A Kestrel for a knave

The news that a pilot in EVE was attacked by other players who not only destroyed his ship, but also the PLEX (Pilots license extensions; in-game timecodes that can be traded between players) worth an estimated 22 billion ISK that he was carrying proves once again that, for me at any rate, it is far more fun and interesting to read about what goes on in EVE than it is to actually play the game.

13 thoughts on “A Kestrel for a knave”

  1. The rumours kicking around about this, filtered by the ones that make sense to me, is he purchased and undocked in the worst system (Jita is so bad, accounts come with an avoid setting for their autopilot), in a tiny ship with no shielding, while wardecced. The “pirates” would have seen a red indicated ship leave the station, locked and fired. Taking out his PLEX (which had been purchased with in-game ISK belonging to the corp) was a bonus. The people who paid real money for the PLEX had already received their ISK from this person. Every person who paid real world money got what they wanted.

  2. The loss of something closer to real funds seems to be what is bouncing off folks’ radar. I have seen (accounts of) battles with ship and station losses exceeding $10,000 worth of ISK (and, ISK being fungible into PLEX, it’s only a few clicks “further” from real money than the PLEX lost).

    1. …which makes me absently curious about how many layers of abstraction it takes to obfuscate that real money and time are at risk… and just how many of those layers are insulation against litigation.

  3. To clarify: Jita is EVE’s biggest market hub. It isn’t set on avoid for new players because of suicide gankers – they have nothing worth the time, effort and cost of ganking them anyway. It’s set on avoid because the system is laggy (which could cause frustration in new players not expecting it) and because there’s already so many people there shopping, diverting thru-traffic is a good idea to prevent further congestion. Picture a city in WoW with 800-1200+ people in it, 24/7.

    In any case, this kind of isk destruction isn’t really remarkable – it happens regularly in EVE. What’s remarkable about this situation is that never have so few failed so epically. Usually, it takes hundreds of people exploding one another in very expensive ships to cause this sort of loss. This guy managed to do it all himself.

    Also, I really doubt it’s some sort of set up or trick. The only person who could really be responsible would be the CEO himself – and while it’s not unheard of for a CEO to steal his alliance’s money and run, I’ve yet to hear of a CEO steal his alliance’s money and explode it intentionally.

  4. “…it is far more fun and interesting to read about what goes on in EVE than it is to actually play the game.”

    I’d argue that it stopped being interesting to even read about EVE Online around the second time one of the variations on this story hit gaming news outlets. Someone gets their digital playthings deleted yet again in a game where this is known to happen fairly regularly. I don’t know if it’s all that big a deal anymore.

    There is one interesting aspect of this story that pops up every time one of its forms is posted, though – it’d be interesting to look into what’s causing people to place so much value on digital items, which are essentially valueless. The fact that it’s in-game timecards makes this story slightly more interesting in that sense, but it’s still “Someone got their valuable (x) blown up and/or stolen in EVE Online.”

    1. If it wasn’t for the timecards then, yes, this would be a non-story. But timecards represent an actual monetary value – $14.95 for each one, being what a player might save if they redeemed it (half-hearted apologies to EVE players for not being down with the correct EVEisms.)

      The line between valueless virtual goods and valuable virtual goods is suddenly becoming a little more vague.

  5. One thing that has not been mentioned in either the blogs or the replies,is that there is absolutely no reason to move this PLEX except to trade for a higher in-game price. PLEX can be redeemed from anywhere within the game; you do not have to be in the same station it resides to use it.

    To bring this into even better focus, the pilot’s corporation was in a war with the said corporation that shot down the Kestral. In addition to this, the ISK used to buy said PLEX represented the entire wallet of his corporation.

    Pilot carries the all his corps eggs in one basket during an active war – Stupid move, and Eve punishes stupid.

    The players who created those PLEX from timecodes got their ISK. But yes, that represents time that no longer has to be honored by CCP. But to me, it’s no different than buying a giftcard for Wallmart then losing said giftcard by walking down a nearby alley filled with thugs and getting mugged. Wallmart is not responsible for your stupidity, and neither is CCP.

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