Drone support unit & Drone link optimiser

Drone support unit
New high slot module that will allow droneships to reach their max dps without turrets fitted. That module would use cpu and pg amounts equal to turrets and will be able to overload. It would provide it’s bonuses and penalties only when activated.

Large drone support unit II: +10% to heavy/sentry drone damage / hitpoints, -10km to drone control range, no stacking. 2216PG, 60CPU,10 sec.cycle time.
Medium drone support unit II: +17% to medium drone damage / hitpoints, +5% to sentry drone damage / hitpoints, -11km to drone control range, no stacking. 165PG, 35CPU, 5 sec.cycle time.
Small drone support unit II: +25% to small drone damage / hitpoints -11.5km to drone control range, no stacking. 5.36PG, 15CPU, 2 sec.cycle time.

Drone link optimiser
New high slot module that will help to utilise extended drone bandwith on cruisers and battlecruisers, fitted with mediun drones, how they supposed to be… Also, that allows to make close range anti-small ship setups.
-25mbit/s bandwidth, +30% drone damage, passive, 1pg, 1cpu.

Those modules should not have stacking penalties since all they do is replacing turrets and bandwidth.

As a result, we would get
(all of these are extra close range setups equal to ones with blasters)

[Armageddon] 1194dps
Drone Damage Amplifier II x4
Large drone support unit x5
Ogre II x5

[Arbitrator] 670dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Medium drone support unit x4
Hammerhead II x5

[vexor] 783dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Medium drone support unit x3
Drone link optimiser x1
Hammerhead II x5

[myrmidon] 964dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Medium drone support unit x3
Drone link optimiser x2
Hammerhead II x5
238 380

[gila] 1175dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Medium drone support unit x5
Hammerhead II x2

[Algos] 558dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Small drone support unit x5
Hobgoblin II x5

[Tristan] 274dps
Drone Damage Amplifier II x3
Small drone support unit x3
Hobgoblin II x5

[Worm] 393dps
Drone Damage Amplifier II x2
Small drone support unit x3
Hobgoblin II x2

As a counter to bandwidth optimiser for those, who does not want or need to use drones at all, we can think about an item that would provide damage boost for turrets and launchers when placed into dronebay. Like +10% damage and -25mbit of drone bandwidth per unit.

So basically drone buffs instead of the turrets or missile launchers?

  • 1

I don’t like the concept.

Would need to be coupled with a corresponding decrease to base stats. Ships are precariously balanced already, adding in new ways to make them tougher would only reduce that balance further.

Main goal is to get rid of additional weapon systems and achieve full dps with drones alone. To rely on their mechanics only, if player wants to. It is a question of choice. If all the drones will die no enemy guns - so be it.
Its not like they should be better than others. Just look at the carriers.
Thats why i added that fitting requirements and control range penalties.
Still there are magik control range rigs that ruin the idea of limiting range because they add kilomiters instead of %…

If something looks obviosly wrong - just point it, instead of writing “it will be OP”.

What about what CCP wants them to do? It’s not like they pulled the traits out of a hat.

In terms of what’s wrong with it, consider that in every case drone boat dps goes up. Substantially. You can still fit a weapon system with these.

There’s no trade-off in most cases either. Non-hybrid platforms like the VNI get a straight-up damage increase. Hybrid platforms can still throw one of these in a utility high for a straight-up damage increase. Yes, they’ve got fitting costs… no, they’re not prohibitively high.

Ultimately my argument is that it’s a straight-up damage increase. And that is not warranted, because drone boats do just fine in PVP.

Pfft no.

E-war cruisers doing as much dps as battlecruisers?

CCP wants players to pay for the game. Yes, they are doing good, but existence of this forum section means they want to see our ideas as well.

I tried to counter this with fitting requirements and had a hard time calculating %s for each mod to not make them stronger compared to ones with turrets . If that is not enough, every DSU can be tied to turret or launcher hardpoint to prevent utility slot usage. Even so, i doubt that somebody will ever meet those fits in real game.

