Tuesday, July 19, 2016

EULAs, Terms of Service, Can Matter In Court

Digging into the Counter Strike: Global Operations gambling scandals unearthed a lot of information. One little item I discovered in the Steam Subscriber Agreement is from Section 2G:
"You are entitled to use the Content and Services for your own personal use, but you are not entitled to: (i) sell, grant a security interest in or transfer reproductions of the Content and Services to other parties in any way, nor to rent, lease or license the Content and Services to others without the prior written consent of Valve, except to the extent expressly permitted elsewhere in this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use);"

With "Content and Services" defined as:
"...including but not limited to Valve or third-party video games and in-game content, and any virtual items you trade, sell or purchase in a Steam Subscription Marketplace."
So technically, sites like OPSkins that convert skins to real world currency with funds deposited to a PayPal account violate the SSA. I use the term "technically" because Valve appears to allow the sites to operate with a wink and a nod. At the very least, Valva does not enforce its rules very vigorously. A cynic may even claim the rules are only enforced when lawsuits are filed, but I don't know that for a fact.

I decided to reread the Steam Subscriber Agreement after rereading the top question in the Ask Us Anything conducted by eSports/gaming lawyers Bryce Blum, Ryan Morrison, and Jeff Ifrah.

Q. Lawyers, I personally have gambled skins before, I'm over age and can so it's not something illegal for me to do. My question is, is this technically gambling? The reason I ask is because there is no technical way to 'cash-out' the skins without using a 3rd party site that goes Valves ToS/SSA.

The reason I ask this is because in Florida we have had this lawsuit between the government and 'arcade owners'. The Arcades are basically slot machines but you get gift cards and not cash if you win. The courts found the Arcades ok since gift cards are not considered monetary value.

Doesn't that seem very similar to Skin betting and all?

Blum: This is a great question, and should probably be higher up. When it comes to skin betting, there is a threshold question of whether or not skins constitute consideration and therefore fall under the wide array of gambling laws we're discussing throughout this thread.

For my money, I think this is a no brainer because the secondary market is prominent, permitted to exist, and skins have widely known value. That being said, there isn't a case directly on point here so it's impossible to say for certain. I've discussed this issue at length with /u/ifrahlaw [Jeff Ifrah] so hopefully he can chime in as well.

Edit: I'd also add that it's not necessarily a safe assumption that simply because you are overage you are acting within the bounds of the law. Regulations vary significantly depending on jurisdiction and the type of wagering activity involved. In the US for example, internet based gambling is largely prohibited, even if you are over 18.

Ifrah: Agreed - great question. To start, the distinction Florida makes on the 'arcades' is not one that every single state shares. That is part of what makes the gaming industry so tricky in the US. Not only are there federal laws to comply with, but every state has its own definition of gambling that must be taken into consideration.

But, I agree with your premise about the cashing-out distinction. In our work, the question is whether the skins are a 'thing of value.' Generally, in traditional gambling cases, this means cash or chips. There is a recent court decision from Maryland – Mason v. Machine Zone - that stressed the distinction between virtual things of value and things of value with 'real world' value. I think this case will be instructive in the future. Skins, even with secondary markets, hold their value because of the gaming, which puts it squarely in the virtual world. If the skins are virtual things of value, using them for gambling would be OK under most laws.
The significance of the responses from the two lawyers is that they do not believe that gambling for virtual goods violates most gambling laws, even with the presence of unsanctioned secondary markets. Valve may face legal problems with their possible connections and implicit approval of secondary RMT sites like OPSkins.

Looking into the opinion in Mason v. Machine Zone, I found something on page 3 that made me smile:
Crucially, there is no real-dollar value attached to “gold,” chips, or any Casino prizes. On the contrary, Defendant’s Terms of Service (“ToS”)—appended to Plaintiff’s Complaint—provide that “Virtual Currency and Virtual Goods may never be redeemed for ‘real world’ money, goods or other items of monetary value from [Defendant] or any other person”; that players receive a nontransferable “revocable license to use the Virtual Goods and Virtual Currency” solely for personal entertainment purposes; and that, aside from the foregoing license, players have “no right, title, or interest in or to any such Virtual Goods or Virtual Currency.” (ECF No. 1–2 at 9.)

