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Yet Another EVE Online Scandal?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the oi-vey dept.

259

Ariastis writes "An open letter, posted by former EVE Players, levels some new and serious accusations against CCP, the makers of the EVE Online MMOG. In the letter, chat logs & event timelines, along with description of in-game events from CCP-Approved reporting users, describe how most of the big role-playing events are rigged to favor specific alliances & players by CCP. More disturbingly, these users also appear to have CCP employees 'on call', ready to step in on behalf of the favoured players and alliances within the game. CCP reaction is member-only, but a forum thread has been left open to discuss about it." It should be pointed out at the moment all of the evidence put forward is circumstantial; take with a grain of salt. The issue of corruption in EVE was addressed in our interview with Magnus Bergsson at GDC.

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259 comments

WHO CARES?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278545)

Does anyone not named Zonk have any idea what any of this means, and do they care? NO!

Re:WHO CARES?! (0, Troll)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278563)

"Who cares" was going to be MY first post, dammit.

Re:WHO CARES?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278665)

I am an EVE player. I know lots of other players. For the vast majority of us, this is a novelty issue; it doesn't affect the way we play or what we enjoy doing.

Re:WHO CARES?! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279031)

I do. I was directly affected by the last round of CCP interference.

In the time between loosing nearly everything I had in EVE and discovering what was really going on I had worked hard to rebuild my EVE holdings back to where they had been before BoB showed up. Since I discovered what had happened I've stopped playing but I still keep the account ticking over and a passing interest.

Sure BoB kicked ass during the entire war, but EVE is hard game and a little advantage on such a big scale makes a difference.

Now I think its time to stop paying CCP

Re:WHO CARES?! (1)

Breakyismyname (1107453) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279681)

I'm done. I have 3 paying accounts in this game and have had them for over 1 year. After this, I'm through. CCP has done NOTHING to correct the problem from last time and they still exact a "ban 1st get to the facts later" when allegations against them come to light.

Re:WHO CARES?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278637)

I care. Lots of people have worked hard to create a vibrant material and political economy in EVE. EVE's real-time training system means this stuff takes a long, long time. It's natural and proper that people would rather seek a change in CCP's awful favoritism and blatant cheating, instead of throwing away years worth of work.

Duh.

Re:WHO CARES?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278707)

What the hell are you blabbering on about?

Re:WHO CARES?! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279607)

Erh... don't get me wrong, but if you consider playing EvE work, then it's time to quit. Seriously. Work is something I do to earn money. That can be quite entertaining, too, granted, but when I play a game, I'm looking for entertainment. And, as much as I allow everyone his own kind of enjoyment, I consider it wrong to play a game and consider it work.

Yes, I'm aware that many MMORPGs resemble work rather than leisure, but... why the heck play it, then? If you enjoy to work, hell, go to work and work a few hours overtime for some more dough and a career!

I had been playing EvE for close to ... erh... heck, when did I come out? I quitted about a year ago. Do the math. But it was never ever work to me. It was fun. Granted, I'm an accountant at heart, so I'm easy to entertain with tables containing a lot of funny little numbers, and it was tiring sometimes to wait for over a month for a skill to finish, but work...

Honestly...

It's all a matter of how you view it (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279677)

Does a novelist work when writing? Is restoring a classic car work? Is putting in time on an open-source side project work? A lot of people feel the difference between work and play is all in the mind. Some play still requires a lot of work. People do it because they feel it's satisfying.

Say you restored a classic car from a rusted-out wreck and it's now a showpiece. You feel satisfaction. Some rich guy enters a car in the same show and you know he paid someone else to do all the work. Well, does that bust your balls? Some people might feel it takes nothing away from the experience of actually restoring the car and are not put out. Some people might be upset about losing the blue ribbon to someone who just bought his way into the competition. Now what if you find out the rich guy's uncle is also on the judging panel and that this influenced his win? You may enjoy your car but there's no way in hell you'd enter that contest again, right? Now imagine that you had to do all that restoration work in a garage owned by the car show and you cannot take it with you if you want to leave. That's how people feel trapped in the game and that's why they get far angrier than most people would think is appropriate given the situation. You don't have to be a car buff to understand why someone would be upset if some dick smashed up another guy's car. You'd have to be a frickin' Buddhist monk not to be upset if it were your car. And if you were a Buddhist monk, what are you doing with a nice car anyway? :)

I guess what it boils down to is that you're kind of fucked if your passtime can be in any way controlled by someone else. If you like playing D&D, you don't have to go with the latest rules if everyone agrees to stick with the old ones. You can agree to modify the rules in a friendly game of chess for that matter. But if you follow a professional sport and they start dicking with the rules and changing the game, not much you can do there. Same goes for multiplayer games. It's not like you can say "you know what, I don't think I want to install that patch."

geez then why keep paying to play it?? (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278573)

Isn't this around the 3rd-4th time something like this has come up concerning EVE? It appears either their userbase is completely paranoid or the people behind the game are shifty weasels either way there is an easy way to express your disdain for the behavior, stop playing.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278593)

Still looking for the "maximize" button when your Mac has "zoom" [apple.com] instead? Take the hint, switcheurs: If you can't cope with multiple windows, GTFO. The Mac wasn't designed for one-track minds.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (0, Troll)

zeromusmog (260817) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278599)

Umm, I don't think you ""get"" eve

Nobody ACTUALLY plays eve, they play post about eve.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (4, Interesting)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278771)

Paranoid yes, but that doesn't mean "they" are not out to get us.

