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Community Concerns Regarding SOMERblink

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Author
KaRa DaVuT
AVCI KONSEYI
BURJUVA.
#261 - 2014-08-19 14:28:02 UTC
Talvorian Dex wrote:
Pitchfork Vendor wrote:
111010110 wrote:
EULA
Section "Your Account"
Subsection "A. Establishing a New Account"
Paragraph 4:

"Accounts may not be used for business purposes. Access to the System and playing EVE is intended for your personal entertainment, enjoyment and recreation, and not for corporate, business, commercial or income-seeking activities. Business entities and anyone who is acting for or on behalf of a business or for business purposes may not establish an Account, access the System or play EVE. Accessing the System or using the Game for commercial, business or income-seeking purposes is strictly prohibited."

^ This.
If you need to send an email to the sales dept. to get approval for your schemes, your account is no longer non profit.


So, tl;dr:

1) "Business" Is a flexible term, and
2) Paying people in isk for generating Eve-related content isn't RMT, even if you use that content in an out-of-game setting to make real money through ad revenue. The ad revenue is dependent upon and enabled by a third-party site; the content could easily be distributed via forums or simply awful or reddit, as well. I, for instance, make no ad dollars for my blog, but I do still generate the content.
3) RMT has nothing to do with gameplay balance; it's solely assoicated with ensuring that CCP gets every bit of money due to them. That's fine; they're a business, after all.

The question at hand is really whether Somer is breaking any rules by choosing to pay above market rate for PLEX in order to win that referral commission. Also, are they able to pay out straight isk, or is the bonus exclusively in blink deposit credit?


Yes it is blurry in a legal term. But in legality, think simple. It works as action-reaction-cosequence chain.

So simply If you are using your account as part of a profit related with the out-of-game currency/ıngame currency trade, It can be count as Business. The term business means gaining a profit from a setup or an activity so, If you are gaining profit and it includes some Illegalites against the bigger rule structure where you are running your business (In this case it is the EVE and EULA is its set of rules ) then it is illegal.

I can understand your approach as you are really neutral to this. and I admire your dedication and poinf of view, hovewer I cannot simply ignore the fact of this thing as its Illegal in all levels.

We will see how much it goes deeper and its not the first time that we see thing like that, adn it seems not the last one.

Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What God desires is in your heart and on your mind... And what you decide to do every day, makes you - not your race - a good man - or not.

Andski
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#262 - 2014-08-19 14:28:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Andski
Also that e-mail chain is just disturbing. A player (Somerset Mahm is, first and foremost, a player) communicates with a CCP exec as if they are business partners. He may generate lots of ETC sales for CCP, but I don't see why that should open the door for regular personal communication with high-level management. Players who get scammed might also buy timecodes/PLEX to recover their losses, but I don't imagine that scammers have much direct communication with CCP execs.

Now, I could see why players like Chribba or Squizz could have direct lines to API developers as they create a lot of API traffic, and have enough users that they need the ability to quickly resolve any technical issue - eveboard and zKB are so interwoven with the game that getting blocked by CCP's firewall due to a mishap would be a bad thing. I could see why senior TMC writers could have a direct line to CCP PR leads - they may be players, but they're also part of the gaming media. But eveboard, zkillboard and TMC do not primarily exist to improve any player's position within the game. Blink, on the other hand, does.

I don't presume to make it my business how CCP interacts with its customers in any case, but regardless, that stinks to high heaven. Unless of course it was the result of a simple chain of escalation, or the VP of Sales basically is Sales.

Twitter: @EVEAndski

"It's easy to speak for the silent majority. They rarely object to what you put into their mouths."    - Abrazzar

KaRa DaVuT
AVCI KONSEYI
BURJUVA.
#263 - 2014-08-19 14:30:39 UTC  |  Edited by: KaRa DaVuT
Andski wrote:
Also that e-mail chain is just disturbing. A player (Somerset Mahm is, first and foremost, a player) communicates with a CCP exec as if they are business partners. He may generate lots of ETC sales for CCP, but I don't see why that should open the door for regular personal communication with high-level management.

I don't presume to make it my business how CCP interacts with its customers in any case, but regardless, that stinks to high heaven.


