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JAYARAMARR
Posted - 2011.04.28 01:23:00 - [1]
 

I've seen some very skilled drone boat pilots and I'd like to know how drones are best used by those who prefer ships like the Pilgrim, Myrm, Arbitrator and etc.
What kind of drones do you prefer? What sizes do you use, or do you mix them up? What kind of drone groupings do you use? Do you mix ECM drones in a group with combat drones?
I'm hoping for some answers to my questions along with some tactics for using drones in PVP and PVE.
Thanks for the view.

Crista Feraton
Posted - 2011.04.28 03:55:00 - [2]
 

I'd be interested in this as well as I'm going to be flying an Arbitrator shortly and am working my way towards a Pilgrim.

robocpf1
Minmatar
B.O.O.M
Obsidian Mining Coalition
Posted - 2011.04.28 04:34:00 - [3]
 

(Disclaimer: I'm a Drone Enthusiast, not an expert - give more heed to what the more experienced players say)

First off, there are 19 drone skills you can train - in drone boats that aren't carriers, only 16 apply to you (you don't need Adv Drone Interfacing, Fighters, or Fighter Bombers).

Furthermore, if you only want one race's T2 drones, you can knock out another 3 skills - the racial Drone Specialization skills. This leaves 13 skills total.

If you don't want repair drones or mining drones, that brings you to 11. I assume you want EWAR so I'll keep that one in.

So there are 11 skills (all of the skills under Drones, except those excluded above) that you should train. You absolutely, positively must have Drones to 5 and Scout Drone Operation to 5. After that, train all of the other skills however you want, read their descriptions and train as many as you can. Drone Interfacing, specifically, grants a 20% bonus to drone damage per level - it's a really nice skill to have trained.

There are three (yes, only three) modules that you can put on your ship to increase your drone effectiveness: Omnidirectional Tracking Link I, Drone Link Augmentor I, and Drone Navigation Computer I. These boost tracking/optimal range, control range, and speed, respectively. Check in-game for the prereqs for these pieces of equipment.

I haven't done much with EWAR drones, but here's some hopefully useful tips on combat drones in general.

1) Keep tabs on the drones' HP. Make sure your drones window is expanded enough so you can see all five drones' hit point bars. If one starts taking damage, recall it back. I keep both a Small Remote Armor and Hull repairer on my Myrmidon to fix drones that get pinged. It goes without saying you should tank with your ship, not your drones (PVE). Warp in, get the aggro, release the krak--- er, drones. Release the drones.

2) I don't recommend mixing sizes. You can probably do it with mediums and lights, but I would recommend keeping them grouped separately. My basic rule of thumb is to use light drones for frigate-class ships - for cruisers and BCs, mediums. If you get the capability to use Sentry Drones or Heavy Drones, them as well (Heavy Drones mainly for cruiser sized ships and above, as well as hard, static PVE targets like stasis towers and bunkers). I haven't done much with Sentry Drones, either, but I'm working on it.

3) Invest in tech 2 drones - you'll be glad you did.

4) If it looks like your tank is failing, if you even think for a split second "sh** my tank is failing" then align out and call your drones back in with your fingers on the Warp Out command. If the heat is too much, leave them behind - you'll instantly warp because you're aligned. Honestly, if you're using purely drones in PVE and no guns, then at least position your ship so it's aligned even if it isn't moving - no reason not to. Murphy's Law of drone boating - your drones will always take too much time to return.

5) There are no mods in the game that give you more drone damage, save for one rig that gives your Sentry Drones more damage. That means you have to soak up as many damage increases from skills and ship bonuses as you possibly can. I don't think any ship in existence gives more than a 10% increase to drone damage, but I could be wrong - though I haven't seen one. Remember that your skill in Spaceship Command for the ship you're flying will give a drone bonus, such as the Myrmidon's 10% drone damage per level of Battlecruiser. So it isn't just your drone skills that help, training the Spaceship Command skill for your ship will help too. Squeeze those bonuses for all they're worth.

