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That's a really cool scandal. Eve always seems to have the most interesting things happen. I only came into this thread by accident: perhaps somebody should post a little write-up in Discussion, as this is probably of wider interest.

I dunno, I'm more finding it sickening than interesting (not to overreact or anything). The dude pressed a button and the extremely valuble things appeared, then he gets to command the capital fleet of the most successful alliance.

The worst bit is how CCP has dealt with it, ban ban ban, censor censor censor. Last week they said they'd finished this investigation and that was that, then they get hounded more and they come clean, how much deeper does it go? I agree that the official forums are full of scum and need cleaning more with a flamethrower than a shovel, but they have just not dealt with it well. It says something when the guy who's been hacking alliance forums ends up on the moral highground.

It's all about developers playing with an advantage over normal players, and giving an advantage to their alliance/corp that wouldn't exist without them being there.

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How much deeper does corruption and censorship in Eve go? See here and here for two examples from this very folder. Of course, there are many more examples if you look closely enough.

It hacks me off at times, but in the end I don't let it ruin the game for me: I accept that the ingame world of Eve more closely resembles the real world than any other game I've played, and I accept that the rewards, temptations, and the ability given to the game to profit from power and greed are so overwhelming that there is always going to be this stuff going on, that you can do little about - just as it does out here. And with that go the coverups by the ruling classes, the media management, and all the rest. I do find it sickening - I find many aspects of the game (or more particularly people's behaviour within it) sickening - but at the same time, it does add meaning to the struggle game that is sorely lacking in other titles. In other games, the payoff and the buzz for this behaviour - the influence it has on thousands of other people - simply couldn't exist.

So yeah, it's shit that he's not got the sack yet, but not wholly surprising. And in any case, there's far worse going on that you'll never get to the bottom of. It's one of the reasons I have absolutely nil interest any more in the 'grand' alliance politics going on, except in any respect that immediately concerns my corpmates; and also why we steer clear of all that stuff wherever possible: we're all just pawns in a bigger metagame, and we can only divorce ourselves from it to the extent that we remain invisible to those partaking in it whilst still getting what we want from our time Eveside. Which is a game in itself.

And that's also why I feel so sorry for people like the true roleplaying corps, and for people like ISS, both of whom are (or will soon be) getting a good kicking unless they sell out for survival. The current dynamic is all about naked greed and powerplay dressed up in a threadbare deceit of trust and allegiance; there's no actual point to it apart from stamping out everyone but yourself - no real conflicts in values or beliefs (with one or two notable exceptions). Just ego vs ego, with no ideas behind them.

So...yeah, very much like the real world, is Eve. And that's why I'm no longer disappointed by stuff like this. I just expect it, ignore it, and get what I can from the game.

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This might be of interest.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/...iends-They-Keep

Excerpt

Over the past few days, news has been trickling out about certain members of the EVE Online development team using their position to give the player corporations (guilds) they belong to an unfair advantage. The story was originally broken by a player who utilized his in-game spy network to listen in on conversations between corporation alliance leaders, looking for intelligence to sell to other alliances, but he stumbled into a controversy that ultimately got him banned from EVE and exposed what could be the most blatant case of developer misconduct in years.

We had a chance to speak with the player in question, who asked to be referenced as Kugutsumen. Kugutsumen infiltrates EVE corporation message boards - via "bribery, social engineering, etc." - for in-game currency as a hobby. In the past, he's spied on the largest alliances in the game in order to provide intelligence to other groups. During a fairly routine run, Kugutsumen uncovered a story that's been circulating the internet over the past few days, a story about cheating developers and the CSRs who tried to cover up their indiscretions.

As he was checking private messages between directors on BoB's (Band of Brothers) official forums, Kugutsumen uncovered messages from a person calling himself Lord Stone (from Reykjavik, Iceland, where CCP is based), who was applying to join Reikoku, a corporation that's part of the BoB alliance, in March of 2005. Lord Stone's life was fairly unremarkable until March of the following year, when he was appointed to be a director in the corporation, someone near the top of the alliance. Later that year, as he was leaving the corporation for "unforseeable reasons," Lord Stone sent a fellow director a private message with a link to CCP's "Jobs" page and said, "If you're still interested in working for us, we have an opening in SysAdmin department. Send your CV to helgimar@ccpgames.com."

