EVE Online scam highlights the value of friendships over ISK

If you’ve ever studied the psychology of con men and abusers, you know that one of the ways they get people to trust them is to offer some sort of trust first to generate an obligation of reciprocity in the victim. That’s exactly what happened in a massive recent EVE Online scam.

PC Gamer chronicles how over the course of a few months, EVE player Samantha Myth wormed his way into the officer tier of Amamake Police, a close-knit corp known for flying elite ships. Using ill-gotten gains from a previous scam, Samantha purchased an elite ship of his own and lent it to Amamake Police member Tikktokk Tokkzikk. Exploiting the trust he’d just generated, he then talked Tikktokk and two other pilots in the to corp to lend him three outrageously expensive ships, including Tikktokk’s well-decorated Chremoas.

And then he took off. The three ships were gone, sold on auction by the scammer, obviously no longer a trusted member of Amamake Police.

The bright spot of the story is that the winner of the scammer’s Chremoas auction offered to trade Tikktokk’s Chremoas back to him in exchange for a generic one.

The sad part is that Samantha spent over a year building what could have been genuine friendships and traded them for what amounted to $300B ISK in a video game.

Tikktokk told the blog that he wasn’t even that upset about losing the Chremoas. “I was just sad about losing a friendship. This guy had been flying with me for 16 months, and he’s probably the guy I’ve flown most with in the past year or so. He’s one of the few people who I actually really enjoyed playing with, we shared the same style. I like to do really silly stuff and I quickly get bored, so I move from activity from activity. He shared that passion, or pretended to – I don’t know anymore.”

Source: PC Gamer
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93 Comments on "EVE Online scam highlights the value of friendships over ISK"

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possum440 .
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possum440 .

This game was and has always been trash.

The devs are corrupt drunks. The majority of eve players are the same. What these dregs cant do in real life they do behind the anon of a computer because that is who they are.

They flit around with like minded friends and think themselves “normal”.

To the comment about this is exactly what would happen in real life…..no it isn’t, in real life that person would be killed.

The only plus to this game is the number of utterly stupid stories that come out of it. Those incidents that started out small and blew up through word of mouth or pure hype into the stories these rags supporting eve publish.

They feel the need to support and laud the game, I have the right to trash it as it deserves.

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Sean Drohan

Sounds like someone needs a xanax…

While some gameplay may expose true character flaws (as this one seems to be), all games are a chance to try on different personalities – some briefly, some longer.

Perhaps this guy’s desire (and I am not defending the act) was to be what we often see (and celebrate) in film – a long con that results in a heist of a lifetime. While it did have a modicum of real-life consequence (emotional distress), this played out with no one losing real money or getting hurt.

Eve does have some level of uniqueness, most notably that its developers are very hands-off when it comes player interaction, but all MMOs are subject to what is detailed here. To say the game, or its patrons, are ‘trash’ is a bit of hypocrisy IMHO.

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Sally Bowls

Friendships are very valuable; IMO, “friendships” in a game, especially EVE, IMO, much less so.

IMO, I would disagree with the characterization in the title “EVE ONLINE SCAM HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIPS OVER ISK.” IMO, this shows how worthless EVE friendships are. I think this situation shows that ISK, or most anything, is worth more than the mistaken pretence of friendship in EVE.

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Melissa McDonald

I know the game isn’t for me, but I always enjoy reading tales from this crypt.

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primal

Eve is one of the few games that allows this type of activity and its great because if this was real this is exactly the type of stuff people would be doing in real life. well they do it in rl now but being 1000 years in the future or whatever isnt going to change our behaviour. Star Trek paints a pretty picture of what we’d all be like in the future with us all coming harmoniously together but its a pile of crap, wed be more babylon 5 than star trek

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vinicitur

And that is why B5 is better than star trek : )

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socontrariwise

How pathetic do you have to be to get a thrill out of stabbing a friend in the back, someone you spent a lot of time with over 16 month?
I mean seriously, you have little life if you feel like taking this little bit of money while loosing someone you spend all this time with. There is a total disconnect here, literally, on a social level, if spending this time together, making the memories etc … doesn’t mean anything to preserve it. How shitty do you need to spend 16 month to feel it is worth this little bit of money?

