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EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game 620

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
An anonymous reader writes " has reported that an EVE Online player recently lost over $1,200 worth of in-game items during a pirate attack. The player in question was carrying 74 PLEX in their ship's cargo hold — in-game 'Pilot's License Extensions' that award 30 days of EVE Online time when used on your account. When the ship was blown up by another player, all 74 PLEX were destroyed in the resulting blast, costing $1,200 worth of damage, or over 6 years of EVE subscription time, however you prefer to count it. Ow."
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EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game

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  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:03PM (#33194286)

    This wasn't a hack. This was a legitimate in game activity (essentially just an in-game PvP attack) which caused the destruction of cargo worth real world money.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:05PM (#33194346) Journal

    You can buy PLEX (Pilots license extension) in game. This means that elite players that have spent the time developing the skills to make a lot of in game money no longer have to pay to play the game. It's a good system I think, rewards the hardcore fans.

    Anyways, if you buy it in game - it would have to have been sold at a station, and the system is set up that you can't take PLEX outside of a station (or at least thats how it was about 3 months ago).

    So - this guy would have actually had to have bought the time codes from an online retailer, activated them while in his ship while in space - and not in the safety of a station where he could have used them. It's likely he wanted to check the best prices in verse for plex and then sell them for massive in game profit - however he activated them before reaching that destination (74 plex codes CAN take a while to enter).

    It's all foolishness in my eyes - I don't have any qualms with people who want to pay for in game money - be it ISK or WoW Gold or whatever. Eve at least balances it so that if you WANT to buy in game money, the PLEX is a solid and secure way of doing it, and its pretty steady based on the market of the game, and the real world value of Plex is always constant, whatever CCP says it is ($40 for 2 plexes or whatever?).

    However, this idiot basically circumvented every provision designed to stop this from happening. Had he been docked at a station this would have been impossible.

  • by T3hD0gg (908064) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:13PM (#33194518)

    Anyways, if you buy it in game - it would have to have been sold at a station, and the system is set up that you can't take PLEX outside of a station (or at least thats how it was about 3 months ago).

    A recent patch a few weeks ago opened up the ability for PLEX to be transported by ship. CCP thought that would be a good idea to allow players more control of their items and I would have to agree with them. It's helpful for those who live deep out in 0.0 and would rather buy PLEX from a corp-mate than have to travel back into the Empire systems.

  • Wrong summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:18PM (#33194596) Homepage Journal

    It wasn't a "pirate attack", it was a sanctioned war in a trade hub where hundreds of players are on at any time and it's difficult to spot war targets in local.

    Also the PLEX cards survived, but to stop scavengers that are all over the trade hubs the wreck was immediately destroyed.

    Quite the red-letter day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:18PM (#33194604)

    Someone has to pay real money for the PLEX before they can sell it to the hardcore player buys for fake money.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:20PM (#33194650) Journal

    Well its pretty silly if you ask me - considering you can create 3 characters - you can leave one of them in high sec space to deal with PLEX if you want, without having to take your low level toon out of low sec space.

    It was really a non-issue before, I don't know why anyone would have wanted it any other way. I guess it just opens itself to these kinds of stories. Because PLEX is negligable in cargo space - you can put infinite amount on a cargo ship and move them around now.

    You could have some fool moving over a million dollars worth of in game plex and have them get blown up - and theres only chance that any of the loot is recoverable - meaning 1 Million dollars worth of money ends up in CCP's pockets without anyone gaining anything out of it.

  • by ildon (413912) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:20PM (#33194662)

    You should read this: []

  • He was an IDIOT! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fallen Kell (165468) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:25PM (#33194742)
    Seriously, he is an idiot for taking them out of station. EVE only a few weeks ago made the change to allow players to physically move the PLEX between stations, because previously they were treated as a special item, where-in you could only convert a ETC (Extended Time Card), into PLEX (extended pilot license or something like that) in permanent station (i.e. not player controlled, or destroyable by players or other actions), and you could not leave the station if you had the PLEX in your cargo hold. But, EVE really didn't want to have to have all that extra checks to inforce these things, and let everyone know they were taking away the checks against moving of PLEX between stations, but it was at the players own risk.

    No one even needs to move the PLEX, you can use them from ANYWHERE (i.e. you do not have to be in the same station as the item, or even in the same region of space, to convert the PLEX into play time on your account). The person moving them was an idiot for doing so. The only reason to move them is so that they are closer to you so you can more easily sell them in the game for in-game money (which is also the main reason to convert them from an ETC to PLEX in the first place).
  • Re:wat? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mano.m (1587187) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:27PM (#33194806)
    What I (another non-player) gather: CCP is the company that owns the game and maintains it.
    ISK is an in-game currency. PLEX is an in-game object you can buy with millions of ISK or 15-20 real-life dollars, and which you can redeem for game play time. Actual EVE players: amirite?
  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:34PM (#33195006) Homepage

    Exactly. Digital information can be destroyed with a click of a button. It's called backups, don't put all your eggs in one basket and backups.

    That has basically no relevance to this story.

