Gaming SOMER Blink

Tl;dr – I turned 500m of SOMER Blink credit into 594m of isk in my wallet. Use the promo code ‘Disclosed Blink’ to get 2.5m free credit signing up to SOMER Blink.

As a continuation from my last post where I got sponsored by SOMER Blink, I decided to investigate their system to see if I could pull positive expected value from it. If you’re unfamiliar with Blink, it is a microlottery scheme where people purchase tickets for some Eve related item, such as ships, faction modules or PLEX. Typically they’re high value items, as noone wants to win a Badger MkII. A fairly typical blink looks like this:

You put credit into the system, and click the ‘Blink!’ button, and you get a ticket in that lottery. The astute reader will notice where Blink make their money, 8 tickets @ 2.5m is 20m, yet their prize is worth 13.5m isk. As always, lotteries as a tax on people who are bad at math. Normally I would look at that point and disregard it, but SOMER have a few promotions that make playing worthwhile.

1. If you buy GTCs to turn into plex via Shattered Crystal, you get 100m isk per GTC, and a further 100m bonus for every 4 GTC you buy at once.

I pay for Eve, rather than buying plex with isk, so this option works perfectly for me. I purchased 4 GTC to stock up on game time for my accounts, and was rewarded with 500m SOMER isk credit and 500 bonus tokens to use in their bonus blinks.

2. When you get credit via donating, you get bonus tokens.

These bonus tokens can be used to play in the bonus promo blinks which pop up on the site every 20 minutes or so, and in the large celebration blinks when SOMER holds them for whatever reason. As you can see below, the prizes for the promos are very nice:

These are nice perks, but how does this help you get +ev?

Initially, I wanted to cash out the simple way. When you win an item in Blink, you can either get the item itself, the buyout price directly in your wallet, or the buyout price +5% back in Blink credit. By identifying a Blink which you have the isk in your Blink wallet to dominate, you can buy nearly all of the tickets quickly and stand a very high chance of winning the item. You can then request the isk in your wallet, and get it sent to you immediately. I started doing this and won three Tornadoes in short order. This is the simplest way of getting credit out of Blink, but it is -ev because you’re essentially paying SOMER’s ‘tax’ on each item. For instance, on the Tornadoes if I purchased each ticket I’d be buying 8 tickets at 11.5m each for a total of 92m, to ‘win’ 73.14m, a 20.5% loss in isk.

An action shot of someone attempting an isk cashout

This isn’t bad to get your bonus credit out of the system, but it’s not worthwhile if you’re depositing isk.

For my second attempt, I looked into the achievement system of Blink. On my new account I managed to pick up 118m isk worth of achievement rewards from my 500m isk deposit bonus, a 23.6% increase in value. This puts me over the expected value of cashing out directly, but it is dependant on quite a bit of luck. The most notable ones I picked up are the following:

You can target these two blinks with enough capital, quick fingers and a spot of luck. I started blinks for items that I had selected, and filled them as quickly as possible, snapping up these and another 10 achievements in fairly short order.

All in all, this is how my 500m of initial credit went:

So how did I do? Well, I took 314.64m out directly in isk, and 279.7m isk worth of ships, totalling 594.34m isk. That is in isk value in Eve, not in SOMER Blink value, which reports my winnings at 812m. Not bad for bonus isk.

I purchased 125 tickets over 28 blinks with a win rate of 67.86% where the expected win rate would be around 55% for that amount of tickets, so I was quite lucky, if my math is right. It probably isn’t, I’ve always been terrible at probability. Don’t tell me the odds.

I chose to go for the covop frigates as their sell price is significantly higher in Rens than it is in Jita, so I can ship them here in my next shipping contract and make additional profit. I could calculate the profit on these, but it is relatively meaningless as I could just buy them at Jita and freight them anyway. It’s a nice bonus, but not a true one in any sense of the word.

Lastly, I now have 500 bonus tokens sitting in my account waiting to be used. It’ll take a while to use them all up, but I expect to win at least something off them. This will increase the +ev further of using this method.

If you do sign up for an account, use the promo code ‘Disclosed Blink’, which gives you 2.5m free isk and makes me some money to boot.

Exploring sponsorship with SOMER Blink

TL;DR – Looked into sponsorship today, SOMER Blink gave me the promo code ‘Disclosed Blink’ which makes me 5m isk per signup and gives the user 2.5m isk.

So I thought today about the views I’m getting on this blog, and how to monetize it… either into isk or dollars. I don’t really want to go for RL ads at the moment as they look tacky, but there are plenty of opportunities for making isk to help supplement my capital.

The first idea I had was to run ads for third parties, such as corps looking for new members, CSM candidates(bit late now), or in-game services. The first to pop to mind was SOMER Blink, one of Eve’s most successful third party apps. Blink is a microlottery site where you can buy a ticket to a small lottery for something EVE related, like a ship, pos, plex or something similar. There are a limited amount of tickets, and the draw goes off when all tickets are purchased. The price per ticket is set so that SOMER Blink make a percentage on the item, which provides a great income for them considering they’ve given away over 141 trillion isk of items to date.

Here is an example Blink:

This is gambling so the house always wins. SOMER make a percentage on every blink, which puts them out of the range of viability most of the time, profit resale speaking. For instance, in the example above there are 16 slots @ 37m each, putting the total income for SOMER at 592m. They’re making damn good money on their quoted figure of 485m for a plex, which is coincidentally lower than the market price of a plex right now. That difference is how I started looking into Blink for profit… with an inflating mineral market and inconsistent pricing, can I make a profit on average by getting involved? Can I beat the house?

I figure at the moment I don’t have enough free capital to gamble with it. I’m going to keep an eye out to see if there are decent opportunities, but for now it’s not on the table. So, it naturally lead me to go to their channel in-game, and start this conversation with one of their reps.

The blog is closer to three weeks old, but hey. I’d been drinking.

In case you can’t read the image above, SOMER Blink gave me the promo code ‘Disclosed Blink’ which makes me 5m isk per signup, and gives the user 2.5m isk when they sign up. Its not going to make me space rich, but it’ll certainly help. I’m going to run ads in the sidebar and see how it goes, and maybe post about it in future if I see a good reason to other than ad income, heh.

Hopefully this convo is useful to others who run Eve related websites in how to go about the process. I was quite surprised to see I was the second person to sign up.

V