Doubt Thou The Stars Are Fire

How PvP works:

Step 1: Global war between bitter enemies rages for years and years and years

dinc-noammo-ruinyourlife

Step 2: As part of that war, someone tries to join one of the warring parties, and after paying his entry fee is told “thanks, no thanks” (this being a common scam, since the side in question is, well, griefing the entire game as a hobby).

goonad

Step 3: Said someone says “No, wait, I’m actually an alt of one of the leaders of your enemy alliance. I can help you.

haargoth

Step 4: Response to said someone: “Hmmmm…. You don’t say.

mitanni

Step 5: Weltanschauung

mittanisendshisregardsat425

Step 6: Kriegsnachwirkung

swarm

Step 7: Ragnarok

step1

The day before…

step2

And the day after.

I’m sure there’s a few design, development, and community implications to be learned here. Just how much power do you want to give your players to screw each other over, anyway? Because with unlimited power comes unlimited hijinks.

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122 Responses to Doubt Thou The Stars Are Fire

  1. Mist says:

    Like a hojillion people I know (myself included) reactivated just to see the hijinks first hand, so I imagine the implication learned from CCP’s perspective is hijinks = moneyhats. Doesn’t necessarily make it right, but it sure makes it funny.

  2. Georgia says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA… love it. I read about all this last night. Awesome!

  3. D-0ne says:

    This Eve thing has so much potential…

  4. Random Poster says:

    My only problem with this (and kind of Eve as a whole) is there is no real repercussions to someone who does something like this. All the tools in the world to screw other players over but no way to in fact make those same people accountable.

    Maybe i’d “get” it if I every actually joined a player corp in Eve but since I don’t know anybody who plays the game and the rampant paranoia i’ve basically sat in the noob corp for the past 3 years off and on. But for some reason I just won’t cancel the game. I’ve done nothing but sit in a station for the last 6 months and train when I remember its time, pretty sure there was a month or so period where I forgot >.< (15m SP or so and doing nothing with them, go me).

  5. EpicSquirt says:

    Network of trust failed, simple as that.

    I’ve played EVE Online from beta 6 to early 2005. The first thing I did to earn money via PvP was to pay a real player to join a player corporation. He then revealed the positions of the players of the corporation for me and I went to take them out one by out. Eventually the members of that corporation started to leave the corporation, so I’ve made the deal with the CEO: I’ve sold the spy (revealed his identity).

    Later I’ve joined the Space Invaders, led by the famous Setec, who were the original pirates of EVE. We were into extortion, allowed players to keep their ships for a fee or bought the ships of the enemy players for cheap and sold them for market value. At some point we took part in the first power struggle in the universe (TTI + SPVD versus first Venal Alliance) which would have effects on the northern regions for years.

    Space Invaders were hated, loved and respected. We didn’t just go for the weak, we fought against superior odds, with one motto only: never break the word you’ve given.

    Evolution and friends (which became BoB later) were one of our arch enemies. SirMolle of BoB has been involved in many political maneuvers and twists, one shouldn’t have any sympathies with the falling empire. I know Evolution from day 1, I saw them and their allies running home like little girls against entities like m0o and the Forsaken Empire, then the meta gaming took control over EVE, the moon exploits made some parties way too rich and the whole player owned station stuff the game utterly boring (hello blob warfare).

    EVE without all the other ways to make PvP in the game would have been dead boring *and* if you pay attention, you will not get your ship blown up, you will not get scammed.

  6. Merkwurdigliebe says:

    This is why all I did in my 2 years of EVE was mine ‘roids, jew in empire, and write lesbian fanfic.

  7. Delmania says:

    What’s the problem here? This kind of stuff is what Eve’s designers aimed for when then built their game. Sure, people can grief and screw each other, but so long as the people know it can happen, and nothing but virtual stuff is hurt, who cares? If I remember correctly, Eve is the only MMO that has had consistent population growth, other than WoW, so they must be doing something people like.

  8. Merkwurdigliebe says:

    True, this is what makes EVE great…that and the lesbian fanfic.

  9. hellfire says:

    I played Eve in two separate spurts plus some beta time but it just never struck me as “my game”. If they had been marketing THIS, however, I might have stuck around. Being on the periphery of epic shenanigans could have been mighty fun.

  10. Robin Kestrel says:

    Great example of what I envision when I think of player-generated content, and why it is even easier to do in a PvP game. BoB and Goonswarm essentially just released an expansion pack that required no additional effort from CCP. There was no need to give them scripting tools and have them write quests…the content arose organically from interactions built into the game mechanics.

  11. David says:

    There has to be a rollback. Maybe not of the money and ships lost,but of the system sovereignty being lost, because that’s just an exploit of the game mechanics, not actual loss by BoB. I would be rightfully pissed if i was them, and i bet a lot of BoB’ers will quit.

  12. Klaitu says:

    This really is the only reason to play EVE. One day you’re just minding your own business, then the next day one of the big players just disappears.. POOF!

    Personally, I think it’s awesome.

  13. EpicSquirt says:

    @David
    Do you know that exploit also means “heroic deed” :-)? I despise both Goon and BoB (useless propaganda twats more or less), so this is like the ultimate outcome, now if some of EVE’s Russians would shut down Goon.

  14. Arthur_Parker says:

    The war wouldn’t have dragged on for so long and provided so much content for the players if interactions had been limited to prevent griefing, spying, corp theft etc etc.

  15. Jeremy Preacher says:

    I’m confused – why is this an “exploit”? I don’t play EVE at all, but from everything I’ve read, this sort of treachery is expected behavior. Is there a nuance I’m missing?

  16. David says:

    Oh, i hate both Bob and the goons, they both are metagaming pricks. Didn’t some of BoB’s corps heavily exploit the POS issue that was uncovered a few months ago?

    But yes, I think this is an exploit of the game mechanics that any one director can arbitrarily disband a alliance spanning hundreds of worlds and trillians of ISK with just a few mouse clicks. Yes, the loss of the ships and the loss of the ISK from his corp should stay, but losing sov is a bit too much in my book.

    But i won’t cry if there is no rollback. 😉

  17. Halibut Barn says:

    It’s a weakness in the organizational structure, but it was by-the-rules as they are and you respond to it by demanding that the structure be improved, not trying to pretend that it never happened in the first place. It’s not like it’s an exploit in the game’s engine that allows something that should be impossible by the world’s “physics”.

    Weaknesses are often found only when put to the test, and in a game that involves a lot of espionage, you shouldn’t send the message that finding weaknesses in your enemy will be rewarded by not being allowed to use them.

  18. Mandrill says:

    oops seems like I snafu’d the html there, sorry.

  19. David says:

    Mandrill :
    I’ve countered the “Waah its griefing, roll it back, fix it so it can’t happen.” argument over on Tobolds blog so I’m not going to do it again here.
    In brief though:
    @random poster: you’re wrong.
    @D-0ne: you are so right.
    @EpicSquirt: You’re right too, nice background story, maybe see you in space sometime and you can do me the honour of podding me

    If anything, this ultimately is the fault of CCP for bad design of the way alliances are managed. Any one director should not have the power to destroy the work of so many people for so many months and years with two mouse clicks. That’s bad game design. There was no fail safe, no 24 hour waiting period where the action of one rogue could be stopped.

    From a games perspective, this is fundamentally unfair to the players. Out of game spying, tricking and thieving is one thing, but this is quite another.

  20. Ashendarei says:

    hrm, that articles seems more like good writing then good game content IMO.

    Player run content typically trends between “mountainous pile of shit” and “single flower in a septic tank”. While the article was good (albeit wordy) I wonder how much of the actual game is as epic as the article describes it to be.

  21. Mist says:

    The funny thing is, this got me to resub for a month, despite EVE being about as fun as punching yourself in the privates. I never did understand this game.

