Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Blog Banter, Fiction
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to the ninth installment of the EVE Blog Banter and its first contest, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This is my submission for the Blog Banter challenge, run by CrazyKinux. The subject is: “Last month Ga’len asked us which game mechanic we would most like to see added to EVE. This month Keith “WebMandrill” Nielson proposes to reverse the question and ask what may be a controversial question: Which game mechanic would you most like to see removed completely from EVE and why? I can see this getting quite heated so lets keep it civil eh?”


Solar winds swept a multicoloured corona across the atmosphere of the first planet; coruscating light played like sprites dancing a whirlygig chase. I knew it was merely plasma, but the movement made it seem almost alive. An organic part of the lifesphere that we called a system. Random electrons and protons had never seemed so curious. Truly here was the work of God. The divine in motion, evidence for all of those unbelievers that a higher hand guided all things.

Still, I drew my gaze away and forced my thoughts back to the matter at hand. All around my compatriots waited. Serried ranks of glittering metallic craft , golden in reflected light, as we awaited the order to warp. This war had only been active a week or so, but had already seen many losses on both sides. Their losses were by far the pricier; command vessels, battleships and even that jump freighter. A smile played across my face at the memory. A fat, slow target, rammed to the gunnels with expensive electronics and valuable cargo. Surely someone must have forgotten to tell him that they were at war, for why else would he be snoozing in his capsule as the autopilot drifted his valuable vessel into the clutches of our fleet. Still, we’d had our losses too – a hundred or more firgates , destroyers and cruisers. Cheap, certainly, but still we felt each loss. This time we stood to cost them a fleet issue Tempest. Our scouts had tracked him across the region, and we knew where he was, and we had managed to tempt him out…

The comm unit crackled to life with the order to jump. Fantastic! He’d left the safety of the station and now we had him! The computer engaged the warp drive, as I readied for a fight.

I’d jumped to my optimals, a scant 10 clicks out from the target, and there he was. I recited in my mind the sequence, wrote learned so many years ago. Target, point, web… got him! My fellow tacklers had all done the same, and he was held. Our damage support were working hard on his shields, and all looked good. Shields at 50%… 30%… 10% – he’s into armour now! 70%… 50%… 30%… where’s he gone? Lazers sailed through space that he formerly occupied, yet we knew that his warp drives were jammed. Where…. oh.

The public comm channel filled with our fleet commanders voice… he did not sound happy.

“This is Amarr vice-admiral Clunes to Amarr Navy station control.”

“Yes, sir. This is Amarr Navy station, go ahead.”

“Do you have a Minmatar Fleet issue Tempest docked within? One that few moments ago we were fighting here?”

“Yes, sir. We do.”

“Would you care to explain to me, exactly, what you are doing, giving shelter to a war target?”

“Uhhh, sir. You know that we can’t take sides in this. This is a matter between your corporation and his. This is not a matter for the Amarr Navy. As long as he doesn’t attack any of you, he’s free to dock and undock as many times as he’d like.”

“But his corporation has declared war on us! Us! I myself have spent years working for you and yours, my loyalty to the Amarr Navy is beyond reproach, acknowledged by Kezti Sundara himself even! I have killed thousands of minmatar on your behalf, and yet here you are, telling me that you can’t, or won’t, stop this war target of ours from hiding in your station!”

“That’s correct, sir. Corporation policy, you understand.”

“Can’t we… Fleet! Engage, engage, engage!”

He was out again. Undocked and floating out of the docking bay! I repeated the procedure, target, point, web… and locked him down again. This time he reached 45% armour before he redocked.

“Vice-admiral Clunes to Amarr Navy station control”

“Yes, sir?”

“He did it again, did you see that?”

“Yes, sir.”


“Well what, sir?”

“Well, are you going to kick him out?”

“No, sir, I’m afraid….”

“Wait! look I’ve just used the neocom to check his standings… you don’t even like him!”

