I don’t think I have ever purchased a single drone in the entire time I’ve been able to control them. Things like last night keep popping up.
I logged in for a “few minutes” to update my skill queue, and was invited to go pew a Rattlesnake in Emol. I made it to Emol, but just as the ship died, so I couldn’t get in on the real fun. No worries, it was only 5 jumps. I decided, while I was there, to look at a belt or two.
Belt 1 had a Retriever and another ship (forgot what it was), hanging out. I think they were trying to piss each other off, because there were cans out titled “fight me”, etc. I dropped the bait near the Retriever; since he had four drones out. (T1 drones, all size “small”.) He would send them to the other ship, and then get aggro, and then return them to his boat. This went on for a few minutes, and I realized I wasn’t getting any bites.
So I started bumping the Retriever away from the rock he was mining. He reorganized himself and flew back within range, and started mining again. At about this time, a Catalyst came into the picture. He was doing similar things to the miner, and within a few minutes, flew off in frustration. I kept doing my thing.
A few minutes later, the Catalyst returns. This time I see on my screen, “Criminals are not welcome here xxx.” He was suicide ganking the Retriever. While the Retriever’s drones were out. His name turned red, though I still got the criminal warning when I tried to shoot. I didn’t fire, out of worry and really, it was over fast anyway.
So I was able to scoop the loot for the Catalyst as well as the Retriever. Which included 4 cheap drones.
This is why I never mind losing them. There are just too many ways to steal them. I’ve had plenty of “afk” miners get piss off at my bumping that they warp away without recalling the drones.
I give them all a good home in my hangar. It’s ok.