Remove the need for instadock bookmarks

Currently when you warp to a station on the overview by clicking the dock button, there is a chance you land outside of docking range and are vulnerable. However, you can make bookmarks far enough inside the station’s docking range if you warp to them you can always dock (and if you set autopilot mid-warp to the station, you do it the same tick you land).

This leads to an unintuitive result where you, as a good hauler who doesn’t use autopilot can safely click the warp to gate button, which is automatically highlighted in your route, until the very last one, where you should go to your bookmarks, warp to the bookmark, and set autopilot mid-warp. Not only is this unintuitive and difficult for new players to learn, but it is not engaging and doesn’t add meaningful depth to travel. It is always correct to use instadocks, and in high sec, other than time, there is no cost in setting them up (and in low/null, its just a few minutes with a shuttle or something), so it doesn’t make it any more engaging or enjoyable, in fact, I’d argue it makes it less enjoyable than having an intuitive UI that won’t suggest you take unnecessary risks, it just increases the possibility of user error.

Making optimal gameplay annoying and tedious is bad game design. I’ve been told that previously the default warp to gates was like 10 km away and everyone needed bookmarks for them as well. This is no longer the case, and while you can land out of docking range from upwell structures, you land in tether range, so aren’t at risk (technically there’s the possibility of bumping, but that’s another matter). NPC stations are the only thing that appears on routes where this can happen, and I think it’s time to do away with it.

Possibilities to fix it in order of difficulty (by my completely uninformed estimation):

  1. Expand the docking range of stations to 2500m so you can’t land outside docking range.
  2. Make a beacon or something inside docking range you warp to by default, a sort of built in insta-dock bookmark or something.
  3. Make the warp to station by default put you at least 2500m within the station.
  4. Take away warp variance for warps to stations with the dock command.

I think 1 is probably the easiest fix, as star gates already are like that. 2 is a dirtier version of 4, which I think might be easier to implement, although warping to something and then immediately docking at something else might be difficult. 3 and 4 might require a complete reworking or warp mechanics. might lead to more weird bumping physics things and people getting thrown out of docking range, while 4 also might involve more ships landing inside each other collision stuff that can bump you out of range or something.

This is ignoring the “risk is part of the game argument” because I don’t think risk that’s so trivially avoidable is a good sort of risk. Eve is a hard game to learn, and the game encourages people to take this risk by highlighting the warp to station button, without people even realizing there is an alternative, which I don’t think is good game design.

If you really think that docking at NPC stations should always have a risk element, deadspace them so instadock bookmarks put you on the edge with everyone else, but “risk that is trivially mitigated by using an unintuitive combination of game mechanics you have to learn about from other players” sits unhappily in the middle. People will always make mistakes and warp at 30 instead of 0 or forget to dock, and gankers will always be able to catch careless players whether instadock bookmarks exist or not.

I completely disagree with that. The use of bookmarks to make your travel safer does not need to be intuitive, it is a very rewarding experience if you do it right, and the requirement to use insta-dock and insta-undock bookmarks also adds meaningful depth to the game.

The knowledge around insta-dock/undock bookmarks is one of those arcane areas of wisdom in EVE that you learn while you play and that require you to think around the corner/out of the box and use intelligence to gain an edge over those people who don’t do that. Gaining this knowledge requires you to have an open mind and be a good observer. These character qualities don’t need to be intuitive.

The experience of having them in the right circumstances and using them in the right circumstances is also very rewarding when you trick and play the hostiles that would have otherwise gotten you. It enables players to have this precious “haha played you” experiences that make EVE such a great experience.

They also introduce meaningful choices and gameplay depth to the game. If you take a risky courier, for instance, to a location where you don’t have a docking bookmark, and you notice a local full of people and a busy dscan and Zkill tells you the people are active and not very friendly, you have a couple of choices to make to stay safe. For instance, instead of going straight to the station, you could go to the moon of the station and check the grid first. Or you check the station out with your pod or a scout first and then go for the station.

These are all tactical choices and meaningful gameplay elements that this very little warp variance introduces to your gameplay and which enrich the experience of the game. Your suggestions remove these elements and experience for the sake of unwarranted and unnecessary convenience, and therefore make the game a poorer experience.

