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blankseplocked When is a scam an exploit?
 
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Khanh'rhh
Sudden Buggery
Situation: Normal
Posted - 2010.12.03 17:47:00 - [1]
 

Ok,

So I am rather new around here (started my trial 2010.11.23) and, so far, I love Eve. Even the scamming! But when is a scam a scam, and when is a scam an exploit?

So, I was running some courier contracts (stop moaning in the back!) and noticed that, when you ran from a popular scam merchant base (*cough* Jita .. *cough*) a lot of the contracts are, shall we say, dodgy. It's the classic "destination is in low sec / passes through low sec so we'll gank yo' ship and keep the collateral.

I'm fine with this, completely. A completely legitimate game tactic. A ran a few of these for the buzz - the contractor wasn't smart enough to make the cargo an industrial-only size, so I happily snuck through in my max warp stabilized Rifter. A civilian gattling gun sealed and delivered for a 10mil reward? Thanks!

I even got bold, and ran a few in my Badger. I got though each time. Nothing like arriving at the destination on fire! High risk couriering Twisted Evil

Then, it happened. I spotted one that looked pretty doable, and the reward was the classic 5-10mil. What I didn't spot, was the tiny last jump, which landed me into null-sec.

I got there, got in, and managed to break through their blockade (I always started the contracts 12 hours after accepting to give the largest chance of their only being a skeleton crew present). I was away! At warp, and rather pleased with myself.

Of course, you know the end. They denied my docking and that was that.

How is this not a blatant exploit? There is zero risk to the contractor and the mission is IMPOSSIBLE to run. I'm happy with it being REALLY HARD & a blatant setup ... but where is the gameplay in an impossible task? It should always be possible to avoid / reverse scam the merchants .. just like the real world. Hitting a brick wall due to an exploited and ill-thought through game mechanic is cheap & easy.

I know this is an old issue by now (from reading up on it), so what I want to know, is have CCP replied on this?

The solution, is the courier contract is changed such that you can only accept the contract if the whole route is *possible* to transverse and the end station is dockable.

Hard & huge risk = game mechanic
Impossible and everyone knows it = exploit

IMO

Sjugar
Posted - 2010.12.03 17:52:00 - [2]
 

Originally by: Khanh'rhh


How is this not a blatant exploit? There is zero risk to the contractor and the mission is IMPOSSIBLE to run.
The risk to the contractor is that someone who DOES have access to the station accepts it. Nothing as fun getting some isk from your scamming alliance mates.

Yuki Kulotsuki
Posted - 2010.12.03 18:31:00 - [3]
 

Just wait till he finds out about the unfulfillable buy orders.

Spruillo
Gallente
Spruillo Corp
Posted - 2010.12.03 19:07:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Spruillo on 03/12/2010 19:10:06
Yes it is an exploit. Private station should not even be possible to set as destination for a public contract and it is almost exclusively new players that get stung not by any lack of common sense but by technicality.
CCP refuses to budge on it.

It's a badge of courage for any new EVE adventurer to have 1 failed tract learning that lesson I did with my first alt after spending 4 hours and loosing 4-5 rookie scout ships to bricksquad camps then busting thru after learning how the camps worked ina nano incursus only to sit outside the station with my thumb up my ass and 1 carbon.

You however must be supercourageous.
-6- failed tracts to private stations I predict great things in your EVE career.


Misanth
RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE
Posted - 2010.12.03 19:20:00 - [5]
 

When CCP say so.

Khanh'rhh
Sudden Buggery
Situation: Normal
Posted - 2010.12.03 19:51:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Yuki Kulotsuki
Just wait till he finds out about the unfulfillable buy orders.


Heh Razz

I know about them, and to be honest I feel they fit in the same way. How does it help the game when you have to pass up ALL offers to buy, because any of them could be illegitimate and there's no way to know?

The problem with this, and the buy orders scam, is that you are avoiding a *game mechanic* and not anything "in world" that in any way relates to a real chance of avoiding it.

OK, so I learned a lesson - but the point here, is that no matter how smart you are, you will fall for this scam at least once, if you want to haul.

I have no problem with it being really -freaking- hard, surprise attacks, etc - but to have a hidden mechanic where the mere act of accepting the contract = instawin for them, no matter how good you are or go in at fleet strength, is a little weak.

