This month's topic comes from Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, who asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."
"We're caught in a tractor beam! It's pulling us in!"
Remember the scene in Star Wars IV when Leia's Corellian corvette was caught by the Star Destroyer's tractor beam and is being pulled into the hangar?
Tractor beams in EVE only work on objects like wrecks or containers and are mainly used for looting. What about a more dynamic, aggressive approach?
Why not make a tractor beam lockable to a ship? Depending on ship's mass, speed, thrust, size of the beam, and skill of the pilot a large ship could drag a small one closer, or a small one could use a tractor beam to hold on to a bigger one that's moving fast to stay close as if using a towline.
Tractor beams could be used in PVP like a mixture of a warp scrambler and a web. Flying towards each other, two ships would be accelerated using a tractor beam while on the other hand would be slowed down when flying away from eachother. A tractor beam would make it difficult to escape, but not impossible.
A small ship with high thrust could be able to out-maneuver or break free or maybe there are defensive modules to counter a tractor beam. Maybe tractor beams would have tracking speed like turrets do?
A lot of different tactics come to mind. The obvious being the battleship pulling frigates into smartbombing range. A flight of small ships with microwarp drives could drag a clumsy freighter to help him align (or prevent it from doing so). Locking a tractor beam to a ship would be an act of aggression so you won't be able to drag a hauler out of sentry range at a gate without getting shot at, but you would be able to drag him away from the gate in order to prevent him from jumping.
This could make Marauders interesting not only for highsec mission runners, but also for PVP pilots since those massive ships get a bonus to tractor beams.
I neither fly these costly vessels, nor do I like big massive ships in general. However, I think it could bring some interesting tactics and dynamics to space fights.
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