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Role Playing (Games)

EVE Devs Admit To Misconduct 122

Posted by Zonk
from the jumpgate-is-a-great-name dept.
RidinThoraxes writes "The Escapist has published a complete investigation of what they're calling Jumpgate. The ongoing scandal of dev-backed cheating in the game world is fully explored, complete with a confession from the offending developer, emails from their community managers, and an interview with the enterprising player who uncovered it all."
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EVE Devs Admit To Misconduct

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  • The Escapist has published a complete investigation of what they're calling Jumpgate.

    With a name like that, it's got to be good.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:30PM (#17954402) Journal
    I knew a couple MMOGS that would have gold being sold from every single server in masses no individual could achieve in month 2 of launch, lets say about 500 listings. Then I a lowly single server player tries to sell just a little bit of gold, but at a cheaper rate. Within 1 hour my listing is banned. How can mysterious Ebayer X sell nearly infinate money on both Anarchy Online AND Dark Age of Camelot, while anyone else who tries to sell even a small amount gets immediately banned. This was back in the day, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by FooAtWFU (699187)
      So... you want sympathy from us because you tried to sell WoW gold and ended up shut out of the market? Tell you what. You and Mysterious Ebayer X can both die in a moonfire.
  • They already made a game [jossh.com] out of it!
    • by mikeasu (1025283)
      I used to play this - not too shabby either. Maybe not quite as involved as Eve Online, but fun regardless. Bit more arcadey - really needed a joystick, but actually attempted to (very loosely) model some physics - inertia for example. Actually, as I recall, the inertia was used as part of the prediction functions of where a player should be x msec from now - was one way to deal with latency.
      • I played the beta but not the actual game. It was really fun, but it turned me off that there weren't that many people involved at any one time. I think an MMO should have a lot of people. Shame it didn't catch on. I'm keeping my eye on Vendetta Online as well.
        • by nekura (600099)
          Ah, Vendetta Online. I used to play it when it had something like, ~150 players concurrently. Now it's down to ~15.
  • by billdar (595311) * <yap> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:40PM (#17954572) Homepage

    Understandably, a lot of players were still livid, and were expecting at least one head to roll, but their dissent has been heavily moderated.

    All I could think reading this article is I wish people devoted this kind of energy, passion, and dedication to their "Real Lives" (TM). The world would be a much better place...

    I mean, these guys quote nuances in the rules (law), expect the developers (gov.) to abide by the law, and strive to make people accountable for their actions. The guy who did it actually took responsibility for what he did!

    • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:45PM (#17954658) Homepage
      I couldn't agree more. Some of my friends can talk hours on end about WoW. It drives me nuts. I can see that they have so much passion for overcoming challenges in their virtual world. It's just sad that there are so many challenges in the real world that are being ignored, but people rather level up their fishing on their paladin.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chosen Reject (842143)
        So what you're really lamenting is that some of your friends don't put forth effort into what you consider more worthy causes. I can guarantee that if you see a problem in the world, someone, somewhere is putting a lot of effort in righting that wrong. If everyone (and I mean that literally) is ignoring a "real world" problem then it isn't a problem by definition. Some guy found what he considered a problem and put effort into correcting it. Just because it wasn't the most important problem by most peop
        • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#17956032) Homepage

          So what you're really lamenting is that some of your friends don't put forth effort into what you consider more worthy causes.
          No, I'm lamenting that they are putting all this effort into a virtual cause instead of a real one. I'm not going to judge what their passions if they're are actaully trying to make this world better. But I just fail to see how you can make the world better by sitting on your ass playing WoW 12 hours a day.
          • by Lectrik (180902) on Friday February 09, 2007 @11:51PM (#17959544)

            But I just fail to see how you can make the world better by sitting on your ass playing WoW 12 hours a day.

            But just imagine the random acts of stupid/evil they would commit if they had those 12 hours free
            driving around in their hummers clubbing baby seals in darfur while wirelessly hacking bank accounts to transfer money to north korea to buy nukes to give the terrorists to kill endangered rain forests... Sounds like a fun weekend to me
          • Many people don't "help make the world better" -- ever. Think about it: what have you actually done to "make the world better" today? Name one thing. I'll wait.

            What people consider "bettering the world" is largely subjective. I'm sure George Bush honestly thought he was bettering the world when he started the Iraq war. What's "good" for the world is individually defined.

            Whether or not playing these games is a waste of one's time is another discussion altogether.

            Fact of the matter is, if they weren't pl
            • Many people don't "help make the world better" -- ever.

              You're right. I probably overall, by just being an American, "make the world" the same if not worse (even though I have done community service and donated to charities). I don't like this fact, and I'm trying to change that.

              Fact of the matter is, if they weren't playing these games, most of these people would be watching TV. Or maybe sleeping. You can't naturally assume that the two choices for them are "play games" and "better the world". Doing so is overly simplistic and utterly moronic.

              If people were watching TV 12 hours a day, I would be still bitching about their worthlessness. I am obviously not assuming that if there wasn't WoW they wouldn't be wasting their lives on some other pointless activity. I'm also not saying doing pointless activities every once in a

        • by 3p1ph4ny (835701)
          I read this on my phone earlier, and havn't had a chance to reply until now. Anyways:

          I highly doubt he could do much about the "most important problems." So he chose one that he was passionate about and focused his efforts. I wish more people would at least be passionate about something. Most times I honestly don't care what about, just that they feel passionately about something.

          Unofficial +5 insightful for that.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          I wish more people would at least be passionate about something. Most times I honestly don't care what about, just that they feel passionately about something.
          Please someone, anyone mod this guy +1 funny!
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by vecctor (935163)
        What you describe makes perfect sense to me.

