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EVE Online Scandal Deliberate Frame-Job?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-believe-everything-you-read dept.

Role Playing (Games) 382

Last Friday, we discussed serious allegations leveled against CCP by players of the game. The comments on the discussion were lively, and pointed. Perhaps a bit too pointed, as CCP's internal affairs investigation claims that a plot to smear the company with false accusations over the long holiday weekend was behind the flurry of online activity. "The objective of this scheme was to permanently paint CCP as a biased and corrupt company that favors a select group of players over the rest of our community. In this particular case, instead of receiving notification of a possible problem and sufficient time to examine and address it, we faced a coordinated and hostile attack executed on our forums, Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot, and other outlets at the beginning of a three-day weekend. We believe this speaks volumes of the intention of the person(s) responsible for orchestrating this scheme. Verification of this can be readily found on the forums of the people responsible--or at least could, the last time we looked." Scott Jennings over at Broken Toys points the finger at the Goon Fleet corporation, an organization based out of the Something Awful forums. As I noted in the original post, the evidence presented on both sides is challenging to verify independently. Take everything you read about these events with a grain of salt.

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382 comments

Once again... WHO CARES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19317935)

Blah blah game, blah blah scandal, blah blah blah. That's all I see, Zonk.

hoo boy (4, Funny)

MonorailCat (1104823) | more than 6 years ago | (#19317969)

I see your scandal, and raise you a CONSPIRACY! One of my friends tried to get me into this game, so glad I didn't end up playing...

Re:hoo boy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318219)

Let's face facts, PC sheep! It's the ether-Jews again and we all know it.

Re:hoo boy (0, Troll)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318423)

Yadda Yadda. It's a damned game already. People care too much. If you don't like it then stop playing. Oh wait, people feel like they have "invested" in the game and it "owes" them. Too bad if they ever decide to discontinue it. I'd hate to hear the outcry then.

My brother plays Eve religiously. He's addicted. He cares. He's a sad little person. The only saving grace of Eve addiction is that it's marginally cheaper than cocaine and at least it doesn't physically rot your insides.

Re:hoo boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318579)

My brother plays Eve religiously. He's addicted. He cares. He's a sad little person. The only saving grace of Eve addiction is that it's marginally cheaper than cocaine and at least it doesn't physically rot your insides.

Obviously you have never seen an MMORPG player in person.

Re:hoo boy (4, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318591)

Yeah, this stinks of a Conspiracy. Stinks on ice. Did you know that Karl Rove and Harriet Myers are both on the Eve board of directors? Did you know that over 75% of the employees are recent grads of Regent University's new Christian Gaming department? The only way to get to the bottom of this is if Bush will answer the following questions: What did he know? And when did he know it?

Re:hoo boy (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318745)

Yeah, this stinks of a Conspiracy. Stinks on ice. Did you know that Karl Rove and Harriet Myers are both on the Eve board of directors? Did you know that over 75% of the employees are recent grads of Regent University's new Christian Gaming department? The only way to get to the bottom of this is if Bush will answer the following questions: What did he know? And when did he know it?
You remind me of penny-arcade [penny-arcade.com] comics.

Zonk plays EVE Online (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19317973)

Send him your exotic dancers! He demands it

Re:Zonk plays EVE Online (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318511)

Hehe, lemme guess this is an AC post by Zonk who just happened to have a storyline to hand in a shiteload of exotic dancers? /me hoards their dancers

"dance my pretties! dance!"

As for an on-topic comment, I think its not a good sign for a game company that most of their player base seems willing to listen and pay heed to such mud when its slung (as was shown by them having to shut down their forums).

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19317975)

Yeah. Who gives a shit? Zonk = Plonk

I come here for news not for gossip.

Bad PR move: Never whine (3, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19317979)

A little lesson in PR for a company obviously challenged in this department:

Don't go on the defensive by playing the "victim" card. (Newsflash: No one cares.)

Here's what skilled PR departments do:
Make strong statements of integrity. Fire someone. Institute a new policy or two.
Devise a system of compensating those wronged. Spend money on public relations,
advertising and technological improvements. Claim (regardless of truth) that the
problem has been solved and that (wait for it...) the reason people hate you is
because your products are so damn good.

I didn't make up the rules. They've been etched in stone for a while now.

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318029)

They already failed utterly in that regard back when the t20 scandal [slashdot.org] arose. They set up an Internal Affairs department (which apparently has not done anything of any significance), and reshuffled the developer who was found to have provided aid to a select few in-game, rather than firing him outright. Then they declared the case closed and currently have a policy of editing/deleting any posts on the official forums asking otherwise. From the linked interview:

That case, from our end, is closed. I mean, we've done all the investigation, we know it was only one person and not the whole company like some like to believe, and ahh there's nothing more that we feel can be done, um it was just an unfortunate case, and in the overall scheme of things it didn't affect the game in that like some people like to thing. And, in the end, we're just damn sorry and it hurts our feelings to see some of the players say some of the things about us; we love this game and we'd never do anything to hurt it, and to have people think that this is a widespread thing within CCP: that's as far from the truth as it possibly can.

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318051)

Mod parent up!

CCP shot themselves in the foot with the way they handled this. Had the extensive dev blog left out the four or five paragraphs concealing lightly veiled allegations of conspiracy, it would have come across much better to the community.

