Albion Online player steals an in-game billion’s worth of assets from a guild in a self-described ‘long con’

    
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On the one hand, you have to respect a good caper, but on the other hand, this particular bit of thievery that happened in Albion Online saw assets stolen from Fricks, a guild that reportedly tries to help new and inexperienced players through the game. So that kind of sucks.

According to a report of the theft on Reddit, a player by the name of Huhfesstus worked their way in to the guild’s inner circle, which promotes officers through an internal election system. Once Huhfesstus made his way to this tier of trust, he looted Fricks’ coffers to the tune of over 1 billion in in-game assets. And counting.

When Huhfesstus pulled the heist, he left a message in the guild’s Discord, which mentions that Fricks’ association with the CLAP alliance has made it “many enemies, many who will pay others to hurt them internally.” The message also notes that there are “many rats in the alliance,” implying that there are members of Fricks’ own leadership that helped Huhfesstus insert himself and perform the so-called “long con.”:

As one would expect, other guilds are loath to include Huhfesstus into their membership despite the player attempting to sign up to them. The player has also been banned from the Hardcore Expedition Discord server, meaning he’s short on friends. That said, there was one reply to the Reddit post from a former EVE player who remarks that the theft makes them feel like they’re at home. So there’s that.

source: Reddit, thanks to Captain Aegis for the tip!
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Dawn

“On the one hand, you have to respect a good caper”. No I don’t. A crook is a crook, I don’t even play this game and think this guy is an ass.

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Ernost

Once again reinforcing my decision to not touch this game with a ten foot pole.

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Erik W. Young

I have been a member of Fricks for about a year now and I feel like there are some details left out of this story. As somebody who was one of Huhfesstuses preferred group members I played with him pretty much every day. The first thing that needs to be said is that this supposed long con is complete nonsense. This is a player who lost a battle mount (extremely expensive for the average player) in a fight that didn’t go out way. And what did he do? Started ranting and raving about what should have been done differently and then logged out before the event was over to vanish for the next 5 days. Not a word to anybody nothing. He logs back in and steals everything he can get his hands on, destroys our crafting station to add extra grief before leaving so we can’t make any gear to supply ourselves with. This is the story of a 19 year old kid getting his panties in a bunch because he lost something valuable he knowingly risked and felt entitled to his money back and then some. The supposed story that he was long conning us is absurd. Why would somebody become so we’ll respected, create content, train new players, implement systems that made us far more profitable and made us more money than he could ever steal. A competitive guild Blue Army was looking at him because he already had this idea in his head and as soon as word got to them about what happened they dropped him hard. Whatever fictional allegiance he has is nowhere to be found. In the end he will be forgotten and we will persevere. Other guilds we were in direct competition with for the past few months even came to our aid with donations and in 24 hours we had more donated than he stole so we didn’t skip a beat. Meanwhile he has nobody.

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Arktouros

Why would somebody become so we’ll respected, create content, train new players, implement systems that made us far more profitable and made us more money than he could ever steal.

I actually became guild leader of a guild I was spying in once.

Put me in quite the predicament :)

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Bruno Brito

Ok, but…isn’t having such a democratic way to lead a guild allowing for people like this who clearly lack the mental capacity to stay cool in stressing moments to have the opportunity to screw everything?

Maybe take this as a lesson and change how your guild chooses trusty people to lead.

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TShozenwon

Great additional info Erik, I’ve been talking with both GeeVeeBlack as well as Veetus about the theft and am glad for the Non PR perspective. Ive been hearing from the guilds he has applied to and everyone has given him the NOPE.

Sometimes players get away with actions like this and other times they get Brown Listed.

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mysecretid

Thanks for giving us another side of the story, Erik, it sheds a lot of light.

One of the best lessons my father ever taught me has been, “Never risk, lend, or gamble what you can’t afford to lose”. Sounds like this guy never got that memo — and a number of others — while he was making his way to 19-years-old.

I’m glad to read that your guild is doing better than ever now, thanks to the support and generosity of your fellow players.

While I’m quoting things here, they say that “Living well is the best revenge”. It sounds like you and your guild are living well; long may it continue.

Cheers,

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Arktouros

Promoting people on an internal election to officer positions where they get access to this kind of stuff is a recipe for disaster. I’m not going to go as far as to say they deserved it, but I will say that with such ridiculous guild management policies it was only a matter of time.

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Bruno Brito

Democracy really doesn’t work for gaming, does it?

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mysecretid

Democracy relies on consequences for those who try to screw the system, so yeah, not the best path for online games, where people are as anonymous and unaccountable as they want to be.

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Robert Mann

Insiding: One of many ways of admitting you and yours are too lame to actually manage a fight without resorting to shady tactics.

It’s also incredibly common. PvP players will talk a lot about how rare things are, and in overall terms that is true enough. The problem is that even a few such events have a huge impact. Especially when dealing with people who want either fair competitions, or who want their gameplay to include elements such as honor and respect for others.

The impression people have of PvP games, is largely built by what the community has done. For some, it’s similar to the struggles of people who have loose association, not of their own choice, in real life. People see the behavior they don’t want around, and unless you are standing firmly against it they will rarely have seen the good behavior to counter that. Further, when there’s no way to recognize people reliably, and no real consequence to the bad behavior… then you end up with people saying “It’s going to happen, and keep happening, and that’s not something I’m okay with.” This is why so many ‘NOPE!’ right out.

Developers and PvP players hold enough power to fix this, to where people might not want PvP games, but would stop at least people from complaining about the bad behavior of players so much.

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Arktouros

Betrayal happens in a variety of environments and not just PvP.

There are a huge number of ninja looting stories from EverQuest of people who got into leadership positions within guilds only to steal loot and then ebay it away later. I had my own experience with betrayal in WOW PvE where one of the guild leaders just straight up noped out with the guild bank of all our raid materials and joined a rival guild instead with all our stuff. When the rest of the leadership quit and we picked up the pieces and moved on they were upset we were doing so well and had people ninja loot the raid as much as they could (Domo chest, using points on gear they didn’t want, etc).

People rag on this kind of stuff with PvP because they already dislike PvP and then when they hear of a negative story in a PvP environment they jump on and exclaim, “See! I was right in my dislike for PvP!” of course no one is really that direct or truthful about it.

That guy is basically done on that character. No reasonably well run guild will ever take him as a member. You can already read on reddit he’s tried to apply to numerous guilds and the only ones that are taking him are inviting him then immediately kicking him so he’s on a 3 day lockout timer. He can start a new character, he can change his name, and he can do all those other things but as “Huhfesstus” he is effectively dead. He went out with a bang, but he’s still out. Even even if he was part of some other group if he rejoins them that’s political heat that no guild wants because now that guild is also considered equally untrustworthy. So this idea there’s no consequences to his actions is just objectively wrong.

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Giggilybits

I play Albion Online, enjoy the gathering and crafting but stuff like this makes me sick to my stomach. This has nothing to do with In game play and really should be looked at by the devs.

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Leiloni

I think this is impressive and not at all unusual for heavy PvP games. I’d say politics and drama along these lines are more the norm for games with any sort of PvP focus at all. Perhaps not to this extent (this seems like quite a time investment), but these sorts of politics, intrigue, and drama is what fuels the PvP. This is what creates enemies and friends. The idea of having a spy in your ranks is all too common even in less hardcore MMO’s that merely have an OwPvP element.

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Nim

Giving people who exhibit this kind of anti-social behavior attention/coverage has always rubbed me the wrong way. There’s nothing exciting or romantic about spending months or even years convincing a group of people you are their friend only to stab them in the back over what normally amounts to “got bored lol” or “someone bruised my ego qq”. It takes all sorts to make a game interesting, but insiding poisons games and is the antithesis to the content that real pvpers want.

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Jon Wax

Maybe y’all take the concept of”friends” a bit too lightly.

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Bruno Brito

Not really.

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Jon Wax

If you get jacked by strangers odds are you were never friends. Seems like a good recipe for someone to capitalize on others neediness?

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Bruno Brito

This person spend years building relationships. You’re reading too much into how personal relationships can be. Most of them are recipeless and happen in their own way.

One of my best friends is polonese. I’ve helped with suicidal thoughts, with leaving her abusive ex, she helped me with drawing, with finding better people.

This shitshow speaks more about him than about whatever you seem to grasp here.

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mysecretid

I was thinking to myself, Bruno, that if I were a potential employer, and I knew that this guy was my real-life interviewee, I would not hire him.

Games are just games, sure, but the fact that he spent so much time and energy screwing over people who trusted him to various degrees, says to me that he’s generally fine with whatever he thinks can get away with in life, so long as he can justify it in his own head.

On the plus side, he probably has a great future ahead of himself in politics or business. Maybe even modern law enforcement. :-D

I’d better duck out of this thread now. Be well, my friend!

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Bruno Brito

Basically. I’m all for keeping gaming stuff on gaming, but this wasn’t the case, he interacted with people and broke friendships on a whim. It’s clearly something that goes beyond gaming.

Specially now that people told it was more of a temper tantrum.

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Schmidt.Capela

I would extend this to any and everyone who is a griefer, as in intentionally engages in actions mainly designed to cause grief to other players.

I don’t care how much any such player claims that this is just an in-game behavior, that they are different out of game; from my decades of experience with gaming and gamers I have a deeply seated belief that the player’s personality is the main element of how they engage with other players, and as such anyone whose motivation to play is to make others unhappy is someone I never want to work it, or even interact with, in the real world.

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Jon Wax

Man I used to get tons of flack for the phrase “how you play the game is how you are in life”

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Jon Wax

Then you didn’t actually know them til the very end

This is why rule number 1 is never abide a liar. Don’t allow them around.

I know a lotta people online and off

Ive learned over time you can’t take trust for granted.

In games like this you gotta always consider worst case. Even in the long term

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Nim

Wow Jon, that’s a really interesting response! I’m going to assume for a moment that you do have friends, and maybe you even have someone you consider to be your best friend. So in your world view, if your best friend decided to burn your house down, it would just mean that they were never really your friend and it’s your own fault for being too needy?

inb4 “That’s different that’s real life and we’re talking about video games.” Maybe consider that the way you treat people online has a real impact on their mental health.

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Jon Wax

Plz see above response

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mysecretid

Indeed. The fact that online PvP games have largely gone from “online competition” games to “digital sociopathy simulations” is part of the reason I have no interest in PvP games at all.

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Solaris

This behavior has existed since day one of Ultima Online. It’s the nature of any online game that offers any freedom at all.

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Jon Wax

That’s mostly due to the gaming structure not the community zeitgeist

Mostly

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Bruno Brito

Well.

Ark, is this the PvP you want? That sounds actually awesome and hilarious.

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PanagiotisLial1

Its a weird, but it is something not uncommon on full(Mortal Online etc) or close-to-full(EVE a portion of your destroyed ship modules drop randomly) pvp sandboxes. Alliances try to hurt each other from “inside”. A side effect of that is you cannot join a big guild on most of them unless you come on voice comms. Also they run a full check of your history. I like some of them but a lot of “baggage” come with these games.

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Arktouros

Yes, but not all the time.

The part that’s compelling here is that the things stolen had value. Many games things simply have no value and since the things have no value it makes victory/winning rather meaningless because you won nothing of value. It also makes losing meaningless because you typically lose nothing of value as well. Victory is sweeter and loses more bitter when it all has value.

However because things have value and other people covet your things of value you have to be on guard with people. Are they trying to take advantage of me and get my things of value? Can you promote that guy who’s always on and available and helpful to a leadership role or will he just steal our stuff? Then that distrust turns to you and those you trust to play more till they burn out which then creates problems in trying to replace them.

So it’s a bit of a double edged sword, extremely fun, but also kinda exhausting being “on” all the time.

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Bruno Brito

What would be your security tools to keep a PvP game with intrigue, but not being something that would burn you so much?

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Arktouros

I think a variety of game modes within a game would probably be the best solution. One of the downfalls you see in a lot of PvP oriented games is there’s really only one PvP ruleset in general for the game as a whole. IE: A faction RvR style game is invariably a faction RvR style game across all servers. In the past you ocassionally saw a FFA PvP server sometimes (IE: DAoC Mordred) but that still is pretty limited in scope.

In tangible terms of game potential of games coming out I would probably argue Crowfall is the most interesting because of it’s campaign mechanics. Campaigns are designed to be limited duration with variable rulesets. So maybe there’s one campaign that’s super hardcore and lasts a month and then when that resets maybe you chill, relax and go into an easier, longer 3 month faction campaign for a while to cool down a bit.

Things are still meaningful within the context of that campaign, but it’s limited duration allows for a reset so even if you lose everything not a big deal, there’s always next campaign. This also allows for diplomatic shakeups and intrigue on that level as well. Your allies from one campaign may very well end up your enemies a few campaigns later and what access/secrets did you give to them?

The challenge of campaigns is the “Guild Wars 2 weekday” issue. While Fridays are still packed in GW2 8 years later by Tuesday a lot of the fighting has mostly died out because the winner has been decided and there’s no more point in playing. That’s dangerous because if two weeks into your month long campaign the winner is already decided then that’s two weeks where people just aren’t going to play. So something would need to be balanced/designed to account for that as well. PvP is pretty complex when you get down to it, as much as PvE players call it the lazy route it’s arguably harder to do right because you have to anticipate the actions of players which is far harder than just designing some AI encounters you entirely control.

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Jon Wax

Map size

If the map is the correct size you can’t just bang around and derp on people

If maps made travel feel like travel instead of mall walking then areas of value would organically serve as known pvp areas whereas more obscure areas become overlooked or ignored

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PanagiotisLial1

A more medieval fantasy way of upper echelon politics, lol