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primal

this is what happens in Eve all the time. Just like real life. Besides his intention was to steal this stuff from day 1, he wasnt his friend he just had to make him believe he was to get what he wanted.

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Mike BH

This is the kind of news that annihilate thousands of hours of CCP’s devs & marketers to recruit new players with easier mechanics and tutorials and community support.

In 5 minutes.

Every quarter.

For a decade.

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Sean Drohan

Why?

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Hirku

As always, thanks EVE for being the roach motel of online gaming.

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rafael12104

Just a few thoughts given what I’ve read below.

First to all of you who support Eve and on occasion defend it, hey, more power to you. We know that not all Eve players are scam artist. BUT, here is the dealio.

The permissiveness of allowing shitty tactics and scam game play like this is reaped in two ways. First, you become less trusting, more isolated and silo’ed. The social aspect of the game suffers to a degree. Second, and of much more importance, is the fact that other would be d-bags trying to make a name for themselves will follow suit.

The real sin, in this case, is that real online friendships have been compromised. Now, even if you aren’t close to the situation, you look at everyone with that jaundiced eye. You become more cynical, selfish, and suspicious. But what the hell, it is just a game right? Heh. You reap what you sow my friends; you reap what you sow.

dixa
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dixa

the glorification of this type of behaviour by giving it any type of press coverage only encourages more of the same.

and people wonder why our society at large is going down the toilet, with human more interested in taking from others for themselves instead of helping their fellow man.

well? I present exhibit A: gaming press coverage of a sociopath being rewarded for his behavior.

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Utakata

EVE Online, the game of post truth throans. :(

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Dedicating 16 months to steal and sell some ships for $2000 is damn pathetic.

If this guy just spent a single month to initiate his scam, I’d applaud his effort.

But 16 months?! Does he have nothing better to do with his life? That’s just fucking sad.

Bobuliss
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Bobuliss

This guy forgot that the best ship in the game is Friendship. Also, scams like this are very few and far between, as evidenced by the fact that this one is being covered by multiple game news outlets. Being worried that at any minute your corpmates are going to screw you would be counter productive to say the least. Which is how this works in the rare instance, I suppose.

Mukit
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Mukit

Was it a 16-month scam? Or just a dude that decided it was time to bail and got lucky enough to score some loot on the way out the door?

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Castagere Shaikura

Just another day in Eve.

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Loopy

Players seem to forget that even though we’re part of these virtual worlds with intricate settings, behind all those avatars are human beings. I’m not sure if our psyche still didn’t fully catch up with this fact, but scams like these go well beyond “roleplaying” or “harden the fuck up” that CCP is promoting. Real human beings are interacting with each other in a real way, with real emotions. Long cons like these are not different from real life, and their emotional effects go beyond the game setting even if it only involves imaginary pixels.

I know that EVE players get a lot of flak about being ruthless, deceiving, etc., and that majority of players are good, kind and helpful. But ultimately, why would somebody new to the game want to take a chance being part of a world where possibility of scheming, frauds, and long cons is not only enabled by the game, but celebrated across various communities. To me, that’s not a healthy place to be part of, emotionally speaking.

But, to each their own. The scammer will never learn any real lessons, and veterans will continue stating that there is nothing wrong with the game.

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Nathan Aldana

I think people to a degree understand that. Its just, removed from the risk of at least easily, being caught, some people show just what they always were in real life. Its the same as those people in your hometown who give the fake smiles and the polite attitude in public, but the second theyre behind closed doors talk about you in venomous barbs.

ceder
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ceder

Per the article title though, its of course also important to point out that not a small number of scammers also scam friends and even close relatives.

styopa
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styopa

The problem is that Eve not only tolerates, but condones this behavior.

Here’s why I say that: in real life, if someone TRULY fucks you over, it’s not impossible that you can hunt them down and actually kill them. You might lose your life, or certainly be jailed forever, but ultimately revenge can be served.

In the back of their mind, IRL, that has to be recognized. No second chance, no respawn, no do-over.

Eve? That CANNOT happen. There is no way to actually permanently punish said actor, even at the ultimate sacrifice of your own life, so they can rest assured that you can never, ever truly punish them. (Nor, in a lesser sense, will or can they ever be prosecuted by Eve society in any permanent or meaningful sense. No actual law, no lawsuits, nothing.)

I used to be very laissez faire about Eve, but the more I think about it, the restrictions on the universe really do encourage actual dickery to a level that I (were I a dev) would have actual moral qualms about.

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fanggwj

That actually, while brutal, totally makes sense. If EVE wants to be the uber cutthroat mmo then they need to implement a system where you can retaliate against someone and so long as the retaliator is willing to roll the dice on their account being deleted, they should have the opportunity to delete someone else’s account. Or you could have the life in prison equivalent where the player counsel determines the duration and how much the account is neutered. (sacrifice all your ships, money, skill gains, and limit the level of skills attainable to basic and perhaps block access to anything but the carebear sector of space)
That way also if it is determined by the player counsel you can politicize it such that the penalty can be overkill or dismissed on a technicality.
You could also have failed attempts where one or both parties has their accounts crippled (money and ships gone and skills reduced or capped at lower levels)
I mean if you are going to be brutally realistic, why stop short of whole hog?
Why put no limits on only a few things that protect scammers when you can open up everything and unbind the hands of those wanting retribution?

ceder
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ceder

The problem is that Eve not only tolerates, but condones this behavior.

It would be more apt to say they groom such behavior intentionally.

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kgptzac

Not sure who “they” are in this context. Do note that most Eve players wouldn’t want people of this kind anywhere near them. Stupid stunts like this makes the headline, and then somehow becomes marketing material for CCP. Sure it’s doable, but there’s the consequence which the perpetrating character won’t get into another reputable corporation.

dixa
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dixa

the total lack of any type of in game consequences for such behavior will always as a result encourage such behavior.

it’s called anarchy, and eve online is an anarchy simulator.

styopa
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styopa

Agreed. That’s a better way to put it.

styopa
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styopa

Half the problem with being scammed is the embarrassment of being taken advantage of: “how could I be so gullible?”

None of that here.

Yes, it is possible that person that’s been your friend for 16 months might be a lying scammer, and not actually need to borrow that super great thing of yours.

But you know what? I’d rather be the person that lends things to people he trusts, than be the paranoid (but safe) jerk that wouldn’t. It’s only play game money anyway.

I’m rather sure the sociopath feels it was a successful scam; in reality, he just showed he’s a soulless dick. A normal person would probably really question their priorities at that point.

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A Dad Supreme

How much is 300B ISK in real money?

There’s an old saying “Everyone has their price”. I guess an online friendship was worth whatever the real money equivalent was to Sam.

ceder
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ceder

According to one conversion site I saw, about $2500 US

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Rolan Storm

Hmm… Then I mgith saw the wrong number, then.

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Arktouros

For me with EVE this was always the great stumbling block. I always view EVE as a bit of an iceberg and I’m always just stuck in the high-sec tip. Anytime I start to think about getting into the deeper parts of the game (0.0 or Low-Sec or even worm hole) I just never can because they usually require a group of people to get in with and every time I do I just kinda narrow the eyes and try to figure out how they trying to scam me. I had one group who tried to repeatedly grief me out of mining in their system only to turn around and offer me to join them only to turn around and mention they were going to Worm Hole space. Now my first thought in that scenario was “Cool!” followed up by….I bet you those bastards going to get me to go out there, drop me from Corp, then PK the ever living shit outa me for being such a pain in their ass. Eventually I left and that was that, just back to high sec mining away.

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McGuffn

This reminds me of the time in WoW when the NPC I’d been helping for a while gave me a quest and I ended up dying.

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Crowe

LOL, nice. Caught me off guard with that one.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

It’s quite a funny story, playing the “lost a friend” card has certainly stolen a lot of the perp’s thunder and turned it from “lol at that guy who gave away a 300 billion ISK ship with 400 notches” to “Awwww…”

It’s great that there’s a game that allows for these sorts of shenaningans to occur. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of them myself but I do enjoy reading about them.

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kgptzac

The funny thing here is that the story itself isn’t, or at least, shouldn’t, be funny, because, fuck, some alleged psychopath backstabbing his friend and stole shit and profited off. Good thing if these kinds of shit entertain you, but to me, it’s another reminder that how fucked up humans can be. It’s the similar feeling when I read about Manchester, though on a lesser degree of course, but the general feeling is of the same kind.

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Veldan

Not really the BS of the real world though. In the real world, if you commit a crime, there are police, judges, and prison to deal with you. In games like this there are no consequences, other than that the people in that guild will no longer like you.

That’s why I generally hate it when games give players too much freedom. It’s not that I hate the abuse, I think the possibility of evil deeds is fun and adds something extra to a game. What I hate is the lack of consequences for those evil deeds.

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Veldan

Yeah I played AA, saw the judging system from both sides :)
It was flawed at best though. Typically the sentences weren’t big enough for people to care, and they could be sat out while AFK. So most criminals, after being sent to prison, were like “oh nice, I needed a break anyway”.

On top of that, the actual sentencing induced the same kind of bad behaviour as sandboxes with too much freedom. None of the judges ever looked at the crimes committed, everyone just mashed the max sentence button as soon as the trial began (this wasn’t always the case, but maybe 95% of the cases I’ve seen were like that). After all, there were no consequences for giving people the max sentence without even looking at the case…

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Armsbend

I walk around the world all day long and have much better experiences than any you’ll ever find in Eve.

Hey look! I found my keys! They were lost for over 30 minutes!
~~better than anything that has ever happened to anyone in Eve Online.

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Jonny Sage

See above about how you not playing EVE is a win win.

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Jonny Sage

Win win. You dont play it, and those of us who appreciate a challenge, do.

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Panzerbjorne

I find this funny and good sandbox play. Now those chaps should hatch a plan for revenge. As others have pointed out though, there is little to no justice involved in EVE for these villains. Which is unfortunate. I always thought it’d would be cool to RP as space popo in EVE but that doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion. This is not my playstyle but I can appreciate it. I’m content with pew pew against other players.

dixa
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dixa

if the scammer hides that character in a newbie corp, strips all the skills into injectors and rolls a new account there will be no revenge.

yes, that happens a LOT

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silverlock

Heck I know people who have been f’ed over by “friends” they’ve known for over a decade. Sociopath’s and narcissist’s can be very charming and interesting people right up until they do you over. Watch how people treat other’s as that will give you a clue as to how they’ll treat you in the end.

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mysecretid

Somebody told me once, “Watch how people treat those they’ don’t have to be nice to — that will show you who they really are”.

Years ago, I knew a woman who claimed to be into me — but she treated servers in restaurants like they were mere peasants , at best.

You guessed it — she was quickly revealed to be complete nightmare. So glad I never got involved with her …

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Rolan Storm

“Watch how people treat other’s as that will give you a clue as to how they’ll treat you in the end.”

Exactly.

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Nathan Aldana

This, pretty much.

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MesaSage

I guess player name choices don’t set off any alarm bells in Eve.

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Armsbend

Sadomasochism in Eve? Say it ain’t so!

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Nick Smith

In real life… people go to prison for this sort of thing.

dixa
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dixa

which is why the claim that eve is a true sandbox is a bold faced lie. if there is no player-run police and justice system that can enforce real consequences then it’s not a sandbox – it’s an anarchy simulator.

ooo blow up his ship you say? lol. no eve player with half a brain puts all of their eggs in one basket or even one account.

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mcsleaz

Video games aren’t real life, no matter how much you want them to be.

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Utakata

Err…he never made the claim that he wanted video games to be real life. While I agree the comparison is a bit problematic, I am not sure where you are getting this assertion from.