        Your friends:

        1) Feel like they have some control over that environment
        2) Understand its rules, and how to get things done
        3) Can quickly implement the solutions they have found, on their own or with a small group that they have some influence with

        None of these things exist/are true in "real life". The worlds problems are not as easily solved as a raid-boss and even if they were (some problems are simple) they are impossible to implement because it requires getting
        • The real life version is futile and painful. The virtual one is futile and FUN!
        • by murdocj (543661)

          Then when they get done, they realize there is no way they can implement their solution because: 1) The issue is too steeped in politics/corruption/ignorance/bullshit 2) There is no way, as a single person, they can hope to affect any change - even with the best idea in the world

          or 3), their idea is some typical simplistic engineer's approach to social problems that ignores most of the realities of the situation.

          • by vecctor (935163)
            A generalization, but perhaps.

            It doesn't matter though - if you are right, then we certainly don't want them to be "committing their passion to real life problems" now do we? No harm done then if they commit them to these other things the OP is deriding.

            Also, lets make sure to keep them away from anything complicated that their "simplistic" minds could screw up - like anything involving technology and engineering. I definitely want to lead the governance/problem solving/decision-making of my country to our
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        I see you're catching a lot of flak for lamenting your friends' wasted time in MMO's. I agree with you. It would be nice if the people who spend 4-8 hours nightly raiding spent 4-8 hours a day at a community center working with at risk youth, or volunteer some time at the senior center keeping the elderly company.

        I play WoW, but I don't know that I ever feel a sense of accomplishment. Being that even in the virtual realm the actions of my characters never change anything. Monsters respawn and the quests

    • by Lord Kestrel (91395) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:50PM (#17954782)
      Well, the items involved and the isk (in game currency) they represent is worth tens of thousands of US dollars on ebay. The BPO bit is supposed to be a random lottery, spreading wealth out to different people. Instead, this one alliance got a number of them, allowing them to build ships and modules that have no rival. The alliance that has been implicated in all of this just recently finished conquering one of their neighbors, and controls 30-40% of space in the game. This makes all of their actions suspect, and makes it appear that the company running the game (CCP) wants this alliance to finish taking over the entire game.
      • by WuphonsReach (684551) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:08PM (#17955226)
        Here's the Current Political Map [eve-files.com]

        Look at the area of control for "BOB" down in the lower-left. I wouldn't call it 30-40%. Not even of 0.0 space (which is the area outside of empire influence). Well, maybe 30% of empire space. The area they just conquered is the region in the lower-right (now colored blue).

        They do control a sizeable junk of 0.0 space though. And most of the rest of the corps in 0.0 space consider them a threat.

        • By space, I meant 0.0, as that is what actually matters. Now that Kali is out, they don't control quite as much, but pre-Kali, I'd say 30-40% is correct. I'm up north, and I know that if they came up looking to invade, it'd be one hell of a fight. If they are supported by CCP devs, who knows what would happen. Of course, d2 is all bob alts, so it'd be one strange fight.
    • "All I could think reading this article is I wish people devoted this kind of energy, passion, and dedication to their "Real Lives" (TM). The world would be a much better place..."

      I dont understand this statement. How do you know they don't? Wouldn't you think these same people would be just as upset at real world corruption? Theres no difference between something like insider trading and this scenario, so I dont really get your point.

      • by billdar (595311) *

        How do you know they don't? ... so I dont really get your point.

        Your right, I am speaking from my own experience and bias.

        But my point is a majority of the folks I've met (and you know them too) have a gripe about everything from our current administration to pot holes in the street. How many hours a day, a week, a month, or a year do they spend doing anything about it?

        How many hours do you think were spent tracking this developer down and writing an article on it (minus actual time playing of course)?

        I love my games too. But an hour or two of letter writing an

    • by Kloro (1024321)

      All I could think reading this article is I wish people devoted this kind of energy, passion, and dedication to their "Real Lives" (TM). The world would be a much better place...

      We do, but the Devs^H^H^H^H Supreme Court decided to give BoB^H^H^H Bush T2 BPOs^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H the election, and so we're in the situation we're in now, despite our best efforts. You'd be surprised how many protests aren't being televised, even in liberal places like San Francisco and Berkeley.

      At least with Eve we can easily d

      • Wow, someone drank the liberal kool-aid a little too much.

        Did you never read the decision. Florida was conducting a state-wide recount. This means every county would get counted over once, or twice. The democrats were pushing for democratic counties to be counted 3,4,5,6 times until they got the results they wanted. Ironically enough, the election officials started doing just that. The Republican Party/Bush Lawyers argued that the same process had to be followed in every county, not just selected ones
    • by discord5 (798235)

      All I could think reading this article is I wish people devoted this kind of energy, passion, and dedication to their "Real Lives" (TM). The world would be a much better place...

      That time that most people spend wasting cycles in front of the television is the time these people use to do something they enjoy. Whatever time and energy these people devote to a game is their own business.

      I mean, these guys quote nuances in the rules (law), expect the developers (gov.) to abide by the law, and strive to make

  • Sounds like they did what a lot of people thought might happen, and didn't really do anything.
  • Ishos Rerajan ... was eventually appointed the head of their capital ship fleet - ships piloted by players who've logged upwards of a year of training time. One of his duties was to monitor the progress of the pilots below him, meaning he'd have access to their account information, which is in violation of EVE's rules.

