Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Just say No to Baby-Sitting

This crossed my twitter feed today and it is the type of tweet that I made sure to pass along to all of my channels.


The thing that 'everyone knows' is that account sharing is common. It is an elephant in the room.  It happens on various levels. There are the corporations that have bridging titans that certain people have passwords to. There are rumored corporations full of utility accounts. And there is the more common account baby sitting. The later is what I am thinking about today.

During my campaign I had a discussion with someone who wanted me to push CCP to acknowledge that corporation owned Titans were okay. I pointed out that the EULA says that it is not. Even if 'everyone does it' it is not okay. I said that I did not see CCP saying, "Account sharing is wrong but its okay to have a corporation Titan that you all share because its big and expensive".

But, as 'everyone' knows not much is done about account sharing. Sometimes these corporate assets get stolen. CCP sees that the account has been shared and because the EULA is broken people do not get their toys back. And then this tweet...

It is easy for people to get lax in what they do if they are not being caught. And, I looked at these tweets as an early warning that people may wish to look at.

The first question I heard when I posted this was, "What about account babysitting?"

What about account babysitting? For a while the word 'usage' of an account created a somewhat grey area (for some). What is using an account? Was logging in, adding a skill, and logging out using an account? After all they were not undocking and going out and playing Eve. However, in the above tweet we see the word 'access'. That stomps it down. To log into another account is to access that account. That means that baby sitting accounts is against the EULA.

That, for some, is going to be a problem. The tick-tock of clock as the skill queue sits empty drives people crazy. We can never get time back. Life events can mean no internet access to Eve and an empty skill queue. For people vested in the game who will be away for an extended period of time they don't wish for their accounts to sit fallow and idle. Someone they trust has logged in and updated their skill queue for them during this away time and they paid their subscription to train their skill and prepare for the future. It was not about sharing or use and thus the term 'baby-sitting'.

It means that accounts will be left fallow and unsubscribe until their owner can return. I do not think that CCP is ignorant of this fact. Of course, for current accounts who need a long term babysitting the training character could be transferred over. If there is that much trust that they will watch your account then I would hope that there is trust that they will transfer the character back.

I believe this is a warning. The blind eyes are opening. I can only encourage people to obey the EULA.

34 comments:

  1. To solve the skill queue issue, they can add remote access to be able to update via cell phones. I would kill for an android app that let me update my skill queue and write Eve mails. You could add other things like market orders and what not but then my productivity at work might be nil

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    1. How far do we want to remove tasks in Eve from the client? Sure, market orders and skill queue's would be easy to do out of client with CREST but is that where we want to go with Eve?

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    2. The more platforms you open up the more security issues you are opening yourself up for. Hell why cant i just load my whole evemon plan into the skill queue and call it good for 5 years? Is logging in to change skills really good gameplay? Hell it might even help user retention. I remember what it was like b4 the 24hr queue it kinda sucked. Would making it a week, a month, or a year really hurt any kind of gameplay?

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    3. Mobile skill queue yes but not market orders. Skill queue is always a pain when I travel (which is often) and mobile would help enormously.

      But not market orders. I could automate that.

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    4. If it's a CCP app, is it really any different than the client on my PC? I think a non graphical lite app released by CCP that would let you do anything in Eve except undock would be amazing. I don't see the difference between logging in on a phone and logging in on a pc

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    5. Please no market updates outside of the client. That would be bad.

      Skill queue update OK, would be good.

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  2. Account sharing hurts CCP's bottom line. It's obvious that viewed from their standpoint, anyone sharing account not only HAS the ability to run multiple clients, but the inclination...They probably, and rightly so, judge that anyone banned temporarily for sharing accounts will create double the subscriptions for them (since once you've gotten a taste of the multiboxing you rarely just walk away from it)...or at least create PLEX demand

    anyways, beyond the greed factor of a future warning, the current situation is simple to deduce: the EULA is their to protect CCP not us. To them, having a "thou shalt not" is a simple way to prevent customers from complaining ccp has to do something about stolen accounts (or other shady nasty things 'friends' do to one another)

    Aka, i personally think the eula had that merely so CCP can ignore pleas for help

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    1. Or, account sharing results in too much work for support. There is no need to allege greedy reasons, if there is a much simpler explanation.

      Even in a F2P game, the company I work for forbids account sharing, because it results in nothing but trouble for us.

