Greedy Goblin

Monday, September 12, 2016

Evidence for more EVE dev corruption

Before anything else, please save the following images to your computer. They are hosted on the server of CCP so they can stealth edit them. Of course the interesting parts will be repeated below, but you should have them from the CCP server to prove that they existed there and not I photoshopped them. They are (were if you're slow) embedded into the monthly economic report dev blogs: I originally checked these dev blogs to estimate how much broker fee was diverted to the New Jita owners, but something much better/worse came up. Check out these summaries:
The numbers highlighted in green are equal, as they should be as they are the sums of the end of the previous month and the beginning of the recent month. It's obvious that there is the same amount of ISK is on the accounts a tick before midnight (or when the servers go down if CCP Quant consider a month end on downtime next month first day) than on the tick after midnight (or when the servers come up after month ending downtime). Update: August report is out and it's also green.

Now look at the red highlights! Somehow between the last tick of February and the first tick of March 948.9826 - 948.0430 = 0.9396 T ISK appeared. During the ticks between March and April, 976.1131 - 972.3179 = 3.7952 T ISK appeared. All together 4.7T, pretty nice sum and we can't see how much appeared at the beginning of Feb, Jan, Dec 2015 and so on as economic reports don't go that far.

This cannot be any kind of mistake in the reports. The numbers match till the last digit after April, so the methodology is fine. Also, if a daily mistake of this magnitude was included, the reports would be totally off. If a reporting script error had been found in April, I'm sure the older reports were remade and fixed. The only reason they weren't is that the author, CCP Quant didn't notice that something is odd. As the note at the bottom of every picture, all GM actions were included in the reports says, so it cannot be a GM modifying in that tick. Also, GMs negwallet and not pluswallet.

The only reasonable explanation is that someone with access to the database spawned ISK during the ticks between months so his modification wouldn't show up in the monthly checksum either in the old month, nor in the new. While the difference became visible as difference between End-of-month and Beginning-of-month, unless someone programmed for that (and why anyone would?), it raised no computer flags. The manipulation either ended because the perpetrator noticed that CCP Quant is posting results for everyone to see with the evidence of his machinations or simply because the partnership between the corrupted dev and the player receiving the trillions ended.

Only the rhetorical question is left: who could be the lucky player? Who can use multiple trillions without raising team security flags all over the place?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did not think one could read too much into the ISk numbers since it is on *ACTIVE* accounts.

e.g. https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/eve-economy-update-eve-vegas-2015-report/

The graph is explained as
Total ISK on active accounts at the beginning of the month (BOM),
Total ISK on active accounts at the end of the month (EOM)

So I read that is that if you had 20B and was subscribed through June 25 and resubscribed on Jul 4th, then your 20B would show up In June BoM but not EoM and July EoM but not BoM even though the actual ISK did not change. You are correct the numbers should match. Still, the active player computation is something else they could not do consistently.

P.S., I certainly would not want to in any way defend the integrity of EVE devs or players, but my first reaction was "to not assume malice when mere incompetence can explain the facts"

Provi Miner said...

looks like a security case you should submit it:
A: to see if anything is done about it
B: to see if nothing is done about it
C: to have a nice soap box position if B happens

the goblin I know would just like he did for WoT gold ammo/match fixing.

Anonymous said...

You make a lot of assumptions here. Your hatred for CCP is causing you to jump to conclusions.

>If a reporting script error had been found in April, I'm sure the older reports were remade and fixed.
Knowing CCP, it's just as likely they didn't. And if they did change the report, you would claim they are covering their tracks as you already implied in your opening statement.

>The only reasonable explanation is that someone with access to the database spawned ISK [...]
That's one explanation. It's far from the only reasonable one.

>The manipulation either ended because the perpetrator noticed that CCP Quant is posting results for everyone to see with the evidence of his machinations or simply because the partnership between the corrupted dev and the player receiving the trillions ended.
This is a false dilemma. Again, there are a lot more possibilities than these two. Faulty script, loss of data, data corruption, a wave of isk confiscation for botting/RMT, isk reimbursement for whatever reason,... All these things could explain a discrepancy in isk delta.

