hello fellow eggers.
sorry for long post.
i came back to eve as many of us do after a few year hiatus. i am an alpha but i was an omega clone before. i never really got past destroyers in the short time i played before. i did exploration in wormholes, mined gas and minerals, and did a little tiny bit of pve, the change a while back that made alphas capable of flying battleships sort of gave me a goal to strive towards this time, because i’ve always been a sucker for the potato looking dominix.
so with renewed enthusiasm i decided i wanted to be a mission runner with the goal of eventually getting a shiny new dominix. most of my skills where in gunnery and missiles at that point and i simply wanted to try something new so i trained heavily into drones. i used my few million isk i made from wormholes to buy a shiny new myrmidon and a gnossis since both had bonuses to drones.
for a while level 2 missions weren’t so bad as i had more than enough tank and cap to stay within 20km of anything i was fighting, but especially as i started doing level 3 missions and even some level 2 ones frankly, i noticed that my drones get targeted all the freaking time!
inb4 omg lazy complainer. here is what works for me sort of: 1. always recall to drone bay the moment they take any damage which brakes npc aggro when the drones dock in me. 2. first send out a flight of 5 light drones to kill all enemy frigates and cruisers, and then use mediums and heavies for anything larger that’s left over. 3. i always ran an armour repair module and/or drone to heal armor damage on my drones so they last the whole mission.
also; i admit my drone skills aren’t all level 5’s and i’m not using gecko’s, but rather tech 1 drones, but most of my available alpha drone skills are level 4 and i don’t see how an extra 5 percent max speed or 10 percent hp would change that my drones get mostly killed in 1 2 or 3 shots.
i did a lot of research into drones and i have tried everything!
here is what didn’t work for me:
i ran target painter and an ecm to “draw aggro” to my ship instead of my drones, but i am 100% certain that if the aggro mechanic exists in this game it is only on individual ships not groups of ships, so painting and jamming a battleship will not cause the frigates (or any other ship for that matter) in the wave to stop shooting at my drones. i even ran my gnossis with like 3 jams and a jam bonus in the low slot in the hope of jamming all the ships at once, but i only have 6 max target locks and there are frequently more than a dozen ships in a wave, and times where there are probably more than 20 ships in one group are not uncommon especially in level 3 missions so even if jamming does draw aggro 100% to me, i would only be able to jam 6 ships max even if i gave up all of my mids on the ship for strawberry jam. combine this with the painfully slow cycle time of the jammers and my 10 second lock time on frigates and i just cant jam everything and keep it jammed all at once. also burst jammers don’t have the range to be realistically useful for this purpose.
“just shoot them lol” i tried running my myrmidon with lasers, because they where better than medium auto cannons (that are terrible btw) in the hope of shooting the enemies and thus drawing aggro. i think this maybe possibly sort of works, but the problem then again becomes that i have 6 target locks before modules, max 8 with modules, and a 5-10 second lock time especially on smaller ships. add on top of that that i have to first see that my drone took shield damage, look at the drone with my eyeballs to tell who the heck is shooting it, click whomever is shooting at it in space (not from my list) to lock them and then finally shoot at it. obviously the problems with this strategy are many but most of all even if i could manage my own ships flying, tank, ab, and capacitor, while being mindful of trigger conditions and npc’s while recalling my drones the moment they take damage and sending them back out after they dock, it still doesn’t work because my lock time and limited target locks. and i’m pretty sure that at least once a ship did not change aggro to me after i hit it with my laser gun, so maybe possibly this strategy doesn’t even work to begin with.
i also tried something that i read on a forum somewhere that said that it could possibly get me banned for being an exploit possibly maybe or maybe its possibly a “fix” to a drone aggro bug, and it may have been something to do with moons, but before i get banned i just want to say that it had zero effect for me.
The other problem is that drones are broken and completely not afk friendly.
of the many problems i ran into probably the stupidest one is that the focus fire command doesn’t always work. i did notice that my drones focused targets more while the setting was on, but even when it was on, of my 5 drones especially after they kill a target, sometimes 1, or even 2 drones would fly off to attack a completely different target in the complete opposite direction of the other drones!!! why??? this not only greatly hurt my dps against targets that repaired damage it was a waste of 1/5th or even 2/5th’s of my dps if one drone goes to attack some cruiser that out heals its individual dps. that drone of somewhere doing its own thing is the equivalent of me flat out losing huge chunks of dps!
add on top of that that drones don’t seem to prioritize their own weight class very well. i mean by this that if i deploy a flight of 5 light drones, on aggressive behaviour i would like them to first target frigates, then cruisers and so on and target battleships only if they are the only valid target remaining. what i witness happening all the bloody time is that my flight of lights are trying to tickle a cruiser or battlecruiser to death while i get mauled by swarms of frigates, while i have medium and heavy drones in my bay waiting for the light drones to kill the frigates to make it safe to bring out the heavies!
