is without a doubt the most glamorous profession in New Eden.
EVE is practically the only game where one can assume the role of a spy
in an environment where intelligence gathering is necessary and makes a
real impact, and won't get you banned. While only a tiny percentage of
the playerbase ends up dabbling in the metagame, a significant number
became interested in the game in the first place due to the widely
publicized efforts of famous agents like href=""
target="_blank">Istvaan Shogaatsu,
or perhaps yours truly.

One of the quirks of my space-job is that I don't do much spying
myself. Essentially I am a case officer, someone who handles the
affairs of multiple agents and tries to coordinate and parse their
output. While the opportunity for the occasional personal intervention
will pop up, mostly I sort through reports and manage the nexus between
intelligence and grand strategy - which sounds fascinating,
but became a matter of habit after a few months. Things become
interesting when dealing with a particularly professional agent, or
when designing a grand heist.  

Over the years, I've dealt with hundreds of spies - most from
Goonfleet, but also a significant number from other organizations, be
they enemy defectors, mercenaries or allied espionage networks. The
vast majority of volunteer agents drop out of the game within a month;
spying is hyped as an incredibly exciting activity, but there's a lot
of boring scutwork between the rare moments of high drama. In my
experience, there seem to be seven general types of agent who have the
will to perservere.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">War
    Profiteers: Think 'Grand
    Theft Spaceship'. Not content to sit back and quietly report on enemy
    activities, War Profiteers approach the dull parts of the spy game as
    an opportunity to enrich themselves. Since alliances are generally full
    of bumbling, trusting types, an agent with a larceny habit can quickly
    'liberate' a number of pilotless ships parked at POS's, ship
    maintenance arrays, or open public hangars. Unless the target alliance
    has been sensible about security precations, it's entirely possible for
    an agent to make off with many billions of isk in ships and modules
    without any risk of discovery. These guys are hilarious because they
    achieve a constant stream of hidden triumphs. In Lotka Volterra, one of
    our best agents was a War Profiteer. Every day he'd log in, send me
    forum and chat rips, then run around checking LV's towers for any empty
    ships. If he couldn't fly a ship personally, he'd bump it out the LV
    tower with his spy character and have a friend fly it away, then split
    the profit. He made a disgusting amount of money.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Sadists:
    It takes a keen eye to determine what will cause maximum distress in an
    enemy, and the Sadists have it. These guys tend to have an attitude
    somewhere between bitterness and utter contempt for the organization
    they've infiltrated, and they respond to the stresses of the job by
    trying to cause as much interpersonal misery as possible - and then
    publish it. The best chat porn comes from the Sadists, because they
    spend their time ripping any controversy off their target's forums,
    watching chat channels for scuffles or spats, and subtly doing whatever
    they can to both foment rebellion and encourage a reactionary response
    from the leadership. When browsing an enemy forum, it's often the
    Sadists who are the most vehement in posting about how dissenters
    should be kicked out of the alliance, punished, or otherwise oppressed.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Operators:
    The most dangerous agents of all. Operators care nothing for fame or
    profit and are focused on the destruction of their target with
    pathological intensity. These are the true 'James Bond' types, but
    without flashy suits or tendencies to quip that could break their
    cover. Operators are the rarest sort of spy. One of them is
    unquestionably the single most deadly agent in the history of EVE,
    personally responsible for the deaths of 200+ capital ships, several
    Titans, and entire campaigns being dashed, rerouted or miscarried - and
    it is doubtful that anyone will ever know his identity. The Operators
    move from target to target, never coming under suspicion, leaving
    devastation in their wake.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Narcissists:
    The key goal of the Narcissist isn't profit or effectiveness, but in
    being seen - in public - as a cunning, masterful spy. These guys don't
    last long working for an alliance, but they thrive in a more informal
    espionage group based on self aggrandizement. While most public agents
    have a penchant for self-promotion, the Narcissist can't stand to stay
    in cover or focus on the strategic aspects of the job. They tend to
    seize upon a small win such as a middling heist, then retire in a blaze
    of glory. When the public acclaim has worn off, or the heist money has
    run out, they'll repeat the process on a new alt.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Neurotics:
    Paranoia is a virtue in the espionage game, but the Neurotics take it
    to an extreme. These agents often significantly overestimate the
    counterintelligence capabilities of their target, invest in personal
    subscription-based proxies, and avoid communicating with fleet
    commanders or secondary intelligence officers for fear of exposure. The
    Neurotic is absolutely convinced that the slightest misstep will see
    him exposed and burned - but it's them burning themselves out, usually
    within three months. That's not a bad thing, from my perspective;
    managing a Neurotic often leaves me feeling like an overworked

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Killmail
    Whores: These guys are
    typically frontline PvP pilots who are giving espionage a try, and they
    bring with them the attitude that the most important thing is to make
    the other guy blow up. Killmail Whores are completely obsessed with
    'big kills' of capital fleets and supercapitals, and will often contact
    fleet commanders to give tactical intelligence that we wouldn't
    ordinarily bother transmitting. At the alliance level, the most
    valuable intelligence an agent can provide is standard reporting- but
    for a thrill-seeking spy, reporting is frightenignly mundane. Sending
    daily email clips of what's happening on the forums, alliance mail and
    chat channels doesn't cut it. The signature Killmail Whore move is to
    be flying in a fleet with their PvP main character, while flying in an
    enemy gang with their spy. Even if the spy is in an irrelevant fleet
    (either too small, or going to another area of space entirely), the
    Killmail Whore will happily direct his FC to give chase and mow down
    the enemy, just for the joy of the fight. The only problem with this
    type of agent is that they risk timestamping themselves every time they
    give out a piece of tactical intelligence - and since they constantly
    give this data out to amuse themselves, it's only a matter of time
    before their character is exposed.

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Femme
    Fatales: EVE is not a game
    full of female players. Those who make their gender known are
    frequently harassed by overeager spreadsheet nerds who wouldn't
    normally have the confidence to approach a woman in person. Yet the
    combination of naive trust and hopeful desperation on the part of the
    male population of New Eden renders even the least socially skilled
    female agent a veritable href="" target="_blank">Mata
    Hari. Male players assume a
    female agent is telling the truth, throwing common sense to the wind.
    "She's paying attention to me! She might like me! Of course she's not a
    spy!" Carnage ensues, and due to this misbegotten trust, female agents
    can get away with the sort of blatant, unsubtle espionage that would
    get a male agent iced immediately. In one case many years ago, one of
    our female agents convinced her corporation to move its base of
    operations. After the leadership placed everything the corp owned
    (including all their personal assets) in one freighter, our agent
    followed the freighter and reported its exact location to our waiting
    fleet, which annihilated it. In the aftermath of this destruction, her
    corpmates absolutely certain they had been infiltrated, but said,
    "Well, of course it can't be her." Oops!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016