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The biggest heist in EVE Online history led to real-world threats of violence

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 27 replies
Sep 29, 2017
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  1. EVE Online is an open-universe MMO sandbox where players can do just about anything. It is a living world where wars, alliances, espionage and political betrayal are commonplace.

    On September 12, a player named The Judge completely dismantled the giant military alliance Circle of Two (CO2) from the inside. As a high-ranking member of the group, he was able to abscond with more than a trillion ISK (the in-game currency) in assets. He was also able to establish control over CO2’s space stations and sell them to its sworn enemy, Goonswarm.

    The total theft was in the neighborhood of 1.5 trillion ISK which translates to more than $20,000.

    However, the theft was not the entirety of CO2’s losses. The space stations were the home to over 4,000 players who frantically tried to retrieve their belongings as Goonswarm forces moved in. Many were driven to sell their ships to Goonswarm for less than market value and some were able to retrieve their belongings by paying a fee to NPCs. After the dust settled, CO2 had lost around five trillion ISK (about $60,000) thanks to the betrayal.

    Circle of Two's fall sprang from its desertion during the Casino War. The reasons for The Judge’s betrayal are convoluted but Rock Paper Shotgun does a good job of explaining it in detail. The reaction to his move was predictable.

    The leader of CO2, gigX, was furious after logging in and seeing everything gone. He began asking everybody for The Judge’s real name and address. He issued threats against The Judge saying, “you gonna die,” and “you will lose both hands.”

    Iceland’s CCP, the developer of EVE Online, did not take kindly to the real-world threats and permanently banned all of gigX’s accounts.

    The Judge told RPS that gigX was a toxic player and got what he deserved.

    “Anyone that’s dealt with gigX knows he’s a loose cannon. He would almost flip a switch and go from being your best friend to a raging maniac on comms, swearing at everyone when anything went wrong.”

    The Judge does feel bad about some of the 4,000 players who ended up as collateral damage in the incident and has been using the money he stole to help some of the former members of CO2 get back on their feet.

    When asked is he was ever afraid for his safety, The Judge said, "There have been a number of relatively credible threats toward me at EVE Vegas." He added that CCP has been very good with security though, even being willing to cancel people's event tickets if a threat is severe.

    Circle of Two is still in operation with a new leader but the group is down to around 400 members. The Judge, meanwhile, has joined Goonswarm and is taking a break from leadership roles for a while.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,035   +1,443

    I don't condone making threats. But I could understand people's frustration over something like this. You've invested hundreds - maybe thousands - of hours into this game and formed attachment to your characters, equipment, whatever. And in one moment, everything you'd accomplished and purchased was gone and by some total stranger who decided out the blue he was going to be a jerk. I'd be furious and for a long time about something like that.

    Which is why I no longer play MMORPG's. ;)
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,246   +2,719

    namesrejected likes this.
  4. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,531   +365

    It wasn't quite out of the blue, but yeah. It's a tough life in the open world MMO. I play Elite Dangerous no and then and what I like about it is that you can play in smaller private groups. It really cuts down on the griefers, but then again, you don't get the real-world (and sometimes cutthroat) experience that you see with the natural development of a virtual society. These dealings on a global level are interesting to me to watch, but I'd rather not participate. Too frustrating.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    This is completely sublime. It's a video game for heavens sake. It's something to be enjoyed at leisure and not to be taken seriously at all. Anybody who takes computer gaming seriously, has seriously lost all touch with reality. There's a lot more to life than just playing games.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,506   +2,205

    "The Judge told RPS that gigX was a toxic player and got what he deserved."

    That statement would apply to at least 80% of long-time EVE subscribers. 4Chan may be the anus of the web but EVE is the Internet's malignant tumor. The company that develops a game very similar to EVE but with at least real-world levels of fairness will reap untold rewards. Nearly every online gamer has tried EVE but as soon as they figure out that ANY player can prevent you from actually PLAYING the game, indefinitely, their done. Hence the slow and steady hemorrhaging of subscribers - the supply of newbs isn't keeping up with the game's sociopathy.
    Cal Jeffrey, mattsie and Reehahs like this.
  7. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 594   +434

    Things differ when in game currency is worth real money. Games like Secondlife can be people's fulltime careers. Yes it's just a game, but people have real money in these games which make it real.
    psycros, mattsie and Seraphim401 like this.
  8. avioza

    avioza TS Addict Posts: 179   +125

    Well you have to accept the loss of most of your wealth from time to time but a player can't keep you from playing (maybe from completing your objectives for an evening). I went through a couple alliance meltdowns but still had fun with the game. Just need to keep things in perspective. I have met some crazies in that game though.

    Its day has waned but Eve online is probably the second most memorable game I've ever played for good and bad.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,224   +1,662

    Just play Eve Online ppl, it's just too good not to play it at least once in your life. The social aspect of this game is amazing and you'll not regret it. Just try it for free (unlimited, but with some restrictions) and you can buy the subscription with ingame money.

