Thursday, March 08, 2012

EVE - Did you forget what game you are playing?


This entire post is based on a false assumption. I assumed I had been scammed by a quick fingered market watcher but in fact it turns out I scammed myself! Thanks to Yazel and Stabs for explaining it to me in the comments. Details in next post.


Oh how easy it is to fall into unthinking complacency.

My EVE free trial bore fruit and convinced me to re-subscribe. Marb Pelico, Minmatar gentleman of the road is flying once more. My week's trial experience meant that I was already up to speed on the basic game interface but I had plenty of re-organising to do: collecting junk spread across several regions, planning ships and skills and re familiarising myself with alts (including a useful trader and a noob pilot bizarrely doing missions in 0.0 space).

A few days into this process I remembered that I had a few million isk on the trial account that would vanish into the exceedingly t

Think air of space once the trial expired. Seemed a shame to let it go so I logged into the trial account and tried to transfer it over. Simple enough process except  CCP doesn't allow trial characters to send isk to other players by any of the normal routes. It is to stop money laundering scams apparently although I don't quite know what this means.

Anyway it was late, I was tired and I couldn't be bothered googling a solution but I came up with what seemed to me to be a foolproof plan. Trial accounts can't send isk to players but they can still buy and sell stuff. I got one of my regular characters to set up a sell order for a single rusty bullet with an  outrageous selling price that just happened to equal the amount of cash my free trialler had on hand. As the two characters were already in the same station the process only took a few minutes and it went like this:

Log into main.
Set up sell order for single bullet for x million isk
logout main and log into free trial account
Lookup market for particularly overpriced bullet.
Notice that this bullet was put up for sale only a couple of minutes ago. It's mine all right, buy it.
Ignore helpful warning message pointing out that you are paying "HOW MUCH?" for a single bullet.

Bid fond farewell to now skint trial character
Logout of trial forever
Log back into main and collect .....


"Where is my x million isk?"
and  "Why is my bullet still on the market for x million isk?"

Checking back through logs - it turns out that my trial character has just bought a single useless bullet from a complete stranger for x million isk.  How this stranger managed to spot what I was doing and immediately put up a matching order is beyond me, the whole process only took a couple of minutes. Was it just an opportunist scammer or are there folk trawling the bullets market for just such an event? How did the scammer manage to get their item to appear before mine in the trade window? I don't know the answer to any of these questions and in EVE if you don't know the answer to a question it is quite likely that you will fall victim to someone who does.

Other EVE news: I am completely enthralled by  this blog about life in EVE's wormhole space, thank you to Syncaine for linking it. Doyce is a professional writer and a good one. That makes the blog terrifically enjoyable to read but the more of it I read the more I suspect that a certain amount of poetic license is being used. Doyce himself admits to obfuscating details  for security reasons. Nevertheless he paints a completely gripping portrait of life on the real wild frontier of EVE.


Gankalicious said...

Ah man, that's too bad about the ISK. Shoulda set up a courier contract between the two characters. That's how I used to trade cash to and fro.... You can also trade face to face I believe (been a while) and I always had two clients running at once.

Ah well, a few million is easily made back!

mbp said...

I actually tried to set up contracts from the free trial account but I kept hitting a glass ceiling where the free trial account could not proceed with the trasaction. Perhaps if I iniated the contract from the paying end it might have worked better. I still have a few million worth of ships and loot stuck in the trial account but I cannot think of a way to transfer it.

Cap'n John said...

It seems unlikely that the player just happened to notice your grossly overpriced rusty bullet, realized what was happening, just happened to have one in his (or her) inventory, and immediately listed their own rusty bullet for the same price.

The more likely scenario is that they were running an Addon similar to Auctioneer, which was constantly scanning the "Auction House" looking for highly profitable items, being those listed for abnormally high prices. And your grossly overpriced rusty bullet fit the bill.

Depending on how much space junk that specific character could carry, it's possible he was loaded up with just about everything available in the EVE universe, and the Addon automatically created the Auction for him, listing his own Rusty Bullet for the same price as your own, or possibly for 1 ISK less. You admit it was late and that you were tired, so you didn't notice the minute price difference.

Maybe :P

mbp said...

More than likely Cap'n John. I know that EVE allows for extensive off line stuff through it's API keys so it could well have been one of those.

Ardent Defender said...

If you really want a good read on WH space and from the best person I know living exclusively in WH space that is Penny at

It's more than likely you didn't use the Trade interface properly more than someone else trade shinnagans. Always use the advance trade window vs the quick simple trade interface.

I can send you a few million ISK in game if it can help. I'll hardly miss a few millions at that among my many Billions.

mbp said...

Will check out Tiger Ears Arden D, thank for link. Thanks also for the offer of isk but there is no need really. It was only a noobs few shillings and I am financially secure on my main. The sinking feeling you get when you are scammed was the only painful bit.

Yazel said...

Forgive me if I missed this in your story :) but did you check for existing orders? I think the explanation may be that there was already someone selling that type of rusty bullet in your station and your ISK went to them.

(The sell order with the lowest asking price always fills first and it fills at the price specified by the buyer even if the buyer was offering an amount several orders of magnitude higher.)

Does that sound possible?

Stabs said...

I'm sure it's what Yazel says. It's a bit counter-intuitive but the market assumes you always want to buy from the cheapest seller.

So if
random sells EMP S at 40 isk
Your alt sells EMP S at 10 million isk

when you click on your alt's order you buy one EMP S for 10 million but the money goes to the random player, not your alt.

mbp said...

Yazel / Stabs

Bingo that would explain it. I never knew that it how it worked. So I wasn't scammed, it was just my naivety (stupidity?).

I guess I should remove the pins from that doll I made of the recipient of my dosh.

Ardent Defender said...

Kind of why I said before to use the advance trade interface vs the first simple one when you open to sell anything. So yes Yazel/Stabs are also both corrects.

So it's not that you were scammed using the market, it's more by not using the market properly and using it swiftly you can easily make mistakes and it can cost you millions or more. As well I'd say this never do market transactions when you are tired/sleepy/drunk or non alert.

Often what you dont know or aware of in so many ways can cost allot in EVE, which serves to foster the myth of the steep learning curve one way or another.