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ups1dedomn

DB grab for the auctionhouse?

There has been talk of adding or removing features, making Crestfall a slightly modified (improved I hope) vanilla. Something that would be incredible would be support for mods to grab the whole AH search all in one, as has been for a few xpacs on live. If you add a cooldown period, maybe that would even result in better overall performance of the server?

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Posted (edited)

people shouldn't be using mods to browse the auction house anyway, except maybe if its to see multiple pages at once or something

they should actually be using their heads and looking around

Edited by Aquane
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Sure, that's an opinion. But it's annoying to browse twenty pages of 1x stacks of cloth or what have you. Easier to just have a mod say: There are 30 stacks of 1x, 10 stacks of 5x, et.c.. Some of us actually like being brokers, predicting demand-peaks and finding deals. Without having to spend the whole gaming-window on it.

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Posted (edited)

I'd be happy just to see a private server that actually has proper auction house item sorting, would kinda remove the need to load every page (for me atleast). Anyway, Crestfall isn't a custom server, I'd be surprised if they did something like that. The only changes they've committed to far is stuff that absolutely needed to happen, like removing exploits and retuning the early raids to 1.12.1 standard.

Edited by Pvt_8Ball
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On 10. 7. 2017 at 6:33 PM, ups1dedomn said:

support for mods to grab the whole AH search all in one, as has been for a few xpacs on live

Hello. Well, the answer is simple. If the client addon api supports it, those addons will work / someone could write one. If the api doesn't support it, then such addons simply won't work.

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4 hours ago, Xaverius said:

If the client addon api supports it, those addons will work / someone could write one. If the api doesn't support it, then such addons simply won't work.

So for it to work Crestfall would have to distribute a modified .exe with a known, approved hash? I see how that would be unlikely.

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I prefer to use the AH without any addon ever.
For me addons like the Auctioneer could be blocked or at least  a bit slowed like u mentioned, it wouldn't affect me.
I like to do it old school using the AH interface and everything.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than that.
I also hate bots, they should be perma ban every single time, please !

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9 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

1) a limit to the number of searches that can be preformed over a given period of time, 2) a limit to the number of auctions that can be created or purchased over a given period of time, or 3) a scaling lockout timer on buying based on the number of searches done over a period of time. 

That is such a slippery slope. Whats are the limits? After 10 or 20 searches? Limit auctions after 20-30 were created? What about farmers with who may have 10-15 stacks of leather plus another 15+ different stacks of herbs or whatever else? Then what if they then want to buy tons of pots/herbs/mats/gear all at once? What are the limits on this? You can play the AH making good money just buying and selling 20 items or 50 items, limit that though and you're limiting regular farmers who may just have farmed a lot of stuff all at once or buyers who need to buy lots of mats for different professions/gear/whatever else.

Example, i usually end up switching to engineering after I've farmed my gear and enough gold and then buy tons of mats off the AH all at once to get it up. Done this with alchemy before too. It works the same with lots of tailors who buy out tons of cloth. How do you limit something like this?

AH bots aren't really a problem, screwed up economies come from:

  1. Overpopulation of Private Servers (this is really once of the biggest reasons)
  2. Gold selling/buying
  3. Mafias/Cartels monopolizing certain goods/products 
  4. Broken nodes and spawn timers
  5. Other glitches/bugs/exploits that are everywhere on all these servers

Way down the bottom of the list is a few AH players. You guys claim to you will have the best scripting and closest blizzlike experience, well then let that take care of any economy inflation. There are always people who will play it somehow, but it's such an exaggeration to blame them for inflation. They may slightly raise the price of an item here and there once in a while, but the things i mentioned above are far more damaging to the economy.

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Couldn't agree more with the dilemma you put forward @Darkrasp. Bots ruin the AH game, as well as inflate prices. The third option does seem best, however I hope this lockout isn't too long or ramp up too fast, as it would mean some of us would have to either scan/buy every other day, or scan in the morning and buy in the evening. As opposed to in one session.

