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Market bot assistence.

First post
Author
Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#1 - 2011-11-20 19:04:07 UTC
There is a Market bot, which has returned (probably after a brief ban)


Darvard is the character name, Located in Amarr.
Online 24/7 every single day updating orders every 8-9 min for sell orders and about the same for buy orders by .04 isk increments.


This market bot is cutting directly into my Main Market focus, Ships of 200m isk or higher value.

Darvard <--is the market bot
Currently sell orders of the market bot in Amarr family academy at the very moment as I post.

Panther - covert ops battleship.
Widdow - covert ops battleship.

--

Buy orders
Machariel
Widow
Panther
Raven navy issue.


These are just a few items that I have run into this bot with.


Assistance is greatly appreciated.
Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#2 - 2011-11-20 19:14:33 UTC
(reserved for later posts)
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#3 - 2011-11-20 19:26:51 UTC
so, you already reported the suspect as bot ingame(edit: to CCP)?

how to fix eve: 1) remove ECM 2) rename dampeners to ECM 3) add new anti-drone ewar for caldari 4) give offgrid boosters ongrid combat value

Mantra Achura
Stammtisch
#4 - 2011-11-20 19:33:18 UTC
What's your general approach to identify market bots?
Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#5 - 2011-11-20 19:56:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Kara Books
Mantra Achura wrote:
What's your general approach to identify market bots?


To the previous poster, Yes, I have reported the market bot before, about 2 weeks later it stopped for a few days, thought I think it was a different character but the same distinct market bot.
3 or so days passed, and now it has returned.

I guess there is no real approach to Identifying All market bots in general since, people who make these bots are not stupid, they make the bots with some sort of built in defense mechanism and the fact that there are actually 2 market bots in Amarr right now, this one in particular is EXTREMELY good, where with the first one I was able to Jack the buy order prices up to near sell order price, and vice versa with the sell orders, thus literally being able to knock it out as a real competitor.

I mean dont get me wrong, I dont care if any PERSON tries to step in and attempts to take my trade routs, all is fun and games right?
But I refuse to let some one who is probably steeling from CCP, potential new customers interested in playing the market game in eve online or even worse, literally steeling sales from CCP, I mean what else would you need SO MUCH isk either griefing or well.. im not going to literally say IT.

First I identified the name of the character using the market bot by buying some items from it and selling it some items, that is how i got the same name on every item.

The market bot identified is online 24/7 Every single day.
The market bot identified modify's prices by .04 isk both ways.
the market bot modify's prices every 8-9 minutes, once again 24/7 less downtime of actual eve online servers.
The market bot does not react to any form of stimuli, it never makes a mistake and clearly it has built in mechanical buffers, like it wont go over a certain price point for both buy and sell orders, effectively harassing (market griefing? specifically targeting me?) several thousand times already since I mainly do the ship market in amarr.

What other information do you need? that's all I can find out without breaking ccp rules.

Im hoping that several people actually test those items and perhaps come to some kind of conclusion leading to a report of a market bot action or not or even better some a dev or otherwise CCP employee steps in and gives notice to a possible bot in Amarr family academy.
SOOHN ABREEZ
Doomheim
#6 - 2011-11-20 20:58:33 UTC
We see these bots all the time and they seem to be getting worse.

It makes me extremely angry and some people have already quit the game over it.

I enjoy the game but this really takes the fun out of it.
Adunh Slavy
#7 - 2011-11-20 21:31:22 UTC
captcha for mining is kinda bad, but for the market, may not be such a bad thing.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.  - William Pitt

Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#8 - 2011-11-20 21:40:23 UTC
SOOHN ABREEZ wrote:
We see these bots all the time and they seem to be getting worse.

It makes me extremely angry and some people have already quit the game over it.

I enjoy the game but this really takes the fun out of it.



I concur, This was just the last straw for me with that bot.

