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The Gank Alt Nerf Bat

The Easy Gank Alt Nerf Bat has smacked down and I don't think many people expected it. I did not.

Yesterday, I received the e-mail news letter Eve Online Volume .82. It had one thing that captured my attention.

New additions are coming to the Buddy Program soon, including Open Invites, allowing you to share a unique public link that anyone can use to obtain a 21-day extended trial of EVE Online. Just like the existing invites, when the new player subscribes, you get an extra 30 days of EVE game time added to your account.

That didn't seem to bad. It looked like the permanent links might not generate a PLEX if people used them to gain game time. I could live with that. In fact I decided that I would immediately put up a link on my blog if they came out with the program. Some game time would be nice. I was fine if it was not PLEX. Plus, it was a good way to get even more advertisement out for Eve.

Then today I saw this tweet about the change. A Dev Blog was up reference the new Buddy Invite changes.

That brings me to another important change. With the introduction of open invites we are removing all limits on Buddy Program invites and removing the PLEX-for-PLEX reward option. That is, if a Buddy Program trial is upgraded using PLEX the inviter will not be eligible to receive a PLEX reward as a result of that trial upgrade. We're sure you can understand that this is a necessary measure to protect the integrity of the Buddy Program. We are examining options for widening the pool of available rewards and rewarding those who succeed in attracting many friends to EVE through the Buddy Program.

Oh my. I did not expect that. I did not expect them to yank the PLEX reward for PLEX activation.

The buddy system has long been used to invite people to Eve. The PLEX reward was used to upgrade people 'for free'. You invite a friend, they get their 21 day trial. You give them a plex. They redeem the PLEX. They now have a month of game time on top of their 21 days. You receive a PLEX because they subscribed. It was a free system that gave people a nice little bit of time to get their feet wet without having to make that finical decision until they were well addicted.

That was a good thing. As noted by Sard in my comments and not said by myself when first posted, it will not affect those who are inviting their friends to invite their friends. I believe some out of game social groups use this option to help their newbies get a 51 day 'trial'. They still can. The question will become where the game time is going. CCP developing some other 'rewards' or perhaps even an alliance/corporation reward focus would be interesting.

The side effect was the free alts. These alts have many uses but one of them is ganking alts. In a month a Catalyst or Tornado alt could be made. CCP has rules against recycling alts for sec status loss but they do not have any rules about no longer using an account because of it.

Each alt had a life span of a handful of ganks before they became useless. They are not skilled up as a normal player. They are disposable characters. Their accounts lapsed into the darkness once their use was over.

And CCP just smashed that particular ploy right out of the game.

Only weeks ago it would have been faction warfare alts that the finger was so heavily pointed at. Perhaps, the blame can still be laid on their existence. Yet, their existence was the result of a poorly thought out mechanics that was left alone to the point that it was easy to wonder if CCP wanted it in the game.

What will this do to the PLEX market?


  1. This shouldn't do much to affect players that are honestly helping friends or acquaintances get into the game, and will be a large boon to fansites who encourage gamers to try out the game.

    As to the plex market, I doubt it'll have any affect, as plexing the buddy account generated a plex.

    1. Did you even read this article? They are removing the plex for plex. If a buddy program account gets activated via plex, you only have the option of getting game time.

    2. Did you even read/understand the comment? It shouldn't affect the plex market becuase plexing the account generated (past tense) a plex. Meaning that no new plex was created or inflating the price. It just slightly increased the velocity of the plex market.

  2. Kinda disappointed with this, I enjoy multiboxing and this will be a barrier if I want new accounts or if someone else is interested in boxing. If I started 4 new miners with buddy invites I could get 51x4 days essentially for free. Now it will be only 21 days then drop 2bil plus in plex to activate the accounts.
    Without the buddy invite injecting plex into the market prices will go up more.

  3. I think this is merely practice catching up with the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. The prohibition against biomassing ganking alts was to ensure sec status hits remained a relevant cost of suicide ganking. Infinite 51 day alts allowed players to circumvent that entirely. The new limitation still allows players to circumvent that limit, just not as completely as before.

    After the change, you can still create as many 51 day ganking alts per month equal to the number of your active accounts without suffering any serious financial cost. Unless all you ever did was engage in technically forbidden sec circumventing grief play, I'd consider even that limitation hardly a nerf.


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