Ambush Interdictors / Mobile Disruptors

Simple idea really.

With the talk about shared bookmarks from CCP it dawned on me interdictors have lost one of the roles they used to be so good at, ambushes. Im not talking about jumping into a dictor bubble but instead cloaked interdictors placing stop or drag bubbles to grab incoming fleets.

These days just about everyone warps to a gate ping, then to gate so interdictors can’t grab them unless they have a ping between where the fleet is warping from and the gate. you have to rely on being able to grab something before it can align down and warp or the target’s lost or try to stop it on the gate and hope it can’t burn in faster than you can kill it.

So my idea is this"

  • Allow interdiction spheres to stop ships warping from point A-B at any point in their journey including deadspace. So if a dictor places a bookmark and cloaks halfway between two gates when it deploys the bubble anything warping to or from gets caught regardless of where it was warping to in relation to point B.

Now clever fleets can ambush mid warp, be it in-between 2 gates, a citadel and an Ice Belt, etc. Which makes the use of bookmarks harder and the development of good habits such as warping to celestials before gates more common again.

Just another one of those ideas floating in my head. Let me know what you think.

And as soon as interdictors cannot fit cloaking devices anymore we can look at your proposal again.

I would argue that a patient cloaked dictor pilot should be rewarded when they snag someone, alone an interdictor cant do very much to most ships, and a fleet would likely show up in intel channels. Barring covert ops fleets that bridged in, but the dictor has to manual burn to target system either way.

And it fits well with the going theme of “Chaos Era” by making space less predictable and secure than before.

So because people have learnt to be smart we have to add new features? Or… we could acknowledge that people are being smart and it’s all good.


A few things:

  1. From my understanding of how things work server-side when handling warp, what you’re proposing would take an insane amount of work. A things stand now, the server only looks at the grid a ship starts from and a grid a ship lands on; everything in between gets ignored. I suspect that changing that would require a massive overhaul. (“Server limitations” are the absolute worst reason not to do something, but they’re still a reason.)

  2. When you say “including deadspace”, do you mean even if the target ship is starting or stopping in a headspace pocket, or even if the interdictor is in a deadspace pocket? If you mean the latter, I have to point out that the odds of a random deadspace pocket being directly in-line between two celestials is pretty damned slim.

  3. If my understanding of current mechanics is correct, if a ships velocity vector coming out of warp intersects the surface of a bubble, it will end its warp at the edge of that bubble instead of its destination. Warp bubbles are small and warp distances are huge. Assuming your target(s) use a ping of 1000km (and it’s aligned perfectly perpendicular to the warp trajectory), your bubble is 20km in radius, and the warp distance is 10AU, you’d have to be no more than 0.2 AU away from the start of the warp in order to catch your target warping to their ping. That’s not exactly on-grid with them, but it’s not like you could be lurking anywhere along their warp path and still catch them. So even if this were implemented, I don’t think it would be nearly as useful as you think.

Learn to use more 'dictors, get creative with anchored bubbles, or bubble folks on the in-gate.

For the math geeks, here’s how I got my values. I calculated the angle between the straight-line warp trajectory and the trajectory to the ping, and then used that angle to work backwards to see what distance would intersect a sphere with a radius of 20km centered on the warp trajectory.

Warp Range (AU) 1.00E+01 AU AU2km 1.50E+08 km/AU
Warp Range (km) 1.50E+09 km km2AU 6.68E-09 AU/km
Vertical Ping Height (km) 1000 km
Warp Angle 0.0000006684491979 radians
Bubble Diameter 20 km
Max bubble distance to drag (km) 29920000 km
Max bubble distance to drag (km) 2.00E-01

Forever impressed with just how much information you manage to bring Bronson.

For clarification I meant Interdictors should be able to stop warp in-between celestials or other objects in space, even over long warps of several AU. Yes server limits are most likely a thing to consider.

Reasoning for this wasn’t to punish players who had adapted, but to offer new avenues for the use of the ship. Interdictors are after all defined as:

“Interdictors are destroyer-sized vessels built to fill a single important tactical niche: the breaching of enemy warp tunnels. Capable of launching warp-disrupting interdiction spheres, interdictors are of great value in locations of strategic importance where enemy movement must be restricted. Additionally, much like their destroyer-class progenitors, they are well-suited to offensive strikes against frigate-sized craft.”
~Description at the top of the Flycatcher

Breaching a tunnel is an interesting concept to me, not as a dictor pilot looking for kills as i rarely ever use one, but as someone who would enjoy the thrill of being very suddenly torn out of warp by one in a tactically useful location. And I wouldn’t consider a warp tunnel “Breached” if your stopping the “Car” before it enters the tunnel, or right after it leaves the tunnel, that’s more like intercepting them, which is already a job for interceptors naturally. I Envision being at any point in the tunnel and suddenly hitting a checkpoint.

As for how to handle the drift while in a warp tunnel, that level of expertise is beyond me in terms of Physics. Perhaps a 3rd type of probe designed to pull ships out of warp over a massive area, but that does NOT naturally block warp of vessels already present. Or perhaps warp technology could advance slightly and eliminate the drift entirely.

As always your input is invaluable.

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In principle I agree with you. It would be interesting, and probably amusing as a former 'dictor pilot myself, to pull ships out of warp mid-warp, and not just somewhere on-grid at their destination.

But my question to you then is, “Okay, what would the mechanics be?”

If we rely purely on the line-of-warp intersecting the bubble as it works now, you end up with a situation like I describe above where the utility is limited and easily bypassed by using sufficiently large ping distances. Not really worth the effort to change things. To make this work anything like you’ve envisioned, CCP would have to greatly expand the influence of bubbles on ships already in warp. Say, a warp disruption range of 20km, just like now, but a “warp tunnel breaching range” that’s much larger, say 1000km. Kind of like how gravity well generators worked in Star Wars and other SciFi.

But the problem then is this: where would the ships being pulled out of warp land?

If 'dictors are truly just “breaching warp tunnels”, then the ships would land where their current warp path intersects this larger sphere, which means that they’d be well out of the range of the actual warp disruption bubble. They would be stopped, but they could just immediately warp off because there’s nobody there to tackle them. Not much fun.

In order to work as you envision, you’d have to do more than breach the warp tunnel, you’d also have to redirect it so the ships landed at the bubble instead of somewhere along their warp path. And once you go down that road, traditional on-grid stop/drag bubbles are suddenly so powerful that you probably wouldn’t need mid-warp bubbles anyways.

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m poo-pooing your idea. I actually like it in principle, but I can’t see any kind of consistent in-game mechanics where it would work and still be reasonable or useful.

Pretty sure that’s beyond all of us at this point. :wink:

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