20: 35: 27
At any time, a player may send personal messages to other players. These personal messages can be compared to ComLink communications, Holonet transmissions, SMS or email or even direct face-to-face communication.
The personal messages system is meant to allow the players to communicate with each other.
Personal messages can be sent to single individuals, or to multiple recipients.
Events represent an important part of the SW Combine. With the extensive use of the delayed action system and discrete game-play concept implementation, many in-game events happen while the concerned players are not logged in.
The events system can be compared to an automatic reporting system where any recorded events are available to the players under the form of a few sentences summarising a past event. Many different actions are logged, from HP changes to docking with another spaceship. Such a method also allows the players to keep track of their previous actions and transactions. In a game where management has such an important role, that kind of system is extremely necessary.
These events are available for the player up to 3 weeks after occurring. Afterwards, the events are archived. This means they are no longer visible from the events page. However, these events are not lost. They are stored in a separate table for performances reasons. Experience demonstrated that 3 months of Combine game generated over 1,000,000 events.
The events menu helps to alert a player as to what happened to their character or in the game generally since they last checked their events. The menu is composed of icons that blink when there are new events. For performance reason, the menu is generated once every 5 minutes and put into a cache. Upon clicking a blinking icon, the player will be able to review the events or news corresponding to that category and the icon will stop blinking. For an icon to start blinking again, a new event must have happened for that category and the menu must have been updated afterwards. This means that new events may happen even if the menu does not display them but this does not last more than 5 minutes.