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EVE Bans Exploiters; Dropping 2% of Users Cuts Average CPU Usage 30%

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the and-stay-out dept.

Security 261

Earthquake Retrofit writes "Ars has a story about EVE Online banning thousands of accounts for real-world trading of in-game money for profit. From the article: 'Those who buy and sell ISK, the game's currency, are not only exploiting the game, but unbalancing play. That's why the company decided to go drastic: a program they called "Unholy Rage." For weeks they studied the behavior and effects these real-money traders had on the game, and then they struck. During scheduled maintenance, over 6,000 accounts were banned. [Einar Hreiðarsson, EVE's lead GM,] assures us that the methods were sound, and the bannings went off with surgical precision. ... While the number of accounts banned in the opening phase of the operation constituted around 2 percent of the total active registered accounts, the CPU per user usage was cut by a good 30 percent.' Looks like they got the right 6,000.' Further information and more graphs are available from the EVE dev blog."

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About time (2, Insightful)

stoat (125788) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155493)

They shouldn't pat themselves on the back too hard over this. The playerbase has been pushing for it for years.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155519)

Did you actually read the article or even the summary? This is a good thing. Nothing wrong with punishing gold farmers and those who make the game frustrating for others.

Re:About time (1)

Sets_Chaos (1622925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155545)

He read it, hence why he said what he did. It's a good thing.

Re:About time (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155551)

Did you read his post? Because he agrees with you, and says CCP should have done this sooner rather than later.

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

taoye (1456551) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155617)

He read it. I was one of those frustrated players. For quite a while, too, I actually started playing back in Summer 2003. This crap was one of the main reasons why I eventually stopped playing the game. Had CCP bothered to deal with this problem in any meaningful way years ago, perhaps I'd still be forking over $12 / month.

Re:About time (-1, Troll)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155629)

They are paying to play the same game as everyone else, and deserve the right to do what they want with their time. Denying you the right to play the game as you see fit, and do with your time as you see fit, is really no different than some of the DRM schemes we see and complain about daily here on /.

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

Chrono11901 (901948) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155757)

They also agreed to the same set of rules as everyone else... Such as no boting/exploiting.

If you don't agree with the rules, don't play. If you break the rules, don't bitch when you have to face the consequences.

Re:About time (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155867)

I realized I slightly misread it. The Botters/Exploiters, yes, ban them in droves, no complains from me. However, people selling ISK is a different story.

Re:About time (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156045)

Almost entirely the same people.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156155)

However, people selling ISK is a different story.

Not if it's against the same rules.

Re:About time (4, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156195)

There is a legitimate in-game system for buying and selling ISK, it is a part of the market and doesn't break it. Farming is not a part of that system.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155543)

They shouldn't pat themselves on the back too hard over this. The playerbase has been pushing for it for years.

I don't play the game, but these guys just forfeited 2% of their profits. And you're saying "about time"?

Knowingly cutting that kind of revenue requires more than balls, my friend. That requires the confidence that doing this is going to bring at least that 2% back. That it does not scare away more that are exploiting that haven't been caught. These guys took a chance for ideals of the players. There should be nothing but kudos from the community and an understanding that they have your best interests in mind despite scandals in the past.

I applaud their efforts and found the analysis of "unholy rage" more extensive than anything I've ever seen an MMO release. It almost makes me want to pick up the game and see what it's about. The only thing holding me back is that I have heard it's quite monotonous at first.

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155553)

"2% of their profits" isn't something you could possibly know. They are claiming that cutting the players reduced their system load by 20%, so the loss of 2% of their revenues might have been offset by lower per user costs and increased their profits, even if they never make it up new users.

It's likely that you were just being sloppy, but what does that matter?

Re:About time (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155609)

"2% of their profits" isn't something you could possibly know. They are claiming that cutting the players reduced their system load by 20%, so the loss of 2% of their revenues might have been offset by lower per user costs and increased their profits, even if they never make it up new users.

It's likely that you were just being sloppy, but what does that matter?

So you're telling me that on that day, on June 22nd, they sold 20% of the servers they had bought and they cut 20% of their jobs that maintained them? You might be able to convince me that they experienced a small immediate savings in power or that in the future months to come they had to purchase less servers than they would have initially. But on June 22nd, they cut their subscriptions by 2% in one day. That's an immediate effect, how they come back from that can be done in many ways including reduced server growth and job cuts. But on that day, no matter how you cut it, their profits were reduced by 2% ... nothing "sloppy" about saying that. I guess gamers always manage to find a way to be ungrateful.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155641)

And now they will save money when they dont need to buy so many new servers to cater to people who used 30% more resources.

