Defeating attempts to abuse NPC safezones.
With SE being an engineering game, you have alot of players that are outside the box thinkers and problem solvers. Give them enough tools, and they will find ways to abuse the game mechanics in ways not intended, and may not even see some actions as exploits, but instead as a natural use of in-game mechanics to solve a problem.
I know of these exploits because finding them was my main gameplay style for a long time (over 8000 hours played). And I was able to get away with it far longer than I should have. My recent discussions with KSH official server admins made me realize the error of my ways and prompted me to write this to you.
Disclaimer: attempts to defeat the temporary "pit stop" intent of NPC safezones on KHS servers as well as others may result in your grid being deleted and you being banned from the server. Don't do it. And this suggestion is for improvements to prevent these things from being attempted in the future.
There are a couple things I think can be done to defeat attempts to abuse NPC safezones:
1. Prevent merge blocks from merging while inside the safezone. This will keep people from "locking" onto the station as well as merging a ship to a station outside the safezone into the safezone.
2. Auto clean up removal of any player grids that are converted to a station within a stand off area of an NPC safezone. This will prevent players from encompassing an NPC station in an armor shell that covers the safezone.
3. Only allow one connector to connect to the station form a single player. Make that 15 minute auto unlock be based the player, I was thinking making that change based on the grid, but I realized one player could connect multiple ships to multiple connectors then connect them all together and govern the connectors locking with timers.
4. Include in the "message of the day" that defeating the temporary intent of the NPC safezones can be punishable by grid deletion and player ban.
5. More frequent policing of the servers by admins to prevent uninhibited use of exploits.
I understand that these measures should not be needed in a perfect world, but as Keen is painfully aware, player conduct on the servers is equal to trolling on the internet, it is bound to happen, not everyone plays nice, and boundaries can get blurred.
Thank you for reading my rant/suggestion.