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EVE Online Scandal

This EVE Online Forum Thread, currently at 621 posts and rising, details a brewing brouhaha in CCP's outer-space MMORPG that centers around alleged improprieties by CCP staff. The original post by EVE Online community manager kieron mentions that the identities of CCP employees participating in the game have become public, and that the compromised accounts have been deleted, and goes on to refer to the possibility that information about a coming story arc had been leaked by employee/players. They describe a tightening of the audit measures whereby accounts of employees are monitored for malfeasance to protect against employee misconduct. The fuel for the thread's rapid growth are allegations that the scandal runs deeper than what is being addressed, and that employees of CCP have been able to steer valuable in-game items to the groups in which they participate, with many expressing the opinion that allowing employees to play the game represents a conflict of interest. Here's a bit from the originating post:

Last summer, CCP implemented stricter monitoring procedures and audits on all CCP employees’ EVE accounts. We are confident that our rigid procedures and protocol will prevent any misconduct or, at least, allow us to quickly discover it, should such an unfortunate scenario arise.

As the community knows well, we at CCP enjoy not only playing EVE Online, but improving EVE and interacting with our playerbase. We feel EVE benefits from the developers playing EVE as any other members of the community do, and to impose artificial limitations -- such as no access to Tranquility or special flagging on a developer’s player character -- would greatly hinder the development of EVE.

CCP is very passionate about EVE Online and is committed to its continued growth. We hope that this statement will put this issue behind us once and for all and allow us to continue moving forward with the support of our community.

This reply from a user (Borgholio) sums up some of the outcry that follows:

The concern being talked about by the vast majority of players is not the identity of certain Dev or GM players, nor is it an in-game event that occured many months ago. The concern is that Band of Brothers (and possibly other large alliances) have received ill-gotten assistance from the Developers or GMs in the form of blueprints, ships, etc. That was the biggest concern, and you made absolutely no mention of it at all. Nobody really cares about the identity of CCP players in player alliances. Nobody really cares about an event that took place months ago. People care about rampant cheating by those whose job it is to STOP cheating. By conveniently ignoring this issue, you are only reinforcing the belief that CCP has something to hide.

Were you to come out and say "Yes, some of our Devs and GMs were cheating. We cannot release their names for privacy reasons, but we can tell you that they've been fired, and all ill-gotten assets have been removed from the game.", then the community would be happy. It would suck that CCP employees have (yet again) been caught cheating, but at least we would know that you're doing something about it. Or you could have said "In regards to the cheating issue, we can't find any evidence of this whatsoever.". That wouldn't make people as happy, but at least you would acknowledge it. Instead, you whitewash it. You really screwed up, CCP. We want clear, straightforward answers, and we want them now.

A post from a different recent thread by a senior producer refers to plans to publish the conclusion of an ongoing investigation after it has been completed, that was a couple of days ago, but it's not clear if this is the statement to which he refers. Also, a subsequent post by kieron asks for a list of concerns that have not been addressed, ensuring they will be thoroughly investigated.

26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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26. Re: Tsk tsk Mar 28, 2008, 05:03 sian
Or maybe it doesn't have to be that bad. This sort of helped me when at war, [url][/url]. Might help with the steep learning curve too.

This comment was edited on Mar 28, 05:08.
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25. NEGABONBAMBI Apr 3, 2007, 23:55 Will the corruption stop

All Coalition forces accounts have come under increased scrutiny for ISK purchases related to fighting the BoB forces duel to developer interference.

This is an entirely new development in the North vs. South war that is raging across EVE Online. The southern forces controlled by BoB (Band of Brothers) with their well documented connections to EVE developers are taking the war to new heights by enlisting the help of neutral GMs. While the GMs are sworn to uphold neutrality it seems that some of the potential rewards of ALT membership in the “Winning Side” have swayed their neutrality towards seeing Issues within the game toward purchasing ISK (in-game money) bias toward penalizing Coalition forces instead of BoB forces equality. More to follow soon as this story develops further this week.

Footnote: purchasing ISK via outside mechanisms is strictly prohibited against the EVE Online EULA (End User License Agreement)

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24. Re: Tsk tsk Feb 9, 2007, 19:55 HardCore
Hey i know nothing of Eve, but can't all the alliances band together to wipe out bob. LOL

This almost makes me want to play the game but the learning curve looks to damn steep.

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23. Re: Tsk tsk Feb 9, 2007, 13:45 aggro
it just makes you wonder that every bob that gets killed gets all there ships and mods back.
so if at war with them it makes you sick that all your hard work is wasted.

ccp need to sort this out and quick.

the whole thing stinks

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22. No subject Feb 8, 2007, 20:48 suzume
let's not forget that ccp devs designed this game as their personal playground. their own backstory says as much and relishes in the fact that the majority of them were pvp pirate wannabes, designing a world to suit their tastes. the problem is, they didn't stop playing.

at one time in early eve, at least 3 game developers were running the largest corporations in the game. (you have to understand, we were working with these guys on a regular basis. we knew who they were - everyone who paid attention did.) and yes, it was uncanny how those corporations seemed to defy all odds when it came to amassing wealth and power.

i don't believe ccp has ever taken this problem seriously. in the 4 years i've played (yes, beta too) all ccp has done is go from devs blatantly running the most powerful organizations in the game, to devs surreptitiously running the most powerful organizations in the game. i don't for a second believe ccp will do more than hush this one up, ban some people for posting in bad form and maybe issue a press release denying any culpability. i've seen this scenario played out before.

this behavior, while inexcusable and corrupt, is so ingrained in ccp's corporate culture that the only event capable of dislodging their heads from their asses (and is looming ever closer...) will occur when they can no longer pay the bill for their supercomputing playground. and even then, i wouldn't put it past them to run ccp completely into the ground before they give up their fun. it's called arrogance... plain and simple.

