EVEOTORIAL: TOS

I have had one character in Eve for the past five years. I have one "alt" on the same account that flies a truck into hi-sec for me every so often. That's it. Five years. Four of them spent writing and drawing millions of words and thousands of pictures, here on Eveoganda.

I have a lot invested in that one character. A character I don't even own. Nope, it belongs to CCP because, in order to play EVE, I had to sign it over to them. It is their game. And, when the rubber meets the road, Rixx Javix is part of their game. It is a relationship built on a fundamental understanding of our specific purposes. I create dynamic content both in and out of game as part of a "hobby" and they provide an endlessly magnificent environment in which I can pursue that "hobby".

It is a win-win situation of the highest order.

So call me crazy. Call me names. Call me whatever you want when I tell you that I don't want some other person who hasn't written millions of words, drawn thousands of pictures, created player events, stood up for Frills on Vagabonds, created Twitter Hats, or any of the numerous other things I have worked hard to provide - I don't want some wet-behind-the-ears basement dweller pretending to be me sucking the life out of another player.

Is that crazy?

You see that picture up there in the graphic? It looks like me, but it isn't me. It is "kinda" me. Now that particular me was set-up as a joke by a player that is actually IN Stay Frosty now. But even still, he has managed to siphon off a few contracts intended for me over the past two years. There are quite a few other "Rixx" people floating around. Luckily the really nasty ones have been dealt with by CCP over the years.

Because, you see, it is important for them that someone doesn't ruin my character. That is the implicit two-way street of this healthy relationship we have together. I don't want to be ruined and they don't want me to be either.

Years ago I flew up from Null Space for a week or two in Piekura. My friend Angor and I thought it would be fun to fly over to a Newbie system and gank us some young players. Trick them into taking something from a can and blow them up. We did it. It was surprisingly easy. But it left a biter taste in our mouths. We quickly left that system and I have never been back since.

Today, some newb flies into Hev in his Venture? I'll blow him up and not think twice about it.

What's the difference? To me, the difference is rather profound and important to the long-term survivability of Eve. ( My apologies, I've never actually scammed anyone in Eve before, so I don't have a better example of doing it. ) (( It is pretty telling that I just apologized for never having scammed anyone, isn't it? ))

There is no joy for me in the so-called triumphs of Eve scamming. The long list that other writers have trotted out as examples of emergent game-play leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe I've been on the receiving end of too many attempts, maybe I've seen too many good people burned, too many good Corps destroyed, too many bones along the road. Or maybe, just maybe, I truly believe an Eve without extra-game mechanic scams is an Eve worth celebrating?

Wouldn't it be great some day to fly to Jita and have local be an actual local? Where someone could share a link with you and you could actually click on it? Where I could invest a billion ISK and not have to be overly concerned if it was a scam or not?

A lot of people seem to be taking a rather strange stance about the recent changes to the Terms of Service. A stance I am struggling to understand. A pro-scam stance?

Have I lost my mind? I am pro-Eve, pro game mechanics ( if game mechanics can be exploited then you should exploit them, within the confines of the EULA! ) But I am not pro-scam. I find no joy in the telling of tales about successful scams that ruined another players game play. And I personally worry about those that do.

What kind of people are you?



EDITORS NOTE: In the context of this Eveotorial I am expressly concerned with scams involving "falsely impersonating another entity" or scams that, at least partially, involve out-of-game mechanics. AWOXing, Contract scams, and other types of in-game mechanic tom-foolery are part of what makes Eve great. And while I do not personally participate, I think they are part of the rich tapestry of our great game. But those types of "scams" are not at issue here.



11 comments:

  1. I set out to play EVE "clean" that rapidly changed to trying to have fun with an overly complicated, overly complex game. I have had my success and failure. At one time I decided I would try all the aspects of EVE, more than once, to give them a fair go. Contract scams were interesting, it seriously takes some effort to acutally make a living at them. The depths of Character impersonations were cyno alt infiltrations, and yes they were profitable. Some of the "scams" were interesting and entertaing but it just never held my interest for long.
    I support CCP in protecting our investment in developing these characters of theirs. :)

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  2. I disagree with most of this.

    I am pro-sandbox.

    I have never scammed anyone. I have never can-flipped anyone. The extent of my 'griefing' activities is a pair of hi-sec suicide ganks against experienced players (one in a dramiel and one in a blinged out mission ship,) one which failed and one which didn't. My Hulkageddon activities consisted mostly in flying heavily tanked hulks (with warriors out so I can get on the km when Concord shows up) and taunting wannabe griefers in (mostly) 0.5 systems. I think people who scam or grief as their primary activities in EVE are (almost?) all sociopaths irl. But in spite of all of that I don't think their choice of gameplay is one iota less valid than my choice of gameplay.

    Because I am pro-sandbox.

    Scams that are virtually foolproof/undetectable have no place in a sandbox. Which is why I'm fine with forbidding people from naming themself in a way that is indistinguishable from the 'Real McCoy' (such as if a font makes a small l and a capital I look identical, for instance.) If CCP decided to outlaw the margin trading scam, I'd be fine with that as well, for the same reason. And obviously blatantly offensive names can't be allowed either. But beyond that, CCP should pee in the sandbox with great reluctance.

    As for 'similar but not identical' names, I'm all for them. If someone wants to name themself AkJon Sperguson and make an avatar with even bigger lips than my own (if that's possible, I'm not sure,) I'd laugh and go on about my business.

