Sunday, June 30, 2013

It is all about the money

Today's world spins around the money. We run bots to make money. You can't deny it. However, in a society there is a perception that the love to money is evil - because it allegedly means that you are vain and you care just for the material goods. For this reason, people have rather cautious approach to money, in many cases, treating them with some dose of negative emotions. And here we have to mention one of the most important principles of the mind - human being avoids the unpleasantness and desires what makes him happy! We can't lose ourself.

Money is a means to an end. Think of it this way, because you are producing event tickets not to have a sack of money, but to have unforgettable experiences and numerous memories, such as dining in a exclusive restaurant, jumping with a parachute, doing some sightseeing here and there and so on.

Focus on what you get for the money, not on the money itself. Change your approach of motivation from the green banknote to the wealth of experience that awaits you.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

RAMDisk the next step in performance (Part1)

Hello everyone.
This week I am working on more tweaks of my virtual machines configuration.
My goal this time is to run 12 bots using less than 2gb SSD space (yes, 12 bots using less than 2gb disk space).

I will be running the 12 bots from 2Gb of SSD space and using a 1GB RamDrive/RamDisk. (wiki)

Ramdisks have amazing performance.

This will be performed by creating a Virtual Machine with 1.5gb Disk stored on the SSD, installing a super light version of windows XP on it and then make linked clones of that VM. The trick will be in the fact that the MTGO Library bots folders will be stored in my SSD, shared over the network. That way any modifications made by the links will be stored and saved.

The 1GB (or less) Ramdrive will be to store the MTGO Folder. This will grant amazing loading speeds of the client, resulting in a much more faster response. This one will also be shared over the network, and all bots will open MTGO from this folder, which means when its time to update your MTGO, you will only need to download the 200+ files once.

I will do these tests during this week and soon let you know the advantages/disadvantages.
Thank you.

MTGO Library Bot 5.84 has been released

We have just released ML Bot 5.84, an important update to ensure a better presence of your bot on wikiprice.

For those who are experiencing problems with wikiprice: please update and write me an email if your bot should still not be listed.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MTGO Library Bot 5.83 has been released

ML Bot 5.83 has just been released. It improves the connection to wikiprice and fixes a couple of other minor bugs connected to.
In 2 / 3 days, when everyone will have updated their bots, wikiprice should be a much better place.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You've Been Fragged! (Part 1 of 2)

Whether you are a computer tech veteran or a computer tech novice, one thing you heard was that you needed to occasionally defragment your hard drive.  You probably heard that there is a defrag program included in Windows but no one should use it.  You probably heard of Smart Defrag, MyDefrag or one that is made by the same people who do Ccleaner, or any of plethora of software offerings.

All these software offerings make a point of stating that using their program to defrag your hard drive is good for your computer that their program does something “unique” that other programs do not have or simply ignore.  When it comes to our computers, we want to use the best programs possible; especially if it is free.  Yet with all the information available, it is easy to simply get over-whelmed with information and it is difficult to ascertain what is truth, what is fiction, what is marketing and what is propaganda.

So let’s begin by describing what causes fragmentation.

Let’s begin with a brand new hard drive.  It’s been formatted and it is a data drive.  You copy three pictures onto it, 1 Meg, 2 Megs and 3 Megs in size.  You then decide that you wish to edit the 2 Meg file, increasing its size to 2.1.  Since the program will write the first then delete, it will place the 2.1 file after the 3 Meg file and then delete the 2 Meg file.  So out drive looks like

1 Meg - 2 Meg blank - 3 Meg - 2.1 Meg.

Now, you choose to edit your 3 Meg picture, increasing the size to 3.1.  Again, the picture will be written before deleting the original.  So your drive now looks like this:

1 Meg, 2 megs of the 3.1, 3 Megs of blank space, 2.1 Megs, 1.1 Megs of the 3.1 Meg file.

As this simple example shows, it does not take much to fragment a drive.  As files get fragmented, it takes more time for the computer to read the hard drive.  So defragging a hard drive is recommended.  The only question is how often and what program do you use; and how does this affect us bot owners?  I’ll answer those questions next time.

Bonus tip: NEVER EVER defrag an SSD drive.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Buying and Selling Event tickets

Here is a new website that could be useful to everyone:

Basically this site buys event tickets at $0.94 each and sells them as low as $1.04 each via Paypal. They also sell redemption sets and other misc. items.

Why is this good for botting?

Its an outlet to sell you excess tickets, an outlet you can trust! Transaction take less than a few minutes to complete and for you to get paid. All transactions threw are made possible with Paypal a site we have trusted for years.

Also if your buying bots are running low and you are outside of the United States, I know taxes can be pretty high, you can buy tickets much cheaper with

What can I aspect from

Fast service - Tickets on your account with in 5 mins of purchase or your tickets traded and paid for with in 20 minutes.
Easy pick up - Once tickets are purchased, you simply head to mtgotickets_seller bot and pick up your order
Great deals - Buy bot credit at up to 9% discount.

Is there anything I should know about

They are open 7 days a week, but only from 1pm - 11pm Eastern Standard Time.

You can only buy or sell up to 200 tickets a day with them.