No, it is not an unhappy middleground. It is a perfectly fine solution to a problem that requires a little thinking. Your suggestions – both the removal of the docking risk or the introduction of unavoidable risk – are nothing but childish and uninformed suggestions speaking from lack of experience and understanding of game mechanics. A problem does not need to have exceedingly hard counters to be good gameplay and to offer meaningful choices.


Hmmm, the current status quo offers

  • a) a way to get an edge over other players by learning how to create and use bookmarks to your advantage
  • b) mechanics to create PvP-interaction by carefully positioning bumpers/hardtacklers at the edge of a stations docking range to catch people who are clueless/careless

Your suggestion would remove these opportunities and as a result would make the game more safe and boring, would it not?


EvE needs to keep space for human error and skill (else it wouldn’t be a game, right?). Also using instadock bookmarks is optional, you can warp at perfect 0 if you know how (hint: fleet formations).


I don’t really see a compelling need to change this. It’s just something on the learning curve. As an aside, I almost never use instadocks, and i cannot recall ever getting attacked on docking.


It’s very rare for instadocks to be helpful, and they are not really necessary unless you want to take extra effort to reduce the chance of survival when docking from, say, 99.9% to 99.99%*.

*(Numbers are made up on the spot for illustrative purposes, based on the fact that the vast majority of docking does go well, either within range or because there are no hostiles ready at that moment, and the fact that you could still die due to other reasons like lag and disconnects after exiting warp that still will be possible after a patch to instadocks).

People can easily go without instadock and never get attacked, except in that very rare case where you have an unfortunate landing and someone is availabe and ready to make use of this opportunity.

As instadocks are not really necessary for normal gameplay, and the current situation creates more possibilities of interaction than if the use of instadock bookmarks were patched out, I much prefer the current situation to be honest.

It allows knowledgable players to take the effort of additional measures to slightly increase their survivability, for example when they are carrying valuable freight or notice hostiles on the undock.

Isn’t that more fun than a simple game where all these interactions have been made irrelevant?


I agree with him. The mechanic is absolutely silly. (Just as is silly for gankers to sit at undock in plain sight and kill peoples at the sight of the empire NPCs)

The problem is that as you said, removing it would made the game too safe and more boring.

So I am fine with this being removed if there is a replacement mechanic to catch instawarping or cloaked ships outside nullsec. What would that be and how could that work, I have no clue…

a) Bookmarks are useful in a variety of cases to allow you to warp to places you can’t normally (tacticals, anomalies, etc). Having something be warpable in your overview but the option to warp from your overview not being optimal just seems silly to me. The “correct” bookmark being 2500m from where you warp to normally doesn’t seem like what bookmarks are supposed to be for.

Normally not warping to an insta dock doesn’t really start meaningful PvP, it’s a ganking opportunity. If you can’t quickly alpha the ship it can dock up. That isn’t exactly an interesting PvP opportunity most of the time, but has a lot of feelsbad potential.

Dyver Phycad: Would you be for allowing bookmarks to be warpable destinations for a route then as you seem to agree that once you have an insta dock bookmark, there is no meaningful decision making in using it?

Tipa Riot: Assuming that requires a the fleet formations skill to use (my guess is arrow?), making a skill tax to do it safely seems like even worse design. My issue is that the game encourages you to make these errors and has a clunky UI for avoiding them.

Brisc Rubal: Are you saying you agree but think its a minor enough issue it isn’t worth the effort of bringing to CCP, or do you actively support the status quo?

Gerard Amatin: IMO, hauling is really boring (my experience is with high sec hauling at least), but also has a clunky and unintuitive UI for the docking with instadock bookmarks. I view the instadock situation as adding more micro but not meaningful choices, and the current UI encourages not using them. As I said before, optimal gameplay annoying and tedious is bad game design. The game going “Press this highlighted button.” and in .1% of cases (using your example numbers) going “Oh, you pressed the button, you die!” is less fun than if the buttons the game suggests you press not having a .1% chance to get you killed, even if it removes a few other options. When I see the dock button, my assumption is that the fastest way to dock is to press that button. I think it is a UI issue that this isn’t the case.