Companies should never respond to customer dissatisfaction with hostility toward customers. Look at what happened to Zio Systems on the gideontech.com forums (http://forums.gideontech.com/index.php/topic,3447 6.0.html)

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318127)

the reason people hate you is because your products are so damn good.
Whenever people say something like this all I can think of is on Maury Povich when the fourteen year old girl who is skipping school, having promiscuous sex and doing drugs comes out on stage and people boo so she starts yelling "Yeah, whatever, you don't know me! Ya'll are just jealous! Ya'll are just jealous!".

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318283)

What're you talking about? Their whining has literally doubled their free advertising over the past week.

A more cynical person than me would conclude that they manufactured the entire scandal specifically for the press.

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318321)

I dunno who made up the rules either, but they sure as hell weren't supported by myself - or any other player who's been around.
Companies that follow that 'recipe' get a "ok, so it WAS true." from me.

That's one of the things I always liked about CCP (and I don't currently play EVE, while on that - but I plan to again); they *didn't* follow those recipes.
They were usually honest. Just like that statement was probably honest.

Maybe someone did just figure CCP had been getting too much good PR? It sure seems that way, to me.
The accusations even if true are/were, well, LAUGHABLE in the mmorpg world.
A 4chan EVE raid? Who knows.

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (0)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318411)

I am not a big fan of a big PR business speak, but this company is straight up not professional. See my post here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=226635&cid=183 65491/ [slashdot.org]

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318727)

I am not a big fan of a big PR business speak, but this company is straight up not professional.

Definitions of professional on the Web [google.com]:
  • engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood; "the professional man or woman possesses distinctive qualifications"; "began her professional career after the Olympics"; "professional theater"; "professional football"; "a professional cook"; "professional actors and athletes"
  • a person engaged in one of the learned professions
  • an athlete who plays for pay
  • engaged in by members of a profession; "professional occupations include medicine and the law and teaching"
  • master: an authority qualified to teach apprentices


They seem professional to me? I don't see how your linked post changes that?

Re:Bad PR move: Never whine (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318657)

Bah, I prefer to hear their impression of the story rather than a softened, skewed PR-speak version crafted for the "public". If they lied to the public in the way you propose, we would instead have had "they cover it up" comments here on Slashdot. Now we have stupid "they act like a victim and even if they are they shouldn't" stuff. :-p

misleading, as always (4, Insightful)

hobbesmaster (592205) | more than 6 years ago | (#19317987)

First of all, its Goonswarm is the alliance and Goonfleet is the corp.

CCP, while whining about the posting of all this stuff to slashdot and digg, and then claiming that they've shown all the accusations to be false, is being rather misleading. They've completely ignored one of the very serious accusations (the one that said that players have the msn contact details of devs - sure they had a petition, but 5 minutes turn around on a petition resulting in the dismissal of a volunteer has to be a speed record in the world of MMORPGs), and actually more or less acknowledged the one about rigging story lines. Their defense to the rigging accusation that they didn't know how they were going to rig the ending yet. Uh, yeah, that certainly clears you of the accusations... (to their credit, they have thoroughly dismissed the accusation involving a dev infiltrating a player corp).

The funny thing is that they make a veiled threat of legal action against the somethingawful.com - that'll be quite a sight to see! I can't see CCP coming out on top of that battle. (regardless of whether their lawsuit has any legal merit)

Not really (2, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318015)

Goons have shat over quite a few small MMOish games. I have no reason to doubt they'd pull something like this.

Re:Not really (1)

iMacGuy (199233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318523)

Goonfleet is dedicated to Space Libertarianism and not, in fact, to ruining the game and CCP employees' personal lives.

Re:misleading, as always (-1, Troll)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318037)

First of all, its Goonswarm is the alliance and Goonfleet is the corp.

Do you guys realize how ridiculous this all is? This is from the incredibly exhaustive Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] for this game, which I had not heard of before today:

CCP's largely hands-off approach to managing the in-game economy has also come under fire for encouraging in-game "criminal" activity. Piracy (in the ship-to-ship sense) is a fact of life, as is protection racketeering and theft. The two most spectacular examples were even reported in wider media:

  • The first was a corporate heist perpetrated by the in-game assassin's guild Guiding Hand Social Club. The GHSC infiltrated a target corporation over the course of nearly a year before performing a virtual assassination on the target's CEO and stealing or destroying billions of credits' worth of property.
  • The second was the Eve Intergalactic Bank scam, in which one player encouraged others to invest in-game currency in a banking scheme before disappearing with, allegedly, 700 billion Interstellar Kredits. However, the picture the player posted to prove his claim was proved to be photoshopped. Estimates as to the real amount vary in between 50 to 100 billion.

Seriously, protection racketeering? The GSH infiltrated a target corporation and assassinated the "CEO"? 700 billion "kredits" were stolen?

With all due respect, who gives a fuck about all this and why is it on the /. front page?

Re:misleading, as always (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318079)

With all due respect, who gives a fuck about all this and why is it on the /. front page?

The relevance is related to the subject:

1) Intersetallar Kredits(ISK) are worth a lot of real-world money, the 100 billion stolen was worth at least $20,000 at the time when the perpetrator attempted to sell them. If they had made off and actually sold 700bil, that would have been a couple years' salary for most people around here.

2) As for the Goons, EVE is known as a game where it's best to try to cheat as much as you can in hopes of getting away with it, and that its developers are not above this. The fact that people are paying money to lose is both saddening and remarkable, and such is why it's on the front page.

