The Great Scam


Part 1

While wandering the net one fine evening (actually on the shitter at work while on my PDA) I discovered "The Great Scam". A story about achievements, greed, deception and a little game called Eve-Online. In other words a great little story.

This story has nothing to do with me (wirm) or any one i know for that matter. Was just something I found, liked, and figured what the fuck might as well buy a cool domain (update 4/14/09 shutdown the domain mirror it here now and mirror it. So I did.

I changed nothing cept for adding a ">>Next" to the bottom of the pages to help navigate.

So here it is.. The Great Scam.


This is a story of deception, intrigue, and doublecrossing. It is a story of liars, bandits, and greed. It is a story of the worst of the human condition, and how the motive for profit will drive a normally nice guy to the deepest depths of evil and betrayal.

This is the story of my life in Eve Online.

Eve Online is a space-based MMORPG with a level of depth and breadth that blows games like Shadowbane and City of Heroes out of the water. It is also a beautiful game, with glaring suns, shining stars, and exorbitant ship detail. Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism. I first started playing Eve a few weeks before it came out, in April 2003, and quickly picked up the essentials of the game. This would prove invaluable later on, since Eve was released with a money-making loophole that gave me the opportunity to make the starting capital I would need to successfully pull off what was probably the biggest scam in the game.

Unfortunately, in order to reach the point where you can revel in a deep and absorbing level of gameplay, you need to have credits. Lots and lots of credits. And you couldn't easily get credits by killing NPC enemies, or "pirates" as the game designers labeled them, because these pirates would either spawn in huge overpowered groups capable of ganking even the best equipped mid-level ships in under a second, or they would spawn so far apart and drop such shitty loot that the idea of killing them for profit was ridiculous.

Since crafting was never really my style, building ships and then selling them was out of the question. This left me with two options: I could run trade routes, or I could mine asteroids.

The entire concept of mining in Eve consists of pressing Ctrl + F, finding an asteroid, then auto piloting your ship over to it and watching little pebbles of rock float into your ship from the asteroid; you would then wait 5-10 minutes for the asteroid to dissolve, and do the same thing, over and over, for hours on end, until your ship was full of space pebbles. You would then sell these pebbles for approximately the same price that an illiterate slave would have received for an ounce of cotton. In case you haven't deduced by now, mining in Eve Online is about as fun as fucking a fat chick's festering corpse.

Running trade routes, unlike mining, actually involved a degree of intelligence and acumen. The basic premise of a trade route was to bring low priced materials from one sector of the galaxy to another sector where they would sell for a high price. Buy low, sell high. With a big ship, the right kinds of goods, and the knowledge of which routes were profitable and which were dry, a person could make tens of millions of credits in a night's work. For a short while, I was one of those people.

My first few weeks after the release of Eve were boring ones. I would log on after school, mine pebbles for hours with my best friend Trazir, and then sell those pebbles to NPC vendors for scant amounts of money. My labors were not without a goal, however; after talking to some extremely successful people in the game, and doing research on the various ship types, Trazir and I set a goal for ourselves: To collectively possess two million credits by the end of our second week. We would use this money to buy an industrial ship, cargo expanders, and two of the ever-essential micro warp drives, or MWDs. The industrial ships in Eve, or "indies", were huge. They could carry a gargantuan amount of cargo, made even larger by cargo expanders, and were relatively inexpensive to buy. This big cargo space made it possible to transport ample quantities of goods and make a large profit.

There was just one problem: Indies were slower than fucking hell when they weren't in warp drive, and therefore they were prone to destruction at the hands of pricks who camped at warp gates and PKed innocent traders. This was where the MWDs came in; if you came upon some unsavory characters upon leaving warp drive near the warp gate, you would turn on the MWDs and blast away to safety. I cannot even begin to recall the number of times that my life was saved thanks to my trusty MWDs. By this point, I had a pimped out indy with cargo expanders and several MWDs. The only problem was that I was broke again; I sure as fuck wasn't gonna make much money as a trader if I didn't have any credits to buy trading goods in the first place. So, I did what any business major would do when looking to start an intergalactic enterprise:

I took out a loan.

Over the course of my short-lived mining career, I met a guy named "HardHead" who frequented the same asteroid field that I did each night. After a few hours of in-game chatting, I got his ICQ number and talked to him on a semi-regular basis. His real name was Vinnie, and he was one of those uber-nerds with 4 computers running the same game at once; he told me about how he set up mining macros on his other 3 computers and made about 250,000 credits of pure profit each night by simply leaving his computers running. This intrigued me, and he even sent me the program he used called "EZmacro", but alas, I was far too lazy to ever record a macro and make sure it ran perfectly. HardHead's masochism paid off in generous dividends though; while Trazir and I were dumpster-shit broke, HH had close to 6 million credits. I told him about my trade route ideas, about how if he invested in me I would make him into a virtual Donald Trump. I fed him the finest bullshit cuisine on this side of the Atlantic, spooning it down his throat one gentle swallow at a time. By the end of the night, my credit count read "3,000,017". I went to sleep contented, fully intending to pay back HardHead's money with a healthy spattering of interest.


The Great Scam - by Nightfreeze

Brought to you by Siege