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the Legend of the Drake: an invitation for story time

Roland Fale
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2015-04-14 14:30:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Roland Fale
I've been around various eve-VOIP campfires during my tenure in New Edan, and every now and again; the Drake is mentioned. And, without fail, there is always an eve old-timer that cannot contain some Drake oriented outbursts: "The Drake is such a bad battlecruiser..." "The Drake is a joke now..." & "Why would anyone use a Drake?". Now, in the context of other battle cruisers I always scratch my head at these sentiments and I feel like I'm missing something, at the very least the historical context.

The reign of the Drake was after my time. Also, I admit to being a more experienced EFT-warrior than space warrior and with that paper-theory under my belt I look at the Drake compared to, say, a Cyclone and don't feel any of the stats scream "horribly nerfed joke." Actually, it looks a lot like other battlecruisers, really. The whole "kinetic missiles only" damage bonus does seem a little strange and contrary to one of the reasons of flying a missile platform in the first place. Perhaps a Drake deserves the Guristas treatment and at least get the alternate choice of loading up inferno ammo. But, then again, the comparable Cyclone with it's one less missile mount, bizarro turret mounts, and max 25% RoF bonus, a max 50% kin.missile damage bonus looks all right. Battlecruisers, in general, might be something of an oddling duck. And, with that in mind, a Drake seems kind of like the rest of 'em.

So spin me a tale you grizzled veterans, you regent princes of spaceland, you battle hardened star-jokeys. I long to know the story of the Drake. And the next time there's Drake bashing happening at the fireside chat I can be ready:

"Oh don't get me started about Drakes, because I know all about Drakes."
Dirk Magnum
Spearhead Endeavors
#2 - 2015-04-14 15:00:00 UTC  |  Edited by: Dirk Magnum
You see Navy Drakes on public roams and other kitchen sink fleets, but the Drake isn't part of any significant doctrine at the moment. I guess you can bait with them, because it's presumed anyone flying a Drake is probably lost.

I remember when it was the king of ratting ships. Anyone could use one and it didn't need much to inflate its EHP to survive in most environments. I'm not sure what I did with mine after leaving Sansha space (incidentally the least effective space for Drakes.)

The kinetic-only bonus makes sense as a compromise between a specifically anti-armor bonus (explosive) or the OP bonus of a damage boost to all missiles (which, if it existed, would instantly revive a missile meta.) Projectiles may have selectable damage, but it's always still split between at least two types, whereas missiles only have one damage type (to say nothing of damage projection.)

                      "LIVE FAST DIE." - traditional Minmatar ethos [citation needed]

Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#3 - 2015-04-14 15:04:53 UTC
A lot changed in the 'rebalancing". The drake used to have battleship like passive tank. The dps was always poor but you could tank any level 4 mission as good or better than most if not all T1 non-faction battleships. Back then lots of people flew drakes and they were all over the place. IMHO they were not over powered because the dps sucked on them but CCP has gotten on a kick of nerfing anything that becomes popular.

So yes drakes were probably the most flown ship in game and if you PvPed in one people would make fun of you but mostly because they were jealous or something like that. Back then if you flew a hurricane into PvP you were primaried and likely the first one to die and if you flew a drake into PvP you were the last one to die because your dps was pitiful and it took forever to kill you.

During the "rebalancing" when the drake got both a tank nerf and a dps nerf through the kinetic only bonus many people felt that it was an over reaction since the drakes awesome tank was offset by it's **** poor dps how does nerfing both bring balance to anything? You'd think if they were going to nerf tank that they would boost dps maybe to a lesser degree but still.

Anyway a lot of this might just be butt hurt and not have a whole bunch of basis in reality however it's how a lot of us that were here through the rebalancing feel.

I personally mostly stopped using the drake a few month before the rebalancing anyway but that had more to do with my skill points progressing into battleships than anything having to do with the changes. I also now understand how non-productive running level 4's in a drake was and how I would have made better isk if i ran level 3's in a cane but I still had fond memories of my days in that ship even if it took me more than 4 hours sometimes to run one level 4.