It's hard not to be, you work your guts out and can barely keep a corporation with 20 members moving in the same direction, while there are corps that have thousands of memebers and seem to be able to print money and ships and can gather fleets big enough to lag out your connection when they move through your system.

Of course that's the whole point of the game, it's not supposed to be fair. Eve is pure and simply a no holds bared economic simulator. The rules are few, and the strongest eat the weakest. People come in from other MMO's to play Eve with the expection that it is WOW in space. After a month or three they come to the realization that there are portions of the game they will never have access to, no matter how long they play and how much they grind, and that death can come for them at any time reguardless of how high they climb and how big of a ship they can field. Many never come to grips with it, so they start crying foul over just about everything.

A player steals your ore or rips you off in a comercial transaction, it's griefing. A big ship has enough fire power to wipe out a little ship, they scream nerf. The little ship can out manuever the guns of the big ship, too much nerfing. A corportion that number in the thousands systematically wipes out corps with members numbering in the hundreds...

...it's CCP favoratism.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (4, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278927)

Spell check is the work of the Devel

That must make you Jeezus.

Interesting "coincidences" (4, Insightful)

CharonX (522492) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278969)

So that fireing of that ISD reporter at the command of a BoB member.
That odd dev promiting himself to director, demoting himself a couple of minutes later without communication.
All inquiries related to above incident being buried and blocked out.
Banning of members who inquired and asked "unpleasant" questions, over formalities
Evidence that CCP wants to push certain results - "outcome X is desirable. see to it" in the storyline.
Previous accounts of collusion and corruption.
Failure to punish above accounts as written in policy.
All those things are only coincidences. No, sir, I don't buy it.

Re:Interesting "coincidences" (0)

tgordon (703174) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279015)

At no point does the letter say that the ISD guy was fired on the request or demand of BoB. More likely he was fired for interfering with alliance combat by accidently bumping dreads, OR because of a variety of other thing that we don't even know about. Only an idiot takes the word of a disgruntled employee seriously, especially when there is a complete lack of corroborating evidence like there is here.

Re:Interesting "coincidences" (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279431)

That some key events are rigged is a given. Sorry, but it can't be any other way. Storylines are developed months in advance, the developers need time to implement them. You can't develop two or more stories and possible outcomes just in case it turns out this or that way. That's even quite understandable. What's less understandable is that this is used as a lever to give a certain corp the upper hand.

The question remains, what do you plan to do against it?

Re:Interesting "coincidences" (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279885)

When the story involves PvP manipulating it ANY way is against the rules of fair play. You either do the story missions and then "freeze" time for the next two months while you implement the next part or you don't make it PvP.

You can't have your cake and eat it, yet here they are eating cake and advertising they still have some.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (5, Insightful)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279547)

Of course that's the whole point of the game, it's not supposed to be fair.

How do you define fair? To me, fairness means everyone is judged by the same standards and plays by the same set of rules. Fairness should not mean that everyone should have the same outcome. I doubt that any new Eve player expected to be instantly given the "right" to as much in-game power as those people who have been playing longer and have more knowledge about the game. All we expected was that the rules of the game would be the same for everyone. However, when developers use the power that they have acquired outside of the game (by virtue of their being devs) to bend the rules in their favor, that upsets the rest of the player base--and rightly so.

Just Banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279629)

All I did was post this link. Now I lost everything, including all the money I pre-paid for my account, which I had paid up 3 months in advance. This is really unfair. I was only asking what the hell is going on and I got banned. I wasn't even involved in any of that fight. I just wanted to know what the fuss was.

http://digg.com/pc_games/EVE_Creators_CCP_Under_Fi re_Again_for_Alleged_Corruption_Open_Letter_Made [digg.com]

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (1)

bohlke (176080) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278811)

i agree completaly.... because these escandals i left the game... it a shame; was a prety nice game.

Re:geez then why keep paying to play it?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279635)

Me too. I concluded that a couple of alliances had basically "won" the game --- with help from a deus ex machina, the devs

Did it ever occur to anyone... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278589)

...that this "having EVE staff at beck and call" is not CCP's "official" doing but rather due to some CCP employees playing the game?

Doesn't make it any more "right", but would explain a lot of things. People are people, and most of all they're human. And thus prone to the temptations of power, and of abusing it.

Furthermore, CCP "hires" (or at least hired, dunno if that practice still exists) players to work as the first line troubleshooters, as aides for newbies, as listeners to whining when people get stuck between zones, etc. I wouldn't deem it impossible that some people took up this "helper" position for the sole purpose of furthering their corporation's goals, and those people do have a quite direct connection to the staff. I was one of those people (without the abuse. My corp was anything but a "0.0 capable" corp).

Re:Did it ever occur to anyone... (4, Insightful)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278711)

...And thus prone to the temptations of power, and of abusing it.
That is exactly why employees of games like these need to be confined to their own guilds/corporations that are automatically disqualified from taking part in major in-game events.

Re:Did it ever occur to anyone... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279451)

Either that or, more usefully, employed as a plot device, maybe as an antagonist for the players, as plot drivers, there are many ways a developer faction can actually add to the flavor and experience of a game.

Well, that's how we did it back in the good ol' days of text based "MMORPGs". Anyone here played BT3030?

Re:Did it ever occur to anyone... (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279891)

Hm...that would work, but then the employees wouldn't actually be players, strictly speaking. They'd be more analogous to a D&D Dungeon Master.

Re:Did it ever occur to anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279041)

You probably already knew this, but I just wanted to point out that your sig is ironic in that CCP (reminds me of the Chinese Communist Party) rigs the game...