It also seems that, considering the tone it is not the first time they are mailing each other. mail. There seems to be a long-time connection between the two. Wonder how many things we did not even know about .

so yea, it stinks

Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What God desires is in your heart and on your mind... And what you decide to do every day, makes you - not your race - a good man - or not.

Lucas Kell
Solitude Trading
#264 - 2014-08-19 14:30:39 UTC

CCP Falcon wrote:
Abrazzar wrote:
It's easy to speak for the silent majority. They rarely object to what you put into their mouths.
This is hands down the best post I've ever seen anyone make on these forums in the history of EVE.
You say that, but this runs a close second:
CCP Falcon wrote:
Frankly, you have no idea what you're talking about. You also have no idea how deep we have to dig to investigate this, given the sheer number of transactions that this service generates.

If you'd like to rumor mill as usual, do it elsewhere, or be prepared to lose your ability to post on this forum.


On and Falcon... How come you can't quote until the end of time and I can't?!?! WANT MOAR QUOTES!

The Indecisive Noob - EVE fan blog.

Wholesale Trading - The new bulk trading mailing list.

Andski
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#265 - 2014-08-19 14:32:42 UTC
Lucas Kell wrote:
On and Falcon... How come you can't quote until the end of time and I can't?!?! WANT MOAR QUOTES!


He should check his moderator privilege

Twitter: @EVEAndski

"It's easy to speak for the silent majority. They rarely object to what you put into their mouths."    - Abrazzar

Jake Warbird
Republic Military School
Minmatar Republic
#266 - 2014-08-19 14:39:51 UTC
Waiting for CCP to class this as 'Emergent Gameplay'.
De'Veldrin
Adversity.
Psychotic Tendencies.
#267 - 2014-08-19 14:42:17 UTC  |  Edited by: De'Veldrin
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:


Hey, look at the quote of mine that he embedded and then threatened me with a banhammer for. Not one shred of a rumour, but that is what the threat is for. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Dinsdale, you are, as my daughter would say, a drama llama, and everyone knows it. Your "nullsec RMT cartel controls CCP" rumor mongering is exactly why Falcon took that line with you, and, to be fair, I wish they'd banned you from the forums a long time ago. You do nothing but sow discord on the forums, all in the name of (your version of) "the truth".

I don't blame Falcon for taking that stance with you, and if it were me, it would have been a much harsher one, to be quite ******* honest about it.

On the subject of Falcon's latest response:
I, like many others, look forward to the resolution of this matter, and I greatly appreciate Falcon, and the CSM, and the others who are giving up their time and energy to resolve this situation.

But CCP needs to take note - Markee and Somer have already gotten a pass on these shenanigans once. if they get another pass, you will severely and forever damage your already tenuous credibility with your player base - we haven't forgotten monoclegate and "Greed is Good". CCP's mishandling of things of this nature is very nearly legendary.

Nothing could do more harm to Eve's long term survival than allowing RMT, except for showing favoritism to one particular group of RMTers and banning the rest of them. If they get a second pass, I actually don't see another mass Jita shooting - I see a mass of people throwing up their hands in disgust and quietly voting with their wallets to the detriment of the game as a whole.

Take the right step: Do unto Somer as you have done unto so many others, and hold him accountable for the shenanigans he has created. Also, I would chuck Markee off your allowed resellers list. As they say, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern. Don't let it become a pattern.

You have an opportunity here to prove to your community that you have learned from past debacles. Please, please do not drop the ball on this one.

Edit to add: The outcome here is less important that the transparency involved. Once the investigation is complete and the decision is reached, that decision needs to come with a detailed explanation (preferably with something other than because we said so) attached to it. If the decision is made that this is legitimate, then clear rules need to be made public for anyone wishing to set up a similar service to review and follow.

De'Veldrin's Corollary (to Malcanis' Law): Any idea that seeks to limit the ability of a large nullsec bloc to do something in the name of allowing more small groups into sov null will inevitably make it that much harder for small groups to enter sov null.

Asuri Kinnes
Perkone
Caldari State
#268 - 2014-08-19 14:50:44 UTC
Handar Turiant wrote:
Is SomerBlink a singular EVE Player, or a business?

What did CCP gain, hypothetically, from this supposed favouritism?

