Tuesday, February 3, 2009

/Gigaer puts "Salvager" on capsuleer resume.

After being told that the time/cost/profit ratios were very beneficial towards mission salvaging, even if you have to drop a bookmark or two and run back for a dedicated ship to do it, I've finally gotten around to buying a Catalyst (my first Gallente ship) and outfitting it as a salvager. 4 tractor beams, 4 small salvagers, an AB and 3 extended cargoholds. The CSF Rake is ready to go!

As I was looking into the mechanics of salvaging among the series of tubes, I ran across a fragment - a ghost really - of info regarding salvaging drones. As some point during the not-too-distant past, there was a skill called "Salvaging Drone Operation". I can't find any record of those drones ever existing, and the skill only existed for a few days before it was removed, but it got me thinking.

Not everyone uses drones, but everyone would like to salvage given the opportunity. Every ship has a drone bay, so why not give another option of how to utilize it? It also frees up high-slots and cap from the demanding tractor/salvager setup. What capsuleer would not want to have the ability to take salvage materials from a ship he just popped?

There are some arguments against it though. Allow me to play devil's advocate.

1) It would allow ships like the Domi to be salvaging monsters.

Domis are already super-popular, so I doubt this will change things much. We have ships not built to mine mining, even when we have ships like barges, exhumers, the Orca or Rorqual, people have still use industrials, Apocs and carriers to mine (I even see some people using destroyers and BCs for it). My CSF Rake could probably salvage almost as efficiently as a Domi could with salvaging drones. Salvaging doesn't need a dedicated ship type, but a dedicated drone would be an interesting and useful option.

2) It's not a job drones should be able to do. What if your drone has more salvage than you can accommodate?

Have you ever heard of a mining drone? Fact is all drones have cargo space, but most don't use it. If your mining drone has more ore than you can take on, it disappears because you're AFK or maybe just careless. Hell, mining lasers do the same thing. Why should a salvaging drone be any different?

3) The tractor/salvager setup is more efficient.

That could very well be the case, but unless we had a salvaging drone in TQ to compare it to, there's no way to be sure. Some people just don't want to have to run back for a different ship every mission. What if you're in a roaming gang or a pirate? low and null are not exactly places to be flying around with a ship with no weapons and no tank, and many don't want to waste one or two high slots on a skip that should be dedicated to combat. There's also the issue with T3 and wormholes where you also have to take into account mass transfer. Even if the drone option is slower, in many situations it could be the only feasible option.

4) If CCP took the skill away, there was probably a reason.

Titans were on the drawing board since '05. The fact that the skill existed at all means someone at CCP had to make it, and I doubt it was something they did on their spare time. My guess is that it was something that was in the works that made it into an expansion or patch by mistake. It's probably still on the drawing board, being balanced. If we insist on it as a group, we'll get it.

5) It would make salvaging too easy.

You still need to pop a ship before you can salvage the wreck. It's not like flying up to a roid and slapping it around with lasers. The spoils are not so great that it would cause a problem. Now, from an RP POV, think about what a drone manufacturer (CreoDron, for example) would want to do to supply capsuleer demand for salvaging equipment.

6) It would cause prices on salvaged materials to crash.

Again, we're not talking about a HUGE amount of materials that are just being left out in space to vanish. Smart missioners are already using a salvaging-specific ship. I really doubt there would be more than a 5% increase in supply on the entire market.

I think I've made my point. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.



Nick Macedo said...

I mission run in my Domi on a daily basis. I'm always the main tank and have my highs setup with two salvagers and two tractors. My team usually has a dedicated salvager in there as well. You CANNOT take your ogre IIs off the field and use salvage drones instead. Your cutting 400+ dps off the field just because you want to use drones to salvage. Now for other ships this may be an option, but certainly not for a domi. Salvage drones certainly would be cool, but so long as a desty in a salvager setup is on the field then he should have no problems keeping up. When I salvage lvl 4s I'm usually waiting around for the damage guys to keep up.

Tom Hoffman said...

I think it makes salvaging too easy if you don't have to bring another ship or trade some precious high slots.

The reason you create a salvage mechanic is you don't just want to give people an extra loot drop, you want to make it possible for people to salvage (a la Firefly) as a separate profession. There has to be some reason people leave salvage behind, and as it is very compact, that's not going to be for space reasons. It has to be inconvenient to get from your regular combat ship. Carrying around some extra drones is too easy.

Manasi said...

Any of the Destroyer hulls are ideally suited to this 4 salvagers 4 tractors run around and salavage away...IIRC you might want the amarr coercer as I thin the cat only has 2 mids..plus I think the Amarr one has more powergrid so you can perma run everything.

Myrhial Arkenath said...

I always heard the salvaging drones got removed because there was a bug with them and they couldn't get the actual drones working. Not sure if any tinfoilhattery is involved in this theory though.

PsycheDiver said...

@Nick: I grant the DPS issue, though salvaging during combat was not exactly what I had in mind. As for the rest, I refer you to point 3.

@Tom: I refer you to points 3 and 5.

Manasi: I forgot to mention I put a cap recharger in as well. The ship and setup was suggested by a corpmate. Plus I don't have any Amarr skills. Thanks for the suggestion though.

@Myrhial: That could be true. Info on it is extraordinarily sketchy. I'm betting a good chance to try again would be the upcoming expansion. Reasons being in point 3.

Nick Macedo said...

@PsycheDriver - I've had too many people drop in on my missions and steal my loot NOT to salvage as I go. It does depend on what ship your flying. If your in an Abbadon or A mega where 90% of your DPS comes from turrets, then its tough to spare them to fit tractors and salvagers. On a domi however most of your DPS dealing is offloaded onto your drones which can free up some highs for salvage and tractor. So for most high turret slot ships, the salvage drones would be pretty friggin sweet.

Ahnog said...

Make them expensive and inefficient and large so that drone bays which would otherwise be used for combat can't be.

Rogue Hobgoblin said...

The reason there are no salvage drones is because with the right combination of salvaged parts, we transform ourselves into rogue drones.

Rogue Vespa said...

Quiet, you!

PsycheDiver said...