Tag Archives: mmorpg.com

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:

This Just In: People Love The Following Games

The start of the year end lists is upon us.

I saw over on Sneaky Hobbits that Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online was the number one entry MMORPG.COM’s user ratings for 2009.

That, in and of itself, is not controversial in my mind.  LOTRO is a good game built on the hugely popular Middle-earth lore, Turbine has been dedicated to improving the game over time, and it has a loyal user base.

But, of course, the prospect of a list was too much to resist.  I like a good list… and love a bad list even more so some days, so I decided to see where other games fell.

Here are the top 33, which represent all of the games ranked 8.0 or better out of a scale of 1 to 10.

  1. Lord of the Rings Online 8.38
  2. Atlantica Online 8.30
  3. EVE Online 8.29
  4. Fallen Earth 8.28
  5. EverQuest II 8.26
  6. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes 8.25
  7. Guild Wars8.23
  8. Ryzom 8.23
  9. Warhammer Online 8.23
  10. Dark Age of Camelot 8.22
  11. Guild Wars Factions 8.22
  12. Final Fantasy XI 8.22
  13. Guild Wars Nightfall 8.21
  14. Perfect World 8.20
  15. City of Villains 8.20
  16. City of Heroes 8.20
  17. The Chronicles of Spellborn 8.20
  18. Champions Online 8.16
  19. Ultima Online 8.15
  20. Runes of Magic 8.13
  21. Lineage 2 8.09
  22. Requiem: Bloodymare 8.08
  23. Anarchy Online 8.08
  24. EverQuest 8.08
  25. PlanetSide 8.07
  26. Asheron’s Call 8.07
  27. Sword of the New World 8.06
  28. World of Warcraft 8.06
  29. Dungeons & Dragons Online 8.04
  30. Dekaron 8.02
  31. Battleground Europe 8.02
  32. ROSE Online 8.01
  33. Cabal 8.00

That is an… interesting list.

When you consider that the difference we’re talking about here, the gap between a rating of 8.0 and a rating of 8.38, is about the same as the difference between a B and a B-, you can assume that these games are all enjoyed by groups of players who each think about as highly of their game of choice.

These games are all equal to their users in some very abstract sense.

Yes, I know we’re looking at an epic mis-use of statistics with bad, and probably inadequate, samples, self-selecting respondents, no weight given to number of respondents, no range of responses shown, and no indication of the gap, if any, between professional reviews and these player reviews.  So you have to take that in stride when you look at this.

Now when any one of us goes over that list, I’m sure we all see something on there that makes us go, “No way.”

For example, I see Requiem: Bloodymare on that list and frown slightly.  I played the game for a bit and never mentioned it, thinking that was exactly how much coverage it deserved.  But somebody likes it.  Several somebodies in fact, enough to get it an 8.08 score on this list, putting it ever so slightly ahead of World of Warcraft.

I’m probably less surprised by the games that made it to 8.0 or greater than those that did not.  Wizard 101, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Aion fell just shy of the 8.0 mark, while Darkfall, with an ever vocal community, was way down the list with a score of 7.09.  No doubt a forum post will fix that. (“Go vote for us!” posts are perfectly acceptable in my opinion.)

How about your favorite game?  Did it score above 8.0?

Best MMO Expansion in 2008?

MMORPG.com has their yearly reader’s choice awards going.  Normally I am only mildly interested in these sorts of things, and usually only because I like to see what was included or excluded.  But one of the categories, Best MMO Expansion in 2008 got me thinking about some of the great content the industry has put out this year for games already on the market.

The choices MMORPG.com has listed are:

  • Empyrean Age (EVE Online)
  • Mines of Moria (Lord of the Rings Online)
  • Seeds of Destruction (EverQuest)
  • The Shadow Odyssey (EverQuest II)
  • Wrath of the Lich King (World of Warcraft)

In an odd inversion of the usual situation, the expansion that interests me the least is the one for the game I am playing the most of late, The Shadow Odyssey.  This is mostly because I am starting out on a new server, so the only expansion content I get is the bear mount. Nice, but not exactly a deal closer.

On the flip side, the expansion I am most interested in is for the game I play the least, Lord of the Rings Online.  The Mines of Moria expansion sounds very exciting.  As a Tolkien fan, I really want to see how Turbine did the mines.  Unfortunately, my highest level character in LOTRO is 30, so I cannot just go explore, I have to do some work to get there.

And, in a very close second place for me is Wrath of the Lich King.  Blizzard did… well…. their usual great job and the weekly group is digging into the expansion and enjoying it quite a bit.

Which leaves me with a few questions.

Which expansion(s) did MMORPG.com miss?

Which expansion is doing it for you and why?

Am I playing the wrong game?