If Test had been forced to defend its TCUs for the mandatory eight hours, it would have been limited to claiming one or two systems at a time, making its encroachment upon enemy space slow enough that the enemy would have time to mobilise and react.
Downtime to fix cyber attacks more costly for businesses here than ransom demands
Setting up in downtime robbed IT of this opportunity, and that's the sole reason Test did it. IT Alliance could not have done anything to prevent the 14 claim units activating as they were anchored at the last moment and the server was not up during their deployment. According to all the criteria by which exploits are judged, this most certainly is one.
To the point of absurdity When you're trying to determine whether something should be allowed or not , a good rule of thumb is to extend the tactic to its logical extreme and see how much of an unfair advantage it could convey. For example, imagine if this weren't categorised as an exploit and someone decided to make serious use of it against Test alliance. Before the upcoming extended downtime for the Incursion expansion deployment, a rival alliance could place pilots carrying sovereignty blockade units in every system Test owns and territorial claim units in every empty system nearby.
Just over five minutes before the servers would be set to go down, all of the SBUs could be anchored and deployed at once. After the server came up, the TCUs in every single Test system would suddenly be vulnerable, and Test would have had no opportunity to prevent it.
EA outage map
Ordinarily, an alliance would have three hours in which to mount a defense and destroy any enemy SBUs before the claim units even become vulnerable. If the enemy chooses to defend its blockade in one system, the defenders could just go to another system and destroy the blockades there. This mechanic makes it infeasible for an alliance to blockade more than a few systems at a time as its members must defend all of the SBUs they place while the defending alliance is free to concentrate its forces and pick one target at a time.
In this hypothetical scenario, Test's enemies' abusing the extended downtime to deploy their blockade units robs Test of the opportunity to repel that first invasion wave. Test would suddenly find itself on the other side of the fence, forced to defend every system while its enemies could choose to concentrate their forces and hit any single system they liked.
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All the enemy need do in order to win is destroy the TCUs in a system. If gaining that kind of instant foothold isn't an exploit, then nothing is. Accusations of favouritism Almost immediately after GMs took action, Test pilots began spamming the forums with claims that IT Alliance had fired up the old CCP bat-signal to call in help.
This has been a sore spot for EVE players because the core corporations in IT Alliance were previously in Band of Brothers alliance, the beneficiaries of developer misconduct uncovered during the T20 scandal all those years ago. The crux of this most recent accusation rests on the suggestion that downtime deployment wasn't considered an exploit until it was used against IT. The suggestion is that IT holds some kind of sway over the developers or GMs and used that to cheat.
Test further backed this up by pointing out that no other TCUs deployed during the downtime had been removed.
While I'm sure it's terribly uncool of me to suggest it, I'm pretty sure the truth is something a lot more likely and boring than the exciting headline of potential developer misconduct. The other TCUs deployed during downtime weren't removed because nobody bothered to petition them. Once they were brought to the attention of GMs, the other TCUs that had spent a significant part of their onlining period under the protective screen of downtime were also removed.
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EVE Evolved: Downtime deployment debate
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