  22. Arrakiv says:

    I have a really hard time getting into EVE Online.

    This is distinctly not the reason why. Actually, I praise EVE for being different and allowing payers to do things like this. It isn’t for everyone – I couldn’t pull off something like this, I’d feel way, way too guilty – but there’s clearly enough people out there who do enjoy it.

    The only thing that really turns me off from EVE is the actual gameplay itself isn’t engaging enough (even though the overarching aspects of the game are), and the atmosphere is too glum for me.

  23. Random Poster says:

    “But yes, I think this is an exploit of the game mechanics that any one director can arbitrarily disband a alliance spanning hundreds of worlds and trillians of ISK with just a few mouse clicks. Yes, the loss of the ships and the loss of the ISK from his corp should stay, but losing sov is a bit too much in my book”

    Thaqts not an exploit of game mechanics thats lack of adequate corp tools by CCP if that is all it takes. It is no different than say a Guild Leader in WoW saying screw you guys taking everything from the Guild Bank and disbanding the guild. Most MMO’s all have this same problem where eventually it comes down to one person and that one person can greatly screw over a bunch of others. The difference in this case is that in Eve once you get to the big corps you are talking hundreds of people.

  24. Apache says:

    I think all of these crazy stories is what makes EVE so compelling

  25. Delmania says:

    To me, this is another example of why the concept of virtual property and tacking dollar amounts to in game items is just stupid, and why I don’t like the so-called pay2advance games. If you start tying together the virtual worlds in which you play with the real world in which you live, you’ve annihilated immersion. People are so hyped up on the whole time=money thing and keeping up with the Jonses they forget that these things are meant to be nonproductive entertainment.

  26. J. says:

    Melissa Gira is starting a new weekly column for the SF Bay Guardian’s SexSf, and Eliza Gauger’s back at Dtoid. (And, hey, the Goons finally took over EVE. Nice.)

  27. J. says:

    The above quote from WarrenEllis.com.

  28. Freakazoid says:

    EVE is a spectator MMO. It’s a lot funner to read about than to participate in. Really, there’s nothing about EVE that engages you unless you like mining or killing mobs all the time, except on the rare occasion you land a big victory like this one.

    I’ve always viewed the whole meta-gaming thing as a copout. Rather than code an engaging espionage system, it’s a lot easier to tell your players to pretend to be someone else, and to carry this beyond the game. Clearly, it’s worked out for the 10,000 or so players who participate, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of psychological problems they’re going to take from this. Some of those players must be paranoid as fuck.

  29. Perhaps guild disbandment should require multiple leaders to “turn the key” before the decision goes through, say one guild officer per twenty active guild members or something.

    The BoB story illustrates the obvious problems behind having a single person with the authority to disband the guild. A smaller guild (say 20 members) might be okay with one person being able to disband the guild but a larger guild obviously is not.

    Maybe CCP, Blizzard et al might want to force the involvement of game masters or CSRs in guild disbandments for cases when the cumulative hours played by guildies in the past month exceed a certain point.

  30. Kemor says:

    While I am completely amazed at the level of sophistication EVE has attained as a possibly very realistic and human (yea, good and bad) science fiction world (with little help from the gods once in a while, CCP), there is one big flaw: It’s not a game anymore, it’s an extension of the real world’s market.

    How many so called spies received real money for their work?
    How many so called “operations” involved real money?
    How many so called “blue prints” were dealt for hard cash?
    Since when what you earn in real life should define your power in a game?

    Some might say that you have this in every MMO. True, but the items purchased then are there to enhanced your play experience, they do not define the core of it.

    I still remember when I was trying to play EVE as some “Space trucker” only to realize 3 weeks later that it wasn’t a game, it was real world chat and economics with a new graphic layer and no rules or laws and nothing to make anyone accountable for anything…Then I stopped playing 🙂

  31. J. says:

    Tamir Lenk’s story on the official forums (Lum’s “You don’t say” link) is the most fun to read out of the whole fiasco.

    “ok, you’re cool, I won’t scam you, here’s your isk back. HOLY SHIT UR BOB hold on a sec afk”

  32. The Mittani says:

    Holy fuck, Warren Ellis gave us a shout-out.

    A++, would obliterate bob again~

  33. EpicSquirt says:

    @Kemor
    EVE is also a lot about real world money, yes, one of the reasons why I’ve quit. Technically you are able and ALLOWED (CCP provides the platform to do it) to buy game time cards for real world money and sell them in game for the game currency (ISK).

    So in addition to the zerg, which is accumulating resources faster (which is okay really, a bigger company has different possibilities), you can buy progress and power in the game for real world money. You could buy 10 game time cards for real money and sell them in game and buy services of other corporations to make the life miserable for someone or just use the ISK for recovering from your losses. CCP has de facto legalized gold selling if you want, but it’s going into their pockets.

    And then there are the players running 7 or more accounts on one machine doing power mining or running 3 accounts and missioning.

    The alts and additional accounts are the real problem. The game would be better off with 1 account per machine and one character per account. The conflicts would be harsher, as it would be harder to hide ones identity or pull such a stunt twice. Legalization of character selling has made the game less appealing for me too for me, it’s just not right to have new players sitting in a Mothership.

    As EVE is a class-less system I don’t see a real problem with 1 character per 1 account. If you want to change your career, you can do it, it just takes time.

    I loved the game and I am still proud of CCP that they’ve found a niche and grew from 3k players on one server daily in 2003 to 45k in 2009.

    Some design decisions should have been corrected though, to make the game even more unique.

  34. J. says:

    lol hi2u mittenz ❤

  35. Veritas Gax says:

    Pure awesome from an emergent gameplay standpoint. If a bunch of BoB players threaten to bail I wonder if they’ll cave and do a rollback / bailout.

    I knew those CCP guys were on to something with that free market economic simulation… I wonder if some of the players in this little drama aren’t rich New York investment bankers by day 😉

  36. Nirgal says:

    @Mittani: How is the fuzzy part of your campaign going?

  37. GreyPawn says:

    This is endemic of The Great Design Flaw of a fully realized PvP game. Shadowbane could not answer this question. EVE Online has managed, to its credit, to delay the question. Darkfall by my estimate will have 6-7 months, if a launch success, to *deal* with this question.

    That pesky question is, when your core mechanics are constructed in such a way as to permit the unfettered consolidation of power (numerically, economically, or otherwise), how do you keep the goal of high-level endgame from being “Force the enemy players to log off and never log back in.”?

    At this point, you are likely to see a wholesale diaspora of BoB, followed by an even greater power grab on the part of GoonFleet. BoB membership will decline, EVE will lose subscribers. Because to BoB corp members, what’s the point of logging in anymore? Revenge? The tides have turned, the song is sung. All they can hope for now is putting up a mild resistance in conquered territory, or wholesale joining previous allies.

    This same mechanic happened in Shadowbane. In effect, a single well-formed alliance could actually -win- the game for all intents and purposes by establishing a stranglehold on a given server. A secondary side effect of forced elimination is the stagnation that follows on a more macro level. If Goon has won, and this is well known, then what is the point in continuing to play? Or worse, what’s the point in trudging through the tutorial as a new player if endgame is a set of two options? A) Join GoonFleet. B) Leave the game disgusted and beaten.

    This is going to be intriguing to watch.

  38. Boanerges says:

    Quite amusing drama. Always interesting to watch. That having been said…

    1. “Exploit” is in the eye of the MMO devs. Always has been. I call it the “Oh CRAP” clause. You always need to make sure that, if UNEXPECTED BAD THING X happens, you can go “Do over!”. Because, you know, you have THE POWER.

    2. I’d be leaning towards “design flaw” if I had to guess. I mean this isn’t exactly the kind of thing you can test for in beta and it seems like the sort of thing you’d overlook in designing.

