Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kind of business post: the perfect solution for margin trading scams

Margin trading scams are a common nuisance in EVE trading. Their main problem is that there is absolutely no way to tell about the order if it's legit or not. You can't even know who is behind the order, so even known scammers can use it. Sure, if it's too good to be true, it's not and if you buy 100 units of rare vanity items for 2x the yearly average just to fill a single 100-unit minimum buy order for 3x the yearly average, you are dumb. But an order in the middle of the nowhere for 1.2x Jita price is usually legit, the buyer pays for the transportation. To make it worse, some orders were meant to be legit, the buyer just overstretched and ran out of money.

The reason why this problem wasn't solved yet is that it's impossible to do so without hurting the reason of the margin trading skill: to allow setting multiple buy orders, knowing that only a few will fill up anyway.

However I found the perfect solution which removes the scam, without hurting anybody else: simply hide the orders that can't be completed. I mean if I set two buy orders with money enough for only one, when one fills up and I run out of money, the other order becomes invisible to everyone else and get marked on my orders window. If I get money, the order becomes visible again. Not only it removes the scamming orders from the sight of buyers, but also protects overstretching businessmen: if you run out of money, now the rest of your orders are lost when someone tries to fill them up, you'll have to remake them with clicks and broker fees. With the suggestion it becomes invisible so no one can try to fill it and automatically returns to the market when you have money.

PS: MoA is reinforcing Tribute, since the silly TNT and CO2 minions of Evil didn't get the memo to set all timers to USTZ where MoA is less active. As one minion of Evil wrote, MoA reinforced the TNT home station and popped some entosis trolls. Of course real Goons who don't bother with this "PvP" thing and do what Goons do. Anime Masters found some too. And minions of evil are still hauling like morons.

I don't envy the propaganda drones of the Evil. First they had the "MoA can't take our Sov, they are just a nuisance" line, and then MoA took half dozen. Then they came up with the "MoA runs from fights, when they stand up to a super fleet, they'll be relevant." Back to the drawing board Goonies! I suggest the "MoA will be relevant when they rat more than CONDI" line. That will stand till eternity.


Marek Zaborowski said...

I think that is not a bad idea, after all. But on the other hand, margin scams are one of the most... clever ones. I mean, not these where some bots advertise some fail buy order, but these which plays on quantity of a item for example.

But I have a counter-argument for this Gevlon.

Does it hurts rational players as much as morons and slackers? Does it is something that effects everyone and can be mitaged by good decision making? I think, yes. Greater insight make us more cautios, while morons would rush for "quick cash".

The worst thing that would happen to rational trader, is that he got fraction of his capital frezzed for few hours/days, since owner of the buy-order he wished to fullfill runned out of money. The worst thing that would happen to moronic trader-wannabe, is that he got his WHOLE/MOST capital frozen in some silly items.

So I think, that we can agree, that current margin trading iteration punish MnS more than it punish Rationals. Since for rational trader is nuisance, while for MnS it can basicly can be end of his career.

A great example is here change to freighters and giving them low-slots. It was great change not because it allowed for freighter customization, it was great because it rewarded players who thinks and punish the players who dont. Notice, that for thinking freighter users, the change was not a big deal. They simply figured out optimal fit and that become -new standard-. However, for morons, that change was devastating. Before, Providence, was Providence, only skills/implants make them diffrent. Today, there is earth and sky diffrence between tanked and untanked Providence.

So to compare that in reverse to margin scamming/trading, Your change would indeed save a hassle. Much like we could go back to old freighters. That would take away a problem of "how do I fit my freighter?", since it is not that important as on other ships, as long as You do it right, nothing really changes. But do we really want that? Isnt a hassle a rational player have to put into it, worth morons and slackers losening their fortunates on scams and fail-orders?

- Shor

Anonymous said...

About 24 years ago the Reuters Dealing 2002 (later Dealing 3000) Interbank Automed Foreign Exchange Matching System introducrd "Presceened Prices". Basically, traders only saw orders in the market for which they had established mutual bilateral credit. Very similar to what you describe AND very achieveable.

