Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Corp Security - Part 2 - Interviewing and API

Eve Online Corporation Security

Part 2

The Interview process and API keys (CAK)

Despite the risks, adding new members to a corp is a huge part of Eve. Just like any other MMO it has to be done, well if you want to grow, become successful and fly with other people. aka that mystical thing called "having fun"

I think there is a right way, and a wrong way to go about recruiting.

No spamming in the recruitment channel, look for people who say "I want a new corp" and contact them directly. Explain your options to them directly. Don't sell your corp, mention it, be straight about what you do, judge their interest.

Be suspicious of unsolicited (all) requests to join your corp. Now I didn't say dismissive I said suspicious. Pay attention to those players who wish to get in.

Recruit during peace, expel during peace and war.

Recruit in chunks. Set a recruiting goal. Let's say 10 people like the Tuskers most recent drive. Why 10 people? because it's achievable. 10 people is not too many but also it is enough that you can get a good base of players. Chunks allow new players to blend with older players and older players to get used to the new guys. As soon as you get 40 new players and 20 older players you get a fragmentation of the corp. New players will Clique up and so will the older players (for the most part). Even if they don't then you still get the "feeling" for the newer guys that it is.

Limiting recruitment drives also helps to limit recruitment officer burn out. Good recruiters will do all the steps below and understand why they are doing them. You should not ask them to do that all the time, they will burn out, and quickly. Recruit, wait a quarter, recruit more.

Require a full access "account" NOT "character" key, Full API key. Let the applicant know you will be checking their key carefully and then check it carefully, ie make sure it's a account and not a character key... use it to check their contacts, use it to check their email...

Steps to check the key

  1. load the key into eve-mon, look at their skills and their wallet, in fact you can just use EveHQ for everything but Eve-Mon is an alternative so I am including it.
  2. Load the key into EveHQ and look at their contacts and mail, orders, history, kills, etc.
  3. Use the following URL to determine the type of key the applicant gave you = https://api.eveonline.com/account/APIKeyInfo.xml.aspx?keyID=THEKEYIDHERE&vCode=THEVERIFICATIONCODEHERE
  4. Check their contacts, Check their recent sales, player trading in station, check their eve mails!
  5. Check their killboard history, losses especially. Look and see if they tend to work with a group of the same people and if they are suddenly breaking away.
  6. Examine that killboard again, look at their kills, are they getting in fights solo, are they whoring on mails, are they suicide ganking? Are they avoiding combat? Look at their fits, note bad fits, note good fits (for pvp corps) ask about them in the interview.

Steps for the interview:
After you check their key, interview them, can be right after or a day later. Take your time, if they are more interested in joining another corp in that time they will not be a good asset to that other corp, and wouldn't have been good for your corp either. Have rank and file members in recruitment at all times, not to be active all the times but to provide conversations with the news guys that your recruiters can look at or get information from.

  1. best to have a video for them to watch that outlines the intent of the corp, have the video ask the player a few specific questions, IE tell the recruiter what your favorite sandwich is and tell them the code ALFA ROMEO. See if the applicant actually watches the video by waiting for those questions.
  2. Ask real interview questions. If they are applying to be a miner, ask them how much M3 each of their strip lasers pull on their Mackinaw, or how much Veldspar roughly they pull per cycle. Ask questions about fitting, find out what they know, accept "I don't know" as an answer only if you have to, but give them time to do homework during the interview process. IE if they don't know tell them to go find out, see what resources they use. Battleclinic or eve kill or the forums, or FHC or what.
  3. Ask about everything, play time, interests outside of eve. Sense of humor, thin/thick skin. Interests, what is a "good day in eve" for them.
  4. ask about their path in Eve, where they are headed, where they came from. What is interesting to them?
  5. talk to previous corps. At worst the corp they are coming from will try to troll you, but ask the applicant first if it's okay that you talk to previous employers. See if their reasons for leaving that corp matches up to why the CEO saw them leave.
  6. lay out your expectations of the person, and find out what they expect from the corp. See what they want and see if it is a fit.
  7. give them time to ask you questions. Find out what questions they want to ask, examine the nature of their questions. Are they asking to be promoted, are they asking what the Corp is going to provide them in terms of access or free stuff. Sure people will be interested about that but you should downplay the answers to those questions.
  8. If possible, interview via voice chat. Listening to answers is always better than reading words. It also saves you, usually, from having to ask the sex question!

