Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 28, 2013

Evidence that SOMER Blink is involved in botting and RMT

SOMER Blink seems like a gambling site, and as all such is making money from the fools. It’s fine. How much money? They claim to give out 1250T winnings. On their site it seems that the price of all the tickets is about 30% higher than the prize. So for every 70 ISK payout they make 30M profit. That’s 535T profit.

Let’s put that money into perspective: the recent event that turned BL into bl had ISK lost about 0.15% of SOMER’s money. If you buy out all the PLEX in Jita, that money allows you to do it for almost a year. If you buy out all the tritanium, you can keep doing it for 20 years.

Where the hell is this money? I mean SOMER neither uses it to make something happen in EVE, nor it was ever stolen. No SOMER theft was ever happened. In EVE people betray their long friends for pity sums of 0.01-0.05T. A 0.1-0.5T theft gets to the top pages. Here lies 535T in the hands of an organization of dozens of people (30 got Scorpions, there must be more), and none of them ever touched it.

From 535T you can rise a 5000 strong titan fleet. SOMER could just stand behind Goons, TEST or Brave Newbies and put every member into titans. Yet no such action happened. SOMER didn’t do any significant EVE event with their money.

Where is the money? They RMT-ed it all. When you get 200M “SOMER Credit” for your GTC purchase, with the 70% payout, you win 140M ISK on average. If you buy out all the blinks of an item, you can surely cash out your 200M credits into 140M ISK. Every time you do it, SOMER must get 140M ISK to cover it. SOMER doesn’t have 535T. Whatever ISK came in was given out to those who lotteried with Blink Credits. For every GTC they sold, they had to spend 140M ISK.

How much money they made from RMT? If they get $1 for a GTC and it cost them 140M ISK, about 3.8 million dollars. This is why there are no thefts: no one steals pixel money when he can get real money. The RMT scheme is simple: if you buy PLEX from CCP and sell it, you get 600M ISK at the moment. If you buy GTC from SOMER, turn it into PLEX and sell it, you get 600+140M ISK. So they are practically selling ISK for 600/740 = 81% of the official CCP-PLEX price.

I believe SOMER Blink should be immediately banned from the game with all accounts involved as “employee”. But so far I’m just repeating Nosy Gamer (and practically every blogger and forum poster). What is the new evidence?

The interesting part isn’t how SOMER used the 535T. We believe they spent it on RMT. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they spent it on charity or still have it in the wallet of the Somerset Mahm. It doesn’t matter. What matters is they could only gain 535T if others lost 535T. These can only be players who gambled with ISK (GTC buyers don’t put ISK into SOMER, they take out).

EVE has like 200K players. It means that the average player lost 2.7B ISK to SOMER, the price of a dreadnought. Most players can’t afford a carrier, not to gamble a dread away! Or you’d rather believe that there are whales who gambled away trillions to make up for those who never seen a billion in one place? Sure, people who can make trillions can’t figure out that the bank always wins on the lottery!

Who the hell lost 535T ISK on SOMER? Do you actually know anyone who gambled with multiple billions of ISK (instead of blink credits)? I believe that those who “lost” this ISK to SOMER are botters who were paid with real money to do so. SOMER didn’t even have to manipulate anything, if you buy 1T worth of tickets, you win 700B worth of prize, giving 300B to SOMER. Of course there are legitimate idiots who lost a couple million ISK, but they are insignificant in the books.

If you claim that SOMER is legit and not buying ISK from botters, you have to somehow prove that the average player, including yourself, your corpmates, the fools who mine veldspar to PLEX their accounts, the FW frig complex fighters, the TESTies who had more Rifters in battleship fleets than battleships, the Goons who grind structures in bombers have all lost a dreadnought to SOMER. Good luck!

The anti-tear of today:

The good news of today, another ice field cleansed:

Astesia is a busy white knight, protecting miners. He isn't a failure like Hitamino and the no-scram-Drake campers, he has a killboard full of gankers. Yet, I could pop Macks in his presence, so he choose to upship a bit when the ice field appeared:
It seems it wasn't the brightest idea.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone try to steal from them? Surely they pay pretty well to their employees.

