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Observing the "burn jita" player event
May 2, 2012 8:39 PM   Subscribe


 
Phased Plasma as the top ammo type? I guess it's been a long time since I've played...
posted by Slothrup at 8:45 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know what I love about this? That there's this corner of online life which I have very little experience with and know about mostly through MetaFilter posts, and yet it has ARMAGEDDON LEVEL EVENTS happening that completely change how things are going to proceed in the future... and that people can report about them in such techy terms as this post and show how online reality has to be compensated for by those who run the actual servers it runs on.

While I don't fully grok everything that goes on, I love EVE Online posts, and I really appreciate them. Thanks!
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM on May 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Eve Online is my favorite game to read about and talk about, having dabbled off and on for years, but lord do I hate playing it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:58 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting timing. Any MeFi goons know the whole story? So the head of Goonswarm gets re-elected to the CSM, travels to Iceland, gets embarrassingly inebriated, violates the EULA by revealing a player's name and saying other stupid ugly shit, gets a thirty-day ban and is booted off the CSM, and then thirty-some-odd days later, Jita is burning. Hmmm.

Hint to budding anthropologists: a well-annotated history of Goonswarm and analysis of their role in New Eden is gonna make a great PhD topic one day, if it hasn't already been done.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:08 PM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I will not re-up my EVE subscription. I will not re-up my EVE subscription. I will not re-up my EVE subscription...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:21 PM on May 2, 2012


I'm pretty sure it was planned separate from the CSM drama. Similar to the ice incursion events, "burn Jita" was about making ISK rather than any kind of political statement from Mittens.
posted by sopwath at 9:22 PM on May 2, 2012


hat there's this corner of online life which I have very little experience with and know about mostly through MetaFilter posts, and yet it has ARMAGEDDON LEVEL EVENTS happening that completely change how things are going to proceed in the future... and that people can report about them in such techy terms as this post and show how online reality has to be compensated for by those who run the actual servers it runs on.


It;s like getting intergalactic news reports, I agree. And also, like, okay Eve tries to simulate a galactic economy but it's very nature as a game means it's fake so while the goal of a real economy would to be as stable as possible, the goal of a fake one should be to be as entertaining as possible and various peoples have taken up the mantel of like Anti-Entropy Legionaries to just make the biggest, coolest, most upsetting things happen in their fake space world and I find that SUPER CHARMING.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


The thing I'm curious about is whether CCP's stance of "we looooove it when players do crazy shit that flies in the face of what we normally expect in Eve!" is real or not. On the one hand, they post this blog that basically approves of what would normally be a catastrophic event in most other MMOs, and goes on to explain the neat technical issues behind the whole thing. On the other hand, when someone (possibly a Goonswarm operative, possibly some other very rich third party) unveiled a Nyx-class mothership, the ship was removed by a GM because it violated rules governing capital ships in high-security space. If I understand correctly, these two things are not mutually exclusive; the initial attack on Jita doesn't really violate any rules about Eve Online, though it's obviously an unprecedented show of aggression, whereas the supercarrier violates CCP rules. But without a real sense of the Eve community, it's hard to know a) how the Nyx got to where it was in the first place, and b) whether players thought the Nyx's removal was fair game or not.
posted by chrominance at 9:22 PM on May 2, 2012


The speculation was that the nyx was moved there accidentally by a GM in the first place. There are policies that will let, for example, resubscribing players to get a ship moved out of hostile space - for example, let's say you quit in 2008 while your alliance holds one chunk of territory, and in 2012 you resubscribe and you're now in hostile territory that will kill you as soon as you log in. CCP will move one loaded ship for you so that you can, you know, start playing again.
posted by xiw at 9:26 PM on May 2, 2012


For anyone who loves just reading about the game, there's no better source than the Mittani's own column on it.
posted by fatbird at 9:32 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


]So the head of Goonswarm gets re-elected to the CSM, travels to Iceland, gets embarrassingly inebriated, violates the EULA by revealing a player's name and saying other stupid ugly shit, gets a thirty-day ban and is booted off the CSM, and then thirty-some-odd days later, Jita is burning.

Mittani named the player's IN-GAME name, i.e. the name of his character, not his IRL actual name. Also, the Jita event was planned before all that went down. It was not done as a reaction to Mittani's banning.
posted by ryanrs at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2012


As a member of the Goon allied Reddit corp, TEST, and participant in this, I'll take the opportunity to toot our own horn and expand on Burn Jita a bit.

First, some links!

These are heat maps of the EVE universe. The larger and redder the dot, the more ships have been destroyed in the system over the last 24 hours: (These are zoomed out, all 5,000ish solar systems in eve are shown here. The obvious dot is Jita.)
Top Down View
Edge On

Mittani's Ten Ton Hammer article covering the event.