Is it possible this is proof of corruption? Yes. Is it likely? Ehhh. Doubtful in my eyes. I think Hanlon's razor applies here.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I don't deny that I hate CCP, but hey, they started it for absolutely no reason. I was a model customer with no record of EULA violation or even "dancing on the limits" (after an impersonating scam I tried when I was very new not knowing it's against the EULA). I got them dozens of pages worth of referrals, I always motivated people to undock and I never battled or namecalled devs. Until one day CCP Falcon decided to go directly after me and he wasn't stopped by CCP. Yes, I want them to go down, but who wouldn't in my place?

If someone posts an error-fix, that shows good faith. If someone stealth-fix, that's covering tracks.

Care to give another explanation?

But you seem to ignore the core problem: if 5T can simply fall between the cracks, than ANYTHING can happen. Such level of incompetence breeds corruption, since every wrongdoer feels safe. I can guarantee you that if 5T data corruption can go unnoticed in for half year, than every second dev will give 100Bs to their buddies just for a beer, since it will go unnoticed too. This is how people work. This is why responsible governments send army or large detachment of police to disaster sites to stop looters. They know that people will try to take a little expecting that no one can tell that it wasn't destroyed by the disaster and without strong force these "little"s can add up into a looting mob.

Samus said...

@Anon (both)

The damning thing would appear to be that April-May, May-June, and June-July line up exactly. If there were things which happen from time to time which were not accounted for, with tens of thousands of players they would happen every month, and the numbers would NEVER line up.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but they started doing this particular type of monthly economic report in February 2016. The discrepancies exist from February -> March and March -> April, right at the beginning of this side-project.

Thus the most likely explanation (in my eyes) is that they had to work out some kinks with how this report is made, or the data is calculated, or which data they include/do not include.

It would be nice to get an official statement from CCP on the matter though.

Anonymous said...

I think Gevlon is onto something here. Most likelly CCP will not act on it or cover it up.

CCP Quant said...

Hey guys, CCP Quant here (I'll confirm on twitter).

As much as I love good tinfoil-hattery in EVE, I'm personally responsible for this one :)

The discrepancy between the months (Feb-Apr) was due to an error in my code. At the end of each day we take a snapshot of a lot of data like ISK Float. So each date,value is a snapshot at the end of that day. My code originally took the value for the first day of each month, but that means a whole day is missing since I have to take the last day of last month as the initial value. A player pointed this out (Lockefox maybe? can't recall) and I fixed the error for May.

Each Economic Report contains a file called MoneySupply.csv in its .zip file. By looking up the dates in question in that file you can see that it backs up my explanation. Example:


2/29/2016 7.63665E+14 1.84378E+14 948,043,021,341,779 (should've been this)
3/1/2016 7.63648E+14 1.85335E+14 948,982,588,589,288 (was this)


-Quant

Xavier Martinez said...

Quant, you killed all the fun. No one cares about wrong code, we wants corruption stories :)
Evil devs plugging usb keys injecting isk into databases at 00:00 ! That's way cooler..
Good spotting for gevlon, good answer from Quant. o7 Fly safe.

Gevlon said...

@CCP Quant: and why did you leave the bad reports up if you knew they are bad?

Anonymous said...

"@CCP Quant: and why did you leave the bad reports up if you knew they are bad?"

Because hiding bad data after you find it is not something you do.

Let me point you to the first sentence of your post today.

"Before anything else, please save the following images to your computer. They are hosted on the server of CCP so they can stealth edit them. "

If he had edited it post hoc, you would have said "Proof that CCP stealth edits the data"

Gevlon said...

But if he don't stealth edit but post "an error was found and it was remade" in May, there wouldn't be anything. Now you are free to believe that:
- CCP Quant made an error, fixed it and forgot/didn't want to fix older bad data
- CCP Quant takes a fall for the fellow dev who injected ISK.

