… and not a way to scan them. Ok, so that doesn’t quite work in the context of being poetical, but you get the idea. As a PvP pilot who likes to roam solo and in small-gangs in LowSec, I often come across those pilots who use Links, Drugs, 5 billion ISK implants etc. Do I have anything wrong with this? As a short answer, well no I don’t. They are part of the built-in Game Mechanics, and for most of these things, there is a bit of a counter, or at least a downside. 5 billion ISK implants? If you really, REALLY want to risk those in a 10-20 million ISK frigate, by all means go for it. Just don’t complain to me when you get smart-bombed by Santo on a gate, or mis-click and die by being podded the more ‘traditional’ way. Drugs? They can give you debilitating side-effects, they are expensive and quite often by popping them you are doing yourself more harm than good.
So, now, Links. I don’t have an issue with them. Yes, I am of the mindset that ‘All Links should be included on the KM’. I don’t see a problem with this. This isn’t constrained to simply the ‘solo’ fights that aren’t really solo. What about the large fleet booster pilot? If he is boosting, and that helps kill a Titan, why shouldn’t he/she be in on the KM as well? The same with Logi pilots etc. Still, this isn’t what I’m pushing here. So what am I talking about?
Quite simply, I think Links should be easier to scan down. You shouldn’t have to be using a perfectly skilled scanning character with billions of ISK worth of Virtue implants (I talked to a Corpmate today that bought 2.5 bill to get Perfect Virtues) to even have a CHANCE at scanning down a booster. Booster ships shouldn’t be able to fit a cloak-that shouldn’t be to hard for CCP to do code-wise, as after all there are plenty of ships that can’t fit Covert Ops Cloaks. Writing into code that any ship with Booster Mods can’t fit a Cloak should be relatively easy. Also, considering Boosters supposedly give Link effects to Fleet members within an entire system, doesn’t it make sense that it’s giving off a massive amount of EM Radiation, or however else it transmits said Boosts? If that’s the case, then it’s Signature should be massively, massively larger. It should actually be relatively easy to scan down Boosters due to EM Signature Bloom. This last part is the one that I think is most practical, the easiest to implement, and the one that makes the most logical sense.
Also, credit to my friend Nix Pardus for this last idea-a ship that is being Boosted should share an engagement timer with the ship that is in combat using it's Links. This makes it so you see it in Local, and it makes it so the Booster can't dock or jump through a gate to escape someone scanning it down.
Lastly, the idea of Command Ships. People bemoan the lack of Command Ship usage. Why would people use them if there is no reason to? At present, it makes more sense to use a T3 for Boosts than a Command Ship. Make Command Ships have a lower Signature Bloom penalty to Boosts, and perhaps even give T3 Cruisers 2/3 of the Boosting potential of a Command Ship. Make Command Ships useful for their intended purpose, and you help solve a lot of problems at the same time.
All of these ideas allow Boosters to continue to be a useful option for gameplay, however they also make usable, visible, and concrete ‘downsides’ for Boosters
Anyway, If anyone has thoughts and/or reaction to these proposals, please feel free to comment. Otherwise, I’ve had quite a bit of fun talking to myself about this issue today (take that how you want to) in between killing another 15 or so ships in LowSec.