. With guns or missiles you fit for small / fast and suffer against larger targets, or you fit for larger targets and suffer against the smaller / faster stuff. A drones ship does not have this problem because you simply use the proper drones for the ship you are fighting.
Frigate and destroyers = lights
Cruisers and some battlecruisers = mediums
Everything else = heavies, Geck or mediums if you do not have band width or bay space for heavies / Gecko.
And once you get into a Domi or a Rattlesnake then sentry drones become a huge part of your arsenal.

No travel times for the drones to get to or back from your targets is not a serious issue if you are flying your ship correctly and keeping ranges appropriate for the drones you are using.

Lights only and you are complaining about DPS. My only comment to that is to paraphrase a commercial from many years ago.
There's only one thing worse than a Vexor with no mediums, and that's a Vexor with no drones at all.

My advice, learn to fit and fly drones ships to play into their strengths and minimize the affects of their weaknesses and you will be amazed at how well they can do compared to the other ships. But in the end you will rarely if ever have the same paper DPS with drones that you can get with other ships and weapons systems and that is by design, the lower overall DPS is a balance factor against the versatility that drones and drones ships offer.
Cade Windstalker
#8 - 2017-06-15 13:32:27 UTC
You're both picking a bad comparison and comparing on too narrow a set of stats.

Drones on a properly bonused hull are *extremely* powerful. They may not do as much damage as some guns but they make up for it with application and range.

You also seem to be comparing Blasters to Drones which is a bit ridiculous considering a medium guns blaster boat with Antimatter is lucky if it's dealing anywhere close to full damage at 10km, where as a flight of drones will deal full damage at 50km with moderately good skills, and modules can push that out to 75-100km easily. On top of that drones also don't use cap, aren't damage type locked, and on some ships can be size-swapped as needed, which is a bit like being able to swap between Frigate and Battleship guns on a whim.

Also if you properly skill them up and use DDAs they can deal damage on par or above most long-ranged weapon systems *and* you can equip guns on top of that on most drone boats.

Sure drones have some disadvantages to make up for all the advantages, but claiming that drones aren't a true primary weapon system is ridiculous. On a ship with bonuses for them they're extremely powerful, as demonstrated by how ridiculous the Dominix, Vexor, Myrmidon, Ishtar, and Ishkur have all been at various points when CCP over-buffed them.

On top of *that* forcing drones to require a high-slot module would seriously mess with the balance of quite a few ships that rely on drones as a secondary source of damage or utility, especially against Frigates in missions or in PvP, so doing something like this would be a massive change not just a small one only affecting drone-focused ships.
Scialt
Universal Sanitation Corporation
#9 - 2017-06-15 13:52:32 UTC
I'm primarily a drone pilot.

I'm all for making drones more powerful... but I don't like this change at all.

Drones are already great for PvE. When you look at anom running ships... several of the best options are drone related (VNI and Rattlesnake for example). And it's the drones for the RS that make it great... the missiles are a bonus. Drones have some PvP drawbacks and aren't super awesome like they are for PvE... but they're still okay. They allow versatility... the Tristan and Vexor both are useful PvP ships in FW because they can be effectively fitted in several ways rather than being locked into a single setup.
Anton Wiiggin
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#10 - 2017-06-15 13:54:08 UTC
Editing OP to make it more apparent that I'm suggesting a change, not looking for fitting advice like everyone seems to think.
Wander Prian
Nosferatu Security Foundation
#11 - 2017-06-15 14:30:06 UTC
Anton Wiiggin wrote:
Editing OP to make it more apparent that I'm suggesting a change, not looking for fitting advice like everyone seems to think.


You are getting the fitting advice due to your comparison being bad. You are gimping both fits and going "look here is the problem!"

The ship bonuses and stats skew your comparison. You cannot just slap the same modules on different ships and expect to be able to compare them directly.

Wormholer for life.

Dark Lord Trump
Pandemic Horde Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#12 - 2017-06-15 14:31:40 UTC
Anton Wiiggin wrote:
Editing OP to make it more apparent that I'm suggesting a change, not looking for fitting advice like everyone seems to think.

