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Yet Another EVE Online Scandal? 259

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

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

    • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:33PM (#19278771)
      Paranoid yes, but that doesn't mean "they" are not out to get us.

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

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

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

      • by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:00PM (#19278927)
        Spell check is the work of the Devel

        That must make you Jeezus.
      • by CharonX ( 522492 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:08PM (#19278969) Journal
        So that fireing of that ISD reporter at the command of a BoB member.
        That odd dev promiting himself to director, demoting himself a couple of minutes later without communication.
        All inquiries related to above incident being buried and blocked out.
        Banning of members who inquired and asked "unpleasant" questions, over formalities
        Evidence that CCP wants to push certain results - "outcome X is desirable. see to it" in the storyline.
        Previous accounts of collusion and corruption.
        Failure to punish above accounts as written in policy.
        All those things are only coincidences. No, sir, I don't buy it.
        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:24PM (#19279431)
          That some key events are rigged is a given. Sorry, but it can't be any other way. Storylines are developed months in advance, the developers need time to implement them. You can't develop two or more stories and possible outcomes just in case it turns out this or that way. That's even quite understandable. What's less understandable is that this is used as a lever to give a certain corp the upper hand.

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

            You can't have your cake and eat it, yet here they are eating cake and advertising they still have some.
            • I do admit, it's quite hard to create "rigged" storylines and be fair about it in a PvP-heavy environment. CCP appearantly failed. It IS possible, though.

              But I won't tell before our new MMORPG is finished. Let me surprise you! :)
          • That some key events are rigged is a given. Sorry, but it can't be any other way. Storylines are developed months in advance, the developers need time to implement them. You can't develop two or more stories and possible outcomes just in case it turns out this or that way. That's even quite understandable.
            Solid reasoning so far, but I draw another conclusion from it:

            When you cannot make your storyline play out as desired without cheating, you should not have long, preplanned storylines. At best, you can hav
      • by the_mighty_$ ( 726261 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:43PM (#19279547)

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

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

      • It's funny (Score:5, Funny)

        by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:54PM (#19279615) Homepage
        I recognize all of your words as English, but I have no idea what you just wrote.
    • by GTMoogle ( 968547 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:44AM (#19282363)
      EVE's... different. There aren't many rules - the game each player is playing is the one that he wants to compete in. You choose your weapons, whether they are units of money, big guns, allies, forum drama, or real world media pressure on CCP.

      I've been out of the loop for a bit so I'm not sure what the situation is, but if the goons manage to influence CCP, then they've accomplished something in game.

      These big scandals are part of the fun.

      Or in other words...
      In Soviet Russia, EVE plays you!
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:08PM (#19278589)
    ...that this "having EVE staff at beck and call" is not CCP's "official" doing but rather due to some CCP employees playing the game?

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

    Furthermore, CCP "hires" (or at least hired, dunno if that practice still exists) players to work as the first line troubleshooters, as aides for newbies, as listeners to whining when people get stuck between zones, etc. I wouldn't deem it impossible that some people took up this "helper" position for the sole purpose of furthering their corporation's goals, and those people do have a quite direct connection to the staff. I was one of those people (without the abuse. My corp was anything but a "0.0 capable" corp).
    • by Mr_eX9 ( 800448 ) * on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:23PM (#19278711) Homepage

      ...And thus prone to the temptations of power, and of abusing it.
      That is exactly why employees of games like these need to be confined to their own guilds/corporations that are automatically disqualified from taking part in major in-game events.
      • Either that or, more usefully, employed as a plot device, maybe as an antagonist for the players, as plot drivers, there are many ways a developer faction can actually add to the flavor and experience of a game.

        Well, that's how we did it back in the good ol' days of text based "MMORPGs". Anyone here played BT3030?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tuoqui ( 1091447 )
      Yeah... It does not make sense that the very same people who may or may not have the power to magically poof a ship into existence for themselves should be permitted to play as a 'player' regardless if they pay for it or not.

      You have to have some level of neutrality and/or transparency among your administration or you end up with things like this were every little thing gets blown into a big old drama fest. If your policy is to simply fire anyone who plays AND GM's then it is pretty clear. You should also m
      • That's one way to deal with it. Unfortunately, this also means that your developers just must not play the game they develop. I.e., they won't have the foggiest clue about any kind of in game problem until it's too late and people already left the game, pissed that their reports about serious balance, lag or stability problems fell on deaf ears.

