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Dev Blog: Giving Drones an Assist

First post First post
Author
Paynus Maiassus
Capital Munitions
Capital Interstellar Group
#361 - 2014-04-02 13:25:32 UTC  |  Edited by: Paynus Maiassus
Honestly I haven't read all 18 pages so I hope I am not repeating someone.

The drones adjustments are underwhelming. They are good, and they do rebalance things, but they seem to be just a matter of someone going in and tweaking numbers. This is regarding the drones themselves, as I really have no problems with the skill changes and ship changes mentioned. However, the big problem with the drones in my view has been that nobody uses anything but Gallente or Minmatar drones (excepting sentries - I am talking about the regular combat drones). The basic issue is really that if a player (we're generally talking PvP) wants to hit hard, he uses Gallente (Hammerhead or Ogre) and if he wants to hit fast, he uses Minmatar (Warrior), and that's it. Making the Amarr into slightly less fast Warriors and Caldari into slightly less hard Hammerheads and Ogres isn't going to convince anyone to use them. Also, just tweaking some number values is not giving players 'increased variety of options' as the devs seem to want. Overall, this seems like the expansion is a minimal effort, minimal thought tweaking process that is more deserving of a patch than an expansion. I let the underwhelming nature of Rubicon go as I assumed you were writing back end code for the impressive additions on the horizon that we hear tell rumors of (player built gates, new galaxies, etc.). But are we going to keep having expansions like this forever?

If you want to provide a truly expansion worthy drone revamp, how about actually changing the character and flavor of drones and fixing major problems? When was the last time anybody ever used a Stasis Webifier drone? Nobody knows, do they. Because they are worthless. Fix them or remove them and replace them with another kind of drone. The only EWAR drone worth anything is the ECM drone.

I suggest for the combat drones that you really introduce unique characteristics for the drones. Caldari are supposed to be the masters of range. Give the Caldari drones, and Caldari drones only, an innate bonus to drone control range. Therefore pilots can use them in long range fits with fewer Drone Link Augmentors. Yeah, they don't get there fast like the Warriors, which would increase their value more for long range PvE than for sniper PvP, but such has always been the fate of the Caldari - PvE masters, PvP challenged.

The Amarr are supposed to be Eve's second race of drone masters. Have their drones be the only drones in the game that do two damage types: EM and thermal. This would make the drones into a truly generalist philosophy. They travel the field quickly, and they do well against a variety of targets, just underwhelming damage.

I could talk more about ideas for better and different EWAR drones, but the post would get too long. While I would like comment about the ideas about drone control range and multiple damage type drones, the major point of my post is to express dismay that the drone revamp seems to be a numbers tweak and not a real significant effort at meeting the goals of 'making all races equally appealing' or 'giving players interesting options in drone choice.'

I'm curious to hear what you all think.
Rena Monachica
Capital Hot Rods
#362 - 2014-04-02 13:27:40 UTC
So what about the new skill requirements for T2 Sentrys?

also, the stats for the new drone modules would be nice to know


I´m also a bit disappointed with the changes for the heavy drones .. only a tad more speed? They will still be dead meat in pve
Blastcaps Madullier
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#363 - 2014-04-02 13:29:02 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Looking forward to all your feedback. CCP Rise and I have been working hard on these changes and we think they'll be great for the drone ecosystem as a whole.

:Edit:

I'm seeing a fair bit of confusion about the details of the Sentry changes. I left the nitty gritty details out of the text section of the blog since they don't lend themselves to easy summaries and the actual numbers were in the spreadsheet, but I'll go over the end results of the changes to T1 and T2 sentries here so people can see the whole picture. These numbers assume max skills:

Curator I - +15% tracking, -50% falloff, +18.15% damage
Warden I - +40% falloff, +12% damage
Garde I - +50% falloff, +2% damage
Bouncer I - +60% tracking, -12.5% optimal, +14.3% falloff, +2.86% damage

Curator II - +15% tracking, -50% falloff, +8.31% damage
Warden II - +40% falloff, +2.67% damage
Garde II - +50% falloff, -6.5% damage
Bouncer II - +60% tracking, -12.5% optimal, +14.3% falloff, -5.71% damage



interesting but your missing a WHOLE bunch of other drones, how about sorting out the damn EW drones etc rather than "JUST" damage dealing drones? EW among the other variants of drones are in DIRE need of some TLC.
King Fu Hostile
Shiva Furnace
#364 - 2014-04-02 13:30:24 UTC
Heavy drone sig radius really needs to be reduced to make them viable again.