Please submit a better story next time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278597)

I was expecting to here about another ingame bank heist with an intresting story, please come back when you have an intresting story to submit. ~AC

Thread (1)

Nyphur (514992) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278647)

As a point of fact, the forum thread linked in the article is being heavily moderated. An unmoderated version can be found here.

Re:Thread (5, Informative)

Nyphur (514992) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278669)

Oops, that didn't post correctly: As a point of fact, the forum thread linked in the article is being heavily moderated. An unmoderated version can be found here: http://www.eve-search.com/index.dxd?thread=526462 [eve-search.com] .

Re:Thread (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279469)

What's really interesting about your un-modded copy is that we get to see just WHICH postings get removed. Aside from the flame postings, it's quite informative...

As a long time eve player... (4, Informative)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278673)

I knew it was a matter of time before this happened again.

Grain of salt?? there are SCREENSHOTS to prove it.

So, why did a dev join a player corp, and when the CEO of the player corp petitions it
to find out WHY they did it, the petitions vanish?

Then, when they have no recourse, and no avenue of contacting CCP and they make it a PUBLIC question
they just start MASS BANNING players?

This is just inappropriate behavior from a company.
Every time these boneheads cheat/lie/and rush to ban players they lose money.

Another cover-up will take the place of this.
They will say 'nothing inappropriate occurred and ignore/ban anyone that questions it.

Re:As a long time eve player... (0, Flamebait)

tgordon (703174) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278723)

Spamming every single thread in every single subforum with your "open letter" is not "inappropriate behavior" for the largest alliance in the game? Goons have nearly ruined EVE with their SA "culture" and constant bitching about every game mechanic that damages their ability to blob others into submission with sheer retard power. Right now they have a completely unverified, one-sided testimonial from a supposed ex-ISD member, and some completely unrelated screenshots of Sharkbait doing his job. CONSPIRACY!

Re:As a long time eve player... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279799)

If you are still on line do me a favor, send an Eve Mail to Kador at Red Frog and let him know Tesal got banned. I was asking what the hell was going on and posted a link in the local channel and got immediately banned, no warning no nothing. I am a relative newb so it is kind of a shock.

Re:As a long time eve player... (2, Informative)

ncoll (1107465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278737)

It's actually not so strange, or so rare, that this happens. Say your POS(Player Owned Station(or Structure), deployable thing at a moon in space) got bugged(Not uncommon) doing whatever, such as super-capitalship construction, it might need a DEV/GM to join the corporation itself, try to see exactly what the bug is from the corporations point of view, then fix it. But the CEO not knowing about it is indeed strange, maybe one of his directors petitioned, logged off, and the CCP employee had to join to figure it out.

As for the petition being deleted, my guess would be as good as anyone's.

Re:As a long time eve player... (1)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279327)

Well, they claim that nobody petitioned it in their corporation.
So, if nobody asked for this supposed bug to be looked into, why did they pick DS1
and the goons to look at?

It stinks to high heavens.

Look at their CEOs info (LucasWV) - he has a statement that reads:

Statement on dev misconduct:

for the record, Darkstar1 has 3 pos in game only and they have always worked fine and have never been petitioned by anyone in the corp for not working, the statement given by CCP is incorrect and simply not true as far as i can tell.
I am certain that the developer joining our corp is above board and no malice intended but frankly the manner in which he did it in these times of little trust and confidence in certain parties leads to a high level of suspision and drama.
Too much of the actions are clouded and fogged, all it would of taken was an explanation via a mail or something to say he was going to do what he did.

This incident shows clearly that there is still a lack of trust when it comes to the developers of this game acting in a trustworthy unbaised manner, i remind you all that the ISD bias and events issues are still unaccounted for......

LUCASWV, - CEO of Darkstar1

Imagine if these people actually had lives. (3, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278677)

Or better yet, imagine if Ghengis Khan, Hitler, etc. had imaginary wargames like this to play with. Would they leave their basements either?

The answer: yes (5, Interesting)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279659)

Or better yet, imagine if Ghengis Khan, Hitler, etc. had imaginary wargames like this to play with. Would they leave their basements either?

Apparently, yes, they would have eventually emerged from their basements. And they would have emerged mightier than before! From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

"The stunning Prussian victory over the Second French Empire in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) is sometimes partly credited to the training of Prussian officers with the game Kriegspiel, which was invented around 1811 and gained popularity with many officers in the Prussian army.

Useful Historical Fact of the Day: If Hitler had played C&C, we would all by typing in German by now.

As a member of ISD (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278713)

Sharkbait story has no merit.

Other one really happened on irc:

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: ok anyone know an ISD named rekan?
Macayle: why?
[IC]Raekhan: I'm right here.
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you need to leave that system
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you are making an ass of yourself
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and of ccp
[IC]Raekhan: ?
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: enticing the player base is not actions that you want to do
[IC]Raekhan: What..are...you....
[IC]Raekhan: ?
Cortes feels a facepalm coming on
[EA]Aristaqis: enticing? Was he putting on a strip show or something?
[IC]Tsuki facepalms
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: the local player base asked him to politly stop pushing dreads
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: that were undergoing a siege operation
[IC]Raekhan: I was not pushing a dread.
[IC]Raekhan: I'm 70KM away.
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: it does not matter.. posting in local "no"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that "your not going away"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that all you hear is "static"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and to complain to eris discordia
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: is not helpfull at all
Cortes: which wouldn't do much good given I'm the IC VA
That was the last I've seen of Raekhan.

