Tag Archives: Brisc Rubal

Six Weeks of World War Bee

The war carries on in the game, on Reddit, and in other media.

I mentioned Fountain Frank last week.  Well, there was more news on the Fountain Frank front as Brisc Rubal managed to track him down and interview him on the Meta Show.

At last you can get the real word on the war situation.

The Northern Front

In Fountain PandaFam has completed taking all of the ihubs in the region.  They own all the space now.

The Fountain ihubs all in PandaFam hands

Some hay has been made on Reddit about this being accomplished in under six weeks while it took the CFC of old eight weeks to evict TEST back in the Fountain War of 2013. (A timeline post here of that war.)  The missing bit is that after eight weeks TEST had to evac to low sec while we still have our main line of defense still in Delve.  Oh, and there is the whole Keepstars in Fountain thing.

Attention has now become focused on Upwell Structures in Fountain. There are still a string of structures that belong to the Imperium in the region.  That includes some Keepstars.  PandaFam has blown up three Keepstars in the region so far.

Three Keepstars Down

The remaining three Keepstars, located in O-PNSN, KVN-36, and Y-2ANO, are the next big targets.  My post yesterday was about the successful defense of the Keepstar in Y-2ANO when PandaFam failed the armor timer and had to start their attack over again.  More than 4K people were involved, with the balance well in the attacker’s favor.

Local during the fight

Now they have to do it all again.

With their supers and titan still sitting idle down in FAT-6P in Catch, the attackers have been depending on fighters from carriers to do the heavy lifting when attacking structures.  The Imperium response has been to configure fleets to kill fighters in order to make any structure fight as slow and painful and costly as possible.  Fighters are not only pricey, but I am told they are logistically awkward to bring forward to a staging system far from home… and all the more so when the supply lines get interdicted.

PandaFam started to show some reluctance to lose fighters.  A couple of Fortizars were saved when they just pulled back their fighters rather than let the Imperium take its toll.  Saturday’s Keepstar fight saw the attackers completely avoid sending fighters to the structure until it became clear that their plan to keep the timer paused with a fleet of Ravens wasn’t going to work.  Those Ravens were wiped out in two bomb runs.  Only then did they send fighters, though it was too little too late.

Both sides will no doubt draw lessons from the fight at Y-2ANO and we will see how things turn next time.  PandaFam seems back on board with using fighters and absorbing the cost as they set the first timer on the O-PNSN Keepstar yesterday.  That is the furthest one from Delve, so is more difficult for us to get to and defend.  They also managed to kill one of the Imperium Fortizars in Y-2ANO, but did not set the timer for the Keepstar.  The ISK war went their way though, and they blew up a lot of Feroxes.  They have not let the loss on one Keepstar timer phase them.

The Southern Front

I was looking at the Querious map and was surprised to see how well Legacy had done over the last week… and then realized I was looking at TCUs and not ihubs.  Once I switched to the ihub view I was reconfirmed in my belief that TEST and Legacy are not doing much at all.

I have, in the past, implied, sometimes strongly, that TEST seems willing to let PandaFam in the north do the heavy lifting.   But given the past week I am just going to say that is pretty close to being an established fact.  They do distract us, keep us busy at times, and win their share of skirmishes, but they aren’t really bringing it to us the way PandaFam has been so far.  They are more “annoying neighbor” than “hostile invader” most days.

The situation brings to mind a bit of propaganda from the 2013 Fountain War.

Independence

The same allies are keeping them in play seven years later.  Time is a flat circle, or something like that.

Back to the ihub map of Querious, it shows that Legacy continues to struggle with the systems in eastern Querious they were so proud to have taken previously.

The Querious flood plain – Aug 16, 2020

Their ihub count is 21 as of this writing, down a few from last week, representing about a quarter of the 95 systems in the region.  Legacy did use the distraction of the battle in Y-2ANO to reinforce a bunch of ihubs, and some are in play even now.  But they have some work to do to even get back to their high water mark of 41 ihubs they held back at the end of week four.

They also continue to thrash about trying to grasp some sort of foothold in the west of Querious or Period Basis.  Delve seems pretty safe from them so far.

Meanwhile, when the Imperium forms up and when Legacy won’t fight, we go into their space to cause problems.

