The Sleepers are (or were?) a presumably extinct human race which lived thousands of years before the playable EVE races. Their remaining installations and automated defence systems can be found throughout W-Space. They were far more advanced, technologically, than the current human races, and their drones, which still guard their former bases and systems, can overcome any unprepared explorer easily.
Sleeper Drones can be found at Cosmic Signatures and Cosmic Anomalies in W-Space. They have a better AI than normal NPCs and were designed to bridge the gap between PVP and PVE combat, since a normal PVE fitted ship will have a hard time against the drones, while PVP fitted ships tend to be more useful against them. They are often just called Sleepers since they seem to be the only remnants of the Sleeper race.
There are three or four classes of Sleeper Drones:
- Dreadnought (rumored and unconfirmed)
a list of sleepers and their stats can be found here (note, nothing listed is confirmed for current accuracy)
Their updated AI selects targets according to a threat level which is assigned to a potential target as soon as it comes into view. Sleepers will drop loot which can be either directly sold to NPC stations, players, or be used in Tech 3 production.
Sleeper Drone Behaviour
The Sleeper Drones will attack as soon a player ship is spotted but may switch targets over time when more targets are available. Every action against a Sleeper will raise your assigned threat level (which is unknown to the player) and if it surpasses the targeted player's threat level the Sleepers will change targets.
The Sleepers will attack with an energy beam dealing EM and Thermal damage and firing light, heavy or cruise missiles (depending on the class of the Sleeper ship), dealing Explosive and Kinetic damage. You should fit to tank all four types of damage (a so-called 'omnitank'). Sleepers will deal very high damage on each shot, resulting in massive amounts of damage even against very high resist tanks. The damage will be higher in higher class wormholes and while Sleepers in Class 1 and 2 systems might not deal much damage, even in Class 3 pockets they can exceed 1000 points per shot against an 80% resist tank.
Sleepers have only armor and hull hitpoints but in some rare cases Sleepers have spawned with an additional shield layer (it is not clear whether this was a bug or intentional). They are equally tanked against all damage types, so a player has pretty much free selection with his weapons. Sleepers will repair their armor as soon as they receive damage, and in higher class wormholes will even start to remote repair each other.
They will try to orbit the player at range depending on the ship class of the Sleeper. To get into orbit range they can use MWDs which will result in very high velocity even on battleships. If a player runs away from them, the Sleepers will try to follow. If the player is faster than the Sleepers they will sometimes seem to cancel the chase, fly back into the directions of their starting positions for a few seconds and then pick up the chase again. If they venture too far away from their starting positions (round about 200km) they will teleport back.
Webifiers will slow Sleepers down, and Warp Scramblers will shut their MWDs off.
Sleepers can be jammed by ECM, but this will generate a very high threat level for the jamming player and the player may end up as primary target for all Sleepers on grid. Additionally most Sleepers will try to fly out of range of the jammer ( though some battleships might try to "cuddle" the jammer). However this is the most reliable defence against the remote repair abilities of the sleepers which often is so strong that the damage done by multiple player battleships is repaired in seconds.
In practice, this means that a Scorpion is the only ECM boat that's practical in a higher-class wormhole -- smaller ships will be destroyed by volley damage before they can be repaired. On the bright side, Sleepers can be jammed equally well by any racial jammer.
The sensors of the Sleepers can also be dampened which will result in Sleepers trying to come closer to the player in order to get into targeting range again. This also will generate a very high threat level against the dampening player.
Players cannot neutralize nor Nosferatu the capacitor of a Sleeper since they have infinite energy (you can still gain energy through a nosferatu, it just won't do anything to the Sleeper). The Sleepers, on the other hand, can neut you, and from a pretty long range too.
Drones can be used against Sleepers, but will require that players have already generated enough threat against themselves before the drones are launched. Otherwise the Sleepers will instantly target the drones and destroy them in a few shots. Through continued use, the drones can generate enough threat that the Sleepers will switch to targeting them. For lone players in W-Space it will be nearly impossible to generate enough threat to safely deploy drones, so be wary if you do. This makes sentry drones a popular choice in anti-Sleeper combat, as they can be recalled instantly if you remain near them.
Sleepers themselves will neut and web players and in class 3 and higher wormholes they also warp scramble. They also deal extra damage against capital ships.
Since normal weapons will only generate a moderate amount of threat, it might prove to be difficult to exploit the Sleeper AI with only guns. However drones and special attacks like jamming and dampening might generate enough threat to force the Sleepers to switch their targets. This can be extremly usefull if a player wants to escape but is warp scrambled. If you are scrambled and alone and need to escape, you can try to launch drones and thus force the Sleepers to cancel the scram, and switch to the drones while you warp off. Another tactic is to channel the attacks of the Sleepers on a single ship which is equipped with EWAR and a very good tank. However you should be carefull since the reaction of the sleeper can vary. While some try to escape the EWAR range other might actually come closer leading to problems because either the Sleepers fly out of range of your guns/drones or come so close that you might get problems with the tracking of your guns.
While Class 1 and 2 wormhole Sleepers can easily be done by a single T2 fitted Battlecruiser (as long as you keep on your toes and the site is not too difficult), you will need a small fleet in Class 3 wormholes. Class 4 wormholes already call for a dedicated fleet of 5 to 6 battleships, while Class 5 and Class 6 require a very well-practiced and organised fleet with multiple dedicated EWAR, logistics and damage-dealer ships.
For a standard uni fleet of frigates and cruisers, it is not recommend to venture into Class 3 and above wormholes. You can of course try but the chance of failure in Class 3 and 4 pockets has proved very high when the fleet was not dedicated, skilled and fitted for W-Space.
The best choice for Class 3 and above seems to be a gang of battleships equipped with remote repair and energy transfer capabilities. However, be aware of the wormhole connection's maximum mass limit when planning to enter a system as one too many battleships going through may end up getting someone stranded on your way in or out. Class 3 Sleeper sites can be run efficiently with a few T2 fitted battlecruisers with logi support or with dual active tank (just be ready to warp out should you be primaried by the entire Sleeper wave if you don't have logi support).
If a capital ship warps into sight of a sleeper spawn, the sleepers will immediately call for reinforcments and several battleships for each capital will spawn. This can theoretically used to increase the outcome of a spawn if you and your fleet can survive the onslaught.
Sleepers leave wrecks containing Sleeper Components (called 'blue loot' because of the color of the items' icons) which can be sold to some NPC stations. The wrecks can be salvaged for Ancient Salvage Materials, which are used in Tech 3 production and can be sold to other players.
The blue loot can be sold to some NPC Stations and some regions may not contain any of those stations. So be wary when you sell the Blue Loot and check the prices carefully since in those regions often other players have set up buy orders for the loot at much lower prices.
- Neural Network Analyzers can be sold for 200,000 ISK and drop in all Sleeper ship classes.
- Sleeper Data Libraries can be sold for 500,000 ISK and drop in all Sleeper ship classes.
- Ancient Coordinates can be sold for 1,500,000 ISK and can drop from cruisers and battleships.
- Sleeper Drone AI Nexuses can be sold for 5,000,000 ISK and drop mostly from battleships.