Why ghost training was disabled

As many of you know by now, on Wednesday, Oct 15th, CCP will put out a server update disabling "ghost training". Ghost Training was an unintended feature where unpaid accounts of EVE Online were able to continue training skills. While this allowed players to run multiple characters on a shoestring budget, in all effect, this was a bug.

It should be noted that we're not changing offline skill training for active subscribers in any way. This change only affects those who do not have an active subscription.

Does that mean that CCP is a greedy money chewing monster that just loves nerfing things? Of course not. We're a company like everyone else, we make a game, that we happen to love making and for most of us is the passion of our lives. But it's also a company. We make a product, sell it, get salaries and then continue maintaining the product and making it better.

Now I'm not saying that if me personally would be at the other end of this Dev Blog I wouldn't be annoyed by CCP's actions. We are gamers. We game the system. We figure out how to maximize our returns. There's no surprise that people have done this for the simple fact that it wasn't banned per se and also for the fact that it was possible. But recently we have seen a surge in this behavior in a way that we were essentially supporting and maintaining a large number of customers that weren't paying us regular subscriptions. That's not fair towards CCP as a service provider and it's not fair towards other players that pay a subscription but don't make use of this bug.

Now a single customer that doesn't log into the servers may not weigh heavily on our database infrastructure, just as a single snowflake isn't that heavy, hardly a measurable quantity. But it's hard not to notice an avalanche if it hits you. And that's what was starting to happen in our database.

We can look at this from a variety of angles, but it all comes down to:

  1. There was a way to progress a character in EVE without an active subscription
  2. CCP noticed a surge in the trend and decided to fix the leak
  3. Players now have to pay a subscription for characters to have them progress

We truly hope that the community will understand our actions and continue to enjoy playing EVE as much as we enjoy making it.

Torfi Frans Olafsson

Senior Producer of EVE Online