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  3. I'm fairly new to Eve but not selective EULA enforcement The vibe I am getting from the above messages without seeing the entire context that brought them on is that their policy is not active enforcement. Instead it seems that this is their way of saying "Go ahead and share but we wont help you with any losses that result or lift any bans because it wasnt actually you breaking rules". A different MMO I used to play had this same sort of deal going on. The EULA said it was never OK but the reality was there was no active enforcement of this rule. It was quite common for clans to have "fleet accounts". They even added a "second password" that was needed for access to most any changes made to the account allowing you to share the first password without any worries. All the while they post messages that read like this one.

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  4. This particular rule simply makes me paranoid. What if I check my skills at my friends house? I'm the one logging in, but the IP address isn't mine. What about people who live with me? Does CCP know I had my gf update my skills?

    I'd be nice if CCP just continued to be lenient but then implemented features that reduced the reasons people currently have to share accounts. Like updating skills remotely or being able to securely store supercaptitals. That way I don't have to keep telling my friends we can't play Eve in the same house, etc.

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    1. This is a regular concern. I travel and my IP is logged on from different states and countries this year. What does that trigger?

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    2. I don't think CCP cares if your gf updates your skill queue. Nor they are even theoretically capable of catching her doing it.

      It's mostly to protect themselves from "my account got hacked while sharing" complaints and from obvious sharing, like a titan bridging fleets all day, logging in from different locations.

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    3. I think what Gevlon MEANT to say was "and from complaints about obvious sharing"

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  5. Meh how can you prove account sharing? Short of a confession??? I log into EVE from a stupid amount of different IPs but i dont share my account with anyone. I mean i get the Titan and Super accounts that are pretty much corp accounts used by "trusted" corp members, I could see a reason to go after that sort of activity. But is that really a large problem?!?! Does it even happen anymore?? I left null so I dont really know or care. Meh fuck it if they ban me i wont even appeal ill just stop playing. Last time i quit it was because they started banning for shit in peoples titles. I think it was something like "seriously i will eat your babies" was in a friends title meanwhile in my bio there was a very offensive Mike Tyson quote involving eating babies and man love and i never even got a warning.

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    1. CCP doesn't read everyone's bio, title, or even name, to check for EULA compliance. More often than not, these issues only get addressed when another player sees it and reports it. So likely, someone reported your friend's title, and GM's decided it was inappropriate, while no one who saw your bio cared enough to file a ticket.

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    2. It's not rocket science, Bush. CCP has only to look at two players' IPs and notice that one account seems to be hotboxed at the same time as a completely different account one morning...i'm sure it's child's play to track that sort of activity.

      As for a different scenario of one account being used by three players, each with their own character, in different time zones...would be more problematic to track, and probably a hell of a lot more rare than the previous example

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  6. Account sharing is a tough thing to prove and it's enough tougher to enforce especially when the account sharing involves a spouse, child or sibling who really isn't all that interested in playing in the first place.

    On the other hand, that's probably the first excuse people use when they get caught. "Oh that was just my wife, I asked her to update my skill queue while I was at work" or "That was just my 5 year old trying Daddy's game out."

    Where do you draw the line?

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  7. Why not include an "extended away" queue that you can plug skills into in the client, then activate that via the account management screen. Say, while its active, you can't log in to that account using the client until you deactivate it via the account management screen, and it only trains while the account itself is active and paid for?

    Just throwing an idea to the wind.

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  8. I understand that account sharing is against the Eula. However, if it is so prevalent, it seems like CCP should be investigating WHY people feel the need to share their accounts, and see if there are legitimate things that could be done to remove the need to do it to begin with.

    For example...Titans. Once upon a time these were designed to be a major investment for a corp/alliance. That not true with some major alliances anymore but it is still true of moderate sized alliances and etc. And yet, there is no way to really share this asset. This seems like a major design flaw to me.

    As far as account sharing goes, CCP probably has to make it against the rules for legal reasons. However, I agree there's very little they can do to prove someone is sharing an account, and I doubt they actively look at peoples' accounts to proactively ban people for account sharing. I think where actual enforcement comes in is when people start boasting about it, or when someone else blows the whistle on activity they've witnessed--with chat logs that incriminates the guilty party.

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    1. Aye. I believe that this may have appeared due to someone losing their stuff and petitioning because someone sharing their account took it. That's just from what the subject of the tweets feels like.

