Grappling drones

“grappling drones” for lack of a better word, has 3 different sizes just like normal drones, the main difference being instead of orbiting the enemy ship and doing damage from a distance these drones grapple on to the enemy ship and do damage from point blank range.

the idea is they are pretty much the same stats and bonuses as normal drones.

potentially this can reduce lag in the game and clear up the battlefield from too much chaos (because they dont need as much visual effects), and might reduce the length of really long fights. not to mention the potential for cooler looking ships with things sticking out of them, which people can “visually identify” if they know what to look for. these drones are also smaller than normal drones because they need to be able to stack against each other in case there are too many grappling drones on one ship, like some sort of nanobots. Also big size grappling drones wont be able to grapple on to a smaller size frigate ship for example. alternatively instead of the usual 5 drones you only get 1-2 grappling drones so that they can stack against eachother more easily in big blob fights.

a potential variant of these drones act like “rigs” for your own ship to give yourself additional bonuses during combat as opposed to sending the drones to the enemy ship. bonuses such as armor/shield cap, resistance toward neut/jam, resistance toward damage types, lock speed, speed, web resistance etc.

another potential variant are drones that drill into the ship hull and do damage from within, this is mostly to avoid too many stacks of drones on top of a ship hull, cuz grappling drones might admittedly get ugly in huge blob situations unless there are some sort of stacking penalties involved

If the whole point of these drones is to reduce lag, why not just make existing drones operate in squadrons?

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Personally I dislike a blanket squadron idea since I often assign individual drones on targets

However I’d have no issue with drones defaulting to a squadron if targeted by another capsuleer.

Visual effects aren’t what cause lag or server performance issues. The client-side effects from drones can be removed entirely by zooming out a little and turning off drone brackets in your overview settings.

Also it’s a hard rule in Eve that your drones don’t affect your ship, and letting drones act like modules is a terrible idea for balance even if it’s only on someone else’s ship.