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Dev Blog: Giving Drones an Assist

First post First post
Author
Sniper Smith
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#381 - 2014-04-02 14:14:46 UTC
CCP Fozzie -- I asked this a few pages back, I'll ask again.

Can we look forward to Drone related hardwires ? Drones are the only primary weapon system in Eve without any hardwires. Honestly I don't even need DPS hardwires [though that would be nice].. even MWD/Normal Speed, HP, etc would be awesome.

Can we look forward to more Drone Rigs ? As it stands there are a few universal for speed and such, and then the mining and sentry specific ones. Can we see either some universal damage ones, or some for Light/Medium/Heavy damage, to complement the Sentry one ?

We have the Nav Computer, that boosts MWD speed, and the Rig that boosts normal speed.. any chance we can see a Mid to boost normal speed too ? Some drones, most notably Havies, would REALLY benefit from more speed chasing targets without having to give up a Rig slot.

Lastly, Sisters of Eve are now a Drone wielding force. Shouldn't they also get some of the Drone faction mods ? (probably some laser ones too) .. It only makes sense to keep them in line with the other factions and their selection of mods that are tied to their weapon systems.

If you could address some of this I'd be most thankful.
Abulurd Boniface
CORE BUSINESS
#382 - 2014-04-02 14:15:35 UTC
Paynus Maiassus wrote:
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.


So, you're whining. Which is sad because you raise valid points. You can raise valid points without whining.

I do agree that I don't see a reason not to expand on the roles of drones. They already fire at bad guys, they salvage, they do EWAR, why not also give them other interesting things to do that would make them really bad news to see them circling around your ship. That's a great point.

I don't support 'just a few tweaks'. I have some understanding of how that process works, it takes plenty of considerations to make all this work. And it belittles the efforts of our gentle giants in far Reykjavik. They are far more deserving of our love and respect than that.

I would hope that the Summer release has more to it than drone adjustments. The drones just being one aspect that's being changed.

Your points are valid and deserving of consideration and you want to present them as such. 'Expressing dismay', seriously, you're using the emotional energy of people who are working extremely hard to bring us a product that does not have an equal on all of planet Earth. Celebrate that experience and be part of it. Make it be about the great ideas you have, and they are not bad at all, don't make it about shaking fists in inchoate rage.

You asked what 'we all thought' so I'm telling you.

Elequent-Lady Dolorous
Marchwarden
#383 - 2014-04-02 14:19:13 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
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.


Well thanks for the response,

Have you tried refitting mods in high lag fights? It dosn't work half the time.

Why are we trying to buff what was already the best supercarrier statistically?

Yes, the "e" was intentional. 

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#384 - 2014-04-02 14:19:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Tippia
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
I will cease with the defence of casual high sec players when their defence is not needed anymore.
Nothing of what's being done here has anything to do with highsec players, though, so I don't understand why you're bringing them up.

Quote:
Finally, splitting the small / medium skill paths kills the new players in the Algos and Vexor, to name a couple ships.
Not really, no, since new players will benefit from the much higher base damages they get initially with their training. They'll be far better off than they currently are and we don't yet know what the skill ranks will be for those new skills.

TrouserDeagle wrote:
caldari drones already are competitive, I don't know where you're getting this frmo. and you really should do everything I suggest re: drones, because I am right.

He's getting it from the fact that they aren't being used. Their competitive edge is far too small and far too situational to be worth it for most players, which is why they are seeing about as much usage as the completely useless Amarr drones. People go for a general best in class, and situational advantages of any other drones are… well… situational. So those drones are discarded in favour of guaranteed results.

It's much the same reason why the split-damage “advanced” drones never took off: because split damage inherently means less damage. So why on earth would you get a far more expensive drone that is much worse at its only task — killing stuff?


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.

  • I maintain the suggestion that you simply give all (non-sentry) drones the same damage output and let resists and damage profiles make the difference there. If you want to have some other differentiation, think of what it is that you get out of the speed differences and try to implement that through different means.

