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Drone Issues: A Summary of the Problem

Author
Jas Dor
Republic University
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2012-12-05 18:09:37 UTC
With the new AI drones are getting popped easily. There are several interrelated problems.

Missions are not W-Space.


Sleeper AI works OK in W-Space. Missions are not W-Space. Instead of a few sleeper missions can throw 30 or more low HP NPCs at the player. If missions were revamped to be a couple high HP NPCs, like sleepers, this would be less of a problem.

New AI is Alphaing drones.

Drones are getting instapopped soon after deployment. This includes sentry drones. Under the new AI everything from BC on down will go after sentries.

Missions are balanced for weak NPC EWAR and drones.

This is actually a number of interrelated problems. NPCs were originally designed to drop EWAR against the player. As a result they still use the old, un-nerfed, EWAR stats from several years ago. This is a particular problem with Damps and Tracking Disruptors. These are non-change based and can render a ship unable to fight. Further, the new AI has caused NPCs to orbit outside of weapons/lock range after EWARing. The normal counter to this, dropping drones, is now unavailable. The presence of a far greater number of EWAR capable ships in missions then in the equivalent W-Space encounters further exacerbates the problem.

Battleships can’t hit frigs.


Yeah most battleship fits can’t hit frigs when they get up close (or ever for missile setups). With the EWAR changes this makes the most useful setup for missioning a Tengu with the option to use FoF HMs. This change is directly affecting many newer PvPers who are training either Amarr or Minmater. These changes mean having to place additional SP into skills simply to carebear for isk to PvP with. Yeah, yeah, people should have good missile skills anyway. Not always the case, especially for people who are PvPing somewhere other than PC controlled 0.0.

Gallente Ships already had problems.

The Dominix was one the last few useful Gallente ships. Other Gallente ships also relied on drones for part of their PvE strategy. Now that drones have been nerfed for PvE Gallente have major problems on both the PvP and PvE front.
TheBreadMuncher
Protus Correction Facility Inc.
#2 - 2012-12-05 18:16:04 UTC
Jas Dor wrote:
The Dominix was one the last few useful Gallente ships. Other Gallente ships also relied on drones for part of their PvE strategy. Now that drones have been nerfed for PvE Gallente have major problems on both the PvP and PvE front.


Leave the Dominix out of this, PVP-wise. Mine is fine; drones haven't been nerfed. Your ISK faucet has.

"We will create the introduction thread if that is requested by the community. Also, we will have an ISD Seminar about the CCL team in the coming weeks in which you can ask your questions about the CCL team and provide some constructive feedback to us." - Countless pages of locked threads and numerous permabanned accounts later, change is coming.

Mr Epeen
It's All About Me
#3 - 2012-12-05 18:21:21 UTC
Think outside the box.

Like my sentry dropping, super RR, rocket fitted Rattlesnake.

Mr Epeen Cool
Jame Jarl Retief
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#4 - 2012-12-05 18:22:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Jame Jarl Retief
Aside from that, there's a large number of other issues that are years old.

1. Drones still split damage (that is, attack multiple targets), even with focus fire enabled.

2. Drone UI does not tell you the condition of the drone (SH/AR/HULL) before it is deployed. As such, you often deploy a near-dead drone and lose it instantly.

3. There's no way to see if your drones are being targeted, it is only visible after they begin taking damage, again a UI issue.

4. Drone stats make no sense. 100 signature radius? When a ship holding several of these drones has a sig radius of 120? When drone is 0.02% of the ship's mass and 0.03% of that ship's size/volume? Armor tanked extra-slow Gallente blaster drone has the same sig radius as an extra-fast shield tanked Minmatar drone? On what planet does that make sense?

5. Overabundance of modules - Omni, Nav, Link, Damage. Some of these need to be merged into a single module.

6. Lack of rigs and implants - we still have very few drone rigs and no drone implants that I know of. By comparison, turret and missile implants were introduced when? 2008? Yeah, it's about time.

7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP. Which do you think is faster? Plus drones travel slower than both turret ordinance and missiles. Meaning not only are they slower to deploy, they take far longer to apply their damage compared to any other weapon system in the game.

There's lots and lots of other reasons why drones underperform. Most of these are years old.
Jenn aSide
Worthless Carebears
Pandemic Horde
#5 - 2012-12-05 18:28:13 UTC
Mr Epeen wrote:
Think outside the box.

Like my sentry dropping, super RR, rocket fitted Rattlesnake.

Mr Epeen Cool


Being somewhat able to adapt to a problem doesn't mean "there is not problem" lol.

I dual box a mach and rattlesnake to do complexes and it works fine, , mach + tengu for other things or mach/loki guardian for blood raider plexes. I haven't skipped a beat with the change, but that doesn't make it a good thing.

