"In Microsoft Word and other programs, a macro is a saved sequence of commands or keyboard strokes that can be stored and then recalled with a single command or keyboard stroke."
For those who may not know I wrote an article for The Mittani DOT Com that was published yesterday. I discussed some of the aspects of the current controversy of the creation and use of macros by the market/industrial community. I'd like to take a little closer look at one of the issues: what is an acceptable macro?
"Macros are legal in Eve?" you ask? Blasphemy! Exactly my point. The vast majority of players never read the EULA or, if they do, just gradually glance over the document. In many ways the situation is very similar to that of Christianity in medieval times when the vast majority of the laity could not read and depended on the priesthood to read the holy scripture to them. And since they were the only ones who could read the words, they also interpreted the words to their flocks as well. In today's world almost everyone using a computer can read and since every game company includes a catch-all "we can kick you out of the game any time we want" clause anyway, why bother reading if you follow the standard socially acceptable behavior within a game? So most people don't.
Those following the whole controversy know that the butterfly effect led the attention to move from Kelduum's desire for some ISK seized by CCP that was donated by someone banned two weeks for botting who proceeded to rage quit to some of the code practices of the developers of market tools. Apparently CCP allows those playing the market to use some relatively simple but powerful macros as part of their gathering of market information.
The video above is something I wanted to show in my article that appeared on TMC but was unable to due to not knowing how to work the site yet. This promotional video is from Eve Mentat, a tool that comes up frequently in discussions on the subject. The video shows the Eve Mentat web page looping through 67 items, opening the market window for each one. By definition, clicking on one button that performs 67 tasks is a macro. The question then becomes, "is the macro legal?"
I maintain that the macro violates Section 6, Paragraph A3 of the EULA:
"You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game."However the developers of the market tools and their market and industrial users claim otherwise. But the question is, if market tools like Eve Mentat utilize macros should CCP allow that? Before you answer, scroll the Eve Mentat video to 2:55. The video shows that Eve Mentat also detects when a buy order is undercut and automatically calculates a price .01 ISK lower than the lowest order that the user can then paste into the market order. Very useful for playing those .01 ISK games on the market, right?
I've heard a lot of people complain about bots undercutting them by .01 ISK every five minutes because they can't imagine someone constantly looking through the market windows watching when someone undercuts them. But with a tool like Eve Mentat a player doesn't have to open hundreds of market windows. All the player has to do is put up a bunch of orders, have the macro populate the cache and then Eve Mentat highlights the orders that need attention. After that, rinse and repeat. A player would only need to do this every 5 minutes if he has 100 active orders, which is how often a player can update an order.
So all of you complaining about the market bot constantly undercutting you by .01 ISK every 5 minutes? Probably not a bot. You just ran into someone using "legal" macros. Following the logic of the market/industrial community, you should HTFU and go out and get your own macro. Apparently that's what Goonswarm did with their Goonmetrics market tool. But to tell the truth, I always thought Eve Online was a player vs player game, not a player vs macro or macro vs macro game.