I don't think you can call the fact you haven't seen a screenshot of a wallet with 535 trillion evidence. Not saying they aren't a CCP shadow company making millions of real dollars on Eves largest isk sink, but this article doesn't really have any "evidence". That said, I'm betting their economist has some relation to Somer keeping Eve's inflation in check.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to vote on moron if he's got a carrier in high sec and thinks it will stop you from ganking. Can't really use it for something other than mining without taking a temp ban and banishment of the ship to low.

Anonymous said...

Whether they really engage in rmt is not known at the moment. It's possible. But you failed to provide evidence, despite the title. It's just speculation on your part.

NoizyGamer said...

Hi Gevlon,

My educated guess is that SOMERblink has made no more than $200,000 from the referral system with first Shattered Crystal and then Markee Dragon since making its first referral back in September 2010.

Michael LeBlanc said...

Your 535T number is wrong, for reasons you yourself pointed out. Some of the tickets are bought on blink credit, they make no profit off of those tickets. Since RMTing involves using such credits, your estimate of millions of real dollars is at least an order of magnitude too high

There's also plenty of prizes they take losses on even without any credit being used, like promos, trivia, etc. And to compound with the above, those non ISK bought prizes are often blink credits. The last two days have seen 12 bil in credits just from promos.

As for players losing tons of money to SOMER, I know many people who have spent in the 10s of billions. Dumb? Sure, but you find examples of billion ISK idiots all the time

Anonymous said...

I know of plenty of people who have lost all their Eve ISK on Somer.

Stupid? Sure. But, then, I understand the "Next time I will be lucky" assumption people make.

That you think people only bet using credits they have previously won is showing your lack of critical thinking once again.

Gevlon said...

@Michael: have you actually read the article? Of course the 535T number is wrong, the correct one is zero, as the money coming in was used with the blink credits.

It is to be understood as: "if SOMER would only work with ISK and no blink credits, they'd have 535T"

Babar said...

So where is your evidence exactly? Though 2.7b per person is more than I'd have thought, it's not impossible. As someone who used to play internet poker at an ok level, I know first hand that people never talk about their losses. Still I know of at least one person in GSF that lost his entire Titan fund on Somer. Also, the number is inflated because (likely) most of the 200m that people get in Blink credit goes straight back.

Why do you think people are so poor that they can't pay for battleships, even when they rat/pve so much? They must waste it on something, right? And Somer has been going on for years, it's not that unlikely that people on average have lost 700m a year, that's a little over 50m a month!

When you use the word "Evidence" in your title, then you should actually present some evidence. All you're doing now is speculation, and trying to push the burden of proof to those that disagree. That's not how it works. You have to present clear facts, backed up by solid evidence, otherwise you are just speculating. And then literally anyone else can just speculate the opposite view, and then what's the point?

Anonymous said...

a) Somer was robbed in 2010: ,

b) Somer exists since at least 2010 so they had some time to accumulate a lot of ISK,

c) if you combine Gambling with ISK rich players AND achievements you get your Dreadnougth per player,

d) people are stupid. A lot of them are grinding or selling plex just for paying for their gambling habit,

e) not every win was cashed out in ISK. A lot of them are exchangend to Somer Credits to continue your Gambling habit and getting more Promo Tokens.

f) And yes, if you follow the chat of Somer you will notice that there are lot of players who are losing billions to Somer.

200.000$ in 3-4 years is not enough money for all the work with Somer Blink.
And with these 200.000$ you have to maintain the Website, pay the server, buy all the ISK from the botters (lol) etc...

Sorry, but your are wrong. Even the numbers you have in your post are wrong.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how long these people have been hoarding wealth, but rather than how much they've stockpiled as a function of the size of the current player-base, I'd be interested to know how much they earn per month as a function of the size of the monthly playerbase. If that number is more feasible, then we have our answer.