    The bottom line is that a LOT of people look like they got screwed by Disgruntled Guy X, who pulled the pin that had the label “DO NOT PULL”. I don’t envy CCP in their task ahead. If you revert, you deny the Goons their (silver platter?) victory plus days of playtime lost. If you don’t revert, you find that half your revenue is GONE because everything that kept those people in their world is also GONE. This is just like permadeath as far as EVE goes, right?

    In other news, I found this quote on the dev blog amusing

    We are proud that we are realistic and nice (or cool) enough to know that people have a life outside EVE (shocking, I know)

    Something tells me that the irony of this statement got driven home in a way heretofore unprecedented…

  39. Mist says:

    BoB isn’t have their revenue. It’s like 400 people.

  40. J. says:

    GreyPawn :
    This is endemic of The Great Design Flaw of a fully realized PvP game. Shadowbane could not answer this question.

    Yeah, I dunno, in many ways this just seems like the first two months post-release of Shadowbane, just a lot more drawn out. The saving grace is that there are still a lot of people who like playing Eve, and now that the two major colossi have clashed and one emerged the victor by very anticlimactic means, there’s a lot of lull time left to gain a new foothold and perhaps do some things that are fun and interesting.

    And then the devs will manage to cock it up somehow, because this is CCP we’re talking about.

  41. Mist says:

    @GreyPawn
    The whole “Goons won EVE” is a bit exaggerated. “It’s like saying Rick Astley won the internet.” They pulled off a good trick but they didn’t win anything, they don’t automatically get to claim all of Delve. They’re moving in their resources in a desperate bid to get a hold of Delve before someone else does, or before BoB gets it back. BoB might have lost sovereignty, but they still have all sorts of assets in or near the region.

    If anything, this should make CCP ask whether sovereignty was a good idea in the first place; this whole event broke up the stagnant warfare that was causing people to leave the game, and now people are interested again.

  42. Vetarnias says:

    And to think I was considering picking up EVE at the time of the next expansion.

    It’s occurrences like that which always made wary of that game — the scamming, the spying, the rampant paranoia. From that first link: running the guy’s IP? Asking for his phone number? What does it matter where someone lives — or are these guys so paranoid that they’d turn down someone from, say, Juneau because one of the rival corp’s leaders is known to be from Alaska?

    Now, it is possible for one individual to wreck an entire organization almost overnight. The example of Barings Bank in the mid-1990’s comes to mind, so it’s possible to go to bed wealthy one night and be woken up by the sound of creditors banging on your door. What is more difficult to believe — and that’s the case with BoB — is when not only is your money gone, but that there’s not even a single trace of the company left. Stealing the money is one thing, but being able to disband an entire organization because one guy (out of how many?) decided to sabotage it, that should be impossible.

    Let BoB implode after much internal bloodletting, let the financial blow take its toll, but don’t just say the organization doesn’t exist anymore because one guy walked away with the keys.

    And CCP definitely needs to address a few important questions, the most crucial of these being: “What now?” If BoB doesn’t rise from its ashes, and that the Cult of Lowtax has indeed won the game, could it mean the beginning of the end of EVE, just before a major expansion? Any uberguild winning a game is bad enough, but here we’re talking about a group that notoriously exists only to grief other players.

    Because as a prospective new player I read this and wonder: What will my experience be in EVE? Will I be recruited by any corporation out there, or will they be so afraid that I might be a mole instead of a bona fide new player that they will leave me stranded on EVE’s version of docks? How much will I need to disclose about myself (phone number is definitely out of bounds) to participate in that aspect of the game? Will I be scammed in any attempt to join a corporation?

    On this last question, I can already predict the answer: If players can openly boast on the official forums of scamming, or trying to scam, other players with impunity, that means CCP is already turning a blind eye to this — that it’s seen as normal and accepted procedure, as it would seem to be with GoonSwarm.

    I’m not sure I fully understand the real money connection in this game (based on EpicSquirt’s post above), because I’m not sure how those game time cards are supposed to grant their bearer any sort of advantage, unless it has to do with this game being alt-ridden. However, if real money = in-game advantage, I have another equation to suggest: Widely discussed and openly accepted in-game scamming by players + company-facilitated gold selling = Time for the authorities in Iceland to start paying attention.

    Also, I don’t swallow the reasoning according to which you can avoid being scammed if you’re careful, and that therefore scamming isn’t that bad. The fact that three-card monte is so blatantly fraudulent that anyone with a brain the size of a plum wouldn’t fall for it doesn’t make it any more legal — while that application-fee scam in EVE seems not only to be common knowledge but not interfered with in any way by the makers of the game.

    If I, as a new player, got scammed in such a fashion because I didn’t know of the scam (how many new players can really be expected to read the forums before starting out?), and that I petitioned CCP to take action not only by banning the scammer but also by giving me my money back, would they bother doing anything? As much as they could throw the “you only have yourself to blame” line at me, it doesn’t answer the question — do they regard scamming as perfectly OK in their universe?

    What a way to expand the player base. If the GoonSquad victory doesn’t kill the game first by ending the political struggle, that is.

  43. Queso says:

    Just so you guys know, New BoB has taken back most of their space.

  44. Queso says:

    Vetarnias :
    And to think I was considering picking up EVE at the time of the next expansion.

    Okay brah. You wont last long in Eve.

    It is a game about having a little level of Street Smarts. You cant trust people in it.

  45. GTB says:

    I think this meta-game shit is the only thing eve has going for it really. Its the only thing that really sets it apart from everything else, and it makes it AWESOME. Its not a downside at all, rather its a feature that is largely unique to eve, and it should be applauded. It isn’t an exploit, it’s working as intended. If you give somebody that much power over your corporation, you had better be prepared when they turn on you.

    Vetarnias: If one guy had the power to do that, then BoB made an error in trusting that one guy. And it’s their fault for doing so. The game rules are the same for everyone.

    If the skill system wasn’t pure crap, I would still be playing eve.

  46. Mist says:

    There’s another big thing EVE has going for it besides the meta-game: spaceships.

  47. Nirgal says:

    When goons arrived on the scene, BoB was the uncontested power in 0.0. As it stands now, Goonswarm is fighting against Russians that were allies in the ‘Great War’. Organizations come and go, but the players in them are never truly destroyed.

  48. Mike Darga says:

    You have to admit, letting human nature balance your game for you is a pretty interesting idea.

    I’ve seen a few people say how this is obviously a really bad thing for EVE and they’ll be hemorrhaging players, but from where I’m standing it looks the other way. Every person I know that was on the edge of the game has suddenly jumped back in to be part of this gold rush.

    It’ll be interesting to see if anybody actually quits, but I have a feeling this will just ignite an interesting new war and and bring back a bunch of lapsed players.

    mikedarga.blogspot.com

  49. Vetarnias says:

    Hmm, I’ve been reading up on that incident elsewhere. It would seem that the BoB situation is really a Catch-22 moment. If CCP does roll back its server to help BoB out, it’s just begging to be reminded of the old “Band of Developers” incident (which some EVE players are already resurrecting); if it doesn’t, it will have to live with whatever consequences the recent events might lead to, including perhaps the dominance of one group of players which never cared about the game anyway.

    The consensus, even from Goon opponents, seems to be that BoB deserves no pity because they used to do all the things the Goons are now doing to them.

    Queso :

    Vetarnias :
    And to think I was considering picking up EVE at the time of the next expansion.

    Okay brah. You wont last long in Eve.
    It is a game about having a little level of Street Smarts. You cant trust people in it.

    Just out of curiosity, what makes you think I wouldn’t last long in EVE? Because of what you might see as my lack of street smarts, or because I would quickly be overwhelmed by my moral and ethical concerns about the game which apparently aren’t shared by many in the “community”?

