World Of Warcraft, WoW Hand Armor

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WoW Bots - Pirox Closed - How this affects the AH'ers

I really suck at photoshopping, huh?

I don't speak of the word that much. Botting. There, I said it. It's part of every AH'ers daily ritual, whether you know it or not.

Say you are in the glyph market. And there is that cat that always undercuts you, seconds after you post. Hmmm.....Could be a bot.

You are picking a few herbs of Whiptail in Uldum. That DK next to you that took your node? Hmmmm....Could be a bot.

That fellow selling 400 stacks of Obsidium Ore on the AH.....every day? Hmmm....Probably a bot.

And that Priest in the battlegrounds you though just sucked....Hmmmm...As a player, yes. But Hmmm......Probably just a bot.

*I would like to say that I do not promote or demote folks that use bots. I am just venting my opinion of what's going on. Hate it or love it, keep reading, as this will affect everyone.....whether we like it or not.

Pirox, which has been around for many years (god forbid I tried it, and got a banstick early on in my WoW career, so I can speak from experience), has recently reached a settlement with Blizzard .

How does this affect you? 

Well, if you are a botter, you are either going to kill off your WoW accounts, switch to another "buddy" bot program (which they are promoting on their website), or go till you get caught.

If you are a "legit" AH'er, then it can have a huge impact on prices of Ore and Herbs, which snowball into other profs. When "farming" professions take a hit, so do the prices of everything else...

  • Those glyphs you are used to crafting? Yup. Price goes up
  • Those Belt Buckles? Sure, the price is affected
  • Don't even get me started on Potions and Elixers...Main ingredient there...
  • What about the shuffle? Prospecting for gems, crafting, D/E'ing?
  • No shuffle = Higher prices on Enchants.

See what I am saying? Big Trouble in Little China (no pun intended).

It's kinda like a pizza joint going out of business in your town. You are used to having a 'works' pie with the family or with your buds on Friday night. The pizza joint you are used to ordering from shuts down. Do you give up Fridays for that? You might. Or, you will just get your 'zza elsewhere.

The same with Bots in WoW. No, PiroxBots isn't the only one. There are many others out there. But it seems that Blizzard is taking a different approach on them. Instead of having massive banwaves that cost them countless amounts of dollars, it seems they are working with some major botting companies and offering them $$ to shutdown.

Hmm. Maybe I am in the wrong line of work....

Coming soon to an AH near you.....Altox?!

Long story short, this can have a double impact. Sales driving the mats prices, less mats on the AH, demand drives prices higher (on low population "bot servers"). Or the flip of the coin, on highly populated servers, multiple "brands" of bots running, driving sales even lower.

Whatcha gonna do?

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Winterpine said... Reply To This Comment

Or you could just switch to farming herbs instead of crafting stuff, and earn tons of money from the higher prices of decreased supply.

By the way, bots affect supply, not demand.

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment

I feel you. Bots affect both supply and demand though.

They supply the goods that affect the AH which affect the supply....which in turn affects demand.

Anytime that supply is low on a needed item, demand is greater. Demand is there on most Ores and Herbs no matter, but it inches up when there is quantity (high or low) in the AH.

When the supply is low, prices rise. So there is then a demand for farmers to get goods to the AH because of low supply (not a demand to purchase, a demand to post due to higher prices).

Thus, demand.

Just in a different sense of the word.

I see your point and raise you one. =)

Vile said... Reply To This Comment

Being on a smaller server, i saw the sharp decline in the last bot banning wave that hit the server when the prices of ores and herbs went from 15-20g for various herbs/ores to 50-100g for stacks.

WIth the end of the most used bot we will see a decline in the supply, but it will not be long before our Chinese farming buddies are back with another bot.

Until then, play PvP :)

Winterpine said... Reply To This Comment

@Altolycus: I'm just being nitpicky because I teach Econ to earn gold IRL. And maybe because I'm writing this as a break from grading Econ exams at work, which maketh me cranky because I can't ease the tedium with some booze...

