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As I think about what I want to write about EVE Vegas and start to draft my posts about it, I keep returning to one topic that deserves to be talked about separately.  That way, people who want to comment on this particular aspect of EVE Vegas can do so.  It also allows me to cover this topic fully without it dominating two other posts I’d like to write about EVE Vegas.  And I do want to write about EVE Vegas in some detail because I think this player gathering is important for a number of reasons which I’ll get to.  OK?  Onward.

Of all the player groups that attended EVE Vegas, there was one that in many ways dominated the event.  They could even argue that they were synonymous both with EVE Vegas 2013 and with the spirit of the gathering itself and the city where it took place.  And that player group was not Goonswarm.

It was SOMER Blink.

SOMER Blink staff were visibly all over the place at EVE Vegas this year and I think they can successfully argue that their presence is one of the major reasons EVE Vegas was successful.  In my view, their presence was such that it elevated their brand for those who attended without becoming an dominating influence on the event.  They were involved in three key ways:

  1. Throughout the event, they were giving a free PLEX to anyone who would say hello to one of their staff and accept a little business card.  Once logged in to a SOMER Blink account — even a brand new one — activating the card resulted in a PLEX being very rapidly contracted to your character account.  The leader of the SOMER Blink contingent told me that the organization’s goal was to give a PLEX to every EVE Vegas attendee.  I hope they succeeded.
  2. They were giving the primary prizes for the EVE PvP area at EVE Vegas.  I’ll talk about how this PvP area was operated in my next post.  But everyone who participated — and the PvP area was set up in such a way to encourage every attendee to participate — received 200 million ISK in SOMER Blink credit.  Those who won EVE PvP matches received an additional one billion ISK in credit, as well as a second PLEX.
  3. Finally — and I think this was just as critical as the first two points — they did not give a presentation in the main hall or run a round table, even though there were a number of player and player group presentations at EVE Vegas.(1)

I don’t know if that last one was deliberate or accidental.  If it was deliberate, it was a smart move.  If it was accidental, it was fortunate serendipity.  But it was the right thing to do, balance-wise.  Had there been a SOMER Blink presentation, I think the overall event would have strayed pretty close to “EVE Vegas, sponsored by SOMER Blink!”  They certainly weren’t listed among the event’s other official sponsors.  And without such a presentation, a nice balance was struck: SOMER made it clear that they were strongly supporting the event, but weren’t necessarily sponsoring it nor making the organizers of the event beholden to them.

In particular, so far as I could see, the SOMER Blink staff didn’t receive any particularly special treatment during the event.  They didn’t do anything any other player group at the event couldn’t have done.  They didn’t try to take over the event or over-emphasize their participation in any way.  They were just there, proudly supporting their organization.

Let’s look at the cost of their participation.  There were 350 people total at EVE Vegas.  First, it’s fair to say that something like 300 of the attendees received a PLEX.  The SOMER Blink staff struck me as very thorough, asking each attendee they could find if they’d received “their PLEX” yet.  Second, each winner of the casual PvP matches also received a second PLEX; by the rules, you could only win once during the weekend.  If attendees made a concerted effort to get involved in a winning group, they might have lost fight after fight, but probably would have won one eventually.  Let’s be conservative and say 200 attendees legitimately won a PvP match.

In addition, a certain number of people in attendance — let’s say 50 — almost certainly said “no” when they were asked if they’d received their attendance card for a PLEX, then used a second SOMER Blink account to turn that card in for a second attendance PLEX.  And a certain number — again, let’s say 50 — almost certainly cheated the system used to track who had and hadn’t won a PvP match and used the same second account to accept and turn in credit for a second PvP victory PLEX.

Each card could only be used once per SOMER Blink account; you would need a second account to take advantage that way.  But these are EVE players we’re talking about, after all.  So let’s say 100 additional PLEXes went out the door to people cheating the two systems.  300 door prize PLEXes, 200 PvP winner PLEXes, and 100 cheater PLEXes are 600 PLEXes in total.

