I hate doing the breaking news thing, but I woke up to a message that CCP has begun banning multi-boxers. Here is a copy/paste from the EVE Online section of the ISBoxer forums:
When you published the new "regulation" regarding ISBoxer clarifying an old rule, we all were happy:
Finally, a word from CCP what is banable and what no. The ISBoxer community honored the new rules, and we looked into our hard- and software to change our ways of playing the game to be EULA-conforming if it wasn't already. We looked for ways how we can play with ISBoxer without broadcasting and without violating the EULA.
To achieve this we tried to get answers via petitions if our new setups are okay with the EULA or not. But the answers we received were only:
- Pre-made text blocks, which were not even related to our questions at all! Did the person answering the ticket really read it? Obviously not.
- EULA quotes - which are useless if there were issues interpreting the EULA and if the ticket is asking whether a certain setup would conform to the EULA by CCP. This is a huge issue, as we have designed setups to play without broadcasting, but some people got banned even if they were not broadcasting at all. Some even did not have ISBoxer installed, and were banned.
- The majority of tickets were either closed or did not receive any answer (apart from your message closing the ticket because it was inactive for a while)
In your dev thread on the forums regarding the ISboxer rule changes and broadcasting bans, you mentioned that you want us to get in contact with you if there are problems.
Yes, there are problems. For two month we are trying to get in contact with you and get a clear answer if our new methods playing without broadcasting are within the terms of the EULA. Were are getting nothing. You are ignoring tickets completely, and those tickets which are being answered contain only unrelated text macros or EULA quotes which are not helpful at all.
Now CCP started banning innocent pilots who are using more than one account on the same IP address who are just fast. Even some without ISBoxer software. If you are commanding more than one account in a time-frame of three seconds from the same IP CCP considers this broadcasting and you will likely receive a ban, even if you are not broadcasting. This is because CCP's immature and flawed detection software can not differentiate between manual fast actions and broadcasting. If you can't clearly prove that someone is broadcasting and you are still banning because it MIGHT BE POSSIBLE that someone is broadcasting you are doing something wrong and you will probably hit many innocent pilots.
I am not kidding. This happened to 4 guys I know. Two of them aren't even using ISBoxer and are only commanding two clients at once without any software aid. CCP's reaction on petitions filed by those:
Our systems says so, deal with it.
We are touching legal terms right now, if you are banning a paying customer without clear evidence, from a game he paid actual money for. This will sooner or later cause a lot of trouble.
We want a clear statement if our new ways to multiboxing is allowed or not. And we request that you stop using an inaccurate and flawed detection software if it can't differentiate between broadcasting and pushing buttons fast. Assume that people are acting in good faith, if you are unsure and can't prove the opposite.
regardsTo which, Nolak Ataru (aka bugme143) added:
TL;DR: CCP's not following their own EULA, banning people for 2+ commands in three seconds even without ISBoxer installed.I listened to the GRN Show yesterday in which DJ Big Country asked CCP Falcon about a possible meeting between CCP and the ISBoxer community. CCP Falcon basically replied that if anyone has a question to submit a ticket, but that sharing the contents of communications between CCP and a player is against the EULA. CCP Falcon made a clear point that nothing had changed in the EULA, which is true.
The problem is that CCP did not enforce the EULA on this matter for years and only openly declared the use of ISBoxer a EULA violation in April 2013. Worse, users like Nolak refused to believe that the practice ever violated the EULA. But CCP Falcon's post was directed not only at ISBoxer users, but code-assisted multi-boxers in general. A follow-up dev blog from Team Security in December emphasized the point:
Refresher Course - Macro Use
During discussions about the input multiplexing and broadcasting issue on forums and in tickets, we have noticed a frequent misunderstanding we would like to take this opportunity to address. Any use of macros to interact with the game world is prohibited by EULA now, and has always been. The EULA clearly stipulates:
A. Specifically Restricted Conduct
3. You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game.
The above from the dev blog is the famous Section 6A3 that people are tired of me talking about. The problem that some ISBoxers have is that they ignore the speed issue mentioned in Section 6A3. If CCP is going to rule that input broadcasting is bad due to this rule, why would anyone think that another software solution that allows the same speed is allowed under this provision? Also, I think that because the ISBoxers made such a ruckus and made everyone believe that the issue was solely about ISBoxer, that other multi-boxers ignored the warnings from CCP, believing they did not need to change anything in the way they do things.
We are now at the he said/she said point where users proclaim their innocence and the game company states they have proof. Unfortunetly for charadrass, CCP can't assume everyone is acting in good faith while videos like the one below are floating around, with users demonstrating how to possibly violate the EULA.
Given some of the rhetoric coming from one portion of the ISBoxer community, I was surprised that the bans took this long in coming. What I think happened is that Team Security took a step back and reevaluated their detection methods and what is allowed and waited almost 4 weeks before pulling the trigger on the bans. We'll have to wait and see exactly what happened. For all we know, CCP may walk back the bans later this week, if not later today. But for those who thought the great input broadcasting ban kerfuffle was over, think again.
UPDATE: Joe Thaler, the creator of ISBoxer, posted the following on the ISBoxer forums:
"A random rumor post on the official EVE forums from a random person claiming there's this new detection where you can't touch more than one window within 3 seconds from the same IP? I seriously doubt this claim, considering the number of active EVE multiboxers around here... that we know are still using Video FX to touch many windows in less than 3 seconds...
"More likely they are banned for a different reason."