TTK — CONCORD response times

Post: 

All hail the doughnut!

The current favourite topic seems to be suicide ganking and the ways to protect yourself from it (and, occasionally, the supposed futility of trying to do so). A lot of the discussion is centred on what some given set of ships can do before CONCORD arrives to ruin their fun, and that all depends on how long it takes for them to put their doughnuts down and show up on the gate/asteroid field/whatever. However, there seems to be a wide spectrum of of guesstimates for how long it actually takes — anything from 15 seconds to 30 seconds has been used as a standard measurement. So I decided to go on Sisi and find out…

As it turns out, it was actually both! Kind of. The impatient might want to jump directly to the results or to the generalisation of the observations; the more patient might want to know how those numbers were collected and should just read on.

Method

These tests were done by firing on cans deployed by neutral targets in a number of systems across Caldari highsec (some of them well-known ganking spots) using two different ships: a Damnation and an Abaddon, both equipped with enough plates and EANMs (and a Damage Control II) to reach 200,000 EHP. The choice of ships was to ensure that they had enough hit points to see through the entire CONCORDing process without going *poof* on the first shot, and to see if the size of the ship made any difference (it didn't).

Each target was attacked twice: once without any known CONCORD presence in the system; and once with CONCORD spawned at a known location elsewhere in the system. As an after-thought, some targets were also attacked while CONCORD was sitting right next to it, to see what difference pre-spawned CONCORD does.

The fact that sec levels as shown in the client cover quite a wide span of actual security level (called realsec in the results) means that it's worth measuring whether it's the actual security level that determines the response time or whether it's more closely linked to the displayed sec level. If it's the former, we should see a (somewhat) linear increase in response time between each test; if it's the latter, then we should see sharp jump in the response time as the realsec value goes from 0.86 (which counts as sec level 0.9) and 0.84 (which counts as sec level 0.8).

Interpreting the data

The table of results contain the following data:

  • System is obviously the star system where the test took place.
  • Realsec is the actual security of the system, as given by the database, with a bit more precision than the security level reported by the client.
  • Sec level is the security level shown in-game, which is the realsec number rounded to the closest one tenth.
  • First responder measures the time between the notification of a criminal action and the first hit from a CONCORD ship as reported by the logs.
  • Destruction measures the time between the notification of a criminal action and the last hit from a CONCORD ship against a 200k EHP ship.

Observations

CONCORD response time across highsec security levels.
System Realsec Sec level First responder Destruction
System Realsec Sec level First responder Destruction
Todaki* 1.000 1.0 7 seconds 23 seconds
Kakakela 0.972 1.0 7 seconds 22 seconds
Perimeter 0.953 1.0 7 seconds 22 seconds
Jita 0.946 0.9 5 seconds 18 seconds
Maurasi 0.913 0.9 7 seconds 22 seconds
Airkio 0.852 0.9 7 seconds 21 seconds
Sobaseki 0.841 0.8 7 seconds 23 seconds
Nourvukaiken 0.816 0.8 8 seconds 22 seconds
Ruvas 0.780 0.8 7 seconds 21 seconds
Akiainavas 0.745 0.7 10 seconds 26 seconds
Kamokor 0.688 0.7 10 seconds 24 seconds
Halaima 0.659 0.7 11 seconds 25 seconds
Vaankalen 0.647 0.6 14 seconds 31 seconds
Ikao 0.602 0.6 15 seconds 31 seconds
Umokka* 0.561 0.6 13 seconds 27 seconds
Niarja 0.542 0.5 19 seconds 35 seconds
Uedama 0.505 0.5 18 seconds 33 seconds
Inari* 0.462 0.5 18 seconds 34 seconds

An asterisk in the above table signifies that the system in question was also used to test whether pre-spawned CONCORD made any difference.