Right now im even considering starting some kind of anti bot movement myself, channel and all, its as if Im being targeted for removal repeatedly, and its not some one, its SOME ONE USING a Market bot to acquire tangible goods or other wise gain financially using an automated program.

Iv had it up to here with that particular bot, Right now im absolutely convinces, if that bot doesn't go then I will, nothing fun for me to do and 20-60 mill per day... I mean common seriously...

Dev's you guys NEED to step in before that patch hits with all those new players joining the game.
Mantra Achura
Stammtisch
#9 - 2011-11-20 22:03:54 UTC
We need more guys blackening bots...
Sizeof Void
Ninja Suicide Squadron
#10 - 2011-11-20 22:59:06 UTC
The things you can do are: (a) rage quit, (b) report it to the GMs, (c) switch to another station/hub/region, or (d) switch to another item.

With regards to (a), up to you, ofc, but c'mon.... this is neither a good nor sufficient reason to quit playing. If you are tired of Eve overall, or have more pressing concerns in RL, then, yes, quit. Otherwise, have a beer, calm down, keep playing and read on....

With regards to (b), market bots are much, much harder to detect than mining and mission bots. Many "real" traders are actually on 23/7, with multiple clients left open, since there is absolutely no risk of losing your ship while sitting in a station AFK all day. They just watch for the blinky update indicator, and then tweak their orders. Also, some corps "share" market alts - with members in different TZs checking the status of corp orders throughout the day. Personally, I think this is a violation of the EULA regarding sharing accounts - but, apparently, this is one of those "fine lines", since the offending players actually each do pay for their own accounts. The only method I know of to accurately distinguish between bot and human is to open a series of convo's with the possible bot over a period of several days. If someone says they are going to sleep or on a camping trip, yet their orders keep updating without missing a step... well....

(c) and (d) are the practical options. There are so many items to trade, and plenty of stations at which to trade - just make a change. Personally, I do not bother trading at Jita 4-4, ever. There are other hubs, which offer less lag, less ganking, less hassle, less smack talk in local, more profit, etc. Also, I find that neighboring systems to hubs are often more profitable, due to the laziness of players, and much less price undercutting.

Finally, with regards to smarter bots... yes, it is easy to do. The 0.04 thing is actually pretty silly, since it is simple enough to randomize the value, to, say, between 0.01 and 0.13, for example. Same for the update time intervals, and the min/max price limits. You can even program a bot to randomly remove its order, wait a random number of days, and then put it back up, perhaps when certain criteria are met. There is simply no way to catch such a bot via any sort of pattern detection methods.

And, just FYI, the best chat bot I've seen recently can keep up a reasonable stream of simple conversation for over 5 minutes, without being too obvious. So, if you are going to try to catch a bot via convo's, use full, complex sentences (ie no tweets or one-liners) over a variety of difficult topics.
Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#11 - 2011-11-21 00:42:58 UTC  |  Edited by: Kara Books
Sizeof Void wrote:
The things you can do are: (a) rage quit, (b) report it to the GMs, (c) switch to another station/hub/region, or (d) switch to another item.

With regards to (a), up to you, ofc, but c'mon.... this is neither a good nor sufficient reason to quit playing. If you are tired of Eve overall, or have more pressing concerns in RL, then, yes, quit. Otherwise, have a beer, calm down, keep playing and read on....

With regards to (b), market bots are much, much harder to detect than mining and mission bots. Many "real" traders are actually on 23/7, with multiple clients left open, since there is absolutely no risk of losing your ship while sitting in a station AFK all day. They just watch for the blinky update indicator, and then tweak their orders. Also, some corps "share" market alts - with members in different TZs checking the status of corp orders throughout the day. Personally, I think this is a violation of the EULA regarding sharing accounts - but, apparently, this is one of those "fine lines", since the offending players actually each do pay for their own accounts. The only method I know of to accurately distinguish between bot and human is to open a series of convo's with the possible bot over a period of several days. If someone says they are going to sleep or on a camping trip, yet their orders keep updating without missing a step... well....