Also, what about T2 resists for T2 drones?
TrouserDeagle
Beyond Divinity Inc
Shadow Cartel
#365 - 2014-04-02 13:32:47 UTC
King Fu Hostile wrote:
Heavy drone sig radius really needs to be reduced to make them viable again.

Also, what about T2 resists for T2 drones?



more like what about regenerating drone armour/hull while in the dronebay, as well as visible hp of drones in dronebay
Blastcaps Madullier
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#366 - 2014-04-02 13:35:17 UTC
Paynus Maiassus wrote:
The Amarr are supposed to be Eve's second race of drone masters. Have their drones be the only drones in the game that do two damage types: EM and thermal. .


IIRC this is what the "Improved" and "Augmented" drones do, split damage types, iirc the gall versions do therm/explo? cant remember the secondary damage bonus on them atm off the top of my head

Paynus Maiassus wrote:
I could talk more about ideas for better and different EWAR drones, but the post would get too long. While I would like comment about the ideas about drone control range and multiple damage type drones, the major point of my post is to express dismay that the drone revamp seems to be a numbers tweak and not a real significant effort at meeting the goals of 'making all races equally appealing' or 'giving players interesting options in drone choice.


Agree with you, I mean when was the last time you saw someone use nos drones? TD drones? etc
Elequent-Lady Dolorous
Marchwarden
#367 - 2014-04-02 13:36:00 UTC  |  Edited by: Elequent-Lady Dolorous
XBruin wrote:
CCP Fozzie: please stop avoiding the question!

Clearly this is a buff to Wyverns and a nerf to Armor Supercaps, the Nyx especially.

The Wyvern will now have the best tank as well as the best DPS due to lowslot availability.


Please clarify if this was a conscious decision, and if so, what was the rationale behind it?

I'm sure many of us would appreciate some transparency here...


QFT

Armor and shield were at long last close to balance, this will ruin it..

Could we have a midslot mod that only boosts bomber damage, and stacks with DDA's?

Yes, the "e" was intentional. 

Todd Jaeger
Mayhem and Destruction
#368 - 2014-04-02 13:38:11 UTC
XBruin wrote:
CCP Fozzie: please stop avoiding the question!

Clearly this is a buff to Wyverns and a nerf to Armor Supercaps, the Nyx especially.

The Wyvern will now have the best tank as well as the best DPS due to lowslot availability.


Please clarify if this was a conscious decision, and if so, what was the rationale behind it?

I'm sure many of us would appreciate some transparency here...


Armor will still have the best tank, mostly due to HG Slaves and 1008 implants. Wyverns and Hels are a joke currently - if anything this would give them a good reason to exist since they can get a higher damage without sacrificing the little tank they have.

The concern that people have raised is that Nyx/Aeon will just go gank fit, and refit tank if they get primaried is actually a hint that combat refitting is the issue.
mkint
#369 - 2014-04-02 13:39:56 UTC
Peter Powers wrote:
CCP Fozzie wrote:

We are hearing the feedback from those of you who argue that this change doesn't go far enough to make the Caldari and Amarr drones competitive. It is too soon to announce anything else yet but we're taking this feedback to heart.

Personally i'd like them to be a bit more diverse, rather than being some "inbetween the other two races" thingie.

Indeed. There needs to be some hard line where "the right drone for the right job" applies. The proposed change doesn't offer anything. It's still Minmatar fast, Gallente strong, Amarr and Caldari mediocre at everything.

I do like the idea proposed earlier about 2 factions strong, 2 factions fast because then at least there's a 50/50 choice, though it would probably still leave amarr as pretty pointless (except in PVE versus rogue drones, in which I've found them surprisingly effective.)

Maybe if each drone had a slight positive secondary affect on the ship launching them, equivalent to their race's anti-ewar? So having a full rack of Gallente drones would give you something like 1/5th of a sebo, amarr 1/5th TC, caldari 1/5th ECCM, minmatar 1/5th istab(or something.)