Re:misleading, as always (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318097)

The fact that people are paying money to lose is both saddening and remarkable, and such is why it's on the front page.

OK, this changes things a bit. So the game is a scam? Surely someone would have wised up to that earlier?

Re:misleading, as always (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318191)

It's not so bad that it's a scam per-say, but it's rigged. The lawless areas of the world that are effectively the PvP and PvE end-game are dominated by a single group of people called the Band of Brothers; they have and likely continue to receive help from the developers. In the lawful areas where role-playing events occur, the outcomes of the events are rigged - not so much that it benefits any one person as much as the RPers don't influence anything and hence are wasting their time because it's not real RP.

There's still plenty of things you can do that aren't touched by corruption, but as a game structured around PvP and then run by biased developers, you don't have a fair chance of winning at the end-game. It goes as the developer wants it to and if you're not part of the plan or winning side too bad for you.

Re:misleading, as always (1)

NateE (247273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318249)

Isn't this type of meta-game predictable? Since devs participate in the game and there are other people who volunteer time to help the gameplay. Your going to end up with groups of players in the game being favored over your faceless subscriber. Human behavior isn't going to change.

Re:misleading, as always (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318289)

In theory, this has been a problem since D&D first came out, where biased GMs could get the new guy killed, etc. In practice such people quickly found themselves without players and games to run, and the same extends to the MMO-sphere where most MMOs don't have this problem. While meta-gaming is predictable, it's none the less a solvable problem that doesn't need to occur. You don't see this problem in most other games, it boils down to the EVE developers being unwilling to overcome their natural tendencies.

Re:misleading, as always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318473)

Complete lie. You cannot sell in-game money for out of game cash. You can only acquire it from other players by paying for their accounts.

The Goons however, had a pyramid scheme where all members would buy their account cards from one vendor, and because they were referral sales, they recieved a discount. The discount was used to purchase in-game cash with the RL money saved, thus creating their ingame income.

This went to hell when the IRS taxed it. Additionally, there is no real developer involvement in the actual fighting, just one valuable blueprint from a developer account was dropped in a community bin for their corporation when the dev gave up his character.

Re:misleading, as always (0, Troll)

Mentorix (620009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318465)

While this "scandal" is getting headlines it is quite unremarkable tbh. It's just more baseless accusations from the same group of people as last time. There's nothing misleading to the evidence presented either. Of course, this time most of the players already knew the score before CCP finished their investigation.

It turns out there's nothing remotely true of the accusations made this time which is downhill from the last round where they got everything wrong as well but got browny points for being close and shaking CCP up a bit.

It's a shame people are succeeding in showcasing EVE and CCP in a rather bad way when almost all of the rumours are flat-out wrong.

Re:misleading, as always (0, Redundant)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318495)

"...Intersetallar Kredits(ISK) are worth a lot of real-world money..."

Only if you want them to be...it's a choice you make to enable this.

"...As for the Goons, EVE is known as a game where it's best to try to cheat as much as you can in hopes of getting away with it..."

How is this any different than Korporate, USA?

Real-life you arte kind of stuck with, EOL is a choice you make to jump into- you can always not play.

That's why I cnnot garner any sympathy for this.

Hey you kids!!! Get off of my lawn!!!!

Wikipedia twofer! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318083)

{This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.}

United States President Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States during the Revolutionary War, and a well-known Libertarian.[1] Though some historians see Objectivist tendencies in his greatness.[2][3] Many of his most generous qualities can be traced back to the philosophy of Ayn Rand.[4]

Lincoln is thought to have suffered a mild form of autism known as Asperger's Syndrome.[5][6][7]

Assassinated at 54 by a vandal known as Jon Harvey Booth,[8] Lincoln would have been 187 years old as of today, as of 2005,[original research?] had he not been assassinated in the prime of his life at the age of 45.[9]

Re:misleading, as always (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318449)

If the supply of money is severely restricted thru fixed number of things to score on times players then it could be interesting to allow all sorts of cheating and stealing... isn't that the point of a MMORPG to really have NO RULES? I could agree that players with too close connection to devs could be a conflict of interest, but like other posters said, if it gets to bad "vote with your feet" and play another game. I've proposed the same kind of thing for other games with big gold farming problems. That's the natural world.. if you have a lot of resources you have to fight to keep them. Silly ideas like nobody taking "my" points in a game show people aren't thinking outside the box to make games that push the boundaries of HOW you think and what you value in game and not just monster grind. Coups, backstabbing and stealing IN THE GAME CONTEXT should be encouraged!!!

the goal then is to build a MMORPG system that forces you to play in character to get ahead, and punishes you for doing things based on outside influence (friends, guilds, etc) that wouldn't be in-line for your game character. You have to make players assume duties of the stock NPCs and find a reward system to put in place. example: IF you have much gold, you should have to hire (and manage) newbies as a quest to protect you. Frankly, I thought the Sims or Uru could have been that game but then they turned around and allowed outside advertising, money exchange, and messaging between real people and ruined that.

The way I see it, it's cheating (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318483)

The way I see it, even if you don't give a fuck about virtual money and such, it's still a rigged game. You don't have to take a game seriously to, nevertheless, expect it to be _fair_. Especially a game based on competition and PvP. The idea of a competition is basically, "may the best player win", not "may the drink buddies of the referee win."