    The ship was carrying PLEXes. They're in-game items representing a one month subscription. You purchase them with real money, and get an in-game item, that you can then sell for in-game money.

    This allows people to fund their EVE addition without having to pay real money.

    It allows people with lots of real money to burn to get lots of in-game money to burn.

    And there is absolutely no way to make a backup of a PLEX.

    No, it isn't very smart to carry all 74 of them with you at one time. You certainly shouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket. But you cannot create a backup.

  • Re:All your eggs... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:35PM (#33195028) Homepage

    Primarily, because they can be traded in-game. It's essentially an approved way of paying for just about anything you might want to pay for in-game using real money. Instead of going through other channels (ebay, etc.) you just buy game time, convert it to PLEX, and trade the PLEX in-game.

    It's beneficial to the players because it reduces the likelihood of scams--you pay CCP Games for the PLEX, and you trade it using in-game mechanisms. It's beneficial to CCP because they essentially get cuts out of every transaction and..frankly..PLEX can be destroyed, as we see here. They got paid for nothing.

    Of course, losing so much PLEX is really, really rare. It's treated as valuable because it is. Why anyone would move 74 PLEX like this is beyond .. well, pretty much everyone :)

  • by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:44PM (#33195238)
    Someone already explained the reason these things exist (to legally trade real money for in game currency), but I just want to point out the stupidity of the pilot. PLEX do not take up any space at all. He could have transported them in a fully cloaked (read, impossible to detect) Covert Ops ship across the galaxy if he wanted to. Certain parts of space would still be risky, but there's no reason to go to those places since PLEX aren't really sold there.... To non-players, it seems like a development issue to allow a player to be exposed to suck loses as this, but I assure you, it was his own fault. The game has many many many ways of protecting a player when transporting goods such as this. If the player ignores them however....they lose it all (and someone else profits). That's why I love EVE.
  • Re:New headline (Score:2, Informative)

    by DarkXale (1771414) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:46PM (#33195306)
    Generally no, PLEXes in ships are rare - since the only purpose of moving them is to sell them elsewhere (or give them to someone). If you buy one for real money yourself to sell, you redeem it at the location you want to sell it at (usually Jita). If you buy it for yourself, you just use it immediately. Buying PLEXes at one location and selling them at another is generally only profitable in bulk - because of the typically low price variety, especially after sales taxes and fees. Such bulk transfers are both extremely expensive to setup, and again - the risk involved is unreal. If you get spotted, you can be expected to be pursued or stalked for hours. A single PLEX is enough to buy most of the common advanced combat ships, including a lot of expensive ship equipment for it. If we scale the ship size down, potentially dozens of ships can be afforded by a single one. So when you're carrying several...
  • Re:New headline (Score:2, Informative)

    by Xveers (1003463) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:53PM (#33195458)

    Nice Try, but no.

    The way PLEXes work is that a player buys a gametime code from an authorized online retailer. The player then docks up at a station, and enters the code into a menu. This converts the codes into PLEXs (two PLEX per code). These PLEXes can then be put it onto the market and sold like other items

    Now, in this situation all these PLEXes were purchased from multiple sellers in Jita (THE trade hub in EVE). The pilot then decided to move them out of Jita on a small, poorly defended and very weak ship. By all accounts the pilot had bought them in order to move them elsewhere and sell them at a considerable markup and make profit. Unfortunately, some hostiles were waiting outside of the undock point at the Jita space station (not uncommon). They saw a hostile target undock, and they engaged. Boom.

    You may notice that the player(s) who actually created the PLEXes were compensated. They made ISK from their sales. The person who bought them however... just did something astronomically stupid.

  • Re:bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

    by neongrau (1032968) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:58PM (#33195566)
    you been out of game for too long. []
  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kithran (24643) on Monday August 09, 2010 @05:00PM (#33195644)

    However there is also no need to ever undock with one PLEX never mind 74. You can apply them to you account (ie use the item to add 30 days to your subscription) from anywhere in the game. Yes he dies trying to get to the main trading hub in the game however he could have gone to any other station in the system and had no problems. Also he was an absolute fool for flying in a very fragile ship when another group had declared war on him (thus was able to be attacked even in the main trading hub system without interference).


  • Re:Wrong summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2010 @05:04PM (#33195744)

    No, the killmail is API verified and the PLEX were not dropped. The article even states it: "Unfortunately for the trigger-happy duo, all 74 were destroyed when they blew the ship up."

    For those that are new to looking at killboards, bellow the picture of the ship is a list of all the items equipped to the ship and in its cargo hold. Green items survived the destruction of the ship, the others did not.

  • Re:All your eggs... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZerothAngel (219206) on Monday August 09, 2010 @05:18PM (#33196052)

    Hm, not so sure about that. Up until recently, PLEXes were immovable -- you couldn't undock with one in your hold. However, if you owned a PLEX, you could use it (apply game time to your account) no matter where it was located.

    To use your example, all you'd have to do is contract the PLEXes to the other player. Private contracts can be accepted even if both parties are in different regions. The buyer can then use the PLEXes when convenient.

