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  • Resources Realigned
    published on December 7th, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Prospecting capsuleers,

    Two recent exploratory and regulatory developments between the factions and corporations of New Eden are set to disrupt the cluster’s industrial landscape next week:

    Read the full report from New Eden News to get the complete picture and story behind these events in the living universe of EVE!

    NEW ORE TYPES

    Surveys conducted by four Upwell signatory corporations have revealed fields of novel mineral-rich asteroids in close proximity to type A0 blue stars across New Eden. Each of these new asteroid types will be named for the corporations involved in their discovery, and contain high concentrations of specific minerals:

    Ducinium - contains deposits of Megacyte
    Eifyrium - contains deposits of Zydrine
    Mordunium - contains deposits of Pyerite
    Ytirium - contains deposits of Isogen

    LUNAR CONSERVATION

    Concern by the Empires regarding the over-extraction of moon ore has led to a compromise between CONCORD, the Upwell Consortium, and ORE which will see maximum moon mining yield reduced by 25% – striking a balance between necessary conservation and last year’s doubling of extraction yields.

    The Upwell Consortium's rollout of requisite firmware updates is set to take place next week, concurrent with the public release of the coordinates for the newly discovered near-solar asteroid fields.

    As part of resource distribution plan, we intend for this to ease some bottlenecks in T1 industry, specifically as it pertains to capital manufacturing which is ramping up, while ensuring that T2 resource harvesting & industry remains profitable.

    Prepare for a realignment of resources, capsuleers – we'll see you in space!


  • Monthly Economic Report - November 2022
    published on December 2nd, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Economic Capsuleers!

    The Monthly Economic Report for November 2022 is now available!

    You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. Each image can be enlarged by clicking on it.

    0_produced_vs_mining_vs_destroyed.png 1_regional_stats.png 3_asteroid_ore_volume_history.png 3_asteroid_ore_mined_by_region.png 3_gas_volume_history.png 3_gas_mined_by_region.png 3_ice_volume_history.png 3_ice_mined_by_region.png 3_moon_ore_volume_history.png 3_moon_ore_mined_by_region.png 2_destruction_value_by_region.png 3_mining_value_by_region.png 3_npc_bounties_by_region.png 4_production_value_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_m3_by_region.png 6_trade_value_by_region.png 7_imports_exports_net_exports.png 9_sinks_and_faucets.png 9_top_commodity_faucets_history.png 9_top_sinks_and_faucets_history.png 9aa_services_breakdown.png 9b_money_supply.png 9c_money_velocity.png 9d_economy_indices.png 9ea_index_value_decomp_consumer_price_index.png 9fa_index_value_decomp_mineral_price_index.png 9ga_index_value_decomp_primary_producer_price_index.png 9ha_index_value_decomp_secondary_producer_price_index.png 10a_ess_regional_stats.png 10b_ess_mainbank_thefts.png 10c_ess_reservebank_thefts.png 11a_abyssal.png 12a_wormhole_import_export.png 12b_wormhole_import_export_summary.png

    To join the player discussion, please visit the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Team Security: Rules And Policy Clarifications
    published on November 21st, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Greetings, Capsuleers!

    As you might remember, in summer we released a Team Security update where we talked about RMTers, botters, fraud, and other related topics, followed by a Q&A session in the official EVE discord. We are tremendously grateful for all your attention, questions, reports, and your engagement with us. The questions were tough sometimes, but hopefully we managed to provide some answers.

    Summer and autumn have been rather busy for Team Security, as there are always more bots, RMTers, and account hackings to tackle. Your help in identifying these is, as always, tremendously important.

    In this entry we'd like to talk about some rules and policies, to clarify and to discuss the End User License Agreement (EULA) and hopefully make it more clear. There are many rumors within the community – and we thought it’d be nice to clear up the more contentious ones. After all, the EULA is so complex that sometimes even we forget where to look for a certain passage – so without further ado, let's jump in!

    ACCOUNT SHARING

    EULA: "You may not share your Account with anyone, or allow anyone other than you personally (or your minor child, if you have registered an Account on behalf of your minor child) to access or use your Account. Joint or shared ownership or use of an Account by more than one user is prohibited."

    Rumors:

    • “If I share an account with my beloved friend, the vigilantes from Team Security will ban me at once.”
    • “Nothing will ever happen if I share my login details with that guy who I totally know and trust.”

    In reality, account sharing is a complex topic. We do not encourage it, but it is also not something we actively pursue. Essentially, sharing an account is not a problem for Team Security until it is. It can seem natural to trust a friend to organize your skill queue when you are away, to get you ready for an important fight, etc – but the more people have access to an account, the higher the chance that very unfortunate situations will occur. Account sharing can go unnoticed for many years and there might be no issues at all. But there have been thousands of cases when the character that was shared for many years became a source of quick cash or got into other's possession permanently. And this is where the problem starts.