Snorkel said...

Because most likely his bad code was the only record of that data meaning the lost days are truely that, lost. A more transparent method of reporting this would be to state up front the two day's of data that you are missing but the simple fact that it's missing does not automatically imply it HAS to be a CCP employee giving out free isk.

Anonymous said...

"But if he don't stealth edit but post "an error was found and it was remade" in May, there wouldn't be anything."

So you are saying that you would not have drawn any conclusion other than "Code was wrong, CCP Quant has corrected it" from that?

Are you sure there would not have been a post about how CCP are now blaming coding mistakes for their evil complicity in RMT?

I guess the fact that CCP Quant bothered to reply is just further proof..... /s

CCP Quant said...

Hate to be pedantic, but looking at Quant's twitter account there is no confirmation yet. So, theoretically, anyone could've written that (as this comment proves).

- Hanura H'arasch

Gevlon said...

@CCP Hanura: hahaha, good one!

@Anon: the first one on scene sets the scene. If Quant moves first and without anyone prompting him writes "Sorry, mistakes were made", I'd have hard time debating that. If I move first - as I did - and Quant comes later, his excuses seem like - excuses.

Anonymous said...

@Hanura

https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/52d84c/gevlon_sets_new_record_for_tinfoil_level/d7jd9h6

Will that do?

RedHand said...

Gevlon, you've quit EVE. Sure, you don't like CCP. You don't like falcon. Whatever, that's that. You don't need to go ahead and pick out little shit like this, because YOU DON'T PLAY EVE ANYMORE!

What is it? Is your fantasy that the EVE servers shut down, and thousands of (relatively) happy players lose out? Is that what you're aiming for?

On top of that, what motivation would Quant have to intentionally mess with this? He doesn't get paid any extra for making the mistake, and shit, the guy is always working with stats like this - he was bound to make a mistake at some point.

As you would like to claim you have, I've played this game for over a decade and I've seen the ins and outs of CCP - they're a different beast now but much better for it. You want to get hold of a dev? Try tweetfleet (actually don't, last thing we need there is you) or twitter and you can talk to almost any dev, usually with relatively quick responses. They aren't there to hide details or fuck with the game, or more specifically, you, Gevlon. They're there to make it better for those of us who still play. So now that you've gone ahead and tinfoiled it up once again, why not sit back down, go back to Black Desert Online or whatever other MMO you've moved onto which is supposedly 'so much better than EVE' and mind your own shit. Seriously, it's like you think your shit doesn't stink.

Get the fuck off your high horse, buddy, you're making a fool of yourself. Look at what the people on Reddit think about it.

RedHand said...

Oh, and for whichever one of you guys is going on about how it's probably not actually Quant, his reddit account is verified:

http://i.imgur.com/UqqdmkZ.png

Gevlon said...

@RedHand: writing that post cost me like 30 minutes. If I placed doubt in just one customer, it worth it. I didn't say Quant messed with the data. I said someone messed with the data and Quant didn't notice it (and now just takes the fall for the guy because "Quant is lazy" is much better than "X sold 5T ISK").

Yes, going Tweetfleet would have made a difference. Oh wait, I tried to run for CSM and ... Falcon banned me from that. Xenuria, outspoken neo-nazi could run. I was the only person in the history of EVE besides a hacker who DDOS-ed the server who was banned from running for CSM.

Do you seriously claim that Falcon is not personally after me? That's kind of bold after three (two of them pretty long) hateposts directly about me. Not my playstyle, not any of my posts, about me. How am I a total crazy madman and troll.

In the same time he was doing his best to protect Goons from the fallout of the monument vandalism. Because those who did it were absolutely not crazy madmen trolls and deserved all the support. He went out of his way to promote the Goon propaganda book, because The Mittani who would have banked $50-100K on that thing is a model citizen and also deserve support. And he turned a blind eye on the Bonus Room, because Erotica1 is also a great guy (Ripard forced the change, cost him his blog). Everyone mentioned here are wonderful people and Falcon rightfully protected them, I'm the only crazy madman troll. That's what you're saying?

