Courier Scamming and Onlining

Courier Contracts can be the lifeblood of trade and industry for market players and industrialist. CCP did good in introducing the package delivery mechanic to a station you can’t dock with, but then turned around an undid all that good by letting scammers bypass it by onlining the station. Now, I know a big part of Eve is how can you screw over someone else, and if you set up a gank between pick up and delivery and blow me up on route, well done. But at least that required someone to undock and ship and start shooting. These station lockout scams are just people sitting there afk until they get a contract notification. Hell, there’s even a 3rd party app that does that monitoring for you. That’s not encouraging better play. It’s abusing the game mechanic. And unlike your Jita isk doublers and item sale scammers, this is actually suppressing a needed aspect of the Eve economy. Haulers are less likely to take player owned structure contracts, that suppresses the flow of goods and materials across New Eden, and it further biases things towards entrenched players and corps. New players can’t break into markets, because they’re unknowns and there’s too much risk hauling to their POS.

How is sitting AFK until you get a notification to lockout your station any better than AFK ratting? But unlike AFK ratting, there are easy solutions here. Leave a station able to accept deliveries for 12 hours after the core is removed, (spin it as residual power or a cooldown period, whatever) or, CCP really wants to leave this sort of scam viable, just mitigate it somewhat by allowing courier to return the contact to the pickup station for a partial collateral refund.

I know scamming is a part of Eve, but this sort of scam, with no counterplay, almost no effort on the part of the scammer, and a negative effect on multiple other aspects of the Eve economy is not good for anyone.


Yes. Courier scams are incredibly ugly, and surprisingly easy to pull off. There should be some kind of counter play, which is not doubling down on scams yourself.

tl;dr - Fixing the system would be a massive headache. Just keep informing newbros about this scam for now.

The only counter I’m thinking of at the moment (and it’s kind of terrible), is to add a tie-in function between the citadels and contracts. I’m sure it’d be a headache for the dev’s, and there would need to be new GUI elements, but the theory would be to (a) hard-code contracts to void themselves if the citadel in question doesn’t have enough fuel to remain online until the furthest point in time the contract could exist and (b) order the citadel to refuse the owner’s order to go offline (and deny fuel removal from the fuel bay) if a courier contract (whether pending or accepted) is currently targeting it.

I agree with OP that bad decisions or ignorant plans can be punished by opportunistic players, but mechanics where players (especially new players) don’t have the opportunity to know they should second-guess the situation is bad game mechanics. It’s the same reason CCP finally (finally!) fixed the buy order scams by changing skills.

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