Since it's here, I'd suggest creating time between when npcs switch, light drones getting alpha'd by frigs in close range of my ship despite the fact that I was generating loads of threat from remote repping, target painting AND doing 1200 dps from my mach and rattlesnake is stupid.
Dorian Wylde
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#6 - 2012-12-05 19:06:56 UTC
Used drone ships in wormholes for years.

Never lost a drone to sleepers.

Throroughly enjoying watching these whine threads continue to pop up every hour.

Continuing to play exactly like I did before, because I'm not lazy.
Rath Kelbore
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#7 - 2012-12-05 19:14:32 UTC
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
Aside from that, there's a large number of other issues that are years old.

1. Drones still split damage (that is, attack multiple targets), even with focus fire enabled.

2. Drone UI does not tell you the condition of the drone (SH/AR/HULL) before it is deployed. As such, you often deploy a near-dead drone and lose it instantly.

3. There's no way to see if your drones are being targeted, it is only visible after they begin taking damage, again a UI issue.


4. Drone stats make no sense. 100 signature radius? When a ship holding several of these drones has a sig radius of 120? When drone is 0.02% of the ship's mass and 0.03% of that ship's size/volume? Armor tanked extra-slow Gallente blaster drone has the same sig radius as an extra-fast shield tanked Minmatar drone? On what planet does that make sense?

5. Overabundance of modules - Omni, Nav, Link, Damage. Some of these need to be merged into a single module.

6. Lack of rigs and implants - we still have very few drone rigs and no drone implants that I know of. By comparison, turret and missile implants were introduced when? 2008? Yeah, it's about time.

7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP. Which do you think is faster? Plus drones travel slower than both turret ordinance and missiles. Meaning not only are they slower to deploy, they take far longer to apply their damage compared to any other weapon system in the game.

There's lots and lots of other reasons why drones underperform. Most of these are years old.


The part in bold. It needs fixing. No opinion on the rest.

I plan on living forever.......so far, so good.

Robertina Bering
Doomheim
#8 - 2012-12-05 19:20:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Robertina Bering
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP


It takes only 2 clicks to deploy 5 drones of the same type. Just group them in your drone bay.
Despite of this, your message is great and makes sense.
Xercodo
Cruor Angelicus
#9 - 2012-12-05 19:24:55 UTC
I do agree with the first point from the op and CCP are planning to change things in that same way, but I'm sure it can't happen soon enough for many.

The Drake is a Lie

Jame Jarl Retief
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#10 - 2012-12-05 19:37:52 UTC  |  Edited by: Jame Jarl Retief
Robertina Bering wrote:
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP


It takes only 2 clicks to deploy 5 drones of the same type. Just group them in your drone bay.
Despite of this, your message is great and makes sense.


I don't remember if this expansion fixed it, but it goes like this for me:

1st click - left-click to open "Drones in Bay" to see which group I want to launch.
2nd click - right-click on the group I want to open contextual menu.
3rd click - left-click to launch drones.
4th click - send drones to attack target, if already aggressed (can be done with a hotkey too).
5th click - left-click to open "Drones in Space" to see the hitpoints/shields of the drones.

That's 5 clicks. If you launch before you are aggressed, and drones are set to aggressive, it can come down to 4 clicks (step #4 is eliminated). But it is still 4-5x more clicks than it takes to fire all turrets/launchers.

Also, since most drone boats are Gallente, and most Gallente drone boats are hybrids + drones, you still have to click that turret thing. So, other ships without drones - 1 click. Gallente drone boat with hybrids + drones? 6 clicks! That is 600% more work! If anyone thinks this is balanced, I have 1x PLEX to trade for your 6xPLEX.
Nevryn Takis
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2012-12-05 19:45:58 UTC
Oh look another "summary" of the problem that completely ignore belt rats and the AI primarying mining drones ..
I don't afk mine .. I do run 2 clients on the same screen .. I can't also instantly switch between them ..
Alpharing a T1 drone is one thing .. taking down a T2 mining drone in under 10 secs is something else (an they used to be able to take 3 angle frigates for 60 secs)..
Utuk'ku
Doomheim
#12 - 2012-12-05 19:57:54 UTC  |  Edited by: Utuk'ku
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
Robertina Bering wrote:
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP


It takes only 2 clicks to deploy 5 drones of the same type. Just group them in your drone bay.
Despite of this, your message is great and makes sense.


I don't remember if this expansion fixed it, but it goes like this for me:

1st click - left-click to open "Drones in Bay" to see which group I want to launch.
2nd click - right-click on the group I want to open contextual menu.
3rd click - left-click to launch drones.
4th click - send drones to attack target, if already aggressed (can be done with a hotkey too).
5th click - left-click to open "Drones in Space" to see the hitpoints/shields of the drones.

