I’m trying to remember the last time I read something about EVE Online that involved typical features of an MMO. Like, I don’t know, new missions, new ships or character classes. Instead, every time I see EVE in the news, it’s for players looting and pillaging the in-game economy. Because this is basically a galactic Libertarian wet dream, this kind of thing isn’t considered cheating, hacking or even an exploit.
The makers, near as I can tell, typically respond with something along the lines of “Jolly good show!”
This time, the Goonswarm faction figured out how to exploit — even though that word isn’t being used by maker CCP — a reward system introduced in the recent Inferno expansion. Trying to explain it makes my head hurt, but the basic feature here is, with the expansion players were rewarded for ship kills with “loyalty points” based on the value of the destroyed ship and cargo. A bug meant they also got loyalty points for surviving cargo. So a group of pilots began destroying their own freighters full of minerals, using the spoils to buy items for sale.
The skullduggery didn’t end there, writes Massively. CCP fixed the bug, but then the GoonSwarm figured out how to artificially spike the price of an item up to a ridiculous number. Then they destroyed haulers full of that item, reaped the “loyalty points” for doing so, and cashed out the points for nearly 5 trillion in ISK, Eve‘s in-game currency.
“You have our condolences as we roll around in literal Scrooge McDuck towers full of your ISK,” Eve player Aryth writes on the game’s official forums. “Numerous publord superstars have taken massive losses as we slam buys to nothing, then erect gigantic, unassailable walls of sells at a price that ensures that any stock held by anyone is without value. This last part has mostly been done because we can.”