Friday, June 08, 2012

The rules of EVE online

I am not actively playing EVE at the moment but since I decided to keep up my sub for training I occasionally log in to update the skill queue, look around and maybe run a mission or two. I was too tired to do much last night but logged in anyway for a look around. Someone was touting a blueprint for sale in local chat.

SECOND RULE OF EVE: Anything being offered in local chat in Jita is a scam.

This however was not Jita and even though I was I tired I knew that honest pilots who couldn't be bothered hauling their goods  to a trade hub sometimes tout their wares in local in the hopes of making a sale in this quiet system. You can occasionally pick up a bargain this way.

THIRD RULE OF EVE: If it looks too good to be true. It is.

A quick glance at EVE Central showed that this blueprint was being sold at a considerable discount to the market price. Tempting. The pilot might be too lazy to haul it to a busier system but perhaps I could make a few million doing so.

FOURTH RULE OF EVE: What you don't know WILL hurt you.

Blueprints are needed to make stuff in EVE. A BPO is an original blueprint which never runs out and can be used to make copies. A BPC is a blueprint copy which has a limited number of uses. Needless to say BPOs are much more valuable than BPCs. You can sell BPOs on the market in EVE but the less valuable BPCs can only be traded in contracts. Unfortunately the original and the copy look just like each other so you need to look closely at the details to tell them apart.

FIFTH RULE OF EVE: If you lose it is always your own fault.

It was only after I accepted the apparent "bargain" that my brain kicked into gear and I went to check contracts. Needless to say I had just paid well over the odds for a relatively worthless blueprint copy.

What stung the most about this is not the fact that I lost a few million isk. What really annoyed me is that I knew all this in advance.  I even knew the bit about BPOs versus BPCs.

Do you want to know how I am certain that I knew?

It is because when I went to check contracts the search page defaulted to the last search I had done a week or so earlier. It was a search for the exact same blueprint showing just how little it was really worth.  Finally I remembered almost falling for the same scam then but having the presence of mind to double check contracts first and saying no. Sadly a week later I was tired and didn't remember my previous search until it was too late.

SIXTH RULE OF EVE: If you are any way tired or otherwise not alert, then don't. Just don't.

[Aside #1: To be fair I don't know if I can even accuse the seller of scamming. There were no lies told and no effort made at deception. He or she just offered something for sale at a very high price and some gullible fool (me) bought it. I regularly buy stuff cheap and sell it dear. Does it make me a scammer if  I neglect to mention you can get it for 5 million less by flying two systems over? What is the line between making an honest profit and running a scam?

[Aside #2: There is a first rule of EVE but I couldn't figure a way to fit it into the story. For completeness here it is anyway:

FIRST RULE OF EVE: Do not fly what you cannot afford to lose. ]


Cap'n John said...

I think you were probably intentionally scammed, but that's EVE for you. I like the way you make this an educational post and not a rant about "bloody scammers!"

I was considering doing something somewhat similar in LOTRO, by making an Expert-level Scholar, buying certain Pattern Books off the AH (the ones I figure would be in high demand) then using my new Scholar to make the one-use-only Patterns and reselling them for a small fortune.

I already do something like this with my Expert Blacksmith with the resource Tools. It's amazing how much people will pay for a better quality Tool because it will shave 1/2 a second off their time to mine some Ore or chop some Wood. Then again, that 1/2 a second could mean the difference between successfully gathering the resource or being interrupted mid-attempt by an angry Goblin. And watching someone else ride up and ninja "your" node while you're fighting a Mob right next to it is not a pleasant experience.

mbp said...

I have no doubt that the seller knew exactly what they were doing. A check of the market showed that they have several of these overpriced contracts and they are all much higher then the next priced contract for the same blueprint. Even the choice of a less populaed system was no doubt deliberate because it lessens the chance of them being called out.

Nevetheless they did not tell any lies and they delivered exactly what they said they would. I know it is a scam but I am finding it hard to say exactly how it falls under the definition.