Also its not immediate 2% loss. Maybe the gold farmers bought new accounts (they do it for money anyway). Those bans also were only temporary first. After it expired and account returned to same activies, it was only banned completely then.

Re:About time (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156527)

Quibbling about 2% is pretty silly anyways compared to something that spoils the fun for the other 98%. Fun is why people play, after all (well, 98% of them). Who's going to play a sport where the losing team can just whip out their checkbook and buy points? (Think about it, Yankees fans).

Re:About time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155659)

I realize that Slashdot is full of idiots and you probably can't help yourself, but do you think you could at least try to take into account the distinction between "profits" and "revenues" when you continue this discussion? You continually refer to the former, but in fact this 2% applies to the latter.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155679)

I realize that Slashdot is full of idiots and you probably can't help yourself, but do you think you could at least try to take into account the distinction between "profits" and "revenues" when you continue this discussion? You continually refer to the former, but in fact this 2% applies to the latter.

Let me help you with basic math, say you make 70% profit on your revenues:
((x*0.7) - (0.7*0.02*x)) = 0.7*(x - (0.02*x))

Re:About time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156023)

Either you've discovered a new kind if math, or you're a blathering idiot.

I'll give you the benefit if the doubt and ask you to explain your new rules of mathematics in more detail, as I still don't see how y = x (r - c) and y = x r yeild the same result if c is not zero.

On second thought, I revoke the benefit of the doubt.

Re:About time (0)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156177)

Either you've discovered a new kind if math, or you're a blathering idiot.

I'll give you the benefit if the doubt and ask you to explain your new rules of mathematics in more detail, as I still don't see how y = x (r - c) and y = x r yeild the same result if c is not zero.

On second thought, I revoke the benefit of the doubt.

They would also yield the same result if r==0. ;)

Re:About time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156359)

Either you've discovered a new kind if math, or you're a blathering idiot.

I'll give you the benefit if the doubt and ask you to explain your new rules of mathematics in more detail, as I still don't see how y = x (r - c) and y = x r yeild the same result if c is not zero.

On second thought, I revoke the benefit of the doubt.

They would also yield the same result if r==0. ;)

Err, no. If r == 0 and c != 0, then y = x(r-c) is non-zero for any non-zero x. y = xr would always be zero, and thus the results would only be the same when r == c == 0.

 

/highschool_math_lesson

Re:About time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156159)

Kindly explain how you maintain precisely the same profit margin after changing your revenues and nothing else. Ever hear of a little thing called "overhead"?

I know you probably can't help your mental disability, but you should at least refrain from showing it off.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156465)

That is begging the question. The whole point of the distinction between profit and revenue is that the profit margin can change as a function of revenue. Say you make $5k a month in revenue by working a job in NYC, but it costs you $k a month to live there. You are offered a new job in Kentucky that pays only $4k per month, but would cost only $1k per month to maintain the same standard of living. Yikes, thats a 20% drop in revenue. But wait, now you are clearing $3k per month and not only $2k, or a profit Increase of 50%! /3rd grade Now back to business. One of the main technical challenges of EVE is the fact they only have one virtual world, and they devote a ton of engineering and server resources to somehow make that happen. So its very likely the monetary cost of %load varies exponentially with the %load. But the cost per user is linear. So killing user who use disproportionate load will ALWAYS be profitable with these cost functions as long as the total number of users remains above the critical value where the exponential (offset by fixed costs) intersects the line.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156031)

That's a good point. 2% of their revenue could represent much more than 2% of their profits. Especially in an industry where marginal cost is low compared to capital and fixed costs.

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155673)

Profits and revenues are different things. They certainly lost revenues, but neither one of us knows how they use their revenues, and how that translates into profits; maybe their hardware costs are 1% of their revenues, and overtime dealing with complaints about RMT users was 3% of revenues (that's probably silly, but it's possible).

The sloppy is in pretending that revenues and profits are the same thing. As far as being an ungrateful gamer, I'm not either, I'm simply encouraging you to think about what you are saying before you say it.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155779)

Profits and revenues are different things. They certainly lost revenues, but neither one of us knows how they use their revenues, and how that translates into profits; maybe their hardware costs are 1% of their revenues, and overtime dealing with complaints about RMT users was 3% of revenues (that's probably silly, but it's possible).

The sloppy is in pretending that revenues and profits are the same thing. As far as being an ungrateful gamer, I'm not either, I'm simply encouraging you to think about what you are saying before you say it.

Seriously, dude on one day (June 22nd) they lost 2% of revenues, profits, whatever. Noticing that you dropped your argument of server usage. Why don't you keep trying to defend that?

