Thursday, February 28, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 5.68 is out

MTGO Library Bot 5.68 has just been released.

It contains a fix regarding the function to "make the collection all tradable", sometimes failing when the bot right-clicked on booster rather than a card.

How do I Attract more customers?


Hello fellow ML bot owners,

       I recently was talking to a new bot owner and the first thing he said to me was "I  hardly have any trades, how do I get more customers?" I really think this is the question we all ask ourselves. So I thought about it and have come up with 5 things that I believe help attract more customers.

1). Classifieds

Make sure your classified advertisement is clean to the point and easy to read. Bots that have janky advertisement, use other bots names, and do not display prices are easily skipped over.


MTGOLibrary Bots


2). Wiki Prices

Wikiprice  is  a spot basically for customers to search for card that you are selling. Yes this can attract bot raiders but we are not here to discuss that, click here for that post. It also attracts good customers that need cards for their deck. You don't have to be the cheapest either, people need quantity, if your bot has four of a certain card and a cheaper bot has only one most likely they will use your bot. You can also look and see how you compare to other bots and adjust prices accordingly.

3). Time

You have to give it time! It took 3 months for me to get close to the number of traders that I would like and its growing everyday. You must keep your bots up 24/7, Customers tend to use the same bots over and over again mainly because of credits, but also because humans are creatures of habit. If your bot is down for any reason guess what? You just lost a sale, but more important you may have lost a customer.

4). Pricing

Lower prices sell your cards fast, yes this is true. I have found that not being the lowest pays off more because you tend to have stock and get you that little bit of edge on profits, also helps protect you from sudden price increases or decreases. Below is an example of where you should be on the wiki.

Wiki Prices

5). Clan Support

There was a great article recently written by Peter about this, click here for that article. You have to build a clan or join a strong clan and be active. You building a business, clan members are a great customer pool and will keep loyalties to your bots even if they pay a little more.

I hope this helps all the new bot owners that we have joining us and for all you veterans out there I would love to hear what has worked for you.

Modo handle: Teamstoge

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 5.67 is out

ML Bot 5.67 has just been released.

It fixes a minor bug with the loading of the files PersonalPercentages.txt.

5.67 prepares also the field for the Online Blacklist, a feature that we will publish next week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Text Formatting Codes

I went hunting for some text formatting codes and couldn't find a list that had everything I needed so I took up the task to consolidate and list everything that I could find/discovered.




Mana Symbols 
[sW] = White Mana
[sU] = Blue Mana
[sR] = Red Mana
[sB] = Black Mana
[sG] = Green Mana





Phyrexian Mana Symbols
[s;p] = White Mana
[s;q] = Blue Mana
[s;s] = Red Mana
[s;r] = Black Mana
[s;t] = Green Mana
[s;u] = Mana Symbol





         Hybrid Mana Symbols
[s;b] = {w/b}
[s;h] = {r/w}
[s;d] = {u/r}
[s;c] = {u/b}
[s;f] = {b/g}
[s;i] = {g/w}
[s;j] = {g/u}
[s;g] = {r/g}
[s;a] = {w/b}
[s;e] = {b/r}
[sp] = Snow Mana
[s;k] = {2/w}
[s;l] = {2/u}
[s;m] = {2/b}
[s;n] = {2/r}
[s;o] = {2/g}


Bubble Numbers
[s0] – [s9] = {0} – {9}
[sa] = {10}
[sb] = {11}
[sc] = {12}
[sd] = {13}
[se] = {14}
[sf] = {15}
[sg] = {16}
[sh] = {17}
[si] = {18}
[sj] = {19}
[sk] = {20}




Expansion Symbols
[sSET XXX Y] =  XXX is the expansion code and Y is the rarity. For example [sSET GTC R] will produce a Gatecrash rare expansion symbol.





