Empire Avenue Mission Cheating – Responses, Findings, Clarification

Over the past few days I posted a few articles and community posts about cheating on Empire Avenue missions. The responses were great and it is apparent that a lot of people have an opinion about the subject. Today, I want to talk about a few things that seem to be misunderstood by some readers of my posts.

What is cheating on missions

When I talk about cheating on missions, I don’t mean those that made a mistake on a mission once or twice in three month. I much more talk about people that sit there and “take” missions with the intent just to take the eaves and not following through on their end. They are taking 10-20 missions in a row and none is completed. I also talk about people that take my missions without completing them, repeatedly, almost day after day. Funny enough that both types of cheaters show up in both groups. By the way, I also send messages and ask if there was a problem. I have sent up to three messages to some hard-core cheaters and haven’t gotten a response to it. 2 or 3 actually bought my shares without a comment. You make your own conclusion out of that.

Some readers have excused not following through on a missions with disagreement of the post they have to “like” re-tweet and promote. My advice to people that have limits in what they are willing to promote is, check the mission and make sure you are willing to follow through. If it happens to you, leave a comment for the guy that offers the mission. If you take the eaves and don’t do anything, you look like a mission snatcher. How is the person that offers the mission supposed to know what your problem is?

Some people take issue with the reward that is offered for a certain mission. If you find that in a mission, why don’t you just leave it alone? It is the same thing as above, if you believe the reward is too low, don’t take the eaves. If you do, you are cheating.

Don’t bother, it is not real money, or it is only “Monopoly” money

This is probably the biggest misunderstanding out there. I got quite a number of responses that argued with this. It is important to understand why this is not true and here is why we are rather talking about real money and investment:

  • For the first reason I take myself as an example. For me to run missions, I had to upgrade. I needed to be able to invest in more people and I needed to be able to buy more shares in people. Buying missions costs eaves. There are two ways to get eaves: Buying them or buy upgrades to get more daily dividends. With that, I spent real dollars in order to participate in missions and I am sure many other people did the same thing. Besides, if you go to the shop, there is a price in real dollars established for eaves. Take a look. If someone just for fun takes $0.50 from you every day, would you like it?
  • The second example is Empire Avenue itself. EA is a business. The missions are a valuable tool in their business model. That fact alone makes it “a real dollar issue”. EA is looking for companies and businesses that use this service to promote, run marketing campaigns and do other stuff with the missions. If the mission cheating doesn’t stop, or at least can’t be kept in close borders, this business tool and opportunity will eventually die. Think about eBay when they started out. Some “smart” buyers wanted to see what they are buying and some sellers sent it to them. The buyers didn’t pay, and the seller complained with eBay. Legally, eBay had no problem, but not policing it would have killed the platform. Anyway, I am not EA and this is their problem, but when you talk about “not real money” you are far off.

Since the word “Monopoly” money was mentioned, think about it. If you play with someone Monopoly and this person takes your money and cheats on a regular basis, would you play much longer?

Calling out the cheaters

I am considering to call the cheaters out. I have created a page on my blog where I will publish the ladies and gentleman that don’t take it very serious with other peoples stuff. I will do that of course only when I can show what happened and if this is an ongoing thing. I ran a mission on Sunday night and asked what people think about making this information public. Here you can read some of the opinions: Empire Avenue Kleptomaniacs

In addition to publishing this issue, I have started to advice the cheaters in my missions that I will call them out. The result is that the numbers have clearly improved. That I was called rude for this leaves me relatively cold. I see this as rather fair advice. I could call them out without a warning. At least there is a chance for a choice to make.

Please comment on this post.

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27 Responses

  1. Erin Boykin says:

    I actually complete the mission BEFORE I take the eaves so I’m not accused of cheating. I’ve had a few missions where people didn’t complete back when I first started creating them. Its always annoying that I’m giving them “free” eaves when they don’t actually complete what I’m asking them to do. Good post!

    • @lacouvee says:

      I agree with Erin – I make sure I’ve got the time and inclination to do the mission first.

  2. sallykwitt says:

    Hi Vitus,

    I understand how you feel.

    I have a friend who was accused of cheating, and he is not a cheater. It was very hurtful to him, and the information was passed along and tainted his reputation. I don’t want to see things like that happen.



