Tough But Not Too Tough

EVE[EVE Online] Not that long ago I posted about CCP getting tough on people that trade in-game currency for real money.

I was happy to see them turning the screws, with them going so far as writing: “This issue is not up for discussion. Buying your way ahead in EVE is cheating, pure and simple.” Sounds great, right?

Well I have recently become aware that CCP sells Game Time Cards. Basically, these are codes that you can use to pay for your account, a pre-paid credit as you will. Here comes the fun part.

CCP specifically ALLOWS people to resell these cards for in-game ISK. They even allow it on their very own forums. So it’s against the rules to buy ISK with real money, but if you just buy one of these cards with real money you can in turn sell the card for ISK. Why is this OK? The end result of this allowed ISK purchasing scheme is the same. People are buying their way ahead.

Sounds lame to me.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

17 thoughts on “Tough But Not Too Tough”

  1. I completely agree with you on this one. It’s stupid for them to puff themselves up as the supreme commanders of the space donut police and then… sell these game cards ftw!?! I mean… you mean… all I have to do is pay $30 for a card and I can get me some phat lewt purple drop isk? I… need to go now. Got some house cleaning to do. Yeah.

    Guyder – Eve Online

  2. I agree, this is a bit hypocritical. I personally have no qualms with ISK trading for real money either, since it really offers no advantage if you know a really good shipbuilder or have a good corp that is well established.
    I suppose if those Joe-I-Must-Pwn-This-Game-Out-Of-The-Box morons want to waste their money, let them. Just dont cross my path looking for ore in 0 sec space.

  3. Also I would like to note that like I said originally about this… its a good move. A tough stance (even if they are lacking a bit with the game cards) scares off the “casual” ISK buyer. The guy that will only be doing it once or twice to get that new ship.

    That is the majority of offenders. CCP’s policy is a good stop gap measure to confront the casual buyers. The hardcore buyers unfortunately know the suppliers and we all know how hard that would be to stop. Hopefully the hardcore buyers got caught in the undercover ops that CCP pulled.

    In a game where you don’t have to log in and play to advance it is hard to deny the attraction of a few million ISK for a bit of real life $$$

  4. Well, they are selling 50 days worth of game time for the cost of 60. Therefore they are making $5 for each transaction – if one assumes that the person selling the ISK would have purchased a subscription normally without the ISK sale.

  5. I want to be quite honest in the hopes of fostering debate….

    I am thinking about looking into this as a way of financing my own account. In my brief trial, EVE seemed like something I’d like to play more of, but not one that I had a lot of time for and couldn’t really justify coughing up $15 a month or so for. I’d be happy to accept a serious income tax (in the form of ISK-for-play) in order to play for free, though, even if it meant that my ability to advance would be seriously impeded.

  6. So basically you’re saying that you could farm ISK and then turn around and “sell” it to someone who paid $30 for the gamecard and thus play for free (or the amount of ISK it would cost)? I was looking at it the other way around I guess. Didn’t think of it that way.

    My wife would love the idea of me playing for free… She’d not be so hesitant about me having WoW and EVE online accounts active. I am just not sure how much ISK it would cost me to get that $30 playtime. I’ll look into it I suppose.

    Sure, having ISK isn’t going to help you skill up, but the more you have the more items and ships are openned up to you. Kinda makes the legit player shake his head. Though, I do know a Power Gamer friend of mine who would and could easily play the game for ISK. Hmm. I guess I’ll show him the possibility.

    Any idea what Ars Corp thinks about this? I’ll ask later today.

    Guyder – Eve Online

  7. Last sale I saw was offering a 50 day time card for 150 million ISK. That’s a lot of farming if you ask me.

  8. Wow,

    That is a LOT of ISK. Do you know how many Virtual Lap Dances I could get with that kind of cash? At $20 a pop, it’s a LOT!

    I guess I’ll have to find another way to make some cash for Eve. I’m already giving blood, working as a drivers ed tutor for retarded children, and pole-dancing. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME YOU GAME OF SPACE?

    Speaking of space, how much is an Enterprise going for these days?

    Guyder – Eve Online

  9. Yow. I was suspecting that it was going to be a number like that. Well outside my ability to farm in two months, that’s for sure. :/ Definitely a passtime for the more experienced and established ISK gatherer.

  10. >NBarnes

    See, that is why i fail to see the issue here. If someone is really good at producing Isk and someone else isn’t so good (or doesn’t have that much time) at producing Isk but would get a lot of enjoyment out of a some extra isk, then their is no issue.

    Since Isk in Eve always = time, this is simply a time transfer.

    On the one hand people complain that this is hypocrosy and on the other we have people saying the amount of isk involved is so large only a few people will engage in this activity.

    The ratio of 60/50 is not a scam for Eve to make 5 dollars extra, but rather a disencentive for people to invest in these time cards (IE a tax) to discourage unwanted behavior. The ratio can not be too high otherwise people will trade Isk on the real world open market. The ratio can not be too low otherwise too many people will engage in the activity of time card trading.

    To me this seems like an an elegant free market solution to a real problem.

  11. But then why not just have CCP sell ISK on their website?

    Either allow it or don’t. I really don’t care either way myself to be honest. If someone has more money than time, buy some ISK. It won’t affect my gameplay. Heck, if someone wants to buy some game time cards from me for ISK, I’ll go grab some right now. I just like to see a company take a stand, one way or another, and CCP has been pretty good about standing up for what they want.

    My only problem is that this appears to send the wrong message. How can you stop ISK sales but allow ISK trades for virtual items? How can you prove I bought ISK from ebay instead of selling a game time card for ISK? You can’t.

  12. I certainly agree that the distinction that CCP draws between trading ISK for cash and trading ISK for gametime codes that you bought 30 minutes beforehand with cash is built on a foundation of sand, no matter your position on the related-but-distinct question of the appropriateness of trading ISK for real-world resources.

  13. **News Flash**

    Due to the popularity of trading ISK for time cards, CCP Inc. has decided to just go ahead and sell ISK on their website. When asked about the change of heart they said:

    “We are growing and that’s a good thing. There is a demand out there for ISK and if we don’t sell it, there is a chance that our players could be scammed out of their hard earned money. We are changing our stance on selling ISK for cash and we hope our players understand. We will be using any profits we receive from this new system to increase the server load and speed. We hope that this will remove lag and other connection problems. And one more thing, we will be adding these new commands in the game to further improve our players lives:

    /pizza – Will bring up a page in our browser to order some CICI’s Pizza.
    /dew – Will bring up a page in our brower to order 1 keg of Mountain Dew.
    /dance – Will order a escort to your door to give you a lap-dance for 150 ISK or $30.”

    Man, I’m excited now!

    Guyder – Eve Online

  14. Translation: “If we don’t sell ISK ourselves, someone else will… and then we won’t get a cut.” Sounds better if you act like you’re being the protector of the flock though, “So our players don’t get scammed”. Right. Just like Sony’s EQ online store. They said the same thing “We do this, because we care about our players and don’t want them to get scammed.” Please, they do it because they’ve realized the saying: If it’s inevitable, why fight it. (especially when there’s profit to be made, *cha-ching*)

    Heck, the whole time I was reading about trading game-cards for ISK I was thinking the same thing. The only difference (and why it’s ok with them) is they get something for it, and they aren’t left out of the equation. Same ol’ same ol’, money talks, BS walks. I know, I’m a pessimist… but I’m just a product of my environment. :)

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