    E.g. minmatar drones have an easy time catching up and establishing an orbit around its target. Perhaps caldari drones are a bit slower, but have much longer ranges and larger engagement envelops — they don't need to fully catch their target because they just have to get close enough to bring their long range to bear. Or maybe create a classic split between alpha and DPS — some drones will rather binary in that either the cloud is large enough to blap a target, or it will mostly be scary between each volley, whereas others will slowly but surely grind the target down through continuous DPS.

    Do something other than just making a choice between high damage or high speed, because the half-way options will always be just half-way and will only perpetuate the same problem you're having now (for the exact same reason).


    Oh, and just to nag a little: could you clarify the exact skill prereqs for the revamped T2 drones, and whether or not this will entail any ye olde “if you could use it before”-type fiddling with people's skills?
    Elequent-Lady Dolorous
    Marchwarden
    #385 - 2014-04-02 14:20:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Elequent-Lady Dolorous
    Double post, these forums hate phones Big smile

    Yes, the "e" was intentional. 

    Valterra Craven
    #386 - 2014-04-02 14:20:48 UTC
    HEY CCP! Once again you guys are doing a lot work for not a whole lot of change! Why do insist on doing these changes?!

    So here's the deal:

    Leave your changes as they are if you want, BUT add the following

    Dump all racial drone skills

    Add the following skills

    Light Drone Spec
    Medium Drone Spec
    Heavy Drone Spec
    Sentry Drone Spec

    But I guess making a weapon system make sense and jive with all the other weapon systems in game would be too damn easy.

    Tippia
    Sunshine and Lollipops
    #387 - 2014-04-02 14:25:25 UTC
    Barton Breau wrote:
    Tippia wrote:
    If I were to guess, that would probably be the thing: with additions such as faction DDAs being made, we'd start seeing ships doing exactly that and also being able to deliver a couple hundred more with regular guns on top. So the top end would have to be toned down a bit to not make all the 125mb bandwidth ships (including the Ishtar) downright silly.

    So in essence, to allow room for further general buffs, the baseline has to be adjusted a bit downwards to ensure that the end result remains somewhat sane.

    You seem to be assuming the hypothetical faction DDAs will be somehow stronger than officer ones (930dps max)...

    Moreover, why mention gun dps at all, dont most ships have a drone bay?
    No, I just assume that they'll be stronger than the T2 ones and will be in much more widespread use, which will lead to a general increase in drone-specific damage output — a development they might want to tone down somewhat. I also assume that the drone ships will mount guns in addition to their drones (but mainly devote their module slots to boosting the drones rather than the guns), which would let them reach pretty silly damage outputs — the pre-nerf Domi was a good example of this. Yes, most ships have drone bays, but most ships don't rely on them or spend slots boosting them because that would make their main weaponry much weaker and thus be a waste of slots.
    Inquisitor Kitchner
    The Executives
    Executive Outcomes
    #388 - 2014-04-02 14:25:31 UTC
    I generally judge game changes on the basis that if they are annoying the right people it's a good change. When people like Barracuda from Finfleet abd Dinsdale is annoyed by the change is often means it's a good one.

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared." - Niccolo Machiavelli

    Weasel Leblanc
    Center for Advanced Studies
    Gallente Federation
    #389 - 2014-04-02 14:26:35 UTC
    I haven't read all twenty pages of replies, so I don't know if this has come up yet or not, but it needs to be said.

    These drone changes do nothing to fix how absurdly problematic it is to use drones in PvE with the AI changes from I-forget-how-long-ago. My problem is not the fact that drones get aggro sometimes - I can deal with this - but the fact that it takes an absurdly long time for the little gits to return to my ship after I order them to return to bay.

    They often get blown up (or at least significantly dinged up) on the return trip, even when I give the return-to-bay order at the first sign of damage to their shields. This happens because they are slowboating with zero transversal.

    Can we please have drones MWD their way back on the return trip? Or a defensive maneuvers option, or just SOMETHING to make it so that they aren't hideously overexposed to the fire of huge numbers of red crosses when I call them back?
    Fredric Wolf
    Black Sheep Down
    Tactical Narcotics Team
    #390 - 2014-04-02 14:28:25 UTC
    CCP Fozzie wrote:
    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.