And, some propaganda for the event:
http://imgur.com/a/GKnDA/noscript
http://i.imgur.com/Yka4T.png
http://i.imgur.com/WeVYt.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cqpP0.png
http://i.imgur.com/gLdpU.png

Now, why did this happen?
The short answer is because the CFC (The Clusterfuck Coalition, led by Goons) just concluded a successful war in the North, acquiring a new, large swath of territory for friends and allies, and some very valuable natural resources, which are required for nearly all advanced production. So! The war is over, bored pilots don't log in, and you've just formalized a cartel controlling a bottleneck resource. What do you do to leverage that and keep your raving hordes' participation up? (I'll also add that every CFC ship lost in an attack on this campaign was fully reimbursed. So participation ended up quite high.)

This also coincided with a major change to mineral acquisition. (Everything is built from these minerals; ships, ammunition, stations, ship fittings, etc.) A formerly huge, easy source of high-end minerals was just patched to give money instead of minerals. This is going to make asteroid mining a viable profession again (maybe), or at the very least cause huge price swings across entire EVE markets. So Burn Jita was also targeted slightly at that.

As well, the week after Burn Jita, Hulkageddon beings. This is a month long contest, EVE-wide, player-run, fabulous prizes awarded, etc..., to hunt and kill as many miners as possible. And these miners are all flying ships whose major components are built with your bottleneck resource.

My take-away is the same as sopwath's up above. It's really about market manipulation, but it's just more fun to couch it in terms of thumbing your nose at other EVE groups and/or burning down game's market hub.
posted by Barmecide at 10:08 PM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


RESET TEST
posted by ryanrs at 10:10 PM on May 2, 2012




Phew. That was quite the 'Serious Business' EVE post. I'll end with: o7o7 m8m8m8, ryanrs!
posted by Barmecide at 10:21 PM on May 2, 2012


I would dispute that this is primarily motivated by money. All CFC alliances lost money on Burn Jita. Even the Ice Interdiction was barely break-even for Goons. These hisec evens are mostly to keep everybody interested between wars.
posted by ryanrs at 10:23 PM on May 2, 2012


Another fun thing going on right now is the Ministry of Love, a hisec death squad being created to kill and grief people who badmouth Goons on the EVE web forums. Straight-up political repression, heh.
posted by ryanrs at 10:29 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, the drone region patch was to give money instead of compounds? Oh man, I funded my first combat battleships with drone compounds, that makes me a bit sad.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:31 PM on May 2, 2012


it's very nature as a game means it's fake so while the goal of a real economy would to be as stable as possible

Look back at the way the economy has gone over the course of your life and ask whether it seems to have been directed by people who have the goal of making it as stable as possible.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:33 PM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


a) how the Nyx got to where it was in the first place, and b) whether players thought the Nyx's removal was fair game or not.

At some earlier date, the Nyx in question was probably destroyed due to some server bug. The player filed a bug report and CCP reimbursed it, giving him a new Nyx. The new Nyx would be placed in whichever station the player had his medical clone set to (i.e. the players spawn point). This happened to be in Jita, in hisec.

When a capital-class ship is reimbursed in hisec, the player is expected to move it to lowsec when feasible. This guy decided to fuck around in Jita instead, so a GM forced him to lowsec where he belongs.

Total non-event.
posted by ryanrs at 10:37 PM on May 2, 2012


the goal of a fake [economy] should be to be as entertaining as possible

I make my EVE spacebucks on the market. What these events do is create volatility. Volatility increases the advantage of insider knowledge. So as an insider, these big swings put ISK in my pocket. (Works the same way in the real economy.)
posted by ryanrs at 10:54 PM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look back at the way the economy has gone over the course of your life and ask whether it seems to have been directed by people who have the goal of making it as stable as possible.
Set phasers to "Schumpeterian creative destruction"...
posted by Abiezer at 12:24 AM on May 3, 2012


I have neither the time or the skill for EVE but I find it all fascinating. It's better than most TV.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:59 AM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another fun thing going on right now is the Ministry of Love, a hisec death squad being created to kill and grief people who badmouth Goons on the EVE web forums. Straight-up political repression, heh.

Fans of anarcho-libertarianism, I submit EVE as evidence that Hobbes was right.

When a capital-class ship is reimbursed in hisec, the player is expected to move it to lowsec when feasible.

