Every bot need a second chance... to adjust timings on scripts to make it not that noticeable

Story. Not a long ago Montem got a new fancy settler. He joined and like a lot of other players start to trade here and there. Is it bad? Of course not. It’s a half of the game. But unlike most of other players he decided to use bot for this purposes. Bot was badly tuned and repost orders in 1 ms after someone else post his offer above or below bot, which is clearly impossible for human. Such activity was noticed, Montem chat was alarmed and a lot of peoples observed this. Bot was reported and what we got out of this? No immediate ban, but second chance to him… sigh. I’m disappointed. Such bots ruined fun for a LOT of players, they are hard to be confirmed and let them play… idk. Such generosity beyond my understanding, warn and forgive for using game bugs or disbalance things? Yes, why not. Forgive for intentional usage of forbidden tools? Why?

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Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to defend the bot user, but here is a thought:

I talked the bot user and told him that it is against the guidelines/rules to use bots. While he said that he understands the rule and doesn’t like it he will nonetheless stop using the bot. The play style he is currently playing is called market maker. In the real world a market maker is used to keep a market liquid. He also states that he will continue this play style, even without a bot.

The difficult thing is that it is hard to differentiate between a regular player and a bot. If the bot uses random response times that mimic the behavior of a real player it is almost impossible from a regular player’s perspective.

We could implement game design rules that make the use of bots harder or not viable, but they all come with restrictions and annoyances for regular players as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Listing fees: every time one posts a market order a fee needs to be paid. That makes it unattractive for bots to relist orders very often. The downside is that every player has to pay that fee…
  • Time limit: Introduce a limit how many orders can be posted / deleted in a given time interval. This prevents a bot from editing lots of orders in a short time span, but it also affects regular players that just quickly want to adjust a limited amount of orders

If you have other ideas, let us know!

Tbh, I’m pretty sure, he doesnt stop to using bot. He not only one who playing such style, but other guys even not close to him by relisting frequency and amount of tracked orders.

Cumulative listing fees can help. Starting for example from 2$ +2^n$ for each relist/sometimeinterval will be barely noticeable by casual player and limit such bots activity seriously. Or give players some number of free posts and apply list fee only after this limit.

Bypass trades also can do a trick. When you can select exact price you are selling or buying and can ignore other offers you don’t like(from bots for example). (can be limited if it match existing offers only)

How about a nominal deposit on your CX listing which is returned to you if it sells, but is kept if you delete your listing?

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That sounds good! Could be the best idea so far :slight_smile:

A CAPTCHA system would defeat bots. It would be incredibly annoying to real players but it could be used sparingly on players with inhumanly high activity levels.

I just started playing a few weeks ago. This bot is in all my markets and is ruining the fun of this game for me. I started construction so need inputs and outputs. The bot is controlling at least 50%, sometimes closer to 90% of the bid/asks of all the comms I need or want to sell. It’s so frustrating to be constantly under bid by .01 over and over at all times of the day unless I hit whatever magically threshold the bot decides is too much for it. I’ve changed all of my plans in the game to become self-sufficient due to this.

If this continues one of two things will happen. I will write my own bot to compete (and so will other people) or I’ll end up quitting cause this sucks.

I watched and interacted with the most active markets Sybil is in for a couple of hours and if it is still a bot it is timed to human timeframes. It is changing up the buys and sells at quickest every 15 minutes or so on the market. To be fair tho Sybil was talking in chat throughout that time frame.

Sidenote…a server time buffer window would be useful for recording things.

I think he/she needs looked into again. The constant changing on that many comms 24/7 seems unlikely that a human would ever do. I’m sure they’ve just put some delays into their scripts. I’d not even seen this thread when I brought it up to chat about a week ago and people said it was a bot and that it’d been ‘talked to’. 100% they are still scripting.

Could we get a dev response on the update? I watched as extremely bot like behavior was recorded, and it was my understanding this video was provided to the devs.

It’s been 5 days. Is the new bot policy “Frowned upon, but everyone will just have to deal with it.”?

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I’m looking into different options for a trading fee right now. The goal is to prevent both bots and “penny undercutting” behaviors from being effective. Playing normally shouldn’t be punished of course.

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Just so I make sure I’m understanding. Does this mean using bots is okay? Because if so, I have a new project.

The rules didn’t change. Usings bots is NOT okay.

Glad to hear the anti-bot policy is still intact.

Would it be possible to share how enforcement will be carried out? As far as I’m aware, this policy has never been enforced.

The bot is still botting… I know you are SAYING it’s not okay, but it is NOT not okay, amirite?

A policy without enforcement is a wish.

I don’t love the idea of a cancellation fee. Sometimes conditions change. If there’s a shortage in the market, I’m gonna ask for higher prices, but if a huge supply then comes in below me, I’ll need to lower my price. I think it will be pretty hard to find a sweet spot with the price so that it discourages penny bidding, but still allows for occasional cancellation.

Have you considered discretized prices? Let’s say you only allowed bids in 10% increments (i.e. 100, 90, 81, 72.9, etc). Now you’ll need to pay a real price to jump in front of the line. We can go even further and instead of FIFO for orders at the same price, we could round robin between sellers (i.e. A, B, and C are all selling LST at 100. D buys 5 LST, then 2 would come from A, 2 from B, and 1 from C). This would make line jumping even more rare, since if you join the lowest price bucket, you’ll start transacting immediately.

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I love the round robin in case of matching prices. I think that would do a lot to make it fair between big sellers and small sellers, as right now a big seller can freeze out a small seller for hours at a matching price.

As a variation on the pricing strategy, what if the game varied the “precision” of pricing based on the price band. Price band in the single digits (e.g. Fuel, PE) allows for bidding with pennies. Price band in the double digits (e.g. DW, RAT) only allows one decimal. Price band in the triple digits is whole numbers only. And so forth. Because let’s be real…undercutting by a penny on an L-Fab is just silliness.

Instead of tying it to the price bands, tie it to the limit price itself. Limit prices have only 3 significant digits always. So, a price of 10.08 can not be set; it would be rounded to 10.10. Lfabs in the thousands would have to be a multiple of 10; nothing after the decimal ever.

I’m not sure I like this idea in general, but I think having a single policy for all commodities is easier to understand. Also, if there’s a shortage of FF and the price skyrockets to 20 (just as a hypothetical… cough) I still don’t really want to deal with penny underbids because it is supposed to be trading in the single digits.

The round robin idea is very interesting tho. I like it. Hmm… especially with something to chunk the pricing. Otherwise, anyone interested in penny-undercutting will still do so. Round robin only appeals to those not interested in that type of play.

I don’t think restricting precision helps that much, we’re still talking virtually identical prices with very different outcomes in terms of how long they take to transact.

Although I still think discretized pricing + round robin is the best solution, round robin by itself may give significant benefits. Currently my ever present need for cash causes me to regularly get in bidding wars where we incrementally adjust our prices downwards in order to be first in the queue. I can’t afford to wait the several days for their order to clear, and often the spread is far too wide justify selling to the existing asks. With round robin, though, I’d be happy to match the lowest bid, allowing both of us to make money without the hassle of checking and adjusting prices multiple times a day.