Automated Carnage Blender Auction Sniper Script by SNK4R (in General)

SNK3R August 27 2007 7:25 PM EDT

Roughly a year ago, before there was an eBay-style auction system, I created an autonomous script to 'snipe' auctions. I wanted to see if it could be done, and it was successful. The concept was to create a script that could be left activated without any human interaction and snipe a rare item with the price that the user sets. This would be beneficial for a user if an auction ended during the middle of the night and wanted to bid on the item without increasing the price for others to see. Thus, the sniping part. Ideally, I made the script so a user could load up 4 tabs (the first being the auction that ended first and the last tab the auction that ended last) and be able to have the script run for every tab, one after another. This was possible, and done.

Script Requirements:
Because of an unorthodox method of programming code that I used (to be un-named), the requirements for running this auction sniper script was very specific to my computer's settings. For example, specific distances of mouse movements had to be made as this was the prime method of the automation. Thus, mouse movements on one screen resolution like mine (1280x1024) will vary a lot to another person's monitor resolution. In addition, Firefox 2.0 was used and the auction must be pre-loaded into another tab and focused before the script begins. Again, this would be ideal for an over-night auction sniping by leaving your computer running all night with this window open. Bot checks do not occur in auctions, and thus, I didn't need to write any additional code to do that. Thank goodness... ;)

Script Mechanics:
The following is roughly a flow-chart of steps of the entire script: Script Example:
I want to bid on a Morgul-Hammer. I set my "maximum price" as $2,050,000. I find an auction that someone is selling a MH, put it in a new tab, and turn on the script, then go to bed. The script begins. It checks the price. Is the next bid that I make under my maximum price? If not, close the tab and restart script from beginning. If so, check to see if I'm the highest bidder. If I am the highest bidder, wait a random time between 1 and 6 seconds, then refresh the auction page, and the script will start over. If I am not the highest bidder, place the next highest bid. Go back to check until the auction ends.

Ethics of Script:
Before you get your panties in a bunch, there are ethics. Yes, I created and tested the entire script. Yes, it means I used an automated method to bid on auctions, but, I was at the computer every time the script ran to ensure no problems, and used my own personal money to fund my script. Thus, no profit came out of all of this. The only thing I can think that was "unfair" was raising the price of a few items a little to see if it worked. And given the following items (see next section) the prices I used were bargains to get the item for at that particular time.

My Exact Script:
The items I had in the auction sniper (and maximum prices to be used with them) were: Amulet of Might at $1,000,000, Amulet of Invisibility at $1,000,000, Assassin Crossbow at $100,000, Enforcer Crossbow at $200,000, Elven Boots at $800,000, Elven Gloves at $700,000, Elven Cloaks at $850,000, Alatar Gloves at $1,000,000, Rune of Enlightenment at $1,000,000, Cloak of the Istari at $1,050,000, Mithril Chain Mail at $900,000, Displacement Boots at $1,505,000, Cornuthaum at $2,000,000, Trollskin Armor at $600,000, Mage Shield at $1,050,000, Morgul-Hammer at $2,050,000, Vorpal Blade at $1,250,000, Elven Long Bow at $1,151,000, Tulkas' Gauntlets at $700,000, and Shadow Cloak at $50,000.

Why Did I Post This?
I felt the need to let the community know what is possible with automated scripts. This started out just as a project just to see if it was possible. As you can tell, it was, and if gotten into the wrong hands, this possibly could have been detrimental to our auction system and community, and some users could have had an extreme advantage by winning auctions in the middle of the night for great prices. Seriously, who wants to see bot checks on the auctions pages?

Why Did I Use Random Times?
I wanted my script to be as well-hidden as possible from "regular" user interaction with auctions. Therefore, I felt the need to make all wait times for the script to act random with a different random timing. Random timing of 20 seconds to 4 minutes was used before the auction page was refreshed and a random time of 1.5 seconds to 6.0 seconds was used for the time it takes to get back to the auction page with a successful bid. These randomizations were used to try my best to "fake" the system (if anyone ever did check for someone using a bot in auctions) in order to pretend I was a human by using random values. Obviously, the Admins are smarter than that, and would have checked for patterns.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions on improving the code (that is obviously out-of-date and useless due to our eBay-style auctions)?

drudge August 27 2007 7:45 PM EDT

Where there is a will, there is a way!

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] August 27 2007 7:54 PM EDT

You are THE L337.

But seriously, let's be happy you are the one who tried this.