  3. The cheating on missions problem is cheating the game, the player who generously offers eaves to others, and cheats oneself/. For most people, there must be some guilt associated with the taking of eaves with simply taking the eaves and running. I always do everything I can to complete the mission, as they are always fun and enjoyable, and help to get to know the other players better. There are more rewards to completing missions than the eaves alone. Indeed, they are actually a small portion of the overall benefit of mission completion.

  4. Marcus Tinaro says:

    I really didnt know that there people that don’t just follow through with the missions.

  5. TaxCoach says:

    The ‘money’ is real in the sense that we all put time into our activities, and that translate into eaves. Time is money. On the other hand, I always give the other party chances to explain why they did not complete the mission, before I go nuclear.

  6. Too much digging the wrong hole here for my taste but go as you like.

    Through ‘blocking’ btw . . . you still ‘play’ with them as long as the ‘blocking’ is based on what you outlined above.

    In the end you come across with this 3rd+ post dealing with this topic in a certain way. Though you’re old enough knowing what you do.

    I would not. Not with EA.

    And remember the saying about . . . dealing with people, dealing with things, dealing with ideas.

    Make your pick.

  7. I think that there are some players on EA who don’t take the game seriously, who probably don’t have a business to promote and are just looking to make a lot of eaves so they can buy more and get their share price higher (these are probably the same kind of people who have a very high share price, but very low dividends – they just don’t understand the game). So, perhaps we need to educate them. I think that by putting in your missions that you will follow up on cheaters you are, in part, educating them on what they shouldn’t be doing in this game. If they are just “playing” instead of using this as a real business tool, they don’t really care though.

  8. abacnok says:

    I have met some very great people by doing missions, but these same people have been hurt almost daily by the “hit-n-run” artiststhat don’t think the rules apply to them. Seeing as how I spend 8 hours, more or less, each day on EAv, it would be nice if EAv would implement some manner of keeping this problem in check. I have not spent any real cash money as yet, but I do consider my time to be worth more then monopoly money.

    And, even if people are looking at the Eaves as Monopoly money, they can still admit that your time is worth money, and you spend a lot of time on EAv, as do I. My first experience with running a mission was a disaster and I almost left EAv for good. Thanks to my wife and a good friend here on EAv, I decided to stay, but I have decided that I will not run any more missions until the “Hit-n-run” status has changed. I have learned to click the link below the blue mission box if I am not sure about a mission. This has saved me a lot of times, but I have still had the occassional mission where I was unable to complete the mission. Such as hitting a limit on Twitter, which I have had to pass on a lot of missions just because I cannot follow any more people. I do leave a message if I am not able to complete the mission and ask the mission maker to please leave me a shout out on my page and let me know what they want me to do with the eaves.

    There has even been a mission which I did want to complete, but couldn’t, because I had been blocked by the person whom I was supposed to buy. Also, since the change to the new format, several times when I try to complete a mission, I am informed that I have blocked the user and to check my blocked users list, of which there is no list because I have not blocked anyone.

    The people that continue to steal missions and not complete them should not even be allowed access to the missions, if it can be shown they do it regularly. EAv should have some means of reporting them and dealing with them, not only to protect the members, but to protect EAv from becoming a joke on the internet.

  9. Totally agree with you.

  10. Tom Laing says:

    Interesting Post Vitus.

    I have been blocked and I don’t know why nor can I find out.

    I have done missions and my computer has crapped out and I sometimes go back and complete the mission and post a comment – technology sucks.

    I have run a mission – people don’t comment, don’t like, people complete i know only because they tweeted, those that liked I have no idea or shared elsewhere I couldn’t follow. EA could improve the trackability of mission takers. Unless I’m missing something here, which is more than likely.

    Thank you for posting and requesting a comment – opportunity to share thoughts is also rare. Even rambling thoughts such as these.

    • V. says:

      Don’t cut yourself short, Tom. What you express is what many others have expressed before, there is no rambling in that. I appreciate your opinion.

  11. John S. says:

    The more missions I run, the more “cheating” I see. I think using requirements such as a 10/20 share limit helps knock out some of it. There is always going to be people that just take the eaves and run. If you see a pattern, I believe you can block people. I think the harder you make a misson, the more likely people will click and run. I see some people asking for 20 actions for 500(e), I’m willing to bet the engagement rate for those people are relatively low. I ussually get 85-95 percent of people actually doing what I ask for. Keep it simple. Most of my missions only require 1 action.

