A Singularity Engine Time Accelerator, or SETA, can be crafted from dropped loot for <Playership>* (currently Skunk). Under certain circumstances, it speeds up elapsed time throughout the game (ie even in areas never visited by player or playerships) by 6 times. If installed, a new ring is displayed on the HUD's shield monitor; when circumstances are correct for use, the ring brightens to blue. 'J' on the keyboard activates SETA, as with previous X games.
SETA helps in a variety of ways:
- Fast travel (the player can navigate in clear space or use the autopilot to follow ships). NOTE that SETA /will not/ automatically 'drop out' if the followed/escorted ship is attacked: this response will only happen if the Skunk is hit, so pay attention during Escort missions!
- Speeding up station/ship building phases (eg waiting for a trader to deliver essential ware(s) to a ship or station builder)
- Speeding up the return of looting Cargolifter URVs to their mothership (if the player has nothing else to do). (The 'fetch' & 'dock' part of the cycle is adversely impacted by SETA use; however RL travel time for the URV(s) to/from their mothership while using SETA is significantly decreased)
- Speeding up boarded ship repairs if it's essential you remain IZ (to protect your prize & its cargo) until at least its engines are repaired (ie until you can move your prize somewhere safer)
<NOTE: the X3 SETA missile exploit (to avoid incoming fire) is currently untested in X:R v4, as are assorted other X3 SETA exploits. However, as incoming messages from subordinates will periodically interrupt SETA the major X3 cash exploit (leave game running SETA overnight) is pretty much squashed in vanilla - Snafu>
*<Playership> currently refers to the Skunk only in vanilla X:R v4 & previous versions; if talking about an NPC player ship (trader etc) I'll state them as <playership> (note capital P for <Playership> Skunk). This definition is designed to help modders who may wish to change from the Skunk as playership to something else (rename, different ship etc)..
Further details can be found in a post by CBJ on the forum (the following conditions are from CBJ).
Conditions of use
A series of conditions govern whether the SETA may be activated. The main aims of which are to ensure the player receives incoming information they may wish to act on, and to limit it's potential for abuse/dependency. Suggestions have been made to limit the impact of incoming messages that seem relatively innocuous, such as wallet updates or mass order completion confirmations for groups of ships given the same order.
The SETA may not be activated, or will deactivate, under the following circumstances:
• You are on a platform or otherwise away from your pilot seat.
• You are in a conversation or menu
• You receive an important event on your event monitor*
• Your ship is attacked.
• You fire a weapon or activate a scanner.
• Your jump drive is charging or active.
• You steer hard in any direction <reduced 'drop out of SETA' in v4 release>
• You stop your ship suddenly using the stop key (Backspace by default).
• Your ship is in close proximity to another object (except when autopilot is active).
• You collide with something (whether autopilot is active or not).
*v4 release: There is some controversy over whether this event is over-implemented. DEVs are aware and considering the issue, within the game engine's limitations (link).