What if XL structures had a minimum threshold that any single attack must surpass in order to deal damage at all? Maybe there is a value so that e.g. only torps, bombs and XL turrets can hurt structures. This would completely eliminate the boring tactic of swarming keepstars with fighters (excluding heavy fighters, I guess). It would force attackers to bring dreads or large bomber wings to the party, which from a lore perspective sounds wayyyy cooler than carriers hacking away at the structure with tiny fighters. It would also probably lead to less fighters being deployed and therefore less stress on the server nodes. Attacking ships would be vulnerable to defenders because they would actually have to be in range.
This would of course need some kind of rebalance, but maybe it’s worth it?
Also, maybe the same thing on a smaller scale for L structures
Edit: I don’t really care about this proposition making it easier for the nodes. It is a nice byproduct, but for me, not more. So yes, there might be other ways to make structure bashing easier for the server, but in my imagination, my proposition solves the following:
CItadel bashing is just plain boring. It is the second boring thing to do after sov warfare. Even if the server works perfectly, it is just a mundane task to do and has no real actual fighting. Make it so that if one side attacks a structure, there is a real danger for that side to lose a big chunk of ISK, and that the defender has a big enough incentive to meet the attacker head on.
If the server did not stall under 9-4, what we would have seen would be big ships well out of range of each other, looking at tiny, comparatively fighters swarming the keepstar. Not much at risk. You can’t blame any of the sides, because why should you risk trillions of ISK and at the same time lower your chances of success? This is on the game developers to create an environment that promotes/necessitates risking a big amount of ISK.