Wednesday, October 29, 2014


You are in the pub with your mates. There are a lot of you there so your not bothering with 'rounds' and instead have gone for the "Beer Kitty". Everyone has stuck £20 in a pint glass in the centre of the table and thats used to pay for the rounds of drinks. However when nobody is watching you hide the glass under your coat, make your excuses and leave. Yeah you just lost a gang of friends, but look, you have made £120!

Anyone think thats a good idea? Hopefully not. Now put that story in an Eve Online setting and suddenly some people see that behaviour as perfectly reasonable.

Last week a post appeared on my corporations directors forum. Entitled "Corp Theft", I groaned. We'd been hit. As I read it, reading how the "Apprentice" hangers had been cleared out which are the lowest level of access reserved for our noobies and junior members, I thought it must have been someone who recently joined. Then I saw the name of the accused.

I was already formulating my reply in my head. "Nope, you've got your facts wrong. There is no way that guy would steal from the us. I've been flying with him since 2008. We've got hammered together on corp meet ups. I introduced him to the wonder that are gentlemens clubs! We've been to Fanfest twice. I gave his girlfriend a ticket for FF 2014! I bought them enough drinks to float a battleship this year! Smeg, his GF moaned at fanfest that she created her toon in a rush and wasn't happy with her so I contracted over a spare PLEX I had so she could resculpt. No way he'd stab me in the back like that after I vouched for him and got him into this corp. No way."

Minimising Chrome, I booted up Eve and looked in the Apprentice Hanger. Everything, from ammo to frigate and destroyer hulls, were kept in containers so everything was logged. I looked at the logs, and unlike those ones that the GM's review when responding to your petitions, these logs did show something. They showed 'he' had emptied everything.

I checked the "Old Bro's" channel for ex-members of the corp we were both directors in back in the day. I asked if he was there. No answer. I sent a convo request. No answer. It was late and I was about to go to bed. I posted in the directors forum, asking them to wait until I had a chance to speak to him before taking action. There must be a logical answer why he did this.

Just before I closed everything down he responded. Yes he did it just as we left faction war to go full pirate. He wanted to stay in faction war and decided to take everything he could before he dropped and joined another FW corp.

Getting shafted like that really hurt. Getting shafted like that for a mere 500m ISK really, really hurt. They say never go to bed angry. I went to bed f******* fusrious.

The one question I keep asking is "Why?". Its probably a question many Eve Online players ask after they suffer a corp theft. If its a random guy especially new ones is because they were planning it or just an asshat, but why do so called friends do it?

1. There is no real come-back in Eve Online.
The asshat in the story at the start of this post could well end up 'paying' for his actions. His (now) ex-mates might report it to the police and he could be charged with theft and gain a criminal record. His mates might decide to take matters in their own hands and he could end up with a black eye and a swollen lip. There are many things that could happen to you in real life if you stole from friends. Online, nothing is probably going to happen to you. Some hate-mail. Some name-calling. Some bitter disappointment. A tip off of to your new CEO. However no real punative action will be taken from you. Its crime without the potential for time!

2. Online Friends are Different to RL Friends.
I suppose there is some truth here. Knowing someone online is never the same as knowning them in real life. They is the internet between you and them. Therefore do they think stabbing you in the back isn't really like stabbing a real life mate in the back in real life?

3. Your Online Character is not 'You'
Many people say that they play their character as a 'dick' or not a very nice person but thats only 'roleplay'. "Oh I play Chaotic-Evil in game however in real life I am an amazingballs person". Nope. I think its the other way around, like the movie 'The Mask'. Playing a video game is escapism however its a mask that allows the real you to come out. Dick in game? Well I hate to say it but.....

4. John Gabriels Greater Internet Dickwad Theory
Then again number three above does go against the GIDT. Is it all the internets fault?

5. Weldons Law
Or may be it is just Online Gamers - Don't be a dick.

I don't know. I really don't.


  1. Six months ago something similar happened to me in my corp but from one of the directors. I'd been to fanfest and meetups with them. They took seven billion in ISK and around another seven in crap that was lying around the corp office. As far as I can tell it was to teach me a lesson for trusting them because you can't trust anyone in life, eve-life or real life. Seriously, WTF!

    That person's husband had also been in the corp and replaced the seven billion ISK. It was several months before I even mentioned to non-directors this happened as shit like that can ruin corps.

    Maybe her point was true, maybe you can't trust anyone but that would be one shitty way to live a life.

    You should review your actions and security, if you're happy you did nothing wrong nor can improve anything without making changes you are uncomfortable putting in place then move on - that 'friend' is dead to you now either way.

  2. According to CCP it is working as intended. The whole game was built with this in mind:


    And some wonder why EVE is a fringe game...

  3. Just imagine if you had an open recruitment policy! lol.

    No matter how many times this happens it hurts. Doesn't really matter who or what or why, it just does. It is betrayal at its worst and nothing anyone says will change that. All of those things you said are all true and the usual usual people will say the usual usual things about it. But it doesn't change the basic facts in my opinion.

    I've been thru this many times and all you can do is take the steps you need to take. I suggest screenshots and report them on the sites built to report them. I have no idea if it helps or not, but it always makes me feel better.

    Then review your procedures, double check everything, roles, and whatnots. Our incidents have resulted in a much better forum, TS and role system, so some good has come of our own experiences.

    In the end there isn't anything else to do but move on. I refuse to let it change me, I'm still trusting, open, and doing things the way I think they should be done.

  4. I was more amazed that someone with whom we'd flown with for so long would burn bridges for such a pathetic amount. It's not like it was some Eve record setting ISK theft. Goodness, I have that much in just wreck loot from our time in FW that I have yet to decide what to do with. But like you said...the game is a consequence-free way to be your true you...

