Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 01:23

Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

First off, let me preface this with two quick points. This discussion is going to be:

1: A Wall of Text. It is intended for people who are thinking seriously about Drone Boats and flying one in both PVE and PVP, to help them choose whether the Drone Boat is right for them 1) at all; 2) now or 3) later after some more training.
2: Not a statement of policy or demand. This is a series of thoughts and suggestions from my experience flying drone boats almost exclusively in both PVP and PVE (with the exception of my <3 Arazu and <3 Scorpion).
3: Possibly a class in the future. Since Neville has moved on, it might be time to fill in for him on the drones class as well as having a class tailored towards drone boat piloting.

Now that that's out of the way:

Defining Drone Boats

Let's talk about what a drone boat is not: It is NOT a ship with a drone bay. Let's face it, a large portion of the ships in EVE have a drone bay. Drone boats are, very specifically, ships that have bonuses specifically tailored towards the use of drones. Normally this comes in the form of a 10% increase in drone damage and hit points per skill level, though sometimes it will be a specific bonus towards the size of the ship's drone bay. Drone boats are those ships that live and die by their drones, rather than their awesome turret damage, huge tracking or range bonus or amazing nano-kiting ability (err, well, except for the Ishkur/Ishtar). Most of the time, a drone boat is going to fill the role of damage dealer, based on the proper use of their drones as a death machine, though there are some nice exceptions, such as the neuting or fleet support Dominix fits. Basically, think of a drone boat as "baby's practice supercarrier."

Sub-capital Drone Boats

What ships can be properly defined as drone boats? The following make the list:

*Tristan (Gallente T1 Frigate): 10% bonus to drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Cruiser
*Ishkur (Gallente Assault Ship): 5 m3 drone bay size per lvl of Assault Ships
*Worm (Gurista Pirate Frigate)D: 5 m3 drone bay size per lvl of Gallente Frigate
*Vexor (Gallente Cruiser): 10% bonus to drone damage/hitpoints/mining per lvl of Gallente Cruiser
*Arbitrator (Amarr Cruiser): 10% bonus to drone damage/hitpoints/mining per lvl of Amarr Cruiser
*Ishtar (Gallente Heavy Assault Ship): 10% bonus to drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Cruiser AND +5km scout/heavy drone control range and 50m3 drone bay space per level of Assault Ships
*Gila (pronounced HEE la, not GEE la, you heathens) (Gurista Pirate Cruiser): 10% drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Cruiser
**Pilgrim (Amarr Force Recon): 10% bonus to drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Amarr Cruiser (I am Gallente, not Amarr Force Recon pilot and I am absolutely NOT comfortable commenting on proper use and fitting of *this* specific ship as a damage dealer, I would refer you to... elsewhere in this case. Sorry!)
*Myrmidon (Gallente Battlecruiser): 10% drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Battlecruisers
*Dominix (Gallente Battleship): 10% drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Battleship
*Rattlesnake (Gurista Pirate Battleship): 10% drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Battleship

What ships kinda sorta could be called drone boats but don't really make the list:

*Velator (Gallente Noobship): 20% base drone damage increase, but.. ITS A NOOBSHIP
*Imicus (Gallente Frigate): 15 m/b bandwidth allows 3 drones, but without bonuses and minimal tank make it a poor choice as a combat ship.
*Federation Navy Comet (Gallente Faction Frigate): 15 m/b bandwidth but no specific drone bonuses. It's a sorta "baby Ishkur" but without a proportional price tag. Flying it like a drone boat is a bad idea.
*Proteus (Gallente Strategic Cruiser): Has the capability to fly 100 m/b of bandwidth and get 10% drone damage/hitpoints per lvl of Gallente Offensive Subsystems with all the proper subsystems attached but performs poorly at that role in comparison to the Ishtar or Dominix, depending on your intended use. Also, costs geometrically more to fly, making it possible, but not a great idea.
*Legion (Amarr Strategic Cruiser): See above on the Proteus.

Why fly a Drone Boat?

Drone boats are an amazing class of ship for the properly skilled and interested pilot. From insanely high damage output in PVP (700+ dps Vexors and 1300+ dps Dominix's), to obnoxious PVP tanks (see Agony Unleashed's ATX performance of the ET/RR dual Rattlesnakes), to brilliant active and AFK PVE performance, drone boats are some of the most versatile ships in the game. With a few different fittings, drone boats can dictate combat at almost any range between point blank and 150+ km, snipe (though, not recommended, really), AFK mission, or just plain melt targets, all the while usually having enough extra slots to focus on a solid tank (or overtank) and even allowing some ships the slots to fit support roles such as neuting and Energy Transfer/Remote Repair.

The Downside of Drone Boats

Yes, with versatility and performance comes a cost. The first and most obvious is that, after fitting skills, most ships require a focus on tank and then on direct DPS via turrets or missiles. Drone boats, on the other hand, require skills in tank, then drone skills, as well as further skills in direct DPS (via turrets or missiles). So, instead of Fitting->Tank->Guns, a drone pilot needs Fitting->Tank->Drones and Guns, which means more training to realize a ships full potential, and, frankly, Drone skills are VERY time intensive. For an example, with a proper full realization of Drone Battleship potential, one would need more than 6million skillpoints invested into Drones alone (Drones V, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones V, Sentry Drone Interfacing V, Drone Interfacing V, and all related support/racial skils at at least IV).

Also, Drone Boats have some signicant limitations in PVP, partially based on the hulls, and partially based on the drones themselves. Most drone boats, being Gallente (... and an Amarr, but we won't talk about that), favor an armor tank, which can severely limit a ships maneuverability and speed. Also, the drones themselves need to either fly to a target to apply DPS or, in the case of sentries, sit immobile in space. In either of these situations, the drones can limit a ships ability to move freely about the field. Drone boats are, generally, not favored in fast, mobile kiting gangs. While some ships like the Ishkur and Ishtar can be fairly effective at kiting (Ishtar sentry-drop kiting gang can be very nasty, if not countered), for the most part, drone boats will underperform in a lot of kiting or speed fleets, such as those that favor nano-Canes and podla Drakes. Even if the ship is fit for a shield tank, which can be done effectively on most of the Gallente drone boats and ALL of the Gurista ships, the drones themselves still can be an issue for a kite gang.

While drone boats can be devastating brawlers, many of the PVP doctrines that are currently in use by established corporations do not favor this type of ship.