Post Interview

  1. Judgey judgey is what I always say. The vast majority of applicants will be clean. Some will be obvious and others you just won't be sure.
  2. Take some chances, but hedge your bets. This is some advice my Father always gave me about life. It's fine to take a chance if you hedge your bets. This means allow people in you are unsure about, but then keep an eye on them.
  3. Introduce their interview into corp forums or emails for quick review. Try not to wait more than 24 hours to decide if you want them in your corp. If you don't be honest and direct but don't point out why. IE you find a spy trying to get in, his contacts are all your enemies, his wallet has trades with people who hate you, or are aligned against you. Don't gloat, just politely refuse the application. Let them agonize over why you said no. Blocking them is enough, expose them if you want, but don't try to shame them. That will just lead to much harder attempts to sneak in.
  4. Ask follow up questions by eve mail, displaying interest in their answers makes newcomers feel welcome.
Make a decision Checklist
  1. Have you checked their wallet history looking for zero isk trades with random people?
  2. Have you listed and checked all their current contacts?
  3. Did you ask them why they are leaving their current player corp OR if they are in an NPC corp ask why they never left the NPC corp (unless brand new) OR why they left their last corp?
  4. Did you search for money transfers to the character, like start up funds, or something odd coming in
  5. Has a third party reviewed the interview/asked follow on questions
  6. Is the applicant interested in joining, do their goals match your corps? Can you see them sticking around or will they move on soon after?
  7. Make a decision. Some corps make a decision by committee, some by singular preference. Both work for different reasons, both don't work for different reasons. Recruitment officers should always have the final say. 


  1. Having a video about your corporation is a red flag _against_ your corp, as it conveys that you favor appearance over substance. I have yet to see a corporate "who we are" video (and I include actual RL corp videos here) whose content couldn't have been represented better and more efficiently as text on a web page.

    1. I find that the video's content isn't important. The act of letting them watch the video and then verifying they did, is. It's an integrity check on the person. That's all.

    2. I fail to see how that is an integrity test - unless the recruiter asks "Did you watch the video?" and the applicant is allowed to answer something like "I tried to, but the camera work made my eyes bleed, so I turned it off."

      I admit, a test like that does test the extent of the desire of a person to get into your corp, and we both know that a dedicated infiltrator's desire is very high.

    3. True enough Druur. I still like the idea of the video, but your points are valid, especially the cheeseyness of recruitment video's.

  2. "Ask about everything, ie, age, sex, sexual orientation, weight, play time, interests outside of eve. Sense of humor, thin/thick skin."

    Are you serious about all those?
    Anyone asks me about age, sex, sexual orientation or weight during recruitment they are going to get a polite no. These have zero bearing on me playing Eve in your corp.

    Humor, thick/thin skin perhaps.

    1. Only half serious about the sexual orientation, the rest, pretty serious about. Adding a girl to the corp changes the dynamic of the corp instantly, and if you have ever been around a load of nerdy guys on the internet when a girl joins the channel and you know I am right. Hell even the wrong guy can change the way things work. It's also important because so many guys try to hide behind female characters. Let's put it this way,

      An infiltrator is more than twice as likely to get into a corp if they pretend to be a woman. Either they won't answer the sex question or they will lie about it. If suddenly a girl turns out to be a guy, there's a problem. It's simple error detection.

      For weight - I don't care, it's just a funny question. 9/10 interviewers don't have enough questions.

      I'm going to amend this article with some more information about the interviewing process.

    2. > An infiltrator is more than twice as likely to get into a corp if they pretend to be a woman.

      then you do a skype interview then, don't you.

    3. Skype in 2013 wasn't as effective/prevalent, that's why I suggested the voice interview instead. Now, yes, you are correct, that doing a skype, Discord w/video or something similar would be more effective.

  3. I think a recruitment video comes across as bragging. A video of you guys actually fighting would probably work out better.

    1. Fighting or doing whatever it is that you do. I agree.

  4. i> nterview
    > 3. Ask about everything, ie, age, sex, sexual orientation, weight, play time, interests outside of eve. Sense of humor, thin/thick skin.

    Most of these will bring discrimination cases against you depending on which country you are in. Dangerous ground, especially sexual orientation and weight. Asking them if they are black or white, or if they planned to have children and how would this affect their playtime would also be grounds of discrimination.

    I'd never join your corp.

    1. If I still played Eve, I would have modified this post dramatically by now. I wouldn't specifically call out the things I did here 4 or whatever years ago. But I would say ask about everything, the more information you have the better decision you can make to keep malicious players outside of your corp.

    2. But you're actually quite right, and I don't like that I have that statement out there, so I'm editing to remove. Thanks.