I was surprised lately to see that many people either do not know about insta-undock bookmarks, or do not bother to make them. I must admit that it seemed quite mystic to me at first when these bookmarks were mentioned in chat, so I decided to write up a small guide.
Version: 1.2, 13.06.2015
Table of contents:
What is an insta-undock bookmark?
In short, it is a bookmark that lets you warp away from a station almost instantly upon undocking. The main advantage is that it is a lot harder to catch your ship on undocking (almost impossible with fast ships), or to avoid getting tangled up in those writhing masses of ships you will find when undocking from crowded stations like Jita 4-4. This is especially handy in wartime.
It is worth mentioning here that insta-undock bookmarks are a nice tool to complement the existing invulnerability you have when undocking. To clarify, when you undock:
- The session and invulnerability timers start
- After 15 seconds: The session timer expires, you can re-dock or jump to a cyno.
- After 30 seconds: The invulnerability timer expires
The invulnerability timer means you cannot be targeted during those 30 seconds, which gives you a good window in which to assess the situation. However, the moment you start doing something active like aligning to warp, activating a module or turning the ship the invulnerability timer will stop.
Hint: Pressing CTRL+Space to stop your ship does not break the invulnerability timer.
In the case of an insta-undock bookmark, the delay between the EVE server receiving the warp command and potential attackers being able to act means that it is virtually impossible to catch you – unless you have a bad bookmark that takes too long to align to.
How to create an undock bookmark?
When undocking, your ship is always ejected from the station from the same location, and your ship is already at escape velocity. You simply need a point in space straight ahead from this location to enable you to warp off instantly. Just follow these simple steps:
- Take a fast small ship, preferably with a Microwarpdrive (a shuttle will do with some patience)
- Undock with the ship, and fly as straight ahead from the station as you can
- Tip: use the tactical overlay to align your ship
- Go as far as a minimum of 300 km, I recommend going further out if you have the patience (600+ km)
- When you are ready, press CTRL+B to bookmark your current position.
Hint: alternatively, you can open the People & Places window and click the “Add location” button to add the bookmark.
Hint: in market hubs, try making an off-grid undock bookmark for when you haul precious cargo: 1000+ km from the station.
Next you can dock back at the station, and test your bookmark. How well it works depends on how straight in line of the undock location you managed to make it. If your ship has to turn a bit before warping, you may want to fine-tune the bookmark a bit. Especially larger ships will take longer to turn even that slight bit, which can be critical.
Fine-tuning undock bookmarks
If your ship still has to align slightly to warp off, you can tweak the bookmark to make it better. In essence, you do it like this:
- Note the angle that your ship turns when aligning to the bookmark (a big, slow ship is best for this)
- Warp out to your bookmark
- Move your ship in the opposite direction of the angle you had to turn to warp
- Example: your ship aligns towards the top right on undock: you have to move to the bottom left to compensate
- Move ahead in that direction, creating several bookmarks along the way
- Dock back up, find out which of the bookmarks you created works best
- Repeat the process if necessary
It really sounds more difficult than it is, I think the only real issue here is patience. Personally I have come to enjoy my good undock bookmarks immensely, often cackling manically when I leave everyone slowboating away from the station.
Circumventing anti-undock bookmark techniques
Undocking from Jita 4-4 lately, I noticed an interesting mechanic gankers used to counter undock bookmarks: they set up a cordon of mobile depots in line with the undock location, straight ahead for 600+ kms. The logistics of this feat aside, the effect is that with a good undock bookmark, you end up right next to one of these mobile depots. If you have a ship with a cloak, it will not engage because of the proximity, and anyone can warp next to you using the mobile depot closest to you. A recipe for disaster or success, depending on which side you are.
The counter-countermeasure in this case is simply to create an undock bookmark that goes out further than they are prepared to build and maintain their mobile depots cordon, or to use a bookmark with a deliberate angle so you do not end up close to them, sacrificing a slight undock delay for safety out there. Obviously this is a market hub specialty – only in a hub will this gargantuan effort make sense.
Personally this brought home the fact that when in a hub, you should be even more observant than usual. Simply trusting your undock bookmark is not enough.
How to create docking bookmarks?
Now that we have covered undock bookmarks, how about making docking safer? For a while now, some people have specialized in catching ships in the short time it takes the docking procedure to be accepted when arriving at a station. This is further complicated by the fact that the warp-in landing position for some stations is too far away from the stations themselves. In the worst cases, you have to approach the station after leaving warp to be able to dock, which is less than ideal in, say, a freighter.
To create a docking bookmark, this is the simplest way:
- Warp to 0 to the target station
- Approach the station as closely as you can (use a small ship preferably)
- Press CTRL+B to bookmark your position
With this bookmark, you ensure that by warping to it, you will exit warp right on top of the station. Next, let’s see how to use it:
- Set the station as destination
- Warp to the bookmark
- During the warp, engage the autopilot
To explain: your bookmark will let you drop right on the station, but coming out of warp so close there is a good chance you will be bumped back away from it. By setting the autopilot, the command to dock will be processed on the EVE server before that, so that you will be effectively instadocked. Using this technique, even freighters can instadock and be virtually unassailable.
Tips for naming your bookmarks
This is open to much debate, and everyone will have his own system to name bookmarks, but with a lot of bookmarks having a system to categorize or tag them can help a lot.
Personally I like being verbose, and mostly just having one home station per system it will look like this for example:
If you want a real naming system, I suggest having a look here:
For the right-click menu in space, since the bookmarks are ordered alphabetically, it can make sense to name your docking bookmarks so they appear on top, by prepending characters that appear first (numbers and special characters).
A good alternative is just using folders: put all your undock bookmarks in a “Undock” folder, and all docking bookmarks in a “Docking” folder. That way, in the right-click menu you can use the appropriate folder. The only downside being that it may not be good to fiddle around with submenus when in a hurry.
To share bookmarks with fleet buddies or to trade them in station:
- Open People & Places, find your bookmark
- Press and hold SHIFT
- Drag the bookmark to your cargo hold or hangar
A copy of your bookmark will be created as a voucher item that you can trade or move around like a regular cargo item. To add it as a bookmark again, you simply drag this into the People & Places window. If you do not press the SHIFT key, the bookmark will be moved, not copied. Be careful with this, as it happened to many people before to lose bookmarks this way!
Hint: copying works between folders in People & Places as well.
1.2 – 13.06.2015
– Added keyboard shortcut for creating a bookmark
– Rewrote docking bookmarks section based on community feedback
– Added bookmark naming hints
– Added bookmark copying
1.1 – 12.06.2015
– Added undock invulnerability info
1.0 – 12.06.2015
– Initial version