    These aren’t the same thing. Any problems I might have in EVE would probably be the result of the legendarily steep learning curve the game has, but on an interpersonal basis, I’m so distrustful and guarded that I’d probably smell a scam from miles away. Whether I’d want to play a game in which those things are considered OK by the developers is another matter.

    @GTB
    EVE seems to be the classic example of the game where the metagaming has been allowed to run amok to the extent that the actual game doesn’t really matter anymore. EVE now seems a game played from password-protected Internet forums and voice chat channels, and reliant on multiboxing. I get the sense that a new player (with a single account) would be missing out on much, and that only old regulars will get kicks out of any addition to the game.

    Since it now seems to have become a travesty of a sandbox game, how does EVE keep on attracting new members under such circumstances?

  50. Bonedead says:

    I like how everyone is saying “oh man this shouldn’t be allowed to happen” or “it’s ccp’s fault” etc etc. Anyone ever stop to think it was working as intended?

  51. Tetsul says:

    How would that be the end ala Shadowbane? It looks like there are a lot of big groups by that map and I don’t think they’ll sit idly by while the goons take everything. If nothing else it’s like a expansion, a war between many different groups to land grab while the remnants try to hold them off long enough to reform. It’s enough to make me want to play, more MMORPGs should have such things in it to break the tedium of clicking the monster equivalent of a cow over and over.

    Too bad I’ve seen a video of the gameplay before and all I got out of it was a bunch of triangles on a map with had no fricking clue what the hell was happening, so no I’m out.

  52. Kemor says:

    @EpicSquirt

    Don’t get me wrong, I think EVE is a great accomplishment for CCP, it’s another level of gaming altogether and to be honest, I always WANTED to have a part in it. I also love the idea of players running the game while the dev just tweak things here and there, it reminds me of UO before the split in a way.
    But there has to be limits and I agree with you that multiple account/characters is a huge part in what is wrong, at least to me. When you are trying to simulate a realistic economical and political system, you have to maintain what makes such systems as they are in real world and that limit, at the end of the day, is simple: We are all unique and we are all mortals.
    I wonder how many subscribers EVE would have if they imposed a 1 character/account and 1 account per IP limit.

  53. slog says:

    I can’t believe the amount of people who think this is a bad game mechanic. As guild/corp/alliance grows bigger, it should be harder and harder to keep it together, or else you end up with a stagnant politics.

    In Eve, the players and their actions actually matter.

  54. Jarnis says:

    They will not roll this back.

    CCP actually promoted both this BoB disband / sov loss and the “assasination” during recent EVE tournament to the press in a mailing yesterday. Offered even to sort out interviews with the parties involved…

    The only way I could see it rolling back is if there is actual solid proof that someone’s EVE account got hacked related to this, but as far as I know, that ain’t the case here.

  55. Amaranthar says:

    Queso :
    Just so you guys know, New BoB has taken back most of their space.

    This is very interesting. What I’m waiting to see is how many players quit, or if not many quit, and what kind of leadership would be involved in that regrouping.

    I mean, did building such a huge guild require such a gluing effect of it’s members that they won’t have any trouble regrouping?

    It still seems like a mistake in design, to allow one guy to pull the pin, as it were. But this is fascinating to watch play out.

  56. GTB says:

    @Vetarnias

    That’s not really true from a new player’s perspective though. Once you join a corporation, this kind of thing becomes important, but not unless you’re one of the top level people in your corp. Mind you, its been several years since I played, but for new players and low to midlevel corp members (and I mean “level” as in level of importance to the corp, obviously) Your days are mostly filled with mining and travel. I’m not sure you’re “missing out” on the meta content, because in the beginning you really don’t want anything to do with it until you’re more firmly established. I would equate it to the high-level dungeon raids on other games maybe- you don’t get to take part in those until you are of an appropriate experience level. This is a similar thing. You have to just assume that the higher-ups in your corp are not going to let something like what happened to BoB happen to you.

    The metagaming hasn’t been allowed to run amok, it STARTED that way. From the beginning, the Eve developers made it very clear that they weren’t going to sides in anything unless there was actual code hacking or exploiting. Anything that doesn’t artificially break the client is A-Ok with them.

    As for multi-accounts, that is an issue that every mmo has, and very few of them are going to stop it, because its an additional source of revenue for them. Remember Team Wizzy? http://www.teamwizzy.com/

    Eve attracts new players because of the meta game. (for other reasons too, notably the fact that its one of the only spaced-based mmos right now… RIP Earth & Beyond 😦 ) The meta game (covert forum spying, traitors joining other factions, etc) is sort of like enforced roleplaying, except that it is a natural result of the Eve Dev’s stance on rule enforcement rather than an artificial system put in place. There is an extra level of “story” that takes place in and outside the game, with covert operatives, and corp security. Nobody is roleplaying their eve character, but EVERYONE is roleplaying an Eve PLAYER, if that makes sense. In that way, the game is more dynamic than a typical mmo – the things you do can have very real impact on the eve universe.

    And of course all of this is awesome, but their skill system is still the worst system in any mmo i’ve ever played – so its not all beer flavored nipples. Additionally the interface is a mess (at least it was, I hear there has been some changes?) and travel time can be ridiculously long. Also, you’ll get hunted, stuffed, and mounted by other players if you venture outside of patrolled space without a corp, or at the very least escorts, which can get annoying if – like me – you’re not a team player. I was essentially forced to join a corp for safety, just like every other new player.

  57. Nirgal says:

    Queso :
    Just so you guys know, New BoB has taken back most of their space.

    This is a bit misleading. The structures that hold sovereignty are owned by corporations (guilds), but sovereignty goes to the alliance. When the old BoB corps joined a new alliance, they immediately established sovereignty claims for the new alliance. HOWEVER, the benefits of sovereignty build up over time and those they have to start over on. It will take them another 21 days to regain the level of benefits and protections they had prior to this incident, during which time they are vulnerable.

    As I type this, GoonSwarm is evacuating its sovereign space into BoB’s old space and our enemies are starting to contest the sovereignty in our own home systems. We’re not fighting back in our home space — damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

  58. VPellen says:

    I think the people here talking about the design implications of these events are overlook the fact that all of this is incredibly awesome.

  59. Nirgal says:

    Yeah, all sorts of people are coming out of the woodwork to take part in this. This is a nice shakeup of the status quo that many people have been waiting for. A similar thing happened when a Russian faction turned on GoonSwarm a couple of months ago. Anything that stirs up drama is generally pretty good for the game.

  60. Nirgal says:

    GTB :
    And of course all of this is awesome, but their skill system is still the worst system in any mmo i’ve ever played – so its not all beer flavored nipples.

    Wait, what don’t you like about the skill system? I think that’s one of the best parts of the game to be honest. Limitless development, can be effective in specific roles within weeks of signing up, no skill/xp grinding.

  61. Raelyf says:

    @GTB

    EVE’s skill system is both one of its biggest strengths and its biggest weaknesses. As a new player, its incredibly frustrating to be constantly waiting on your skills to shape up before you can move on to doing whatever it is you want to do. After you’ve been around a couple of months though, it becomes much less of an issue. Its can still be frustrating waiting for skills, but generally time and Isk ( cash ) are the limiting factors.
    Now that I’ve been playing almost 2 years, I really enjoy EVE’s system. I can fly 20 plus types of ships, so it’s hard to get bored and I don’t find myself really waiting around for my skills. I took a break for a month or so from EVE awhile back while I was moving, and it was nice to come back to be able to fly some new ship I hadn’t before.

  62. VPellen says:

    I’ve personally always thought Eve’s biggest flaw was that the game itself is remarkably tedious. The metagame is great, but the game itself? Meh.

