Five EVE players make over $175,000 blowing up their own spaceships [UPDATED]

Eve Online Inferno

From the reaches of deep space comes another story of EVE online pilots gaming the system in CCP's open-ended MMO for fun and profit. This particular batch of shenanigans, according to Massively , revolved around the faction warfare mechanics in EVE's recent Inferno expansion, and resulted in the group acquiring enough in-game currency to pay for about 800 years of subscription time.

How did they do it, you ask? Well, Inferno introduced a system that rewards you with faction points (which work like badges in other MMOs) for every ship of a rival faction you destroy. The payoff is directly related to the value of the ship and its cargo. Since cargo values are determined on the open market, the band of rapscallions were able to buy up huge amounts of certain cheap commodities, and drive the price up.

Once they had done so, they filled junk freighters on opposed-faction characters with the now in-demand materials and lit them up like a high school stage play. The faction points they earned, being tied to the now-inflated price of the commodities destroyed, was disproportional to what they had spent on the commodities in the first place. This allowed them to buy items of significantly higher relative value with those faction points, and sell them on the open market for a huge profit.

As of yet, CCP have not said whether or not they condone this kind of behavior, but they have a history of siding with these kinds of creative troublemakers as long as they're not exploiting an obvious bug or glitch in the game.

UPDATE 1:56 PM PST: CCP has elected to close this loophole and seize the assets gained through it. They issued the following post on the EVE official forums:

"Dearest Market-Interested Space Tycoons,

At downtime today we made an adjustment to the average price of some items in order to curb a situation whereby the average price of an item could be manipulated in order to create a disparity between the value of an item in Isk and its value in Loyalty Point payouts. There will be additional changes in how this system works in the future. We will be monitoring for attempted manipulation of the LP market and will reverse any proceeds deemed to have been obtained through manipulative means. We are watching you. Don't be That Guy."

What do you think? Are these EVErs heroes of freeform gameplay, or vile brigands who ought to be strung up on an asteroid outside of Jita as a warning to their ilk?