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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Mar 11th 2011 5:01PM killroy said

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"We have over 14,000 accounts registered, most of which are not alts, since we discourage alt use."

I like that they discourage alt use, but I don't see how you could actually do this. The promo blinks usually get vaporized within a minute or two.

Also, the site seems to have been used either for people very addicted to gambling, or that are laundering money through the site. The recent RMT customer leaks point to some of the top customers. I imagine there is not much you can do about that.

The above were just a couple things I was hoping to have asked in the interview, not a knock against the site.

The site is amazingly fun and is professionally put together. The site looks better than most of the websites I visit everyday.

The service is top notch and they are 100% reliable. I have won 2 ships on the site. Somerset and the team do a great job. Here is a tip:

If you pay for your subscription with GTC's like I do, buy them through the link on the site and you get 50m isk credit for something I planned on doing anyway.

Great subject choice for the interview.

Posted: Mar 11th 2011 5:32PM Brendan Drain said

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@killroy When the interview was done, I was not aware of the RMT leak in which the site's top gambler was named as a regular ISK buyer. This does of course raise some legitimate questions and concerns, like the fact that this individual seems to be spending a huge amount of real-life money feeding a gambling addiction. This would of course not be Somer's fault, as people with addiction problems will always find an outlet for them. But it's something I'd like to have asked about.

The possibility also exists that his winnings at Somer.Blink could have been a way to deliver and so launder the ISK. While I don't personally believe this is the case, you're right in suggesting it's a valid potential concern. I'll see if I can get Somerset Mahm to respond in the comments.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2011 6:03PM Somerset Mahm said

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@killroy

Hey there! Both points are good and I'll try to respond.

Re: alts. The first thing to note here is, at some level, it's good for the game that we can't conclusively spot alt accounts. If we could, it would mean that your super-secret spy in $BIG_ALLIANCE would never be able to operate because he would be instantly linked to your main. That said...

We operate a number of different methods of tracking and detecting when people use more than one account to try to play our "promo" blinks, from the obvious, such as IP tracking, to less-apparent methods such as behavior tracking and deposit history. The recent move to "Promo Tokens" as a way of paying for promos has almost completely removed the alt problem, as you can no longer deposit three or four million and then play 1-ISK promos for life.

The promo blinks finish REALLY quickly, you're correct. We currently have about 1,400 accounts on average that play at least one blink on a daily basis. That's a huge percentage of the active Eve userbase and something of which I'm really proud. But with that many people checking the site (plus word-of-mouth, people will yell in their corp / alliance channels when promos go off) it definitely means that getting in on the free stuff means being active on the site.

Re: the RMT issues that have recently cropped up. Blink takes an active stance on trying to combat RMT. We don't allow you to cash out Blink credit (the easiest way to quickly launder ISK), you have to play your credit on the site. We also don't allow transfer of credit between accounts-- even though this feature has been requested and we'd love to implement it. We are, from what I understand, audited fairly closely by CCP because of the sheer amount of ISK that runs through Blink. Because ISK goes into Blink and back out to the same person, not a different player, this immediately defeats much of the potential for laundering-- the transactions are still linked to the player that was holding the bought ISK to begin with.

I filed petitions as soon as the recent events came to light, and did receive GM responses although they could not confirm what actions will be taken. Several accounts will be removed from the site as it does appear that they have been permanently banned.

At the most pragmatic level, however, there is little we can do other than cooperate fully with CCP. We receive no special insight as to the source of ISK and we have no CCP-Batphone to use. Rest assured that we're 100% against the practice of RMT, as it kills the game we love.

I'll keep watching this thread if there are any more questions the interview didn't cover. Thanks again to Brendan for giving me the opportunity :)

tl;dr wall of text strikes you perfectly, wrecking for 9001 damage, and come play Blink because it's fun.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 1:13PM ScottishViking said

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@Somerset Mahm

Great discussion!
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Posted: Mar 11th 2011 6:09PM killroy said

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Great response from the both of you. Good to know about the alt stuff in particular.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2011 8:35PM Dblade said

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I'm not really a fan of gambling in a game where you spend real money for ISK. If it just were completely ingame assets, that's okay, but this dangerously approaches rl gambling by proxy, and it's not healthy.

Not just in EVE though, but in any game: things like F2P "slot machine" gatchapon random items are bad too.

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 1:06AM Jack Kevorkian said

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Even though I don't know what is going on I signed up :p

What I don't get is the gtc link. Isn't that more expensive? Dodging rips is such a confusing part of this game :p

Posted: Mar 12th 2011 2:02AM Somerset Mahm said

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@Jack Kevorkian

Glad to have you :P

The GTC link is simply a link to ShatteredCrystal, which is the largest provider of GTCs for Eve there is. They sell them at the same price as anywhere else, including directly from CCP.

What you may be thinking of is the standard subscription price. GTCs are more expensive than the standard Eve subscription rate if you're in the US (although can be cheaper if you live in another country where exchange rate is beneficial to you). However, players primarily purchase GTCs because they can be sold to other players in-game for ISK. A GTC sells for about 650M ISK at the time I'm writing this.

Since the GTCs through our link cost the same as any other GTC, and Blink gives you a bonus of 50M Blink Credit per GTC just for clicking through our banner, buying through Blink lets you maximize the value you get for buying GTCs. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a mail in-game!
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Posted: Mar 12th 2011 12:21PM Jack Kevorkian said

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@Somerset Mahm thanks after poking around your site a bit I finally figured it out. Well put together and its fun playing around while docked. I could see a miner really getting into your site.

thanks I'll enjoy losing millions to your corp.
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