Greedy Goblin

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hitting the weakest point

Blue update: 9 people (2 tank, 2 healer) signed up, one more DPS or healer needed. We finish Ulduar or go ToC.

Below I'll show a ganking plan. But it's important to announce that it won't be the single way of ganking. Any guild member can come up with an idea and follow it with anyone who believes in it, and if works will be posted here. It won't be "I tell you where to go" guild. I just tell where I will go, you are very welcome in the guild with your own plans. I'll be online (mostly) every day 19:00 for invites, lvl 80 are now welcomed. Yesterday's post collected lot of naysayers claiming our mission is impossible, we can't do anything. Come and show them: nothing is impossible. Bring your toon, and above all: your ideas how to achieve the impossible.

Here is my idea:
This guy and some others are selling herbs, ores, skins in the horde AH of Maghteridon-EU, the place of our ganking. There are two explanations for this: professional goldfarmer or some retard farming 24/7 for bike.

Either way they are supplying 90% of the raw materials. Every other products (except epic gems and non-crafted gear) come from these resources. If he is a real guy, than corpsecamping him would probably make him log out/log to a non-farmer char. But that's the smaller possibility. He is most probably a farmer. However 20s for a herb is a joke. He have to sell 50K herbs to get 10K G and Inquisitor found us some prices: 23.3GBP/10K. That's 26.5 EUR. Even if he finds 2 nods/minute with 2.5 herb/node, that's 5 herb/min. He needs 10000 minutes = 166.7 hours to farm 50K herbs. So his income (not salary) is 0.16EUR/hour. If we substract computer, ISP, WoW account, electricity costs, we get less than 1EUR/day salary. That's a joke, even in a third world sweatshop. So the only logical conclusion is bot.

On the one hand a bot is a hard enemy, as he can't be griefed. Kill him 100 times and he res 101 times. However botting is against the ToS. We are fully aware that Blizzard does not care and even plans a goldfarmer interface, they can't support botting openly. So all we have to do is deathgripping-MC-ing the bot into a position where he starts running into the wall. Then report it that "he's been running into the wall for 20 mins now". I can also post it on the blog. Blizzard can't ignore that without losing face.

If he travels underground, it's enough to screenshot and report it by 10+ players. Blizzard definitely can't tolerate hacking or the game dies.

With the farmbots banned, the herb prices skyrocket (remember, they have 90% of the sales). That will force the broke horde M&S to either go dailies or go farm themselves (smart hordies can afford more expensive items). That does not only mean ganking targets. It also means that we kill them during something they hate already, making the already tedious farming worse. They won't be too happy I assume.

If the farmer is around and sits to the computer if the bot is in PvP we can just pull the bot to monsters, vanish/bubble and let the monster finish him. It's hard to farm in red gear.


Unknown said...

You grossly overestimate Blizzard's willingness and speed to ban bots. Even if they do react to your report, the delay between reporting and banning is measured in months. It'll be there long after your gank experiment has been concluded.

Sirenfal said...

It doesn't matter if the bot can be griefed (which, obviously it can't), what matters is if you cripple the bot by reporting it, or killing it repeatedly, you cripple their herb market.

Thus, you've actually affected potentially hundreds of players, rather than one bot.

Unknown said...

Pardon me, but on this matter I have to join the naysayers.
Rendering farming bots useless, so in a couple weeks/months the M&S MAYBE goes out into the open to farm herbs/ores?
What if someone with an already huge stockpile of raw materials notices the sudden skyrocketing of prices and decides to sell his stock for a not this low, but still reasonable (for the buyer) price?
What if, by that time, Average Joe decides to ged rid of his small/medium stock of materials before Cataclysm?
Same goes for guilds, what if raiding guilds try dump their HUGE stock of flasks for cheap prices to get rid of them before Cataclysm?
What if Cataclysm actually does launch by the time your efforts could have an impact, making Northrend mats more or less obsolete?

I know criticising (sp?) an idea is alot easier than being constructive, but this concept of yours this time won't work imo.

Isn't doing the For the Alliance achievement ie. raiding cities drawing more attention? There would be countless trade chat "call to arms" spam, that can make your raidgroup engage in the desired world pvp, and while Thrall/Cairne/etc. dead every night won't make them "take the free transfer", but it definately could ground the fame of the guild, MAYBE leading to the point where even your outdoor activities wouldn't go unnoticed -> luring the M&S right to you.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm actually quite happy (for now) with the herb bot's prices at alliance side. ;)

Anonymous said...

Gevlon does a little math to determine that the bot farms goods worth roughly 0.16EUR/hour. This is a very slight amount of money, so for the botter to make a reasonable level of income there will need to be many many bots. Otherwise, the initial cost in terms of setup time will probably not be worth it.