    One reason (perhaps the only reason?) to move a PLEX is for arbitrage. Buy cheap in Jita and sell them on the open market in a different region.

  • by ImNotAtWork (1375933) on Monday August 09, 2010 @05:21PM (#33196112)
    1. He could have contracted the item to be couriered and put a collateral of isk that was worth more than what the item was worth. If the courier loses it he loses nothing.

    2. He couriered something while he was at war with another corporation.

    3. He did not set up an instant warp bookmark for exiting the station.

    4. He did not put a cloak on this ship.

    5. He was in Jita. The biggest trade hub in the game. He did not have to pick up plex there.

    6. There is no six (Monty Python and Eve University reference).
  • Re:wat? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Monday August 09, 2010 @06:07PM (#33196918)
    CCP: The company that makes EVE Online (akin to Blizzard for WoW)
    ISK: In-game currency
    PLEX: Pilot License Extension. It's basically an in-game item that can be redeemed for a month's subscription. People basically buy them from CCP for real money and sell them for in-game money. A legitimate way of buying in-game currency that is sanctioned by CCP
  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Loki_1929 (550940) on Monday August 09, 2010 @06:27PM (#33197190) Journal

    Eve doesn't have an "endgame". It's a sandbox where you can do what you want (and so can everyone else) limited only by what features exist within the game mechanics. If the game mechanics are working correctly, CCP doesn't care what you do or how you do it. The nice thing is that there's essentially no "power leveling" and a week-old player could potentially kill someone who's been playing for many years (and not "potentially" in the winning-the-lottery sense either, but in the getting-the-ball-in-the-cup-during-Beerpong sense).

    While you could choose to do nothing but grind PvE missions all day, every day, actually completing all of them for all the races, plus the epic arcs, would likely take a number of years. By that time, plenty more missions would have been added and you'd probably be more than ready to try something else.

  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Loki_1929 (550940) on Monday August 09, 2010 @06:54PM (#33197576) Journal

    While I generally agree and would tell this guy "tough shit, should have been more careful, but it's only a game", I wouldn't say nothing of value was lost. These items do have a value which directly translates to a USD amount. So it is definitely arguable that they have a "real world value". Even if it was just ISK or another in game currency. Alternate currencies are legal and still have a real value. I think it would be interesting to see what a court would say on this. For example, if somebody had been in some way been defrauded out of $1200 worth of in-game items. Fraud is a crime, and it does not only apply to a US Dollar; it applies to any item or items of value. I would suspect most judges would throw the case out, as taking on a case like this could open the floodgates.

    I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever played EVE

    Eve's ToS specifically states that all in-game objects (including ISK, PLEX, etc) belong to CCP. This is the basis upon which CCP bans those who sell OR buy ISK and other game items outside CCP-sanctioned venues. As such, it's a legally difficult argument to make that the virtual objects or ISK have any real-world value since nobody could (per the ToS) pay any real-world money to get them from you. In the eyes of CCP (via their ToS), what happened here was that two players used established and functional in-game mechanics to cause the destruction of in-game objects belonging to CCP. The person who owns the account has no firm basis to bring a suit because they received what they purchased from CCP (access to the in-game PLEX objects) and the person lost those objects via well-known and well-documented game mechanics.

    CCP gave them access to the objects (which is what they paid for) and through a series of events initiated by their own actions, those objects were destroyed. If I rent a car from Enterprise for a week and I blow it up with explosives on day three, I don't get to sue Enterprise for fraud because I paid for 7 days' use of a car that no longer exists because I blew it up.

  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Monday August 09, 2010 @11:09PM (#33199646) Homepage

    There is _NO_ excuse to even UNDOCK while carrying 22 billion ISK worth of cargo in a kestrel* during a wardec** (or even when you're not, as we have suicide ganks), in Jita*** of all places.

    The guy and his alliance is now the laughingstock of EVE, and the alliance he led probably won't survive losing pretty much their whole ISK reserve.

    * Kestrel; noob frigate that goes pop if you stare too hard at it.

    ** Wardec; one corp declares officially sanctioned war against another, being able to shoot without retaliation from CONCORD.

    *** Jita; most trafficked system in EVE, a trade hub with average of 1000-1400 people and known to lag at times.

  • Re:ok i'll say it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Calinous (985536) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @05:45AM (#33201590)

    One week is enough to grind your skills to do something useful. Maybe a couple of days would be enough, or maybe you could get useful with the original skills.
          After all, a lowly frigate with a jump device interdictor is enough to pin down a battleship, and the big guns of a battleship are almost unusable against a small and agile target as a frigate. True, you'd only be the tackler and not dish any damage, but you'd be as important as the people doing the shooting.
          As for skills, you only get 5% out of every additional skill level (and every additional skill level costs much more than the previous one), so as a new player you're only 5% to 20% weaker than the most seasoned veteran there is (so three-four new players could easily beat a seasoned veteran, assuming they're using somewhat similar ships and weapons). Compare to WoW (as everyone likes to do comparation with WoW)

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold