Countering/Fighting Drones

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Moroz Enderas

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Post 2017.08.11 20:36

Countering/Fighting Drones

Hey Everyone,

I have a quick question: what is the best counter to drones right now? It seems that every time I'm in a fight and drones are deployed I have two choices: either warp off or hope that I kill them before they kill me. There have been a few fights where I have tried targeting the drones but they don't seem to take any damage (I'm sure it's because they orbit too fast for me to track, I'm still trying to fully comprehend how transversal and velocity work relative to targeting.)

Here is my fit (this has been my 'learn to solo pvp' fit so far) for those who are interested:
http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=ki ... _id=438522

Thanks o7

Moroz
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Kozaarr

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Post 2017.08.11 20:39

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

Could try fitting some bombs? Problem is you'll damage squad/fleet mates and your drones in the process.
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LeFleur

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Post 2017.08.12 20:45

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

Are you webbing them before shooting?
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Decklin Quark Reiger

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Post 2017.08.13 12:04

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

The typical way to deal with drones is to either:

  1. Ignore the drones and win the DPS race by focusing your damage on the opponent, killing him first, or
  2. Outrun them, so they can't damage you effectively, or
  3. Kill them, (either smartbombs, or short-range weapons with good tracking, webs and or your own drones), or
  4. Pick a different fight

Starting with option 1, even for a newbro Procurer like the one you were fighting, he will still have a *lot* more tank than you can reasonably expect to kill using a Tormentor, before he kills you.

Against a Tormentor's lasers, he'll have about 30k ehp (give or take 10%). For a T2 Tormentor doing around 200dps, this means you will take at least 2.5 minutes of solid damage to break his tank.

In comparison, your Tormentor will have about 3k ehp vs his Warrior I drones. He can launch 5 at once, with another 5 spare. Those 5 warriors will do between 50 - 90 dps depending on the pilots's skills. For the sake of our estimate, let's say he's doing 70dps. You can repair 70 EHP/s while you have nanite and cap, but you will run out of cap after less than 1.5 minutes. So, for the first minute and a half, let's assume he does 70 dps, which you manage to rep, but then you run out of cap for your repairer. Following on from that, he's able to deal his 70 DPS to you, and will kill you in a further 45s

So, you can see that it takes you 2.5 minutes (best case for you, as an all V pilot in a T2 Tormentor) to kill him vs the 2 minutes 15s (low-skill pilot using T1 Warriors) it takes him to kill you. Option 1 doesn't work.

For Option 2 - an AB Tormentor will move just over 1km/s. Definitely not fast enough to outrun Warriors. You want to be going well over 3.5 km/s to minimise damage from Warriors. So, Option 2 is no good.

Option 3 is pretty iffy, given the fact that you're using Beam lasers (low tracking). Scramming the warriors, webbing them, and using your own drones to kill his will help. But in the meantime he's got spare drones in his drone bay (maybe - if you can see that he had mining bots out, then this is probably much more viable). He does have a 50% bonus to drone EHP and damage, but this *might* work.

Hope that helps - I've kind of simplified the math above in terms of Procurer dps / ehp vs Tormentor dps / ehp, but the result isn't really changed much. If anything, vs pilots of similar SP levels, the Procurer gets a much stronger advantage.

In a fight vs a Tristan for example, you'll probably want to try to win the DPS race, and hope the Tristan doesn't have neuts.

Hope that helps :)
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LeFleur

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Post 2017.08.14 12:20

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

Another thing to consider is that a Procurer is the tankier, faster and most damaging of the T1 miner barges with the most resilient drones, so you are not fighting a miner, you are fighting a miner with countermeasures to getting easily killed.
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SMBEHJ

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Post 2017.08.14 21:32

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

Thanks for the detailed response Decklin - very useful! What option would you take if you were in a Breacher vs a Tristan say? Presumably with rockets tracking isn't an issue, so would you try to kill the drones first or just go for the DPS race?
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Decklin Quark Reiger

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Post 2017.08.14 22:34

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

In the Breacher vs Tristan:

First I'll assume my Breacher is fit like this:
AB, scram, web, medium Ancillary Shield Booster (ASB) in the mids, with Damage control, small Ancillary Armour Repairer (SAAR), and Ballistic Control in the lows, rockets in the highs, and shield tank rigs.

I'll also assume that the Tristan doesn't have neuts fit, ( maybe it is kitey, or fit with rails / Blasters).

I would take out his drones with my rockets and webs (keeping my scram on the Tristan, assuming it's in range). I can afford the time to do this because the Breacher gets a good bonus to shield booster, so while I'm killing off the Tristan drones I can repair back the damage he's doing. (I'll start the fight by going through all my shields, then using my SAAR first, before my MASB. I'll pulse my MASB occasionally if he's hitting too hard for the SAAR to cope. I'll use all 8 nanite charges in my SAAR, then reload it while tanking with the remaining MASB charges. Don't use the MASB without charges - you'll call yourself out). Once I've killed off 6 of his drones, he'll only have 2 left, which my reps can easily manage while I kill the Tristan itself. Throughout, either orbit close if he's fit with rails or keep at range 5-6km if he has blasters. (Use your combat log, or the on-screen messages to check which weapons he has). If he's kiting try to get a scram on him when he's distracted dealing with re-launching his drones.

Don't forget to launch your own drones and focus his down with them as well. In this scenario, your own high sustainability means you can pretty reliably de-fang the Tristan and kill him at your leisure (or he might escape if he's a kiting Tristan).

For a Neuting Tristan, it's a bit more difficult, because your SAAR needs cap, so you'll have a weaker tank. Here, first and foremost, I'd try to maintain 7km distance, keeping him webbed, to reduce how much cap he can drain from you. I would then focus all my damage on the Tristan including my drones. He'll probably be hull tanked, possibly with an SAAR as well, so load faction Nova rockets. This will be a close fight, but the Breacher's capless weapons and drones do give it a solid chance to win. This fight will depend a lot on player SPs and how efficiently you can use your MASB (not over-repping). Overheat your rockets and AB from the start, this is a tough fight.
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SMBEHJ

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Post 2017.08.15 18:32

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

I think I have the same Breacher setup as you but with a rocket DPS rig and 2 shield rigs (rather than 3 shield rigs). I didn't think about the order of SAAR repping and MASB repping but makes sense. Will try next time I'm roaming, especially if I bump into a Tristan :)

Thanks again!
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Tiberius Auduin

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Post 2017.08.17 12:44

Re: Countering/Fighting Drones

Lost a malediction to a procurer recently https://zkillboard.com/kill/64101771/ so it happens. Capping yourself out while using SAAR is a very plausible scenario. As far as drone combat goes Decklin explained the most of it. If the hull you're fighting has a drone HP bonus (Procurer, Gila, etc) it is often not effective to target drones. It is possible to jam the drones, but you'll need five jammers. Outrunning them is the most safe option, of if you have the repping power/tank, just facetank it and win the DPS race.
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