Then there would be two factors driving a decision towards each drone. Maybe getting extra tracking/range on your guns would make it worth having mediocre DPS of an undesirable damage type to make Amarr drones attractive.

Maxim 6. If violence wasn’t your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.

MissBehaving
Perkone
Caldari State
#370 - 2014-04-02 13:43:25 UTC
Am I the only selfish A-Hole who thinks that the newbs should have to suffer training this crap to V like most of us did years ago? Dealing with less dps/tracking and etc was the driving force for most of us to train these skills in the first place. It seems like the WoWification :P of the game is getting worse. A 17 day train should yeild a 20% performance increase over the guy who was to lazy to train anything past 4. Just some thoughts of a bitter vet lol :P
Necharo Rackham
The Red Circle Inc.
Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork
#371 - 2014-04-02 13:43:39 UTC
Rena Monachica wrote:
So what about the new skill requirements for T2 Sentrys?


Would like to ask this also, from the quote:

"we will be increasing the base damage multiplier of Tech One sentries and limiting the Tech Two advantage to the 2% per level gained from the racial Drone Specialization skills that will now be required to use T2 sentries."

It looks like this will be a rare instance of someone *not* being able to use a $THING that they were able to use prior to a skill training change.
Elequent-Lady Dolorous
Marchwarden
#372 - 2014-04-02 13:43:48 UTC
Todd Jaeger wrote:
XBruin wrote:
CCP Fozzie: please stop avoiding the question!

Clearly this is a buff to Wyverns and a nerf to Armor Supercaps, the Nyx especially.

The Wyvern will now have the best tank as well as the best DPS due to lowslot availability.


Please clarify if this was a conscious decision, and if so, what was the rationale behind it?

I'm sure many of us would appreciate some transparency here...


Armor will still have the best tank, mostly due to HG Slaves and 1008 implants. Wyverns and Hels are a joke currently - if anything this would give them a good reason to exist since they can get a higher damage without sacrificing the little tank they have.

The concern that people have raised is that Nyx/Aeon will just go gank fit, and refit tank if they get primaried is actually a hint that combat refitting is the issue.



Run the numbers again, remember shield tankers have genolution implants now.

The only advantage armor will have post patch is a bit of cap sustainability

Yes, the "e" was intentional. 

Ranger 1
Ranger Corp
Vae. Victis.
#373 - 2014-04-02 13:46:02 UTC
Grath Telkin wrote:
Players: Man your sov system sucks and is super boring you should fix it


CCP: Sure guys we're working on it!

*Nerfs the tool used to make that job less lifesucking*




Swear to god, this company would throw a drowning man a sack of bricks.

Possibly... depending on who the drowning man was....

View the latest EVE Online developments and other game related news and gameplay by visiting Ranger 1 Presents: Virtual Realms.

tsiliadora
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#374 - 2014-04-02 13:47:16 UTC
XBruin wrote:
CCP Fozzie: please stop avoiding the question!

Clearly this is a buff to Wyverns and a nerf to Armor Supercaps, the Nyx especially.

The Wyvern will now have the best tank as well as the best DPS due to lowslot availability.


Please clarify if this was a conscious decision, and if so, what was the rationale behind it?

I'm sure many of us would appreciate some transparency here...



CCP Fozzie, answer that

plus the huge market impact that will cause
seth Hendar
I love you miners
#375 - 2014-04-02 13:47:44 UTC
Degalo wrote:
but don't you say we are doing it wrong when you handed us this steaming pile of **** nerf - because you have no understanding of what any of these FB changes actually mean.


this, unfortunately, is pretty much the only constant thing when it comes to CCP updating the game...
Abulurd Boniface
CORE BUSINESS
#376 - 2014-04-02 13:55:35 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Good morning everyone.

Since it's April 2nd I want to go ahead and confirm once and for all that our balance posts and blog yesterday were 100% legit. We had a little fun subverting expectations and making honest announcements on April 1st. Big smile

To answer a couple of questions and issues raised so far:

[/list]


How could one possibly not love a developer community that informs its user base so regularly, clearly and extensively while taking community feedback into consideration, and at the same time have the chops to tell someone they're missing the finer points of some aspects of the game because they've been there themselves.