6) For missions, make sure to match the damage type needed (Guristas are weaker against Kinetic, etc) with the drone type(s) in your drone bay. You can even keep a few different types in your cargohold or a nearby station for quick swaps. For the larger drone bay ships, you may be able to fit a couple different full flights of racial drones.

robocpf1
Minmatar
B.O.O.M
Obsidian Mining Coalition
Posted - 2011.04.28 04:39:00 - [4]
 

Ran out of space:

One last caveat, make sure you KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS. It's in capitals because you need to KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS.

KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS.

By default:

Shift + R is "return drones to bay"

The F key is "drones engage selected target"

There are others, know them. You should never have to click on the drone menu for anything other than Launch Drones (or to play with the folders), this allows you to better manage the drones without having to worry about precise mouse movement. I've experienced a bit of difficulty using the Return Drones command, sometimes it takes a couple of tries for it to work - however, I use a wireless keyboard so that may explain it. When in doubt, hit the command again.

Hope this helped (and I hope it's all correct, any more experienced drone pilots feel free to confirm/deny any of it)

Miss Rabblt
Posted - 2011.04.28 08:24:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: robocpf1

One last caveat, make sure you KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS. It's in capitals because you need to KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS.

KNOW YOUR SHORTCUTS.

By default:

Shift + R is "return drones to bay"

The F key is "drones engage selected target"

There are others, know them. You should never have to click on the drone menu for anything other than Launch Drones (or to play with the folders), this allows you to better manage the drones without having to worry about precise mouse movement. I've experienced a bit of difficulty using the Return Drones command, sometimes it takes a couple of tries for it to work - however, I use a wireless keyboard so that may explain it. When in doubt, hit the command again.


just few remarks:
1. You can set any shortcuts you want. I use Alt-Q - attack, Alt-A - return and orbit, Alt-Z - return to drone bay.
2. You only give command to all drones lauched. It means you can't split drones to 2 or more groups and give commands by keyboard. You need to use mouse.
3. Sometimes i don't use shortcuts (when i feel lazy). Like when i fly Thanatos i split fighters to 2 groups and work with 2 targets at the same time. It optimizes time to reach each target by drones (increasing DPS). At elast i hope it does =) Other thing is fighters don't need micro-management. They can survive under fire long enough to you can return them by mouse.

And one more thing: choose drones for your target. You fight NPC - choose better damage type (but pay attention to difference in damage, i.e. for rogue drone you'd better use termal drones instead of EM). You fight people - use different system. Usually people use warriors to PVP because warriors are fastest drones with best tracking and in PVP you never know which damage type in weakest in your target defence.

JAYARAMARR
Posted - 2011.04.28 22:43:00 - [6]
 

Thanks for the really good and useful replies. They make me want to read even more good suggestions.

Please continue adding to this topic.

Does anyone use ewar drones for pve? And what do you use for pvp?

Sir Oliver Midwestshire
Amarr
Posted - 2011.04.29 00:30:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: JAYARAMARR
Thanks for the really good and useful replies. They make me want to read even more good suggestions.

Please continue adding to this topic.

Does anyone use ewar drones for pve? And what do you use for pvp?



Ewar drones are really a hit or miss thing. Sometimes you will be glad you brought them with you. Other times you will question their existence. Most of the time, you will do the latter. As a result I wouldn't bring them along, especially for PVE as you need to maximize DPS for PVE to do missions as fast as possible.

For PVP they are also mostly usless. The only reason I would ever bring them along in PVP is if I am providing logistic support in a fleet battle. Remote Repair + Repair drones can help tank someone more efficiently. ECM Drones may weaken the enemy also.

Other than that though I would stay away from them.

Also note that the drones of different races allow you to change damage type. This can be useful in PVE as you can pack the drones to the damage you need to deal. Alternatively for PVP Gallente or Minmatar drones are best as Gallente drones deal the most damage and Minmatar drones are the fastest. Caldari and Amarr drones aren't very useful in PVP because they deal less damage and are rather slow.

Organize your drones in groups. Categories that I use are Light, Medium, Heavy, Sentry, and ECM. Always group drones to 5 per group if possible. If you have more than 5 of a certain drone then for example make a group called Light 2 or whatever.

