With the introduction of the Retribution 1.1 patch, the "Dueling" mechanic was added to the game. A duel in EVE is defined as two capsuleers engaging in honorable combat without any CONCORD interference sans neutral capsuleer interference. Duels can only be be initiated by two willing parties in Empire space (≥0.1), since combat does not need to be sanctioned by CONCORD in 0.0 or lower space.
Initiating a Duel
Duels can only be initiated with a pilot in space with you or in your station, and only when in 0.1 empire space or higher. Once a challenge has been issue, the other player (or you, if you are the recipient) will have 30 seconds to respond. During this time you may not issue additional duel challenges until the other player has responded. However, you may issue additional challenges once your previous challenge has either been accepted or rejected and enter a duel with more than one pilot at a time. This mechanic was implemented to allow for larger fights to be able to take place in other areas of EVE than just faction warfare space and null security space.
Initiating a duel is simple:
- Right click on the desired pilot's name or portrait
- Select "Invite to Duel"
Once a duel is accepted both capsuleers acquire a Limited Engagement Timer which allows for both parties to aggress each other without CONCORD intervention. This means that both pilots are free to shoot at each other without acquiring a criminal or suspect status. However, any remote sensor/shield/armor boosting from neutral third parties results in said third parties acquiring a suspect timer and them becoming freely engageable. This was implemented by CCP to limit interference from friends of players. Once engaged in a limited engagement, each player can still access stargates and dock in stations so long as they have not acquired a Weapons Timer. This tactic is often used by duelists on station to fish for easy kills by switching into a well-tanked, heavier ship or healing their damage. Once a pilot's ship is destroyed, the limited engagement persists and the person's pod is freely engage-able, a mechanic that has led to the death of many unsuspecting capsuleers. As long as one pilot continues to aggress the other while the limited engagement timer is still running down, the five minute time refreshes. Once the limited engagement has run down, the duel is concluded.
When accepting a duel, remember:
- The opponent can reship if they do not engage.
- You can not have logistic reps.
- Your pod is freely engage-able so long as the limited engagement timer is active.
- The timer persist with the use of any offensive modules by either player.
When rejecting a duel invite the person who sent the challenge is granted a response, letting them know that the challenge was rejected. You will also have the ability to block communications with said player by ticking a small box on the bottom left of the challenge window prior to rejecting it. This is particularly handy when getting spammed with duel invites in busy systems, most notably Jita, Amarr, or Rens.
As with all player driven interactions, harassment by other players is to be expected. It is quite often that pirates look for targets of opportunity wandering into system or near a trade hub like Jita or Amarr and spam them with duel invites in the hope that the person will slip up and accept the duel rather than reject it. This is most notably done with freighters and industrials, regardless of their cargo. Once accepted, the player is bumped off station and locked down by warp scramblers and stasis webifiers, leaving the player helpless.
When CCP implemented the dueling system, they did so by also implementing a safety net against the potential mechanic exploiters: an auto-reject feature. Players can, if they wish, enable auto-rejection for duel challenges from their options menu. This is most typically done by both freighter and industrial pilots.
To enable Auto-Rejection:
- Hit the 'ESC' key
- Select 'Audio & Chat' tab
- Check the box in the bottom right 'Dueling' section for 'Auto Reject Invitations'
- The most obvious use of a duel is to initiate consensual combat in high-sec or, less commonly, low-sec. Some players commonly offer and fight duels outside of busy stations.
- Many people test fits against corp-mates in high sec, but prior to the dueling mechanic this was impossible with a friend from out of corp. Dueling allows such testing or challenges without interference from CONCORD.
- A less obvious use of duels is to assist freighters in quickly moving through high and low security space. Due to the way warp mechanics work, applying a stasis webifier to a freighter can greatly decrease the time it takes it to enter warp. Inconveniently, using that stasis webifier is considered an aggressive action and will result in gate gun and/or CONCORD action if the freighter and webber are not in the same corporation. Use of the dueling mechanic allows pilots to circumvent this problem. Freighter pilots should only accept a duel challenge from someone you trust completely, preferably your own alt.
- Alternatively, there is the aforementioned use of challenging said freighters and industrials with the hopes that they might misclick and provide a sizable bounty from their exploded hulls.