Although the ToS expressly bar players from “buy[ing] or sell[ing] any Virtual Currency or Virtual Goods outside the Services or in exchange for ‘real world’ money or items of value” (id. at 10), Plaintiff alleges that “players have created secondary markets to buy and sell Game of War accounts” (ECF No 1 ¶ 37). Plaintiff does not allege that Defendant hosts or sanctions these secondary markets, nor does she allege that she has ever sold or attempted to sell an account—nor even that she intends to do so in the future. 
First, if the game company in question does not provide a method of cashing virtual goods or currency into real world currency, the company is not held liable for any gambling charges. The second is that the judge treated the terms of service for Game of War as a legal document, or at least relevant in this case.

I find the whole situation with CSGO fascinating. Whatever the legal result is in the two class-action suits will probably impact gambling in all other games, including EVE Online, at least in the U.S. Perhaps the biggest long-ranging impacts coming out of the whole mess is that EULAs and ToS do legally matter.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Valve Shutting Down The CS:GO Gambling Sites

"You may not use Cheats, automation software (bots), mods, hacks, or any other unauthorized third-party software, to modify or automate any Subscription Marketplace process."

The fallout of the Counter Strike: Global Operations gambling scandals picked up steam after the filing of the second class-action lawsuit against Valve in Florida on 1 July. The plaintiff modified the filing on 7 July to include CSGOLotto, Trevor “Tmartn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassel following the revelation the two popular YouTubers also own CSGOLotto. On Wednesday, Erik Johnson, one of Valve's business development authorities, posted the following announcement on Steam:
"In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies.

"Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency.

"These sites have basically pieced together their operations in a two-part fashion. First, they are using the OpenID API as a way for users to prove ownership of their Steam accounts and items. Any other information they obtain about a user's Steam account is either manually disclosed by the user or obtained from the user’s Steam Community profile (when the user has chosen to make their profile public). Second, they create automated Steam accounts that make the same web calls as individual Steam users.

"Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity."

Monday, July 11, 2016

Counter Strike: Gambling Operations

"In chaos theory, there's a concept known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Most people call it the butterfly effect. In EVE, we call it the sandbox."

Among the interesting developments in EVE Online is the growth of online gaming sites utilizing in-game currency and virtual goods. I don't think that popular sites like EveBet and I Want ISK really worry about real world gambling laws. After all, the money wagered is internet spaceship bucks and not convertible to real world currency without violating the EVE Online End User License Agreement and Terms of Service. No need to worry about lawyers or governments intervening, right?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chasing Shadows

I didn't get off to a very good start with the July update last week. I didn't really get settled in until I discovered I needed to stay logged into the Captain's Quarters. Once I figured that out, I was good to go, right?

Not really. The next step involved participating in the new event, The Shadow of the Serpent. The concept seemed simple. Just log into the game and see the available events on the character select screen. Of course, since the game is EVE Online, not everything is so straightforward.

On Wednesday, I decided to give the event a try. First, I looked at the four activities on the character select screen. Three kill missions and a mining mission. Okay, maybe mission isn't the correct word, but that's how I think of them. Only, the mining mission disappeared by the time I logged my main into the game. Then came the confusion. Where do I find the events? I had heard that in previous events the sites appeared in the probe scanner, so I flew around high sec and low looking for one to appear. After about 45 minutes of fruitlessly looking, someone in a chat channel told me the sites appear on the overview. I just flew to a station, docked up, and logged out.

My next opportunity to play video games was Friday. Due to the 4th of July holiday, I only had to work a half-day. So what did I do Friday afternoon? Play EVE. Instead of logging into my main account, I logged into my industrial account. I may define industrial differently than others. My main industrial alt can't fly battleships, but can fly everything up to and including command ships. But I didn't have to worry about that, because one of the event options included mining 500,000 units of scordite.

I know where to find scordite! I decided I would do the events in high sec, so I flew to a system in which I had set up a cache of ships to do some mining. So I hopped in a Skiff and headed out to a belt.

Now, I did have a couple of concerns. Did I have to only mine scordite, or could I mine any type of scordite, like condensed scordite? Also, would I need to transport the mined ore to a station? The event description didn't say. If I needed to transport the ore, I could always multibox and use both my Orca and the Mastodon. As for the types of scordite, mining condensed scordite for a minute wouldn't really hurt matters in the long run.

