Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Drones TL; DR

CCP Fozzie wrote a bit of a long Dev Blog on the summer drone changes. You can read the full thing here.

Too much? OK, how about a ROUGH SCAS summary of the changes. If you are really big on drones take time to read the Dev Blog, this is just a summary and probably misses some bits that might be really important to you.

Racial Drones.

Yeah... Amarr and Caldari drones are pants and nobody used them (other than ECM ofc). They are being buffed so they are useful!

Gallente - Best DPS, Worst Speed, Termal Damage
Minmatar - Worst DPS, Best Speed, Explosive Damage
Amarr - Low DPS, High Speed, EM Damage
Caldari - High DPS, Low Speed, Kinetic Damage

So for DPS it is Gallente best then Caldari then Amarr then Matari. For speed it is Matari best then Amarr then Caldari then Gallente.

Faction Drones.
  • Navy Faction Drones are being brought closer to T2 stats but without the specialisation skill bonus (so T2 will still be better).
  • “Integrated” drones to have 15% more damage and 10% more HP, tracking and speed than T1
  • “Augmented” drones will keep their current significant bonuses to HP, tracking and speed, they will also get their damage bonus increased to 32% above T1

Size of Drones

Yeah, the bigger they are, the slower they are. So...

  • Increase in MWD speed equals a 20% increase to the MWD speed of Medium Drones, and a 43% increase in Heavy Drone MWD speed. Your fatter drones will get to the target quicker, but sub-warp speeds still same. So don't expect your Ogres to do much against that frigate!

  • To make drones more "new player" friendly, the Drone Interfacing skill will be nerfed to a 10% increase in DPS per level (was 20%). Drones to get base DPS increase to support this so at Drone Interfacing trained to level 5 the damage is the same as it is now (forgetting all other changes proposed).
  • Combat Drone Operation skill split into two new skills, Light Drone Operation and Medium Drone Operation. Skills will be split at DT and you'll receive new skills at your current CDO level (same as when destroyer skill was 'racialised').
  • The Scout Drone Operation skill is being renamed “Drone Avionics”
  • The Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing skill is being renamed “Advanced Drone Avionics”
  • Racial Drone Specialization skills will now provide their damage bonus to Tech Two sentry drones as well as the normal combat drones.
  • Drone Interfacing, Drone Sharpshooting, Drone Durability, and Drone Navigation skills will all provide their bonuses to Fighters and Fighter Bombers. 

Sentry drones

Need to close the gulf between T1 (crap) and T2 (awesome sauce) and to address the issues with the two 'unpopular' racial sentry drones.

  • Massive Gulf between T1 and T2 needs closing. Buff to T1 sentry DPS.
  • Faction navy sentry drones will get same 20% increase in optimal and falloff that T2 enjoys.
  • Swapping the position of the Bouncer and Curator sentries in the damage ranking, and adding tracking to the Bouncers to compensate.
  • Swapping some optimal range to falloff on the Bouncers, adding falloff to the Wardens and Gardes, and removing falloff from the Curator sentries. 

Changes to fighters, fighter bombers and supercarriers
  • All universal drone bonuses from skills and modules will apply to Fighters and Fighter Bombers. (Drone Interfacing, and modules such as Drone Damage Amplifiers) 
  • The base damage of Fighters and Fighter Bombers is being reduced (due to above, for example Fighters will find that with Drone Interfacing trained to five their basic damage returns to normal and all the other skills and bonuses from Drone Damage Amplifiers are pure additions. Fighter Bombers will need Drone Interfacing 5 and two Tech Two Drone Damage Amplifiers to slightly surpass their current damage rates).
  • Reducing the maximum number of drones available to Supercarriers from the current 20 to 10. 
  • All Supercarriers will receive a 100% damage bonus to Fighter and Fighter Bomber damage, and the hitpoints and volume of Fighter Bombers will be doubled.
  • Fighter Bomber shield recharge rates will be cut in half to ensure that they do not regain high passive tank rates.
  • Increasing the materials required to build Fighter Bombers by a little over 50%.
  • Small (7%) buff to the Shadow Fighter Bomber DPS, a special advanced Sansha variant that is obtained by fighting off incursions.

New drone modules
  • New low slot Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancers
  • Faction versions of the Drone Damage Amplifier and Drone Navigation Computer modules
  • More faction versions of the Omnidirectional Tracking Link module. 
  • The faction modules will be available in Gallente Navy and Amarr Navy variants (available in both normal and FW LP stores) as well as Guristas and Rogue Drone variants available as loot drops.


  1. The 7% nerf to max sentry damage (9% until I train gallente drone V) makes me a sad panda. Oh well.

  2. I don't understand CCP here. Projectiles, lasers, and hybrids are 3 racial weapon systems. I'm fairly sure that drones and missiles were racial weapon systems for Gallente and Caldari, with both getting hybrids as well).

    If all races get there own drones, then Missiles are the 4th racial weapon system and only the Caldari should have ships that have any bonuses for them, and Caldari ships should not have any bonuses for any other weapon system (particuarly not hybrids).

    If missiles are to be ubiquitous in addition to drones, then what are the racial weapons for Caldari/Gallente? If the answer is hybrids, then lets drop this damn pretense that caldari are missiles and gallente are drones. Lets have drone boats in all races and missile boats in all races. None of this "yeah, everyone has missiles, but caldari are better at it" or "Gallente have the best drone boats".

  3. Offtopic but I finally rolled a FW alt. I don't have the SP to kill anything yet and the character has to pay for itself so I tried a nice stabbed venture :P
    9 km lock range, 13 dps from 2 T1 hobgoblins... I really shouldn't have decloaked to try and help anyone :)

  4. "Gallente - Best DPS, Worst Speed, Termal Damage"

    I really thought some new damage types had been brought in during my hiatus there... then I realised you made a type :P

  5. so.... if i am reading this right... now we will have a skill Advanced Drone Avionics that inexplicably gives you the ability to use electronic warfare drones, instead of a skill at using ewarfare drones that for some odd reason gives you the ability to control your drones at longer ranges..... still .... WTF?