the above two points mean that if i want to run the mission efficiently, or even survive the mission at all with some level 3’s i always have to target lock and order to attack all but one or two ships out of like 50 or more in a mission! i’m not going to lie, part of me liked the idea of drones maybe being a somewhat more automated weapon system than missiles or turrets, but they really really really reaeaeelelely aren’t automated at all! i wouldn’t mind so much but as i play i cant help feeling that i would rather be using artillery, lasers, railguns, or missiles instead, then i wouldn’t have to do literally the same thing as “conventional” weapon systems (lock and press a button to attack) except with the extra stress of micro managing the drones to keep them alive and healthy and well fed and getting prepared for college and making sure they don’t date some asshole who will just leave them and break their heart and making sure they don’t accidentally kill a mission trigger and cause a huge wave to spawn on my ass and kill me instantly and so on.
but the biggest problem in my opinion is that i keep losing the flipping drones in one or two shots! when i moved to level 3 missions, i actually had to keep my distance from the enemy because if they where all 8km away from me then they would instantly melt me faster than my reppers could cycle, but then i ran into the problem that the drones would melt like cardboard in acid only a few seconds after getting targeted, and even with drone nav modules and a rig they still slow boated wayy the heck too slow to avoid getting destroyed, or if they did make it back their structure was usually badly damaged. my gameplay cycle with drones looked something like this: i would keep 30-40 km distance to avoid getting insta melted by the npc’s and i would target and command drones to each enemy one ship at a time to avoid the focus fire bug or whatever, and i would spend 90% of my time either waiting for a drone to return to bay, or to go from my bay to the target that i am attacking. i was almost always missing one or more drones from the action because of this travel time, which just felt bad to me. its not like my trusty missile launcher or arty ever jammed 1/5th or 2/5ths of the weapon all the time! and i certainly never lost 4 or 5 missile launchers from my ship just from running one single mission!!!
anyways to rap things up what finally made me just throw my hands up and come write this cry post today was that i was running 2 heavies and 3 mediums on my myrmidon in a level 2, and a fresh wave must have spawned or something, but all 5 of my drones started taking shield damage within 1-2 seconds of each other. this was the first time i used the “recall all drones” command in the middle of a mission (usually i would do one or maybe 2 at a time). by the time i gave the command and the drones traveled the 50km to dock with me all 5 had significant armour damage. i just warped out and gave up on the mission because i was only running one single remote armour repairer and it would take me like 40 seconds to rep all the damage on the drones. i ended up coming back and after destroying all the frigs with my light drones i deployed the same flight with only a handful of cruisers left and my berserker heavy got taken through shield and to less than half armour as far as i could tell from just a single shot literally 2 or 3 seconds after i deployed the drones!!! i’m pretty sure that with the way that server ticks work in this game it got targeted and attacked maybe 1 or 2 ticks after i deployed it. if it wasn’t literally 300 meters from my ship at the time when i recalled it i’m pretty sure i would have lost it as i’ve lost probably dozens of drones before.
this is just stupid. add on top of this that since i started playing the game again i discovered that there is an ammo type called “auto targeting missiles” that are literally afk missile weapons!!! but i as an alpha can’t use those so it doesn’t count right??? weeeeelllllll on my attempt to jam every ship in the star system to protect my drones i discovered that one of the modules that increases max target locks is called an auto targeting computer!!! you can write a macro that keeps pressing f1 every cycle of your guns and turn this thing on and functionally afk a site as long as you maybe orbit a structure at 100-150km and don’t forget to turn on your resistance modules and ab when you warp in. then i also remembered that smart bombing battle ships at least where a thing for pve when i still played last!!! the “we don’t want you to afk pve” excuse is just pure baloney as far as i can tell
i feel really really upset as the further i get into mission running the more i hate the idea of getting a dominix for it. as far as i can tell the domi wont make my heavy drones any tankier than the myrmidon makes them. and the domi is bigger and fatter and less agile and mobile, so staying 40km from the rats without a micro jump and or sentries (alpha can’t use either btw) seems like suicide.
oh yes and to add a cherry on top of this horrible sandwich apparently sleepers hate drones more than they hate happiness and sunshine and smiling children, so my hopes of returning to wormhole space in a domi seem rather dashed. not to mention i would probably bring 40 heavies with me if i ever move to a wormhole cause they pop like flipping balloons if someone looks at them funny (and no sentries for alphas btw, so none of this ranged none sense xd).
I watched a video where some guy ran a lvl 4 as a “tutorial” and lost 2 geckos because he wasn’t paying attention for like 10 seconds while he explained something for the video. this guy lost almost 200 mil for a few second lapse in concentration. honestly i hate it. i hate how even if i put myself in a bad situation, my ship has shields, then armour, then hull with alerts all the way through, and i can pretty much warp out if things get a little heated, whereas i have to start at a tiny portion of my screen making sure that i instantly recall the drone if someone looks at it funny and even then no matter how quickly i recall the drone dies half way to my ship a mere handful of seconds later because rng made multiple enemies agro to it at once. screw drones, screw gallente, screw the dominix.
in a game where bot miners make billions of isk in null the real afk menace is apparently that i wanted roleplay as badass mercenary spaceborne potato aircraft carrier.
am i the only one who now hates drones and by extension this game with a fiery passion?