    Some of you might have been unlucky to return after an extensive break, only to discover that your character has been left with 5 million skill points; some might have discovered it sooner. There are many stories where trust between pilots has been broken, and we have heard all those stories, unfortunately. Team Security will not be able to help you in cases like these.

    It may seem appealing to claim that your account was hacked and damaged by hackers – but hacked accounts and shared accounts are very different cases, and we can easily see this difference when the investigation starts. We cannot share more details of how exactly this is determined, but this is always identifiable to us.

    To conclude, account sharing is a EULA violation and always done at your own risk. If this ever goes wrong, we will not be able to help you.

    Here are some statistics to give you a perspective. Mind that some shared accounts are represented in these statistics. While we do not treat them as hacked, they contributed to the final numbers:

    Account Sharing - Team Security Player Blog 2

    ISK BUYING

    EULA: "You may not transfer, sell or auction, or buy or accept any offer to transfer, sell or auction (or offer to do any of the foregoing), any content appearing within the Game environment, including without limitation characters, character attributes, items, currency, and objects, other than via a permitted Character Transfer. The buying, selling or auctioning (or any attempt at doing so) of characters, character attributes, items, currency, or objects, whether through online auctions, newsgroups, postings on message boards or any other means is prohibited by the EULA and a violation of CCP's proprietary rights in the Game."

    Rumors:

    • “Nothing will happen if I buy ISK from this cool-looking website and will get a ship that I always dreamed of.”
    • “This is just another fellow player earning money by selling their excess wealth.”
    • “No one will ever know!”

    We've touched on ISK buying in our previous blog, in our last Fanfest presentation, and in the Team Security Q&A. We want to stress once again that there are no legitimate methods of RMT. All the ISKs and items that are purchased on the third-party websites are gained through illicit means. They come from credit card frauds, hacked accounts and bot farms. No exception.

    Whenever the account gets hacked and the character gets extracted - all those extractors go to someone who has purchased them on the third-party websites. Stolen credit cards are used to purchase PLEX which is distributed to the same buyers later. Botters create hundreds of accounts and generate ISK by using all sorts of automation. This is how RMT is funded.

    Buying ISK is a EULA violation. While we do try to fight with the source and eliminate it, the easy ISK gain seems like a good idea to many.

    Many buyers eventually face the complete deduction of the purchased goods (sometimes billions of ISK). Accounts get banned, penalties are applied, and something that seemed like a simple way of gaining an advantage can turn into a massive drawback. There have been many stories where we had to recover illicitly purchased items and relocate them to their original owners, leaving the buyer with neither ISK nor the money they spent, as well as harsh penalties on their accounts.

    As with the account sharing, we always see the illegitimacy of the transaction no matter the claims and we are always familiar with two sides of one story. ISK buyers are reported just as sellers are, and all exchanges eventually come to light.

    Here is a simple example to make things clearer (because we love examples!). Let's say player A has purchased ISK on the illegitimate website from the seller. We have caught this seller, he has contacted us and confessed to all his wrongdoings. We know why he did it, we know the bot farm that supplied him, and we know all his clients. Player A has contacted us as well, claiming that unfortunately their cat walked over the keyboard, resulting in a purchase that he was not aware of. Player A is not aware of our investigations behind the curtain and the confession of a seller.

    Another example: Player A has decided to purchase a shiny character on a shady website. He receives the character, and everything seems to be perfect – except that in a couple of days or weeks, his account gets banned. We inform Player A that the character he purchased (legitimately, he thought) had been taken from a hacked account, and will be returned to its original owner. Even if Player A paid thousands of dollars to a third party, the character still goes back to where it belongs, and Player A is left with neither money nor a new character.

    Overall, Player A does not seem to be having a good week.

    We cannot stress enough that you should never buy ISK or other assets from third parties, as it hurts your fellow players more than you can imagine, and can hurt you as well. In the long run the momentarily gain might get you locked out of many features and in-game possibilities. And in the end we, Team Security, really want you to enjoy the game and be safe while doing so.

    For curious readers, these are the approximate numbers of bans that we have issued from June/July through the end of September:

    This image can be enlarged by clicking on it. ISK Buying - Team Security Player Blog 2

    BOTTING

    EULA: "You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game.”

    Rumors:

    • “I will just try this super safe program that my buddy has recommended.”
    • “It's only a temporarily ban, I can wait it out.”
    • “Team Security does not have the tools to prove me guilty.”
    • “If someone reported me through bot reports, I will be banned immediately.”

    In past months, our team has been prioritizing bot hunting, as our old tools and procedures were in need of a review – and while we have not remade them from scratch, we have adjusted them and iterated on our process to better tackle botting. Now we would like to cover what happens when someone decides to start botting.

    Our take is quite simple. We treat it as a two-strike policy:

    • 1st offence: 3-day ban and certain limitations for the account.
    • 2nd offence: permanent ban.

    Macro usage is very much obvious, even if the process is being concealed. The logs do in fact show a lot, and we wish we could share them without the risk of exposing our methods – but sadly, it is not possible. But ultimately any configuration and any change is very much visible to us and our tools.

