There has to be a better system for drone aggro/use

I remember when drones would never pull aggro from NPCs. I recall the days of being able to AFK rat with sentries and more. To an extent, you still can do so in dedicated drone boats in certain anoms. I understand that the game wants you to be active, engage with it, and not simply AFK.

But there has to be a better system for drone aggro in NPC combat. Whether I’m in a battleship that wants to use light drones to pick off frigates or a dedicated heavy drone boat, being at my computer, launching drones, and having them immediately be targeted, attacked, and destroyed is immensely frustrating.

There must be something that can be done. Can we have an easy-to-understand “aggro” system that means that enemy rats won’t shoot your drones if you are shooting at them? Can we maybe have it be a function of range, or possibly even just stop punishing drone users for the sins of botters?

The Winter Nexus event highlights this immensely - the NPC rats will immediately swap to drones and can and will kill them in one to two volleys. The battleship will web and blow up every drone you throw at it. I am begging you, please. I’m trying to actively play the game and use my ship’s features. Not being able to use 30% (or in some cases 50 or even 60%) of my ship’s ability is discouraging and dumb.

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You can thank all the bloody AFK Ishtars for that…

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Then they need to improve the rats’ tracking speed. They need to improve damage application to the ship itself. They need to actually target the ship, because spoiler alert: AFK Ishtaring is still a thing. Every single nullsec corp can do it. Doesn’t even have to be a specific faction.

They should focus on making ship flying/management/tanking a priority and stop insta-gibbing drones in non-AFK situations.

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i recommend that rats are need to switch faster to all drones ! only that ishtars are get disabled to flown afk ! at least heavy and medium drones to stop afk ratting with drone ships !

live with it and use other ships to do PvE ! there are way better ships out there !

You see, this is the exact problem.

I AM using ships other than the Ishtar. On a non-Ishtar ship, my drones get killed immediately by rats.

I am not using an Ishtar. Other ships use drones besides the Ishtar.

i´m actual flying rattlesnakes and i dont lose any drones … yes i have to recall them sometimes but i never lost a drone !

Well if drones use the mechanic for microwarpdrive being signature increase then a hoibgoblin basically has a signature of 125 most of the time, that is about the signature of an ishtar.

Petrhaps if drone signature radius are one fifth or one tenth of the current value, then they won’t get picked apart so fast.

But only if the drones are the main damage dealer of the ship. It is really annoying to manage targets and your own drones in a gun or missile ship where drones only add a small amount of DPS. All the while drone boats don’t care.

Then which ship are you using that needs Drones to run PvE sites? I use a Sacrilege in HighTier Abyssals and the NPCs there also switch to them regulary. The Sac has no Drone HP bonus and still I am not losing them often. Maybe you are doing something wrong?

What could he be doing wrong that would 1 or 2 volly his drones? Using t1 (non faction) drones is the only thing I can think of.

Gurista ships have a massive bonus to drone hp, so using them as an example is poor form.

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he never told which ship he uses … and if he uses a ship without any drone bonus and he NEED to use drones then he´s doing it wrong !

i never need some drones if i use other ships then my rattlesnake …

Leaving them out for too long. Dropping them out right from the beginning where still a lot of NPCs are there. Sending them too far away so they die before he can scoop them back? I have run like a dozen HS WinterNexus Combat sites right now and not lost a single drone. Using NavyVespa of course, because they are shield tanked and have quite some buffer. Use two sets on the Sacri, let one regenerate shield while the other one is out there fighting. Works like a charm.

The navy vespas is a good choice.

I’m running a Praxis. Here’s what I do.

I land on-site. I lock up my targets. I begin firing missiles. I launch my flight of drones, because the drones are a good 30% increase in DPS.

Immediately, frigs and cruisers unlock me and start shooting my drones. Less than 10km out, my Imperial NAvy Praetors are taking damage. They are in armor before I get them back in.

My options here appear to be either 1) Do not use drones or 2) Lose drones.