  63. Mist says:

    The combat is zzzzz boring, especially the PvE. PvP in sub-battleship class ships is pretty fun, and that’s about it.

  64. EpicSquirt says:

    Once upon a time, it was funny to PvP in EVE. But then the carebears invented the capital ship blob and kill boards.

  65. Mandella says:

    On the question of how many of BoB’s members will now bail from the game for good, I imagine the number will be pretty low. Eve has the same advantage that UO had back in the day — they’re the only game in town, at least for that kind of gameplay.

  66. geldonyetich says:

    I just got done ranting in my old-school anal retentive manner on a Escapist thread about this (not my best work) and it so the core of the matter is pretty fresh upon my ravaged brain.

    The destruction of years of man hours of players’ work is permitted because CCP has simply adapted the policy to leave this sort of thing out of their EULA. That much we know, but beyond that lay dragons.

    Some players find what happened to BoB repulsive because, insofar as having a level playing field and fair play is involved, EVE Online does not.

    Other players find this awesome because they absolutely love the drama and figure that destroying a level playing field through treachery is a vitally needed part of the game.

    Who’s right? Nobody knows, and CCP is being remarkably closed lipped about it. As long as that subscription money keeps flowing, that’s staying the course. It’d probably take a massive old school Ultima Online style subscription hemorrhage to get them to change their policies, and that’s probably not going to happen this time.

  67. geldonyetich says:

    To forward my own theory, I’d say the reason open-griefing failed in Ultima Online and works fine in EVE Online is because of the quality of the game itself.

    In Ultima Online, you had things to do and people to see, and your assets were an important part of your involvement in the game that were a cause for great annoyance when they were picked from your still-twitching corpse.

    In EVE Online, there’s really nothing of value to do in the blackness of space but build up a bunch of ships and components. After enough stagnation sets in, the boredom has reached such a great and catastrophic level that a massive social upheaval caused by a corporate backstabbing is a breath of fresh air.

    So, yes, under certain conditions, grief play can exist as a successful business model.

  68. ahoythematey says:

    What a great, great ending. Goonswarm and Haargoth, you really took that ball and fucking ran with it. So awesome.

    Geldon, I just finished reading that escapist thread. My God. Can you even participate in a forum discussion without being such a gigantic troll?

    You know what, it doesn’t matter. I already know you can’t and I’m still elated from seeing bob go down to bother.

  69. geldonyetich says:

    I’m better on most threads over there, but I had a touch of the old school anal retentiveness in that one, no argument there. I’m lucky it’s not a forum where lack of popularity is grounds for a ban.

  70. Queso says:

    Vetarnias yada yada yada.

    The overall tone of your posts just scream to me that you need to stay away from eve cause you couldnt handle it.

    There will be no roll back. BoB trusted someone they shouldnt have.

    You have ethical concerns? I for one have never ripped anyone off in EvE and there are more that havn’t. (Granted we might be a minority). In this game you can do whatever you want to do.

    Whining about Metagaming? Dude, you might as well just play single player games then.

    Since it now seems to have become a travesty of a sandbox game, how does EVE keep on attracting new members under such circumstances?

    Are you kidding? People love this shit. You cant do this on any other game. Otherwise would it have not made it on the first page of so many websites?

  71. Queso says:

    AmarantharYada Yada

    Ill be honest I dont understand nil sec. But it does seem that most people that invaded have been pushed out for the most part. Im sure people will still try though.

    Anyway I dont think that this is going to be as bad for them as I intially thought when I first heard the news. All they really lost was one member and a name it seems. Im sure their regions are going thru a bit of pandamoniam, but I doubt itll last.

  72. Rapewaffle says:

    This is kind of a weird article, running through it is a kind of implication that the goons are spoiling the game, that what happened to BoB is somehow broken, and that goons are griefers who do everything for the lulz.

    Which isn’t really fair. Goons in Eve try to create a community for other goons. They try to make money and conquer space same as everyone else.

    Scott uses a propaganda poster made by the goons’ enemies and the example of recruitment scams to demonstrate that they are ‘griefing the game’.

    But if you bear in mind that the only way to get into goonfleet is to be a goon or be sponsored by a goon, that puts the scams in a different light. You have people who are trying to circumvent the normal signup process and saying ‘I’ll pay you to pretend to be my friend and sponsor me’ or who are too stupid to type ‘how to join goonswarm’ into google. People who get taken in by GS recruitment scams, then, are not innocent victims but rather people who really should have known better.

    From a design perspective, a long-term game of this sort faces the twin challenges of chaos and stagnation. In WAR, for example, keeps change hands constantly during the day; capturing a keep is not a meaningful act within the gameworld, it’s just a way of getting renown and the chance at phat lewt.

    In Eve, alliances such as BoB have held their space for years. If once you get big and powerful enough you become immovable, well, that’s bad game design. The fact that they could be harmed from an unexpected quarter, and that now they’ve lost their name and have contested (not lost) sovereignty over their systems is hardly evidence that the game is broken, in fact it’s reassuring.

  73. Tom says:

    There was no need to roll it back. Anyways I cheered for the Goons on this one. As they suck at the game.

  74. UnSub says:

    If CCP’s World of Darkness MMO has 1/10th the drama of Eve, it will fit the source material perfectly.

    If it’s got 1/2 the drama of Eve… well, I don’t think there is enough mascara in the world for that. 😉

  75. […] you follow EVE Online at all, you’ve heard or read about Goonswarm convincing a Band of Brothers director to defect, disbanding BoB and stealing massive amounts of ISK in the process. The tale makes interesting […]

  76. GTB says:

    Nirgal :

    GTB :
    And of course all of this is awesome, but their skill system is still the worst system in any mmo i’ve ever played – so its not all beer flavored nipples.

    Wait, what don’t you like about the skill system? I think that’s one of the best parts of the game to be honest. Limitless development, can be effective in specific roles within weeks of signing up, no skill/xp grinding.

    I don’t like skills to be affected by Subscription Time rather than Play Time. To me it seems like I’m just paying for a skill point generator. It’s a brilliant way to keep people paying, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t like the typical mmo grind either, but at the same time, I want my actions within the game world to effect my character progression. But I understand that people play Eve for the opposite reason too, they like that aspect of it. Different strokes for different folks.

  77. IainC says:

    Just to round up a few misconceptions. There are ways to prevent this sort of thing from happening. To those of you saying ‘a single person shouldn’t have that power’ it is possible to have a shareholder system where all decisions require a quorum of shareholders. Most corps don’t bother with that however because if shareholders quit or go dormant, you have problems getting things done.

    Secondly to Kemor and the others wondering about the multiple account angle, it’s the player and not the accounts he owns that is the problem. If the player had only one account he’d still have wanted to defect, all that would have happened is that things would have gone directly to the ‘eviscerate BoB’ stage bypassing all the stuff at the start.

    Also Epicsquirt, you are wrong when you say that EvE legitimises goldselling. It really doesn’t work that way. Cash in EvE is not the resource that it is in other games. You can ‘buy Isk’ but you can’t buy progress, also you can’t (legitimately) make real money from selling Isk which is where the bone of contention usually lies.

  78. Mist says:

    geldonyetich :
    In Ultima Online, you had things to do and people to see, and your assets were an important part of your involvement in the game that were a cause for great annoyance when they were picked from your still-twitching corpse.

    Did you play the same UO? That game was completely content-devoid. Treasure maps were about the closest thing to actual content the game offered, and those were much, much later.

  79. EpicSquirt says:

    @IainC
    ISK is everything in EVE. ISK in EVE is the ultimate progress. When you run out of ISK and can’t afford to go on, it’s over for you.

