Friday, January 24, 2020

A Not-So-Stealth Nerf, Login Events, And The 64-Bit Client

Thursday morning I thought about sending out a smart-ass tweet. I was going to ask whether CCP was happy with all the changes that drove activity to high security space over the last 6-7 months. But I thought better of the tweet. Good thing too, as CCP put an answer in the updated patch notes.
The respawn rates and loot chances for the Emerging Conduits have been adjusted
Hearing about the change, I went ahead and ran two sites last night. The respawn time was 10 minutes. The first site handed out about the same amount of loot as I usually expect. The second site only had 3.3 million ISK in loot. I still received the 4.5 million ISK bounty.

I can see where people who multi-boxed with 5 accounts and just blitzed the sites might complain. Each site not run each hour means a reduction of 22.5 million ISK a pop. But I don't play that way. Instead of using a mobile tractor unit to gather up all the wrecks in one place, then going to site to site for an hour before returning to salvage the wrecks, I'll just go ahead and salvage while I wait for the next site to spawn. I didn't try, but the mining should still be good.

I originally read about the change on the EVE Online sub-reddit and the post stated the respawn time was 30 minutes. Another reason for not trusting r/eve. Check out the facts in-game before picking up a pitchfork.

UPDATE: CCP Sledgehammer issued an explanation for the change on the official EVE Online forums:
The design intent behind these sites when they were originally introduced was to provide a taste of Invasion content to those that aren’t necessarily able to take part in Invasions proper, namely aimed at newer players, the hope being that they would team up and tackle the content together.

This meant creating a piece of content that was widely available and easy to access, hence the 1 min respawn and HS-wide distribution.

These goals were satisfied but I will be the first to admit that I did not anticipate the subsequent snowballing of botting and min-maxing that started to happen over December and January.

The numbers that we started to see in that period became cause for great concern and a decision was made to space out their respawn timer more and tweak the survey database drop rate.

I understand that people have issue with this but given how the consumption of this content evolved past the initial goal satisfaction, they were a huge problem.
In other news, CCP is holding another bonus skill point weekend. Alpha accounts receive 25,000 points each day between downtime on the 24th and downtime on the 27th for a possible total of 75,000 points. Omega accounts receive an additional 175,000 points for logging in all three days, making a paying account's total 250,000 for the weekend.

Following the bonus skill weekend, Skilling Spree is back. The event runs daily and up to 50,000 skill points depending on the randomly selected challenge of the day. Skilling Spree runs from 28 January to 2 March.

Finally, CCP announced today the sunsetting of the 32-bit client on Wednesday, 26 February. In addition to requiring all EVE players use computers running a 64-bit operating system, CCP is raising the minimum required memory up to 4GB and increasing the space requirements by 23 GB to match the game content added during the last year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Stealth Nerf In EVE Online: Ice Anomaly Respawn Time Increased.

While reading the Talking in Stations Discord, someone stated that the respawn time for ice anomalies increased from 4 hours to 5 hours. When asked for a source, the person said he read it on r/eve. Sigh.

I know that CCP likes their stealth changes. But what does the change accomplish? With the theme of the first quarter involving PvP, My first assumption was the developers introduced the change to make using jump drives and jump bridge networks more expensive to use. The theory is that lowering the supply should raise the cost of the isotopes needed to power ship jump drives and the liquid ozone needed to operate jump bridge networks. But is my assumption correct?



Looking at the value of the ice sold in 2019, the value traded dropped from 2.6 trillion ISK in June 2019 to 1.7 trillion ISK in December. But the 34.8% drop was not as severe as the drop in the ice product market. The value of ice products traded dropped 41.4%, from 11.7 trillion ISK in June down to 6.8 trillion ISK in December.

The price of ice products in The Forge
Was the drop in the value of the ice ore and ice product markets due to falling prices? Not entirely. The price of isotopes in The Forge, the home of New Eden's largest market, indicates prices did have a big role. The price of isotopes dropped between 21% to 28%, depending on the type of isotope. But liquid ozone actually rose in price 25%. So at least in The Forge, declining demand for the products is also playing a significant factor in the declining value of the ice markets.

After reviewing the available data, I've come to a different conclusion. Yes, extending the respawn time for ice anomalies from 4 hours to 5 is an effort to prop up the price of ice products and keep the use of jump drives from becoming dirt cheap. But I now expect the stealth nerf is a precursor to a bigger change. Are capitals and supercapitals due for a balance pass?