Card Type Symbols
[sSpellL] = Land symbol
[sSpellA] = Artifact symbol
[sSpellC] = Creature symbol
[sSpellS] = Sorcery symbol
[sSpellI] = Instant symbol
[sSpellE] = Enchantment symbol






Other Symbols
[sLizard] = Lizard Logo
[sHat] = Wizards Hat
[sBooster] = Booster Pack
[sAdept] = ORC eye
[sPig] = Pig
[sClan] = Clan
[sS] = Smiley Face
[sF] = Frowny Face
[sY] = Yucky Face
[sMute] = Muted
[sE] = Trophy
[sWiz] = WotC logo
[sZ] = Away Icon ‘zzzz’
[sT] = Tap
[sQ] = Untap
[sPB B] = Black Paintbrush
[sPB W] = White Paintbrush
[sCLONE] = Clone
[sDECK] = Deck
[sFOLDER] = Folder
[sGY] = Tombstone
[sLifeHeart] = Heart
[sSwoosh] = Shooting Star

Up/Down Arrows
[sV] = Red Down Arrow (Small)
[sArrCardsD] = Green Down Arrow
[sArrGameplayD] = Red Down Arrow
[sArrSettingsD] = Light Blue Down Arrow
[sArrAdminD] = Grey Down Arrow
[sArrCommunityD] = Purple Down Arrow
[sArrHelpD] = Yellow Down Arrow
[sArrCardsU] = Green Up Arrow
[sArrGameplayU] = Red Up Arrow
[sArrSettingsU] = Light Blue Down Arrow
[sArrAdminU] = Grey Up Arrow
[sArrCommunityU] = Purple Up Arrow
[sArrHelpU] = Yellow Up Arrow
[sListBoxArrowU] = Shiny Up Arrow
[sListBoxArrowD] = Shiny Down Arrow


Most of the information came from the following websites. I corrected a great deal of mistakes that were made as well as contributed a considerable amount of icons and symbols that were not listed on either website. If I missed anything let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list!

Sources
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnline.aspx?x=mtg/digital/magiconline/howdoi/talk
http://wizards.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/460 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How to remove untradable cards from collection?


I did have some untradable stuff in my collection. Either cards or Avatars which cannot be moved elsewhere what made my collection less lucid. It drove me crazy and my anger was all the time accumulating and accumulating.

However, one day it reached the peak and I exploded like a balloon with too much air inside.

Wholeheartedly, I wanted to get rid of it somehow and the only way that came up to my mind was contacting with WotC customer service. I wrote what was on my mind and to my surprise I received an answer just to send them the billing adress, what was a some kind of verification if it is really me who wrote this message, and they would remove untradable cards from my collection. I did what they asked me to and within 2-3 days untradable cards disappeared. I hope some of you may find this article useful.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

MTGO Bot Tool 0.0.13

As requested from the community, the possibility of loading personalprices.txt has now been added.
Though the complete list of cards may be a bit bugged at the moment. I will be looking into this for the next release.
As usual, full changelog available here and also included in the installer that can be downloaded from here.

*2013-02-21 - v0.0.13
-Changes
-Changed how the sets are loaded. Installing new version does not cause the old sets to load list to get replaced.

-New features
-Added possibility to set correction rates
-Added possibility to load all cards from CardsMTGO3.txt (Pretty useless at the moment, will be for the functionality to edit personalprices.txt)
-Added possibility for loading personalprices.txt into the general card list. Just reading the list at the moment.

As usual, if you find any bugs or got any request, send me an email on mtgoswebot@gmail.com or contact me in game, username: Klixxer

MTGO Library Bot 5.66 is out


The new version of ML Bot, 5.66, has just been released.
It contains a number of fixes but, most important, it fixes the Collection History.

