I, personally, have no interest in engaging any long cons myself, but I like knowing they're allowed, legal, and can happen anywhere and any time. This lawlessness in EVE reminded me of the heydey, the first 18 months, of Ultima Online. Still my fondest memory in MMO gaming. Like the original design goals of Ultima Online (before carebear whining ruined it all), EVE too is built upon the precept that the players should be in control of their destinies, their destinies should not be defined by game mechanics. EVE is not perfect in this regard (bugs, a few bad design decisions, lag), but it is close, and getting closer.
As interesting as the long cons are (they are few and far between), there are the short cons. The daily subterfuges and scams of EVE Online.
I consider myself reasonably bright. And have not fallen trap to any subterfuges in this game. Well, until yesterday.
I was engaged in a long troll/slam thread against EVE University on the EVE Online forums. Just some meta-game fun, as well as a little vindictive revenge. Railing against their hypocrisies and contradictions, their overall desire to insulate themselves from most of the game.
It was all going well-enough until about page four of the thread, when a fellow Uni instigator, dum dumdum, appeared. He seemed to share all the same reservations I had with the University. At that time, I'd already revealed the main troll of thread, and the thread had now become just a generalised bash on the University. I should have left the thread at that point. I thought about it. But the moment got the best of me, and I continued to engage. From morning until afternoon, just a stream of sarcasm and discontent towards University policy, and in particular their inept Admiral, Silentbrick.
Well, perhaps not quite so inept (at least where non-combat and non-fleet operations are concerned.)
I decide to take a break and go get the oil change I'd been meaning to get for the last week. Do that. An hour or so later, return home to find that dum dumdum had replied to some post meant for me, but that he used first person pronouns in the reply. Obviously intended to sound like I was making the reply, that dum dumdum was intending to pass himself off as my alt, that I'd made a grave posting error. That I'd just spent most of the day playing the multiple personality game.
At first I was a little confused. I must have read over dum dumdum's post six or seven times. Making sure I was actually reading it correctly. Making sure that this was happening. It was. I'd just been trolled. Where the hell was Admiral Ackbar when I needed him?
By this time every Uni alt was going fullbore on the discrediting game, using dum dumdum's troll as their rallying point. Kind of obvious and none too subtle. The rahrah Uni alts are obvious to pick out of the woodwork. Even now, it is still the Uni alts and Uni supporters furthering that agenda.
I began wondering who dum dumdum might be. Was he just someone screwing with me? He was obviously an alt. Only five days old. Was he a Uni alt? That seemed the likeliest explanation. Obviously a clever alt. Meant to pull me along for as many cross-quotes as possible before dropping the bomb. I knew for sure he wasn't Silentbrick's alt. That guy has all the subtlety of a tweaker at a meth convention.
Then I received an in-game conversation request from dum dumdum. I've posted the logs and the screenshots. They more or less speak for themselves. Who he is, still remains a mystery, but he was obviously out to do a job and he did it successfully. He may have been expecting emorage in our conversation. To be honest, I was kind of impressed. You get schooled like that, there's little recourse in raging about it. Suck it up, be a man, accept that you just got your ass owned.
Like I said, I posted the conversation to the forum, and wrote "Kudos to the Uni."
Five minutes later I receive another conversation request from dum dumdum. At first he wants to sell me some chatlogs he has with Silentbrick. I decline. I have a pretty firm rule on not paying ransoms and not paying for unverifiable information. He then states that the Uni does not deserve the credit for my being played. He would like me to instead edit my post and change "Kudos to the Uni" to "Kudos to [his alliance]".
I'm leaving the alliance name blank, simply because there is no way to verify who he is exactly. He claimed to be from a certain organization known for their subterfuge and social engineering operations. There was no way in hell I was going to write that name down without any proof. While I have no problems with the Uni being pissed off at me, I don't want [alliance] pissed off at me if I'm being played yet again and I end up wrongly accusing them of this subterfuge.
Anyhow, I eventually agree to just say "Kudos to the hired operative." His only beef seemed to be that the University was incapable of such subterfuge and it seemed to tick him off that I was giving them such credit.