Vokan Narkar: Isn’t the way to catch instawarpers outside of null/poch/wormholes “hope they make a mistake?” or smartbombs? For cloaked ships, decloaking via littering the area with cans, or beelining towards them when you see them break gate cloak. Sure, this’d make there be one less way to make a mistake, but UI encouraged mistakes

Sorry all if I tagged you/didn’t tag you according to normal forum etiquette. This is my first time on this forum so I’m still learning the ropes.

I don’t see any reason to change docking mechanics, just because some idiot players are too lazy to learn and adapt,


Yeas indeed and that includes the target not using instadock bookmark. Or using it, but because instadock bookmark is not automatic dock, then making mistake of not actually docking asap. So you are removing two conditions where the target can make mistake. Where is offset to this? I agree, the mechanic with docking range is stupid, but if you take it away you are only making it that much harder to catch anyone. What if the docking didn’t grant you invulnerability? The stupid mechanic would be gone, and the possibility to catch peoples would stay. Everyone happy, no? :smiley:

Btw smartbombing is doable in lowsec, not that much in highsec - it can be done, however since you lose your ship for doing so it doesn’t have much sense - if we use Maller as that is the only ISK-efficient option in highsec, then you need at least three to kill untanked covert ops. If that covert ops is tanked, then around six. Smartbombing an untanked BR would take maybe 15 mallers? And each maller needs to be controlled by real player because smatbombing is impossible to multibox without cheating. (And obviously each of those players must press the keys in perfect moment and in perfect order one by one otherwise server won’t register it and the bomb will not activate.)

As for cluttering overview, last time it was being used, GMs stepped in, cleaned it up and claimed it is against rules, something about causing other players to get lags.

EDIT: Oh I remember some guy suggesting to remove dock at zero when jumping. And to make it so that any bookmark in close proximity of the gate would kick you 10km out of gate anyway. Now that is the meaningful way to (non-consentually) PvP peoples with which we could make the game less dumber in other situations like docking and even undocking.

Once upon a time -before I started playing- the option to ‘warp to 0’ did not exist at all. You either warped at range and had to move the last km using your propulsion module, which meant that hauler sub-warp velocity actually mattered and there were plenty of moments to engage people in combat, or you used bookmarks at every gate to warp at 0.

I think the current situation that removed the necessity for bookmarks at every gate and station was enough of a compromise for convenience, as it sacrificed most of the possibility to interact with other pilots during their travels.

I don’t see why the last sliver of danger also needs to be patched out, especially since the insta-dock bookmarks rarely ever matter and the need goes unnoticed except in fringe cases.

No problem!

The usual way to tag someone on Discourse forums like these is to @ them, like @NeedsNames so the person gets a notification that they were mentioned, just like they get a notification when you reply to their post or quote them.

@Vokan_Narkar I think the docking invulnerability is to deal with client/server lag or something. I’d be fine with removing it as long as it didn’t mean people with lower pings dock faster or server issues would leave you vulnerable but unable to act.

I’m not married to the idea that there needs to be another risk to offset making it easier to catch instawarpers in HS, and I think the game would be better if it didn’t have that stupid mechanic even if it makes things safer. I don’t think they’re commonly caught in HS anyways. Nerfing the align time of the Hecate so it can’t be sub 1s and let people try to catch sub 2s with the proper instalock fit is an option.

I didn’t know that about cluttering. Still, there’s always drones and large ships with MWDs.

@Gerard_Amatin My problem is that what the game tries to get you to do and what is optimal aren’t the same, and its not well explained. The game will highlight the station dock button when you enter the system like it does gates, but unlike with gates, there’s a potential danger warping there, but there is a safe but clunkier way to do it. It therefore goes unnoticed until it screws players over in these fringe cases. The “correct” way being annoying with the UI and not what the game suggests, while the way the game suggests is usually fine but occasionally is a big loss for unclear reasons. It’s a bad mechanic as it pits player intuition and laziness against how the game actually works in a really asinine way. I’ve also been told that not all stations need instadocks to be instadock but no explanation of which do and which don’t or how to tell. The danger being completely avoidable if you understand an unintuitive mechanic makes it a noob trap, which IMO, is the exact opposite of what Eve needs more of.

