The Remote AH is a Botter's Dream Come True

Posted by Daeity On Friday, August 13, 2010

You may start seeing some automating scripting software (paid or free) for Blizzard's web-based and mobile Auction House (Link) sometime in the near future.

Apparently, there's really no security protection in place other than Blizzard limiting the number of transactions per day (200). Blizzard is probably analyzing basic utilization trends to try and find automated activities but it won't be very successful. It can easily be defeated, however, by properly scheduling the script and using multiple accounts on different proxy servers.

A couple of my contacts in the "gold-exploitation" communities are saying that it's an excellent way to make gold, particularly Neutral AH sniping. They have been experimenting with a custom made AutoIT script and since there are no measures in place to detect scripting software, they're not too worried about getting caught. They've been stretching their search schedules to see how far they can push the bots without being detected, while also trying to emulate "real player" interactions (e.g. checking the AH, refreshing prices at random intervals, posting fake auctions, buying cheap stuff, etc.) They've been making about 50-100k gold per day, and they don't even have to be sitting at the PC. Far more efficient then boring grinding and other farming strategies. =]

It's pretty easy to create an AutoIT script too and at $3 per month for the Remote AH, it's definitely worth the investment considering that these guys alone are selling $150-$300 per day in gold (their estimates for the past week.) That amount is equivalent to a well-paying full time job ($50-100k per year) and that's only on two realms.. imagine if they expanded to multiple servers? They just wanted to say, "Thank you Blizzard for making gold exploitation so easy and safe!"

Of course, as competition increases their (the exploiters) profits will go down - but even then, there are still very few people even now that use automated scripts within the game to manipulate the AH system.

With the AH system now accessible through a web interface (rather than inside a moving/changing 3D world), it's so much easier to create scripts and bots with faster reaction time and without worry of detection.

In an earlier post, it was discovered that Blizzard was making quite a significant profit from banned players (botting & exploits). It looks like they have just introduced another new service that makes cheating activities even more accessible and allows them to make even MORE profit from cheaters.

Even if they get discovered and banned, even better! Their game subscription and Remote AH subscription expires at the end of the month - so they get to keep that revenue plus the amount made when they purchase a new account during that same time frame.

(Note: Depending on the response rate of the web-based AH versus the in-game AH, there might be opportunity for some interesting exploitation. So you might start seeing some new AH strategies popping up..)

If you're a honest player, though, here a couple tips that can keep you from being cheated by this new system:

  • When you post auctions, set the price correctly the first time. Double-check before submitting! If you enter the wrong price, it can be sniped before you can retract it.
  • If you're using the Neutral AH to transfer items from account-to-account, buy them out IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait for more than 20 seconds otherwise you're at risk of having your items taken. Even 20 seconds is a generous time frame.