(c) and (d) are the practical options. There are so many items to trade, and plenty of stations at which to trade - just make a change. Personally, I do not bother trading at Jita 4-4, ever. There are other hubs, which offer less lag, less ganking, less hassle, less smack talk in local, more profit, etc. Also, I find that neighboring systems to hubs are often more profitable, due to the laziness of players, and much less price undercutting.

Finally, with regards to smarter bots... yes, it is easy to do. The 0.04 thing is actually pretty silly, since it is simple enough to randomize the value, to, say, between 0.01 and 0.13, for example. Same for the update time intervals, and the min/max price limits. You can even program a bot to randomly remove its order, wait a random number of days, and then put it back up, perhaps when certain criteria are met. There is simply no way to catch such a bot via any sort of pattern detection methods.

And, just FYI, the best chat bot I've seen recently can keep up a reasonable stream of simple conversation for over 5 minutes, without being too obvious. So, if you are going to try to catch a bot via convo's, use full, complex sentences (ie no tweets or one-liners) over a variety of difficult topics.


Darvard, a market bot is active and online 23.5/7, better?

Why should I do something I dont want to do? I like Amarr local and im staying unless I cant do 2 things at once, Chat and make ISK playing the market, Why should I stay if the game loses the fun factor?
Brock Nelson
#12 - 2011-11-21 00:57:48 UTC
Honestly Kara, what kind of assistance did you expect from us? Reassurance is the only thing we can give in this kind of problem. Best thing you can do is petition him but... we all know how well that goes

Signature removed, CCP Phantom

SOOHN ABREEZ
Doomheim
#13 - 2011-11-21 01:55:41 UTC
I dont know if this is likely but it seems the only real solution is to possibly instill a sequence or pattern recognition program. At least it could narrow down and identify possible bots for scrutiny .

Also, Eve Onlines economical system has been noted as something of an accomplishment but, I wonder if bots are considered when making that statement.
Sizeof Void
Ninja Suicide Squadron
#14 - 2011-11-21 03:05:26 UTC
Kara Books wrote:

Darvard, a market bot is active and online 23.5/7, better?

Why should I do something I dont want to do? I like Amarr local and im staying unless I cant do 2 things at once, Chat and make ISK playing the market, Why should I stay if the game loses the fun factor?

I'm not saying that Darvard isn't a bot; I'm just saying that it is always difficult to prove it, conclusively and without a doubt. You can petition, ofc, but you can guess how that usually goes. And, even if you do get this one clown perma-banned, there is nothing that prevents yet another, perhaps smarter, bot from springing up tomorrow to ruin your day.

As for doing something you don't want to do... well, it seems like you don't like playing market games against bots, so stop doing it. Whining in forums, despite what the bitter vets say, isn't a solution.

However, if you came to MD looking for a serious answer, then here it is: adapt, and play on.

If you want to stay in Amarr local, ok. But, you don't actually need to be trading in Amarr itself. Domain is a big region. Place remote buy/sell orders, and use courier contracts to move stuff around, if you don't want to do the hauling yourself. Most of the senior traders do it this way - it isn't difficult and it generates far more ISK than single system trading.

But, if 50% of your total "fun factor" is truly inseperably tied up in buying/selling a few particular items at one particular station, then maybe you do need to quit. Sarcasm intended.

Sizeof Void
Ninja Suicide Squadron
#15 - 2011-11-21 03:41:41 UTC
SOOHN ABREEZ wrote:
I dont know if this is likely but it seems the only real solution is to possibly instill a sequence or pattern recognition program. At least it could narrow down and identify possible bots for scrutiny .

I'm fairly certain that CCP's security teams are already using such programs. They don't talk about it much because revealing details of their methods makes it easier for bot programmers to work around them.