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Re:As a member of ISD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279221)

Sharkbait story has no merit.

Other one really happened on irc:

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: ok anyone know an ISD named rekan?
Macayle: why?
[IC]Raekhan: I'm right here.
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you need to leave that house
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you are making an donkey of cpp
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and of small planets
[IC]Raekhan: ORLY?
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: also your ass is big
[IC]Raekhan: What..are...you....
[IC]Raekhan: ?
Cortes feels a facepalm coming on
[EA]Aristaqis: Was he putting on a strip show or something? And I missed it?
[IC]Tsuki facepalms
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: the local player base asked him to politly stop undressing
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: that were undergoing a power-stip operation
[IC]Raekhan: I was not stipping.
[IC]Raekhan: I'm 70KM away.
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: it does not matter.. stripping in local "no"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that "your not going to get dressed"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that all you hear is "remove it"
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and to complain to my foot fetish
Admiral_Chamrajnagar: is not helpfull at all
Cortes: which wouldn't do much good given I'm the JUGGNAUT, BITCH

That was the last I've seen of Raekhan.
Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Re:As a member of ISD (1)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279349)

Sharkbait story has no merit.

A statement from the CEO of Darkstar 1, the corp which owns the POS in question (taken from his in-game bio):

"for the record, Darkstar1 has 3 pos in game only and they have always worked fine and have never been petitioned by anyone in the corp for not working, the statement given by CCP is incorrect and simply not true as far as i can tell. I am certain that the developer joining our corp is above board and no malice intended but frankly the manner in which he did it in these times of little trust and confidence in certain parties leads to a high level of suspision and drama. Too much of the actions are clouded and fogged, all it would of taken was an explanation via a mail or something to say he was going to do what he did.

This incident shows clearly that there is still a lack of trust when it comes to the developers of this game acting in a trustworthy unbaised manner, i remind you all that the ISD bias and events issues are still unaccounted for......"

Re:As a member of ISD (4, Funny)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279711)

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.
Oh, for fucks sake man: GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!

Honestly, I don't get this game at all. I read several stories about EVE, and the interesting thing that they have in common is that
  1. Nobody seems to be having fun
  2. Everybody takes it way too seriously
.

Good to know another game I won't play... (1)

CharonX (522492) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278717)

Ok, if the Devs want to play favorites and follow up their big "Influence the storyline" advertisments with secret oders along the lines of "Outcome X is preferred. See that it happens." and abuse their power to ensure that - then I don't need to play this game.
Hell, ther are plenty of other excellent MMOGs out there, where the Developers don't cheat their customers.
Welcome on my "Games I will never play" list.

Re:Good to know another game I won't play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278971)

>Hell, ther are plenty of other excellent MMOGs out there, where the Developers don't cheat their customers.
Such as?

Re:Good to know another game I won't play... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279685)

Storylines often have to be rigged. Mostly because they often follow a lead that spans a few months. You can't develop a thousand possible branches, it simply isn't feasible. That by itself is not immediately a problem. It can still be fun and entertaining to participate in the conflict or the development, if there's still something in it for you, not just disappointment.

What constitutes as cardinal sins in such a scenario:

1. First and foremost, rigging an outcome that favors a group of players. Seriously, maybe the largest sin you can commit as a developer. You may dick over the whole playerbase, you may let all of them sacrifice their ships, equipment or material in void, but you may never ever rig a story in such a way that one player group gets the spoils by default. It's been proven time and again that it WILL come out. Either one of the guys blabs or brags, or it becomes obvious after a few such occurances.

2. Claim their input has any meaningful impact when it has none. I've played a few games where it was pretty much an open secret that the outcome is already determined, and the devs quite openly admitted it. If you asked. If you didn't ask, don't complain that you're "dumb" enough to believe. What the devs did instead was to give players who showed some vested interest in the storyline and who did participate in it ("for" or "against" the planned outcome) some kind of role in it. If nothing else, it was a reference to them in the reports about it. And behold, people loved it. They would throw themselves and their goods after a "lost" cause.

Because it was simply fun!

After a while, devs started to weave such player actions into the story. The outcome was still set in stone, but certain NPCs started to "recognize" you when you participated, they started to hand out missions and quests to "trusted" players.

You can't even begin to imagine just how many people started to throw themselves against the odds then. It was kinda hard to keep the front up that they "lost"....

This works better, though, in games where PvP doesn't play a major part.

It's funny.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278851)

It's funny how easily these Goonfleet stories keep getting posted on slashdot because some of the mods here are goons. Keep this crap off the front page. Nobody cares about your gang of $10 e-thugs.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278889)

What's the point of cheating at a game you already own and operate? That seems sort of like being the GM of an RPG and simultaneously running a character in the game that's twice the level of everyone else. It just seems sad and lame. Is money somehow involved here? Or possibly vaginas? This would make more sense if vaginas came into play somewhere along the line.

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279757)

Money can buy va... Noooo, not gonna go there.

The problem with PvP-heavy MMORPGS, such as EvE, is, that whoever has the biggest balls can also get the biggest share of the cake. In EvE this means you get access to newer blueprints for new equipment before others get it (if they ever get it, that is). Of course, playing a game is more fun when you have all the goodies.

Now, you can't simply hack into the DB. First of all, someone at the company will notice it sooner or later, and it could well cost you your job. You can't even simply pump yourself a few billions of credits, because that would CERTAINLY start to surface, since the EvE economy is heavily player driven, and the influx of a lot of cash is even more noticable than in other MMORPGs. Not to mention that the the overall money available is quite closely monitored, you notice that even as a player without any access to any kind of logs.