The high point of the week in that regard was when GSOL flew into Esoteria, TEST space, and dropped around 70 Athanors in the A-CJGE system, covering most of the 82 moons there.  When Legacy drops structures in Period Basis or Querious, we’re very aggressive at hunting them down and blowing them up as they anchor, and we anticipated they would do the same.

We formed up a bomber fleet and some Slippery Petes to be ready when TEST formed up to shoot the structures as they anchored, their most vulnerable time, as you can simply kill them without having to go through multiple timers.  We thought maybe some dreadnoughts would show up as happened previously.

However, TEST and its allies were only able to form a small bomber fleet which killed only two of the anchoring Athanors before retiring.  There ended up being about 68 live, fueled structures in their space which they now have to take down in three separate operations per structure.

They have killed a few more since, but when I visited on Friday there were plenty alive and active with no timer set.

The list of Athanors in the system

We could set them to pull moon chunks and have a mining op I suppose.

This is not the way successful invasions generally work.

My Participation

I managed more than a fleet a day last week.  Not all of them were combat operations.  I did a couple where we were just ferrying various ships here and there to prepare defenses.  I am 22 PAPs up on the month so far.

Being out and about meant some more losses.  Only two, a Ferox in the big fight and a Sigil during an entosis op.  I am surprised I didn’t lose my Sabre during the shield fight at the Y-2ANO Keepstar, but somehow it lived to return home.

My ship loss count for the war so far now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 1

Overall

The Keepstar armor timer fight did see quite a turn out, with more than 4,000 capsuleers counted on the battle report… you only get counted if you’re attached to a kill mail somehow… plus all of those on standby or doing peripheral tasks.

It helped that the timer was set for a Saturday at a time when both US and EU players were likely to log in.

The peak online user count for the day hit at 16:38 UTC, during the fight, when 34,544 accounts were logged in. Not a bad count for a Saturday.  But 30K of that number were involved in other space business.

And Sunday was still the high water mark for the weekend, with a peak of 34,974, even though there was no huge battle going on.  That was about where it was last week, when it hit 34,855, but still down from the start of the war when it hit 38,838.

So it goes.

I am now waiting for the July MER to be released.  CCP used to manage that early in the month, but they have been running late on it this year.  I want to see what the impact is on the markets, total destruction, and ratting and mining.  With the war focused on the southwest of null sec, those living elsewhere are likely free to mine and rat without bother.  I expect to see PandaFam regions doing very well.

Addendum:

Five Weeks of World War Bee

Five weeks of war have gone by and it has been a mixed bag of efforts, some successful, some considerably less so.

On the Imperium side of things, we were able to welcome French ConneXion (FXR) to the coalition.

French ConnecXion Alliance

They had been working with The Initiative up north before the war, so the invaders declared that they were part of the coalition and treated them as such.  Since they were already paying the price I gather they felt they might as well get the benefits of being part of the Imperium.

Meanwhile, Brisc Rubal seems to have become the meme of the week, having been named “Fountain Frank” in memory of Baghdad Bob from the Iraq War.

The latest update on 35m ISK Corms

Brisc was nice enough to post a no background image of himself if you care to make your own version.

The Northern Front

The Fountain Front is likely to become the Northern Delve front very soon.  Leaving aside some bypassed systems deeper in the region, the Imperium is down to the last six ihubs in the last constellation on the road to Delve.

The Basilisk constellation

The Ansiblex jump gate network is pretty much a fond memory at this point and even the key system of KVN-36 has been taken by PandaFam.

Left behind are the Upwell structures, including several Keepstars, which the enemy has started to attack.  The J5A-IX Keepstar, on the boarder of Cloud Ring was the first to go.  The Keepstar was gunned and the battle report shows that it knocked down a lot of ship.

Battle Report Header from J5A-IX Keepstar Kill

But with more than 3K players there to whore on the kill mail, there were no doubt lots of dumb targets willing to wander into the point defense system or sit still while the structure bombed them.  527 kills is a nice number, but the objective and the ISK war clearly goes to the attackers.

The Keepstar at IGE-RI saw us extract a price from the attackers during one of the timers, but the end was inevitable and it blew up yesterday.  I’ll have a bit more about that in another post.

The Southern Front

TEST and their Legacy Coalition allies continue to diffuse their efforts and make little progress.  Or negative progress really.  Since their big attack hitting systems in eastern Querious, which took 27 ihubs in the first week and 14 in the second, things have fallen off for them.  The number of ihubs they held in the region was down to 25 as I wrote this.