A multitude of bots presents a challenge for Gevlon's effort: stopping one or even a dozen will not severely impact the botter's supply. Furthermore, since bots are likely to be reported from time to time anyway, the botter will have ways to minimize the damage when he loses a bot. Gevlon, by contrast, will have to continually do the work of finding new bots.

Despite the difficulty described above, I'm eager to see how Gevlon's project works out. How will he find and identify botters? What will he do to disrupt their efforts? What results will this produce in the market?

Anti said...

i'm not sure but i reckon Bots may farm instances. using map hacks to avoid mobs even.

not 100% sure but i added one particular goldfarming toon during BC and 90% of the time he was in instances.

it seems the farmed herb of choice is icethorn and not adders. i wonder if this can identify the farmed location.

on a completely unrelated topic...i hit goldcap for the first time today. yay me!

Eric said...

In BC, bots would farm instances by teleport-hacking from one treasure chest to the next and opening them up. Rather than fix teleport hacks, blizzard just removed treasure chests from the game.

I'm excited to hear about the anti-bot gankery, although I'm also a little concerned that you'll not find the actual bots. How likely is it that this guy is just the AH alt of the farmbot?

Seems like at that volume, you'd rather have somebody who sits in the AH and gets the mail, since the only unlimited storage resource in the game is the mail system.

Wayne said...

Seems he may have gotten wind of the plan as I cannot find him on the armory. Let's hope he was "friended" before the name change and that Deyon is the actual toon doing the farming and not just the one posting the auctions.

Gevlon said...

He is surely a lowbie AH toon. Finding the bot won't be easy. But proving him being bot = ban = permadeath.

Klepsacovic said...

Why not document his botting without interfering and keep profiting off the herbs? He'll be banned in the same time, but reduced interference is more profitable.

If you do remove the bots, you're likely to help the M&S, not hurt them. Who buys the herbs? Crafters, and in my experience crafters aren't usually stupid. In contrast the M&S are probably out there 'farming for free' and getting irritated by all the bots. Remove the bots and the M&S are suddenly bringing in a lot more herbs, without the market changing. Bots are hurting the M&S, not the goblins.

Sjonnar said...

@Anti: 'on a completely unrelated topic...i hit goldcap for the first time today. yay me!'

Now that's an accomplishment that's worth congratulating. Grats.

As for the issue of killing the bots, i think i'm gonna disagree with Klepsacovic here. Without the bot snapping up all the herbs and selling them for peanuts, the M&S will get more herbs, this is true. But for the most part, they will not profit from this. They will make the herbs they farmed for free into flasks and sell said flasks below materials price.

Who really profits from lack of bots farming and higher AH prices for herbs? Levelling goblins.

Sjonnar said...

Oops, forgot the other key component of this process. Not only does the loss of botter herbs make my levelling herbs worth more, but the M&S then converts the gold he makes selling underpriced flasks into a mammoth or bike, removing gold from the ecomomy and making my -gold- worth more, too. And raiders get flasks on the cheap. Kill the botters and everyone else wins: raiders get cheap consumables, goblins get more gold, and M&S get a sweet bike.

Kill them botters, kill 'em all.
Gevlon's Gankers, rah, rah, rah! :P

Taemojitsu said...

One of the less detectable kinds of bots uses flying mounts and has capabilities such as avoiding nodes when other players are around (as advertised on main website when searching google or youtube for 'Wow bot flying'), auto-logout in certain situations, and programmed PvP attack patterns. Obviously an underground bot would not be counterable but hopefully Blizzard isn't so incompetent that these bots are not eventually detected. PvP is very easy to detect bots whether or not they have auto PvP programming (such as seeing if the character attacks someone who is being healed for 5 minutes), but you might have to surprise them by hiding in stealth. Maybe with 100 tickets showing proof Blizzard will ban a bot.

Anonymous said...

question: how do you plan on dealing with the auto-logout functionality of boys? If killed more than a handful of times a not (typically) logs out, if the not cannot return to its waypoints within X time (again typically) it logs out.
This functionality has been in bots since (at least) elemental plateau was the place to farm.

Anonymous said...

Lemme tell you the tale of Ninjai, an alliance guild on Dragonmaw back in the day. This is all "too my knowledge" and I'm horde and was on the receiving end.

It was a guild with a stealth requirement. Only night elves, druids, and rogues were allowed into the guild. Everyone had to have stealth, that was the rule.

These guys were merciless world pvp gankers. They roved questing areas in packs, tormented quest hub towns, wiped whole groups, killed quest npcs, shut down the wind rider network, broke up raids, corpse-camped entire zones, etc...

Normally, my guild didn't care about world pvp. We just avoided people. Ninjai was different. They earned the server's respect. When someone said that they were having problems with Ninjai, we'd generall ocme to their help. Cause we knew that they'd need it.

