I’ve been thinking about cloaking a lot lately for some odd reason. There are many aspects to the discussion of cloaking –from the more controversial discussions regarding the ramifications of cloaking (there are many people who feel that people shouldn’t be able to sit AFK cloaked in space for an unlimited amount of time) to the general discussion of the mechanic itself.
The mechanics of cloaking are actually kind of strange in EVE. First, it is an all or nothing affect: you are either cloaked, or you are not cloaked. There is no such thing as being partially cloaked, or sort of cloaked.
Additionally, cloaks are one size fits all modules. The same module that will cloak your frigate will also cloak a battleship.
And, really the only ‘variety’ in cloaking is whether or not you can warp while cloaked –which is based off of whether your ship can use the Covert Ops Cloaking Device which allows you to do this.
What if cloaking was a lot more complex and diverse as a game mechanic? What if there were different types of cloaking, useful for different kinds of things? What if there were skills that allowed you to ‘cloak better’? Or skills and/or modules that allowed you to be able to detect certain types of cloaked ships nearby? Or even modules that could be used to prevent, or disable nearby cloaking?
What if there were..
Different sized cloaking modules that cloak different sized ships. Similar to how we use different sized rigs. These would have different fitting requirements, etc.
A kind of cloak that cloaks your signal on D-Scan and forces people to be closer to see you on scan. Perhaps, with skills that improve the affect –so that people have to be closer and closer to get you on scan. (For example, say that the module only lets you be ‘seen’ within 5AU, with the skill decreasing this to 3AU, or 1 AU, or et.—increasing the effectiveness of the cloak.) You can still do normal stuff on-grid, such as mine or shoot people but perhaps with some significant drawbacks to movement and etc.
A smartbomb-like module that ‘knocks’ people out of cloak within a certain radius once activated. Perhaps similar to a sort of EMP that turns off active modules –those requiring power.
Signal Boosting beacons. These would be mobile structures that boost or broadcast the signal of nearby objects (POSes, ships, etc. within a certain AU) and make them show up on scan at longer distances across the system.
A new module/anti-cloak probe to be used by HICs/Interdictors that prevents cloaking (even covert ops cloaking) within a large radius. This would give these ships a role that could be beneficial and useful in low-sec and highsec. It won’t prevent you from running, but it will prevent you from hiding.
Anyway, just a few ideas.