A brief overview about the basics of timers and their impact on capsuleers in empire space.
Combat and legality timers
The Retribution expansion introduced a new and improved timers system called Crimewatch 2.0, which greatly improve upon the previous one by getting rid of the Global Countdown Timer and generally streamlining the system via the use of specific flags.
It's very important to be aware of and understand what the different timers mean and what the implications are in terms of legality. Timers can easily wreak havoc in the fleet causing issues with rules of engagements and remote assistance.
See Crimewatch for more details on the more intricate mechanics of legal timers.
The following timers have no direct impact on the legality of actions, but serve as a consequence for your actions. Keep in mind that the capsuleer log-off timer can indirectly cause legality issues if you are also at war.
Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer
| Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer a.k.a. NPC-flag|
Cause: Combat with a non-capsuleer
Consequence: Ship will remain in space on log-off until timer expires (5 minutes)
The non-capsuleer log-off timer is created when you either shoot or get shot by an NPC.
This means you will remain in space if you disconnect or close the client, until the timer runs out. The NPC timer will not be renewed if you are shot while already having disconnected or logged off.
Capsuleer Log-Off Timer
| Capsuleer Log-Off Timer a.k.a. PvP-flag (complicated timer, see comments below)|
Cause: Combat with another capsuleer.
Consequence: Ship will remain in space on log-off until timer expires (15 minutes).
The capsuleer log-off timer is created when you either shoot or get shot by a fellow capsuleer.
This means you will remain in space if you disconnect or close the client, until the timer runs out. The timer will be renewed if you are shot while already having disconnected or logged off. So if someone finds you after you logged out they can keep your ship in space indefinitely.
When your corporation or alliance is at war, the capsuleer log-off timer becomes deceptively dangerous in mixed fleets, see while at war below.
| Weapons Timer|
Cause: Aggression against another capsuleer.
Consequence: Unable to dock or use stargates (60 seconds).
You get a weapon timer whenever you activate an offensive module against another player (including webs, painters, damps, scrams, points, turrets, missiles, drones etc). Unlike the capsuleer log-off timer, you do not get this flag simply by being shot by another player.
While this timer is active you cannot change sessions, which means you cannot jump, dock or eject from, store or switch ships.
The following timers directly determine whether or not you are a legal target.
| Suspect Timer|
Cause: Committed a "suspect"-level offense.
Consequence: Capsuleers may freely engage (15 minutes).
The suspect timer means that anyone can freely attack you without CONCORD interfering. If someone engages you, a limited engagement timer is created between both of you, to allow you to shoot back at the aggressor. This causes issues with assistance however, due to interfering with a limited engagement (for more information, see limited engagement below).
| Criminal Timer|
Cause: Committed a "criminal"-level offense.
Consequence: Capsuleers may freely engage. CONCORD will engage in high-sec space (15 minutes).
The criminal timer means that anyone can freely attack you without CONCORD interfering.
If someone engages you, a limited engagement timer is created between both of you, to allow you to shoot back at the aggressor. This causes issues with assistance however, due to interfering with a limited engagement (for more information, see limited engagement below).
Consequences of being a criminal
Being a criminal means that CONCORD will engage and kill you in high security space. The response-time of CONCORD depends on the security of space, anything between a few seconds up to half a minute. During that time, while piloting a ship with a criminal flag you'll be unable to enter warp, jump through gates, dock up in stations, eject from, store or switch ships. Those restrictions are lifted once your ship is destroyed and you're in your capsule. That doesn't necessarily mean you can do these things, as all those actions (with the exception of warping away) would also be prohibited by an active weapon timer.
Being a criminal in low security space is practically the same as being a suspect, as long as you or anyone who assists you have no plans of jumping into high security space for the next fifteen minutes.
Jumping into or undocking a ship in high security space as a criminal will allow you to benefit from the session change timer invulnerability, but it only delays the inevitable demise of your ship. Even if your criminal timer runs out during the invulnerability, CONCORD will still follow through and destroy your ship, even though you're no longer a criminal when the invulnerability wears off.
Limited Engagement Timer
| Limited Engagement Timer|
Cause: Involved in a limited engagement with 1 pilot (or any number of pilots).
Consequence: These pilots may freely engage you while timer is active (5 minutes).
A limited engagement is created whenever two capsuleers are involved in combat where both parties cannot legally shoot each other. So to ensure that you can always shoot back when aggressed, the limited engagement is created when legality isn't enough. The timer is renewed whenever either side of the limited engagement takes aggressive action.
Consequences of being in a limited engagement
Being involved in a limited engagement means that any for anyone to offer outside assistance, the assistee would be forced to go suspect unless you can both legally attack each other. Simply being attackable doesn't count, you actually have to have the right already through mutual wars, or your very own limited engagement mirroring the one your recipient has.
Naturally in null security space or wormhole space, where you are allowed to freely engage anyone at any time, there would be no legality issues and no timers apart from the combat timers would be created in the first place.
There are several modules that doesn't give you any bonuses, but instead is activated on a friendly ship to give them a boost. Below is a list of common assistance modules.
|Remote assistance module||Description|
|Remote shield boosters||Repairs shield hit points of the targeted ship.|
|Remote armor repairers||Repairs armour hit points of the targeted ship.|
|Remote capacitor transmitters||Transfers capacitor energy to the targeted ship.|
|Remote tracking computers||Increases the tracking speed and range of the targeted ship's turrets.|
|Remote sensor boosters||Increases the scan resolution and locking range of the targeted ship.|
Remote assistance and combat timers
Whenever you remotely assist someone, you will automatically inherit all the combat timers of the one you're assisting. The time left will be whatever the recipient of your assistance has left, so if someone has 22 seconds left of their weapon timer when you assist them, your inherited weapon timer will also have 22 seconds left, assuming you don't have a weapon timer of your own with more than 22 seconds left on it.