That's almost true. Behold the Veldnaught. It was built in highest-security space way back in 2005. The rule came out that all capital ships had to leave high security, and people did. Months (years?) later, this cartoonishly large space battleship undocked armed with nothing but mining lasers and started vacuuming up dirt cheap "Veldspar" ore with impunity. Because this is splendid, and because it's owner is unusually well trusted both by the developers and by the community, the Veldnaught was grandfathered. Because it is a game where trust is limited and easily lost, the developers have set out a policy in the event that he should ever put his ship to less amusing use.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:37 AM on May 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Look, if they want to talk shit, they can buy a free speech license from Goons for 500 mil. For a billion, we'll even "Like" the posts.
posted by ryanrs at 3:21 AM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's almost true. Behold the Veldnaught.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:37 AM on May 3 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


"Permitted purposes: Mining. Showing off."
posted by Sebmojo at 4:06 AM on May 3, 2012


I played EVE once. It was one of the least fun games I have ever played.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:39 AM on May 3, 2012


Things that are fun in EVE
- large fleet fights
- small gang fights
- suicide ganking
- gate camping
- forum trolling

Things that are terrible in EVE
- mining
- missions
- shooting npcs in general
- planetary interaction
- mining again

Things that are not great, but at least pay well
- market fuckery
- incursions
- wormholes


Note that the terrible things are solo activities, whereas the fun things require friends. It's not an accident that the fun parts of the game center around interactions with other players. It's an MMO. If you spend your time solo mining and missioning, you're completely missing the point.
posted by ryanrs at 5:49 AM on May 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


ryanrs, goons only lost money on burn jita if you only count loot and salvage gains. As you point out, the market shake-up was very profitable as well, and not just to individual players.

As far as I can tell, the real purpose of burn jita was political; it is a statement against the entire notion of hisec space in a game that is all about pvp. People that never leave hisec should probably just play freecell.
posted by Mark Doner at 5:57 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you spend your time solo mining and missioning, you're completely missing the point.

Or you want Eve to be a different game than what it is, which was the case for me a long time ago. I had dreams of building up a little smuggler's cove in the shadow of a moon or something where I could do a tiny bit of manufacturing, keep all my stuff, and run missions for agents in high-sec. The reality of Eve makes this impossible; what I really wanted was probably something more like X3.

(I sometimes wonder what would happen if I ever found a semi-casual corp or a bunch of friends who wanted to get into Eve. I'd probably go back. WE HAVE TO GO BACK, KATE.)
posted by chrominance at 5:59 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, ryanrs, you make my eyes swell with tears of pride. It's almost enough to make me renew my subscription (except for the fact that I have a toddler and I'm currently working 50+ hour weeks...)
posted by 256 at 6:28 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


All CFC alliances lost money on Burn Jita.

I think that depends on how much it actually disrupted technitium supply, and whether OTEC's price fixing cartel hangs together.
posted by empath at 6:38 AM on May 3, 2012


Btw, I kind of wish that the CIA would recruit The Mittani. I'm also kind of afraid that they will, because imagine if he was playing for keeps.
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love these Eve posts--it's always fascinating to read about all of these intrigues.

But I have next to no idea how Eve works. I don't dare download it myself, but can someone 'splain to me:

1) You start a new character/campaign. Do you come with a ship, or do you have to exchange real world money for credits and buy a ship? Do you have to buy credits in general, or could you just get by with what you generate in game?

2) what happens when you are killed? Does your ship respawn somewhere? Your cargoes? Do you keep your credits? Can you load from a save point?

3) What happens with these big battles if you're not logged in that day? Do the hordes just kill you while you're sleeping, or are you in some sort of safety zone?

I've never played any MMO. I daren't. I mustn't. But I'd love to know how they work!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:35 AM on May 3, 2012


I don't play either, but I'm pretty sure the following answers are close enough:

1) You start with a ship. You can buy and sell credits for real money, but I believe most people earn them.

2) You have a clone that can store a certain amount of skill points. You lose your ship and cargo, but you can buy insurance.

3) If you log out your ship disappears, but you can't just log out in the middle of a fight, because your ship will just sit there taking damage for a while before it goes away.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2012


This is going to make asteroid mining a viable profession again (maybe).

Art imitating life imitating art.
posted by Blue_Villain at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2012


Close, empath.

1. You start with a free ship that is extremely limited in what it's capable of. A "rookie ship" as they call it. This ship is powerful enough to run the early tutorial missions, during which you will earn enough credits to buy a slightly better ship (you'll also be gifted several non-rookie ships along the way if you play the tutorials to the end). From there it's just a matter of bootstrapping. It IS possible to indirectly buy credits for cash but, to do so, you have to purchase a one-month subscription unit from CCP (the EVE publisher) which is represented as an in-game unit called a PLEX, which you can then sell for credits at market rate to another player. Selling credits directly for cash however, is not done by CCP and is prohibited between players.

