In a new forum post, CCP has announced that they are tweaking drone aggression in EVE Online, likely as a way to combat botting.
The announcement, posted to the forums by CCP Paradox, explains changes coming to drone behavior as it pertains to NPCs, changing it from atuo-attacking NPC enemies to requiring direct orders from the player before engaging.
"Drones will therefore no longer automatically attack NPCs when their behavior is set to aggressive and instead will rely on player-issued commands to initiate action against a designated target. We are making this change to ensure that NPC killing activities move closer towards attentive player interactions and rely much less on low or no attention gameplay."
CCP states, though, that player targets will still be automatically engaged if you're attacked, but only ships. Drones won't auto-engage structures or player-owned starbases modules or weapons.
This feels like a move keeping with CCP's grander theme for 2020 - introducing more risk back into New Eden, but also a move to help combat botting and AFKers. As with all things EVE, the players commenting on the post seem to be mixed of people happy about the change and those who don't agree with the move.
It'll be interesting to see how this affects the MMO when it goes live in December.