Still, even with concerted counter-effort they sucked to fight. Cause they could all stealth, they were almost uncampable themselves. You never knew how many were in an area and they always seemed to outnumber defenders. The all stealth component and the ever-present ganking really made them an invisible threat. You never knew were was safe or not-safe from Ninjai.

Dunno if this helps you Grevon, but when I think of server challenging gankers, its Ninjai that I remember.

Klepsacovic said...

@Sjonnar: Of course they will profit. Will they have more gold than standing in Dalaran? Yes? Then they profited. They profited less than they could have, but they still profited. 'Farming it for free' and making undervalued flasks is more profitable than standing around Dalaran complaining that bots ruined the herb market.

The M&S will benefit from fewer bots. They will; benefit less than they could (they are morons after all), but they will still benefit. If they positioned themselves to benefit from the bots, they'd not be M&S, would they?

For the M&S the profit isn't in the herb or the flask or the farming, but how those get them to do something rather than nothing.

Unknown said...

Gevlon, you have impressed me again.

I have no clue if your plan is feasible (I think that you'll run into time issues at the very least,) but ganking the economy is very fitting and quite brilliant.

Sjonnar said...

@Klepsacovic: 'Of course they will profit. Will they have more gold than standing in Dalaran? Yes? Then they profited.'

That's not a profit. It's gold, yes, but it's less gold than they could get from buying the rediculously cheap bot-farmed herbs and making flasks from those, and using the time that they would spend farming to do something more productive. That's why they're M&S: they cannot see what the profitable option is.

They'll get their gold for their mammoth eventually, same as they would have gotten it eventually by doing dailies.

The ones who really profit here are those who use herbalism to generate income while levelling.

Also, i was wrong in my previous post: not everyone wins. Who loses if the gankers exterminate the bots? Alchemists who do what the M&S should have been doing: buying cheap herbs and selling flasks. Their golden age of dirt-cheap herbs will have ended.

Klepsacovic said...

@Sjonnar: You don't seem to understand the concept of M&S. They are stupid and lazy. They wouldn't be crafting flasks from bot herbs. That profit is lost to them. So you have to start at a different reference point, that of what gold they get currently and what gold they'd got under the change. They lose potential gold with fewer bots, but they gain actual gold. That is profit.

Herbs will still be cheap, just not as cheap. However think of the buyers, some of them will be the M&S who now think they are rich and will start paying too much for flasks, driving the price up along with herb prices. The alchemists will still lose some profit, but they'll hardly be wiped out.

Anonymous said...

"he's been running into the wall for 20 mins now"

Auto-run while being afk, anyone?

Anonymous said...

My experience with late night BGs and bots is that I suspect it will be a long time to get Blizzard to do something. Nothing like 5 of 15 in a BG being bots; and a bot following my stealthed rogue. ugh!

Besides a bot that is getting attacked can just alternate between toons.

I do not understand your point about the euro/houts. EVE Online has a sophisticated system where you are allowed to purchase virtual currency. In Blizzard's game design, how many million people grind for a 100 or 200 g / hour? Which is several hours for a Euro? I am unsure that doing lots of WoW for low cash value guarantees it is a bot.

Gevlon said...

@Klepsacovic: you are absolutely right that the herbalist M&S will still have gold.

But what about the non-herbalist ones who buy flasks from gold they farm from dailies?

Braille said...

All of this is assuming that you're looking at a single bot farmer and AH lister. What if it's a small army of bot farmers that send their materials to a centralized AH lister? Considering the quantity of items you say this guy has listed, I think this is the most likely scenario.

It also makes it a lot harder for your plan to work, since you have to figure out some way to determine who's actually sending the merchandise to this guy for sale.

Of course, I could be wrong, and this guy is actually doing all of this solo. If that is the case, happy hunting!

Lowtec said...

You're calculation of the sellers income is flawed. The price for those herbs is that low because the only reason the farmer picks them up is to get Frost Lotus. That's were the money comes from. All the other herbs are merely byproducts.

Chastity said...

Yesterday's post collected lot of naysayers claiming our mission is impossible, we can't do anything. Come and show them: nothing is impossible. Bring your toon, and above all: your ideas how to achieve the impossible.

I've just been reading over the archives for this project, and I was wondering if you could clarify what your "impossible" mission actually is? It's just from where I stand the actual hypothesis of this scientific experiment is rather unclear.

Klepsacovic said...

@Gevlon: Ah well, those who farm gold rather than something useful, they always lose if a material becomes worth more. Maybe they'd farm herbs/ore if the bots were gone and they didn't have the competition. But maybe not.

Not all M&S are created equally bad. Some at least have the sense to farm a material, even if they cannot sell it at a good profit or craft it profitably.