The new Drifter battleships have gone live and you don’t want to make them angry, at least without some friends and platinum insurance. Research posted to Reddit from Singularity testing indicated that the Drifters had a doomsday style weapon that they fired when their first shield layer (a layer so far unique to the Drifters themselves) went down. Dantheus of Fatal Ascension confirmed this on Tranquility the hard way. His description of the event was brief and to the point, “1 Drifter 1 volley. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I had a good laugh and looted and salvaged my wreck.”
It is currently unknown if this weapon operates on some kind of cooldown, resets after each engagement, or a combination of the two. In addition to their doomsday weapon drifter battleships deploy a jammer on the failure of their first shield layer and orbit their targets at a range of 17km and a speed 2.2km/s. Coupled with approximately 1000 damage per second after the doomsday this makes them absolutely beastly combatants.
If the incoming damage can be survived their shield regeneration capabilities are fairly limited. If their shields are eliminated the armor and structure layers are minimal. Right now they will only fire if fired upon or if a player approaches the unstable wormholes found near the now visible unidentified Jove Structures. Drifters have been brought down, notably by Theta Squad of the CFC and Applied Anarchy of SMA, but right now they appear to drop nothing more than low end Sleeper salvage.
Still, CCP clearly stated in the CSM winter minutes that they introduce new AI scripts in stages. Drifter behavior today may not be the same as Drifter behavior tomorrow. Hopefully capsuleers will continue to shoot Drifters in order to see what happens; the author is willing to endure the loss of as many FA carriers as it takes to get to the bottom of the Drifter mystery.
The drifters belong to a corporation called Vigilant Tyrannos. Vigilant, as well as being a ship in the game, means watchful in the original Latin. Tyrannos has multiple meanings depending on the timeframe of the speaker. In truly ancient Greek it could mean an exploitative military ruler; in 16th century Latin it meant Tyrant with all the implications a modern reader would expect. The in-game description of the corporation is as follows,
Emerging from the ruins of the Sleeper civilization spread throughout Anoikis – otherwise known as ‘W-space’ – the Drifters represent a tremendous challenge and perhaps a dire threat to the empires and capsuleers alike. Seemingly the inheritors of a legacy left behind by some of the most ancient Jove, the Drifters are unafraid to wield tremendous power in response to any who get in their way. In this regard, the Drifters are a very different conundrum than the relatively benign presence that was the Jove Empire.
Note that this refers to the Jove Empire in the past tense. The future implications for the game remain to be seen. Obviously CCP has not gone to all the trouble of introducing these Watchful Tyrants without some purpose in mind. Right now all players can do is wait, watch, and not pick a fight with a Drifter unless they are in a brick tanked capital at the bare minimum.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by FearlessLittleToaster.