Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spycraft in Eve Online

I came across this story from the Mittani (leader of Goons in Eve):

Two interesting comments popped up on my Update Dance piece:  
One of the greatest troubles TEST faced during the war was information overload. There was so much to organize and so many channels of communication were dead as people went afk. 
Night after night it was a hairpull trying to find structures to bash. Just from alliance chat, we'd get 40-ish people in bombers with blops easy; getting someone in recon to provide the location of an SBU was the hard part. 
I was in White Van during that war. The number of early mistakes the CFC made in not IHUBing captured systems, or letting me follow folks SBUing... After week three I gave up, my reports and scouting went nowhere... asked for jobs, got none. 
This was because the GIA had compromised the spreadsheet that TEST Recon used to record all their scout information on. We wouldn't alter the spreadsheet in a flagrant way, just adding slight errors throughout it which were always written off as user error or incompetence. POS locations would remain on the right planet, but slip a moon or two to the left; key tower reinforcement timers would be adjusted by an hour too soon or too late. Because we were subtle, this 'incompetence' resulted in a ton of redundant and replicated work as the same targets had to be scanned and rescanned. Eventually the whole org collapsed under the strain, and without functional recon you cannot win - or even stay afloat - in a bloc war. 

That's the kind of thing that happens in the first few weeks of a war with the CFC, when our enemies are usually yowling to anyone who will listen about how we're 'not winning fast enough' or otherwise completely stalemated: we assault the people and the institutions of a hostile org first, and the actual sov is an afterthought. Watching your foes tear each other apart as they blame one another for errors your agents seeded is an added bonus. 

I don't know if this really happened, or if the Mittani is just sowing dissension and playing head games with his current enemies. The comments on the post seem to indicate that it really happened.


  1. I have no doubt that it happened. First, there is the guy from White Van who confirmed that there were such problems.

    And then further down in the comments Endie, another senior Goon, wrote about how they would not only limit the changes they made to small things... offsetting the moon by a single number... but would also focus on the reports from one individual to undermine confidence in his reports because he was so sloppy in his work, which also got some confirmation comments.

    Spying is a big deal in null sec EVE, enabled by the fact that you can be two different characters in two places at once with no obvious connections. We always seem to know the composition of fleets forming to fight us due to our spies, and I am sure our foes are getting the same info about us.

    But talking about it is clearly a game in and of itself. After that post, anytime something goes wrong, info is bad, or the CFC seems ahead of the game, people will wonder who sold them out.

  2. At this point I have to wonder with this much devotion toward a game, whether I'd better start to worry about how much spying is done in my regular life.

  3. I hear you, Redbeard. When I saw this, I was like, "Are the CIA/NSA more or less hardcore than these guys?" And then in which direction would I want them to be?