I was minding my own business, floating in space, when a new signature pops up in the system. Neat, huh? No, not at all. I'm not in empire space looking to grab some loot from a site, but in w-space where the signature is almost certainly a newly spawned wormhole. Without any input or action on my part, I now know of a new connection in the system, likely to bring at least a scout, maybe a fleet, and can act accordingly. The discovery scanner makes it all possible. And the discovery scanner must die.
I have already argued that an automated directional scanner would change the fundamental nature of w-space for the worse, as it would introduce an asymmetric shift in safety towards those less-inclined to PvP interactions. Now instead of an automated d-scanner, we have been given something more powerful. The discovery scanner may not show when pilots are in the system, and new signatures may not be wormholes, but what it does is give strong evidence of a new wormhole opening before anyone has even jumped in to the system. And this warning doesn't even require a single mouse-click to be effective.
But more clicks don't make the game better, right? So the argument went for the directional scanner, so the argument is made for the discovery scanner. No, more clicks don't make the game better. Yes, not needing to mash the mouse button would be preferable to constant clicking. But that's how the directional scanner works, and that's how it was designed to work. The decision to gain intelligence with every update or to take a rest and trust in general inactivity is the choice every pilot makes, solo or in a fleet, in w-space. The same was true with scouts having to continually update their scanning probes.
The fundamental nature of w-space is the unknown. The space is unknown, the wormholes are unknown, the pilots in the system are unknown. If you wanted to know something about the system you had to uncover it, either through careful monitoring of the directional scanner or through the use of scanning probes. Now the discovery scanner shows you every signature, every site in the system within seconds of entering, and any new signature the moment it spawns. Even with probes launched and inactive, new signatures will be added to the scanning interface. Now there are fewer unknowns.
Fewer unknowns makes for less threat. Fleets engaging Sleepers in a fully scanned and secured system can now take a passive approach to safety. Just watch the scanning interface for new signatures and retreat if any spawn. There's no need to update the directional scanner, and the discovery scanner is already dynamic. You can't sneak up on even mildly experienced pilots through a new wormhole. And if the wormhole is old, well, mildly experienced pilots aren't likely to run sites in an insecure system.
The best a w-space hunter can hope for is activity through a carelessly opened K162, or pilots who aren't paying attention to the most obvious signs of intrusion. That's not only slim pickings, but picking on only the weakest, ill-prepared pilots in space. The level of threat you bring, and the feeling of being in threat, is drastically reduced when the discovery scanner acts as a beacon to any active pilot indicating that someone is coming.
I can see the reasoning behind the introduction of the discovery scanner, even if I don't agree with it. CCP wants scanning and exploration to be an obvious route for new players, but didn't see how capsuleers could stumble in to it. Clearly showing all of the 'hidden' sites in a system is to pique the interest of capsuleers in to finding out how to uncover them properly. But the same information is useless and irritating for pilots who, for example, know about and are uninterested in scanning being presented with useless information on every jump, which for haulers and roamers is frequent.
I don't agree with this approach because the discovery scanner doesn't mesh with the game's usual philosophy. It is a nice idea for brand new capsuleers who don't know about exploration, but after the first couple of weeks, the discovery scanner becomes either too powerful or too annoying. Given that all CCP had to do was create a newbie mission that gave you a scanning frigate, launcher, and probes and got you to resolve a mission signature, much as they do to introduce other avenues of interest in New Eden, the omnipresent discovery scanner is a bizarre choice to go with.
This is not to mention that the discovery scanner is the antithesis to the very idea of exploration. There is never any need to launch probes to see if there are any signatures in the system. New signatures automatically appear in the scanning interface, and on the HUD in space, and around the planet where they are closest to. Perhaps this is of relative unimportance for the site runners in empire space, but the notion of w-space being unexplored and unknown has been completely undermined.
Simply travelling through w-space now shows you what having to launch probes used to. Not only is a wormhole opening immediately obvious to any pilot paying attention, without even needing to update d-scan to check for a cloaked ship entering the system, but merely keeping track of the number of signatures in each connected system lets you check at a glance whether any particular system needs re-scanning for new connections. You don't even need to launch a probe to do so. It is intelligence without input.
If there is ever a feature that needs to be rolled-back, I think this is it. The game is wrongly simplified because of the discovery scanner, and w-space has been neutered, when the intention was to reveal the exploration option to those unaware of it. There are better ways to accomplish this goal. As for a solution: disable the discovery scanner for w-space. Tie it in to empire hardware, if there needs to be a reason. This keeps w-space unknown, more so for those entering from empire space, and further distinguishes w-space from null-sec, all without negating the benefits the discovery scanner has brought for pilots who weren't aware of exploration.