Best Drone Weapons?

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AlanF5
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by AlanF5 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:43 pm

Just a thought, but I've always favored burst fire or alpha strike for drones. Because of how they maneuver, dps of rapid-fire weapons isn't really sustained.

On the other hand, the long range and high accuracy of pulse lasers does let them strike from outside the range of PD.

The slow track speed of beamers doesn't seem to apply to drone mounts, or if it does the drone itself is maneuverable enough to compensate.
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S.K. Ren
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by S.K. Ren » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:38 pm

Actually its the opposite. The drone will often line up the shot and fly past the target before the beam is done, not doing the full damage because the target is no longer in its firing arc. I know the sound good but UV Beamers are one of the worst weapons for drones as they tend to not fire because the weapon rarely has a clear window to fire.

As for Alpha vs Sustained It depends on what era and defenses you and your opponent have. If your opponent has pulled out Light Emitters before you have Hardened Electronics or Polysilicates and Heavy Drones, going for Alpha Strike Damage is your best bet but if your drones stick around for a while weapons that can fire more often and have a higher DPS will give them more shots for their duration, allow them to switch targets faster and give you an overall damage boost.

Now that I've woken up, Ill start on my overview of Medium Mount weapons.

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AlanF5
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by AlanF5 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:13 pm

S.K. Ren wrote:Actually its the opposite. The drone will often line up the shot and fly past the target before the beam is done, not doing the full damage because the target is no longer in its firing arc. I know the sound good but UV Beamers are one of the worst weapons for drones as they tend to not fire because the weapon rarely has a clear window to fire.

Now you have me doubting my memory... :|

I'll have to try this again and pay close attention. Is this against DE's mostly, as any particular race against any particular race?
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Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:49 pm

From my recollection I had better success with light emitters or UV beamers than with X-ray lasers as drone weapons, last time I did a comparison. As I recall, drones usually got off only 1 shot per firing pass with bolt lasers so their real RoF was far lower than their paper RoF. Either way I suspect it comes down to a number of factors, such as how target-rich the environment is and the accuracy needed to reliably hit those targets.
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S.K. Ren
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by S.K. Ren » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:57 pm

AlanF5 wrote:
S.K. Ren wrote:Actually its the opposite. The drone will often line up the shot and fly past the target before the beam is done, not doing the full damage because the target is no longer in its firing arc. I know the sound good but UV Beamers are one of the worst weapons for drones as they tend to not fire because the weapon rarely has a clear window to fire.

Now you have me doubting my memory... :|

I'll have to try this again and pay close attention. Is this against DE's mostly, as any particular race against any particular race?


Its specifically for the Era in which they are available. Drones often make large strafing runs past targets, occasionally swarming around the target. They'll fire on the approach and then the trouble begins. Quite often they will not have the weapon recharged by the time they return thus taking longer than 8 seconds to fire a second shot and like I said will often over shoot the target when they do.

Here is my the next part of my analysis,

Medium Mount:

Phaser 18.18 DPS (200 Damage *1 Sec Duration /11 Sec)
Pros: 100% Accuracy, Decent track speed
Cons: Slow RoF

Chakkar 28 DPS (140 Effective Damage /5 Sec)
Pros: Great Damage for Fusion Era, +% damage equal to targets Armor Health Modifier, Moderate Accuracy
Cons: Sadorandomizer

Emitter 10.5 DPS (140 Damage *0.75 Sec Duration /10 Sec)
Pros: Can hit up to (4) additional target(s)
Cons: Low RoF, Poor DPS vs single targets, Sadorandomizer

AM Cannon 58.33 DPS (350 Effective Damage /6 Sec)
Pros: Highest raw DPS
Cons: Moderate Accuracy

Inertia Cannon 10 DPS (40 Effective Damage /4 Sec)
Pros: Good accuracy, High RoF, Slows target by 5% over 3 Sec
Cons: Low DPS, Sadorandmizer

Note: As before I will give baseline and fully upgraded variants
Mass Driver - 34 DPS [69.36 DPS] (170 Damage /5 Sec; [170 Damage* (1 +0.5 Neutronium +0.2 Accel Amp) /5 *1.2 VRF] )
Pros: High DPS per shot fully upgraded., Knocks enemy ships around
Cons: Poor Accuracy, -100% Ricochet

AP Mass Driver - 18.33 DPS [37.4 DPS] (110 Damage /6 Sec; [110 Damage* (1 +0.5 Neutronium +0.2 Accel Amp) /6 *1.2 VRF] )
Pros: High Accuracy, -170% Ricochet
Cons: Reduced mass

Stormers - 40 DPS [81.6 DPS] (10x 40 Damage /10 Sec; [10x 40 Damage* (1 +0.5 Neutronium +0.2 Accel Amp) /10 *1.2 VRF] )
Pros: Highest DPS period
Cons: Poor Accuracy, -80% Ricochet
__________