If the CEO wants to give his kid a 7mil EHP 99% resist 10k/s frigate with 15 slots per rack and 50K DPS and have his writers create lore that an EVE capsuleer god has been mysteriously pooped out of the Nth dimension, so what? Would be kind of cool. Big fleet battle, suddenly the EVE Kraken God appears, and everyone runs for the hills. Like the sandworms in Dune 2 ;-)

Where does it say CCP cannot do whatever the hell they want? EULA's, as a rule, are about the licensor being protected, not the troglodytes who actually buy the product.

What I'm basically saying is: so what?

And please, hold the Ad Hominems with regards to my person when answering. Enough rage in this thread as is.

A corpie of mine wrote:
Somer Blink is converting ISK to real money by offering the incentive of higher prices for buying Plex from players who had previously clicked a link to buy Plex which allowed Somer to receive commission from that Plex sold.

If they simply offered to buy any Plex at higher than market orders then the argument loses water, but instead Somer is using their in game ISK to incentivize players to buy Plex from them, thereby increasing the volume of commissions Somer receives.

From a business point of view this is brilliant and if anyone has won Eve it's Somer, but the issue is they are the only entity currently allowed to do this by CCP and a normal player has no way to do the same operation with their personal ISK.


So if CCP wants to allow *any* entity in game with tonnes of ISK (can't imagine *WHO* that might be) to start making real dollars, yen, centavos or whatever off their game then they don't address this.

Somer went too far this time.

Bob is the god of Wormholes.

That's all you need to know.

CCP Falcon
#269 - 2014-08-19 14:52:12 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Hey, look at the quote of mine that he embedded and then threatened me with a banhammer for. Not one shred of a rumour, but that is what the threat is for. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Methinks thou doth need to refraineth from playing the trolleth, or thou willst experience le troubleth.


On more general terms, myself and CCP Leeloo just left a meeting with all the stakeholders in this situation, and I'm extremely satisfied with the discussion and it looks like we're working toward a good resolution.

We'll be speaking with the CSM again in about an hour or to fill them in.

I should have more for you guys later today.

Again, sorry for the length of time this is taking, but it's an extremely in depth investigation.

- F

CCP Falcon || EVE Universe Community Manager || @CCP_Falcon

Happy Birthday To FAWLTY7! <3

Mai Maid
Republic University
Minmatar Republic
#270 - 2014-08-19 14:53:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Mai Maid
CCP Falcon wrote:


Thatt Guy wrote:
BTW, why is it that if John Q. Player is suspected of anything, the account is banned pending an investigation. However this is the second time Somer has done this, yet no action has been taken?


This came to light late on Sunday evening. Investigating an individual can take a day or so, investigating this case given the sheer number of transactions that have occurred, and tracking exactly where everything is going, takes considerably more time. We're actively working on it.


That reply makes no sense, it doesn't answer the question at all?

If this gets the OK, it might be a good way to cash out though.
De'Veldrin
Adversity.
Psychotic Tendencies.
#271 - 2014-08-19 14:56:45 UTC
Mai Maid wrote:
CCP Falcon wrote:


Thatt Guy wrote:
BTW, why is it that if John Q. Player is suspected of anything, the account is banned pending an investigation. However this is the second time Somer has done this, yet no action has been taken?


This came to light late on Sunday evening. Investigating an individual can take a day or so, investigating this case given the sheer number of transactions that have occurred, and tracking exactly where everything is going, takes considerably more time. We're actively working on it.


That reply makes no sense, it doesn't answer the question at all?

If this gets the OK, it might be a good time to cash out though.


It does, though the answer isn't clear. Basically, the ban the account temporarily to stop the assets from moving around so they're easier to find if the transactions need to be reversed - it limits the amount of work the devs have to do on the back end.

In this instance, there's no real point to it, since the amount of work is exponentially larger due to the number of transaction already involved. I don't necessarily agree with the logic, but I do understand what Falcon is saying.

De'Veldrin's Corollary (to Malcanis' Law): Any idea that seeks to limit the ability of a large nullsec bloc to do something in the name of allowing more small groups into sov null will inevitably make it that much harder for small groups to enter sov null.

CCP Falcon
#272 - 2014-08-19 15:01:47 UTC
Mai Maid wrote:
CCP Falcon wrote:


Thatt Guy wrote:
BTW, why is it that if John Q. Player is suspected of anything, the account is banned pending an investigation. However this is the second time Somer has done this, yet no action has been taken?


