Terrible Balance idea for Drone and their ships

TL:DR - Make drones more like fighters in which they have to return to the parent ship and recharge (ammo/power/some magical go juice)

Late night terrible balance idea for drones and their ships.

Recent forum and reddit threads were burning everything down as once again the Nerf Bat was out swinging. Some numbers where presented and everyone knows that our favorite little VNI is a ISK printing machine.

So my terrible idea is to make it so drones have to return to the parent ship and recharge - possibly on a sort of more automated method (can be player controlled for better performance, as it should be) so they they can be deployed and sent to attack and then they would return as needed and once charged head back out.

Active Player - they would keep watch on the drones and when one comes back to recharge, they would send out a fully charged replacement to minimize the lose of DPS

AFK Player - they would not manually control drones and launch a fresh one, so the system would wait tell the returned drone was charged before relaunching and deploying.

I bring this up - knowing that it would majorly change the way I make my ISK, and I am willing to ether A) put in the work to make dank ISK or B) AFK and take the lose for less mind control.

This would effect all the ships with the ability to field drones and so many of them and drones would have to have a major balance pass to make things work.
Would drone ships get abilities to increase the recharge rate?
How much bigger should drone bays get if at at (depends on ship)?
Would need need to look at increasing drone stats or the skills that effect them?

I know the the current meta of the game in which players are printing ISK via the use of (semi)-afk drone ships is cancer EVE.

Make EVE great again + #NPC Lives Matter

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I agree that the 100mn vni is silly and needs to be reined it; but I disagree about giving them this reload option, since travel time is already a very real issue with drones, and this would make them annoying without actually fixing the issue, except forcing the ticks down maybe 2-3mill.

If you want to combat the afk mode isk printing, ur best bet is to actually fix the aggro code on drones, if this was working correctly, it would revert drones back to the secondary system it was supposed to be, still viable in pvp, but afk mode in pve would disapear, and you would see people going the more active route of rattlesnakes (geddon) or dominix sentry style for pve, where you have to pick up your drone if it gets aggro, and drop it again.

Fighters only have to recharge their ‘special’ abilities. If you were doing this you would have to be giving drones additional abilities also.
It’s not a ‘terrible’ idea in that regard as it turns drones from boring ‘do some DPS’ to having to have a few things managed, but also remember fighter code means they can’t be repaired and it works because you can manually move them around the field.
Which is fine for a primary weapon system, but not so good for a secondary weapon system which drones are on many ships.

Still think drones being made into squads is a big help here. Easier to target and tackle and npc’s can put em as a higher priority to kill.

When the fighter squadrons were first introduced they mentioned that using that interface for drones was a long term goal.

I believe combat in Eve should require maintaining situational awareness and proactively managing your assets whether you are fighting the AI or another player.

There is absolutely no reason why the AI shouldn’t be able to figure out that the drones represent a much greater threat than the ship and focus on killing them first!

The thing is, in missions (increasingly as you go up in level, perhaps not so much in the first level or two) drones take considerable heat - it’s only in anomalies that they seem to be all but ignored by the NPCs. If you play, say, level 4 security missions, you will find that even light drones get targeted often and to deadly effect (often getting glued down, so even trying to retrieve them is useless - they don’t make it back), especially when there are NPC elite frigates in play (which makes for an interesting conundrum, as one generally needs the drones to deal with those frigates.) As you go up in drone sizes, the aggro they pull also goes up, and with their larger signatures and lower speeds, they get hit with regularity. The intensity of all this varies from mission to mission, but while in some it’s very light, in others it can be quite intense, and keeping drones alive can be quite challenging even for an active player (which I am - I abhor AFK harvesting; FFS I log into a game in order to play it, not to not-play it!) The balance seems adequate in missions. As pointed out by Faxat above, one ends up having to occasionally scoop a sentry to reset the aggro on it - and sometimes once redeployed it will simply get attacked again (whether by chance or design, I know not - probably chance, I’m guessing.)

So I believe that an overhaul is not needed, but simply that the NPCs in anomalies should be given similar AI to that in missions. This could be varied on a case by case basis, depending on the theme of an anomaly, perhaps, but that’s more subtle stuff there (and more opportunities for things to go horribly BOING!)