Market Bots - The market is saturated and something needs to be done asap- Read!

I’ve put up a number of posts concerning bots of late.

Till recently I thought the bots were focusing exclusively on the same area of modules which I deal with, namely POS structures etc. However, I recently had call to sell and purchase a lot of items elsewhere across the market and I noticed what appeared to be the same botting mechanics / buy / sell orders on many other items. In short, it now appears anything which is flagged up as having a sizable gap between buy / sell (the bread and butter of station traders) is now target by the same bots - which I suspect all relate to the same syndicate.

The other thing I noticed was the numbers in Jita local, which now sits at 1,100 to 1,200 a day during off peak hours. (if I remember rightly it sat around 700 - 800 offpeak about a year ago) Running some checks one morning - of the 1,200, 974 are not in any alliance, and 611 of these are in NPC Corps. Does anyone think 1,200 is strangely high for off peak and also weird that 50% are NPC Corps.?

The other thing I’ve done is run a number of checks on local over 4 days, cross referencing different times, seeing which toons basically stayed logged in 24/7. My personal belief is, based upon what I know, seen and experienced for the last 8 months is their are between 200 to 250 bot accounts currently operating across the Jita market -

So, back to the bots.

To cut a long story short, some time back in the course of trading I identified 40 odd market bot characters which I reported to CCP. After a period of time they eventually banned them all one morning - basically, on the day I got an update on the ticket saying now closed, at the same time they all disappeared from local and you can’t bring up their accounts anymore on searches etc. I mention this incase I get the usual, how do you know they are bots, they are probably players etc etc - they were and are definitely bots

Very quickly, new bots began to appear on the same commodities. I again gathered evidence and names and reported these. This time CCP just closed the ticket saying it was in hand. These bots are still operating and have been for the last couple of months, so whatever in hand means, is meant little for the last 2 months. In frustration, as basically my market trading had ceased due to them, I resubmitted a ticket, naming them again, along with two dozen other names I’ve since identified -in total I submitted 51 identified names, 37 of which incidentally also had corroborating sus contract histories, typically found with RMT’ing ie shuttle for 10 bill etc. - I’m currently awaiting the outcome of this ticket.

So, … as mentioned, I’ve been scanning the rest of the markets and I’ve found what appears to be the same bots operating across PI, tech3 subsystems, drones, ships, ship modules and many other areas of the market.

In short, if you play the market currently and the item you are competing for has a sizable buy / sell gap then you are probably competing against bots.

Now, how to spot them.

They operate on anything which has a sizable buy / sell difference

95% of their buy orders will be for 3 days or less, so they typically show as 2 days 3 hours etc - I’ve figured out why but not going to explain why as this posts long enough already. (yes, some players use this setting, but realistically not many)

The bigger the gap between buy and sell, the more 3 day buy orders they will place

They work as follows - say they have 6 buy orders up on an item, each will be by a different toon. (yes, one toon can put all these up but they don’t work like this) Lets call the toons, A, B, C through to F. Each runs a botting programme, in this case with 6 toons, each programme. which checks to see if they are top buy order, will loop every 30 minutes, with each toon having their programme timed to run 5 minutes after the last toons. This way, on the item in question, they are checking every 5 minutes they collectively are top, as buy orders are filled gaps begin to appear in the loop so the over bidding becomes less aggressive, that is until the orders are replaced 2 or 3 days later. (one of the reasons for 3 days)

So example, you place you buy order up. Toon A’s programme runs and they better yours. 5 mins later you increase yours, this time B’s bot programme runs and this one now leapfrogs yours, A stays where it is… and so on.

They don’t compete against their own orders, and as a rule they increase by .01 but I have seen other amounts fixed

If they have refilled their buy orders and have multiple orders up, they will better yours within 4 to 5 minutes. Where orders are sparse due to being filled, it will take longer

Using multiple toons means they can mask their actions better, they have resilience to banning and they can stagger them throughout the day if required

If they have buy orders up, they will also have multiple sell orders up on the same item - These are standard 90 day sell orders

They have fixed ceilings on the buy orders, so you can’t push them up into their own sell orders, equally sell orders have fixed lows.

99% of the time the toon in question will be in an NCP Corp. If they are in a Corp it will be named after the toon and they will be the only member.

If you push their buy price up and then drop yours back again, they won’t readjust down.

