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All about EVE and getting even [the MMORPG]
The Financial Times (of London) ^ | March 10, 2007 | Chris Nuttall

Posted on 03/17/2007 12:24:13 PM PDT by 1rudeboy

Traders in London and New York are apparently addicted to an online game that lets them behave like Gordon Gekko and Master Chief at the same time.

EVE Online, a rare hit from Reykjavik, is not one of those warm, communal efforts at Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). It is brutal, backstabbing and rather proud of it.

Not surprisingly, its 200,000 players are 95 per cent male, with half coming from the US and the bulk of the rest from Europe. Large numbers are based in New York and in London, where a supercomputer serves up the game as a single universe, as opposed to the multiple servers or shards of something like World of Warcraft.

Trading for items is a key part of the game using the ISK – inter-stellar kurrency, which is also the symbol for the Icelandic Krona.

One player set up a bank, offered high interest rates and then paid the interest from other deposits before trying to convert $200,000 in ISKs on eBay. He was caught and ejected from the game. Others staged a successful IPO in the game to raise money to build space stations on the edge of the universe.

No sooner had they done so than they were attacked and taken over by another fleet, meaning investors lost all their money.

“It’s all about power – financial, political and military, it’s a dog-eat-dog world,” Magnus Bergsson, chief marketing officer for EVE, told me on the fringes of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

“You have a space ship and it can be full of valuables. I’d collected mine over eight months and I lost everything in a matter of seconds when I was attacked. I cried for about three days.”

The dread of losing everything forces people to team up to protect their assets and Magnus says these friendships driven by fear mean the social ties are stronger than in other games.

“The people in EVE Online, although I never see them, really are my friends. You don’t get many chances to save a friend’s life, but in this game you do.”

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: gamers; games
There is a reason academics are taking a closer look at (computer game) player-driven economies, companies such as E-Bay are turning a real-life profit (albeit illegally) on related transactions between individuals, and governmental taxing authorities such as the I.R.S. have cast their baleful eyes on the process.

EVE Online is the location of the most cut-throat, mercenary operation in the brief history of MMORPG gaming. For details, read:

Record breaking heist rocks EVE Online guild to the tune of $16,500 USD in virtual goods.

I took a passing curiousity in EVE when I stumbled into my next-door neighbor's LAN party. Yes, he is a computer nerd. He is also a well-regarded architect.

I was rather surprised that EVE Online took no action against the offending party in the example above. It was an eye-opener.

1 posted on 03/17/2007 12:24:15 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Sofa King; Safrguns; Leifur

For your ping lists, and a ping to the one Icelander I know.

2 posted on 03/17/2007 12:25:12 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Toddsterpatriot; Mase; expat_panama; nopardons
". . . if our guys know that the entirety of GHSC is always actively behind them, they feel as though they are part of a family. A very violent, cigar-smoking, alcoholic family."
--Istvaan Shogaatsu, GHSC.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
3 posted on 03/17/2007 12:49:37 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
I wish they had those games when I was a kid. Although the games I had didn't help my grades any.
4 posted on 03/17/2007 1:09:40 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists (and goldbugs) so bad at math?)
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To: 1rudeboy; Sofa King; Safrguns; Toddsterpatriot; Mase; expat_panama; nopardons

I have for the longest time wanted to play this game, I just know that in this stage of my life I just can´t afford the time, even though I know that I can spend as much time I want in it, that is you don´t have to spend hours and hours although that helps you advanting in the game.

Their current goal in membership is to have as many people playing the game as the population of the Icelandic nation is, or 300 thousand.

I understand that you can enjoy for free a 14 day trial period (it used at least to be so), here you can download the game to start playing:

One of the breakthroughs of this game instead of many others MORPH´s is that everyone plays in the same universe, or at least that is how it started. But they sold out that principle when they went into the chinese market, there they had to (the government) have a separate universe (all other countrie´s players are in the one and the same universe), with some elements differently, like no drug smuggling and such things I think. I heard though that the anarco-capitalistic system in the game was of interest for some chinese officials and study groups.

