"The opinions of Garth are not the opinions of Jester (unless they are)" goes the disclaimer on Garth posts, notably this one. But here's my opinion on this topic, taken straight from my post to the forums (slightly edited):
I've been thinking about this subject a lot and my overall position remains unchanged: drone assist needs to die.I suppose some of you out there will accuse me of caving to the Goon position of claiming an in-game mechanic is broken because they can't figure out a way to break it. That's your right. But in this case, I stand by my position: people should not be playing EVE by landing on grid, launching drones, right click-left click-go AFK. I realize there's very slightly more to these tactics than that, but that's the gist. At least when I was in sov-war and I was getting blapped off the field by 250 Maelstroms, they all had to lock me first.
In particular, trying to limit it by squads or ship types or whatever isn't going to do a thing. It just means that instead of one person per fleet needing to play EVE, one person per squad needs to. The rest -- the bulk -- can continue to go AFK. Players will still front load sentry damage by assisting it to a small number of fast-locking ships and this so-called "finger of God" tactic won't go anywhere. It will just mean that a few more people will need to follow primaries but nine out of ten will not.
Once drone assist is removed, a lot of the other issues go away. I have no particular problem with sentry drone damage -- I think it's more or less balanced with other equivalent damage. I have no particular problem with carrier profusion of drones; it only becomes an issue when carrier storage capability is mated to fast-locking platforms.
I'm also not overly concerned with the loss of drone assist in PvE. The mechanic was chosen because it was the most efficient way of dealing with certain problems -- notably, the jamming ships in incursion sites. Without drone assist, other solutions will very quickly manifest to deal with the same problems. They'll be 2% less efficient, I suppose, but the incursion-runners will have to muddle through.
That leaves the use of drone assist in small gang PvP and the major place where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth is associated with assisting of light drones to deal with fast ships attempting to break through gate camps or crash back to gate. This bothers me even less than the PvE issue: again, if gate-campers are serious, they'll apply new tactics to deal with this issue.
Short version: drone assist needs to die and nobody has yet shown me a downside of it dying that overcomes the enormous upside of killing it.
And God knows I do enjoy watching a particularly good incursion drone bunny work, but they'll figure out another method to take out jamming rats quickly in HQ sites and such. RLML Tengus might be an entertaining thing to try, for instance.
But hey, I'm more than happy to listen to more player feedback on this issue. Is there some upside to the drone assist mechanic that outweighs my urgent need to see a stake put through its heart?