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Reader Comments (61)

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 8:15AM Tez said

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CCP is incompetent and working with years-old code with no documentation in some cases. Every time they do anything to the game they break a dozen other things, and have admitted that in some very important cases (the Dominion update causing game-crippling lag) they couldn't even figure out why.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:33AM Seffrid said

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""Exploit" is a strong term, and people are throwing it around carelessly - and incorrectly - in this case. No one prior to today considered it an exploit, or even a possible exploit. It only uses well-known and clearly understood game mechanics, does not rely on glitches or bugs, and does not go outside of standard game functionality in any way.

The Eve GMs themselves were very careful to avoid it in their correspondence - they didn't use the word "exploit" even ONCE. The strongest condemnation of the practice, in the GM's own words, is: "This rather ingenious timing on your part did give you an unfair advantage of sorts"."

Using a game mechanic to obtain an unfair advantage over other players is the very definition of an exploit.

The sensible way to prevent this sort of thing is to stop the clock when the server is down. Having it running when players are offline is one thing, and at the heart of the game's design, but having it running when the game itself is offline is just absurd.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 8:20AM (Unverified) said

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Gonna support what Seffrid, Nick, and Voice of Logic proposed. Leave the TCUs where they were placed. Just stop their timers during downtime.

Servers come back up, hilarity ensues.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 8:24AM (Unverified) said

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This 'story' is such a non event I wonder why Massively are even commenting? I mean seriously linking "a great deal of controversy" to the COAD sub forum?

Storm ---> Teacup.

C.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 8:40AM Damn Dirty Ape said

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I only played Eve briefly and do not play it now, so I don't really care about who has what system.

Still....

Nobody 'exploited' anything.

It seems to me that whenever 'BoB' takes advantage of the games systems, nothing is ever retroactively fixed in the same way. Instead, I recall CCP typically would tell everyone 'don't do that anymore' and let the game continue.

Something has to change or this will just happen again. TCUs are not the only thing that can take advantage of server downtime. If CCP really doesn't want this stuff to happen, they simply will have to start stopping the internal Eve clock during system downtime (though I'm sure at this point that would be an extremely signifigant change, and it would bother people who counted on having training done).

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 9:36AM (Unverified) said

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For everyone who did not read the previous replies and is still claiming "exploit", let me explain a few things. Eve is a sandbox, one of the most cutthroat ever created. Eve is not like wow where the GMs intervene when something bad happens, for instance if you are scammed out of all of your money the GM say "too bad" and continue about there day. Eve is about the control of information and understanding of game mechanics. When pandemic legion figured out that low sig radius HACs could easily cut through battleship fleets they had a HUGE advantage until everyone else figured it out. It was a previously unknown game mechanic, there is no manual to tell you every detail about a ship. Did they exploit? No, they just capitalized on a little known game mechanic. Dropping sov before downtime is a *well* known game mechanic and not even mention as anything nearing an exploit until today.

Here are other things that could be "exploits" retroactively:

1. Players are allowed to create fake contracts to scam people out of money. This takes advantage of a game mechanic.

2. Players are allowed to go into high sec (safe space) tank their ships to last for more than a few seconds, and gank unsuspecting targets. This takes advantage of a game mechanic.

3. Certain fleet types (armor hac) take advantage of stacking mechanics to make the signature radius on their ship *incredibly* small, making them hard to hit and difficult to kill. This takes advantage of a game mechanic.

4. Players can join corporations and act as a warp in for opposing fleets, causing massive losses for unwitting blues.

5. Alliance leaders semi-routinely disband their entire allliance with no forewarning and/or steal entire billions worth of alliance assets.

The list goes on and on. As someone mentioned even the GMs avoided the word exploit, and if anyone were going to label it as such it would be them. That's beside the point however, this isn't something where people were like "this is wrong, but lets do it anyway" this is an issue of "Its happened before and was petittioned and the GMs told the petitioners to grow a pair and go shoot the TCUs."

