These are not the drones.... haven't we done this title already?
What's wrong with the drones we do have?
Well there is nothing really wrong with them, they are just very limited. They don't really do anything other than kill stuff or mine stuff. They are not even that flexible at doing that, there is no way to for example increase the damage drones do, or their speed or anything really.
So what's being added then?
New drones, combat, logistic and EWAR. New modules that influence control range, drone damage, drone tracking and drone optimal range.
Let's start with the drones
- ECM drones
- Sensor dampening drones
- Tracking disrupting drones
- Target painting drones
- Energy neutralizing drones
- Stasis webifying drones
They anchor down when you launch them, have very high range, poor tracking, many hitpoints and are large. They come in four flavors.
- Amarr sentry drone - good tracking, decent optimal range, fair damage, small falloff
- Caldari sentry drone - decent tracking, high optimal range, lowest damage, decent falloff
- Gallente sentry drone - good tracking, low optimal range, highest damage, ok falloff
- Minmatar sentry drone - poor tracking, good optimal range, second lowest damage, great falloff
Logistic Shield transporting drones and Armor repairing drones. Not much to say about these drones except they boost your shields and repair your armor respectively.
What about modules?
Well they are not many and not that complex. So far there are three of them. One increases the damage output of all combat drones, one increases your drone control range and another boosts the optimal range and tracking on drones.
How about skills
What the hell lets release a few of those.
- Drone Navigation - Increaseses the velocity of drones, is also required to control the stasis webifying drones
- Drone Durability - Increases the hitpoints of all drones
- Repair Drone Operation - Increases efficiency of shield transporting and armor repairing drones, is also needed to use those drones
- Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing - Increases drone control range of all drones, is also needed to control EWAR drones.
- Sentry drones Interfacing - Increases damage of all sentry drones, also needed to control sentry drones
Well what are you nerfing then
Drones take up a lot of resources so we would much rather see less drones but have them better instead. This will mostly be done by changing the drone interfacing skill, drone control ship bonuses. This is of course not as easy as doubling the damage output and hitpoints of drones, so here's what's being done.
- Drone Interfacing skill changed 20% bonus to drone damage and 20% bonus to drone mining yield
- Drone hitpoint increase
- Moros' 5 drone per dreadnought level changed to 70% bonus to drone thermal damage per level. It also gets a drone hitpoint bonus, either static or per level
- Drone control bonus of Dominx gets changed to 10% drone thermal damage per level
- Drone control bonuses of Vexor, Vexor Navy Issue and Ishtar gets changed to 10% drone thermal damage per level
- Drone control bonus of Arbitrator gets changed to 10% EM drone damage per level
- Drone bays reduced to half of what they are today
- Drones hitpoints boosted
This doesn't really sound like nerf at all
Well in some cases it is and in some it isn't. Take for example Dominix. Now it can use 15 drones with max skills but with these changes it could only use 5. These 5 drones do have the damage output of 15 though. But what if that dominix pilot only had Gallente Battleship skill at level 4 and drone interfacing at level 4. Now that pilot could use 13 drones but after these changes he could use 5 but they would give the equivilant of 12.6 drones.
Another concern is that it is easier to kill 5 drones than it is to kill 15 by targetting them and kill them which is the reason for the drone hitpoint boost. On the other hand it takes just as long to kill 5 drones as 15 with a smartbomb so it would actually be better to have 5 drones with more hitpoints than 15 with the current hitpoints.
Those new drones look like they are totally overpowered
You are now limited to 5 drones per ship so all the ships can't really be using all kinds of EWAR. One drone won't be as effective as a single module and you would need several modules to actually get the same results as a single module does. Also the drones die and the EWAR effect with it but the only way to stop an EWAR module on you you have to kill the aggressing ship.