Greedy Goblin

Friday, February 28, 2014

How to fix margin trading? (And small business tips. And one more scammer.)

Blog update: Nosy Gamer mentioned the official fansite list I went over to check it out and to my great surprised, found my blog there! Anyone knows how can I get that free media account? That's saving 12 PLEX a year, which is 7.5B a year, which is one free week of supporting the Holy Crusade against the space-racist Goons!

Ali Aras wrote that the Margin Trading fix was shelved, because the devs couldn't find a solution that wouldn't hurt legitimate traders.

With Margin Trading 5 skill, when you set a buy order for 1M ISK, only 0.25M ISK is taken from you as an escrow. You pay the other 0.75 when someone sells to you. Why is it important? Because you can set up buy orders for more stuff than you afford, knowing that only part of them will be successful. If you were wrong and set up too many buy orders which are all successful, your orders will just fail and you wasted the brokers fee, while your client lost nothing as he still has his stuff.

Enters the scammer: he sets up a lucrative buy order and then empty his wallet, to make sure he can't complete the order. Then he also sets up an overpriced sell order somewhere else (or for a smaller quantity) to trick people into buying his stuff in hopes of selling it to his buy order, which will fail and they are stuck with an overpriced item.

Solution: the escrow must always contain enough ISK to cover the most expensive sale unit. Sale unit is the minimum quantity of the item to buy multiplied by its price. If I want to buy 10x 1M items, my sale unit is 1M. If I set minimal quantity to 10, my sale unit is 10M. So the total escrow is max(total_price*0.25,largest_unit).

Let's explain how it works with an example:
  1. You set up buy order for 100x1M. Escrow: 25M
  2. You set up buy order for 1x100M. Escrow grows to 100M to cover the most expensive sale, despite (100*1M+1*100M)*0.25 = 50M.
  3. You set up buy order for 10x10M. The escrow doesn't change as 100M is bigger than (100*1M+1*100M+10*10M)*0.25.
  4. Someone sells to you 1 piece of 1M item. Since the escrow must remain 100M to cover the most expensive item, instantly 1M is taken from your wallet.
  5. If your wallet doesn't have 1M, the most expensive buy order (the 100M one) is cancelled and the escrow is recalculated to 199M*0.25 = 49.75M. The difference is paid to your wallet.
This way at least one unit of all your orders is completable, while you still enjoying the benefits of Margin Trading. Please note that having to put 100M escrow instead of 75M is irrelevant to you if you aren't a scammer, since you wanted to buy that 100M item and without the 100M-75M = 25M in your wallet you couldn't.

Hunzibal sent me the following business opportunities:
  • If you are running FW missions for ISK, you can make some extra income: the missions rise your faction standing, and it rises to your corp too. Corp standings is needed for planting highsec POS, so it can be sold.
  • If you are doing research without planting a POS, check out NPC nullsec stations. They have very low waiting time. Of course if your BPO is valuable, have a Black ops battleship for transportation.

Finally, yet another scam attempt. I don't bother making screenshots as "Harmless Fuzzy" is a few days old alt anyway. The opening letter is simple: he expected me to reply "steal chatlogs" and then he could sell me forged logs. Or false fleet info or something. But instead I asked him to do what no real RvB director would ever do: talk honestly to the members. I guess they sit on that answer together for a while and couldn't find out anything to continue the scam. But can anyone help me interpret the latter communication? They don't make any sense:

goon pets
From: Harmless Fuzzy
Sent: 2014.02.24 07:57
To: Gevlon Goblin

I am a highly ranking member of RVB and would like to help you with this goon thing. I can't believe we are helping these goons, who don't care about us at all protect their assets while they don't do thing to help us. How can I help you? Yes this is an alt but I can prove I have much power in RVB....just tell me how....

Re: goon pets
From: Gevlon Goblin
Sent: 2014.02.24 08:12
To: Harmless Fuzzy

Just quit RvB and tell your reason in the RvB forums. You came to do Red vs Blue fun and instead you are used to rep Goon structures.

Most of the RvB members are innocent, don't spy on them or awox them. Just tell them the truth and leave.