A sequence/patter recognition system is trivial to beat, however. It only requires a single line of additional code to sufficiently randomize the values and add delays, making the bot respond more like a human player.

Convo'ing the bot is really the best means of outside detection. But, even a simple chat bot can respond to basic queries, so a quick-and-dirty GM convo, or an automated simply query system won't necessarily work. For example:

GM: Are you a bot?

Bot: No.

GM: Ok, thanks.

Bot: Bye. Fly safe.

Kara obviously wants some sort of solution from CCP, but there just isn't a simple one to be had. CCP isn't too keen on bots, either - believe it. ISK farming bots, used by RMTs, are stealing money from CCP. Plain and simple. Bots used to tweak gameplay performance, such as market bots, put heavier loads on the servers, since a bot can initiate actions at a much higher rate and over a more continuous period of time than any human player. Heavier loads means more equipment, which means more cost for CCP. Not good. Out of necessity, CCP is likely more focused on the large scale botters and less on the individual botters, such as Dervard. Given that CCP probably has limited resources to track to down each suspected botter, this priority should not be too surprising.

The only real solution is insider reporting. So, if you personally know someone who admits to using a bot in game, then report him/her to CCP.
Kara Books
Deal with IT.
#16 - 2011-11-21 04:17:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Kara Books
Sizeof Void wrote:
Kara Books wrote:

Darvard, a market bot is active and online 23.5/7, better?

Why should I do something I dont want to do? I like Amarr local and im staying unless I cant do 2 things at once, Chat and make ISK playing the market, Why should I stay if the game loses the fun factor?

I'm not saying that Darvard isn't a bot; I'm just saying that it is always difficult to prove it, conclusively and without a doubt. You can petition, ofc, but you can guess how that usually goes. And, even if you do get this one clown perma-banned, there is nothing that prevents yet another, perhaps smarter, bot from springing up tomorrow to ruin your day.

As for doing something you don't want to do... well, it seems like you don't like playing market games against bots, so stop doing it. Whining in forums, despite what the bitter vets say, isn't a solution.

However, if you came to MD looking for a serious answer, then here it is: adapt, and play on.

If you want to stay in Amarr local, ok. But, you don't actually need to be trading in Amarr itself. Domain is a big region. Place remote buy/sell orders, and use courier contracts to move stuff around, if you don't want to do the hauling yourself. Most of the senior traders do it this way - it isn't difficult and it generates far more ISK than single system trading.

But, if 50% of your total "fun factor" is truly inseperably tied up in buying/selling a few particular items at one particular station, then maybe you do need to quit. Sarcasm intended.



You are missing the point, the fact of the matter is, Once this bot gets banned (I really hope this is both true and SOONer then later) the person who is behind the bot itself will easily just start another account and do it again... ban that char... next day he has yet another account etc etc etc...

I put this out on the forums for a reason, and its Not Just darvard. its the market game in general, it needs a touch of regulation, just a little bit of love from CCP to make it an attractive form of entertainment for new players and a less attractive outlet of illigal plex dealers.

Market bots have, do and Will exist, but they need a serious nerf, enough so that they cannot bother people just getting into the market, this isnt suposto be this way.
just plucking 2-3 of the idea's just from this thread alone, on how to deal with market bots should be an excellent start.

Do answer one question, What do you think happens with all the ISK a market bot makes?
Do you think he will ever transfer it to his main character?
Does the person behind the bot even have a main character?
Alain Kinsella
#17 - 2011-11-21 05:35:48 UTC
Kara Books wrote:
Market bots have, do and Will exist, but they need a serious nerf, enough so that they cannot bother people just getting into the market, this isnt suposto be this way.


What you're actually requesting is to nerf market automation - which (in its own way) is a hot topic for us RL market folks too.