Probably another thing worth noting is that if you fit the drake for anything but max tank it usually didn't work too well. There were exceptions sure but in most cases it was a narrowly focused ship that was essentially the turd that would not flush. Also the change in aggro mechanics hindered another ability of the drake and that was to be essentially the eve version of having a tank in PvE.

Want to talk? Join Cara's channel in game: House Forelli

#4 - 2015-04-14 16:10:09 UTC
So, nearly the tank of a battleship, ~400 dps at ~70 km

And then you do this:

Or any of the following:

HML Drake, R.I.P.

Note: HAM Drake was fun too if you liked small scale brawling.
Have Naught Subsidiaries
#5 - 2015-04-14 16:17:38 UTC  |  Edited by: L'ouris
I first started at probably the height of the fabled 'Age O' Drakes', so take this as what would have been a new players perspective at the time:

Drakes used to be much more agile, they could be setup to zip about relatively quick for a BC if you needed it to.
They used to have higher resists ( from 5% to 4% / level ) not much until you notice that's a whole 5% less raw resistance value gone.
Heavy Missiles used to actually apply damage better (they nerfed them too, so now the paper damage is more in line with paper turrets)
Drake targeting range used to be out closer to 80km, letting fleets volley missiles from a good distance.

Change impacts I've noticed most in order?
* - cloaked ships no longer decloaking each other and TiDi, aka. rise of the bombers which absolutely murder drakes and always have.
1. targeting range
2. Heavy Missile nerf
3. Agility
4. Resistance bonus change

EDIT* - I can't believe I forgot that it used to have another launcher too, big nerf to volley potential with that change.

There was a lot of drake hate out there because any Newb with a few weeks of could send out considerable volley damage from range. This inevitably led to hordes of drakes which could volley much more skill intensive ships ( no one ever likes their pretty toys being blown up by common crud ).

At the time it seemed like it was Drakes and Hurricanes online in anything bigger than a frigate. Cruisers weren't used much at all. also at the time, bombers weren't the hard counter they are now. Often bombs wouldn't go off under the server load of a big fight, and it took some planning and logistics to get an effective bombing wing together at all.

Drakes used to be a very low barrier to entry skirmish, kiting or volley doctrine ship. So it was everywhere, and folk hated dying to them and flying them all the time.

It got the Rifter treatment. Everything else has been made better, it got nerfed, its weapons got nerfed, and it feels so much slower and fatter than it used to (warp speed changes and agility nerf) that it seems very subpar today.
Tau Cabalander
Retirement Retreat
Working Stiffs
#6 - 2015-04-14 22:43:49 UTC
Before the nerfing, Drakes doctrines were so numerous, and missiles caused so much lag:

Drakes were popular as they were easy to train, had long range (nerfed), did excellent damage (nerfed) on anything in range, and had a lot of tank (nerfed).
Vimsy Vortis
Shoulda Checked Local
Break-A-Wish Foundation
#7 - 2015-04-14 22:57:04 UTC
Drakes used to be so ubiquitous that when people we declared war on formed up a fleet to try and kill us (Yes, people used to do this) it would universally consist of drakes and the occasional blackbird and sometimes a rifter or two for tackle.

Everyone used to field drake fleets, even in highsec.
Eve Solecist
Shitt Outta Luck - GANKING4GOOD
#8 - 2015-04-15 07:34:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Eve Solecist
Let's go a bit meta.

Caldari were literally THE race to pick for easymode players / carebears.

.) Achurans are the best looking females and the easiest to make look good.
.) Missiles make for easy gameplay. Fire and forget, no care for tracking.
.) The drake was an OP, in too many cases almost invincible easymode ship.
.) Caldari are on the same side as Amarrian, who portrait cold hearted assholes,
which is great for everyone who loves to pretend he is somebody.

People who whine about the current state of the drake and remember
the old one whine about how it's not OP as **** anymore.
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