This came to light late on Sunday evening. Investigating an individual can take a day or so, investigating this case given the sheer number of transactions that have occurred, and tracking exactly where everything is going, takes considerably more time. We're actively working on it.


That reply makes no sense, it doesn't answer the question at all?

If this gets the OK, it might be a good way to cash out though.


From my original post:

CCP Falcon wrote:
While some temporary action has been taken in order to keep a handle on the situation, any outcome of an investigation is still to be determined, and I can’t give any further information regarding the process while it’s ongoing.


Smile

CCP Falcon || EVE Universe Community Manager || @CCP_Falcon

Happy Birthday To FAWLTY7! <3

Lord LazyGhost
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#273 - 2014-08-19 15:02:12 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Schmata Bastanold wrote:
CCP Falcon wrote:
cool stuff but...


So... lying about CCP's approval to boost my RL sales AND involve players in my shady RMT shenanigans is ok but me saying I'm an alt of ... is bannable offense?

Well next time I expect to see on main page of SOMERblink a fully fledged letter from Hilmar addressed to "customers" of SOMER encouraging them to use SOMER's referral link due to excellence of service. Why stop at one-liner when you can just go gunk-ho?

Word.

*drops da mike next to tinfoil hat*


Hey, look at the quote of mine that he embedded and then threatened me with a banhammer for. Not one shred of a rumour, but that is what the threat is for. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Me thinks someone should watch their tongue before the FALCON swoops down and snatches it away. Like the worm it is.
CCP Leeloo
C C P
C C P Alliance
#274 - 2014-08-19 15:02:46 UTC
I'd just like to give a huge thank you to the CSM for their dedication to assisting in taking care of this.

They've been amazing through this, and have been willing to show up for all the scheduled meetings that we've had at short notice at ridiculous time with a very clear, constructive and unified voice on what should be done to fix this problem. This all during pretty much every member of the CSM working hard to prepare for the Summer Summit.

<3 them all.

Thanks also to all of you guys for your feedback, your comments, and sharing your feelings on this, as it's something the community team also feels very strongly about. <3

CCP Leeloo | Community Developer | @ccp_leeloo | leeloo@ccpgames.com

Lord LazyGhost
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#275 - 2014-08-19 15:04:11 UTC
CCP Falcon wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Hey, look at the quote of mine that he embedded and then threatened me with a banhammer for. Not one shred of a rumour, but that is what the threat is for. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Methinks thou doth need to refraineth from playing the trolleth, or thou willst experience le troubleth.


On more general terms, myself and CCP Leeloo just left a meeting with all the stakeholders in this situation, and I'm extremely satisfied with the discussion and it looks like we're working toward a good resolution.

We'll be speaking with the CSM again in about an hour or to fill them in.

I should have more for you guys later today.

Again, sorry for the length of time this is taking, but it's an extremely in depth investigation.

- F



All Hail Falcon King of the Nerds.

Love you man

Us northeners need to stick it to the man from time to time :)

its in our DNA
Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#276 - 2014-08-19 15:04:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Dersen Lowery
Andski wrote:
Also that e-mail chain is just disturbing. A player (Somerset Mahm is, first and foremost, a player) communicates with a CCP exec as if they are business partners. He may generate lots of ETC sales for CCP, but I don't see why that should open the door for regular personal communication with high-level management. Players who get scammed might also buy timecodes/PLEX to recover their losses, but I don't imagine that scammers have much direct communication with CCP execs.

[...]

I don't presume to make it my business how CCP interacts with its customers in any case, but regardless, that stinks to high heaven. Unless of course it was the result of a simple chain of escalation, or the VP of Sales basically is Sales.


That jumped out at me as well.

Not only that, but if Noizy is right about this, then we have a real problem:

The Nosy Gamer wrote:
He became impatient with the speed with which the legal department was working and she gave her approval via email.


Nobody who is just playing the game is going to be "impatient with the speed with which the legal department was working." Nobody who is just playing the game is going to be impatient enough to wheedle the VP of Sales. Most of us are satisfied with clarifications from a GM. Why would this be such an urgent thing unless there was more at stake than space money? This kind of badgering should send up HUGE red flags.

Never mind all the cozying up, which is frankly creepy.

