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Session Change Timer

Note: CCP has lowered the session change timer down to 10 seconds. Because of this change, session change timer awareness is not quite as critical as it used to be, but it is something you should still be aware of.

The session change timer was introduced by CCP to ensure that your client and server are in sync. A session change is change of location of character, such as when your ship gets destroyed or you go through a gate.

Not knowing about session change timer may put you in a position where you are unable to go through a gate or dock in a station in the middle of a hostile situation, leading to the plausible loss of your ship and/or pod.

The key thing to remember is that a new session cannot start before the prior session change timer expires.

Events that trigger session change timer are:

  • Docking and undocking from a station
  • Jumping through a gate
  • Ejecting from a ship in space
  • Losing your ship in combat (i.e. you get ejected from a ship as it turns into a wreck)
  • Joining a fleet, changes in fleet leadership above you, and moving positions within a fleet (such as moving yourself from squad 1 to squad 3)
  • Joining a corporation
  • Getting podded
  • Jump cloning
  • Cynoing into a system, black ops cyno bridging, Titan bridging, jump bridging
  • Entering/exiting a wormhole

Being unaware of the session change timer often gets players killed. Here are some examples of how it can happen:

  • You have warped to a gate on which a hostile camp has been spotted. While in warp, you have accepted a fleet invite from a friend. This will start a session change timer preventing you from jumping (entering new session) once you land on the gate, much to the delight of the hostiles camping it.
  • You have jumped into a system and see a big hostile fleet sitting right on the gate you came through. You immediately attempt to fly right back to the gate and hop out, but the gate denies you. Meanwhile because you have broken your gate cloak the gate campers will get busy with shooting your ship to bits and pieces. Patiently wait these 10 seconds out under the gate cloak and only then then race back towards the gate.
  • You have been engaged on a station and subsequently lost your ship. You keep spamming dock button to dock to safety only to find the station denies you docking. Those few seconds were enough for an enemy interceptor to lock your pod and kill it. The station denied you docking because you leaving your ship upon its destruction triggered a session change timer. You cannot start a new session (dock inside a station) before your current timer expires. If you have lost a ship on a gate or a station do not attempt to jump out or dock but instead immediately try to warp your pod to a celestial object.

Locating Session Change Timer On Your Screen

Whenever a session change timer is active, a small spinning circle will appear at the upper left corner of your client. When you hover over the spinning circle with your mouse, it will bring up a small box that will tell you how many seconds are left on your timer.

Hover over the spinning circle with mouse to see how many seconds are left on your session timer.

Enabling the Session Change Timer

With the release of Odyssey 1.0, CCP moved to making the Session-Change timer a staple addition to the game rather than an optional feature. To enable it (pre-Odyssey), a player would log into their character and hit ESC to get into the settings menu, go to the "General Settings" tab, and find the "General" section. There a box named "Show Session-Change Timer" would be present.

In the general settings window check the option to show session change timer on your screen.

Gate Cloak

After jumping through a gate or exiting/entering a wormhole, your ship will be automatically cloaked (invisible) and invulnerable for 60 seconds (one minute). This is commonly referred to as being under "gate cloak." This cloak is automatic, and does not require any skills or special module fit on your ship.

While under gate cloak, you cannot be targeted, decloaked, attacked, visible to others on grid, or visible on dscan. You also cannot be probed out and take no damage from bombs, but your character name is visible in local chat. While you are cloaked you may observe the situation around the gate and decide how to best proceed next. Remember that since the session change timer is now only 10 seconds, you can easily wait it out while under gate cloak.

Gate cloak is broken when:

  • 60 seconds have elapsed
  • You manually align or otherwise move your ship in any direction
  • You initiate a warp

Note that while under gate cloak, you are unable to activate any modules. You can, however, activate your dscanner, the system scanner, rotate your camera around (careful that you don't accidentally move yourself!) and see whoever is on grid or in local with you

Undock Invulnerability

When you undock from a station, you are invulnerable and cannot be targeted or attacked for 30 seconds. Your ship is not cloaked, however. You will see your ship drifting into space away from station, but any pilots camping the undock point will not be able to target lock you unless you break your own invulnerability.

