Come Odyssey, CCP will be releasing a new, more immersive UI for the built-in exploration scanner. It functions by sweeping a visible arc out from the ship (completing a full rotation about every 3 seconds) which visibly reveals the positions of signatures in space. The usual signatures still need to be probed for a warp-in of course, but the new scanner ticks once automatically when jumping in to let the pilot know what’s in their area of the system. It can then be set to run continuously, leaving the revealed anomalies on-screen. You can currently test the feature on Singularity, and the reception so far seems positive. CCP has dubbed this the discovery scanner, and it replaces the on-board ship scanner currently in the game.
Perhaps more exciting though is the possibility of the UI concept of CCP’s new discovery scanner being applied to the aging directional scanner with some new, more intuitive method for controlling the scanner. Having a directional scanner that ran continuously (pulsing every 3 seconds) and ignored fleet members (or not, settings depending) would create a more immersive, living game via the further elimination of in-UI spreadsheets and constant “you must wait to scan again” messages. The new scan system with its icons and brief information snippets adapted to directional scanning could even be a suitably powerful intelligence tool to replace local. The removal of local in nullsec (or a change to delayed mode a la W-space) has been discussed many times over the past few years, but it’s never really been practical to implement because of the lack of suitable replacements. I have previously been against efforts to have local removed or nerfed. Of the replacements that have been discussed, this is the first that I have been able to take seriously.
While the removal of local as a source of instant, reliable intel is a radical change to EVE, I feel that it is a beneficial one which would help to counter-act the relative safety of quiet (meaning no active sovereignty dispute) nullsec regions as well as reward fleets that communicate and scout effectively. Alliance intel channels would obviously undergo massive changes in their efficacy and methodology, but the continuous scanning system should be enough to ‘replace’ these sources by providing early warning of incoming ships. Of course, such a system would also make it easier for roaming gang scouts to locate victims, and any mechanics change (especially for the “worse” technology-wise) needs a believable lore justification. Unavoidably this system would remove some of the “skill” involved with directional scanning, but it can be argued that the camera anchoring feature already did that. To me, the price of making directional scanning more casual-friendly is worth the benefits of eliminating the local channel in nullsec, and I say that as someone well-versed enough in the arcane D-scanner arts to hunt down Marauders and other shinies in wormholes for PL.