So the only thing you can do, if you have the power to run events and want to cheat, is to rig said events.

The interesting questions this brings up (2, Interesting)

brennz (715237) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278895)

Game developer stands up MMO game. Game developer gets in bed with a group of players "A" and develops an incestuous relationship with them. Group of players infiltrate the Game developer corporation as both game masters and developers and start providing extra services to their own friends.

Enter rival group of players "B" that threatens the hegemony of "A". Game developer supports "A" by developing items in their favor and scripts outcomes to favor "A" in RP events that dispense virtual cash and equipment.

Rival group of players "B" uses kickbacks from and paraphernalia sales, earning the ire of the IRS in the process. [shatteredcrystal.com]

Although most of the purchases ingame are completely virtual (money, ships, etc), if "B" is being taxed for finances relating to virtual acquisitions, shouldn't they likewise be able to sue under US law for breach of services by the game developer that is clearly favoring "A" in the ongoing war?

Re:The interesting questions this brings up (1)

Arti (619829) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279001)

The taxation isn't on the in-game items, it's on the real US dollars earned through a retail affiliate program.

Re:The interesting questions this brings up (1)

EonBlueTooL (974478) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279055)

Eve is developed by CCP which is an icelandic company. Thus US laws do not apply... Not yet at least.

EVE Internal affairs statement (5, Informative)

Breakyismyname (1107453) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278903)

EVE's head of Internal Affairs, GM Arkanon has posted: Dear players. Forgive us for being brief, but there has not been much time to prepare this statement. Our forums have now been taken down due to the load generated by player response to allegations of developer misconduct. We urge people to wait until the facts are out, rather than taking sensationalist statements at face value. Our preliminary findings indicate that what happened what simply a developer doing his job ingame. He joined the corporation in order to access their POS, which was bugged. We humbly ask our players to trust that the internal monitoring of our employers is being taken seriously. The current allegations will be fully investigated and we will publish our findings at the first opportunity. Please understand that this may not be today or tomorrow, but this issue will not be ignored. The forums will be brought up again as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Arkanon CCP Internal Affairs Now this was was removed within an hour or two. Their initial response has been to comment on one of 3 specific allegations of misconduct and ignore the other two entirely. Somewhat surprising.

Re:EVE Internal affairs statement (4, Interesting)

jfp51 (64421) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279033)

As someone who knows CEO Pyrex in game, that POS bug storyu is lies. DS1 has 3 POS' and all of them are functionning perfectly. yet another lie from CCP to help Band of Developers. I have cancelled my account it is the only thing CCP will listen too.

Trust is like virginity (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279589)

You can't get it back after you lose it. People in general can be trusting but they'll remember getting burned. "No, really, it's not how it looks! I can explain why my hand is in the cookie jar!" Now you'll get to see an interesting dynamic. Few people in the playerbase are uber enough to be taking part in all this epic gaming and metagaming. Some may shrug their shoulders and keep playing, feeling this has no bearing on their little world. Some will get mad enough to quit and go do something else. Some will feel justifiably burned, such as the ones who were banned, but instead of going away they get all Alanis Morissette and stalkerish, trying to dig up dirt to expose the corruption to the game world at large. Some people are getting their bread buttered by this sort of thing so of course they aren't going to object.

Now some slashdot readers are going to make the comments about "Pshaw, what if these people had lives?", immune to the irony of posting such a thing on slashdot. But I think it's actually an instructive lesson in human behaviors. People are the same the world over from the lowest shitkicker to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company: we're all just hairless apes dressing up our motives and actions in funny outfits, the same way we dress ourselves. We're all still hairless apes and our motives and actions are about who has the most banans and who's getting to fuck the pretty females. The difference between corruption and scandal in CCP and in, say, the Bush administration is that us gamers have a closer vantage point. Want to have a laugh? Read up on some of the inside histories of the Third Reich. (That laugh will by cynical.) You read about the interpersonal conflicts, dick-measuring, kool-aid drinking and self-delusion and it's no different.

To that other poster who commented that Hitler might not have come out of the basement if he had RPG's to play with, you could just as easily say "if only that fucking art school would have let him in!" Every boy needs a hobby and anti-semitism was Hitler's fallback career.

So, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278957)

It's a futuristic real life simulator with space ships?

Graft and corruption, I'm liking the sound of this already.

I might have to play some time...

Makes EVE Online even *more* realistic? (3, Interesting)

vikstar (615372) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278979)

Corruption in goverment, law enforcement, and the justice system...all these elements make for an even more realistic game.
It is already one of the most realistic and die hard games around, including an awesome economy (where, by the way, I hope corruption also occurs). Unlike WoW where the economy is balanced by a magical "binding" system which doesn't allow cool stuff to be handed off to other players, and dieing to another player doesn't mean squat.

more step into the mainstream... (1)

gorehog (534288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279093)

Ahh, just what online gaming REALLY needs to gain notice. A simple, clean RICO prosecution.

OK..Like a good boy, I read the friggin' article.. (4, Insightful)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279097)


...and it was just like reading the first chapter of Frank Herbert's "Dune".

I imagine that it would take another 350 pages of that crap before any of it starts to make sense.

Ohhh...and now my brain hurts.

