Greetings Internet Space Commanders!
There are a few items I want to touch upon here for clarification before I get low-down and dirty on some recent activity. Not everyone can find their way to Fanfest so there's a few bullet points which are in my opinion game changers on the anti-botting front from Fanfest that I want to make certain I memorialize in Dev Blog format. As I mentioned to you in my last blog the team has re-instituted our automated botting detection routines with some new twists, the first of which was that the character in question can now no longer be legally traded or sold. BUT THERE'S MORE!
- The banning process will now occur daily which will reduce the window of effective isk-printing and smooth out the edges so we're not performing giant "events"
- Effective retro to just before Fanfest we will be removing ALL isk gained from botting when the ban takes effect. Details may be found in my Fanfest presentation located here.
We know that this is going to be a long slog but we're pleased with the results so far and I'll try to get my beloved compatriot CCP Stillman to do a separate blog in the next few weeks with some fun stats and such for you to salivate over. For now you have what was given in the presentation. As promised at Fanfest I've also started a thread in order to discuss the application of "Scarlet Letters" for botters here.
I want to apologize for being less active in the thread in advance. I'm going to get back to it probably tomorrow and I'm hoping that the excuse I'm going to make below, which is also the reason for this dev blog, will suffice.
Much like with the initial reintroduction of botting bans many of you have noticed that a wonderful event occurred last Friday. Prior to Fanfest and again at Fanfest I promised that the security team would be looking into RMT as well as botting. Last Friday saw the first results of that work. I'm not going to get into confirming or denying who was involved as per policy and as much as I love to write I'm just going to break down the results of the first action into bullet points.
- Around 105 accounts with direct ties to RMT (Real Money Trade) operations banned permanently
- Between 1-3 trillion ISK in assets siezed permanently
- Around 500 billion ISK in RMT transactions reversed
There will be differences in opinion in how significant this event is unless you realize that, as with our actions in botting, this is not a one-time occurrence. In the coming days there will be additional actions of this kind and I'm sure various communities will notice them as they have an impact on their operations or social circles. We fully intend to twist the knife on these kinds of operations and will utilize whichever mechanism we believe will cause them the most pain. While there were reports of false positives related to this event, thus far every single valid "false" positive we've investigated was tagged because they had actually done something wrong, in most cases purchasing an account illegally or enabling RMT sellers via providing them with "loans". This is completely unacceptable behavior and in each instance thus far the purchased accounts were left closed and the loaned isk remained frozen.
Using the initial operation we enacted last Friday the procedure was to permanently ban all isk sellers and suppliers. No warnings given. People caught purchasing ISK found themselves with negative wallet balances due to the ISK being reversed back into the closed accounts which will eventually go into some magical space ISK burning facility or if you want to be really technical, be deleted from a database. We will continue to expand the scope of this to include asset seizure in the coming days which will include reclamation of supercaps and actions against alliances if need be. All actions will be retroactive to at LEAST February.
I've been asked a lot of questions about how to avoid running into trouble here and there's a very clear and surefire way to do so. Don't do business with people you know to be involved in RMT. Don't buy accounts, items, PLEX or ISK illegally. THERE YOU HAVE IT! The ONLY legal seller of PLEX is CCP. Anything else can be taken from you when you are caught and the likelihood of that happening is increasing significantly. Have a fat pile of cash and want to convert it to ISK? Buy PLEX! We fully recognize that the only way to provide a level playing field for our customers is to end the problem and that's the direction we're headed.
I'd like to add that in addition to large sums of ISK removed from RMT-related actions we're expecting to see an average of 100B ISK a day removed from botting accounts. Neither RMT nor bot-related activity have any place in New Eden any longer and the security team is willing to play chicken as long as it takes to get that message across. I'd also like to note that while I haven't spent much time talking about it the PLEX for Snitches program, it is still in full effect and a number of people who have provided us with actionable security-related information have profited quite nicely from their contributions to the greater EVE community!
So, the tl;dr of this is:
- We're going to take all your stuff if you cheat
- Buy PLEX, don't be a space butt
- We're keeping an eye on all sorts of fun places to pull numbers and graphs from and we'll provide them in a separate blog
- We love you if you don't cheat
On a personal note, CCP Soundwave's cosplay-fit 6pack abs have inspired me to purchase a gym membership so all of you who have expressed heartfelt concern about my physical health may now sleep easier! Until next time!
Update: Since this blog was written this afternoon we've taken out another 365 account bot/rmt ring. No estimate of assets yet.