    With ISK you can buy a new character that would take years to train normally. With ISK you can buy implants and replacements that speed up training. You can buy and replace ships and modules that make PvP and PvE easier, increasing ISK gain. With ISK you can buy custom contracts (finance war, peace, space rental…). With ISK you can play market games.

    Someone spending $1000 on ETCs, selling them in game should make ~17-20b ISK. Now if this isn’t progress through buying ISK then I don’t know! CCP and retailers selling the ETCs are getting the money, the buyers are getting playtime (potential progress) but they can chose to put the play time on the in game market or the web site and sell the play time for ISK.

    This part is legalized as CCP holds the authority and control over it. It has severe impact on the game.

    And then there are black markets for people who don’t want to share the profit with CCP, what’s not available on eBay US is available on eBay Germany, it has been like that since 2003.

    Flawed system. Back then it hurt when you have lost a Battleships, now through all the ETC trading and moon mining exploits you have people undocking in their officer fitted capital ships, just to lose em, undocking 5 minutes later in an identically fitted ship.

    Progress.

  80. geldonyetich says:

    Mist :

    geldonyetich :
    In Ultima Online, you had things to do and people to see, and your assets were an important part of your involvement in the game that were a cause for great annoyance when they were picked from your still-twitching corpse.

    Did you play the same UO? That game was completely content-devoid. Treasure maps were about the closest thing to actual content the game offered, and those were much, much later.

    Yeah, I’d have to qualify that quite a bit.

    When I was playing EVE Online, it did seem like a big empty void. There were asteroids to mind for crafting. There were a batch of nondescript stations out there in which crafting took place. There were NPC ships which ranged in threat from annoying gnats to giant doom vacuum cleaners depending on what you were flying. There were other players who either wanted to be left alone or gank you, and that was pretty much it.

    When I was playing Ultima Online, it was an attempt to realize Britannia. There were forests, rivers, towns. You were invited to plop down a house if you could afford it. You could purchase ships, ect. You could adopt a pet. You could explore a dungeon. You advanced your skills through use, so there was a reason to practice.

    I think we’ll both agree that Ultima Online and EVE Online were different enough that there’s very few tangents between them. It’s the different execution that made Ultima Online a game where being griefed actually felt like an impediment to some. In EVE Online, grief play is pretty much all there is of interest anyway. There is no dungeons to explore, houses to decorate, or player events to participate in – there’s just the empty void of space which you desperately hope to fill with something, even if you’ve got to lose a lot of progress to do it.

  81. Raelyf says:

    EpicSquirt – I think the effect of isk buying on the game is pretty minimal really. Whether it costs you a billion isk or 25$, most people can’t afford to just throw away faction battleships. An officer fit capital ship can grow upwards of 20bil easily; which is around 500$ worth of GTCs.. while there’s crazy people who actually spend that kind of cash on the game, I’m sure, its not common place.
    I’m a lowsec pirate who’s never bought any isk, and I love isk buyers. Really, there’s nothing better to find than a nice faction fit BS with a pilot who’s got no idea how to fly it. It’s money in MY pocket. Experience and teamwork count for much, much more in EVE than raw ISK.

  82. Kemor says:

    @IainC
    IainC, hey there.
    You know as well as I do that players themselves cannot, on a large majority, be trusted by default. A limit on account/character number would be one of the best solution to this kind of problem (though would cut down membership by a lot) simply because players rarely risk everything they have on their main character. For the BoB event, I’m not so sure that the defector would have popped up, would have been trusted and that this whole thing would have gone the way it has. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that it has gone that way, for the potential of it, I just think it sucks that it was an alt thing, much like all the spying going around.
    The whole “make an alt” process when you have such important geopolitics going around in a game is just a bad game design.

    As for ISKs not being important, well it sure quickly becomes THE key of everything once you play a bit because apart from the initial rush, progress is kinda secondary after some time and you need hard cash.

  83. Mordur says:

    Well it’s fairly obvious that so far this hasn’t run players out of EVE… in fact quite the opposite.

    There are record number of players playing EVE record tonight, 51.005 and going up.

  84. Nakki says:

    This is just why EVE is awesome.

  85. geldonyetich says:

    Epiphany: it was ultimately boredom of EVE Online that killed BoB.

    Take a look at the supposed chat log of the scam being originated, and the player who facilitated the whole thing basically said he hates everybody on BoB and doesn’t even care if he loses his progress.

    It’s that later bit which sets it apart as not being petty revenge but boredom that pushed this act to completion. What we interpreted as BoB being undermined as a spy was actually just a BoB director deciding to commit EVE Online suicide.

  86. Rapewaffle says:

    >Epiphany: it was ultimately boredom of EVE Online that killed BoB.

    That’s not an epiphany, that’s a brainfart.

    [02:11:36] Haargoth Agamar > because Ive been thinking about leaving bob but I really had nowhere to go, I like the guys in your corp so far and wanted to stay
    [02:12:01] Haargoth Agamar > and I just got sick of bob members being arrogant f***ing ******s
    [02:12:08] Haargoth Agamar > and the leadership always being idiots
    [02:12:16] Haargoth Agamar > I just want to be a grunt and shoot s***
    [02:12:21] Haargoth Agamar > without OMG WE ARE BETTER THEN YOU
    [02:12:28] Haargoth Agamar > and I still want to be in 0.0

    I think he makes it quite clear he still enjoys the game but wants some nice people to play it with; he considers the goons nice people and dislikes the BoB players who he thinks are arrogant.

    He’s not ‘committing suicide’, he’s jumping ship.

    I think like Scott you just want to spin this to make a game you don’t like look bad. He’s just a lot more subtle and intelligent about it than you.

  87. geldonyetich says:

    The parts I thought were interesting were:

    [01:40:58] Tamir Lenk > well, first of all, you know I cannot give you roles or hangar access at all now, right
    [01:41:11] Harkani > yeah thats fine
    [01:41:31] Harkani > take away my roles its no big deal
    [01:41:46] Harkani > well and kick me if you want, but that will be your loss 😛

    If it fell through, he was willing to risk it all.

    Well, maybe it was less of a suicide and more of a kamikaze run.

    [02:26:01] Harkani > the only real issue I see, is if I get busted,I would want to join igne with all my chars
    [02:26:17] Tamir Lenk > downside is that it puts added time and degrees of separation between the intel and those who use it
    [02:26:33] Harkani > hmm that is true

    Apparently he did plan to get some out of his characters.

    If I hold on to anything of my original premise here, it’s that boredom did motivate this. He says he’s really ticked off at the leadership, but I think the reason why is because he’d been bored for awhile and they were just getting in his way. Well okay, this is self-evident, but here’s a ground in which you can attack EVE Online’s viability: maybe it wasn’t so boring, BoB would still be around.

    It’s not exactly that the pundit hates EVE Online and wants to destroy it.

    What Scott had to say really was not necessarily disparaging EVE Online — as he says on the bottom of what he wrote, it opens up certain questions, but that EVE Online isn’t circling the drain indicates that something works about it.

    What I’m doing, what I’ve been doing since noticing fiascos like this, is considering those questions: does it make for a better game?

    So far as I can tell, the answer goes something like: As a game, EVE Online isn’t that great, as having your progress ripped off behind your back by a defector is pretty much a massive nail in it. However, as an epic drama EVE Online is an unprecedented success.

  88. Rapewaffle says:

    >He says he’s really ticked off at the leadership, but I think the reason why is because he’d been bored for awhile and they were just getting in his way.

    Internet mind-reader detected.

  89. 0173 says:

    I’m out of popcorn, can you guys spare some?

  90. Amaranthar says:

    geldonyetich :

    However, as an epic drama EVE Online is an unprecedented success.

    Hell, Scott Jennings built his rep the same way. It can work.

  91. geldonyetich says:

    Well, we are talking about a MMORPG here. The drama/bandwagon factor has always part of what makes the genre interesting.