    That's cryptic as hell. Is he really saying that the Band of Brothers corporation has a position whose job description expressly called for the person to break Eve's rules? If that's the c

    • Maybe... they could've also had the pilots submit daily / weekly / monthly XML dumps of their character information from the "My Character" XML export:

      http://myeve.eve-online.com/character/skilltree.a s p?characterID=XXXXXXXXXX [eve-online.com]

      What I'm not sure of is whether one player can look at another player's skilltree on the website, or whether it's locked down. (Pretty sure it's locked down.)

      The XML file wouldn't be as trustworthy as getting it from the source (myeve.eve-online.com server), but if a pilot was
      • Here's mine :-)

        http://ineve.net/skills/character.php?charID=NDA1O DQ4NjE2/ [ineve.net]

        Note that I can check anyone in my Corp who also updates and that this is auto updated from EVEMon...
      • by JDAustin (468180)
        No, the purpose was for the CynoNet. To get capitals from one place to another fast, you have a series of Alts created that are camped in specific systems for the sole purpose of creating Cynosure bubbles. These are the destination points for a cap ship to jump to.

        It is common in alliances such as BoB to have a series alts and to have the high level directors to have access to all of them. In this case, the dev in question had to coordinate the cynoNet and there for was completly involved in this kind of
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
      People are getting banned from Eve's ingame chat for even mentioning this story.

      I've mentioned several times in comments here that Eve-online is my favorite time-waster. I've even based a bit of my research on it. I'm pissed, but I haven't decided what to do about it. I may have to make some adjustments to my research. I really need to find a game where there's no such "funny stuff" going on to make my thesis work.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:35PM (#17957488)
        The corruption runs deep. There are more people involved.

        The auditors are not as "independent" as you may think. It's the fox guarding the henhouse.

        The resulting punishment is just to quiet down the community. There is no intent to punish the developerS responsible. t20 just offered himself up as a scapegoat to get a tongue lashing by the community.

        The policy from upstairs is quelch the attention by continuing the deletion of posts and banning of accounts that bring the subject up.

        When it blows over they are just going to market the game to boost the subscription base back up.

        The problem is that nothing is going to happen internally to any of them so you can stop trying to whine about it. Friends stick together and they treat the community like a cash faucet not as people. They get something from the in game freebies they spawn. So you can continue playing in a game that is rigged with no real oversight or you can go and find someplace else to play and give your monthly checks to. But it really isn't going ot hurt their bottom line much if that is what you are expecting to do.

        The way I see it you need to get this thing blogging and in the media. Get someone who has a decent viewerrship (penny-arcade.com) to write this up. Hit a few million readers. Fan the flames until it gets some mainstream press. Pitch it as a chink in the armor of virtual economies so it comes off the recent Second-Life media campaign that just went on. If enough activist comes out about little to no regulation or oversight of these virtual economies they become miniature fiefdoms where the citizenry as little to no chance of fairness.

        Oh and I'm not not and insider or anything. I just stayed at a Holiday Inn once.
      • by TheLink (130905)
        If you see the way they react- focus on shooting the messenger rather than fix the problem, I doubt you should bother spending so much on that game anymore.

        There's enough crap like that for "free" in the real world. Why pay some corrupt corp for crap like this?
  • by stoat (125788)
    I hope you will speak with your wallet if you actually care about these issues. Otherwise you're just another whiner.
    • by ad0gg (594412)
      Can i have your stuff?
    • by Phil246 (803464)
      Already have, sort of.

      I originally cancelled my subscription on the basis i didnt have enough money :) ( hey im a student )
      Having read about this, I think its safe to say that i dont intend to go back even if my financial situation improves.
      If you cant trust the gamekeepers to play fair, who can you trust?
    • Agreed. the game can be hard enough as it is, but this repels me from continuing.
    • The laggy servers, lack of customer service, and daily downtime were enough for me to cancel a year ago. Somehow my $15/month didn't put a dent in their wallet.
      • Have you ever played any other MMOs? They have the same issues too. Customer service has actually been improved a lot lately. I remember waiting a month and a half for a response from my petition about a year ago. The last one I made was taken care of within the day and the GMs have been very helpful lately. As to canceling your subscription, I think that's just stupid. Yes, maybe the things the Devs helped BoB along a bit, but they are mainly so powerful due to thier very active and knowlegdeable pla
  • community (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:03PM (#17955134) Journal
    this is what happens when the "community" for a game lives mostly on boards managed by the owners of that game, you end up with censorship and unfair bannings.
    • by WNight (23683)
      Have you seen hoodwink.d?

      There are various ways for people to chat/message on other peoples' servers, but they're all a little awkward?

      We need something like hoodwink.d, coral cache, and freenet. With threaded messaging, and reputations. Then the conversation could happen just as easily at on company sites, but without them having any admin power.
  • Broken Aspect in Eve (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cornflake917 (515940) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:09PM (#17955272) Homepage
    This whole fiasco would have never happened if their method of introducing "epic" level equipment wasn't so horribly broken.

    I'll give a basic summary:

    Most weapons/equipment/ships in Eve are known as Tech 1 equipment. Tech 1 equipment require the material and Blueprints (sort of like recipes) to make them. Pretty much anyone can get into manufacturing Tech 1 equipment really easily. NPC's sell the blueprints at various stations, for relatively cheap prices.

    The elite/uber items in the game are known as Tech 2 items. These ships/equipment are significantly more powerful than their Tech 1 counter parts. A cruiser with T1 equipment can't even be compared to a T2 cruiser with T2 equipment. Now since CCP wanted to keep the prices of these items really high, they decided to implement a lottery system. They made you go through some really complicated process of doing "research missions" (I still don't really know the specifics because people don't want to give away the secrets and lose chances of winning the lottery). Once you've done enough research missions you can put in your bid in for a very small chance of winning a T2 blueprint. Since very few people have these blueprints, you basically have a monopoly over the epic items if you win the blueprint, allowing you to charge friggin' rediculous prices when you sell the items on the market.