  12. This is one of the reasons Gaye Crispin started MISSIONISTAS. Like Erin, many times i start with the mission then go back for the reward, and if the mission doesn’t fit my personality, or whatever, then move on.

    I suspect that a few programer geniuses will figure out a way to lead the mission to the completion before the reward, but in the mean time keep moving forward, you have a great talent and blog.

    ps. My brother was a professional soccer player and i am a both a commercial and investment banker

    Good article, needed to be re-stated.


  13. Thanks for the post… I’m confused as to why after so many people have been in an uproar over cheaters that I have not seen EA do anything to address this.. What steps has EA taken to set something up where the money is just taken out of the cheaters account and put back into a mission?

    • Exactly Craig. That’s my number one question. It’s certainly in EA’s best interest to keep the serious participants happy – and it’s generally the serious participants who are running the missions!

    • I actually interviewed the CEO and COO of EA and they told me some of the things they are working on in the background to address mission cheating. Here’s the URL if you want to read it:


      • V. says:

        I read your article, Andrew. Good one. I know they are working on it, a part of their business is at stake. I had a conversation with Ric a few weeks ago and he told me too they are working on it.

  14. serialjava says:

    This is way cool, and I agree so much. But that is why when I do missions I’m willing to throw away some of my money just to get the advantage.

  15. AshDHart says:

    I’m still pretty new to EA but I have seen this in several of the missions I have run. I’m not sure what the solution is past blocking the people.

  16. Mission cheating is a huge disincentive to not create more profitable missions. Indeed I really want to up the ante with my mission reward, but the numbers don’t lie. My missions are not always completed.

    It doesn’t bother me greatly, as I want to build a community of loyal supporters, who enjoy, and look forward to what I hope are little surprises.

    If there is a system that delouses the lice in the mission system I will support it 100 %.

    However, what I don’t enjoy is the constant griping, and hanky wringing that goes on when people post missions. I’ve actually sold off shares of lucrative profiles, because I couldn’t stand listening to their complaining prologue to their call to action.

    In my opinion, what happens is the fun is lost when we get too caught up running the high way patrol. Slowly, I’m building, and into the mix, learning from others, and enjoying a new community on the Avenue. I can’t afford to complain, it robs my joy, and poisons my river with nuclear waste.

    Keep us posted.

  17. I saw you in Gaye’s community and I think that is the right place to run missions from because everyone has joined with the understanding that we will try to fulfill missions to the best of our ability.

    Computer and phones can fail, My laptop battery is no longer charging unless I have it plugged it, but I didn’t realize this until I unplugged it in the middle of a mission and it went black. Wow, I almost panicked, Fortunately, I was able to go back and get the the mission back. I didn’t do it on purpose, but I saved the mission.
    Yes I have put real money into eaves, and I am building a following for a purpose, but I know this all is for real. I also am building my chamber’s web traffic, because I need to do that as well.
    I do worry about ramifications if we come down too hard, but I also think EA needs to take action.
    Hope that helps

  18. rictownsend says:

    That’s why I became a member of #missionistas. I hate the cheaters, I have real money invested in the ‘game’. I for one advocate name and shame however I am told there can be legal consequences, particularly in the USA.

  19. In my the early days of missions a few missions I failed to complete as they asked something I wasn’t prepared to do – now I’ve learnt to check the mission link before I accept the eaves! However some people’s missions are pretty poor! For instance I’m not going to re-tweet, share something that isn’t written in English – just me – and often these missions don’t make this clear – that said to be honest always click the mission link first!

  20. My missions are running at about a 70% completion rate – that is to say, 3 out of 10 are just taking the money and running. I’m just completing my first month, and working diligently to make every eave count while growing my dividend – so that hurts!

    Though many no doubt deserve calling out – I’m just interested in discovering and blocking repeat offenders.

    My question is: How are you folks seeing who’s taking the money, but not completing the mission? I tried, but can’t figure it out. And secondly, how do you block someone? I could really use the help. Thanks!

  1. April 7, 2012

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