“No sir – this pilot has accounted for a fair number of our people in combat operations over the years.”

“So, let me get this straight… he is an enemy pilot, in a formally declared war with your allies, who are sat outside your station; and you won’t turf him out?”

“No sir. Corporation policy dictates that we let him dock and undock at will, as long as he doesn’t attack anyone. That we hate him makes no difference. That he’s at war, makes no difference. That the war is with our allies, makes no difference. He’s free to dock and undock whenever he’d like.”

“That’s insane! Do you hear me? Insane!”

“Sir, it is not for me to make value judgements on the sanity or otherwise of regulations. Rules are rules, after all.”

“Now, you listen to me, you little…”

I switched the channel off to avoid the inevitable volley of abuse.

Twice more the Tempest undocked, letting us waste valuable energy and time, before redocking. Each time his laughing was audible over the public channels. The more he laughed, the more it felt as an affront to all Amarr. And the more that the Vice-admiral swore. I’d suggested that the station control might be amenable to a bribe, but it seemed not. We’d tried to lure the enemy into shooting at us, but of course he would not. Our fine work with the corporation that controlled the station seemed to count for nothing. We even tried bumping him out of docking range, but the ring on the station was far too wide, and whilst we were able to move him, he was always able to dock.

After three hours, we gave up. These docking games were neither productive nor fun. We went home. I understand that the Vice-admiral was in a  rage for weeks.


So there we go. I think that this illustrates the mechanic that I’d like to see removed. Namely, the ability of targets in combat to dock. I don’t care whether they have aggressed or not, I think that if you are fighting, you should not be able to dock. Perhaps, standings could be used to influence this. If you are +5 or above with a corp, perhaps they’ll let you dock if you are under attack. But anyone below that can’t dock during combat. The mechanics that allow docking games are flawed, frustrating and should be removed or changed.

Eve hi-sec war is a slightly flawed mechnic in and of itself – but I can see the reasons for it. Docking games simply add a layer of frustration to it, that is both unecessary and not fun.

Thanks for reading.

List of Participants:

  1. Diary of a Space Jockey, Blog Banter: BE GONE!
  2. EVE Newb, (EVE) Remove You
  3. Miner With Fangs, Blog Banter – It’s the Scotch
  4. The Eden Explorer, Blog Banter: The Map! The Map!
  5. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, “Beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, mushroom, MUSHROOM!!!”
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Kill the Rats
  7. Mercspector @ EVE, Scotty
  8. EVE’s Weekend Warrior, EVE Blog Banter #9
  9. A Merry Life and a Short One, Eve Blog Banter #9: Why Won’t You Die?
  10. Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey
  11. The Flightless Geek, EVE Blog Banter #9: Remove a Game Mechanic
  12. Sweet Little Bad Girl, Blog Banter 9: Who is Nibbling at My House?
  13. One Man and His Spaceship, Blog Banter 9: What could you do without?
  14. Life in Low Sec, EVE Blog Banter #9: Stop Tarnishing My Halo
  15. Cle Demaari: Citizen, Blog Banter #9: Training for all my men!
  16. A Mule in EVE, He who giveth, also taketh away?
  17. Dense Veldspar, Blog Banter 9
  18. Morphisat’s Blog, Blog Banter #9 – Randomness Be Gone !
  19. Facepalm’s Blog, EVE Blog Banter #9: What a new pilot could do without
  20. Memoires of New Eden, You’re Fired
  21. Kyle Langdon’s Journeys in EVE, EVE Blog Banter #9 Titans? What’s a Titan?
  22. Achernar, The gates! The gates are down!
  23. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #9: Down with Downtime!
  24. I am Keith Neilson, EVE Blog Banter #9-F**K Da Police
  25. Ripe Lacunae, The UI… Where do I begin… (Eve Blog Banter #9)
  26. Clown Punchers, EvE Blogs: What game mechanic would you get rid of?
  27. Estel Arador Corp Services, You’ve got mail
  28. Epic Slant, Let Mom and Pop Play: EVE Blog Banter #9
  29. Deaf Plasma’s EVE Musings, Blog Banter #9 – Removal of Anchoring Delay of POS modules
  30. Podded Once Again, Blog Banter #9 – Do we really need to go AFK?
  31. Postcards from EVE, 2009.
  32. Harbinger Zero, Blog Banter #9 – War Declarations & Sec Status
  33. Warp Scrammed, Blog Banter 9 – Never Too Fast
  34. Ecaf Ersa (EVE Mag), Can a Tractor Tractor a Can?
  35. Thoughts from an Accidental Minmatar Revolutionary, EVE Blog Banter #9 – Aggression timers, WTs and Stargates
  36. Mike Azariah, I don’t put much stock in it…
  37. Rettic’s Log, Blog Banter: Overview Overload
  38. A Sebiestor Scholar, [OOC] EVE Blog Banter #9: Slaves
  39. Diary of a pod pilot, [OOC] EVE blog banter #9: Because of Falcon
  40. Roc’s Ramblings, Blog Banter #9 – Taking Things Slow
  41. The Gaming-Griefer, EVE Sucks, But I Love It: The Memoir of a Masochist
  42. Letrange’s EVE Blog, Blog Banter #9: Bye Bye Learning Skills
  43. Lyietfinvar, Remove that monopoly
  44. Sceadugenga, Blog Banter #9
  45. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #9
  1. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  2. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  3. Shae Tiann says:

    This is the reason I prefer never to engage on stations, and why I got tired of highsec wars. Maybe the introduction of a mechanic that makes it impossible for a ship to dock if it’s being targeted, similar to the mechanic that prohibits boarding a ship while it’s locked? (I’d hesitate to apply that system to jumping through gates, since rats hang about them in low/nullsec, but that might actually work, too).

    • ChainTrap says:

      Yeah – it really does suck a lot of the fun out of hi sec war, which is why it qualified for my blog post. I seem to have spent most of the last 6 weeks in a state of war, and so it has come to matter quite a lot.

      The idea of linking it to standings with the corp that controls the station quite appealed. It does give you an opportunity to run to a safe house, even if it’s camped. But stops the pointless and frustrating in-out in-out docking games.

      I’d hesitate to use it on gates too, though, as I like the gate camp mechanics as they are.

  4. Ga'len says:

    Interesting concept. Would add a whole new level to empire wars. Interesting…

  5. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  6. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  7. Cle Demaari says:

    Instead of just globally not allowing ships to dock under these circumstances, maybe create a module that interferes with the target’s ability to contact the stations docking systems.

    This way it’s a decision that someone has to make to give up a slot to prevent docking vs. using it for something else.

  8. […] a Short One, Eve Blog Banter #9: Why Won’t You Die? 11. Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey 12. The Flightless Geek, EVE Blog Banter #9: Remove a Game Mechanic 13. Sweet Little Bad Girl, Blog […]

  9. […] a Short One, Eve Blog Banter #9: Why Won’t You Die? Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey The Flightless Geek, EVE Blog Banter #9: Remove a Game Mechanic Sweet Little Bad Girl, Blog Banter […]

  10. […] Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  11. manasi says:

    Station Camping sucks ass for precisely this reason…great post! and very good Idea I would be most happy if this mechanic were removed.

  12. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  13. […] Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  14. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  15. rocwieler says:

    I almost posted on this topic, but specifically in regards to faction warfare.

    It infuriates me when I have a fleet in Dal attacking invading Amarr, and suddenly some Matari docking manager under CONCORD sanctions says “Sure, you all can dock up here.”

    It’s utterly bogus. You’re either an enemy, or you’re not.

  16. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  17. Selina says:

    I agree and disagree. Really, only aspect I agree with is that you shouldn’t be able to dock in a station owned by an NPC corporation you have horrible standing with.