I mean, I never took chess too seriously either, but if the games at a club were rigged so the same player always wins (e.g., he gets to ask for another queen any time he wishes), then, you know, why bother playing? Or let me use, say, World Of Warcraft as an example. I don't even do PvP myself, much less take it seriously, but imagine that one guild were pals of the devs and got to win the battle grounds every time via outright cheating and having some dev on call to bend the rules as needed. (Which Blizzard doesn't do, but just as a hypothetical example.) Wouldn't it, at the very least, leave a bad taste?

Fixing the outcome of RP events isn't any different either, or not fundamentally. It's still, in effect, a competition, even if an acting competition. It doesn't have to be taken too seriously or give much of a fuck to nevertheless leave a bad taste if it's rigged.

I mean, imagine I'm your DM at a D&D game and said something like "ok, guys, you get to plead your case before the genie, and I want you to RP it. Whoever makes the most compelling case of why he should get it, gets a wish." If all such events blatantly ended up won by the guy who bought me pizza, wouldn't you, at the very least, say, "yada, yada, just give Jack his wish and let's move on"? Why bother competing if you already know it's rigged and that anything you could say or do isn't going to make any difference at all?

Except in this case people have paid some money too, and are paying a monthly fee too. I can see how they'd be a bit more pissed off if all there is in the game is rigged so the devs' buddies win. If PvP is rigged _and_ RP events are rigged, and that pretty much covers all there is except mindless grind, then, you know, why bother playing that game at all?

On the lighter side, though, it does remind me of a Woody Allen quote: "I was watching a ballet at City Center, and I'm not a ballet fan at all, but they were doing the dying swan, and there was a rumour, that some bookmakers had drifted into town from upstate New York, and that they had fixed the ballet. Apparently there was a lot of money bet on the swan to live."

Re:misleading, as always (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318841)

Why is this on /.? Well, if you RTFA, you'd notice this towards the end:

The allegations investigated above by this internal affairs department will also be examined by our legal resources, as we do not intend to sit idly by while our servers, community and reputation are under attack.
What do you read in to that? It sounds a tad like CCP may be the first games company to threaten its own playerbase with legal action. That, to me, is newsworthy.

You're making it worse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318231)

hobbesmaster, you've missed a bit.

I'm guessing you're a player. I'll assume that you've seen and can verify that the most recent developer blog is written to cover exactly three accusations -- it says so within the title. There are four acknowledged accusations overall:

1. A developer joined a player corporation for an unknown reason.
2. Roleplaying events were rigged.
3. An ISD volunteer was inappropriately fired.
4. Certain players are using private communication links to talk directly with developers.

Aren't these the issues? Don't you think that the fourth one will be covered in time?

Re:You're making it worse (0, Flamebait)

Mentorix (620009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318507)

Good question, are those the issues?

It's not that easy to distill those from the unhinged open letter you know.

Your 4th point is moot for at least three reasons:

1. Anyone can log in to the right IRC server and open a private chat with the developers there.
2. Disallowing private chats between devs and players is unenforceable and possibly illegal.
3. Even if private chats lead to actions, those actions are registered and logged.

So let's stop the stupid witchhunting and play the game ok?

Another suit against SA? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318453)

That grumbling noise I hear, echoing out from the depths of the Earth, must be Leonard J. Crabs waking up from his millennial sleep.

And yeah, right. Like Lowtax and the admins are really going to be aiding and abetting something as stupid as this, or like the Swarm would discuss something of this maliciousness and magnitude on a publicly accessible forum.

Stairs and Protection (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318521)

The funny thing is that they make a veiled threat of legal action against the somethingawful.com - that'll be quite a sight to see!

Well I for one hope that the somethingawful people have protection.

Because if they have stairs in their house they are likely to get pushed down them...

I certainly feel like doing that every time someone asks me if I have stairs in my house.

Re:Stairs and Protection (1, Troll)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318639)

I for one thing hope they dont.
They are the one of the most arrogant piles of shit in the web, and could really need a downer.
(got i hate the " I payed money to post, and money for my avatar, and money to use the search, so we are all better than the rest of the internet" thing they have going)

Re:misleading, as always (1)

El-Wrongo (1105293) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318599)

They've completely ignored one of the very serious accusations (the one that said that players have the msn contact details of devs - sure they had a petition, but 5 minutes turn around on a petition resulting in the dismissal of a volunteer has to be a speed record in the world of MMORPGs), and actually more or less acknowledged the one about rigging story lines.
Please tell me why it matters that someone had contact with the devs? Should the devs be locked up in towers and forced to code without contact with the outside world? If you get so upset about this that you actually bother to make it look bad, you should be rioting against 90 percent of politicians. And they didn't acknowledge rigging the story lines, mister Fox-News, they admitted discussing rigging.

Re:misleading, as always (1)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318643)

They've completely ignored one of the very serious accusations (the one that said that players have the msn contact details of devs - sure they had a petition, but 5 minutes turn around on a petition resulting in the dismissal of a volunteer has to be a speed record in the world of MMORPGs), and actually more or less acknowledged the one about rigging story lines.

