We’ve all heard various stories about players “stealing” tons of in-game loot in MMORPGs like Eve Online. Most games don’t have that kind of liquidity of assets that Eve offers. Albion Online comes close, so maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that a story has just emerged about someone executing a similar plan to bilk his guild and run off with tons of ill-gotten loot.
MassivelyOP is reporting that an Albion player by the name of Huhfesstus “worked their way in to the guild’s inner circle” — the guild, in this case, being “Fricks,” a newbie-friendly guild. Once in position, Huhfesstus apparently swiped a billion’s worth of in-game treasure from the guild’s stores and made off like, well, a bandit.
According to a message he left in Fricks’ Discord, “many can be swayed” and “there are many rats in the alliance” between Fricks and another guild called CLAPS. At least Huhfesstus exhibited some decency on his way out, asking another member — probably an admin for the server — to “plz remove my perms, I will not mess with discord shit, as this is not of good faith imo.”
Although the scam is described as a “long con,” one commentor on the article disagrees. Erik W. Young claims to be a “member of Fricks for about a year now” and that Huhfesstus was a decent and helpful member of the guild “who lost a battle mount (extremely expensive for the average player) in a fight that didn’t go our way.” That led to him rage-quitting the game for five days and then blowing up the guild’s assets when he returned. As Young put it:
“This is the story of a 19 year old kid getting his panties in a bunch because he lost something valuable he knowingly risked and felt entitled to his money back and then some.”
Regardless of which story is true — Huhfesstus as the cunning saboteur or Huhfesstus as the angry kid — it brings up the question: Is this acceptable behavior? I’m tempted to say, “Sure, it’s Albion,” which is basically “fantasy Eve.” If you can get away with it, you deserve it. In most MMORPGs, I’d be more critical of this sort of thing, but in a game designed around full-loot PvP and other nefarious deeds, I think there’s more room for machinations like this.
On the other hand, CCP Games and its corps (guilds) know all this is possible and, if they have a lot in the bank, generally take measures to assure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen. I’d wonder if the typical Albion player or guild — or for that matter, the developers — had this sort of thing in mind. Without proper safeguards against this behavior, both from guild leadership and from systems provided by the developer, actions like this might go beyond the typical risk/reward of the game that players feel they signed up for.
In my opinion, I don’t think Sandbox Interactive should take action against Huhfesstus. As many have put it, his character is finished anyway; understandably, nobody is willing to accept him into a guild now. In the longer run, maybe this will serve as a learning experience/wake-up call for those players that this sort of thing can happen, and they’ll be more careful in the future. It probably wouldn’t hurt if Sandbox Interactive addresses it with some kind of additional security measures for guilds to protect their assets against this kind of looting in the future, if that’s even possible.