Monday, January 20, 2020

Hurricane Hilmar: The Imperium Hardest Hit

I'm finally setting up scripts to parse through the data from the Monthly Economic Reports and produce nice-looking graphs and charts. I decided as a test to play around with, I'd create a pair of graphs that look at the mineral and bounty amounts from June and December. I picked June as the last full month before the Blackout of null sec communications.


I think the graphs turned out pretty good. The fonts may need tweaking and space added to the right hand side of the graphic. But considering I didn't have to pull the image into an editing program, I'm happy. The only problem I had to handle was Delve not fitting on the top graph.

One of the reasons for using charts and graphs is that visually displaying data is more effective than rattling off a bunch of numbers. So I produced a set of graphs that displayed mining and bounty values generated in Delve in June without using logarithmic scaling of the axis.


I circled Delve on both graphs to show just how large the difference major PvE activities between the beginning of Hurricane Hilmar and last month. If you can even read the graphic, the change is huge.

In June, before Hurricane Hilmar swept through New Eden, the residents of Delve mined 14.8 trillion ISK worth of ore and collected 11.2 trillion ISK from killing NPCs. In December, those numbers declined to 3.8 trillion ISK and 4.3 trillion ISK respectively. The result was a decline of mining value of 11 trillion ISK and 6.9 trillion ISK in bounties.

I know that The Imperium in general, and Goonswarm in particular, like to say that any nerf will hurt small groups worse as they have the resources to handle any change better than the little guys. But in raw numbers, I have to say The Imperium was the group hit worst by the cumulative changes introduced during Hurricane Hilmar. When the amount of the decline in value doesn't even fit on the same graph as every other regions' amounts, that's a pretty big hit.

Oh, and if you could let me know how you like the new chart/graph style in the comments, I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Low Sec Travel Advisory: Shield Slaves

After downtime, CCP published the patch notes for today's release and we all got to see the reason for CCP's recent secrecy. Shield slaves.
Added Nirvana "Shield Slave" Implants, initially available through the "Dragonaur Blitz" event:
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Alpha +3 Perception 1% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Beta +3 Memory 2% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Gamma +3 Willpower 3% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Delta +3 Intelligence 4% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Epsilon +3 Charisma 5% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 10% set bonus
  • Mid-grade Nirvana Omega 25% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Alpha +4 Perception 1% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Beta +4 Memory 2% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Gamma +4 Willpower 3% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Delta +4 Intelligence 4% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Epsilon +4 Charisma 5% Bonus to shield hitpoints with 15% set bonus
  • High-grade Nirvana Omega 50% set bonus

Low-Grade Nirvana Implants will become available in the future.
The recent closure of the Singularity test shard to players means that not much was known about the Dragonaur Blitz event prior to the launch of the release.
Dragonaur Staging Facility locations can be discovered throughout lowsec space for a limited time
  • These locations allow access to a specific and limited selection of capsuleer ships (Tech 1, Faction, and Tech 2 ships that have bonuses to the use of Heavy Missiles): Bellicose, Caracal, Caracal Navy Issue, Gila, Orthrus, Osprey Navy Issue, Scythe Fleet Issue, Cerberus, Sacrilege, Vangel, Enforcer, Rapier, Chameleon, Rook, Onyx, Cyclone, Drake, Drake Navy Issue, Gnosis, Claymore, Nighthawk, Damnation, Barghest, Praxis, Rattlesnake, Raven, Raven State Issue, Scorpion Navy Issue, Typhoon, Typhoon Fleet Issue, Marshal, Widow, Golem
  • These sites contain valuable loot including blueprint copies for the new Nirvana implant set
In addition to the patch notes, CCP published a dev blog with more details on the event. The event is primarily aimed at Caldari pilots and runs through 27 January.
CONCORD urges you to join the Dragonaur Blitz and attack the extremist Templis Dragonaurs outcasts in Low-sec sites in specified ship types, and earn the new Nirvana Implant BPCs. This limited time event ends 27 January, so act fast and get involved!

As mentioned above, only certain ship types will be allowed entry to Dragonaur Blitz sites. These will include ships with bonuses to Heavy Missiles and recently rebalanced Caldari craft that are most affected by the Warhead Upgrades update (details below).