The Querious flood plain changing hands – Aug 9, 2020

A couple of groups planted new ihubs where we blew theirs up, but most of them were just left empty.  The invaders can drop a new ihub there… and then we can blow it up again.  (Update: It looks like TEST actually got involved and dropped few ihubs in empty systems.  I am sure those will get special attention.)

Legacy started off trying to defend the ihubs, but seemed to have realized the whole “only owner can defend” thing, which I mentioned with with United Earth Directorate systems, was a problem that cut both ways.  Evictus (IOU ticker on the map) seemed keen to grab a lot of those ihubs but not so enthusiastic about defending them.

Claude Ring finally reinforces and ihub

Meanwhile, they have failed to take any of the CONDI or INIT ihubs closer to Delve, leaving the Ansiblex jump gate connections intact for us.

Stalled in Querious, they continued to try and drop structures and POS towers around our space, most of which were blown up as they anchored.

They are also expending effort to shoot the Stain Russians because I guess Imperium Black Ops has been hiding in Stain and dropping on their stuff, including this juicy jump freighters.

Otherwise much of the week was spent with fleets sitting on either side of the 49-U6U-4-07MU or the TCAG-3-G-M4GK gate connections waiting for the other side to jump through.  This led to barbed exchanges over who ought to be jumping into whom, but in the stalemate scenario we win, which was summarized by FC John Hartley in this quote:

So it goes.

My Participation

It was a busy week at the office, so I wasn’t able to sneak away for ops over lunch, but I still managed to get out on at least a fleet a day, plus some stuff on my own time.

My current toll of dead ships went up again.

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1

Overall

I thought Keepstar kills would bring out more people to get on those kill mails.  It certainly seemed to be trending that way with more than 3,000 capsuleers on the kill mail for the J5A-IX Keepstar.

But yesterday’s Keepstar fight in IGE-RI, which happened in the middle of what is traditionally the high watermark for players logging in every week, Sunday at 19:00, saw a drop of about 500 participants on the kill mail.  The PCU for Sunday was 34,855, down a bit from the 35,479 we saw the week before.

There are three more Keepstars in Fountain that I know of (C-N4OD, KVN-36, and Y-2ANO), so there will be at least three more big form-ups for kills.  However, those Keepstars are getting closer and closer to Delve.  We shall see what happens.

Addendum:

Northward for Structure Defense

There was supposed to be a big USTZ op on Friday night, but it didn’t come off.

That was fine by me as I hadn’t been on Jabber for a couple of days so totally missed the build up.  But on the Fireside on Saturday The Mittani brought it up, apologized that it  didn’t happen, but assured us that an op would be coming up at 02:00 EVE time in order to defend timers on a couple of Fortizars up north that are part of the coalition power projection network.

The primary doctrine was to be the Sacrilege fleet, which was hyped a few times during the Fireside and in pings as the day went along, so it was probably not surprising that when 02:00 came around and the ping for the evenings fleets went out, that is the one that filled up almost immediately.

Asher was our FC and while the speed with which the fleet filled might not have been surprising, the fact that we were all in the right ships, with sufficient mainline DPS ships, boosters, and enough logi did seem to surprise him a bit.  It is a rare thing for everybody to show up on time with the right fit.  I guess if you ping at us enough about getting ready for a fleet some of us pay attention.

I opted to go with the logi wing for this op, refitting a Guardian I had in my hangar in order to meet the changes that the Surgical Strike update made necessary.  And naturally I went with the  Frontier Safeguarder SKIN from the Generosity Celebration event.  I collected the whole set for subcaps as well as a couple for force auxiliaries.

Bright and flashy

I like those SKINs even more than the Emergency Response set.  They are loud and colorful and the red and blue lights flash and it is a pretty obnoxious package, which is what I look for in a SKIN.

Meanwhile Asher was having to tell people there was no room in the fleet.  We were at 256 and he needed space to get scouts in with us.  People went off to the Munnin fleet, which I might have done as well, but I always fly with Asher when I can so I stuck with it.

We later found out that somebody in a Sacrilege joined the Munnin fleet but stayed on our coms and somehow made it through the whole evening without realizing they were messed up.  John Hartley, the Munnin FC said the Sac just carried on with them, sometimes on anchor, sometimes not, but never seemed to be fazed by their predicament.

