Just an idea for the next era of EVE as player base dwindles (or does it?)
Allow players to have their own squadron of ships and a skill based around how many ships you can have in a squadron.
Squadron= Your PC ship you control + 1 to 4 ships you own controlled by NPC’s
For example you have a few NPC run frigates escort your Battleship in a Squadron during a mission.
This could lead to a vast amount of new mission types with all new challenges.
This could also lead to even bigger space battles in nulsec and lowsec.
It will also allow you to get a lot of ships you dont use anymore blown up all at once!
Give it a go!