EVE Exceptionalism:Anything goes?EVE Online PanelFoundation of Digital Games ‘13 - ChaniaDarryl Woodford / firstname.lastname@example.org@dpwoodford
SUMMARY: RULE INTERPRETATION• Developer Sanctioned: It’s OK, but players may not likeit, and may impose their own sub-rules.• Cheating: Most agree it’s not OK, but some players maydo it anyway. These players can be sanctioned.• Advantage Play: This is the interesting one that warrantsfurther research. This is within the rules, but consideredcheating by somebody. This is the layer at which wedefine the *actual* rules, vs. the written rules.
EXAMPLE: EVE ONLINE• EXPLOITS– An immediate permanent ban of an account may result if:• Investigation shows that a player has employed the use of an exploit tactic despite a publicannouncement being made to alert players they will be banned for using it.• A player who has been previously warned for exploiting and continues to exploit, whether using the same exploitor another.• An account holder guilty of employing “duping” exploits. Players found to have received the benefits of this exploitmay also face reprimand, from removal of the items in question up to, and including, banning of their accounts.• A player has engaged in activity that intentionally causes others to lose connection, suffer latency issues (lag) orto crash to desktop (CTD).• A player renders himself invulnerable through the use of a bug.• A player has created, distributed or advertised an illegal 3rd party program (i.e. macro or cheat program) thatdisrupts game mechanics, is considered unfriendly or gives an unfair advantage by misusing game featuresin a way for which they were not intended.– Severe offences may result in an immediate ban without warning; however, warnings may be given for first timeoffenses, followed by account suspensions of varying degree and ultimately a permanent ban if a player:• Creates a character using a name that is misleading and causes others to believe he is a fair target, such as anon-player pirate or other NPC entity.• Is discovered to be employing the use of a third party program to macro illegally. Funds or goods receivedfrom the benefits of macroing are subject to removal from the player’s inventory.• Is aware of an exploitable bug and fails to report it to Game Masters and/or distributes the information toother players.
EXAMPLE: EVE ONLINE GM RESPONSE• Official Warning From: GM BunyipSent: 2012.10.10 21:16To: Redacted• Greetings, GM Bunyip here.This is an official warning that a large number of your alliance members have been caught exploiting the chat invite system to gain an unfairadvantage in PvP.They have been confirmed as exploiting by sending multiple chat requests to characters in an effort to give themselves an advantage. Thisincident occurred on 2012.10.02, from 10:40:00 onwards, in the WV-0R2 system.• Note that exploiting in such a way is against the EULA and Terms of Service, and could ultimately result in action being taken against theiraccounts. Additionally, dealing with these incidents takes us a great deal of time – time that could have been better spent helping players withgenuine problems.We have treated this incident with great lenience. All that has happened at this stage is every individual involved has been warned and hadtheir account marked for future reference.• Future violations may not be treated with the same lenience. Please inform your alliance to cease this activity at once or risk action being takenagainst their accounts.If you wish to dispute this, do not reply to the EVE mail. Instead, file a petition.Best regards, GM Bunyip
Advantage play• Term from gambling industry, but similar concepts ingames.– Humans always seek to optimize.• Koster (“Theory of Fun”) details how players seek to optimize theirpath through games, even when that differs from designerintention. If the code allows them to do something, they will.• Gamblers (or some gamblers) seek to maximize profit. If the codeallows them to do something, they will.• In Gambling context, advantage players will always seek tomaximize EV (expected value). A standard AFL/NRL/NFLbet at 1.91 has ~-5% EV, players look to make that positive-- handicapping or tech.
EVE COMMUNITY• Unclear:– Whether something is an exploit if the code allows it.– Whether something is ‘known’ or ‘unknown’.– Exactly what the implications of any ambiguous in-game actionwill be.
Not everybody agreeshttp://evenews24.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screen-shot-2012-03-01-at-10.02.50-PM.png
ACKNOWLEdGEMENTS• ARC Centre for Excellence in Creative Industries andInnovation (CCI) - http://www.cci.edu.au/• Social Media Research Group, Creative Industries Faculty,Queensland University of Technology --http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/