When am I Ready to Fly a Drone Boat

PVP: I'll be blunt here. I'm the the University LSC's resident Drone Boat Bastard, and I am fairly relentless about being critical of poorly fit or poorly skilled Drone Boat losses, particularly of the Myrmidon. The reason for that is that, while drone ships can be amazingly effective, especially in a slug fest, as noted above, drone boats really require a LOT of dedicated training to realize their full potential. This is because of the advantage of T2 drones over T1 drones as well as the bonuses that come from the racial ship skills. If you fly a Drake with Battlecruisers IV and a full T2 tank and T1 (or T2) Heavy or HAM launchers, you are still getting relatively effective performance in PVP for that ship and it's role. It's tanky, it can do some damage, and you aren't missing a huge performance gain (compared relatively to drone ships) by not maximizing your T2 missiles and Battlecruisers V. Yes, it makes a difference, but not to the same degree.

On the other hand, when you fly a drone boat, the difference in damage/tracking and effectiveness of tech 1 vs tech 2 drones is sizeable, but you then have to consider that in relation to the 10% bonus per level of each hull type. Also, different drone sizes are also figured into the equation. If you can fly only T1 Ogres or Sentries on a Dominix with Gallente Battleship IV (10% per level) and Drone Interfacing IV (20% damage per level), then you are losing a very sizeable amount of DPS vs a pilot who can fly a Dominix with T2 Ogres/Sentries with Gallente Battleship V and Drone Interfacing V. Consider here also the fact that the training time difference between those two situations is, at the best remap, at least 10 weeks (I haven't EVEmon'd it to death, obviously, but Heavy Drone V (or Sentry Drone V), Battleship V, and Drone Interfacing V are all rank 5 to 8 skills with very long lvl V trains).

That makes the drone boat, for PVP, a very questionable choice for the newer player, beyond the cruiser level, where the price of the ship begins to grow signifcantly. If you think you want to try this in PVP (and I highly recommend it), you really have to commit to it.

PVE: On the other hand, drone boats can be VERY forgiving in PVE. This is because the real first goal of a good drone boat in PVE is tank. Once you can field a strong T2 tank, you just need to get base support skills and it becomes possible to complete missions/plexes/etc with a drone boat, even without outstanding drone or gunnery skills. This is, primarily, due to the amazing versatility of the different sized drone groups. While, say, a battleship without drone bonuses cannot effectively rely on its drones to eventually clear a spawn, a drone boat can often loltank most missions for a *very* long time, even the hardest ones. Selective use of different drone sizes can allow you to more efficiently clear different size spawn rats (lights for frigs, mediums/heavies for cruisers/BC's, heavies/sentries for BS's (sentries for ANYTHING at longer ranges)) more efficiently than a ship that has to use un-bonused light or medium drones or has to wait to web down smaller ships to kill with it's guns.

So, even though you might not be ready to PVP with a Myrmidon, does not mean that you can't "lolstomp" most L3 missions with a T2 tanked Myrm and only "baseline" drone skills.

*Note, this is not to say that drone boats are the most efficient mission ships from a "time invested" standpoint on a per mission basis. While, at the lower levels, the Ishtar and Gila are absolutely the KINGs of L2-L3 mission crushing, an overfit faction fit turret/missile ship might make shorter work of a mission, however, the drone boat has the advantage of, usually, a better tank, and signficantly less (or no) ammunition cost. However, while few argue that the Machariel really is the king of L4+ mission blitzing, it is hard to argue with the Rattlesnake's ability to show up, tank ANY pocket of ANY mission indefinitely (if you set it up for that, which I don't) and just lazily pick off the whole pocket at it's leisure with heavies or sentries.

Recommended Minimum Drone Skills


This is really a semi-subjective issue and it depends very much on the hull involved. If it's a cheaper ship, like the Vexor, it's a great boat to "get your feet wet in," to see if you really like flying drones. In fact, if you think you might like drones, get a Vexor asap and try it out. It's one thing to lose a Vexor when you've got really low skill points, because.. hey... it's a Vexor. It's something else to take a Dominix into PVP with a drone damage fitting when you only have Gallente Battleships II-IV and access to T1 drones with Drone Interfacing III. That's just dumb.

*Frigate PVE or PVP (Tristan)
---- As soon as you start playing. It's a cheap T1 Frigate. Go out and be flashy!

*Cruiser PVE (Vexor or Abitrator):
Hull: Cruisers III or IV
Tank: T1 or T2 Armor (Hull Upgrades IV, Mechanic IV, Repair Systems IV, etc.); Jury Rigging III, Armor Rigging I
Gunnery: T1 Hybrid Turrets (Rails)
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing III, Scout Drones IV, Combat Drones IV, Drone Sharpshooting III, Drone Durability III, Drone Navigation III

*Cruiser PVP (Vexor or Arbitrator):
Same as above PVE. It's cheap and it's a good ship to test your skills with. Gunnery choice can be rails or blasters, though Vexors favor blasters in PVP. You may have to do light blasters to deal with frigs and due to fitting issues with the Vexor.

*Battlecruiser PVE (Myrmidon):
Hull: Battlecruisers III or IV
Tank: T2 Armor (Hull Upgrades V, Mechanic V, Repair Systems IV, etc) OR T2 Shield (etc. go look it up.... )
Gunnery: T1 Hybrid Turrets (rails), Weapon Upgrades IV
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing IV, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones IV, Drone Sharpshooting IV, Drone Durability III, Drone Navigation III

*Battlecruiser PVP (Myrmidon): (aka: PLEASE STOP ABUSING MYRMIDONS IN PVP WITH LOW SKILLS :( )
Hull: Battlecruisers IV, preferably V
Tank: Full T2 Armor OR Shield with strong fitting skills
Gunnery: T2 Hybrid Turrets (Blasters) OR T2 Projectile Turrets (Autocannons) (some people like lazorz too....) Weapon Upgrades V, Advanced WU IV with lvl IV gunnery supports.
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing IV MINIMUM, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Navigation IV, Minimatar and Gallente Drone Specialization IV.

*Assault Ships and Pirate Frigates (Ishkur and Worm) BOTH PVE and PVP (these ships are expensive and easy to lose if you make a mistake, you do not want to differentiate the skill to fly them in PVE or PVP:
Hull: Assault Ships IV (for the Worm: both Gallente and Caldari Frigate V)
Tank: Full T2 Armor (Ishkur) or Shield (Worm) with very strong fitting skills
Gunnery/Missiles: T2 Small Hybrids (rails or blasters for the Ishkur) with full support, T2 Light Missiles for the Worm with full support; WU V, AWU IV
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing V (yes V), Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Navigation, Minimatar and Gallente Drone Specialization IV.

