Previously, I wrote an article claiming that CCP was moving to make conversation spam an illegal activity. They then made an official announcement that it is an exploit. While doing this, CCP was asked the question regarding whether or not auto-reject was effective at stopping this. GM Homonoia states that it is being investigated.
How did we get here?
As described in my previous article, Razor Alliance lost 18 carriers during a fight in WV- defending a CSAA tower. The use of conversation spam was somewhat common amongst alliances, especially in nullsec. The result this time, however, was a warning to NC. leadership and reimbursement of the carriers to Razor Alliance.
During this time, Chiimera had been in contact with multiple GMs; today he finally received an official reply.
Hello again, please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I was holed up at home with the flu for the past few days, sorry for the inconvenience this delay may have caused you.
I can see that your character now has enough ISK to cover the insurance payout. The other four remaining pilots (REDACTED) are still coming up short though so I haven't returned their ships yet. Have you heard from them specifically regarding what they'd like to have done? I can, as mentioned before, return their ships and leave their wallets in the red. I can also approach them directly if you have not been able to approach them yourself.
I don't have any problem with you publicly stating that carriers your alliance lost during this engagement were reimbursed by EVE CS following our investigation into the matter. I don't mind you quoting me either if you'd like, I've summarized the ruling below for your convenience.
We've run some comprehensive internal tests on the effects of convo invite spam. The result of these tests was:
* Convo invite spam can indeed result in degraded client performance.
* In extreme cases, convo invite spam can cause the EVE client to crash.
* Clients with the auto-reject option for conversation invites enabled were however not affected.
It is clear from my investigation into this particular engagement that many of your carrier pilots received an excessive amount of conversation invites during the fight, most of the affected pilots received convo invites in the range where our tests ended up in client crashes. Reimbursement is in order for carriers lost during this engagement in light of this.
The following public statement has been made as a result of my investigation into your case regarding convo invite spam being an exploit:
Finally, we will be looking into improving the chat invite mechanism to eliminate this problem once and for all. EVE customer support will in the meantime consider convo invite spam a serious exploit, reports of such activity will be investigated and acted upon accordingly.
Lead GM Lelouch
EVE Online Customer Support
The tests were concluded and what CCP found was that auto-reject prevents clients from becoming burdened or crashing due to conversation spam.
The news was most welcome by the pilots who lost their carriers that day, however, the length of time it took to have the situation resolved was an issue to some, like Chiimera who had this to say:
When my carrier fleet in WV- was attacked and pilots began to disconnect because they were being convo spammed by an NC. fleet I really wasn't angry... just disappointed. Disappointed in NC. for using an exploit to win a fight and disappointed in CCP for allowing it to happen in their game.
This is where my quest began. I urged my fleet members to lodge petitions and I lodged one myself. I then spent the next 49 day in communication with numerous GM's regarding the matter of convo spamming. Some of whom I hope I did not lead to self harm, others not so much.
Throughout my Petition ordeal I was told that either there was nothing wrong, or I was misunderstood and ignored. By about the 20th day into my petition I had had enough. It was no longer about getting reimbursement it was about getting CCP to listen to its players. I Requested a Senior GM and I pushed for testing of the convo system. I told CCP in no uncertain terms that I was going to get a straight answer out of them.
After my escalation to a senior GM I was almost stunned by the response I recieved. I was told by CCP that they knew my pilots had been convo spammed, that convo spamming dosn't crash your client and it is impossible to verify if the invites had been detrimental to my fleet. The NC. alliance executor was even sent a mail advising not to do it again. Utilising the most diplomatic terms I could muster I requested my petition be escalated to a Lead GM.
Now, with over 5 years of customer service management experience I could go on for ever but I will cut to the chase. After 49 days of dealing with CCP's customer service team I finally got to a GM that was willing to take me seriously and investigate the issue that I had reported. Here is the outcome of that investigation.