Re: goon pets
From: Harmless Fuzzy
Sent: 2014.02.27 18:06 [notice that 3 days passed. My answer did not compute for him]
To: Gevlon Goblin are so wrong about the Goons setting RVB as a front.  That is so not true.  I like what you are doing with the POCO thing, but you seriously undermine yourself, inside RVB and outside with stuff like that..  ABsolutely no coneection...

Re: goon pets
From: Gevlon Goblin
Sent: 2014.02.27 18:42
To: Harmless Fuzzy

Sure. RvB is protecting Goons just out of altruism.

Re: goon pets
From: Harmless Fuzzy
Sent: 2014.02.27 18:45
To: Gevlon Goblin
Nothing more than that....

Re: goon pets
From: Gevlon Goblin
Sent: 2014.02.27 18:58
To: Harmless Fuzzy

Yes. Except no one attacked or planned to attack RvB structures.  Also, RvB protected Goons months earlier, in Burn Jita. Protected the Goon altcorp Blohm and Voss Shipyard.

Why are you writing these to me? What do you want?

Re: goon pets
From: Harmless Fuzzy
Sent: 2014.02.27 19:22
To: Gevlon Goblin,

Nothing.  I thought you were reasonable and the stuff you posted on your blog was all for show, and I was willing to help you make your case.  But it appears you actually believe they stuff you are I guess my work here is done.

Just realize that 95% of what you are saying is totally, absolutely, irrevocably wrong....

Thanks for your safe..


Arrendis said...

You're actually making his point for him, Gevlon. Nobody's attacked or planned to attack RvB structures. RvB has had no reason to call on the Goons to live up to their end of the bargain. If you were to attack RvB structures, RvB would have two choices:

1)Defend everything on their own.
2)Call on the Goons to hold up their end of the deal.

Right now, you're literally letting RvB take the bulk of the fight, because you're not pressing them hard enough that they can't defend all of it on their own.

Why would they want to defend Goon POCOs? Because they want to fight, and you're giving them an excuse to shoot someone other than themselves.

Put it in commercial terms: RvB's 'currency' is combat. The Goons want their POCOs safe. RvB wants fights. They set up a contract: 'You keep our POCOs safe, you get fights.'

Simple, straightforward business transaction.

But they've added a twist by making it a Mutual Defense agreement - the Goons don't have to defend their own stuff. They've got no obligations to do so. It's entirely at their option.

If you were attacking RvB's assets - and doing so successfully enough to be a legitimate threat to those assets, not just to the ships that RvB members consider expendable to begin with - then you could put the Mutual Defense Pact to the test.

If they don't show up - if RvB calls on CONDI for aid, and CONDI fails to live up to the obligations they've committed themselves to meeting, then you'd have something to hold up. But you'd have to demonstrate that RvB did call for help, and none came.

But if the Goons show up to defend RvB's assets, then RvB isn't being 'used' - not any more than any real-world diplomatic relationship is 'using' the other person. Both sides have made commitments, and both sides are beholden to the other to meet those commitments.

If that happens, then you've disproven your entire 'RvB is just a bunch of saps the Goons are laughing at' premise.

Is your faith in your conclusions strong enough to test them, I wonder? Can you successfully start taking POCOs away from not Goons, but RvB?

Provi Miner said...

Hmm should have strung him out a bit a more get him to tell you something useful as a show of good faith. In other words do what mittens does (or says he does). The good faith gesture would have been valuable but not so valuable as to actually hurt RvB or goons but still would have been a nice little extra some some.

Anonymous said...

First of all, your margin trading scam fix seems quite solid - not perfect, but viable. Bravo about that, and I hope it gets implemented.

About the scam: As you know I'm an RvB regular and recruiter, but not a director. I have *no idea* what was behind this conversation.

I'm also not sure why you would publish this - surely this person *if* real, could have helped you out. I'm also going to assume that you didn't just invent this episode.

So, "grrr goons" is not a very rare feeling. It seems unlikely to me, but it's not impossible that some RvB members might feel uncomfortable about the POCO business (either because grr goons or because they feel we should have them all? I don't know). Because it's plausible, it makes a good hook for a scam... but let's pretend that the rest of the communication is honest. What was this person trying to tell you?