[VNI] 887dps
Drone Damage Amplifier IIx4
Medium drone support unit x1
Drone link optimiser x3
Hammerhead II x5
Hall, that thing looks even vorse than before) Link optimisers were ment to utilise extra bandwidth, but this also causes boost to dronebay… i’ll think about it.

Every empire faction is meant to have two ships for each of two weapon systems in every ship size. Its not arby’s fault that it has evar bonus. First of all, this ship is amarr droneboat. Even so,
[Arbitrator] 671dps
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II x2
Drone Damage Amplifier II x2
Heavy Neutron Blaster II x4, Void M
Hammerhead II x5
this could do the same, if there were 4 turret hardpoints.

No. (here we go again)

Each race has an attack cruiser, a combat cruiser, a logi cruiser and an ewar cruiser.

No they don’t necessarily have different weapon systems. Maller and omen. Rupture and stabber.

Even if we did pigeon hole ships like this, it wouldn’t explain why an ewar cruiser is doing as much damage as a battlecruiser.

Concept wise, the idea just isn’t gonna happen. It redefines how every ship in the game is balanced and runs into problems right away (you’re adding significant dps to any ship that has utility highs and a decent drone bay, which is how you’ve tripled the arbitrators dps. And there isn’t much drawback for fitting one of your arbitrators for both e-war and stupid dps). Your suggestion that turrets/missiles should get a comparable module that reduces drone bay for extra turret/missiles damage doesn’t fully consider how it will have drastically disproportionate affects on different ships. Take a thorax using such a mod vs a caracal, two attack ships of same tech level and size. Maybe it works fine on the thorax because it halves its drone bay, but the caracal has a 10m3 drone bay. What happens when you take out 25m3? Does it goto 0 and therefore doesn’t fully feel the penalty of such a mod? Or can it not fit it at all and now works differently to a ship it’s supposed to be similar to?

For future reference, stay away from the idea of modules/rigs adding/removing slots, hardpoints, drone bay etc because it completely overhauls how every ships is balanced.

It doesn’t work as well as you think it would, drones are relatively easy to destroy then what do you have?

The idea has some potential, but there is a big problem with trying to adjust/compare drone damage to blaster damage. You’re lucky to apply full damage with blasters with void ammo out to 10-20km, even on a battleship. The range penalties on the suggested mods aren’t enough, in theory full dps could be applied out to 40+km easy.

Unless there was some easy fix for that, which is unlikely as drone range mods are based on true distances rather than percent based, I don’t foresee this as very feasible. With rigs and mods, it would just be too easy to project too much damage out far.

You are asking for 700+ DPS cruisers with medium drones application at 40+ km… What the ■■■■?

I like drones.

Maybe if you made these replace turrets—IE, they don’t get to go in utility highs, they actually require turret or missile slots to be fit.

Right… and taking a hard departure from a very clearly intended gameplay design will almost certainly get declined unless you can demonstrate that there’s an improvement to be had.

Pure drone boats have hardslots. They’ll still be able to fit these in place of unbonused turrets without penalty.

Even if I take your numbers at face value that’s roughly a 40% increase in dps. You don’t see a problem with this?

As I’ve said, this is little more than a drone boat dps buff. It won’t give people choices to make because it’ll be a no-brainer. You’ll fit as many of these as you can.

In order to keep drone boats like the Dommie and VNI in check you’d need to take away their hardpoints or reduce their drone bonuses. Their DPS is already in a good place, and it’s almost always exclusively drone-based. It’d be a no-brainer on pretty much any drone boat to fit one or three of these, even at a cost of bonused hardpoints.

yeah, they would need to be balanced so that they provided a similar DPS boost as an unbonused turret.

I don’t mind shifting more of the DPS from those ships to the drones, but it should be a straight swap, not an increase.

There’s more to it than that though, so although speaking simplistically a “straight swap” is a valid line of thought, we have to remember that application is a thing drones tend to do VERY well. Trading out a ■■■■ turret that doesn’t apply well, needs ammo and possibly cap, and needs to get in range (particularly if it’s short range) for drone damage bonuses is already going to be a very easy choice to make.