Isn't it possible to make a note in the logs if someone buys/sells large quantities? Making a list of verified active AH players and checking in with them occasionally when they are buying shouldn't be too rough. Or perhaps it is...

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I only use Auctioneer to make the rows with items on AH slimmer. I couldn't figure out how the other features work, so I stuck to manual search and selling/buying.

I do not support any kind of botting. Play the game yourself or get out!

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8 hours ago, Nocturn said:

That is such a slippery slope.

I agree with you here, which is why I specified carefully that it was a brainstorming exercise and not server policy.  Limits or restrictions would need to be carefully considered, of course.  The pervading theme of our discussion was that if we decide to set limits, they would be set in such a way that a human wouldn't likely be affected by them.  No human is going to preform 10 or more actions (query/purchase/list) per minute for hours on end.

Yes, anyone could potentially list or buy out 30-40 auctions all at once - but they aren't going to do that minute after minute, hour after hour.. only bots do that.  Any restrictions that get put in place would be designed with that in mind, and carefully monitored to ensure they aren't affecting a normal player's ability to use the auction house.

The concept of a lockout timer would basically put a counter on how many searches you had made in the last, say, 30 minutes.  I don't know what the time would actually be.  Maybe 5 minutes, maybe a day.  Didn't think it through that far at this point.  Let's say 30 minutes for the sake of an example, keeping in mind that it, and every other number for this example, is pulled out of thin air and is present only to present a possible example and to clarify how the lockout timer would work.  Got that?  Okay.  So it keeps track of how many searches you have done in the last half hour.  The first say, 20 searches all just work fine.  No delay at all.  After that, further searches add a stacking timer of say 15 seconds each between when the search is preformed and when you can actually preform a list or buyout action.  When you make your 21st search, you will get a 15 second lockout before you can buy or list anything.  After your 22nd search, the lockout increases to 30 seconds.  After 23 searches, 45 seconds.. and so on, to a maximum of, let's say two hours, which would require some 500 searches in 30 minutes or less.  Waiting the 30 minutes out would reset your counter, and after the lockout period has ended, everything starts over fresh.

To a player, they can search for their cloth or herbs or what have you and then list or snap up as many stacks as they like.  Even if they want a large variety of items, they'd probably be looking at a delay of maybe a minute or two, though realistically most players are hopping on the AH for a couple of items and probably aren't going to get to 25+ unique searches, especially not in 30 minutes or less.  A player who isn't a big time AH player is unlikely to ever see a lockout at all.

Bots, on the other hand, would be hitting the lockout point in about one minute after being turned on, rendering them incapable of buying or selling much of anything, and vastly limiting their ability to affect the server economy.

 

8 hours ago, Nocturn said:

AH bots aren't really a problem

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  Any kind of botting is a problem.

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I hope you guys can find a creative way to catch and eliminate all botting.  I liked to play the AH and made a ton of gold during vanilla this way.  Most of it through pattern recognition of my own in the markets I was involved in personally.  But, I do remember picking up Auctioneer and loved it because it made me aware of the value of certain items I would have otherwise (and probably did before I got it) sold really cheap or just vendored or something.  I remember the first time I made 50g on a level 19 twink item that I wouldn't have even thought twice about (we are talking 50g on a 6 month old original retail WoW server, that was a good piece of coin then) because my scans with auctioneer picked up that value for me.  I'm just glad I don't have to figure out how to do all these things like you guys do, it is a fine line to walk.  I wish you all nothing but success in your ability to search and destroy bots without impacting normal play by normal people.  Someone, for instance, might have a stack of 20 whatevers, break that up into sets of 2 and put 10 auctions up at a time for 5 or 6 different things.  You could easily set up 100+ auctions in minutes just by yourself without any software assistance. 

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Even as someone that likes to use Auctioneer, I am for the lockout option. I think it would help to keep the economy stable.

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Posted (edited)

@Darkrasp good points. I agree botting is a problem, should have rephrased that better, my point was just be careful not to punish some smart AH players because I don't think a few players doing it legally without botting is a real problem. 

