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Rickroller
Posted - 2008.06.17 04:11:00 - [1]
 

Hi there,

I have recently begun running level 4 missions, and I have trouble keeping my T2 drones alive. Those suckers are expensive and it seems like they get focus fired and destroyed. Could I please get some advice on which skills to train or tactics to use?

Drones:
Hammerhead II (gone through 10 already, it's getting expensive quickly)

Drone Skills:
Interfacing 4
Navigation 2
Durability 1
Sharpshooting 2
Drones 5
Gallente Specialization 2
Scout Drones 5

Lvl 4 Missions tactics:
- Drones set to passive
- Warp in, launch 5 drones, they orbit my ship (idle)
- Target 2-3 battleships, 4-5 frigates
- Begin firing main weapons against battleships
- After frigates have been target locked, send all drones to focus fire on a single frigate

At this point, if I look away for a second I find that 1-2 of my T2 drones have been focus fired and destroyed. I try to pull them out and return to drone bay if I notice they are taking shield damage, but I'm either not fast enough or I am clicking elsewhere and they explode in an eyeblink.

I think my problem is that I don't understand the agro mechanics very well in EVE, I'm not sure how I can force the NPC ships to all attack my ship and leave my T2 drones alone. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks in advance.

cal nereus
The Graduates
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2008.06.17 04:48:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: cal nereus on 17/06/2008 04:50:13

Well, this is why I usually fit at least one gun on my mission-running Dominix, and I read a description of the mission in Eve Survival's Kill Mission Guides. Depending on how the mission works, I aggro all the rats by shooting at 'em with my gun. The rats are typically found in separate groups or spawns, so aggro-ing the rats in one group will not necessarily aggro the rest. Once I am happily tanking all the rats in the group, I unleash my drones. However, whenever a new spawn joins the mission I always make sure to recall my drones until I can get aggro with the new-comers using my gun.

Rickroller
Posted - 2008.06.17 04:49:00 - [3]
 

Right on.

Maybe I should fit a drone module to my ship? Or perhaps go to heavy attack drones instead of mediums? Good advice, I appreciate the tips.

cal nereus
The Graduates
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2008.06.17 04:57:00 - [4]
 

Against frigates, stick with the mediums. I personally prefer using mediums against cruiser-sized rats as well. Heavies are generally too slow, but they can rip apart close range battleships relatively quickly. I also like using a Drone Link Augmentor to allow my drones to fight at ranges in excess of 55+ kilometers, although training Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing several levels will accomplish more or less the same without having to take up a slot with a module. Beyond that, I haven't found it necessary to fit any other drone modules.

It seems to me you're doing fine with drones, fittings, and skills (maybe a little more levels in Durability will help). It's just that one tactic I would change: instead of shooting the rats while you have the drones out, I would shoot the rats first (and make sure all the rats are aggro'd) and then have the drones come out.

Rickroller
Posted - 2008.06.17 05:06:00 - [5]
 

Ok, got it. Keep them in the bay while I'm shooting the rats, and then launch? Or is it ok to let them orbit around my ship? Probably in the drone bay is safer, thanks again. I've got all the hotkeys set up so it should be easy, I just keep cringing as my 800k drones get 'sploded.

Elhina Novae
HAMMER -N- SICKEL
Posted - 2008.06.17 08:05:00 - [6]
 

Fit 1 single gun too aggro every spawn and they wont die. Doesn't have too be high-pew just as long range as possible too scratch the rats.

Estel Arador
Posted - 2008.06.17 09:02:00 - [7]
 

Did you use T1 drones at all before going for T2 drones? Leave the T2 drones at home until you've practiced some with T1 drones.

Also the first thing to do when finding that your drones pop too soon is train Durability to at least IV! That adds so much HP to your drones you'll have plenty of time to call them back. Which brings me to the next skill-related comment: get navigation to at least IV. Not only will your drones start doing damage faster, you can get them out of the fray faster when things get hairy.

Stephen HB
Mystical Knights
Malum Exuro
Posted - 2008.06.17 10:52:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Rickroller
Ok, got it. Keep them in the bay while I'm shooting the rats, and then launch? Or is it ok to let them orbit around my ship? Probably in the drone bay is safer, thanks again. I've got all the hotkeys set up so it should be easy, I just keep cringing as my 800k drones get 'sploded.


I use T2 Medium drones to handle frigates/cruisers in my mission Abaddon, so I'll offer my tips.

Rule 1 of drone aggro: Keep them inside until you need them.

If your drones are launched, even orbiting your ship, something will target them almost every time. Pull all the rats you can handle, then AFTER they are flashing red launch drones.

Some missions make this even harder. Spawns that have not aggro'd will attack your drones if they launch/get too close/attack certain rats. Not much you can do about these, short of having a tank that can handle the whole stage.