You can pull their sell prices down with just one item

With a bit of patients, you can pull the buy and sell profit margins close enough together that they leave the item - which is what I’ve done

Here are just some examples which show their buy orders and the leapfrogging (mine in blue, theirs < 3 days) and I’ve marked them with an arrow

POS Structures - Amarr Control Towers Medium - Good example which not only shows the bots leapfrogging of buy orders immediately after my own - but also shows me pushing their buy orders up and their sell orders own - Pretty certain this is 100% bot buy orders, bar own- https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/E57R

PI - Polytextiles - Good example of how dumb they can be - The bot has buy orders up for thousands of units, I better him by one unit and it reacts to leapfrog me. The top 20 odd buy orders I am sure are bots https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/E57h

Subsystems - Tengu Offensive - Magnetic Infusion Basin - Notice how I pushed the price up for a single unit, I didn’t mark the bot 's buy orders as there are too many, <3 day https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/E57J

Ships - Absolution - Shows leapfrogging of orders immediately after my own orders placed - suspect 99% of buy orders on this bots https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/E575

There are hundreds of items affected, have a look yourself and if you don’t believe me, place your own buy / sell orders up where you see the signs, play with them by pushing up and down, sell to some of the buy orders and have a look at the buyers contract history etc - you will see I’m right. I’ve identified 51 bot accounts on the market and I’m sure there are many many more… with numbers increasing every day - praise be the Alpha toon

So, why am I posting this here and now.

I want to raise everyone’s awareness about this. If you are aware you may be able to counter it and potentially screw up the botters day.

I want players to start making noise about this - this will kill the market and long term will kill Eve - just have a look at what happened on the Chinese server with bots and their inflation. If you wondered why plex keeps going up in price, here’s the reason- If we don’t make noise then history has taught us CCP are slow to react

I want CCP to acknowledge this is a problem and that they prioritise dealing with it

Make NOISE people !!!

Signed Mathra

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My yearly reading quota is now filled.

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Every 1 time out of 10000 you are right, when you say it cant be human, it’s a bot.
o7

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I am sure that CCP has some master plan that is so clever you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!:thinking:
Looking forward to Team Security’s blog on their planned Botapocalypse.

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Good job on spotting these. Looks like the amount of ISK they have is huge based on the buy orders.
Did you notice any threshold on the marging they will update orders?

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I wish ccp done something to the forum bots who whine all day and night

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The threshold varies - never used a bot programme, never will - perhaps someone who ‘has a friend who once used one’ could comment on their operation where thresholds are involved. Don’t know if they set it to X is the max buy order threshold, or Y which is below the lowest sell, or Z a percentage

As for isk made, well, I’ve seen one who was used to sell, pass on in excess of a trillion isk in their contract history within a couple of months - seen multiple others who pass on in excess of 20 bill a day - so the amounts are staggering as they probably use multiple accounts at any one time to pass the isk to buyers

Also, the bot army reacts fast - I had a buy order up on Gel-Matrix Biopaste for 140k, without a bot in sight.- Someone dumped a load of stock, fulfilling mine and others below it, dropping the buy to 125k / sell 151k. Within 30 minutes there are at least 13 bot buy orders up on it.

When you realise how many items are actually affected, and how many buy / sell orders on each item relate to bots, it does make you wonder exactly how many people really now play the Jita market. I’ve for all intense and purposes have stopped due to them, suspect many others have to.

For the first time in ten years I’m on the verge of cancelling my accounts - bought two new games the other day, first in years and they keep me currently occupied, just waiting to see if CCP does anything about this problem in the near future before I make a final decision.

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Market bots are real and for sale. I’m not sure what you’re getting at by attacking people who bring up the subject but this isn’t the same as all the AFK cloaking threads. This is a matter that needs publicity, and by all rights should be fought against.

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I havent seen a single bot yet and you can be sure i trade alot…

I mean you haven’t seen me either but i’m out there. Trade bots are real, that’s all there is to it.

I know that they exist, but its mostly a human when you guys say its a bot.

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Did you even look at the screen dumps and go to the items in game???

Well, if you want a new experience go and trade on the items I did screen dumps of, or if you mail me in game and I can give you another several hundred items that I’m aware they are on. Alternatively I can send you the names of bots that I’m aware of so you can watch them ping up in local at 11.30 and stay that way 24/7, bar downtime. Unlike some, I don’t hide behind an alt when posting, this is my main so you will get an a response

When I first read this I thought good job, especially getting a bunch of these banned before.
I still think good job and please don’t stop sharing this and please don’t quit or stop trading, as we all need to do our bit as players to out people who use bots and to keep reporting stuff to CCP.