    Because I am pro-sandbox.

    Am I getting worked up about the ToS thing? Not really. My opinion of CCP is very low. My emotional investment in EVE is consequently also quite low. I'll probably sub and unsub periodically until they pull the plug on TQ for good but it really doesn't matter to me if CCP goes 'full retard' or not anymore. But I think the people who ARE getting worked up about it are absolutely right in principle, they're just dealing with people who have no principles (other than 'maximize monetization of playerbase' anyway.)

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    1. I'll give you this AkJon, you are all over the place. You disagree with most of what I said and then go on to actually agree with what I said. Then you admit you don't really care one way or another because Eve sucks, and you barely play and couldn't care if and when it goes dark.

      So thanks for all those words. And let me say this, when someone that trusts you in-game gives AkJon Sperguson 500m on a contract that was supposed to go to you, write me back and let me know how you feel about it then.

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  3. I agree, while I do not approve of contract scams or market scams those actions are tied to a specific character. To rename a character so it is similar to someone else and attempt to use their name for malicious intent should not ever be allowed. I wonder how many times Chribba has had to deal with impersonators and his 3rd party service.

    The "pro-sandbox" argument is also a red-herring, a sandbox is where there are minimal restrictions placed on characters, it doesn't mean no restrictions.

    As such I support anyone who tries to prevent identity theft.

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  4. The main problem I have with this whole mess is that it feels as if this is against the very basic premises of EVE.

    Now I'm not talking about the Ríxxx Jâvìxxes. Thats lazy and for all I care they can bann that. But if someone is crafty enough to convince me that he is an official recruiter for Stay Frosty and all I have to do is pay 500mill then that should be fair game.
    Its the nature of EVE that you are NOT protected. That people can do bad things to you ingame if you are not carefull. If you have a grudge against someone its not up to CCP to punish them.
    It's up to you.

    Why should protecting your ingame reputation be CCPs job, but not protecting your ingame corp or your ingame ship?

    I understand that your reputation is a special case and you have put a lot of time and work into it and you have my highest respect for this. But in the end the very broad TOS-clause as it is atm is a step in a very wrong direction.

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    1. I respect your opinion Crow, but what you fail to appreciate is the fundamental premise behind the decision. If anyone can be anyone it undermines the fundamental underpinnings of trust that hold the game together. I don't mean to overstate it, because Eve has done decently with this in place for ten years, but it needs to be addressed for Eve to grow. Otherwise we will be forced to cannibilise each other for the next decade. And that path is one that is doomed to failure.

      While someone scamming you out of 500m might be something you can personally absorb, for others it might be the difference between playing or not playing. You should be relatively confident that someone presenting themselves as a represntative of CCP or Stay Frosty is who they say they are.

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    2. For me it's the lack of consequence. There is no way for me to get back at the player. He either bio-masses his character or sits in a station somewhere. Eve should equal risk. Now, the risk is being banned ...

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  5. I joined Eve because of the scamming, and will probably quit when they remove it. I don't like to scam myself, but I love "outsmarting" the scammers. I am currently the CEO of an industrial corporation, and one of the things I enjoy the most is finding the safest way to recruit and making sure FriendOfMine's cyno alt is indeed FriendOfMine's alt.

    I think PVE is boring, mining is boring, industry is a clickfest and PVP is exciting because you know your ship is worth X hours of boring grinding. The only thing Eve has is the metagame, which it does amazingly well and has kept me playing for three years.

    I fully agree scamming with a character named Rlxx Javix should be against the TOS, but nothing more than that. Had someone contract 500m to an "alt" of yours? Lesson learned. It should not happen again.

    And remember that Eve players are Eve players! I am sure Goonswarm's lawyer team is already looking for ways to exploit and abuse the new TOS.

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  6. So I can petition that "Hong WeiLo" guy I see around Stacmon every now and then? ;-) I'd really just prefer to blow him up, well, if I ever actually saw him in lowsec anyway. So much for "I don't like limiting what players can do," though I guess _that_ guy is packing up his desk and moving on as I write this, so big fat *shrug* there.

    Of course, an easy fix for everything: impersonation, OGBs, disposable gank-alts, etc, is readily available, though CCP would never "pres butan" on it. NO alts. You get one character, that's it, that's _you_ in-game. Pretty easy fix, though of course when there's only 15 of us left playing (because everyone else = alts), CCP would shut down pretty quickly. ;-)

    Nowadays, I'm not entirely convinced that's a bad thing.

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  7. In real life, there is nothing stopping me from claiming to be "Barack Obama", and attempting to trade on his reputation. Of course, I don't look like the President. So, via alts EVE gives me a power of impersonation that real life lacks. On the other hand, many scams are not face to face. And EVE disallows me to be "Barack Obama". I can be "Braack Obama", or "Barry Obama", or many other nearby names. But there is precisely one "Barack Obama", and as he ain't me, I cannot be him. This gives anyone the ability to cut and paste for 100% accuracy, which ain't realistic. I feel these things balance out.

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    1. I disagree here. RL offers you RL ban-hammer for having similar names. It's called trademarks. Mike Rowe didn't pretend to be Microsoft, yet, MS was able to put him out of business (in a legal battle ofc) because his name (Michael Rowe is his actual name) was too similar to Microsoft's trademark.

      Now the famous company with a bitten apple logo, has put a company in Poland out of business because they were trading in fruits and had an un-bitten apple logo.

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