A change in supply doesn't cause a change in demand. How much of something is supplied doesn't affect how much people want it.

The increase in price due to the decrease of supply, however, will cause a decrease in quantity demanded. Price does affect how much people want stuff.

Higher expected future prices increase demand, as people want to buy now while it's still relatively cheap, and this is what I think you are referring to about the increase in demand.

Just helping you articulate the forces at work here. You're awesome at the gold game, but so many gold bloggers could benefit from a basic Econ course to help them express their ideas! Keep up the good work.

Tawnos said... Reply To This Comment


You are incorrectly defining supply and demand. The wow market has its own quirks, to be sure, but your definitions and your analysis are not correct.

Supply is the availability of goods. Supply is affected only by:
1) Cost of bringing that good to market
2) Technology used in production
3) Price of substitute goods
4) Expectations of future prices
5) Number of suppliers

Supply is not ever affected by demand. For botters, #1 is almost zero: cost is the time spent setting up the bot and paying for the subscription. #2 is nonexistent in wow; e.g. there's only one way to farm herbs: a toon picks them up. #3 is also nonexistent - there ARE no substitute goods in the wow economy. There's only one +40 int gem. If there were another gem (call it "infrared gem" +40 int, but THAT one comes from tailoring) it would be a substitute. Note that the +50 gems are a completely separate good, a different market. Its the difference between municipal city water and ditch water. #4 is something bots simply don't have to worry about, it's not the point of a bot. Its what people like you and I do: we speculate. #5 is a nonissue; since the marginal cost of brining the next stack to the market is basically zero, botters are gaining everything and giving up nothing once their system is in place.

Demand is not affected by supply, ever. Demand's determinates are wholly separate in the WoW economy. Only price, which is the meeting point of the supply and demand curves, is affected by a change in either supply or demand.

High prices with a limited supply may drive farmers to farm more OR for more people to start farming. Both of which increases supply, which brings down prices. That is NOT a change in demand, that's the market adjusting itself.

Bots are bad because they are illegal, and always increase the supply, which drives down price. Their illegality is the sole reason everyone doesn't leave a bot running when they go to work/school in the morning. They are bad because their users are simply cheating. It would be like a US car company suddenly using slaves in the metal mines, the production line, and the sales floor; suddenly the price of producing the car is almost zero. Supply increases, sure, but they are cheating. You're not going to run out and start making cars too, right? Trust me, if you or I could run a bot legally, we'd have one for each gathering profession and another one just for fun.

Sometimes bots are nice. Sometimes the owner of the bot will screw up, and post 50 stacks for 10% of market price. Then we savvy goblins stand to make a killing. But on the whole, cheaters have a way of ruining the game for the greater population.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

now who will be coding me me herb and ore for way below market price i make all my gold legit , but i would like to acknowledge that i and everyone else who play these markets do in turn support botters. i like to think of it as a grey area myself.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

I have to disagree with you. Supply in no way affects demand, if it did then it would be called a supply and supply...

Saying that that "anytime supply is low on a needed item, demand is greater is like me (being a guy) going and buying a box of tampons because the supply is low, it makes no sense.

Demand is only affected by peoples need for an item and will never increase unless people want that item for whatever reason.

Now the lack of supply for an item and with a still consistent demand for that same item will increase the price for it and will in turn prompt people to fill that gap in supply by going and farming more because of the potential profits.

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment

"Demand is not affected by supply, ever".

I gotta disagree.

Real life situation:

Beanie Babies. Years back, these were goldmines. Stores couldn't keep them on the shelf. Or so people thought. The company purposely created a false supply to curb a greater demand (there was a lawsuit stating it). Thus, the demand was affected by supply.

Same with McRibs at McDonalds.

It's a known fact with anyone in stocks that when the annoucement of McRibs are coming back, *poof* stocks go up. That is the #1 reason for "Limited time offer". Making the consumer believe that there is a short supply to create a further demand.