*Gallente Battleship PVE (Dominix)
Hull: Gallente Battleship IV
Tank: Full T2 Armor with strong fitting skills
Gunnery: T1 Large Hybrids (Rails or Blasters, but mostly Rails) with decent supports; WU V, AWU III
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing IV, Scout Drones V, Combat Dones V, Heavy Drones IV, Sentry Drones IV, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Navigation III, Minmatar and Gallente Drone Specialization III.
--- Note the significantly lower PVE Drones/Gunnery skills recommendations for the PVE Dominix vs. PVP Myrms, Assault Ships, and the HACs. The Dominix is special because it's a cheap BS and with a good tank it's very resilient (not invincible, but very strong) in PVE, even in hard L4's, so long as you know how to read EVE Surivival and manage triggers. This makes it an excellent choice for jumping into the high ISK L4 missions, even when you're not nearly ready to fly it in PVP (or even a Mrym in PVP). For the dedicated drone boat pilot, this ship is your "first real money-maker."

*Gallente Battleship PVP (Dominix):
Hull: Gallente Battleship V (yes V, you can get away with IV, but 10% of your Drone Damage is a LARGE dps loss)
Tank: Full T2 Armor AND Shields with very strong supports (yes, the Domi can effectively shield tank)
Gunnery: T1 Large Hybrids with a minimum of Large Hybrid Turret V is doable, though T2 is preferred. T1 Large Blasters still do silly amounts of damage though T2 would be better due to a better choice in ammo/range.
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing V, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones V, Sentry Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Naviation IV, Gallente and Minmatar Drone Specialization IV.

*Heavy Assault Ships and Pirate Cruisers (Ishtar and Gila): Again, both PVE and PVP
-Again, it's HEE la, not GEE la, for all our friends who didn't grow up in the North American Southwest and don't know of the nasty lizard that shoots blood from it's eyes....
Hull: Heavy Assault Ships IV (Ishtar) (Gallente and Caldari Cruiser V for the Gila)
Tank: Full T2 Armor or Shields for the Ishtar with full supports. Full T2 shields for the Gila
Gunnery: T2 Medium Hybrids with full supports (Ishtar) or T2 Heavy or HAM Launches (Gila)
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing V, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones V, Sentry Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Naviation IV, Gallente and Minmatar Drone Specialization IV.

*The Rattlesnake
Hull: Caldari and Gallente Battleship V
Tank: Full T2 Shields with full supports.
Missiles: T2 Cruise or Torpedoes. Cruise work better in PVE due to the range. I don't fly this in PVP to test Torps. I ain't that rich. IV+ Missile Supports.
Drones: Drones V, Drone Interfacing V, Scout Drones V, Combat Drones V, Heavy Drones V, Sentry Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting/Durability/Naviation IV, Gallente and Minmatar Drone Specialization IV.

Racial Drone Choices

Each race has it's own version of each type of Drones. However, what you need to know is that there are only TWO that matter. Gallente and Minmatar. 99% of the time, you will only use Gallente or Minmatar Drones. That's because they work out as follows:

Gallente: Slowest drones, highest damage (Thermal)
Minmatar: Fastest drones, meh damage (Explosive)
Caldari: Longest range drones, horrible damage (Kinetic).... (Also, ECM drones! yay!)
Amarr: Who cares? (ok, really, tankiest drones (bleh, worthless), meh damage (EM))

PVP and PVE: Generally, Gallente drones are the first choice for "go to drones." The fact that they deal Thermal damage makes them a good "omni" choice for damage (just like Phased Plasma for projectile weapons in PVP), and the damage bonus they receive generally outweighs using other drones to shoot at a targets "resistance hole." Minmatar drones, on the other hand are very fast, with good tracking, making them good at applying damage quickly and very good at avoiding or reducing incoming damage. Minmatar light drones (Warriors) are an excellent choice when attacking frigates, especially fast/kiting frigates and Interceptors). Given the choice in PVP, you should keep a "flight" (5) of warrior drones for small fast targets and fill the rest of your available space with Gallente drones for higher dps.

If you are <gag> in a sniping drone boat, you *might* consider using Caldari sentry drones (Wardens) due to their extreme range bonuses. However, that's about the only time you'll want to use a Caldari drone, with the exception of the LOVELY Caldari ECM Drones.

PVE General: Again, Gallente and Minmatar are the way to go. Almost every rat in the game has a secondary Thermal "hole," meaning that firing thermal at them with the Gallente drone's damage modifier outweighs using another race's drones. The exception here is against Angel's. The Angel ships are very fast and have very good resistances against everything but Explosive. If you are running missions and you are facing Angels, you are almost always better off using Minmatar drones to burn down Angels faster.

PVE with Sentries: If your ship relies primarily on Sentry Drones for PVE (Dominix/Ishtar/Rattlesnake), then it is in your interest to try to make sure you have space for BOTH Gallente and Minmatar Sentry Drones. This is due to a substantial range difference and tracking differences. Minmatar Bouncers can easily hit out to 100+ km, which is great for missions where there is a spawn far away from you, however, once the target gets under 20km, Bouncers track like crap. Gallente Garde's, on the other hand, don't hit very far (generally under 50km) but hit MUCH harder against most NPCs and track better at shorter ranges. In most missions, you are better off using Minmatars at 50-100km and Gardes at 6km-50km. Against Angels, you should only deploy Gardes once the Angel BS's (Machariel NPCs) get under 20km.

Drone Types

*Light (Scout) Drones: The smallest and fastest drones, though the weakest in both damage and tank. They take up only 5m/b bandwidth and 5m3 of drone bay space, so most drone boats can have at least a flight or two of these, which is often a good idea. For PVP and PVE alike, it is essential to get T2 Gallente and Minmatar drones as fast as possible due to the dps increase. In PVP, you will need it to effectively chase down and kill fast frigates (use Warrior II's) and in PVE at the L3+ level, having T2 Hobgoblins or Warriors can be the difference between being scrammed and losing your ship, or killing the scram/web frigs and warping off to safety. Needs Scout Drone Operation V and Racial Drone I for T2.

*Medium (Scout) Drones: The midpoint between Lights and Heavies. They use up 10m3 cargo and 10m/b of bandwidth and are, frankly, fairly situational. The problem with Mediums is that they are slower than lights and do less damage then heavies (duh), which makes them a fairly poor choice in PVE a lot of the time. NPC HAC cruisers (yes, some NPCs fly T2 ships) and NPC BS's can often tank these for a very long time, which makes using them less efficient than allowing Heavies to simply slowboat out, but kill the target signficantly faster. That doesn't, however, mean they are bad, just situational. If it comes to a choice of a flight of Heavies or a flight of Mediums + some others, I'd go with the heavies, so long as you have room for Lights as well. Mediums are often a great choice for NON-drone boats with increased bandwidth, like the Brutix. Requires Scout Drone Operation V and Racial Drone I for T2.

