While one of my big interests is the whole field of virtual worlds and how they reflect the real world, I'm more famous for my coverage of the darker side of Eve Online. With the success of CCP Sreegs' strategy in the War On Bots™ those mechanical tears are now so commonplace that I don't even have to translate Russian in order to provide a long post. In fact, I think people are actually bored with botter tears.
Botters are not the only denizens of the shadow economy that surrounds all successful MMOs. One step up the underground hierarchy are the sellers of illicit in-game currency. In the case of Eve, that is the InterStellar Kredit (ISK). For those new to the MMORPG scene, these shady characters who engage in real money transfers (RMT) are only looking after themselves. They are no player's friend and these entities often engage in theft and fraud in order to provide product to their customers.
Unlike covering Eve's botting community, I do not have to sneak onto forums or rely on friendly people to give me a bucket of tears. Illicit RMT is "legitimate" enough that review sites for these companies have sprung up to aid the gold/plat/isk/gil buyer. I used one of these sites, MMOBUX, to check out some of CCP Sreegs' claims about Team Security's success against illicit RMT sites in Eve.
Besides providing nice price data, these sites also allow customers to rate the various sites. CCP Sreegs, CCP Stillman and CCP Peligro will be happy to hear that the site now only lists 3 trusted ISK sellers. I'm not sure if one site just gave up the trade or if Team Security's efforts resulted in the company providing really bad service and losing their trusted rating. Either way, score another victory for Team Security.
Of course, what would a good mud-raking post be without evidence that buying in-game currency is bad. I couldn't find enough Eve-specific tears so I though I would post some of the best from all the sites that advertise they sell ISK. Enjoy!
3 January 2010 - leute: "i tell you.... i was dumb enouth to pay for some Isk of that shop.... believe me they dont understand what they do.....!!!!
oh, and btw. 'yes of cours we have your order, just wait 12 hours then you will get it...' 1 day later the same again!!!
DONT DO IT!!!!!!!!"
19 February 2010 - blunderbus: "IGXE uses hacked accounts to make and deliver their ISK. If you use
their service you will at the least end up with a negative wallet
most, you will get banned. I have contacted IGXE multiple times and they
are unwilling to refund or correct the problem. Within 12 hours of receiving my ISK, I received a -200M balance and a stern warning. BOTTOM LINE: DO NOT USE IGXE"
13 March 2010 - mkelly09: "Purchased 1B isk off of these guys and a day later a GM took the money
back and gave me a stern warning. The worst part is: IGXE will not
refund, NOR will they give me more isk to make up for the loss. I even
provided a screenshot for proof.
"Don't buy from them. My account didn't get banned. You might not be so lucky.
"They might reply to this and tell me that i just need to contact them.
Be aware that this is just an attempt to make themselves look better. I
made numerous attempts to be given a refund or more isk and they have
denied me. They gave me a coupon for 15% off. Not what i was looking
19 December 2010 - Ganosa: "I ordered 1.5bil ISK for EVE online through this company. The delivery
was fast, I will give them that. But mere hours after receiving the ISK I
notified that it was sent to me from a hacked account and the GM removed
the ISK putting me in the negative. I attempted to resolve this with
company, but to no avail. They at first said that there was nothing that
they could do for me, and after further dialog they said they would
1/3 of the amount ordered as 'fulfillment of the order.' I scheduled a
delivery and then they attempted to deliver it right away anyways, and
not stop calling me telling me to log in or I would not receive the
reimbursement at all."
15 April 2012 - rockman412: "I placed an order 21 days ago for 100k wow gold on a popular server. So
far I've had 14.6k delivered, my order status shows as "delivered."
"The only way to talk to their "live support" is by not placing any
details in the description field of what you need. If their reps think
going to ask status of an order they will kick you to a "submit an
e-mail" form before you talk to a person. Sometimes even after you
to a person and you ask for status they kick you to the submit e-mail
form anyway to not deal with you.
"Their e-mail support you will get mixed messages in German and English
randomly so you'll need to be savvy with Babel-fish and even then
they'll tell you your order is ready when it's not. However you won't
discover this until you attempt to set-up face-to-face trade with live
24 April 2012 - catfishray: "If I could have voted this site any lower then poor I would have. It
has now been 7 days since I ordered my in game credits and still have
received them. I have managed to get a timeline for receiving them
twice out of approximately 30 times using the online chat thing that
99.99% of the
time gives you no response. Both time lines have come and went with
nothing new in my account and no new answers from the online 'help.'
these scam artists you will be out your money guaranteed."