Friday, November 30, 2018

The Phantom Provision

I've taken to calling it the "Phantom Provision".

You know how it goes: A miner gets ganked by an Agent, the Agent tells him to buy a mining permit, and the miner claims that the Agent didn't follow his own Code. This same miner--who previously pretended to be totally ignorant of the Code--goes on to lecture the Agent about a miner's right to warned prior to the gank. "You have to ask me if I'm AFK," says the miner. "It's in your Code."

The miner's whining doesn't stop there, of course. His appeal to the Phantom Provision is only the beginning of his complaining, threatening, and dissembling. "I'm a new [returning] player," says the miner. "I don't have 10 million isk." Which is quickly followed by (never mind the contradiction): "I would've paid if you had asked first."

Miners are natural liars--hence their need for the Code and its enforcers to keep them in check. Yet the lie of the Phantom Provision is one of their more interesting lies. It's certainly among the most common, which is one of the reasons why it's so interesting. Somehow, some way, miners from all over the globe manage to pluck the same nonexistent provision from out the ether.

There are a number of theories as to the origin of the Phantom Provision. Some say that the Phantom Provision evolved from a misinterpretation of the anti-AFK provision in the Code:
"No AFK mining allowed. All miners are expected to remain at their keyboards at all times, and are required to prove their presence by responding in local when requested by the Supreme Protector or one of his Agents."
If this clause is indeed the inspiration for the Phantom Provision, the phenomenon is no less extraordinary. Consider what the Code looks like, at first, to someone who has never read it:

Isn't it amazing that so many miners are able to zero-in on precisely the same passage and misinterpret it in precisely the same way? There's so much in the Code, yet that one provision, in theory, attracts their attention like a magnet and doesn't let go.

Of course, the miners would prefer it if our Agents were required to, essentially, ask a miner's permission before ganking him. When they're honest, the miners admit they know this isn't the case.

The Phantom Provision is closely linked to the idea that a miner shouldn't be considered unlicensed unless he is specifically invited to purchase a permit and refuses. This delusion was memorably rebuked in a MinerBumping post from all the way back in 2014:
"Even the new miners know about the Code. The New Order's presence is too big to ignore, even for a bot-aspirant. They don't need a 'warning' before they get ganked. They've already been warned. Carebears of highsec, the time for warnings is over. The time for payment has come."
Indeed, the letter of the Code and the enforcement of the Code in practice have both been consistent on this matter from the very beginning: Miners who violate the Code face punishment. Their responsibility to obey the Code does not begin after an Agent interacts with them; it begins from the moment they log in.

Even so, budding space lawyers continue to press their case in favor of mandatory AFK checks before a gank may occur. Let's take another look at the provision assumed to be the source of the carebears' confusion:
"No AFK mining allowed. All miners are expected to remain at their keyboards at all times, and are required to prove their presence by responding in local when requested by the Supreme Protector or one of his Agents."
(Side note: So many years into the Code era, it's difficult to fully appreciate just how revolutionary this provision was when it was first written in 2012. A ban on AFK mining in highsec! Thank goodness for the Code.)

In addition to banning AFK mining, the provision requires miners to respond in local when requested. The key phrase: In addition. The second sentence expands the miner's responsibilities, rather than limiting them. It doesn't give a miner permission to engage in AFK mining on the occasions when no one speaks to him in local.

Nor does the provision require an Agent to speak to a miner in local. There are many different methods an Agent can use in order to determine whether a miner is AFK. The Code simply requires a miner to cooperate if an Agent chooses to speak to him in local. There are good reasons why an Agent might choose alternative methods. For starters, bots can be programmed to respond in local.

...Which brings me to another point. The Code also prohibits botting. A miner who uses a macro mining program can be ganked even if he's at his keyboard. Likewise, a miner may be ganked for violating any other provision of the Code. The Code is not a menu. Carebears must obey all of it.

You'd think that miners would understand this, but clearly they don't: Virtually every miner who cites the Phantom Provision also lacks a mining permit. The lack of a permit is grounds for termination, regardless of whether the miner was AFK. Logically, an unlicensed miner should never complain about not being given an AFK check, but time and time again, they demand reimbursement.

Perhaps these miners believe that the permits give them permission to mine AFK. In their wickedness, they may reason among themselves, "I can pay 10 million isk for the right to AFK mine, but otherwise, I must remain at my keyboard. As long as I respond to an Agent in local chat, I cannot be ganked."

That would be a foul and demented Code. After all, it would imply that all of a miner's obligations under the Code can be purchased away with 10 million isk. What about the rule against botting? A miner could claim that the permits are a license to bot. Can you imagine the public outcry?