*Heavy Combat Drones: The hardhitting monsters of the drone arsenal. They are extremely slow moving, but hit like a truck, particularly the T2 Gallente Ogre II's. In PVE, they are must have at the L4 mission level, as they are extremely effective at killing close range rats all the way from battleships down to cruisers (they melt cruisers). For the most part, Gallente drones are the way to go, in both PVE and PVP, though, as stated earlier, Angel missions/rats will be better off with Minmatar Berserkers. However, even in Angel missions, Gallente Ogres perform relatively well, simply due to the sheer amount of damage they do. Requires Heavy Drone Operation V and Racial Drones IV for T2.

--Note: Due to their lack of speed, in PVP it is often best to keep Heavy Drones "in the bay" until you are on top of the target. A drone boat has the versatility to manage multiple flights of drones, making it more DPS effective to only use heavy drones once you are literally on top of your primary target. While you are MWD'ing or slowboating to a target (or after your target dies) it is often a good tactic to recall your heavies and send out a flight of smaller faster drones to more quickly apply damage while you are in transit. Recalling your small drones once you are within 10km of a target and then dropping the heavies will help keep your DPS more constant.

*Sentry Combat Drones: T2 Sentry Drones are the Holy Grail of PVE drone boats and can be terribly effective in PVP as well, but even T1 sentry drones are a force to be reckoned with. These drones, however, cannot move, and simply "sit" in space acting as a stable turret. On the other hand, sentry drones have vastly increased range over other forms of drones and can apply damage anywhere from 5km to 100+ km (over 150km I believe in the case of Wardens, but their damage sucks). This makes them ideal for warping into a pocket and just dropping your drones and sitting there while you tank the mission, letting your sentry drones clean up the pocket. As stated before, Minmatar Bouncers are best used for targets over 50km (or Angels) while Gallente Gardes are best used for targets under 50km (Angel BS's under 20km). Keep in mind, though, that Sentry Drones can only be "recalled" and picked up by your ship if they are within 2500m. This is why most PVE Battleships "sit" on their sentry drones while PVE HACs/Cruisers tend to orbit them at a relatively close range.

*ECM Drones: Are awesome. Everyone should try to use these where they fit on their ships. However, this write up is long enough without getting into ECM drones in detail. This is about, specifically, drone boat DD.

Drone Bandwidth and Drone "Flights"

With the exception of the rare (shoot it on sight, get it on your killboard) Guardian-Vexor, all drone boats are limited to 5 active drones at a time (Drone Control Units, which increase drone control by 1 drone per DCU are only useable on Capital Ships, which we are not discussing). Fielding 5 drones at once is called a "full flight." However, those 5 drones a limited by your ships available drone bandwidth, which, for true drone boats, will range anywhere from 25m/b for the Assault Ships to 125m/b for the HACs and Battleships.

Common sense might tell you that it's best to field a "full flight" of the same type of drone, within your drone boat's capacity. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, it might make sense to mix drone types or use the 75m/b "Omni Flight" (2 heavies, 2 mediums, 1 light).

*At the Assault Ship/Frig level (25m/b): Yes, it is possible to field 2 mediums and 1 light, but generally it is not a good idea to do so. Assault Frigates excel in killing other small ships quickly, which means that the speed and tracking of lights will outweight any potential dps of your mediums. Also, 5 lights simply do more damage than 2 mediums and 1 light.

*At the Cruiser and Battlecruiser level (75m/b): In PVE, full flights will generally be best (5 lights or 5 mediums). However, if you're set up for it and prepared you may be able to effectively use 3 Heavies or 3 Sentries to kill ships at long range or at absolute point blank range. The problem with these ships is that they have limited drone bay space as well, meaning it can be hard to have all situations covered (5 lights, 5 mediums, and 3 heavies or sentries will fit on a Myrm, but not on a Vexor). Depending on your missions, you may have to choose your loadout carefully. In PVP, however, testing has tended to show that the "Omni Flight" of 2 heavies, 2 mediums, and 1 light, tend to outperform 3 heavies in most situations, due to the more quickly applied damage and better tracking of the 3 smaller ships in the Omni Flight. For PVP, it's a good idea to keep a Myrm or a Vexor stocked with a flight of lights, and an Omni Flight (and ECM's as they fit).

Edit: The Myrmidon now sports 100m/b bandwidth with the new updates. This creates the possibility of a new "omni-flight" of 3 heavies and 2 mediums. Testing appears to show that this is the way to go with this available bandwidth.

*At the Battleship/HAC level (125m/b): Yes, full flights for all drone types.

Drone Modules

*Drone Navigation Computer: Medium slot that increases drone MWD speed. It's crap. Don't use it. (Edit: Some testing has shown this might be useful if specifically facing kiting frigs. Very situational at best.)

*Drone Link Augmentor: High slot. Inceases drone control range by 20km for each module and is stackable. Very useful for drone boats and should be carefully considered in both PVE and PVP fits.

*Omnidirectional Tracking Link: Medium slot that increases the tracking speed and optimal range of ALL drones. Absolutely essential in PVE, especially for Sentry boats. For battleships, it's best to try to fit 2, but where fitting is an issue (Gilas and Rattlesnakes) due to tank, 1 can be used, especially if you have Drone Sharpshooting V for the T2 version. If you're PVE'ing and you have the cash, the Federation Navy Omnidirectional Tracking Link is an even better choice, but overpriced due to the fact that it's only available from FW LP stores.

*Drone Damage Amplifier: Low slow "gank module" for drone boats. AWESOME addition with the Inferno expansion. Increases drone damage output by ~16% for the T1 and ~20% for the T2. Can also be stacked, but with normal stacking penalties. Can turn a Dominix into a Death Machine (tm) or an Ishkur into the most annoying kiting ship on the planet.

*Sentry Drone Damage Augmentor: Sentry damage amplification rig that ONLY works on Sentry Drones. For the discerning sentry drone pilot who doesn't like to AFK missions, but likes to actually watch his sentries shoot stuff.

Drone Hotkeys

By default, the game has 3 hotkeys for drones. F is "engage target." Shift-F is "return and orbit" and Shift-R is "return to drone bay." Personally I remapped them to reverse return to drone bay and return and orbit, as I like "f" as "go get em" and "shift f" to "get out of dodge." Also, "Orbit" starts off with an "r" sound, so it works better for me. The point is that if you are going to fly a drone boat, you need to map at LEAST these 3 keys to something you are comfortable with on a "no brainer" basis, as they are all extremely important in both PVE and PVP. There is also the ability to hotkey Passive, Aggressive, Focus Fire and the Fighter commands, but I haven't bothered with those.

------------ Important note: Drone hotkeys ONLY work if "space" or the "overview" is the "active window." If you recently clicked on your drone window, or local chat, or something else, then the hotkey will not apply. You must make sure that the overview or actual space is the last thing you clicked on and then hit your hotkey. This can lead to annoying situations like drones ignoring you, you double clicking frantically in space and moving off away from your sentry drones (oops), or the dreaded "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF" in local chat.