Undocking invulnerability is broken when:

  • 30 seconds have elapsed
  • You activate any modules on your ship (hardeners, damage control, sensor booster, etc).
  • Initiate warp anywhere.
  • You manually align or otherwise move your ship in any direction

Note that you can activate your dscanner, the system scanner, rotate your camera around, and stop your ship from moving without breaking your invulnerability.

When you undock from a station, the station ejects you at maximum velocity. Pressing CTRL+SPACE combination on your keyboard to stop your ship will not break your undock invulnerability and keeps your ship within docking range of the station. CTRL+SPACE is your friend whenever you undock in potentially hostile situations! By undocking then immediately pressing CTRL+SPACE, you can get eyes on who is camping the station, report this to your fleet or corp/alliance, and then safely dock back up.

However, if you panic and start initiating warp, activate any modules, or try to move away from station, your invulnerability will drop and enemy pilots will be able to lock you. If you break your invulnerability during the 10 second session change timer, the station will not allow you to dock. Then the station campers can kill you.

Weapons timer (referred to as Aggression timer)

The Weapons timer, once called the Aggression timer, is a one minute timer that prevents you from moving through a stargate or docking within a station. The weapons timer starts the moment you perform any act of aggression by activating offensive modules or drones on another player. The amount of time left on your weapons timer is visible on the upper left corner of your screen.

Action such as shooting at somebody, scrambling, webifying, dampening, or target painting them, using any other type of electronic warfare on target such as ecm burst, or aggressing with drones will start this timer. Scanning somebody's cargo or fittings, picking up items from a can or wreck that belongs to you or salvaging another pilot's wreck will not trigger this timer. If you are being shot at but do nothing in retaliation this timer will not be triggered.

Warning: If you have your drones out and somebody starts aggressing you, your drones may auto-aggress. This will give you the one minute weapons timer, making you unable to dock or jump gate.

For complete information on recent changes to this and other timers, please read the Dev Blog

Log-Off Timers

Log-Off Timers are present through the game to prevent users from taking advantage of logging off during a fight and being safe

30 Second Log-Off Timer

The 30 second log-off timer is the base timer that is applied to all players when logging off in space so long as certain situational prerequisites are met. If you have not engaged anyone in a system or haven't been engaged and you log off in space, your ship will warp off far away from your current location then stop for 30 seconds, after which it will disappear. Your ship will continue showing on directional scanner scans during this time. If you have activated tanking modules on it such as damage control and hardeners prior to logging, they will continue running on your ship after you logged as long as it has the capacitor to run them. If your ship was cloaked, its cloak will drop while it is waiting out this log-off timer. This period of time is short enough that it highly unlikely (but not impossible) that anyone will be able to scan probe your ship down.

However, there is the option to initiate a Safe Log-Off by either accessing the in-game options menu (ESC key) and clicking the 'Log Off Safely' button at the bottom right, or by right-clicking either your ship or your capacitor display and selecting 'Log Off Safely' from the drop right menu. Doing so initiates a a 30 second log-off timer which, at the end, your ship cloaks up in space and you are logged out of the game. At the bottom of the log-off counter is a button in which you may Abort your log-off if you wish.

To initiate the Safe Log Off feature, there are certain prerequisites that must be met:

  • You cannot have active modules
  • You cannot be in warp
  • You cannot be ejecting from a ship
  • You cannot have aggression from players or NPCs
  • You cannot be issuing movement commands
  • You cannot be launching/jettisoning objects
  • You cannot be in a fleet
  • You cannot deploy/reconnect with drones
  • You cannot have a target locked
  • You cannot be cloaked
  • You cannot have an exploding/self-destructing ship

Safe Log-Off Countdown as seen on Player Screen

Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer

A Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer is applied when any aggressive actions have occurred between you and a NPC. This timer is applied when any offensive actions are taken by you against an NPC or when an NPC takes offensive actions against you. The Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer prevents you from safely logging off in space for a total of five minutes since the last hostile action by or against you.

Non-Capsuleer Log-Off Timer as seen on Player Screen

Capsuleer Log-Off Timer

A Capsuleer Log-Off Timer gets applied if any aggressive actions have transpired between you and another pilot. You will get this timer in any event when you shot, scrambled, neuted, or jammed somebody, or applied any sort of electronic warfare modules or drones to another pilot's ship. Most importantly you also get this timer if you have been aggressed by other pilots but have done nothing in retaliation. This timer will prevent your ship from disappearing in space for 15 minutes since the last aggressive act of the engagement (not since the start of engagement). This is plenty of time for a pilot to scan down your ship with combat scan probes.