  5. The other thing to remember is in EVE we're all immortal. We die all the time only to wake up with a gasp in a clone vat. How do you punish an immortal? Take away their clones? Do that and you put all capsuleers at potential risk. Nobody would let that fly. Now, if I wanted to really punish a capsuleer, I'd keep them on an IV and strapped to a bed. It's what we used to do in MUSH's when someone got out of hand, just put their main in a 'box' for a little time out. Allow that capability for a committee of title bearers and maybe this shit would drop off to something approaching RL. If they leave the game, then they couldn't HTFU anyway.

    -Xavi Bastanold

  6. Who was it?

    - Than

  7. While it IS working as intended... and it is... and I have very good friends who have gone through this to the tune of multi billions of ISK, it is simply a matter of no puttin yourself into a position where it can happen.

    The guys we fly with now I have know for ALL of my evelife and I trust them, just not with ANY role or access that can fuk us. Period. And they feel the same about me, even though we are friends and know each other extremely well etc., etc. And, TBH, I prefer that they (the 2 directors of HELPeR) do not allow ANY access that can screw anybody in corp.

    Could we be screwed? Yup... we live inna hole inna POS and only 2 people have any real roles... so I protect myself, from my good friends, by only having such ships, mods, etc. in the POS as I have already written off mentally... if lost, assploded or stolen, it is as it is... if/when we move on and I get any of it back out to an Empire station... it's a win.

    As for a 'good' internet friend being an asshat... well, its a game, not actually RL, as much as it affects us and as invested as we can get... and I am heavily invested in the game and in my friendships here... I never lose sight of the 'fact' that unlike RL we DO have the very real freedom to explore modes of action and reaction that we simply CANNOT and most would NEVER actually explore IRL...

    My friend who ripped off an old corp said it was partially to check off an EVE Bucket List item... and because RL had reduced his time etc. ingame and to keep playing without PLEXing or being bale to CC the sub, and still afford ships etc., this gave him the backroll to keep flying.

    Good reason's o totally burn internet (Mumble and TS) friends trust and game?? mebbe... mebbe not... but after all is said and done, it is a game and unless yer a fool, what happens in EVE does not make you miss a mortgage payment or go short on food or end up in the hospital... the effects are mostly emotional... not physical and not financial no matter how much ISK can be equated to RL money.

    It does suck and I did not let that particular friend back in my evelife until recently... and it will color our shared time forever... but no matter how real it feels, its a game. And one where we know the rules allow this right off the bat... so...

    Caveat emptor my friends... caveat emptor.

  8. One of the good way I find to avoid this kind of petty theft is that my members are making more isk in group in my corp than they would be elsewhere. Our group provide content, and an environment that would not be easy to replace, so our members would lose something by betraying us. Moreover, if I feel one member becomes bitter about something and cannot be made happy again, I kick him. We do not steal his stuff, we bring it back to HS, we pay whatever pending payment to the person kicked, but we kick them. Because someone who is not happy to play with you is very more likely to betray you than someone who enjoy his time with your group.

    There is also the fact that most people would not steal because they would feel bad about it. I would and most if not all of my friends would. People who does not feel bad about it are not people you want to stay around. Your betraying friend taught you one very valuable lesson: he is not to be trusted. Fortunately most people can be trusted. You lost only 500M in this, which is nothing. You gained a healthier environment.

  9. This is one of the reasons why I don't play EVE anymore - people can be a d1ck and get away with it, and you can't do anything about it.

    Sure you can blow up their ship, pod them, mail their new CEO or something... but it wouldn't even hurt them as much much as they've hurt you.

  10. 500m isk to find out someone cannot be trusted. Could have been a whole lot worse so seems like a fair price.

    Never trusting anyone makes for a lonely universe though.

    1. EVE corporations are some of the finest MMO design ever, from roles to corp hangars to wardecs to... everything. It is so skillfully designed for encouraging unrestricted assholery that begs to wonder how the thing didn't crashed and burned yet.

  11. You are so bitter angry Onions!
    First there is one thing they will lose: friendship. If you personally value friendship or hqving generally good relation with people, you gain a lot by being a member of a group of like minded people. These kind of group are strong and nice to be around.

    People betraying their friends and allies are soon without any and either get bored and leave, or join groups of like minded assholes and therefore spend their time with betraying assholes. I'd rather be the nice guy with other nice people and the occasionnal traitor delqying my plans.

    If you are so pissed about someone betraying you, you do not have good priorities.

  12. I don't understand the mentality. The argument that it is internet pixels or just a game sounds hollow to me since the interactions between individuals are certainly real.

    Theft for a strategic goal at alliance or corp level I can understand but that is very rare. This particular case is just daft.

    And yet I am glad it can happen. I don't think the game would be as strong if it could not.

  13. This is one of the cases where it is important to take a deep breath and consider what your in-game actions do to the out-of-game relations you have created. It's one thing to join a corp, never really make any connections, and then leave with a bang - but another thing to backstab people who went out of their way out-of-game to make you feel welcome.

    At minimum, a private heads-up before the theft would have been a decent thing to do. It wouldn't have made the theft better, but burnt fewer bridges. And I'm also going out on a limb to state that actual role players would do something like a private note, because they can distinguish in-game and out-of-game actions.

    It's true that one appeal of EVE is that such things can happen - but the consequence is that betrayals like such can destroy very real relations between very real players. The meta game cuts both ways.

    (And I have the sinking feeling that I have met that person and his GF at this year's Fanfest…)