Thursday, May 21, 2015

Banned from Eve!

"I've been banned from Eve!"
"Yeah for EULA violation apparently"
"What did you do?"
"I have no idea!"

The above is a quick summary of a a Google Chat I had last night with the mate I work with. I worked with him back in the UK where I got him into Eve. I then later got him a job out here in the sandbox where we work together. Its great having a best mate in the office, it's even better when they play Eve. However the atmosphere is slightly more icey this Thursday morning as I type this up.

He's mad bro.

Now I just need to stress that in-game we are totally different. I'm a low-sec PvP'r, he's in one of the major alliances of the CFC, sorry, The Imperium (queue the Imperial March music please). So I really have no idea what he's doing. However he tells me he hasn't broken the EULA as far as he knows and doesn't do anything edgy. I believe him. We talk Eve A LOT. I'm pretty sure if he'd been doing something nefarious he'd have told me, especially as we're drinking buddies too and get hammered together regularly.

When CCP suspend your account whilst they investigate suspected EULA violations they give you no details. It would be like a policeman coming up to you in the UK.

"I am arresting you on suspicion of doing something naughty. You have the right to remain silent, just like I do!"

OK, that's not fair. CCP aren't governed by the same laws. They can ban anyone they want for any reason they want. However, Eve is not just a game. Its a hobby. If I got banned from Titanfall I'd go "Whatever!". If I got banned from Stronghold Kingdoms I'd be like "Thats probably for the best.". If I was to get perma-bannedd from Eve that would be devastating. I'd have about an extra day of free time each week in total. My annual holiday plans would be completely changed. My blogging and Tweeting would nosedive. You cannot compare Eve to a game. Its the same as scuba diving, skiing, mountain biking or other hobby people get passionate about.

We've spent some time pondering what it could be for.

1. CCP think he's account sharing.
If CCP were to look at his account they will see he's all over the place according to his IP addy. One minute he's here in the Middle East another he's in England and then a bit in America. Obviously he doesn't have the ability to clone-jump in real life, he doesn't own a real life interceptor (that would be awesome though) nor is he account sharing. He's using a certain bit of popular software that is even more popular with expats over here. He swaps his connection between various servers to get a faster speed when one server is slow or to access services that need a local IP like certain TV channel players. In the last week he's had the "You've not logged on from this IP before, please give one of your character names below" every time he's logged in. Could that be it? He says he hasn't been doing much in the last week as his alliance was still sorting out with the Sov. He's been moving his stuff about but not much else.

2. SPAI!
One suggestion is that he posted something inappropriate in fleet/corp/alliance chat and a spai (remember he's CFC/Imperium) and someone reported him for that. He says all he posts link-wise are Buzzfeed and he never talks in local. So unless someone has come up with an excuse that lolcats violate the EULA its unlikely.

3. Hacked
He's been banned before. Many years ago he got a virus (he must visit dodgy websites eh Mr X?) and hackers got into his account. They took his ISK, sold his ships and then went onto the Eve-O forums and posted links that they knew would get him banned. That way they were all clear by the time he got his account back and realized it was a heist and reported the theft. He's ran several deep virus scans and cannot find any evidence of a Trojan or keylogger. Still possible its a hack but who knows.

This whole situation terrifies me in three ways. One, could this happen to me? I'm careful to be a good boy (in a EULA sense) in game as a ban would hit me hard. Secondly, I believe Mr X that he has done nothing wrong. We all get things wrong and its very possible CCP has got this wrong. Could they get it wrong with me. If it is 'option 1' above then its scary. I use the same ISP as him (seriously guys, no choice out here!) and I also use the same provider of IP software he does. My PC is approximately 13,239 metres from his. Am I next?

Finally it terrifies me that this bloody computer game, just pixels and ones and zeros, can mean so much to a bloke who hits the big 'four oh' in January. If anyone ever reordered the audio from the Red Dwarf episode "Backwards" and reversed it, like I did as a teenager in the late 80's, to find out what the promoter was screaming at Kryten and Rimmer was, you'll know it was...

"I'm addressing the one prat in the country who has bothered to get a hold of this recording, turn it round and actually work out the rubbish that I'm saying. What a poor sad life he's got!"

May be I do? Then again we've got four and a half hours of work left before we finish for the week and go get hammered at the pub. 'ave it!

I asked Mr X if he'd like to add anything here......

I hope the investigation is swift and that Mr X is exonerated and his accounts are reinstated. Because to me, if he really has done nothing wrong, its truly terrifying.

UPDATE 21 MAY 2015 - Just over 24 hours after he was banned, Mr X received and email from CCP saying he was unbanned and he was credited with some game time. I can confirm Mr X is now...

P.S. Just like to add that I'm not saying CCP has done anything wrong. They have a reason/suspicion which may be, or may not be, correct in the end. This post is more about my reaction to the ban than anything else. We'll see what the result of the investigation is and see.

P.P.S. If he's fibbing to me and has been a naughty boy then sorry dude, CCP are acting correctly.

P.P.P.S. I really don't believe he has, he's too much of a Eve fan to purposely break the EULA

P.P.P.P.S. I think we need a pint! Usual Kronenburg?


  1. There are a whole list of things that he may have done that would breach or infringe upon the EULA. Unless he has a made a study of things, it is entirely possible he could have been caught out. Avoiding the rather cliché suggestion of RMT amongst null-seccers, does he multi-box? He might use client modification that is only recently banned. Perhaps he received some proceeds of RMT, and his first strike was already used up. The possibilities, as they say, are endless...

    Nevertheless, I hope he gets his account back, if he has done nothing wrong.

    Rob K.

    1. We covered those too actually. He's more into PvP and actually recently bought 6 PLEX from CCP recently. Also we are both British expats working in the Middle East in the private sector. RMTing is just mad. He doesn't use isboxer or similar and no Client modification. Although he had to reinstall Eve recently. Crapcleaner was a suspect.

  2. They just relocated all their capitals. Says he doesn't account share but getting "hacked" before ... wondering if he moved someone else's super or if he let someone move his.

    1. He's not a super pilot (space coffin) and he moved his own carrier. Good suggestion though, we hadn't thought it might be anything along those lines.

  3. Does CCP even ban people for account sharing?

    1. Absolutely. I know some titan pilots who shared a corp titan got banned.

  4. Oh man, I honestly have no idea what I'd do if I suddenly got the ban hammer for some reason. I am so careful. It would be devastating to say the least. Hope things get sorted quickly.

  5. This is the second incident of CCP acting a bit unfairly I've heard in the last week. The other is a friend who can't get access to a rare ship and they deny he's even had it (when he can prove on their website he has). I'm starting to wonder if the CCP customer service team are feeling a bit down due to the potential strike threat (see reddit).

  6. 24 hours after the ban hammer was swung, Mr X got an email from CCP saying he was unbanned and crediting him some game time. Well done CCP for a very quick investigation into the matter!

    1. Might want to edit this latest update into your blog post given the nature of it. Just saying.

    2. Yes, I have added it in with UPDATE in bold :)

  7. That's... That's... A bit scary.
    I'm getting afraid, since I resubbed to Eve just recently and I'm getting that "type in your charname" every day when logging in.

    1. We'll probably never know what it was, but resolving it within 24 hours was really good by CCP.

  8. He probably used a warpcorestabilizer :p .

  9. Hmmm... this thing about playing from different IP addresses arousing suspicion: I'm currently in the process of moving house and have been playing from about 3 or 4 different IP over the last week; although in my case they're all in the same town so I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.

    [PS if and when you're ever back in the UK, Travelodge WiFi is super stable and the game plays really well on it. Just in case...]