Bumping is the act of ramming your ship into another ship for at least one of three reasons:
- To rotate the target out of its current alignment
- To move the target from its current position
- To check if the target is AFK, as they typically realign and reposition themselves upon being bumped if they are not AFK
While bumping may appear to be a harmless nuance, its motivation is almost always far more sinister:
- By bumping a target that was aligned to warp out of alignment, you can significantly slow their time to warp out. In many cases, repeatedly bumping the target prevents them from warping anywhere at all whatsoever.
- By bumping a target out of position, you may push them too close or too far to provide/receive contributions to its fleets and its objective
- By determining that a target is probably AFK, further hostile action can be enacted upon the victim with them unlikely to respond in a timely manner.
If you are being bumped by a hostile or neutral target, always assume it is in preparation to gank you before you have the opportunity to realign and warp out. This is especially true for mining barges, which are poorly-defended sitting ducks to begin with. You do not need to necessarily evacuate if you are being bumped, but you should certainly assume a gank attempt is incoming. Realigning and counter-bumping should be a top priority whenever you are bumped. Counter bumping refers to you or your fleetmates taking steps to prevent them from bumping you again (such as bumping the bumper or destroying them) or to mitigate the effects of their bumps.