To my surprise, not only could I mine all types of scordite to meet the requirement, but I got to keep what I mined. So for about 80 minutes of effort, I got 500,000 units of scordite and 1000 of the event points. Well, I actually got a small bonus. Another of the events required killing Angel Cartel ships in belts. So while I mined, I also received 50 event points for defending myself against the NPCs trying to kill my poor Skiff. Not too bad.

After finishing the first two activities, two more popped up. The first involved destroying 20 Angel Sortie sites. Destroying that many sites seemed like a lot of effort, so I chose another one that required killing Angel Cartel ships. I figured the easiest way to finish the event was to clean out one of the combat anomalies in the system. Rummaging around the station, I found an autocannon Vagabond I used to run the level 1 Sisters of EVE epic arc when I needed to improve my standings. The Vagabond is really fun to fly. I took the ship out to a site and killed the ten rats in a couple of minutes.

The next event was a touch of fun. I needed to kill Angel ships, but in a frigate. What type of frigate? Did the term frigate mean tech 1 frigates only? I decided to take a chance and fit up a Jaguar, one of the Minmatar tech 2 assault frigates. I opened up pyfa and came up with a passive shield regeneration, 200mm autocannon PvE fit. I had most of the modules in my hanger, so I just needed to fly to Rens to pick up a couple of modules and rigs.

Once again, I headed out to a combat site and once again took out the guarding NPCs in a few minutes. Not so surprisingly by this point, I received credit for the kills. But that all for the quick events. Now to face destroying 20 Angel Sortie sites.

The Angel Sorties are designed for even a solo cruiser to do quickly. The standard composition awaiting players is one battlecruiser, two cruisers, and four frigates. The frigates do not attempt to tackle players, at least for now. My solo Vagabond chewed through the sites with ease. The biggest problem involved finding 20 sites. I only completed 16 by the time I logged out for the night.

Those familiar with The Shadow of the Serpent event will realize I have not talked about the bread and butter activity, "Keep Up the Pressure". I think the destruction of the Serpentis Shipyard and Research Facility sites deserves a stand-alone post plus screenshots. I also have a couple of other observations to make that won't make sense without writing about Keep Up The Pressure. So one more post about The Shadow of the Serpent is coming before I move on to another subject.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Avoiding Flying In Stations

I got home last night excited to log into EVE. I received a minor disappointment when I didn't see the Shadow of the Serpent content on the character selection screen. Hey, bugs happen. I'd also heard something about a docking animation and wanted to try it out.

I thought the docking animation occurred outside the ship, which caused me a little concern. The truth was, in a strange way, worse. The first thing I saw when I logged into the game was my Cheetah slowly flying past as my disembodied body started drifting in the other direction. That messed with my head.

I have a little problem with motion sickness in games. For example, I can't play Elder Scrolls Online for long periods of time due to the camera setup. In most games when I play in third person mode, the camera is positioned in such a was that the camera angle is looking in the same direction that my avatar is travelling. Not so in ESO. The angle is off just enough that I start feeling queasy if I don't take frequent breaks.

I started feeling the same way watching my ship fly in the station. I didn't know why, though, so I undocked and played with the little blue pointer that now protrudes from the front of ships. I can see the use for making instawarp undocking bookmarks, so I flew out 150 km from the station, then returned to the station and docked.

Upon docking, the flying in station animation appeared and I started feeling a little strange again as I watched my ship fly by. I figured out that I needed to stop my ship to make the feeling go away, but I couldn't. Aargh!

I felt really frustrated because for almost seven years, I always had control of my ship. Even in those instances where a player tackled and destroyed my ship, I still had a feeling of control, even if all I could do was align to a planet so I could warp my pod to safety. I really, really wanted to stop my ship, but the game had taken the control away from me and all I could do is look away from my screen in order to make the feeling go away.

I'll admit I said a couple of bad words and then logged out of the game. I figured maybe if I ate dinner I would feel better. I usually try to eat something before playing ESO as that seems to help. The solution to my problem hit me while preparing a salad. My client was set to view the ship hanger when I docked. What would happen if I switched to the Captain's Quarters?

