Friday, July 17, 2009

Drones and Missiles in W-space

I have been reading forum posts lately that refer to the fact that many feel drones are nothing more than proverbial cannon fodder in W-Space. I disagree, at least for Class 2 W-Space.

I previously posted my Ship buildouts for Class 2 W-Space. As you can see, I use a growingly-classic Repper/Droneboat Dominix paired with my Alt's typical Omni-Passive Drake.

I completely agree with many posts that you should not bother wasting your scourge fury missiles on the Emergent/Frigate sleepers. Keep your Missile Launchers idle -vs- Emergent Frigs - that is work for your drones! Light Drones to be specific. Once I switched to using Light drones, my drone consumption rate went to almost nothing in Class 2's.

Here is the basic protocol:
  1. Jump-in, fleeted with my Drake Alt.
  2. Unleash the 10x Light drones (5x from the Drake and 5x from the Domi) to clear frigates - these 10 Light T2 Drones lay literal waste to all Emergent sleepers in a matter of seconds.
  3. Successively primary the Awakened (BC) or Sleeper (BS) with the Scourge Fury barrage, backed by additional DPS from the 10x Light T2 Drones. Awakened BC's go down in less than 30 seconds, Sleeper BS in about 90 seconds.
  4. Opportunistic Salvage as we go, but get out as soon as cleared and return with the salvage/analyzer/codebreaker boat.
  5. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Why the Heavy T2 Drones in your buildouts? When I can, I bookmark a spot very close to the Sleeper BS for warp-in and launch 5x Heavy T2 drones from the Domi instead of the T2 Light drones to expedite the death of the Sleeper. Combined with the 5x Light Drones and Furys from the Drake, it makes for fast Sleeper BS wreckage. However, I only use these slow ("kill me, please") T2 Heavy Drones if (a) I have cleared all Emergent Frigates and most or all of the Awakened BattleCruisers and (b) I am within 20km of the Sleeper BS. Otherwise, true to reports, those heavy drones get ganked like popcorn.

This selective use of the Heavy T2 drones really comes into play in those cases where you have cleared all of the Emergent Frigs, most/all of the Awakened BC's and have spawned multiple Sleeper BS... I still occasionally have to withdraw a Light drone when there are many emergent frigs buzzing about, but it is rare. My initial purchase of 50 Hornet II's nearly a month ago is now down to 38 left. That's only 12 lost in something like 100+ Class 2 site battles.

I suppose the bottom line here is that, IMHO, Light T2 Drones rarely get popped and can add substantial DPS. I have heard, however, that even light drones are problematic in Class 4 and 5 WSpace. Looking forward to trying in Class 3's next week...

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