I received an urgent message from Viral Anguis, who accused four Agents of violating EVE's Terms of Service. The EVEmail shocked me, since I've known those four to be good and decent people. But if there was any truth to the accusation, bans could be incoming. Since I had nothing better to do at the time, I had no choice but to investigate the matter.
Less than an hour earlier, Viral Anguis lost a Mackinaw to the four Agents named in the EVEmail. Importantly, the kill took place in the Akiainavas system--which brings us to the CCP article on "Rookie Griefing" linked by Viral.
Though it has 0.7 security status, Akiainavas is listed as a "Career Agent" system. Here's what CCP's article says about Akiainavas and other systems like it:
"A number of systems in which new players typically start are deemed 'Rookie System' [sic] and in these systems (listed below) a measure of protection is offered to new players...Although there are quite a few systems listed on that page--too many, really--the good news is that the special rules only apply to new players.
"Attempting to abuse a new players [sic] lack of knowledge of the game and its mechanic [sic] for your personal gain or simply for their harm is prohibited in these solar systems. This includes, but is not limited to; [sic] tricking new players into situations where you or others may open fire on them freely or scamming ISK or assets from them. Players are advised to reconsider any aggressive action against new players in the following systems..." (emphasis added)
This raised a question of the utmost importance: Was Viral Anguis a new player?
Three thousand days is a long time to be a new player. Nice hat, by the way.
As they say, there are two sides to every story. One of the sides is false, and is usually sent to me by carebears through EVEmail. The other side is the true one. That side I get from our Agents. They keep logs.
Viral was immediately hostile upon meeting our Agents and experiencing their elite PvP.
...And it wasn't long before he started space lawyering.
Though Viral had lost his Mackinaw, he was confident that he'd win the meta game. All it would take was one good petition.
The miner was agitated and, frankly, paranoid. He may have had some sort of addiction to illicit ore, which would explain why he was still mining in highsec after eight years.
Viral's "newbie" disguise didn't hold up for very long. Apparently he assumed our Agents wouldn't check his profile.
Despite being unmasked as a veteran, Viral was committed to his course. It was too late to turn back now.
Viral was extraordinarily stubborn. It didn't matter that he'd been in EVE for eight years. He had insisted that he would get our Agents banned for scamming a rookie. All he could do was double down on that claim. This meant that there was a very real possibility that he would need to repeatedly humiliate himself in a lengthy conversation with our Agents.
The miner linked the very article that exonerated our Agents by specifying "new players" over and over. He urged them to read it. Unfortunately for the miner, they did.
Having lost his ship in battle, Viral was anxious to win the war of words. Could he persuade our Agents that trying to sell him a mining permit was a violation of the rules that protect "new players"?
To be continued...