2. If you are killed, your ship is destroyed never to return. Some of your cargo and equipment will remain for anyone to scoop up though, and your wreck can be salvaged for metals and components. You will find yourself floating in space in your escape pod next to the remains of your ship. The next time you dock at a station (or respawn at one after having your pod blown up) you will receive another complimentary rookie ship. You can actually generate infinite rookie ships by just undocking and redocking in your pod, but they understandably have no market value, so there's little reason to bother.

There are no save points, but you can choose what station you want to respawn at when your pod gets blown up. Sometimes people self destruct their pods just to teleport across the galaxy. And you do get to keep your credits when you die. There is no way for people to directly steal money from someone, though there are plenty of ways to extort or scam it out of them.

3. If you log out while in space, your ship disappears if there are no hostiles nearby. Also, NPC stations are indestructible so, if you had all your ships parked in the main Jita station and didn't log in during the Burn Jita event, you would have been entirely safe despite the warzone just outside the window.
posted by 256 at 8:40 AM on May 3, 2012


As a fairly new player, let me try to answer the Admiral's questions:

1) New characters start with a rookie class ship and a tiny amount of money (ISK - InterStellar Kredits*). Completing the tutorial steps rewards the character with some more money, and that's more than enough to enable the new character to head out into the universe and start generating ISK via in game means.

In general, EVE charges $15/month for each character, and you can prepay as far ahead as you like. When you buy additional game time, your dollars/euros are converted into an ingame token which is delivered to your character. Your character must "use" this token in order to extend his/her life. However, he/she is also free to sell the token to other players for in game currency. These tokens are among the most heavily traded items in the game, and the market is very mature and full of speculators. Yes, at current rates it is possible to earn enough in-game currency in a month to trade for someone else's token for another 30 days of life. It's not a trivial grind, though.

*Not to be confused with real-world ISK - Icelandic Kronar - despite the fact that the game company is indeed headquartered in Iceland.

2) In New Eden (the world of EVE), technology has mastered the art of cloning, AI, and mind transferrence. Your character is essentially a consciousness that has been downloaded into a clone tailored to your character's physical specifications. Consider Neo while he is plugged into the matrix.

All ships have a goo-filled pod (again, uncannily like the pods in The Matrix) within which your character's clone is suspended while flying a ship. Your ship's sensors and command systems are directly connected to your mind via VR implants in your clone (according to game lore, this also explains why lasers make pew-pew sounds in space - it's just an effect helpfully added by the VR simulation to give you better situational awareness).

If When your ship is destroyed, your pod is ejected in the last nanosecond as an escape pod, and it's up to you to pilot your defenceless pod out of the area ASAP. A pod can dock at any highsec starbase and receive another free rookie ship compliments of the game's insurance cartel.

If your pod is destroyed, then an implant at the base of your clone's spine will detect the depressurization and do a thorough, perfect, neuron-level emergency scan of your mind, digitize it, encrypt it, and transmit it through subspace just before your demise. The signal will then be downloaded by the medical station with your authorization codes, and implanted into a replacement clone (fresh out of the vat and customized to your physical specs on record, including scars and tattoos), and you wake up in the medical bay. Starter grade clones are gratis, however the prudent capsuleer will make sure to purchase sufficient upgrades for their emergency medical clones before heading out into dangerous space. The base level clones have a limited mental capacity which is enough for new players, yet veterans risk losing attributes if they are reincarnated into a clone insufficiently developed to contain their entire character.

Your cargo is usually destroyed along with your ship, and whatever isn't destroyed will be looted by your attacker while you are busy escaping in your pod. Bank accounts are safe; all player transactions are wireless bank transfers and noone in New Eden actually carries cash.

3) If you are docked in a starbase while logged out, you are safe - the highsec bases are too formidable to be destroyed by players. If you log out or disconnect while in space, your ship will E-WARP to a "safe spot" 100,000km away from everyone else I'm simplifying here however, it still appears on sensors and is vulnerable to attack for 2/5/15 minutes depending on your situation (were you involved in hostilities, etc) when you disconnected. Eventually your ship disappears and is "safe" again. Once you reconnect, your ship E-WARP's back to it's previous position and then you resume control.

On preview: rats, crossposting with 256, but I'm going to go ahead and hit post anyway.
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:01 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the explanations.

I am very thankful I have no time for Eve, or I fear I would have no time for anything else...

However, when I win the lottery, I will definitely be logging on.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:06 AM on May 3, 2012


If you spend your time solo mining and missioning, you're completely missing the point.

