…as it stands salvage drones are;
- often fail to salvage
- do not recover items
- take up valuable drone space in your bay
- they can get lost
Meanwhile, the real value lies within the items found - be it direct sell or refining those for ore.
Though… if you want to pick those up, you are usually within salvager range or got a tractor of some kind going, making those drones rather useless.
To sum it up:
They have only 1 job, they don’t do it well, and the alternatives are way more efficient.
No self-respecting PvE player uses them by their own.
They are a gimmick. That’s all there is to it.
IF they would at least retrieve 1x random item and bring it back, NOW THAT~ would make up for all their shortcomings.
Salvaging drone I = brings back 1 random item up to 5m³
Salvaging drone II = bring back 1 random item up to 10m³
Anything bigger you still have to get yourself.
They are still not the ‘can do everything’ solution.
They are still far slower and (objectively) worse than any ship with a Salvager/Tractor combi (or MTU)
~but~ they can at least pay for themselves.
I think this is overdue given how much loot has been nerved over the years.
The market impact shouldn’t be too great. Serious players do have dedicated loot systems in place already. This is more for the lazy players with all the time in the world. (aka miners)
ps. Dedicated ‘retriever drones’ may work too. Still niche. But you could pair em up.