I guess I’m saying that it’d have to be the “realistic damage swap”, along with requiring a hardpoint. OP’s numbers are of course just numbers and could be tweaked, but based on where he started, they were WAY out of line with realistic expectations.

I’m just not sure there’s a point.

If it’s a hardpoint unbonused hull, the hull is balanced around its current drone damage and these mods do nothing but create imbalance. Which means they’d have to scale back to the point that they offer as much damage as an unbonused hardpoint (again, their “real world dps” not just their paper dps).

If it’s a hardpoint bonused hull, the modules being weak enough to provide unbonused damage would not warrant replacing your bonused hardpoint weapon.

In the first case, all it does is create balance issues. In the second case, it’ll probably never get used if it is properly balanced.

Application is a thing, but drones themselves are well balanced around it. When was the last time you had a gun shot off your ship?

I think swapping the damage or around the ideal damage of a turret would be OK, with the caveat that the module replaces a hardpoint and requires laser level cap use, which would be a tad rough on ships designed with projectiles or hybrids in mind.

For added fun, you could make the modules different for missile and turret hardpoints— For instance one could work on regular drones while the other works on sentries, or one could be something other than straight DPS, Like additional armor or shielding, an active armor/hull repair rate, or whatever so long as it’s not already covered by the other drone modules.

I also strongly disagree with the OP in bringing the dps up to the levels of a turret of the Autocannon/Blaster/Pulse variety— other than pulse a decently skilled individual can get drones easily outside the range of short range weapon systems, so if you are going to give them a turret equivalency then it should be the long range variety.

All told, I’m not against improving drones. It’s only in the last few years that people stopped laughing at them for their poor DPS, and honestly they still suffer from most of the issues they always did before the rebalance of the Domi with that tracking bonus that made so many people sit up and take notice.

However, those improvements need not be simple DPS. Many of the issues with drones are QOL things that make them a PITA to manage due to the ancient interface.

In addition, for the boost in power that tracking bonus provided, they took a huge hit in PVE with NPCs eating them. Sometimes it’s not so bad. Other times I just dock the drone ships and go get something else because nothing will stop the slaughter. Not many forum folks will care about that, but it’s an important issue, one that is made all the worse by those UI issues mentioned earlier.

Edit: Just to be clear, I’m not married to the idea though, just speaking in terms of it’s not the most awful idea I’ve ever seen.

I don’t approve because it would make bots/semiafk farmers stronger. If it were up to me drones would not be allowed to auto agress, in which case I would accept this as a positive change.

The bots arguments are dumb.

Bots are already disallowed, and should simply be banned when found. If you like hunting farmers you should rejoice at semiafk farmers, since they are not paying attention and are easy to catch.

On the other hand, the auto aggression of drones is an important function, one of the few strengths of the weapon system as once they are active it makes them resistant to ECM since you don’t have to have a lock for them to keep doing what they do. It’s not perfect as you have to often bring them back in and they sit there stupid in space unless something new attacks you or you manage to get a break, but it’s still an important feature for them.

Whether bots are allowed or not, they’re still a thing. Saying “they aren’t allowed so they aren’t a consideration” is the epitome of sticking your head in the sand.

As for afk farmers… it’s of course debatable but I do feel afk farming in general is a problem. AFK farming should have the same level of productivity as AFK cloaking… none. Whether or not you enjoy hunting them is of course relevant to your enjoyment of the game, but I do feel they’re harmful to the game itself.

Lastly… ECM. While you’re right in concept, I’d argue that unless you’re 1v1ing someone in a FW plex, they aren’t a reliable counter to ECM. Half the time your drone auto-aggro will send them off to kill a rat instead of the dude jamming you. Drones love dank ticks more than they love their owners.

As an aside on that topic, I’d love to have drones become an actual ewar counter - the ability to tell them to hit the person/people hitting you with EWAR. Then we could justify giving the ECM boats some actual tank (like the rook).

Let them still attack something once they have engaged but no auto-attack. You have to give them the command 1st. You would still get to apply DPS while ECM’d or under heavy damp but completely remove afk farming since the drones never attack 100% on their own.