Lot of banter about how long it's taken CCP to make changes to the Rorqual and here and there some opinions about what those changes should be. Since this year's Fanfest CCP's been dropping hints as to the changes they have in mind and the timetable (November, 2016).
One thing is clear, whoever is coming up with the hinted at changes to the Rorqual has not spent quality time mining in nullsec. Probably, hasn't spent quality time mining.
Because the hinted at Rorqual changes are idiotic and do not reflect the reality of nullsec mining.
Seems the cool kids these days are all for on-grid boosting. Think taking warfare links out of the POS did nothing for the defense of null systems by small corps/alliances, but that's for another day.
Most nullsec Rorqual boosters are run by multi-boxing miners. I'm tempted to say all, but okay, that would be hyperbole. The Rorq could use attention - the fleet hangar is ridiculously small, smaller than that of the Orca, and its ability to compress is a need of the past, for the most part. The Heavy Water requirement is a pain in the neck, but if it seems necessary that the machine requires upkeep, so be it. We multi-boxers can figure out a way to get our miners to an ice belt when needed.
What we neither need nor want is to have the Rorqual on-grid at the anom or belt. That's where the idiocy floods in and nothing CCP has suggested by way of other changes makes it less idiotic, maybe only more so.
Rorqual mining drones - not needed. We're able to harvest just fine with our boosted Hulks and Skiffs.
Rorqual tank - gee, yeah, let's sit there and suffer a bit longer.
Rorqual offensive capability - let's see, I'm here to harvest but maybe I can risk the Rorqual to get some roaming interceptors on my killboard. Or maybe I'll get really lucky and kill enough of their tackle to warp out - which is wishful thinking. None of which is why I've dedicated so much time and ISK to develop mining toons.
Rorqual - the bait ship. The Rorqual will be able to cast a limited invulnerability spell on itself and the ships in its fleet and on grid for a limited amount of time (5 minutes have been mentioned). Invulnerability comes with immobility and inability to target or damage the enemy, so you get to sit and watch your opponents position themselves as they want while waiting down the timer.
Sure, fit a cyno and wait. But this brings up what's at the root of the problem with having the Rorqual on grid: We may or may not have PvP support ready willing and able to come to our aid at some unknowable point. This means, our mining ops are now dependent on the availability of sufficient PvP pilots that will be on call in case they're needed. You know, go rat or something until we need you. And even if you are on call, will you really be able to respond in time if a wormhole spawns in our mining system and spews pilots with bad intentions?
Most miners are individualistic, independent souls. We multi-box miners welcome corpmates and blues into our mining fleets, but we don't want to have to rely on the availability of other players to mine in nullsec with Rorqual boosts, or Rorqual-level boosts.
And forget the small group or solo miner - who in the world is going to put their Rorq on grid for a single Skiff? Leaving the Rorqual in a POS AFK boosting with a fleet up allows any number of casual solo miners to spend some time alone in an anom and receive the same boosting benefits afforded to mining op fleets.
CCP, before you make more ridiculous moves in this direction, give this some real thought. Not imagination, but what real miners in the field want and need.