WoW situation:

When I use trade chat to push Mysterious Fortune Cards. I create a demand (either by reminding folks about the product or nudging them that they need to buy). I state in my macro that they are limited. I in fact create a demand with "limited product".
However, in my bags, I have multiple stacks of 200.

Using forums to sell an item is near the same principal. Creating demand by offering lower prices for "x".

Hell, look at what just happened with the Crusader chant a few months back. It was taken out of the game (no new supply), so folks thought their Formula was worth 10K (higher prices, and not being able to get any more-demand).

When it popped back in game, it still sold for 10K, even though the supply was different. People were buying em left and right thinking it was rare. But in all reality, I had 10 in my bags, and posting one at a time (to keep the "rarity" of the item intact- due to no supply causing a higher demand).

To make a long story short.

Demand is affected by supply. People always want what they cannot have.

I fall into that scheme all the time. Just the other day, I had to get cereal for my daughter. She loves marshmallows. So as I was looking through the 100's of boxes of cereal, I saw Marshmallow Pebbles (Flintstone). Why did I buy it? Only one left. It seemed like every other cereal was stocked, and only one of this.

The supply caused my demand.

I bought it because it seemed to be a "popular" item, why else would there be only one left?

Anyways, you either see my side of it or not. You all have great points on both sides of the scale, and I hope I have explained myself.


Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Never ever say always and never. You'll always be wrong :D

Winterpine said... Reply To This Comment

@Altolycus: two separate issues, equilibrium issues and the morality of botting.

Equilibrium: I'm not entirely sure we're saying different things. It's just the way you're saying it are really confusing demand and supply. It's not different for WoW. Markets have their peculiarities in WoW, but demand and supply are universally applicable.

For one thing, "substitute goods" is a demand issue. "Substitutes IN PRODUCTION" is a supply issue. The latter is talking about goods produced using the same resources. (i.e. you can produce glyphs or potions with herbs). There are substitutes in production for goods made with herbs and ore. You were talking about demand, for which you are correct, there are no substitutes for herbs in producing certain goods. Your gem example referred to demand as well.

Also, those are not all the things that affect supply. There is also "complements in production", to be distinguished from "complements", which is a demand issue. "Technology" could be expanded to "productivity".

You said "#5 is a nonissue" but in the second to the last paragraph make it clear that it is exactly the issue (and I agree). More bots=lower market price for human farmers.

Yes, expected future prices also increase supply in the present, but that is beside the point. That they decrease demand in the present was in specific reference to an earlier comment of yours. We agree on your 3rd to last paragraph, so we agree on the end result.

But my definitions are right. I'm just saying man, bring rigour to the conversation, otherwise it's unclear how you get from A to B.

Morality of botting:

Nowhere in a previous comment did I mention my position on this, my clarifications in no way advocate botting or not botting.

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment


I love you mang. I am signing up for your Econ class as I type this.

I do my best to explain what I think, but alas, I am not a writer. I just try to give enough detail for folks to see their own side of my thought process, better or worse.

I think supply and demand boils down to Psychology. Creating a demand for something from nothing drives markets. And drives gold (and RL $$) into pockets.

Only if done at the right time, in the right place. =)

Tawnos said... Reply To This Comment


I was sayin' the number of competitors had no impact on a botters' decision enter the market, which is unique to wow. Because it's free money either way, they don't care, whereas it takes me a long damn time to start a tomato farm. Or a bitcoin farm.

Anyway, Alto - you decide what cereal to buy based on how many other people buy it? Way more people don't play WoW than do, so...? In any case, your demand was there before you entered the store!

This is just a case of terminology being misused. Alto, in all of your examples, what happened was a shift in perceived value. The availability of McRibs and beanie babies and MFCs is constant. The crusader enchant thing was neato because supply sure did change, but again it was people's perception that rare=valuable that moved demand, not the actual rarity itself.

