Today the first players started seeing their ISK from their wallets confiscated by GM’s in relation to recently announced exploits by CCP.

‘Ghost training’ was a method in which unsubscribed players could continue Omega training at their regular pace while unsubbed, simply by not logging in yet having skills left in their skill queue. It was first unintentionally released in 2008, before being disabled 9 months later. Here is a statement from that time from then Senior Producer CCP TorfiFrans

As many of you know by now, on Wednesday, Oct 15th, CCP will put out a server update disabling “ghost training”. Ghost Training was an unintended feature where unpaid accounts of EVE Online were able to continue training skills. While this allowed players to run multiple characters on a shoestring budget, in all effect, this was a bug.

It should be noted that we’re not changing offline skill training for active subscribers in any way. This change only affects those who do not have an active subscription.

Does that mean that CCP is a greedy money chewing monster that just loves nerfing things? Of course not. We’re a company like everyone else, we make a game, that we happen to love making and for most of us is the passion of our lives. But it’s also a company. We make a product, sell it, get salaries and then continue maintaining the product and making it better.

Now I’m not saying that if me personally would be at the other end of this Dev Blog I wouldn’t be annoyed by CCP’s actions. We are gamers. We game the system. We figure out how to maximize our returns. There’s no surprise that people have done this for the simple fact that it wasn’t banned per se and also for the fact that it was possible. But recently we have seen a surge in this behavior in a way that we were essentially supporting and maintaining a large number of customers that weren’t paying us regular subscriptions. That’s not fair towards CCP as a service provider and it’s not fair towards other players that pay a subscription but don’t make use of this bug.

Now a single customer that doesn’t log into the servers may not weigh heavily on our database infrastructure, just as a single snowflake isn’t that heavy, hardly a measurable quantity. But it’s hard not to notice an avalanche if it hits you. And that’s what was starting to happen in our database.

We can look at this from a variety of angles, but it all comes down to:

There was a way to progress a character in EVE without an active subscription
CCP noticed a surge in the trend and decided to fix the leak
Players now have to pay a subscription for characters to have them progress

We truly hope that the community will understand our actions and continue to enjoy playing EVE as much as we enjoy making it.

Of course, this was all before the days of skill extractors and injectors. After outcries for months that players were generating game breaking amounts of ISK by subscribing multiple Omega accounts, sometimes in the hundreds, and then letting them ghost train for months before extracting their Skill Points, CCP finally declared this an exploit last week, and vowed to bring repercussions to users who had abused the system.

On June 14’th, CCP gifted special edition Concord hulls to Eve players who attended Fanfest in Iceland. As an unintended consequence of ghost training, Eve players who were both abusing the exploit, and also going to fanfest, were awarded the valuable hulls on a per account basis. This resulted in abusers of ghost training making ten of billions of ISK selling the hulls to a market eager to fly them. Again, CCP vowed to make it right in this statement. Here is an excerpt:

After what has been an eventful week, we felt that it would be prudent to put together more information to explain both the intentions behind the deployment of the CONCORD hulls that were gifted to Fanfest ticket purchasers on June 14, and how we’ll be awarding these hulls in future.

This is the first mass distribution of rewards of this size and value that we’ve undertaken since the introduction of Alpha accounts with EVE Online: Ascension, and in retrospect it’s now very clear to us that methods of distribution that have worked successfully for us in the past are no longer viable.

The intention with this distribution of hulls was to offer a thank you to all those who made what is, for many, a long and expensive journey and a sizeable commitment to come visit Iceland for Fanfest 2017.

Given the delay between Fanfest and the distribution of the hulls, and the fact that these hulls will soon be available more widely, these were awarded on a per account basis as a bit of an extra thank you for the wait that occurred before they were gifted.

Unfortunately, entirely on our part, an oversight that did happen was a lack of clarity surrounding the extent that the current issues with Ghost Training would affect their distribution. The community was very fast to point this out and without a doubt, this has been a very direct and fast learning experience for us in this new era where open access to New Eden is now a reality.

We’re aware of the concerns around how we gifted these hulls, and we apologise for the issues surrounding how the distribution happened. We would also like to reiterate that we’re fully aware of concerns around people who have been abusing the Ghost Training Exploit receiving large numbers of these hulls, and our customer support team is currently working to ensure that anyone who abused this exploit knowingly and is reprimanded for it, also has these hulls or the ISK generated from the sale of them confiscated.

Within the last few hours reports are coming in on social media of players seeing GM’s confiscating ISK from the wallets of abusers, claimed owner of the account reddit user /u/oli0202 has this to say in response to the posting of his wallet logs by an alliance-mate:

honestly, i just didn’t care. i did not think i did it to the tune of 100b in the first place since i only did it on purpose for like a week. the rest of it was unintentional when i lost interest in game a half year ago and more than half my sp farmers had 20ish extra days on their quques.

someone guessed that they did not take extractors into account when removing this isk so i kinda got double fucked on it. this would also explain why it is higher than i thought it would be.

on a related point i really hope they take sp or ban my sp farmers, getting super bored of logging them in

Unsubstantiated reports claim that this deduction was both for Concord ship hulls, over 100, along with isk from extracted Skill Points, according to the owner of the account who posted it in game. EN24 has reached out to several sources to substantiate these claims as well as /u/oli0202 for confirmation and will further update the story as details become available.

Do you think it’s fair for CCP to reclaim ISK from players in this fashion? We would like to know in the comments.