Monday, 1 April 2013

The Rules of Engagement - When You Can Attack

As people start off in Empire high security space, they need to understand the rules for attacking people in that space.  When you eventually go to null sec, the rules on who you may attack are set by the corp/alliance you are in or sometimes the owner of the space you are in.  In Empire there is a Crimewatch system which attempts to protect Empire citizens.

Overview Settings
Ok so why do you need to look at your overview settings to understand when you can attack.  The reason is because the overview settings dictates the visual warnings you get about attackable targets.   The Overview settings are accessed by clicking the horizontal lines next to the word "Overview" on the overview itself.  The menu option you want is "Open Overview Settings".  Go to the "Appearance" tab and look at the "Colourtag" and "Background" sub-tabs.

These tabs are in a priority order from top to bottom.  That means if someone satisfies a condition high on the list, that condition will be displayed while lower conditions are ignored.  You move the conditions or states up or down the list by dragging them.  You turn them off and on by clicking them.  The Colourtags are the little square indicator that shows up in chat channels, in the overview and on the ship icon in space view.  Background paints the ship and the overview entry a solid or flashing colour.

High Sec Rules
In high security space (high sec) there are only seven conditions under which you are legally allowed to attack someone;
  • The target is a member of your player made corporation.
  • The target is a member of a corporation you are at war with.
  • You are in the militia and the target is a member of the enemy militia.
  • The target is a Criminal.
  • The target is a Suspect.
  • The Target is an Outlaw.
  • You have been attacked by another player.
Note that being part of a fleet DOES NOT allow you to attack fleet members.

Each of these conditions are indicated with overview backgrounds and tags in the chat channel.  The background and tags are as follows;

State Overview Background Chat Tag
Corp Member Green Green box with star
At War Flashing Red Red box with a star
Enemy Militia Flashing Orange Orange box with a star
Criminal Solid Red Flashing red skull
Outlaw Solid Red None
Suspect Solid Yellow Flashing yellow skull

Due to the way these new states have been brought in, you may have to look at the priority order the tags and backgrounds are set to in your overview settings. For some unknown reason, CCP has made the Suspect indicator the same colour as the "Security rating below 0" indicator. I recommend changing the colour or turning off the Security Rating indicator to avoid mistakes. This is done in the overview settings.

Becoming a Suspect
 A pilot can become a suspect without CONCORD getting involved.  The most common ways to become a suspect are;
  1. Steal from someone else's wreck or can.
  2. Attack someone in low sec.
  3. Help someone in a fight using remote assistance modules (like repairers and remote tracking enhancers).
  4. Help someone in a WAR using remote assistance modules (like repairers and remote tracking enhancers).
  5. Attempt to repair a POS belonging to a corp (not yours) that is in a war.
  6. Have someone activate "Kill Rights" on you.
What happens when you become a suspect is that you turn yellow and have a flashing skull on other people's overview, chat channels and space view.  You will remain a suspect for 15 minutes from your last crime.  This state means that ANYONE may attack you.  A suspect's Pod may be destroyed without penalty.

Becoming a Criminal
If a pilot becomes a criminal in high sec space then CONCORD will appear and destroy them.  They wont be able to initiate warp, dock or use a wormhole or stargate.  If you become a criminal in low sec and move to high sec while still in a ship, CONCORD will spawn and kill you.  If you undock in a ship while you still have a criminal flag then CONCORD spawns again and the station guns will also attack.  Anyone may attack a criminal and pod them without penalty.  Becoming a criminal incurs a security status penalty.  Your wreck and any jetcans you tried to make during the criminal flag will be automatically abandoned.  You do not get insurance on ships destroyed by CONCORD.

The ways to earn a criminal flag are;
  1. Attack any target in high sec, directly or indirectly, that you do not have the right to attack.
  2. Attack a pod in low sec that you don't have the right to attack.
  3. Assist a ship or pod with the Criminal flag.
Another Type of Criminal - Outlaw
If your security status drops far enough you will acquire the Outlaw status in certain systems.  An outlaw can be attacked without consequences.  Also the security forces of the state will attack them.  Here is where you can travel with different security status;
  • Players with -2.0 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 1.0 systems
  • Players with -2.5 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 0.9 systems
  • Players with -3.0 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 0.8 systems
  • Players with -3.5 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 0.7 systems
  • Players with -4.0 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 0.6 systems
  • Players with -4.5 or worse will be attacked and attackable in 0.5 system
  • Players with -5 or worse may be attacked anywhere but there are no security forces in low sec to annoy them.
Outlaws appear with a red background in space and overview.  The fact that they are an outlaw is announced to the whole system when they enter a solar system.  Outlaw pods wont be attacked by NPCs.

Corp Members
You are allowed to attack members of your own corp.  This only applies if its a player made corp.  This creates a weapon flag but nothing else.  You wont be attackable by out of corp people.  This DOES NOT apply to alliances.

This allows corps to do training or play games (such as Can Ball - see my last post).  Also you can test out things with your corp mates without losing ships.

The fact that corp mates can attack fellow corpies is something to be careful about.  There have been many cases of people joining a corp and waiting for someone to undock an expensive ship.  Then attacking the ship and walking off with whatever loot they can.  CEOs and recruiting officers need to be careful.

Wars and the Militia
These are special cases which deliberately allow combat between involved parties.  I will try to cover them in a future blog.  However for the moment you need to know that an enemy war target or militia target is allowed to attack you or your pod at any time.  You are allowed to do the same.