    While I agree with you on being able to switch out mods for more damage I still feel that Thanny and Nyxs are still getting the hardest hit by this. With only 6 low slots giving up 2 slots for damage mods greatly reduces its tank. When DDA did not effect fighter and fighter bomber damage 5% per lvl was a nice bonus now with these new changes wouldn't 10% per lvl be more adequate or an entirely new bonus all together? I understand that Supers still have to be looked at but this change will effect this single ship the hardest and with out a time table on super rebalancing.
    Sven Viko VIkolander
    Allemannsrett
    #391 - 2014-04-02 14:28:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Sven Viko VIkolander
    1) I don't think the changes to drone balance will help Caldari drones much, as others have argued. Not enough ships have kinetic weakness, which makes their actual DPS in most situations lower than the already faster Minmatar drones.

    2) I don't really care for some of the skill changes. My view might partly be biased in that I just finished drone interfacing V a few days ago, but the changes significantly reduce how effective a well-skilled drone pilot is over a less-skill drone pilot. Reducing to a 15% bonus instead of 10% would be more fitting I think.

    3) I think the MWD speed of all light drones should be increased slightly, or, better yet, a small buff to the bonuses from the drone navigation skill--simply to keep up with MWD speed power creep that many changes have brought. I'm specifically talking about the interceptor changes. Even without links interceptors are a bit too immune to warrior IIs. That's my perception anyway, might be wrong. Or, a better option might be to add another line of faction drones--say, sisters of eve--which are even faster than warrior IIs but do less dps etc, specifically for fighting the faster targets.

    4) In general, sentry drones still track too well. I think we saw this in the NEO, when sentry drones clearly alpha'd targets even with sigs below 100.
    Alghara
    Les chevaliers de l'ordre
    Goonswarm Federation
    #392 - 2014-04-02 14:31:37 UTC
    Hi Fozzie

    They are some very good idea in the re balance.

    But please check some stats if you compare long range guns versus Sentry drone.

    The sentry drone are still too powerful, because range versus alpha (dps) and tracking is clearly a big advantage and when you use sentry, you don't need to use some extra slot or rigs for the fitting (example Amarr need more powergrid with beam etc).

    Perhaps the best way will be to decrease the tracking of the sentry by 25%

    Also for the modification of the new drone light medium and heavy it's a good thing about new repartition tracking versus dps and speed.

    But you have still the problem when you use small drone against inty or very very fast ship. Your drone can't apply the damage because light drone make a lot of mwd between each hit . (same problem with all e-war drone) Example the small web drone are completely useless against inty.

    Tracking disruptor :

    why not use the tracking disruptor against drone. When you use then on the ship the module perturb the transmission data between ship and drone . That will be affect the tracking or the range of the drone also.





    Degalo
    Imperial Academy
    Amarr Empire
    #393 - 2014-04-02 14:33:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Degalo
    CCP Fozzie wrote:
    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.


    So, just outright admit that you'd like armor supercarrier pilots to be forced into more risk to have the same damage as before - because they can "refit on the fly" - which actually isn't always an option (lag, massive bumps, depots being destroyed before onlining ... you know, things actual experience teaches you).

    This isn't balance, it's an attempt to force players into something else in what is supposed to be a sandbox.

    The Wyvern was already the best supercarrier in the game, but it wasn't being used. Instead of trying to understand why, you decide to nerf armor.

    In the bigger picture, shield supers are not viable because shield titans are not viable:

    1. The damage application of the Leviathan sucks, because capital missiles are absolute ****.

    2. The Ragnarok has the weakest shield tank of all titans.

    So unless you are going to be reworking titans as well - which will very likely just be another nerf to armor, rather than a buff to shield, you're going to see very little difference in Wyvern use.