Here is that final chat log (edited to remove corporation and alliance names, though likely not hard to figure out what they might be):
---------------------------------------------------------------Obviously still no way to verify what he has said is true. But an interesting conversation nonetheless.
Channel ID: -24592717
Channel Name: Private Chat (dum dumdum)
Listener: Poetic Stanziel
Session started: 2011.08.31 01:00:57
[ 2011.08.31 01:01:10 ] Poetic Stanziel > Yo yo.
[ 2011.08.31 01:02:03 ] dum dumdum > Hey bro, saw your post just now
[ 2011.08.31 01:02:25 ] dum dumdum > im looking for a deal, if you are interested
[ 2011.08.31 01:02:38 ] Poetic Stanziel > A deal?
[ 2011.08.31 01:03:20 ] dum dumdum > Silentbrick used an alt for contacting me for most of it except once, i have a chatlog
[ 2011.08.31 01:03:40 ] dum dumdum > willing to post it for you and upload a copy onto eve files
[ 2011.08.31 01:03:44 ] dum dumdum > if you can tip me
[ 2011.08.31 01:04:02 ] Poetic Stanziel > I am not rich. Not a billionaire like most of the directors.
[ 2011.08.31 01:04:22 ] dum dumdum > well this is just free money to me, not like i need to work for it
[ 2011.08.31 01:04:51 ] dum dumdum > unlike the work i had to do to set up the whole thing today
[ 2011.08.31 01:05:16 ] Poetic Stanziel > Yeah. Not really into getting played twice. If you know what I mean.
[ 2011.08.31 01:06:15 ] dum dumdum > ah i understand its fair enough then
[ 2011.08.31 01:06:32 ] Poetic Stanziel > No prob. Thanks for the offer.
[ 2011.08.31 01:06:58 ] dum dumdum > no harm in getting easy work
[ 2011.08.31 01:07:06 ] dum dumdum > trying to get*
[ 2011.08.31 01:07:11 ] Poetic Stanziel > Nope.
[ 2011.08.31 01:07:16 ] dum dumdum > btw just so you know
[ 2011.08.31 01:07:38 ] dum dumdum > Silent already tipped me 200 mil extra to delete the log when he realised id talked to you
[ 2011.08.31 01:07:47 ] Poetic Stanziel > Heh.
[ 2011.08.31 01:08:11 ] dum dumdum > poor dummie thinks il be honest to him because he has hired me in the past
[ 2011.08.31 01:08:39 ] Poetic Stanziel > I have two suspicions ... you're either [corporate member] ... or [alliance].
[ 2011.08.31 01:08:48 ] dum dumdum > heh
[ 2011.08.31 01:08:51 ] dum dumdum > 2nd one mate
[ 2011.08.31 01:09:37 ] dum dumdum > fork in the [corporation]
[ 2011.08.31 01:09:49 ] dum dumdum > under [corporate CEO]
[ 2011.08.31 01:09:53 ] dum dumdum > work*
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:19 ] dum dumdum > and another thing plz can you alter your post a little
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:20 ] Poetic Stanziel > Well, good play. Still impressed. I joined because of this sort of shit ... never thought I'd have it done to me ... but c'est la vie. ;)
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:26 ] Poetic Stanziel > Joined EVE.
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:31 ] dum dumdum > hehe
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:48 ] dum dumdum > plz give myself or the [corporation] credit for this
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:55 ] Poetic Stanziel > Alter it how?
[ 2011.08.31 01:10:58 ] dum dumdum > the uni simply paid. I planned and did the work
[ 2011.08.31 01:11:11 ] dum dumdum > dont give the uni credit for something they didnt do
[ 2011.08.31 01:11:34 ] Poetic Stanziel > Yeah. I probably won't do that ... in the event this has nothing at to do with [alliance], and you're in fact silent. Rather not have [alliance] pissed at me too.
[ 2011.08.31 01:11:55 ] dum dumdum > hmm undersrtoof
[ 2011.08.31 01:11:58 ] Poetic Stanziel > Uni is fine. I can deal with the Uni.
[ 2011.08.31 01:12:04 ] Poetic Stanziel > I can't deal with the [corporation].
