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EVE Online multiboxing rules changing in January 2015: The beginning of the end?

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Yesterday, CCP Falcon posted an Update regarding Multiboxing and input automation. The important bits were later summed up by CCP Random with this handy flowchart (click for full size):
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Or, in a nutshell, Input Broadcasting/Multiplexing (e.g. duplicating inputs to more than one game client at the same time) will no longer be allowed in EVE Online in January, if used for activities that affect the EVE Universe. That is, you're allowed to broadcast in order to log in, position windows, or adjust client settings in all of your game windows (none of those things have an impact on others' gameplay), but you're not allowed to broadcast in order to do targeting, navigation, toggle modules, etc.

But it is important to note that multiboxing is still allowed (as CCP Falcon reiterates in the linked post, "Based on our EULA and Policies we would like to clarify that multiboxing is allowed.") Multiboxing software is also still allowed. The change is simply a restriction on what your multiboxing software or hardware is allowed to do (or what you are allowed to do with your multiboxing software or hardware).

Now, the obvious take away is that the more accounts someone has, the more useful that particular feature (broadcasting) becomes. So we can assume that this change is aiming squarely at people with large fleets, which cannot feasibly continue to exist. Players multiboxing a small number of ships will have no problem continuing to multibox, but without broadcasting. And indeed, people with 10+ ships have already been posting that they are reducing to 5 or less in response to this change.

The end of the beginning.

The status quo in EVE Online for years has been to allow broadcasting/multiplexing. The ease of setting up larger and larger fleets unfortunately put a bad taste in a lot of players' mouths (note that this was the case even in WoW with folks like Prepared running 25+ accounts in PVP settings, resulting in /follow disabled specifically in PVP battlegrounds), and never mind that most people who multibox only have 2 or 3 accounts and don't bother anyone. The guys mining ice with dozens of ships, or just bringing enough cloaked bombers to destroy whatever is necessary, turn everyone else off to the idea of multiboxing.

But now CCP wants to eliminate exactly the guys who turn everyone off to multiboxing, by also eliminating specifically what people complained about regarding multiboxing in the first place. Ironically for those who think that "EVE Multiboxing is now dead", I think the opposite is about to happen.

The disappearance of multiboxed megafleets in January may make way for several times the number of multiboxers with small, Y2K15-compliant fleets. And people will have the incentive to fill those positions -- already, resources are becoming worth more and PLEX are becoming worth less (not to be confused with worthless). So I believe that a sizable number of players who were "on the fence" as it were, are about to have some barriers removed, and will actually start multiboxing come January. They can probably make more ISK with their spoils and pay less for PLEX, and be confident that what they are doing is allowed by CCP and now even tolerated by the other players (again due to the reduced fleet size and removal of broadcasting/multiplexing), so why not?

Only time will tell, but to me this looks more like the end of the beginning than the beginning of the end.
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  1. Asterix's Avatar
    Updated 11-29-2014 at 07:26 AM by Asterix (duplicate)