The Dragonaur Blitz event will also be your first opportunity as pioneering Capsuleers to earn blueprints for the new Nirvana Implants. So, it's time to climb aboard the right ship, prepare for attack - as well as some surprises along the way - and hit the Templis Dragonaurs extremists for the honor of the Caldari State!
In addition to the shield slave implants, heavy missiles received a +5% buff to damage and explosion velocity. The ships allowed in the Dragonaur Blitz sites will benefit the most from the buff.

CCP often goes to great lengths to keep news of items that will greatly impact the market a secret from players. With shield slaves, the developers have an additional reason for secrecy. Some null security organizations, particularly Test Alliance Please Ignore and, to a lesser extent, The Imperium, will benefit greatly with the introduction of shield slave implants to the game. The two organizations bought in heavily to the use of shield-tanked titans which will benefit greatly from the new implants.

Expect to see pilots from both Legacy Coalition and The Imperium to blanket low sec in search of the new implants for their titan pilots. Fortunately for TEST, they abandoned their nascent war against Dead Coalition last week and can focus their full attention on the strategic goal of improving their supercapital fleet. Expect lots of traffic from null sec pilots roaming low security space looking for PvE action over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mushrooms

I should feel pretty good right now. I had to renew my passport and I got my new one two weeks faster than expected. I've booked my flight & hotel room and have my ticket to Fanfest in April. On the computer class front, I finished up for the semester and I can start the next class on the 28th. Final Fantasy is also going well, apart from guild drama that saw everyone but 4 characters kicked from the free company, myself included.

The one nagging issue is EVE Online. When I checked the markets just now, I saw the volume of PLEX sold yesterday dipped back under 1 million, with only 993,993 sold on 2007 orders. We'll need to see if the down numbers from the last few days are due to DDoS attacks or if the trend will continue.

What really has me bugged, though, is the messaging to the players. In the aftermath of Hurricane Hilmar, players complained about the uncertainty of what CCP planned for the future. Or other words, they wanted a glimpse of CCP's vision for the game. Or, in other words, a road map. Don't all companies have them?

What CCP unveiled at EVE Vegas was probably the minimum needed to quell talk that EVE is either in, or about to enter, maintenance mode. During the keynote, CCP Burger got up on stage and laid out the advance information CCP would give players. At the beginning of the fiscal quarter, the developers would give the theme of the quarter along with information on the releases planned over the next three months. CCP would also announce the name of the theme for the following quarter. Attendees of the convention also were told the name of the theme of the first quarter of 2020: Fight or Flight.

January is here, and so far the only updates we've received is that the theme for Q1 2020 is based around PvP. That's it. No further details. To make matters worse, CCP shut off player access to the Singluarity test shard. No advanced warning for players!

Here is the problem I see. On the run-up to Hurricane Hilmar, CCP's CEO publicly stated he thought the developers had given players too much information. A flashback ensued, with CCP having to announce at EVE Vegas a framework for keeping players informed of future changes. If CCP goes back on the framework and decides to treat players like mushrooms, I'm not sure the reception the players will have. After all, if one is promised better, being kept in the dark and eating shit is not that appealing.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Tis The Season For An RMT Ban Wave In EVE Online

The first half of January traditionally is a time when CCP issues a lot of bans for botting and RMT related activity. Or, sadly, players purchasing stolen goods, as CCP Peligro tweeted out Thursday.

I don't normally publish the names of ISK sellers, but safe_fast is a repeat offender. The shop has buyers banned/suspended for purchasing ISK and skill injectors every 2-3 months or so. When I saw the prices drop recently, I suspected safe_fast was engaged in something a little shadier than normal.

Unhappy customers going back to July 2019
As regular readers may know, CCP has a history of understating their efforts. The customers of other black market sellers on the site Player Auctions also report suspensions, bans, and seized transactions. One long time seller who usually sells at too high a price to attract business recently drastically dropped its prices. Bans followed.

Old seller who suddenly became competitive
The ban wave is not just limited to old sellers. One of the newest major sellers, with over 450 billion ISK in customer reviewed transactions (which means it has sold a lot more) since 27 November also received attention from CCP.