As many of you have noticed, the "old "Collection History:

  • did not contain Boosters and Event Tickets
  • did not take into account the number of items when computing the total value of the collection. A collection with 1 Force of Will had the same value of a collection with 4 Force of Will
  • did not update on a regular basis
The new Collection History instead contains the number of Event Tickets and Boosters, sum correctly the multeplicity of the items in the total value, and is updated every day at 4pm GMT+0

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Clan Support



Setting Out From The Pack
There is a laundry list of things you can do to set your bot apart from others. It can be tedious at times but you should do your best to apply every advantage you can to improve your relationship with customers. Associating yourself and your bot chain with a prominent MTGO clan can lend some authority and respect to your business.

Clan support gives you a few advantages on competition. Clan members, clan events and a clans reputation all can have an impact on how people view your bot and influence the outcome of trades.


Clan Members
Clan members themselves can be a great source of inventory and sales for your bot. A clan that drafts will have plenty of cards they don’t need and want to offload. Many of them will want to support the clan bot even if it is not the best value for their cards because the spirit of comradely. Why give a faceless bot owner all your good cards when you can help out a clan member and help promote the clan?

Clan Events
Clan events can also lend some credence to your bot chain. By sponsoring or running events with your clan you can expand your sphere of respect to non-clan members. This also draws people to your bot who normally would never have visited.

Clan Reputation
A clan’s reputation also can have an impact on your bots performance. If you have a clan that is notorious for being particularly effective in standard for example, people may notice your bot within the clan and expect that you’ll have a respectable standard inventory. Of course this only introduces people to your bot and you will indeed have to have an exceptional standard inventory to keep people coming, but getting a foot in the door is half the battle.

Picking the right clan for your chain might be a difficult process but it may ultimately help you secure your corner of dominance in the MTGO marketplace. Post your experience with your bot and clan interaction in the comments! We’d love to know what kind of success and failure you’ve had!

Meta after new ban list

I know it's too early to say how meta will exactly look like in the future. Meta-clarification process takes some time, but within these 2 week time we can observe some trends in deck picking. Majority of people cannot be in the wrong. My analysis is based on recent daily events.

Pauper: 
I'd like to remind you that Invigorate, Empty the Warrens and Grapeshot were banned. Invigorate card was used only in Infect decks allowing them to get free +4/+4. As far as I have observed Infect deck without this card is dead deck. In last 7 Dailies there were only 2 Infect decks. Both of them doing 3-1. So, share of meta is exiguous. The Storm is dead too. How to win without a wincon? Cloudpost, MonoU Delver, Stompy, Affinity are definitely dominating. 

Modern:
Here Bloodbraid Elf and Seething Song were banned. Jund evolved. Bloodbraid Elf was replaced with Putrid Leech / Bloodhall Ooze / Kitchen Finks. Jund is not as popular as it was before, but we can't deny Jund is still Jund. The deck is almost as powerful as it was before the bans  Storm, which used Seething Song, didn't survive. Modern meta was always diversified and still is. No noticable trend here. I’m much less happy about the overall lack of stability in Modern, since stability is really what it needed to keep the format healthy.

For us botters, it is important to know which cards are heavily played. Thus, we are able to maximize our profits or at least better manage our stock. For instance, a card which is used in few decks and is heavily played we can set lower margin. In most cases, bigger turnover means bigger profits. In order to have big turnover you need a little bit lower prices than your competition. Contrary to card used only in just one tier2 deck. Such card will stay in our collection for some time until we sell it. You set higher margin here. It is your premium for risk, that this card will drop on value before you manage to sell it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How should I price my bots? (Full guide)

How should I price my bots?
In today's MTGO competitive bot market, pricing; although not as important as stock/services when it comes to keeping customers coming back, is still a key factor to attract new customers into your bot or bot chain.

Specially to new bot users, the whole %Correction system might seem a bit confusing and before you decide to set +20% on everything and click "launch", you should understand how buying  rare foils at +20% will likely result in overpaying for some cards, yet buying regular commons at +20% will mean your bot will offer up to 4 (Four) times less than a card is worth!


