Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Precedent evil

A number of you have pinged me this morning to ask if I personally or the CSM generally have heard about the change to the TOS this morning, detailed in this news post.  Short answer: yes.

Long answer: we've seen it and we've expressed to CCP our concern that the change in policy is far too broadly written.  This has a number of players concerned as well as expressed in this (locked) thread as well as in this post by Goon member Weaselior.  That thread is also likely to be locked and it's possible that the post itself will be deleted.  But it gives GM Grimmi's response to a question stating that impersonation of CCP employees and in-game personalities has been prohibited for a long time.  He further states his belief that the TOS update is nothing new and simply a clarification of what has been long-standing CCP policy.

The only trouble is that isn't quite true.

This is a change to the TOS, whereas the previous statements existed in the Naming Policy.  The punishments specified in the latter involve having a character, corp, or alliance renamed.(1)  The only context for disciplinary action against players in the Naming Policy applies to blatantly offensive names.  The TOS, on the other hand, is awash in various forms of disciplinary action.

Put more simply: before this TOS change, creating a character named darknessss could get your character renamed.  After this TOS change, it could theoretically get you banned.  But that's only where things start.

You see, if I characterize myself as a Goonswarm recruiter, say, or a recruiting representative of an operational in-game incursion community, and I charge 100 million ISK for these services, these things are now also technically a violation of this TOS change.  After all, after this change I can no longer "falsely present [myself] to be a representative of [a] group of players."  Given that "Goon recruitment scams" have been a thing pretty much since Goonswarm came to EVE, this is not a small matter for the Goons involved.

It also raises the intriguing notion: if I fall for a Goon recruitment scam, can I petition the loss of ISK and get it recovered since the scammer violated the TOS to get my ISK?  That would be a fairly major change to the nature of EVE, if so.

Needless to say, both the players involved and the CSM are asking all of these questions.  I don't think it would be out of the question for there to be a clarification of this TOS change in pretty short order.  For now, I believe the wording of it is overly broad and creates the opportunity for some unfortunate precedents.  Even if the wording changes, though, it'll be interesting to see how broadly these new precedents are applied.

EDIT (9/Sep/2013): CCP Guard has issued a first class statement in this matter.  Go read it.
EDIT (9/Sep/2013): Caught in the net of this policy change was a Goon rental advertisement thread.  A valid Goon rental advertisement thread.  I assume the CCP employee in question couldn't believe there was such a thing.  Hee!


(1) You may remember that I was in the midst of telling a story about this very thing and it's a story I'll be wrapping up soon.

24 comments:

  1. Goons can relax.

    When they ran around high sec spamming systems with a poster that had them impersonating CCP to suppress the high sec vote, that apparently did not violate the TOS or EULA.

    Or at least, CCP did not care.

    All this tempest is indeed in a teacup.

    Goons et al can keep on cheating new and / or naive players, driving them from the game, and CCP will just keep shrugging its collective shoulders.

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    Replies
    1. Not cheating if it is allowed by the rules. New players learn quickly. Naive players.... have only themselves to blame.

      Delete
  2. Sometimes I just think these guys spark such conflicts over and over again to wake up the community and make it seem commited, beligerent about their game. One would think that CCP has got some experience in handling these situations.

    Oh wait... Nevermind

    Actually, nevermind the last nevermind.

    Oh whatever! This is all very silly stuff. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Certainly it is a massive change.

    Your comment that GM Grimmi's response 'isn't quite true' is certainly a diplomatic phrasing.

    It is unfortunate this wasn't run by you all first. Hopefully it doesn't stick around.



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  4. It's good to see that the CSM is also concerned about the overly broad changes to the ToS

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  5. I think you linked the wrong post: the locked post was a duplicate thread, not a TOS violation.

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    Replies
    1. Well, you say that but given this:
      Posted: 2013.09.09 18:40 | Edited by: ISD Dorrim Barstorlode

      Who´s to say?

      Delete
  6. I'm seeing in the forums disscusion abouta pizza scam brought this about... a RL pizza & not the alliance? Be funny if lack of anchovies brought down Goons scams.

