There are many criminals in EVE Online, but some push their chosen profession to a whole different level, sometimes even at the expense of their fellow outlaws. Being an outlaw in EVE Online's setting of New Eden isn't just about prowess in combat. For some, the pull of New Eden's underworld is all about the social fabric of the game... and how to exploit it. Deception is their greatest weapon, and paired with the endless opportunities for social engineering in EVE, that weapon can be put to devastating use. Among all of the conmen and scam artists in New Eden, there's one name that conjures up more rage and misery than most others: Miz Cenuij.
From the earliest days of New Eden, Miz was on the path to becoming a major antagonist in EVE. While some players love him, most just love to hate him, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Over time, Miz has become one of New Eden's most notorious thieves and hell raisers, an evil celebrity of sorts. His manipulations have triggered alliance wars, brought him numerous threats from other pilots, thousands of confirmed kills, and raked in a fantastic amount of wealth in the process. His preferred modus operandi in EVE is the long con, but since he learned to convert his wealth into influence over others, he's found that corruption and practiced deception make a formidable combination. As if a counter to restlessness, his apparent goal of keeping New Eden set in motion, if not set ablaze, has ensured that Miz Cenuij lives on a steady diet of tears and rage.
Massively caught up with Miz Cenuij, who told us what motivates him to engage in activities that oppose the interests of so many other citizens of New Eden, and why he enjoys igniting controversy in EVE.
Your playstyle in EVE differs from most other pilots in New Eden. How would you describe what you do, and why don't you live by the rules many others follow?
I have been called many things in New Eden: griefer, social engineer, scam artist, thief, mass murderer, sexy MOFO, and many more that probably shouldn't be repeated here, but as for what I do?
I take ISK by whatever means I can, be it corp thievery, scamming, or murdering friends and taking everything they have. I then take this isk and use it to murder noobs by the thousands, sow the seeds of dissent in corps, or sometimes to hire mercs to do the griefing for me. I do as I please and I do it with ISK that should not belong to me.
"I take ISK by whatever means I can, be it corp thievery, scamming, or murdering friends and taking everything they have."
In all seriousness though, I do what I do because there is something undeniably enjoyable in corrupting the good and well-meaning pilots of New Eden, or taking everything from those whom cannot be corrupted. Something inside feels good when yet another carebear cries out in torment.
Do you pattern your social engineering within EVE after what conmen do in real life?
Absolutely, all that time time spent camping gates wasn't idle time. I spent it reading about real life scams, methods and tools. We can all learn a little something from the Nigerians.
Can you tell me a bit about how your cons have changed since you began, and how you keep a step ahead of imitators?
My first con was your bog standard corp theft of some small time corp called "2AM" or something. I remember the warm glow I felt after I had pulled it off. From there I moved onto Bring Your Own Mineral cruiser scams (the client brings you the minerals to build a ship and you keep it) and later onto BYOM battleship scams. Then diversifiying into "WTS Research Slot" scams back when slots were far and few between (the client turns up at station awaiting you to release a slot, they pay, you just taunt in local and keep the ISK).
"I started to do research into real life methods of scamming and brought those I could into New Eden. As time passed my people skills in this field grew and my understanding of people's hopes and desires grew, as did my skills at manipulating these."
Over the next couple of years there were many other scams, but the key was always to stay one step ahead -- when the the scam became common, drop it and move onto something new. I started to do research into real life methods of scamming and brought those I could into New Eden. As time passed my people skills in this field grew and my understanding of people's hopes and desires grew, as did my skills at manipulating these.
Eventually I bought a mothership and the selling of 'air motherships' began. The client pays 50% of the price and (once 'face-to-face') expects you to eject and allow them to board the ship before paying you the other 50%. What actually happened was that they paid 50%, but smartbombing their pod ensued... and you can guess the rest. Air motherships made me a LOT of ISK, but my old friend Chribba eventually put a stop that with his secure 3rd party service. Rotten bugger.