The Munnins filled up too and a third fleet, this time Jackdaws, was formed up to handle the overflow, and then a bomber fleet for people who wanted to go that route.  This was a pretty big form up considering it was well outside of EUTZ and well into Saturday night… though I guess people aren’t really going out on Saturday night right now.

Asher was especially happy with the fleet composition as it only had a single Vigil frigate.  The Vigil is a newbie friendly option that lets people target paint to help the main line apply damage.  But you only need a few and there are times when vets pile in with them just to go along for the ride.  But when you have just one Vigil in the fleet, that pilot suddenly becomes special, their ship is the fleet morale ship, and ends up on the logi watchlist, and so it was with M4X HEADR00M.

Pilot of our morale Vigil

Once important issues like that were settled it was time to undock and start heading north.  Our destination was Pure Blind and we were off down the Eye of Terror network of Ansiblex jump gates.

To the Ansiblex

The route, at least to the Pure Blind boarder in Cloud Ring is generally a quick run… it is only 11 gates or so… until you start pushing about 700 pilots through it at the same time.  There were a lot of us jumping through together.

Gate activation for a fleet, each line representing a ship landing

And things got progressively worse as we moved along.  Delve is always active and so gets processing resources assigned to it that meant we only saw a little time dilation kicking in.  Through Fountain, a quieter region, it was more noticeable.  And then we hit Cloud Ring and we were clearly stressing the system.

Tidi hitting us hard

That is the game slowing down to 17% of normal speed for us.  We weren’t shooting anything, we were just using gates to travel.  But loading into a system is a heavy task and with three fleets going though at once.

But we pressed on, getting to the Keepstar on the boarder.

Sac fleet in warp

It was about then that information began to get passed along about the disposition of the enemy fleets.  Pandemic Horde had put together a Harpy fleet with about 100 pilots, while NCDot had wrestled together around 50 pilots for a Munnin fleet, which meant that the likelihood of there being a big fight was about nil.

At that point the fleets split up.

The Munnins went off and found a Naga fleet to wreck, then headed back home.  I never heard what the Jackdaws got up to, but word was that the bomber fleet managed to get itself wrecked shooting a structure.  And so it goes.

And the Sac fleet, we stood to and watched over the repair cycle of the Fortizars that had been reinforced.  We saw Horde in their Harpies come by a couple of times, but they didn’t want to close with us and were more than quick enough to stay out of our way.  We sat on a gate hoping to maybe catch them, but it wasn’t to be.

Sprawled about a gate in Pure Blind

At that point Asher sought to entertain us with story time in fleet.  He asked people to x-up in fleet chat if they met certain criteria for a miss-spent youth then called on people who did x-up to have them tell their story.

I thought this was going to be the time to go to the no-chatter channel, as the average person has trouble keeping stories of their life short and to the point.  My experience in life is that when somebody finally gets to the phrase, “to make a long story short…” it is far too late to hit any definition of the word “short.”

But Asher was a pretty good emcee for this, and kept people from getting too far into the weeds.  And we all learned about Jason Padgett, who became a mathematical savant after somebody beat him up.  Only one person ended up saying, “…to make a long story short…” at which point several people keyed up to say, “Too late!” as the tale had already rambled into the weeds.

The Forts repaired themselves and the hostiles didn’t look like they had much fight in them, so we flew off to reinforce a Pandemic Horde Astrahus, just to leave a calling card.  The Astrahus hadn’t even been fit yet, so we were able to knock it down through shield and armor.  Meanwhile, the “describe your crime” show went on.

After that we went over a couple of systems and shot a United Federation of Conifers Fortizar.  This had been fit, but nobody was home so we just put drones on it.  Then somebody from the UFC flew in to gun the Fort, so people who were paying attention pulled their drones.  Those who were asleep at the switch promptly lost their when the point defense system, the PDS, was switched on, wiping them all out.  So it was on to missiles to set the first timer.

Sacs firing away

Meanwhile the gunner started launching bombs at us, which woke logi up as we had to start repping people as they took damage.  I got  a good look at the logi wing around then, and was happy to see that my cap transfer buddies were both using the same SKIN I had chosen.

Cap buddies represent

Apparently we were shooting this because Brisc Rubal said on the Meta Show that he does not like the UFC, to the point that he has a coffee mug in support of his statement.  I guess they shoot at him or have some TISHU refugees or something.

