Mixed drone groups

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    Any advantage to mixing drone damage types in your drone groups? Say 3 heat and 2 EM?


    In one of the videos Abaddon talks about the importance of gettin dps on target quickly. That higher dps is useless if it takes too long to get it on your target.

    After reading the Eve Uni training on drones, methinks the same speed philosophy would apply to drone dps. A faster drone with less dps could be more desirable then a slower drone with more dps.

    Now for me, trying to decide what drone damage types to use in the middle of a fight is just another demand of my mind amongst many. With the ninja pilgrim you have some time typically to plan your attack while stealthed but for most other ships you don’t. With so many ship types it is difficult to quickly predict what the main holes in resistance will be and if passive or active modules will be used.

    So, given the above, I would think it would be wiser to use a mix of drone damage types with the edge towards faster drones and EM. Why EM? There are many shield fit configurations where EM would be the damage of choice. You also have to knock down the shields before you drones can chew into armor. So, the faster you get to the armor the faster you kill the ship. So, I believe a standard of 2 EM, 1 KN, 1 EX, and 1 Thermal for medium and heavy drone packs would be optimal. For light drones a mix of 3 EM and 2 EX would be optimal for frigs, destroyers and interceptors.

    So, faster drones to get to the target quicker. Drone packs leaning towards EM damage to get through the shields faster. Mixed damage types to exploit whatever resistance holes are available once the shields are down. Together should lead to faster kills.



    It’s certainly something that deserves study. You are right the faster you get DPS on your target the more effective DPS you will do.

    One drawback to mixing drones is different speeds. The Valkyries will get there much sooner than the Hammerheads.

    As far as Drones go, the current best overall drones (speed, hp, gun range, etc) are Amarr, but they are EM damage and not very helpful against Armor Tanks.

    In my Pilgrim I carry a set of Infiltrators and a set of Hammerheads so I have a choice, however switching Hammers for Valkyries would probably be a good choice to better deal with Armor Tanks.

    As a very general rule Thermal is the best overall damage to do when you don’t know what your enemy has. But it’s much better to chose your damage type to fit the weakness of your opponent.

    This is why you see me checking ship info before and during fights so that I can confirm the resists and likely weak points.

    Also, since the range you engage at is usually less then 30km from drone drop to target speed isn’t a huge factor. Perhaps 2-5 seconds.

    Having thought it through while writing this, I think the best way to go is with EM drones and Explosive (Hammers and Valkeries), so you can chose based on the target.

    Mixing while providing a broad catch all would not be optimal.


    The ninja pilgrim builds fit my play style very well and am enjoying learning how to fight with them. Since the damage is all from drones, optimizing their utility would be very important to the success of the ship. Now since your opponent should be capped out, all the active hardeners, reppers and dcus should be off so all the resist holes should be wide open for that ship type.

    Sending out EM drones to beat down the shields then replacing them with another type to take down the armor would take too much travel time where no dps is being applied and would negate the advantages of matching damage type to resist weakness.

    Closing to reduce unproductive drone travel time may be a tactic but if against a projectile ship that is not effected by being capped out could be very dangerous.

    What I’m looking to do is to standardize my combat tactics with the pilgrim that would make my combat drill effective against a wide range of opponents. Abbadon you have so much experience with your hundreds of fights that much just comes automatically to you. I get too easily confused in the fight with all the myriad of things to consider. So, having a standard battle drill that I employ in every fight with my pilgrim would serve me well methinks.

    Because I have limited drone bay capacity, the right combination of light and medium drones is an important consideration. Finding an optimal mix that has good performance against a wide range of ship types is important.

    I have a test in mind to determine whether a mixed damage type or single damage type drone pack would be best across a wide range of racial shield and armor resistances. I’ll crunch some numbers and report back. Stay tuned!


    And the winning combo is…. 2em and 3 explosive. These types of drones are faster and have better tracking. The em drops the shield faster and the explosive chews up the armor. There are specific ships that are not a good match for this combo such as the pilgrim. However, as a standard the em ex damage drones outperform other combos over most of the common racial ship types.

    The eve uni site has some great table showing the speed and tracking advantages of em and explosive damage drones. Well worth the read.


    I just killed a cruiser who, quite sensibly, started shooting my hammerheads once I’d isolated and disabled him. Once I finally noticed this I deployed some infiltrators … and that mixed-drone combo did just fine in completing his demise.


    I currently use a mix of kinetic and explosive medium drones as these are the two best types to burn through armor. I run one 650 arty gun instead of the third neut that burns down the shield with calderi EM rounds. For frigs I use 4 explosive and one em light drone. Fast, accurate, deadly.

    I find that I rarely use all three neuts and two are plenty with my level 5 bonus. The gun boosts my dps and gives me another way to kill if my drone are destroyed.

    Pilgrim is awesome ship

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