Fighting with drones also gives you the ability to dictate the range you engage at. Anything between 0m and your maximum control range can be attacked by your drones. If possible try to stay at the range in which your enemies guns are least effective. This is hard and most likely impossible in 1v1 battles because drone boats are notoriously slow but in small gangs and fleet ups you are good to go.

One thing about fleet ops though, some fleets prohibit the use of drone boats because drones cause a lot of lag in large numbers. So always be proficient in another form of weaponry in case this happens. Preferably in Projectiles or Lasers because the slow flight time of missiles makes them less preferred in fleets.

Finally, don't tell your drones to target another persons drones unless the other opponent is using a drone boat. Doing this will cause you to essentially loose your method of killing your target as well as buy time for your enemies back up to arrive. As for attacking other drone boats, attack their drones if their ship's tank is about as strong as yours. Once their method of attack is down all you need to do kill them.


Danielle Sha'o
Posted - 2011.04.29 02:20:00 - [8]
 

Gg

Miss Rabblt
Posted - 2011.04.29 09:34:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: JAYARAMARR
Does anyone use ewar drones for pve? And what do you use for pvp?


PVE:
once we used web drones together with orges. It can help when you fight fast BSs (you can found it in Epic Arc missions, 1000+ m/sec on blaster Dominix and Megathron is nice, yea? ). But if you are pure drone pilot and run it solo i wouldn't advice to exchange damage drones to web. And if you have good gunnery/missile skills web drones can help you alot.

energy neutralizers-drones are useless because NPC ships have unlimited capacitor (one more idea: use energy drains to support your cap in missions =) you can drain any NPC ship you see around. Even supposr your BS with frigate).

Other types of drones are useless in PVE too i guess.

ThirdEyeBlenny
Posted - 2011.04.29 11:50:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: Hermann Fegelein
Ewar drones are really a hit or miss thing. Sometimes you will be glad you brought them with you. Other times you will question their existence. Most of the time, you will do the latter. As a result I wouldn't bring them along, especially for PVE as you need to maximize DPS for PVE to do missions as fast as possible.

For PVP they are also mostly usless. The only reason I would ever bring them along in PVP is if I am providing logistic support in a fleet battle. Remote Repair + Repair drones can help tank someone more efficiently. ECM Drones may weaken the enemy also.


Definately disagree with this. A flight of ECM light drones is one of the most useful ways to spend 25m3 worth of drone bay and bandwith, especially if your out solo.

Don't neglect Warrior II's though, if you don't have any anti-frig capability.

Solomar Espersei
Suddenly Ninjas
Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Posted - 2011.04.29 14:35:00 - [11]
 

ECM drones are excellent GTFO options and if used correctly, will save you a ship or two over the long course of your EVE career. It's worth noting that the relevant skill, also adds control range to all your drones, so it's a very handy skill.

Feligast
Minmatar
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2011.04.29 15:40:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Solomar Espersei
ECM drones are excellent GTFO options and if used correctly, will save you a ship or two over the long course of your EVE career. It's worth noting that the relevant skill, also adds control range to all your drones, so it's a very handy skill.


Not just handy, but necessary, if you're going to be using drones primarily in Gurista and Serpenti missions. A not insignificant number of battleships like to orbit at 50km, and you'll need the ECM drones skill to at least 2 to have any chance of getting to them unless you're in a quick ship. Having it to 3 and having a native control range of 54km is a good thing, imo.

Dark Pangolin
Caldari
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Posted - 2011.04.29 16:54:00 - [13]
 

"A flight of ECM light drones is one of the most useful ways to spend 25m3 worth of drone bay and bandwith, especially if your out solo."

AGREED

There is a rule for this. ECM (Read jamming EC-300,600,900) Drones will always work when someone else uses them on you and will never work when you use them on someone else...

But seriously they work more often than not. If drones are your main DPS then you're better off with a flight of damage drones and a flight of ECM sitting in your bay as GTFO backup, but if you are in a ship that does not rely on drones for DPS...pop those ECM drones early and hard...jamming out the enemy for 20sec...even once during the fight... usually means win vs loss in solo and can have a big effect in fleet combat also.