 Where do I fit?
When a card is worth about 30 Event tickets and you see a bot buying for 29.75 and another selling for 30 (and in some cases some bots buying for more than others sell) you might ask yourself where is the profit to be made. Most new bots start with a rental license of at least 2.5% which means that buying for 29 to sell for 30 is not a profitable margin (1.475 fee). This does not mean that there is no market for you, just means that you have to define what is your "hot point", either buying high (and selling high) or selling cheaply (and buying low, resulting in a small collection).
If you wish to work in very small profit margins and attract both customers the only option will be to invest in a 0% license.


Examples of bots pricing
 When looking into the current Geist of Saint Traft pricing you can see these 3 types of bots. The first 3 results are bots that both buy high and sell low. The profit margins are small and any card fluctuations will likely result on your bot being taken advantage of (if a card drops value your bot will buy it first, if a card value goes up, yours will sell before you have a chance to update prices), although this is a good "overall" bot it will NOT please everyone. "Why wouldn't be a high buyer and cheap seller at the same time not please everyone?" the answer is simple, the stock on these bots will be limited, and some users don't mind paying 33-34 for a Geist of Saint Traft on their usual bot, they rather prefer the bot to have 4 of every card they need.
The fourth and fifth result is a example of a low buyer/low seller, these bots will have very limited stock but also lower risks of losing in trades, because when they buy a expensive card (which will be rare), it will result in a quick profit to be made. These bots might attract budget players that are always looking for cheap deals and I would recommend this pricing for a starting bot with a smaller collection.
At the bottom we have a bot buying for 31.500 and selling for 34.500 this is the kind of bot that wants their stock to be the main attraction to buying customers who prefer to get all in the same bot (even if costs them more), although wikiprice says this bot only owns 2 copies, the reality might be that he already owns 4, as it is(was) the highest current buyer. This bot will also be in many drafters buddy list (as its a high buyer, but this bot wont be picking many cards, as it has a big stock, when it does, the drafters know they will get a great offer).


OK but what does that have to do with corrections?
Everything! This is when you realize that you have to ask yourself: "What buying and selling prices would i want to pratice on Geist of Saint Traft?".
As an example if you look at wikiprice and decide you want to buy a card like Geist of Saint Traft for about 26 and sell for about 31.5. The next step is to open your updated CardsMTGO3.txt on your bot folder and search for this card.

Your CardsMTGO3 orders the prices as :
Sell SellFoil Buy Buyfoil.
So the regular buying price is 23.010 and regular selling 32.88.
The way you will find the right correction is by dividing the prices you think that are right with the pricelist ones.

Sell Correction: 31.5 / 32.88 = 0.958 (-4.2%)
Buy Correction 26/ 23.01=  1.129 (+12.9%)

Based on Geist of Saint Traft The ideal correction would be Buying Regular Mythic +10%(or 15%) and Selling at -5%. Make sure you test these corrections on other mythics, with different values and from different sets. Do the same with mythic foils, rares, rare foils, uncommons..etc. You will be surprised how you might end up buying commons for +70% and mythic foils at -10% as an example.


Are there ways to increase the profit margins?
There are always ways to increase profit margins. The most popular way is to set your "mainbot" to buy up to 4 or 8 of each card and having another bot that buys for less (or even a lite bot) refilling this bot up to 12 of each card everyday. This will not refill Geist of Saint Traft's but might refill a Fiend Hunter Playset your mainbot sold for 0.119 each, with 4(four) bought on a lite bot for 0.010 each.

Hope this helps new comers and feel free to leave your ideals/suggestions.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Statistics for the Tradelog



I am pleased to announce an enhanced "statistical" header for the Tradelog

You can now view the amounts of trades performed by each of your bots, the buddy with the highest number of trades, the ratio of "types" of trades.... and many many more things... just open the page and look by yourself :)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MTGO Tool 0.0.12 released

To those who missed the last post about this. I'm creating a MTGO Tool for ML Bot users mainly. Because at the moment you need your "CardsMTGO3.txt" pricelist file from ML Bot to actually use the software.In the future I will probably make it possible to be used without pricing aswell.