    You cannot achieve balance by wildly swinging the nerf bat around the table. You must understand the whole picture, and how the classes work together - and you don't, not even in the slightest.
    seth Hendar
    I love you miners
    #394 - 2014-04-02 14:35:57 UTC
    CCP Fozzie wrote:
    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.

    so this means that if no further training, someone currently able to use T2 sentrys having all racials at IV, will not be able to use them anymore after?

    if this is the case, then it is very, very wrong because you are screwing ppl over their SP, training time, thus the money they gave you.
    Ammzi
    Dreddit
    Test Alliance Please Ignore
    #395 - 2014-04-02 14:36:03 UTC
    Why did you make fighter bombers almost unbombable now?
    At the moment you can catch them during a small timeframe where they MWD to a target and are clustered up. In the future you will need multiple bomb waves to kill them even there.

    When they are at a target they are as unbombable as a battleship.
    CCP Rise, pls.
    knobber Jobbler
    Bat Country
    Pandemic Horde
    #396 - 2014-04-02 14:36:27 UTC
    Degalo wrote:
    CCP Fozzie wrote:
    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.


    So, just outright admit that you'd like armor supercarrier pilots to be forced into more risk to have the same damage as before - because they can "refit on the fly" - which actually isn't always an option (massive bumps, depots being destroyed before onlining ... you know, things actual experience teaches you).

    This isn't balance, it's an attempt to force players into something else in what is supposed to be a sandbox.

    In the bigger picture, shield supers are not viable because shield titans are not viable:

    1. The damage application of the Leviathan sucks, because capital missiles are absolute ****.

    2. The Ragnarok has the weakest shield tank of all titans.

    So unless you are going to be reworking titans as well - which will very likely just be another nerf to armor, rather than a buff to shield, you're going to see very little difference in Wyvern use.

    You cannot achieve balance by wildly swinging the nerf bat around the table. You must understand the whole picture, and how the classes work together - and you don't, not even in the slightest.


    Its an attempt to balance an utterly overpowered class of ship. Also, post with your main, its more fun that way.
    Drak Fel
    Blackwater USA Inc.
    Pandemic Horde
    #397 - 2014-04-02 14:39:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Drak Fel
    Barbaydos wrote:
    now the fighter bombers are going to die, its a fact, with a buff to their hp it may take a bit longer but they are still going to die. with the volume changes the aeon and wyvern are going to quickly run out of bombers relegating them to being repair platforms or just doing fighter dps. not very super anymore


    Apparently CCP feels that supercarriers should only be used for grinding undefended structures and as expensive logistics ships. All of the changes they make to them move them more and more into those roles exclusively and make them more and more useless for anything else.
    Admiral Rufus
    The Tuskers
    The Tuskers Co.
    #398 - 2014-04-02 14:39:43 UTC
    Give us a way of repairing our drones which have suffered armor/structure damage whilst in space, damaged drones are bloody annoying in wormholes. This could be as simple as allowing nanite paste repair of drones, or my favourite idea of giving a highslot smartbomb like module which does aoe repair and just works on drones, not enough to allow you to keep drones alive under fire, but enough to repair them if you need to out of combat
    Nartel Vortok
    Brutor Tribe
    Minmatar Republic
    #399 - 2014-04-02 14:43:09 UTC
    Admiral Rufus wrote:
    Give us a way of repairing our drones which have suffered armor/structure damage whilst in space, damaged drones are bloody annoying in wormholes. This could be as simple as allowing nanite paste repair of drones, or my favourite idea of giving a highslot smartbomb like module which does aoe repair and just works on drones, not enough to allow you to keep drones alive under fire, but enough to repair them if you need to out of combat


    You could call it a 'Remote armor repairer' and make 4 sizes of it: small, medium, large and capital.
    Drak Fel
    Blackwater USA Inc.
    Pandemic Horde
    #400 - 2014-04-02 14:44:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Drak Fel
    Ammzi wrote:
    Why did you make fighter bombers almost unbombable now?
    At the moment you can catch them during a small timeframe where they MWD to a target and are clustered up. In the future you will need multiple bomb waves to kill them even there.

    When they are at a target they are as unbombable as a battleship.
    CCP Rise, pls.


    Seriously? You're mad because it will take one guy running several cheap bombers with isboxer more than one bombing run to make a 30 billion plus isk ship defenseless?