New seller no longer flying under the radar
Normally I don't get the opportunity to report on a ban wave this early because the effects of a major ban wave don't normally hit the market for a week or two. In this case, CCP Peligro's tweet gave me a statement that, along with the numerous complaints from black market ISK buyers, to write up a post. I will write up another post on this situation as events warrant.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Answering The EVE Holiday Events Survey

A couple of days ago I received a survey from CCP concerning the recent holiday events that concluded Wednesday. I figure, why not use the opportunity to flesh out my thoughts on the content?

Intro page
I should comment that I liked the length of the events. CCP gave player 26 days to log in 13 times. A lot of times in the past players complained about literally having to log in every day to get the final reward. Even though I logged in 13 of the first 14 days, I did appreciate the extra time.

The demographic questions
I have played EVE for over 10 years. Lately my time in all video games has dropped, not just in EVE, so I entered 3 hours or less for question 2. And I mainly prefer PVE.

Screening question
Question 4 is what is known as a screening question. Answer "No", and the survey will show a screen thanking the respondent for his/her time.  But anyone who logged into EVE during that time participated in at least one event, so I answered "Yes".

Questions 5-9
I have 4 EVE Online accounts, 3 Omega (subscribed) and 1 Alpha (F2P). I did claim the daily login rewards on all four accounts. My main account has been subscribed for over 10 years continuously, disregarding a possible day or two not subscribed due to credit card expiration issues.

Ranking the Omega login rewards
I was not a big fan of the Omega rewards. Skill points are always good, and CCP gave out 560,000 skill points exclusively to subscribed accounts. SKINs are nice, although I haven't applied any SKINs to any of my accounts since their introduction in 2015. Next on my list is the Yoiul Festival Snowballs. I like snowballs. I'm also upset CCP melted all of my existing snowballs. Rounding out the items I like was the t-shirt.

That left about half of the items given to Omega pilots things I didn't like. I do not like any of the body augmentations. Not my thing. The Reindeer Filaments were useless. Finally, the HyperCores are part of the gambling system. No thanks!

Ranking the Alpha login rewards
For the Alpha accounts, the best gift was the 60,000 total skill points. I do have to say the 'Polar Aurora' Exploration Suit looks sharp! I just wish we could walk around in stations or something like that. The cap looks okay, but makes characters bald. Festival launchers are always needed. And at the bottom are the useless Reindeer Filaments.

Questions 10-12
For the next set of questions, I did not upgrade an account to Omega during the 13 Days of EVE daily log-in event. Doing so would have gotten me 660,000 additional skill points, plus double the training rate. For what I'm using my alpha account for, though, I don't really need any additional skill points.

I have to admit to cheating on question 11, because I don't remember where I first heard of the event. I follow so many social media sites I could have heard from anywhere. But I answered EVE Online tweet, as I spend a lot more time looking at Twitter than anywhere else.

The last question is how likely am I to participate in a similar event? The answer is likely, since the only time I may have not logged into EVE for three weeks was a business trip I took to Bulgaria in 2011.

Questions 13-14
On the question of which rewards I'd like to see in the future, I answered Skill Points, Boosters, Blueprint Copies, SKINs, and Fireworks. The special travel filaments and HyperCores did not make the list.

My final thoughts on the login event was the event wasn't fun or engaging. All I had to do is login to the character select screen, press the claim button, and then log out. Just another chore to do.

Did I use a filament?
The next question was another screening question. Since I never used a filament, I answered no, triggering the skip logic to the final section of questions.

Did I shoot snowballs at things?
The final screening question appeared. Did I shoot snowballs at players and NPCs? Well, of course I did.

Questions 20-25 (Your numbering may have varied)
As I mentioned before, I had melted snowballs. A lot of melted snowballs. The conversion put in place used 10 old, melted snowballs to create 1 new snowball. Worse, the amount of clicking involved would have introduced carpel tunnel syndrome if I had converted all my melted snowballs to frozen ones. Grrr...

I entered that I received both the holiday filaments and skill points. I think I accidentally did a challenge where I received a holiday filament, thinking I was getting an abyssal filament. By this time, I'm sure everyone knows I answered Skill Points for question 22.

Question 23 threw me for a loop. What PvP challenges? The shooting snowballs at other players? I think I answered no. The few times I did that, I just went to a local trade hub, sat on the undock, and locked someone up. My alpha character couldn't do that because Signal Cartel is permanently war dec'd by P I R A T E.