Anonymous said...

It is to be understood as: "if SOMER would only work with ISK and no blink credits, they'd have 535T"

No they wouldn't, because it is very likely the game would not be able to sustain that level of cash being thrown in one particular direction. As stated in a previous (and moderated, not shown in this thread. Unfortunate that you still moderate out rational voices from your debates) the blink credits allow them to operate a system akin to fractional reserve banking - in essence creating more currency then they themselves have to cover it.

If they were not engaged in this approach the rate at which they accumulated their money would have been suffocated by supply.

If they were relying purely on isk I doubt they'd have 50T, let alone 550...

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, how did he get a carrier into high sec (or is it one from the past?) and why isn't he a moron for losing it (

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Gevlon "@Michael: have you actually read the article? Of course the 535T number is wrong, the correct one is zero, as the money coming in was used with the blink credits."

Sure, there's nobody at all playing SOMER with ISK. This is an equally ridiculous claim.

My point was (math and factual errors in the article aside, of which there are plenty) there are plenty of sources of blink credits aside from buying GTC, sources which they gain nothing directly from (they are essentially advertising), which could greatly reduce that 535T (which should be a lot lower in the first place).

Your suggestion is that Somer has referred 3.5 times the number of GTCs to Markee Dragon than the site has sold in it's entirety.

Obviously Somer is engaging in RMT, giving credits for in game items in exchange for real dollars.

Your post however, adds absolutely nothing to this besides a bunch of math errors and conclusions that can't possibly be correct.

Gevlon said...

@Michael: blink credits are practically gifts from Somer to you in the ISK world (of course you have to pay for this gift). You can use the credits as real ISK.

The new information of my article is that SOMER must have connection to ISK sellers, acting as a medium between the two parties of the RMT (the ISK buyer and the botter).

The alternative is the ridiculous claim that the average player has lost a dreadnought to SOMER.

Michael LeBlanc said...

Here's some actual numbers. In game prices don't really matter since the vast majority of blinks are paid out in ISK or in Blink Credit, so we can just look at the buyout value of each blink.

Buyout values depend on the value of the auction, with larger auctions having larger buyouts. They seem to range from 67.5% buyouts on blinks with value under 50 mil, to 89.5% on blinks with value over about 2bil

Over the last 20 blinks, the total buyout was about 88% of ticket value, or the other way around, the profit was about 14% of awarded prizes. Promos and bonks don't actually take much out of the 1.25Q prizes awarded, so we can estimate that total ticket purchases amount to 1.25/0.88 = 1.42Q, or 170T more than the payouts (already we are significantly less than the 525T you quoted.

If you take blink credit, you get 5% more than if you take ISK. As about 75% of auctions are taken as credit, this means that very roughly 45T has been given out that way. Another 28T has been given out for achievements, and 45k promo blinks have been run, those range from 250m - 1b, so at the very low end another 11T has been given out that way.

So now their profit is down to 170T - 45T (credit incentive) - 28T (achievements) - 11T (Promo) = 86T. As I said, an order of magnitude lower than your initial estimate.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Gevlon "blink credits are practically gifts from Somer to you in the ISK world (of course you have to pay for this gift). You can use the credits as real ISK."

What you are missing is that you often DON'T have to pay for them. GTC is only one of many sources of credits. 28T have been given out for achievements, at LEAST 11T, probably closer to 20T have been given out in promos. Some unkown amount have been given out in mini-bonks and some unknown amount in trivia.

Gevlon said...

@Michael: the point of the article is that for SOMER to operate, they need botter ISK infusion.

The magnitude of their income makes legitimate work totally impossible. Maybe my 535T is incorrect. But 100T (half B per every single person playing EVE) is also impossible.

Let's get a reasonable estimate: every fourth player plays somewhat regularly and they play with 50M/month. That's 2.5T/month or 30T/year. That's the magnitude they can reach.

Anonymous said...

Certainly these sort of sites are inconsistent with really fighting RMT since they make enforcement so much harder.