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21. Re: Tsk tsk Feb 8, 2007, 15:21 Ciredric
Eve's problem they have let an alliance basically make a big move toward controlling the game.

This has really irratated some, hence even a small problem like this gets really blown out of proportion.

In this case, BOB the alliance in question, has become a big problem.

CCP besides cleaning up this mess needs to put constraints on the large alliances to eliminate the problem or it will just happen again.

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20. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 23:20 basis
thank you. that was informative. wow if those posts aren't concocted up, then it indeed is embarrassing, especially those PMs.

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19. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 22:18 Cutedge
cutedge do you have more information to share on how this scandal was exposed? i'm very interested in how it transpired.

A guy with the handle of kugutsumen apparently has hacked into various forums and came across various information and did a bunch of tying together to point out various things. In this case, it's how some devs are in BoB and how they got tech 2 bpos.

Here's links to the guys posts in his own forums.

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18. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 21:50 m00t
xXBatmanXx.. You're funny. "Remove the mask" Right, who are you? Real name, Address, SSN? Put up or shut up.

As for what he's saying, he's pretty much accurate.

CCP are a bunch of morons for not catching this and dealing with it sooner. All games I've worked on have had all accounts that were flagged to be able to create/modify things in ways players could not had ALL actions logged. All item creation/deletion/modification/etc had to be explained to the supervisors, no exceptions. To believe this has gone on so long seriously puts in to question either a) how well thought out and implemented the server architecture is or b) the ethics of the entirety of CCP.

Either they're stupid or complicit and are only acting because they're losing money over it.

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17. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 21:33 basis
i used to play EvE but got out a few months after it went live, but do follow up on it from time to time whenever important news pops up. like the 2 scams etc

cutedge do you have more information to share on how this scandal was exposed? i'm very interested in how it transpired.

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16. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 19:19 Retired
90% of the games that the company I work for are strictly PvP games so I well understand what item and economic cheating can do to a game as far as enjoyment and balance.

Such authority behind an anon post!

Seriously - if you want any credibility - remove the mask.

FUNGS 53 is nothing but motherfucking spam. Try instead.
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15. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 18:44 Burrito of Peace
EVE is a 99.9% PvP game, just about everything done is either directly against another player or fuels the ability to do something against another player.

90% of the games that the company I work for are strictly PvP games so I well understand what item and economic cheating can do to a game as far as enjoyment and balance.

Thanks for the education on a game I already knew well, however.

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14. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 18:37 Cutedge
So far the only player that has been banned was the hacker (as well as his coworker) who, it's worth noting, got the information that caused all of this from hacking forums of some of the alliances. They also called his work and tried to get him fired. Too bad it's his wife's business.

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13. No subject Feb 7, 2007, 18:23 tweakboy
This comment was deleted on Feb 7, 21:21.
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12. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 18:03 Masa
Wow, So BoB was caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Can't say I really blame them; if you had the assistance of the people who made the damn game, that might be kind of hard to pass up, too! And even though this game is really that that different from WoW, to say a couple Blizzard employees out for a friendly game of WoW haven't used their ostensible knowledge in having made the game to their advantage is a biy naive.

Or any other game of this type. They were just not dumb enough to get caught.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 18:04.
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11. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 17:54 Cutedge
I just think it's funny because we all knew BoB was full of devs. Notice that they say that the outed devs are no longer able to play the game on those accounts. It doesn't say all devs are out of BoB.

For those who don't know, BoB (Band of Brothers) is *the* biggest alliance. The only one that was nearly the size disbanded after months of having BoB totally destroy them. With this information coming out, it puts a grim shadow on the game. A shame too, I was looking forward to when they implement factional warfare and people who can't play the game 7 days a week can participate in some good PvP.

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10. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 16:39 ViRGE
I can say authoritatively that it is very different than other games. I know that where I work, the GMs can't give any items/money/rank etcetera to employees let alone anyone in the player base.

This is simply people who are stupid in two parts. The first being the GMs/Devs that were doing it and the second for the person(s) who created the toolset that allowed them to do so in the first place.
It's more different than that. EVE is a 99.9% PvP game, just about everything done is either directly against another player or fuels the ability to do something against another player. If this were say WoW, the impact of giving players something uber would be limited, as the ability to clear a dungeon faster than another group doesn't directly affect that 2nd group's ability to clear a dungeon. However in EVE, the 1st group can conquer the 2nd group's space and leave them with nothing except what they can carry out, and their personal space(the dungeon in our example) is now off-limits to that group.

It's a brutal but fun game, but it's also a game where more than anything else the devs have to be neutral and on top of patching exploits. By not doing these things, the game quickly becomes an unfair exercise in steamrolling.

PS Hump, what do you mean by 13 year olds and unbelievable?
This comment was edited on Feb 7, 16:39.
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9. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 16:33 Grounded
See kids, this is what happens when you dont play WoW

bad bad things

Play WoW, Live Longer

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8. No subject Feb 7, 2007, 16:14 Hump
These are all adults being discussed here, correct? Not 13 yr old kids?


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7. Re: Tsk tsk Feb 7, 2007, 15:43 Kedyn
I'm suprised that this sh*t is finally being discovered. It was no secret to the actual playing playerbase that devs were in some of the big alliances and giving them assistance in the form of items as well as "helping" in key battles. And by helping, I mean cheating.

I'll bet now that more people are playing, more people are realizing this, so CCP is finally cracking down. That's too little too late for me, and hopefully for many others who played this promising, yet unfair game.

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