I hope that one day they can integrate these two universes.

I have also heard that there are some that are selling in-game ISK for real currency online, and although they are trying to stop it (and according to the article were succesful in the large scale selling of the heist money) there are rumours that some of the players live of the game, that it is their full time job.

Those are though propably those with the biggest in-game corporate empires.

5 posted on 03/18/2007 4:25:27 AM PDT by Leifur
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To: 1rudeboy

Impressive. How many man-years of labor for 16,5K dollars worth of stuff? I hope they had fun doing it because it wasn’t for the money :)

6 posted on 04/20/2007 2:12:33 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Killing all of your enemies without mercy is the only sure way of sleeping soundly at night.)
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To: Centurion2000
Personally, I don't know about the man-years involved. But you can go to E-Bay, type "EVE," or "ISK," into the search feature, and discover what the dollar (black-market) value of (EVE)ISK actually is. Knowing that the game has "ISK-farmers" (illegal according to the User Rules), you can probably gather an idea of what is "profitable."

Complicating matters, however, is that the illegal ISK-farmers use illegal macro programs, so it's not like they're actively sitting at their computers to the exclusion of all else.

7 posted on 04/20/2007 2:22:01 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Actaually EVE is one of the few that has a legitimate system to buy ISK with real dollars. They let you sell game play time cards for in game money. So you go buy a card and then sell it to another player for in game money, thereby converting your dollars into in game ISK. This also allows kids with lots of time on their hands to play for free since they fan farm for the isk to buy a month a game time in just a few days.

I have played EVE quite a bit. It is also one of the only games that is super un forgiving to total stupidity. You can play carefully and be safe, but you can also, through poor planning and bad choices, accidentally lose everything you have ever done in the game, everything. So it would be like taking a lvl 70 charter in WOW and accidentally getting killed at the wrong time in the wrong place and going back to a stripped lvl 1 character. This can happen if you die without a clone setup to back up your skills. There are no levels so if you lose your accumulated skills you are back at ‘level 1’. It requires a lot of stupidity though. You can also lose a lot of money, then again you get GET a lot of money.

It is a great game. I love the way everyone was on the same server. None of this having to change servers to be with friends. You might have to fly half way across the universe but that is do-able.

8 posted on 04/23/2007 7:46:58 AM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: TalonDJ

I am aware of the GTC “concept,” but not how it works. I was sufficiently curious about this game after browsing its forums that I signed-up for a free trial.

9 posted on 04/23/2007 9:43:47 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

The way the training and what not works is very different from any other game I have played. It really changes how you interact. It is also a ver guild heavy game. You have to get in one and interact if you want to get into some of the later game content. It is also something that basically makes the sky the limit for ‘end game’ because the length of time it takes for longer duration training.

10 posted on 04/23/2007 11:46:46 AM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: 1rudeboy

Doesn’t this policy of “when you lose, you really really lose” discourage selling virtual items on Ebay?

11 posted on 06/28/2008 2:11:46 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
No, because there are activities that are reasonably "safe." Safe enough that one can turn a profit despite the occasional loss of ship, cargo, and equipment. If you use an illegal after-market (macro) program, you just turn on your computer and go do laundry. You earn virtual currency, which you then sell on Ebay. It's called "farming," and it is practically impossible to regulate.

It's the dark side of all these MMORPG's.

12 posted on 06/28/2008 2:19:14 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Mamzelle
Oh, and with regard to equipment (if that was your specific question), combat-losses actually (and perversely) increase the demand for it to be purchased illegally, as some players are lazy and don't want to work themselves out of a hole.
13 posted on 06/28/2008 2:23:57 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Mamzelle

After a quick jaunt over to Ebay, though, it appears that the preferred method is to purchase the virtual currency illegally with real-life cash, and then use the virtual currency in-game to to purchase equipment.

14 posted on 06/28/2008 2:28:17 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: DGodbey


15 posted on 06/17/2009 7:29:13 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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