Either option is extremely poor game design, because if my ship can use drones, it should be able to use drones without me having to constantly worry about losing them, or having to recall them for 80% of every fight.

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I would also like to point out that this is kind of an asinine argument.

Very few ships in the game need drones. Drone boats, sure, but consider this: nearly every ship bigger than a frigate has a drone bay. If you give a ship a drone bay, then it is reasonable to expect that it will use drones.

Even if a ship does 1,000 DPS without drones and drones only add 100 DPS, just saying “Oh, don’t use drones” or “You’re not meant to use drones” is losing DPS, therefore time efficiency.

If a ship has a drone bay but “You’re not supposed to use drones” then why does the ship have a drone bay? If you’re supposed to put in some herculean effort to micromanage drones at all times, why are their returns so tiny on non-drone boats?

You either need to have drones contribute meaningfully and without being an inordinate burden to the player, or they just need to take drones off ships that aren’t “supposed” to use them. Otherwise, it’s like a ship using only turrets having a 30% chance for one of them to break and you have to manually click and repair it in space for it to start working again. I bet if they made weapon boats suffer breakdowns or weapon malfunctions, people would be complaining about that with every breath.

I never said one shouldn’t use drones. These sites are completely doable without using them, but you absolutely can use them if you are careful. As said twice now, I ran a dozen sites in a Sacrilege which is exactly the type of ship you describe: Has a Dronebay, Drones add a nice bunch of DPS. I didn’t lose ONE drone so far. What you can’t do is just drop them out and forget them, and thats actually good game design, because it teaches the players exactly what will happen in PvP if your opponent notices he can’t break you quickly.

  • use at least 1 Target Painter on the Praxis
  • use at least 1 Web or Grappler on the Praxis
  • use an 100MN AB on the Praxis
  • use Caldari Navy Wasps for these sites

Here is what you should do:

  1. Land on Site, lock up the opponents, fire missiles and paint. Begin with the small frigs first.
  2. Activate your Afterburner and always approach the target you fire on to stay very close to it.
  3. Once the Frigs are in webrange (they all come close, so you will be able to web them below 10km), drop your Wasps, send them on the Frig you Paint and Web.
  4. If a Wasp comes under attack, let it tank until it hits like 25% shield, scoop it in and let it recharge shields. Yes, you can do that almost immediately because the drones are still right next to you. Release a fresh one immediately.
  5. Repeat until the frigs are dead. Then you can just let them out and fly further away to kill the cruisers/BCs.
  6. Once the Boss spawns, immediately approach him with AB, scoop all your drones in until he fires at you. Drop the Drones out and kill him.

So, here’s the problem with the philosophy that it works with a particular fit: That fit is terrible for a Praxis.

Slotting in a 100MN AB, a target painter, and a web specifically so that the drones don’t immediately pull aggro and die means compromising tank, which the Praxis needs to be a bit more robust on for the Winter sites.

This says nothing about the actual use of drones in other situations like missions, combat sites, or other PVE situations where specific fitting may be even more stringent.

Essentially, running a really, really specific fit so that drones aren’t a huge nuisance to their owner is worse than just not running drones because it makes the rest of your ship bad.

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No, that fit allows you to farm quick and efficient, because both Web and Paint increase your Missile Damage Application AND your Drones damage application, especially against the close-orbiting frigs while the AB also makes sure you can be at zero to the Boss when he dies, so nobody can steal your loot if you are quick. Tank is completely overrated unless you are a complete noob without most of the tanking skills in which case you might drop the AB and fit something that might help you tank.

However, if you don’t want my advice, just go on with your own ideas and have trouble. Can’t help people who just don’t want to listen.

It must be your ‘Drone Day’,

Drone aggro needs to be strengthened.

Anything that makes the game more interesting besides …warp-in… deploy my drones… go do laundry… return… launch salvage drones… go fix dinner… return drones to bay, warp somewhere else.

And making ‘our’ drones smarter, would be nice, also.