So for those of you watching this monkey show, you may have noticed that CCP released this dev blog which was chatting about Overlays and some RMT related shenanigans. However this had the unexpected effect of driving a very loud portion of the EVE players into frenzied hysterics about being banned for doing something they were not sure was now legal or not.
For those of you who did not see the first Dev Blog here it is:
As we receive questions about overlays and EVE Online every now and then we want to use this opportunity to further clarify our Third Party Policy on the topic.
“We do not endorse or condone the use of any third party applications or other software that modifies the client or otherwise confers an unfair benefit to players. We may, in our discretion, tolerate the use of applications or other software that simply enhance player enjoyment in a way that maintains fair gameplay. For instance, the use of programs that provide in-game overlays (Mumble, Teamspeak) is not something we plan to actively police at this time. However, if any third party application or other software is used to gain any unfair advantage, or for purposes beyond its intended use, or if the application or other software violates other parts of the EULA, we may fully enforce our rights to prohibit such use, including player bans. Please use such third party applications or other software at your own risk.”
Let’s go over this paragraph and have a look at the meaning of the important sentences:
1) We do not endorse or condone the use of any third party applications or other software that modifies the client or otherwise confers an unfair benefit to players.
– In short: Do NOT use any tools/applications/modifications which either modify the client in any way OR provide you any kind of unfair benefit/advantage.
2) We may, in our discretion, tolerate the use of applications or other software that simply enhance player enjoyment in a way that maintains fair gameplay.
– AS LONG AS it’s fair to everybody – neither you nor anybody else gets any unfair advantage – we are fine with it.
3) For instance, the use of programs that provide in-game overlays (Mumble, Teamspeak) is not something we plan to actively police at this time.
– This is an example of something we do NOT consider unfair, for now. This also includes other in-game overlays which do NOT grant you any unfair advantage. We do not consider it an unfair advantage if you can see who is currently talking in your voice communication tool via the means of an in-game overlay. We also do NOT consider it unfair if you use other comfort overlays which do not affect how the game is played. This includes overlays for chat and IM applications, the Steam overlay, and Web-Browser overlays for example.
4) However, if any third party application or other software is used to gain any unfair advantage, or for purposes beyond its intended use, or if the application or other software violates other parts of the EULA, we may fully enforce our rights to prohibit such use, including player bans.
– We do consider overlays using elements of a second or multiple other EVE clients to be against the rules. It changes the way the game is played and grants the player unfair advantages over other players. For example, having overviews from other EVE clients as overlays on one EVE client would allow a player to get real time intel from all those other game instances without having to switch to the other windows. Similarly, overlays using elements from a second or multiple other EVE clients to allow the player to activate modules etc. on those other game instances without switching to the other client windows are clearly in violation of our rules.
5) Please use such third party applications or other software at your own risk.
– Please be aware of the fact that we do a lot of data analysis which grants us insight into behavior patterns and allows us to detect anomalies. In a lot of cases we do not need to know what you do on the client side because looking at the behavior in our very detailed event logs on the server side allows us to see if you have/had an unfair advantage over anybody else including the game environment. We don’t know all the tools out there and what they do exactly – and frankly we don’t care. If you get banned, then this is because the results of what you did and how you potentially gained from it manifested in our server-side logs.
Now CCP very graciously provided us with an explanation to some of the more reasonable questions about the clarification of CCPs overlay and input policies:
Thanks everyone for your feedback!
Here are our comments to the points raised. We think this should answer most of the questions in the thread.
First, nothing has changed. This is not an update to our rules and policies but rather a clarification.
Dart Aurel wrote:
There are 2 questions regarding windows switching policy points:
1. Is it prohibited to have 2 clients open and visible each on its own monitor?
2. I play EVE Online under Linux + Wine. Also I have tiled WM (xmonad) which allows to switch windows really fast (<50ms delay). Is this fair use or is it an exploit?