In your scenarios on the searches, would that limit add-ons like auctioneer when it scans and searches the whole AH to get the price of every item on there? I use auctioneer all the time as I'm sure most people do, but if we had to just use the blizzard auction that wouldn't be bad either.  

I personally think the best solution would be to just ban any auctioneer type addon and let everything run through the blizzard AH. Of course making sure it can sort properly unlike on any other server. 

 

Edited by Nocturn
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6 hours ago, Nocturn said:

..would that limit add-ons like auctioneer when it scans and searches the whole AH to get the price of every item on there?

Not in any meaningful way. 

Auctioneer works by scanning the AH with a hundreds of searches to build a database of average costs for different items.  The player could scan and build a database just fine, but they would incur the lockout timer and almost certainly max it out.  To be clear:  the addon would work fine, but after running it, they would be prevented from listing, bidding or buying out any auctions for the duration of the lockout.

The good news is, you don't run the full scan every time you check the auction house, you do it a couple times to initialize the addon, and only sporadically thereafter to update it.  Normal, everyday use would be unaffected.

Banning Auctioneer isn't something we want to do.  In and of itself, it isn't a bad thing, and it's use is so widespread that banning it would just upset too many people.  The problem is having to differentiate between an addon like Auctioneer, which automates searching the database, and a bot, which automates searching AND buying/selling.  Personally, I think the lockout is the best way, and the least invasive for regular players.  As long as players know in advance that after they first initialize their Auctioneer addon they won't be able to use the AH for a couple hours, I think that's a reasonable tradeoff.

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

Not in any meaningful way. 

Auctioneer works by scanning the AH with a hundreds of searches to build a database of average costs for different items.  The player could scan and build a database just fine, but they would incur the lockout timer and almost certainly max it out.  To be clear:  the addon would work fine, but after running it, they would be prevented from listing, bidding or buying out any auctions for the duration of the lockout.

The good news is, you don't run the full scan every time you check the auction house, you do it a couple times to initialize the addon, and only sporadically thereafter to update it.  Normal, everyday use would be unaffected.

That's how I use auction mods personally though. Scan the AH and use the data gathered to sift through the auctions fast for deals.

Couldn't the botter only specify a short select list of items to scan for in the bot, as to not incur the lockout? Thus would the lockout handicap, but not break the bot, and fairly severely interfering with real players anyway.

Edited by ups1dedomn
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1 hour ago, ups1dedomn said:

That's how I use auction mods personally though. Scan the AH and use the data gathered to sift through the auctions fast for deals.

Couldn't the botter only specify a short select list of items to scan for in the bot, as to not incur the lockout? Thus would the lockout handicap, but not break the bot, and fairly severely interfering with real players anyway.

If you're taking 10 minutes to run a full scan every time you use the AH, then you're doing it wrong.  Once your client has a db built, you rarely need to run full scans anymore, unless I am entirely mistaken about what exactly that addon does.

And no, it would still break for a botter, since it is counting number of queries, meaning the lockout counter increments every time the list is refreshed.  Searching for 25 items once each, or one item 25 times, in a short period of time, both have the same effect.  Players don't stand still in one spot refreshing the AH every three seconds for hours at a time in case someone happens to lowball a single stack of wool cloth,  robots do.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Darkrasp said:

If you're taking 10 minutes to run a full scan every time you use the AH, then you're doing it wrong.  Once your client has a db built, you rarely need to run full scans anymore, unless I am entirely mistaken about what exactly that addon does.

I do a full scan before each AH session, which is about 30 mins long in total. I do this because after the scan, the mod shows all current auctions with a low % buyout in a historical perspective. The mod can't know these deals exists magically. Only after a full scan can it know they exist, and can show them in a nice list.

It also shows the auctions I compete with when I post my own. This is an important feature alone and makes the scan almost mandatory if I post auctions of many categories of items.

1 hour ago, Darkrasp said:

And no, it would still break for a botter, since it is counting number of queries, meaning the lockout counter increments every time the list is refreshed.  Searching for 25 items once each, or one item 25 times, in a short period of time, both have the same effect.  Players don't stand still in one spot refreshing the AH every three seconds for hours at a time in case someone happens to lowball a single stack of wool cloth,  robots do.