Re:About time (0, Troll)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155795)

Because I said "might have been". I'm encouraging clear language use, not making any assertions about how the 2% drop in revenues will impact their profits.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156517)

Your argument has devolved to "They lost 2% of SOMETHING".

They lost about two percent of their revenue. Maybe this means they lost 100% of their profit; maybe they just increased their profit by 100%. You have no way of knowing what this did, because you don't know the amount of fixed expenses, nor the expense of these particular accounts.

However, for an mmorpg running a bank of servers, a 30% reduction in processing is a HUGE reduction in expenses. Whether the savings was immediately taken the next day by selling servers or not is meaningless. Even if they never reduced the number of servers, they just added a huge amount of future expandability, for a relatively negligible price.

The Hidden Cost of Hitting the Farmers (4, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156431)

Let me state at the outset that I am a big fan of just about everything Eve.

Disclaimer out of the way, the dirty secret in Eve is that it's real tough to make money as a "glamorous combat pilot." Hi-Sec miner, hi-sec industrialist -- you're swimming in cash. But that's not the glamorous, exciting game one sees in the promos that attracts the curious to play the game. THAT game, the "pew pew" of lasers, the mighty racket of autocannons blazing, the squeal of the drones as they shred your enemies' armor -- exciting as all hell, but costly. The profit margin just ain't there, unless you're really, really good. If you're part of a large null-sec Corp that can replace your ships when they (inevitably) are wiped out when you are jumped by a much larger force, you'll get by, but if you're some lone wolf sociopathic space pirate, you'll be holding your ship together with duct tape and using hurled rocks as ammo in no time.

These are the guys who are the ISK farmers' clients. These guys, who comprise most of the lo-sec game (as opposed to hi-sec and null-sec) are the players affected by the farmer clamp-down. What will be the fall-out when they can't run to their real-world "suppliers" to re-tool? Will these guys leave the game? Join a more established Corp? Switch careers? Grow up? It'll be interesting to watch...

Re:The Hidden Cost of Hitting the Farmers (4, Funny)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156507)

you'll be holding your ship together with duct tape and using hurled rocks as ammo in no time.

They made a Firefly MMO??? Sign me up!

Re:The Hidden Cost of Hitting the Farmers (2, Interesting)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156513)

As a high-sec miner, you're piss-poor. The real money from mining comes from the alliances who can hold space out in 0.0 and mine the valuable ores there. Holding space requires combat pilots. Supplying combat pilots with ships and ammo requires industrialists to run manufacturing and logistics. But overall, the big money is in market trading, 0.0 mining/moon materials and complexes.

This last week, I've logged a total of 4 hours in EVE, yet made a 2.8Bn ISK profit, due to market trading. Revenue is up over 10Bn ISK.

Re:About time (0, Offtopic)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155839)

-1, pedantic.

Re:About time (3, Interesting)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155921)

Depending on data center costs and decommissioning cycles and billing cycles it is probably that this isn't an immediate 2% hit but for the sake of argument let's assume it is. That said I'm guessing they've done the business case to realize that a 20% reduction in infrastructure costs will pay back their 2% drop in profits within X number of months and that X is short enough time frame to affect yearly operational costs in a positive way for several years to come. Additionally it affects taxes and assets and all sorts of things. I don't know how they justified it but I'm pretty sure there was a positive business case before they did something like this.

Data center costs are brutal for companies with significant infrastructure. Most people don't realize how expensive servers are to run day in and ay out. In a top tier data center it sometimes costs as much or more to run a server for a year than it did to originally buy it, and we're not talking dells from best buy we're talking about $20K+ machines ranging on up to ridiculous numbers for some SunOracle boxes. Once you add in things like the land lease, the power, the telecoms, redundancy, depreciation on the facility, labor, etc. it becomes a rather significant cost. If they don't decide to decommission the freed up capacity right away to get the savings it gives them options for deferred spending or for various corporate trade in programs which allow corps to treat servers like cars and get a good bit off of the next gen, generally cheaper due to efficiency gains versions of hardware. Additionally these days most companies outsource the data center work and are locked into various contracts for given periods of time so the only recourse they have to be more efficient on the infrastructure front is to use less until the next contract cycle comes up.