I.e. going to a third-part site and buying ISK for RL$ is against the TOS. But what if I unofficially buy favor at a third-party site and then "win" ISK in game?

Even if SB is not in RMT, allowing this sort of thing makes enforcement so much more difficult.

If xxxRMTxxx gives me 1B ISK for no reason, then that looks suspicious to the CCP enforcement people. Far more suspicious than if they paid me the $1B.

You could hide it by the RMT purchase on the web site gives you chances in a legitimate lobby.

Certainly RMTBlink can legally sell RMTBucks on their site; they invented them. So as soon as their currency can be converted into something that has an expected value in ISK, there is an issue. I.e. does selling a 10% chance of 10B ISK violate the TOS less than selling 1B ISK?

Subscriptions help blur things. What if everyone upon joining RMTSwarm gets 1B ISK or better yet items sellable at Jita for 1B. But you need to "subscribe" to some site for $10 to join. How is that different than buying ISK for $10?

There are lots of rumors about how hard CCP is fighting bots. Even if they were to divert considerable resources to it, it is tough. But a lot tougher with these sort of things around.

Naturally, the solution is to allow ISK to be freely sold but the unemployable would never stand for that.

Michael LeBlanc said...

They can reach 30T per year by your estimate... they've been running for 3 years. 86T was my high end estimate for their profits. Those numbers line up pretty perfectly.

Also, we do know that some of those 'profits' come from RMT. Taking Noizy's high end of 200k, at 1.75 per GTC that awards 200m ISK, 23T, bringing their profits down to 63T, with a likely 11T more in promo blinks from my using the minimum value, 52T over 3 years, well within your 30T/year estimate with no need for any illicit activity outside of the GTC for Credits RMT.

Ie, you've provided no evidence at all that Somer is somehow working with botters, their numbers line up fine with the assumptions put forward, as long as you do the math right.

Anonymous said...

Your math is bogus. Or the one of somer, depending on pov

If you buy some credits for 100m and you win a ship worth 160m, and then decide to cash it in for 150 somer credits and you use those and win another ship, they count it as haven given you 320m. There is so many errors in that math, it's not even funny. Truth is that a large chunk of that sum they use to advertise never existed in eve. It only works because about 31% (at least two years ago) of then prices are won by somer players that actually don't exist. That's what's keeping their scheme alive, not bot feeders.

That said the absolute valid question you are raising is "where is the money's they still make"

Gevlon said...

@Michael: you are still ignoring that just because someone played with Blink credits, you still need ISK to cover his winnings. Blink can just give you 10000000000 credits, that's just a number on their website. But you can gamble with those credits and win ships they have to give you.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Gevlon 75% of winnings are paid in blink credits. So of the total winnings of 1.25Q, only 312T had to actually be put into ISK/Ships.

Yes 312T is a crap ton of money, but no one 'lost' that money, that's essentially 312T in market transactions. 312T that people deposited into Somer and 312T that Somer paid back out.

Tego said...

@gelvon. the assumption you make is that they have the isk to cover the blink credits they have given out. The banking and responsible thing would be to have isk to cover the credits (or 80% of the isk due to how their system works) I highly doubt they opperate with more than 10 to 20 % since a large portion (the 75% number) goes right back into the system they can be called paper transaction, smoke and mirrors. Nothing trades hands, even in the in game world. It also ignores that it is quite possible that they did not even pay full price for many of the items. Find a deal on some ship, RNI's for example where you either set really low region wide buy orders and catch stupid people looking to offload one, or find someone who missed a few zeros in setting up the sell order. so that 300T in hard prizes they paid out might have only cost them 100t? maybe less? They are the ones who control the offerings on the site, it would be silly to think that they didn't optimize their profit in that way. with that the margins keep shrinking. and your argument looks more and more like someone hunting for someone, anyone, who might be a bot, or help bots. It isn't rational thought i see it is bot hatred.

Gevlon said...

@Tegu: but why does someone accept paper transactions? I mean you gave them ISK or got blink credits. You want to win pretty ship and not useless Blink credits!

