Account Sharing

Sugar Kyle put up a post about account sharing. Reading the comments, I saw a few pain points that cause account sharing:

  • -Titan and supercapital sharing
  • -Managing corp assets, roles etc…
  • -Skill queue issues for mobile individuals or individuals with life schedules that cause long periods away from a computer to access the character
  • -Family/Friend account sharing

I may be naïve, but two and a half of these have game mechanics or EULA conditions that are being ignored, or that directly forbid the activity.

Sharing any hull in the game is possible. You can do it in a couple of ways. Set up a POS and park an undockable ship inside. Set up SMAs in a POS with access levels. Use corporate hangars in a station. I understand that those first two are not popular, but they exist. If your concern is sharing the hull, you can do so. If your concern is sharing the character that can fly the hull, that’s too bad. Saying it is ok to share accounts to share pilots that can fly titans is like saying I can share my account with Bob because we want to trade skillsets. That’s not how the game is designed and making exceptions for one set of hulls is playing favorites.

Managing corp assets and activities is done by granting roles. If you don’t trust another person to have the roles, you probably shouldn’t trust them with an entire account, and that makes the whole argument about account sharing rather silly. If you want to debate the value or utility of corporate roles, that is a whole separate discussion I would love to have.

Sharing with family, I am more uncertain. I don’t think there is an inherent evil in letting your family log on to try things out or update things. Sharing with friends, that is obviously against the current “meta” of software. I can’t share my copy of Word or Windows with my buddy, and I can’t share my Steam account. You have to pay to play. Capitalism and all that. I won’t say that the current software licensing framework is perfect, but it exists and we live in that world. I do think CCP would be wise to look at venues to provide more long term family packs or friend packs. They could even look at special account types for corporation use with much less recourse for abuse of the account. But those ideas may be a bit of a hassle that just isn’t worth it for CCP.

Skill queues I understand. Many have suggested allowing longer skill queues or remote updating via web or cellular device. I would support both ideas. When skills range from 7 minutes to over a month a 24 hour skill queue is bit restrictive and penalizes customers who may be those most able to afford one or more accounts.

But at the end of the day, Eve is a piece of software, and your account is a collection of your investments in that software. You have to pay for your copy. You don’t have a right to share other copies, and CCP can write the EULA however they want to. Ignoring game mechanics you do not like is not the same thing as not having those mechanics.

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