Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CCP's War On Illicit RMT: Buyers' Remorse

I first made my mark in EVE Online by publishing the tears of botters I found on their forums. Amazingly enough, people like reading about bad things happening to botters. But as the years went by and CCP became more adept at banning bot users, the bot developers started restricting and deleting posts that made their code look less than appealing. I still posted tears, but only on Twitter, not on the blog.

I do like RMT tears, though. I looked in my screenshot folder where I keep all the tears I collect from Player Auctions and I think I have enough to do a long-overdue post. Player Auctions is a site where people go to buy ISK, gold, plat, gil, and lots of other virtual currency and items found in online video games. The satisfaction ratings are a bit inflated and don't reflect how often sellers and buyers get caught by CCP. Keep reading to see the entries I captured before the sellers could bribe upset buyers into changing their reviews.

Seller A: Library Card Revoked
Estimated purchase price: $137.37

Seller A is the biggest seller of ISK and skill injectors this year. I'm not sure exactly what the reference to the "library" is, but CCP Peligro certainly did.

Seller B: Check your bittervet privilege

Estimated purchase price: $27.40

Seller B, until recently, was a major seller on PA. Getting accounts like this banned didn't help business.

Seller C: Small-fry get caught too
Estimated purchase price: $7.75

Buying a small amount of ISK is no guarantee of safety. Seller C has listed ISK on PA for a long time, but rarely sells anything. And when a sale finally occurred, CCP dropped the banhammer.

Seller A: Do you really have to ask?
Estimated purchase price: $33.75

Seller A may sell a lot of ISK, but isn't very fast on the uptake.

Seller D: I don't think that word means what you think it does
Estimated purchase price: $26.00

I'm not sure why people believe that CCP sets up a shop and then lures unsuspecting players to purchase from them. Then again, I don't really understand why people buy ISK on the black market in the first place.

Seller E: Farm status
Estimated purchase price: $75.32

Seller E started selling at an extremely low price, which is a big indicator of hacked ISK. CCP Peligro started banning a lot of this seller's customers.

Seller E: The farming continues
Estimated purchase price: $31.80

Seller E: Magic 8-ball says, "Yes"
Estimated purchase price: $21.20

Really, if so many customers get banned, the answer is obvious. Then again, ISK sellers are not known for their honesty.

Seller B: 5 million skill points
Estimated purchase price: $45.8

Back to Seller B. The buyer was correct about CCP banning the seller before, but not exactly as described.

Seller A: Correct again
Estimated purchase price: $335.50

After a break around Fanfest, the bannings resumed. Honestly, if I have $335 burning a hole in my wallet, I'll fly to Las Vegas before buying 50 PLEX.

Seller B: Stolen goods
Estimated purchase price: $35.10

Seller E: Another age tank fails
Estimated purchase price: $10.76

Yes, I'm running out of ideas. A lot of people got banned.

Seller F: New seller, same result
Estimated purchase price: $57.60

Notice how many times buyers are caught right after they purchased ISK? It also looks like occasionally money is reversed but the buyer is not banned. I know that CCP is reluctant to ban people if they are not sure.

Seller F: Please don't tell people I suck
Estimated purchase price: $28.80

Seriously, if you get banned because the seller is known, do you really want to get caught again? 

Seller E: Another hacked account
Estimated purchase price: $83.25

Seller A: Have you read the EULA?
Estimated purchase price: $17.55

I'm not sure if Seller A is just dumb, or playing dumb. Did I mention ISK sellers aren't the most honest people in the world?

Seller G: Don't tell people I suck too
Estimated purchase price: $280.00

For those following along, the amount confiscated by CCP based on these Player Auction reviews was 136 billion ISK, 28 skill injectors, and 52 PLEX. Players spent and estimated $1254.95 USD on the black market just to see their purchases seized with no refund.

I want to conclude with a couple of tweets from CCP Peligro commenting on the last review I listed.

Now, if only we'd see a dev blog showing how much really was seized from ISK buyers and sellers.

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