How many times in real life has this happened to a haulage firm? :

"So, if you just sign here, we can transfer the collateral and you can be on your way. Remember, this route is very hard .. and I'm practically a criminal .. so don't be surprised if there's something in it for me to stop you completing this mission!" YARRRR!!
-
"Hmm .. you are indeed a scoundrel, sir - but I love a risk .. and here's where I show you the error of your scheming ways!"
-
*shakes hands*
"HAH! I win!!!"
-
"?"
-
"That place is locked! You can't possibly deliver! And it's all here in the small-print that you weren't able to see until now!"

It's unrealistic. I don't even need to own a station to run this scam .. I just find a player station with a name that sounds sufficiently like an NPC station, set it as the bogus destination, and Boom! money rolls in. Where is the gameplay?

Torquemada Credo
Posted - 2010.12.03 20:11:00 - [7]
 


Its not an exloit, you knew or at least could have checked the station was player owned. As its player owned they can stop you entering. You havent been given an impossable mission thats because of a dodgy game mechanic, you accepted a mission you could have resonably ascertained would have the risk of being uncompletable.

TC

Christopher AET
Segmentum Solar
Posted - 2010.12.03 20:12:00 - [8]
 

First of all welcome to eve. For such a new character this is a very well though out and reasoned post. I do not think the mechanics should be changed as it says the destination station in the contract.

However you do have cause for concern if the player outpost name imitates or closely resembles that of an NPC station. I believe this is against the EULA and can be petitioned.

So if undockable outpost is called "Northern Coalition blob tactics kindergarten" then that is fine. But if they name it something like "Caldri Navy Headquarters" even though they mispelled the name to avoid the letter of the EULA you may be able to petition it as it is designed to deceive.

In any case it seems you are exactly the sort of new player eve needs. Good luck out there.

Khanh'rhh
Sudden Buggery
Situation: Normal
Posted - 2010.12.03 21:30:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Torquemada Credo

Its not an exloit, you knew or at least could have checked the station was player owned. As its player owned they can stop you entering. You havent been given an impossable mission thats because of a dodgy game mechanic, you accepted a mission you could have resonably ascertained would have the risk of being uncompletable.

TC


This seems obvious to you (and now, to me!) but to explain my logic:

a) I didn't know they could stop you docking. I assumed "0.0" standing would still allow a dock, as it does with NPC. Nowhere is this difference made apparent. I was checking standings only, which I thought was a good way of checking it wasn't an opposing faction and I'd get gate-gunned (or something!)
b) I honestly assumed that a contract would have to be *possible* to be offered - like I said, I can look at the map and ration out the risks .. but to a new player there is no hope in hell of working out the chance is exactly zero.

You can't accept a contract you don't have the collateral to pay .. but you can offer one you don't give the rights to complete? It seems *heavily* skewed towards the scammers. That's my point, I guess.

Given the tutorials / opening missions / etc are so thorough in telling you all the risks to things .. why leave out something simple like a first-time warning? Something like:

**Caution**
This contract terminates at a player owned station. It is advisable to check docking permissions and/or standings before accepting. Players may charge you to dock or deny you completely. Check the terms with the owners
**Caution**

This still makes it possible to scam through courier contracts .. but at least there would be some work involved. i.e. Negotiate a docking fee .. wait for the ship to arrive & then surround / scramble / web the ship & demand double. (simple example....)

As it is ... well it's just cheap. I despise cheap tactics. I'm a little annoyed that CCP let people profit from them so easily .. where's the point in being creative? CCP .. nerf noob scamming!

Anyway, that's my rant over Laughing - I'll make money off the ones I can, and quietly scoff at the scammers for being so lame.

I guess my larger point: CCP - please make scamming people an art form, not a cheap "vulture off the noobs" activity. All you do by allowing this is make the game we've all decided to play seem cheap. My 8 year old nephew could run this scam operation.

Well, you won't catch me being scammed again. Gotta run, there's a guy here buying a PLEX for 399million - he needs the ISK fast so it's a quick sale! It's totally legit cause he said it's not a scam.

Vested Interest
Posted - 2010.12.03 21:40:00 - [10]
 

It's past time that CCP put in a few filters in the contracts system.

A comprehensive set of filters such as job size, collateral size, , payout, # jumps, destination security rating, etc, would go a long ways towards usability.

Harrigan VonStudly
Original Sin.
Underworld Excavators
Posted - 2010.12.03 21:42:00 - [11]
 

The truth in the matter and my suggestion in how to look at this matter is this.
People who get their rocks off by setting up what is mostly always new players with scams like this are pretty ****ing ****y.
If that's how they get their pvp then consider them the paper that wipes the ass and don't fall for it again.