1. Surprise, we are not banning monitors. Assuming all EVE Clients are used as shipped by CCP then this is fine.
2. We do not see any issues with this. Switching between the EVE Client windows is part of regular and very welcome multiboxing. Being good at it is not a ban-able offense Big smile
Mail Lite wrote:
Just wanted to check with you about ‘Pirates Little Helper’.
It is a programme were you CTRL-A CTRL+C in local and it brings it up out of game, you get little icons which show what militia they are in, whether they are known to be link toons or whether they USE link toons. It also shows how many of each corp/alliance or in local without trolling though them.
It gives you instant access to their KB, their last KB activity and what their 3 favourite ships are. It also gives the average number of pilots on all of their killmails (good for identifying gangs/bait)
Can you confirm this is something that is ok to use?
Applications/tools that do modify the client, do extract or try to interpret any information from within the clients window, do interact with the client (sending data/keystrokes to the client window), do inject anything into the clients memory or try to interact with the client in any way which cannot be achieved without using said applications/tools, are not allowed. As of today, the tool you are asking about, ‘Pirates Little Helper’, is a stand alone application which does not do any of the above to/with the EVE Client and we therefore do not see any reason to outlaw its usage.
Koz Katral wrote:
But what about eve preview? in theory it should be ok because it doesn’t isolate any individual elements and just displays the entire client window.
Overlays which contain a full, unchanged, EVE Client instance in a view only mode, no matter how large or small they are scaled, like it is done by EVE-O Preview as of today, are fine with us. These overlays do not allow any direct interaction with the EVE Client and you have to bring the respective EVE Client to the front/put the window focus on it, in order to interact with it.
Nikolai Agnon wrote:
Summarized question: Am I allowed to have specific EVE Client windows pinned to all of my virtual desktops in order to, for example, keep the EVE Clients with my scout Characters in my line of sight at any point in time and no matter on which virtual desktop I am?
Matthew Reddy wrote:
Can i use ISBoxer for window management as long as i do not broadcast?. Can i get a clear answer on this.
Yes, window management, of unmodified/untampered EVE Client windows, is allowed using ISBoxer or any other applications/tools.
Papa Django wrote:
A last question, is your detection methodology takes account about pvp or not ? I do not do pvp anymore. I do industry and trade. What kind of “unfair advantages” could i have in this case ?
All activity within the game world is subject to our detection methodology. With all players on a single server and in direct competition with each other even your trade and industry activities are PvP. Any type of automation would give you unfair advantages, for example.
Knitram Relik wrote:
“For your honesty and cooperation, which is sincerely appreciated, you will not be banned. Other actions will be determined on a case by case basis.”
I doubt you’ll get many people to tell on themselves for RMT unless they are 110% guaranteed no ban, negative account balance, etc. I figure they’ve already taken the risk and gotten away with it (or so they think). Why take a chance and tell on themselves unless they KNOW nothing bad will come of it?
We will not ban you if you come forward with useful and actionable information.
A Nony Mouse wrote:
How will you differentiate between operating systems which allow overlay like behaviour for task switching and overlay tools. Windows 10 for example lets you see multiple windows in large enough thumbnails to read and monitor just by pressing Windows + Tab.
We do not necessarily need to differentiate between different systems. If the logs show activity that should not be possible through normal means, we will take action.
Say I have eight screens next to each other in a 2×4 grid, and several of them are scouts in neighboring systems, or cloaked on every hole in a wormhole chain. I don’t use any client overlays because they’re all side by side and I can see them just fine. Am I breaking rules about unfair advantages?
We are not banning monitors. Assuming all EVE Clients are used as shipped by CCP then this is fine
Lucas Kell wrote:
As an example, this is something that is readily achievable with EVE-O preview. Would as setup like this be against the EULA?
Having many clients visible at the same time is not something we intend to ban.
Also, a lot of people have asked for lists of allowed applications/tools.
We cannot sanction 3rd party programs that we do not create or have any control over. Period. We may tolerate the use of applications or tools that enhance your enjoyment of the game. This is done at our discretion and only as long as no unfair advantages are gained by you or others by the use of said applications or tools.
Thank you for your attention and fly safe!