Winterpine said... Reply To This Comment


I love you, too! I may be able to clarify your wording, but I rely on you for WoW business matters. Related, but ultimately different subjects. Thanks for giving me the know-how to support my raiding in a few minutes per day.

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment


True, my demand was there for cereal. My demand of what kind of cereal (other than marshmallow) was yet to be determined...until I saw only one left. So yeah, I bought it figuring others did too. So it must be good, right? Either way, Jenna sure loves 'em!

Psychology and Demand go hand in hand. When something is rare (or perceived as such), there is more demand for it. i.e, when there is only one (or none), those that want that item want it that much more.

MoxNix said... Reply To This Comment

"2) Technology used in production
4) Expectations of future prices
5) Number of suppliers

#2 is nonexistent in wow; e.g. there's only one way to farm herbs: a toon picks them up.

#4 is something bots simply don't have to worry about, it's not the point of a bot. Its what people like you and I do: we speculate. #5 is a nonissue; since the marginal cost of brining the next stack to the market is basically zero, botters are gaining everything and giving up nothing once their system is in place.

#5 is a nonissue; since the marginal cost of brining the next stack to the market is basically zero, botters are gaining everything and giving up nothing once their system is in place."

I disagree on these points.

2. Technology does exits. Bots in fact are technology that makes farming easier.

4. Botters do pay attention to prices and change their behavior based on prices. Prices drop too low on one thing they'll either stop farming that and farm something else instead or stop farming altogether for a while. The opposite is true too, when a botter notices the price of something he doesn't farm has gone up enough he might start farming it.

5. The number of suppliers does matter. More suppliers means higher supply, fewer suppliers means less supply. High supply (in relation to demand) means low prices, low supply means high prices. When prices are high enough or low enough then were' back at #4.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Reasonably good write-up on supply and demand.

As for botting and the morality of it, I think a lot depends on what side of the equation you're on. Most AH goblins are buyers of the botted material, so we find them to be a nice source. In game terms, we don't have to actually think about it, not really knowing full well how negative this thing is. If you're a traditional farmer, you must hate it as the price of mats directly determines your gold per hour.

I'm on a smallerish server where the bots are rampant, and when the ban's hit, I see the effect. Elementium is at around 60 a stack right now, it was at 20 just prior to the patch. This isn't bot effect but rather patch effect, but I could easily see the price raise to 80 or 100, which will kill my shuffle business.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Supply does not create demand per se. But it does create the possibility for demand to be acted upon. For example, there is no acted upon demand for a 359 tank shield on my server at 6K. There is acted upon demand for that same item at 3k. Exactly one per day on average. The only difference is my profit is 1.5 K rather than 4.5K.

All i can say say is rid the world of the bots and rid the world of the people that use them to distort the economy. Blizzard's profits are up and players are down. As a company it should care more about the stability of its long-term player market and locked in profits than the evil cheats. Star wars is calling.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment


>Thus, demand.

>Just in a different sense of the word.

You, sir, are a genius, only in a different sense of the word. And I mean that as a compliment, only in a different sense of the word.

Tawnos said... Reply To This Comment

The wow economy exists purely within the confines of the game; its borders and rules are precisely defined by the software environment. In the real world, a "change in technology" are things like the cotton gin, the tractor-combine, or the development of a railroad. In wow, such technology improvements are completely impossible without becoming Neo and magically making your toon exceed the games' maximum speed or altering drop rates. THOSE would be counted as "technology improvements." Bots are not a technological improvement in the wow economy. They are simply a cheat which makes the cost (player time and 14.99 a month) of farming practically zero. So any gains they do realize are net gains to them, it's profit without cost.