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    Replies
    1. Real-life pizza is incorrect. That's, as it turns out, is an old story and not one that CCP has concerned itself with.

      The pizza story that CCP reacted too, was a couple dudes from PIZZA who defaced Chribba's EVElopedia page to pose as alts of his, and via that subterfuge stole quite a few supercarriers from people.

      Delete
    2. Sounds right... a RL pizza exchange would have been RMTing I suppose...
      I enjoyed reading the troll though :)

      Delete
  7. Someone apparently ransomed a ship for a RL pizza delivery.

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    Replies
    1. I've heard this rumor but no specifics or proof. The "pizza incident" wasn't this, though.

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  8. I can't be the only one who finds it amusing that Goonswarm's reputation for scam-artistry is so pervasive that, when they want to embark on a venture dependent on trust, their only real option is to work through Chribba, who basically makes a living on his trustworthy reputation ... and that still isn't enough to overcome the bad-faith taint that's built up over the years.

    Somehow it's a little heartening to discover that every now and then, sociopathic gameplay will turn around and bite the sociopaths in the unmentionables.

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  9. Whatever the issue, if it upsets Goons. Then it's probably a good thing.

    CCP has turned a blind eye to their cheating and other bullshit for fare too long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jokes on you. This change only prevents non-Goons from Goon recruitment scams. Goons are free to carry on as before.

      Delete
  10. Re: Goon recruitment scams

    Actually, it seems pretty clear that this change to the TOS only prohibits goon recruitment scams by non-goons.

    Scammers who are actually members of Goonswarm are not breaking the rule against falsely representing themselves as a member. They are simply not delivering upon their promises as members.

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  11. Maybe I'm missing something, but the old ToS and the new one do not mention any specific punishments so how do you come to the conclusion that creating a character to impersonate darkness will now get you banned?

    Additionally, I may be mistaken but isn't this arising from 3 members of pizza posing as members of the ISD, editing the wiki as such to claim they are trusted 3rd parties and then scam some supers?

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    Replies
    1. We believe this change arises from that but there is no direct evidence. And you only put things in the TOS if you intend to start using the sticks that are included for violating the TOS.

      Delete
    2. Or someone/multiple people have been conducting "bad/frowned upon" activity that skirts previous ToS and so they revised? Just a theory, throwing it out as another possibility as we may never fully get the whole story on this one.

      Delete
  12. To try to understand things more about today's statement by GM Grimmi, (that really did nothing) about the tos:

    My main question is, Since eve players cannot talk about bans or punishments, how do we know what is or is not ban-able under the new tos change. I mean do we have to do what the isd's said and ask permission for every little thing to actually know what is and is not allowed. And In such a case, didn't that bite some of the potential teams for the alliance turny last year because they where told one thing, and got kicked out for doing what they where told was allowed.

    So Really how can we as players help find the do not cross line when we cannot see any line besides everything is ban-able?

    a Now very concerned eve citizen and over all player that lives on the edge of whats right and wrong.

    Karma Bad

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  13. The CSM response to this has been embarrassing. It's like you guys have forgotten that you're supposed to be representing the players and not providing cover for CCP and their horrible GM team.

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    Replies
    1. Think so? I think we've been holding their feet pretty firmly to the fire. Every time I write a blog post like this, I get a CCP dev (or two, or five) tsk'ing at me or downright asking me what the hell I'm doing. I write them anyway.

      I do what I feel is right even if people think less of me for it.

      But I'm curious what more you think I should be doing here?

      Delete
    2. I think you're doing reasonably fine, Ripard. Though you are careful to couch your complaints in much softer language than you might have last year.

      I think some of the complaints are to Ali Aras, who seems to have jumped into the Hans Jagerblitzen role of providing cover for CCP over on the forums.

      Delete
  14. Thought I'd point out that the Goon recruitment thread in question was locked in violation of a completely separate part of the Forum code of conduct, not related to the yelling over the TOS change.

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