I am pretty sure that the entire concept of MMOs is based on making things tedious and annoying. If you take away the tedium then you remove a huge reason that people log in - to “grind” and “relax.” If you take away the annoying part then there is no obstacle to overcome. What would be left? Skill? Then the 90% of people who were not gifted with any particular skill would stop logging in (and paying).

There is a difference between “go to bookmarks, warp to instadock, set autopilot” tedium and the tedium of mining or ratting or whatever. If hotkeys to activate modules were delayed 1 tick vs clicking on them, that makes clicking optimal over hotkeys, which I’m sure would make PvE slightly more tedious and annoying, but I don’t think that’s the sort of thing that draws players.

Tedium from navigating an unintuitive UI to play optimally is different than “grinding.” If optimal play involves a lot of finicky micro to remove the challenge but get better isk/hour (such as gaming wave spawns with safe logging when running Sotiyos) players will do that, but the fact that it is optimal to play that way is a sign of bad design.

What the mechanic does is allow you to gain a tactical advantage by visiting and scouting a location. What you do with that tactical advantage is up to you. There is no replacement mechanic for that. Yes, it can be tedious to set these bookmarks everywhere you want to go, but that’s the selfsame factor that makes the advantage an advantage instead of ubiquitous. Do you put in the effort to secure your travel, or do you hope that such preparation will not be necessary and save the time and effort for something else? That is the choice you make, and it is a meaningful one.

One could argue that the advantage is never clearly communicated, but the best way to do x in some game is a question I see people ask all the time. For any of these things, you could argue the game doesn’t adequately explain it so I don’t know where you draw the line between adequate explanation and advanced tactics you learn by experience or word of mouth from people who already have that experience.

The docking thing is a relatively minor inconvenience that only rarely results in any kind of loss or penalty. Especially for new players who would not be worthwhile to shoot. If you are worthwhile to shoot, then you should definitely be taking precautions. Losing a ship to ignorance happens. It happened to me, but I learned from my mistakes and asked questions and it happened less often. That’s part of the journey. It was something I liked and could describe to show I had grown as a pilot more than what was on my character sheet. It also gives pilots something to do that they can be slightly proud of. Creating these bookmarks for themselves or their corporation. It takes no SP to make bookmarks, and any player can contribute to creating them once they know how. As they or their corporation explore, they can grow a library of useful points and use it to smuggle goods out of dangerous space.

Is it a sensible mechanic? Probably not in a real world context. In a game context, though, it serves a purpose in allowing people with forethought an opportunity to think ahead and foil attempts to interdict their trade. It is a proactive avenue to secure your operations in space, and I don’t want to take away from pilots the chance to benefit by thinking ahead and laying groundwork today that they can use when the proverbial crap hits the fan.


Generally speaking, I’m going to support the status quo unless there’s a compelling reason to make a change. Here, it’s a minor complaint that likely isn’t easy to solve (otherwise it would have been that way in the first place - this has never struck me as a design choice) and doesn’t impact the vast majority of players, so I don’t see a need to change it.


Thats not how good insta-docking bookmarks are used. A good instadock bookmark not only leads you “just 2500m away” from the normal landing spot so you are at 0m. A good instadock bookmark makes you land at a tactical position at this station, maybe behind it, above it, below it… still at 0m but also 30 or 40km away from the undock spot where hostile ships will be waiting most of the time. And of course far away from the spot you would have normally landed when coming from your direction, evading smartbombers and bumpers. It allows you to evaluate the situation quickly and even make the decsion to warp/MJD away instead of docking at a camped station, because you cannot be instantly pointed/scrambled.

They can also be used to bait people to agress you far from the undock-spot (they might have more support docked at this station), so once they realize it was a bait, their support has to move like 40km instead of undocking right next to you. Or they can be used to warp long-range alpha (Oracles, Tornados, Nagas) to, to engage anyone who agressed a ship at the undock-spot, because from 40km you will make really good hits while they cannot dock (agression), are tackled by the bait that you undocked and can’t switch to your alpha-ships because they are too far away for their short-range weapons.