As to the rest, maybe I'm wrong about the mentality of botters (any out there willing to share?), but if it were me, I honestly wouldn't care too much about price because it's free cash. The cost of gaining gold is effectively zero. I might shift tactics if I found a way to make MORE free cash, sure, but I would simply sell off my existing stock and shift tactics. That's what I meant; to you and I who care and track markets and to whom time is valuable, speculation on future prices is a big determinant on how we act. To a bot, they do not care. It isn't a barrier.

I tracked a skinner/leatherworker hunter bot in WOTLK once; the bot ran a standard loop, killing everything in its path. It looted, skinned, and when it was (presumably) full, it sauntered off to Hemet's camp and talked to the repairman vendor. There it would stand creating nerubian leggings. Then - again i assume, but it's likely what happened - it would sell off all its greens for 2.66 apiece, and resume its skinning holocaust. At a very, very conservative guess of 150 leggins per trip, including gold from trash and whatever, at around 7 trips an hour is a tidy net income somewhere North (ha!) of 3000g per hour in WOTLK. I can think of half a dozen ways to make this process more efficient and with a higher margin. But the botter? Who cares! Somehow I doubt the botter is going to realize he could do 10% better by converting to Heavy Borean and making blues to D/E or whatever. I don't do an auction unless i can realize 25% or better from what it cost me.

The point is, Botters have almost zero cost and therefore almost unlimited marginal utility from botting, so the considerations you and I take into account are nowhere to be seen. Like walmart, they cheat. They operate outside the ecnomoy that you and I operate in, which is bad.

Alto - your demand did nothing to change the supply of cereal - there was plenty at the store you didn't visit.

The other point is: define yo stuff mo' betta.

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment


My demand changed the supply, as I bought the last one. The supply before me was one, after me none. So if the customer behind me wanted one, tuff. There is no more there. I bought the last one. I did change the supply, at least until more is brought out onto the shelf.

As for the store I didn't visit, that's like saying in "WoW terms", there is plenty on another server. It doesn't matter, because I only shopped at one store. I got mine.

Supply and Demand has many different ways to look at the same situation. I think every comment here other than the genius complement from the petty anonymous holds its weight in explaining how they see it.

Each botter has their own thoughts, have their own reasons why they do what they do. When they change patterns. When they change locations. When they farm this item versus this item.

Just like every person that posted their comment has their own opinions on their idea of supply and demand. Lets just all agree to disagree on it. Ez enough?

Tawnos said... Reply To This Comment

Thinking that you're changing supply by buying one cereal box on one isle of one supermarket at one specific time on one particular day is pretty silly. This is the point where I would usually whip out the ol supply and demand graph and start coloring in triangles, but I have to keep up with the rest of the internet. All I can tell you is that you're simply lacking some information and some terminology in the field of economics, and obviously I'm not doing a great job of teaching. Start with wikipedia, it's a good place for other resources.

Thanks for the post and discourse!

Altolycus said... Reply To This Comment

I am not changing the overall supply with my tiny purchase of one box, but I drastically changed the supply at that moment at that store.

How is this so hard to comprehend?

Sure, I don't have any real impact on the overall production, as there are millions of boxes made. But for that brief moment, I affected it, in one location.

Like I tried to say above, supply and demand can be seen from multiple ways. Big picture versus small picture.

This is how you can make and sell a ton of products in the AH. False demand, real demand. False supply, real supply. Use it in your favor, and you are rich.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Hey guys, most of us from Pirox just siwtched to other bots, nothing will change, there were threads with over 30 pages 3 hours after Pirox closed.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Botters ruin the economy becasue there are so many of you to lazy to go get the mats yourself. For the ppl like me that spend the time farming ore and herbs. So when i am farming if i think that toon is a botter is kill them on sight. I also report them to blizz. I think one way blizz can fight aginst botters yes ban that account but put that ip address on a list of addressed unable to login. its too easy to make a new acount but if the start banning whole areas of ip address then i think botters will have much harder time to run thier programs. so what if the prices of ore goes from 50 to 100g a stack. if you don't want to pay those prices got get the stuff yourself.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

botting is for loosers

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