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 10:03AM aillas said

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I gotta agree, when I hear "exploit" I think of things like causing a server crash in order to dupe items. Basically any situation where the result isn't clearly not what the developers intended especially when it takes advantage of a bug, to the distinction of the situation where smart players figure out a loophole.

The line is a judgment call, but here, if CCP didn't mean for people to grab sovereignty due to server downtime, they would a) fix their code to not countdown time for this situation, and b) consistently apply the GM decision to remove claims every time it happened. Sounds like they failed to do A and B, which sends a clear message to the playerbase they don't consider it an exploit. Until their in-game buddies were affected, then all of a sudden it is a problem.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 10:01AM (Unverified) said

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You are missing the point, but thanks for trying.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 11:41AM Lateris said

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I love Eve and how alive it is!!!

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 12:45PM (Unverified) said

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Here is a clear definition of what i consider to be exploiting:
With the exception of number 3 from Ylca's list, the examples provided did not circumvent game play. By not allowing any defense, the circumvented game play which I truly believe constitutes exploitation. Using a game mechanic to bypass game play causing some sort of benefit for yourself or team is exploitation.

In response to Ylca:
I want to start by saying that you need to choose better possible exploits. The only one there that I would personally consider an exploit would be 3. .

In regards to number 1, the fake contacts and scamming people through intended game play can not be seen as a exploit. It is the players fault for trusting the player who scammed him.

High sec doesn't mean safe place. Just more npc security to deter that from happening. Its like being in Orgrimmar and thinking standing next to Thrall the entire time will be safe.

I agree 3 seems to be an exploit which should be brought to the attention of the GMs.

I am not sure about your guild but mine tends to be pretty selective when it comes to inviting people in to our community. And again espionage and theft are apart of the game. This just seems to be a game mechanic that you have to plan for.

And again, this sounds like people not doing there due diligence when it comes to joining a group. You got to trust your leadership. If you can't trust them why would people follow them. This is not a game issue this is just a bad player getting screwed by an even worse player.

In response to Aillas:
"The line is a judgment call, but here, if CCP didn't mean for people to grab sovereignty due to server downtime, they would a) fix their code to not countdown time for this situation, and b) consistently apply the GM decision to remove claims every time it happened. Sounds like they failed to do A and B, which sends a clear message to the player base they don't consider it an exploit. Until their in-game buddies were affected, then all of a sudden it is a problem."

You are assuming things here. Assuming something is always a silly option. The TCUs were designed with the short down time in mind. This would have still allowed defense. The longer patch times would not allow for this. Whether the devs considered this I could not tell you. What I can tell you since I have insight in to development when it comes to software is that time and money has to be spent to get code put in to games. And from what I understand CCP has a large backlog of issues that are presently being worked on. Which means they have to prioritize. Would you rather the devs stop working on other stuff to resolve this when the GMs can obviously handle this?

And as far as it was allowed in the past. That is more a matter about the players reporting these things in the past. I cannot say for sure that a petition like this was made in the past. Maybe before we start crying corruption and favoritism we find out things like this. If it had not been reported in the past, how would CCP know people are circumventing the game play for their benefit? That pretty much is the definition of an exploit. This is the responsibility of the players to report these game breaking mechanics to the devs to get them resolved. If everyone knew it was happening then someone should have brought it to the devs attention.


Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:18PM aillas said

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In response to cjzech:

The CORRECT and EASY way to handle this situation, where they are so busy they with other stuff they can't fix the code, is POST IN THEIR FORUMS that such downtime shenanigans are considered exploits and we be handled as such. Not arbitrarily allow it, and decide after the fact.

And of course I assume things. You do too - do you have a statement from CCP that says they have a backlog of bugs and can't work on this downtime issue, and SPECIFICALLY names this particular one? No? Why then guess what, that's an assumption. T
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 1:36PM ChromeBallz said

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I still don't get this about favouritism...

