Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Remote Control of the ML Bot

We host a series of articles from our friends blog , a blog dealing with mtg and mtgo economics.

You can read the original article here:

Previously we took a look at all the settings of the bot. The main problem is that you have to be in front of the computer which is running the bot in order to make any changes in their behavior. To solve it, in this article I will explain how to view the status of your robot, statistics from sales/purchases and even how to make a remote control of the bot.

Control panel on the web

MTGO Library provides an additional service to the software that controls our digital cards store. This control panel can be accessed through our session on the bot website. Upon entering, you will see a page like the capture below.

This section is the “Dashboard” or main desktop where you can access to all available information remotely. As you can see there are 3 different areas:
  • Top menu: Access to all bot updates and its price list, as well as the renewal of the licenses (Lite and Pro). 
  • Side menu: Mainly displays performance statistics of the bot, however you can also make some changes from here. These options will be discussed in a future chapter because it is more related to strategies when creating your own chain of bots. 
  • Main section: Here it is shown the corresponding section selected from one of the previously commented menus. 
Within the left side menu options, firstly there is a series of display options with both, bot information and statistical data:

  • Dashboard: Displays a screen capture with the operating system of the bot. Below it is a bar with connection status of that computer. On the right side you can see a summary of the following information from bot: bot status (online/offline and if it is with a customer); status of the Magic Online client (online/offline); 
  • Transaction fee or commission due to the bot transactions; date and type of the last transaction; license type (Free/Lite/Pro) and expiration date; and the total value of the collection managed by the bot.
  • Trades log: on ​​top of this page there are diagrams with the latest sales statistics representing the total value of trades, number of trades of the most frequent customers, percentage of buyings against sales… Afterwards, there is an advanced search engine transaction, and below there is a list of the transactions for the last 24 hours. In the summary of each transaction you can see its mode (buy/sell/trade), total value, customer name and its date. If you want to see the details, you just have to click on the bar of the transaction to see the following information: 
    • List of cards exchanged with their individual price 
    • Total value and the value without the customer accumulated credit 
    • Tickets received 
    • Previous and current customer credits 
    • Tickets available on the store after this transaction 
    • Fee generated by this transaction 
    • Total fees after this transaction (debit to MTGO Library) 
    • Links to screenshots generated just when the bot confirms the transaction
  • Cards Log: This section is very useful when you want to track the benefits of a specific card. After searching a card, this section shows all its buys and sales with their values attached. The site also summarizes the profit or loss made by this card. Thus, by using this information you can decide, for example, to change the prices of a particular card. 
  • Collection History: Summary of the total value of your collection divided by rarity. It is updated every 24/48 hours and, although it is useful to get an idea of ​the value for your stock, often these data are not very accurate. For example, there are some days that I have had almost no sales and my collection changed its value around +-200 tickets. 
  • Transaction Fee: List with each renting fee generated and deducted by one of the official MTGO Library accounts. These accounts remove fees by taking tickets from your store every time its the renting fee exceeds the value of 1 ticket. 
  • Multimonitor: Current screenshot from each of your bots. It also shows their online status and the commission generated by each one independently. Remember that for every bot you have to pay the fees generated by their respective transactions.
Below these statistics options there are some sections which modify the data the bot works with:
  • Credits: Displays the available credits for each client who has done transactions in your store. Each customer on the list offers an option to show all his transactions, as well as the possibility to edit their credits for any reason. 
  • Messages: Allows you to change the text of the advertisement shown in the “classifieds” section on Magic Online. This option is very useful if you want to remotely change your advertising. Changes are made every hour, so it may take you a bit to see the update of your advertisement. 
  • Sharing Credits: If you have more than one bot, from here you can make to share the credit between themselves. This means that a customer will have available the same credits in your entire chain of bots. 
  • Blacklist: Finally, your session on MTGO Library website allows you to add users to a blacklist. Thus, a client on the blacklist cannot trade cards with your bots. You must be very sure to add someone here, and you should only do this if that customer has persistently abused from your stores. This explanation covers all the options you can handle from MTGO Library site to control your stores without being in front of the computer which runs the bots.

How to make a remote access to your bot

As you can see, although the control panel of MTGO Library website has many functions, it may happen that you wish to directly manage any of your bots for pausing, restarting, changing the custom price of a card… There are many methods to solve this problem, however I will explain in detail the one I use: LogMeIn.

Why I use this service? There are many reasons, but the most important are:
  • Its basic version is offered for free 
  • Very fast and easy-to-use interface 
  • Easily manages a lot of computers from a single place. It may be used from different platforms (PC Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad) 
The last point is very important for me, as it allows the remote control of the bot from your phone when you are far from home (obviously you should have an internet connection).
The steps to start using LogMeIn on the computer you install your bot are the following:
  1. Create an account at LogMeIn
  2. Login to your account on their website and, from the “Home” section, select “add computer” 
  3. Download their application (Free version) and install it on the computer which runs the bot. It will ask you the computer name and if you use a proxy for your connection. 
  4. That’s it! In order to use the remote control of your bot, go again to your “Home” section and you will see your computer on the list. Click over it and type the username and password of the user of that computer. 


With these tools you have a complete remote control system for your bot, so you can manage its behavior at any time. This feature is very important because sometimes you have to fix prices of cards, pause the bot, perform maintenance tasks, know the sales/purchases of your store…

The next chapter of this series will show you some of the most common strategies to create your own chain of bots.

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