It would definitely break the less sophisticated bots. But how do you deal with a bot that searches only for rares level 15-19 and epics 55-60, for 10 mins every three hours? (As an example. Felcloth, Illusion Dust, Eternal Essence etc. would also work. The point is to limit the number of items to look for. Maybe even cycle several groups of items to search for.) That's not difficult to program.

Edited by ups1dedomn
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11 hours ago, ups1dedomn said:

I do a full scan before each AH session

Then your best bet is to hope Asura disagrees with me on this one.

 

11 hours ago, ups1dedomn said:

But how do you deal with a bot that searches only for rares level 15-19 and epics 55-60, for 10 mins every three hours?

A bot that scans repeatedly for even ten minutes would get locked out from buying anything very quickly.  Bots run a query every three seconds, which is as fast as the query packet will be accepted by the server.  Twenty searches would take only one minute of constant requests, at which point the lockout would kick in and prevent it from buying or bidding for fifteen seconds.  By the time that's expired, the bot has made five more searches and increased it's lockout time again, etc.  Basically it's sending queries too quickly and cannot avoid the lockout timer, unless it changes it's rate of querying to something spaced far enough apart not to ever trigger the lockout - which could be on the order of one query every several minutes.  At that rate a full scan of the AH would take hours, and the effectiveness of the bot is severely degraded.

If the bot is programmed to make 20 or fewer searches every three hours, then it's almost indistinguishable from regular human activity, and not as big a problem.  If the bot is only making a couple queries every few hours, it might get a good deal every once in a while, but it's not really going to have much impact on the economy in a macro sense, which is more my concern as a developer.  There are some server-side things we can do to counteract more complex bots, but I'd rather not get into that.  Don't want to make it any easier for bot makers.

Speaking of which, you seem to know a lot about how AH bots function and how to program them, and a keen interest in what possible countermeasures we might use to stop them.  I'll just make a note of your IP address now and keep it handy for future reference.  :D

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Quote

A bot that scans repeatedly for even ten minutes would get locked out from buying anything very quickly.  Bots run a query every three seconds, which is as fast as the query packet will be accepted by the server.  Twenty searches would take only one minute of constant requests, at which point the lockout would kick in and prevent it from buying or bidding for fifteen seconds.  By the time that's expired, the bot has made five more searches and increased it's lockout time again, etc.

Seems I misunderstood how the lockout would work.

Quote

 

If the bot is programmed to make 20 or fewer searches every three hours, then it's almost indistinguishable from regular human activity, and not as big a problem.

It is still a problem for the AH players. Instead of some deals earning you a couple of gold or more each, they are never there. The bot never sleeps, never takes a day off, only misses stuff on occasion because of human error. Whenever you post an auction, it is undercut within the hour at any point of the day. It essentially removes reselling items as an income. I have some hope that your server-side magic will remove the more advanced bots as well.

Quote

Speaking of which, you seem to know a lot about how AH bots function and how to program them

Orly? I know how AH works, and basic programming. Probably isn't hard to program them. If you use image recognition and windows cursor functions it would probably be undetectable by the simpler measures. I'm not there yet knowledge wise.

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and a keen interest in what possible countermeasures we might use to stop them.

Well I don't want them to break a game I enjoy playing. Mainly AH.

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I'll just make a note of your IP address now and keep it handy for future reference.  :D

Ayy lmao! You should know I might move before the end of the year. I'll most likely use the same account, unless I'm somehow banned by then, so note the user ID as well.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, ups1dedomn said:

Ayy lmao! You should know I might move before the end of the year. I'll most likely use the same account, unless I'm somehow banned by then, so note the user ID as well.

And the die has been cast!  Darkrasp, I just want it known that I don't know shit about shit lol.  What exactly is Crestfallen again, this is like a premier rugby club forum right...right? AH stands for Athletic House after all..... 

 

Anyways, I hate bots in rugby, I appreciate you keeping them out of the Athletic House.  Keep it up!

Edited by Veritch
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