In larger ships with 50/75mm^3 drone bays I usually have 5xEC-300 & 5xWarrior II/5xEC-600 & 5xWarrior II

The warriors are for standard anti frig dronage (in case I can't track or otherwise disable the frig with my web/neut/guns) the ECM drones get deployed in all other scenarios. If you have dedicated ECM in a fleet (i.e. BBs or Falcons) then I usually recommend that the DPS boats carry DPS drones, leave the jamming to the specialists...but otherwise....20 EC-600s can do mean things :)

Love those ECM drones!

Sir Oliver Midwestshire
Amarr
Posted - 2011.04.29 19:18:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: ThirdEyeBlenny
Originally by: Hermann Fegelein
Ewar drones are really a hit or miss thing. Sometimes you will be glad you brought them with you. Other times you will question their existence. Most of the time, you will do the latter. As a result I wouldn't bring them along, especially for PVE as you need to maximize DPS for PVE to do missions as fast as possible.

For PVP they are also mostly usless. The only reason I would ever bring them along in PVP is if I am providing logistic support in a fleet battle. Remote Repair + Repair drones can help tank someone more efficiently. ECM Drones may weaken the enemy also.


Definately disagree with this. A flight of ECM light drones is one of the most useful ways to spend 25m3 worth of drone bay and bandwith, especially if your out solo.

Don't neglect Warrior II's though, if you don't have any anti-frig capability.


They would if they were effective more than 4/10 times.

Plus if your flying a drone boat, your guns if any are mostly useless and your number one method of dealing damage is drones. Having drones that probably won't do crap will just give you time to look through the market and find a new replacement for your ship.

Zerp Metesur
Posted - 2011.04.29 21:47:00 - [15]
 

For PvP
Berserkers and curators are the best damage drones for general combat.
Vespas are useful for killing vagabonds
Warriors are a must have for swatting frigates
ECM is a useful ace in the sleeve
The other EW types rarely bothered with
Logistics are good in rr gangs

Many people go with gallente drones because they have the highest dps on paper but they're slow and have a poor damage type. When in doubt go minmatar.

Amarr drone spec is probably the only drone skill I wouldn't bother training as it doesn't currently apply to curators.

J Kunjeh
Gallente
Posted - 2011.04.29 22:05:00 - [16]
 

Excellent advice in here...thanks all (but especially robocpf and Hermann). Big fan of drones myself, though I lost my starter "drone boat" (Vexor), I'll be getting a new one soon!

Sir Oliver Midwestshire
Amarr
Posted - 2011.04.30 00:53:00 - [17]
 

Another note! Beware of elite ships in PVE. You will see your DPS decrease drastically if you don't have Drone Interfacing V and mission specific drones!

Batelle
-Mostly Harmless-
Posted - 2011.04.30 05:07:00 - [18]
 

ecm drones are great on ships that have a decent drone bay but no drone damage bonus. Thorax with 5 med ecm drones is a the perfect example of this.

ThirdEyeBlenny
Posted - 2011.04.30 10:13:00 - [19]
 

Edited by: ThirdEyeBlenny on 30/04/2011 10:13:27
Originally by: Hermann Fegelein
They would if they were effective more than 4/10 times.

Plus if your flying a drone boat, your guns if any are mostly useless and your number one method of dealing damage is drones. Having drones that probably won't do crap will just give you time to look through the market and find a new replacement for your ship.


We can agree to disagree :)

I would argue that, if your flying a drone boat, your always going to have enough drone bay to spare 25m3. If these babies only work 4/10 times, as you suggest, then thats four less times you loose your ship.

PS: Vexor is a dedicated drone boat that fits 4 Medium guns with a damage bonus.

EDIT: Spelling

Sir Oliver Midwestshire
Amarr
Posted - 2011.04.30 12:01:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: ThirdEyeBlenny
Edited by: ThirdEyeBlenny on 30/04/2011 10:13:27
Originally by: Hermann Fegelein
They would if they were effective more than 4/10 times.

Plus if your flying a drone boat, your guns if any are mostly useless and your number one method of dealing damage is drones. Having drones that probably won't do crap will just give you time to look through the market and find a new replacement for your ship.


We can agree to disagree :)

I would argue that, if your flying a drone boat, your always going to have enough drone bay to spare 25m3. If these babies only work 4/10 times, as you suggest, then thats four less times you loose your ship.

PS: Vexor is a dedicated drone boat that fits 4 Medium guns with a damage bonus.

EDIT: Spelling



I guess using that logic you could bring them along for something that isn't a drone boat. Still, if you are flying a droneboat you really need the firepower of your drones.

Malcolm Drant
Posted - 2011.04.30 13:10:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Hermann Fegelein
I guess using that logic you could bring them along for something that isn't a drone boat. Still, if you are flying a droneboat you really need the firepower of your drones.


If you are flying a droneboat you have enough room to bring both combat AND ECM drones. If you want to apply damage you use Combat drones, if you need to get away you use ECMs to break lock of the ship that is pointing you.

Concubinia Scarlett
Posted - 2011.04.30 13:50:00 - [22]
 

Sentry drones can be very good, both for pvp and pve, can be used as 'snipers' even for small targets, and have the huge advantage of no travel time before they engage your targets, although they don't do quite as much damage as a flight of heavys do when they get there.

Its worth bearing in mind that training Sentry Drone Interfacing skill to V gives you access to all the T2 sentry drones, you don't have to train individual racial specialization skills as you do with heavys.

As previously mentioned you want to train the ECM drone skill, Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing to at least IV, as it gives you +3000m drone control range per level. (Affects all drones)

Archare
Posted - 2011.05.01 07:21:00 - [23]
 

Just a few drone notes to add to the pile...

Sentries will provide the highest dps if you fit 2 sentry rigs to your ship.

General pve gallente thermal drones do the either the most damage or second most damage to rats.

Sentries are especially good if you add a few omnidirectional tracking mods. Gardes can hit to 50k or so with 3 fitted and can track cruisers orbiting them.

If you use sentries in pvp expect to leave the behind. Also abandoning sentries midfight to deploy different drones can be effective.

Drone interfacing is the best skill to train to raise your dps. Each level is like having an additional drone on the field. I'd go a far to say it's mandatory V for a dedicated drone user.

Vorekk
LowBall Heavy Industries
Cloning Gone Wrong
Posted - 2011.05.03 02:34:00 - [24]
 

then at least position your ship so it's aligned even if it isn't moving - no reason not to.

*ahem* The direction your ship is facing does not affect align time.

I likegirls
Minmatar
Posted - 2011.05.03 03:23:00 - [25]
 

Firstly, I did not read anyone else that replied cause they had giant walls of text.

Pilgrim sucks.

I have done some pvp with myrm, curse, dominix and I used a pilgrim once only.

Only real rule I have is that I fly with at least 1 flight of Warrior II's and a flight of small or medium ewar drones. Then the rest of them minmatar and gallente damage drones.

Substantia Nigra
Posted - 2011.05.03 03:49:00 - [26]
 

Adding to the comments re jammer (EC) drones.

I agree with earlier poster that a flight of small ECs is a great use of 25m^3, in PvP and some PvE. For PvP they're both GTFO helpers if needed and great tools to reduce incoming DPS. They're not perfect, nothing is, but in the long run I reckon they're a very under-utilised resource.

Last session I also found them useful in sleeper PvE. I'm working C4 sites heavily under-gunned and under-tanked. Last session I had all-but finished the first wave, with only the trigger frig (a scrammer) remaining, and wanted to go home and rest-repair for a little while before continuing. Unfortunately that pesky frigate just wasn't going to let me warp out. I always have a flight of ECs in my sleeper-fighting ship, a small extra bit of GTFO in case some evil ppl do manage to jump me, so I thought I'd try them on the scrammer. A flight of small ECs had him off me in about 30s. He was back, locked and scramming, again a minute later.