More at the link.

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So um... those BPOs aren't even that good, right?

The sabre one is pretty damn good, best interdictor and all, I know I wouldn't mind having them available at build cost. Spike L has to be the most useful T2 ammo BPO around, since 60% of fleet snipers are using it, he also gave them barrage L and a malediction BPO, but the lack of mention of those maybe indicates they were legit, it's not like CCP is saying either way.

But it doesn't really matter how good they are, it's just the absurd situation of a dev making things exist out of thin air for their own personal benefit, and the benefit of their alliance.

Also, I'm sure they helped grease the wheels towards him becoming their cap fleet commander.

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So um... those BPOs aren't even that good, right?

But that, of course, isn't the issue here, as Kharri has said. It doesn't matter if it was 1 or 1000 items, and it doesn't matter that they were worth umpty billion isk or 4. What matters is that it happened at all. A Developer in a position of responsibility abused that responsibility. That's all that matters.

For my part, I find the most remarkable thing in this issue to be the fact that CCP knew these items had been faked into the game as early as last summer, and yet allowed them to remain in game with the alliance they had been given to. It just boggles the mind.

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The sabre one is pretty damn good, best interdictor and all, I know I wouldn't mind having them available at build cost. Spike L has to be the most useful T2 ammo BPO around, since 60% of fleet snipers are using it,

Yeah it all stinks but hey it is only a game............

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To me, the BPO issue is a non-issue except inasmuch as it's the only concrete evidence of corruption. What I find really hard to take is how CCP apparently don't see anything wrong with employees being in positions of influence within EvE itself. It's great that they love the game so much they want to spend their spare time playing but it's not great that it literally can't see anything wrong with how they conduct themselves.

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They never have seen anything wrong with that, though. And this isn't the first example of concrete evidence.

I think if you want to do something about it, you should be clever about it rather than outraged. And if you don't want to really do anything about it - and even more, if you're guilty of similar levels of shit yourself so this is just an envy thing - you should not even bother posting about it and spare my blushes at your transparent bullshit. Yes, I'm looking at you, Goons and the rest of you miserable toerags who profess "it's only internet spaceships", hack clients, logoffski, cause lag deliberately, and do all manner of shitty, cowardly things, yet sound notes of faux-horrified/smug outrage when others cheat too. You are beneath my contempt, and it's my game more than it is yours - because I say so. Because I want it to be.

So kill me, outwit me, or shut the fuck up. And that includes you, Tux, and anyone else who tries to screw with me. Fuck you all, and thanks for the game.

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They never have seen anything wrong with that, though. And this isn't the first example of concrete evidence.

I think if you want to do something about it, you should be clever about it rather than outraged. And if you don't want to really do anything about it - and even more, if you're guilty of similar levels of shit yourself so this is just an envy thing - you should not even bother posting about it and spare my blushes at your transparent bullshit. Yes, I'm looking at you, Goons and the rest of you miserable toerags who profess "it's only internet spaceships", hack clients, logoffski, cause lag deliberately, and do all manner of shitty, cowardly things, yet sound notes of faux-horrified/smug outrage when others cheat too. You are beneath my contempt, and it's my game more than it is yours - because I say so. Because I want it to be.

So kill me, outwit me, or shut the fuck up. And that includes you, Tux, and anyone else who tries to screw with me. Fuck you all, and thanks for the game.

Jeez, it's only internet spaceships.

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Woah, what's going on here then?

Confession and apology from t20

106 page thread discussing the incident

CCP responses to some of the points raised

Summary:

Developer uses Dev Tools to spawn lucrative BPOs, joins Corp in Band of Brothers alliance, becomes important member of BoB, who gain immensely from having said BPOs.

Some other guy hacks BoB forums, finds evidence of the above, complains to CCP who subsequently ban him from the game.

Incident becomes public knowledge, developer apologises, BoB keep BPOs and all proceeds from them, guy remains banned.

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Just to clarify a little (yes, I'm a BoB alt too):

- The dev became BoB's capital fleet commander, according to the evidence that K himself presented, on the basis of his dedication and expertise in this area. No evidence to the contrary, no other reason, has been unearthed.