Isn't it more likely that one of the devs was in BoB and heard about the petition ingame? It's no secret that the devs are encouraged to play the game, and that explanation is a bit more reasonable and less sensationalist.
Disclaimer: I have yet to rtfa.

way too serious (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318003)

it doesnt surprise me that this sort of thing happened- first players accuse each other of cheating then they accuse one of the biggest organizations in EVE of helping players cheat- then the accused declare a conspiracy.. neigher seems to have much evidence- but that isnt the point. the point is that a lot of players are taking the game to be something greater than what it is- way too seriously in fact. they need to remember that there is a world out there- everything doesnt revolve around EVE any more than it does any other game. if they really feel compelled to take action on it- fine get some evidence but what they should do is just move on... this sort of thing happened at least once before with EVE [in game scams etc.] but everyone moved on.

Re:way too serious (2, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318141)

I thought the in-game scams were kinda funny. And i think that a lot of it adds depth and character to the game. EVE is one game where "griefers" become "outlaws" or "pirates." Maybe games shouldn't be like real life, but it sure is interesting when they are. ;-)

-matthew

Re:way too serious (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318265)

EVE is one game where "griefers" become "outlaws" or "pirates." Maybe games shouldn't be like real life, but it sure is interesting when they are. ;-)
heh this all reminds me of how starcraft became so "gang" [clan] oriented- some of them had a reputation not unlike the real gangs- people wouldnt fight them unless they were very skilled- then it became quite amusing to slaghter entire swaths of clans that way :) hackers same thing- alot more fun than fighting in a "fair" fight. so in a sense the cheating and unfair advantages they had made the game fun- *grin*

In Soviet CCCP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318193)

Cheats player you!

soviet russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318211)

no no you have it all wrong, it's "in soviet CCCP game cheats you!"

It Shouldn't Suprise Anyone (5, Insightful)

RollinDutchMasters (932329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318235)

EVE is one of the few MMOGs where other players can legitimately destroy huge amounts of your hard work, if you've dared to step into the alliance warfare arena. People don't like to be beaten, it's far easier to accept that you've lost if you have something to pin it on. Traditional targets have been incompetent allies, the vague 'internal problems', people leaving EVE for other games (Lineage II was popular with the old Forsaken Empire - too popular), essentially anything which can deflect blame. The odd 'CCP is helping my enemies cheat' accusation cropped up, but that was relatively uncommon - up until about a year ago, that is. Since then, everything is a result of someone, anyone, with authority tilting the scales in favor of the other guy. If you're winning, its because someone is cheating for you. It's both incredibly sad and completely unsurprising that the human response to losing at even trivial games is to bitch and moan - a problem which is compounded on the internet, because you can make up whatever you want and noone will ever have the ability to tell you to stop being an ass. At least in organized sports, the "Fucking Refs" phenomenon only works for a limited time, until someone slaps the hell out of you and tells you to stop being an idiot.

Re:It Shouldn't Suprise Anyone (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318471)

I think there in lies the problem with "fair and balanced" game play. Realize that 99% of the real world lives on 1% of the scraps. Unfortunately, telling players that they'll create 9 characters that never reach past level 10 and have to kill boars all day won't gain very many people looking for a fun time if you only allow 1% of the characters to reach level 60 for example. The traditional real space model of "I have and you don't" doesn't work. Nor does the "let everybody have everything" because there's no reward for hard work. The solution is to attract players to positions that would "lose" but make the situation a "win" for them. That's for game designers to get the big bucks for... or they'll lose their real money as another notch on a millionaire's belt!!!

Actually, it's not that hard a concept (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318627)

Actually, it's not that hard a concept. Most games essentially let everyone have everything (suitable for their class), if they just put enough work into it. That's what "fair" means. If you do X units of work (not even do it _well_ or better than everyone else), you're guaranteed a promotion. That's what XP is for example.

It actually works pretty damn well, because you don't have to have a working pyramid. Unlike RL you don't need 1000 peons or more to have a millionaire. You can have half the MMO's population stuck at level 70 for example. (And take a census on WoW sometime if you don't believe me. The bar graph looks like lots of tiny little bars for all levels and a huge spike at level 70.)

It doesn't even have to be all about levels, you can give people lots of other rewards too.

Games are an easy case to make "fair", because you there isn't an actual need to make it "unfair". You don't actially need a privileged 1% minority of rich guys (for bonus points, whose only merit there was being the always drunk son of the guy who actually earned that money) creating employment for everyone else. The game can create any amount of employment or virtual money needed by itself. E.g., a single finite instance, can keep an infinite number of players "employed" hacking those monsters for xp and loot.

For that reason, you don't have to give anyone privileges over anyone else, much less tolerate (or worse: create) blatant nepotism, like the accusation here went. There is no, "see, Jack wins every time only because he's Richie McMoney's nephew, but, you see, we need rich robber-barons like McMoney to keep the economy going, so quit yer pinko commie whining and get back to work. You wouldn't even have a job if it weren't for people like McMoney." Again, here it's the game's responsibility to create the "jobs" and the rewards, you don't need to put some pricks in privileged positions for that.

And it can get as lopsided as it wants to. You can basically have everyone be a CEO (don't laugh, there are games where everyone owns a company), without worrying that noone is a worker. Who cares? You can have millions of workers as NPCs or abstracted as "your company has 2500 workers, 500 clerks, and 100 researchers" numbers. Or you can have everyone be a king, and noone be a peasant, if you want to. Or whatever.

So "fair" is actually very easy. Most games are "fair" by default unless you actively screw that up. (Which is what CCP is accused of doing.)

