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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Sep 27th 2009 8:20PM (Unverified) said

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Thats jacked up

Posted: Sep 27th 2009 8:29PM Brendan Drain said

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In another game, something like this wouldn't be allowed. But in EVE, it's an intentional part of the game's harsh sandbox universe.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 8:38PM (Unverified) said

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It's stuff like this that truly sets Eve apart from other MMO's. When I first started playing I had to change my mindset about gathering resources and wealth. Coming from WoW i first considered theft and scams as griefing, but after a while I saw the light. It's all about having an experience. The sandbox environment gives players the opportunity to be creative in ways other games can't. This of course includes 'being bad'.

The first time i got jumped and ransomed while mining was exhilarating. Trying to negotiate my way out of it while my ship was slowly dying was a rush. At the time it represented about 80% of my total wealth, and I was determined not to lose it. After this I realized that my goal in Eve wasn't to be rich or fly the biggest ships. It was all about having meaningfull interactions with others. Win or lose, nothing I've ever played before comes close to it.

Only two rules need to be followed; Don't fly anything you can't afford to lose, and never trust anyone you can't punch IRL.

Posted: Sep 27th 2009 9:00PM Brendan Drain said

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Hah, those are my top two golden rules. I tell people those two all the time, almost word-for-word the way you said it. "Never fly anything you can't afford to lose" and "Never trust anyone out of punching distance". I've always considered these EVE unwritten but official rules, it's nice to know someone else goes by them too :D.

The interesting thing for me is that I know I break those rules but it takes a lot for that to happen. I trust several of my corpmates that aren't IRL friends with a lot of stuff because we've been through so much together that they've earned it. I realised a long time ago that the damage that trusting someone with assets or access can do in-game actually makes the relationships you form with people more real. A lot of people assume it's a cold game where nobody trusts each other but in my experience people trust and rely on each other more in EVE than other MMOs I've played. Not only that but the level of trust and thus the efficacy of the relationships we keep with our in-game friends is much more potent. I attribute that directly to the increased risk and the fact trust is something that must be earned.

People sometimes see behaviour like piracy, scamming or spying and think EVE is a very antisocial MMO but in reality it's one of the only games I've ever played that has the ability to create real, functional societies that players genuinely care about.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 3:55AM (Unverified) said

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See, I however have a bizarre self-destructive habit of trusting people with a money, as long as I can safely afford to lose it...It actually works out surprisingly well! Sure, I lose some cash in the E-Bank fiasco, but I'd definitely made enough of them in interest to make the loss worthwhile.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 8:43PM postpwn said

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After reading this, I've decided not to continue playing EVE (I recently bought it for $5 in the Direct2Drive sale so it's a tiny loss). I don't think I can stomach being in a game world where this kind of stuff happens (either being the prey or the predator) but I will continue to read - and be fascinated by - your stories. It takes a special, dedicated person to get the most out of EVE Online and I'm not that person.

I'd love to read all these tragedies and triumphs in, say, a collected novel or something to that effect. This game makes for the greatest stories but to be a character in one must be heart-wrenching.

Posted: Sep 27th 2009 8:55PM postpwn said

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Of course, that said, I've got 25 days left to play and will continue until that runs out. Perhaps I can find the proper chisel with which to begin to carve my future in EVE. I may not create Michaelangelo's David with it, but then again, I don't want to; I'll leave that to the Da Vinci's and Rembrandt's of EVE Online. Maybe I can shoot for a Van Gogh status - come up with an entirely new way to experience this game.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 9:21PM Brendan Drain said

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That's the spirit :D

If it helps, I can tell you about a few of the people that have made an impact on me over the years in unique ways. My first "sandbox" experience was when I left my first corp and decided to find my fortunes on my own. I spotted a shortage of research labs, so I spent my days flying around the fringes of empire space looking for slots that had just come free and renting them up. I then re-sold them to prospective buyers for a profit and made a little name for myself as a real-estate agent. It was also the first time I was scammed, so it really did give me a taste of the sandbox. Since then I've done innumerable things that just wouldn't happen in another MMO, even made custom EVE spreadsheets and sold them for ISK.

Another good example is INNOMINATE NIGHTMARE. This chap one day just decided he'd go exploring in the depths of lawless 0.0 space. He made a blog ( http://00experiment.blogspot.com/ ) detailing his adventures as he flew around 0.0, providing a unique perspective on life out there and his insights. Other examples include the EVE Radio DJs, killboard webdesigners, tool programmers, comic artists, bloggers, podcasters, the first corp to think of running a lottery, the video makers, the fiction-writers etc. People have even made some awesome model EVE ships from paper, matchsticks, lego etc.

All these people are proof that if you can imagine something to do in the EVE universe, you can do it. These are all people that looked at all the different paths other players were following - miner, mission-runner, pvp pilot etc - and decided to make their own new path instead. They created their own game within the EVE universe and the fact that new ideas keep popping up is one of the things that always makes me marvel at EVE. And you're right, EVE makes the setting for some AWESOME stories :D.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 10:03PM postpwn said

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The freedom EVE provides is what I've always wanted from a game. I simply must not let that freedom paralyze me!

