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  1. #1

    Experienced AH player, not sure what I'm dealing with here (competition)

    Iím on an incredibly small server and have been playing the AH seriously for about two and a half years now, and Iíve never seen a competitor with patterns like this.

    When they first showed up, I noticed it looked like they were on for hours straight without logging, but it didnít bother me too much, as it was mostly at night and early morning hours, thus not cutting into too many sales. I wrote it off as them just having nothing else to do.

    Last week it escalated into them being on for nearly 24 hours straight every day. The only catch is that they periodically log off a few times each hour, usually near the end of the hour. Nowhere near enough time to go to work/class, get any sleep, etc, so I havenít been able to figure out what exactly theyíre doing, and the UJ shows no pattern since, again, they log on enough to post every hour.

    They play pretty stupidly too. For instance, they might have 10 brilliant infernos up, and Iíll undercut them with just one post. They will cancel and re-post all 10 of their gems every time I undercut , and itís got to be eating into their profits. They also seem to have no price threshold for any item.

    Iíve dealt with multiple competitors in the past few years, many aggressive, but never at this level. I guess Iím just wondering if this is bot behavior, even with the brief log outs every hour. Iím hesitant to contact a GM and waste their time if this is just somebody with absolutely no life outside of the AH, but itís maddening to try and compete with someone on constantly, and Iím trying to figure out how one person could feasibly keep that up for days at a time. Is it possible theyíre sharing an account with someone else? Is the reposting 24/7 enough to open a GM ticket and have them take a look? I'm all for intelligent, competitive AH PvP, but this is driving me up a wall.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    As the crux of the question seems to be should i bother reporting them for botting, i would say yes it would be worth sending a report out citing botting/account sharing as the GM's can generally quite easily see what is going on and can probably solve the issue one way or another quite quickly.

    As for worrying about wasting their time, at the end of the day they ask players to report suspicious behaviour and pass that information on to them. I am sure they get lots of false reports but given the information the player can gain they obviously expect and plan for this and this is the way they want it to work.

  3. #3
    It is definitely enough to have them take a look. I recently did the same with someone on my server that I see a lot, idle next to the auctioneer. I checked the TUJ and they aren't even in any markets that require constant reposts. So, I'm not sure what the person is doing but I just reported it anyway.

    If the bot you are dealing with is doing something as stupid as you describe, you may be able to cost them a ton of posting fees. Is the person posting 12, 24 or 48 hr auctions? Also, if you remove your auction that they undercut, do they cancel/repost at the next highest price? Personally, I would have some fun with them and start making the business very unprofitable.

  4. #4
    Kathroman's Avatar
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    Try contacting them, especially under the guise of a potential buyer. ie. "I noticed the items you had in the auction house and was wondering...". If you can try and have a conversation with them, that would probably be best, as some bots will have automatic replies so as to more effectively seem like an actual person. I hate to say it, but it can also help you determine whether or not they speak english, which can, unfortunately, give you a bit more insight if you are on an english speaking server.

    At any rate, I would try and get a bit more to go on before opening a ticket, though. What might seem like stupid behaviour for a human being to you might not necessarily mean bot - there are some stupid humans out there...
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  5. #5
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    When ever I deal with suspicious behavior like that I always report it. Would rather get rid of such unpleasant people from the game.
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  6. #6
    Reporting is just the best option as the only people who can really do anything or solve anything are the GM's. Worst that can happen is it's a false report which means nothing happens, if it is a bot/exploiter then the sooner it is reported the sooner it is dealt with.
    Nothing bad can happen by reporting it as soon as you suspect but by taking time to report it, if it is someone doing something wrong then that means they have more time to effect the game by what their doing.

    Doing things like talking to them to find out more is really only useful for your own piece of mind rather than being very constructive as any information you gleen from that contact would only have to investigated by a GM anyway and in the worst case actually give them some form of warning of a potential investigation which could impede the effectiveness of any future GM involvement.
    It's the player job to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious. It's a GM's job to investigate any reports and use the multitude of tools they have available to them to decide if there is an issue and what action does or does not need to be taken.

    I do agree with the point that just because it seems stupid or as in many cases someone doesn't understand something, it doesn't necessarily mean a bot and people are too often too eager to jump to that conclusion but even having said that though if people have any suspicions at all then report first and think later. You can't go wrong by reporting them and you can't harm them or the game by doing so if they are not actually doing anything wrong.

  7. #7
    I wish there was some way to tell how often your own account(s) have been falsely reported for stuff. Or even to be able to read them. Between multiboxing and goblineering, I'd likely bust a gut laughing.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleO View Post
    I wish there was some way to tell how often your own account(s) have been falsely reported for stuff. Or even to be able to read them. Between multiboxing and goblineering, I'd likely bust a gut laughing.
    I'm like you; I multibox and camp the AH. The scenarios leading up to me getting "reported" are often rather comical.

    That being said, asides from reporting your competition, you should definitely play around with them and find their weak spots. If your competition has no thresholds, try lowering prices and buying out his stock. Or crash the market by posting a wall of stock. Lots of fun opportunities.

  9. #9
    Dont be concerned about wasting a GM's time. Just open the ticket and let them sort it out. Dont even bother collecting evidence. Just say he is botting, they will hand it over to account investigation team who will do the investigation they need before they can confirm its a bot or not.

    I had a competitor in my markets posting 24 hours for weeks on end too. A couple weeks after I reported him he disappeared for some time and now he his back but posting at normal human hours. He is still a bot because he walks backwards to the mailbox, but I'm guessing he got a 3 day suspension and changed his habits a little.

    Warden isn't as great as some people think, I expect all these bots hide just as Glider did. Most bans come from player reports and then account investigation physically looking at the player and their activity logs.

  10. #10
    I do the "he's walking forward and backward in a straight line between the AH and the mailbox" thing when I'm on my laptop, it's so old that turning takes forever.

 

 

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