Do NPCs attack empty ships?

I know they will pop abandoned drones… but will they pop a ship?

Reason for asking: In a small mining fleet with Hulks, sometimes those pesky Damaviks pop in and cause problems. Although my Hulks are 70-75% on shield resists with extenders etc, they still take a beating. As far as combat drones, they are basically cannon fodder to try and escape as these rats seem to hit the drones the second they see them.

So, with that being said, I loaded up a fitted assault frigate in the Orca’s hangar bay and had wanted to maybe swap to it to clear the rats? Will the Damaviks target the empty Hulk still? I suppose I could try and test this with a corvette…but figured it was quicker to ask. I can’t seem to find anything specific on this question.

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If they’re naturally aggressive, yes.

NPC rats in belts, combat anomalies, etc. will shoot the empty ship until it’s a wreck.
Lancers and other generally “peaceful” ships (that only attack when aggressed/triggered) will leave it alone.

They aren’t that hard to kill. Just carry a flight of combat drones in your Orca.

So, I guess my next question would be NPC targeting priority… With player targets still in range, will they proceed with them first, or simply include the empty ship(s) as part of their priority?

I know this may not have definite answer, but I am trying to find information to reduce the risk of losing a 300+ mil ship on a “hunch”. If anyone knows something about NPC targeting priorities, I would love to hear them.

I can easily kill a squad of 4 Trigs in a passively tanked Skiff and not lose a single drone. If your combat drones are out when the Trigs warp in and your drones auto-aggress them, they will pop your drones pretty quick. The trick is to recall your drones as soon as you see the Trigs warp in, then wait for one of them to attack you, THEN deploy your combat drones and kill them.

No one really knows this. Some people say NPCs prioritize ships with corpses in them, ships that use Ewar, ships that use tackle mods, etc.

I’m sure some testing can be done to figure it out, but I don’t know any actual consensus on how NPCs prioritize things.

Kill the neut (starving) first, then the remote repper (renewing), then kill the two damaviks.

I thought that was an urban legend, like black-market kidneys or sharknados.

Same here. I’ve heard it a lot, but never actually had it happen myself.

Yea, seems like a big risk leaving a ship empty around hostiles…makes sense. I decided to just slap on a couple of large remote shield boosters on the Orca. Can sustain those for about 2mins…which is plenty of time for the drones to do their work. Was looking for the Ancillary Boosters but none in region… For the little I deal with rats those would be fine.

I lost a Hulk yesterday to one of those Dams… 2 Hulks and Orca with t2 drones out and they wiped the drones within 20 seconds. I made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to align and get out…and it was one of those popped while at warp things. My biggest mistake was waiting on the mining drones to come back from 18km away…which I almost never run them out that far… All in all it gave me thoughts on using the Orca’s hangar.

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