Shortly after posting my Market Bots article last week I received the following eve-mail from another player.
about your Market Bots article
From: Name withheld at sender's request
Sent: 2014.11.03 09:24
To: Moxnix Induli,
I just read your "market bots" blog entry, smiled really big, and wanted to share some private words of encouragement.
I petitioned that activity in Genesis, on 2012.08.21
It was closed with the standard "thank you - we'll investigate."
I wish you good luck with your petition.
All I do now is keep a few token buy orders active in Genesis, to cramp his profit. And watch with fading hope, for the day the next highest orders disappear.
I had too much time on my hands, and pressed hard on several orders at all hours.
In my original petition, i noted: A real player is monitoring the activity.
Frequent buy order increases result in this player raising his usual increase amount, sometimes significantly.
This player will reduce market buy order amount if I "give up" and back down by a significant amount, and there is no other competition.
(not in the old petition, conjecture:)
One of my ship buy orders while "playing" with this... character... went over a threshold, and I was rapidly sold a ship.
I didn't name the name in my original petition, *because* it felt unprovable by me... I just listed a few orders and prices they could reference.
Then some time later, I got this, lol. Same character that sold a ship. Frequently seen in Malma ;)
Bounty placed on you
Sent: 2012.12.14 23:13
Name Withheld placed 50,000,000 ISK in bounty on your head.
I'm active nearly every day... and have lost only ONE ship since this bounty was placed ;)
That was about 2 years ago. I'm quite certain he's talking about the same bot I am since the one I ran across uses exactly the same methods described in this mail.
In other words, the Malma character has been obsessively guarding his business with near instant responses at all hours for at least 2 years. Sure sounds like a bot to me and I have a lot of experience fighting back against bots from back when I played that other game that's even more infested with auction bots than Eve is with market bots.
Though I didn't mention it in my original article (it's always a good idea to keep a few details secret in any investigation) I'm certain there's a real player monitoring the bot too. That's easy to tell when he suddenly raises his prices significantly, cutting by much larger amounts than usual, then goes right back to the usual near instant 0.01 ISK response on most items. Most items that is except the ones where I've already forced him over the bot's usual high price threshold settings.
Oddly enough (that's sarcasm btw) on those items his response is no longer near instant.
Having a few billion sitting in escrow doing basically nothing for the next 3 months (or 3 years if that's what it takes) forcing the bot to buy at, near or over Jita prices really isn't a big deal to me. Now let's see how long the bot can keep it up with his even larger buy orders. If he's bluffing, as they often are with high priced orders for large(ish) volume, it's going cost him a fair bit in lost broker fees when he finally realizes I'm not going away any time soon and cancels his orders.