No, ours is a just Code. Miners, if you disobey any provision of the Code, it is right and just and good when you get ganked.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Over One Trillion Six Hundred Twenty-One Billion in Shares Sold

We've written a fair bit about corporate responsibility and how a corp can be a good citizen of highsec. With diffusion of responsibility an ever-present issue in large groups, one point on the subject must never be forgotten: Corporate responsibility begins with responsible corp members.

Wade Wi1son is the newest member of New Order Logistics, a proud member corp of the mighty CODE. alliance. It would seem that Wade knows how to make a good first impression. His purchase of 1,000 shares on behalf of the corp took us past the 1,621 billion isk mark and earned NOL a Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™.

Now imagine if everyone in highsec did the same thing whenever they joined a corp?


A few weeks ago, we took a tour of the banners used by MinerBumping over the years. We also discovered that one of the original banner designers, Medar Uith, had contributed an additional three banners to the site--and to EVE as a whole.

Did you notice that MinerBumping is flying a new banner? Of course you did. It was the first thing that caught your attention as soon as you loaded the website. And you couldn't take your eyes off of it, either. That's a good banner.

This is the second of the three new ones created by Medar. Good art sends a message. This banner speaks to the New Order's proud spirit of defiance against bot-aspirancy and carebearism. EVE was well on its way to ruin until our Agents stood up and fought back.

The final banner, which has not yet been revealed, is also amazing. When the time is right, it, too, shall be emblazoned across the MinerBumping header.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Rus to Judgment

If a miner won't buy a permit after you gank him...

...Gank him again. Even after losing his first Retriever, EFREM1986 EFREMOV was stubbornly non-compliant. He was ganked again the next day--in the exact same asteroid belt. Suddenly, he became talkative.

Agent Slutzilla was treated to a message from the formerly silent miner. Unfortunately, it was in Russian, so our Agent couldn't tell whether the miner was asking for permission to buy a permit.

(In case you didn't catch the joke, dear reader.)

EFREM1986 was too proud and too stubborn to buy a permit. Naturally, he was also too proud and stubborn to speak English. But Slutzilla held her ground. All communications must take place in the Agent's language of choice.

It was a test of wills. Who would break?

The miner broke. It was either that or risk having another Retriever break.

Though EFREM1986 didn't speak English fluently, Google Translate has always been good at conveying a miner's anger.

EFREM1986 was his own worst enemy. The miner's golden opportunity to become Code-compliant was quickly slipping through his fingers.

For all her generosity and kindness, Agent Slutzilla chose not to pamper the miner; she spoke to him frankly. Apparently this caused EFREM1986 to slip back into Russian. The miner also sent off a series of rapid-fire messages:

I can improve upon Google's translation: "My loss has already been replaced. I didn't want that ship anyway. One day I will have my revenge."

EFREM1986 was not yet willing to purchase a mining permit. After all, some miners need to be ganked three times. Or more.

Slutzilla didn't receive any more mail from EFREM1986, so she courteously gave him the mark of 315 and moved on to the next miner. In highsec, there's always someone else in need of an Agent's assistance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Round to the Nearest 315

It was a classic "miner meets Agent" tale.

Joksz Hakaari met Agent Minx Mattel. Our Agent didn't approve of what Joksz was doing--in Halaima, of all places--so naturally Minx killed her. Joksz didn't want to be ganked again, so she bought a mining permit for 10 million isk.

...But she didn't mean it.

A bot-aspirant with a permit is still a bot-aspirant, so it was inevitable that Joksz would get her permit revoked. It didn't take long. Joksz couldn't bring herself to wear her permit proudly. She had some weird need to keep her bio exactly the way she wanted it, without regard for anyone else. Without regard for civilization.

Civilization has a way of making itself felt, though. Joksz was surprised to find that her character profile had been altered, in a way, without her permission: There was a bounty on her for 1,315,315 isk.

Ah, the mark of 315. Our Agents have been using it for years.

The passage of time hasn't diminished its potency, either.

The minimum bounty that you can place on a character is 100,000 isk. This has made 315,315 isk bounties extremely popular--and affordable. If a character already has a bounty, an additional amount can be placed so that the bounty's new total ends with 315.

Anyone can place a bounty on anyone. Though not the ganker himself, Agent Ichiroh Hemphill saw fit to bestow the mark of 315 upon Joksz. Look at Ichiroh's smile. It speaks to the satisfaction he gets from helping a lot of people.

Most carebears bristle at receiving any bounty at all. You would be surprised by how many miners have a special dislike for non-round numbers. Or maybe it's to be expected that bot-aspirants prefer the company of 1's and 0's. (Except when it's a 1 followed by 7 zeros. Then they get allergic.)