Spruillo
Gallente
Spruillo Corp
Posted - 2010.12.03 21:53:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Torquemada Credo

Its not an exloit, you knew or at least could have checked the station was player owned. As its player owned they can stop you entering. You havent been given an impossable mission thats because of a dodgy game mechanic, you accepted a mission you could have resonably ascertained would have the risk of being uncompletable.

TC


I wont call you the obvious, an absolute ****ing idiot, because I accidentally made my forum ban blockade running forum alt on the same account.

Again, how is a new player supposed to know they can't dock in -any- station a public courier tract is issued too. They see the tract, they look at the route, they see the danger of a 00 jump, and decide to take the risk. They look at the station. Just like any NPC station it has services listed, offices, etc. So off they go and after a vailiant effort against terrible odds and even more terrible gate camps they succeed only to learn something the hard way THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAD TO LEARN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

It is absolutely unreasonable for such a tract to be issuable outside maybe alliance or corp, which also deals with the other common argument, more intelligent than yours, that it is meant for corpmates etc.

By all lines of reasoning defending this **** unpolished mechanic, I DEMAND TO MAKE PUBLIC COURIER TRACTS TO MY POS.

Again, dodgy mechanics that take advantage of and unfairly punish new players with a sense of adventure.

****ing ******s

Katarlia Simov
Minmatar
Cowboys From Hell
Posted - 2010.12.03 23:17:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Spruillo
Originally by: Torquemada Credo

Its not an exloit, you knew or at least could have checked the station was player owned. As its player owned they can stop you entering. You havent been given an impossable mission thats because of a dodgy game mechanic, you accepted a mission you could have resonably ascertained would have the risk of being uncompletable.

TC


I wont call you the obvious, an absolute ****ing idiot, because I accidentally made my forum ban blockade running forum alt on the same account.

Again, how is a new player supposed to know they can't dock in -any- station a public courier tract is issued too. They see the tract, they look at the route, they see the danger of a 00 jump, and decide to take the risk. They look at the station. Just like any NPC station it has services listed, offices, etc. So off they go and after a vailiant effort against terrible odds and even more terrible gate camps they succeed only to learn something the hard way THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAD TO LEARN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

It is absolutely unreasonable for such a tract to be issuable outside maybe alliance or corp, which also deals with the other common argument, more intelligent than yours, that it is meant for corpmates etc.

By all lines of reasoning defending this **** unpolished mechanic, I DEMAND TO MAKE PUBLIC COURIER TRACTS TO MY POS.

Again, dodgy mechanics that take advantage of and unfairly punish new players with a sense of adventure.

****ing ******s



Totally agreed. They should do something about this ****. New people can't be expected to know that it's actually impossible to complete the contract, and it's bull**** that the only way to find out is to go knock on the door.

I agree that there should be a pop up telling you if you can't dock when you get there, and thus problem solved.

This kinda stuff isn't even a scam, its just kicking newbies, and that's pathetic.

Still, welcome to eve Khanh'rhh. You'll do well if you like danger and sticking it to ****heads. We welcome you with open arms.

Flesh Slurper
Minmatar
Posted - 2010.12.03 23:41:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Khanh'rhh

b) I honestly assumed that a contract would have to be *possible* to be offered - like I said, I can look at the map and ration out the risks .. but to a new player there is no hope in hell of working out the chance is exactly zero.


The contract is possible, either you have standings to dock, or you contact someone to get standings to dock (good luck), or you can subcontract it out to someone else who has standings to dock. It's not their fault that you fail to check beforehand and take proper measures to insure you can do it before you accept it.

Jovan Geldon
Gallente
Lead Farmers
Kill It With Fire
Posted - 2010.12.03 23:57:00 - [15]
 

If you didn't read the small print then frankly you deserve to get shafted. This game is not going to hand everything to you on a silver platter, and the sooner you learn that the better off you'll be.

Receg
Tragedy.
Posted - 2010.12.04 01:54:00 - [16]
 

Hey OP, how ya doing? YARRRR!!

Triple Entendre
Atrocity.
Posted - 2010.12.04 02:01:00 - [17]
 

Still not impossible. Negotiate docking rights. You can always see who posts a contract.

Of course, they don't have to accept, or be honest when they say you do have them...

Everything appears to be working as intended.

Mitchell Hagen
Posted - 2010.12.04 03:09:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Khanh'rhh
The solution, is the courier contract is changed such that you can only accept the contract if the whole route is *possible* to transverse and the end station is dockable.

Does not work.

