Unlike Chance, I don’t think BLOPS needs to be tweaked to become a j-space viable ship. J-space just got a set of highly useful cloaky T3Cs anyway. Blops has always been about jumping, hotdropping, and thus nullsec. Regardless, I agree that there is some love we can give to it. Here is a better way to do it while simultaneously introducing something inherently good for the game.
As MER’s show, overfarming is slowly killing the Eve economy. The main factor that causes overfarm in a nullsec area is safety of PvE activities. The main ensurer of this safety is the capital umbrella. Once you have the capitals staged and set, operating a capital umbrella does not take too much effort besides having capital alts logged in and ready to jump. There needs to be more counters to the capital umbrella than a 50+ man hugely coordinated dreadbomb operation, which is also a suicide mission that costs huge sums of money each time. If its easy to upkeep a capital umbrella, it should be at least somewhat easier to counter it.
So why don’t we play for the strengths of the BLOPS to give it some love? Give BLOPS ships a cyno inhibitor module. Like the mobile cyno inhibitor, it blocks any normal cynoes at 100 range. Instantly activated, hence why having a BLOPS would be a better than a mobile inhibitor. It uses blops fuel, works in 1 minute cycles, immobilizes the blops for 1 minute, disables remote assistance (can’t receive reps).
This will buy some time for the attacking party against the capital umbrella. It is not uncounterable by the defender. You can have an organized fleet in the system or nearby. If you can remove the blops, you can get your capitals in. Or you can get them in with another ship farther than 100km away. Fighters are still viable from that range. Or you can get them in 200km away and warp your capitals in. This only delays your capitals for a short warp, and your PvE ship can endure the attacker for that time. In fact, this tactic is only good vs a single farming ship that is so unprepared that it doesn’t even have a second ship to warp in 100km away and light a cyno. Still, could make some difference for the good and against overfarming.
For the solo hotdropper this might make the blops a stronger option vs. baits where people cyno in capitals. Then again, the immobility makes it hugely vulnerable to anything that warps in. A ceptor can single handedly warp in and maintain tackle on a blops until more friends warp in. Thus it puts the solo hotdropper at even more risk. Meanwhile, the immobility might also cost you the target. There is a reason why all hotdroppers fit 500mn MWD’s. The HK often has to warp off after the cyno cycle, and targets slowly drift away from scram range.
This proposal might change a few things in the capital warfare as well. But I think for the better. N+1 has been a problem for Eve as well. Eve always needed non-OP ways for a smaller, more organized, smarter group to beat the group that brought the mindless numbers in. Now if you want your capitals on a 100km grid, you should be ready to remove any BLOPS ships first. Suppose a case where this is abused. If someone comes in a 100 man BLOPS fleet and activates their module, you should be ready to bring in your carriers 200 km away and begin blapping these ships. They cost 1 bil per BLOPS at a minimum, so an entire fleet lighting their cynoes is a huge risk for the BLOPS side.
How about cases where people escalate each other with capitals? Suppose groups A and B are fighting in subcapitals. Group A drops their first set of capitals, alongside a few blops ships. After their drop, they lock the grid with blopses, so group B cannot counter-escalate. There are things group B could have done. They could have had an initial force that can kill a few blops ships. They could have had a cyno a little away from the fight, and warp their capitals. They could have lit their own cyno at the time group A lit theirs, or before. If they did these, then they would have outsmarted the group A. If not, group A has has outsmarted the group B. Definitely more room for people to outsmart each other, and less reliance on N+1. I say a good change overall.