We are spoiled absolutely rotten in this place.
Maximus Andendare
Stimulus
Rote Kapelle
#377 - 2014-04-02 13:57:49 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
We are hearing the feedback from those of you who argue that this change doesn't go far enough to make the Caldari and Amarr drones competitive. It is too soon to announce anything else yet but we're taking this feedback to heart.
If anything, wouldn't it be better to get a "tiericide" treatment for drones? Something along the lines of "this drone does X best, while this other drone does Y best." Otherwise, the fear is the decision is going to be the same as it is now: do I need speed/tracking? Minmatar. Do I need damage? Gallente. Having the Caldari and Amarr drones on a sliding scale, where they're objectively worse than their counterparts at either end just adds to that idea.

It just seems that there's plenty of room to improve the state of Amarr and Caldari drones without just making them better/worse than Gallente/Minmatar drones. Aside from their damage profiles, they'll still have nothing going for them.

Enter grid and you're already dead, destined to be reborn and fight another day.

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Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#378 - 2014-04-02 13:58:43 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Stuff not put in context


I will cease with the defence of casual high sec players when their defence is not needed anymore.
But yeah, these nerfs hurt a whole lot more than just casual players.
I would LOVE to see what these optimal / falloff / tracking numbers look like when put in the context of the Omni obliteration from last month. Suddenly, all these numbers look a whole worse. And when you wiped out the Omi's last month, it was not done in a vacuum. You knew these other changes were coming.

Further, while the apologists will argue that the casual player does not skill up for T2 sentries, the fact remains that VAST MAJORITY of players now has to skill up 68-90 days more training to get the damage you are displaying, when you tied the racial spec skill to the sentries. It would be a whole lot more accurate to show this sentry damage at racial spec IV.

Finally, splitting the small / medium skill paths kills the new players in the Algos and Vexor, to name a couple ships. But hey, who cares about the new players, anyway? It is not like they will be joining PL anytime soon, unless it is part of BoT.
CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#379 - 2014-04-02 14:04:23 UTC
Obil Que wrote:

Can you address the question of access to racial T2 sentries for those with Sentry Drone Interfacing trained to V. As it stands, those with that skill will lose access to existing weapons when the requirement for racial skills is implemented. Will those pilots receive the minimum level of racial skill to compensate?

Players will not be given racial drone spec skills. We're announcing this change early so that players have plenty of time to train the skills before the patch.

XBruin wrote:
CCP Fozzie: please stop avoiding the question!

Clearly this is a buff to Wyverns and a nerf to Armor Supercaps, the Nyx especially.

The Wyvern will now have the best tank as well as the best DPS due to lowslot availability.


Please clarify if this was a conscious decision, and if so, what was the rationale behind it?

I'm sure many of us would appreciate some transparency here...

Yes this is a relative buff to the Wyvern, and yes that is intentional. However it's much less of a buff than you seem to think it is because the vast majority of Supercarrier use is in situations where they can refit at will, allowing clever pilots to switch between high tank and high damage fits as needed.

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Fredric Wolf
Black Sheep Down
Tactical Narcotics Team
#380 - 2014-04-02 14:06:48 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Stuff not put in context


I will cease with the defence of casual high sec players when their defence is not needed anymore.
But yeah, these nerfs hurt a whole lot more than just casual players.
I would LOVE to see what these optimal / falloff / tracking numbers look like when put in the context of the Omni obliteration from last month. Suddenly, all these numbers look a whole worse. And when you wiped out the Omi's last month, it was not done in a vacuum. You knew these other changes were coming.

Further, while the apologists will argue that the casual player does not skill up for T2 sentries, the fact remains that VAST MAJORITY of players now has to skill up 68-90 days more training to get the damage you are displaying, when you tied the racial spec skill to the sentries. It would be a whole lot more accurate to show this sentry damage at racial spec IV.

Finally, splitting the small / medium skill paths kills the new players in the Algos and Vexor, to name a couple ships. But hey, who cares about the new players, anyway? It is not like they will be joining PL anytime soon, unless it is part of BoT.


So your saying that people using drones need to max out their skills just like gunnery has to do to get max damage out of their weapon system? Oh the horror. This should have been done from the beginning as every other drone benefited from Racial Drone Specialization skills. This is not the end of the world you are making it out to be. You will still be able to get 700 + DPS with gardes.