That's 5 clicks. If you launch before you are aggressed, and drones are set to aggressive, it can come down to 4 clicks (step #4 is eliminated). But it is still 4-5x more clicks than it takes to fire all turrets/launchers.

Also, since most drone boats are Gallente, and most Gallente drone boats are hybrids + drones, you still have to click that turret thing. So, other ships without drones - 1 click. Gallente drone boat with hybrids + drones? 6 clicks! That is 600% more work! If anyone thinks this is balanced, I have 1x PLEX to trade for your 6xPLEX.


CBA
Borlag Crendraven
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2012-12-05 20:00:29 UTC
If 5 mouse clicks is too much effort to ask, maybe, just maybe you shouldn't be playing computer games.
Jenn aSide
Worthless Carebears
Pandemic Horde
#14 - 2012-12-05 20:06:15 UTC
Borlag Crendraven wrote:
If 5 mouse clicks is too much effort to ask, maybe, just maybe you shouldn't be playing computer games.


5 clicks are to much for a weapon system when all the rest take 1.
rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#15 - 2012-12-06 02:45:58 UTC
Borlag Crendraven wrote:
If 5 mouse clicks is too much effort to ask, maybe, just maybe you shouldn't be playing computer games.


Yes, tell the peons how computer games are only mouse clickings. They offer no more and no less.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

dexington
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#16 - 2012-12-06 03:14:30 UTC
Borlag Crendraven wrote:
If 5 mouse clicks is too much effort to ask, maybe, just maybe you shouldn't be playing computer games.


If CCP decided that guns no longer was able to group or auto reload, and randomly would stop firing, forcing the player to constantly watch them to see of they were active, would you also think that was a good idea?

at times that how it feels to use drones.

I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.

Tyberius Franklin
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#17 - 2012-12-06 03:34:52 UTC
Rath Kelbore wrote:
Jame Jarl Retief wrote:
Aside from that, there's a large number of other issues that are years old.

1. Drones still split damage (that is, attack multiple targets), even with focus fire enabled.

2. Drone UI does not tell you the condition of the drone (SH/AR/HULL) before it is deployed. As such, you often deploy a near-dead drone and lose it instantly.

3. There's no way to see if your drones are being targeted, it is only visible after they begin taking damage, again a UI issue.


4. Drone stats make no sense. 100 signature radius? When a ship holding several of these drones has a sig radius of 120? When drone is 0.02% of the ship's mass and 0.03% of that ship's size/volume? Armor tanked extra-slow Gallente blaster drone has the same sig radius as an extra-fast shield tanked Minmatar drone? On what planet does that make sense?

5. Overabundance of modules - Omni, Nav, Link, Damage. Some of these need to be merged into a single module.

6. Lack of rigs and implants - we still have very few drone rigs and no drone implants that I know of. By comparison, turret and missile implants were introduced when? 2008? Yeah, it's about time.

7. It takes one click to fire all of the ship's turrets/launchers. It takes 5 clicks to deploy a flight of drones and see their HP. Which do you think is faster? Plus drones travel slower than both turret ordinance and missiles. Meaning not only are they slower to deploy, they take far longer to apply their damage compared to any other weapon system in the game.

There's lots and lots of other reasons why drones underperform. Most of these are years old.


The part in bold. It needs fixing. No opinion on the rest.

Not sure if I'd call it a done deal, but those 2 things would make drone use so much better.
Ioci
Bad Girl Posse
Somethin Awfull Forums
#18 - 2012-12-06 03:41:50 UTC
TheBreadMuncher wrote:
Jas Dor wrote:
The Dominix was one the last few useful Gallente ships. Other Gallente ships also relied on drones for part of their PvE strategy. Now that drones have been nerfed for PvE Gallente have major problems on both the PvP and PvE front.


Leave the Dominix out of this, PVP-wise. Mine is fine; drones haven't been nerfed. Your ISK faucet has.


LMAO
LOL

Done Level 4's lately?

ISK faucet

LOL

Only reason they ever made any ISK is because you can grind the hell out of them for 6 hrs a day.

R.I.P. Vile Rat

baltec1
Bat Country
Pandemic Horde
#19 - 2012-12-06 03:42:05 UTC
I wonder why it is that high sec bears are so bad at adapting to changes...
Alavaria Fera
GoonWaffe
#20 - 2012-12-06 03:50:38 UTC
baltec1 wrote:
I wonder why it is that high sec bears are so bad at adapting to changes...

The substitute away from doing it themselves in favor of, you guessed it:

Having CCP to it for them. It's like being AFK, but in terms of adapting.

Triggered by: Wars of Sovless Agression, Bending the Knee, Twisting the Knife, Eating Sov Wheaties, Bombless Bombers, Fizzlesov, Interceptor Fleets, Running Away, GhostTime Vuln, Renters, Bombs, Bubbles ?

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