1. Wait for courier contract to station to be accepted.
2. Deny docking rights to the destination station.
3. Profit!

Khanh'rhh
Sudden Buggery
Situation: Normal
Posted - 2010.12.04 03:56:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Triple Entendre
Still not impossible. Negotiate docking rights. You can always see who posts a contract.

Of course, they don't have to accept, or be honest when they say you do have them...

Everything appears to be working as intended.


Humph. Did you read what I wrote? I said I'm FINE if it's made at least vaguely clear that you would need to do this. You just aren't told / made aware in anyway that would be meaningful to a new player. This reminds me of Hitchiker's guide - where they are discussing the well documented plans to destroy Earth:

Quote:
Thereís no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so youíve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and itís far too late to start making a fuss about it now. Ö What do you mean youíve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heavenís sake, mankind, itís only four light years away, you know


It's funny there because it's ludicrous. Ditto here.

You can't exactly 'negotiate' docking rights when you have about 4 seconds before your ship pops.

"Good day Sir, very nice ruse you have here, indeed. I do say, would you mind awfully not ganking my freighter a moment so we might talk about a compromise? No? A burning hulk suits you better? Well pah! That's not very sporting!"

Thanks to all those who agree the system as it exists, is rather skewed. There's a few around here who seem to have a rather inflated sense of machismo about being a virtual pirate .. well good luck with that. If you need to exploit minor quirks to get your ISk, well you're doing it wrong :)

Spruillo
Gallente
Spruillo Corp
Posted - 2010.12.04 07:07:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Khanh'rhh
Originally by: Triple Entendre
Still not impossible. Negotiate docking rights. You can always see who posts a contract.

Of course, they don't have to accept, or be honest when they say you do have them...

Everything appears to be working as intended.


Humph. Did you read what I wrote? I said I'm FINE if it's made at least vaguely clear that you would need to do this. You just aren't told / made aware in anyway that would be meaningful to a new player. This reminds me of Hitchiker's guide - where they are discussing the well documented plans to destroy Earth:

Quote:
Thereís no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so youíve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and itís far too late to start making a fuss about it now. Ö What do you mean youíve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heavenís sake, mankind, itís only four light years away, you know


It's funny there because it's ludicrous. Ditto here.

You can't exactly 'negotiate' docking rights when you have about 4 seconds before your ship pops.

"Good day Sir, very nice ruse you have here, indeed. I do say, would you mind awfully not ganking my freighter a moment so we might talk about a compromise? No? A burning hulk suits you better? Well pah! That's not very sporting!"

Thanks to all those who agree the system as it exists, is rather skewed. There's a few around here who seem to have a rather inflated sense of machismo about being a virtual pirate .. well good luck with that. If you need to exploit minor quirks to get your ISk, well you're doing it wrong :)


Train up some probing hacking and cov ops skills and hit lo/nul/wspace but mostly lo/wspace it would prob suit you do your own thing and have fun or log off and go eat icecream or something if **** gets to you EVE can be engrossing and the bull**** these rl ***s spew and do ingame is part of the scene just dont ever get entangled with them character is character ingame or out the ones who deny it the loudest are the guiltiest and ppl show who they are and what they are about by their words and actions over the internet quicker than rl. Take them at face value and f-them. Youll meet some cool ppl here and there but not often. and STOP DOING THE STUPID COURIER TRACTS

Sjugar
Posted - 2010.12.04 18:14:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Sjugar on 04/12/2010 18:19:40
Do I have to spell it out?

Open the contract but don't accept it yet.
Look at the destination and right-click it. Now select "set destination".
Now look at the left of your screen: if you only see green and yellow dots it's ok.
If you see orange dots, the route takes you through low-sec where you can be shot and if the bottom dot is orange, the destination system is in low-sec.
Now for the important part, if you see red dots that means the route goes through 0.0 and if the bottom dot is red this means that the destination system is in 0.0. Now all alarm bells should go ringing.

All is not lost yet though.
There are two types of npc 0.0 and player controlled 0.0. If the station is in npc 0.0 you can still deliver so back to the contract again.

Look at the destination and instead of right-clicking now left click on it.
You now see a window with a nice picture of a station and to the right of that a smaller picture. Click the smaller picture. Now you can check and see if that's an npc corporation or a player corporation. If it's an npc corporation you can deliver if it's an player corporation you might need good or even excellent standings towards them so it is risky.

I don't know why I wrote this down, all is lost anyway.

(edit)

If you don't see dots at all people might try to send you through the Jove empire which has got no know connection to the Eve universe so don't accept.

Shiho Weitong
Caldari
Koa Mai Hoku
Posted - 2010.12.04 20:25:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: Sjugar

Do I have to spell it out?