Did the Chilling Spree event cause me to login and play more than I normally would have? Maybe for the first 3 days, since I cycled through 4 accounts. But after the first 3 or 4 days, I got bored and gave up on it.

For the final question, I don't remember what I entered, because the answer wasn't accurate. If I could have left it blank, I would. I honestly don't care if more or less daily challenges are put in the game. I wanted a fourth option stating "None of the above".



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

EVE Online's Theme For Q1 2020 Is Fight Or Flight

As CCP Burger announced at EVE Vegas last October, the theme for the first quarter of 2020 is "Fight or Flight".
From the EVE Vegas 2019 Keynote
Yesterday a news article that should wind up on the launcher popped up, giving a little less detail than I hoped.
EVE Online will be splitting the year into four sections - Quadrants - that will allow for releases, events, offers and more to exist within a given theme for that period of time. The first of these Quadrants for 2020 will be "Fight or Flight" starting 16 January, which will be themed around PvP in EVE, and will offer explosive rewards, challenges and changes!

A major benefit of Quadrants will be that they will allow work and efforts to be focused throughout the year with a more regular cadence. Each Quadrant may contain seasonal events, balance changes and game health improvements, permanent meta changes, challenges and rewards that could be themed, for example, around a particular style of gameplay, or any aspect of EVE.
Don't get me wrong. I like that CCP has abandoned the idea of springing everything as a total surprise on the players. As I wrote three months ago:
An important lesson I hope CCP learned from the "Chaos Era" is that EVE players do not like being treated like mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed fertilizer). The new framework for the roadmap seems a concession for players' desire for knowledge. Starting at the beginning of 2020, players will receive the names and theme's for the upcoming three months, and the name of the theme for the following quarter. 
Then again, has CCP really abandoned the idea of springing big surprises on players? On Monday, CCP Dopamine announced on the forums the Singularity test shard is closed to the public. Of course, if CCP is practicing a deployment that involves a major change, like taking out the POS code, to see what breaks, we should applaud the QA effort.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What I Learned From The Latest Crytek/CIG Court Filing

I don't mean to blog so much about Star Citizen, but the news keeps coming and the wars in EVE Online are just starting up. The lastest was a legal motion by Crytek to dismiss its lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games without prejudice. Since the lawsuit basically depends on the launch of Squadron 42, Crytek's lawyers want to dismiss the lawsuit and re-open the case when Squadron 42 finally launches. If the case is closed with prejudice, Crytek could not sue for the same thing at a later time.

I don't want to get into the technical issues in the case. First, I don't care. Second, I don't want to take the hours necessary to get into the details of the case. Finally, see point number 1.

What I am interested in are a few tidbits I didn't know about before reading the filing.

1. Cloud Imperium Games is not using Lumberyard. In December 2016, CIG announced it had switched from CryEngine to Lumberyard. But according to the Crytek filing, CIG is still using CryEngine.
This case has been marked by a pattern of CIG saying one thing in its public statements and another in this litigation. For example, at the outset of this case, CIG had publicly claimed it had switched to using the Lumberyard Engine for both Star Citizen and Squadron 42, but was forced to confirm during this litigation that no such switch had taken place. See Crytek’s Response to CIG’s Motion for Bond, Dkt. 74 at 1; CIG’s Reply in support of Motion for Bond, Dkt. 74, at 8 (“Crytek makes much of the fact that the code is the same . . .”).  The fact that CIG denied Crytek the credits to which it was due under the parties GLA without actually switching game engines is the basis for Crytek’s “credits claim” in this case.
2. Squadron 42 may not launch as a standalone game. Okay, I'm not a lawyer. But this really sounds like the question of Squadron 42 launching as a standalone game is up in the air. If the game does not launch separately from Star Citizen, as far as I can tell, the Crytek lawsuit is moot.


CIG's response (from CIG’s Objections and Responses to Crytek’s Interrogatories (11-22-2019)) was redacted, but the Crytek lawyers next comment was cutting:
While this came as a surprise to Crytek (and undoubtedly will to the public who has pre-paid for Squadron 42), assuming the truth of CIG’s response, Crytek’s Squadron 42 claim is not yet ripe.
3. The trial date is set for June. I didn't realize the parties had set a date. The case seems to have run forever.

