Rich Richman for CSM 16

Hello. I’m Rich Richman. I’m running for CSM 16.

I do small gang PVP, and I participate in some EVE talkshows and media platforms. You may have seen me flying in your space, or on a stream somewhere. Maybe read an article I’ve written.

I joined EVE in late 2019. Which means I am quite a new candidate. However I believe that in EVE account age does not necessarily mean wisdom. I feel satisfied that many of those I’ve encountered do not believe that I am a new player. New players – if given proper tutoring and motivation – might surprise you at the speed they learn.

My story
I joined the game intending to be a part of nullsec intelligence using my real life experience and language skills. This plan came to an end almost 90 days later, and I joined a smallgang PVP group and experienced high skill small scale combat. During this time, I joined in streams and chats to learn from others and to offer my input.

My CSM campaign is going to be directed towards something different. Something more serious affecting the community. I feel there are candidates that are good at lore, or balance, or playstyles. But none sufficiently address or campaign for the issue of botting and RMT, which is where I intend to step up and offer myself as council.

On Botting and RMT.
RMT is an entity that has persisted and affected EVE for more than one and a half decades. From the early “eBay RMT” to sophisticated automated networks recently, this persistent issue is a threat to EVE Online’s ecosystem and future.

Botting is the use of automated programs to obtain ISK without player input. RMT refers to illegal trading of ISK for real life money (real money trade). Both activities undermine the integrity of the game, damage the economy by affecting PLEX and resources, and is against the Terms of service for playing EVE Online.

I, through my video game career am not a saint. When I was a teenager, I used bot programs to automate and progress my character and farm video game currency in other MMOs. I sold those currencies and offered services that broke rules. My friends did too, and I became acquainted with the who’s who of this shady business. I do not do this anymore, and have not done so for more than a decade.

If I am elected CSM, I will totally and entirely focus my efforts on the most effective solutions to curb illegal RMT and botting in EVE Online. I will absolutely endeavour to find the most creative solutions to put an end to this persistent issue.

As an example of my dedication, I kept track of my bot reporting during my roaming.
In the December report of 2020 CCP revealed that 42,000 bans were issued. 15% of those (around 7200) were from player reports. During that period of time, Rich Richman received 298 bot ban emails. That’s 4% from my reports
Not a stone left unturned. Not a penny left out. I intend to use my knowledge and past connections to offer feedback and suggestions on how to cripple, undermine, and put an end to botting operations and RMT outlets by analysing how the operators work and their means and motivations to do so.

I want isk to be made in a way that isn’t agonising and boring. I want it to take attention and interaction which would assist bot detection.

The sellers and their mules should be aggressively perused until their supplies run dry. I know that stopping small scale private RMT is difficult. But with a better strategy I hope to reduce the demand for illegal RMT through a combination of making it riskier to RMT but also easier to make money without grinding for ISK.

I am an independent and new candidate without the burden of the past, but with the wisdom and zest of the present and future. I am a candidate aiming to strike the heart of video game’s oldest issue.

Below are two articles I’ve written about events, updates, and topics in EVE Online;

Are you going to disable abandoning structures too?

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So your going to get CCP to actually play their own game?

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How do we know you’re not blowing smoke? considering you have a history of RMT in other games?

[CAPF] Gergoran Moussou Today at 9:06 PM

Yes. He and I both RMTed in the same game, many years ago. RMT in Runescape got a lot harder when they added those overly heavy-handed trade restrictions that almost killed the game.

Noraus and FRT bots hates Rich Richman now kekw

where is this quote from if i may ask?

Trask talk Tuesday discord.

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Seeing as I’ve been quoted repeatedly here, I do think that Rich is sincere in his anti-RMT crusade.

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Because a decade has passed, and Runescape is a very different game to EVE Online.

ProTip: Being on CSM does not help combat bots and RMT at all, at least not worth struggling it for a whole term, thus really does not fit here.

There are more targets you can try to achieve.

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I understand. I’ve spoken to past CSM members and I’ve gotten the impression that their role is their title; they are there to counsel as councilors. They have little to no say if CCP has different goals.

My intention is to suggest and advise creative ways to address the issue of RMT and bots. Why people do it and what can be done to bring it down.

Both through in-game changes, and out of game strategy.

For example - people are motivated to RMT because making ISK is a tedious and boring activity. People illegally RMT because they receive more isk per dollar.

Solution. Make isk grinding less tediously boring. Make it attentive and interactive, with greater payments. This discourages the need to RMT. Proceed to reduce illegal RMT by aggressively pursuing sellers.

This should result in a reduced demand for RMT, and greater demand for PLEX instead of illegal RMT.

Making a campaign around RMT and Botting sounds weird to me, obviously players don’t like them, but I’m sure CCP hates botters even more

We have almost no input or discussions with Team Security. I’ve been on two CSMs, and we’ve met with Team Security one time.

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That’s unfortunate to hear.

Unless it’s NDA and unable to be answered;
During the one meeting with team security, were you able to have any kind of discussion relating to botting and RMT?

Is the lack of meeting because it isn’t necessary/not needed by the council, or a choice by CCP not to bring them in to meetings?

You can read the CSM 14 minutes and see what we talked about in that meeting. Yes,. it was primarily about botting and RMT.

Page 48.

CSM 13 talked with them primarily about real life threats.

Page 19.

Generally speaking, they don’t like talking about this stuff because it tends to get into specific situations and they don’t/can’t/won’t share that info with the CSM.

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Thank you for attaching these and directing them, Brisc. They’re prior to my time, and I’m quite surprised at what was discussed especially with the changes that have been made since then.

I’m aware of the alternative methods RMT groups earn virtual currency. When I was involved, these methods were employed too. And of course it was a cat and mouse game to farm and RMT the latest methods.

In a video interview with Jared Psigoda by Markeedragon (who both at the time were heavily involved in RMT), Jared mentioned that hacking - whilst unethical and frowned upon - was a method that people involved in RMT employed in order to get currency to sell.

Of course this interview is over 10 years old now, but it indicates to me that the methods remain the same. I strongly believe that 2FA and standard security checks make the hacking methods of the past far more difficult.

I do not think anti-bot changes should be stalled simply because of the fear that “they’ll start hacking accounts”. It is a legitimate fear, but I do not believe the exchange is worth it.

I’m not surprised to hear that botting has become a highly discussed and top concern lately, though I have my own personal concerns if my own zealous stance on the topic is too far. I feel due to my playstyle in-game, I will have a lot of experience first hand of what nullsec botting looks like and the impact of it currently.

The methods of countering botting and RMT they’ve discussed cover some suggestions I would offer, but none too detailed or in depth. Some suggestions to counter botting - such as punkbuster - I wholly disagree with and would immediately object as a method.

Can you give me an example of a current MMO with loot drop pvp that has a playerbase the size of eve, or slightly bigger that has no botting and RMT?

Without something as drastic and draconian as 2008 Runescape’s removal of free trade and almost all methods of significant wealth transfer, completely defeating RMT is extremely difficult. Perhaps impossible.

Loot drop PVP MMOs are becoming a slowly dying breed in my opinion. So many MMOs and PVP games are no longer PVP loot drop and risk. We have to consider this fact when answering this question.

By extension, during that time botting had actually reached an all time low. This is indicative that RMT is heavily tied with botting as there are attempts to expand and automate the money making process to be more efficient and profitable.

Of course once the ability to free trade and freely transfer wealth returned, botting and RMT flooded back.

Ergo, I do not think “no botting” and “no rmt” will ever exist given that even the lowliest MMOs have illicit automation, and there’s always quiet exchanges between people selling ingame money for real life cash.

I do however strongly believe that there are games that have taken strides in combatting RMT and botting. I’ve detailed this in my article listed above of the success of other game devs.

Their aggressive pursuit of RMT and botting, combined with innovations and creative solutions have crippled RMT markets.

That would be a better example of a game with reduced RMT and botting.

Hello. I’m Rich Richman, this is an update to my CSM 16 Campaign.

If elected, I will be representing Fraternity, but without compromising the principal platform and goals of my CSM campaign.

I reflected on my campaign platform following the recent updates.

I have decided to expand my scope and vision for the future health of EVE Online, and the changes that will benefit it.

While my platform is unique among CSM candidates, the feedback I received was anything but; I have been advised by multiple past and present CSM on the subject, the gist of which is that the security team is not always present or even intractable and I may feel powerless and useless. I was not aware of this specific detail; however I am not surprised.

I am glad to see changes in the form of in-game methods to frustrate botting and RMT.

Fighting RMT and botting is not simply a security team issue, but one that affects all facets of the game. Changes to the game include a perspective that includes how it affects RMT and botting. If a games content is too repetitive and static, it is at risk of being boring and tedious, and prone to automation.
Groups shouldn’t need to rent out huge swaths of space to often shady groups in order to tap into its wealth. The methods for group wealth generation are flawed and force groups to conduct themselves in this manner.
It shouldn’t be this way. While a cure or remedy to RMT is important, prevention is always better.
People are driven to do these things because of the nature of the game. It is tedious and creates a system where players are easily burnt out, especially those in the primary sector of EVE.

As mentioned, I am a new player. One that has yet to reach 2 years in the game. There is a lot I’m eager to learn, and with my youth (in game) comes the opportunity to learn without letting old values cloud my judgement. The feedback and council I offer is built from my interpretation of what I see. The perspective of a true new player.

I am not on a crusade against null bloc alliances, nullsec, or anyone for that matter. I want to be clear on that. RMT and Botting is a borderless threat - it is not limited to any group, bloc, alliance, or community.
In the past, I have publicly shared my perspective in the form of humorous videos and images, and I held great animosity for large groups, diplomacy, and their structure.
However, they do not reflect on the values I share today as experience and a little time has changed my views.
My views – like people – change, and I knew that being stubborn and closed minded will leave me dull and limited. I wanted to better understand other playstyles and put myself in their shoes.
Socialising with line members and representatives of various areas of EVE has given me sympathy and understanding for them, and I have grown to understand the game better than if I had remained ignorant.
I am firm in my beliefs, but also hold an eager and open mindedness to learn, and have a great curiosity for the playstyles of others.

EVE Online has become quite a passion for me and I will endeavour to make it better.

To me, Nullsec is linked with the health of the game and it has a right and reason to exist – to co-exist – in the game alongside other playstyles.