I like the hacking mini game and exploration in general but scanning is so boring.
Although there’s probably a lot of ways to change it, one way to spice things up that I thought of today would be to have very easy to scan down “comet” anomalies that spawn randomly in a system. The comet moves around so you have to follow it after warping in. As long as you are within the range of the comet’s tail (they’re probably pretty fast) you get different bonus effects:
- Cloak me comet cloaks your ship for as long as you are able to stay in range. This removes the need for practically all exploration ships to run a cloak; you could get occasional and temporary cloaking by warping to these guys. But people could also warp to the comet, release drones and so-on to see if anyone is using the comet to hide themselves.
- Boost my scans comet does the opposite, makes you easier to scan down but also boosts your scanning strength, making it easier for you to scan down other things. Possibly, a ship at the boost comet will show up with normal probe scanners, not just combat probe scanners.
- Magnetic comet pulls you along with it and makes anchoring small structures instant, meaning that you can mobile depot yourself without having to wait for minutes at a time. You can also drop storage cans of various types onto it if you want, although once the comet leaves the solar system (despawns) you’d lose your cans and mobile depot if you left them there.
- Slingshot comet reduces ship inertia and capacitor cost to warp, letting you use it to cross a system more quickly.
Comets might also possess multiple types, so for example if you get lucky you might find a magnetic scan boosting comet, or a cloaky slingshot comet etc.