Again, I have no idea what their numbers look like but it's not crazy to think that a 20% reduction in infrastructure usage could have a very good business case with a very short payback time.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156383)

There is another cost here. The farmers could be running off legit business. 'I do not play that game its full of farmers' means one less legit player and whomever he tells. Also these dudes are abusing their system to make money off them at the cost of their 'real' customers. So a small minority of players are abusing it and the other 98% of the players are pissed and may leave over it. Make 98% of your customers happy vs the leaches. Yeah I would drop kick them too. A good example would be going into an all you can eat buffet then hovering up all dinner rolls so no one else gets any. Eventually the management would come over and say your patronage is not welcome. Ive seen it boy was that dude LOUD :)

Its amazing what a little good will can do for a business.

Re:About time (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156415)

Depending on data center costs and decommissioning cycles and billing cycles it is probably that this isn't an immediate 2% hit but for the sake of argument let's assume it is.

Their server load is at 70% of the previous level - this implies that they can increase their userbase by 42% (linear scaling) or 19% (quadratic scaling) without buying more hardware. That's pretty significant.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155731)

If you hadn't randomly insulted GP, I would not have modded you down. Just doing my part for a kinder, gentler /. .

Re:About time (0, Troll)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155751)

Where's the insult? Confusing revenues and profits is sloppy.

If you really are the mod who chucked in a Flamebait, you should have commented from a browser where you weren't logged in, it were undone.

Re:About time (2, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156375)

So maybe people should have specified GROSS profits? Yes, net profitability may go up if this cuts Eve's operating costs, and quarterly gross profit may go back up for separate reasons (i.e. this attracts new players or causes dissatisfied former players to return, or both.). Still, this move directly impacts immediate gross profit, and that's something we can reliably know (those of us who have studied small scale economics).
      Since you didn't make the distinction in your comments either, I'm unclear what you think 'eldavojon' was being sloppy about. Maybe he or someone else should specify what they think will happen to reported quarterly gross and net profits, research whether Eve's parent company is publicly traded, and so on, and if it is, talk stock price effects, and so on, but that doesn't sound like what you mean, offhand, so I must confess I'm puzzled.

Re:About time (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155575)

They may lose even greater player base (more than just gold farmers). On the other hand, such moves might attract other non-cheating players, or keep the current non-cheating ones playing for longer time.

MMOs employing banning are counting on long-time effects, not on short-time effects. They probably weighted all the facts and concluded this is beter than losing players observing how many people are gold-mining, and how many people are buying the "illegally"-mined gold.

Re:About time (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155605)

I don't play the game, but these guys just forfeited 2% of their profits. And you're saying "about time"?

Knowingly cutting that kind of revenue requires more than balls, my friend. That requires the confidence that doing this is going to bring at least that 2% back. That it does not scare away more that are exploiting that haven't been caught. These guys took a chance for ideals of the players. There should be nothing but kudos from the community and an understanding that they have your best interests in mind despite scandals in the past.

Getting rid of the 2% that ruins the game for everyone else does a lot better for the game than trying to keep them in just because they offer extra 2% profit. Maybe someone has left the game because of that and now wants to go back to try it again. Maybe more players will join (they did get article to slashdot again, and probably to lots of other sites). As you see from the analysis, you also see that this 2% used a lot more cpu etc resources than normal players and affected stability of systems aswell, so they save extra there.

I've been wondering long time if I should try EVE and last time I read that you could quite nicely do mining on background while doing work and other stuff on internet. Now that they got rid of these people, maybe it would be even nicer experience for me.

Re:About time (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156119)

I'm really wondering this. What is the relationship between real-world trading of in-game resources and CPU usage?

Re:About time (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156271)

The fact that in order to maintain sales, you have to be on pretty much all of the time.
Look at it this way--if these people were playing the game 12 hours per day, and the average non-exploiter plays the game 2 hours per day, then when you ban the exploiters, you get back a massive amount of per-user CPU time.

Re:About time (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155627)

Such games require a lot of time, possibly spared from your real life and if those 3% idiots were gaming the game, their harm were way more than 30% of CPU time.

I was interested in Eve Online and now have access to Intel Mac, I would have trialed it. If I have seen some rich idiot getting same kind of virtual goods (they speak about trillions) just because he paid to some lifeless idiot, I would cancel my trial immediately.

In fact, if I did know such things are possible, I wouldn't trial at all. Why bother?

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

stoat (125788) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155635)

So cutting 2% of their income vs freeing up 30% of server resources equates to a loss of profit now huh? I wonder what happens when all those farmers just make new accounts.

I guess you weren't around when they were spending tons of money on new hardware/pissing off the playerbase removing bookmarks/anchored containers to reduce database load.

Re:About time (4, Informative)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155651)

Actually if you read the article they claim most of these accounts are started using credit fraud. Last I looked, you don't make money when you are a victim of fraud.