And, frankly, it can be prevented. I've been on free MUDs which policed themselves against just this kind of thing. Everything a wizard/creator/builder/whatever gave a player or did to a player was logged and reviewed, and it was cause for immediate termination if you went and made the game unfair to reward your buddies. Can't a company do the same? How hard _can_ it be?

Now "balanced" is a more tricky proposition, and that one takes real skill and work. That much I'll admit. That's what separates good designers from wannabes. Kudos to those who can get that right. But "fair"? "Fair" is the default.

but.. (1, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318007)

Regardless of wheter they have been wrongly accused this time or not, this isn't the first time by a long way that CCP have been in the headlines following accusals of corruption of the game.

Who cares? (0)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318049)

Why should anyone care what happens in an RPG?

Next up: pinball tilt scandal!

It's news to those who play it. They have game forums. Let them talk about it there. Two stories in a week on this pastime is too many.

I care a bit (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318335)

Cause I was curious about this game and thought I might play it since I'm sick of the fantasy MMO's. Now, well yeah. Not feeling it.

Re:Who cares? (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318341)

Why should anyone care what happens in an RPG?
Next up: pinball tilt scandal!

It getsa lot more interesting when 100,000 people are playing the same game of pinball

How 'bout the weather? (1)

Sase (311326) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318071)

You know, it's really nice outside here in the north east, who is up for some touch football? But be forwarned, I'm going to pick my players based on skill, 'cause I'm all bias like that.

I'm inclined to agree, but... (5, Interesting)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318073)

Having seen both sides of these latest allegations I'm inclined to agree with CCP, it really doesn't look like they did anything wrong in these cases. Whether their actions were deliberatly taken out of context in these allegations or not I don't know, but many people felt this is exactly what would happen after the monumental mishandling of the first incident involving t20.

The damage done in that first scandal is going to take CCP a long time to fix and anything fishy between now and then is going to be portrayed in the wrong light by default.

However I have no doubt certain groups in the game have benefitted from having developers in their ranks. Not just BoB, though I'd suspect they've gained more than the average advantage over the years. I personally know a few people who are either good friends with developers or have access to certain databases internal to CCP's development and testing team. Although they're hesitant to share "inside information" I've learned a lot about the game from them that can't be found anywhere else. Put one of them in charge of an entire alliance and you can be sure they'd put that information to good use, gaining an unfair advantage for an entire group of players in the process.

These latest accusations may have been baseless, but there are still problems that need to be addressed. A major one is transparency. If CCP employees are going to be playing the game there can only be two policies; complete secrecy or complete transparency. They tried the former and failed, time for another approach.

When in doubt, blindly obey us (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318541)

Seriously, thats what CCP is more or less telling the public at this point. After the PR nightmare involving t20, CCP is basically trying to blow off this entire incident. After the t20 incident, we KNOW that some of the staff have had some level of interaction with guilds/clans that resulted in said guilds/clans getting a leg up on the competition (however great or small it is).

Suddenly, another EVE scandal is revealed and CCP tells people they're being framed? After months/years of various accusations? Its completely and utterly unbelievable.

MOD Parent up (4, Interesting)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318619)

I'm inclined to agree with you. I've been watching the latest scandal and CCP for the most part handled it well. Especially after the last SNAFU.

Personally I see it as the game maturing. Anyway remember Ultima Online from years ago? Various tales of GMs helping friends, looking after castles for famous baseball players and manufacturing gold faster then Rumpelstiltskin. They put in a lot of processes/systems to stop this.

CCP is just doing the same.

Btw, I believe any game where the players have interaction with GMs/dev team at any level will eventually call claims of favoritism/cheating. I recall stories like this from Asherons Call or City of Heroes. In those games the Dev/GMs vary become visible in the game.

Again? (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318117)

In the controversies I've seen over EVE, just as a bystander I've felt considerable pressure to pick a side in the argument, despite not knowing anything about it. One thing keeping me from signing up is the thought that I'll have to deal with this kind of bullshit in-game as well - I don't mean "CCP allegedly doing something unfair" bullshit, I mean "intergalactic flame war" bullshit. I don't care if the developers are giving any faction an unfair advantage. I don't want to care whether the developers are giving any faction an unfair advantage. In fact, if I find myself starting to care about that, that's how I'll know it's time for me to quit the game. The fact that such controversies spring up every time CCP sneezes suggests to me that I won't enjoy the game's atmosphere.

CCP is doing bad PR (4, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318125)

They spent pages debunking the part that every reasonable player knew to be false and then basically said what amounted to 'oh yea that wasn't true either' to the real allegations that actually concern people. Then they played the high horse victim card.

It is sad. Eve Online is a good game, with crap management.

No, its a crap game too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318201)

A friend of mine tried to turn me on to this game & failed miserably. Even though it was free, its still too much to pay for that game.

Id say call me back when they start paying players but im not sure id play it even then, its -that- dull of a game.
It should be right up my alley too, i love scifi rpg's.

Why continue to pay? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318129)

What continues to confound me as this drama unfolds is why do people who disgruntled with Eve continuing to play Eve? If you so strongly believe CCP is rigging their sandbox, why continue to pay to play in it? Do you think that if you continue to saber rattle while cutting them a monthly check is going to fix anything? The real power is in the subscriptions. Lessen their cash intake and they will be forced to respond or at least figure out a more subtle way slink around and deal with bad press.

Otherwise stfu about threating to cancel your multiple subscriptions. The more you continue to pay, the more you continue to ask be fucked. They are more than willing to oblige so long as your checks clear.