  92. GTB says:

    geldonyetich :
    As a game, EVE Online isn’t that great, as having your progress ripped off behind your back by a defector is pretty much a massive nail in it. However, as an epic drama EVE Online is an unprecedented success.

    I guess losing ‘progress’ suddenly is something I consider a positive instead of a negative. Are we so used to having negligible risk in games now? That element of risk is part of what makes Eve different, and I think, much more interesting.

    I can’t believe how much i’m defending a game I don’t even play. I should at least be getting paid by their ad agency for fanboying, right?

  93. geldonyetich says:

    If it were lost progress due to risk and reward, I’d say all is going according to plan. However, outside of being able to read minds and know this guy was about to turn, there’s nothing BoB could have done to prevent this. At best, they were able to minimalist their losses. However, it’s not risk versus reward.

    That’s what bothers me the most about it in terms of considering game viability.

  94. GTB says:

    geldonyetich :
    If it were lost progress due to risk and reward, I’d say all is going according to plan. However, outside of being able to read minds and know this guy was about to turn, there’s nothing BoB could have done to prevent this. At best, they were able to minimalist their losses. However, it’s not risk versus reward.
    That’s what bothers me the most about it in terms of considering game viability.

    You may be right. But not having ever made my own corporation in Eve i couldn’t say. I assume that you can assign permissions for each “level” in the guild, like every other mmo. I guess if I was the CEO of a corp and I knew that this kind of thing was possible, I would just make sure that I was the only one who had access to important stuff.

  95. VPellen says:

    At the risk of derailing this thread into an RMT debate, I feel the need to point out that the whole “Buy timecodes sell for ISK” thing is more about real money manipulating the virtual economy than it is about inflation. If ETC trade didn’t exist, the economy would still have the same amount of ISK, it’d just be less dispersed.

  96. IainC says:

    Hey Kemor, glad you remembered me. Of course you can’t take the base assumption that all players can always be trusted but I’m realyl not seeing the argument that multiple accounts are the issue. Even if that were the case and you did feel it was a problem that needed solving (and CCP seems to take the opposite view), I’m not seeing a way to realistically prevent multiple account ownership.

  97. Kemor says:

    @IainC
    ‘Course remember you, hope the new job is cool.
    And no, it’s not realistic at all, just one of the hardcore solutions to a problem that will need to be dealt with should any other MMO follow in the tracks of EVE or you’ll get the exact same issue over and over.
    If you don’t, then your games’ most important features lose meaning, and players’ actions become dependent on out of the game things totally out of their control.
    Bit like cross-realming in DAoC or WAR (or any other PVP-oriented MMO) in a way where you can have huge plans for an attack completely ruined just because some kid in a friendly guild is an alt (or a friend) in an enemy territory and spill the beans.
    So now you have no immersion, no purpose and since it’s a MMO, well you sure don’t have any story…So what’s left? Social networks? Heck, gimme real life then 🙂

    Note: and that’s why games like WOW don’t have to deal with all that because everything happens within very small boundaries with pretty much no liberties offered to players (hence why new content is so important, there is nothing else). When you look at WOW and how it’s played, a BOT with proper scripting could play the game while it sure isn’t possible in a PVP game like EVE or DAoC.

  98. Rapewaffle says:

    >However, outside of being able to read minds and know this guy was about to turn, there’s nothing BoB could have done to prevent this.

    This is false and you know it.

  99. Tamir Lenk says:

    There are several core design elements that made this possible and/or interesting.

    1. A single-server with no accommodations for time-zones, PvP/PvE, etc. encourage and requires players to form much larger organizations than sharded games.

    2. CCP’s commitment to an amoral and mercantile setting, even when the uglier sides of that setting emerge (e.g., scamming, espionage, alliance assassination).

    3. The organizational cultures that emerge in EVE corps/alliances. After all, the basic motive for Haargoth was a rejection of BoB culture in favor of Goon’s approach.

    4. Dumb luck. The facts differ slightly from many of the reports, including the initial story told by The Mitanni. Although Haargoth’s alt was facing expulsion, that had not been presented to him when he offered to turn on BoB. He may have seen the writing on the wall, and that may have motivated him to offer intel, but it was not as direct as people have stated (e.g., don’t kick me, I can help you, etc.).

    At bottom, the fall of BoB has far more to do with BoB’s cultural failures and poor organizational security than any gimmicky game mechanics. EVE gives each alliance the tools to form and to disband. BoB was careless in granting those powers to its directors and failed to limit those roles properly. It then aggravated the problem when it ignored and otherwise slighted one of the players that it had entrusted with those powers. Put another way, don’t take the red stapler from a guy who could set the building on fire.

    Tamir Lenk (yes, that one)

  100. Rapewaffle :
    I think like Scott you just want to spin this to make a game you don’t like look bad. He’s just a lot more subtle and intelligent about it than you.

    I think you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions there. I don’t harbor any “anti-goon bias” and in fact have played in some SA-run guilds in other games. Goons do in fact grief ‘pubbies’, this isn’t exactly a newsflash.

    I also don’t harbor any sort of “anti-Eve bias” and often use Eve in discussions as an example of a game that caters to its niche and does so profitably.

    Also, I think both the PS3 *and* the Xbox360 have their good points!

  101. Vetarnias says:

    @geldonyetich
    Well, the chatlog is eloquent in one way. He was fed up with BoB, that much is known. But if he has any brains, he knew that he would never be trusted by the Goons. First, he’s not part of the SA community, that much would disqualify him with them. Second, since he is spilling the beans on BoB, they’re expecting him to do the same to them if he ever had the chance, so they’ll probably end up ousting him. I think he realized that what he was doing was suicidal. Maybe he will just hop on another alt and start from scratch; maybe he’ll just quit the game. Impossible to know.

    @Queso
    Nothing wrong with some metagaming. It begins to be a problem when either most of the game is expected to take place there (as it seems to be with EVE), or that the developers are burying their head in the sand when it comes to the impact it has. As an example of the latter, I remember reading a discussion a few months ago in which some people made the case for or against a global chat channel in Darkfall. The Against camp made the argument that the channel would be used to disclose the position of ambushers/PK’s, this sort of thing. The problem is, guilds aren’t going to be affected, because not only would there be a global guild channel, but even if there weren’t, the guilds would just hit Vent, entirely bypassing the communication limitations introduced by the game. I for one would love to see a game where you’re forced to develop your strategy based on incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information, instead of being updated live by your guildies doing their stuff at the other end of the map.

    I can take metagaming in small doses, but not when it starts to drive a game all by itself, or that it destroys other aspects of it.

  102. EpicSquirt says:

    @Vetarnias
    Good point Vetarnias.

    Imagine Dark Age of Camelot without chat and without guard spam: You would actually have to roam to defend your keeps, you would have to post scouts who would have to use some kind of information-system to forward an inbound attack.

  103. IainC says:

    EpicSquirt :
    @Vetarnias
    Good point Vetarnias.
    Imagine Dark Age of Camelot without chat and without guard spam: You would actually have to roam to defend your keeps, you would have to post scouts who would have to use some kind of information-system to forward an inbound attack.

    Or you’d have what actually happened which is an out of game arrangement between the players to allow all realms to be able to port to the same zone because having to look for enemies is hard work.

    Don’t underestimate the power of the route of least resistance.

  104. Nirgal says:

    FWIW, we (goons) got confirmation from CCP that the sov loss in Delve will not be rolled back. Our logistics people have been deploying control towers nightly with 1000+ person fleet fights occurring regularly. -A- is taking advantage of the rapid shift in fronts to move into old Goon holdings.