Why would CCP cheat in their own game? They have an actual testing alliance in Jove space for all that. I really wonder how paranoid people are. Over a freaking VIDEO GAME.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 5:39PM (Unverified) said

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> Why would CCP cheat in their own game?

The article clearly stated that CCP has been in trouble over favoritism before. Why they would do it is not the issue, it's human nature to try to help your "team" win. The problem is that in doing so they have access to tools that no other alliance does.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 5:49PM (Unverified) said

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Maybe I am a bad person, but if someone thought to do this and it worked out for them, then they should reep the rewards. People that are pissed about it are mad because they didn't think of it first. If CCP saw it as an exploit, then it should have been documented and we should have been informed that we can't do it. But hey, this is just my opinion, and we all have opinions...bottom line is CCP has made it's decision....and now we know.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 3:48PM runzwithsizzorz said

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CCP should have taken way more time to think their decision through. If TEST had the unfair advantage of gaining sov on a system during downtime, then all of the Eve players who had skills finish during that downtime also had an advantage over someone who didn't have a skill complete within that 17 hour window. EVE didn't refer to this as an exploit because it isn't one. All Eve players enjoy the real-time, 24-hour clock that continues the game when we are not there. Under usual circumstances, TEST, and any other sov holder, would ALL receive an advantage of at least 45 minutes due to normal downtime. The sov holder who waited until just after downtime to put up a TCU does not get that 45 minute bonus where he/she does not have to worry about getting attacked.

Here is a question...If a TCU were erected at 2:10AM EDT, and downtime is at 7AM EDT, and for 4 hours and 50 minutes, sov was being contested with heavy fighting, would sov be then taken away because the timer ran out and gave a 10 minute advantage? I guess if someone screamed loud enough, it might.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 3:59PM Henthor said

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squeakers, turn informers; betrayers an accomplices of secrets, Go fight for what ya want your turnip flying cowards.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 2:00PM Hummuluis said

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Anyone who doesn't think that what happened was an exploit, seriously needs to go back to gaming 101 because your in denial. It's obvious that they were aware of the downtime and tried to "take advantage" of a situation. Of course it is a failed game mechanic, since this sort of thing should not happen during downtime - however players were aware that they could cheat the system and were full aware that there would obviously be consequences for doing so. What CCP did was the right choice, and unfortunately since it also dealt with a corporation some staff are in, people jump to the conclusion they were showing favoritism.

It's called grow up. It's a known fact that a huge amount of gamers will do cheap ass tactics, and this being one of them. What they tired to do was wrong, and that is to abuse a known flaw in the system. A flaw is not an in-game usable mechanic, but it's just that - A FLAW in the system.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 2:07PM Brendan Drain said

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Ironically, IT alliance is likely to have LESS developers in it than other major alliances because many had their public details posted during the T20 scandal and were forced to delete their characters.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 2:05PM (Unverified) said

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It's unfortunate news, but is now the best time to join EVE!

Looking to join EVE or start a second account? If so, send us your email address to eve(at)pkhq.net and we'll send you a 21 day invitation. If you decide to subscribe to EVE within the 21 days, we'll send you 100 Million ISK to get your journey started out right. Your also welcome to visit us at pkhq.net/eve to submit your request online.

Cheers all, and see you in space! :)

Posted: Nov 7th 2010 5:14AM (Unverified) said

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Going on for years? The TCUs have only been around since Dominion, not even a year and half. The TCUs were able to claim Sov during the extended downtime, all finished their task when the Server came back online. Really, that would be where the alarm bells should be going off that you're abusing the system.

Previously being able to put up sov-claiming POSs? I don't buy that as being the same thing, not even close. Under that now defunct mechanic it would take a week to claim one level of Sov, plenty of time to oppose its presense in-system, since we've never had anything close to a weeklong downtime. The TCUs were able to claim Sov during the extended downtime, all finished their task when the Server came back online. that would be where the alarm bells should be going off that you're abusing the system.

This whole thing stinks of Troll crap, fling enough of it at anyone you can and avoid dealing with your own responsibility, right?
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