        But you can't just trust player reports. Too many would cry NERF whenever their pet strategy stops working and they don't have their I-win button at their fingertips
    • It doesn't really matter who you are or what you're doing. If you're acting illegally or immorally in the official capacity bestowed upon you, your superiors will be held accountable.

      That's how it works everywhere.
    • But they should still fix that. Last I knew, Blizzard not only allowed, but REQUIRED employees on the WoW project to play the game. Makes sense, you want them to be in touch with what is actually happening. However, I've also never seen any evidence presented that they abuse this power. The reason is probably that Blizzard has very good safeguards in place to ensure that they can't and/or are immediately detected if they try.

      Really this is not asking much. It shouldn't be hard, and isn't unreasonable, for a
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 )
        The reason is more likely that in WoW, PvP doesn't play the same crucial role as in EvE (and my spellchecker complains that I capitalize every other character...).

        In EvE, PvP is pretty much a necessity if you want to play the "big boys" game. Furthermore, the economy is nearly 100% player driven, i.e. if you want good gear, there is no way in hell you will get it from slaughtering an NPC. A player who can build it has to build it for you. This is exactly the opposite of WoW, where every player can hunt down
  • I knew it was a matter of time before this happened again.

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

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

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

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

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

    • by Icarus1919 ( 802533 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:27PM (#19278729)
      Ah, screenshots? Say no more, case closed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ncoll ( 1107465 )
      It's actually not so strange, or so rare, that this happens. Say your POS(Player Owned Station(or Structure), deployable thing at a moon in space) got bugged(Not uncommon) doing whatever, such as super-capitalship construction, it might need a DEV/GM to join the corporation itself, try to see exactly what the bug is from the corporations point of view, then fix it. But the CEO not knowing about it is indeed strange, maybe one of his directors petitioned, logged off, and the CCP employee had to join to figur
      • Well, they claim that nobody petitioned it in their corporation.
        So, if nobody asked for this supposed bug to be looked into, why did they pick DS1
        and the goons to look at?

        It stinks to high heavens.

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

        Statement on dev misconduct:

        for the record, Darkstar1 has 3 pos in game only and they have always worked fine and have never been petitioned by anyone in the corp for not working, the statement given by CCP is incorrect and simply not true as far as
      • by X.25 ( 255792 )
        It's actually not so strange, or so rare, that this happens. Say your POS(Player Owned Station(or Structure), deployable thing at a moon in space) got bugged(Not uncommon) doing whatever, such as super-capitalship construction, it might need a DEV/GM to join the corporation itself, try to see exactly what the bug is from the corporations point of view, then fix it.

        You are right, that happens.


        a) It happens ONLY (and ONLY) when you petition it
        b) When that happens, GM/dev sends an evemail (or uses ot
  • by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:20PM (#19278677) Homepage Journal
    Or better yet, imagine if Ghengis Khan, Hitler, etc. had imaginary wargames like this to play with. Would they leave their basements either?
    • The answer: yes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the_mighty_$ ( 726261 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @12:00AM (#19279659)

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

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

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

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

      • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @01:03AM (#19280117)

        Useful Historical Fact of the Day: If Hitler had played C&C, we would all by typing in German by now.
        WWII if it were an RTS (not necessarily in perfect historical order):

        Germany: We will pwn j00
        France: ZOMG ZERG *France has disconnected from server*
        UK: You too can experience your finest hour with all herbal enlargement pills
        Germany: UK is just an F'ing spambot, we'll invade Russia .
        Russia: No fair Germany, we had a deal!
        Germany: WTF Russia is turtling!!!
        Japan: All ur base in Asia r belong to us
        USA: OMG Japan is so f***ing ninja! I was AFK
        Russia: This sucks, I have a spambot and AFKer on my team
        US: Don't worry I was macro building up my production while AFK
        UK: Sorry about that spam, I was letting my little bro play
        Russia: Bout F***ing time you showed up
        Germany: Italy, are you going to do anything productive?!
        Italy:*Italy has disconnected from the server* *Italy has joined the game* *Italy has joined the Allies*
        Germany: We're screwed *Germany has disconnected from the server*
        US: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds."
        Japan: ZOMG we gotz nuked *Japan has disconnected from the server*
  • As a member of ISD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:24PM (#19278713)
    Sharkbait story has no merit.

    Other one really happened on irc:

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

    Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.
    • Sharkbait story has no merit.