- He was promoted to FC months before he donated any of his 'personal BPOs' to BoB, and when he did, most of them merely duplicated what BoB already had.

- I haven't seen any concrete evidence that BoB knew the player was in fact a dev, or that he'd come by the BPOs by foul means.

- There was no quantifiably significant advantage gained by BoB in having these extra BPOs - by that I mean it is impossible to subtract x bil ISK as a penalty for having had them.

On the matter of the K banning, and lack of sacking of the dev, I do have to point out that K is a self-confessed hacker of many years' standing. He hacks forums. He illegally obtains others' personal details for his own benefit. He's done this for years, and not only in Eve. The calls for his accounts to be reinstated are absurd and shown to be so even by some of the Goons' own less-than-ethical spies (I used to fly with that guy before he betrayed ISS, and anyone who thinks that BoB employ more dirty tricks than many of the other other corps/alliances is a fool and/or a liar).

So as far as I'm concerned:

1/ BoB don't deserve any real censure in this; those who use the incident as a reason to get a lynch mob (sorry, set of brave alliances) to wipe them out are disingenuous in the extreme, and only using the excuse to serve their own interests. Should they be successful, I'd say we should be slightly wary of welcoming our new ethical overlords.

2/ K can absolutely not have his accounts reinstated. It's just not possible.

3/ The dev should have been sacked...except...

...he wasn't. If you read (amongst other pieces) Hellmar's blog on the matter, you'll note that senior management were away when the cheating was exposed and action taken against the dev concerned. That action included his characters being banned from he game. There may have been other penalties - we are not privy to this, since it is not legally a public matter, but:

Unfortunately CCP did not act with the same decisive consistency we have used on previous occasions. Those left at the helm chose to react cautiously, as sometimes is appropriate under these circumstances, leading to more leniency and understanding than we are used to in these matters. Upon review I personally would have chosen to act differently, but what's done is done. Difficult decisions always have to be made, and we cannot always second guess how these would appear if, in part, they are revealed to outside parties who do not have the same information to base their choices on.

Now, here's the boss saying if he'd been there the guy would have been sacked. He's also implying that there may have been personal or professional circumstances in the dev's life which caused the lesser management to dole out a lesser punishment, though he wouldn't have done the same had he been there. Having been punished for the misconduct, however, it becomes clear that CCP aren't willing to risk an employment tribunal by attempting to revisit the situation with no fresh evidence at all and impose a second, harsher punishment for the same offence.

Now, I've no grasp at all of what employment law in Iceland is like, but based on a rudimentary understanding of how it works here I feel I'm not in a position to criticise CCP for not sacking the guy now. So my only solid, fact-based criticism of CCP is that the non-senior management who wielded the bat last summer made a mistake (possibly akin to those made by Tom Reagan on his first mission-critical encounters with Bernie Bernbaum in Miller's Crossing). And if we're to believe CCP's boss, a hit squad has now been put together to ensure that level of forgiveness is not displayed again. So next time, it's *bang bang*.

I'm going on at length about this because, I must admit, I have a vested interest in the matter. And it's not because I'm a BoB alt at all - I admit, I lied about that earlier. It's because I hate to see players leaving, or considering leaving, a game and a community they enjoy on the basis that corruption exists within it. I think you can look at this sensibly only one of two ways - either deal only with what is proven, and in that case I'd agree with one of Kharri's options and say this is down to a smidgeon of human error - incompetence - by the stand-in management, and a wholly reasonable subsequent desire not to punish a man twice for the same wrongdoing. And to then take word of the boss that his new internal affairs division will ensure it doesn't happen again.

The other way is to accept that in any system you'll get corruption, cover-up, and media management of the proles, that the bosses are all complicit in it, and that the best you can do is be aware of it, not be manipulated by any side, and plough your own furrow regardless. Or go undercover yourself, go double agent, break the rules and have a bit of fun with it all.

And yes, Trion, it is only internet spaceships. But given that this is a gaming forum it's probably more appropriate to post about this stuff than the inherent (yet legal) injustice, ineptitude and media manipulation built into, say, the tax credits system or elected government, the oil industry, and foreign policy.

Cos we've got Off-Topic for that, and that always works out really well.

