3. The Guiding Hand Social Club

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via PCGamer 
  

If the Guiding Hand Social Club didn't get its name from how it operated before "assassinating" the CEO of Ubiqua Seraph, the members of the mercenary corporation must have been prophets. While their modus operandi was more murder-centric than political, the group would show a powerful penchant for subterfuge during their year-long plot.

Yes, that's an entire, real, calendar year: 365 days each and every member of the digital hit squad could have spent listening to stories from war veterans or curing baldness was instead spent for their entertainment and ours on a scheme to ruin a stranger's day. It is both the absolute distillation of what makes EVE Online great and proof that we are doomed as a species.

The "stranger" in question went by the handle of Mirial and was the aforementioned CEO of Ubiqua Seraph -- a notable, but relatively minor house in the grand design of EVE Online's Shakespearean multiplayer. Playing MacBeth to Mirial's Duncan was Arenis Xemdel. Xemdel and company were offered a stipend of one billion ISK on the conditions that they not only kill said CEO, but collect and return their frozen corpse intact. This is an actual thing you can do in EVE Online.

frozen corpses eve
via iamthelol1
 

By today's standards, one billion ISK is a pittance, but at the time it amounted to at least enough to get the Club's attention. After 12 months of seducing their target, which we can only hope included much breathless conversation about the best calculators for appraising the cost of asteroid ore, Guiding Hand Social Club was able to do itself several times better.

Xemdel and the rest became so close to Mirial that they were not only trusted advisors in the CEO's political dealings, but had access to corporate hangars containing many of the group's most precious equipment and materials. So, rather than simply ice the objective and spam all-chat with "N00B," the group launched a simultaneous attack that saw Mirial lose their most precious ship in one part of the galaxy, while in another the corporations assets were drained almost entirely. The total haul was worth 30 billion, and exactly one vacuum-frozen corpse for one very lucky pervert with digital cash to burn.

 

4. EVE Interstellar Bank Heist

"Heist" is probably a generous word to describe the EVE Interstellar Bank scheme, but it's the phrase that seems to have stuck. In reality, the EIB incident was more of a simple Ponzi scheme, albeit one on a massive scale.

For those who don't know how a Ponzi scheme works, please stop reading now and make your way into this hotel ballroom as we direct you to some exciting investment opportunities... Now, for those still with us, a Ponzi scheme is one in which "investors" pump in money for unrealistic returns. The investments pay off, at first, not from profits, but from the money forked over by whatever other suckers aren't too busy handing over their bank account information to Nigerian princes. It's also not that different from how investment banks work, so have fun with that knowledge.

Eventually, all such schemes must come to a close. And so it did. The EVE Interstellar Bank, run by a player called Dentara Rast, through a cutout called Cally, was not the first of its kind. "Currin Trading" was a cardboard character for yet another spurious player who had guzzled 30 billion ISK using the same method. They recognized the signs and -- following Canseco's Law -- ratted out their asshole-in-arms by pointing out their own past infractions.

Unfortunately, no ensuing book deal could make up the gap between Currin and Dentara/Cally. The latter came away from the "heist" with something closer to 700 billion ISK. The human player behind Dentara and Cally rightfully went to boast about their conquest on the game's forums, closing with the adorably optimistic final thoughts: "I fooled everyone. I win EVE."

Oh, if only that were possible...