This is an object lesson to the feds who argued with us :
"If you defend an overpowered ability, the devs will end up nerfing the crap out of it when they get around to it. If you are objective and help find a solution, you have a chance of escaping nerfbatdom"
If you're within 5k of an enemy while it's active expect to be spotted very quickly, even without a Science Ship or Science Captain using his/her scan ability. I had BoP's detecting me at SB24 with it active.
Masking one's signature should only help you elude someone not looking to hard. It should improve the odds of being over looked, not made invisible. So on the enemy's scanner, he might get a blip, but it wouldnt immeadiatly show you as a foe, but perhaps as just some unidentified object, no differnt than some other unidentified space debris.
If the devs where to further flesh out the detection sytems, we'd likly find it being more beneficial where combat isnt necessarily the purpose, or when the arena maps or open PvP/RVR maps are much bigger. It's place would be even better in Sector Map to elude enemy at far distances(if we were able to engage targets in PvP areas of Sector Map). It would be benefical when the target isnt in sight and only the area map/radar is capable fo detecting an object as a threat or not.
How does a alert captain identify a masked target worth looking deeper into? If you see an object traveling high speeds(1/4 impulse or higher), it might be worth investigating. If you see it on the scanner maneuvering in other than a normal gravity induced trajectory(straight line/arc) its worth investigating. As mentined before, any use of shields, weapons fire or other larger energy releases should deminish and eventually negate the MES all together.