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

Talvorian Dex
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#277 - 2014-08-19 15:04:40 UTC
Pitchfork Vendor wrote:
RomeStar wrote:
If nobdy is banned for this then is it okay to RMT?

Banned? This is Somer Blink we're talking about.
If they aren't given a few Ishukone scorpions for this I'd be surprised Smile


I tend not to care about sarcastic comments made by throwaway newbie corp characters created to hide the identity of the writer.

Writer of Target Caller, an Eve Online PvP blog, at http://targetcaller.blogspot.com

Jonah Gravenstein
Machiavellian Space Bastards
#278 - 2014-08-19 15:05:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Jonah Gravenstein
It was worth reading this entire thread just to see CCP Falcon kick our resident spewer of tinfoil into touch.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

New Player FAQ

Feyd's Survival Pack

Talvorian Dex
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#279 - 2014-08-19 15:06:18 UTC
KaRa DaVuT wrote:

Yes it is blurry in a legal term. But in legality, think simple. It works as action-reaction-cosequence chain.

So simply If you are using your account as part of a profit related with the out-of-game currency/ıngame currency trade, It can be count as Business. The term business means gaining a profit from a setup or an activity so, If you are gaining profit and it includes some Illegalites against the bigger rule structure where you are running your business (In this case it is the EVE and EULA is its set of rules ) then it is illegal.

I can understand your approach as you are really neutral to this. and I admire your dedication and poinf of view, hovewer I cannot simply ignore the fact of this thing as its Illegal in all levels.

We will see how much it goes deeper and its not the first time that we see thing like that, adn it seems not the last one.


Fair point. However, I'd clarify one term you used. By "illegal" I think you mean "a violation of the policy".

Writer of Target Caller, an Eve Online PvP blog, at http://targetcaller.blogspot.com

111010110
The Darwin Initiative
#280 - 2014-08-19 15:06:47 UTC  |  Edited by: 111010110
CCP Falcon wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Hey, look at the quote of mine that he embedded and then threatened me with a banhammer for. Not one shred of a rumour, but that is what the threat is for. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Methinks thou doth need to refraineth from playing the trolleth, or thou willst experience le troubleth.


On more general terms, myself and CCP Leeloo just left a meeting with all the stakeholders in this situation, and I'm extremely satisfied with the discussion and it looks like we're working toward a good resolution.

We'll be speaking with the CSM again in about an hour or to fill them in.

I should have more for you guys later today.

Again, sorry for the length of time this is taking, but it's an extremely in depth investigation.

- F



Please be careful using the word "stakeholder" :P Before you know it folks will call other folks on sticking to what that means properly again :P

Sorry, I honestly could not resist that open door :-) (and no, that was no pun intended) :-)

Serious though, good approach from CM to the current situation, especially in light of the timeline since public awareness on the matter.

I don't envy Lisa though, this really is one of those cases where venture targets must always be held against the dynamic the venture sells. It is incredibly easy to fall into trenches like these, it is even easier to be tricked into that, when work prevents living and breathing what is sold. EVE's not a product, nor a service.

I'm sure the former economist's SQL experts can lend a hand, or it'll be a very tedious investigation. Maybe another eh, intervention, may be required, who knows ..

If I may offer one tip, CSM as just a feedback instrument is nice for channeling things when they get hectic, nice to cherry pick ideas and nice to funnel emotionally charged customer trends - but every time something like this happens and they can't really talk about what was said at what point as things unfold it diminishes the customer value of that instrument.

On a sales angle, let's be honest (and I'm sure Lisa will come to see this as well) it's reached a level where a choice has to be made on types of accounts. I'm not saying you should have business accounts (though I am sure folks will see many sides and points for & against it - but that is an argument of revenu), but the current EULA simply prohibits these matters by default.

There's no need to go into a revival of what can happen when monetary influence gets an in-game life. EVE has had its share of issues with that in the past. The only difference here is one of scale. Remove those already existing barriers, and you allow a trend of monetised influence on an in-game level on top of the revenue challenge that comes when third parties start competing for in-game reward mechanisms. I can imagine the headaches at marketing of trying to keep up with that kind of race >.<
Honestly, you know how we players go for min/maxing overkill above & beyond. Taking chances with that has backfired each and every time. Kieron learned that lesson, Oveur learned it, just remember: we're batshit insane, individually and collectively.

Good luck.