Monday, June 13, 2011

Vuk Lau: NC Leadership Was Involved In RMT

John Rourke: So this going back to signing up for a corporation then, is it?  Some faceless bunch of idiots who spend their whole time bickering before screwing you over for every isk you’ve got?  And when they say jump, you have to jump, because they own your ass!

Charlie Fodder: At the moment, John, when you say jump, we have to jump or it *is* our ass!  In a corp you get a paycheck, some security and stability, and a whole corporate fleet behind you if the going gets tough.  Big difference.  And for all the freedom you talk about in this crew, it’s gotten us chained to dangerous operations that we can’t refuse because we never have any damn money.

- Clear Skies, Act 2, Scene 1
The dialog above from the classic machinima movie Clear Skies really shows the choices players have in Eve Online.  Stay independent or join a corporation or alliance.  Unlike MMOs like World of Warcraft, Eve, as is typical of pre-WoW games, really encourages group play and joining player-run corporations and alliances.  Also unlike almost all other MMOs on the market, CCP allows players to do bad things in game.  Hopefully, when joining a corporation, a player is able to find a home that provides some security, stability, and backup when things get tough.  But the danger always exists that a player will get into a situation where a "faceless bunch of idiots who spend their whole time bickering before screwing you over for every isk you’ve got" takes advantage of you.

CCP now faces a situation in which it needs to take some sort of action.  The problem isn't that an alliance director just embezzled a lot of funds.  The problem is that an alliance director embezzled a lot of funds and engaged in illicit RMT.

The player in question is Vuk Lau.  It had been rumored for months (if not years) that Vuk Lau was involved in the RMT trade and the recent release
of the Northern Coalition GenStab channel logs by RAZOR Alliance confirmed the rumors.  With Vuk Lau serving on CSM 5, that meant that the RMT sites had a spy in the information loop between CCP and the Council of Stellar Management.  This exchange was published on Eve News 24.
In February, I was approached by one of my best informants (Who we will call TheTrickster for the purpose of this article) and received this piece of intel regarding a CSM delegate breaking his NDA:
TheTrickster: i have learned that CCP’s new tactic in the war against RMT is to sell isk on the black market themselves at vastly reduced prices
TheTrickster: thus killing the market by making it no longer profitable for the RMTers
TheTrickster: well my source is Vuk Lau, so pretty reliable
riverini: how did u learned it, and when i say taht i don’t mean the srouce
riverini: ohh
riverini: ohhhh
riverini: lol, is Vuk Lau’s business being affected?
TheTrickster: yes, that’s how i found out about it, he was bitching loudly in that magical channel i mentioned
Is CCP really selling black market isk?  Eve News 24 is holding a contest to encourage people to go through the logs and find the choice news nuggets.  And people are finding the proof.  For example, I believe riverini's source was referencing logs from 3 Februrary 2011:
[22:26:42] [rawr-4s-hinata] I think Lee Chanka is mad CCP nuked all his cans :D
[22:26:43] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] how the fuck you see there 25k $
[22:27:05] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] (11:23:32 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: fucking CCP
(11:23:35 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: crashing RMT market
(11:23:44 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: my dudes are selling 1 bil for 10$
(11:23:53 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: discount on bigger quantities
(11:24:03 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: good old times when 1 bil was 40€
(11:24:29 PM) SavageBastard: how did they crash it
(11:24:49 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: they are RMTing
(11:25:03 PM) SavageBastard: haha what
(11:25:07 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: undercutting big players
(11:25:20 PM) SavageBastard: on the black market or are they officially selling isk now
(11:25:25 PM) zagdul: I'm back
(11:26:19 PM) rawr_vuk_lau: black market
But Vuk Lau's activities have been going on for a long time.  Below is an exchange from 30 April 2010.
[22:06:15] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] ISK IS ALWAYS THE ISSUE!!!
[22:06:19] [42-mynas-atoch] fuck it, charge us a one off fee of one billion isk for the office and the costs are covered
[22:06:20] [rawr-eyedoll] oh god no, not minmatar
[22:06:21] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] i gave MANY billions to PL
[22:06:31] [zeturi] MANY
[22:06:34] [rawr-hinata] MANY MANY BILLIONS
[22:06:35] [rawr-eyedoll] and you sold many billions in ebay (
[22:06:43] [me-kesper-north] billions and billions?
[22:06:47] [lodra-mister-vee] beelions
[22:06:49] [me-kesper-north] possibly an entire CARL SAGAN of billions
[22:06:50] [42-vily] how much DID you give PL?
[22:06:53] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] actually trilions, when you are mentioning ebay
[22:07:05] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] vily - MANY
[22:07:10] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] ok

