Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Blog Banter #8: "We're caught in a tractor beam! It's pulling us in!"

Welcome to another installment of the EVE Blog Banter, a monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter invites enthusiastic EVE bloggers to address a common topic for a period of one week. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Direct questions about the EVE Blog Banter to Crazy Kinux. Links to other EVE Blog Banter articles will be listed at the end of this post as they become available.
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!"
-Han Solo

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.

  1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
  2. Life in Lowsec, Blog Banter #8: The Exasperation Factor
  3. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
  4. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
  5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
  7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
  8. Achernar, Unique adventures
  9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
  10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
  11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
  12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
  13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
  14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
  15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
  16. A Mule in EVE, Expanding EVE
  17. Letrange's EvE Blog, 8th Blog Banter
  18. Roc's Ramblings, Blog Banter #8
  19. The Nude Nerd, Blog Banter #8
  20. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #8: Charisma Tanking
  21. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #8: It’s Like Tetris for OCD People
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot, EVE blog banter #8: Killing in the name of
  23. Talk Unfraid, Physical Communications
  24. Sceadugenca, EVE Blog Banter #8: Fighter-Class Ships and Sqadrons
  25. Kyle Langdon's Journeys in EVE, 8th Blog Banter
  26. Into the Unknown, Eve Blog Banter #8: Player Bases
  27. EVE's Weekend Warrior, EVE Blog Banter #8
  28. Life in Low Sec, Blog Banter #8: The Exasperation Factor
  29. Symptom of a Greater Cure, EVE Blog Banter: #8 - Tug Me Away
  30. EVE Journey, OOC - EVE Blog Banter #8: Marine Leader : “We have secured the ship, Sir!”
  31. Thoughts from an Accidental Minmatar Revolutionary, All Hands on Deck! We are at War!
  32. Ripe Lacunae, Into the Great Unknown (Eve Blog Banter 8)
  33. Mdhi Lihu's EVE Online Blog, 009 - Blog Banter #8
  34. Break Vol, EVE Blog Banter #8
  35. Inanity and Doom, EVE Blog Banter #8 - If I Ran The Universe
  36. More to come...


  1. Interesting! It does fit the science-fiction tropes, as you point out, and it would provide another reason for fitting tractor beams on a ship besides loot-and-salvage duty at the end of the fight.

    But yes, there would have to be a way for the locked-on ship to "break" the tractor, given enough effort.

    - Erbo Evans, Abbot, Rho Alpha Delta

  2. Maybe not on small ships but this kind of thing fitted to capital ships with the possibility of boarding parties could be interesting.

  3. I ran with about the same idea on my blog.

  4. /me remembers tractor beams being used in X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. What pain in the ass they were when used by a good pilot...