The Shuttle Scuttle


Half of everyone I've talked to told me not to write this post. The rest broke down into various forms of advice ranging from the absurd to the ridiculous. Somewhere in the middle rested your weary blogger. So I put my feet up, waited a week and decided that 14 years of sharing details about my adventures in Eve Online deserved to be continued. I've never stepped away from telling my readers what is happening inside or outside of this game - so why start now?

I'm not going to be mentioning any names in this post, so just be aware of that up-front.

So here is what happened. A week before the Frigate Free For All event on April 20th, a small batch of Shuttles suddenly appeared on my kill-board. About 12 of them if I remember correctly. Initially I thought this must be some glitch as I did not recognized any of the names involved. I figured this was some random harassment before the big event. But then 140 more shuttles appeared and I did recognized those names. And now I was sure about the intention behind them. 140 shuttles, give or take, not a big deal. Let's move on to the event.

The FF4A was on a Saturday. I'll ignore the goings on during the event. Let's skip to Monday. I awoke to a cascade of shuttles hitting my kill-board. By the time the day was done a little over 13,000 shuttles had been dumped into my lap. Nearly 320 pages of them. For a moment there I was ranked number one on zKill for total losses in the game and certainly number one in shuttle losses. It was a remarkable act of harassment and aggression. One would think, given the scale involved, that I would have some idea why this was happening. I did not.

I still do not. It is a mystery to me. Those involved showed up to the FF4A and camped the event the entire six hours and got tons of ill-gained kills for it. As they have for the past three years. If anything, you would think they'd be thanking me for hosting an event in which they scored so many free kills. But, instead, I had 13,000 shuttles dumped on my lawn. 

Luckily the zKill spam filter started working on these obvious losses and within a day or two every single one of them was properly labeled as SPAM. They no longer count towards my totals and my kill-board has returned to normal once again. The entire operation was for nothing. Six hours of shooting shuttles and it had zero impact. Well, to be fair, I do have 320 odd pages of shuttle losses labeled as SPAM in my kill-board history. Only CCP could remove those and they won't. I can't blame them, they actually did get blown up.

So how did this happen? I'm no expert in this, but let me try to explain. There is a mechanic in Eve Online that allows you to use the Deliver To function to deliver an item to anyone in the game. If this item, such as a shuttle, is delivered to an abandoned structure and that structure is blown up and the item becomes part of the pinata ejected - it can be destroyed and the loss becomes part of the record for the person the item was delivered to. Like me. There is nothing in this process that you can do to stop it. The item never belonged to you, it isn't your item. You are powerless to stop it from happening.

I remain hopeful that this loop-hole gets addressed and closed before it is used against someone else. But, from what I gather, this has been known about for a long time and nothing has been done to close it. I worry that someone with less experience, fortitude, and history of standing up to bullies could be targeted by this mechanic. That is my primary concern. And frankly, I think it should be everyone's primary concern. This could have ended badly.

This is as big picture as I can write this. I haven't mentioned anyone by name. And I'm leaving out a lot of details on purpose. But this did happen and not writing about it at some point was never going to be an option. I think it is important to expose these events and not push them under the rug. Someone hated me enough to buy up all the shuttles in Jita and spend six hours shooting them one by one just to try and ruin my kill-board.