At the moment the tool is still in beta since I have only been working on it the past week.

The tool can be downloaded from here. Also the changelog is available here. To run it you need to have an active internet connection. Why do you need an internet connection to run it?
On startup I connect to my server validating that the beta is still active. This is because in the future I want to have the possibility to inactivate the beta versions.


Changelog 2013-02-13 - v0.0.12 (Full changelog avaiable inside installer and here)
-New features
     -Possibility to load unlimited .csv files from external .txt file. Check myCollections.txt for details how to.
     -Added setting to select to load all cards or just cards marked for trade.
     -Added a ticket count to the overview tab. Ticket value is not included in collection value.
-Notes:
     -Due to some setup changes the new version is 0.0.12 instead of 0.12.

If you have installed this program previously you will have to uninstall the previous version and then install this.


Features planned for next release:
-Collection comparision.

Got any suggestions for user input parameters for such a feature? Send me an email! Also suggestions for how the output should look like would  be nice.


If you have any questions, suggestions or bug reports, send me an email at mtgoswebot@gmail.com.
As I'm currently doing this for free, donations are more then welcome in all forms, cards, tickets, paypal and even just a bit of feedback would be nice. And you will get your MTGO name listed in the donors menu. (I have not created this yet). Don't forget to check comments for further details!

Regards,
Sebastian

MTGO Library 5.65 is out

ML Bot 5.65 is out, fixing a problem with buying Gatecrash cards in the wishlist buying mode.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The good of the new Redeem Fee

Much has been said about the new Redemption Fee, and for sure there are many negative aspects. Today I forced myself to find out some positive effects. I cannot think that WotC decided the increase just to put more money in the pocket.... I am sure WotC has a long time view... at least I hope.


- First of all, the price of the cards will drop 5%-10%. We will have the same amount of tixs online, but cheaper cards. What does it means? It means that our bots will buy more cards for the same amount of money, and that their collection will be better stocked. This is positive because, as I always say, the return factor of a customer is greatly influenced by the stock / the collection, rather than low prices. Many great chains have so-so prices, still they are full of customers because they simply have very well stocked collections.

- Secondly, cheaper cards and boosters means more newcomers. Mtgo is a very expensive game, and the average teenager cannot afford it. But what if he/she could? This type of new players could account for a large % of the base players. And once a teenager gets its first salary (after 2/3 years)...... he is already attracted to Mtgo and willing to spend money there.

Finally, for redeemers, the situation won't change much. The drop in price will compensate the new fee, and more or less they will earn the same as before. The professional redeemers won't be affected too much - they will, but nothing dramatic will happen.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gatecrash Prerelease Experiment



Gatecrash Prerelease Experiment

This weekend I decided to participate in my first MTGO tournament. The Gatecrash prerelease seemed like the perfect opportunity to break into the scene. It was also a perfect opportunity to experiment with acquiring inventory off of release events.

Deck Construction

With my Orzhov Guild Mark I received 5 Gatecrash boosters and 1 Guild booster pack. Because I had chosen the guild Orzhov I wanted to focus on White and Black Extort. However, when my boosters were opened it was obvious that all of my best cards lay in Boros. I decided to run Orzhov with a splash of Boros to be able to play Aurelia’s Fury, Boros Reckoner and Act of Treason. With a fair amount of mana fixers and low color demand for each card I had no trouble having the colors I needed to play each and every card when I wanted to play it.

