- Monday, October 28, 2013
- What Is Good For Somerset Mahm Is Good Enough For Me
- I had every intention of keeping all of my character assets on my three accounts when I quit. I figured that I would return to EVE Online someday, probably the summer of 2014.
- I have no intentions of returning to EVE Online now. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Once CCP Games made it clear that they were going to ignore their EULA where certain in-game groups (i.e., Somer Blink) were concerned, simply because those groups help CCP's bottom line through GTC sales, well, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
- If the rules governing real-money transfers don't apply to Somer Blink, then they do not apply to me either.
- When I sold Poetic Stanziel, that sale was done legitimately. It was done through the character bazaar. It was done before the Somer Blink scandal broke. My intention was that if I returned to EVE Online, I would do it anonymously. I'd return, use some of my PLEX assets to purchase another character, and continue playing, but without the weight of any sort of EVE fame on my shoulders.
- Everything changed once it was made clear that Somer Blink was above CCP's law.
- I converted every single asset into PLEX and then sold it all via eBay. Selling 125 PLEX netted me $1340 USD. That is certainly far more money than I ever spent playing EVE Online. I bought my subscription time. I bought GTCs (through Somer Blink, no less.) But all that totalled to maybe a few hundred dollars maximum. So I came out ahead. I don't pretend that my hours playing EVE Online have some monetary value associated with them, because that was recreational time. If I weren't playing EVE Online, I would have been engaged in some other recreational activity. I wouldn't have been out earning money.
- None of these monetary exchanges raised any red flags with CCP Games. One such transfer was 40 PLEX. You'd think a 40 PLEX transfer for nothing in return would have raised some sort of alarm at CCP Games, some sort of investigation, but it did not. The proof being that all my accounts are currently in good standing.
- Mostly though, all transactions were in the five to ten PLEX range.
- I used three strategies in getting purchased PLEX to the buyers:
- The first was to operate only during USTZ late afternoons and evenings. When the folks at CCP are off work and sleeping.
- The second was to only conduct transfers via direct trade windows; to completely avoid the contract system.
- The third was to abuse the fact that EVE's database is a bit decrepit, and that CCP uses a single 64-bit key (it used to be 32-bit, but CCP was running out of IDs a couple years ago and had to upgrade to 64-bit) for nearly every item in the game.
- Now CCP can correct me if I'm wrong, this is only supposition, but I think items are only directly attached to players if they are a top-level item. What I mean by this is the use of cargo bays and containers. If you stick something in the container, that something's owner is the container. The container's owner is the player. So anything in a container is directly owned by that container and indirectly owned by the container's owner (the player.)
- I think CCP, perhaps due to the way their database is structured, only looks for top-level malfeasance. If I had directly traded 40 PLEX to a player, then that probably would have raised a red flag. I put my PLEX two levels deep into containers, though. The PLEX first went into a small standard container, which then went into a frigate. If my guess on their database structure is correct, then the PLEX is owned by the container, the container is owned by the frigate, the frigate is owned by the player. If CCP does indeed only check for top-level trades, then their checks would have seen a cheap frigate being traded between two characters and nothing else.
- I did that over the course of two and a half weeks. As far as I can tell (since the characters are still in good standing), not a single red flag was raised at CCP Games over any of those transactions. 125 PLEX worth of transactions.
- Either I'm right. Partially right. Or CCP's security department doesn't run daily (or even weekly) checks for RMT transactions.
- A couple months ago, I might have suffered some guilt selling off PLEX on eBay, breaking CCP's holy EULA. Now? Not a smidgen of guilt. Obviously the EULA is worth nothing, since CCP has seen fit to exempt certain groups of players from its regulation.
- As for giving away my method of transacting: I considered not explaining the procedure. But, you know, what the hell. I can give CCP Games a freebie as I'm walking out the door. It's not like I didn't enjoy my two and a half years playing EVE Online.
a guest Nov 1st, 2013 174 Never
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