New Eden is littered with abandoned and forgotten POS towers. High Sec to Null, moon after moon has some derelict tower floating unwanted and unused. These towers are one of the few objects in EVE which do not eventually get removed by the system. They will continue to orbit the moon forever. Anyone who wishes to use the moon to first remove the old tower before installing their own. I for one, would love to see this changed to make it less of a pain in the ass to replace a dead POS.
I realize some towers are installed simply there as place holders to prevent other parties from easily installing a tower of their own. The change I would suggest would still easily allow for this sort of game play. My aim is simply to make it easier to replace dead towers with productive towers. I am sure others may have offered similar ideas in the past, I am offering these up simply to promote conversation on the topic.
My primary suggestion is to have the shields of any POS tower which has been offline for 30 days to be reduced to 25% plus 1 hit point. That is it. This would reduce the grind on derelict towers while still allowing owners to defend if they chose to do so.
My more extreme suggestions is to make a tower left offline for 30 days to become ‘hackable’ in the manner of a data site. Different tower types could have different levels of difficulty. A failed hack could cause some or all of the anchored defensive guns to activate and shoot at any ships in the area. Alternately, a failed hack could simply place the tower into a reinforced state. In either case, no further attempts could be made on the POS tower for 24 hours and this information would be displayed to anyone who attempts a hack during this ‘reboot’ phase. The tower owner would get alerts regarding any hack attempt and another alert once the tower went into the reboot phase. In the case of a successful hack the tower would still go into a reboot phase but the hacking player would gain some degree of control over the tower once it came out of reboot. The successful hacker could unanchor any modules and set shield and armor to zero HP. The tower would then go dead. At this point the tower is useless and could be removed by destroying the hull or better yet by salvage lasers. There could be some interesting emergent game play around hacking and salvaging towers.
In both cases the owning player of unused towers could prevent the tower from become vulnerable by simply onlining the POS once every thirty days. This would keep placeholder towers viable while requiring at least some minimal effort on the owners part. Either option will also still allow the POS owner to be notified and have a chance to defend a tower.
Your drinking buddy,