    Now, all in all this isn't a horrible situation except when you get a powerful Alliance like BoB who have tons of manufactuers/industrialists and the money to back them up. They got in to the T2 market early and was able to by other T2 blueprints from non BOB players because they could offer healthy sums of cash without blinking and eye. Now add the fact that THERE ARE DEVELOPERS playing for BoB who were giving them T2 blueprints for free, the market became fubar'd, and one alliance dominates every fucking aspect of the game. Not cool.

    CCP tried to fix things with invention, where you could upgrade T1 blueprints to T2. But it was an even more difficult process and the results was a temporary blue print that would go away after a few uses. It's nothing that could break up the monopoly.

    Blizzard really got it right when they introduced "bind on equip" and "bind on pick-up" equipment. It prevented the hardcore players of hording all the "good" items and then selling them for unfair prices. If CCP introduced something similar with blueprints, I think the T2 market wouldn't have been so broken.
    • by Nananine (967931) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:15PM (#17955418)
      That's a very good perspective on the issue. However, without the pure capitalism they have in game, EVE just wouldn't be EVE. The game is built on how cut-throat it is. So it's all right that major power blocks control the economy, because that's just the nature of the beast.

      However, when a DEVELOPER OF THE GAME comes in and deliberately tips the balance in favor of an alliance he's not only friendly with, but helped RUN, then there's a real problem. The economic model is no longer cut-throat and capitalistic, it's just unfair.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Bah. The cut throat and capitalistic nature of the economy is based upon the conditions which are preset. The entire BPO idea was fundamentally flawed, and invention has not solved the problem. It will not, without much higher run BPC's.
      • by xero314 (722674) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:21PM (#17956590)

        However, when a DEVELOPER OF THE GAME comes in and deliberately tips the balance in favor of an alliance he's not only friendly with, but helped RUN, then there's a real problem.
        How is this any different than other forms of capitalistic market manipulation. Those with power and resources tend to stay in power and maintain control of resources. I think this is a perfect example of capitalism at work. With all the MMO players out there trying to defend peoples right to use real life resources for in game benefit I just can't see how a developer using their resources for in game benefit is any different. Just consider the Developers to be like the Rockefellers or Kennedys of the real world, they had a better starting position than you, not much you can do about it.

        The economic model is no longer cut-throat and capitalistic, it's just unfair.
        Who ever said that cut-throat and capitalistic was fair. You are a bit foolish (a.k.a. middle class) if you believe this.
        • by Nananine (967931)
          Actually, that's a very good point and I agree with you.

          Maybe we shouldn't look at it as a "truly capitalistic model." How about this... In the context of the game, do you think players intentionally cozying up and working with developers for in-game advantages should be allowed? And do you think those developers should exploit the game, given their distinct advantages?
        • by MaWeiTao (908546)

          Who ever said that cut-throat and capitalistic was fair.

          This is a bit off-topic, but I just have to address this since it seems to be a common habit to bash capitalism on Slashdot.

          People have a tendency to talk like these traits are unique to capitalistism, as if the system were somehow especially conducive to such imbalances. These are characteristics of the human race, not any particular political and social system.

          I think I recall quite a few systems where the fewer effectively exploited the many. Monarc

          • by HuguesT (84078)
            So what you are writing is that capitalism is the absolute worst economic system, except for all the others ?
        • by FooAtWFU (699187)

          How is this any different than other forms of capitalistic market manipulation.

          As far as the in-game world is concerned, this isn't really a market. A market is a place of voluntary exchange. This basically goes outside the market. Not everyone can get a developer to give them stuff. Can you say 'barrier to entry'?

          This is why people are concerned about having a free market instead of just "capitalism". Heck, it's not as if those with power and resources didn't tend to stay in power and maintain control of

        • If you read about this report simply from the economic perspective, this is capitalism at its finest, true. But what most people don't realize is that this goes FAR beyond "pure capitalism", this is damned near "pure fascism."

          Want to talk about the topic on the forums? Censored! Fight back against BoB? 'Thats a nice looking territory you've got there... we'll take it. Literally.' Go to the developers (government)? Fool! They ARE BoB.

          Even "pure capitalism" has safeguards against the extreme collection of po

        • by Goosey (654680)

          Just consider the Developers to be like the Rockefellers or Kennedys of the real world, they had a better starting position than you, not much you can do about it.

          To be fair comparing them to Rockefellers or Kennedys is a huge understatement. With the ability to to control time/space of the virtual world, they are much closer to god. But your right, god does have a better starting position than me and there is not much I can do about it. But I would feel a little more unhappy trying to compete with god than the Rockefellers.

        • by kerzlo (1062820)

          With all the MMO players out there trying to defend peoples right to use real life resources for in game benefit I just can't see how a developer using their resources for in game benefit is any different. Just consider the Developers to be like the Rockefellers or Kennedys of the real world, they had a better starting position than you, not much you can do about it.

          This is not a proper analogy. Developers in a MMO game are not equivalent to magnates in Real Life (TM), but to government employees taking ad

          • You're right, that's both illegal and unethical. It also happens quite often and is ignored more often than not. I'd venture to say that as they found 5 people working for CCP in BoB and that there are MANY more than that number working for CCP and supposedly, most of them play the game, there is a distinct possibility that similar things have occured in other alliances and corportions. I've seen one CCP ex-employee admit that he used his position to help his alliance before he quit and he wasn't in BoB.