Re:About time (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156457)

Actually if you read the article they claim most of these accounts are started using credit fraud. Last I looked, you don't make money when you are a victim of fraud.

It could even wind up costing you money, due to transaction costs.

Re:About time (5, Informative)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155733)

In EVE you can buy In-Game cards to extend your subscription, if you have enough ISK, which the farmers most definitely have.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155783)

I've seen online games that were almost unplayable due to the amount of chat spam advertising the sale of virtual goods (unless you turn off chat entirely). I think that is where the 30% CPU use drop came from; broadcasting messages to every player is somewhat CPU and network intensive. Getting rid of the most annoying 2% does make the game more playable and enjoyable; if nothing else, it will keep the other players around a bit longer. So yes, it should actually increase their revenues, although it is a bit of a gamble.

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155809)

The only thing holding me back is that I have heard it's quite monotonous at first.

Find friends in-game ASAP. Eve does not get any less monotonous as you progress -- you just eventually find friends, and it becomes worth it.

If you want to play Eve as PvE, you're essentially playing "how big can my wallet get." It's mindless boredom, and was why I quit when all my RL friends did. I picked it up only when they did, and if I didn't have friends in-game I wouldn't play.

OTOH... if you want to go for PvP, (which you CAN do on day 1) then there's no better game than Eve.

Re:About time (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155837)

Think of it this way. The stuido CCP has its own Real World Transfer system. You can buy Game Time Codes and sell them to other players for in game money. This has the basic effect of "buying gold" except that 100% of the money goes to the stuido.

The effect of this was not to reduce their revenue, but likley to increase it, this wont stop people from buying, it will just cause them to buy from the studio itself. Effectively they banned their competitors in the gold buying market.

However I will theorize that this will have less of an effect of the in game economy. Since the RMT transfers are happening anyhow, this simply cuts the dependency of the resources. Those 2% of users were likely macro-miners and missioners, and were using a large amount of resources comparatively.

Re:About time (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155915)

Well, in such a game, long-term balance is the absolute king. Because it is literally equal to the fun that players will have. Which then is equal to the number of active players, positive word-of-mouth and test accounts being made into real accounts.

If there's one rule for such projects, it's that you must maintain a good game balance at all cost, all the time.

CCP did it in a pretty proper way. Which is really hard work. I would have done it a bit earlier if in any way possible, and I have a feeling, that they would have too, if they could.
Don't forget, that there could have been a way, to make them normal players again. Which would have been the better way.

Re:About time (0, Flamebait)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155971)

I don't play the game, but these guys just forfeited 2% of their profits. And you're saying "about time"?

they mostly did it for the greater space good, but if you wanna be a jew about it I'm sure GTC/PLEX sales will offset that lost revenue (not profit) pretty soon. the farmers were not only raping server resources, but were also competitors.

Re:About time (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156019)

Actually, having played it, I found that it wasn't monotonous "at first" - there were enough missions and such that I was able to have a lot of fun right off the bat with it.

It got monotonous, for me, when instead of working up the alliances and resources to conduct missions in 0-Sec, I chose to go into the mining profession hardcore. I had thought that with my dual-monitor setup, I would be able to program on one monitor and play the game on the other monitor - and that would have worked fine, if my computer could have handled it. It couldn't. Eventually, after a while of this, I ended up getting a 360 Elite for my birthday (this was about two years ago) - I hooked that up to my second monitor, instead, and I cancelled EVE in favour of Halo 3, which I still play at least 3 times a week online with friends.

However, as concerns EVE, I have no doubt that if you are willing to venture into 0-Sec space, where you *could* lose everything on a moment's notice, the game can be VERY exciting.

What about the 30% reduction in CPU time? (1)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156351)

Yes, but they also eliminated the costs to them of that 30% of CPU time. It actually might have boosted their bottom line. I do not have the means to do a cost analysis but loosing 2% of their users might be outweigh the costs of keeping those 2%.

Re:About time (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156423)

Cut 2% of their income for 30% of their operating costs and increased customer satisfaction? It may not balance out exactly like that, but I'm sure it made sense as a business decision.

loss of money? (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155547)

I'm sure their user agreement spells out that they can ban you for any reason at any time and owe you nothing. But that was before they started selling imaginary property outside the game. THis legitimizes the ingame value of the stuff they just "took" from you without compensation. I bet there are a few in that 6000 that will sue. Might set an interesting precedent if it's not all settled out of court.

Re:loss of money? (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155643)

You know, I forgot all about that. They can't pretend stuff has no in-game value now in their TOS if they are selling stuff for real money. That might be a really easy lawsuit.