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Pisses me off seeing people like Aggro posting in there a number of times berrating them and calling for heads. He's a lead member in aAa which as most people know i have a special disdain for due to hacking, exploiting and just generally being cunts.

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Aye, it's not as if without those BPO BoB would have run out of t2 large ammo or not had Saber 'dictors on the field? Perhaps fine them an estimated value, a couple of bil, not that it means much to a corp that size.

There are all those calls to unban Kutsawhatchamacallim or whatever. Fuck him, he's a hacker and thus scum, this metagaming as gorf says will just drag the actual game down. If you think he was hacking it to uncover a grand plot you are on the gigglejuice. It's the equivalent of a burglar breaking and entering then reporting a stolen MP3 player in the house with a big smug grin.

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Hellmar's blog on the matter, you'll note that senior management were away when the cheating was exposed and action taken against the dev concerned.

And you questioned my naivete. That, clearly, is bollocks, and it shows that CCP management think of its playerbase as arseholes of the purest ray serene that they would even consider peddling it, let alone actually offering it as an excuse. You defer punishment until those responsible are in a position to deliver it, or the guy in charge overturns any foolish decision made in his absence. Not that it's true, in any case.*

The real stick in the throat comes from the incident with the uber-Scorpion spawning GM (thread here), -- who, if accounts are to be believed, was sacked from his job, players who acquired the illegal items were temp banned until they could be recovered and a statement was made to that effect.

Clearly, the disparity in these incidents show that a Dev was simply not expendable, while a GM was and that's fine to an extent. But to feed us a line of bullshit, when the GM incident was reported to forums about how ethical and forthright and Goddamn decisive they were while almost simultaneously covering up a similar incident explicitely so that the general playerbase would not find out is inexcusable.

To clarify my position. I couldn't give a flying fuck if the Dev keeps his job or not. He's made his bed, he can lie in it. I couldn't give a flying fuck if Knucklehead, or whatever his name is, gets his accounts back or not. I refer you to the previous. I could care less if BoB takes over every worthless 0.0 system there is out there, aided or otherwise. Nor do I particularly care about the more general playerbase employing client-hacks, ctrl-qing at the first sign of trouble, filling cargoholds with bookmarks to lag folk out, et al. Hell, those last are players, I expect it from them. This is smoke.

What I do give a flying fuck about is being treated with contempt by people I give money to. The manner in which the 'questions' were answered. Allowing a thread to reach 106 pages (some of which was chest-beating I fully acknowledge but some of which was legitimate concern) and then simply lock and ignore it once a couple of days had passed. To actively censor any further mention of 'the incident' that casts CCP in a bad light while allowing comment on CCP handling the incident well to remain. CCP's actions from first to last during this whole time have demonstrated their complete inability to manage relations with their playerbase and their amateurish approach to that which they have created. "Just like every other time then!!1"

You know what, that's still not a valid excuse and that still doesn't make it all right.

I was all reasonably calm about this, too.

* No, I can't prove it's a lie. I can't prove that nearly all their management team went on holiday, all at the same time and all were uncontactable by any means and that there were no standing instructions or precedent to call on if an incident like this occured. Can't prove it, I'm afraid. Can't even prove how ridiculous that sounds given they were in talks with White Wolf for a merger at around the same time. Crazy scenes!

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I don't say that players are naive if they don't believe CCP, or their account of what happened. I presented the same evidence that the hacker and the management did in that last post, and argued that you could take this one of two ways. For the record - though I've made it clear before - I'm on the cynical side. Though there is no solid evidence to substantiate this.

What I did say that it's naive to think this is the first bit of 'cheating' that CCP members have indulged in; as you said yourself, that has been seen before. As has the fact that they only seem to get found out when players find them out. As has the fact that they censor dissent after a short while. If these things add up to contempt for the playerbase, then that contempt has been well-demonstrated many times before this incident; and it should come as no surprise, reading it this way (and, to be clear here, I do read it this way) that they'd rather blow smoke up the players' arses than sack a valuable dev.

So what I in fact said, and am saying now, is that this comes as absolutely no surprise to me, and I bet it's still going on somewhere, with someone else, in another alliance. I think - and I don't see why this would cause offence - it's naive to think it isn't. And if *that* gets found out, it'll be covered up as best CCP can, too.

