If collision damage were added to EVE Online a bunch of things could change drastically. Join me on a ride along the theory lane.
First things first: If we had to break down collision damage calculation on game design levels, I assume it would end up as something like comparing the mass of two ships and their relative speed at the time of impact. So when two internet spaceships collide at high speed, I am assuming the one with the higher mass would have the overall better chance of survival.
In reality a ton of other factors would of course play a role. But since I’m not working for NASA and Eve isn’t rocket science – let’s keep it that simple for now.
Mandatory Docking Bookmarks
One of the first things that would change is how we dock on stations: Everyone would want to have their own personal bookmarks, so one does not accidentally warp to the same spot in their little Frigate as the hundreds of times bigger Freighter. Just warping to the station from the overview would cause the risk of bumping into another ship that has bigger mass – a bump you might pay with a lot of hit points. Maybe even more than your ship has, and you go poof. 💥
Mechanics like bumping would suddenly be either a suicide mission, or very deadly for the one being bumped. Stabbers could not bump AFK-Orcas off their expensive mining drones. No more preventing warps of big ships via bumping as well.
Following that logic, a frigate approaching a Battleship at high speed to tackle it could kill itself just by smashing into the bigger ship. And the Battleship pilots could try to maneuver their ships into the path of the Frigate to let it intentionally smash into their hull.
What would happen when you try to bump something off tether? These ships are essentially invulnerable, but the ship trying to bump it off tether isn’t. Would the bumping ship take damage but the tethered on would not? Could you still bump off a bigger ship with smaller ones without them taking damage?
More “What If”s
Could an organized group form actual physical blockades on gates/stations if you had enough capital ships?
Or imagine a bulkhead-fitted Dominix, just ramming it’s way through the Jita/Perimeter gate and killing a dozen frigates in the process until it slams into the gate and almost breaks apart itself. Travelling would be really dangerous and suicide-ganking a Freighter might just need enough fast and heavy battleships to ram the target to death.
What happens if you use a Mirco Jump Drive to launch your vessel right into the model of a bigger ship? What values get applied to calculate the collision and damage?
Killing an exploration frigate with a cloaky cruiser would suddenly be pretty easy, almost trivial. Sneak up, uncloak, heat MWD and ram your target to death. No need to lock it up anymore. Everyone who has tried to bump an orbiting ship off citadel-tether will now say: “Easy counter! Just orbit the can.” And they are probably right.
And what would happen if you “crashed a gate”? In nullsec and lowsec it’s a common strategy to jump back the way you came from if you see an unfavorable situation. You literally burn back to the gate as fast as possible, with inertia being a thing, you often literally crash into the gate before the jump-command is processed. With collision damage in place, this could be equally deadly as the gate camp you try to get away from.
What happens when you anchor up? Would the shield be somehow enough to stop the individual ships from damaging each other? Is there a threshold of speed that needs to be reached before collision damage happens? Would this make MWD-doctrines impossible as they would reach the threshold and ram them self to death when anchored up?
What happens when you FC forgets to select a fleet formation, or chooses the space between individual ships too small? Would a fleet grind itself to death when the ships get reformed mid-warp? Or would they just go up in a ball of fire, landing all at the same spot?
What would happen when you jump with the 255 other Titans in the fleet to the cyno? With such big ships, there is a very high chance people spawn at least partially within each other. Nowadays people just get bumped off. But if collisions would be checked in that scenario, some ships could take serious damage from just jumping to a cyno.
Actual suicide attacks could become a viable strategy on large scale: A wing of expendable ships with very high mass ramming into a bigger ship at very high speed to dismantle it… But who would get the killmail for this?
Would kinetic resistance values play a role to mitigate such attacks?
Would the Phantasm get a hull-bonus to inflicted collision damage? (Spikes and stuff)
What happens when you place a high mass ship at the edge of a bubble and a fleet of frigates warps right on top of it? Would the frigates take damage because they crashed into the bigger ship? After the ships started moving, at what point do you start to calculate the damage?
There are a lot of unanswered questions of what would happen here. Probably too many to make this a idea a feasible change any time soon™. But one thing is safe to say: It would change a lot.
This post was inspired by: r/Eve/ramming/