A Lesson on MMO in-game currencies, and why paying for game-time with PLEX should stop

(Circumstantial Evidence) #21

Fair enough, I should have said that giving the addresses is the problem. New RMT sites are created all the time and any CCP blocklist would be difficult to keep current. We can talk about it in general terms, like “you can find RMT sites via a simple google search” but providing the info directly, even though you are not encouraging players to use the sites, on the official forums, could run afoul of the EULA. These types of posts are typically edited by ISD at some point.

EULA section 6b:

The buying, selling or auctioning (or any attempt at doing so) of characters, character attributes, items, currency, or objects, whether through online auctions, newsgroups, postings on message boards or any other means is prohibited by the EULA and a violation of CCP’s proprietary rights in the Game.

(Taliena) #22

Realistically the inflation we are experiencing is a byproduct of botting and not the root cause problem. Trying to attack inflation directly is going to be a frustrating exercise.

Almost ALL the existing bots read the memory stack of the eve client. It took people years to reverse engineer the memory stack and find what each piece of data meant and how to manipulate it.

CCP doesn’t need to ban accounts to fix botting. That’s attacking another symptom. They can simply patch their client and effectively knock out ALL botters at once without a single ban required.

They could reshuffle the memory stack. That would mean the currently mapped out data elements are no longer where the bots programs think they are making the bots immediately useless. The botters would have to reverse engineer the stack again taking months. In which time CCP would have the upper hand on having another reshuffle ready with another major release.

They could encrypt the memory space the client runs in. That would have the same effective immediate impact. That would also require the botters to gain new knowledge in the area of decryption to continue their methods. Or switch tech to screen scraping instead of memory stack reading.

There’s probably other things that could be done as well…but the bottom line is that attacking symptoms (inflation, accounts/people doing botting, etc) are ineffectual at best. They need to cut the legs out from under the technology allowing botting to exist. Cut the cancer out.

THEN all the downstream effects disappear.

(Ronnie Rose) #23

You don’t understand. It’s no skin to the botter. All they do is employ a script and hit go. All they want to do is make real money. If they make less, who cares? It’s not like they slaved laboriously with any real skin-in-the game. They only hit the hottest thing to make money until it runs out, then they move on. They’re opportunist and anything they make is a profit.

(Buoytender Bob) #24

If you are correct, then your statements suggest CCP is either complicit with the botting due to increased player population and the resulting linked sales of Omega accounts and other in game RMT or merely incompetent and unable to utalyze simple, but effective programing changes.

Well, what do you think is behind CCP’s less than successful anti botting program?

(Bjorn Tyrson) #25

So what else would plex be used for Then? You think skins are going to drive enough demand? And once the prices crash because no one is willing to buy them. Then what’s the point.

(Ronnie Rose) #26

I don’t think CCP is complicit with the botters. I just think they don’t know how to handle them for now.

Further more ‘increased’ sales of Omega accounts do not necessarily mean paid for with real money, I mean who knows who is really paying CCP with real money when paying for it in PLEX? I don’t think CCP would even know that. But paying CCP directly for game time would remove that ambiguity, I think.

(Nana Skalski) #27

Anybody knows when chinese server goes up again? I am curious to see how the legal ISK selling goes there on chinese server.

(Ronnie Rose) #28

Ah ha, I am so glad you asked that question. PLEX would be used for other in-game services they would have to think of. None of it for P2W of course. For example, did you ever want to remap your pilot stats? Maybe paying for that service in PLEX could happen. Want to remove a stupid bounty on your head? Pay a PLEX or two to get it gone. Want to move an item (not a ship but an item) out of Jita without risk of getting ganked? Pay CONCORD a PLEX, I dunno, but there are many ways to use PLEX for other services. However, removing subscription time from PLEX would probably a big disincentive for botters to continue doing what they do.

(Rich Darine) #29

Hot thread… 3 people replying … loved that video OP thank you for posting that. I almost bought some PLEX yesterday then decided to sleep on it only to miss the sale like a dumbo idiot lol…

I think everyone overthinks things a bit, maybe you should rethink your views if there’s nothing else for you to do then bitch about this game if you don’t enjoy it anymore then take off for a bit and cool down? The game came out in a time where a subscription model was normal and I think the game is in transition and trying to find it’s place where it can be a sort of microtransactiony thing isntead. I’m kind of fascinated by the prospect of making ISK as I can and subsidizing it with my real life wallet month to month. Just my two cents.

(NotTheSmartestCookie) #30

Sigh, one of the big problems with young people is that they only look at one side of the equation. There has always been a demand for ISK by players that just want to pew or take shortcuts to flying shiny ships without going through the - often mindlessly boring - PvE that EVE offers.

CCP introduced officially-approved™ selling of gametime code on the forum and later of PLEX in order to allow players to acquire this ISK inside the game in a manner that benefits CCP. Now the only way this works is if players with too much ISK get something of value in return. That thing of value is of course free game time.

