Hobojamming in High Sec

Plus one.

With the launch of Phoebe, CCP removed the ability of a single Interdictor from locking a capital or several capital ships in a null sec station. This “hobojamming” technique was deemed too powerful, since it allowed a single player to disrupt larger groups all too well.

You’ve got that look on your face again.

Specifically, CCP Fozzie said:

Another of the many mechanics that we’re looking at for Phoebe is he so-called “hobojamming” mechanic. This is the mechanic where an interdictor pilot can undock from a station, drop a bubble to block capital ships from leaving the station and then immediately redock before being locked.

In general we like to have lots of good methods for disrupting larger groups, but this “undock-bubble-dock-repeat” mechanic doesn’t provide enough risk to the dictor pilot to be properly balanced.

So after Phoebe if a player in an interdictor docks in a station that shares a grid with some of his warp disruptor probes, those probes owned by the docking pilot will be automatically destroyed.

We believe that this change provide us the best solution to to keeping the station-camping gameplay balanced while avoiding breaking other aspects of interdictor gameplay.

In order to disrupt large SOV alliances, the “irrelevant” residents of my corner of NPC null sec gate camp, station camp, blow up random cynos, and basically do what we do to impede SOV holders from moving between high sec and null.  We really don’t like letting one guy move their stuff for them. With the hobojamming mechanic, one pilot could hold a carrier or jump freighter on a dock for as long as they had warp disruption bubbles in the station.

Some people thought it was unfair, because the interdictor pilot was able to do this solo with minimal risk.  I suppose that one lowly interdictor pilot keeping a multi-billion ship trapped in a station, preventing them from continuing on their way could suck if you’re the capital pilot.  You basically had to have some friends come out in attack battlecruisers or two available to alpha the dictor to stop him.  But then that’s only if the ‘dictor pilot let their invulnerabilty end before they redocked.

Session timer for the win. 

Supposedly this could force a jump freighter or carrier pilot to bring friends to escort their capital from point A to point D.    Highly inconvenient for someone doing solo logisitics to be locked down by another player also playing solo.

I remembered this today and I wondered, if by using the hobojamming mechanic, the interdictor pilot was not under enough risk while trapping a carrier or jump freighter in a station, how does that compare to a Typhoon or Machariel pilot, bumping a freighter on a gate for hours at a time?

Way I see it, if the capital pilot is solo, the interdictor pilot could bubble them forever. If the freighter is solo, a bumping pilot can hold them forever.  Due to game mechanics, neither the interdictor or bumping ship are vulnerable to attack, the interdictor due to the the session timer on undocking, the bumping ship due to high speed, EHP and/or CONCORD.

Now, we’ve been told that in order to handle a threat, the pilot under duress requires friends to come help them.

CCP Falcon said:

If you want your haulage to be safer, bring the guns. If you don’t have any guns, sacrifice some of your profit margin and hire someone who has them to escort you.

But since Phoebe, the expectation for a pilot to bring friends to protect them while they do housekeeping logistics functions is only placed upon the pilots in high sec.

Use subcapitals to support capitals in null sec?

Crazy, I know.  Jump capable capital pilots don’t need friends.

They just need cyno alts.

In reality, the high sec freighter or null sec capital pilot, is playing solo. But it’s not solo-ship-exploding-pvp solo, which makes it bad. According to CCP, the only good solo play needs to have some threat of players exploding other players spaceships.

Now the bumping pilot or interdictor pilot is also playing solo, but it’s cool solo pvp, because their might be some sort of player loss at the end of it.  But wait, since the interdictor pilot is interfering with the non-combat solo play of capital movement, it’s not cool.

In the end, we have a pilot in duress in null sec get a boost from CCP to allow SOV pilots to play their game, but the pilot in duress in high sec gets his time wasted until the bumper pilot enough guys get online to nuke his ship.

In general, we like to have lots of good methods for disrupting larger groups, but this “bumping” mechanic doesn’t provide enough risk to the bumping pilot to be properly balanced.

Unlike CCP, I don’t think bumping freighters in high sec is very balanced. Why they don’t see it for what it is, and apply consistent criteria when they make the rules, I just don’t know.

Why do you care Bren?  You live in null sec.

I think it’s because I live free in null sec that I recognize how wrong the bumping mechanic is.

Minus one.