An explanation for people who don't play Eve (1)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279611)

Basically it goes like this: there are three allegations. (1) Someone who works for CCP (the company that makes Eve) used his developer powers to spy on an in-game corporation. (2) Players have supposedly had the ability to mold the Eve storyline through in-game events. However, it is alleged that some (or all) of these in-game events were actually rigged. In other words, the players who spent months participating in the events, thinking they were making a different in the Eve world, wasted their time and were merely puppets in the hands of the devs. (3) The players of a certain alliance (Band of Brothers) have special connections with the developers and allegedly succeeded causing certain people who displeased them to be banned.

Re:OK..Like a good boy, I read the friggin' articl (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279805)

I imagine that it would take another 350 pages of that crap before any of it starts to make sense.
While I appreciate you having the balls to dis Dune, possibly the best selling science fiction novel of all time, on slashdot, I have a much different opinion. The in medias res start of Dune is a well-respected strategy for keeping the beginning of the book interesting. If it had started like Dune: House Atreides, you'd have a legitimate complaint.

Skip ahead if you must, but the read will be worth your time.

I wonder if the problem is (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279153)

that you can sell in game money online for real money? Are these people just helping their buddies out, or is there money changing hands? In either case, am I the only one who thinks these in game scandals make the game a ton more interesting?

Re:I wonder if the problem is (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279787)

am I the only one who thinks these in game scandals make the game a ton more interesting?

To watch, most certainly.
To play, most certainly not.

What else could you expect? (4, Informative)

Colin Winters (24529) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279161)

EvE is a well established game. In EvE, characters advance by in game time, thus the older a character is, the more powerful it is. So how is it surprising that developers grow close ties with the older, established players? Those are the ones who have been around since the start. On the eve-o forums, one of the high-ups in the best alliance in the game, Band of Brothers, is repeatedly stating that the developers are friends with BoB members.

Here's an example: http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u162/grover2828 /510.jpg [photobucket.com]

This is simply to be expected in a game where developers play the game along with players, and further, where the company recruits its GMs from the playerbase.

Hi BoB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279393)

Calling BoB the best alliance in the game makes it pretty clear that you had taken sides in this whole matter before this latest CCP+BoB cheating scandal arose. Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all full here.

If that were all.... (1)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279735)

If the only issue was that some players were friendly with the developers, then I doubt anyone would be complaining. However, it has been proven that in the past at least one developer was cheating and giving himself some of the most valuable items in the game. If he and his corporation had not acquired those items by cheating, the balance of power in-game might be completely different today.

The damage was done but CCP assured people that this one a one-time incident and that it wouldn't happen again. However, if the allegations presented in TFA are true, then the corruption is still going on and may be widespread.

In conclusion, this isn't just some losers complaining that the older players are more powerful--people are complaining because they think that the developers are breaking the rules to benefit their in-game characters and corporations.

Re:What else could you expect? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279851)

I dunno if you play tabletop RPGs. I do. Allow me to draw a few parallels here.

Imagine a tabletop group. With a GM who's been running it for years now. Of course, he has become friends with his players, even those he didn't know when the game started because some buddy brought his friend along (ya know, you needed a Cleric and nobody wanted to play one...).

In comes a new guy. Well, not really new, he's been here for a few months as well. The point is: Can he expect the GM to be fair? Or should he prepare himself to be left out when it comes to good loot and good story hooks? Should he expect to be the one dying the most because the GM doesn't want to "kill" his buddy, so the new guy gets to take one for the group?

Seriously, a GM who plays favorites will not see me for a second evening.

Being friends with people is one thing. I can well understand that old players will certainly have it easier when they need assistance with bugs or problems, that they have more readily access to GMs to resolve issues, even that their word has more weight when it comes to complaints. Favorism, I won't understand. My 15 bucks (or whatever EvE costs) a month are just as valuable as yours.

It's a shame (2, Insightful)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279181)


I keep being tempted by this game. I like the premise. I did the trial, enjoyed the time. I even like the idea of all the schemes and betrayals that are EVE legends.

But every time I get close to signing up, there's some story of CCP employee misconduct affecting gameplay, and that just turns me right off the game.

I'd hoped they'd cleaned up their act, but it seems the answer is no.

CCP, you need transparency. You need to have clear rules for employees, and enforce them in a public manner. You have serious work to do to clean up your reputation.

It IS costing you money, without any question whatsoever.

Stupid question... (-1, Troll)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279193)

You know the game isn't real right?

Re:Stupid question... (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279311)

Something else I forgot to mention. Every game will attract cheaters at some point. Whether they use aim-bots, server mods, or a friendship with an admin they're the same. There's a simple way to deal with cheaters; leave the game.

If you were in a poker game and you suddenly realized that you're the mark and you've lost the last 20 hands due to cheating, wouldn't you get up and leave? It's no different here. You gain nothing by playing against cheaters.

Re:Stupid question... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279561)

Oh, I dunno, a corporation allegedly having a buddy-buddy relationship with the "government" to dick over the competition and the general population, and everyone going bonkers over it while at the same time just wishing it was them who get the big bucks, demanding an investigation and hanging for those scoundrels, while at the same time in 2 weeks nobody's gonna talk about it anymore and the people just shrug and go on with the usual flow...

Sounds quite real to me.

Re:Stupid question... (0, Troll)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279701)

I think these players are just being melodramatic...

They should try a new hobby--a less stressful one. Maybe stamp collecting.

Re:Stupid question... (5, Interesting)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279753)

The game is real. I know. I've played it, and it wasn't all in my imagination. I recently canceled my subscription though I must admit it had little to do with these scandals.