    Fun fact about bot reports: they do get looked at, but the action itself is not automated, meaning that the report on its own won't do anything if there is no violation. We do not issue bans just because someone was reported through this tool; every player who has been reported is checked the same way as any potential bot. It is simply a different way of receiving information, that's it. Long story short: if you are being reported by someone, but you know for a fact that you did not use any macros or third-party software, you have nothing to worry about. The only time we take action is when the report corelates with our internal data and the tools show that something shifty has been happening.

    Speaking of shifty things, let's talk about REPORTING:

    The best way to report something is still a ticket. At this time, there is no email inbox being actively monitored by Team Security, and we can only take action against bots through in-game reports – or via support ticket, if you'd like to report something specific. If you need to let us know about something shady happening, please send us a ticket instead of an email, and we will investigate it as soon as humanly possible.

    ISK SELLING

    EULA: “You may not transfer, sell or auction, or buy or accept any offer to transfer, sell or auction (or offer to do any of the foregoing), any content appearing within the Game environment, including without limitation characters, character attributes, items, currency, and objects, other than via a permitted Character Transfer as described in section 3 above. You may not encourage or induce any other person to participate in such a prohibited transaction. The buying, selling or auctioning (or any attempt at doing so) of characters, character attributes, items, currency, or objects, whether through online auctions, newsgroups, postings on message boards or any other means is prohibited by the EULA and a violation of CCP's proprietary rights in the Game.”

    Rumors:

    • “They'll never find out!”
    • “I know someone who’s selling ISK on a side, and they’ve never been caught, so this is totally safe.”
    • “CCP is allowing this to happen.”
    • “Selling a character on a third-party website is not RMT.”
    • “If I sell my character, he/she will live on when I quit EVE. My legacy stays.”

    There is a lot of ground to cover here. No matter how much we talk about ISK selling and RMT in general, there will always be more questions, and we in Team Security welcome them all. So, let's talk about rumors:

    RMT is a large problem and no, it is not permitted in any form. Some of the saddest RMT stories in New Eden involve players who start selling ISK on the side, growing wealthy in the process, building a corporation, training characters, forming connections and friendships, and more – only to one day find out that everything is gone. It’s the human factor - people tend to relax when there are no immediate consequences to their actions. And though initially players that decide to get involved in shady business may have no emotional investment in their characters or the game, it can change with time.

    We differentiate RMT, as we briefly mentioned in our Fanfest presentation – so let's try to cover these types with more details and examples.

    Organized RMT groups are the easiest type to cover. You see this very often – worthless contracts in Jita, blown up rookie ships packed with skill injectors, etc. Those contracts, ships and everything behind them is connected with bot farms, hacked accounts and credit card frauds. Their trail is easy to follow, and the offenders are always banned for good. They do come back eventually with new accounts and new ideas of how to make themselves invisible on our radar, but they are inevitably rediscovered. Many RMTers are banned with tremendous quantities of ISK in their pockets, which also means that involved ISK does not get distributed further.

    Next, we have the curious capsuleers of New Eden who want to try and get a bit of cash on the side, selling skill injectors, perhaps a titan, or even beloved characters. While this type isn't as consistent as organized groups might be, this is precisely the type of player who gets into trouble most of the time. Many characters who are sold for real money have their skills completely extracted, which is no secret, but we still want to emphasize it. This is particularly sad to see in the case of characters created ten, fifteen, or even nearly twenty years ago, as they have a very real history and lots of assets that may be worthless on the market, but carry sentimental value. As soon as an account or characters are sold on a third-party website, Team Security will not be able to help, not to mention that the seller also risks the following:

    1. Compromised transactions. There is a high chance that buyers will claim back the price they paid for a character with a chargeback through their bank/paypal/another payment platform. This is more common than you might think and it leaves the seller with neither money nor their character. Team Security will not be able to intervene and restore justice for obvious reasons.

    2. Compromised hardware. Earlier we established that sold characters will most likely be extracted sooner or later. Injectors go to ISK buyers, and these deals can pop up on our radar immediately. Investigations will inevitably lead us back to the player who sold the character, and then the trouble starts. In most cases involving RMT, we will be forced to cut off the seller's access to the game and treat their hardware as malicious, making it difficult to return to EVE.

    ISK Selling - Team Security Player Blog 2

    If we didn’t manage to cover something you’re still curious about, we welcome you to ask questions on the Forums. Mind you, there may be some edge cases where other things are being taken into consideration; we are always happy to discuss these as well, but the conversation might be a bit more brief.

    The EULA is dark and full of terrors, but we hope we have been able to clear some things up for you today.

    Fly safe & secure, pilots – we'll see you in space!


  • Monthly Economic Report - October 2022
    published on November 4th, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Economic Capsuleers!

    The Monthly Economic Report for October 2022 is now available!

    You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. Each image can be enlarged by clicking on it.