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  9. With the current cyno mechanic you force smaller entities to work around the point of "we need cyno chars at this 5 stations". The big players have there jump beacon network which the small ones don't have.

    Befor CCP enforces account sharing against using "their" force projection feature, they should take a good look at that said "force projection feature".

    Wouldn't be too hard to have the cyno generator be optional to speed up the process but any ship with jump drive could log onto a bookmark and start a spool up time. A generic beacon is raised there an can be shot just like the cyno ship. Different ship type have different spool up times. A Titan takes 8 minutes while a JF gets it done in 1 min. Carrier / Dread 5 min and all can be speed up by lighting a cyno which halves the spool up time.

    viola, end of sharing cyno accounts as you don't need them anymore so necessarily. In said case of cyno mechanics, its the symptom, not the cause.

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  10. How are corp titans an issue? Of course they are allowed. You just leave it floating in a POS an any corp member with the right skills can board :)
    The fact most players won't leave a titan floating in space without a pilot is a selfimposed limitation, not a game mechanic.

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    1. Agreed.

      Of course there is the cost/training time for the titan char that is the other asset that is being shared. Why have 4 players train for a titan, when you have 1 char shared between 4 players.

      I most certainly do not condone this activity. In the beginning, when Titans were singular and insanely expensive, I could perhaps understand titan chars being shared AT THE START. With thousands of titan-capable pilot in existence now, there is no reason for this behaviour, Its not like those characters are the slightest way ISK poor.

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  11. Unfortunately, CCP kinda shot themselves in the foot the moment they allowed alts on the same IP to freely interact with one another. There's really only 2 ways to go about this: 1) allow free exchange between alts or 2) allow no exchange (or very limited exchange) between alts on the same IP.

    That said, yeah, if someone is stupid enough to petition when stuff disappears from a shared account, CCP pretty much has to act; breaking the shared hallucination is bad :)

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    1. Treating IPs to be unique is a long out-dated concept (since NAT became commonplace), and it will take many years until IPv6 is widespread enough to eliminate that.

      Or less technical: you would ban a lot of legitimate users from your game.

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    2. Oh, to clarfiy: Of course, IPs themselves are unique. I meant the assumption that only one computer/user uses the same IP at the same time.

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  12. I baby sit accounts all the time. I'm a teacher that teaches US Navy personnel. I recommend Eve Online to all of them. Their number one concern is how will they be able to update the training queue of the character when they are at sea and unable to connect to Eve. I tell them to find a trusted friend to do it. Most of them then ask me to do it and I agree. They email me what they want in the queue and I log on set it then log off. There are a lot of active duty military that play Eve - CCP needs to consider that too.

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    1. This exact thing is one of my biggest concerns if this becomes a crack down.

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    2. IMNSHO, that's an argument to allow longer queues, not for account sharing.

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  13. month long skills are not particularly rare in Eve. If I had to take a four weeks away from the game, there are at least half a dozen Level V skills I could queue up.

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    1. They are pretty rare for the first couple months of the game, but NPE doesn't always seem like a priority to CCP (if it were they wouldn't need to talk about it constantly).

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  14. We have the ability now to spend Plex to allow training on multiple alts on a single account, why not allow Plex to keep a character skill training on a long-term queue?

    Armed forces members and so forth, who're simply unable to 'play' on the account, could pay for a few months up front.

    Sure there are technical limitations. Like programming the ability to 'inject' skill books without prerequisites, etc. I'm no coding genius, that's for sure, but I'm all in favour of 'more options'.

    Though openly allowing the sharing of Titan accounts and suchlike, without rebuke, only helps to aggravate the whole 24hr 'power projection' Grr-Meta that's going on.

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  15. Two simple changes will eliminate most of the issues which most would view as understandable account sharing:
    1. Extend the training queue out into the far future. Even a full year of queue would not make a significant impact on gameplay. Since we are basicly purchasing skill training and ccp will sell a year of subscription why not just allow piling up a full years worth of training if we so wish. Most likely anyone actually playing will make changes but our corpmates on government sponsored travel to Afghanistan (or equivalent) can go away and have a bit more to return to.

    2. Allow titans and mom's to dock or be stored in arrays. The coffin nature of those ships is not interesting or engaging gameplay. In fact making them more like normal ships might solve part of their problem although what they really need is a predator (perhaps a new type of battleship.) Most other ships have a rock - paper - scissors relationship and the few that don't such as mom's and ishtars tend to be the ones that are problems.

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