What I assume you mean to say is that what goes on in the game is not very important in the grand scheme of things, and to an extent, you're right ... but then, people get pissed off about all sorts of stupid, minor things all the time. People get pissed off when their order at a fast food joint was screwed up. They get pissed off when a stranger on the street gives them a nasty look. They get pissed off when someone cuts them off while driving. It's human nature.

It's only natural that someone gets "pissed off," enough to go off on a strongly-worded, lengthy rant about a game they've invested hundreds of hours in when the people whose profession it is to keep the game running smoothly and on the level, they find out, have been actively assisting your in game rival's opponents in their cheating, actively thwarting your efforts to try to enjoy yourself by achieving the goals you've set for yourself in the game.

Sure, you can just stop playing, but if you've spent a lot of time playing the game, and if you generally enjoy it, why should that be your first option before expressing an apparently well-founded concern and complaint, hoping to see that concern escalated to the point where something is actually done to remedy it? No, things will never be perfect, but what could happen is that the game management decides to make the integrity of the game a priority and takes a zero tolerance approach to staff misconduct, with a high degree of transparency and openness in terms of letting customers know what is and has been done to thwart and punish corrupt staff members.

People will continue to complain, and yes, some of them will quit playing (as much as they might not want to) as long as these stories keep coming out, brought the the player base by other players who have been running their own investigations, or who have been failed by the official systems and policies of the company. In other words, until the staff gets so subtle and smart about their cheating that no strong evidence can be never be offered that it occurs, or until the company gets good enough about keeping its own house that it can catch the sloppier of offenders and come clean before it explodes into a PR spin/damage control fiasco (like the last scandal) then people will, justifiably, continue to complain.

Also, one thing to understand about EVE is that the stakes are a bit higher than they are in your typical FPS session or even MMO. In EVE, you can go from rags to riches and back to rags again in a virtual eye-blink. You can grind for months to afford a new, decked out battleship and then lose it 25 minutes into its maiden voyage if you're not careful (this is why there is a common adage to never fly anything you can't afford to lose). EVE is also a highly PvP oriented game, not just in terms of combat and territoriality but also in terms of economy. It's all about acquiring and controlling resources, and the best resources require thousands of man-hours of effort and painstaking coordination to obtain and secure. These resources are fiercely fought over and negotiated for by large corporations (much like real life). If your enemies are able to find a chink in your armor, or have a critical advantage at a critical moment, you can lose the fruits of all of those many hours of effort with relatively little to show for it, which magnifies dramatically the importance of good strategy and smart play, but also the consequences of cheating, mechanics abuse and staff favoritism.

If someone uses an aimbot in a FPS, the solution is pretty simple, you find another server or play with people you know are a bit more trustworthy. You don't really lose anything besides a few minutes of your time if you get fragged by a cheater. In a game like Word of Warcraft, a cheater might deny you your rightful fruits of victory (which may represent a few hours worth of game play), or put your character progress on hold for a short time, but it's generally not a big deal and even on PvP servers, WoW PvP is a carebear wonderland compared to EVE. The cutthroat nature of EVE makes the game's integrity (or lack thereof) a much more salient feature of the overall character of the game.

Like my favorite MUD's admin said, (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279289)

this MUD is not a democracy, it's a tyranny.

Re:Like my favorite MUD's admin said, (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279581)

Sure it is. Likewise, the internet is not an anarchy, it's a conglomerate of tiny dictatorships. He who owns the server(s) owns the opinion.

The only difference to a real dictatorship: You can quite easily get out if you don't like it.

as a player I'm actually qualified to comment (5, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279325)

Damn, I hope an educated comment won't do anything to hurt my karma. Anyway... been playing EVE for almost a year now. I'm a huge fan of Elite-style space exploration/trading/combat games and that's basically what EVE is going for with influences from all of the Elite-inspired games that came before it. The basic idea is very solid.

What's the advantage of a multiplayer vs. single-player game? For starters, you think you have a continued universe to explore. Once you beat the storyline in games like Escape Velocity: Nova or Privateer, there seems to be little left to do in the galaxy. The attraction of an MMO is that the players are creating the storylines and you can keep playing for as long as it interests you.

The problem with that idea in general for MMO's is the grind. The gameplay elements that were once the interesting parts of the game become drudgery since you are obligated to keep grinding out those missions to get anywhere. When does sitting on a boat fishing become drudgery? When it ceases to become a passtime but a means to an end.

With EVE in particular death comes at a high price, you lose your ship and whatever was in it. That can represent a month or more of playtime. If you want to PVP against other players, you are putting your ship at risk. It's precisely like gambling and people praise and curse it for precisely those reasons. You'll never have the OMFG feel of barely making it out alive from a single player game unless you disable saving. Conversely, you'll never have the "I think I want to vomit" special feeling when you can reload from a save.

So what this means is that an EVE player has to have an occupation so as to collect his chips. The biggies are mining, ratting (hunting NPC's down in public areas), and missioning (where you have what is like an instanced dungeon except other players can still stumble across it.) These missions are quite fun at first, who doesn't enjoy blowing crap up on the computer? But there is little randomization within the missions so you know precisely what to expect. More difficult missions have the potential of destroying your ship. So, that kind of risk will make things interesting right? Yes and no. You can always try to warp out of a mission when you see you are in over your head. But at greater difficulties, the enemy will have scrambler frigates that zoom in and disable your warp drive. In other words, by the time you find out you're in over your head, there's nothing you can do about it.