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

      "for the record, Darkstar1 has 3 pos in game only and they have always worked fine and have never been petitioned by anyone in the corp for not working, the statement given by CCP is incorrect and simply not true as far as i can tell. I am certain that the developer joining our corp is above board and no malice intended but frankly the manner in which he did it in t

    • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @12:09AM (#19279711) Homepage
      Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.
      Oh, for fucks sake man: GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!

      Honestly, I don't get this game at all. I read several stories about EVE, and the interesting thing that they have in common is that
      1. Nobody seems to be having fun
      2. Everybody takes it way too seriously
      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @12:59AM (#19280095)
        EvE is different in many aspects when you compare it to an "ordinary" MMORPG.

        First of all, training and getting your gear takes a long, long time. I'm dead serious when I say, after a year you can consider yourself ready to start (!) considering (!) playing with the "big boys". That year will be spent getting your gear, learning to pilot your ship, learning the market (mastering of which I'd easily allow as a substitute for a year of professional accounting) and so on.

        Death hurts. Remember EQ? Yes, like that. You lose EVERYTHING. Well, ok, you lose your ship. Which isn't so much a deal while you're still equipped with ordinary junk you can pick up anywhere, since you can insure your ship for its full price. Hell, given the drop in ship prices, you can even make some money that way! Caveat: Your equipment ist lost anyway. And later in the game this hurts a TON more when the value of the ship is only a tiny fraction of what you paid for all the goodies you had in there.

        Commitment is pretty high. We're not talking WoW "let's go and club some dungeon dragon, should take less than 5 hours" commitment. I've seen people gatecamp for 8 hours a shift. Yes, shift. Yes, as in working shifts. And gatecamping can be quite boring when nobody bothers to fly through. Yes, those people were sitting there at a gate and watch the gate. Yes, that's boring as hell. Yes, people do it. No, I have no idea what's interesting about it. But it "has" to be done if you want to "own" a sector.

        Now those people get to see that all their work, their deaths, their commitment is for zip. I can see why they are upset about it...
        • It's a good game NOT to play since it isn't really a game. Seems to me they've spent too much time thinking about what's "realistic" and "hardcore" and not enough time thinking about what is fun. That's the one thing I've got to give Blizzard, they seem to really think about how to make their game fun. They try to give people the ability to do what it is they want to do.

          I've just never understood this mentality with some games, particularly MMOs, that fucking over your players is a good thing. No, it's not.
        • by xtracto ( 837672 )
          Now those people get to see that all their work, their deaths, their commitment is for zip.

          And I return to GP argument, it is *just* a fucking game. All your work/effort is worth nothing, ZIP, it is supposed to be entertaining and to let you spend hours of "fun". If it is frustrating you because of any sort of gameplay then just stop playing the darn thing and start playing another game of the same genre.
      • I agree. People take this game waaaaaaay too seriously. Sure, cheating sucks. For those who invest their whole lives in the game, I get why they go ape over allegations like this. Me, I've been a weekend warrior player for about 2 years now and stay mostly in Empire space. This drama in no way affects my gameplay or enjoyment. This game is a diversion and has always been an entertaining one at that.

        I agree with your assessment of the players who bitch about this stuff constantly, but they would be bit
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      It's still kinda odd when you consider the way events ran.

      1. A player (not a dev, not a GM, not a superior. A PLAYER) tells the reporter, who is sorta-kinda "working" for CCP to "get lost".
      2. Reporter rejects.
      3. Someone who has appearantly never been in the channel before logs into IRC and tells the reporter in no uncertain terms to get lost DAMN RIGHT NOW OR ELSE.
      4. Reporter asks who the heck this person may be.
      5. Reporter gets banned.

      No appeal, no explanation. According to him, he wasn't pushing anyone, a
  • Ok, if the Devs want to play favorites and follow up their big "Influence the storyline" advertisments with secret oders along the lines of "Outcome X is preferred. See that it happens." and abuse their power to ensure that - then I don't need to play this game.
    Hell, ther are plenty of other excellent MMOGs out there, where the Developers don't cheat their customers.
    Welcome on my "Games I will never play" list.
    • Storylines often have to be rigged. Mostly because they often follow a lead that spans a few months. You can't develop a thousand possible branches, it simply isn't feasible. That by itself is not immediately a problem. It can still be fun and entertaining to participate in the conflict or the development, if there's still something in it for you, not just disappointment.