Re:Why continue to pay? (4, Insightful)

drgnvale (525787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318173)

That is a very good point, but you see, eve actually is a really fun game and we'd kinda like for it to be successful which would be helped if the company running it cared more about the success of the game than about playing the game themselves and looking guilty every couple of weeks. But you know, a lot of people have been voting with their feet; eve's number of user's online has been dropping for weeks.

Re:Why continue to pay? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318229)

people invest many hours of their time playing eve, why should they lose all that when it's CCP that's in the wrong? answer me that smartass

I have many things to sell you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318723)

Why should they lose their supposed investment and spend their money for the privilege?

Because they're so hooked it hurts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318557)

This is akin to, when a crackhead whines about the extortionary practices of his local dealer, advising him to stop paying said dealer.

We're talking about people that have invested much money and time into building up their characters into something that doesn't totally suck.
Every level passed was a reinforcement that their investment was worth it.
Every newbie they flew by reminded them of how far they had gone.

It's much easier to complain loudly about it than to actually stop cold turkey.
Plus, if they stop, they're letting BoB win, and that's not okay.

The first MMORPG game that manages to shape the leveling grind into something that generates money will have a business model so powerful they'll actually be able to pay the player back.
Wait, I think it exists, and it has a killer polygon count too.

(aka: Git a job, you little creeps!@!! )

Re:Why continue to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318567)

Why do you continue to live?

You have time invested.

thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318133)

god damn it, i just got goatsed. my day is ruined.

Goatse Resurrected? (1)

ScottKin (34718) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318147)

Looks like the innocent-looking wiki.goonfleet.com brings you the love from Goatse.

Now I know why some mammals kill their young.

--ScottKin

It's a good thing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318153)

...is one absolutely unimportant issue to be get concerned about. A scandal about a useless luxury entertainment pursuit? WHO THE FUCK CARES!

Re:It's a good thing this... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318407)

you computer is a useless luxury, i'm going to come and take it. what's that, why do you even care?

Of course it was a frame-job (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318165)

Why would CCP cheat, you know, again? After the other incident why would they risk losing another 2 players? The thing that I hate about all this crap is that the Eve players will not leave. Ever. If you don't like what CCP is doing then quit paying them to do it. They don't want your appreciation; they want your money. Complain all you want. As long as you pay your 10 bucks (or whatever it is) a month they don't care. Until then they will do whatever they want and you still won't quit. So shut the fuck up. They shit in your bowl and you eat it with a smile then complain till the next serving. Get a damn backbone.

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318199)

They fail to mention how their volunteer moderators deleted every single civil thread on the issue, and that CCP themselves deleted the petition that was filed.

It sucks, majorly, EVE can be an awesome game, easily the best MMO I've ever played. I started in EVE because I was told there was very few developer-created boundaries like most MMOs have. A year later, I find myself victim of flat out discrimination by the developers, as they cater to their own 'old boys club'. Not a specific generation of players, even, like many MMOs develop content for, but a specific group of players in the game.

CCP's problem is that they want to play their own game, and they want to win. In a sharded environment the damage is contained, but in a game like EVE, it has a major effect on gameplay for thousands of people. When we all pay the same subscription fee, that's simply not fair.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318647)

They fail to mention how their volunteer moderators deleted every single civil thread on the issue, and that CCP themselves deleted the petition that was filed.
I don't see the problem with that.

A year later, I find myself victim of flat out discrimination by the developers, as they cater to their own 'old boys club'. Not a specific generation of players, even, like many MMOs develop content for, but a specific group of players in the game.
Hard to believe people who post as AC.

CCP's problem is that they want to play their own game, and they want to win.
CCP's problem is that they've got people now making up stories after one event that seems to of tainted their image.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318809)

One event? I played Crime Online since beta for about 3 years on and off. Meta-gaming is rife. Dev "misconduct" is rife. The player-base has long since moved to the lowest common denominator. I can't think of a place I would least like to spend my evenings hanging out in.

go fuck yourself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318847)

go fuck yourself you BoB piece of shit

die in a fire

In other news... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318227)

Roger, the guy down the hall in room 415, just pulled off the craziest move in Tetris history, clearing 12 rows in three moves, on level 14. Onlookers in the Stupid Tetris Fans United (STFU) guild were quick to point out that this is unpossible, and must be the result of some kind of scandal.

Rival guild Zoo Ostrich Masichist's Guild!!1! (ZOMG!!1!) allege that Roger's game is totally illigetimate, oweing to the fact that he once made a tetris game for his calculator while fucking around in high school math class. One member was over heard saying "It's a conspiracy. We all know Roger's in the tetris industry."

Representitives from ZOMG!!1! and STFU were not available for comment, but one thing is certain: news of this scandal is spreading like wildfire, and the tetris world may never be the same.

EVE: Serious business! (1)

krizzi (1026236) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318257)

I used to play this game some moons ago and I got a taste of EVE politics, and boy do people take it seriously! I spent many night playing a so-called diplomat in between internal alliance matters that were trivial. My point: people take this game (too) seriously! Now, I've heard about the flame spewing dragon that is goonfleet and many men have lost their dignity in mighty flamewars against that group in the past, but it still strikes me as odd that goonfleet should attack the company and as such the game itself as well. But I guess that is the nature of flamers. One could argue that the EVE community has developed anti-establishment movement against the game and CCP. But the CCP team is a great bunch that are doing quiet a good job of keeping in touch with the community. They allow them self to play the game to get a feeling how it is to be a player, they take a part of the community discussion and try to be "one of them". I guess that their greatest and weakest point. As for their PR move to claim a grand conspiracy of "carefully constructed and well-timed social engineering effort", it must go down in the history books as the worst PR move of them all! Just remember, its just a friggin game...

