I am so proud of myself: I just finished the mission to recover an artefact from a level 5 derelict with 3 max hull. Bragging rights I exert right now.
I love drones as well, because they also sort of serve as scouts, pointing out where the next danger is coming from. I have troubles using the so-called smart weapons. I have issues with any kind of small caliber from level 4 ships downward, actually. I find myself using varieties of explosive shells, or my favorites: the nuke-nade, remote controlled cluster nade and any sort of dumb-fired rockets.
The nuke-nade is fire and forget against about anything, from systems to shielded opponents.
The remote controlled cluster grenade is amazing in flexibility against anything, and even against a variety of shielded opponents.
The sheer power of one-hit-killing even the biggest foe with a rocket is also amazing.
All those weapons come with an heavy cost though.
Because it is oftentimes so difficult to gauge when they are gonna fail you, I find the energy weapons very dangerous. I prefer to not use them in regular runs, but I like them in Rogue mode where ammo is a huge issue.
The Gauntlet is my favorite melee weapon as well. Nothing like pushing away a bunch of baddies (sometimes into hazards), but my favorite way to use it is to instantaneously trigger of those missile nukes with it!
They really are too. I think that’s one of the funny rules you don’t notice in your first few ships, dismissing it as “oh, collision bug probably”. But no, some of them can go through walls.