Behold the poor Drake. Abused, misused, cast-aside, and generally made to feel inferior in the universe of Eve. Grudgingly someone may say, "Well it's a heck of a PvE boat." as if that might be taken as a compliment amongst Drake pilots. Even though it is a heck of a PvE boat, that is beside the point. With nearly two-hundred kills in this horrible PvP ship, let me start by telling you a story.
Once upon a time in the land of Null Space, a young and daring Caldari pilot proudly brought his badly fitted, but trusty Drake to gangs, gate camps, roams and even a few fleet battles. He knew he should be flying those shiny ships he saw in the sky, but he also knew he couldn't. Not yet. His dedication to his craft was such that he was more than willing to die, if only he could be of some use on the battlefield. This often meant he became aware of what "bait" meant, and yes he died more than he should. He didn't get on as many kill mails as the gun based pilots, because kill mail whoring is something a Drake pilot cannot do. All this, he didn't mind. He knew things would get better with time, patience and practice. But there was one thing he could not abide.
"No Drakes!" No Drakes Allowed. But...? Bring something else. He heard those words over and over again. For months. And still he continued training, refining and yes even flying other ships (I mean duh!). His trusty Drake continued to improve even while he never really flew it all that much anymore. All along he knew that one day, one day his faith in the little ship would be rewarded. And one glorious day, things started to change. Suddenly enemy fleets and gangs began to appear that featured Drakes, Drakes in large numbers. The vaunted guns and auto-cannons could not stop them, the Drake gangs began to be feared (rightfully so btw) and slowly things started to turn around for the little ship. Suddenly FCs began asking for Drakes in their gangs. The awesome firepower of 40 Drakes in a fleet began to be respected. And all was right with the world once again.
>cough< Ok, that was a little melodramatic, but it also happens to be true. Let's be honest, every single ship in Eve has its positives and negatives. There isn't one Holy Grail ship that rules them all. Anyone who thinks that is sniffing glue and you need to stop listening to them. Yes the Drake has some serious negatives, but those (again like any other ship) can be used to your advantage. With the right set-up, the right mix of ships on your side, the Drake is a formidable weapon.
Having said that, I know why the Drake gets such a bad rap. It is one of the easiest ships to get into in Eve, thousands of young Caldari pilots wizzing around the universe in the darn things, badly fitted, inexperienced and ready to be popped by the first thing that comes along. I know, I used to be one of them. Yes I used to go solo into Mara and Old Man Star in my Drake. Good grief, I thought I was tough. I wasn't. I learned many valuable lessons doing it. And maybe even added to the poor Drake's reputation in the process. But now I can fit my Drake in a variety of different ways, it happens to be one of the most versatile Battlecruisers in the game and my skills are such that my resist tank is very tough to crack. Go ahead and try. Had some Battleships try and fail yesterday.
I don't fly the Drake much these days. But when I want to have some fun in a tough battlecruiser that can bring the dps, I rely on old faithful. And for those of you that like to hate on the Drake, I invite you to bring your favorite BC to the planet of your choice for a little 1v1. If you bring a blaster fitted boat I'll even spot you 25% shield damage.