Drone Passive vs. Aggressive

Generally you will want to leave drones on aggressive. This makes them attack targets attacking you. Duh. However, there are some quick things to keep in mind:

1)Drones will only agress on *new* incoming attacks. That means that if you drop drones while something is shooting you, they will not attack that target. A player or NPC has to activate a "new" module or a module that has cycled off on you before they think "oh, it's time to get all shooty." That can lead to very annoying situations, especially when you are already sensor damped or ECM'd... with your drones just orbiting you lazily. However, as soon as you get a lock and tell them to attack OR if something activates a "new" attack on you, they will then aggress and continue to attack ALL enemies on the field, regardless of when their attack started.

2)Drones like to shoot triggers. They REALLY like to shoot triggers. This can be especially annoying in Serpentis and Gurista missions where you are ECM'd or Damped all to hell and you can't control what your drones are shooting at. I guarantee you that they are shooting the trigger for the next wave. Watch their damage notifications and consider recalling them until you can get them back on a target you want them to shoot. Or just have a BOSS TANK.

Common Drone Boat Tactics

1)Brawling (PVP): All drone boats brawl like beasts. This is because they are mostly Gallente and can have strong tanks while doing stupid damage at close range. Drop fast drones, close range, recall fast drones and drop heavies or Omni, melt target, rinse, repeat, nuff said. Doesn't work as well in PVE due to getting more incoming damage than you might like, and the time to close to target. Doable, but bleh.

2)The Sit and Spin (PVE and some PVP): This involves dropping sentry drones and sitting (BS's and BC's) or spinning (HACs, Cruisers) and orbiting your sentries at a range to "speed tank" the larger ships' damage. Generally a good tactic in almost any PVE situation, including wormholes. Just let the sentries do the work and drop lights/heavies depending on if it becomes necessary. Very important to note that this requires either careful aggro of groups and trigger control, or actively getting all "room" aggro onto your main ship, to keep it off your sentries, as they tend to pop quick, and most NPC's very much hate drones. Shoot the groups first with your ship, engage uber tank, drop sentries and loltank your way to bounties. This can also apply in PVP to warping in at range and just shooting stuff with sentries (see kiting, but meh).

-This can also be done with a Worm/Ishkur in PVP by just orbiting a can or item at long range and letting your light frigs trash the room (see "The AFK")

3)The AFK (PVE): This generally involves having a severely overtanked battleship (or HAC) (or possibly a very fast frigate who can uber speedtank) and warping into a pocket, actively shooting all the aggro groups with your guns to get full room aggro, and then dropping heavy drones and leaving the room. The heavies will eventually kill everything in the pocket (including frigates). Boring and slow but effective if you don't actually like playing the game.

Edit: With the Winter 2012 expansion, the new drone aggro rules, which are similar to Sleepers, makes this less viable. Drones will now be aggressed more often.

4)Kiting (PVP): This can be done very effectively by the Ishkur and Worm running nano fits with longer range weapons. Keep within point range of your target, but FOR GODSSAKE OUTSIDE OF SCRAM RANGE and let your light drones do most of the work (double DDAII's with double Nano-Ishkur is nice). Recall drones as necessary if the other guy starts shooting at them. Generally, they will get away. Annoys the heck out of Hawk and Vengeance pilots. Can be done with an Ishtar/Gila as well, but I haven't tried it in PVP yet.

5)Sentry Kiting (PVP, and somewhat in PVE): This is a tactic for Ishkurs and Gilas, but also for the Vexor to a lesser extent. It involves dropping sentry drones in engagement range and then MWD'ing away (nano fit) and staying outside of your enemy's effective engagement range, but keeping them within your sentry drones gun range. Takes a lot of practice and is very annoying to fight, but can be done effectively, depending on your enemy's comp. Risks losing sentry drones though, which is bad. --Also, if a target closes too close to you, abandon the sentries, drop lights/mediums and attack, while still motoring away. If you get away, recall the flight, and reconnect to the sentries.

6)Sniping (PVP, for the PVE version, see "The Sit and Spin"): Involves fitting out multiple DLA's and Omni's with sensor boosters and other modules to increase your range and shooting targets with sentry drones. Used to be a viable tactic, but the buff to T2 ammo and the introduction of tier 3 BC's has made this far less effective than those ships. Doable, but not recommended.

-- And that's it for the GIANT WALL OF TEXT for now. Please, if you read all of this, I owe you a cookie, but consider what I've said regarding whether drone boats are right for you. The next couple spaces are saved for some fittings.
Last edited by Alarien on 2013.02.23 17:56, edited 4 times in total.
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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 01:24

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Note: Most of my fittings show T2 modules/drones. For PVE (except the Rattlesnake/Ishtar, or for the Domi/Myrm's tank) you can easily downsize them to T1 versions due to skills/fitting. These are meant to taken as a starting point for thinking about your fit, not gospel fittings.

Tristan: Speed kiting drone PVP Tristan

SPOILER WARNING!
[Tristan, PVP Tristan]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Faint Warp Disruptor I
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I


Hobgoblin II x5


EHP: ~4k
DPS: 152
Speed: 2933 (my skills before overheat)

Most 1v1 opponents will underestimate you and just try to close range or orbit and kill. Stay on the very edge of point range. I hold off on using my point until they've figured out that they are losing, at which time I tighten up and engage the point.

Good for killing overconfident soloers in small fast ships: http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=65631

Would have killed his INS buddy as well in the next engagement, but he burned up his MWD and got out at 20% structure.

Ishkur: Standard Brawling Fit. Effective, but not my favorite:

Brawling Ishkur: Meh
SPOILER WARNING!
[Ishkur, Brawling]
Small Armor Repairer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Small Nosferatu I

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I


Hobgoblin I x5


EHP: 8k
DPS: ~254 my skills pre-overheat
Get in close and just go for damage. I'm not really a fan. Getting in close is more effective on the Enyo, imo.

Kiting Rail Ishkur: Alarien Seal of <3
SPOILER WARNING!
[Ishkur, Rail Kiting]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II
Small Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 25

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I


Hobgoblin II x5


EHP: ~4k
Speed: 2639m/s pre-overheat, my skills
DPS: 202 pre-overheat, my skills
Stay around 20km out and keep point (or pulse point). Projects full damage at 24km easily instantly. Maintains damage ~54km through drones in fleet fights easily. Cap boosters to maintain point/damage/MWD.

Surprisingly damaging due to fast lock/engage/time on target:
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=45964
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=42657
I have more kills in this Ishkur than any other ship.

