Monday 3 March 2014

My drones go rogue

TLDR, just because your drones are shooting your fleet mates, does not mean it is the games fault.

Last weekend I have finally managed to log back in to do more than PI reset or POS refuel, for the first time in way too long.

Normally we run combat sites together with several dual remote repair Domi ships.  We are conservative in what we chose to run, completing Frontier Baracks and Frontier Command Post, leaving Sleeper Information Sanctum sites.  The ISK is ok, but my partner's primary aim is to keep the WH clear(ish), and mine is to actually go out and shoot things with this ship I have trained up.  Heretical concept - shooting rather than being shot at.  We are a little too fussy to shoot cruisers and below and leave Integrated Terminus alone.

We use drone assist to focus fire, with one of my Domi pilots being the ‘assisted’ drone bunny using a target painter; and something other than a Domi to clean up frigates.  Though we know that swapping a domi or 2 to light drones also works.  (I am already giving out too much information - I won’t give players like Penny our exact composition ).

I do not have my target painter to auto repeat.  I won’t swear to it, but drones seem to respond when I manually apply the target painter (roughly every 2 seconds), but do not respond simply because the target painter cycles.

This time, we have two new pilots to integrate into our fleet, so we should be able to move up to do Information Sanctum's as well.

Also, with the new pilots we are re-organising our cap chains.  Previously each Domi pilot was responsible for providing cap to the pilot above and below them in the fleet list. This time we went with pairs (two pilots simply providing capacitor to each other), and a single ‘triplet’ (where it was back to providing capacitor above and below the fleet list).

There were the traditional new pilot issues.  Mumble not installed, not working, lack of targeting skill.  These were solved by just using the fleet channel and swapping some training around.

With the extra DPS on the field, picking of the NPC’s was much faster, as you expect.  On just about every change of wave, my alt domi would be targeted by almost everyones sentries. Ouch.  That many sentry drones hurt.  Combine self inflicted hurt with a new wave of ships, and we have anxious moments.  Select a hostile target, and reapply painter quickly.

So after many of these waves, I watch more carefully.

What I am meant to do is :

  • Before fleet warp, activate lowslot tank; activate midslot sebo/omni tracking units.
  • Align (or be lazy and follow the leader)
  • Be fleet warped
  • Launch drones
  • Start Locking big hostile tower or ship.
  • Swap to alt, lock lead pilot
  • Start locking friendly cap chain ships.
  • Lock other hostiles
  • Hostile Lock has finally occurred, so target paint first hostile and apply drones
  • Friendly locks have finally occurred, apply cap chains
  • Chose a hostile and apply target painter.

The lock list is added to one at a time.  As each locked ship dies (or is manually dropped), the lock defaults to another ship, until the next one dies

As each hostile dies, by default the next oldest locked ship becomes my default target.  Sometimes a target dies immediately before applying the target painter, and default ship (my alt) is painted, and drones have a feast.  Umm. Ouch?


  • Manually change the order of locked ships.  Friendly ships are dragged to the left and away from hostiles.
  • Do not apply target painter to a well damaged hostile if it is the last hostile, take time and smell the roses.  No rush.  Most importantly do *not* apply target painter if hostile is at risk of dying in 1 second.
After our teething problems and finally understanding why our drones take an unhealthy liking to our friendly ships, we have a go at the inner sanctums.  Whatever ship they target seems to hit 50% armor in phase 2 before our remote repairs land, but apart from that, they are fine.

I don’t have a firm grasp on what draws NPC agro yet. I do know that if you give an NPC a choice of a sentry drone and a remote repair or target painter or sentry drone, the sentry is ignored every time.

P.S. I am again around after a few weeks out of town, and some posts planned. This weekend I finally got all my PI planets refreshed. No promises but things appear to be heading back to normal.

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