Re:loss of money? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155889)

You know, not everywhere is like the US.

I've lived all over the world, including the US, and only in America do people sue at every opportunity. I think it is a real sign of a sickness in American culture, and your comment reminded me of it.

Re:loss of money? (2, Insightful)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155935)

If they've broken the terms of a contract, it is the correct method of resolution.

Re:loss of money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155753)

CCP selling imaginary property outside of the game? You clearly don't even have the slightest clue what you're talking about.

Re:loss of money? (1)

daethon (1349241) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155801)

While it may be true that there has been a market price established for the ingame property it does not mean that there is potential for a lawsuit.

If Eve's EULA states specifically that the sale of ingame assets in the real world is against the agreement and can result in termination, then they should be fully covered. It would imply that really any sale made in the real world was essentially a "black market" sale and a breach of contract by the user. They'd be doubly protected if there was a clause in the EULA that stated that ISK were not transferred property and were retained by EVE. Regardless though, as long as EVE followed the terms of their EULA they shouldn't have any exposure for lawsuits.

Maybe I'm wrong...but I doubt it.

Re:loss of money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155841)

I'm sure their user agreement spells out that they can ban you for any reason at any time and owe you nothing. But that was before they started selling imaginary property outside the game. THis legitimizes the ingame value of the stuff they just "took" from you without compensation. I bet there are a few in that 6000 that will sue. Might set an interesting precedent if it's not all settled out of court.

It might be too difficult for a sweatshop worker in China to sue, or the sweatshop itself even. So much effort when they were already violating the ToS and would have to justify the validity of a novel and dubious argument.

Re:loss of money? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156073)

You do realize CCP is based on Iceland, don't you?

Re:loss of money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156229)

Ive never heard of someone suing Blizzard for the same reason, I expect the same result.

Re:loss of money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156237)

The issue I have with this is that they banned accounts to "protect the economy" and because buying isk is against the EULA. Ok, fine - both are legitimate reasons. But what about plex? To me, this is essentially Eve saying "its illegal to buy isk with real money - unless it's from us, then its ok". If buying isk distorts the economy as they claim, then buying it via plex is still buying it.
I am not a fan of gold farmers, but this just strikes me as being a bit two-faced.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156101)

who cares? I sure don't

I just came back from lunch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155531)

It was tasty.

Re:I just came back from lunch (2, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156209)

Go back to twitter.

Thank you Captain Obvious! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155555)

Your server performs better with less requests?
You don't say!

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (2, Insightful)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155593)

Banning 2% players to decrease CPU usage by 30% is not obvious.

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155611)

Banning 2% players to decrease CPU usage by 30% is not obvious.

By this time in the game's development, though, it should be obvious which players use the most CPU time, and for that matter any other system resource.

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (2, Insightful)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155637)

Unless you are a CCP developer, it is not obvious for you as a reader of Slashdot summary.

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155667)

Stop being so stubborn, you don't have a point at all. A Slashdot reader cannot predict the exact value, but a Slashdot reader knows that a CCP developer has access to enough information to make the estimation. Hence, it's obvious.

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155689)

+1 funny, i guess

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155619)

Those users were exploiters meaning their requests were more resource intensive than regular users.

It is kinda obvious that the usage economy would be significantly high.

Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (2, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156505)

Those guys run their bots round the clock, while even the most dedicated human might manage 7-10 hours a day. So it's not surprising that they're consuming a lot more resources than everyone else.

I wonder if this has freed up any chunks of low-sec space. I've heard rumors of vast tracts of isk farmer territory where automated mining operations go on 'round the clock. And if that's how they were making all their isk, creating new accounts won't help much if they've lost the defenses that made maintaining that space viable in the first place.

How ironic (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155755)

Ads by Google:

EVE ISK 500000M in Storck
$0.02/M in all EVE ISK service , Share the Warefare, 5mins Delivery
www.THSale.com/Fast-EVE-ISK

Slashdot promoting exploiting..

This may net them a near-immediate profit (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155759)

EVE themselves allow players to buy gold with real money. You can buy 60-day GTCs (game time codes) which allow you to purchase 2 months of game time. EVEs own website allows you to exchange these GTCs for in-game currency. So if you want, you can buy as many GTCs as you like, sell them via EVE, and buy yourself the ship of your dreams.

With a large percentage of the gold farmers killed off, anybody wanting to buy gold will have to do it through EVE. The net result is that many more GTCs are sold, generating lots of extra revenue for EVE

Re:This may net them a near-immediate profit (0, Troll)

Celeritas 5k (1587217) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155877)

This is simply not true, as there is no such thing as this "gold" you speak of in EVE. Also, math fail.