[ 2011.08.31 01:12:05 ] dum dumdum > then change it to give dum dumdum credit then
[ 2011.08.31 01:12:22 ] dum dumdum > [corporate CEO] knows its me anyway
[ 2011.08.31 01:12:38 ] dum dumdum > just dont want you to give credit to the uni for this work
[ 2011.08.31 01:12:48 ] dum dumdum > and esp not silent
[ 2011.08.31 01:13:02 ] dum dumdum > dont mention the [corporation]
[ 2011.08.31 01:13:18 ] Poetic Stanziel > If you're biomassing dum dumdum. You can give the credit if you wish.
[ 2011.08.31 01:13:37 ] dum dumdum > well kinda pointless for me to credit myself
[ 2011.08.31 01:13:43 ] Poetic Stanziel > I'm more than a little wary at the moment. Understandably.
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:05 ] dum dumdum > but yes i understand
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:09 ] Poetic Stanziel > I don't see the end game in this ... but if there is one ... I'd rather not fall for it hook line and sinker.
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:21 ] dum dumdum > well i understand that you cant trust me
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:35 ] dum dumdum > but dont lose sleep over this bro
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:42 ] dum dumdum > im not gona trail you or anything
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:49 ] dum dumdum > my job is done
[ 2011.08.31 01:14:57 ] Poetic Stanziel > Not at all. Currently all I have to worry about is the Uni. And not particularly worried there.
[ 2011.08.31 01:15:13 ] Poetic Stanziel > Just don't want to make more of a fool of myself than I probably already have on the forums today.
[ 2011.08.31 01:15:30 ] dum dumdum > ye just wondered if you could credit me (i.e. dum dumdum) for this work
[ 2011.08.31 01:15:39 ] dum dumdum > rather than leaving it as it is, which implies the uni did it
[ 2011.08.31 01:15:50 ] dum dumdum > which they did not do, they simply comissioned me and i did the job today
[ 2011.08.31 01:15:52 ] Poetic Stanziel > I'll think about it. I may post something.
[ 2011.08.31 01:16:49 ] dum dumdum > "Kudos to the Uni for it." just alter to "kudos to the hired operative"
[ 2011.08.31 01:16:57 ] Poetic Stanziel > Why do you say "please give myself of the [corporation] credit for this"
[ 2011.08.31 01:17:05 ] Poetic Stanziel > And then say "don't mention the [corporation]."
[ 2011.08.31 01:17:30 ] dum dumdum > because you seem to worry that the [alliance] have marked you for something
[ 2011.08.31 01:17:41 ] dum dumdum > when it is not like that
[ 2011.08.31 01:17:50 ] Poetic Stanziel > I see.
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:00 ] dum dumdum > i play this game for fun
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:12 ] dum dumdum > and i dont want you to think that this is something personal for me
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:16 ] Poetic Stanziel > Well, I doubt they'd be bothered to mark for no particular reason ... unless I pissed them off directly.
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:22 ] dum dumdum > or that im out to get you in the guture
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:33 ] dum dumdum > i have a little bit of conscience
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:37 ] Poetic Stanziel > Heh.
[ 2011.08.31 01:18:54 ] dum dumdum > i mean if you were like emo emo ragey ragey i couldnt care less
[ 2011.08.31 01:19:04 ] Poetic Stanziel > Anyhow ... maybe I'll just post this chat log and be done with it.
[ 2011.08.31 01:19:16 ] dum dumdum > but you got rolled over by the uni and i rolled you over again today so
[ 2011.08.31 01:19:50 ] dum dumdum > oh,so you are not worried about the [alliance]?
[ 2011.08.31 01:20:04 ] Poetic Stanziel > Of course I am.
[ 2011.08.31 01:20:42 ] Poetic Stanziel > Who wouldn't be ... except maybe Mactep. :)
[ 2011.08.31 01:20:51 ] dum dumdum > tch
[ 2011.08.31 01:20:58 ] dum dumdum > we [alliance] are misrepresented
[ 2011.08.31 01:21:02 ] dum dumdum > we arent all that bad
[ 2011.08.31 01:21:24 ] dum dumdum > its prob because all the bad stuff we do is what ppl remember and pass on
[ 2011.08.31 01:21:25 ] Poetic Stanziel > Don't get me wrong. I am a fan of the [alliance] and [alliance].