Op success! Instead of seeing the flying ship, I received a loading screen and then appeared in my Captain's Quarters.

Now, some may think that flying in stations is just a cynical ploy by CCP to trick players into using the Captain's Quarters instead of the ship hangar. If so, they succeeded in getting this player to make the switch. Anything to keep from seeing that stupid animation again.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Quick Look At Kinguin, RMT, And Overcharging Players

On Friday I received an email from a public relations person at Kinguin, a competitor of G2A. I guess my piece on Wednesday documenting yet again why G2A is shady put me on Kinguin's radar screen. The representative wanted me to pimp their new program aimed at convincing indie game developers to sell their games on Kinguin. With all the news about how G2A rips off developers, now's the perfect time for Kinguin to entice indie developers, right?

In case anyone forgets, Kinguin is a very shady place as well. Back when hackers purchased thousands of FarCry 4 keys using stolen credit cards, over 4600 of those game keys were sold on Kinguin.

One test I use to figure out a company's ethics is to look up the offers for popular games, or at least games I'm familiar with. I usually start with EVE Online PLEX. Needless to say, Kinguin failed the test.

Instead of just stating that Kinguin is engaged in illicit RMT, let me walk you through why I believe that Kinguin is engaged in the practice. In the graphic above, let me point out three indicators that the offer is totally shady.

First, the price is way too low. While not as cheap as those found on various forums and other "exchange markets" that don't pretend any legitimacy, $11.14 USD indicates that the PLEX was not purchased in bulk during a sale. After looking at the list of authorized PLEX resellers, even taking into account currency fluctuations, I don't see how anyone could sell a PLEX under $16 USD and make money.

The second is the offer of insurance. I know many will say that a site like Kinguin or G2A offering insurance to make sure the sale goes through is a normal business practice. But really, the insurance on the PLEX offered above is 10%. That seems awfully sketchy to me.

Of course, the final item on the list screams RMT. The title of the offer includes the phrase "In-Game Delivery". The transaction as described fits the description of real money trading. The buyer is purchasing an in-game item (PLEX) for real world cash. Clicking on the Activation Details link explains brings the following pop-up.

So what is the "Donate to" delivery method? The Donate Game Time feature takes a PLEX from Player A's account and gifts it as 30 days of game time to Player B. Not as PLEX which a player can then sell for ISK, but as actual game time. The seller has to take a PLEX from his in-game inventory in order to do the transfer. An in-game item in exchange for real money. A EULA-violating RMT transaction confirmed.

So I found a seller engaged in RMT. Now for a little fact I find hilarious. Apart from the RMT offer, buying from Kinguin is more expensive than buying from an authorized PLEX reseller. Here are some examples.

First, purchasing two PLEX from CCP or an authorized reseller normally costs $34.99 USD. Here is a screenshot of the offers available from Kinguin.

That's right, the offers range from $36.98 to $37.91 per 2 PLEX, or $2-$3 USD more than buying from a safe, approved source. And buying in bulk doesn't improve matters.

The approved price for a 6-pack of PLEX from CCP is $104.97. The price on Kinguin? $108.85, or $3.88 more. I found the single PLEX offers were more expensive also.

Truthfully, I don't know why anyone would take a risk going to these shady marketplace sites. Anyone going to Kinguin for EVE-related items is sheer lunacy. Except for the instance of buying game time which involved real money trading, the deals are better going to an authorized PLEX reseller. I guess that may make Kinguin more honest than G2A, but I still recommend buying from CCP approved sources. Why take a chance, especially when buying from Kinguin costs more money?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Down The Rabbit Hole With TinyBuild And G2A

Sometimes I get what, at first glance, is a simple story. StupidGenius from the Cap Stable podcast let me know about a story claiming that G2A was selling game keys obtained through credit card fraud. Again. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

"King Serpent's" Loss Is Our Gain

I'm not sure what Virge Salvador Sarpati ever did to CCP Delegate Zero, CCP Falcon, and CCP Affinity, but they love kicking him while he's down. For those who don't know, "King Serpent", as his sister calls him, is the leader of the Serpentis. To say he is having a bad year is an understatement.

First, Serpentis lost control of Outer Ring Excavations in November last year (YC117) in a hostile takeover conducted by the newly formed Upwell Consortium. Nothing says hostile takeover better than several task forces of Mordu's Legion striking simultaneously across space.

