I propose drones be changed completely. There should be a drone module slot. With drone scripts. The scripts determine the drone launched. The you need material (nanite paste or drone parts) to build and launch a drone. There should be a construction delay, and then a new drone is launched. Of course that would only apply when drones are destroyed, otherwise you’d have 5 racked up drones.
It would bring drones in line with other weapon systems. Drone pilots would now be required to carry an “ammo” for drones like other weapons.
With each new expansion or addition to the game, the NPCs target drone smore frequently and quickly. I’ve been a drone whore since 2004 when I first started. I know how to fly drones. I can normally keep them alive. The last month, on anything but a rattlesnake or Gila, I barely look away from the screen for a minute to talk with my wife and I lose a drone. Being equally capable of mission running missile boats, blaster boats, Autocannon boats, etc… there’s no other weapon type that’s going to drain more money in ammo costs as this continuing drone hate trend is showing. Hell, in the last few weeks, I’ve even started losing sentries on my Ishtar. I had one start taking hits today and lost it before I could dock them up, and I was right on top of them and watching it happen. It wouldn’t sting if I could rebuild and launch a replacement without having to drop my site or mission and run back to base to resupply drones to have the firepower needed to finish.