QBOddBird August 27 2007 8:56 PM EDT

Definitely glad you're the admin and not the scripting cheater. ~_^

ScY August 27 2007 9:34 PM EDT

Where can i sign up for a copy? :)

Flamey August 28 2007 2:57 AM EDT

I don't understand how you could really abuse this, or the auction system. How are you going to snipe it in the middle of the night? We're not all Americans, we've got Europeans playing as well. Or was this like a 2 second before auction ends snipe?

SNK3R August 28 2007 3:16 AM EDT

It doesn't bother you at all that I was able to make a completely autonomous script that refreshed an auction's stats every 4 minutes (at max) to check who was the high bidder (and bid if I wasn't), and get away with it?

I could probably make an addendum to the script where it loaded the whole auctions page every x hours, find the rare item auctions, load them in the tabs according to ending time, and then begin the price-checking script. I could probably have this run for as long as I want so long as I'm logged into CB. Just think of me bidding on an EC while sipping down a beer on a beach in Hawaii for a week.

Then again, you might like some "robot" bidding on the items that you want -- whatever floats your boat. The only two things stopping someone from dominating every single rare item is how much money a user is willing to put down per item (takes one time to put it in and you're done -- inflation/deflation of prices doesn't change _that_ quickly), and how much $USD one is able to spend to get enough $CB to bid on said item.

I don't know, maybe I don't understand your point, I just drinkin' too much these days? :P

As far as the Europeans (or anyone other than Americans) go, not everybody that wants to bid can be on at said time. And even if they are on at the same time, not everyone has enough money to do so. This is also why there is an advantage to the script that is unfair to other players, due to its 24/7 ability without human activity.

SNK3R August 28 2007 3:26 AM EDT

Did I sound too mean in that last post? Sorry, didn't mean to, Flamey, just so happened to be my tone.

But, did I at least help you understand, or is it still confusing?

Flamey August 28 2007 4:41 AM EDT

Yeah, I understand it would've been unfair then. I guess I keep thinking about now, and how its so much different.

(You didn't sound very mean)

ScY August 29 2007 11:19 AM EDT

So? where can i get my copy ;)

Soxjr August 29 2007 11:32 AM EDT

Looks like something else the game admins will have to check to look for cheaters, because to me this is a complete cheat. The fact you can leave your computer and let a program do something for you is completely wrong. I don't get why nobody else seems upset that it can be done. Yes I applaud your time spent and your programming knowledge but now it's just something to watch for. I know you won't use it in the evil way it could be used, but that doesn't stop someone from trying their own version. Oh well just my 2 cents.

ScY August 29 2007 1:10 PM EDT

Oh, and i forgot--- you can apply this to ebay, maybe with some tweaks, and perhaps make a fair bit of money (that is if it isn't against Ebay code)

QBRanger August 29 2007 1:13 PM EDT

I agree with Mr. Sox.

This is nothing but a cheat. A nice program, but for the purposes of CB, a very nice cheat for the reasons Soxjr posted.

Miandrital August 29 2007 1:14 PM EDT

So basically this means the return of bot checks to the store and new botchecks for auctions? How exciting.

[RX3]Cotillion August 29 2007 1:19 PM EDT

I don't see any reason in people being upset at the fact that this was do-able in the past. It is obsolete due to the Ebay Style auction system that has been implemented.

I think SNK4R posted this to prove to other admins (and/or others) that it could happen and show ways that it could be detected and stopped.

AdminNightStrike August 29 2007 2:16 PM EDT

What happened to the items that you sniped from unsuspecting users that were expecting to get a good bargain?

SNK3R August 29 2007 2:31 PM EDT

I don't remember.

drudge August 29 2007 2:53 PM EDT

hahaha, how many times did ollie north say, "I dont remember?" during the iran contra trials

QBRanger August 29 2007 3:20 PM EDT

I'm sure the items went to Central Bank or to his admin character for use in future contests/tournaments.

SNK is not the type to cheat at CB.

QBOddBird August 29 2007 4:00 PM EDT

Considering SNK4R doesn't play competitively and only has his Admin character active, there's not much alternative. =)

SNK3R August 29 2007 4:42 PM EDT

And considering I've donated $900 USD (yes, donations, not anything for profit) for the development of this game, I would hardly need to cheat to play this game.

If I recall correctly (it's been a while), I believe I only bid on the rare items to check my script when they were _extremely_ low-priced. Like, very beginning bids, even. I don't recall ever winning an item because of the script, though.
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