In EVE Online, players will take years to gain their revenge. So will NPCs. The chairman of Upwell's board of directors is Yani Sar Arteu, the founder of Outer Ring Excavations. Further fighting broke out in December as Serpentis Corporation forces destroyed three heavily armed Ducia Foundry mining convoys in Outer Ring. Serpentis continued its efforts against the Upwell Consortium in combination with the capsuleer alliance Omega Security Syndicate in January of this year (YC118), destroying five construction sites building prototypes of the Astrahus-class citadel.

Players became involved in the story as part of CCP's first in-game Christmas/New Year event, Operation Frostline. Mordu's Legion decided to publish the locations of Serpentis sites so capsuleers could kill all the things and get phat loot. Among the initial loot advertised was, "apparel, synth-grade boosters, ship blueprints, all manner of high and low value modules, implants and Nexus Chips," with new items added to the loot tables over time. A fun time was had by all, as long as you weren't Serpentis.

CCP is offering players another go at fighting V Salvador Sarpati at the end of the month. CCP Affinity introduced the event, Shadow of the Serpent, in a dev blog Thursday:
"The Shadow of the Serpent earns its name from the hidden Serpentis arms race we will see happening over the next few weeks.  Naturally, many organizations within New Eden are pretty unhappy with the Serpentis creating new, advanced tech with an intention to distribute and will do anything to put a stop to this and they want your help!

"With so much happening in New Eden lately, the major corporations and factions are overwhelmed with work and will reach out to the newly independent Scope Network for help.  The Scope Network will use this opportunity to start up a new business venture, as a broker service between the major organizations of New Eden and the real powerhouse; the capsuleers!  To help the Scope Network succeed in this venture, we have been working on a prototype framework for a new way to display events happening in-game.

"When an event is happening, you will be able to see event specific challenges in your character selection screen. These will also appear in the new Scope Network window in-game, which you can access via the Neocom.  Over the course of the event, which will run for 6 weeks, you will notice a much wider variety of available challenges including roaming Serpentis and Angel Cartel pirates and 9 new event themed sites complete with loot and bounties.  On top of that, each time you complete a challenge listed on your Scope Network window you will earn points towards small, medium and large Scope Network prize containers. These containers will contain some very nice rewards, a selection of which will be available for the first time during Shadow of the Serpent."
I know a lot of traditionalists will hate the idea of putting a to-do list on the login page. The usual suspects will proclaim the end of the sandbox and decry CCP's efforts to turn EVE into World of Warcraft. Those critics have a point. When looking at the mockup of the login screen, I can see echoes of Guild Wars 2 and its daily, weekly, and monthly objective system. Personally though, I ignored that when I played GW2.

A mockup of the character select screen for the event.

But, is the system good for EVE Online? I do see some advantages. The first is visibility. I am one of those people who is not thrilled about special events. I might participate if I stumble upon one, but unless a game plants the information right in front of me, I will not take the effort to look up the information on how to take part. Making the event more visible will get more people, possibly even myself, to participate. Of course, that will make the drops less valuable, but that's the free market for you.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is the synergy with the opportunity system. Right now, the system is very bare bones. If a player logs into the game and kills a rat, the reward is 10,000 skill points. Sure, a player is incentivised to log in for a couple of minutes. But I experienced that in Neverwinter. Do something that takes 15 seconds a day and after awhile I levelled up. Part of the reason that I stopped playing Neverwinter is the ease I could level up. A very unsatisfying activity.

Now, combine the opportunity system with the live events and perhaps CCP has something substantive. The player is lured to log into the game by the promise of skill points and then sees the latest activities available for even more rewards. The tasks players can participate in are still unknown, but they could give someone an incentive to jump into the game for 15-20 minutes. I'd call that a win for CCP.

But wait, look what else CCP has in store for the Serpentis Corporation. CCP Fozzie got into the act with a change to boosters:
"In recent months the CONCORD Inner Circle has started seriously considering a new approach to the issue of New Eden's illicit booster trade. Prohibition was successful in reducing booster addiction rates, but has had serious downsides across the cluster.

