Add “Light Drone Operation” skill to the affected stuff by Wolf-Rayet beacon

What is the reason behind light drones not benefiting from the Wolf-Rayet?
The drones have small weapons, right?

Edit: ships like Ishtar and Eos would lose DPS if they used light drones instead of heavy ones in Wolf-Rayet. Also light drones pop very fast, they would have to kill frigates 1st if they wanted to use lights.

From a balance perspective, I’m personally against this; it would be too easy for drone boats to punch down in wolf rayet holes then. Feel like trolling someone? Load an Ishtar with seventy-five light drones and have at it… no thank you.

From a rules-lawyer perspective, “drones have small weapons, too”, that’s not really accurate. If we’re going to be technical, we’re talking about a specific charge size. It is the charge that is affected, not the launcher/turret; this is evident from RLMLs. Drone ammo doesn’t have a charge size. If it did, given the relative size of the drone and its gun compared to the turrets on your ship, I’d be more inclined to classify it as “micro”.

For PvE purposes it’s a moot point, since drone aggro is so heavy. Again, though, I’m against it on the principle that drone boats trivialize content, and wolf rayets are one of the few places that make an effort to incentivize manual piloting and player proficiency, rather than just overpowering the site with bigger guns and bigger tank.


Ishtar would lose DPS if it used light drones instead of heavy ones in Wolf-Rayet. Also light drones get destroyed pretty fast by frigates.

Why do you want drones affected?

It’s less the amount of DPS that bothers me, more the ability to field a near infinite amount of drones that deal respectable damage to a frigate-sized tank (~300 - 550 DPS depending on weather, assuming you’re only fitting 2x T2 DDAs and cal navy hornets) with good speed, good tracking, HAC levels of tank on the drone boat and the ability to deploy/control from 70km+. I don’t see that being an enjoyable addition to the meta.

Yes, individual flights light drones can be defanged without too much effort. Incentivizing ishtars to fit exclusively light drones with buffed damage to fight a largely frigate/destroyer meta still doesn’t sound like a balanced idea to me.

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Regarding the PvP you could use smart bombs to easily counter Ishtar’s light drones or just shoot them down with small weapons. If that is your concern, are you okay with Rapid Light Missile Launchers benefiting from the Wolf-Rayet? That’s the beauty of the WH effects, they enable out of meta play styles and fits and drones could use some of that spice.

At one point, I thought RLMLs on something like an ONI were pretty cancerous in Wolf-Rayets, too. The ability to project that much well-applied damage out that far was a little ridiculous in a weather intended to give small ships a chance at shining. I haven’t done anything with WRs since the removal of hull-bonused RLML projection, so I don’t know what I think of it right now.

I must be more out of touch with eve meta than I realized if drone boats are considered “out of meta” by any stretch of the imagination.

Is light drone Ishtar in the meta? I meant not meta fits

Not as far as I know. But I also don’t consider swapping drones out on an ishtar to be a meta-changing act. The basic playstyle is still the same, you’re just altering the exact weapon used.

To me, arguing that going from heavy drones to light drones is a meta shift would be similar to arguing that going from 425mm on a vagabond to 220mm is a meta shift. Sure, there are differences in range, in damage, in tracking. Ultimately, though, it’s the same weapons system and the same playstyle. An ishtar is still going to be using the same basic builds; turtle tank, or heavy neut, or kitey, or w/e. The only thing that changes is your ability to apply damage to smaller ships, which are supposed to be bonused by this weather, not punished by it.

Why do you see a problem with the drones applying the dmg while all other small weapons including rapid lights do that?

Because drones aren’t small weapons. More to the point, they’re not small charges. As stated previously, the weather effect applies to the charge, not the weapon, which is why small smartbombs aren’t affected.

I’ve already explained my issues with practical applications of this further up, so I’ll stick to the mechanical differences here. Practically every cruiser in the game has a drone bay of some size. The only exception that jumps to mind are HICs. Out of those, a large percentage are designed around the use of light drones, either exclusively or in tandem with other sizes. Some, like the zealot, even give you cargo space for more than one flight. Many cruisers are specifically built to use light drones.

This isn’t like rapid lights, where it’s a fitting choice you make that trades pros and cons with other options. RLMLs are quite strong in application and burst damage, but they definitely sacrifice range compared to HMLs, or consistent damage compared to HAMs. Once you count in hull bonuses, it becomes an even more disadvantaged trade.

Drones aren’t typically built like that. A muninn isn’t sacrificing anything by using light drones. The muninn’s 25mb bandwidth is a supplementary weapons system designed to be used by that cruiser, and many others.

Could you min/max by figuring out whether medium drones’ lost DPS are worth the extra tank? Sure, but at the end of the day it’s a minor optimization, not an alteration to your playstyle. It’s more like choosing which ammo to bring. It makes a difference, but it’s not a “different fit”. It’s not really a different weapon.

Do some ships, like ishtar, have enough bandwidth that they can treat drones as a main weapons system and carry different sizes for different purposes? Yes. Does that make it choosing to bring a flight of light drones equivalent to a an eagle fitting a small blaster, or even a Cerberus fitting RLMLs? Nope.