      • However, when a DEVELOPER OF THE GAME comes in and deliberately tips the balance in favor of an alliance he's not only friendly with, but helped RUN, then there's a real problem. The economic model is no longer cut-throat and capitalistic, it's just unfair.


        It's like having a market economy, except God happens ot be very cosy with the CEO of the largest company.
        • It's like having a market economy, except God happens ot be very cosy with the CEO of the largest company.

          There was one political party in one European country back in the 1930s that accused Jewish businessmen of being too cozy with God. "Chosen people" anyone? Do you not see where this will lead if left unchecked?

    • by mknewman (557587) *
      "Blizzard really got it right when they introduced "bind on equip" and "bind on pick-up" equipment. It prevented the hardcore players of hording all the "good" items and then selling them for unfair prices. If CCP introduced something similar with blueprints, I think the T2 market wouldn't have been so broken." Isn't that what CCP did in EVE with Implants/Hardwiring and now Rigs? You put them in and they are not removable. Most are also very expensive.
      • That's correct, implants and rigs are the Eve equivilants of "BOE" equipment. However implants/rigs are such a small aspect when calculating your ships overall effectiveness. Implants and rigs are also very small when compared to the whole market. Almost all of WoW's top equipment are BOE's/BOP's that are earned as PVP rewards or as instance drops.

    • Actually, the truly uber equipment in EVE are the officer modules. But using a bunch of T2 stuff to acquire them a lot more easily sounds about par for the course. Realistically, hammering a few core devs back to absolute newbies might be a great thing for the game; they'll learn - if they really play from the absolute beginning again - a lot about how the game works. Hopefully the dev that handed out BPO's will try a manufacturing / trade char. That would be nice. Overall, though, I'm not surprised at
      • Ah good point, I almost forgot about officer modules. I guess T2 are more like the "blues" and officer modules are like epics. But really even after playing the game for 6 months, using officer mods just wasn't a viable option for me. They are so rare, so expensive, and with a unforgiving game like Eve, they just weren't worth it. Really, the only people who can afford it are the PVE only types, or the extremely rich types, and the extremely rich types are usually synonymous with T2 blueprint holders.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
      You are correct in everything you say, Cornflake, except that most Tech2 equipment is only a few percentage points better than the tech1 counterpart. But there are some pieces that really are "epic".

      • Yes, just like epics in WoW are only a few percentage points better than blue's, which are only slightly better then greens.

        When you are able to fully outfit your ship with T2 equipment, a few percentage points (more like 5%) multiplied by 10-20 ends up being quite significant difference.
    • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#17956034) Homepage
      If you're curious:

      First, find a research agent in a corp you like. You can find lists of research agents, as well as what BPOs you're likely to get out of them, in various places (the one I use is locked behind a corporate login, but I'm sure they exist. This is data available freely, too - you could just download the Eve database packs and read it out of there yourself.) High-level agents are far better. Ideally, you want to find four or five L4 Q10-20 agents, all of which specialize in research types that you're interested in.

      Next, grind faction with that corp. I recommend kill missions. You'll need to get your corp standing up to around 5, as I remember, and your corp/faction standing up to around 7. (These can be the same standing, of course.)

      Meanwhile, you'll need to train the research skill you want. These invariably require Research V and some other tier 1 skill at V. Gallentean Starship Engineering, for example, also requires Mechanic V, while Laser Physics requires Engineering V. You'll probably want to train these skills up to 3 or 4, since they govern how many research points you get. On top of this you probably want Research Project Management at 3 or 4, which will also require Laboratory Operation V. So you're looking at maybe a month or two of training. The skills aren't trivial.

      Once you've done all this, you can talk to a research agent (or 4 or 5, or even 6 if you took research project management to V for some reason) and tell them to start researching. From here, your job is essentially done. You'll get RP every day at a constant rate. There are daily "research missions" you can do - they're always courier missions - to double the RP you get that day. But there's no penalty for ignoring them, beyond not getting the RP.

      If you're lucky enough to be picked in a BPO auction, the agent will send you a mail and hold the blueprint for a time period (I think it's two weeks.) You'll also lose all your RP on that agent - not that you'll care. Grab the BPO and profit . . . and remember to restart research with that agent, since it stops after you get a BPO. And if there's anything better than a T2 BPO, it's got to be two T2 BPOs.

      Now you know everything about research.

      Personally, I hate the idea of bind-on-equip and bind-on-pickup. I like how economic Eve is. There's undercutters, resellers, even price control cartels (ever wondered why Improved Cloaking Devices have been so expensive? All the BPO owners are in a cartel. Price seems to be dropping now though, I wonder if the cartel was broken.) Eve is a bitch of a game, but it's supposed to be, and that's why a lot of us play it.

      There's nothing else in the world where you can destroy $4000 of someone else's property without their permission and then brag about it without having to worry about cops.
      • by adam31 (817930)
        There's nothing else in the world where you can destroy $4000 of someone else's property without their permission and then brag about it without having to worry about cops.

        Glad I never played this corrupt game. The developer-sponsored cheating that has happened might inspire real anger, and it sounds like the company is liable.

        It's a good way to sink, destroying property when you have an anchor named 'Fraud' attached to your ankle. And then it's not even the cops you worry about... it's those damned

      • by edschurr (999028)

        Personally, I hate the idea of bind-on-equip and bind-on-pickup. I like how economic Eve is.

        It seems like having a complex economy would result in funner play. In WoW nothing had any consequence, unless you liked fighting for the sake of fighting. There was always the "carrot" of getting good gear to have an advantage...at more fighting.