      What constitutes as cardinal sins in such a scenario:

      1. First and foremost, rigging an outcome that favors a group of players. Seriously,
  • by brennz ( 715237 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:53PM (#19278895)
    Game developer stands up MMO game. Game developer gets in bed with a group of players "A" and develops an incestuous relationship with them. Group of players infiltrate the Game developer corporation as both game masters and developers and start providing extra services to their own friends.

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

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

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

  • by Breakyismyname ( 1107453 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:55PM (#19278903)
    EVE's head of Internal Affairs, GM Arkanon has posted: Dear players. Forgive us for being brief, but there has not been much time to prepare this statement. Our forums have now been taken down due to the load generated by player response to allegations of developer misconduct. We urge people to wait until the facts are out, rather than taking sensationalist statements at face value. Our preliminary findings indicate that what happened what simply a developer doing his job ingame. He joined the corporation in order to access their POS, which was bugged. We humbly ask our players to trust that the internal monitoring of our employers is being taken seriously. The current allegations will be fully investigated and we will publish our findings at the first opportunity. Please understand that this may not be today or tomorrow, but this issue will not be ignored. The forums will be brought up again as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Arkanon CCP Internal Affairs Now this was was removed within an hour or two. Their initial response has been to comment on one of 3 specific allegations of misconduct and ignore the other two entirely. Somewhat surprising.
    • by jfp51 ( 64421 ) <jfp51 @ h o t m> on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:17PM (#19279033) Homepage
      As someone who knows CEO Pyrex in game, that POS bug storyu is lies. DS1 has 3 POS' and all of them are functionning perfectly. yet another lie from CCP to help Band of Developers. I have cancelled my account it is the only thing CCP will listen too.
    • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:47PM (#19279589)
      You can't get it back after you lose it. People in general can be trusting but they'll remember getting burned. "No, really, it's not how it looks! I can explain why my hand is in the cookie jar!" Now you'll get to see an interesting dynamic. Few people in the playerbase are uber enough to be taking part in all this epic gaming and metagaming. Some may shrug their shoulders and keep playing, feeling this has no bearing on their little world. Some will get mad enough to quit and go do something else. Some will feel justifiably burned, such as the ones who were banned, but instead of going away they get all Alanis Morissette and stalkerish, trying to dig up dirt to expose the corruption to the game world at large. Some people are getting their bread buttered by this sort of thing so of course they aren't going to object.

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

      To that other poster who commented that Hitler might not have come out of the basement if he had RPG's to play with, you could just as easily say "if only that fucking art school would have let him in!" Every boy needs a hobby and anti-semitism was Hitler's fallback career.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sopwath ( 95515 )
      In the past, neither GMs or Devs have needed corporate access to fix POS issues. The DS1 CEO said he never petitioned the stations for support in any way.
    • Surprising? How so? What did you expect?

      Quite seriously, and far from CCP bashing, what can they do now? The can of worms met the opener and now they gotta mop up the mess. First of all, they have to post something to stop the rumor mill. This is the note you posted.

      Next they'll start digging into the issue. Either they will find out that he actually had to access the POS this way to fix the issue, or that this was the easiest way to do it, or that he's a new guy with a lack of training who didn't know that
  • by vikstar ( 615372 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:09PM (#19278979) Journal
    Corruption in goverment, law enforcement, and the justice system...all these elements make for an even more realistic game.
    It is already one of the most realistic and die hard games around, including an awesome economy (where, by the way, I hope corruption also occurs). Unlike WoW where the economy is balanced by a magical "binding" system which doesn't allow cool stuff to be handed off to other players, and dieing to another player doesn't mean squat.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Faylone ( 880739 )
      If I wanted to deal with that, I'd go outside.
    • The problem is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:16AM (#19281509)
      That developers are to their game world as deities are to the real world. They don't obey any of the normal bounds. Even though the government plays by a difference set of legal rules than citizens in the real world, they are still bound by the same basic physical laws. There is no such limit to developers in games. If they want something changed, they can change it. They aren't the government, law enforcement or anything else, they are gods.

      As an example I used to be an Immortal on a MUD. That's a developer, CSR, GM, whatever you want to call it in today's terms, on this MUD, Immortal was the name. In my case, I was essentially a senior GM in current terms. We logged in to the game same as players did, and had the same basic text interface. However where a player might have 50 or so commands we had like 200. They ran the full gamut of godlike abilities. I had a kill command that would kill whatever I specified, NPC, player, whatever. No checks for any kind of resistance, you just died. When in an area, you'd see a description (that an Immortal had written). I'd see that too, but prefixed with a number, which was the actual area number. I could go to any area simply by issuing a command with the right number, no matter where it was. I had a whole host of player editing commands, I could change anything on any player account. Any stat, any item, etc. They didn't even have to be logged in. Heck if I wanted I could tell the MUD to stop and entire section for debugging, all the MOBs would stop doing things, all scripts would cease.