SellYourPoppa
Posted - 2008.06.17 11:08:00 - [9]
 

U don't need a long range guns to take aggro. Just lock the target and fire one (small blaster antimater will do) round at it . Rats will always get ****ed and aggro.

Caiman Graystock
Caldari
Cornelius Starship and Computer Design
Posted - 2008.06.17 11:43:00 - [10]
 

Just manage your drones. Don't launch them until you have aggro, bring them in if they get aggro'd, get aggro, release them. Rinse, repeat.

Matthew Cooper
Fourth Circle
Posted - 2008.06.17 15:22:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: Matthew Cooper on 17/06/2008 15:26:19
Removed for lack of reading comprehension.

Epidemis
Posted - 2008.06.17 18:03:00 - [12]
 

Edited by: Epidemis on 17/06/2008 18:04:04
Removed for lack of reading comprehension

Rickroller
Posted - 2008.06.17 21:42:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Estel Arador
Did you use T1 drones at all before going for T2 drones? Leave the T2 drones at home until you've practiced some with T1 drones.

Also the first thing to do when finding that your drones pop too soon is train Durability to at least IV! That adds so much HP to your drones you'll have plenty of time to call them back. Which brings me to the next skill-related comment: get navigation to at least IV. Not only will your drones start doing damage faster, you can get them out of the fray faster when things get hairy.


No, to be honest I didn't really practice much with T1 drones. I never needed them for level 1-3 missions and did heavy training once I reached level 4. I have a little bit of T1 drone experience but they were never a large part of my arsenal. I appreciate the help, I'm sure I'll learn eventually.

Vyanr
Minmatar
SKORPION LEGION
DEFI4NT
Posted - 2008.06.18 08:30:00 - [14]
 

I tend to RP a bit with my Valkyrie IIs, My Maelstrom opens fire and sets up a perimeter, then I launch Viper--- Valkyries, (totally not a BSG fan >.> ) and let them do as they want. If there's reinforcements, I pull my drone wing back and dock 'em, then relaunch when it's all back onto my ship. Strike craft never have been good at resisting damage.

Estel Arador
Posted - 2008.06.18 10:03:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: Vyanr
then I launch Viper--- Valkyries, (totally not a BSG fan >.> ) and let them do as they want. If there's reinforcements, I pull my drone wing back and dock 'em


Don't you love combat landings?

Ghengis Tia
Posted - 2008.06.18 17:13:00 - [16]
 

Never launch until all hostiles in range have aggroed your ship.

Keep your "Drones in Space" box open to see each drone and its status. As soon as you see one or two start going red, pull them all in. Something is aggroing them.

Once all aggro is on you, launch them again. If they only had shield damage, this should have been "repaired" while in dock. They still work fine even with some armor damage.

Occasionally one drone will get most of the damage, just bring it back and let the others fly, unless they start going red also.

I hate losing drones, so practice looking at the "drones in space" box every time you look at your shield/armor status on the UI. I keep them focused on smaller ships first, then move up as the engagement progresses.

Khif Kroker
Posted - 2008.06.18 19:56:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Rickroller
Originally by: Estel Arador
Did you use T1 drones at all before going for T2 drones? Leave the T2 drones at home until you've practiced some with T1 drones.



No, to be honest I didn't really practice much with T1 drones. I never needed them for level 1-3 missions and did heavy training once I reached level 4. I have a little bit of T1 drone experience but they were never a large part of my arsenal. I appreciate the help, I'm sure I'll learn eventually.


I had the exact same problem you did - at 1M ISK a pop, my T2 drones were killing my LvL IV income.

I got so annoyed, I switched to T1 drones - they are dirt cheap, and since I really just needed them to deal with frigs, who cares if they don't kill things very fast?

And guess what happened...after a while, I found that I never lost drones anymore, because I had figured out how to use them, when to pull them in, when I can let them run loose.

Now I am back to using the T2s, and only very, very rarely lose one.

It is not intuitive - it is almost like CCP made the drone aggro mechanics as backward as possible. But you get the hang of it eventually. They key is to make sure the learning curve doesn't cost you 1M or more per error.

Ray Light
Posted - 2008.06.19 09:43:00 - [18]
 

I find that this only happens on certain missions - so I carry a flight of tech 2's and a flight of hammerheads and s*** out for the hammerheads if my drones start to take damage

Kusha'an
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2008.06.19 12:11:00 - [19]
 

In addition to the comments here, use sentry drones for the targets farthest away, and for the battleships. You can then attack NPC targets with them without having to get aggro first. They are quick to pull in before they take too much damage. Just be sure to stay still after you launch them or you'll have to go back and get them.

Cyndial
Posted - 2008.06.19 20:37:00 - [20]
 

Another thing to look at is a target painter. They also agro the spawns and will assist medium drones in killing fig sized targets, just a thing yo keep in mind.

Sanzorz
Amarr
Mark Of Chaos
Posted - 2008.06.20 09:51:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Caiman Graystock
Just manage your drones. Don't launch them until you have aggro, bring them in if they get aggro'd, get aggro, release them. Rinse, repeat.


This.

I've lost very few drones over the last year doing constant lvl 4 missions. Do not launch any drones, before you have the aggro. Launching them and having them to orbit your ship before you gain aggro can be bad for their health.

Also do take notice of the area. In some missions you aggro certain grps, but other grps might not aggro and could be close enough to start killing your drones. Guristas especially are very bad at this.

pyyKtas
Posted - 2008.06.20 13:22:00 - [22]
 

As someone mentioned above, just read mission description. Attacking some frigs makes other ships aggro. And we usually tend to send our drones to kill the frigs, so they get aggroed. Read missions descriptions in eve-survival it points out what causes aggro.
I used to loose alot of drones too, but now its manageable.

Ryuu Katsu
Umbra Campitor
Dead On Arrival Alliance
Posted - 2008.06.21 00:16:00 - [23]
 

I mission in a Dominix as well and I'd second the comments above about getting aggro.

If I don't fit a gun to annoy the rats within missions, I always wait until I have started recieving some fire before I release the drones from my drone bay.
This approach seems to do fairly well for securing the aggro, though I still have to pull in the drones in once in a while but I hardly lose any by doing it like this.

I'd also like to encourage you to train up your drone durability skill a little, to make them a tad hardier, that way they'd be more likely to make it back into the drone bay if they get targetted then otherwise.

Sergeant Spot
Galactic Geographic BookMark Surveying Inc.
Posted - 2008.06.21 16:38:00 - [24]
 

As others said, get the aggro on you BEFORE launching.

Also....

Drone Durability and Drone Navigation both help.

Durability makes the drones a bit tougher, giving you more time to react to damage, and Navigation makes them a bit faster, getting them back faster (usually...)

An additional option is to fit a small REMOTE Armor Rep, so you can repair your drones' armor. If you are willing to use two high slots, a Remote Hull Rep is also nice. Don't try to repair while they are taking damage, just pull em inside and get aggro on you.

Ghalid
Gallente
The Sycorax Syndicate
The Cooperative
Posted - 2008.06.21 19:44:00 - [25]
 

Like others have said, bring a gun to grab aggro. When I first started I used the civilian electron blaster (or whatever that thing is that's equipped with the rookie ship) since it doesn't take ammunition. Remember that you don't have to hit the NPC's to get aggro, just shoot at them.

Once you get decent gunnery skills you can throw on some rails and have them supplement your drone damage.

Duncan Storne
Posted - 2008.06.22 07:49:00 - [26]
 

Originally by: Rickroller

Lvl 4 Missions tactics:
- Drones set to passive
- Warp in, launch 5 drones, they orbit my ship (idle)
- Target 2-3 battleships, 4-5 frigates
- Begin firing main weapons against battleships
- After frigates have been target locked, send all drones to focus fire on a single frigate

I think my problem is that I don't understand the agro mechanics very well in EVE, I'm not sure how I can force the NPC ships to all attack my ship and leave my T2 drones alone. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks in advance.



A note on tactics. You didn't mention what weapons you are using, but you may find it more efficient to target cruisers first. They do more damage relative to their HP than battleships, so by taking the cruisers out first, you generally reduce the incoming damage faster than if you prioritized the battleships.

Aggro mechanics in EvE are incredibly simple. If you get close enough to something, it will attack you. If you attack something, whether you do any damage or not, it will attack you. NPCs are generally formed into groups, attacking one will bring the entire group. These groups are sometimes interlinked. Experience with a mission will show you the group. You probably have already noticed most of this. What makes EvE aggro incredibly simple is once something starts attacking you, it will never stop until it is dead unless it loses its lock.

Drones are vulnerable to groups you haven't aggroed yet and new additions to the battle, generally from triggers. Drones also have an annoying tendency to attack the trigger ships, so be very careful using them in such missions.

William Darkk
Gallente
Garoun Investment Bank
Posted - 2008.06.24 16:58:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: Duncan Storne
Drones are vulnerable to groups you haven't aggroed yet and new additions to the battle, generally from triggers. Drones also have an annoying tendency to attack the trigger ships, so be very careful using them in such missions.


Don't remind me ><. I've lost two Dominixes to that, as well as putting another to 1/3 structure. It's especially fun when there's lag or warp-scram frigates.


 

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