Greedy Goblin

Thursday, April 2, 2015

IWantISK must be doing RMT

The operator posted his reply against the allegations of RMT. Of course he didn't post anything of proof, just tried to ad hominem discredit the accuser. While doing so, he casually dropped that they make 200B a day from gambling.

I don't need explicit proof that this or that perpeetum mobile design is useless, or that this or that Jita ISK doubler is a scammer to know it is. Similarly I don't need any proof that this or that ISK-gambling site is RMT-ing, but our little ISK seller provided it.

200B a day is 6T a month. This an unimaginable number to an ordinary player who wants SRP for a cruiser. But we have a simple point of reference: despite directly against the Goon canon, renting was introduced to the CFC. Their rules outline the pricing and they even list system costs. Depending on vacancies, the CFC gets 200-300B income from PBLRD. They have 90 systems, so that's about 2.5-3.5B/system. NA. has 441 systems, XWX has 336, B0T has 123. All together about 1000 systems, translating to 2.5-3.5T/month income for all renting in EVE. IWantISK claims to have twice as much and it's in line of what Somer Blink made before they were shut down ... for RMT-ing.

You simply can't do anything with that kind of ISK without creating huge waves and everyone talking about you. No, killing one titan doesn't do it, that's just 1/60 of the monthly income. They could reimburse a B-R every second month. They clearly don't. What are they doing with all these pixel money? Do you really believe that they created that professional site and work around the clock to manage bets and rewards just to watch their pixel wallet grow?

The only way to spend that money without crushing coalitions is RMT. Their money is distributed between thousands of little buyers, this is why we see no effect. Noisy reported $11/B black market price, so they make $66K/month before expenses. Obviously their 6T can't come from legitimate gamblers, there are simply not enough idiots with that money, it comes from botters who "lose" their income on the site and get paid in cash for it. Of course I don't question that a couple percents of their ISK really come from gambling idiots.

Gambling is loved by RMT-ers, because it naturally includes large transactions without in-game reason. Some guy I've never met sends me 10B for nothing? Obvious RMT. Gambling site sends me 10B? I won!

CCP should implement an in-client, zero-sum (the house takes nothing) gambling feature, to serve the gamble-addict players, while outcompeting any third-party gambling sites (no one can go zero-sum as they have site-building and operational costs). After the players with their transactions leave the third-party sites, the remaining traffic can be analyzed and the individual RMT sellers and buyers identified and banned.


Foo said...

Let's say I agree with the argument that gambling is currently tied to illicit/bannable behavior but there is currently insufficient proof to apply a banhammer. (I think I agree but reserve final judgement)

This still does not follow that the stupidity tax should be 0%

I am also not sure I agree with the concept of arbitrarily 'nationalising' an admitidly dodgy industry and paying for it with 'government funds' (in this instance ccp developement time)

NoizyGamer said...

The problem is that the accuser's story is so full of holes that I can't trust it. However, one of the sellers mentioned is the biggest black market ISK/PLEX seller on Player Auctions. If this report leads CCP to shut down that shop, then something good will come out of this.

Oh, and the tears that will come forth. RMT tears, best tears.

nightgerbil said...

Or why not just ban gambling? easy fix. From this date hence forth all isk/prizes won/lost by gambling is confiscated and people hosting gambling sites will be perma banned. attempts to evade will be punished yada yada.

Problem solved.

Gevlon said...

@Foo: the RMT-ers make lot of money that is missing from the PLEX market (= CCP wallet). Definitely worth developer resources.

@nightgerbil: players clearly want to gamble. Denying them their fun isn't the best for business. Also, what is "gambling"? You betting with your corpmate on the outcome of an 1v1 is gambling?

S Riojas said...

@Gevlon @nightgerbil If CCP did ban gambling, they most likely would ban it in the sense of external gambling to the EVE client.

That or CCP simply demand that if you want to run a site like Somerblink or iwantisk, there is complete transparency and complete access to the database of the the site by designated CCP employees

Zaxin said...

The accuser could equally be doing RMT and trying to close down his competitors.

Proof is required, or at least some semblance of proof, beyond "I know this guy is RMTing".

As NoizyGamer said, too many holes, but if CCP shut down one shop, then it is something good at least.

Anonymous said...

RMT is a huge problem, and having the developer do it only masks the symptoms.

"Classic game theory" in this context is to match "faucets" with
"sinks." But that doesn't factor in the earning disparity between slackers on one end of the spectrum and outliers like Gevlon who are singlemindedly devoted to pointlessly collecting pixel money (No offense.) on the other end of the spectrum.

As such, adding "sinks" in the game specifically to drain money from the economy CREATES RMT in that the poor people want those things too... but can't legally 'earn' the game currency to buy them.

If you have to add sinks to the game to get rid of "excess money" you are already screwed. The only "good" way to dump extra game money is to have the people that have the most quit playing and abandon the currency in their closed account. And the only way to do that is the venomously prevent the valuation of your game currency to "real" currencies.

Where developers are going wrong is they want to retain their customers forever. They have to accept that there is a natural cycle to this, you start a game, you play it to it's conclusion for you, then you quit. You start a new game and someone else starts playing the game you just left... what also leaves the game is all the game gold / isk / whatevers that got abandoned when you left. That has to be the biggest currency sink.

CCP burned that ship long ago by focusing their marketing on the real world cost of the big battles.

Anonymous said...

S Riojas:
"That or CCP simply demand that if you want to run a site like Somerblink or iwantisk, there is complete transparency and complete access to the database of the the site by designated CCP employees"

CCP can't really make that demand. CCP can refuse to sell them "plex" for subsequent resale, but that's about the practical limit of their ability to influence "IwantIsk."

This is because "IwantIsk" doesn't have any isk. All the isk stays in the game and has no way to get out. They have their OWN currency they also call "isk" they use for the website side of their RMT scheme.

Anonymous said...

'The only way to spend that money without crushing coalitions is RMT."

This is the bottom line. The only "legitimate" revenue sources the site has are ads and plex sales. Well, there is no reason to run a complete gambling site to support that trickle of a revenue stream.

As such, it's a completely safe conclusion that ALL "isk gambling" sites are RMT schemes (Money laundering may not be the oldest profession, but it's penultimate in it's position on the list.)

It's like concluding that the two guys that offer your business "protection" for a fee are "protecting" it from themselves.

This is all on CCP. They set up a situation that begs to be abused through money laundering, then wonder why it happens?

Here's how these sites work in a nutshell: You want to gamble. You create an account on the site. Well, you need "isk" to gamble with, so they arrange for a "banker" to take your isk in game. An identical amount of web site isk appears in your account and you gamble with it.

In reality, the isk never left the game. The "banker" then gives it to someone else. That other person may have "won" it on the gambling site, or simply bought it with real world cash. There is no way to tell.

This complete inability to audit the isk trail, as it were, basically guarantees that RMT is taking place. This is basic human nature, if there is money to be made, people will line up to make it.

S Riojas said...

@Gevlon you did spur an interesting idea: create a gambling site where ISK revenue does go to fuel anti-CFC efforts.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that even though they make 6t a mo a lot of it goes back out in giveaways and all that good stuff. They state they never go over 5t ISK in their wallets.