I should add that I exclusively run in Chaotics.
Paired Damaviks? Hm. I guess that wouldn’t usually be too bad.
Have you seen Tangling? Those seem like they’d be very dangerous in a room like that.
I can only recall seeing Ghosting, but I wouldn’t be willing to claim that means Tangling don’t appear.
Hm. Come to think of it I haven’t seen Snarecasters, either.
So … I’ve been thinking a little about drones.
Probably the weirdest part of the older versions of the Void Dancer cerberus fit was the target painter drones. There are some good reasons not to use them: they’re fragile; they don’t help out meaningfully against, like, battleships; they have (or at least had, last I used them) the maddening habit of forgetting what they’re supposed to paint and just sitting around until something decides to shoot them.
Only … I really hate Ghosting Damaviks. Especially as part of a huge swarm of other Damaviks, they’re just awful! The Dark speeds things up to begin with, and with the Ghosting weapon disruption degrading my precision and the repair systems coming off the swarm as a whole …
Only they die in like four or five volleys from the CN HAMs if I can just get solid hits in. Target painters help with that.
I’ve been trying out combat drones (with good range so the Dark won’t affect them as badly), but they’ve been suffering. They have trouble actually doing much damage, especially to small, fast targets like the ones that give me the most trouble to start with. They’re good for hitting resource caches while my missiles are busy elsewhere, but I can’t think of a single situation where they’ve been indispensable … and I’ve had a couple close calls with Ghosting squads in the meantime.
Is there a reason not to mix drone sizes, I wonder? I have room for one medium drone along with a light. Doubling size seems to also double TP power, and maybe using a larger drone hull would do a little to make up for how fragile they are.
In experience, medium and heavy TP drones are the only ones worth their weight and signature radius marking against targets. If you wanted to make all the TP drones medium TPs, you would be much better off than before. Keep light drones, if for nothing else than to have them when you need them, but if you’re carrying light TPs, dump them. They’re too soft and their signature bloom on targets is meager compared to medium or heavies, even when you have the lights in bulk.
So … I have 15 cubic meters to work with. That’s a medium and a light, or three lights. TP output should be about the same either way. The three lights will move faster; the medium might be more survivable, but also might take hits more often. Either way, the output is shy of what I could expect from a target painter module. The real question is whether it’ll help missile precision much when something little and quick really needs to die.
It doesn’t have to be all that strong to outperform the Hornet II’s, which-- dealing with the Dark, against small, fast targets-- mostly just miss.
There is something to consider, regarding light and medium TPs, no, any electronic warfare drones. The more of a type you use, the more of a diminishing returns based on repeats you get. Two lights be a medium might sound easy until you consider the two lights having a decreased benefit, and falling just short of the medium’s capabilities for painting.
I believe the same is said for all ewar and offensive support modules, but the drones have it the worst.
I see … I didn’t know about that problem.
So, with one medium and one light, I should be able to manage a little less than half of a T2 target painting module.
Which, actually isn’t bad considering how little the Hornets usually do?
How about one med TP and one light web?
Oo. That’s an interesting idea. I’ve got a strong webifier module already aboard, but most of its strength is range and webified Damaviks are still awfully fast.
Maybe I could even go a little farther and do straight webifiers? Forcing small targets to activate an MWD to keep up is an efficient way to kill them.
(Do stasis webs have a stacking penalty?)
Yes. Also drone based EW (webs and TP’s) stack with ship based modules of the same kind.
Hm. Then I might be better off mixing, as you suggested.
(Sorry if these are silly questions anyone should know the answers to; I haven’t usually even considered using drones of this type.)
Webs do reduce in effectiveness as you apply more, yes. You are unlikely to fall afoul of those particular diminishing returns with just three drones however. I feel like the optimal combination may be ship web, medium web drone, 2x light paint drones, but that is purely a gut feeling with no maths or testing behind it.
I also run a Cerberus and have similar issues to yourself. Namely f**k Ghosting Damaviks. Previously I have tried I think 2 light web + 1 light tp drones.
The problem is they are made of paper, they die when the smallest thing looks at them sideways. Just something to be aware of. I would not rely on them.
I used to use 3 light TP drones, but, like you said, they die really easily. I’d reel them in immediately as soon as I saw damage, but still lost them pretty routinely. The Hornet II’s are sturdier, but aside from cracking caches (given about 20-30 seconds) they hardly do anything, you know? They can save me like a volley or two on a Hadal Overmind, which means I don’t have to reload, but it’s not like that one reload is killing me or anything.
Unfortunately ewar drones are very frail tools, since they have to stick compact and compressed versions of at least small modules into a frame, and trim as much hull, armor, and shields as allowed to give the module space to run. This makes the glass cannons, like a large weapon meant for attack BCs and battleships being put on a corvette, there is no room for anything else and the ship can barely survive using the module to begin with.
In a year, perhaps, I’d like to start working on better ewar drones, larger drones that have larger mass and more bandwidth requirements, but have better defense.
A comparison would be the Gecko and ‘Subverted’ drone, both are twice as large as their respective drone size, and have twice as much offense and defense, at some cost to their tracking.
So … I’ve put this off for way too long.
Mostly, even if it’s a little embarrassing for me to admit it, I was intimidated. My previous experience was … well. These ships are a little expensive to replace, you know? The pod even more-so. I felt like I shouldn’t try again unless it wouldn’t hurt much to lose.
Today, I tried. And you know, it wasn’t bad at all? I mean I know I’m tempting fate saying that, but, the adjustment Mizhir suggested to my fit (stupid wasted rig slot!) worked fine, the new drone loadout seems to pull its weight when called to, and I just have to be a little more careful with target order and not skimp on the supplies (like cap booster charges) when I need them.
And dock between runs. That’s a little more important now-- don’t want to go in with only a partial load of booster charges.
I don’t want to say it’s a letdown; it’s more like … hey! I nearly made it the first time; I’ve made a bunch of improvements since then; and it really kinda shows, you know? I’m still going to be cautious, a little, and the clock still has my attention in a big way, but … it’s completely survivable.
So far, anyway. I’ll probably run into something really, truly awful eventually and explode, but … maybe I’ll have done well enough that it won’t hurt all that badly when I do.
(Benthic Abyssal Overminds are even more a wad of defense than the Hadal ones, though.)
This is much the same as my experience, the biggest step is definitely from T3->T4. The Chaotics are much like their T4 counterparts only… more so.
So, turns out Benthic Abyssal Overminds have another trick: they web, to a range of 15 km. If you’re fighting the clock and trying to get past the Overmind to the gate or scoot past it, node to node, that could be bad. They’re still pretty slow themselves, though, so webifier and AB in combination should let you get away.