    Other than that, if you don’t fire, you should be allowed to dock. Thinking about it IC. You may be at war with them but a station wanting to remain neutral is left with a choice. Deny the person the right to dock and live, upsetting his corporation when he gets blown to bits? Or allow the person to dock and live and upsetting the attacking corporation. So the station allows it and saves the lives of ship and crew. Sides, why you standing right outside their docking bay anyways? shooting your guns towards the bay when you see them undock? What if you missed and hit the station?!

    Now OOC. Taking away the ability to dock without having fired a shot would really complicate things. Good for gankers declaring war on purely industrial corporations, good for those who got declared war upon by some high-sec ganker corporation who thought they could get in some easy kills and instead had the tables turned on them. Bad for those who are in said industrial corp. Bad for those who undock at a low sec station after seeing a pirate come in system. Think “oh crap. time to go” but too late. Or said pirate sees numerous people in local, checks a station, sees most inside it, sits outside the station camping them in till they exit not realizing he’s out there because there’s no “windows” to look outside first and see if there is danger right outside waiting, so instead you gotta poke your nose out and have a looksie?

    • ChainTrap says:

      I do see where you are coming from here. From an IC perspective I think that most corps would simply wash their hands of the whole sorry affair – you want to fight, fine – but you don’t get to come into our station unless we actually like you.

      From the OOC pov, sure it would be a pain for the industrial corps. But hi sec war is currently anyway. Come out of a stationin an industrial whilst at war and then try to redock. If there are any bad guys outside the station currently in anything with any decent guns you’re going to struggle, simply because you are so slow and fragile. I would suggest that it would be better to implement this system where you could poke your head out in a shuttle… if there is someone outside, just warp away. If not redock and get your indy out. Or have a corp mate come and check the status… or use a JC to get out of there. It’s not like you’d have few options. And if your standing was high enough, I’d like to think you’d be eligible to dock.

      The ideal world solution would be for WiS to include the opportunity to look out of the station windows. But that might be a way off.

  18. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  19. Yep, this is exactly the problem. You are advocating permitting one side to force an engagement. And the fact that people in the station can’t even look outside makes things even worse.

    Just stop and think for a minute how a group of players get their kicks griefing people would abuse your proposed mechanic. Jita 4-4 would be camped 23/7 by Nasty Online Orbiting Gankers (NOOGs). Stations would become much more dangerous than gates, because at least on gates you would have a chance to burn back and jump through again.

    • ChainTrap says:

      I’m not sure I follow your point. I’m not suggesting any change to any mechanic except the ability to dock whilst under fire. So if your NOOGs sit outside jita, they’ll find themselves getting concordokkened everytime they kill someone – effectively a suicide gank – which they can already do. If they are only attacking WTs, then fair enough, it’s pretty much exactly the same as now, except that I can’t undock and redock – so I have to undock and make a run for it (in something small with a fast align and warp) – or wait for a pick up fleet from my corp to come and rescue me (which is SOP for E Uni in times of war).

      The real problem is that the people who can play docking games aren’t industrial pilots, or n00bs in n00bships, they are people in well tanked BS and the like, and they do it because they can take a beating.

      One side can almost always force an engagement, if they find an opponent in a vulnerable situation. That’s kinda the point. War is supposed to be about fighting, not about leaping in and out of stations whilst talking smack in local. That’s not war, that’s just annoying.

  20. Thorvik says:

    I agree 100%. During my time in FW it absolutely amazed me that the Amarr Navy station would allow us, the Minmatar Militia, dock up, repair and buy ammo at regular prices. The same, regrettably, held true in Minmatar territory. How dare the republic navy allow my enemies to seek shelter in our stations! Perhaps if they were bribed to do so, then I could understand a bit better.
    My banter was in a similar vein in that I want the to be able to pursue a WT through a gate if I’ve paid the CONCORD bribe and have permission to shoot him!

  21. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  22. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  23. crazykinux says:

    Congrats on winning the 2nd prize for the contest!

  24. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

  25. […] Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey […]

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