Capsuleer Log-Off Timer as seen on Player Screen

Some examples of how not being aware of the log-off timer can get your ship into trouble:

  • You have engaged a Drake on the gate and successfully killed it with your gang. In the next 5 minutes you get a call from a friend and decide to log out of the game. Upon logging, your ship will warp off 1 mil km and sit in space for 10 minutes before it can disappear. Meanwhile Drake's gang came into system seeking revenge and their covops pilot picks your ship up on scan. Needless to say what is going to happen next to your poor ship and possibly pod as well.
  • You are pvping with your gang and just lost your very first Zealot in a silly way. Frustrated with the game you warp your pod to a safespot and log off immediately. Logging back in you find yourself in clone vat bay having to purchase new clone and new set of implants. This happened because when you logged off your pod kept hanging mid-space for the duration of your log-off timer and the enemy gang has bothered to stick around, scan probe it out, and kill it.

For complete information on recent changes in Retribution to this and other timers, please read the Crimewatch Dev Blog and the Safe Logoff dev blog.

Empire Timers

Suspect Timer (Suspect Flag)

This is a suspect time that is visible only in empire space and is not visible in 0.0. The suspect timer simply means that you are flagged in such a way that other capsuleers may shoot at you without Concord intervention. You may acquire a suspect flag by stealing from yellow wrecks and cans, aggressing capsuleers in low security space who are not flagged as either suspect or criminal, and by providing targetted assistance (remote repairs, remote sensor boosting, etc.) to a capsuleer who is in a limited engagement or flagged as a Suspect/Criminal.

This counter is not triggerd by salvaging somebody's wreck because salvage material does not belong to anyone. This counter will also have no effect on your docking permissions or your permissions to jump gate unlike the weapons timer. While the suspect timer used to reset every time an aggressive action transpires between you and the party that you were flagged to, counting down from the time of the last aggressive action, that is no longer the case. Once a capsuleer aggresses you, you will be entered into a limited engagement with that person and are able to freely engage them back without CONCORD intervention without any reset to your suspect timer.

It is important to note that when aggressing a capsuleer in low security space on a gate or station, acquiring a suspect flag will trigger the sentry guns to fire upon you. This can be mitigated, however, by logistics or by warping off and then back.

Suspect Timer as seen on Players Screen
Suspect Flag as seen in Local Chat

Criminal Timer (Criminal Flag)

The Criminal Timer appears on upper left hand side corner each time you commit a "crime". A crime is considered to be initiation of aggression in on anyone who is not an outlaw or is otherwise flagged to you. In high security space, this is done by aggressing a player or objects the player holds ownership over (such as player orbital stations, containers, and wrecks.) In low security space, you may only obtain a criminal flag by aggressing a player's capsule.

The Criminal Flag acts much in the same way a Suspect Flag does, allowing sentry guns to attack your ship and capsuleers to engage you freely. However, if you obtain a criminal flag in high security space or have a criminal flag before jumping into high security space, CONCORD will spawn and destroy your ship (never your pod.) While in high security space, undocking in anything other than a capsule whilst having the criminal flag will result in CONCORD (as well as sentries) attacking and destroying your ship. By default overview settings, characters with criminal flags will have a distinct blinking red skull placed next to their name in local chat.

Criminal Timer as seen on Player Screen
Criminal Flag as seen in Local Chat

Limited Engagement Timer

The Limited Engagement Timer, added with Retribution as a part of the new Crimewatch system [1], is a five minute countdown from the last known sanctioned acts of aggression between one or more capsuleers and yourself. The countdown is kept at 5:00 until both parties have disengaged their offensive modules and is reset by any further acts of aggression before the timer runs down. A limited engagement timer may be acquired by being aggressed while having a suspect/criminal flag, aggressing a capsuleer flagged as a suspect/criminal (or outlaw), or by initiating a duel with a capsuleer.

The limited engagement timer allows for sanctioned fights to be held in high security and low security space without any loss of security status, as well as allowing for suspects and criminals to defend themselves without incurring a more severe security status loss.

Limited Engagement Timer as seen on Player Screen
Limited Engagement Flag as seen in Local