600 PLEXes is worth some 366 billion ISK.

In addition, everyone who participated in the PvP event received 200 million ISK in Blink credit, and those 250 PvP winners received an additional billion ISK in Blink credit.  The first group was almost certainly 300 people or more, so let’s call it 300.  That’s 60 billion in Blink credit.  The winners received another 250 billion.  And all of these numbers are rather conservative.  It’s likely SOMER Blink pumped some 750 or 800 billion ISK in PLEXes and credit into this event.  That’s a very strong show of support.

The SOMER Blink representatives I talked to were perfectly willing to chat about the Ishukone Watch Scorpion giveaway issue, by the way.  To a man, they said they are pretty thick-skinned on the matter but also said that they haven’t caught an unusual amount of heat over the issue.  That’s good, in my opinion.  If EVE players were going to be angry about the giveaway, they were angry at CCP, not at SOMER Blink.  That’s appropriate.

Finally, I do have to confess myself rather amused by the thought of SOMER Blink — an EVE gambling site, obviously — so strongly supporting an EVE player gathering happening in Las Vegas.  That’s also appropriate.

So all in all, I’m rather impressed with the showing that SOMER Blink made at EVE Vegas!  But of course certain pod-casters out there might accuse me of conflict of interest.  After all, I did end up receiving two PLEXes and 1.2 billion ISK in SOMER Blink credit from my own participation in EVE Vegas.  So feel free to accuse me of bias if you like.

What do you think, Dear Readers?  Was SOMER Blink’s strong support of this player event smart, and the appropriate thing to do?

– Ripard Teg

If you would like to read more we invite you to visit his blog here.

26 Comments

  1. Jaime Gomes

    I was gonna go to the store….but they told me fucks were not for sale….they ran out on the last GG article. Tough luck…

    October 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm Reply
  2. troll

    DC II much? Btw, did CCP influence you to blow Somer or do you have some stake in Somer itself?

    October 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm Reply
  3. daniL

    Winners have taken home over 1,243,271,402,293,993 ISK
    They gave away 800 bil for advertizement …
    good they gave 0.3% of there ISK profit to advertize :)

    October 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm Reply
    1. Daniel Plain

      that is not how math works.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm Reply
    2. Lanid

      Learn the difference between profit and turnover you moron

      October 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm Reply
      1. daniL

        LoL

        October 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm Reply
    3. Simon pieman

      Ha i love it when people make the world see just how stupid they are, you sir are a idiot.

      October 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm Reply
    4. DarkDecay

      So somer made an estimated 35 trillion from the “gifts” CCP gave them, got excellent publicity and an endorsement from CCP, and all it cost them was the 800 billion that was given away?

      October 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm Reply
  4. eff SOMER

    Nice to know that RMTers are OK, as long as they pass out PLEX to sundry and all. But hey, SOMER can’t be making much real life cash, right? Surely they don’t need to buy off the community. . .

    Notice EOH doing this? Riv? DOTLAN? Hell, that other website run by a certain Goon CEO? . . .No. That’s because they are not RMTing . . .

    October 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm Reply
    1. Simon pieman

      Tinfoil hat is on.

      October 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply
  5. quitting

    More buying off of ccp and the player base.

    October 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm Reply
  6. Blinkluv

    From your past position on Somer Blink and CCP I guess this article was bound to be written, we get it you think they are great, yeah! Now let it go those that can be influenced already are.

    October 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply
  7. Bought and paid for

    The real question is this; Was CCP support of a RMT organization good for there game.

    My answer is no 2 accounts un subbed 1 more to go. Now I know why DNSBlack sold his charcter. Good luck CCP you have truly crossed the rubicon

    October 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply
    1. Simon pieman

      Prove there is any RMT going on and you win eve.

      October 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply
  8. Chris

    I don’t see what the problem is. Out of every article I’ve read on this subject, not one has actually presented the evidence of RMT.