So, how does this cause problems? You need to make your isk (in-game currency) to be a playah but it takes ages to earn it. The most lucrative areas of the game (lowsec and nosec) are heavily patrolled by player factions who have claimed ownership. NPC complexes in those areas can be regularly raided for massive isk payouts. Tribute collected from people travelling through the area can create a sizable passive income stream, not to mention the mining of rare minerals and such there. The wealthy factions can also buy blueprints for important equipment and ships in the game and make a fortune manufacturing them. The early scandals involved the CCP admins giving preferential treatment to the largest in-game faction, basically handing them the keys to an isk-printing factory. And even without that being the case, their concentration of capital would have allowed them to buy into the manufacturing racket anyways and thus further consolidate their financial position. Because warfare in EVE is a matter of attrition, he who has the most to attrit wins.

EVE has removed the leveling problem inherent in most MMORPG's, your skills train whether you are in the game or not. But because of the expense of your ships and how much you stand to lose when you are killed, you are left grinding for isk instead of xp.

When you get right down to it, the difference between a singleplayer Elite-clone and an MMORPG like EVE is that you have the gameplay process greatly extended. How long does it take you to get an uber ship in Privateer with all the fittings? It'll take you 20 times longer in EVE.

The (next to) final problem here isn't unique to EVE but is shared by all MMORPG's: it's a lot harder to fix and upgrade a live game than when it was in development. For everyone five people who tell you x is a bug, another six will tell you it's essential. Even long-standing bugs that everyone throughout the entire playerbase can agree on are stupid and annoying, it can still take years to resolve them.

The final problem is also shared with all MMORPG's: a lot of players are dicks. In the EVE world the developers expressed an interest in having an element of danger involved, keep people on their toes. The idea is that with greater risk comes greater rewards. Well, players tend to fall into two camps, the carebears and pvpers. Carebears want to explore the gameworld, make their isk, and not get involved in serious pvp. The whole heart-pounding risk of losing a ship just isn't for them. They're coming to Vegas for the entertainment and stage shows. PVPers want action so they're the ones looking for the hot tables. And of the PVP set, there's the people who are coming to watch someone have their day ruined. Nothing gives them a stiffie like seeing someone drop $10k at the craps table. And if they can make the guy lose his money instead of just watching it? So much the better. In EVE, you can do that. Sure, you can go and attack someone who's looking for a PVP fight but that entails some risk. You can instead look for a carebear cruising around fat, dumb, and happy in a transport. Pew-pew, fun! Carebears are the kind who say that there's plenty of reasons for coming to Vegas and gambling is just as valid as going to the shows. Griefers think that gambling is the only reason and will grief the carebears just to show their contempt. None of this would really be a problem in FPS multiplayer since kills and respawns happen every second, there's all of 20 seconds invested in the character and his equipment. Now of those same people, how many would enjoy playing a mutliplayer RTS? I've had friends who enjoy FPS refuse to get into RTS because it's just a 20 minute exercise in waiting for someone else to kick their ass; they enjoy it more when there's a quicker turn-around to get even. Push that out into the MMORPG world and you can imagine how much of a problem that is. I know for my own temperament, I'm more of a co-op than pvp guy. The best RTS multiplayer experiences I've had have been team human vs. team computer. This gives more of an enjoyment for a group accomplishment than the frustration of getting smacked down by a teenager who has more spare time to devote to the game than you.

Like a broken record (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279345)

The last dev misconduct item resulted in no action being taken against the dev. With the head honcho of game development saying "If you don't like it, leave"

I wonder if we will get such an arrogant response this time.

If someone was fired, they won't talk. (2)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279435)

Several of the posts appear to mention someone at the game company being fired.

If so, there is no way they would give any details, for fear of a lawsuit by the now former employee.

Games are supposed to be fun. (1)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279459)

When they are no longer fun, stop playing. A quasi-darwinian process will cause boring games to largely die. Like EvE and EQ2.

Even the hardcore players, the "raiders" or whatever they're called, will quit because without the population base of casual players paying their subscription fees, the developers cannot afford to keep enough staff to turn out new content at a rate that keeps the hardcore interested. It's happening now in EQ2, it'll happen in EvE.

Re:Games are supposed to be fun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279505)

This implies that EQ2 ever had a significant playerbase.

death to eve (0, Troll)

partowel (469956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279493)

I quit eve a long time ago.

I hope it dies.

I hope ccp goes bankrupt.

I will rejoice loudly at their demise.

*yawn* (0, Offtopic)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279601)

Jeez. When there are plenty of way worse scandals in the real world going on, what do those of us non-MMO-absorbed geeks care?

EvE = International Money Laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279713)

I hate to say this but here is what seems to be happening. Unlike other games EvE has only one massive server, total user population 180K peak users at one time current around 33K. This means its actually easier to sell gold (isk) in EvE then in WoW (not multiple server issues). So here's what's going on group A buys ingame isk (like eve gold) from farmer group B. Group A then sends the isk ingame to group C. Group C then sells the isk and cashes out the RL money. It looks like group C is making money from isk farming but they're not. EvE is an absolutely excpetional vehicle to 1) move money internationally and 2) launder the money while your at it.

Does CCP know what's going on, yes. Is organized crime involved yes. Is CCP's legal nightmare that somebody will wise up and start bringing RICO charges against some of the in game alliances (thousands of players), you bet. All the mess you see is just the tip of the iceberg.

Relative terms (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279943)

More disturbingly, these users also appear to have CCP employees 'on call', ready to step in on behalf[. . .]

"Disturbing" is clearly a relative term.

Life would be a lot happier if most difficulties were this upsetting.


-FL

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