I've read through EVE Hermit's I'm not a local, and Poetic Stanziel's Getting Rid of Local as well as other post's throughout the years. The thing I find objectionable in all three of these fine bloggers' attempt to address the local WC issue is they all make the situation far more complicated than it needs to be. I don't think capsuleers want a more complicated system. I know I don't.
So let's discuss the big problem with local first. The thing about local is that it really has nothing to do with Internet spaceships. Why is it even in EVE Online? Have you ever seen a science fiction movie, or read a science fiction book, where the communications screen showed every pilot in system whether they wanted to be seen or not? In Star Trek every ship had it's own transponder, but how many times did that fail, be faked, or otherwise masked on the covert mission deep into Romulan space? ALL THE TIME.
Local is not a sci-fi phenomena. Local has nothing whatsoever to do with Internet spaceships. It is, in fact, social network contamination of our Internet spaceship game. It is the same damn thing as Facebook Chat, Google Hangouts, Facetime and Skype. I don't want to but I have to say this next thing. I bet if you could force a Freedom of Information subpoena on CCP, you would go through their records and find a proposal where they considered adding video to the local chat channel. OMG, I think I'm going to vomit.
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm not a fan of local. I never have been. I can count on one hand the number of times I've chatted in local. There was only one time, ever, where I instigated the chat. I popped out our static one night and Rixx Javix was in local. I just had to say hello.
This is not to say I "hate" local. I've just never been the chatty sort. A private one-on-one conversation is fine, but public blathering is not my style. Still there needs to be some venue for the Jita scammers to use. I wouldn't actually want to eliminate that play style. Local can stay so long as you understand it is an infection of EVE Online by social networking.
Unfortunately we've warped it into an intelligence gathering mechanism. I once said in this blog that capsuleers will game any situation to their benefit. Well, that's what's happened with local. It's become an easy way to tell who's in system and whether you should dock up or not. Frankly, the entire existence of local cheapens the game. It's like those big game hunting vacations. You know the ones. The "tracker" sits the well paying rich dude in a blind, and when the animal that's walked down the trail trail for a drink every night for the past month does it again - BLAM! Yeah, that took a lot of hunting skill and machismo... not really. What a fake!
Okay, maybe I do hate local a bit but, not the idea of a chat channel in EVE Online. I just dislike the idea that people use it to gain information they really shouldn't have. It's a cheat. It's a crutch if you don't like being called a cheat. Whatever term your ego accepts, it isn't right. So what's CCP to do? Not much it turns out.
First of all, make local voluntary through speaking. Put a person's privacy back into their own hands. Isn't that the mantra of today's Internet anyway? Do this EVERYWHERE. Yes, that means all locals would become just like wormhole space. So what, it's a chat channel and if I don't talk why should anyone know I'm even there? That's the way it should have been all along. Capsuleers don't need crutches to find and fight each other. Six months in a wormhole has taught me that repeatedly.
Now, in keeping with the idea of putting the problem into the hands of us capsuleers, CCP should put intelligence icons on the system map available by pressing F10. Make the data real time data. For example, if you are in a fleet, and a fleet member has eyes on an enemy fleet, the enemy fleet will show up on the map until the scout can no longer see them. This would be the only way invading fleets could gain intelligence. That's the way it works when you're the attacker. After all, it's not your home system. You only want it to be and that will take sacrifice. I'd also ask that CCP make the system map a window rather than a full screen display. However, I can live with it either way.
The only "module" I would add to the game are d-scan buoys pilots can anchor in space. It would require Anchoring I as the skill to accomplish the task. These buoys would constantly d-scan an area of space and beam the results to the anchoring ship or designated POS. They would have a far lesser range than ships due to power limitations, I envisage 2 AU, so a local nexus would have to be built. If you put enough buoys in space, you can see every ship that moves in the system. This would be tricky to setup. Building a complete local nexus might require hundreds of buoys. You might have gaps because you could only warp to those things you can warp to today. I'd add active buoys to that list of objects a ship can warp to. If you want the intelligence on your map, you will just have to spend the time making it possible.
CONCORD, in their treaty with the various Empires, already have a local nexus setup in every high-sec system. That doesn't mean they share their intelligence with everyone though. If you want access to their data, you had better have a big, fat wallet. Oh, and the information will be limited to a specific time and place. Those taking the bribes don't need long duration data accesses sending them to jail. They're not stupid after all. Finding these corruptible CONCORD agents would work somewhat like locator agents. BTW, if you find and destroy a buoy in high-sec, it makes you an instant criminal.
In low-sec, I think the various Empires have a vested interest in helping their militias. So, in factional warfare systems, all pilots participating would have local information about all pilots on their side and on the other side as well - unless someone decides to take out the local nexus. Destroying a buoy in low-sec would only make you a suspect. The ships of the other two races would not be visible unless someone in your fleet sees them or a corruptible agent was found and bribed - but those agents should be very, very rare in low-sec. This would make low-sec as safe as wormhole space for neutral races - with the same sort of local, none.
In null-sec, it would be up to the sovereignty holder to decide if a system is seeded with local nexus. Dissemination of the information gathered would be done at the discretion of the sovereignty holder through any POS they own in the system, but only one. It would be assignable through corporation management. Those living in NPC null-sec could setup whatever sort of local nexus they could get away with. It would be up to them to keep it from being taken down. Of course, they'd have to have a POS in place. One last thing: if you lose the POS, you lose the local nexus - POOF! A hostile force could capture a local nexus intact by destroying the controlling POS and gaining sovereignty over the system. However, to activate it they would have to find a buoy and hack it. I recommend Hacking V as the minimum skill required.
These buoys would also work in wormhole space, but they draw Sleeper frigates like shit draws flies. They don't usually last long, less than an hour in fact. Sometimes much less time than that. However, they might have some limited functionality. I know I could think of a thing or two to do with them.
One item, the d-scan buoy, puts all the control into our hands. A local nexus gives us the means to gather intelligence. Like any other objects anchored in space, we already have the means to remove the local nexus. What a fantastic extra role this would give our covert ops pilots! And the only thing CCP needs to do is create these anchor-able d-scan buoys and add an option to existing agents. It doesn't affect ship balancing. It doesn't change cloaking mechanics. It's the same mechanism for all types of space. It expands player tactical and strategic options opening new avenues of game play. But first and foremost, it leaves the solution completely (okay, mostly) in our hands - as it should be - and flushes the crap out of the local WC. Yeah, I had to go there.