I think that's all of them. Chakkars probably the best short of AM Cannons. Stormers would reign king if not for their terrible ricochet modifier. Inertia Cannons can be super annoying and DF Racks can act as a poor mans Crybaby COL/Wild Weasel.
Last edited by S.K. Ren on Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Torezu
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by Torezu » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:11 pm

I wasn't aware DF missiles were vulnerable to PD. I don't recall the last time I saw them getting shot at by PD.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:30 pm

That's because they are actually bullets and not PD-targetable. Also DF racks cannot be put on drones, but they used to be able to a long time ago.
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S.K. Ren
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by S.K. Ren » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Huh, memory failure. I've long since stopped using DF Racks so it was inference given what info I had available.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by NinjaTofu » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:38 am

Hey all,

Just wanted to say that everybody's insight into Drone weapons has been very helpful. Drones have been my favorite attack choice ever since they were introduced... I can't help but love angry little swarms spewing death everywhere. No surprise I love Morrigi, but Tarkas work out great that way too since Hunters (my giant drones) and regular drones at end-game let me outnumber enemies well. I'm always heartbroken when I see the enemy pull out Gauss PD or I assume Interceptor Missiles (for some reason I've yet to see the AI pull those out against me... they do work on Drones right?)

S.K. Ren, nice posts on small and medium weapon mounts, useful to have a set of info in one place with your thoughts on weapon selection for drones.

ZedF, don't light emitters hit your own drones? I've avoided using them for precisely that reason, since drones have less life than other ships.. then emitter.. then much Kablooey! I tend to find my experiences closely matching yours for UV Beamers though. I haven't had too much problems with drones with UV Beamers versus Cruisers. Sure the drones send out this funny disco-tech light show, but the UV Beam seems to mostly catch Cruiser-size targets.

For late-game antics, what do most people do to keep drones alive and functioning effectively? I like overwhelming enemy PD with missiles/MW missiles/Torps, but a few heavy brawlers thrown into the mix might help draw fire from the drones as well by offering a bigger target.
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:09 am

NinjaTofu wrote:ZedF, don't light emitters hit your own drones? I've avoided using them for precisely that reason, since drones have less life than other ships.. then emitter.. then much Kablooey!

Your ships (and drones) are immune to your own emitter fire, even from other ships of your faction. They're the only weapon immune to friendly fire that I am aware of (other than nanite missiles with smart nanites.) :)

Your allies' ships, however, are not immune, so watch out for that! ;)

For late-game antics, what do most people do to keep drones alive and functioning effectively? I like overwhelming enemy PD with missiles/MW missiles/Torps, but a few heavy brawlers thrown into the mix might help draw fire from the drones as well by offering a bigger target.

If your drones are getting pasted by interceptor missiles, you could toss a few WW destroyers out to escort them. For gauss and laser PD, buffing their speed, armour, and reflectiveness can help. If the enemy has phaser PD though, you're going to have trouble unless you micro your drones very carefully to stay out of range, which will cut their DPS considerably. Personally that doesn't bother me, since just about every other weapon type has an AM-era tech or two that are fairly strong counters to that type (e.g. absorbers, grav shields, meson shields, etc.)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by S.K. Ren » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:16 am

I agree, PD Phasers are the bane of Drones. but even worse are Light Emitters. If you don't get Hardened Electronics you'll need to rely on direct assaults with your ships as most of your drones will die in the first or second pass. Having Polysilicates helps greatly as well, though I wish you could put Magnoceramics on Heavy Drones :D Reflective and Improved Reflective are more like insurance against Red Laser PD but otherwise provide no other benefit, though Upgrades are free on Drones so use it if you have it.

When faced with Inteceptor Missiles my best advice is to arm yourself with Light/Emitters, I often utilize them in the early game as PD during close engagements since they will decimate any missiles nearby when they jump. This also works when assaulting planets, the emitter will jump off the planet and hit planetary missiles :D

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:02 am

Some races' heavy drones can get magnetoceramics, IIRC.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by DervMan » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:57 pm

The thread has been interesting for me, as I usually consider my Drones to be more to cause shock and awe for the enemy and cause them to consider how to defend, rather than actually causing much damage to enemy warships or colonies. Drones are a bit like missiles; an all or nothing weapon, right? You either decide to bring lots of Drones to a battle, or you don't bother. If I have enough Drones to swamp the enemy warships, then it hasn't mattered too much what weapon they're carrying, providing it is my contemporary small turret weapon... ;)

I won't forget the first time I unloaded two Dreadnought Drone wings at the enemy, having been using ballistics until that point... muahahaha! :bangdesk: !lol
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S.K. Ren
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by S.K. Ren » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:38 am

You only used two DN Drone carriers? Pfft, I use 5-7. Superior Numbers Baby 8) ... Su Nu Ba... yeah, I think I like the sound of that :D

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by nickersonm » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:45 am

You're not able to deploy more than 2 with an Armada CnC, 3 with a Flagship CnC. Add one more if you have both CP techs and some outnumbering.

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