        I wouldn't play EVE though because I prefer finding a way to write code and study things, more than actually carrying them out. And in mmorpgs people aren't fond of enri

        • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
          This is pretty much what I feel, yes :) I'm still a relative newbie, but I've helped blow up hundreds of dollars worth of incredibly expensive ships, in my brand new frigate worth . . . about five cents. Consequences are fun.

          The interesting parts of the game aren't busywork (like production, which just happens in the background, or PvP), but mining and killing pirates are really rather repetitive. I do those in small quantities when talking on the phone :P I wish they were more interesting or scriptable in
        • by splutty (43475)

          I wouldn't play EVE though because I prefer finding a way to write code and study things, more than actually carrying them out. And in mmorpgs people aren't fond of enriching ones experience with scripting.

          Heh. The funny part of this is that that's exactly what I do in WoW :) With the LUA/XML interface they have there, you can do a LOT of scripting (and people do) to make your life easier.

          One of the best 'mods' out there for example is 'gatherer' which basically keeps track of where you mined/gathered on bo

    • Really, I'll admit that T2 frigs, destroyers, cruisers, and battlecruisers are the best in the game in thier classes. However, T1 battleships, and cpitals are the deciding factor in most battles. Even a command ship can be beaten 1v1 by a battleship. Even so, T2 ships and equipment are available to everyone in the game and usually for prices that are pretty close no matter where you get them from. T2 equipment is almost always beaten by some type of faction equipment. The exceptions used to be cloaking
  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:17PM (#17955448)
    Since most people still don't know anything about how EVE works, I though I'd set up a little explanation on why the devs cheating in this game is so significant.

    While undoubtedly devs cheat in all sorts of MMOs, I'd initially hesitate in comparing EVE to any of those MMOs. EVE isn't a PvE game it's a PvP game, and that makes a huge difference in the significance of cheating. Since WoW is the popular game here at Slashdot, I'll use the following analogy to set up this difference:

    The EVE universe is Azeroth, and the high-end zones and their dungeons are what would be 0.0(no security) space in EVE. One can't own a high-end zone in WoW under normal PvE rules, all land is open to all players. This is not the case in EVE, 0.0 is designed to be owned and consequently limited to certain parties; in effect you can have your own high-end zone with your own dungeons that no one else can run.

    As for why this makes a difference in cheating, cheating in WoW would mean someone gets rich and gets some unbelievably good gear; it knocks you further down the list of cool people and makes the stuff you have worth less, but that's about it. The devs cheating in EVE however can result in one faction controlling more and more pieces of 0.0 space, and the losers from this get kicked out. Unlike the WoW player who can still continue going to high-end zones and running dungeons, the EVE player has lost actual game content, they can't go to the 0.0 space they once held, and the finite amount of 0.0 space in the game means it's unlikely they'll be able to take anyone else's either. Meanwhile the faction that just kicked them out is now even richer, and will go on to take over yet another piece of 0.0 space using their combination of legal and ill-gotten resources.

    Cheating sucks for everyone(except the cheater) without a doubt. But this is to my knowledge the first example of significant cheating in an actual massive PvP MMO. It will set a precedent for everyone else, and the results of it will have put the EVE players through a lot more suckage than cheating in most other MMOs would.

    • Yes, it gives them an advantage (in material and power). But I don't think they'll manage to take over all of 0.0 without falling apart. The odds are highly against them because of the following:

      1) They have to keep growing their borders and taming more corporations to act as pets. If they don't grow or constantly engage in wars, their members may get bored.

      2) At the same time, they have to keep reign on the existing pets. As the size of the pet population starts to outnumber the owner population, th
    • by Plekto (1018050) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:57PM (#17956216)
      http://www.eve-files.com/media/corp/CRII/Latest.jp g [eve-files.com]

      rsmith-mac is 100% correct. Our entire alliance was kicked out of Stain - the area down south that is grey(it's BoBs - make no mistake about it now). So we went from owners of a small but great region to a bunch of smaller groups all mostly up in the northern areas - as far from BoB as we could manage.

      Look at the map. The Blue and contested areas down south are BoB. The dark green Dusk and Dawn areas at the top are also BoB-or their alts and allies.

      BoB a YEAR ago was Fountain(contested), Delve, and Period Basis. Now, it's uncontested, and is several areas larger. Three areas to Seven and three more by proxy up north.

      The areas in the far east of the map - all *six* of them weren't there two months ago - so redraw the map withut those and it's an apalling amount of area. It's the area north of the big Red Alliance area with a few small colored blobs in it.

      BoB is funding mercenaries and groups to keep the groups near it from getting access to it. ths would be Pure, Roadkill, Ratel, Smash, Curse, and Red Alliance. It's not likely to work, because we are all banding together on this, but the problem is that they have an insane amount of power, players, and blueprints.

      Getting back to the debacle in Stain. Our alliance was at war with them and one of their allies in the area and doing pretty well. This was about the exact time these incidents happened, in fact.

      - Dreadnaughts just came out - the big ships. These are "Tech 1" - which means that the plans aren't rare, but the money to make them is astounding. And they can be insured for 99.9% repayment if they get blown up(Tech 2 ships cannot).

      We all started trying to get these ships, most of which required weeks to learn skills and get items built to make them. But BoB, surprize - they had the ships weeks before anyone else in the game. And proceeded to do huge damage to us. Eventually we just got ground under by their economic mmight - which it turns out was started and created three years ago by DevS cheating/aiding their friends.

      It's the snowball effect - they were always a few weeks or months ahead of everyone else and guess what - that translates into a huge advantage three years alter that threatens to ruin the whole game.