The proposal to block people from acquiring free game will mean that they are not interested in PLEX. PLEX price will therefore crater and legal ISK buyers will be enticed to explore the black market where they will get much more ISK for their $$$. Meanwhile black market traders would still be able to sell ISK or shiny ships through various RMT means.

So basically the OP is asking CCP to blow up a very large, legal part of their business. Good luck with that.

(Taliena) #31

Ronnie, don’t be naive. The botters are openly sharing their uncompiled source code all over the internet. Most of the botting programs are all built off one shared platform that is also open source.

You can download it right now, install it on your computer, and turn your character into a bot all in less than 20min. And if you want to see what they are doing and how, you can open the source code and look, and (gasp) make changes to make your bot unique to you!!!

Now think about that, if you can do that within 20min…CCP can too. They can effectively download the tool(s) the botters are generating and see exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it. It would then take a hot 30min for them to pinpoint specific changes to the EVE client that would break the bot platform. Break the platform that all the bots are built from and you incapacitate the bots en masse without having to ban a single player account and lose any of the revenue you consider to be “legal” in accordance with the EULA.

You don’t need to be Bill Belichick to realize that if your opponent is going to give you their playbook for free then beating your opponent is easier than tricking your kid brother to give you his candy.

CCP is complicit with botting. I’m sure of that.

My only question is to what level? And reverse engineering a memory stack isn’t easy, yes the botters did it over time (years)…but the client side patches that come out weekly could address this easily (too easliy). So the question is, is CCP merely complicit ignoring the simple changes that could eliminate the problem? Or, are they actively trying to do what I’m describing but the platform is continually being updated too because a CCP dev is either leaking the changes in advance or a CCP dev is actually the one creating the platform themselves as a rogue entity?

(Ronnie Rose) #32

If that is true, I wouldn’t know why then CCP would be complicit to botters? There has to be a motive…

I get the motive now! It’s all about short term gains! Its all about the money!!

(Ronnie Rose) #33

You should just pay for a subscription.

If you do put me down as a referral! :sunglasses:

(Taliena) #34

Cookie, PLEX isn’t in existence to pay for game time. That’s a side effect of its existence. It exists for the same reason as the video in the original post so eloquently describes. It exists to prevent economic collapse via hyper inflation. In EVE the death sink is so large that hyperinflation can only really exist via botting.

PLEX exists to tie the value of ISK to real currency and ensure there is no way for inflation to cause a Venezuela effect in New Eden.

Effectively, PLEX is what has kept EVE alive through the influx of bots that have attacked the game itself. Or put another way…PLEX allows EVE to exist with Bots!

(Fluffy Moe) #35

One of the best currency systems I have ever seen in any game is in Path of Exile, where the currencies double as usable items which you have to use often, thus are their own sinks to a huge extent. Though that game does have its own problems, botting and RMT is still ruining the economy there and GGG (the devs) can not fight it almost at all as it is a small company (something like 50-55 employees), they simply do not have the resources to fight it at all.

Also, on a related note, too many players here discussing Eve’s economy etc. are not even aware of the current business model and making wrong assumptions and jumping to wrong conclusions.

CCPs business model has shifted a few years ago, it is not to live off subs and / or plex etc. generated by wide player base at large. This is the wrong impression that most players have.

CCP is focusing on financial whales, multi account players with 10+ accounts. Their game design and ingame economy decisions also reflect this. Though when it started the income was something like 25% whales and 75% all others, that was a few years ago and has been steadily shifting towards the whale side since then. There is no data available as to where this number stands currently.

By default, everything that they do in the game that is good for multiboxers, such as keeping / adjusting combat sites to be done AFK, better multibox automatic logging in, ISBoxer support, etc. etc. is all also good for bots, hence we get more botting further pushing this and ruining game economy even more.

In addition, they are far less likely to perma ban accounts that have used both direct purchases from CCP as well as RMT, over those that are pure RMT, as well as the accounts that just “forget to turn of auto ISBoxer functions” on regular basis over those that flat out modify their game.

This was all done in order to pad sub / login numbers for short term gains. But it is hurting longterm really a lot.

(Taliena) #36

Ronnie, CCP can see all my purchases of PLEX and game time with real money themselves hahaha. Funny but while I was typing one of my replies here my monthly subscription fee hit my account too.

(ISD Buldath) #37

Topic moved to out of pod

(Omnathious Deninard) #38

All accounts subscribed are paid for with real money, that fact is inescapable.

(Taliena) #39

BAHAHAAHA, so a topic talking about isk, plex, bots, anomalies, etc is considered a topic not discussing EVE. I think this ISD response perfectly reflects CCP’s own view of BOTTING.

Buldath should get a raise, or a bonus for this one.

[Welcome to Out of Pod Experience]

The place for general discussion of topics not related to EVE Online.

(Ronnie Rose) #40

This explains a lot. Sounds like it’s self inflicted.

Alphas + mulit_boxing + PLEX_pays_for_game_time = Botters + Market_inflation, which could mean…Great Scott! We’re in uncharted waters, captain!