Basically, this plotter thought that many of the arguments you were using in your blogs were only for propaganda purposes. He or she shares your anti-goon sentiment and was willing to help.

But when you brought up RvB being a Goon creation, Burn Jita was RvB protecting the Goons, or B&V being a goon alt corp in a private conversation, he or she realized that you actually *believe* those things. Once he or she realized that, he or she reached the conclusion that you were not a reasonable interlocutor, and felt that conversation with you past this point was futile.

But he or she *still* wants you to succeed vs the Goons, and gives parting advice. I'm sort of reading between the line here, but I *guess* what the person was trying to say is that he or she genuinely believes that cooperation with the goons is quite limited, restricted to the POCOS basically. Furthermore, you loud proclamation of these theories - despite several reasonable and strong arguments showing you flaws in your logic - is discrediting you amongst potential supporters both within RvB and the greater EVE community.

I know you are suspicious in EVE - and it's healthy to be wary of what your "enemies" are telling you. But from one human being to another, your approach is very counterproductive and you are hurting your credibility. There are a lot of facts about RvB that you've gotten wrong - like who is the leader - that *minimal* research on your part would have made clear.

I hope this was helpful to you.


Petri Petrified said...

Sounds like he was tyring to bait you into saying something along the lines of: AWOX RvB. The conversation does a complete 180 from the start: "I don't like RvB helping goons" to "95% of what you say is wrong".

Now, you could be wrong about RvB being a goon thing, but lets ask this: If Lemmings attacked RvB POCOs would Goonswarm help? Since a mutual defence pact would entail the other side helping you defend (as opposed to being the hired gun to simply defend assets).

Since you are at war with RvB, you should hit some of their POCOs... like in WUOS. ;)

Anonymous said...

Arrendis has quite an interesting proposal. I'll just say about his idea thatattacking RvB POCOS is a guaranteed way to ensure RvB's continued involvement. Since you perceive RvB as your main obstacle in attacking Goon POCOS, this move seems rather counter productive.

@Petri. The schemer only makes a 180 degree turn *if you buy into Gevlon's theories*. RvB *is* helping the CFC with the POCOs. I believe this help is trivial to the CFC's hold on power, and thus is of no consequence. The schemer may feel that this helps *is* of consequence, yet disagree with Gevlon's notion that RvB is a creation of the Goons, that we defended them during Burn Jita, that we are Morloks etc etc.


Petri Petrified said...

@LR - Well, one can make many assumptions can they not? Such as assuming I agree with GG. His theories are interesting, but prof is harder to come by. With regards to your point:

I assume 'the schemer' makes a 180 based on his initial presentation to GG. My 180 example should have used: "But it appears you actually believe they stuff you are I guess my work here is done" as opposed to the 95% comment. Schemer opens with an offer to help GG make his point. exhumes disbelief in RvB helping goons defend what they themselves do not defend, and that they do not reciprocate defence. Schemer then goes on to claim they are acting under a mutual defence contract and then walks away after determining GG believes his theories (why would someone think he would not believe his own theories?).

Perhaps it was a poor move on schemers part, but it does give the appearance of a 180 or more appropriately of yanking GG's chain. The offer would also appear more sincere if he held his ground more by refuting GG's claims that he disagrees with. After all, if he was a RvB leader disatisfied with the pact RvB and goons were a part of, it would make more sense for him to defend against the false acusation while making suggestions to GG on how to better approach the topic of how schemer should handle his disatisfaction?

In the end, because of the nature of EVE determining whether a relationship theory is true or not is near impossible until you get the real people talking about it.

Personally, I tend to think RvB is looking for opportunities to PvP in high sec (had an alt in Blue Republic once - quite fun). The theory is fun, has some merit but what evidence there is to support the theory is insufficient to uphold the theory itself.

Arrendis said...

"Arrendis has quite an interesting proposal. I'll just say about his idea thatattacking RvB POCOS is a guaranteed way to ensure RvB's continued involvement. Since you perceive RvB as your main obstacle in attacking Goon POCOS, this move seems rather counter productive."

If his aim is to simply get RvB out of the fight, then yes, attacking them is completely counterproductive.