      Now that would mean that corruption on my scale was rather different than on a player scale. A player might work hard to infiltrate a rival guild to spy on them, I could just order the MUD to give me their chat logs. A player might steal money from their allies for their own gain, I could create as much money as I wanted, presuming I had anything to spend it on. A player might hatch an elaborate plot to sabotage rivals as they killed a powerful MOB, stealing the loot for themselves, I could simply create the item in my inventory.

      That's the problem here. There is no real world analogue because such power can't be wielded in reality.
  • Ahh, just what online gaming REALLY needs to gain notice. A simple, clean RICO prosecution.

  • by GeneralEmergency ( 240687 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:27PM (#19279097) Journal

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

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

    Ohhh...and now my brain hurts.

    • Basically it goes like this: there are three allegations. (1) Someone who works for CCP (the company that makes Eve) used his developer powers to spy on an in-game corporation. (2) Players have supposedly had the ability to mold the Eve storyline through in-game events. However, it is alleged that some (or all) of these in-game events were actually rigged. In other words, the players who spent months participating in the events, thinking they were making a different in the Eve world, wasted their time and w

    • What are you doing on slashdot?
      DUNE is a nice, simple light read.
  • that you can sell in game money online for real money? Are these people just helping their buddies out, or is there money changing hands? In either case, am I the only one who thinks these in game scandals make the game a ton more interesting?
    • am I the only one who thinks these in game scandals make the game a ton more interesting?

      To watch, most certainly.
      To play, most certainly not.
  • by Colin Winters ( 24529 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:39PM (#19279161)
    EvE is a well established game. In EvE, characters advance by in game time, thus the older a character is, the more powerful it is. So how is it surprising that developers grow close ties with the older, established players? Those are the ones who have been around since the start. On the eve-o forums, one of the high-ups in the best alliance in the game, Band of Brothers, is repeatedly stating that the developers are friends with BoB members.

    Here's an example: /510.jpg []

    This is simply to be expected in a game where developers play the game along with players, and further, where the company recruits its GMs from the playerbase.
    • If the only issue was that some players were friendly with the developers, then I doubt anyone would be complaining. However, it has been proven that in the past at least one developer was cheating and giving himself some of the most valuable items in the game. If he and his corporation had not acquired those items by cheating, the balance of power in-game might be completely different today.

      The damage was done but CCP assured people that this one a one-time incident and that it wouldn't happen again. Ho

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

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

      In comes a new guy. Well, not really new, he's been here for a few months as well. The point is: Can he expect the GM to be fair? Or should he prepare hi
    • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @01:34AM (#19280339)
      If anyone in my Alliance in Eve has a problem, we have to file a petition. This is often akin to calling Dell customer support in India. I've known people with clear-cut issues who have had to wait over a month for a petitions response.

      Then you have guys like the CEO whose corp was "infiltrated" by a CCP dev. He filed a petition to find out why a developer was a Director of his corporation. His petition was deleted. He filed another. It was also deleted.

      BoB, on the other hand, can completely circumvent this whole system by simply chatting on MSN.

      That shows with 100% clarity that we're not on a level playing field, and that this one alliance, which happens to be steamrolling over every other alliance in the game, has an unfair advantage.

      It doesn't help that this Alliance has benefited from developer cheating before. It has been proven, and only after over 6 months of research and intense complaints from customers, did CCP finally admit to 1/10th of the allegations before they basically did absolutely nothing about it.

      Yes, people are automatically looking for this kind of trouble. It doesn't help that CCP and BoB keep providing them with more fodder.

  • It's a shame (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HarryCaul ( 25943 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:44PM (#19279181)

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

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

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

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

    It IS costing you money, without any question whatsoever.

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

      The only difference to a real dictatorship: You can quite easily get out if you don't like it.
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:07PM (#19279325)
    Damn, I hope an educated comment won't do anything to hurt my karma. Anyway... been playing EVE for almost a year now. I'm a huge fan of Elite-style space exploration/trading/combat games and that's basically what EVE is going for with influences from all of the Elite-inspired games that came before it. The basic idea is very solid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    When you get right down to it, the difference between a singleplayer Elite-clone and an MMORPG like EVE is that you have the gameplay process greatly extended. How long does it take you to get an uber ship in Privateer with all the fitti
    • In answer to the final problem, this is exactly why most MMOs have "normal" and PvP servers. One is for the carebears, one is for the hardcore PvP crowd.

