EVE Online is one of the granddads of the massively-multiplayer genre. Yet, even with a decade's worth of love and attention under its belt, all it takes is one intelligent player to take a feature under its wing and heartlessly break it.
PA Report's Ben Kuchera collected a fascinating anecdote from the game's executive producer, John Lander, during "Fanfest", a real-life event celebrating all things EVE. Simply put, an expansion added the concept of spendable "Loyalty" points for destroying enemy ships, with the amount of points awarded based on the value of the ship. One player, however, came up with a way to, uh, leverage the system.
It started harmlessly enough with the player buying up all supplies of a cheap, "useless" item. From PA Report:
"He put them back on the market for a hundred ISK, or more, and then one on the market for a billion ISK. He then buys the item for a billion ISK. He's now moved the average price of that item from one to around half a billion .. That is now the average price of that item on the market. He then puts that completely worthless item on a ship, and gets his friend to blow him up."
The end result of the gambit being a bunch of Loyalty points to spend on goodies. Unfortunately, it had the negative effect of knocking EVE's economy for six. The issue was eventually fixed, but not without some investigative work from developer CCP -- the details of which you can check out below.