If you've been on a trip through the nullsec regions of EVE, chances are you've seen a warp disruption bubble. Interdictors can drop bubbles as warp disruption probes and Heavy Interdictors can produce a field around their ship with the same effect. There's even an anchorable mobile warp disruptor structure that comes in three different sizes. Not only do they all prevent someone inside the field from initiating warp, they also intercept the warp streams of ships passing through the bubble. If there's a bubble on the same grid (roughly within 400-1000km) as the object you're warping to and it's in line with your warp path, it blocks your warp tunnel. Your ship drops out of warp on the edge of the bubble instead of continuing on to your destination.
By warping from one stargate to another at a distance or using the align feature, you can anchor a bubble at the second stargate which is in line with the first gate. Anyone warping from the first stargate to the second will be caught in the trap. A neat trick is that you don't even need to put the bubble on the correct side of the stargate. The game only checks if the angle of your warp tunnel intersects with the bubble and doesn't check if it's physically blocking your ship. Placing a bubble behind the second stargate but still in line with the first will cause ships warping to the gate to be sucked into your trap, right past the gate. The main tactical advantage of this is in precision. When placing the bubble on the opposite side of the gate, you can easily line it up by flying to a spot from which the icons for both stargates physically overlap. You can get away with using smaller, cheaper bubbles and can place them accurately at greater distances from the gate. The confusion a victim suffers when they think they've reached the gate and get pulled 40km further out can also help secure kills.
One of the oldest and most controversial tactics used in EVE is bumping - physically ramming someone's ship to move them. EVE doesn't cause any damage for collisions, instead opting for rubber-ball type physics between ships. By ramming someone else's ship at great speed and with a high enough mass, you can send them flying off at above their normal maximum speed. It can take between a few seconds and a minute for a bumped ship to counteract the bump and return to its normal speed depending on the ship's mass, its inertia modifier and the intensity of the bump.
Bumping has been employed in the destruction of numerous titans to prevent them from aligning to warp. It was also the only way to prevent a mothership from escaping in low security space prior to the invention of Heavy Interdictors with their focused warp disruption fields. One of the main reasons people bump, however, is to get someone outside the dock range of a station or the jump range of a stargate. Because having a potential route of escape like a station or stargate can dramatically decrease your chance of dying, a lot of people in empire space cling to the docking range of stations during fights. Bumping is currently the only way to get these people out of docking range and to guarantee a kill.
These are just a few of the unusual tactics EVE players have learned over the years. We teach them to new corp members and pass them from one generation of player to the next. Everyone has their own little tricks and tips they've found to give them an edge in combat, from interceptor orbit tricks to decloaking techniques. Do you have a particularly useful tip or a clever tactic you use a lot? Leave a comment and let us know what it is.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com.