    0_produced_vs_mining_vs_destroyed.png 1 regional stats 3_asteroid_ore_volume_history.png 3_asteroid_ore_mined_by_region.png 3_gas_volume_history.png 3_gas_mined_by_region.png 3_ice_volume_history.png 3_ice_mined_by_region.png 3_moon_ore_volume_history.png 3_moon_ore_mined_by_region.png 2_destruction_value_by_region.png 3_mining_value_by_region.png 3_npc_bounties_by_region.png 4 production value by region (2) 5_trade_balance_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_m3_by_region.png 6_trade_value_by_region.png 7_imports_exports_net_exports.png 9_sinks_and_faucets.png 9_top_commodity_faucets_history.png 9_top_sinks_and_faucets_history.png 9aa_services_breakdown.png 9b_money_supply.png 9c_money_velocity.png 9d_economy_indices.png 9ea_index_value_decomp_consumer_price_index.png 9fa_index_value_decomp_mineral_price_index.png 9ga_index_value_decomp_primary_producer_price_index.png 9ha_index_value_decomp_secondary_producer_price_index.png 10a_ess_regional_stats.png 10b_ess_mainbank_thefts.png 10c_ess_reservebank_thefts.png 11a_abyssal.png 12a wormhole import export

    To join the player discussion, please visit the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Monthly Economic Report - September 2022
    published on October 1st, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Economic Capsuleers!

    The Monthly Economic Report for September 2022 is now available!

    You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. Each image can be enlarged by clicking on it. As with the previous report, there is also a limited number of "Dark Mode" graphs available in the download too!

    0_produced_vs_mining_vs_destroyed.png 1_regional_stats.png 3_asteroid_ore_volume_history.png 3_asteroid_ore_mined_by_region.png 3_gas_volume_history.png 3_gas_mined_by_region.png 3_ice_volume_history.png 3_ice_mined_by_region.png 3_moon_ore_volume_history.png 3_moon_ore_mined_by_region.png 2_destruction_value_by_region.png 3_mining_value_by_region.png 3_npc_bounties_by_region.png 4_production_value_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_m3_by_region.png 6_trade_value_by_region.png 7_imports_exports_net_exports.png 9_sinks_and_faucets.png 9_top_commodity_faucets_history.png 9_top_sinks_and_faucets_history.png 9aa_services_breakdown.png 9b_money_supply.png 9c_money_velocity.png 9d_economy_indices.png 9ea_index_value_decomp_consumer_price_index.png 9fa_index_value_decomp_mineral_price_index.png 9ga_index_value_decomp_primary_producer_price_index.png 9ha_index_value_decomp_secondary_producer_price_index.png 10a_ess_regional_stats.png 10b_ess_mainbank_thefts.png 10c_ess_reservebank_thefts.png

    To join the player discussion, please visit the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Sound Prioritization
    published on September 21st, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Bass-Blasting Capsuleers,

    We are excited to announce that the audio feature originally demoed at Fanfest is being released in October and is already available for testing on Singularity! Sound prioritization, previously known as "audio culling”, drastically reduces CPU usage from the audio system during large fights. Not only does sound prioritization save on the CPU, but it also significantly improves the overall sound experience of EVE Online by intelligently choosing the most important sounds to play, along with limiting the overall number of sounds allowed to be played at once. That means more nuance, clarity, and realism across New Eden’s soundscape.

    We know that a common fleet doctrine suggests that players disable audio when going into a large fleet fight. We can speculate that this has always been both because of how much CPU audio takes in large fights, as well as the cacophony of sounds that can be produced in such situations. Tackling those problems was exactly what motivated the creation of the sound prioritization feature, with a view to letting pilots turn their sound on and experience more immersive combat with a rich, dynamic audio backdrop that brings the battle to life. But before we dive into sound prioritization itself, let’s explore the challenge of those previous limitations.

    EVE: The Demanding Boss

    Have you ever had a boss that overloads you with so many tasks that you are constantly scrambling to keep up?

    This is exactly what the relationship between EVE and its audio engine has always been like; EVE filling the role of demanding boss and its audio engine the devoted (if overwhelmed) employee. Let's see what a "dialogue" between EVE and its third-party audio engine, called Wwise, would look like:

    2 Boss-Image Bad

    The audio engine, while highly capable, can't keep up with EVE's tremendous demands, so it starts using 100% of its allotted CPU. The following video is what a scenario like this can sound like along with the audio engine's CPU usage:

    Now, let's look at how sound prioritization moves the EVE client from being a demanding boss to a supportive and fair boss instead.

    EVE: The Good Guy Boss

    To be a supportive and fair boss, the EVE client needs to consider what is important when it comes to audio, and to make reasonable requests of Wwise, giving it some breathing room to render the sounds. Let's take another look at the "dialogue" between EVE and Wwise except this time let's play out what it would look like if EVE were the kind of boss we all deserve:

    3 Boss-Image Good

    The results of being a less demanding, more focused boss to the sound system can be heard immediately:

    Simply removing sounds indiscriminately is easy. However, this would give a less nuanced audio experience, so it is not the route we are taking. We want to deliver the best audio experience; not just throw as many sounds at you as possible. As part of this work, we had to consider carefully what sounds are considered 'important', which is a big question!