No, Bookmarks should involve manual piloting so that people need to make conscious decisions instead of leaving every decision-making to the system. Even if you have the insta dock bookmark, you still have to use it, which is a conscious thought process. There is not always a need to use it, even in Jita or Amarr where Tornado gankers wait for your mistakes 24/7.

I do not see where I would agree with you that there are no more meaningful decisions to make once you have an insta dock bookmark. I have given you several examples on how their use is always meaningful.
Continuing from the above example of not using the insta dock bookmark in Jita, one could even entertain this thought experiment: By not using it in a ship that can easily tank a gank attempt but is still juicy enough to trigger the attention of gankers, you waste their precious scan cycles and allow someone else to get away from them unharmed. It’s hypothetical, of course, but the potential exists, and that’s all that matters.

@Qia_Kare My point is that the dock button isn’t the best way to dock, and I don’t think overcoming “button doesn’t do what its supposed to do” is the sort of tactical advantage Eve should have. Sending scouts ahead, looking at zkill and eve-gatecheck, having insta-undocks and safes set all grant an advantage that isn’t just a triumph over the UI, and involve countering other player’s possible actions, not just the game having a chance of needlessly endangering you.

@Brisc_Rubal What is your threshold for significance? Obviously zkill doesn’t tell a complete picture, but it looks like someone has a billion+ loss from it every week or so. I can try to collect more accurate data, but if the bar is way higher than that it isn’t worth the time.

@Syzygium If docking range is extended to 2500m so you don’t need an instadock bookmark to dock, all of those “tac” uses are still there, as they should be. I don’t think the game should think for you in using a tac for other purposes. If you warp into a camped station without scouting, I’m fine if you’re stuck in a camped station, and understand their use in station games. Making it so the highlighted yellow button in your route the game wants you to press to dock will always land you within docking range doesn’t take any of those things away.

@Dyver_Phycad You still need to set it in the route, which is a conscious decision, what I’m proposing just allows you to plan ahead, which is the whole purpose of setting a route. If you had an instadock bookmark on a station you didn’t give a reason why someone wouldn’t want to use the instadock which my change would force them to do… None of the examples you gave are removed if you extend the docking range to 2500m.

With your example of distracting gankers, if you warp to the station at 10km, it’d have the same general effect right, or you could warp there and not dock immediately giving the gankers time to lock you? You can still check the grid first in the risky courier contract (and set up an insta undock or something).

You specifying that example being if you don’t have an instadock bookmark I took to imply you would just use the instadock bookmark if you had it, which is why I thought you might at least agree with making the process of using existing instadock bookmarks easier as a QoL improvement.

To summarize, what I see people bringing up as reasons not change it are:

  1. It is better to have an unintuitive/arcane mechanic that makes docking more dangerous than an intuitive one that makes it safer because danger is preferable and/or it makes more content and/or the enjoyment people get from learning and effectively using it outweighs the feelsbad of people not understanding it and getting screwed.
  2. Changing it is probably hard and it isn’t a big enough issue to be worthwhile.

Warping to 0 wasn’t always a thing. It became a thing because people created so many bookmarks for the advantage that it was causing server issues, but it was definitely intentional that you would warp some distance away from the object of your desire and slow boat the rest of the way. Warping to 0 as it is now reduces that advantage to a level that people do not create so many bookmarks that it becomes a server issue because it’s not as essential as it once was. For the most part, you can just mash the dock button and you will safely dock in short order. There is only a chance of being vulnerable for a short time while you slowboat 2,500m or less.

The dock button fulfills it’s function, and if you feel like doing some manual work you can do better than the automated option. The advantage has been reduced to a point where the server isn’t choked by an excess of saved bookmarks people think are indispensable. Another solution would be to disallow bookmarks inside the 0 ring, but the ability to have, or not have, this tactical advantage depending on whether you put the effort in to use it is meaningful. That is why instadocks are not a problem that needs solved, either by forcing folks to land outside of docking range or by allowing folks to automatically arrive inside docking range.