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The PA Report - How a clever player with a “useless” item almost took down EVE Online’s entire economy


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“We did Inferno in the middle of last year, and we made some big changes to faction warfare,” Lander began. EVE Online is constantly being updated with new content and game play, and these updates are all given names. You can read more about Inferno on the official page.

“You would get rewarded for killing, or blowing up, opposing militia ships,” Lander continued. “We worked out this interesting algorithm where, depending on how expensive the ship was, you would get these loyalty points, and you could cash in loyalty points for special items.”

So it made sense to go after expensive ships, earn loyalty points, and then trade those in for better items. Suddenly there was a good incentive to take down powerful ships, or at least ships that were carrying expensive items.

One player went to work on gaming the system. 

“One of our players found an item on the market that cost 1 ISK [ISK is one of EVE Online’s virtual currencies], nobody used it, and he basically bought all of them, tons and tons of them,” Lander explained.

“He put them back on the market for a hundred ISK, or more, and then one on the market for a billion ISK. He then buys the item for a billion ISK. He’s now moved the average price of that item from one to around half a billion,” he continued. “That is now the average price of that item on the market. He then puts that completely worthless item on a ship, and gets his friend to blow him up.”

The ship contained that “useless” item, but the game thought it was worth half a billion ISK. “You get loads of loyalty points, and you cash those in for something good. He completely manipulated the market, and it started having this massive effect on our economy,” Lander said.

Brilliant!

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