Brisc, who will be running for CSM15 I hear

That kept us busy for a while, though at one point, just as we were done, M4X HEADR00M veered off and took a lot of damage from a bomb or the PDS or something got him.  It looked like the morale Vigil might go down.

Vigil in trouble!

However, he managed to survive by warping off.  At least I think he did.  I checked over on zKillboard and didn’t find a kill mail.

After that Asher warped us to one of the Guristas sites from The Hunt event, not knowing that you needed a key to get past it and had to be flying a destroyer or a frigate even if somebody had a key.

The Gate to nowhere

That lesson learned, we turned for home.  With just out fleet coming back we put less stain on CCP’s servers and did not invoke as much tidi as before.

Back home through Cloud Ring

Once you get through Cloud Ring it is just a few gates and you’re back home in Delve.

The last gate home

Overall the fleet lasted about three hours, which was kind of long.  We got two PAPs for it, which was good for those who need more.  And we even had the swarm DJ spinning for us, if you cared to tune him in. KarmaFleet has a regular Saturday Night Swarm op that usually includes him, but that had been cancelled in favor this.

It would have been better if we had gotten a fight, but it wasn’t too bad and the story time was amusing enough to keep us going.  And, of course, our structures were saved.  Op success.

Brisc Rubal Exonerated

If we are radio silent [on] something you know it is quality drama.

-Aryth, CSM 13 member, announcing the CCP post

Previously on season 13 of our favorite show, CSM Drama, the real life politician Brisc Rubal had been accused by a fellow CSM member of sharing confidential information with his corp mates, allowing them to enrich themselves.  For this CCP threw Brisc off of the CSM and banned all of his EVE Online accounts for life.

Council of Silly Messaging

Brisc protested his innocence, and he had his share of supporters.  But he also faced many jeers from those who mocked his carefully worded response as something a politician would do.

That quieted down after a bit.  After all, CCP had spoken.  They certainly would not make such a public accusation with such a severe penalty if they had not done a thorough investigation and were absolutely sure of the facts.

And then, of course, we found out that they did not, in fact, do a thorough investigation and, upon further reflection, announced that they needed to review the facts.

I described this as the “nightmare scenario,” a dramatic public pronouncement that they had to walk back, a situation that would leave nobody satisfied.  An actual investigation into the events would now take place.

Naturally, this made some people happy, Brisc no doubt included.  Others complained loudly about CCP, the CSM, and the unfairness of the world, where high profile players get second chances.

Now we have the final statement… at least I hope it is the final statement, but I thought the first statement would be final as well… from CCP after having completed an actual investigation.

Final Statement On Brisc Rubal Follow Up Investigation

Dear Citizens of New Eden,

Following on from our statement on April 17, we have completed our review of the Brisc Rubal investigation and determined that our initial findings were incorrect. Neither Brisc Rubal nor the other players implicated in this incident breached CCP’s confidentiality, the terms of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, or used privileged information to obtain an in-game advantage.

We made a mistake here and we offer our formal apologies. First, to Brisc Rubal and the two other players involved, both for making the allegations and for the disturbance and stress caused by the way in which we handled this situation. Second, for not collaborating with due care with the members of CSM 13, who have acted responsibly throughout. Lastly, we owe our sincere apology to the EVE community for this error. We take full responsibility for any confusion and mistrust caused by our initial assessment of the situation.

After reviewing our assessment of the information on which these allegations were based and having spoken repeatedly with everyone involved, it’s now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions. While we were motivated by a desire to protect the working relationship between the CSM and the EVE Development Team with all due speed, had we taken the time to review the information with greater scrutiny, this incident could have been resolved without the disruption that has since occurred.

We aim to make it up to all concerned. Right now, we are in the process of restoring access to the EVE Online accounts of all three affected players, returning any confiscated assets and providing rectification as appropriate. We will work to set this right and will be making changes to our procedures and policies to ensure this kind of situation does not reoccur.

Thank you for your understanding.

Basically, CCP was wrong, know they were wrong, admits they were wrong, and has announced that they were wrong.

I think any internal review of what happened… one hopes they have some internal feedback process, since the only way you learn from mistakes is to examine how they occurred and build in checks to ensure the don’t happen again… should focus on what happened that led to this phrase:

…it’s now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions.

Holy moly, they did all of that based on what now?  It sounds like they just took somebody’s word for it, not the way to go in a game where shading the truth and presenting points of view as fact are long standing aspects of the meta.