Your suggestion is useless because the reason for it is predicated on bad fitting choices. If I fit a Thorax with small railguns, do railguns need a massive rework? No, you just have a bad fit. If you're going to complain about low dps, use the properly sized guns and drones.

I'm going to build a big wall that will keep the Gallente out, and they're going to pay for it!

Corraidhin Farsaidh
Singularity Expedition Services
Singularity Syndicate
#13 - 2017-06-15 14:58:55 UTC
Drones aren't a primary weapon system? I must have missed that memo in the years I used them hunting DED sites.
SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#14 - 2017-06-15 15:14:31 UTC  |  Edited by: SurrenderMonkey
Anton Wiiggin wrote:
Editing OP to make it more apparent that I'm suggesting a change, not looking for fitting advice like everyone seems to think.


The reason you're receiving fitting advice is because the game is practically Drones Online at the moment, and anyone who could author the suggestion you have presented here is probably doing something wrong.

Post less, learn2play more.

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

Axure Abbacus
Pentex Subsidiaries Corp
Pentex Subsidiaries Corp Alliance
#15 - 2017-06-15 15:36:30 UTC
Sentry Dominix, Sentry Navy Dominix, Sin.

CCP had to rewrite drone assist mechanics when Null learned how to Gallente the hell out of PVP combat. You can no longer say " all drones on grid, nuke that guy or Structure" anymore.

It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.

Anton Wiiggin
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#16 - 2017-06-16 02:11:02 UTC  |  Edited by: Anton Wiiggin
God forbid someone replies with "sounds cool, but this bit wouldn't quite work..." instead of "this idea is pointless, kys".

I realize my initial assessment was skewed. Thank you for pointing that out. I edited the main post because I didn't want that to obscure the idea I wanted to present. Also updated the title to be more in l;ine with what I'm actually suggesting. Not that it matters, but the ENI build i posted was still about 30 DPS higher than the Vexor build after fixing that stuff. (405 Vexor / 435 ENI)

Regardless, I still feel the idea has potential to make the game better because it creates a more interactive method of using drones instead of Launch drones -> Launch MTU -> orbit at 30 -> make a sandwich while your drones chew everything up. You can still play that way, but the sandwich step no longer exists.
Sorry for wanting to take away your sandwich time, but last I checked Mining was the go-to AFK profession.
Daichi Yamato
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#17 - 2017-06-16 03:07:32 UTC
Anton Wiiggin wrote:


Regardless, I still feel the idea has potential to make the game better because it creates a more interactive method of using drones instead of Launch drones -> Launch MTU -> orbit at 30 -> make a sandwich while your drones chew everything up. You can still play that way, but the sandwich step no longer exists.
Sorry for wanting to take away your sandwich time, but last I checked Mining was the go-to AFK profession.


Try doing that in a pvp fight.


Btw, you're still comparing a standard T1 cruiser against a more powerful faction cruiser. Compare the vexor navy issue with it's five heavy drones to the ENI and wheep.

The idea is based on a flawed premise and a narrow perspective (pve only in a pvp centric game). The proposal is seen as flawed from the start. And people clearly don't think drones need more micro management (i don't. Just keeping them alive is micro management enough).

This isn't the place to find sycophants. On the contrary, your idea will need to be pretty water tight to not be torn apart. This wasn't, but don't take it personally. If you're gonna lash out or be a wise guy, then prepare for hell. It's usually best to remain polite and be open to criticism or have a thoughtful rebuttal to peoples arguments.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Shallanna Yassavi
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#18 - 2017-06-16 09:15:16 UTC
This suggestion would take out drones as a secondary weapons system, which most not-drone boats depend heavily on when fighting smaller things. Making it so you have to use launchers to target drones would take drones out as a counter to ECM.

A signature :o

Anton Wiiggin
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#19 - 2017-06-17 06:22:12 UTC
Daichi Yamato wrote:
your idea will need to be pretty water tight to not be torn apart.

I can do that.

I'll probably just start a new thread for it since I started this one with some pretty stupid mistakes.