I know they are a contested topic players long after DT hate them for scooping up entire system belts before they can even log on. Others hate them for hating them and others love them for variation, immersion or the skin farming whatever floats their boat. I am personally in the group that does not mind them and hunts them down when I want a change of pace.
They do seem to cause issues for some to the point of making mining in normal belts impossible now due to the speed they can clear a 8 belt NPC Nullsec system or highsec.
They could use a balance but in light of December’s Economic review I think a balance and boost might be the best combination.
Firstly the mining fleet size should be scaled down a bit by 1-3 mining ships this would slow the mining down. It would also be interesting to see pirate mining fleets more frequently maybe in prospects to be lore friendly. This could be enough that 0600 to DT players actually can find good rocks at least in multi belt systems.
Secondly it would be good to see these fleets also “attack” belt anomalies. First a scanning frigate lands on grid and 1 min later the mining fleet warps in unless the scanner was attacked then the response fleet comes instantly. Sure a frigate response fleet won’t kill dedicated miners in a site but a BS response could hinder or destroy a unwary rorqual or orca or miners not paying attention. If they are ignored depending on standings they will clear the anomalies like any other belt or they attack players. Obviously the fleets should be mainly pirate factions with a small % fringe corporations such as tukker, Ore.
This should not be a high chance to spawn but should scale with the index a little if you want to mine you better prepare for fringe groups to muscle in on your rocks just like the rats are there.
The scanner arriving is a warning for anybody in the site to reship of prepare to fight or loose rocks. Either way it would be a hurdle but the big null blocks should have no trouble clearing the response fleets but it will slow the m^3 per day if ignored or lower the rocks possible to mine.
Now go ahead flak the topic if you wish, however this would effectively curb afk mining in Nullsec and lower rage in highsec and lowsec a little concerning people coming online and finding nothing. Also the mining fleets would endanger highsec afk mining if they add the low % chance of pirate mining fleets.