EVE Online Goons manipulate war for staggering profit

EVE Online's unforgiving nature may put many off the MMO, but it produces some cracking stories for us all to enjoy. The notorious Goonswarm have pulled another astonishing caper, manipulating galactic war and the markets to supposedly earn absurd amounts of money.

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EVE Online's complex and unforgiving nature may put many off the MMO, but it produces some cracking stories for us all to enjoy. The notorious Goonswarm have pulled another astonishing caper, manipulating galactic war and the markets to supposedly earn an absurd amount of money.

"Occasionally you will see the odd forum poster that throws out wild conspiracy theories about shadowy figures controlling parts of the game, or in the case of the especially insane, Goons controlling the game," said one of the Goons behind it. "This has never been true...until now."

EVE's recent Inferno update revamped the Factional Warfare system, with one small change which could perhaps be manipulated and exploited for a big payoff, Goonswarm's 'Aryth' explained on the EVE forums (via PCGamesN).

"A small group of market and game mechanics wizards sat in a channel, put their heads together and designed a theoretical exploit to game the system," Aryth said. "It succeeded beyond their wildest dreams."

With players creating characters on opposing factions in the war, the first ploy was to intentionally destroy their own freighters filled with valuable minerals. Factional Warfare offers rewards for destroying enemy ships, with a fraction of the ship's value as money (ISK) and as faction Loyalty Points (LP). GoonSwarm had been sitting on a huge pile of minerals following its 'Burn Jita' attack on EVE's commercial hub and its latest miner-massacring 'Hulkageddon,' so it cashing them all in for LPs by destroying their own ships.

From there, they'd trade LPs in for valuable items at faction reward stores, and destroy those all over again for more ISK and LP. Then the Goons figured out how to improve the return by massively boosting the value of the items they were destroying.

They deduced that EVE determines an item's value by tracking its average recent sale price, and so drove up the ISK price of never-used items they could acquire cheaply with LPs. Getting loads of the rubbish items, they sold them to themselves at massively inflated prices in places no one would notice.

With cheap items now worth huge amounts of ISK, they'd fill ships with them, blow them up themselves for the rewards, then cash in the LP to get even more and blow those up too, earning loads of money with every lost ship.

They'd also use the masses of LPs to outright buy faction control of systems, "invalidating hours of work spent to capture a system by the most despondent of shitlords in a single stroke of the Enter key." As well as making a sham of the war, this unlocked a 50% discount at faction loyalty stores, making the process even more efficient.

CCP did eventually catch this and close the hole, but not before the Goons supposedly earned trillions of ISK with this cunning manipulation, Aryth boasts. One trillion ISK is worth about $30,000 in real money, judged against the in-game cost for a month's subscription, so they're really sitting on a colossal sum to use as they please.

If they wanted to, Goonswarm could afford to give every member their personal fleet of top-of-the-line ships, to casually throw away in battle without a thought to their cost. Given how truly magnificent some Goon plays have been, I'm hoping it'll be used to bankroll an even larger caper.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 22, 2012 4:00 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, EVE Online Goons manipulate war for staggering profit.

    EVE Online's unforgiving nature may put many off the MMO, but it produces some cracking stories for us all to enjoy. The notorious Goonswarm have pulled another astonishing caper, manipulating galactic war and the markets to supposedly earn absurd amounts of money.

    • reply
      June 22, 2012 4:12 PM

      EVE seems like the kind of game that's a lot more fun to read about than it is to play.

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        June 22, 2012 4:14 PM

        I read wurt say this in another thread and I laughed...then I saw you post it to ha ha.

        http://www.shacknews.com/article/73551/ccp-gives-blessing-to-eve-online-economy-attack?id=28092310#item_28092310

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        June 22, 2012 7:12 PM

        If you've ever played Eve at it's very best, you wouldn't think that. I've never, ever, ever, ever played any other game that got me laughing as hard or my heart pounding as hard. 95% of it is terrible but the 5% that is good is so, so, so, so, SO good that it makes it easily the best MMO I've ever played.

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          June 22, 2012 10:54 PM

          Day-Z does that for me. I laughed like a maniac while hacking apart 2 unsuspecting survivors with my hatchet.

          Each to their own I guess.

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            June 24, 2012 7:58 AM

            There are a lot of similarities between DayZ and EVE. They're both essentially just a set of systems that facilitate interaction between players, and everything interesting about the game happens in and around those interactions.

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      June 22, 2012 4:30 PM

      This is incredible

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      June 22, 2012 4:44 PM

      How many people play eve on a regular basis?

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        June 22, 2012 5:32 PM

        I do

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        June 22, 2012 5:36 PM

        EVE and I have an abusive relationship. It's always the same. I start to yearn for a modern space sim, get a special offer from CCP, and return to it for a month or two before I get ganked in low-sec space causing me to rage quit all over again. It's a terrible addiction. I love to hate it.

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        June 22, 2012 7:20 PM

        I haven't played much for a while but I played consistently for like 2 years straight.

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        June 24, 2012 9:41 AM

        I'm not currently subscribed to it, but it's probably one of my favorite MMOs ever made. Probably the deepest game I've ever played.

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      June 22, 2012 4:47 PM

      ahahha. this is GENIUS! fuck yes, economy bubble in EvE Online.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached the moment when simulated economy is at the same point of invention and progress as real-life economy.

      I am already looking forward to seeing wall-street look to EvE for inspiration in the future!

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      June 22, 2012 5:18 PM

      Its UI is what puts me off the game, not its unforgiving nature.

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      June 22, 2012 5:35 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 22, 2012 5:36 PM

      It was certainly bigger than deleting boot.ini, which merely cost CCP some bad press.

      What/ Eve Online did this? I need more info!

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      June 22, 2012 5:37 PM

      jeeeeez but not before the Goons supposedly earned trillions of ISK with this cunning manipulation, Aryth boasts. One trillion ISK is worth about $30,000 in real money,

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      June 22, 2012 6:13 PM

      *claps* ... I love when people find complex ways to work in a system. The Goonswarm has seemed to do a good job with this for years.

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      June 22, 2012 6:43 PM

      In most games I frown upon people exploiting loopholes and other players, but in EVE it almost seems like that is the game.

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      June 22, 2012 6:45 PM

      That's interesting, any other MMO and the players that exploited the system would likely be banned.

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        June 22, 2012 6:51 PM

        Any company that bans people from using legitimate in game mechanics can fuck off. Unless they issue some kind of notice to stop doing so or something.

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        June 22, 2012 6:55 PM

        That's because every other MMO has a company controlled market. EVE is nearly 99%y player driven.

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      June 22, 2012 6:49 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 22, 2012 6:57 PM

      Wow, gaming the system. How exciting. Really makes people want to play this game...not.

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        June 22, 2012 7:01 PM

        Seriously? It's the fact that people are able to do this in a game is fucking awesome.

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        June 22, 2012 10:37 PM

        It should also be noted that CCP was told about this type of situation was possible on the test server and they didn't respond.

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      June 23, 2012 5:52 PM

      Ooph, if people are exploiting a stupid game to this extent, imagine all the exploits in real life that are siphoning billions from the world economy.

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