Drones aren’t turrets, they aren’t launchers, and they shouldn’t be judged by the same ruleset. What you’re asking for is quite similar to the question of “why doesn’t pyro affect drones?”

Drones don’t have a class weight designed to be used with specific hull sizes. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that more cruisers have a 25mb bandwidth than do frigates/destroyers. At that point… why not label them as a medium weapon?

Unfortunately, now we’re just rehashing convos that have been had for years. You started the post asking for clarification on the reasons why light drones aren’t affected by Wolf Rayets, and I’ve answered that to the best of my ability. If you still don’t understand, I recommend using a search engine to find those old posts. If you want to ask somewhere else to get more visibility, a better venue for a post like this would be New Citizens Q&A . If you think that this is something CCP should look into altering, I recommend creating a separate post in Balance and Mechanics

Still does not answer why light drones applying respectable damage to frigate-sized tank would be an issue while other small combat systems do.

I believe that the weather effect applies to stuff requiring particular skills, for example “Small Energy Turret” skill. In drones case the skill is just not added to the affected list.

I do not see an issue with this, most of the fire power comes not from the drones. Light drones without supporting skills or equipment provide less than 100dps. In Wolf-Rayet case this would come down less than 170 extra dps from light drones.

I wish you put more facts and numbers behind your arguments. Thanks for the time you took to reply, I really appreciate it. I still struggle to understand under which scenarios light drones would be a huge issue. All smaller ships do respectable damage to frigate-sizes in Wolf-Rayet. Also Ishtars without support would not be able to tank in higher tier wormholes.

I took a look at your profile and other posts, didn’t realise you were so new (at least to the forum). Some of your previous posts had the distinct air of a troll about them, so I was trying to reply as politely and on-topic as possible; I didn’t realise you were just asking from the perspective of someone lacking some fundamental gameplay experiences. Sorry! I’ll try to start from a more basic premise here.

In eve, there are many different ways to affect another person’s ship, their ability to tank and their ability to deal damage. Weapon disruption, energy neutralizers, finding (or creating) resist holes, tackle modules, piloting tactics that can mitigate enemy damage through range control or angular velocity.

Drones mitigate/bypass basically all of these. They track well, and deal respectable damage. They enable the user to deal damage at either close range or from a distance equally well. They don’t rely on capacitor to use, and they aren’t affected by turret disruption or even by ECM.

About the only weaknesses of a drone are that it can be killed, and that it has to spend time flying to the target to get within range.

For this reason, drones don’t take as much player skill to use. They way you pilot your ship has little to no bearing on how well you damage the enemy, and mitigating their damage becomes as simple as “stay as far away as possible”. The enemy also doesn’t have as many options open to them in terms of using player skill and fitting tactics to mitigate your incoming damage. If you have heard the term “F1 monkey”, it describes droneboat playstyle pretty well.

By contrast, small ships can be some of the highest player skill oriented areas of pvp. The fast speeds and small tank sizes make for small margins of error. Compared to flying much larger, slower, tankier ships, like battleships, a much greater emphasis is placed on a frigate/destroyer pilot’s ability to react promptly and correctly.

Wolf Rayets not only incentive that playstyle, they amplify it and offer a chance to show off your skills. If we were to increase the emphasis on drone boats, which are low-skill vessels, the shift in player fitting to use drones would turn that weather from a reward into a punishment, because the choice to stay in a small ship means you’re exactly what the low-skill pilots will be fitting to kill.

(“But the option to fly a small ship is still there!” Yes, but you’re now putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage compared to pilots who opt for the low-skill option. There are already plenty of gameplay areas where that is true. I don’t see any reason to add wolf rayets to that list.)

For the players who keep fitting small ships, rather than swapping to drone boats… instead of an increased focus on fighting other small ships compared to other areas of space, you’re suddenly focused on punching up just like basically everywhere else in eve, but now you’re missing the advantage that you formerly held, in terms of an increase to consistently applied damage. For an ishtar to field light drones outside of a weather bonus would have been a huge drop in damage, thus balancing the increased flight time and tracking; with a WR effect applied it’s a much smaller drop in damage, and one commensurate to the increased risk posed by the enemy’s stronger weapons.

I prefer the wolf rayet effect as it is, because there is such an emphasis on flying small ships and piloting/fitting for fighting other small ships. It is a unique playing ground, even compared to gated plexes in FW.

To briefly respond to the points you mentioned:

I’ve already stated that I’m not a huge fan of RLMLs in wolf rayets, though I understand mechanically why it’s applied to them.

To deal with the drone portion of the question specifically, it’s not just about damage (though that’s where I’ll start). An unbonused full flight of light drones already deals respectable damage to a frigate-sized tank; it’s the main damage from a tristan or astero, after all. The WR effect would be significantly more than “respectable”. Piling onto that, the issue isn’t just that you’re fielding such well-applied damage on a cruiser; it’s also the natural resistance to ewar, the insanely huge range control, and the ridiculously large number of small drones you can fit into a dedicated drone boat.