[ 2011.08.31 01:21:41 ] Poetic Stanziel > Both personalities during Alliance IX were my favourites.
[ 2011.08.31 01:21:51 ] dum dumdum > mmm i go hot and cold regarding [alliance]
[ 2011.08.31 01:22:01 ] Poetic Stanziel > And it was the story of [alliance] taking down [alliance] that got me to join EVE.
[ 2011.08.31 01:22:11 ] dum dumdum > before my time unfortunately
[ 2011.08.31 01:23:00 ] dum dumdum > regarding [alliance] i dont rly care all that much because i dont have to fly with them
[ 2011.08.31 01:23:14 ] dum dumdum > too busy infiltrating and playing the social manipulation game
[ 2011.08.31 01:23:39 ] Poetic Stanziel > I will do the "hired operative" thing for you. That is no problem. I've thought about it.
[ 2011.08.31 01:24:18 ] dum dumdum > great glad to hear it
[ 2011.08.31 01:24:20 ] Poetic Stanziel > But it will be in a separate post. not going to edit the chat log posts after the fact ... that could be used against me.
[ 2011.08.31 01:24:30 ] dum dumdum > ofc understoof
[ 2011.08.31 01:24:34 ] Poetic Stanziel > By Silent, Uni, whoever.
[ 2011.08.31 01:24:34 ] dum dumdum > understood
[ 2011.08.31 01:25:05 ] dum dumdum > "hired operative" id prefer this
[ 2011.08.31 01:25:23 ] dum dumdum > i doubt silent has the brains or finesse to pull of anything close to the things ive done
[ 2011.08.31 01:25:50 ] dum dumdum > escpacially after seeing him "trying to help" finish the trap
[ 2011.08.31 01:26:35 ] dum dumdum > btw regarding chat logs im not sure that they will stay for long
[ 2011.08.31 01:27:09 ] dum dumdum > im not sure if you can post chat logs in general discussion
[ 2011.08.31 01:27:24 ] dum dumdum > then again old forums are gone in a few days so the CCP dudes may not bother
[ 2011.08.31 01:27:34 ] Poetic Stanziel > Done.
[ 2011.08.31 01:27:55 ] Poetic Stanziel > His last post was a bit hamhanded.
[ 2011.08.31 01:28:15 ] dum dumdum > ok thanks v much for that post.
[ 2011.08.31 01:28:25 ] Poetic Stanziel > Making a big issue of pointing out the "first person" thing, in case no one caught it.
[ 2011.08.31 01:28:26 ] dum dumdum > i do enjoy my work
[ 2011.08.31 01:28:48 ] Poetic Stanziel > Not subtle at all.
[ 2011.08.31 01:28:55 ] dum dumdum > well like i said, its a skill what i do in eve
[ 2011.08.31 01:29:12 ] Poetic Stanziel > You had skill. Had me completely fooled. Silent. Not so much.
[ 2011.08.31 01:29:30 ] dum dumdum > aww ur making me blush
[ 2011.08.31 01:29:32 ] Poetic Stanziel > I come back from my oil change to see your post and my first thought was "Fuck. I was trolled."
[ 2011.08.31 01:29:44 ] dum dumdum > ah ye kinda figured
[ 2011.08.31 01:30:04 ] dum dumdum > i was gona do it another way
[ 2011.08.31 01:30:09 ] dum dumdum > but this one seemed best
[ 2011.08.31 01:30:39 ] Poetic Stanziel > Anyhow, gotta go. Take care.
[ 2011.08.31 01:30:51 ] dum dumdum > you too and thanks for taking it like a champ
[ 2011.08.31 01:31:00 ] dum dumdum > silent woullda raged in your position
[ 2011.08.31 01:31:02 ] Poetic Stanziel > No prob,. It's all part of the meta-game.
[ 2011.08.31 01:31:08 ] dum dumdum > o/
[ 2011.08.31 01:31:11 ] Poetic Stanziel > o7
A fun, embarrassing, and interesting day all rolled into one.