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:
- automated bot.
- semi automated bot that only automates the 'keypress/click now' requrement.
- Account sharing campers being on 24/7
- 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.
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).
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.