They are NOT there to make the game better for those of you still play. They are there to make it better for their "friends". If you are one of them, you are part of the problem. If you are not, you'll have a rude surprise coming your way.

And yes, my fantasy is that the EVE servers go down. Not permanently of course, CCP goes bankrupt, someone buys the IP and the code from the bankruptcy court and restart it with a staff that - you know - not totally hateful, favorites-calling, corrupted craps.

Piffle said...

"Get the fuck off your high horse, buddy, you're making a fool of yourself. Look at what the people on Reddit think about it."

If you think Gevlon is going to act based on what some random people on Reddit think, then you really don't know anything about Gevlon.

Anonymous said...

"And yes, my fantasy is that the EVE servers go down. Not permanently of course, CCP goes bankrupt, someone buys the IP and the code from the bankruptcy court and restart it with a staff that - you know - not totally hateful, favorites-calling, corrupted craps."

You want financial problems for a set of people who you have a problem with 1 of.

And, yes, we claim that falcon is not after you....if you think that is hateposts, what do you call the majority of blogposts you have made about him, or goons, or Lenny....

"Yes, going Tweetfleet would have made a difference. Oh wait, I tried to run for CSM and ... Falcon banned me from that. Xenuria, outspoken neo-nazi could run"

You are mixing up your CSM candidates, and falcon never banned you from running, and, you were never actually wanting to run, so drop the hyperbole. Your post was "Vote for me, to kill the CSM, I am not going to actually stand", so, less of the "I was going to do something"

RedHand said...

30 minutes you could have been playing whatever MMO you like now. And I can also assure you that anyone who reads and actually believes the tinfoil you post here will have quit EVE a while ago.

You're picking at straws. You basically used a small discrepancy which Quant admitted was a simple mistake, claimed it was all a conspiracy and someone was 'handing out isk', and that Quant was covering up for it. So, a small mathematical error suddenly means he's hiding something. Seriously, are you hiding in a bunker right now waiting for the nuclear winter to fall?

It looks more to me like you'd rather throw baseless accusations rather than go directly to the people who organise this and ask them what happened? Quant would have happily addressed you directly, I'm sure. Also, you're pretty damn wrong. Mittani is banned, Sion is banned, anyone remotely associated with TMC is banned from running for CSM. Xenuria, on the other hand, isn't banned. He's a bit of an idiot at times, and he's got a rocky history but by all accounts (I speak quite regularly to a few CSMs) he's actually pretty damn good on the CSM.

I do agree that Falcon made a mistake addressing you as he did. The fact of the matter is, though, that you're not fucking 5 years old and you don't need to run off making a huge fuss because someone calls you crazy and a crackpot - especially when you act that way entirely.

As for the goon bullshit - he promoted the book because it promoted EVE. It might have made Mittani money but that's the nature of the Mittani. I don't like him either, but that's that. Get over it. He can use any opportunity to make money if he really wants to. Falcon doesn't 'protect' anyone, he supports and promotes what he thinks will support and promote EVE best, because that's his job.

EVE is in one of the best places it's been ever. While it's not perfectly balanced it's significantly better than it has been. People in all aspects of the game are having fun, and it's thanks to the hard work and more importantly, the awesome communication from CCP. They work with the players so much better than 90% of other game developers, they deserve some respect. I'm not any particular employee's 'friend', but I still enjoy the game. Or is that taboo now? Am I not allowed?

Now you're just talking out of your ass. As if EVE is your game to control and you can choose what happens. It's not entirely what you want it to be? Bad luck. Go back to Black Desert Online or whatever you're playing now and try play your propoganda games with them. You wonder why people call you crazy? Because you act like an upset child who's had his toys taken away. Before Falcon there was always some issue, you just can't be kept happy. Just jump ship, find a hobby and do something other than try to find conspiracies in simple mistakes. Seriously, you've got problems if you can't get over this. I might not like everything CCP do - but shit - you're the only person who's been 'targeted' as you like to call it, because you're the only person who acts like this. Grow the fuck up.