    The average age of an Eve Online player is above 30 and it's a lot more mature than what you'll find in other MMOs or online games (I'm looking at you LoL). But as always you'll find some less than desirable people in it so keep your expectations in check.
    oranuro likes this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    Yeah, I know. They take it seriously. We can't all be the same, that would make for a very boring existence.
  11. mattsie

    mattsie TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +28

    But why are they securing one player and not the other?

    Just by saying some things online does not mean its going to act on it. In this case it is of course understood that this is frustrating for someone that put in so many hours and be ****ed with no option to secure himself. Also game should have a board of directors option to secure your company and actual owner of the company if its privately held. I blame the games lack of options and not securing players against his loss. They should pay for damages. And blocking this person while they invested numerous hours in the game is ridiculous.

    If someone does something like that they should pay the price also. If CEO ****s his employees, he is bound to pay a price in real life.
  12. mattsie

    mattsie TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +28

    GigX should get in contact with 4chan.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,224   +1,662

    You don't seem to understand what kind of game Eve Online is. This kind of things are common and actually encouraged. It's what makes Eve Online such an amazing experience.
    From being the best and kindest player in the world to being a pirate that steals from others you can do anything in this sandbox. It's the players that create the content. A single player can build an empire that can control all of the known territory available to players and at the same time a single player can destroy it.

    Here's an 2010 trailer that pretty much sums up what happened:
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  14. avioza

    avioza TS Addict Posts: 179   +125

    It is still pretty low what he did though and it is the reason I stopped becoming involved in 0.0 near the end of my time in eve. That sort of thing was pretty rare back in the day. It is way too common place now and since it has become something of a 'badge of honor' among deplorable individuals, many more are eager or more likely to do the same. I would not recommend the game to a friend anymore, at least not the full 0.0 experience.
  15. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Addict Posts: 119   +57

    Gigx was a toxic player?, what about the others 4000 this guy affected?, Humanity sense of justice is amazing.
  16. They knew the risks. gigX was a lunatic, evidently. There is a difference.
  17. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,048   +1,384

    its a bloody video game. anyone demanding justice for someone who acted a certain way in a video game (with the people investing knowing very well the possibility) needs a reality check.
    andrewyoung, SirChocula and Puiu like this.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,224   +1,662

    what about the other 4000? it's not like they can't move to another alliance or form a new corporation/alliance. revenge is also on the table. it's part of the huge sandbox game. nobody is safe anywhere and they can do anything.
  19. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Addict Posts: 119   +57

    You don't come out with a moral statement to justifique an immoral behaviour, more if what you did was 4000 times worst

    They are emotional for their time and money as you are reading this. Those people expend hundreds of ours in that game (and maybe money), wait wait wait, as you expend doing your hobby, aaaaaaand part of their hobby is advancing in that game/hobby.
  20. What happened is literally part of the game. He didn't hack 4,000 credentials and loot the accounts. He played the game as it was intended to be played.

    This is fundamentally different from playing the game and tripping balls when other players displease you.
    andrewyoung likes this.
  21. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,531   +365

    Yep. That trailer pretty much does sum up the gist of what happened. Good call Puiu.

    If you read the RPS write-up, it goes into more detail about The Judge's motivations and what led to his actions. gigX was the first to betray. He "burned his bridges." He betrayed The Imperium (and Goonswarm) by deserting right in the middle of a war. Now The Imperium might not be the most liked group in the game, but thousands of players make up the alliance. Goonswarm had had it out for CO2 for over a year. At first, they just wanted to hurt them, but after a while, they wanted to bring them down.

    The Judge just happened to meet Goonswarm's spymaster Aryth at the 2016 EVE Summit, and Aryth suggested the plan. The Judge wasn't even sure he was going to go through with it, but I guess one too many outbursts from gigX was enough for him to say, "Screw it."

    But the bottom line is, EVE was designed specifically for this type of play, so I have a hard time feeling bad for anyone who lost. It's a game. I feel about as bad for the 3,500 people who lost it all, as I do for the person who goes bankrupt in Monopoly.

    "Yeah, but this is like real money."

    Okay, let me rephrase that: I feel about as sorry for them as I feel for someone who loses everything at the poker table.

    They all know the risks of playing EVE. The risk is, in fact, what makes it fun. Now they can all start plotting their revenge against The Judge.
    m4a4 and davislane1 like this.
  22. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Addict Posts: 119   +57

    Okey... but I would also want his balls on a tray.

    The game doesn't have any way to avoid something like that?
  23. Yes. Don't play it.
    andrewyoung likes this.
  24. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,224   +1,662

    It's called not trusting anybody, but that's not really fun :D
    And he didn't take the assets of the players, but the assets of the corporation. very different. players still have their private stuff, although for some, the logistics of moving the physical assets will be problematic if they have them in a bad place where pvp is prevalent (low security star systems).
    The difficulty of moving things in space is why eve online has one of the best economies of any game on the market. almost everything on the market is player made and you can even do margin trading or never leave a station and just buy and sell things. Skill training is time based (you put them in a queue and let them train while you do other things) so you can literally never fly your ship if you so chose so.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  25. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,531   +365

    The in-game remedy for getting someone's balls on a plate is to go after them. Come back in and plot your revenge. Take them and their alliance down ... If you can.
    davislane1 likes this.

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