In Eve, it could be as 'simple' as:

1) Implement Scrapyard Bob's suggestion to charge a percentage of the full order cost every time you change an order (instead of just 100 ISK). This should reduce the number of updates, and should also be possible for Trading players to 'wage war' against each other *and* bots easier. The casual market user should not be overly affected by a change like this - most just sell to Buy orders or buy from Sell orders and 'consume' the item(s).

2) Add (daily) cached API download of current prices. Perhaps charge AUR for access to smaller increments (6 hours instead of 24).

3) Reverse their decision on cache access (make it a EULA violation / perma-bannable again). I find this unlikely right now, but is here for completeness as its the main argument why many of the 'legal' trading automation methods exist.

"The Meta Game does not stop at the game. Ever."

Currently Retired / Semi-Casual (pending changes to RL concerns).

Sizeof Void
Ninja Suicide Squadron
#18 - 2011-11-21 06:38:49 UTC
Kara Books wrote:

Do answer one question, What do you think happens with all the ISK a market bot makes?
Do you think he will ever transfer it to his main character?
Does the person behind the bot even have a main character?

From my own observations, there are three types of bot users (not just market bots):

1) RMT ISK farmers.
2) Corps and alliances with heavy ISK expenditures, but low income.
3) Lazy ass players who want the shiny toys, but don't want to put in the time to get them honestly.

So, answering your question, by botter type:

1) Sells ISK for real money. No main character and recycles accounts frequently. Like drug dealers, they survive as long as there are people willing to buy from them.

2) Uses ISK to fund corp/alliance expenditures, such as cap and supercap ships, or even PLEX. ISK transferred among corp accounts and/or individual player accounts, as required. Bot toons are recycled and ISK transfers are indirect (ie. bot toon buys item, jettisons it into space, real toon scoops it up and resells on market) to make long-term tracking more difficult. Typically, but not always, these are PVP corps/alliances which lack sufficient legitimate vehicles for generating ISK income (ie. via industrialists, miners or mission runners) to offset their losses.

3) Uses ISK to buy shiny toys and PLEX. They have a main toon, which directly benefits from the bot toon. I hate these guys, but they are the least significant target for CCP.
Sizeof Void
Ninja Suicide Squadron
#19 - 2011-11-21 07:01:47 UTC
Alain Kinsella wrote:

1) Implement Scrapyard Bob's suggestion to charge a percentage of the full order cost every time you change an order (instead of just 100 ISK). This should reduce the number of updates, and should also be possible for Trading players to 'wage war' against each other *and* bots easier. The casual market user should not be overly affected by a change like this - most just sell to Buy orders or buy from Sell orders and 'consume' the item(s).

2) Add (daily) cached API download of current prices. Perhaps charge AUR for access to smaller increments (6 hours instead of 24).

3) Reverse their decision on cache access (make it a EULA violation / perma-bannable again). I find this unlikely right now, but is here for completeness as its the main argument why many of the 'legal' trading automation methods exist.

The first idea has possibilities, but since both bots and players would be equally nerfed, I'm not certain that the players would gain any advantage. The player would still have to waste his/her time outbidding the bot and would be losing even more ISK in a price war. The bot user might not even care about losing ISK on a few orders, esp. if he/she is auto-playing a thousand or so orders across mutliple alts and is trying to push the stubborn players out of the market.

I'm not sure I see how the second idea stops a bot. The game client needs current, not cached, access to the market price data. As long as that data exists on the client, it can be accessed by a bot program.

The third idea does not make sense. Using a bot to change market orders is already a bannable offense, so making cache access also an EULA violation makes no difference.
Florestan Bronstein
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#20 - 2011-11-21 08:58:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Florestan Bronstein
Kara Books wrote:
You are missing the point, the fact of the matter is, Once this bot gets banned (I really hope this is both true and SOONer then later) the person who is behind the bot itself will easily just start another account and do it again... ban that char... next day he has yet another account etc etc etc...

If you think running a market bot is basically risk-free and extremely profitable there is only one logical route of action to take.

Put your money where your mouth is.
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