      P.S. 0.0 is effectively EvE because if you are in the center of the map, mining and gringing for a few pennies a day is all you can do. It's effectively the "newbie" area(s) on WoW and most MMORPG games.
      • by edschurr (999028)
        What happens when BoB has all the map? I'm curious how things might change at that point. (And I don't mean change on account of the admins, although I suppose that is likely.)
      • This crap about D2 being BoB alts is rediculous. D2 tried attacing Fountain just this weekend. They've been camping the 0.0 entrences that BoB and thier allies generally use and killing as many as they can. D2 is mostly made up from other alliances that BoB Crushed at one time or another and I remember their leadership plotting BoB's demise as long as 6 months ago. I know because they asked the alliance I was in at the time to join them. Whoever came up with that must have had a rock trasnplanted for h
    • by dghcasp (459766)

      Simpler version of previous post:

      On a PVP server, a bunch of 70 Horde hanging around Scarlet Monastary.

    • by umbrellasd (876984) on Friday February 09, 2007 @10:35PM (#17958996)
      I personally got a kick out of BoB and the imbalance, because I think it strongly mirrors exactly the type of real world situations that are so interesting. Very often in the real world, someone gains an unfair advantage and exploits it. In fact, this is the foundation of empire--every Empire. Whether economic, technological, or knowledge-based. Someone has an advantage and for a time there is no way to counter it. So they run roughshod over everyone else and subjugate people, and people become more and more oppressed and then revolution. Whether by leveling the playing field (a nation adopts guns to replace the sword when forced to do so or lose sovereignty), or the masses band together in a revolution against those that oppress them and with sufficient numbers that whatever advantage the minority had, it no longer matters.

      So in this case, the interesting dynamic I was waiting for was to see an emerging mob of the underpriviledged banding together and saying to the T2 cartel, "Yeah, you've got the good stuff and it's better than our crap, but we have so much crap now and we're dumping so much of it on you, that you are going to suffocate in the stuff and we win anyway."

      Alas, it didn't get there, but I was hoping. By far the most fascinating thing about Eve is it's ability to encourage group dynamics. Real corporations comprised of hundreds of people, interacting with each other on the battlefield and in the economy, in a way that more closely parallels the real world than any game I've ever played. I've played more than my share of WoW, and it's got a strong appeal, but the group dynamics are absolutely nothing compared to Eve. There is no other online game with that degree of dynamic. For that, my hats off to CCP, cheating dev and all.

      For the most part, only mature adults play Eve, I think. The appeal of the game is too deep, it's not a fast moving game most of the time. Manipulating stock markets, building corporations, obtaining resources, training over the course of a year of real time. It doesn't have the immediate gratification of a WoW, but it is amazing for what it is. I'd be interested to see what the player base would have been capable of on its own as far as restoring balance even in the presence of a monopolizing cartel of T2-lords.

      • by cowscows (103644)
        BoB's time would've come eventually, regardless of whether or not the dev's misconduct came to light. Giving away T2 BPO's certainly didn't hurt BoB, but it didn't make them invincible either. Where the devs could have done more damage is by sharing insider information. Who's to say that a dev couldn't easily look up an enemy corp's dread counts and locations, and then pass that on to the rest of BoB's leadership? Maybe the dev knows that a cetain module is going to become more useful/powerful in the next p
    • Significant Cheating... I'm getting sick of people claiming that what was given to BoB was significant in any way. A handful of BPOs, most of which were of limited value - in the context of alliance economics at that scale, it was nothing. A few days of complex running for BoB's collection of 10/10s at most. The reason that this is an issue is that any help whatsoever was given to one alliance by a rogue developer - NOT that the help which was given was non-trivial. Now its just degenerated into a bunch of
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:42PM (#17955962)
    (Sorry for the AC comment but I don't want my opinion to reflect on my former employer)

    I have to say that I firmly believe that any dev caught tampering with their own game, no matter how small the indiscretion - as long as it is willful and intentional - should be immediately terminated. It's something every dev is tempted to do, but I think it's deeply wrong and hurts the credibility of the whole industry.

    With the increasing monetization of MMOs, as well as the real life impact they have for many people, I think the MMO industry should self-regulate with as firm a hand as the gambling industry is supposedly known for. A developer handing out money or favors to his own accounts or friends is not very different from a blackjack dealer helping friends cheat at his table.

    I'm sorry if I sound pitiless, but it really seems important to regard these things as important, if we want our customers to have any faith in the credibility of the game.
  • by vain gloria (831093) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:03PM (#17956324) Homepage
    The confession of the dev responsible [eve-online.com] linked to by TFA is interesting.

    Sadly enough, the allegation regarding unlawfully obtained blueprints are, in my case, true.
    Note "unlawfully" there, is he just talking ingame? What he's admitted to is easily a sackable offence (a path which apparently hasn't been taken), but is it actionable in any practical sense? Probably by his employers if they had shown themselevs so inclined, but not by the community, I'm guessing. Any other NALs with a take on this?

    The blueprints in question will be returned to CCP and reintroduced through a new raffle in the future.
    Isn't he wearing two hats in this sentence, first the penitent's, then the dev's? Why is the guilty party telling us how the items will be redistributed? A simple "I have been told that..." might at least make it sound more palatable.

    As much as this is a confession it is also a request for your forgiveness for events of which I'm truly sorry.
    Nothing to be forgiven for dude! Events happen!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:06PM (#17956382)
    Read what the EVE players have to say about the cheating dev remaining an employee of CCP:
    t20 and Hellmar speak on recent events [eve-online.com]
    • by Plekto (1018050) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:34PM (#17956792)
      I forgot in my earlier comment/posting to explain why 6-12 months ago was a critical point in time.

