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PVE, Drones, The new AI and You

First post
Author
Hevymetal
POT Corp
#1 - 2012-12-04 23:14:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Hevymetal
My $.02 for what it's worth, on the new usefulness of drones in PVE. As with everything else that changes in this game, some for the good, some for the bad "adapt or die" or so it has been said.

A tactical change is indeed now required since drones are now appearing to be nothing more then cannon fodder. They still have usefulness, just not in a "set and forget" mode as most are used to. Most people will look at this list and go "Well DUH" but hopefully someone MAY walk away having learned something.


My initial observations after patch:

Cannon Fodder:
I have found that carrying a bay full of small T1's, cheap, and liberally deploying them at opportune times during combat will now divert DPS (the NPCs appear to be webbing/neuting drones I believe I have now verified this) away from you and onto the drones allowing you precious seconds to rep/recharge/reload/warp and GTFO. Leave them behind, they are expendable.

EDIT:
After more testing it seems releasing 1 drone at a time is more effective then releasing 5 at a time. Just keep a steady stream of drones deploying and it will keep them from shooting/webbing/neuting and in some instances scramming you as long as they are popping the drones.

Emergency Target Disposal:
Shields failed, into armor in your shield tank? Need to warp but can't, scrammed? Deploy the T2 drones and attack the scrammer, allowing you to escape. Forget about the drones you can collect them later if they survive.

Structure Disposal:
After everything is dead it's still easier to send out some T2 ogres and say "Kill" while you forget about them and salvage/loot/get more snacks.

Battleships:
Still usable on Battleships and Cruisers it seems. Don't even think about deploying them with frigates on grid as they don't last long and they will be gone before you realize it.

Deploy, attack a target, recall:
Keep an eye on the damage the drone is taking and recall them back to drone bay often and allow them to recharge shields before deploying them again.

Small drones are faster:
Well, DUH. Faster drones should help in avoiding damage and will allow you to get them back to the safety of your bay, hopefully before they pop.

Sentry drones:
Good for BS and Cruisers and somewhat for Frigs at range. Keep them close by as they are turttle slow. It seems they draw as much aggro as small drones but some are saying they will last longer.

* Deploy drones, let them get aggro, recall them, wait till you get aggro, then deploy again:

EDIT:
I now have personally tested, this IS a verified workaround to the new AI that has to be repeated for every wave of enemy NPCs. It's not the most efficient way of working around the new game mechanic but it appears to work.

/sidenote: Some are deeming this trick to be an exploit however CCP has stated they are aware of it and at some point will be revisiting the issue when/if they deccide to tweak the broken drone aggro issue. I will leave it up to you to decide if this tactic is ethically acceptable to your character.


I'm sure there will be more insightful input and hints/tactics from the enlightened forum members here.

DISCUSS

/slips into flame resistant suit.

EDIT:
It does appear certain ships/playstyles are now at a SEVERE disadvantage dealing with frigate class NPCs. Those that used drones as a mainstay tactic will now need to find another way. Drones (as far as their usefulness in missions against frigates) have been pretty much been beaten into submission with the "Nerf Bat".

CCPs lack of commenting about this issue/change is only adding fuel to the fire. Wether this change is intentional or an unintended consequence of the AI update and when/if they will tweak it remains to be seen. A few words from them one way or the other would go a long way in helping ease the concerns of the community.
Kagumichan
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2012-12-04 23:23:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Kagumichan
The drone tactic saved my Rokh earlier.

Doing The Assault, level 4, Serpentis... upon warping in the entire room aggroed immediately (that's about 30 frigates, 30 battlecruisers and 10 battleships), 6 sensor dampeners dropped my locking range down to 18k and then the dampers flew around me at 30k, whilst two frigs came in and warp scrambled me. The moment I let out the drones to blow up the scramblers everything, except the scrambling frigs, shot the drones and started popping them. That left me with two options:

1. Sit there and die
2. Drop all my drones and pray to the almighty God of pure luck that either my drones could take the scramble frigs off before they all blew up, or that the scrambling frigs would switch targets.

By pure luck, option 2 happened just as my hull was buckling, and my brave Warrior II's stayed behind and sacrificed themselves whilst I, now looking like a giant flaming fireball, went to go and pay a 9 million isk repair bill, having been completely unable to kill or even lock onto a target in that mission.

A friend earlier actually spent about 2 hours doing a mission in his tengu because for only about 30 seconds every 10 minutes he was able to get a lock because of all the jammers.

The new AI is very nice, it makes things more fun, but I don't think these mission were play-tested to make sure they were still doable solo before it was applied.
Edey
#3 - 2012-12-04 23:24:33 UTC
Now that I can't do L4 missions with my drones, can I have a skills remap?

No, this is not a joke or a troll. I really want a remap, this is fair.
In any other game when devs nerf something to hell they give you a respec so you have a choice.
Having mostly drone skills cuts your ability to do anything right now.
Destru Kaneda
Arzad Police Department
#4 - 2012-12-04 23:25:11 UTC
Some Rando
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#5 - 2012-12-04 23:26:52 UTC
Kagumichan wrote:
I don't think these mission were play-tested to make sure they were still doable solo before it was applied.

Or maybe CCP is trying to tell you something...

CCP has no sense of humour.