Going back to this year, capital ship losses led to this exchange on 15 February 2011:
[00:15:39] [rawr-fsr-sala-cameron] ya javer is dead
[00:15:41] [rawr-fsr-sala-cameron] so 10 confirmed
[00:15:49] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] Javer is dead yeah
[00:16:20] [rawr-4s-hinata] Vuk we need new ones asap :D
[00:16:42] [42-tedy-lord-2evil] omg people what have you done
[00:16:54] [cei-callum545] no rr
[00:17:34] [wi-voids-luckyaba] hahaha that carrier came to you straight out of a sanctum
[00:19:25] 7-drk-antonivs leaves the room
[00:20:01] [rawr-4s-hinata] how much is 60b in $?
[00:20:15] 7-drk-antonivs joins the room
[00:20:18] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] depends
[00:20:23] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] if I give you friendly ratwe
[00:20:25] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] rate
[00:20:26] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] not much
[00:20:30] [rawr-4s-hinata] lol
[00:20:52] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] good old times when I was selling isk 40€ per bill
[00:20:59] [7-drk-antonivs] well 8/120 made it thru the lag at the gate
[00:21:01] [rawr-4s-vuk-lau] now if I get 20€ I am happy
That is nice that Vuk Lau was willing to give a discount to corporation members, right?

The whole "we're not RMT, you are" pointing at the DRF by the Norther Coalition was a load of hypocracy, as an exchange between the leadership on 11 April shows:
[20:12:34] [lawn-bluep-edna-sputum] thing is both sides call the other RMTers either both sides are lying or teh RMT is in other regions...
[20:12:47] [lawn-bluep-edna-sputum] or more likely, a little bit everywhere...
[20:13:00] [lawn-bluep-edna-sputum] but i do tend to agree its more likely within renter alliances
[20:14:18] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] from what intel i can gather
[20:14:26] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] about 10% of the NC RMTs actively
[20:14:37] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] including about 15-20% of the leadership
[20:14:57] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] For the russians, about 25% of them RMT
[20:15:13] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] with 75% of their leadership actively RMTing
[20:15:14] [42-ukc-reza-najafi] where you get those % numbers?
[20:15:16] [42-ukc-reza-najafi] just guess work?
[20:15:28] [condi-akay-quinn] Did one of you morons just Eject an Aeon with a 400 man Hostile gang in Local (and at your tower)?
[20:15:32] [condi-akay-quinn] (From a CSMA)
[20:15:32] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] thats from epople i know who RMT and digging names
[20:18:42] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] the russians are telling two tales, the first is that they are telling their main fleets that they are all about killing the evil NC. But their leaders only care about getting access to the Tech mooins so they can turn them into a RMT powerhouse
[20:19:03] [42-ukc-reza-najafi] pretty much what Vuk is doing right now :p
[20:19:51] [rawr-mv-balor-haliquin] lol
This last exchange occurred a month before The Mittani's emergency Goonion address stating that the fight against the DRF was one against RMT.

For those who claim that RMT does not affect game play, I have a couple of questions.  Did it really make sense for the NC to sell huge fleets of supercapitals to the DRF and Pandemic Legion?  And how much better could the NC have held onto its territory if it had access to all the isk generated from moon goon?  Perhaps only if the players in charge wanted to turn that isk into real world currency.

For the last year, Eve News 24 has led the outcry against illicit RMT activity in Eve Online.  Although RMT affects the entire MMO industry, we are witnessing the direct impact of RMT activity in Eve today.  Since RMT is against the EULA, CCP needs to take strong action quickly against all of the RMTers in the major null sec alliances.  Because if players see this type of scandal go unanswered, the attitude of players will move those of John Rourke.  And given CCP's plans for DUST 514, any weakening of null sec will affect the development plans of both Eve and DUST.

Note:  For those who could not tell, all the reporting in the logs came from Eve News 24.  I did however, check the logs quoted to make sure they were not taken out of context.  In my opinion, these posts were not trolls, sarcasm, etc.

Although I've done a bit of original reporting on the War On Bots
, Eve News 24, along with Kugutsumen, has basically owned the RMT story over the past year.  I'll let them fight over who has the primary honors.


  1. You show that Vuk has RMTed for a long time, yet the Eve Universe still goes on. The DRF will take the tech moons and RMT them as Vuk did before. Tech moons are just good for RMT as the income they produce is far far more than anyone needs. Why should I care who does the RMT? Please explain how this all negatively affects different players like a Jita trader, a hisec miner, or even an NC grunt. From what I see, even an NC renter is only affected by changing landlords.

  2. That is going to take explaining why illicit RMT (as opposed to RMT like PLEX) is bad, not just in Eve Online, but in all MMOs. But until I can write a proper article (or two), here are how people are affected:

    High sec miner: Botters drive down the price of minerals, meaning less profit for a very boring task. Less isk means having to mine longer in order to buy a PLEX for your monthly subscription payment.

    Jita trader: Market bots are able to raise prices faster than you, taking away sales. And the bots can do it constantly while a human can't. Some traders are good enough to take advantage of bots, but most players aren't.

    NC renter: I'm just an Empire-based carebear, but I'll give this a go. I imagine that renters are paying money for protection. Well, what happens if a lot of the money that should go to defense winds up as real life money in a alliance leader's pocket? Less protection? And what happens if the new landlord doesn't like you? No more null sec.

  3. Fascinating, I don't understand everything that you have said.