To put it bluntly, if you want to catch instawarping interceptors, the most important part is living in London.
-Namamai, Understanding the EVE Online Server Tick
There is an interesting/informative article up over at TMC about how the processing loop of EVE Online dictates if you’ll be able to lock up and point that decloaking interceptor on a gate.
I actually had some experience with a similar scenario just recently. In our expedition to Brave Newbies’ space our fleet, made up primarily of Harpies and interceptors and other small stuff, engaged quite a few bombers and destroyers and other easily destroyed ships.
It doesn’t take a ton of shots to kill a bomber, the glass cannon of New Eden, and destroyers are fragile compared to tech II frigates. So when targets presented themselves it was a race to lock things up and get a shot off before they exploded. Any number of times I would get something locked and have the guns going in the first firing cycle only to be informed that the target had already exploded.
I was not alone in experiencing this. People were starting to get angry on coms at one point, raging against the interceptors in the fleet… because interceptors… and wondering who amongst them were running extra sensor boosters to hog all the kills.
Of course, interceptor pilots were quick to point out that they too were getting aced out of kills in exactly the same way. Somebody on coms started in trying to explain the whole tick thing, but it was neither the time nor the place for such a lesson. We had a fleet op to fly and a jump bridge on which to get pipe bombed still.
So it was nice to have the article linked at the top show up to get back to the explanation of ticks and why you might be able to target someone and activate your guns and still get shut out of the kill mail. As I said, interesting stuff, but the informative bit was the punchline, the fact that you can be the fastest guy in the fleet to hit the right button, but if your packets don’t arrive in London, where the main server cluster is housed, in time to be part of the current cycle, you’re not getting on that kill mail.
Latency is still a thing.