This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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1 Apr 2014

OOC Entry 106 - Sacrificed on the marketing altar

With this post I will do two things which I never did before: I will throw a serious j'accuse at CCP and at the same time defend a griefer. Even me - a currently inactive player - could not miss the perfect storm in the EVE community that was created by the Erotica 1 Bonus Room Affair. I was following the threads and blogs and comments with a rather blasé attitude, and then this happened:

Let me make one thing perfectly clear at this point. I have nothing but contempt for scammers and griefers who prey on the weak. The practices of Erotica 1 and his friends at Minerbumping are among the worst examples of in-game behaviour that can be found in EVE as far as I am concerned. Still, in this particular ruling of CCP I see nothing but a marketing lie and Erotica 1 became the convenient sacrifice to prop it up.

A Dangerous Hypocrisy 

When Ripard Teg wrote his blogpost, both the EVE community and third party media latched on to it and the reaction was largely negative with only a minority defending scamming and related practices as legitimate gameplay., The public image of EVE had taken a serious hit: Obviously this must be a game where sociopaths and sadists can freely engage in their despicable activities and are fully condoned by the game's creators. At a time when the influx of new players into EVE is as high as it hasn't been in a long time, CCP found itself at an impasse: Should they let this slip and stand vilified in the wider gaming media, or should they take action and possibly alienate a significant part of the playerbase by putting restrictions on the sandbox.

In the end they opted for a singularly double-faced approach. They declared to the playerbase that nothing will change (after all, real-life harassment has always been forbidden) but simultaneously kicked Erotica 1 from the game.

The problem with this is, that CCP is guilty of serious, and dangerous, hypocrisy here. While Erotica 1 has become a very prominent scammer and griefer that could be made an example of, many similar and even worse practices still go on. Goons will still scam people out of all their stuff with the false promise of a membership in their ranks. The New Order will still obsessively hunt and kill every "carebear" they can find, over and over again, openly declaring that they want them gone from the game. ALODs will still be published on websites, accompanied by articles that publicly ridicule the person who managed to lose an expensive and/or ill-fitted ship in a stupid way. The collecting and publishing of tears and rage continues at an unmitigated pace. Racial slurs and misogynistic trashtalk still persist both in-game and metagame communication.

EVE has not become any less infested with the likes of Erotica 1 or even worse griefers. As Erotica 1 states himself on reddit:
If I'm banned, then there are thousands of players, with clear evidence on the internet and within logs that should be as well for more aggregious(sic) activities.
Of course CCP can not, and will not, do that. They have made their bed (or sandbox) and now they have to sleep in it. That bed is infested with vermin, but they show all the world how they have removed one flea and now probably expect everyone to accept that as proof that everything is fine.

But that's a lie, and with this lie they pave the way for remaining griefers and scammers to reel in new victims who have been given a false sense of security. After all EVE is fine now that this "evil sadist" has been banned. CCP is taking action to defend the weak against such abuse.

Pardon me if I laugh bitterly at this.

The Gevlon Defense

What I really respect Gevlon Goblin for is putting his money where his mouth is -  Alekseyev Karrde on DOW Episode 71
What really should have happened here is a promotion of in-game retaliation. Gevlon Goblin - in my view - is a pretty crazy person, but he did something that hundreds, if not thousands, of others who complain about Goonswarm have not done: He tried to create trouble for them in highsec to a degree that they would be hurt by it. One can discuss the level of success he had with that endeavour, but he decided to look for an in-game (and metagame) solution for something he perceived as an in-game problem: The influence Goonswarm and their allies were having in highsec space.

All those people posting accusations and screaming for a ban (if not even a prison sentence) for Erotica 1 could - and should - have instead done just that. Warn everyone publicly and thereby restrict the pool of potential victims for that scammer. Harass the New Order with wardecs and counter suicide ganks. Infiltrate the organization of Erotica 1 and his friends to steal right back from them. In the past, I became aware of one stratagem where a griefer and troll was hit hard and life in his favorite hunting ground was made impossible for him: That was when Zedrik Cayne set up Socratic.

All those people with their righteous rage could have done similar things with Erotica 1.

Actually, if CCP wanted to mess with the sandbox to support the weak, then they should implement a way how victims can actually band together and make life more difficult for the perpetrators. What if all those mission runners who have perfect standings with the Caldari Navy could pool LP to gain a docking ban charter for known scammers and griefers, evicting those guys until they got their standings back up? Erotica 1 would have to move his assets out of Jita and could be attacked, not to mention having to look for a new hunting ground.

The whole problem here is not that there are people who will do their malicious best to exploit the uninformed, the naive, the gullible and the weak. The problem is, that there is very little the victims can do to fight back against someone who basically sits in a station and conducts all his nefarious business from there.

I would even dare to say that people like Erotica 1 would appreciate the challenge.

Instead, CCP opt for a publicity stunt at the cost of one particular player who I personally would call the most elaborate scammer and griefer, but certainly not the worst, and ultimately at the cost of more new players who get blindsided by that publicity stunt.

If I were to put it as outrageous hyperbole, I'd say CCP just scammed a lot of potential new players in ways that Erotica 1 could not have done better.


  1. I liked your idea on Reddit that you mentioned here. Yes, I would enjoy the extra challenge!




    1. My idea on Reddit? I haven't posted anything there.

      Now I'm confused.

    2. I think I can explain that. It was me who posted the question on the reddit thread after the two of us had our conversation about the subject.