Naturally, the forum thread to discuss this final turn has much of what you would expect.  There are people at least mildly happy that CCP ended up with at the right decision, scorn for CCP jumping to conclusions, and an array of pundits wanting to know if everybody who got banned gets a review now.  The usual suspects preside.

In the end Brisc Rubal, whom CCP called out publicly, as well as Pandoralica and Dark Shines, the two unnamed alleged co-conspirators, have been cleared.  The “INIT 3” go free.  They get their account reactivated and their stuff back and probably some sort of “we’re sorry” gift for all of the trouble.

As for what Brisc will do now, he made a short statement on Twitter:

And so it goes.

Brisc will be appearing on the Open Comms Show, which you can find on the INN Twitch channel, tomorrow night at 18:00 Pacific time, 21:00 Eastern time, or 01:00 New Eden time.  There he and Dirk MacGirk and the Open Comms Show team will no doubt have much to say on the topic and many memes to share.

Naturally, other people are covering this story as expressing their opinions, though probably not as many as covered the initial bans.  Bans are news, retractions are not, so guess which will dominate Google search results when you look up Brisc Rubal going forward?

Other coverage:

Addendum:

And you know something isn’t really a thing on the internet until there is a Downfall parody of it.

 

Brisc Ban Nightmare Scenario

Invest in space popcorn!

-Bree Royce, Massively OP comment

Last week’s announcement from CCP that Brisc Rubal had been removed from CSM13 and his accounts permanently banned from EVE Online was a bit of a bolt out of the blue.  Many people were stunned.  Some were saddened that a CSM member who spent so much time trying to reach out to the community turned out to breaking the rules.  Others were less surprised that a lawyer and lobbyist… read politician… might somehow be corrupt.  Brisc had more than his share of detractors who were unhappy with his background, style, or lack of deep knowledge when it came to the mechanics of the game.  And being yet another null sec member of the CSM made him a target of opportunity for those who remain angry at the over representation on the body of that part of the game.

Remember when CSM13 seemed kind of drama free?

There has been current in the community that feels CCP doesn’t ban enough people, botters, RMTers, cheaters, or whoever.  But at least you could assume that this was because CCP was being very careful about handing out bans.  As I have said before, banning people who do not deserve it is the worst outcome as it is a very quick way to make a happy customer unhappy with your service.

So I was a bid dismayed by the CCP announcement yesterday:

Interim Statement on Brisc Rubal Follow-up Investigation

Last week, on April 8 2019, we announced the permanent banning of Brisc Rubal and their ejection from the Council of Stellar Management. We also issued one-year bans to two other players involved in this incident and confiscated their associated in-game assets and ISK.

Following this statement, we have held further discussions with the affected parties. We have also been conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence available to us and evaluate our handling of the situation. We intend to share a full follow-up statement next week.

Transparency, fairness and trust is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’re issuing this brief update while also taking the time to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation. We understand that there are many questions lingering over the incident, and we want to assure you that we take this matter very seriously. Both the sanctity of the CSM and the relationship we have with our players is of paramount importance to CCP.

As should be expected, we will issue a full and frank apology for any mistakes for which we are responsible, as well as provide appropriate reparations to those affected by any erroneous actions we’ve taken.

Wait, what?

My assumption that CCP would have done a full and thorough investigation before leveling accusations and banning a member of the CSM in a very public fashion was apparently wrong.

This has, of course, opened a can of worms.  The forum thread for responses to the dev blog gives a view into the spectrum of responses to this revelation.

Some people are happy that the whole affair is getting a review, perhaps ignoring the implications the need for said review for the moment.

Others are immediately hitting on the fairness issue.  If you’re banned by CCP they tend to not be very responsive to inquiries after that.  But now Brisc is getting his case reviewed.  Is that because he is:

  • Popular?
  • A CSM member?
  • From Null Sec?
  • A Goon?
  • A Lawyer?
  • Kicking back some of that sweet, sweet RMT money?
  • The real victim here?

And then there is the question about how we got here.  This whole affair was set off, according to CCP, based on information “brought to us by the CSM themselves.”  While that sounds like an all-inclusive phrase, I suspect that 9 members of the CSM turned as one and pointed a finger at Brisc.

