26 August 2011

Bodycheck the AH botter.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. (Gahndi)

I had a comment on yesterday's post mentioning that while the techniques work on human players, they work less on bots.  It is true that bots are more persistant, if only because they need less human intervention.

Bots are very good at performing the same task over and over, and very bad at reacting to unexpected changes.  As a typical human player, you can be good at unexpected changes, and very bad at performing the same task over and over.  You do have the option of looking at new markets.  There is no guarantee that new markets will be any less competitive.



As an observer, it is difficult to tell the difference between:
  • Prohibited
    • automated bot.
    • semi automated bot that only automates the 'keypress/click now' requrement.
    • Account sharing campers being on 24/7
  •  Permitted
    • A streamlined account using addons, but with a player using a scroll wheel mouse performing clicking while they are watching TV, eating dinner
    • A streamlined account using addons, but with a player using a second account, having the keystrokes from their first account send keypresses to the second account
    • A very dedicated camper with basic addons spending all day on the AH.  Or even 2 dedicated campers on two accounts operating in shifts.
I am not a lawyer, and the above rules match my understanding of what is allowed/not allowed - if you feel that the above criterea is misleading, please comment below, giving sources (terms of use, blizzard forum posts etc).

A player using prohibited methods (especially if they are acutally on 24/7) should be reported to Blizzard.  You will not get any instant gratification in return, but they may look at your complaint at some stage.  Blizzard do ban botters in waves.  With the exception of getting the (passing) 'feel good' of reporting a botter, is no significant difference between any of the above.


They are all good at repeating a simple task, and are all bad at reacting.  So, make them react.


In yesterday's post, I talked about learning all the skills, 48 hour posts and cutting off their profit. 

Today, we look at body checking the opposition.  Your aim is to get them to post at cost (or less), keep them grinding and posting. You will need patience, all the profitable recipees of that market segment, and a stockpile to start.  This is not yet about profit.  You are already making none - because a persistant undercutter is already preventing your sales.

You will need your own spreadsheet, calculator or pen & paper. 
  • Guestimate the amount of demand at low prices.  Stockpile enough mats to satisfy that demand.  (You can always sell surplus mats later)
  • Over a cycle, determine what are your costs, including AH fees, based on the minimum market price of material. theunderminejournal.com gives you a fortnight's history of supply.  Remember the darkmoon faire when looking at herbs and volatile life.
  • Use trade chat, other crafters to see if your intermediate costs can be reduced (e.g. JC's should find a transmute alchemist to make your inferno rubies).
  • Use a deep undercut - aiming each time to post at halfway between your cost and market prices.  Post for 48 hours, in singles at this point.
  • Wait for their response:
    • Do they buy?  Then Sell.  Lots.  Until they give up you have a guaranteed buyer for 1/2 the potential profit.  Offer to sell COD.  (even botters keep an eye on their accounts).
    • Do they undercut? Then do another deep undercut - again halfway between your cost and market price.
    • Do they sell below your cost?  Buy untill you have your desired stockpile.
    • Reached your stockpile limits?  Post singles, in 48 hour auctions at your cost price.  This caps their income (remember - they have already capped yours).
This is boring and not particularly profitable - for both you and your competitor.  If you have done your research better than they have, then they may be losing gold.  There will be other crafters; levelling toons, others getting out of the market, players farming for themselves.  These competitors will unkowningly help you in making your botting competitor's life hell.


At the moment, my time is better spent working around other players.   However, it's not that hard to run off both botting and camping competitors.  It comes down to endurance.  You can devote an hour every 48 hours, they are spending one or more account's full time 'owning' a now worthless market.

4 comments:

  1. We have a 16 hour dedicated glyph camper. It's as real person as they talk in trade chat etc. Anyways I was getting no sales even that I learned all the recipes. I drop fallback to 60 g or so and the person disappear... but return a week later ... Dropping fallback to 50 g and they still camping 16 hours every single day. Fortunately, at the 50g range I don't have to cancel/repost and I still get 10-20 sales vs none when glpyhs are over 100g. I guess you can't stop someone that really wants to camp for 16 hours and probably is unemployed. The Glyphs markets is pretty much dead and have very little profits at this point. Hopefully the camper will leave someday as they gold/hour is very low right now.

    We also have this JC uncutter that has learned all the recipes like me. she camps for 12 hours every day. Does the cancel/repost/run to mailbox drill. This users has three accounts and even does cross fraction stuff. We already floor ember/demon to 80g and metas to 145g. I guess we can floor it some more. Fortunately, we are still getting sales even with this camper.

    All of them have been reported. No action yet except the standard reply that Bliz has looked into it deeply but can't tell you what they will do.

    Good luck... diversity file.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahh babywriter, not going anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  3. For the record, the following items are all permitted:

    - playing 16 hours/day
    - running 3 accounts
    - dominating your market
    - dominating your opposite faction's market

    Gevlon had a recent article claiming that business success is giving better service to the economy. If you are efficient, giving better prices, then you will make sales.

    The more markets any individual player is in, the less they know about a specific market.

    However, in terms of a floor - I have a threshold of 40g for cut Demonseye and Ember Topaz, still making a huge margin.

    To body check, you are driving your margins wafer thin. Buy mats for 15g? Be prepared to sell finished products for 16g.5g. Let the hard competitor sell for 16.4 - after AH fees, they still are making silver as profit. You are posting every 48 hours, enjoying not having to sell.

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  4. I've done a technique like this. Where I just spam the market that sets a price ceiling (What I think of it as anyway). I only do it as a reactionary measure to someone undercutting my auctions before I can even get them all up.

    ReplyDelete

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