      - BoB, as mentioned, was two and a half areas in 0.0 space down in the south-west(the top , Querious - see the eve political map) was somewhat contested.

      - The new big patch that was a year in the making came out. And it allowed two major changes.

      1: Big ships. Before this, the biggest ship you could have was a Battleship. Big, nasty, but not really effective by itself because so many people had them. PvP was pretty well balanced. But they introduced Dreadnaughts and Freighters. These cost 10-20 times the cost of a battleship but allowed you to move cargo around in massive amounts and lay siege to stations.

      2: They introduced player controlled and owned stations. Before this, there were often only 2-3 NPC stations in an entire area and that was it. Now, with player-owned stations, you effectively could claim an area for real - as if you really owned it. Of course, the dreadnaughts had the big weapons needed to take on these player built installations.

      The jump BoB recieved was huge - it put them always a step or two ahead of everyone else. I really wish I had a map of the game a year ago - there were 5-6 groups in the areas BoB is currently expanding into down south. They had been fighting over the areas for two years, more or less. BoB comes in and in 5-6 months flattens everything. This clearly wasn't possible without DeV help, and we all knew it, but there wasn't any proof at the time.

      - Then they released another patch this last fall - 5 months ago. This broke it entirely.

      1:They intoduced motherships and carriers. These ships have the ability to do way more damage than anything before them in the right hands AND they can jump from any system to another, bypassing enemy lines. Want to get from the east of the map to the south? Done. What was risky and took time - now you can jump in an entire fleet behind enemy lines with little risk.

      BoB, yet again, got a jump on the rest of us by a month or two and it went from 5-6 smaller groups fighting down south to... *BoB*. This combo of patches, knowing exactly what skills to train and have before the patch, plus early access to the ships - they steamrolled over a large section of EvE before we could really react.

      In short, being beat to the punch tme after time because a group of players are in bed with the developers takes all the fun out of it - especially when you are *paying* for the privelege of getting beat so badly.

      And CCP deletes posts like this routinely. They also delete in-game petitions routinely under the claim that they server got too full - so try submitting again(after the third time in a row - this gets very old)

      My take on CCPs response is that they are flat out lying and will run the game like they want - Developers cheating and all. There's nothing illegal about what they are doing, afterall.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @09:15PM (#17958342) Homepage Journal
        There's two main acts in any scandal like the one in which Eve is involved.

        Act One: in which the offender denies everything, then finally admits the truth but tries to weasel out of doing anything about it.

        Act Two: in which the story becomes so big as to affect the bottom line (this could mean stock price, subscriptions, or perceived loss in prestige and industry standing, which could limit future earnings). At this point, you start to see heads roll and something actually done about the problem.

        Eve is right on the cusp of Acts One and Two. This little drama has become so common that it's become common behavior for corporations to wait to see if Act Two actually starts before acting positively.

        As an Eve player and someone who has a fair amount of professional interest in MMORPGs, I plan to wait to see how CCP plays out Act Two before I give up on them and encourage other players to do so as well. But the clock IS ticking, and the intermission is almost over. You hear, CCP?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Roger that! I was thinking about playing EVE but if the deck is stacked against you because of cheating players, I won't bother. I will wait a few weeksand see how thisplays out, but before I sink my money into this venture, I want to see a better resolution than what has been posted so far. In the meantime, I can spend plenty of money in WoW, Age of Conan, or any of several other MMOGs. Let's hope CCP gets the message on how incidents like this hurt their bottom line.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
            I'd suggest doing the 2-week trial. This scandal really only affects players at a much higher level. I'm counting on CCP doing the right thing, and until this episode, they've shown themselves to be fairly reliably good managers of their property.
      • by srvivn21 (410280)

        I really wish I had a map of the game a year ago - there were 5-6 groups in the areas BoB is currently expanding into down south.
        Ask, and you may receive [archive.org].
  • by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:38PM (#17956852) Homepage Journal
    For all the insight and knowledge expressed in this discussion you'd think that the game devs were using taxpayer dollars to give themselves artificial game advantages.

    Yes. I am saying that this is exactly what happens with taxpayer dollars in the Federal Government, the SEC, the stock market, the Federal Reserve, the state governments... And yet we can plainly see how those discussions go.

    How can people be so thick-headed?
  • Another reason not to dable in this game. All this talk about this game makes me want to play it less and less. Don't get me wrong, what has happened is unfortunate. I would be shocked if this happened in any MMO game I play. But all the posts describing the game do not make it sound fun. Seems you need to invest insane amounts of time, and if you do you are invulnerable. And there seems to be no way for a player starting the game today to catch up.
  • MY OPINION: The article is so slanted its not even funny... What happen to proper journalism? The issue is that a dev was cheating, but the fact that CCP did what they did should be the focus, not everything else. Yea CCP should have said something months ago when they found out about T20, but they didn't and have ADMITTED to making a mistake about it... When was the last time you saw a MMO Company's CEO ADMIT to mucking things up? Overall CCP was far more open in this then all the other MMO companies wo
    • by Popsikle (661384)
      Bah, been a while since I posted, heres a properly formatted response.

      MY OPINION:
      Your article is so slanted its not even funny... What happen to proper journalism? The issue is that a dev was cheating, but the fact that CCP did what they did should be the focus, not on everything else. Yea CCP should have said something months ago when they found out about T20, but they didn't and have ADMITTED to making a mistake about it... When was the last time you saw a MMO Company's CEO ADMIT to fucking things up?

      Ov

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