Well apparantly you do.

I completely agree with you. And the tutorial DOES (did?) mention the fact that there are npc corporations in SOME of 0.0

Hegbard
Posted - 2010.12.04 23:16:00 - [23]
 

A lot of those contracts are not scams. When I run to Jita for my own shopping, I usually pick up as many contracts as can fit in the leftover cargo I have to the stations on the way home. No one has complained yet.

You just didn't know game mechanics. Which is not unusual in this game.

Khanh'rhh
Sudden Buggery
Situation: Normal
Posted - 2010.12.05 16:35:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Sjugar
Edited by: Sjugar on 04/12/2010 18:19:40
Do I have to spell it out?


Thanks for taking the time to post. I worked all this out myself .. but obviously working it out was a trial and error process which involved losing quite a lot of ISK. Obviously anyone with eyes can work out the low / null-sec route issue, that's not an exploit. I saw this and decided the money was worth the risk. I ran many of the "gate camped" contracts successfully - ending up with a few hundred million for my trouble. Some of them offer 5-10 contracts that run the same route, to maximise their camping. What they haven't considered is if one player accepts ALL those contracts, they're gambling 150 million on being able to stop you .. and you're risking a 750k badger .. or in some cases a 75k frigate. In one afternoon I, a new player, made 300million. I don't need to mine or mission grind for a good while!

I just disagree, fundamentally, that there is no method of realising the contract is an impossible run before trying one and failing. It has to be up to the player to decide if the risk is worth the trip (see above..) but there should always be an opportunity for it to be doable .. else the contract makes no sense! I prefer real-world mechanics in my scams :P

It's a bit like how in 1998 you couldn't log onto a counterstrike game without 75%+ of players using a keyboard mod that made their characters perma-jump - mixed with the inevitable modem lag they were unhittable. They all claimed that was "game mechanics" - but how often in real life do soldiers struggle to hit their target because they're boucing around, and actually they're not where they appear to be?

Anyway - I'll continue to run the 'tracts, as I'm doing pretty well off them. ATM I'm working out trade routes, and exploting the market somewhat (don't have the PVP skills yet!) , and picking up a few of these that are in the direction you're headed anyway is a great way to add a little margin on your trip.

omgevenmoarfreemoniez
Posted - 2010.12.05 22:58:00 - [25]
 

This is probably an elaborate scam attempt to get people to accept scam contracts in the hope they can "dodge the blockades" like OP.

Lederstrumpf
Posted - 2010.12.06 11:23:00 - [26]
 

Originally by: Khanh'rhh
How is this not a blatant exploit?


When you misread a contract as "Everybody must be able to deliver" then you get what you got.

Not everybody can mine anything, not everybody can kill anything, not everybody has access anywhere. It's the nature of things.

You should read contracts to closed stations as "Only people with access might be able to deliver" -- and act accordingly, if you have no access yet yourself: a) Get access granted, b) Have somebody with access do it or c) Do not accept a contract you can not fulfill.

KaiserSoze434
Posted - 2010.12.06 11:40:00 - [27]
 

I have to say that you pretty much have no idea what you're talking about.

1. They are able to be completed. Just not by you. There are a lot of things in EVE that are insta-fail if you don't bother to look at what you're doing.

2. Its a scam, not an exploit, because it relies on you being too greedy to think and do your homework.

3. This sort of situation is completely possible in the real world, i.e. is realistic despite what you say. You don't think there are freight companys who suddenly found their approval to move things into third world countries is suddenly revoked by the authorities? You don't think there are parts of the world where the area is dominated by very dangerous locals and you better take the time to find out about it and make arrangements before you try to roll through their territory? They are high risk high payout contracts that require a specific skillset and diplomatic cover to complete. There are lvl 4 missions that some people in EVE can't possibly complete based on current skill and game position too. Should they go away too?

Laxyr
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2010.12.06 13:20:00 - [28]
 

1) Courier contracts leading to undockable 0.0 = scam, not an exploit*
2) Courier contracts leading to jove space = bannable exploit.* (you will easily notice them: the contracts state about "2 billion jumps to destionation"

*CCPs official statement

Regards, Lax

Dukkhada
Posted - 2010.12.06 19:05:00 - [29]
 

Edited by: Dukkhada on 06/12/2010 19:10:47
its not an exploit because you just need to assume any courier conract to null-sec is a scam.


Ehranavaar
Gallente
Posted - 2010.12.06 19:27:00 - [30]
 

the rule of thumb is that any scam which affects me is some manner of exploit. Razz


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