Vexor: Standard PVE Fit
SPOILER WARNING!
[Vexor, ~L2 PVE]
Medium Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Crystalline Carbonide Plates I

10MN Afterburner II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Dual 150mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
Dual 150mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
Dual 150mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
Dual 150mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
Drone Link Augmentor I

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hammerhead x5
Hobgoblin II x5


EHP: ~17k
DPS: ~428 pre-overheat
Will easily manage most high sec PVE and L2 missions. Change the 800mm plate for a rat specific hardener if you feel like it or it's a harder mission. Can go with Hammerheads for most missions as well.

Vexor: Low skill PVP Fit:
SPOILER WARNING!
[Vexor, Easy PVP]
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Crystalline Carbonide Plates I
Damage Control II

10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I


Ogre II x2
Hammerhead II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Hobgoblin II x5


EHP: ~35k
DPS: ~460 pre-overheat my skills
Small guns due to fitting issues, most of the damage comes from the omni drone flight. Effective and not overly skill intensive. Downside drones/weapons as needed for fitting/skills.

Vexor: Fleet PVP DEATH Vexor: Alarien Seal of <3 (Edit: Updated for Winter 2012/Retribution)
Note: do not fly this without significant drone and gun skills, it will be a LOT less effective
SPOILER WARNING!
[Vexor, DroneTrap]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Tracking Speed Disruption Script

Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


Ogre II x2
Hammerhead II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Warrior II x5


EHP: ~25k
DPS: 800 pre-overheat, my skills
Drop light drone to apply dps while closing to close range. Recall lights at 10km and drop the omni flight. Melt face. Can change TD for point, but in a fleet, I prefer the TD.

This thing kills cruisers in seconds and easily matches most BC's for damage:
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=41953
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=37749
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=34091

Vexor: Armor Brawling Fleet (Edit: Updated for Winter 2012/Retribution)
SPOILER WARNING!
[Vexor, Armor Brawl]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Optimal Range Disruption Script

Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Void M

Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I


Ogre II x2
Hammerhead II x2
Hobgoblin I x1
Warrior II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5


EHP: ~34k
DPS: ~700
Again, change TD for point/scram if you want, depending on your fleet.

Vexor: Kiting PVP
SPOILER WARNING!
[Vexor, Come Get Me]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Sentry Damage Augmentor I


Warrior II x5
Garde II x3


EHP: ~20k
DPS: 444, pre-overheat, my skills
Speed: 1658, pre-overheat

Mini-version of my kiting Ishtar. Drop Gardes/Wardens (probably Gardes due to lack of Drone Link Aug). Kite around your drones at around 40km and use neuts and small blasters on any frigs that get close. In a pinch, abandon sentries and drop warriors, kill frigates, recall, reconnect to sentries.

Myrmidon: Easy PVE
SPOILER WARNING!
[Myrmidon, Easy PVE]
Damage Control II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II

10MN Afterburner II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

200mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
Drone Link Augmentor I

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hammerhead II x5
Ogre II x3
Hobgoblin II x5


Easy on L3's and high sec PVE sites. Change hardeners for rats, can also change out a MARII for another EANM, but can tank most missions easily. I don't mission in them anymore, so I'm sure someone can easily improve this fit. It's a good start though. Downside drone/guns based on skills.

Myrmidon: Balanced Shield PVP
SPOILER WARNING!
[Myrmidon, Balanced ShieldPVP]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Energized Explosive Membrane II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


Hammerhead II x5


EHP: ~60k
DPS: ~609 pre-overheat, my skills
Balanced fleet Myrm with a decent tank and decent DPS. Go with an Omni flight for higher DPS, but this projects a little faster with Hammers. Omni is just a choice that is just as good.

Myrm: Drones PVP (Edit: Updated for 100m/b bandwidth change)
SPOILER WARNING!
[Myrmidon, Myrmidrones]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II
Co-Processor II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Faint Warp Disruptor I

Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Void M

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


Ogre II x3
Hammerhead II x2


EHP: ~60k
DPS: ~900 pre-overheat, my skills

Notice: no point. This is a fleet boat for max drone DPS. It is a mini-version of the heavy Domi Drone DPS boat. Again, fleet only, relying on others to hold point.


Also, please note that I am not posting a multi-rep solo Myrm. They can be totally awesome, solo or in small groups, against solos or small groups, but are very vulnerable to 1) pilots who should not yet be flying them or 2) larger fleet alpha. I don't encourage them. You fly them, great, that's your choice. If you have the skills and judgement, they can be *awesome.*
Last edited by Alarien on 2013.02.23 18:08, edited 6 times in total.
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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 01:24

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Dominix: Standard Active PVE (Note, this is not an AFK boat)
SPOILER WARNING!
[Dominix, PVE Domi]
Large Armor Repairer II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II

350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L
350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L
350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L
350mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge L
Drone Link Augmentor I
Drone Link Augmentor I

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hammerhead II x5
Ogre II x5
Warrior II x5
Garde II x5


Will do most L4's without a problem. Change hardeners based on mission rats and some fittings to remove the Mag Stab and add another LARII or more hardeners for harder missions. Can also change out a CCC rig for a Sentry Damage Rig. Downsize guns/drones based on skills. Adjust to your liking. This is a good start.

Dominix: Drone DPS of Death: Alarien Seal of <3: Credit to Glepp for the idea and to Frood Frooster for the final awesome fit.
Note: Do not fly without damned near perfect drone skills.
SPOILER WARNING!
[Dominix, Dominix ROFLDRONES]
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Co-Processor II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Prototype 100MN MicroWarpdrive I
X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Modal Mega Ion Particle Accelerator I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L

Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Large Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


Ogre II x5
Vespa EC-600 x5
Warrior II x5
Bouncer II x5


EHP: ~57k with 900 dps active ASB tank
DPS: ~1300 pre-overheat, my skills
Just deadly at close range. Also can kill at range with bouncers:

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=41365
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=39505
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=38608

Ishtar: Explore Solo WH/Site Ishtar/FC Ishtar
SPOILER WARNING!
[Ishtar, Ishtar WHPVP]
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Federation Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Armor Explosive Hardener II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I

Civilian Gatling Railgun, Civilian Railgun Charge
Salvager I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Core Scanner Probe I
Small Tractor Beam I

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I


Hobgoblin II x6
Medium Armor Maintenance Bot I x5
Hammerhead II x7
Hornet EC-300 x5
Warrior II x5
Garde II x5


Solos C1 and C2 with drone micro management no problem. Can cloak up if trouble comes around and can scan sites or scan it's way back out. Capable of fighting if necessary. Good FC platform for C3 WH's.

