My Love/Hate Relationship With Drakes
The Drake-Class Battlecruiser is one of the most common ships in EvE online. It holds this unique position due to a multitude of factors. As a PvE ship the drake is incredibly tough and undemanding. The tank requires nearly no interaction on the part of the player, and it can use different damage types as needed in missions to optimize its DPS against the enemy. However it doesn’t encourage the player to learn newer and better strategies or even to learn many of the mechanics. It is fundamentally a dead end, learning wise. Finally, missiles are easy. No matter where you are if you shoot, you see damage. Many players assume they do full damage. I remember virtually endless frustration trying to shoot at frigates with my heavy missile drake with no value added skills.
However its toughness and utility make it a phenomenal ship for people starting out. You almost have to TRY to lose the thing, and it can tough out most missions, especially once you get T2 drones to help with frigates. When I recommend a goal for my girlfriend to get into next, I had to recommend a Drake. Partially because she plays Caldari, and partially because it’s about the safest investment in EvE.
On the PvP side Drake’s are a bit more complicated. The basic Drake does a lot less damage than say a Harbinger or a Hurricane. It has a MASSIVE tank and is much more maneuverable than most other BCs, even if it doesn’t “Feel” like it. Due to naturally high resists and a hefty natural buffer Drakes and Basilisks/Scimitars form a natural team with the logistics efforts magnified by the hefty resists of the Drakes.
I guess my biggest issue is the lack of variety. Most Drakes look something like this:
[Drake, HAM Salad] 7x Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II (Terror Rage Assault Missile) 10MN MicroWarpdrive II Warp Scrambler II 2x Invulnerability Field II Large Shield Extender II Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I 3x Ballistic Control System II Damage Control II 3x Medium Core Defence Field Extenderr I 5x Warrior II
With my skills (Less than perfect missiles) It’s around 556 DPS. All 5s you are looking at 658 on EvE-HQ
Tank? 83kehp with resists of 66/79/83/72. Not fantastic, but nothing to laugh at frm a ship coming at you at over 1000 m/s and aligning in around 8 seconds. A good booster in the fleet and this thing quickly turns into an utter beast. Again the damage isn’t really there, and the range is a bit weak, although using different missiles can cure that.
One of the “Dick Moves” I like and that I’ve heard of other people trying is the following fit. In general Drakes are rarely primaried. They take forever to kill, they don’t have that much DPS, so any other ship on the field is a higher priority target. So why tank the hell out of something that won’t get shot at?
[Drake, The level 3/4 Mission Drake] 7x Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II (Caldari Navy Terror Assault Missile) 10MN MicroWarpdrive II Warp Scrambler II BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destabilizer ECM Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I 'Hypnos' Ion Field ECM I Large Shield Extender II Damage Control II 3x Signal Distortion Amplifier II 3x Medium Core Defence Field Extender I 5x Warrior II
This is a much weaker ship, with downright bad resists and a 53k ehp buffer. However 5 or 6 of these with 5 or 6 Hurricanes and some Logistics ships can REALLY mess with people. If your pilots know what they are doing ECM wise and have the right skills, that is a LOT of extra jamming on the field and even if the odds of any single jammer doing it’s job are low, that will be 15 or so total jammers giving it a try. ECM can twist the field like nothing else, and having it distributed like several of these will do can be a lot of fun.
There are nano-Drakes, there are Heavy Missile Drakes, there are of course a thousand and one mission drakes, the big issue you come back to is that its a big tank, but feeble DPS. A Hurricane does almost 100 more DPS at close range. Without the drones. At long range (and it can get quite long) It’s hardly even fair. The tank is far less robust, but the speed is 200 m/s higher, and that will let it dictate range.
A Hurricane is also an indication that the pilot has spent time learning about tracking, signature and the other tiny details that affect gunnery and damage. Knowledgeable players are dangerous players. Not to say that every Drake pilot is ignorant, but it REQUIRES no such learning, and as such does not guarantee anything other than a pilot who has a certain amount of skillpoints.