Market Discussions

 
 

Combating Trade Bots?

Author
Ivy League
#1 - 2017-01-05 11:33:49 UTC
Last night I was hunting a buy order on a specific set of items, and I started to notice that there were around 3-4 buy orders above mine. The race to the top was on and as per usual it's a .01 bidding war to see who can outpace the other.

What struck me oddly was the time stamps and increments of the other "purchasers" in that they'd spread the orders with a 3-4 buy(s). All with the same initial creation timestamps.

Nothing really out of the ordinary until I started to mirror their strategy. For every 3 orders, they had I had 3, so the first steps:

1) Deliberately raise the buys by 20% of the initial original price.
2) Increment in random increments of 10-20% instead of just .01
3) Fight it out for 1hr to separate signal from noise so eventually you have just myself and the other person(s) rising to the top.
4) Abide by a strict time schedule outside the 4min+ min change timer.
5) Monitor your timestamps and % increase against the other side.

I continued to experiment a bit more and do crazy things like deliberately inflating the market to the point where margins were getting closer to 20% from the original starting point. I found that when I got to around 10-20% the behaviour stopped. Ok, so let's still assume a human is in control and let it just hang there for 30mins to see if any movement occurs (up or down). My price continued to hold in the top buy position.

I then decremented my price 1% just below the 20% mark and continued to do so until I saw movement again.

Nothing. I then took my price to their lowest amount and incremented by .01

15mins later... movement.

Now... I could infer this would be a case of a human who's got a great deal amount of concentration and disciplined math skills that run on a timer, but more to the point how do others anti-pattern this kind of thing? or even bait n switch these types of behaviours into financial ruin?

Superior Eve Engineering
#2 - 2017-01-06 09:58:44 UTC
the 0.01 isk war is a pain with trading and yes there are some players who sit at their screen almost 24/7 to make sure they get the first buys or sells. Putting that down to the players themselves doing bot trading is another thing as you can never be 100% sure if its automated or player driven.

Some players also make multiple sell or buy orders on purpose too, an example of that would be over christmas I created a market for a certain product and bought a lot of the items to keep the price nice and high regardless of how slow they sold. A few days later several other people started jumping on my band wagon. After another few days of battling them in the 0.01 isk war, I ended up crashing the market on purpose, as players like that dont think for themselves and jump on other peoples coolaid. in the end I had 4 or 5 different sell orders to make sure I sold as many of the items as possible to make sure I broke even / made profit while watching them lose isk in return.
Working Stiffs
#3 - 2017-01-06 23:05:13 UTC
Just don't play the 0.01 ISK game.

List your items at reasonable prices and leave them until they sell.

It is rare when I can't complete an order in 3 days or less. Then I adjust those ones.
#4 - 2017-01-07 14:08:53 UTC
"Never attribute to botting what can more easily be explained by the strange play habits of others, or your own incompetence."
- Chelian Dendrotoxin, 1/7/2017
#5 - 2017-01-07 14:39:32 UTC  |  Edited by: Rykker Bow
Chelian Dendrotoxin wrote:
"Never attribute to botting what can more easily be explained by the strange play habits of others, ."
- Chelian Dendrotoxin, 1/7/2017


I've found the above the most likely in my trading experience. While I don't doubt there are bots out there, I found it much more likely that it's just another player. I've been reported as a bot a few times to ccp. When trading it's not uncommon for people to spam chat requests or send hate mail my way (hate mails > kill mails)

I keep a diverse trading basket and my strategy for dealing with bots (or overly aggressive traders) is to either:
1. See if I can out ocd them. Box their order out with multiple orders updating on a strict time frame and try to break their spirit before mine is.
2. See if the item is still profitable over the long run. Sometimes the suspected bot only plays a few hours and my orders still get filled/bought over the course of day(s)
3. Move on to different items in my trading basket

The Mjolnir Bloc - Lowsec PvP for the sophisticated - The Mjolnir Bloc Killboards

#6 - 2017-01-07 14:42:22 UTC
Rykker Bow wrote:
Chelian Dendrotoxin wrote:
"Never attribute to botting what can more easily be explained by the strange play habits of others, ."
- Chelian Dendrotoxin, 1/7/2017


I've found the above the most likely in my trading experience. While I don't doubt there are bots out there, I found it much more likely that it's just another player. I've been reported as a bot a few times to ccp. When trading it's not uncommon for people to spam chat requests or send hate mail my way (hate mails > kill mails)

I keep a diverse trading basket and my strategy for dealing with bots (or overly aggressive traders) is to either:
1. See if I can out ocd them. Box their order out with multiple orders updating on a strict time frame and try to break their spirit before mine is.
2. See if the item is still profitable over the long run. Sometimes the suspected bot only plays a few hours and my orders still get filled/bought over the course of day(s)
3. Move on to different items in my trading basket


I've been trolling/commenting/participating in MD for a few years, and I lose track of the number of 'TRADE BOT WHARGARRBL' threads that always just end up being someone who is more hardcore at market pvp.
Gallente Federation
#7 - 2017-01-07 16:11:43 UTC
In my time in the market I think I met one or two bots, where I was quite certain, because they did stupid mistakes. All the other bot-like behavior comes from many passionate and maybe "no-life" traders. When I'm pushing my stuff into the market, I know, I can act like a bot Twisted, but luckily this is not "required" often.

I'm my own NPC alt.

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