"In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival."
In the midst of yesterday's uproar over the declaration that cache-scraping violates the EULA, a funny thing happened. Well, I laughed, but the holders of 2350 accounts didn't find the situation so funny. CCP Stillman made the following announcement:
"I want to start off with letting you know about action we took today during downtime. Through our new detection systems we detected 2350 accounts as using a specific hack, “Autopilot to zero”, which is strictly against our EULA, as it is only possible with client modification. Our normal policy for dealing with client modification is to apply a permanent ban to accounts in question and any associated account.Normally I would agree with that assessment and grant CCP a mulligan because they were bad in the past. And believe me, I could write a post about the confusion about enforcing that EULA. Some of what I've read CCP employees told players was acceptable made me cringe. But in this case I really have to take exception because CCP gave plenty of warning that they were watching users of the auto-pilot warp to 0 hack.
"However we recognize that we’ve addressed the particular issue of client modification poorly up until this point, and specific types of client modification may have been seen as “acceptable” to some people as a result of our inaction. Therefore, we’ve made an exception for most of the 2350 accounts affected today, and only applied 30 day bans. In the cases where we’ve determined that the accounts were in violation of other parts of our EULA or also were detected as using other client modification, we applied a permanent ban instead.
"It is extremely important to stress that this was a 1-time exception. In the future, we will be sticking to our normal policy where client modification is a permanent ban."
Back on 12 March, civan, the developer of Red Guard, posted on the Public Demands forums that among the items CCP was searching for was the autopilot hack. Forum goers were reassured on 3 April when the developer released a version that would avoid CCP's detection routines. On the Public Demands forums. Which are open to the public. Of course, no one from CCP would ever look there. Can you tell this will end well?
Needless to say, the reports rolled in from all the hack users yesterday...
FDMarc (2:47pm) - "I was one of the 2350 pilots who received a 30 day ban today for using "Warp to zero" hack, except I dont use it? Could it be something to do with mercury [another bot]?"
scofield (2:56pm) - "me to i`m only in jita and the reason to ban is warp to zero wtf?? lol, i have writh a petition to ccp. I will report"
FDMarc (3:00pm) - "I personally wouldnt write a petition!! They have obviously found something in your memory or whatever it is they do and if you are saying you dont use Warp to Zero, they will be like "ok, you are using a different kind of bot" have a perma ban"
nic (3:06pm) - "I agree, I am for one thankful that it's only a 30d ban. We used it, we knew the risks. Petitions would just rise awareness to your account(s), and they'll research into it further. Plus, why would they remove a legitimate 30d ban?"
bomer778 (3:18pm) - "Same here. Same ban, same reason. Shit happens..."
couldusebots (6:27pm) - "Welp. Time for a 30 day involuntary break from eve. 4/2350 accounts right here. Next time, I'll have to read the forums more often."
23the37 (7:14pm) - "Well they've managed to free up some time for me. I guess instead of playing the game I'll be writing new tools."
moonhan69 (7:39pm) - "yes I've been playing for about five months and now I'm banned for 30 days on 4 of my accounts. I will have to read the forum more often to"
Of course, I saved the best for last. Here's a tweet, courtesy of mynnna...
Hmmm. 26 of my 29 accounts banned for APHack use. After using it for 4+ years. See you 19 May Eve… if ever again… #tweetfleet
— Kav (@KAVonEVE) April 18, 2013