Apart from inheriting timers, naturally legality puts itself on top of that, regulating what actions cause you to get a suspect or criminal timer.
Remote assistance and legality
As remote assistance can turn the tide of battle, certain actions are legal and some are not. In general, interfering in a fight between two parties, aiding a suspect or an outlaw is usually a suspect offence and assisting criminals is a criminal offence.
While at war
| When your corporation or alliance is at war, the capsuleer log-off timer can become an issue if you ever fly with people who aren't in your corporation. Because in order to assist someone with a capsuleer log-off timer who is at war will require all non-corporation members to turn your safety to yellow and go suspect. This includes alliance members who are at war with the same corporation or alliance as you are.
As such, it's important to avoid accidentally shooting corporation members in mixed fleets, since that is a legal action in and by itself, but it will give you both capsuleer log-off timers that will be spread to the logistics and anyone else who's offering remote assistance. The best way to avoid accidentally shooting corporation members is to never target them without a very good reason, especially if you are flying an offensive role. Most necessary fleet actions, like keep at range and orbit, can be accomplished without first targeting the other person by just putting them on the watch list and right-click them.
|Even when you're at peace there is a chance that timers might come into play. If someone enters a limited engagement, like if you make or suffer an unprovoked attack by someone in low and high security space, then any assistance to the person involved (with a limited engagement) would require logistics to turn their safety to yellow and go suspect. Once someone goes suspect it would force the other logi and everyone else who wants to lend assistance to go suspect as well. While being a suspect is fairly trivial in low security space, it presents a number of issues if you then travel back into high security space while the timer is still active.|
Session Change Timer (SCT)
The SCT is a 10 second timer initiated after performing one of the following things:
- jumping through a stargate, wormhole or jump bridge
- using a jump drive
- docking or undocking
- joining a fleet or moving to a different command position within that fleet
- upon booster/role changes applied to you in that fleet
- leaving your ship, either through ejecting or having it destroyed
- boarding a ship
- performing a clone jump
- being podded
- joining or leaving a corporation
- changing corp wallet divisions
Whilsr the SCT is active it prevents you from doing any of the things that cause a session change timer (i.e. anything on the list above), and will give you a sometimes amusing error message. Some of these things, if you attempt them with the SCT active, will 'queue', and will be executed as soon as it wears off.
The SCT is displayed in the top left corner of your screen. The exact time remaining will be displayed upon mouse-over.
Examples of the SCT in action:
1: You are scouting lo-sec systems in a CovOps for a fleet and the FC moves you to another wing or squad without telling you. You arrive on a stargate to jump through, but the SCT prevents you from jumping. Unfortunately there happened to be a hostile there, and because you were decloaked by the stargate, you are destroyed.
2: You are fighting on a wormhole and your ship is destroyed. You attempt to jump your capsule through the wormhole to get away, but your SCT from your ship being destroyed prevents you jumping (and so your capsule is destroyed too!).
Station undock invulnerability timer
The game grants you a 30 second protection after undocking. If you do not activate any modules, or target anyone, or move your ship in any direction after undocking you cannot be targeted or bumped at all for 30 seconds. This can be used to wait out your SCT and re-dock.
You can still press Ctrl+Space to stop your ship (or click the small - icon on the HUD) and retain your invulnerability, this action does not break it.
Important note: There are certain stations that will eject you (kick-out) outside of docking range and prevent you from using this tactic without reapproaching the station's docking radius. A prominent example would be the old EVE-University HQ at Aldrat IX – Pator Tech School. Even if you immediately stop your ship on undocking, by the time your SCT has worn off you are likely to be out of immediate docking range
Gate cloak timer
After jumping through a stargate or wormhole you will have an SCT for 10 seconds, however the entire gate cloak timer is 60 seconds. For this entire 1 minute period you are invulnerable to damage from such effects as bombs, smartbombs and ECM Bursts. For the entire duration of the cloak you cannot be de-cloaked by someone coming within 2000 meters. For the entire period you cannot be bumped to cause you to lose your cloak.
You are effectively completely invulnerable and invisible - however, the gate or wormhole will have flashed to signify a ship has jumped through it (and in k-space you will immediately appear in Local chat), so if anyone happens to be watching they are likely to know you are there.
This timer allows you a period of safety to scout out the system, with d-scan or otherwise, before deciding what course of action to take.
When logging out in space, your ship (if not warp-disrupted/scrambled) will warp off to a random location and remain there for 1 minute until disappearing.
This timer will extend to 5 minutes if you were involved in combat with NPC ships.
It will get extended to 15 minutes if you were involved in pvp, whether it you being aggressive or being aggressed by someone else. Should your ship be destroyed during this time, another 15 minute timer applying to your pod will start.
Wormhole polarization timer
You can make a maximum of 2 jumps through a specific wormhole in 5 minutes. If you try to jump a third time through the same wormhole inside those 5 minutes, you will receive a message informing you how long you have to wait before you can jump again. This timer doesn't apply to jumping through different wormholes.
Trade modification timer
When you place or modify a buy or sell order in the market, you will not be allowed to modify that order or delete that order until 5 minutes have elapsed.
Corporation roles & titles timer
While the timer does still exist, members can quit corporation even without waiting 24 hours after dropping roles by right clicking their portrait in chat and choosing quit corporation? and confirm quit corporation.
Character termination timer
If you choose to terminate one of the characters owned by your account, it will enter the recycling queue for a 10 hour waiting period. When the 10 hour timer expires, you can complete the termination of the character and re-use the slot for a new character.