After reading Crytek's submission to the court, I have a real tinfoil theory. So tinfoil that I don't want to rush the idea to the blog. But with the new information, I think I should buy popcorn stock.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Real Money Trading Banned On Shroud Of The Avatar Forums

I saw a story on MassivelyOP last week about a game named Shroud of the Avatar. The game, developed by Portalarium, was billled the spiritual successor to Ultima Online, complete with the involvement of Lord British himself, Richard Garriott. With a Kickstarter held in 2013, the game fully launched in March 2018.

The reason for writing this post is the unusual decision Portalarium made concerning real money trading. RMT is allowed in Shroud of the Avatar. The developers posted their reasoning in a forum post at the end of January 2018.

Greetings Avatars,

Since the very beginning of online games there has been what is known as Real Money Transactions (RMT). These are activities where players exchange real currency (US dollars, Euros, etc.) for virtual goods (in-game gold, in-game items, virtual property, leveling services, etc.). The first big news of this was with, of course, Ultima Online in which a castle sold on ebay for thousands of dollars. At that time 20 years ago we made the decision to not prevent these exchanges for multiple reasons, but the biggest one was our assessment of the resources required to enforce the policy versus the impact (virtually none) it was having on the player experience.

Fast forward to our current game Shroud of the Avatar and we decided to treat RMT exactly the same as we did 20 years ago for many of the same reasons:
  • RMT will happen no matter what we do to enforce it
  • Enforcing RMT prohibition will consume enormous resources (i.e. large amounts of backer money) which means less resources to make the game itself
  • RMT prohibition will just move RMT transactions to hidden places, making it harder to find and enforce real issues like exploits and farming
  • RMT allows users who have spent money on the game, but are ready to move on to new experiences an option to divest themselves without requiring Portalarium to refund their money. More importantly, there is no time limit to this option (as there will/would be with any refund policy).
  • Shroud is an instanced game with multiple play modes so there is no competition for resources in shared spaces

So our position is that all RMT activity (gold, items, services) is allowed in Shroud of the Avatar, as long as it follows a few simple rules:
  • It does not use any exploits / botting
  • It is worth noting here that all botting / exploits are bannable offenses anyway regardless if they are used in relation to RMT, so technically this was already covered elsewhere
  • It can only be advertised in the Player Marketplace section of the main website forums. Never in game or in any other section of official community areas (including the game’s Discord channel, social media pages, Steam, and other areas of the main website and forums)
  • Portalarium (and our partners) are not liable for any of the transactions
  • All goods can be delivered immediately (i.e. don’t sell stuff that will be made later like Episode 2 content)
I can see why during development Portalarium did not want to divert funds from making the game to fighting RMT. I should point out that allowing the trading of real life money for virtual currency and items isn't exactly cost free. The company that purchased SotA in October, Catnip Games, didn't take long to make changes to the policy.
As mentioned on streams and posts before, we are ending ALL real money transactions here. Starting on January 1, 2020, roughly 2 days from now, no RMT (real money transaction) will be allowed in our private forums. Existing posts for RMT will be deleted. New posts will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be moderated or banned.

This does not mean that we will not allow RMT, simply that you can't use the forums to do. As discussed in multiple places, this is a support headache for us and gives the wrong impression of the game to new players. You may post a link to a website that does RMT but please do not call out the RMT nature here. Also, please do not "Bump" your post or spam post it. Once a week or less is acceptable.

Ok, and after having to lock the thread due to some people angry they won't be able to RMT, I just want to remind you that you will be able to RMT just not HERE.
The decision to allow real money transactions on the official game forums were "a support headache" and "gives the wrong impression of the game to new players". Those are real costs. The "support headache" meant additional customer support costs that the new company either could not  or didn't want to incur. The wrong impression to new players is important. From that, I gather enough new players were turned off by a game allowing RMT that lower retention rates were noticeable.

While I don't like RMT and think the practice brings problems to games, the game belongs to Catnip Games. If they don't mind RMT, who am I to argue? What I don't like is the deception inherent the the post. "You may post a link to a website that does RMT but please do not call out the RMT nature here." In other words, "Let's not let the new players know about the buying and selling of items for real money until they get hooked on the game." 

Oftentimes I write a post to go back to. With so few game companies allowing secondary market RMT, I try to make a note of them. Besides, turns out trying to accomodate RMT wasn't so harmless after all.