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Eve Online

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Original author: 
Jim Rossignol


As Eve trundles towards is tenth anniversary, and I baulk with disbelief that it has really been a decade since I quit PC Gamer and spent the summer playing Eve and Planetside 1, CCP have started rolling out celebratory things, including a fantastic space timeline that illustrates the rich backstory of the game’s universe. I was never particularly invested in Eve’s fiction, but it’s impossible to deny the work that CCP put into it, with an encyclopaedia of short stories and even a few novels.

Ten years! I put in five. You can read about them here. I wish I could go back. I miss you, Statecorp.

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EVE Online! Since the servers first rumbled to life nine years ago the deeply political, single-shard MMO has been a source of endless fascination for RPS, on a par with helicopters. How do they stay in the air?

But what’s happening in EVE? Last we heard, some of its most famous chaps were grumbling or rioting, followed by something that continues to feel like a controlled peace. We needed an update, and so it was that CCP sent over a crate containing Senior Producer Jon Lander, Lead Game Designer Kristoffer Touborg and Community Developer Sveinn Kjarval. Together, we would get to the truth.
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Click here to read When Did Video Game Characters Start Looking This Damn Good?

The correct answer, as EVE Online players already know, is last year, when an expansion to the game brought about avatars that must surely be the envy of every other video game involving human characters on the planet. More »

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Many games feature invisibility in some form. An excellent moment I recall from my days in World Of Warcraft was necking an invisibility potion to run past a load of mobs I couldn’t fight, while my rogue friend stealthed his way through. (If only that game had more such emergent highs.) Anyway, the Invisible Bastard joy I want to talk about is probably only applicable to Eve Online, although I’d love to know about any parallels in other games. It’s a thing that stood out for me over the years and something I loved, because it spoke of persistence, human psychology, the value of patience and the delight in being a big meany. I would leave my laptop logged into Eve, with a character cloaked in various star systems, and do nothing, for weeks.

Why would I do that?
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Today, a rummage in the RPS archives brings up Jim’s fond farewell to Eve Online from late 2009, documenting his dramatic half-decade as a leading member of a successful corp. He’s seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Oasa. He watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tenerifis Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to repost.
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It’s on nights like this one, when sleep is denied me, that I miss Eve Online most of all. I would have spent it hunting, leading fleets, and indulging in the stuff that makes the game so special. It’s funny, because I realise that those who have never played Eve’s PvP game will never know what I am missing out on, now, let alone what they have missed out on, always. For all the writing I’ve done on the subject, I’ve never been able to capture quite what it all means in terms of a cerebral, tactical, persistent challenge. There is nothing quite like it. That singular nature means that videos like the one below – a forty-minute tale of sophisticated, high-level combat through Eve’s wormhole space – are possible. You should watch this video, even if you do not believe you will ever play Eve, because it captures the drama, the control, and the mathematics that are integral to the PvP game.

And it makes me acutely aware of what I am missing out on. The guys making this video are hardcore PvPers, even by my standards, and it’s impossible not to admire their dedication. Perhaps I was found lacking. Thanks, Roburky.
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Two players of the Eve Online MMORPG pulled off a Ponzi scheme that netted them over 1 billion ISK (Eve Online's currency, a sum that can be exchanged for about USD50,000). They ran the Ponzi scheme like any other, soliciting customers for "investments" that paid out better-than-market returns, but those returns were generated out of the "investments" of new suckers. The con was both legal and within Eve's rules, and it's not the first or even the second massive (lawful) in-game fraud to hit Eve. The scammers have published a long postmortem on their effort, including some accounting information and ruminations on the hard work it took to hoover up their billions in virtual skiffy funny-money.

Why did we do it?

We had a lot of reasons actually, but above all there is one thing that's NOT the reason. Most probably we will disappoint a lot of people, even make more than a few a little angry for a while. That, in itself, has never, ever been our purpose. We consider that to be a collateral matter. However, enough about what wasn't the reason for doing it.

The main reason why we did it is; because we could!
But, of course, we don't do everything we can. One should imagine that we have a lot of people with an account on Phaserinc.com. That account will be secured with probably the same password as their EVE online accounts. We could have easily run all these accounts through our EVE client and stolen a lot of assets as well as ISK. But we didn't do that, simply because it is illegal - not allowed by the game rules. We don't want to go there.

That brings us to the other reason: What we did is allowed!
It's allowed, even encouraged people say, by the game rules as defined by CCP. We find that to be very important. We didn't want to go into any cheating, or illegal area. We wanted to play the game, and beat it in a different way than with PVP. And, there's another reason. Contrary what we made people believe, we are actual PVP players on other accounts. We have been in the game for a while and have our share of killmails (since 2004.) We now wanted to beat the game in another area. Unfortunately for some, that means beating other players at this game.

The last reason we want to mention is: It brings us a lot of ISK, obviously.
We don't have to worry about ISK for a very long time, now. No ratting or trading to earn ISK to pay for ships and ammo. Just hunting with our friends. When we founded Phaser Inc. we set ourselves a goal. We wanted to break the trillion border. The total profit of this project was aimed to be over 1 trillion or 1.000.000.000.000 ISK. We already gave away that we've reached that goal. Some financial details are published below.

Eve Online Space Heist – One Trillion ISK (GamerGaia.com)

Phaser Inc. Eve Financial Services

(via /.)

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Click here to read Oh Look, Another Multizillion-Spacedollar Scam Hit <em>EVE Online</em>

Only in an MMO is a gigantic financial crime a) subject to absolutely no punishment and b) a sign of the community's health because hey, it's all role-playing, right? Once again, we're looking at EVE Online. An intergalactic space Ponzi scheme fleeced investors of 1 trillion spacebuxx or whatever that currency is called, which the perps can put toward a lifetime supply of game time and still have a bunch left over for all the other shit they want to buy in-world. More »

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Click here to read <em>EVE Online</em> Thinks It's &quot;Real&quot;

After a little, let's say, negative publicity of late, EVE Online developers CCP have released this trailer as a reminder of why people play the game in the first place. More »

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I hope he didn't pay for that hairline

Eve Online’s laughably expensive pretend clothes drama seems to have settled down – officially-speaking, at least. Last week, developers CCP flew the Council of Stellar Management (a collective of player-elected Eve, er, players) to Iceland for crisis talks about what the hell to do about all the online screaming. Both parties have reached some accord, and as far as I can tell it didn’t involve locking the CSM in a dungeon and slowly flaying all the skin from their bodies until they whispered “Yes, charge for everything – the clothes, the ships, the ammo, additional starfield colours… You’re right. You were right all along. Kiiiiiiiill meeeeeeeeee…”

What seems to have been determined in the wake of of this “perfect storm of bad luck, bad planning and bad communication” for sure is that there will be no pay-for-unfair-advantage microtransactions, that lower-priced vanity items are necessary, that more communication is needed and that there are tech issues which need a-fixin’ asap. The problems were “a perfect storm of bad luck, bad planning and bad communication,” apparently. Watch a chat between two very tired-looking representatives of both sides below…
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