There are some obvious groupings in the results, and they seem to depend on the displayed sec level rather than on the “realsec” of the system. Once you figure in a measuring error of ±1 second caused by a combination of latency and the server operating on 1-second ticks, the differences in measurements within the individual sec levels is explained. This is a systematic measuring error that shows up both in the time to the first spawn and in the time between the spawn and the final attack by the Police Commander battleship (thus the final result has a combined error of ±2 seconds). Not shown in these numbers are a couple of observations that became apparent from the repeated testing against different targets within a system.

The first observation that could be made is that CONCORD manipulation does indeed work: having a CONCORD “escort” already at the scene would reduce the spawn time by up to 9 seconds at the lowest sec-level, essentially halving it, and would make response near-instant in 1.0 systems (only 2 seconds would pass between the offending shot and the CONCORD response).

Connected to this, a second observation is the idea that ship size would make much difference for the response can be thrown out. The Damnation had a signature radius of 265m; the Abaddon had a signature of 470m. The difference is large enough that it should have an easily observable effect on lock times, but both ships took just as long for the Cruisers to attack (2 seconds when sitting next to CONCORD in a 1.0 system), and the difference between the cruisers and the battleship remained a constant 15 seconds no matter what.

A third observation is that any kind of “tanking“ of CONCORD is largely meaningless. Once the Police Commander locks on, 15 seconds after the spawn has completed, the offending ship is destroyed no matter what. Before that happens, the Police Captain cruisers do so little damage that it's not going to matter for most ships: they have time to fire off four volleys, with each volley doing 2,000:ish damage in total between the two cruisers.The effects of CONCORDOKEN The testing ships, which were armour tanked, never even ran out of shields (the Damnation had 8,640 shield EHP; the Abaddon had 13,800 shield EHP). Anything with more EHP than that will have “tanked” the cruisers and will then be instagibbed by the Commander battleship.

Trying to tank the cruisers is also largely pointless. As soon as they acquire a lock, the offending ship can no longer attack except with smartbombs, since the cruisers jam all targeting, remove control over all drones, and empties the capacitor. These effects are cycled every 5 seconds. Since the ship has zero cap, any smart bombs will have to be constantly cap-boosted, and the offending ship will have to be able to inject new booster charges after ever 5-second cycle. So for all intents and purposes, when the cruisers lock on, the attack can be considered over — it's just a matter of waiting for the offending ship to get blown up (and possibly get in on the killmail just to rub it in).

Conclusion

There are two large bands of response times: one for the highest sec levels (0.8 and above, essentially anywhere where you cannot anchor structures), where it's hard to tell a difference without much more numerous tests, and another for “mid-sec” (0.5–0.7, the parts of highsec where anchoring is possible), where the response times quickly ramp up.

  • 1.0 — 6±1 seconds.
  • 0.9 — 6±1 seconds.
  • 0.8 — 7±1 seconds.
  • 0.7 — 10±1 seconds.
  • 0.6 — 14±1 seconds.
  • 0.5 — 19±1 seconds.

These base times can at the moment be modified depending on what else is going on in the system or at the location (this may change when Crimewatch 2.0 is rolled out).

  • Pre-spawning CONCORD reduces the response time 0.5 to 9 seconds; to 9 seconds in 0.6; and to 2 seconds in 1.0 (more testing of the in-between levels is needed).
  • Moving pre-spawned CONCORD adds 6±1 seconds.

Once CONCORD arrives, a standard set of events are triggered.

  • Once the spawn is complete, the CONCORD Police Captains warp-scramble, web, jams, and completely neuts the target, and fire a volley of roughly 2,000 omni-damage. They also reduce drone bandwidth to zero, thereby disabling any drones the attacker might be using.
  • After the spawn is complete, no more targeted attacks can be made, and non-targeted attacks (e.g. smartbombs) require constant cap-boosting to cycle.
  • Every 5 seconds, the same set of ewar is reactivated, renewing the web/jam/scram and once more completely neuting the target, and another volley is fired.
  • 15±1 seconds after the initial response, the CONCORD Police Commander finally locks on and destroys the ship.

Share and enjoy!