The CSM 13 cast of characters

The problem with the CSM being a mostly null sec entity is the real possibility of null sec politics entering into things.  We saw in the past information sufficient to have a CSM candidate remove from the ballot leaked out, allegedly because he was a proponent of shield supers and a group heavily invested in armor supers did not want that voice in the ear of CCP.

So, while we will likely never find out, one wonders if the information provided to CCP was simply incorrect, misunderstood, exaggerated, or deliberately planted.

And none of this reflects well on CCP.  If, after an investigation, CCP sticks with their initial decision, they’ve only managed to look incompetent in the eyes of the community.  And if they revoke the ban, well then they are really incompetent, showing favoritism, and whatever other conspiracy theories you care to spin.

Plus, what does Brisc do then?  Is he back on the CSM?  Does he run for CSM14?  Does he wash his hands of all of this and just remain a regular guest on the Open Comms show?

There is word that the elections for CSM14 are coming soon, and this will no doubt cast an additional pall over what some already consider a suspect organization.

Back when the ban was first announced there were jokes thrown around about wanting to see the Mueller Report on the incident.  And now there actually will be a follow up report!   And what we will end up hearing will likely be an extremely redacted version of it which will, as in real life, only lead to more questions and people jumping to conclusions.

Not a bright and shiny spring day for the team at CCP.

I stated in my own blog post that after the initial Dev Blog we would hear no more about this from CCP.  I was certainly wrong on that count.

Other coverage of this:

Brisc Rubal Removed from CSM13 and Banned from EVE Online

Update:  After this CCP reviewed the initial evidence, then overturned the ban, restored all assets, and apologized to Brisc.

I thought the CSM might be past the whole “somebody gets kicked every year” routine, but here we are again, only well beyond the usual removal scenario.

Never far from drama

Earlier today an EVE Online Dev Blog by CCP Dopamine was posted announcing the following:

Brisc Rubal has been found to be sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct illicit in-game transactions.

[CCP has since removed the dev blog, so the link now points to the Internet Archive.]

The results of this finding were reported to be:

  • Brisc Rubal has been removed from his role as a CSM 13 representative effective immediately and will not be able to run in any future CSM elections.
  • All his in-game accounts have been permanently banned from the game.
  • Two other players involved in this incident have received a one-year ban.
  • All the illicit assets and ISK gained from this incident have been confiscated.

According to the Dev Blog, the information that led up to these actions came from CSM members concerned about the integrity of the institution.

As is customary with this sort of situation, CCP has declined to include any details as to what actually transpired.  Brisc Rubal responded on Twitter stating that he did not know why he had been banned:

For those asking, I do not know why I was banned from EVE and removed from the CSM. I have asked for clarification and have received none. I categorically deny any wrongdoing and look forward to clearing my name and having my reputation restored.

Being a politician in real life, there was no shortage of quips in response to his statement.

Brisc Rubal also appeared on an impromptu episode of Talking in Stations with several current and former CSM members to talk about the situation.  When the recording for that is posted you can listed to the discussion that came about.

While people being removed from the CSM has not been an uncommon occurrence in the past, and even insider trading has come up before, but seeing a CSM member removed from the council and having their accounts permanently banned from the game might be a new low for the institution.

I suspect that we won’t hear anything further from CCP on the topic unless they uncover compelling evidence that causes them to change their decision.  CCP isn’t a civil government and you sign away all your rights when you accept the end user license agreement and terms of service, and probably all the more so when you sign the NDA as a member of the CSM.

Still, there is an odd mention near the end of the Dev Blog:

Some additional steps to help prevent similar conduct in future will be implemented. Starting from the next summit, we will impose a rule that prohibits electronics during CSM sessions and will take extra time to educate everyone about confidentiality, insider trading and general do’s and don’ts when it comes to operating under NDA.

I don’t know how electronic devices enter into this affair, and likely never will, but it is interesting that it is brought up specifically.

And then there is the question of a replacement.  Often when a CSM member is removed the next person in votes from the election is tapped to join the council.  However, the Dev Blog notes at the end that the CSM14 elections are “approaching fast.”  Though there hasn’t been an official announcement yet or a timeline laid out, I suspect that this means that it is too late in the CSM13 term to bother bringing somebody new on board.  The summits have happened already and a new election is in the offing.

Finally, in a moment of either good or bad timing, depending on how you look at it, MMORPG.com published a long post about the CSM this morning that goes into some of the ups and downs of the council.  The post has since had today’s events appended.

Other coverage: