Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thoughts About Drone Mods

One of the most exciting new modules to come with Inferno is the Drone Damage Amplifier, the tech 1 version BPO which has been seeded on the market and the tech II version available through invention.

Drone Damage Amplifier I : Low slot, 1 PG/27 CPU, 15% increase to drone damage(1)
Drone Damage Amplifier II: Low slot, 1 PG/32 CPU, 19% increase to drone damage(1)

There are a lot of possibilities for this module to expand a number of drone carrying ships. The fitting requirements are not to severe (in fact, fall in line with other damage modules) meaning they have a place on all sizes of ships.

Take for example a Gallente heavy assault cruiser Ishtar. With five Ogre IIs and no other weapons it boasts an estimated ideal DPS of 475 points/second. Adding one tech I Drone Damage Amplifier (aka DDA) brings it up to 546; two equals 618, three gives 671, an increase of about 41%. In other words, you can increase the drone damage output to almost 1.5 Ishtars. Invent three tech II mods and you start to approach battleship damage levels around 730 DPS.

Of course, the effect is less impressive on medium and light drones, but the possibilities are still very interesting for having drone damage constitute a real alternative to traditional weapon systems rather than a simple backup to them.

I'm hoping that the developers continue to explore new drone modules and I have some suggestions for them to consider.

Drone Communication Processor - High slot module; small, medium, and large versions. The small version fits on frigate sized ships and adds 5 mb to drone bandwidth; the medium is for cruisers and adds 10 mb to bandwidth; and large has battleship fitting requirements and adds 25 mb to bandwidth.

This module allows for ships to increase the number of drones they can field (to a maximum of 5 of course) or increase the size of drones they can launch. This would allow non-drone specialized ships the possibility of becoming drone ships at the cost of high slots and weapon fitting.

Drone Bay Expander - Mid slot Module; small, medium and large versions. Small adds 5m3 to drone bay, medium adds 10m3 to drone bay, large adds 25m3 to drone bay. Fitting requirements scaled to frigate/cruiser/battleship respectively. Used in isolation, this gives a ship space to add drones to their selection without increasing flight and/or drone size. Used in conjunction with the Drone Communication Processor and Drone Damage Amp, you could turn a ship from an occasional drone user to a full fledged drone carrier. For example, a Rokh with 5 heavy drones (but only 5 turrets with no damage mods and a compromised tank).

They would not radically change the ship setup landscape but they would allow for some experimentation and surprises on the battlefield.

1 - You can fit multiple modules but the effect is stacking nerfed like regular damage modules.


  1. Rattlesnake with ogre IIs, four t2 drone damage amps and CN torps of any damage type... 1000+ dps. Gila get get 700+ in a similar way. Guristas ships just got a huge pvp buff :)

  2. Proteus - if you're going to nerf the boat so it can only have a max of 100mb bandwidth and only three guns, we darned we deserve access to a processor (or rig?) to bring it up to 125.

    Or fix the darned boat. Sheesh. Same with the Kronos...!

    One thing I would be cautious of though is smaller ships that are primarily DPS gun/missile boats with a spare highslot or two. The ability to field potentially two or more ecm drones when they did not before used to could seriously imbalance things.

    Small scale PvP is often short and brutal due to the margin of error (i.e pretty much none). That could make it arguably worse.

  3. Don't forget about the new light/medium web drones. These new drones aren't very durable, but they do give a substantial advantage to Gallente blaster boats, all of which have enough drone capacity to use them effectively to get and stay within blaster range.