CCP have never hidden the fact that they investigate until they have a bunch of these guys and ban them all at once, hopefully having identified who the account holders actually are if RMT is involved and passing info to the relevant authorities, so that makes me feel good. The actual RMT guys, not joe blogs using a bot because he cant be bothered with carpal tunnel who’s a cheat but not a criminal, don’t sign up for accounts with real names, steal accounts (I had an account stolen years ago through a phishing link on the old forums), use stolen credit cards to pay subs etc, and they run farms which can be a load of guys in a room farming or outsource, or have their own bots and bot farms, so banning the accounts that you see without investigating is a win for them- they just make more because you havent got the actual human running the show. Btw they also put up obvious stuff on accounts they don’t actually do the real trades with so the wrong chars get banned.

These latest, well if they are bots I hope those accounts get banned as well-

but it would be very hard to tell the difference between these and a bunch of alphas playing the market, or perhaps a single or a few players using VMs to trade across multiple alphas and get round the limited order slots an alpha has- which would be more cheating but not botting-

so I would expect this to take more investigation, looking at IPs involved etc and monitoring what those chars do with isk after its earnt.

With regard to how they work, you should definitely google them and check out the forums for the ones publically available, and the instructions they provide to avoid detection (not some AI level shit an eve neckbeard has built in his basement that is so advanced it can even ship spin between updates- who knows whats out there in reality).

Basically you set a min margin, how often to check, how long to run for, how much to bump by, and off they go. The big thing they say over and over is DO NOT LEAVE ON 24hour, they are supposed to be used for a few hours log off then a few hours like a real person, but you can set them to do this I think. I think being on 24 a day is the least bot like of bot like characteristics, because loads of people just leave the game logged in when they are trading and its just there like the stock market to bump or not, or maybe that’s just me (probably), bumping constantly for 24hours a day though that would be something CCP could check and that’s not something a human being could actually do.

I have not seen one that finds items to trade and automatically jumps on them without the items being set up first, they probably exist but I think they would send you broke more often than not (because eve markets are manipulated a lot and it would be hard for a bot to distinguish- item choice depends on in game knowledge of manufacturing costs etc and what a ‘fair’ price is or, as I discovered starting out in Jita, you can get burned pretty quick- wide margins aren’t the only sign an item is good to trade).

But DEFINITELY check out the enemy before you quit, and

look I’m saying this because I learnt a fair bit from your other thread and I think you are doing a service reporting this stuff ad more importantly sharing it, so I’m keen for you to stay,

but to me it looks like CCP do act on the information you give them, and from the whole picture, of how RMT basically ruins games and if left to run in this one would kill it because it doesn’t have a themepark to fall back on, they seem to be acting like I would expect-

waiting till they have a bunch and banning them, and probably not all of them because some might not be bots just idiots or because they don’t have proof, just suspicions which is all
we have right now about these alpha bots-

but very valid suspicions worth sharing and thank you for doing so.

Now I have noticed lots more 3 day orders on my markets, I thought it was just new players selecting the default (dunno what that is though tbh), or more experienced traders who knew something I didn’t, now you have made me vigilant and rightfully so.

But check out those bots, don’t download one, but these people have support forums. True eve metagame style you could even make a post asking if this kind of thing with the alphas is possible and how to set it up…

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Do y’all write in single sentences or just books?

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Thanks - If you see the multiple buy orders on your own items for <3 days purchases and they match the patterns I mentioned, then push them up, try and drag them down, see what happens if you put one item up only as I did with the polytextiles - basically do things to see what response you get, even sell to them

If a real human had 6 buy orders up at 50 items a time at 20 mill, and someone went buy single item + 20 mill over him, would a real person leapfrog all 6 of their buy orders over that single buy, costing multiple many millions, like he did for the tengu subsystems I linked.

If you beat there order and every 5 minutes they counter yours, then if you drive it way up then delete yours, if it was some kid sat at their computer they would eventually readjust down - these don’t

If the item in question is one which has very little market activity on, how quickly do they counter orders take to react. Some of my items there is only activity on them once or twice a day. But within 5 mins of putting a new order on, pow, its contered

Like I said, plenty of ways to test them, if anyone doubts just go to the items I linked and have a play -

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False positives are a fact of life. You didn’t put it like that, you made out everyone was just making things up. The reasoning is interesting I’ll give ya :blush:

I noticed a bunch of 24/72 hr buy orders on a skin so I made a 3 unit buy order and ran them up to 118 mil each while buying up singles to 150 mil… There were enough buy orders to dump my stock of 120… I then waited on the bots to drive the sell order prices to 87 mil and bought them out from the same people I sold to buy orders. Now we’re at 105 again with those same bots.

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Enjoy playing or stop it. Look at the topics dude. Whining about pve/pvp/trade/industry/cloaking/etc. Just stop

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@ Ag3nt Jita - whatever you say dude