      I'll also note that, in the past, team human vs. team computer is usually how my friends and I play RTS games, formerly in Starcraft, but more recently in Age of Empires III.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm going to have to disagree a bit there, with the whole "isk is hard" thing. I've been playing for less than two months. If you are more creative than mining veld in empire, you can make amazing amounts of isk. 50 million a day from ratting alone isn't that difficult at all, just takes a few hours a day. Seeing as a battleship costs 110 million (usually less, down to about 55 million depending on type) unfitted, 3 days can pay for a battleship with t1 fittings without much effort. t2 fittings will br
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Snaller ( 147050 )
      "EVE has removed the leveling problem inherent in most MMORPG's, your skills train whether you are in the game or not. But because of the expense of your ships and how much you stand to lose when you are killed, you are left grinding for isk instead of xp"

      And made it much worse. It doesn't matter that you are good or have time, you still have to wait years to train stuff up. This is the most efficient addiction detector yet designed.
  • Several of the posts appear to mention someone at the game company being fired.

    If so, there is no way they would give any details, for fear of a lawsuit by the now former employee.
  • When they are no longer fun, stop playing. A quasi-darwinian process will cause boring games to largely die. Like EvE and EQ2.

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

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

    "Disturbing" is clearly a relative term.

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


  • by aldheorte ( 162967 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @01:02AM (#19280115)
    Seems like if BoB has an 'in' with CCP, Goons have an 'in' with Slashdot. Do you realize how fast this made it onto the Slashdot front page (before CCP even had a chance to respond that they would respond)? I personally think that game owners and site editors have whatever editorial discretion (which includes modifying game balance) they want over their game/site - it's the player/reader's discretion to play/read, so I'm not getting upset about it, but methinks there is a greater "meta game" going on here then most people are aware.

    Then again.. if you go down this alley... you have to then ask yourself... what meta game am I playing? Isn't the whole MMOG scene fun? :)
  • ..."The issue of corruption in EVE was MOST DEFINITELY NOT addressed in our interview with Magnus Bergsson at GDC."

    Out of every 10 allegations made about misconduct, CCP ignores 9 and addresses the 1 least offensive one, then does nothing about it either.
  • For now, whatever they reach in the game, whatever feat they accomplish, will be met with a shrug and a "so what, in God mode, everyone can beat a game".
  • by evilDscrp ( 733766 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @11:26AM (#19282957)
    seriously, if mmo's and the like arent your thing, then don't care and don't bloat of this thread with your not caringness. i mean, i dont care too much about the lot of physics posts, but i dont flame them for it. :)

    im a longtime reader of /. and a long time player of eve. what many outside the game fail to comprehend is the way in which propagana works in Eve-Online. it takes it to a whole new level of metagaming. couple that with the megacapitalistic mechanics, in which you can lose literally everything including your very character's ages of trained skills, and you start to understand why the game's player base can be so fanatical and involved. most of us are older players. we like this amount of pressure. we like this style of metagaming.

    that said, i do believe there was some dev misconduct some time ago. but i do not believe ccp would be so asinine as to let it happen again. let me explain it in the context of EVE as a player:

    a universal war broke out over the previous scandal in the game. both sides have used propaganda. this latest so-called-scandal is in fact part of the metagame. you all probably don't realize it, but in fact you are playing eve right now by participating in this thread, lol, the eve player base is exactly the kind that reads sites like slashdot. the accusations made have been put forth by one of the major alliances. they are compiled, not recent, and work to outrage the eve player base precisely in order to exact punitive repercussions on its warring enemy. and yes, those who are doing the accusing ARE the type who will see this as "winning" eve at all costs, even to the point of the company of CCP suffering. CCP are certainly not the best at communicating what they did and continue to do in order to prevent player/dev incest; however, that does not add up to them facilitating or denying wrongdoing when it happens. think of it: they are a small company, are levelled a malicious charge, and promptly get a thread over 60 pages in less than 24 hrs on their forums demanding answers, all the while maintaining their game servers and getting /.d on their forums. obviously, patience is not always an attribute of some eve gamers, heh.

    sry for such a long post but i thought it might help your discussion to consider this whole thing in the above terms.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison