“With the winter expansion possibly being named ‘Crucible’, it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it.”
I am not even going to address the bonus question here, I will talk about my one thing that I think would bring more gameplay into the 0.0 nullsec and that is Delayed Local in nullsec. Make it like WH space is currently, right now there are not many people in nullsec, and the ones that are, are hiding behind alliances of hundreds if not thousands of players. It is very hard to sneak up on anyone when as soon as you jump through a gate you show up in the local channel.
Nullsec has become safer than HiSec, due to the fact that as soon as you see local change, you can warp to a safe, or dock up or go to your pos. Mining in an grav site? Running an Anomoly, or a complex, all you have to do is watch local and you are guaranteed to be safe. If you get caught unawares in 0.0 you were away from the keyboard or botting.
Speaking of botting, I have seen more botting going on in nullsec and these bots use the local channel to make themselves safe. How on earth is a CCP dev going to ever catch these bots when as soon as anyone enters the system 20 hulks with sequential character names warp to their pos. This is not like in Hisec where you can observe them, here in nullsec as soon as an unfamiliar name enters local they safe up at a pos. Meanwhile, empire miners are getting ganked by griefers using game mechanics, that they could never use in nullsec because as soon as they would enter a system in null everyone would vanish.
Lets put a little risk / reward back into the game, make nullsec more profitable, but make it scary like it should be. If the griefers could sneek up on someone in nullsec, maybe they would leave hisec alone and move back out to where you should be sneaking up on people rather than doing it in hisec.