Also, if he himself harbors any doubts that Goons will fail to honor their Pact - ie: if he does not 100% believe that for the first time ever, The Mittani will be the one to break a treaty, unprovoked, that the other party has been honoring to our (the CFC's) benefit - then he should not do this, because provoking the CFC into actively entering this war will completely destroy his own (Gevlon's) narrative.

And keep in mind, in order to push it that far, he has to actually beat RvB over POCO timers - not just gank a few here and there, but actually take on RvB at a pre-determined timer and destroy POCOs that RvB - potentially with CFC support - is trying to defend, in order to demonstrate that a)RvB cannot defend themselves, and so need Goon help and b)the Goons will not live up to their end of the deal.

Anyone wanna take bets on whether he can do it?

Anonymous said...

My fix to escrow would be to put caps on sell orders to what can be supported.

For example, for 25M you can set up buy order 1 of 100x1M, but the quantity displayed is only equal to escrow + cash. If either changes, then the displayed buy order volume also changes.

For eaxmple:
Buy order 1 = 100x1M
Buy order 2 = 50x4M

Total escrow = 75M
Total player cash = 75M

Displayed Buy order 1 = 100x1M
Displayed buy order 2 = 37x4M

If buy order 1 is fulfilled, buy order 2 would drop to 25x4M (because there is only 50M available to fulfill the order). If the player got more cash, the size of the buy displayed buy order would increase.

Honest traders don't suffer. Scamming is still available but it requires the trader to be dump their credits between the time that the scammee purchases the item and attempts the resale (and even then it just appears as though someone else fulfilled the order so they consider themselves unlucky instead of scammed).

Bobbins said...

'If his aim is to simply get RvB out of the fight, then yes, attacking them is completely counterproductive.'

At some point if RvB does not remove itself from the fight that is what it will come to. At the moment RvB is engaging on its terms. I can see that being 'fun' and to remove the 'fun' part you RvB must lose something which it does not want to ie. POCOs.

Also why not make it profitable for people to take the POCOs as they are prime real estate. Have an event, a week of taking POCOs and divide the spoils up at the end based on participation. At the end all the corps which joined for a chance to get some POCOs can just leave. This would also create a free active 'defender' for the captured POCOs.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon has no reason to attack RvB POCOs. He would gain nothing.

He has already "proved" that RvB is a goon pet, so further proof is irrelivent. However, should goon turn up to help defend RvB bases then Gevlon would be shown to be wrong in his conclusion. All risk and no gain.

Anonymous said...

nice solution.
my thought on it was to add a "fillable" column. So I can sort on that.
And "lucrative" always shows itself in the price history tab. Nearly always does this scam look to good to be true.

don't feed trolls Gevlon. obvious troll was obvious after its answer on your first response.

Anonymous said...

Arrendis: You seem to have this whole situation back-to-front. Goons came to hi sec, grabbed some pocos, and have made very little effort to defend them. The only reason they still have them is because RvB have defended them.

At some point, RvB will realise that they themselves can take the goon pocos, and goons cannot do anything to stop them.

E Dyn said...

Hey Gevlon, in order to get the fansite account you need to submit it through and follow the rules there.

I'm guessing someone from CCP put you on the list because normally you have to submit it yourself.
Make sure that you follow the rules and when you submitted the ticket you should get a mail from someone of CCP when they finished checking.

I got my blog approved yesterday, you could check with John Kastronis to check up on the fansite and whether or not you can get the free account.

I just emailed him the other day asking if he could check up on my request and he immediately checked and approved it.

No need to put this comment up on the blog ;) hope it helped you and gets you that one free account.

Do note that the free account can not be used to do character transfers.


Anonymous said...

"Gevlon has no reason to attack RvB POCOs. He would gain nothing."
If goons and RvB have a mutual defense pact, then RvB will defend goons POCOs even if theirs isnt threatened immediately. The only way to prove that RvB are in fact Goon pets would be to attack RvB PoCos and see that no goons actually defend them, meaning the "defense pact" is only going one way.

Until then, you cant really blame RvB directors not breaking their word whenever it doesnt suit them.