Pyre leFay
Doomheim
#6 - 2012-12-04 23:26:54 UTC
Did they give remaps when they made doomsdays single target?
Did they give remaps when they made supers fighter and bomber only?
Adapt.
starbelt stacy
Project-Gonk
#7 - 2012-12-04 23:29:21 UTC  |  Edited by: starbelt stacy
Pyre leFay wrote:
Did they give remaps when they made doomsdays single target?
Did they give remaps when they made supers fighter and bomber only?
Adapt.



and by adapt you mean sit in station and train up for another 1-3 months for something else to do in eve as your chosen profession while you pay for your sub???

meanwhile back in reality.......
Herzog Wolfhammer
Sigma Special Tactics Group
#8 - 2012-12-04 23:32:16 UTC
Some Rando wrote:
Kagumichan wrote:
I don't think these mission were play-tested to make sure they were still doable solo before it was applied.

Or maybe CCP is trying to tell you something...



Not sure about that. They know subscribers would sooner leave the game before being forced to put up with the fine examples of humanity found in this game.

Bring back DEEEEP Space!

Merouk Baas
#9 - 2012-12-04 23:33:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Merouk Baas
Oh, it was tested. And feedback was given. And they pushed it anyway.

EDIT: Posters above mean that maybe CCP doesn't want us to solo level 4 missions.
Kagumichan
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#10 - 2012-12-04 23:35:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Kagumichan
Some Rando wrote:
Or maybe CCP is trying to tell you something...


Well I can understand if it was put in to promote social play, to get people to go together to do missions, but really if you have that many people around to go do level 4 missions with that level of difficulty, you may as well all go and do vanguard incursions instead since they offer much more reward in terms of isk and LP. As it is, having this kind of AI mixed with that kind of ewar makes level 4's impossible for solo play unless you have a really expensive faction/tech 2 ships, which is what level 4's are meant to offer isk to buy them with, which in turn stops people doing them, which in turn makes them pointless and obsolete.
KIller Wabbit
MEME Thoughts
#11 - 2012-12-04 23:38:18 UTC
Merouk Baas wrote:
Oh, it was tested. And feedback was given. And they pushed it anyway.

EDIT: Posters above mean that maybe CCP doesn't want us to solo level 4 missions.


and CCP maintains the course....

Hevymetal
POT Corp
#12 - 2012-12-04 23:49:55 UTC
Merouk Baas wrote:
Oh, it was tested. And feedback was given. And they pushed it anyway.

EDIT: Posters above mean that maybe CCP doesn't want us to solo level 4 missions.


Don't know if that was their intention, but it sure will have that effect.

It doesn't make it impossible to solo a Lvl4 but it sure lowers the ISK/Hr. generated and greatly increases the chance of getting popped if soloing.

It also completely flushed any old tactics/habits that players used with drones before the patch down the drain.

I also believe this result may have the intended/unintended consequence of promoting alot more meta-gaming. Everyone needs another DPS alt and while you at it throw in a Logi alt too
Rengerel en Distel
#13 - 2012-12-04 23:52:21 UTC
Did this really need another thread?

With the increase in shiptoasting, the Report timer needs to be shortened.

Riddick Liddell
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#14 - 2012-12-04 23:53:46 UTC
Rengerel en Distel wrote:
Did this really need another thread?


It did.
You replied.
Merouk Baas
#15 - 2012-12-04 23:54:08 UTC
No, it did not.
Alavaria Fera
GoonWaffe
#16 - 2012-12-04 23:54:21 UTC
Hevymetal wrote:
Merouk Baas wrote:
Oh, it was tested. And feedback was given. And they pushed it anyway.

EDIT: Posters above mean that maybe CCP doesn't want us to solo level 4 missions.


Don't know if that was their intention, but it sure will have that effect.

It doesn't make it impossible to solo a Lvl4 but it sure lowers the ISK/Hr. generated and greatly increases the chance of getting popped if soloing.

It also completely flushed any old tactics/habits that players used with drones before the patch down the drain.

I also believe this result may have the intended/unintended consequence of promoting alot more meta-gaming. Everyone needs another DPS alt and while you at it throw in a Logi alt too

Oh ho, encouraging alt account proliferation, eh. I see where this is going Cool

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 ?

Anabella Rella
Gradient
Electus Matari
#17 - 2012-12-04 23:59:57 UTC
This is the only game I've ever played that relied so heavily on having multiple accounts. If high sec mission running to generate isk for my PVP fun now requires logistics, e-war or aggro alts then I'll pass and find another game.

When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around.

starbelt stacy
Project-Gonk
#18 - 2012-12-05 00:02:14 UTC
Anabella Rella wrote:
This is the only game I've ever played that relied so heavily on having multiple accounts. If high sec mission running to generate isk for my PVP fun now requires logistics, e-war or aggro alts then I'll pass and find another game.



the idea is to force you to buy PLEX.... but i think you have got the idea now.
Kagumichan
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2012-12-05 00:03:44 UTC
starbelt stacy wrote:
the idea is to force you to buy PLEX.... but i think you have got the idea now.


and if you could actually do level 4's to make enough money to afford a PLEX to be able to do level 4's that would be a great idea. Blink
Xearal
Dead's Prostitutes
The Initiative.
#20 - 2012-12-05 00:07:32 UTC
OR.. you could you know.. adapt..

Wh residents have been putting up with the sleeper AI for ages.. I've been daytripping in w-space myself once in a while, and I've found no trouble at all with my drones vs the sleeper Ai.. it just requires a little more thinking, instead of just.. warp in, get agro, release drones.. get snack, come back, go get coffee you forgot, come back again, have a nice sip, go to next room, repeat combat actions, get noctis alt, begin salvaging..

now it actually requires you to think a bit. As for serpentis lockdown.. I've found an afterburner and some close range firepower works wonders when you get sensor damped.

Does railgun ammunition come in Hollow Point?

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