The great thing about the game is that you're allowed to miss the point. Finding bizarre new ways to play the game is actively encouraged. Dull, unintended ways of playing are discouraged only by the self-inflicted dreariness of playing that way. It is to the credit of the developers that they are openly uncertain that they know what the point of the game is, and that they are unusually willing to let the players show them.

I kind of wish that the CIA would recruit The Mittani.

Do you have some reason to think that they haven't? He's currently maintaining a network of contacts in countries around the world, secretly gathering information and openly teaching spycraft. (-removes tinfoil hat-)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:36 PM on May 3, 2012


Do you have some reason to think that they haven't? He's currently maintaining a network of contacts in countries around the world, secretly gathering information and openly teaching spycraft

God, I so want that to be true -- do you think the CIA is that clever? You know, Goonswarm's first major alliances were with foreign corporations, mostly Russians and the French.
posted by empath at 12:46 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? The Mittani would be a terrible spy. He loves writing and talking about himself, he has a massive ego, and he always wants to be the center of attention. He's a politician, not a spy. In Goons, he worked as the lead coordinator for a group of spies, but I don't think he did any spying himself. It's really hard to imagine him infiltrating a pubbie corp and suffering through their corp mining ops.
posted by ryanrs at 1:46 PM on May 3, 2012


>> All CFC alliances lost money on Burn Jita.

> I think that depends on how much it actually disrupted technitium supply, and whether OTEC's price fixing cartel hangs together.

OTEC has nothing to do with Burn Jita. You cannot attribute OTEC income to the Burn Jita event.

The CFC spent 50-100 billion on Burn Jita. It was definitely a large expense, not a profit. But that's ok since we are rich as fuck.
posted by ryanrs at 2:40 PM on May 3, 2012


The Mitanni said, they're related, as has everyone else writing about it. I have no doubt that individual pilots aren't getting rich on it, but I would be very surprised of the otec CEOs aren't raking in huge amounts of cash.

I wonder how much skimming there is in these big power blocs, too. Goonswarm doesn't seem like the kind of alliance that would demand an audit of finances.
posted by empath at 5:38 PM on May 3, 2012


Goons have extremely transparent accounting. I'll let someone actually in the alliance post the google spreadsheet, but it's pretty clear where the money goes. Other alliances have been trolled out of the coalition for accounting shenanigans.
posted by ryanrs at 5:53 PM on May 3, 2012


Here is an assessment of burn jita from mittens himself...
posted by Mark Doner at 8:49 PM on May 3, 2012


One Month Later


OTEC

Goons have create OTEC, the Organization of Technetium Exporting Corporations. It is a cartel made up of the CFC (Goons, TEST, etc), EVOKE, PL, and NCdot. Together they control 90% of the EVE supply of technetium, the bottleneck material of high-end (Tech 2) ship production in EVE. It is the most valuable resource in EVE. It is why Goons can spend massive amounts of money on super capital ships, war, and general hooliganism.

OTEC announcement in Ten Ton Hammer
Audio interview with The Mittani describing OTEC

OTEC is somewhat unusual for a cartel in that it cannot restrict the supply of tech. This is because everyone expects CCP will sooner or later fix the tech bottleneck, instantly devaluing any tech stockpiles, probably to less than 1/10th their current value.

Current Technetium market price

Instead of production quotas, OTEC is attempting to enforce minimum sell prices for tech. Currently the target price is around 200,000 isk/unit.


Hulkageddon

Every year Helicity Boson sponsors a month-long contest called Hulkageddon. Large ISK prizes are awarded to the pilots that suicide gank the most mining ships in high security space. This year, Goons have co-sponsored the event, offering 100M ISK for every 10 Hulks (and certain other mining ships) killed. This has opened up the contest to casual gankers who would not otherwise compete for the top prizes.

Goons have made it as easy as possible for casual pilots to participate. No entry is needed, all kills are automatically scraped from public killboards and ISK bounties are paid automatically. Goons maintain a public leader board to document the carnage. As the end of the even approaches, there have been 7,553 kills, totaling 1.5 trillion ISK in damage. Almost 20 billion ISK in bounties have been paid to participating pilots.


Hulkageddon Never Ends

The Mittani has just announced that hulk bounties will continue indefinitely. The Goon's 10M ISK per mining ship bounty, together with the loot taken from the wrecks, is sufficient to turn suicide ganking into a viable profession. Now players can gank full-time in high security space and earn a profit doing so.


The Bottom Line

Goons pay 10M ISK for each dead Hulk and every Hulk requires about 180M ISK worth of technetium to build. Heh.
posted by ryanrs at 9:02 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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