Scandals that Rocked the World of Eve Online
Large online games have scandals that sound a lot like scandals that take place in the real world. The space faring setting of Eve Online is no exception to this rule.
What the Scandals Involved
Scandals affect the world of Eve Online just as they affect the real world. In the most recent case, a loophole exploited by some players went unpunished for four years. Eve Online game masters banned the players using the exploit four years after someone notified CCP of the problem. Another game scandal involved developers giving blueprints to corporations that the developers favored. Perhaps the most interesting of the Eve Online scandals in the past several years eerily mirrored the banking crisis that took place in the real world in 2008.
The Eve Intergalactic Bank Scandal
A pilot named Cally decided to form an institution where players could deposit their money. He would then oan this money out to other players, and the interest he charged on the loans would enable him to pay a rate of interest to his depositors. It sounded like a good idea. The bank might have worked beautifully. Cally took the money of his investors and absconded with it.
Eve Online game masters needed to determine if the owner of the Eve Intergalactic bank violated any terms of the end user license agreement before they could take any action against him. The EIB CEO violated no real world financial laws when he stole 790 billion isk from other players. The Eve Online player community probably caused Cally's remaining days in the worlds of New Eden to be unpleasant. The author found no information about what happened to Cally.
The Ebank Scandal
Another scandal involving a diffent player run bank took place in July of 2009. This time, a player going by the name of Ricdic took 290 billion isk from the bank. Players made a run on the bank in itself to retrieve their money. Ricdics owner, a man whose first name is Richard, sold the 290 billion isk to a third party site for $6,100 Australian. CCP banned his account for selling their property. Richard needed the money to pay for his son's medical expenses. The new Ebank CEO, David Carter, expressed disappointment over Richard's actions. He did not blame Richard for choosing the health of his family over a game.
Did Eve Online Developers Give Loot to Corporations That They Favored?
This scandal started because of accusations posted on the Eve Online message board according to Wired. Players accused CCP staff members of giving out high end loot and ship blue prints to player-run corporations to which a developer belonged. The response from a company spokesperson had the same tone of a government official stating that he can neither confirm nor deny these rumors at this time.
The company deleted the developer characters who had their in-game identities revealed. Developers handed out items such as the Sabre BPO. Eve Online staff did not state whether the company took any additional actions against the staff responsible. They said the scandal took place during a story arc.
Something Awful's Goon Squad Scandal
A group of Something Awful posters called the Goon squad capitalized on the accusations of the staff showing favoritsm and made even wilder accusations of misconduct against the CCP staff. The internal affairs division looked into these complaints, but found that many of the people making these allegations did not in fact have Eve accounts. The Goon squad scandal did not effect the game or the staff greatly. It provided a temporary diversion for a few Internet trolls, and it lets mmo gamers tell an amusing story. The Goon Squad formed the Goonfleet Squad hat instigated another scandal that did not involve Eve Online staff.
Goonfleet Disbands Bands of Brothers
Goonfleet used corporate espioniage to achieve a goal they could not accomplish militarily. A director with access to the Band of Brothers property. The director disbanded the guild, transferred ownership of the guidl's property to Goonfleet. The director reduced the soveriengty of Band of Brothers holdings to zero, according to the Shack News website. Any rival corporation can now set up bases in their former space.
The Band of Brothers alliance could reform, but it could not use the same name because ownership of the name had been transferred to their long time arch rivals. A member of Goonfleet known as the Mittani made an offer to a high ranking director who had control over the guild property. The director accepted the offer. He also ran off wit the isk that Band of Brothers once held.
The defection of the director marked the end of a long conflict between Band of Brotehrs and Goonfleet. Goonfleet formed a military alliance with other player-run coprorations to remove Band of Brothers from its space. The military alliance failed in its goal and eventually folded. An act of espionage succeeded where a long naval campaign failed.
Star Base Reactor Exploit
The third and most recent scandal to rock the Eve Online universe involved players using star base reactors to produce T2 components, according to Eve Online Insider. Wired states that CCP banned the accounts of 70 players for using this exploit. Game staff removed star bases belonging to player run alliances who used this exploit.
Eve Online Insider states that developers knew of the problem in 2004. The developers did nothing to correct the problem until 2008. Logs kept by CCP indicated that the company did nothing about the exploit despite receiving further information about the nature of the problem from other players and developers of the game. If the Eve Online developers had fixed this problem as soon as they became aware of it, the few players who were not aware that this was an exploit might still have ships plying the space lanes.
CCP's Handling of Scandals
The background story of Eve Online is one of the richest features of the game. Scandals give players something to talk about, but CCP staff often handled the scandals poorly. Eve Online's staff and game masters need to work on improving relations with its players. Internal logs that indicate a company knew of a problem for four years before trying to correct it. The slow reaction time of the developers suggests lack of concern about people using exploits in the game.
People forget the controversies and return to having fun in the game eventually, but poor handling of scandals increases bitterness in the player base. A few players might leave games over situations like this, but hardcore players who love a game remain regardless of the failures of the company who make it. Not all of the scandals mentioned here involved CCP staff. Game masters for many mmorpgs punish players who violate the terms of an mmorpg's end user license agreement. It may take staff a long time to respond to scandals like the ones perpetrated by Cally and Ricdic.
The Band of Brothers scandal proves Eve Online offers as much poltical intrigue as the first Dune novel. Because this involved player interaction that did not violate the EULA, Eve Online game masters could not and did not intervene. The former director of Band of Brothers remains in game.