    One thing that I think is relatively obvious from this conversation is that the disagreements in this thread pretty much illustrate why there is not and will not be one game for everyone. I find WoW-like games (including WAR) to be pretty intensely dull, but apparently there are like five million people out there that disagree with me.

  105. geldonyetich says:

    Rapewaffle :
    >However, outside of being able to read minds and know this guy was about to turn, there’s nothing BoB could have done to prevent this.
    This is false and you know it.

    I do? Sure, there was infighting going on within BoB, but the entire leadership was doing it. From the entire pack of complainers with the right permissions, how do you pick out the one who was about to defect?

    So, as far as risk vs reward is concerned, I’m not satisfied.

    I suppose we could say that the Goons were rewarded for not dropping the ball on this – if someone with a big mouth started blabbing, the whole deal would have fallen through. Aside form that, as the Mittani himself says at the end of the youtube video, they “were completely helpless.”

  106. geldonyetich says:

    Vetarnias :
    @geldonyetich
    Well, the chatlog is eloquent in one way. He was fed up with BoB, that much is known. But if he has any brains, he knew that he would never be trusted by the Goons. First, he’s not part of the SA community, that much would disqualify him with them. Second, since he is spilling the beans on BoB, they’re expecting him to do the same to them if he ever had the chance, so they’ll probably end up ousting him. I think he realized that what he was doing was suicidal. Maybe he will just hop on another alt and start from scratch; maybe he’ll just quit the game. Impossible to know.

    That’s pretty much where I am with it too. Interesting food for thought, though.

  107. EpicSquirt says:

    @IainC
    “Don’t underestimate the power of the route of least resistance.”

    I was always against the iRvR as it was called. If taking keeps would be easier, due to a communicaton breakdown (missing chat etc.), then maybe players wouldn’t be that interested in iRvR?

  108. IainC says:

    EpicSquirt :
    @IainC
    “Don’t underestimate the power of the route of least resistance.”
    I was always against the iRvR as it was called. If taking keeps would be easier, due to a communicaton breakdown (missing chat etc.), then maybe players wouldn’t be that interested in iRvR?

    I doubt it. Most of the players who most enjoyed iRvR were not particularly interested in keeptakes whether the keep in question was defended or not. For the majority f players it was all about open field combat either solo-ish, in a full group or as part of the zerg. IRvR was not what they used to get around the difficulty of taking defended keeps, it was how they wanted the game to be.

  109. Jeff says:

    @IainC

    Pardon my ignorance but what does iRvR stand for? I get the Realm vs Realm part, just not sure what the i means.

  110. Viz says:

    The Goon organization is probably one of the most amazing sociological phenomena of our times. I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted that you could generate such intense vigor and loyalty from so many people on the basis of their shared… well, “trollery.”

  111. Kemor says:

    @Viz
    Well, you should see the movie Idiocracy then.
    Joke aside, I never understood somethingawful or found it particularly funny. It always seemed to stay around the level of most moronic reality shows and work on the most basic human instincts (oh look, an accident and some blood, let’s spend 2 hours watching, maybe someone died!).
    That said, it works. A lot of awful TV shows work and it probably takes only a couple of power-hungry fellas to control all that mass of people. Works for religion and politics, why not games 🙂

  112. IainC says:

    Jeff :
    @IainC
    Pardon my ignorance but what does iRvR stand for? I get the Realm vs Realm part, just not sure what the i means.

    iRvR stands for ‘instant Realm v Realm’. Specifically it refers to a phenomenon in DAoC where the three realms would co-operate to ensure that they had one keep each in a single realm’s beach-head zone. This allowed players of all realms had the ability to teleport directly to the same place thus concentrating all the PvP action in one small area.

    Breaking this iRvR state by recapturing the necessary keeps was deeply frowned upon by many players.

  113. Vetarnias says:

    @Kemor
    I’ve tried to understand the SA phenomenon a few times. In a nutshell, it was founded on a business pattern that would be a complete flop in 2009, but the idea of subscribing to a forum for posting privileges, even though it’s a one-time fee, gives an impression of being an exclusive club among those who did pay. Add to this a certain approach to life and the Internet (“makes you stupid”) that I could best describe as snarky, self-deprecating (perhaps for having paid to subscribe in the first place) and nihilistic, and you get the Goons of today.

    Reading their forums is free, so I know that in my case I wouldn’t fit there if I bothered to pay the fee. It’s just too caustic to my liking, and furthermore, there’s something essentially American about it — more so than any other general-interest forum I’ve seen — that, as a Canuck, a lot of what is discussed there would just be way above my head (like Broken Toys’ political posts).

  114. harl says:

    Just wanted to point out that the isk “bought” through game time cards is _not_ generated by the engine. It is simply moved from one player to another.

  115. […] now the latest EvE dramaquake is old news but the discussions are still happening. Scott Jennings gives a pretty flippant account which then turns into a threadnought in the comments as is usual. […]

  116. Nirgal says:

    Well, for one thing you can’t use the mechanism to directly turn in-game currency to real-world currency.

    The argument for GTC sales has always been that it allows lower income players and players in depressed economies to get their game time paid for by more real-world affluent players. Alliance have also been known to use in-game currency to buy time cards for special-purpose accounts that no one really wants to own personally — think buffbot accounts in DAoC.

  117. Nirgal says:

    geldonyetich :
    So, as far as risk vs reward is concerned, I’m not satisfied.
    I suppose we could say that the Goons were rewarded for not dropping the ball on this – if someone with a big mouth started blabbing, the whole deal would have fallen through. Aside form that, as the Mittani himself says at the end of the youtube video, they “were completely helpless.”

    There is a lot missing here. Two things happened when the director defected: (1) BoB lost sovereignty in all their space (2) One of BoB’s corps lost a small dreadnought fleet and some fuel caches. The corp theft, while not insignificant, is not terribly uncommon in the world of EVE (one of GoonSwarm’s FCs just made off with a newly built Titan a couple of weeks ago).

    The loss of sovereignty is really just a leveling of the playing field (GoonSwarm and our allies are also working without sovereignty benefits). It has been frequently argued that the combination of Titan DDs (2 will destroy all sub-capital ships on the battlefield), Cynojammers and Jump Bridges make space ridiculously easy to defend. GoonSwarm itself has recently been under attack by numerous alliances while our allies were busy elsewhere and had little problem defending most of our space (space geography made some spots difficult) — even when our participation was kind of ‘meh’. Overall this led to a sense of stagnation in the game.

    As for risk/reward, I dunno man, the amount of isk generated by Delve is absolutely incredible and that generates accompanying risk. From a GoonSwarm perspective, we’ve abandoned all of our conquerable space and, if the invasion of Delve fails, will be homeless. Additionally, -A- forces have been pouring into our old space, complicating evacuation of assets. Assets are being lost to various camps by goons either too rushed or too dumb to take proper precautions. Even more assets will be locked away in stations until such time as they have been reconquered by a friendly alliance (which may be never).

  118. Shavnir says:

    Vetarnias :
    @Kemor
    I’ve tried to understand the SA phenomenon a few times. In a nutshell, it was founded on a business pattern that would be a complete flop in 2009, but the idea of subscribing to a forum for posting privileges, even though it’s a one-time fee, gives an impression of being an exclusive club among those who did pay.

    The irony of this is that the original purpose of the $10 fee was to stop people from just registering a dozen accounts to spam the boards. I’ve been a member for a couple years and honestly while the signal:noise ratio isn’t ideal sometimes the noise is usually at least somewhat entertaining.

    Regarding the article at hand this is just more evidence to my theory that the most fun to be had in EVE online is not playing it.

  119. […] Scot Jennings writes the usual funny summary. […]

  120. […] was a tough position for me to be in. The same thing that makes for fascinating reading above EVE turns into uncomfortable discussions when you’ve been invited over for dinner. It was hard to both […]

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