GLOBEX, a JV between Reuters and the CME, I believe developed a similar solution for restrictions visibility into option markets (or actually making the true executable market vidible).

So in short your idea has significant real world precident!

Anonymous said...

Two issues:
1> This will require additional queries to the database, and that is a bad thing for server load and response times.
2> I'm thinking CCP sees the margin scams as part of the 'anything goes' culture of EVE, so they may not be interested in solving the issue at all.

My personal pet peeve is the spam in local in the trade hubs, but I think CCP is happy to let all the ISK-doublers, margin scammers and 'hangar sale' contract spammers have their day.

Anonymous said...

On one hand, I do like it.
That said I fell for this scam exactly one time. Still have the items. Lucky for me I believe I only lost 250-500m. And yes, this is a real world thing that does prevent this from happening.

However, the bitter vet in me is 'meh'. I would rather ccp remove more npc items porting them to pi or other manufacturing capabilities. Hydrogen Batteries are an example.
As far as helping the market, I think doing things like removing npc more and more just helps more. And perhaps should be higher on the list.

Gevlon said...

The main problem with these scammers is that they are annoying those who they couldn't ever scam. While local chat in highsec can be minimized and you can auto-block invites to completely be free of other fishing scammers (those who don't want to scam you, just anyone), there is no way to filter these out and have to manually think if this order is real or not. You'll never fall for these, but still waste time, just like with the Viagra spam in your e-mail.

Database queries can be limited by doing an update once in 10 mins, only when the server is on low load. If a margin trading scam (or honest overstretching) is out for a few minutes, nobody cares.

Sam said...

But orders can be partially filled. So you set up 3 equally sized orders with max margin trade, and that caps out your cash. None of those orders could be completely filled, but all could be partially filled. I don't see CCP moving to change this any time soon.

That TnT station isn't showing up as reinforced on dotlan. Are you sure it's that one?

Chanina said...

If you just want to get rid of the loop holes used to scamm, ccp only has to make sure that the "min buy" stack is always in deposit.

The honest trader buys 2000 units and wants at least 40 per sell. The Scammer it the only one who wants 100 in one batch and not a single more. Well you are the trader here so maybe my assumption above is wrong. If so, tell me.

Any businessman who overstretched and "lost" the order because of lack of money deserves it. He conducted business the wrong way and should pay more attention to the market. The second time he knows both orders get filled pretty soon so either reduce both to a level you can effort or increase your money reserves.

Your hide and visibility proposal sounds good, but technically the server would have to poll every order and the related wallet at a period of time. which is either very short and produces a damn lot of load or it is pretty slow and most of the time still inaccurate. And just because you can't effort to buy the whole 5k in your order, maybe you still have enough money to buy the 600 I just want to sell you. Should your order hide just because you cant effort the 5k? you would loose my 600. With the “min buy” solution I know that your order over 5k with min 200 will at least take 200 of my 600 even if you run out of money for the other 400.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"Two issues:
1> This will require additional queries to the database, and that is a bad thing for server load and response times."

The additional database queries are negligible. In the worst case, there are exactly 2 new values stored: bo_high, the highest amount you need to pay for a buy order and bo_low, the amount of capital you need for the lowest hidden buy order to become visible again (0 if all are visible). And while those two new values would be queried a lot indeed, due to their size and the fact that they rarely change they'll just be cached all the time.
The actual hiding (or unhiding) of buy orders is a bit more expensive, but also doesn't happen all that often.

To put all of this in perspective, CCP used to calculate all the bonuses your skills give you to your hull each time you change something, dock, undock etc. Something that is relatively easy to fix (use lookup tables) and caused problems (lag in jita), yet CCP only fixed it 2 years or something ago.

99smite said...

Totally agree, nut I fear that CCP gives a shit about it and is unwilling and unable to fix their code accordingly...