    How Sounds are Prioritized

    The sound prioritization system keeps track of all origin points from which sounds emit. The term used for this is "audio emitter". Based on how important an audio emitter is, it will either be kept alive and exposed to the audio engine, or it will be put to sleep and kept hidden from the audio engine entirely.

    The most important factor when prioritizing audio emitters is how far away it is from the player's camera. The emitters that are closest to the camera are considered more important. In fact, the prototype shown at Fanfest was using only distance as its prioritization criteria. However, when applying only distance-based prioritization to anything outside of battles, it was killing off important environmental sounds. After Fanfest, the following additional factors were added for the sound prioritization to consider whether an emitter:

    • has ever been used to play a sound.
    • is actively playing a sound.
    • has sound in range of the listener.
    • is visible to the camera.
    • is playing a sound marked as "vital" by a sound designer.
    • is playing a 2D sound – A 2D sound is one that has no position in 3D space and is purely in stereo. Usually, if a 2D sound is playing in EVE then the sound designers meant for it to be an added atmospheric layer.
    • has a "one shot" queued to be played - A "one shot" is just a sound that has a clear 'start' and 'end', which is not designed to loop. A typical example of this is the sound of an explosion or the impact of a rocket.

    All the above factors are considered to decide the "weight" of an audio emitter. With this value, we can decide how important a sound is in each scene.

    Let's Talk Performance

    As was shown in a previous video, sound prioritization cuts the CPU usage of EVE's audio engine in heavy scenes by about 75%. In a scene of around 2000 ships, previously the CPU used by the audio thread could easily reach its defined limit, in turn limiting the clarity and finesse of the soundscape.

    Glance at the CPU usage comparison image below, and it's clear to see that the audio thread is regularly hitting 100% utilization when sound prioritization is disabled. When that happens, and the sound becomes cluttered or impacts performance, players understandably start to disable audio in busy scenes. Look to the right-hand side of the image, where sound prioritization is turned on, and the reduced demand on CPU is striking.

    1 Charts

    Because sound prioritization has a hard limit on how many audio emitters will be used, the cost of the audio thread on the CPU will stay between 20% to 30%. This stands true no matter how many ships are on screen at the same time. This may increase slightly if we add more complexity to sounds in the future, but this system allows us to have very tight control over how much CPU we use.

    Let's Talk About the Soundscape

    Sound prioritization doesn't just improve your game performance by freeing up system resources, it also improves the overall soundscape of EVE tremendously, and in almost every situation. You will notice a crisper sound experience, where it will be possible to hear the details of objects you are focused on while still getting the environmental cues necessary for gameplay. Where the soundscape could have felt overwhelming previously, you will now be able to enjoy the amazing sounds created by our talented sound designers.

    It is much easier to hear the difference rather than write about it! Here is a clip from the last mass test that shows the differences between having sound prioritization on and off:

    Conclusion

    We've already had one mass test and made changes based on player feedback. Another mass test is scheduled for the 27th of September, and we would love to see you there! While this feature is now available on Singularity for testing, it will be available to all players as part of the EVE Evolved update on October 11th. We are very excited to bring this improved audio experience to you and look forward to your feedback.

    Fly safe, turn your sound on, and turn up your volume!


  • Monthly Economic Report - August 2022
    published on September 1st, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Economic Capsuleers!

    The Monthly Economic Report for August 2022 is now available!

    You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. Each image can be enlarged by clicking on it. As with the previous report, there is also a limited number of "Dark Mode" graphs available in the download too!

    0_produced_vs_mining_vs_destroyed.png 1_regional_stats.png 3_asteroid_ore_volume_history.png 3_asteroid_ore_mined_by_region.png 3_gas_volume_history.png 3_gas_mined_by_region.png 3_ice_volume_history.png 3_ice_mined_by_region.png 3_moon_ore_volume_history.png 3_moon_ore_mined_by_region.png 2_destruction_value_by_region.png 3_mining_value_by_region.png 3_npc_bounties_by_region.png 4_production_value_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_by_region.png 5_trade_balance_m3_by_region.png 6_trade_value_by_region.png 7_imports_exports_net_exports.png 9_sinks_and_faucets.png 9_top_commodity_faucets_history.png 9_top_sinks_and_faucets_history.png 9aa_services_breakdown.png 9b_money_supply.png 9c_money_velocity.png 9d_economy_indices.png 9ea_index_value_decomp_consumer_price_index.png 9fa_index_value_decomp_mineral_price_index.png 9ga_index_value_decomp_primary_producer_price_index.png 9ha_index_value_decomp_secondary_producer_price_index.png 10a_ess_regional_stats.png 10b_ess_mainbank_thefts.png 10c_ess_reservebank_thefts.png random_graph.png

    To join the player discussion, please visit the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Arcs and EVE's Narrative Driven Design
    published on August 26th, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Story-Loving Capsuleers,

    The narrative prelude to upcoming Factional Warfare changes is officially underway ushering in a new era in EVE development. Arcs act as the driver for introducing new features in EVE while also allowing you, the capsuleers, to interact with the story and in some cases, even impact it directly.