The "blink credit cashing" is further evidence. Those who don't take pretty ship are the botters. They gamble and if they win, they don't take anything but gamble again until they lose. Their purpose is to lose everything since they are paid with real money to give that ISK to SOMER.

Anonymous said...

Ripard explains the situation with the carrier. You are once again quick on judging people.

Gevlon said...

Because getting GM attention to your carrier by guarding miners and then going suspect is not idiotic in some cultures?

Anonymous said...

Please read the explanation again. He was not guarding miners with the carrier because it's a bannable offense. You are wrong on this. He was playing with station campers, which reported him. It had nothing to do with you. When his hand was forced, he decided to fuck it and just unlock while flashy. To end it with a bang.

Mesar said...

lets make some maths:

take 10 people who put 10 credits each to have 10 blink-credits each
they all blink one blink-credit for a 10 part blink of an item with a 8 credit value
all of them mke this 10 times
Statistically, all off them will have 1 prize of 8 credits and somer will have 100 credits and can clame having distributed 80 credit.
Now 75% off these guys cash their prize into credits
We have 60 blink-credits, 20 credits given and somer still has 80 credits and claim distributing 80 credits.
let's repeat the process one more time
We now have: 0 blink-credit, 48 prizes, 20 credits-given, 80 credits in somer wallet, and 128 credits-distributed claimed
75% cash into credits: 36 blink-credit, 0 prizes, 32 credits-given, 68 credits in somer wallet, and 128 credits-distributed claimed
play again: 6 blink-credit, 24 prizes, 32 credits-given, 68 credits in somer wallet, and 152 credits-distributed claimed
75% cash into credits: 24 blink-credit, 0 prizes, 38 credits-given, 62 credits in somer wallet, and 152 credits-distributed claimed
play again: 4 blink-credit, 16 prizes, 38 credits-given, 62 credits in somer wallet, and 168 credits-distributed claimed
75% cash into credits: 16 blink-credit, 0 prizes, 42 credits-given, 58 credits in somer wallet, and 168 credits-distributed claimed
Last time repeat: 6 blink-credit, 8 prizes, 42 credits-given, 58 credits in somer wallet, and 176 credits-distributed claimed
75% cash into credits: 12 blink-credit, 0 prizes, 44 credits-given, 56 credits in somer wallet, and 176 credits-distributed claimed

has you see this idea off cashing prizes into credit allow somer to claim a value of credits-distributed superior to the initial value while

having still some money into their wallet.
this is how they manage to do such numbers and also how they manage to convince people into playing such some.

Because by doing this people have the impression they have won 17,6 credit playing 10 and they have still 1.2 left, instead of realizing that

they lose 4,4 credits credits (100 - 44 given - 12 blink credits)/10people.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Gevlon "but why does someone accept paper transactions? I mean you gave them ISK or got blink credits. You want to win pretty ship and not useless Blink credits!

The "blink credit cashing" is further evidence. Those who don't take pretty ship are the botters. They gamble and if they win, they don't take anything but gamble again until they lose. Their purpose is to lose everything since they are paid with real money to give that ISK to SOMER."

You further belie your lack of understanding. It's incredibly rare for it not to be completely moronic to take a ship, as the buyout values usually are well above the actual in game price. If you win a Revelation (the most valuable item blink offers), you have 3 options. 1) Get a Revelation, 2) get 2.7B ISK in game, or 3) get 2.9B blink credit. Seeing as you can buy one in game for under 2B, you can take option 2 and have the ship PLUS 700 mil, instead of just having the ship.

The reason that more winnings are taken in credits than in ISK is 2 fold. One, the payout is nominally 5% better (but not really as you will on average lose 10.5% of their value converting them to actual ISK), but more importantly because it's a gambling game. Most people don't go to a casino and turn every dollar they win into cash every time they win it. They keep everything in chips until they are done playing. Especially if cashing out and rebuying your chips/credits is 5% worse than just taking the credits straight up.