CCP has reworded EVE’s Terms of Service to make clarifications about character impersonation. The new ToS states:
You may not impersonate or present yourself to be a representative of CCP or an EVE Online volunteer. You may not impersonate or falsely present yourself to be a representative of another player, group of players, character or NPC entity.
This was changed from “You may not impersonate or present yourself to be a representative of CCP or an EVE Online volunteer.”
In a game rife with player scamming, and actually famous because of it, CCP is effectively curtailing how much scamming one is allowed to do. The change in the ToS makes it clear that one can’t attempt to convince another player that he or she is part of a group that he/she is not. The old scam of claiming to be a Goonswarm recruiting agent is clearly a bannable offense.
While the terms regarding character impersonations are really nothing new, the wording of the new Terms of Service leaves a lot of gray area. Let’s examine some scenarios:
- Pilot A messages Pilot B and convinces him that he is a corp spy. Pilot A leads Pilot B into a waiting fleet whereupon he is ganked in a fiery blaze. Under the new wording, Pilot A may be in violation of the ToS for claiming to be a spy for a corporation when he was not.
- Pilot A sparks a conversation with Pilot B promising him that in return for 200 million ISK, he can guarantee safe passage through TEST space. Under the new wording, Pilot A may be in violation of the ToS for presenting himself as a representative of TEST Alliance.
When I enter New Eden, I, like many others, expect to enter a world of scum and villainy. To weaken that aspect only serves to weaken EVE’s main appeal to many.
CCP states that they will review each instance on a “case-by-case” basis, which really means it is up to the interpretation of a specific GM, and dependent on their mood or how much investigating they care to do. This will inevitably lead to variations on judgments where there should be none, and the eventual need for further review of the ToS.
To add to the confusion, GM Karidor added:
Acting with a character on behalf of another entity (NPC or player run) that the character is not a member of can, and will, be interpreted as impersonation within our policies in cases of conflict, even if the player eventually has a member alt. (Emphasis added)
That’s right. If you are part of a player corp, but logged in on another character, yet still claim to represent that corporation, you may be in violation of the ToS.
I understand how facsimile toons and creating intentionally misleading corp names may harm the game. However, I don’t see how the ToS update helps it. By attempting to clarify what we are allowed to do, they have only muddied the waters.