    Narrative arcs have become the framework for planning, designing, and implementing Factional Warfare changes with the goal of using arcs to guide future development of EVE's living universe overall. You can read more about the upcoming Factional Warfare changes in the EVE – A Living Universe Presentation here and in the State of the Union devblog.

    If you want to dive even deeper into narrative arcs in EVE, tune into the CCPTV stream today at 15:00 UTC co-hosted by CCP Convict and Uriel Anteovnuecci with CCP Loki and CCP Delegate Zero as guests.

    A key goal of arcs is to reflect a changing, living universe with a background that affects many aspects of EVE; one that you can take part in influencing and shaping. Some of you have already risen to the call from the empires' military leaders and have helped discover and decipher clues scattered throughout New Eden providing intelligence on how events are progressing.

    The empires of New Eden have taken their first steps towards fulfilling their agendas in the militia warzones with further plans and responses to their enemy's activities already underway.

    Empire Agendas

    2022.06.09.09.42.39

    With the Triglavian Collective largely confining its activities to the occupied systems of Pochven, the empires are once again competing against one another for territory, resources, and technology. The four empires are central to EVE's universe and EVE’s story. They are considered the four core pillars of EVE in terms of the content and narrative. Developing a sense of each individual empire having an agenda of its own is an important focus of the narrative design work.

    Renewing the tangibility of each empire's agency and goals begins with the upcoming Factional Warfare changes. The opposing goals of the Caldari State and Gallente Federation will be apparent to players and able to be acted upon to advance and influence their storylines. Similarly, the imperial agenda of the Amarr Empire is opposed by the specific goals of the Minmatar Republic, with these also open for player responses and influences to drive or guide the narrative.

    Narrative Objectives

    2022.08.26.13.41.38

    As events move towards changes to Factional Warfare and to the landscape of the militia warzones, there will be narrative objectives that will play a role in shaping the territorial and technological balance of power between the empires. These objectives will be within the framework of the militia warzones and will be affected by the state of play in each warzone, but will have their own gameplay specific to each objective.

    Holding space in the militia warzones in and around narrative objective star systems will be important. It will advance the agenda of the relevant empire and the associated gameplay will provide finer scale opportunities for supporters of each empire to advance their goals.

    These narrative objectives will provide a key series of events leading up to the changes in Factional Warfare. They will offer a preview of the way that geography and objectives work together to give a more grounded meaning to the actions taken by players in the militia warzones.

    The developing Advantage system will in future involve specific content designed to interact with the overall Frontlines and Advantage changes, while providing many opportunities to hook narrative events and objectives naturally into future Factional Warfare gameplay.

    Impact and Flow of Narrative Arcs

    2022.08.26.13.43.30

    Narrative arcs in general have a structure that includes events that can be influenced by player activity and events that will unfold as part of the overarching storyline regardless of player actions.

    Players have always made the best stories in New Eden, and we want the Universe not only to live up to those stories but also give players more agency to affect the goings-on in New Eden. There is a framework we have to operate within for this to make sense, so players don't have FULL control of everything.

    The narrative structure requires defined starting and ending points for each arc with critical arc-defining events being established to fill out the basic framework. How these events turn out can still be influenced by player action when narrative objectives and gameplays feed into them. An informed player will always know what is at stake, and what they are fighting for.

    edencomstation

    The present narrative arc and its different threads and objectives will determine certain outcomes, particularly in terms of the technological edge some empires may gain in the context of Factional Warfare.

    There will also be opportunities to reshape the map in certain ways in future narrative objectives while the empires themselves may take steps to secure their own grip on key territories. The stakes of each narrative objective and the scope and scale of what will be affected by players will need to be widely communicated.

    With all this said, the rollout of the narrative continues and major narrative objectives in the warzones are slowly becoming apparent as the storyline unfolds. Be sure to tune into the CCPTV stream today at 15:00 UTC to discuss more.

    If you’d like to keep track of how things are heating up amongst the factions, participate in the storyline, and speculate on how ultimately this will impact Factional Warfare in EVE, you can read in-world news at EVE Universe, follow the #NewEdenNews on Twitter, and keep your eyes peeled for clues.

    And as always, fly safe!


  • Monthly Economic Report - July 2022
    published on August 2nd, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Economic Capsuleers!

    The Monthly Economic Report for July 2022 is now available!

    You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. Each image can be enlarged by clicking on it. As with the previous report, there is also a limited number of "Dark Mode" graphs available in the download too!