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Nathan Aldana

Theyre real life in the sense that they seem damn good at exposing just how vile some of the people we see every day in our lives truly are when theres no repercussions.

Crow
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Crow

Well, CCP is very into EVE being “real life” and that is a pretty common refrain in their marketing materials.

So, when CCP themselves buy-into this, why does anything else matter?

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Rolan Storm

You guys might focus on the fact that scammer can cash out a few thousands of dollars after selling stolen ships through RMT black market instead of emotional and philosophical mumbo-jumbo.

So all of you who say it is real correct – especially Nick. It is, game or no game. That’s just a loophole – still a crime.

Crow
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Crow

It comes back to how sandboxes want to be “realistic” while providing wholly unrealistic crime and punishment models.

Middle-Earth Online had a GRAND idea that a character could work up to permadeath. While the MEO approach was misled by the idea that evil would “work up” to perma-murder the opposite is what works best.

I love griefers and murder-hobos. I think worlds work well with player villains. That said, a player whose game content is to murder needs a real stick to make it worthwhile. Even Somali Pirates, who are the best 1:1 comparison, let people go if they can’t make money off it. They know sinking a ship is want to attract attention they can’t afford.

I just want games like EVE and Elite and SC to be actually real in crime and punishment.

dixa
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dixa

there is nothing ‘realistic’ about the lack of consequences. there is nothing the victims can do here it is too easy to hide the stolen goods and get away scott free in this game.

bounties? nobody cares. hunt him down? nobody cares he’s one player who can easily go hide in a newbie corp so the only way you will pop him if he’s not in low sec is to suicide gank which would trash the standings of this ‘player run police corp’.

you can’t have realism in a true sandbox without an actual government in some form. eve online has no government.

Crow
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Crow

I think EVE is becoming, quickly, a relic of the past against waves of games that place teamwork over deception. Companies know that positives drive long-term play and economics. And that things like this appeal to a small sliver of the population.

This is, actually, the first EVE article of the sort that focuses on the missed connection.

We all, likely, have real world experiences that fit this mould, too. We’ve had friends who seemed to be cool and dedicated who got what they wanted and then jetted off elsewhere, never to be heard from again. Their play at friendship is merely a means to get them ahead.

At a certain point we need to address, as people, how absolutely horrific this is. In 2003 it was different, but after the recession, housing bubble and now THIS current political environment… encouraging ruthless and terrifying selfishness holds a a totally different meaning in 2017 than it did in 2003.

dixa
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dixa

games that require teamwork have always trumped hardcore pvp sandbox games. eve online still has yet to reach the 500k sub mark. yes, they have millions of accounts after 14 years, but concurrent subs?

500k was where everquest 1 peaked. 300k for ultima online. cooperative and community building is the hallmark of the mmorpg genre for the genre is built on the backs of the nerds who sat around their dining room table making up D&D campaigns throwing dice on the floor and Cheetos at each other. no pvp in D&D

Crow
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Crow

500k was where everquest 1 peaked. 300k for ultima online.

THIS THIS THIS
The MMORPG genre doesn’t actually have more than 500k players. And pretending otherwise is why so many companies lost out in trying to gain a portion of a marketshare that never existed in the first place because RP isn’t marketing.

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Iridescence

EVE players know the risks. Anyone who has played the game for even a day knows to be very conservative with who you trust in game. These guys had fun in the game until they kind of foolishly put their trust in the wrong person. They can presumably grind a bit in the game and get new ships, it’s not like their life is ruined. If you want a game where this can’t really happen go to the 99% of other MMOs out there. Why must everything be brought back to RL politics and economics when many people play games like EVE to get away from that crap?

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Nathan Aldana

Its been festering far longer than that, though. Its the same attitudes I saw in the (fundamentalist) church of my youth some 25 years ago. The idea that money or power makes you virtuous, and therefore anything taken in pursuit of power or money is forgiveable as long as you succeed in your aims.

Crow
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Crow

The idea that money or power makes you virtuous, and therefore anything taken in pursuit of power or money is forgiveable as long as you succeed in your aims.

Preach.

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