Decklist:

  • Basilica Guards
  • Knight of Oblivion
  • Dutiful Thrull
  • Orzhov Charm
  • Kingpin’s Pet
  • Treasury Thrull
  • Boros Reckoner
  • Aurelia’s Fury
  • Skynight Legion
  • Syndicate Enforcer X2
  • Grisly Spectacle
  • Crypt Ghast
  • Slate Street Ruffian
  • Basillica Screecher
  • Contaminated Ground
  • Devour Flush
  • Thrull Parasite
  • Prophetic Prism
  • Razortip Whip
  • Orzhov Keyrune
  • Orzhov Guildgate x2
  • Plains x7
  • Swamp x5
  • Mountain x3



Round 1 – Versus Dimir 2-0

In the first round I battled a Dimir deck that nearly roasted me in the first of 3 matches. I managed to swing a win using acts of treason on my opponent’s strongest critters while staying alive and witling away at life using extort and Razortip Whip. In the second round my opponent failed to draw his strongest cards and I ultimately took victory. I won 2-0, although both matches were very close.

Round 2 – Versus Boros 0-2

In the second round I fought against a well-constructed Boros deck. The aggressive creatures and combat tricks overwhelmed my ability to stay alive with extort and the games ended very quickly. The first match was leaning heavily in my favor until out of nowhere my opponent slaps 10 damage on an unblocked critter using two scorchwalker, but the second match was total victory for my opponent within five minutes. I lost the round 0-2.

Round 3 – Versus Simic 1-2

In the third round I found myself in a very intense game against a Simic deck. I ended up winning the first match decisively. The second match came down to drawing a single card. I was able to drop my opponent to 1 life with an untapped Razortip Whip available. However, I did not draw the land I needed to pay the cost to tap it that turn and lost the round on my opponents next turn.  The third round was a back and forth struggle until ultimately the evolve mechanic overwhelmed my ability to extort for life. I lost the round 1-2 and while disappointed in my loss I enjoyed the back and forth nature of the games considerably.

Round 4 – Versus Orzhov/Dimir 2-0

I walked into the fourth round discouraged by two losses in a row, but my luck turned. I dominated an Orzhov/Dimir hybrid deck that split his focus between extort and mill and ultimately he lost because of the indecisive win condition of his deck. I won 2-0 riding to victory with the extort mechanic.

The Breakdown

In the end I spent $ 5 on an Orzhov Guild mark and grabbed 20 tickets off of my bot to pay for entry. I ended up winning 2 games and losing 2 games landing me a reward of 1 Gatecrash booster.
I sold the Boros Reckoner and Aurelia’s Fury for 26 tickets. This more than paid for the costs of the event. While the other 88 cards and the booster pack prize were put on the bot as inventory to be sold for profit.
I was fortunate to crack a chase rare and a mythic and was able to pay for my expenses this time with a little extra to put on my bot. Next time I might end up taking a bath opening nothing but junk rares and uncommons. Not too shabby for a first event, but the next time I’ll be aiming for bigger prizes in case I don’t open a coveted mythic to sell.
I’d love to hear about your experience with tournaments and botting so post your tips, tricks and stores in the comments!

Redeem fee change

"Magic Online was released in June of 2002. There was no roadmap of previous success and certainly no guarantee that players would want to collect digital versions of Magic cards. Wizards wanted to find a way to build player confidence in the digital version and reinforce that Magic Online is just an extension of Magic in general. Thus the Redemption Program was born. Fast forward to 2013 and we see Magic: The Gathering continuing to grow in global popularity. With this growth, however, the costs associated with printing, processing, shipping, and the general administration of the Magic Online Redemption Program have increased to the point at which we must make a change. Starting with the Gatecrash redemption release in March, and for every redemption release thereafter, the handling cost for set redemption will be increasing to from $5 to $25 per set redeemed. We will not be changing the redemption rates for Return to Ravnica or older sets, nor will we be changing the current shipping rates."

My personal feelings:
Wizards changed its politicy because they make most of its money in Magic through booster sales to casual players. Such five-fold increase in the costs of redemption will dispirit some players to redeem. This means that fewer cards are redeemed or removed from the system, remembering the demand stays relatively the same. As a result a larger supply of cards online should reduce the prices of cards. Especially Mythic cards which are right now not reflecting the real value of card. I mean particularly the bulk mythics worth over 1 event ticket. The difference in price between bulk rare or bulk mythic will be lessened. And what are your feelings about it?