    0_produced_vs_mining_vs_destroyed.png

    1_regional_stats.png

    2_destruction_value_by_region.png

    3_asteroid_ore_mined_by_region.png

    3_asteroid_ore_volume_history.png

    3_gas_mined_by_region.png

    3_gas_volume_history.png

    3_ice_mined_by_region.png

    3_ice_volume_history.png

    3_mining_value_by_region.png

    3_moon_ore_mined_by_region.png

    3_moon_ore_volume_history.png

    3_npc_bounties_by_region.png

    4_production_value_by_region.png

    5_trade_balance_by_region.png

    5_trade_balance_m3_by_region.png

    6_trade_value_by_region.png

    7_imports_exports_net_exports.png

    9_sinks_and_faucets.png

    9_top_commodity_faucets_history.png

    9_top_sinks_and_faucets_history.png

    9aa_services_breakdown.png

    9b_money_supply.png

    9c_money_velocity.png

    9d_economy_indices.png

    9ea_index_value_decomp_consumer_price_index.png

    9fa_index_value_decomp_mineral_price_index.png

    9ga_index_value_decomp_primary_producer_price_index.png

    9ha_index_value_decomp_secondary_producer_price_index.png

    10a_ess_regional_stats.png

    10b_ess_mainbank_thefts.png

    10c_ess_reservebank_thefts.png

    To join the player discussion, please visit the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Team Security: 2021 in Review
    published on July 12th, 2022 at 04:00 PM

    Greetings, Capsuleers!

    It's been a while since our last update on the efforts of the Security team in their battle against Real Money Trading (RMT), botting, account hacking, and fraud – so without further ado, let's jump right into this comprehensive overview and update on EVE’s security!


    Who is Team Security?

    First, we’d like to cover who exactly is on the team, and what each member does. In the past year there have been both leavers and joiners, with the current team comprising:

    • CCP Grimmi and CCP Stinger, two full time security analysts whose existence is dedicated to hunting down bot farms and credit card fraudsters.
    • Senior GM Aisling and Senior GM Huginn, who focus on anti-RMT (ISK or Item selling/buying) and account security.
    • A team of programmers who work on bot detection software tools while also sharing their time across other Customer Support projects.

    Team Security members contribute to each other's investigations, and we regularly update one another on different trends and discoveries. We also had a Team Sec Q&A panel during Fanfest where we talked a little bit more about what we do and answered some questions from attendees – which you can check out on YouTube.


    __Bans Issued by Team Security in 2021 __

    During 2021, Team Security banned a total of 70,492 accounts. This is certainly a lot of bans – but it's worth pointing out that throughout 2021 a significant number of accounts were created automatically (a violation of the EULA) and were proactively banned before they were able to log into the game. More details regarding the different ban types can be found below.

    __Automation Use (Botting) __

    There is no upper limit to the variety of software and modifications that might be developed and used for dubious purposes – necessitating a team that can flexibly identify, understand, and adapt to any new methods of automation as rapidly as possible. Our efforts on the anti-botting front involve a constant race to learn and improve our capabilities, allowing us to overcome whatever old or new challenges present themselves.

    Last summer we decided to make some changes to our Security Team, and invested a lot in the learning and development of its members. New tools and programs had to be learned from scratch, presenting some challenges – but in the end the team has now become stronger in capabilities and more efficient than ever before.

    As we operate with a lot of data, we’re constantly looking for ways to make it more usable and easier to obtain, verify, and interpret. Our continual aim is to ensure that every Capsuleer in New Eden can enjoy their beautiful home without bots being an issue.

    “How can I help identify bots?”

    The simplest and by far the most effective tool at your disposal in this fight are In-Game Bot reports. In 2021 alone, we received 137,183 reports via the in-game bot reporting tool against 41,651 separate users. We want to confirm that every single report is looked at, and this tool has proven to be extremely effective in investigating and taking down bots.

    Accbotting

    One problem with bot reporting is that the tool can sometimes be interpreted as a universal way to report something out-of-the-ordinary. Say overly foul language was used in the chat, or someone is posting the same link again and again, or perhaps some pilot has a wildly inappropriate name; in these cases, it's best to create a Support Ticket – which is guaranteed to get attention from a Game Master.

    The more details, the better! This applies to all reports – be they about RMT (buyers or sellers), suspicions of a hacked account or anything else. We always appreciate it when players include the basis for their suspicions, as this enables us to rapidly identify where to start looking. Be sure to include the character name you suspect of botting along with any other details you feel may be useful. In fact, a staggering number of bots and RMT dealers who would otherwise still be lurking in the shadows have been caught solely because of the help of our players!

    Fighting in-game bots is a never-ending process simply because it's not just our team that evolves constantly. The software used by botters gets updated frequently, often responding to an EVE Online update, and we always see it as a challenge to face. It is not so easy to catch up with all the newly discovered trends, but we do our best thanks to our brilliant programmers. All bots and all the macros are always leaving some traces behind, and eventually they'll become known. Logs do show a lot.