    October 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm Reply
    1. Patrick Kilroy

      The “evidence” is all circumstantial. The issue at heart is more of the favoritism being played. Players have done the exact same thing lately, and they have been shut down for violations of the EULA.

      Violations, I might add, that no one in CCP was able to explain a month ago, and continue to skirt the issue. Tuesday evening in Iceland, and nothing from CCP despite saying we’d have some type of clarification after EvE Vegas. Sure, in a month if they manage to clarify anything it will be “after EvE Vegas” so I guess they didn’t lie. But you still expect something very quickly. Couple that with the “prizes” SOMER was offeredby CCP, and you can start to see the very large amount of favoritism.

      To boil it down, people are upset that CCP can’t clarify their own EULA and how SOMER can get away with what is essentially RMT, even if the evidence is pure circumstantial. If you can’t explain it to us simply, then you don’t understand it. And for a company rep to not be able to understand his own EULA/ToS, then how can re expect him to act fairly?

      October 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm Reply
      1. Chris

        I can see the favoritism. I don’t see the RMT. I know they sell plex but I thought that was done through ccp.

        October 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm Reply
        1. Patrick Kilroy

          From the investigation I have done, it is not through CCP. It is through a “legitimate ETC retailer” but not through CCP. SOMER and that ETC retailer make money off of the sales. In turn, they offer you ISK. That is the RMT.

          October 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm Reply
          1. Chris

            Ok, Thank you.

            October 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm
  9. Roe

    I dont think I could care less about this fricken topic

    October 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm Reply
    1. Patrick Kilroy

      Many people don’t, because they think it doesn’t directly affect them. In one way or another, issues like this affect the entire playerbase, even if it’s not overt.

      October 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm Reply
  10. Xeen

    Blink pay out 80% so by giving you 200m credit, they are giving you 160m isk. If they wanted you to have 200m isk, they’d give you 250m credit.
    I really don;t know how you can continue to try to tell us that blink don’t RMT.
    Let’s super simplify for you to get it:

    I’ve simplified the figures so you might understand
    This is the state beforehand:

    Blink RL wallet $0
    Your RL wallet $35
    Markee RL wallet: $0
    Blink ISK wallet: 1200m (0m reserved for credit)
    Your Credit: 0m
    Your ISK wallet: 0m

    You buy a GTC for $35. Markee gets that and pays somer, let’s just say $5 for simplicity. Somer give you 200m credit. This makes the following state:

    Blink RL wallet $5
    Your RL wallet $0
    Markee RL wallet: $30
    Blink ISK wallet: 1200m (200m reserved for credit)
    Your Credit: 200m
    Your ISK wallet: 0m

    Now you play blink, buying all of the tickets for a 200m lottery with a 160m prize. You win 160m isk. Now it looks like this:

    Blink RL wallet $5
    Your RL wallet $0
    Markee RL wallet: $30
    Blink ISK wallet: 1040m (0m reserved for credit)
    Your Credit: 0m
    Your ISK wallet: 160m

    Do you see how blink have decreased their isk wallet, while increasing yours, and increased their RL wallet? That’s RMT. They paid you isk to engage in a transaction which game them real money.
    Just because they jammed the extra step in the middle that has their own made up “credit” currency does not stop it being RMT. They get sales which net them cash by “giving” out their isk. The only difference between them and a straight up RMTer that gets banned every day is the terminology.

    October 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm Reply
    1. Carlona_Dry

      Why would this matter? And the fact CCP lets this happen matters less?

      October 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm Reply
  11. Nanatoa

    So they gave away 800 billion isk at EVE Vegas alone, but somehow have a problem with refunding my meagre 16 billion – the 16 billion I spent at SOMER Blink when I was guaranteed by CCP and trustworthy and reliable Somer to have a shot at winning a Gold Magnate?

    October 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm Reply
  12. arkady

    Take your 30 Silver Ishukone Scorpions and get the fuck out Judas.

    October 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm Reply
  13. anon

    Another dumb post Teg… you`re on a roll.

    October 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm Reply

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