One idea I always had was that it should simply be a massive damage and probably also healing debuff. Instead of ruining your UI, whhich I think is always a very subjective effect, some players can handle it, others cannot, and also depends on UI sttings, it ruins your stats.
Assuming that's not an option, I like a mix of the following ideas:
Make every target hostile. This means no more healing until you can remove the debuff yourself, or an unaffected ally does it for you. Pretty strong effect.
Affect only one target instead of an area effect.
Reduce the duration
Consider a temporary scramble resistance/immunity.
I am somewhat opposed to making it another directional power - Scramble is one of the few science skills still useful on a Carrier. As much as I hate them, their players don't need to get shafted any more.
My only other concern is that I'd want to ensure it effects stays as it is in PvE. Changes to the duration can be harmful for this, especially since some enemies already have resistances against this effect. A single target solution could work, though, maybe one should also introduce that a scrambled NPC can't fire at the player at all (currently it's useless against a single NPC.)
It should turn all ships hostile instead of friendly, would need a massive reduction in up time for this to work, and also would need an immunity after expiration. Maybe make it so its a single target instead of AOE.
Though to be fair, I'm quite happy with 1 and 2 as they are.
I dunno why but I almost never see the probe either. With VM, I see it more often than not, that purple **** heading my way prompts certain actions, but I almost never, see the green SS probe. I honestly don't know why, but it needs to be more conspicuous!
I agree 100% with making SS an "all enemies" scramble instead of the non-sense targetable allies. It might even solve the cloak bug since I'm pretty sure the SS code is a simple copy&paste from Gamma Orionis encounters where Fed and KDF are "allies" and can see each other under cloak.
But I guess, in reverse, a similar bug might occur for the "all enemies" scramble: temporarily seeing allies as enemies might break the game engine and kick you out of your own team, since if you are enemies, you cannot team up.
A dedicated code that lets you stay in your team while scrambled would be required.... => Season 69
A 10-15 seconds Immunity after Expiration is a must-have. Being perma-scrambled is perma-anti-fun.
Also, capping Sensors and Sensor Array should give your ship some form of passive resistance, maybe a 30-40% reduction on the duration of SS? NPCs do have that sort of "reduced duration" resistance.
If the above are applied, putting a 90° arc restriction isn't necessary and SS may become useless for slow-turning ships.
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, I have only scanned through the thread, but here is my idea.
Make the little green sensor probe a LOT more visible on launch.
A Pre-buff immunity with science team kills it (same as now) only you would actually be able to see the damned thing, this idea also plays into the whole Rockmonster/Piper/Scissors malarky I know we're all so very fond of.
It doesn't tag everyone as hostile, because that would honestly make its use in PvE land terrible. Most targets you scrambled would already have argo on you and scrambling them would do nothing to change that if it didn't change your status. My guess is it would be another of cryptics programming nightmares. (however VM was nerfed to effect systems in a rotation.... how about Friendly for a few seconds then Enemy, and cycle them for X amount of time... then AUX doesn't effect SS anymore just like AUX doesn't effect VM... still trying to figure out how aux power effects the effective length of a sensor probe launch )
They should however be able to reduce the length of the scrambles, and find things that appear to be bugged like the evasive miss fires (or confirm for us that that is intended).... I would also like to see a 90 degree arc myself. I konw that wouldn't be a major change, it just always confused me that Viral Matrix the other sesnor probe ability has a 90 degree arc. It seems to me that if probes only launch out the front of the ship, how is it that the SS probe is 360? (Any way I sound like a RP guy there, it should just be consistent, not like Gravity well has a 90 and Tykens has a 360... would be just as silly)