@Piffle I don't really expect him to. I think he needs to get some sense into his head though, it's a shame he's wasting obvious intelligence with ridiculous crackpot theories.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: the day he posted his first bully post, I had a problem with one CCP employee. After he posted his third, lengthy hatepost with his official account and he still had his job, yes, then I wanted all of them having financial problems.

OK, so writing hateposts explicitly about someone is not being after someone according to you?

Care to link a hatepost from me? Except about Falcon, I admit that I hate him, but I doubt anyone could hold that against me.

I was running for CSM with the legitimate platform that players getting insider info and influence on design is a very bad thing, therefore this should stop. And I was banned from it, because it would have harmed his business if too many people vote for me.

@RedHand: I'm assured that if you are writing this, you are not sure at all. Otherwise you'd just lay back and laugh. You ARE worried that some people are influenced by my posts and EVE will keep losing players, like it's doing since the corruption became obvious (IWI bunch unbanned, Citadel tax rate).

5T is about $15000 on the RMT market. Care to send me such small mathematical error?

Yes, TMC is banned after they failed to deliver the $150K on the Kickstarter and made Falcon look like a fool for promoting it all the time. You know, banning my former enemies don't make him any less corrupt. Only transparent and unbiased decision making would make it.

I didn't run off when Falcon did his bully. I "ran off" when the citadel tax rates made the game unplayable. That's when 1/3 of the players ran off. The Falcon bully is just the least defendable of CCP actions so the best angle of attack. "Something something video game broker fee, something something top down income, something something unbanned RMT-ers" sounds much worse than "top CCP guy using official account for cyberbully". I don't need any context to explain that to non-playing journalists and such. I just link the Falcon posts and they speak for themselves.

He supports and promotes what he thinks will support EVE and it accidently was always what Goons did. Until they got obsoleted by IWI. Since then they are the leper and IWI gets all the support. It sounds like corruption.

Having 19K PCU is far from the best place EVE can be.

Before Falcon there were no issues. I didn't have any exchange with devs or blamed CCP. I fought Goons in-game. Is it somehow bad to have a spaceship-shooting war with another EVE entity?

jedi2015 said...

you sometimes look for nails on low water.

ccp falcon is not my favourite ccp either, but at least he is not in the coding departement so he has no real power, except for being annoying.

maybe you should go to eve fanfest in iceland. I suppose the iceland krone should be cheap enough against the euro, if bulgary is already part of the eurozone.

Antze said...

Oh, what's going on here.

@Gevlon: You should pay attention to the gist of CCP Quant's "excuses". As far as I understand these explanations, there are two different kinds of data in this story. The first - the source numbers, MoneySupply.csv (likely taken straight from the game system / database). The second - infographics presented by CCP Quant.

As CCP Quant states, there were no errors in the source numbers (no, I didn't check) (yes, it's possible that the source numbers are already falsified / stealth-fixed). But, says he, there were errors in infographics, due to him not paying much attention when he wrote a script for calculating the values for it.

If the source data is OK, but the summary is faulty, this can't be anything but a honest mistake. No one reads source data, everyone reads infographics, so the whole situation is not about hiding some "existent dev cheating", but quite the opposite - presenting to players infographics which clearly show "dev cheating" which never existed in the source data in the first place!

Now, if I was a corrupted dev who had to hide some ISK cheat-spawning, the first thing I'd think about would be: falsifying the source data. The second thing: having a beer with CCP Quant to convince him writing a false report with false numbers, which would perfectly match each other. I would be incredibly stupid to "miss" all the cheat-spawned ISK in the "tick between months" - that would actually require some additional effort which makes no sense.

