tldr; Add fuel requirements, skills reqs, mass reqs and different modules to the cyno vessel itself. Forcing them to take a risk to bringing in force. Make them act a bit more like wormholes!
Simply, the idea that a Heron lighting a cyno for 50 titans is trash and shouldn’t exist. Cyno’s should follow wormhole mechanics where a function of the fuel inputted should equal the amount of mass that can go through it.
Step 1: Split cyno’s into 3 types, Capitals, Subcap and covert level cynos. Subcaps designed for ~50 Battlecruisers, covops for about 20-30 blops and capitals for 1-2 titans. Capital sized can still open bridges where you can shove ~300 ferox’s through. Subcap size should be enough to drop a 50ish ferox’s through, where a Titan Bridge can still take. But, covert’s will remain special allowing 30 blops through. Mass requirements are sort of skewed already, so limit the size of the ship who can go through any given cyno at any given time.
Step 2: Make the fitting requirements relevant as well, where cap cynos can only be generated by caps and subcaps by subcaps. Set the DST as a standard capital lighter TBH. Give DSTs the ability to light capital cynos(Pg/cpu reduction requirement), give combat recons/t3 cov subsystem a bonus to mass for cov ops cynos from fuel requirements(Give them an actual role that’s healthy) so a buzzard can’t drop 30 blops, and make subcap cynos into 3 groups themselves(small, medium, large) how much fuel you load should allow how many ships can fit through it, note: bridges are the only way to get to these.
Step 3: Make the capital cyno pricey, like 200-500mil. Pretty straightforward, you want to project caps, gotta have a bigger risk!
Step 4: Add fuel requirements, simply put, since you should only allow so much through for a size, you can only do it once in certain ships. For example a frigate fits a med cyno and loads 2000 ozone, it can’t hold 2000 ozone in its hold, therefore it can’t reload and can’t light another. This forces people to make fitting choices.
Step 5: Add a skill to go along with it, maybe Jump Drive Op? Between this and the actual skills to drive the ships to light them with it makes the cyno mechanic someone has to actually train for, just like everything else in eve. It blows my mind a 200k sp character can project 50+ titans.
Step 6: Add a cyno distance limitation or timer, ie: can’t light another cyno within 10-25km from a previously lit cyno for 1 minute or even better, give a ship a 1-2 minute timer before they’re able to light another cyno after taking one (Like a wormhole polarization timer). This stops a block from dropping 50 mastodons and lighting 50 more cynos to drop those 50 titans immediately after. If they want to risk 50 dst’s fit with 500m cynos to drop 50 titan’s they should realllllyyyy want to commit to that. So make them. Force them to put the risk on the field.
In conclusion: This is just a thought to make this mechanic a bit healthier and a bit more balanced. But let’s see what everyone else has to say.
In carrier: Oh ■■■■ cyno ceptor is enroute, wat do fc? as a carrier a) Kill the ceptor, b) Kill the 10-15 BC’s it can only bring through. As the ceptor, bring a sabre with you to tackle the thing and bring a few more ceptors to light some more small cynos. Also, make the reqs so much so that say an interdictor has to choose between a bubble launcher and cyno, and not both. This changes the mechanic where you as a capital are a little bit harder to catch by 1 individual.
Cloaky Tengu hunter for blops fleet: Nothing changes, i’m gucci as always due to my new bonus, and tbh this is what balanced dropping looks like(just could use a bit less mass able to roll through the blops bridge, can be fixed with new fuel reqs for cyno ship).
Battle escalation: Drop some DST’s on grid, or a group of battleships that can wait out the DPS of an enemy fleet to bring in more ships. The point here is escalation should be in steps, not one cyno and boom 50 titans and 200 supercarriers. It should be like 100 v 100 => Subcap cyno lit, now its 100 v 150 (No caps) => Capital cyno lit by some dropped DST’s with you after 1 minute, now 100 v 150 w/ 1-2 titans on grid or 2-4 supers.(Or another 300 feroxes) => more cap cynos(Caps lighting cap cynos w/ bonuses) after 1 minute and now 100 v 350 with 40+ Supers on grid now).
Would love to hear more what ifs, I think there is a way where this can work where this won’t hurt small corp power projection or logistics chains while deterring larger corps and alliances to projecting their power on a whim, but still allowing them to do so when needed. Let me know what you think, i’m eager to hear your response.