Me, I found it sickening last year sometime. I've passed through that and it doesn't affect the game for me particularly, one way or the other. I won't be quitting, because I enjoy the game. I won't be quitting, because whatever other companies I give my money to will have their own share of corruption that I'll likely never hear about because they're not so mixed in with, and exposed to, their customers as CCP. And if I didn't want a company of a product I use to treat me with contempt and bullshit, I wouldn't be booting up my copy of Windows.

They're all just full of shit, and it's naive to think they ever won't be, or that my taking my money elsewhere will actually make a difference to anything, or that my money will go to any better purpose. All that would happen if I quit playing the game is that I'd miss the game, and our community, and...I'd probably get some earlier nights. But I'm not playing online stuff just for the game, or else I'd play solo. I'm not playing for or with CCP, or for any of the rest of them. I'm playing for and with the people in my corp, because that's most of where the value lies in these things.

Of course this is all a personal choice. But that's mine.

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  • 3 months later...

:) I guess the war isn't going too well at the moment?

Kharri mentioned that CCP employee becoming a GS director thing last night. My guess would be that undercover cops don't think they need search warrants. 8) It's very interesting, that one.

The Aurora story...oh, what's this? Someone illegally hacks the ISD forums to gain advantage in RP events, finds out THAT ISD CAN ALTER THE OUTCOME IN FAVOUR OF ONE SIDE AS THE ROLEPLAY GOES ON OMG NOOOESSS AND NOT HIS SIDE OMGWTF and then gets banned - shock horror - for hacking!!!111 It all sounds vaguely familiar.

That last tale, though...Jesus. So the ISD fecks about making an arse of himself in a POS attack? Bumps ships and won't leave? And a BoB member complains...TO SOMEONE HE'S FRIENDS WITH OHNOOOOESSSSS U CANT HAVE TEH FREINDZ IN TEH INTERNETS!!!!111

I've been in POS attacks, and elsewhere, and seen ISD appear. It is not usually the case that the ISD staffer warps directly on top of your ship, at all, and then refuses to leave. Because I think you'll find that warping to "1 foot" of a dread is not just totally unnecessary when you're watching the fight anyway, it may well bump said dread (because warping to "1 foot away" from a ship doesn't bump that ship at all, no siree), which is what BoB's complaint seems to be about. The ISDs I've seen were all polite, obliging, and discrete.

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: ok anyone know an ISD named rekan?

Macayle: why?

[iC]Raekhan: I'm right here.

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you need to leave that system

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: you are making an ass of yourself

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and of ccp

[iC]Raekhan: ?

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: enticing the player base is not actions that you want to do

[iC]Raekhan: What..are...you....

[iC]Raekhan: ?

Cortes feels a facepalm coming on

[EA]Aristaqis: enticing? Was he putting on a strip show or something?

[iC]Tsuki facepalms

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: the local player base asked him to politly stop pushing dreads

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: that were undergoing a siege operation

[iC]Raekhan: I was not pushing a dread.

[iC]Raekhan: I'm 70KM away.

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: it does not matter.. posting in local "no"

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that "your not going away"

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and that all you hear is "static"

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: and to complain to eris discordia

Admiral_Chamrajnagar: is not helpfull at all

Cortes: which wouldn't do much good given I'm the IC VA

Bumping a dread, making as ass of yourself, and enticing the playerbase sounds about right to me. I'd take a wild guess - just a very wild one - that this guy didn't really like BoB and proceeded to make a public tit of himself on that basis.

In that way, it's quite fitting that his story should be posted up by the Goons. Tragic depths of bitterness from a corp whose stated aim was once to "scam, cheat and grief" the Eve community, but funny all the same.

Funnier than their defacing the GUI with pictures of Hitler, creating a corp logo depicting a burning Star of David, and asking players whose real-life friends have died how the 'lol fag' is doing, anyway. Such fine, upstanding internet jesters...man, if only everyone could live up to their standards the world would surely be a better place.

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Whilst I wholeheartedly despise Goonfleet for all the reasons you've stated (and ones you didn't), that's not really the point.

I find it completely unacceptable that players from a particular alliance (oh look, it just happens to be Band of Brothers) can directly contact the developers (whom they freely admit to being friends with) using out-of-game channels and have a member of ISD banned without any investigation or explanation.

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