Over the past few days people have contacted me telling me how much they liked the article on Kelduum's post on the controversy surrounding botted ISK that Eve University received and then had seized by CCP. I just found out within the last hour that I failed to cover the story adequately. The situation is much worse than I suspected.
Here is the passage I failed to check:
"He then proceeded to liquidate his assets, and talked to one of the E-UNI directors, Estating that: 'If [CCP] convey a message that they want to punish success and disregard earnest amount of efforts a player put in this game, then I guess EVE is not the game for me... Sorry I won't be completing the articles I promised or update the wiki, I had great things planned out and many unfinished projects EvE-related, but I'm not motivated to finish them anymore. It's been very fun, good times flying with all you guys. E-UNI is great and has been great help for me... I loved the game, my chars are around 30M sp so it was a hard decision to make, but it has been made.'" [emphasis mine]I mention the passage because of something shocking I saw while surfing the Evelopedia. I ran into the page on 3rd party tools and started clicking on links to see what applications were available. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link to Jitatronic and saw the conclusion to this article...
"Currently, my knowledge of the game has grown such that I can start my bot with disabled graphics (thanks to some DirectX hooks), while running it in a fairly restrictive environment. The client’s memory footprint is 180 MB and consumes about 5% CPU while running. For all this boasting, I should note that this client is greatly modified and must be edited after each official patch CCP releases in order to work."That's right, the Evelopedia is linking to an application that uses bots to run. Because the Evelopedia is on the official site everyone will think that CCP approves of using this application. Now, the Evelopedia allows players to make edits and contributions. So who contributed this page? Eve University.
I went over to the Eve University wiki and found the same wiki entry posted there. I'm pretty sure that curious innocent Eve University students will read the article and figure using the site is okay since no one at Eve University would post something that goes against the EULA. I'm imagining that the ever-helpful "John" had some part in creating the page although I haven't had a chance to ask around. I literally discovered this 30 minutes ago.
I'm currently on the train about to disembark so I have not had the opportunity to look at the other entries to see if any other questionable sites that break the EULA are listed. I may have more to report next week.
UPDATE: 9 hours later...
@evenews24 Can someone please tell me either I'm totally wrong or that this is just a bad dream?
— Noizy (@noizygamer) February 15, 2013
This post is why I should never attempt to write something serious in 30 minutes. Unless "John" is Neville Smit (yeah, right) the link to Jitonomic (I got Jitanomic from the wiki pages) was not posted by the mysterious botter. The link was also posted on 7 December 2010. All I needed to do was click on the history of the page in question on the Eve University web site and I would have seen who had updated the entry. And in Neville's defense I don't believe he knew about the botting connection when he posted the site as the blog entries at the link did not appear until December 2011.
The one thing that is accurate is that Jitonomic does use bots to gather its market data. That information comes straight from the site.
To Kelduum Revaan and Eve University I owe a big apology. They were the victim of a botter/hacker who didn't disclose his nature until long after the link was posted. I'm still a bit upset about people being directed to that site because people will think that someone at Eve University believes botting is acceptable. I'm example #1 and I apologize for not checking the story more carefully and for any additional harm this has caused in this whole affair.
UPDATE 2: Neville Smit is still playing the game. He is not "John".
UPDATE - Sunday 17 February 13: While I appreciate the discussion in the comments of this post I'm going to drop out and concentrate on more important things. But don't let anyone think that I do not consider the mistake I made in the post as unimportant. Based on recent events I made an assumption, added 2 + 2 and came up with 5. Since the facts were easily checked and I failed to do so I've apologized. Quite frankly, I did not live up to my own standards in this matter.
But another big security issue is raging amongst the community now: how developers of market-related web sites and applications interact with game data. That is vastly more important than the procedures CCP and Eve University take in ensuring their wiki links are up-to-date. So I will move on to other things. But I will make sure to do my research the next time I write.