Brendan, you're an inspiration to all of New Eden. Maybe one day I will gather the guile to put your exploitative advice to use. Until then, I'll be mining condensed scordite in 0.9 sec space, lol.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 10:18PM postpwn said

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Sorry for the quadruple posting but I have to comment on how ridiculously awesome INNOMINATE NIGHTMARE's story is. I'm currently reading from the beginning and am now doubly inspired to stick with EVE. Thanks again!
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 11:23PM GaaaaaH said

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Mining can be one of the most boring aspects of EVE, so when it finally catches up to you, look for other opportunities before ditching the game.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 11:46PM postpwn said

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I'm just mining while I'm working my day job, earning ISK with little to no input other than an ALT+TAB now and then to switch asteroids. I do intend to take the military career path all the way as I desire to engage in epic (and, well, small scale) warfare.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 3:59AM (Unverified) said

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Don't be too conventional as well...Apply for a corp quick, but make sure you know what you want out of it! Just applying for any small gang PVP corp will get you screwed over. I picked up 3 EVE trials before finally finding my way into the game proper, and that's only because I found a corp I actually enjoyed (www.knowledge-stick-station.com) ! We're involved in producing illegal combat boosters, a fun and relatively unknown facet of the game.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 10:58PM Dblade said

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We already have this in PvE games, its called "Duping a guild and cleaning out their guild bank." The difference is that in PvE, a person who abuses trust and hurts others isn't lionized.That's because the gold, or ships aren't worth it.

I can get piracy, I can even get scams, and stuff like that. You want a lawless, sandbox universe, cool. But a lot of us raiders in PVE games already have dealt with stuff like this, and we know its a dick move. Pixels aren't worth betraying others over, and I've seen guilds and friendships end over something like that.

Tbh, you are making EVE sound like the place bank stealers, and ninja lotters go when they get banned from other games. You aren't doing it much of a favor if "freedom" means acting like that.

Posted: Sep 28th 2009 12:03AM (Unverified) said

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I agree that it might seem harsh and unforgving, but keep in mind that in EVE you can get retribution when someone wrongs you. You can hunt them down and blast them with your mates. You can even pay a mercenary corps to do it for you.

I for one really enjoy metering out justice to people who deserve it rather than pvp without purpose.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 4:06AM (Unverified) said

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The difference is that if somebody does steal from my EVE corp hangar, I can hunt them down and murder them. Again and again. Then, I can make sure everybody in the region knows about them and won't hire them again anytime soon.
EVE is a lot more like the real world. You don't hire anybody without a thorough background check.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 10:16AM Myria said

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Eve is nothing whatsoever like the real world.

In the real world fraud and murder get you arrested, in Eve they get you lionized.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 11:11AM Dblade said

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What's ironic is that the threat of retribution must be weak in practice, if brendan can write a how-to article on how to scam corporations in this way. In a PvE game he'd have to hide his character's name or use a psuedonym because no one would let him into a guild for fear of doing just that. If you can brag about the scam publically, I think it's safe to say retribution has little or no deterrent effect on you.

Plus, I can think of quite a few ways to circumvent it, like a disposable account, hiring mercs to defend you against retribution, or being part of a larger corp
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Posted: Sep 28th 2009 8:11PM Brendan Drain said

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I'd have to agree that there are plenty of ways of evading retribution. Those I've observed include using new characters and buying a character for ISK to use in an infiltration. The interesting thing is that there are known spies like Istvaan Shogaatsu and The Mitanni that people COULD get retribution on using in-game methods but they generally don't bother.

I need to point out that I haven't actually used the techniques in this article to do damage or steal, so my first-hand experience here is limited. When I write hands-on articles like this, I always make sure to research the topic thoroughly and I try to get at least some first hand experience as a proof of concept. My goal is always to prove to myself that what I'm writing about holds water. For the article I did last year on suicide ganking, I actually went out and ganked a few haulers to test what worked. For the article on wormhole piracy, I drew a lot on my personal experiences slaughtering mining ops in wormholes.

For this article, I made a new character and attempted to infiltrate several corps, eventually talking my way into a position where I could have potentially done some damage and stolen something from the corp hangers. Since I only had experience with a brand new character, that's what I focused on in the article. I also drew on information from the Guiding Hand Social Club heist, the Hulk BPO theft linked in the article, the EIB scam, the E-Bank theft etc. One of my favourite sources (although it isn't as relevant to corporate infiltration as it is to scamming) was a video someone posted on the forums called "Fool Me Once" where a guy talked his way into a corp and convinced the CEO to hand over all his assets. The thread for it is here http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1064857

In general though I agree that despite the existence of mercenaries etc, there are definitely ways to evade retribution.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2009 11:55PM Graill440 said

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This is a major sticking point in EVE. There is no way to counter real life trust and its betrayal. Calling it an essential part of the EVE universe is simply assnine. There is no way to counter ingame what people in real life can take from you. This single point makes anyone trying to glorify or quantify their actions using real life to gain passwords a bunch of asshats and contributers to EVEs low sub population.

It is a game after all, but you get to know me in real life and i trust you, whether we meet or not in real life isnt the issue, whether i trust you and then you betray me by stealing from my account, exactly like identity theft occurs, is the issue. The clowns at CCP think this is "fine".

There is no statute of limitations for identity theft, in fact with all the theft like this in EVE i am really suprised the lawyers havent snatched some of these up for lawsuits, maybe someone needs to bring these incidents to their attention?

Unfortunately for CCP there is nothing ingame to counter any of this and there should be. Right now CCP has nothing to back them up in case something like this goes to trial, and its only a matter of time before it does.

This is only hypothetical (*cough*) but what if something happened to that first thief in EVE, the big heist a little over three years ago, wonder if "he" is ok?

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