Abyssal Runners - Drone Popcorn Since Invasion Release

Have any regular Abyssal (T4/T5) runners noticed drones popping like flies since the Invasion release?

I’m not talking about the drop in Gila drone HP role bonus from a while back, or using T1/T2 faceroll drones, under-skilled drone durability, or losing focus on a [damage]grip tessera spawns.

I’m talking about Faction drones going from bricks tanking everything BUT Tessera/specific T4 rooms (even after the 250% Gila role drop) to basically turning into 35M popcorn kernels in every room since Invasion release? (Yes - Even with Goliath Drone Tuner Implant.)

If this is intentional - no worries - I’ll adapt. That’s what we pilots have to do… IF intentional. But this seems too stark a contrast compared to pre-release game play (with no release notes on it I’ve found) to feel intentional.

So… am I nutso, or have others noticed the issue as well or know the intention?

Launch drones first to bait NPC aggro, then pull them back in to reset aggro onto your Gila. Relaunch drones again and there’s no problem.

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Will do Scoots - thank you.

I did notice T2 drones seems somewhat “safe-ish” after pulling in factions and dropping them to finish a room after factions got unexpectedly melted. But I attributed it to the drop in incoming dps with the room half done.

That lends credence to your suggestion though!

I fly an Ishtar usually in t4/t5 and the drone aggro is completely different. I’ve got to deploy a drones to even get the aggro kicked of in sites. As in i can fly around for several minutes in a room with no aggro kicking of at all. Which is nuts as i need aggro to pull on to me so i can deploy drones to kill stuff. It’s really challenging atm the way the AI works.

I’m actually thinking of giving up on the Ishtar and trying some kind of armor tanked gunboat. As im getting sick of this crap of having to baby drones all the time. Especially as I’m using Geckos which are around 100 mill a pop in Jita.

Launch drones to get aggro started. Then pull them back. NPCs will reset aggro to you and then you can relaunch drones with no issue

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Weird change on CCp’s part - again I question whether it was intentional Excaliburs.

But it sounds like you have a similar suggestion to Scoots. Drop drones to implement aggro, quickly pull to re-focus on yourself - then re-deploy for a pre-invasion style run.

That’s exactly what i’m doing mate.

Even so though aggro seems to be switching back to the drones more often than it used to. As i’ve noticed a definite increase in site times. I also seem to be taking more damage to my geckos.

On the Battlecruiser spawn as long as i pulled them in as soon as i got yellow boxed. I could pull them in without taking armor damage. Now my geckos are just about staying out of hull when i pull them in as soon as they’re yellow boxed.

Good luck with that Excaliburs - I was pissed losing a couple Augmented Vespas to bullsh** AFK rooms on my first couple runs the other day since the update launched. If those had been near a quarter bil in losses, I would have been far more annoyed.

Thank you again Scoots - still feels like an unnecessary change in mechanics, but hopefully only for the short term. I appreciate your suggested fix.

CCP - please let us know if this was an intentional change.
cough I’m sure they’ll reply post-haste! cough

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I also noticed delayed agro in some (not all) rooms, but drones agro is as toxic as before. Not more, not less.

I’ve noticed same:

  • delayed aggro
  • drones dies too fast
  • i have to pull them back so I lose dps = less time left for end Abyssal site

I hope this NPC AI will come to null anoms in next patch.


Finally there is a reason to fly Nine-drone boats!

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