"The illegal booster trade has enriched the great pirate factions (especially the Serpentis Corporation and their Angel Cartel partners), and led to an increase in underworld violence as local pirate bands compete for slices of this lucrative pie.

"Escalating enforcement requirements have stretched the resources of the DED and the empire customs authorities to their breaking points.

"In response to these issues, the Inner Circle is planning a complete shift in their approach to boosters. Booster possession, trade and consumption by capsuleers will be legalized, and licenses for legal booster production will be available to certain non-capsuleer corporations (X-Sense being the first authorized manufacturer). Booster production and research by pirate corporations and unlicensed capsuleers will continue to be illegal.

"Some CONCORD resources will be diverted to harm reduction programs (mainly focused on treating addiction among non-capsuleer populations).

"This change in approach is obviously good news for the X-Sense corporation, and experts predict that it will deal a non-trivial blow to the income of the Serpentis Corporation and Angel Cartel. Nobody yet knows how these powerful pirates will respond, but it's a safe assumption that they won't take it lying down."
That's right, now high sec residents don't have to worry about transporting combat boosters around. Not only will that affect PvP, but mission running as well. No longer will PvE types limit themselves to the previously legal synthetic boosters; now they can use the good stuff. Production will still take place in low sec, but manufacturers will undoubtedly transport the goods to high sec markets.

Over the past 8-9 months CCP created a lot of content for players by setting them upon the luckless Serpentis. In a couple of weeks, we'll get to see what the future may look like concerning PvE in EVE. I'm pretty sure that Sarpati wishes the lore team would pick on someone else.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dragomon Hunter: Mergers

I play a little free-to-play (F2P) game called Dragomon Hunter. During a long weekend spent making instawarp bookmarks in lowsec, running around an anime world gathering resources, doing dailies, and tending the creatures on my ranch for an hour or so is a nice break. I like the game, but a lot of the YouTube videos weren't so kind.

Apparently Dragomon Hunter is not as popular as Aeria originally thought as the two North American servers merged into a single shard last week. The devs stated that one of the reasons for the merger was to shorten the wait times to get into the PvP arenas. That made sense, as the one time I queued up for a match I wound up giving up. I didn't try to log into the game until Saturday, which was the correct choice, as the new server performed poorly and required an emergency maintenance to fix the issues.

Aeria used the server merger to revamp the daily login rewards. I couldn't find details about the new system, but the rewards went from a 10-day rotation to a 28-day rotation. The new rotation also gives out more loyalty points, which players can use to purchase some items available in the cash shop. I guess I have to keep logging in every day for the next four weeks to find all the goodies. I figure if all I do is log in to see what the rewards are, I will at least get some ideas of how CCP should develop the EVE Online dailies program.

Yesterday brought news of another merger into the world of Dragomon Hunter. Gamigo and Aeria announced a merger, with Aeria's parent company ProSiebenSat.1 becoming a minority shareholder. I remember that many European players protested when the German company became the publisher for Sony Online Entertainment's portfolio of games in Europe. One interesting tidbit is that Gamigo publishes Dragon's Prophet in Europe. Yes, the game that Daybreak dropped back in November is still running in Europe and Asia, with Dragon's Prophet receiving a patch as recently as the end of April.

I don't know what all of this means for Dragomon Hunter, or my Aeria account. EVE is still my main game, even if I don't get to play as much as I used to. But when I want to just putter around and not worry about death, Dragomon Hunter is a nice place to visit. I just hope the game sticks around for awhile longer.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Will PvE Blossom In 2017?

Sometimes I wonder if I follow what happens outside EVE way too much. One of those times occurred at Fanfest this year at the end of the first day of the convention. A group of us sat around drinking and discussing our impressions of the keynotes. I think most of us agreed that the presentations were not filled with exciting stuff. CCP Ghost's presentation (and brain) was a highlight that teased fascinating possibilities for the future. Otherwise, I thought the first day was rather pedestrian.

Neville Smit looked at the day and took the lack of new features one step further. Where was the content for high sec? My feeling at the time was that just because CCP did not announce something at Fanfest didn't mean content wasn't coming in the future. Just not the short-term future.

But that's all I had, a feeling.  I've heard that intuition is a subconscious collation of facts. So while Neville wrote his "Occupy New Eden" manifesto at the beginning of May, I searched for indications that the road map already included those elements.