Re:This may net them a near-immediate profit (1)

Dmxftw (1622951) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156179)

Isk then, smartarse. Most people on here seem to know that gold can be used a generic term for in-game currencies, but if you want to insist on Isk so that non-Eve players are confused with needless Eve terminology, go ahead. How does smugly writing "math fail" in any way nullify my argument? Why don't you try actually using math to make your point? Or would that be beyond your limited intellect, perhaps?

gaming the system? (5, Insightful)

isd.bz (1260658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155787)

I find it kind of funny (ironic, Alanis?) that using software to 'game the system' and create money out of thin air is dealt with swiftly and with 'surgical precision', and when Goldman Sachs does the same thing with the stock markets, they are dealt with by being provided protection from the SEC and FBI.

Re:gaming the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155805)

What an embarrassing display of ignorance, my friend.

Re:gaming the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155901)

Ignorance is ignoring the truth. He speaks the truth.

Re:gaming the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156123)

Eve is a virtual world and irreverent to daily life. Goldman Sachs can crash the economy overnight.

Re:gaming the system? (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156163)

Alanis* says it's ironic that people fear using the word to refer to actual irony. In this case, you're good. It fits the definition stated by Merriam-Webster as 'incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result.'

* - Not really, but I am being ironic by using an appeal to authority when the authority in question is the canonical example of a counter-authority. This footnote dropped for the benefit of the moderators who didn't get that. By insulting them to their faces, I am doing them a favor because they now won't have to waste valuable time considering whether what I said is wrong or just unfunny, and can go straight for Flamebait.

Eve players don't own any congressmen... (2, Informative)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156261)

...so no, they don't get protected and bailed out.

Who has the right to execute me? Stand forward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155799)

Maybe I have gotten the wrong end of the stick here, but perhaps the way to "execute" players in the game is NOT just to turn off their accounts, but give them a chance to fight back, or redeem themselves.

Who has has never thought about all of those tyrannical regimes, like the ones the US is so keen to fight against, that if they were to be executed, you wouldnt just lie down on the table and say goodbye. Anyone who tried to kill me, I would kill every motherfucker in that room UNTIL I was dead, I mean, I would strangle, bite, break, snap, bitch, refuse to cooperate, mad dog time. That goes for the US, Iran, the taleban, anyone, cmon bitches, come get some, if you can win, bad for me, if I can win, good for me. Before someone says it, I'm a computer programmer, so what most likely would happen, is that I would TRY to come up with some jackie chan bullshit, get smacked in the face, pinned to the ground and totally bitchslapped, I mean, I'm a computer programmer, not a martial artist and most of you guys are in the same boat. But you would at least TRY it? right??? I mean, what you gonna lose?? you're gonna be dead in 10 minutes anyway, if you score some kills, good for you!!! in 10 minutes, you'll be dead anyway, so who cares

Anyone here watched a beheading video and think, FUCK!!! Why didnt the guy take someone with him, the second those crazy islamics opened their mouth, TRY to fight, TRY to win, TRY to go down fighting, not like a pussy getting dunked into a bucket of water.

FUCK EM, you wanna kill me, come get some. like I said before.

SO, perhaps the best way is to notify you have been marked for execution by the police and get hunted down, you can't mine for gold if you're getting your ass bitched around the universe, I mean, what better way to go down, what better adrenaline rush, even if you never win, even if you constantly have to buy a new ship, you'll have the most exciting game you ever played for the time you get to play it, if you WIN, then fuck me, you really are fucking cool, ok, you win, back off and perhaps that person just goes onto a watch list, someone to be careful about, perhaps get banished to the badlands and you have to fight it out like the hard bastard you are, but your mining days are probably over.

I mean, wouldnt that be the better solution? If you get killed, use all your money, can't play anymore cause the police just kick your ass within 30 minutes of playing, then so be it, but at least you can TRY to win and then when you have nothing left, you can just quit and say you couldnt win anymore and you tried your hardest.

you see my point? You want to create a universe that is all seeing all doing, lifelike and real, yet then you pull up the admin console, click the account, select delete and bingo, the guy gets his account "executed" That to me is cheating, if you want to take me alive in real life, you have to get me cornered in a liquor store somewhere in the middle of nowhere and I have no bullets left. There is no admin console, I give up and you arrest+execute me, or I go down guns blazing.

if you want to pretend it's a real world, stop using tools that don't exist in the real world.

Re:Who has the right to execute me? Stand forward (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155881)

A) your comparison between real life execution and losing your account in a video game made me throw up a little bit.