Funnily, I can't and won't prove there were no ISK cheat-spawning from CCP side. It's really possible that it happened. Maybe it's there, right in the statistics. But neither you not me will ever be able to see it, because it's all shown as "legit ISK earned by players" or something. Yet, YOUR conclusions are incorrect - there's no proof of dev cheating when the source data is correct. Sure, it could be stealth-fixed, but unlikely - accurately falsifying source data in such situation (AFTER presenting it to people) requires some serious time and effort, but CCP Quant answered quick enough. There's yet a chance that I'm wrong, but to test that, I need to take a closer look at numbers, and I don't have time for that. Well...

Oh yes, on "why did CCP Quant leave the bad reports up if he knew they were bad". It's simple: he didn't care because he thought no one would care. He was wrong: you cared. So he explained.

Gevlon said...

@jedi2015: he has power, he decides
- who gets banned
- who DON'T get banned (you get doxxed, lose your job, outed as gay and get disowned by your parents and he can and will say it was fair game).
- who gets to speak with the coders. He controls information flow via the CSM process (this was why he was quick to ban me from running). He makes sure that the mechanics designers only heard player feedback coming from the "proper people". Remember the document of shame!

Arrendis said...

Yes, TMC is banned after they failed to deliver the $150K on the Kickstarter and made Falcon look like a fool for promoting it all the time. You know, banning my former enemies don't make him any less corrupt. Only transparent and unbiased decision making would make it.

The kickstarter had nothing to do with the 'No Sions' rule - in fact, the rule was put into place before the Kickstarter was even announced at EVE Vegas.

The 'No Sions' rule was put in place for a much simpler reason: Sion annoyed the piss out of the devs by asking them uncomfortable questions very similar to the ones you ask, like 'if all of the metrics show fewer people logging in, how do you consider the Phoebe and Aegis changes to be successful?'

Arrendis said...

- who gets to speak with the coders. He controls information flow via the CSM process (this was why he was quick to ban me from running). He makes sure that the mechanics designers only heard player feedback coming from the "proper people". Remember the document of shame!

Also, he no longer has this authority. CSM matters are in the hands of Guard and Logibro now.

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: any link mentioning the No Sions rule from before the Kickstarter? It seems to me that Sion was the mastermind behind the kickstarter, set Falcon up with "this will get you so many subscribers from sci-fi readers" and when the campaign ended with public rejection, Falcon realized that he was scammed started a vendetta.

He may don't have the formal authority. But he is still the community manager and the boss of Guard and Logibro. Falcon don't seem like a guy you want to say "no" at work if he asks a favor. If Falcon says "X don't go CSM", these two will not go to battle for a total stranger, because even if they can win, Falcon will make their life at CCP miserable.

Math Nerd said...

Quant's explanation makes sense for why the charts are off - but raises new questions about these numbers.

I mean lets do a little simple math here:

Per CCP Quant's explanation - in the month of February only 12 Trillion net isk was generated all month (11T shown and 1T missing) - but 1T isk was generated just in the last day of the month? So 8.33% of all isk generation happened in 1 day out of 28.

That one is almost believable - but then in March we have 27 Trillion total isk generated including the previously missing isk. Not transferred, generated - meaning rat bounties/etc NOT trade! And of this 27 Trillion isk 3.8 Trillion isk was generated in a single 24 hour period... That is - Within a 31 day month with higher than average isk generation to begin with *14%* of the isk was generated in a single 24 hour period...Rather than the expected 1/31 or *3%*...

And again - keep in mind this is *not* factoring in trading other than the taxes/fees removing isk from the game. This is isk *generated* in the month - so rat bounties, incursion payouts, etc.


While this is *possible* - it does seem unlikely. Particularly 2 months in a row. I for one would like to see the NPC kill statistics for the same periods to see if npc killing activity on the last day of each month really is consistently 5x higher than any other day of the month.

Arrendis said...

@Arrendis: any link mentioning the No Sions rule from before the Kickstarter?

Not sure if there was anything stated publicly, but Sion definitely knew about it ahead of time and discussed it with the TMC editorial staff at the time. Let me see if I can find a link, though. If not, I'll tell you that, too.