Ishtar: Kiting PVP: Alarien Seal of <3
SPOILER WARNING!
[Ishtar, Kiting PVP Ishtar]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Co-Processor II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range Script
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
EM Ward Field II

Drone Link Augmentor II
Drone Link Augmentor II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
[empty high slot]

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


Warrior II x5
Ogre II x5
Bouncer II x5


EHP: ~36k
DPS: ~459, projects up to ~110km with Bouncers
Speed: ~1796 pre-overheat, my skills

Kite away, drop sentries. Shoot. One of my favorite new ships to fly. Keeps up damage due to easy damage projection. Possible to lose your drones, but "eh."
All in the same fight:
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=49726
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=49728
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=49727
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=49731
Another similar fight:
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=46056
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=46058
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=46059
One of my new favorite ships.

Rattlesnake: Active L4 PVE
SPOILER WARNING!
[Rattlesnake, Active PVE]
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Kinetic Deflection Field II
Thermic Dissipation Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Shield Recharger II
Shield Recharger II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I

Cruise Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Cruise Missile
Drone Link Augmentor I
Drone Link Augmentor I

Large Core Defense Field Purger I
Large Core Defense Field Purger I
Large Sentry Damage Augmentor I


Garde II x5
Bouncer II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Ogre II x5


Easily tanks any L4 mission, any pocket, so long as you are paying attention. Change our hardeners for mission rats. Change out 1 mid slot Shield Recharger II for a 10mn AB for missions that require less tank and more travelling. Drop sentries, collect bounties.
Last edited by Alarien on 2012.10.26 05:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Dicax Tyche

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Post 2012.08.21 03:41

Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

As a fellow captain of drone boats, yet relative novice, I really precise this informative post. It will definitely help me make training decisions and help me transition to the LSC. Thanks for your wall of text.
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Goujat Singe

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Post 2012.08.21 03:50

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Great Read!

I really enjoyed reading that great wall of text (some thing to do during a rainy lunchtime), I'm pleased to discover that I'm at least skill training in the right direction (currently working on my T2 tank for a Vexor for PVE). With the aim to be flying a T2 tanked / drone Myrm within a month for L3 missions. I can see myself returning to this thread often to compare my progress with your suggested ship skills plan. Good Work!
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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 05:09

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Before someone gets cheeky and decides to link http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Using_Drones and the Drones 101, I am also aware of those guides as well as the fact that they have a lot of good information. However, this is specific to people who intend to fly actual drone boats. Also, those guides, while brilliantly written (I suspect by Neville ;p ) have a lot of non-committal information for the purpose of being "all around" and not biased towards any one race/ship type.

Being that I'm not posting in an official stance here, I'm able to make specific recommendations on "do" and "don't do." Like I can say "don't fly the Myrm" without skills approaching the recommendations above. Also, yes, Amarr drones very much deserve their "useless" reputation.
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Ozelina Deschain

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Post 2012.08.21 07:31

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

An excellent write up. Thanks.

Considering I really love flying my Myrm and have done so somewhat succesfully in PvP battles (although few of those fights have been 1v1's) this is really helpfull. I'm not quite at the level where I can say I fill all the req's (primarily Heavy V and Combat V are the long trains remaining with some of the supp. skills) would it be better for me to swap to say a Brutix?

There simply is something about the myrm (even with my lacklusterish skills) that makes it amazing. Seeing yourself being primaried during a fight only to pop on your reppers and see all the damage go away and force the enemies to swap targets since it's pointless is amazing. My guess is I'd be able to squeeze the same repping out of a brutix but what I'd loose out on is the long/mid range dps that drones have given me so far. (since blasters really aren't good until you are in their face).
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Captain Praxis

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Post 2012.08.21 07:52

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Thanks Alarien - some very useful information in there (I have just started flying a Myrm for L3 missions) :twilightblush:
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LanFear TyRaX

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Post 2012.08.21 07:58

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Did you accidentally Pilgrim ?
(sentence structure is intentional)
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Dorcha Thiesant

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Post 2012.08.21 08:01

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Love the guide! The part about how to manage your flights in particular answered a bunch of questions I had.

Question regarding aggro from NPC's: Do you actually have to hit something with your guns to pull or does just shooting at them work? I'll be moving into my first (PvE) Domi in a couple of days and have no clue how to manage aggro. I swear I've shot at things in my Mrym and had them not pull.

Alarien wrote:I'm the the University LSC's resident Drone Boat Bastard.


I can totally confirm this statement. I can almost recite the rants about poorly skilled pilots flying Mryms in PvP. :twisted:
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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 08:15

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Ozelina Deschain wrote:
SPOILER WARNING!
An excellent write up. Thanks.

Considering I really love flying my Myrm and have done so somewhat succesfully in PvP battles (although few of those fights have been 1v1's) this is really helpfull. I'm not quite at the level where I can say I fill all the req's (primarily Heavy V and Combat V are the long trains remaining with some of the supp. skills) would it be better for me to swap to say a Brutix?

There simply is something about the myrm (even with my lacklusterish skills) that makes it amazing. Seeing yourself being primaried during a fight only to pop on your reppers and see all the damage go away and force the enemies to swap targets since it's pointless is amazing. My guess is I'd be able to squeeze the same repping out of a brutix but what I'd loose out on is the long/mid range dps that drones have given me so far. (since blasters really aren't good until you are in their face).



A lot of arguments can be started about the pros and cons of flying the Myrm with lesser drone skills in PVP. I, for one, tend towards arguing for higher skills (BS V, full T2 drones through heavies and Drone Interfacing IV (V really)), just because, when it comes to the Mrym keep this in mind:

Traits
Battlecruisers skill bonus per level:
10% bonus to drone hitpoints and damage dealt by drones.
7.5% bonus to armor repair amount.

Role Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules.


Notice that, unlike MANY other DD ships, the Myrm ONLY gets bonused damage from it's drones. Even other drone boats like the Vexor and the Dominix get damage bonuses based on their hybrid turrets. So, without the Drone skills, you are really gimping your *only* bonused source of damage. That is what I am talking about when I say "not realizing a ship's full potential." In that situation, my full T2 Drone Vexor would signficantly out DPS a T1 Drone Myrm.... and the Vexor costs around 1/7th the price.

On the other hand, a lot of people love the Mrym for it's excellent tanking abilities. Obviously there is the double/triple active armor rep fit that can tank a crazy amount of sustained damage. The Myrm also has the ability to fit a nutty Drake-like passive shield tank, or very nice armor or shield buffers.