B) You want to add an interesting new "fugitive" mechanic to the game, which requires players to abuse the game to experience? And you think this will *reduce* game abuse? You have a lot to learn about MMOs, my friend.

EVE could actually immediately profit here (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155831)

EVE themselves allow players to buy gold with real money. You can buy 60-day GTCs (game time codes) which allow you to purchase 2 months of game time. EVEs own website allows you to exchange these GTCs for in-game currency. So if you want, you can buy as many GTCs as you like, sell them via EVE, and buy yourself the ship of your dreams.

With a large percentage of the gold farmers killed off, anybody wanting to buy gold will have to do it through EVE. The net result is that many more GTCs are sold, generating lots of extra revenue for EVE. EVE wins.

PLEX (1)

Sniper98G (1078397) | more than 5 years ago | (#29155909)

The people banned in the unholy rage were ISK (in game currency) framers. They farmed ISK and sold it for real money. One of the reasons for CCP kicked them out without a second thought was because they expect a lot of that currency purchase to shift to their PLEX (Pilot License Extension) system. They allow you to buy PLEXs for real money and either use them to extend your game time by 30 days or more likely sell them, in game to players who have more ISK then they know what to do with. In this way players who make huge contributions to the player driven in game economy end up playing for free, and players who don't mind paying some extra cash get rich quick.

Also it seams that a lot of these ISK framers were using stolen credit cards and CCP never saw their subscription payments any ways.

Re:PLEX (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156239)

Even worse is that you could spend real world money for farmed ISK, then buy PLEXes, which means that none of your money was going to CCP for an extension of your gametime.

Re:PLEX (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156417)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is a way to bring the PLEX into existence without sending CCP money.

Is this the US Economy? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29155943)

Don't tell me most account ids were variants of 'Goldman Sachs'

Re:Is this the US Economy? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156171)

Don't tell me most account ids were variants of 'Goldman Sachs'

Don't be silly. About half of them were registered by the Department of the Treasury. We have to pay back that debt somehow.

exit interview (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156105)

Whenever I've left an MMO or even uninstalled certain software, I've been presented with a short survey asking me why I left. Let's say my answer was "rampant cheating" or "inability to get ahead because of gold farmers and buyers." If the survey data show that people are leaving at rate r for that reason, CCP has a basis for knowing when those 2% become more trouble than they are worth.

surgical precision (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156207)

So the CEO says that the merthods were sound and the purge went with "surgical precision".

Just how precise is surgery, anyway? An oncologist tries to be precise, but they know that they will be cutting away good tissue in order to make sure they get the entire tumor.

EVE clearly succeeded in getting rid of their most CPU intensive players. Given the change in implant prices, they may be right in assuming that this directly correlates to the people engaged in real money trading (RMT). But even so, what distinguishes a legitimate player or group of players who are very very good at earning money from an RMT trader? In other words, how does Mr. HreiÃarsson know that all the people who were banned were actually involved in RMT? Or does that matter? If a banned player was engaging in CPU intensive, ISK-gathering play, but was not selling their ISK, can they appeal the ban?

Hypocritical group. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156221)

Is this the same /. group of people that cry bloody murder when Time Warner or Comcast try to impose limits on usage? Am I reading this correctly? Bunch of hypocrites. Those 2% purchased the game fair and square. If this is successful, I think Time Warner should just kick the highest 2% of usage accounts right off the system. No warnings, no explanation. You can argue that there something in the EULA to justify this, and there probably is. I bet Time Warner's agreement also permits cancellation at any time, for any reason. No, this is not a troll. Well, maybe it is. But, it just seems there are parallels here that everyone here ignores when convenient.

Re:Hypocritical group. (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156519)

Except the damn idiots they banned were fraudulent accounts. In other words they didn't buy them fair and square nor did CCP get paid for them. So where is the hypocrisy or are you another of those people who think the world owes you a living?

Headline Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156405)

I find the headline for this article misleading. "EVE aggresively bans RMTs" would have been a better fit. EVE developers openly encourage users to exploit and abuse each other.

Due process (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156425)

I assume users who engaged in anti-social or rule-breaking rules had enough warning (by the publication of the rules forbidding ISK trading) and plenty of opportunity to defend themselves.

As we move more and more of our social interaction into virtual spaces (and not only immersive environments, but places like Slashdot or Hacker News) the need to pay attention to the institution of justice increases.

I have no sympathy for transgressors who live off transgression, but I have no sympathy either with this notion of justice (from this to the censorship on Apple's bulletin boards to erasure of comments on TechCrunch) I see repeatedly being practiced.

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