The tone of the response is totally unacceptable (4, Insightful)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318275)


Combative and derisive towards the accusations made. Yeah, that's what an "internal affairs" investigation should be. The tone is 100% supportive of CCP and 100% belligerant to the accusers, and because of that fact ALONE, I simply cannot believe anything the "investigator" says.

I mentioned in a previous thread I'd been undecided on joining EVE, this one blog post locks it down for me- this company will not see a dime of my money, ever.

Eeek! (1)

phungus (23049) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318323)

Someone take down the Goon Fleet corporation link, they changed it to Goatse. I had thought I would never see that horrible, horrible photo ever again.

I was wrong.

Unbiased events eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318367)

"Next is the allegation of the Aurora event team rigging an event arc.
This has also been proven FALSE."
i don't see how Arkanon's supporting evidence proves the allegation false. the following link might also want to be looked at.

http://www.eve-chatsubo.com/viewtopic.php?p=87205# 87205 [eve-chatsubo.com]

A website built on years of trolling? (2, Funny)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318431)

I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked! Next eBaum's world will be under suspicion for not having original content! The scandal!

well this does show something corrupt (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318659)

How come a Gm gets his complaint answered in 1 day as shown via the CCP thread they posted. I had this same issue and it took me over 1 month to get a response from CCP at this same time. Every ticket me or my corp enters takes over 20 days for a reply. This account which they acknowledge as a gm account got serviced in 1 day.


so no favoritism there. Sure this Gm may not have been able to take actions on his own account and had to place the petition to get the issue resolved, he still received favorable treatment, which is a violation of CCP's rules. A customers issue should be resolved in order not by who knows who or who is in what corp....

Game Over, CCP (0, Troll)

festers (106163) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318667)

That has got to be one of the most defensive and petty "responses" I've ever seen come from a company. At a time when people are calling for CCP to act professionally, they pull this stunt and come off looking like bitter nerds, not a mulit-million dollar company.

My advice to anyone even *thinking* about playing this game...don't. It's painfully obvious that CCP will go to any length to protect their perks, privileges, and collusions with certain alliances. They don't want a fair game because they want to have fun themselves, customers be damned. The clock is ticking for CCP, how much longer until the final explosion?

The MMORPG metagame expanding? (2, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318673)

I have always thought that all the constant high pitched noise on MMORPG fora were just spoiled kids and other immature people whining because the virtual world didn't revolve around them.

It probably still is, but at least this article suggest that there can be more to it than that. Groups of people trying to create "events" by coordinated manipulation of the fora means that the in-game groups are trying to extend their actions to the real world, or at least a level of virtuality close to the real world (fora like /.). This is so much more interesting.

Standard SA Trolling... Now illegal! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318699)

GASP! Those fine upstanding gentlemen at Something Awful? [somethingawful.com] I can't imagine that those fine, upstanding gentlemen, the people who have defined the very word "Internet Troll", would ever, EVER do something as illegal as libel and fraud.

I mean, not to someone who would actually be big enough to fight back, that is.

Granted, these are the same fine upstanding gentlemen who constantly find things online that they don't like then encourage their horde of twits and retards at their forums to harrass people for shits and giggles.

But hey, it's funny when they're finding some kid's Guile fansite or bringing bomb threats to a furry con (and then bitching when the police have something to say about bomb threats right next to an airport), right? So it has to be fun when they're trying the same form of character assassination and harassment on as large a scale as to attack a multi-million dollar international company... right?

Right? Ha ha? So funny? Right?

So obviously, if EVE gets upset enough to actually sue them for this, they're just being bad sports. Ha. Haha. Right? Uh, guys?

I wonder... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318771)

How many naysayers of CCP here are from somethingawful?

Let's not forget that the goonfleet internal forums show standing orders to tarnish CCP's image.

http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topi c&threadID=527762 [eve-online.com]

From dev blog:

Since last Friday, an unnamed corporation posted over 4000 times on EVE's message boards concerning these allegations. In addition, 1046 posts were made on Digg.com; 235 comments were added on Slashdot; and made multiple EVE-related edits on Wikipedia. Each of these sites was hit within a few hours of each other, at the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend in the US and a three-day weekend in Iceland, all referencing unfounded allegations -- now proven to be false -- that occurred three weeks ago or longer.

Goon fleet members spammed the forums so much that CCP was forced to shut them down (I saw it happen; an entire front page worth of spam). And some people still thing its a CCP conspiracy?

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19318775)

why you posted anonymously? Gasp. Is it because you're trolling.

CCP made dug their own hole (1)

Usagi_yo (648836) | more than 6 years ago | (#19318815)

It's tought to make a ton of ISK consistently in EVE, and for those that do, its quite lucrative from a RL$ to in game currency. Some 1B isk goes for what? $90 U.S dollars?

CCP keeps a tight fist on the isk department -- except for the lucky lottery winners of T2 ships. Yet if they nerf the economy such that everybody can make the lucrative isk, then they will lose 50% of thier player base.

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