My point here wasn’t “all cruisers will now be overpowered”. My point was that light drones are not a weapons system dedicated to small ships. Their cross-over to cruisers isn’t “incidental” like with RLMLs; light drones are heavily engrained in the cruiser class, and should not be considered equivalent to a frigate-sized weapon just because they’re the smallest available option. Arguing “they’re small weapons, too” isn’t accurate by any definition of the term.

The idea of easily/quickly defanging an ishtar of seventy-five drones is poorly informed. Based off napkin math, it would take a single faction small smart-bomb well over a minute to defang a caldari hornet… assuming drone durability is not trained, no hull bonus to drone tank, and the shields don’t regen a significant HP amount. To defang all seventy-five drones would then be bare minimum fifteen minutes and that’s a perfect situation, not a real world scenario. If we assume that you have lots of small smartbombs, sure, that time gets much faster, but there are other issues. To name a few… small hulls aren’t known for having multiple utility high slots, so did you have to give up some of your damage potential for these? How long can you realistically run them? Are you hitting your fleetmates?

As far as defanging them with your guns, other issues still apply. How well can you apply to the drones with your chosen weapon? How long can you tank the drones while you defang them? What if the ishtar has other tricks up its sleeve?

I’m not saying it’s impossible to find a counterplay; everything in eve has counterplay. But in this particular situation, defanging is not a practical option imo.

Balancing ships in open-world pvp on the assumption that they don’t have support leads to major balance issues, like here.

In regards to tank, as I mentioned above, medium-sized droneboats have a lot of options open to them beyond facetanking. They have four mid slots; they could use weapon disruption to nerf enemy projection, or ECM to jam them (especially if they have dedicated ewar support). They could pair with tackle and logi to just kite you. Rodivas and a tanky hero tackle can last disgustingly long, especially if the rodivas have home field advantage and are pre-spooled. Cruiser-sized drone boats can fit cruiser-sized neuts, and cruiser-sized neuts will wipe the floor with your frigate-sized cap. There are a lot of options available for them to mess with you.

On top of that, we don’t have to assume this argument is exclusive to ishtars. Dominix is even better suited to the task because its range/tracking bonuses aren’t limited to heavy drones, and Armageddon has some interesting applications here as well, with increased neut range and the ability to fit MJD.

“Wouldn’t these be a problem all the time, though?” Rarely do battleships have the opportunity to ~specifically~ fit to fight frigates, so not to quite the same extent, no. The problem is there, but in other weathers there’s a lot more realistic counterplay options that need to be handled first on the part of the potential geddon pilot. And even currently in WR holes, there’s not nearly as much inventive to take this tack. If you bonus light drones, I can guarantee there will be an increase of guys who want to do stuff like this, if only because the bonus is there and they want to find off-the-wall ways to use it.

That’s a very vague request, given that it’s a desire for specificity. What sort of facts and numbers should I be displaying? My issue isn’t exclusively, or even mainly, with the raw damage output of light drones. DPS numbers aren’t my point here, and I’m not sure what other numbers might be helpful to you.

I’m trying to illustrate with general concepts because focusing on very specific situations isn’t constructive. I’m not suggesting that your idea is bad because “this one edgecase would then be OP!!!”. I dislike the idea as a whole, and I’m going to respond to it as a whole, rather than nitpicking very specific scenarios.

That said, the premise that wolf rayets would be less enjoyable if light drones got bonused is definitely just my opinion. I’m not trying to demonstrate that your opinion is wrong, just trying to explain why I don’t share it.

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Yup, started playing this roughly 5 months ago.

Huge thanks, loved your point of view and insights

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That’s just plain wrong.
The beacon of the second sun of the WS applies to locations on ships that require specific skills.

I explained that here

That’s just a label. You can do whatever you want ^^
I agree light drones are more heavily used by cr than fr or ds.

That being said, cr can also fit small weapons. They are not bonused for them, but they can have more fit and modules.

nope. Set your drones to assist, you don’t even need F1.

You apply perfectly until they reach you. With a bonus to DPS

yeah, usually better to blap the ship.

If this is an issue, have you seen or heard of Thunderchilds using Wolf as a lightning rod?

How is it worse than them shooting their target ?

It has a niche use, that is shooting people mid-warp, but other than that … ??

What I have witnessed was in Nullsec, in ZDYA-G to be exact. There was a farm set up by a chinese guy utilizing 4-6 Thunderchilds and a Wolf. Basically all of them warp to a combat site, Wolf runs into the rats and Thunderchilds just keep shooting at the Wolf. They do not need to target anything else, everything just dies without an ability to target anything. Extremely fast with little to no effort nullsec power farm. Being aware of that gives a little different perspective on stuff being OP.

Have you ever witnessed smarbomb farming ? Or DD farming ?

Witnessed no, but I am aware of smart bombs and I have no idea what is DD. I do not understand you guys having issue with drones while all of that exists