There is little doubt in my mind that GSF has infiltrated RvB leadership (just like they did most of their own coalition), but Gevlon is acting like a paranoid retard by
1- Refusing to consider what may prove him wrong.
2- Grasping at straws of "scam" whenever soemones doesnt immediately agree with him.
Just like he always did, I guess.

Louis Robichaud said...

@Petri: The point that the Schemer's goal may have been to assess Gevlon's belief in his theories completely eluded me. That is indeed a reasonable speculation.

Someone could think that Gevlon doesn't believe his theories (ie they are pure propaganda) because they are outlandish.


GWI said...

Out of all the market things, fixing the margin scam ranks on the bottom of the list. It only works when someone is both greedy and stupid.

I'd rather lengthen the trade 5m window for more strategic market play, allow for longer histories, a candle stick graph in history, or allow nil market taxes to go direct to the sov holder. Even just a few abilities, like putting tends on the market item name, eg trit +5 today would be nice. Anything but fix an obvious scam

Anonymous said...

With your market fix, say I had several hundred orders, with the highest one being a single ship for 1bn, which I don't expect to get. If I have 1bn in escrow to cover that ship and nothing in my wallet, and someone sells me that ship, what happens to all of my orders?

The way it currently stands, those orders would remain until people tried to fulfill part of them. Under your idea, they would all have to be cancelled instantly from the purchase of that single ship, as their escrow would not be able to be replaced. I might even have the isk in another division or on another character, and could have moved it straight across, but now I'd have to set up all of my orders again, having lost all of their brokers fees. That is hurting traders.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: when there is a market order that can't be completed, someone MUST be hurt. I think it's more fair if the one who set up the order pays for his fail, and not the one who wants to complete the order.

Anonymous said...

Someone must be hurt, yes, like now the order is cancelled. But should [i]all[/i] of their orders be cancelled? The average player is unhurt by the current system the only people that are hurt are people that get scammed, and they should be punished for being so greedy.

Arrendis said...

"Gevlon has no reason to attack RvB POCOs. He would gain nothing.

He has already "proved" that RvB is a goon pet, so further proof is irrelivent. However, should goon turn up to help defend RvB bases then Gevlon would be shown to be wrong in his conclusion. All risk and no gain."

Well, he's also made it clear that he's publicizing his "proof" in order to reach the RvB rank-and-file, the people who are taken in by their leadership and Mittens' tendency to spin like a tornado. And as many have pointed out, all his "proof" adds up to cherry-picked correlation, not causation.

In short, he's got nothing that holds any water without his fingers carefully masking the holes.

But I agree - I don't expect to see him attack RvB POCOs, for 2 reasons:

First, I don't think he's dumb enough to risk being publicly shown to be wrong on this. If it unfolds the way I think it would, it would completely shatter his narrative, and he doesn't have any compelling reason to risk that, as you've said.

Second, I don't think he can. He hasn't taken a single POCO from CONDI yet, and that's with the power of 'Grrr, Goons' swelling his ranks. Attacking RvB structures is just going to be less effective, and looking impotent isn't on his agenda, either.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me like someone thought he could scam some ISKs out of Gevlon.

The fact that the whole conversation starts from an alt that offer awoxing services is quite telling.

The fact that it ends with the awoxer trying to convince Gevlon that his RvB theories are false kind of shows the scammer's real intentions.

A smarty-pants thought he could humiliate the Goblin by having him pay for worthless info but ended up being asked to take an honest stance.


The point is not about the theories about RvB being true or not.
The point is that a would-be awoxer turned out to be a scammer at best and a wanna-be Goon Pet at worst.

Good work, Gev.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is the right area to post this as I don't want to derail this particular blog post, but you should look into the creation of Spectre Fleet to see if this is the beginning of a replacement group vs. RvB.

Coincidence that this is developing while the goons/RvB pet conversation is happening?

Mittens is already involved though...

Louis Robichaud said...

I'm not very familiar with Spectre Fleet, but I believe it may be a succession to Bomber Bar?

@Arrendis: personally, I am almost curious to see what would happen if we weren't there. RvB 's presence is a convenient way to explain failure. I think that the lemmings might manage to do a bit of damage (they have blown up one poco already) but I would be astounded if the CFC didn't manage to prevail.