Joksz whined. It's as if she thought she could manipulate the system by working around the rules. Sorry, miners, you're not that clever. There is no workaround for the Code. There is only total, absolute, unwavering compliance.

When given a bounty, the miner usually can't get rid of it; that would require seeking out PvP. The only answer to that nagging "315" is to spend money on an even larger bounty.

Joksz chose to even out her bounty. Perhaps doing so had a calming effect on her. Nevertheless, another mark of 315 is just 100,315 isk away. And anyone could put it there.

Why yes, dear reader, precisely like that!

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Interactive Lecture, Part 3

Previously, on MinerBumping... Agent Siegfried Cohenberg bump-tackled Aldur Aldent's freighter. A mysterious stranger named Amadeo Giannini came to Aldur's rescue by offering to open up a duel that would allow him to web Aldur's freighter to safety. Unexpectedly, Amadeo chose to attack the freighter instead of freeing it. However, rather than destroying the freighter, Amadeo suggested that Aldur eject from it.
Aldur Aldent > I knew it.
Amadeo Giannini > what did you know?
Aldur Aldent > that you would attack me.
Aldur Aldent > that you were lying again.
Aldur ejected from the freighter with the hope that Amadeo would hand him a promised 2.5 billion isk payment. If Aldur detected hints of any funny business, he'd board the freighter again. But then this happened:

Amadeo podded him and took the freighter.

With the Obelisk firmly under his control, Amadeo was now in a position to inspect the ship for contraband. The podding was an unfortunate surprise, but would Amadeo at least give Aldur the 2.5 billion isk?
Aldur Aldent > dude, all of my isk was tied up in that load.
Aldur Aldent > you have literally robbed me of everything i had.
Amadeo Giannini > Don't worry Im gonna pay you
Aldur Aldent > i dont believe you.
One of the things that the people of highsec have learned over the years is that in order to benefit from New Order rule, faith is required--preferably full faith. Aldur distrusted Amadeo at every turn, and his negative thoughts seemed to be manifesting themselves like some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Amadeo Giannini > Look all you need to do is write a mail to James 315. explaining what happened, and he will send you the 2.5b
Amadeo Giannini > I've already sent him the money with what needs to be done, and he'll get it all settled.
Amadeo Giannini > Think of it a giant learning experience and a fun day of eve online
Aldur Aldent > what the hell does that mean?
Luckily for Aldur, Amadeo was still committed to giving the freighter pilot the promised 2.5 billion isk payment. Subject to certain terms and conditions, that is.
Amadeo Giannini > James 315 Write a mail to this guy, titled, 2.5b reinbursement.
Amadeo Giannini > And write like a summary of what happened here
Aldur Aldent > you said you will pay me.
Amadeo Giannini > I sent him the isk already with a note saying to give it to you if he receives a mail
Amadeo Giannini > Yes, I am paying you. Its just a bit more convoluted
Yes, there was a catch, Amadeo conceded. But compared to the payout, it was negligible.
Aldur Aldent > why?
Amadeo Giannini > You'll see why when James 315 replies to you.
Aldur Aldent > why cant you just send it to me?
Amadeo Giannini > Well I would, but I already sent it to James 315 . You're going to have to appeal to him for the money
With the funds already gone, Amadeo was no longer capable of just handing it over to Aldur. He was in an ironclad bargaining position.
Amadeo Giannini > Oh and when you write the mail, can you CC me it as well? Just to make sure it is written correctly.
Amadeo Giannini > I mean you dont lose anything by writing a mail, you just need to type for a bit.
Amadeo Giannini > You're ALMOST there
Aldur Aldent > there.
Aldur gritted his teeth. I'm guessing.

Aldur's message was dripping with pessimism. He confessed that he had absolutely no faith in Amadeo. He just knew he was going to be ripped off.
Aldur Aldent > how long will this take? or is it really anothere scam?
Amadeo Giannini > Its not another scam
Aldur Aldent > it feels like it. i also feel like im going to be recieving some sort of lecture about how i shouldnt have been flying a freighter.
Then, at last, the other shoe dropped. All along, Aldur had feigned ignorance of the Code. At no point did he ever hint that he knew he was supposed to be carrying a New Order permit. But his remark here laid the truth bare. He was guilty. And he knew it.
Aldur Aldent > whats the rest of this scam?
Amadeo Giannini > Its not a scam
Aldur Aldent > then what is it?
Amadeo Giannini > Its a reinbursement letter
Aldur Aldent > was it good enough?
Amadeo Giannini > hm
Aldur invited Amadeo to judge the contents of the letter he'd sent. Amadeo opened up the EVEmail.
Amadeo Giannini > You may want to rewrite it so it isnt quite negative.
Aldur Aldent > its not negative. its straight forward. and succinct.
Amadeo Giannini > Well maybe more positive.
Aldur Aldent > kid, im too old for bullshit. if its a flowery itteration of how wrong i was, or how excited i was to be taught a lesson, you aint getting it sunny.
Aldur Aldent > you taught me something, but im not going to be excited about the experience.
Amadeo gave the freighter pilot some more good advice. As usual, Aldur ignored it.

