I’m going to take the “different scenarios require different weapons” thing that was mentioned above and change it to “different tactics require different weapons.”
Drones are a weapon system that is a bit difficult to master and takes a lot of skillpoints to get good DPS out of it.
That said, droneboats offer a kind of flexibility that allows for some crazy setups and equally mindboggling tactics.
A good drone pilot in the right situation can infuriate opponents and be a saving grace to allies.
But lets start with the basics.
Where drones work well:
- Situations where endurance is favored over brute DPS (damage per second)
– Example: Most PvE encounters, attacking structures
- Situations where one wants to confound and be as slippery as possible
– Example: Applying Electronic Warfare (see: debuffs) at a distance while the drones pound away either up close or from a different direction
- Super close, in-your-face (see: brawling) battles where all ships are moving slow
– Example: Capital/Battleship/Battlecruiser fights
Where drones do not work well:
- “Running” fights where both sides are hitting 1500+ m/sec at sub-warp and/or warping to different points in the field.
- “Hit-and-run” / “Ganking” style warfare where one wants to deal as much damage in as little time as possible
- Large chaotic battlefields where connection issues become an issue
In today’s meta running battles, kiting, and hit-and-run style tactics are pretty dominant.
Only a few drone ships can really pull off those same tactics and they still require a bit of setup and methodical execution (which means that they will still not be favored by most).
In the scenarios in your OP, you mentions that people were killing you before you could deploy drones.
This can come down to a few things:
- Your fit wasn’t “sturdy” enough (post your fit and maybe we can help)
- You encountered a situation where there was too much damage aimed at you and were doomed from the start (see: it would not have mattered what weapon you were packing)
- You fumbled with the controls (hint: you can create hotkeys for drones!)