    __Account Hacking __

    Hacked accounts are most likely to be associated with RMT activity. When a player's account is hacked, their assets (ships, modules etc.) are quickly sold on the in-game market for ISK, which is then sold to ISK buyers (other players) or used to purchase items such as skill injectors, PLEX or expensive ships which are sold via third party websites. Some of the worst hacks involve accounts belonging to corporation CEOs or directors, who may see their corporations' assets mercilessly stripped and sold off to fund RMT.

    AccHacking

    Victims of account hacking may find that their whole accounts or characters are being sold for real life currency. Even after this, it's not uncommon for sellers who have completed the illicit sale of an account to then attempt to contact customer support themselves to claim “their” account was hacked, with the goal of having the hacked account restored to their control again. The unwary buyer is locked out of the hacked & sold account, and often has their other accounts suspended as well (as they are implicated in account hacking), while the hacked account seller can regain control, pocket the money their “customer” paid, and can attempt to sell the account all over again to a new victim.

    With how complex hacking situations can become, we always do our absolute best to properly assess and see what really happened (which can take time), and we are obliged to act according to our rules. At the end of these investigations, characters or accounts might be lost forever for both sides; sellers could find themselves in a payment dispute, and buyers can be left with neither an account nor their money. Please, to avoid any danger of this nature, do not buy accounts.

    __Real Money Trading (RMT) __

    Despite whatever a seller may claim, it’s safe to presume that any ISK or in-game items purchased from third parties come from botters, credit card fraudsters, or from hacked accounts belonging to fellow players; exceptions to this rule of thumb are near-zero. Anyone who buys ISK or items on a third-party website encourages and further motivates those responsible to continue to expand their illicit operations in pursuit of ill-gained profit.

    ISKSelling

    It is very important to understand that Real Money Trading (RMT) is never simply the private business of a shady Capsuleer looking for side cash; instead, almost without exception, it is conducted by organized groups who are willing not only to violate EVE’s EULA, but to make full use of illegal tools and techniques like hacking, payment fraud, identity theft, and more – knowing full well what they are doing.

    Payment fraud

    Payment fraud has been part of RMT operations for as long as EVE Online has existed. In these cases, miscreants use stolen credit cards to purchase PLEX and other assets before selling them at a discount to anyone who is either sufficiently ignorant about the rules regarding RMT or is knowingly seeking it out. It's trivial to give discounts on stolen goods acquired at no personal cost, and sadly, much of the ISK offered by RMT operatives at "good" prices is sourced from this serious real-world crime. These bad actors are far from being Robin Hoods.

    These actions also hurt the wallets of people without any connection to EVE Online, as stolen credit cards or financial information used to purchase PLEX & items to be sold on a third-party site that try to give the impression of legality might come from anywhere on the internet. RMT is fueled by the theft of hundreds and thousands of dollars from innocent people, whether they are connected to EVE or not.

    PaymentFraud

    Real Money Trading (RMT) involves this sort of activity alongside all other evils we seek out in the game, such as botting, account theft, exploits and more. Sooner or later, all such actions are discovered, and we will swiftly act according to our policies. Known RMT Sellers will be permanently banned with no recourse, while buyers lose their ill-obtained ISK and risk getting banned as well – so just say no.

    *“How can I protect my account?” *

    • Above all else, enable two-factor authentication! This is by far the most essential step you can take to ensure the safety of any account – from your EVE player accounts to your personal email.
    • Do not share your account. While we do not treat shared accounts as hacked, as more people gain access to an account, the likelihood that it might be hacked or sold increases dramatically. If we establish that the account was first shared between multiple people validly before being compromised, we may be left with even fewer avenues through which we might help, if any.

    Team Security has tools in its arsenal to repair hacked accounts, but there is a limit to what we can do. This is especially true if an account was hacked years ago but is only now being reported; if you consider the various ways an item might be transferred between players, then apply this to every item held by a hacked account, you can begin to understand just how gargantuan a task it can be to investigate assets lost to hacking.

    Hackers tend to leave evidence or an identifiable signature when hack takes place, however, which adds an extra element to any investigation, allowing specialists in the Security team to study both known and new patterns whenever they emerge, we always jump on them headfirst to gain chances to learn and adjust our procedures.


    __Final Words: How can YOU help fight bots and RMT? __

    The answer is simple: never buy ISK or items from third parties, and don't do business with those involved. Once discovered, anything you purchase through RMT will be removed from your account and you will be warned or banned; you will end up with neither the ISK or items you purchased, nor money you spent, while the seller walks away with their profits.

    If you suspect botting, use the In-Game Bot Reporting tool as detailed earlier; if you suspect RMT, report it through a support ticket. Include as many details as possible: character names, character's activities, reasons to think why you suspect them, and anything else you can think of.

    The fewer people purchase illicit ISK and items from third parties, the less motivation bad actors are given to hack, steal, defraud, or otherwise harm EVE players, and the less incentive there is for botters involved in these offenses to continue to operate.

    We wish you all a safe and successful rest of the year in 2022 – see you in space!

    o7




    For discussion with other players, please head on over to the official thread on EVE Online forums.


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