Sentry Drones or Heavy Drones for Missions?

Which is better for missions?

Yes,

Seriously though, both have their place.

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Heavies, pretty much all the way.

Going off a doodle of a max skill Domi (no drone mods, just ship bonuses) with either Ogre IIs or Garde IIs…

Ogre II = Tracking 0.743
Garde II = Tracking 0.0462

Ogre II = 64 Dmg x 5.83 mod = 467 dps for 5 drones
Garde II = 64 dmg x 5.01 mod = 401 dps for 5 drones

They both still have their uses. It can depend a lot on what you fly and how you want to fight.

For example, I’ve often used an Ishtar for missions in the past. I used both sentries and heavies. My ogre II’s with my fit will do 797 DPS, while my wardens will do 491. The wardens have an optimal of 101km. So when I’m in a mission where the rats start far away, the wardens will be applying damage instantly and I’ll have a good number killed in the time it would have taken a flight of Ogres to fly the distance. Not to mention if I send ogres out that far and they get aggro, they will likely die before they can burn back to me.

When my sentries take aggro I just play logi. I orbit them to keep my transversal up anyway and just rep the sentries with an armor RR rather than having to recall and redeploy.

When stuff gets close i’ll pull in the sentries and use heavies.

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This, pretty much. Heavies are much more versatile, and will have better tracking in most missions.

Yeah, Sentries can shoot really far and that’s cute, but that’s about all they’re really good for. Sentries can’t hit anything that’s too close since their tracking is abysmal. Just stick with Heavies for like 90% of all missions.

That depends on where you run them. In high sec you can go for heavies because no one will combat probe you and try to kick your butt. In low sec and null sec I would not use heavies if you are not part of a local and well-established group. Your drones and your ship are easy to scan down and heavies take ages to come back to your ship.

Furthermore, in some missions the NPC are very spread out. While sentries may offer lower DPS on paper, their instant application from wherever you drop them outclasses heavies in missions like Blockades, Invasions and so on.

With 2 Omnis, my Gardes and Bouncers can track a BS orbiting me at 7km. However, if something smaller than that came that close to you, you have already made a grave mistake. Frigates, Cruisers and BC should be shot first from far away. And if you did not manage to do that, you always have at least 1 flight of lights or mediums.

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Sentries can be fun for their alpha factor, which you generally don’t see with other drones. But yeah, heavies are better on multiple aspects, except range of course.

Thanks Dearth_Ellecon. I just used that tactic in a mission. The mission wanted me to warp right into the middle of a bunch of baddies, but I warped in at 70 km and picked off half of them before they got in range. Then I picked up my sentries and deployed heavies to mop them up.

If not for the sentries, I’m not sure I would have tanked the damage long enough to complete the mission.

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I’m glad it helped. If you are flying a drone boat and have space a flight of sentries is useful for those situations.

Yes, @Derath_Ellecon has a point. If you have room for both Heavies and Sentries, then each can come in handy for different purposes and different times.

But in my defense, the thread was entitled “Sentries OR Heavies” as in you have to pick one or the other. =)

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I shall play devils advocate and suggest that for L4 missions, sentry drones are the one true drone. :slight_smile:

Use them with this fit:

L4 MJD Domi

[Dominix, L4 MJD Domi]

Damage Control II
Large Armor Repairer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Omnidirectional Tracking Link I
Sensor Booster II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I
Large Micro Jump Drive

Drone Link Augmentor II
Drone Link Augmentor II
Drone Link Augmentor II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Small Tractor Beam II
Medium Remote Hull Repairer I

Large Nanobot Accelerator I
Large Ionic Field Projector I
Large Ionic Field Projector I

Bouncer II x5
Garde II x5
Hammerhead II x5
Hobgoblin II x10
Warrior II x5

Scan Resolution Script x1
Targeting Range Script x1
Optimal Range Script x3
Tracking Speed Script x3

Depending on the mission, land in mission & drop Gardes, kill anything ‘close’ (within ~30km iirc), then drop Bouncers and finish off whatever is left (a mix of tracking/range scripts to ensure you can hit everything).

If at any point you find you’re taking excessive damage (i.e. you cannot tank it), MJD to range and bring out the Bouncers.

Use scripts to ensure you can hit whatever it is you’re shooting. Sensor booster + rigs helps (with not great targeting skills) to keep things locked when you MJD, once you’re able to keep things locked out to ~120-130km without them feel free to switch up for something else.

Depending on how well you know the missions, an acceptable tactic is to land in mission, MJD immediately away from the bad things and kill everything with Bouncers as they chase you.

You probably won’t ever use the light/mediums, but they’re there because you can. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Cypr3ss.

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When I run L4s, I’m real lazy and I like to stay 75km or more from all targets. Sentries are fun to use. Invest in Faction Sentries if you’re not at T2 Sentries. It also helps if the ship you’re using has drone bonuses.

There’s a PvE Brutix fit somewhere that uses sentries as its main weapon. Just adjust your sentries according to the pirate faction your fighting.

I’m going to say “get both”.

My usual method for L4 missions with a drone boat is:

Get on grid and move to open up some room between me and the rats, usually 90+ km.

Launch sentries, usually Wardens or Bouncers.

Lock the small targets first, frigs, destroyers, etc, going up in size from smallest to largest.

Start popping rats in size order, small to large (since small rats are faster and will be a problem once they get close but will burn to me in a straight line so they’re easier to hit at long range while they approach.

Once the small stuff has been cleared out (only BC’s and BB’s left), recall the sentries and launch heavies to deal with the remaining rats.

Depending on the exact mission and the number of small rats I might relocate once or twice before I’m ready to switch from sentries to heavies.

If your drone tank skills aren’t very good, faction drones have a stronger tank and can take more of a beating, at the expense of less dps than T2 drones (not a huge amount less) and faction drones cost more.

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yep, I pretty much only ever used heavies vs angels as they get in super close where bouncers can have trouble tracking. everything else sentry drones, gardes can hit npc destroyers and up, and can either snipe frigs on approach with sentries or drop lights which will wreck frigs with drone bonuses and damage amps.

Gecko and heavies are used if you run missions using Drone ships.

Sentry are used largely in high class WH site run, or several nullcorp doctrine (was with Ishtar before the nerf).

Tho, for new player, half-assed MJD sentry RS are really helpfull. Just need lv3 average skills and T1 modules, then go to Apanake doing SoE (because not many long range Gurista NPC). RS with MJD+warden poking NPC from 90km far and can full clear many mission. Quite impressive considering can be done by a mere three weeks old toon.

If you can fit both, then you use the sentries to attack targets at range and once the enemy gets under a certain range you pull the sentries and deploy heavies.

The reason for this is the sentries engage the target as soon as deployed. While other drones need to fly to target and get with in their optimal range before they start attacking.
So be the time the drones get to target and start attacking the sentries have been firing for ages. Specially the long range firing sentries. Even the fastest drones will take minimum of 5-6seconds to reach target, and these are small drones, a heavy drone will take much longer to get to the target.