Cheaters Never Prosper…unless they steal a lot of eaves!

thiefSeems to be a growing concern that thieves are loose on Empire Avenue. Evidently lots of  folks are taking the eaves from missions without doing the requested tasks.  I am relatively new; so I can’t say if the problem is truly worse or if mission creators are just whinier. The infrequent checking I do for my missions shows me a completion rate that ranges from 100% to 25% with somewhere between 75% to 80% as my norm.  I suspect that the low rate of completion was mostly my fault.  By the way I set up a mission and when I launch it, I believe that I can get a reasonable completion rate.

At 75% completion, I really was not all that concerned about folks stealing missions. I trusted God or Karma to punish the sinners with the help of a few blocks from me & my friends.   A few days ago it seemed like every mission had a “don’t steal my eaves” warning, and I was slightly annoyed.  That seemed like a waste to me; so  I ran a quick sort of snotty mission ranting about folks ranting about mission thieves.  I had to set a target for the mission; so I sent folks to this G+ post.

My intended point was that I didn’t think telling cheaters not to cheat was all that effective a strategy.  My mission title,  “Steal my Eaves,” was intended to be a bit of a satirical poke at all the “don’t steal my eaves” warnings.  Much to my surprise a ton of folks actually went to the post, commented, and shared.  That left me feeling a bit guilty about my smart mouthed attitude and the obvious pain around this issue.  As the discussion continued, I promised to try to bring the Avenue’s management into the discussion if there were any good ideas to solve the problem.  An elegant solution for my semi-jerky behavior.

To my surprise, a number of excellent ideas surfaced.  I wanted to highlight the better ones:

  • Mission  Block-Although you can block someone today on EAv, that involves breaking all contact and mutual disinvestment.  The problem is that a large investment lets you steal with impunity.  The penalty is very high if you block a large investor.  Most folks do not want their price to go down that much.
  • Gated Mission-Some folks call it a two step mission.  In order to get paid for a mission, the mission creator would have to approve the payment or allow some time limit would expire.  That would give the opportunity to check the task completion.
  • Undo or un-accept mission button-Sometimes folks can’t complete a mission for technical, ethical or simply fit reasons.  Since there is no way to ‘back out’ in the current mission structure, decent folks end up stealing a mission.
  • Reputation Rating-An ‘Ebay-ish’ type system where there could be some public way to identify folks who struggle with ethical lapses completing missions.

I also notice a possible additional issue that might need a bit of attention from the EAv management.  Some folks are selling eaves for actual currency.  You may have noticed some odd, high reward, private community missions.  With no evidence, I suspect that there may be a new incentive for mission theft called cash. There are a lot of games in this game!

I wanted to thank everyone who posted, tweeted, shared, & thought about this issue.  Even Dups weighed in with a couple of tweets.   Lynn O’Connell articulated most of these ideas for reducing mission theft.

With all this said, I do think that mission creators can help themselves with well designed missions launched at optimal times.  I guess that I will leave that for my next post.  In Texas, we call that baiting the hook!


101 thoughts on “Cheaters Never Prosper…unless they steal a lot of eaves!

  1. Is there an active list of abusers somewhere? I would love to remove repeat offenders from my portfolio.

  2. Silly thieves on EA! I figure karma has to kick in at some point!~

  3. Awesome article there are a few I have done that had I a refund your eaves button I would have!!

  4. JW Najarian says:

    I have been ripped several times… It is sad that it goes with the territory. Stealing fake money is pretty lame and it always seems so stupid, but I hear stupid is hard to fix.

    I do have one issue with the story above. You mention that some get into the mission and then cannot back out so they end up stealing, but not on purpose. I believe that is a cop out. Although I did do it once myself… I found that if you go to the bottom of the mission you will find the link you need to got to complete the mission. I now go there first.. complete and then comback to collect.

    If you click on complete the mission you know you will collect money so you damn well better complete it or go check it out first like an honest person.

    Also it would help if the person asking you to retweet and favor a tweet, would put the tweet in the description so you knew what you were getting into.

    Descriptions are rarely utilized correctly.

    Thanks for listening to my rant….

    JW Najarian (e)JWN

  5. Reblogged this on Greatpoetrymhf's Weblog and commented:
    Sharing the growing pains of the Empire although this article is shared several months ago the TOPIC unfortunately is always new #granniegram is a fan

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