Let us now consider the matter of the 2.5 billion isk. Shall I grant Aldur his request?

You know, it's a funny thing. I was going to give him the isk, but now I won't. You see, something was missing. Remember when Aldur claimed that Amadeo had taken everything he had?
Aldur Aldent > dude, all of my isk was tied up in that load.
Aldur Aldent > you have literally robbed me of everything i had.
Ah yes, that's right. Yet it wasn't entirely true. We know this because...

Before the duel was accepted, Amadeo had given the freighter pilot 10 million isk as a show of trust. We know that Aldur had 10 million isk. Which, as it turns out, is precisely the amount needed for the purchase of one New Order mining permit. If he had only taken that money and bought a permit, I would have gladly handed over the 2.5 billion isk. Alas, it was not to be. And so Aldur missed his chance.

It looks like Aldur wasn't the only freighter pilot to be tested in this manner. Such is life in highsec.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Kills of the Week

Do I detect a hint of desperation from CCP? Perhaps. But the even greater desperation is that which is felt by the bots and bot-aspirants who found themselves up against the elite PvP'ers of the New Order. Bots and bot-aspirants, for example, like these individuals killed during the week of November 18th @ 00:00 EVEtime through November 24th @ 23:59 EVEtime:

Ah, Bowheads and their tanks. Tallon Darkwyrm's ship had hundreds of thousands of hitpoints, but nothing could prepare him for the experience of being an unlicensed hauler pilot in the vicinity of Uedama. He soon learned what that meant. Agents Jayson Kusion, Jayden Kusion, Jake Kusion, Justin Kusion, Joel Kusion, Jackson Kusion, Jason Kusion, Jeremiah Kusion, Joshua Kusion, Johnathan Kusion, Jacob Kusion, Jeremy Kusion, Joseph Kusion, Josh Kusion, Jonas Kusion, Jack Kusion, Jimmy Kusion, Jessie Kusion, Jeffery Kusion, Jared Kusion, Jaiden Kusion, Josiah Kusion, and Jax Kusion represented the Kusion name--and that of the mighty CODE. alliance--to perfection.

Carebears think otherwise, but in EVE, it's never about the bling--it's about the man who wields it. A Marshal worth 7 billion isk was lost by Taka Kuroi, who was simply outclassed by Agents Votre Dieu, Narl' Amhar, and Astrid Tyrfing.

Deep Space Transports have a checkered history in Uedama. If they obey the Code and do everything right, then they can survive the journey. Otherwise, they have no chance at all. It's that simple. Yet Luc Stark chose to go on autopilot through Uedama anyway. His ship was intercepted by Agents Jayden Kusion, Joel Kusion, Jackson Kusion, Jake Kusion, Jayson Kusion, Joshua Kusion, Justin Kusion, Johnathan Kusion, holdmybeer, Jeremiah Kusion, Joseph Kusion, and Jason Kusion.

Fighters? The only fighters in highsec are the Agents of the New Order of Highsec. And the only support they need is that of the Code itself.

Pinkylein's Armageddon is not the most impressive battleship you'll ever see. But it's even more underwhelming once you discover what Pinkylein was using it for:

Nice gank attempt, Pinkylein. Our Agents only make it look easy. Agents Krig Povelli and Marcus Luttrell Khan defeated Pinkylein. The friendly neighborhood NPCs got a few licks in, too. Still want CONCORD to be buffed, carebears?

Late last week, Kri'K was caught using a Hulk in the Eitu system. Miners keep trying to find a safe place to mine without a permit, but when it comes to highsec, every system may as well be Halaima. Agents Araena Calorne, Lucia, Blowtorch Betty, and Eva Mavas brought this cowardly criminal to justice.

Arkan Bahus, too, tried out the ol' Hulk routine, but to no avail. His ship was eliminated--serving up a nice fat pod for the fastest ganker. Agent Magalaus Shardani had the best reflexes, and so the juicy podmail was his.

A Harvest set? You're a fool, Arkan Bahus.