Sentry Drones are Boring

On my last post about a mission in the Sushi Boat, the ever popular Gallente battleship the Dominix, my drone armed AFK mission runner, Tony suggested that I give sentry drones a try.

I didn’t know anything about sentry drones, but I am always keen to commit myself to another round of EVE Online skill training.  I bought Sentry Drone Interfacing and trained the skill up to level 4.

Of course, EVE offered up its usual detailed and verbose explanation on the subject.

A fine lot of help that was.

So the only thing for it was to buy some sentry drones and see what they did.  I bought 10 Garde I sentry drones, pulled the Ogre I drones out of the bay, then tossed in the Gardes along with a few small and medium drones as backups.  I pulled another level 3 mission for the check ride, The Slaves must be Returned, and headed out.

The mission is a quickie.  I popped in and the red ships went aggro.  I started towards them, turning on my modules and deploying five of the sentry drones.

I figured out rather quickly that their listed speed of zero meters per second was not a typo as they slowly moved away from the Sushi Boat, floating placidly in its wake.

I quickly pulled them back in before I got out of range and thought for a second on what to do.

I didn’t want to have to go back and fish them out of space later.  So I pulled the Domi to a halt and threw the drones overboard again.  The I targeted one of the cruisers and set the drones to work.

I put the camera on one of them, just to see them in action close up.  The drone rotated towards the target, then nothing happened.  I checked to make sure the target was in range.  It looked good.

I noticed that the target was taking damage.  That seemed to be a good sign.  But the drones themselves just didn’t… you know… go PEW PEW or anything.

They sit.  They turn.  The target takes damage.  But I didn’t get any light show.

They might be shooting... maybe...

They might be shooting... maybe...

So much for dramatic screenshot potential.

The sentry drones also had trouble with the frigates, which closed to about 8km and then pelted us with rocks and garbage.  After watching a lot of nothing going on… nothing but the Sushi Boat taking tiny hits… I pulled in two of the sentry drones and sent out a pair of scout drones to clean up the frigates.

So my sentry drone test was mostly successful.  I will have to figure out how to effectively deploy these guys.  I am sure there are some surprises you can pull off with a drone that stays put.

But I want some fireworks out of them when they shoot.  Are they all like that or did I just get some lemons?

9 thoughts on “Sentry Drones are Boring

  1. Kirith Kodachi

    Not being familiar with Snetry drones myself, have you checked your graphics settings? Something that hides drone effects?

    Also, I noted last night that hiding the UI to take a screenshot made the mining drones I was using “go dark”. Could be similar thing?

    The big advantage to sentry drones is their range. They are the sniper drones of the drone arsenal


  2. Reatu Krentor

    effects aren’t happening on them since apocrypha. Which is unfortunate.
    T2 sentry drones rawk, combine with a couple drone tracking comps and they destroy everything.
    Me and a corpmate once used a domi with a scimitar, domi had a gankfit(full rack of 425mm rails, 3-4 MFS II, grid mods, DCU, 2-3 drone tracking mods, 2 invuls) and scimitar supported with shield transporters and 2 tracking links. Domi just aggroed the whole room and tanked it(with scimi help) while the rails and T2 sentries went to work(800+ dps)


  3. Jesse

    Omnidirectional Tracking Links will boost your range and tracking for all drones by 1.2x, and they don’t suffer from diminishing returns. Usually 2 omni’s combined with a Stasis Webifier will allow them to smash frigates with ease. The web will help your rails/guns too.


  4. James

    I really like sentry drones for PvE, but they really shine when you can use Tech II sentries. They’re stationary and you’ll want to be near them in case they start taking any damage so you can quickly scoop and redeploy.

    I’m a Dominix pilot too. Really versatile ship and it can have a good tank, but lately I’ve taken to running missions in an Ishtar with the aforementioned T2 sentries. The Ishtar/T2 sentry combo can handle Level 4’s pretty easily, but you’re not going clear missions with Raven-like speed. Still, I’ve enjoyed it.

    I drop them, aggro groups with a target painter as I orbit one of the sentries, keeping my speed up and reducing incoming damage. I instapop frigates, taking out the webbing/scrambling ones moving in fast, then cruisers, working my way up to the battleships.

    Sentries don’t handle small and fast targets well once they’re close so keeping a flight of light drones is important.

    Also when I view them up close I’m not seeing firing effects but I do see little blasts coming from them when zoomed out a bit.


  5. Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior"

    Bah this post and it’s satirical tone made me laugh.

    Anyways, like Reatu said, since Apoc the effects are missing, but hopefully in 3 days they will be restored (I am praying a lot on Apoc 1.5). Don’t worry, you didn’t just get lemons.

    I pack 5x Gardes (short range), Wardens (long range), Hammerheads (stupid cruisers), and Hobs (stupid frigates and spider drones).

    Also, as what everyone else said, T2 sentries are worth the month they take to train, in my opinion. Wardens with mods can hit from 200km with full force, better than guns! :D That means gate camp fun without much threat :D (note the double :D’s)

    Anyways, good luck with everything.


  6. Rakanishu from "Level Cap"

    You’re not missing much with the sentry fire animation. It sucked even when it did work.

    What’s really awesome is taking 3 or 4 dominix into a level 4 mission and letting them mop up battleship fleets with sentry drones. Also I find wardens to be more useful with their increased range.


  7. Jesse

    I think the 200km sentry drone is impossible now. Using all Omni’s and T2 drone rigs has an optimal of 127km plus 30km falloff with Wardens on a Scorpion or Dominix. If drone rigs didn’t suffer from diminishing returns then 220km is possible, but they do suffer and it isn’t possible. Additionally, Wardens can only get a max of 338 dps without damage rigs on a Dominix, and they do kinetic damage which is on average one of the most resisted damage types in PvP. A more viable sniper Dominix would use Bouncers and drone damage rigs to get 100km optimal range plus 42km falloff, 471 dps, and a damage type less resisted in PvP.

    tldr: 200km sentry is not possible, 150km is possible, Bouncers make better snipers than Wardens in PvP.


  8. fagabeefy mcthumbutt

    Sentry drone’s strength is their range. They allow them to hit things other drones can’t, like POS.


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