Issue 7
Year 2
2007-02-15

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BoB Devs Controversy

Tuesday, Feb 13

It started on January 30th when Kugutsumen, also known as AnthonyZ, posted the first part of his series “Reikoku Makes Its Own Luck.” In this first part he showed alleged private messages from the RKK internal forums that showed one character, Lord Stone, a director in RKK, offering a job to another director, Gunstar Zero. The catch? The job was at CCP: It was immediately obvious from the Pms that Lord Stone had disclosed his identity as a CCP employee.

The next part, posted a few hours later, followed another character, Ishos Rerajan, who became the head of the Band of Brothers capital ship fleet . He, also, was fingered as a dev, and accused of cheating, and the character of Ishos was forcibly abandoned.... But not before he left 8 T2 BPO's to the RKK directorate, including those for a Malediction and a Sabre.

Part 3 related to the Serpentis invasion of Fountain, which apparently a RKK director, Dianabolic, had advanced notice of, but refused to share because he was “sworn to secrecy by CCP.” Also in this thread, RRK director dimensionZ allegedly stated that “I never kept informations from you i beleive, hell even t20 secret infos i had in the past, i trusted u all with those.”[sic]

At this point, both stories had been cross-posted by Kugutsumen to the goonfleet.com internal forums, by way of a hacked forum account and met with by much uproar. Threads were posted on the eve-online.com forums about it, but instead of responding to them CCP simply locked and/or deleted the threads, claiming that it was an inappropriate place for them to be discussed. In retaliation to this censorship Remedial gave permission to Goonfleet members to spam the Corporation, Alliance and Organization Discussion (CAOD) forums until CCP gave an official response.

Within fifteen to thirty minutes kieron, CCP Community Manager, had posted a thread stating that CCP was looking into the matter and left the thread open for discussion of the topic. Twenty-four pages of drivel, baseless accusations, and flames later he closed it until further notice.

Parts four, five, and six of Reikoku Makes its Own Luck were posted in the following days and seventh part was promised but never materialized. Part four outed a total of five CCP employees from Reikoku using their IP addresses, two of the forum accounts linked, interestingly, had all but one of their posts deleted. Part five showed evidence that some members of RKK, and potentially a developer, sanction of account sales and eBaying ISK. Kugutsumen quoted Dianabolic as saying “I dunno which annoys me more, the fact he sold it without speaking to us or the fact he didn't offer it to us in the first place.” Part 6 related to a RKK member caught using a macro who was not banned for it, although posts in CAOD indicate that he was warned and may have been banned temporarily.

In one of the many threads on the eve-online.com forums that became devoted to this discussion, the head of BoB, SirMolle, stated “We play the game on a high level, we have a high profile, this isnt the first accusations of cheat, hax, and god knows what else that has been flung at us. The tinfoil hattery is amazing, i know that you would love for us all to be framed for some conspiracy. Since we are all still here, all the accusations are totally baseless. There will be devs in every alliance in the game, and i for one, do not wanna know who is a dev or not, i want them to be in the middle of everything,from low level gaming, to high level gaming, so that they see the issueswe all face, from day to day. Face it, you love the drama and the conspiracy theories, and thats all there is, drama and conspiracy theories.”[sic]

Some days later, despite having complied with previous instructions from CCP and closing his forum to the public, all five of Kugutsumen's accounts were permanently banned by CCP. While CCP refuses to comment on this banning, citing their privacy policy, Kugutsumen posted the message he received when banned: “Hi It it is my sad duty to inform you that your account has been banned from our server for various violations to our EULA and TOS. I want to refer to the Terms of service. http://www.eve-online.com/pnp/terms.asp 7. You may not violate any local, state, national or international laws or regulations. 16. You may not engage in any activity that increases the difficulty and/or expense of CCP in maintaining the EVE Online client, server, web site or other services for the benefit and enjoyment of all its users. 18. You may not communicate, post or publicize any subscriber’s personal information within the EVE Online game world or website. 25. We reserve the right to ban any user from the game without refund or compensation. Account that has been banned is: sullafelix gilagila Best regards, GM Nova Senior Game master EVE Online Customer Support”

Much argument has come about because it is widely believed that Kugutsumen lives in Indonesia, where none of his actions would have violated article 7 of the ToS. Some people on the forums have also been interpreting the citation of article 16 as CCP banning him for being a whistleblower, while others have taken it to mean that he was banned because of the difficulties his hacking had created for the community as a whole, such as when he hacked the goonfleet.com forums (allegedly under hire of Lotka Volterra director Lallente). While the article 18 citation is not disputed, it is a rather common violation and it is rare for it to lead to anything other than a minor warning.

The controversy took one final swerve when EVE developer t20 admitted to having illegitimately created the T2 BPO's that were given to Band Of Brothers. He denies, however, leaking any information to them despite alleged claims by dimensionZ on the RKK forums, which were officially denied in CAOD by BoB whose representatives stated that Kugutsumen forged the information.

Interestingly, however, it was claimed by CCP that this was uncovered during the summer of 2006. t20 was supposedly not fired because only the summer staff was on duty at that point in time, and they had felt as though it would be overstepping their boundaries to take such an action. He was, however, given unspecified punishment for is actions. The T2 BPO's were, however, not removed form the game until the issue was brought into the public eye.

It is also unusual that it took so long -eleven days- to formulate a response since, according to the devblog by CCP's CEO, the allegations had been uncovered roughly half a year ago one would expect that this could be resolved more quickly. However as CCP has declined to comment further nothing can be done save speculation.

CCP does seem intent of preserving its appearance as it has promoted senior GM Arkanon to Director of Internal Affairs. In his devblog, posted today, he stated that “I believed, and still believe that we owe our player community the right to be the focus of EVE, without paid employees using dirty tricks to swing our universe in their favor. Even playing by the rules, I frown on employees being power players to the extent that their gameplay results in any sort of domination over others. I don't believe CCP employees should run the EVE universe; that spot is reserved for the paying customer. EVE is a sandbox, but it's not our sandbox. We're here to keep it clean and provide the sand.”

-Vera Nosfyu

[Editor’s Note: We feel that it’s important to give CCP time to respond to these accusations. So far, however, enquiries have been met mostly with a closed door, zero transparency policy. It is obvious that something has happened, however, due to the murky nature of CCP’s response, it’s difficult to ascertain the extent to which the improper behaviour affected gameplay. There have been several very nebulous and uninformative blogs from CCP employees that hint around, but nothing terribly solid. Obviously, most information that is available is from Kugutsumen and must be questioned.]



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