I experimented for a while, wanting to see how it worked, and it seems that the jamming works fine to start with but then the sleeper breaks through it. Once this happens it seems that the jamming doesn't take again unless I withdraw the drones to the bay and redeploy them.

Anyways I think EC drones are great, especially having just found another use for them :-)

ValentinaDLM
Minmatar
Ubi Concordia Ibi Victoria
Posted - 2011.05.03 05:49:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: I likegirls
Firstly, I did not read anyone else that replied cause they had giant walls of text.

Pilgrim sucks.

I have done some pvp with myrm, curse, dominix and I used a pilgrim once only.

Only real rule I have is that I fly with at least 1 flight of Warrior II's and a flight of small or medium ewar drones. Then the rest of them minmatar and gallente damage drones.



Impressive, you used a pilgrim only one time and you know it sucks, your powers at reducing the sample size for meaningful analysis are quite rare.

Seriously, sneak up on someone in a wh at a grav site who actually knows what they are doing in a myrm. Anyone who is smart in a WH is clicking dscan by habit and is already aligned at a slow speed to their POS. They won't get caught by a myrm if they are paying attention, however there is nothing to let them know a pligrim is coming. No other drone ship offers this capability.

Mocam
Posted - 2011.05.03 10:11:00 - [28]
 

A little more fun info for you.

The EWar drone skill effects all your "drone boat" control ranges. It will increase it from 3km to 15km (at level 5) - base control range across all drones.

Drones shut down and stop moving at 25% structure left on them. If you are close enough to them, you can "scoop to cargo" or "scoop to drone bay". Otherwise, they'll just sit there in space doing nothing.

Drones have a 2 second lock time. If out and set to aggressive, they will lock/react faster than your "drone boat" list if you are attacked. All drones have this 2 second lock time, even fighterbombers.

A good idea for damaged drones: Create a group called "damaged". Recall them when they are damaged and, as they fly back, right-click and move to that group. You cannot check the damage status of your drones while in your drone bay so this helps prevent sending out crippled drones.

I'm not sure but I believe only the gallente and gurista pirate faction ships get that huge bonus to their drones. 10% per ship level to damage and HP. So 5 light drones from one of these ships is 7.5 drones worth if launched from another ship. That can be a healthy difference. (the moros dreadnaught gets 20% per level - so they can deploy 5 sentry drones that hit and take damage like 10 sentries).

Drone speeds (slowest to fastest): Gallente -> Caldari -> Amarr -> Minmatar

Amarr drones aren't thought of too highly for PvE use. The reason is fairly simple. Any NPC's with EM as "best" damage to use agains, have Thermal as second best and the Gallente drones will hit this secondary weakspot for more damage than the Amarr drones can with EM. The damage mod for them is that much higher.

With respect to this in PvP - EM damage can work in many situations where thermal is NOT "second weakest". The Amarr drones also are the #2 fastest drones so they do have uses in this area.

Drones will not begin a fight beyond your drone control range. They WILL keep fighting beyond that range. This can be both good and bad, entirely dependent upon the situation at hand. (yes, I've kited fights away from my drones and they kept killing what they were on. Once done, they went after stuff that was within my control range. Took them forever to get back to me but they'll do that.)

Tumoroh
Posted - 2011.05.03 14:24:00 - [29]
 

Very good info in here.

One thing I like to do is to carry 1-4 armor repair drones if I have the extra room. This lets me patch up my other drones if any took damage and saves me equipping a RR high slot mod.

I'm in the sentries and a group of lights camp.

Crista Feraton
Posted - 2011.05.03 14:49:00 - [30]
 

Originally by: Mocam
I'm not sure but I believe only the gallente and gurista pirate faction ships get that huge bonus to their drones. 10% per ship level to damage and HP. So 5 light drones from one of these ships is 7.5 drones worth if launched from another ship. That can be a healthy difference. (the moros dreadnaught gets 20% per level - so they can deploy 5 sentry drones that hit and take damage like 10 sentries).


Just a slight correction to this - some Amarr ships get the bonus too (Arbitrator/Pilgrim/Curse).


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