However, you have to keep in mind that the active rep Myrm has a couple of flaws. While it is brilliant in small gang PVP (1-5 ships), it, like all multiple rep active tanks (including ASBs) is very much at risk if the enemy has 1) significant alpha or 2) significant neuting and that both of those situations are fairly common in Low/Null sec fights where you will either run into a blob, or you might run into a good little gang that always brings a neut-cane or another neuting Myrm. Cap boosters can help keep up with the neuting, but only to a certain extent. So, in small gang warfare, the tank is brilliant, but your tank has to last long enough for you to actually kill, or help kill, your target. If you're putting up only T1 drone dps with Drone Interfacing IV and BC's IV, then you've lost a lot of what you could be contributing to the fight. Does that mean "absolutely do not fly it" in a solo? I'd say, from my standpoint, yes. In a small gang? Well, it depends on what you bring with you. If you can crazy tank, but you have someone else with huge DD, it might work... but chances are they will be primaried first and then they'll bother to slowly burn you down later. And fleets will burn right through you with alpha damage. Tanking 1300 sustained doesn't mean much when you're dealing with 2500+ incoming DPS and only have 30k effective HP's. You're still dead in less than 30 seconds.

Also keep in mind that a Myrmidon gives up a large portion of it's potential gank by 1) armor tanking and moreso 2) active armor tanking. A buffer or ASB Myrm in a fleet can deal obscene DPS by fitting the lows out with DDA's and Mag Stabs/Gyros.

As to your question, it's really your call. I posted this as a guideline to think about, as I get really frustrated seeing T1 tanked Myrms with T1 drones in PVP solo/small gang losses, T2 Active Rep Myrms in fleet v fleet losses, and generally bad Myrm fits. If you can apply what you know about Myrms and make it work to your situation, given your fleetmates and your role with less than the skills I recommend, then go for it, just keep in mind that the Myrm is a fairly expensive Tier 2 BC to lose and ask whether your set up really makes sense in risk v. reward.

The Myrm is a very odd and awkward ship when you understand it's DPS limitations (75mb bandwidth, damage bonuses ONLY to drones). When fully decked out and supported by T2 fittings/drones/skills, it's a monster, but short of that, it's really an 80m ISK hull that gets misused all too often in PVP. For me, it is a VERY similar argument to flying a Naga or Talos with T1 guns. Yes, it can be done, but it loses SO much by doing so.

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Additional Edit:

This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I don't mean to call the pilot out (sorry! but it's public info on the killboard):
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=42395
Almost T2 tanked Arty Myrm (needs T2 Invuln and probably should have had at least 1 Anti-EM rig). T1 Arties are ok. However, look at the drones: T1 Hammerheads. No sign of Warriors or Hobs at all, much less T2 warriors/Hobs.

This shouldn't happen. The pilot was defeated by an Ishkur and Incursus. In a brawl against close range/blaster Ishkur and Incursus, this should have been a no brainer. T2 Hammerheads or an Omniflight should have melted the Incursus and made relatively short work of the Ishkur. Also, if he was flying T2's he should also have been fit with Drone Damage Amplifiers (at least 2) to maximize his bonused DPS damage. This would have made the difference in the fight. Even a very strong dual rep Incursus cannot out-rep the damage that even a single flight of DDA/Hull bonused Light Hobgoblins would have done (I know, because I fly both the DDA gank Myrm and the Dual Rep Blaster Incursus).

On the other hand, if the Ishkur was kite fit, like the ones I enjoy flying, a flight of T2 Hobgoblins would have been able to keep up with him pretty well (2800m/s vs. ~2700m/s double nano-Ishkur) and apply enough damage to eventually chase off the Ishkur.

This is just an example of using a hull that's tanky, but losing a substantial portion of it's potential DPS and losing what should have otherwise been a pretty straightforward fight.
Last edited by Alarien on 2012.08.21 08:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Alarien

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Post 2012.08.21 08:18

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

LanFear TyRaX wrote:Did you accidentally Pilgrim ?
(sentence structure is intentional)



Lanfear you are absolutely correct. I absolutely Pilgrim'd.

Actually, the truth is, no I didn't really accidently Pilgrim, as I am aware of the Pilgrim's bonus. However, as a Gallente Recon pilot, I have a very hard time thinking of Force Recon as a DD, as they are so bloody squishy. I know the Pilgrim is an awesome boat, but I am very unfamiliar with that one boat specifically and how to make it work best. I will edit my original post to mention the Pilgrim and that I am, by no means, qualified to talk about that specific boat.

Dorcha wrote:
Question regarding aggro from NPC's: Do you actually have to hit something with your guns to pull or does just shooting at them work? I'll be moving into my first (PvE) Domi in a couple of days and have no clue how to manage aggro. I swear I've shot at things in my Mrym and had them not pull.


You need to shoot at them in a way that they will notice. With blasters/rails you just have to activate, in my experience, not actually hit. When I get the fits posted, you'll notice that my L3/L4 and WH Ishtar fits use a Civilian blaster from a Velator. That gets aggro. On the other hand, when using missiles, I've noticed that I don't get aggro on activation, but when the missile actually either hits or runs it's flight time out. I'm not sure the accuracy of that, as it's purely anecdotal, but NPC's take notice of the Rattlesnake shooting cruise at them a lot slower than the Ishtar shooting a civilian gun at them. This could just be me lamenting the slow cycle time of cruise missiles vs. blasters when trying to gain multiple group aggro. There may actually be no difference at all. :P

Oh, and Dorcha, if you want, just let me know when you plan to go out with the Dom and I'd be happy to come along in one of my ships as "insurance," while you test it out.
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Istari Ipuosta

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Post 2012.08.21 09:12

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Excellent guide!
About the PVE sentry part... If you run into Sansha/Bloodraider rats, be sure to bring curators alongside your gardes. Curators are much better in those situations. They have better effective range interval and better damage type than bouncers when fighting these two factions. The damage amplifier is just slightly lower. The extra tracking on the curators also gives you a better chance to snipe the fast approaching frigates and cruisers. And most importantly, unlike unimpressive bouncers, you can see the laser beams from curators!
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Istari Ipuosta

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Post 2012.08.21 09:20

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Also there's something very interesting to do for those who have two accounts but can't effectively dualbox missions. Drop one tanky drone BS into the pocket, grab aggro and deploy sentries, then warp in your "active" ship and let the sentries assist your active . Everything will then be the same as a normal mission except you kill things 2X faster. It's very useful in missions with a lot of bounty and minimal moving around.
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Shirralia

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Post 2012.08.21 09:26

Re: Drone Boats: A PVP and PVE Guide (or Please Save the Myrms!)

Istari Ipuosta wrote:Also there's something very interesting to do for those who have two accounts but can't effectively dualbox missions. Drop one tanky drone BS into the pocket, grab aggro and deploy sentries, then warp in your "active" ship and let the sentries assist your active . Everything will then be the same as a normal mission except you kill things 2X faster. It's very useful in missions with a lot of bounty and minimal moving around.


This is exactly what I do when clearing sanctums in null. Use my alt in a domi with t2 sentries and zoom around in a small ganky ship like cane with sentries assisted. Works very well.
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