The site is ran by me (Teamstoge), You can message me on Magic Online anytime if you have any questions about the site.

I hope this helps eveyone!

Teamstoge - buying and selling Magic Online tickets cheap and we are always in stock.

MTGO Library 5.82 has been released

ML Bot 5.82 has just been released, fixing a couple of minor bugs wih the wishlist buying mode and the set MMA

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (MLBot) Part 2

Second Introduction: Still interested in playing with robots?

Last week we talked about some very basic information a new botter should know of.
So today we will continue with even more, very basic information.
Part 3 will be more in depth, but there are still some basic things needed to be said before I'll start going through more advanced stuff.

MTGO Library Bot: And what it can do for you

Mtgo Library is the most sophisticated MTGO botting software out there.
It's easy to learn and easy to customize with no previous knowledge, but still offers room for highly advanced settings and strategies, available for the more experienced botter, and it comes with everything you need, for free.

A free license doesn't cost a dime as long as you're not selling, buying or trading anything.
 As soon as you start dealing with customers it'll charge 2.5% of each transaction for people that accept to advertise the Wikiprice page or 3.5 % for those who don't.
This is a perfect way for a new player to start out without having to invest a lot of money.
There are also different licenses available for purchase to get rid of the 2.5% / 3.5% charge but more on that later.

There are two different bot types available, Pro and Lite.
A Lite bot can't have individual prices on different cards, only per rarity. These are known as "bulk bots".
A bulk bot is a great way to build a collection and get a steady supply of cards. Lite bots usually buys X amount of Common, Uncommon, Rare and Mythic per Event Ticket, and these prices are easily set by the owner.
Then there is the Pro bot which can have individual buy and sell prices for every single card in the game.
An up to date price list can be downloaded automatically for the bot and can easily be adjusted either by hand or by setting a percentage in the bot's interface. You can find more information about this in the manual here, and I'll go into more details about this in coming posts.

When starting out I would recommend starting with two bots, one Lite and one Pro. The Lite bot will supply the Pro bot with cards it buys cheaply and always fill the Pro bot with 4 of each card. I would also recommend to start with buying only Standard cards in the beginning, then as you build a collection and customer base, start buying from more sets (Extended is a good next step).

Before I conclude this final introduction post I'll give you some homework until next week.
I want you to start thinking about a name for your bot or bot chain.
This might seem trivial, but you'd be amazed how much a good name could boost your business.
That's why I want you to start thinking of this early. I won't ask you to sit and dedicate serious time to it, just keep it in mind while you continue planning your bots, and write down every name idea you get. Coming up with a good name may take some time and I don't want you to rush it and choose a name you'll regret, as once you generate a customer base, it's not so easy to change your name.

In part 3 I'll go in depth into what you should think about when naming your bot or chain.

More next time.
I'll gladly answer any questions you might have in the comments.

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ML Bot v4 spoiler - Confirmed new features

Hello fellow botters,

there is a lot of attention about the release of the new ML Bot (for MTGO v4). I talked with Albert last week and he gave me some screenshots and an idea of some of the new features we will see.

We are at the point where we have a fully functional bot that works on the new beta client and have been running it online for a few weeks now. We will release the name of that bot as soon as possible so you will be able to interact with it and see its impressive speed.

Below are two screenshots of the new bot. The screenshots show the new loading bar (the one with the numbers 1, 2 and 3) and a lateral vertical info panel to help the user understand what happens. There you will read textual information. The lateral panel is designed to replace to actual "floating" splash screens and be a more organic place to read the information.

So what is new under the hood?

There have been a lot of rumors and suggestions out there about the new ML Bot, we would like you to know we listened.

Here are some new features:

1. Speed: the time to read the columns is currently 200 ms for every 25 cards. It is more than 10x the speed of the current bot.
2. Lateral info panel to group all the messages
3. Improved auto-transfer modes
4. The ability to change the buying and selling prices (%) for specific users. In a nutshell, give discounts for clan members or increase % for cherry pickers.
5. Ability to give credits on your bots for just cards, not tickets.

There are a few more new features too.
Albert will release the version of the bot before Magic Online moves to the new client, which we suspect will be sometime in September. I hope this satisfy your curiosity about the future of your botting business!.

 Happy Botting!

Owner of - Buying and selling tickets cheap. We are always in-stock.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

You make a card 4 - winner

Do you remember my article about 'You make a card 4'? If not click here.
Finally, after several rounds of eleminations the winner was determined and it is Revenge of Necromancy. Seems solid unless the converted mana cost will be ridiculous. Wizards have already started playtesting this card. If they find out that it is too powerful they may slightly modify it, but they are obliged to consult it with designer of this card firstly, who by the way is a casual player.

Friday, June 21, 2013

History of Magic Online: Once Upon a Time…

We host the first of a series of articles from our friends blog , a top blog dealing with mtg and mtgo economic aspects.
You can read the original article here:

The current version of Magic Online you can download from the official website is quite different of the first one that appeared back in 2002. Some features of the original version were removed and new ones were included in order to slowly debug the game. What is certainly true is that you must know the changes that have taken over the history of Magic Online to be the reference on the digital card market. In this article I introduce you a brief resume to give you an idea of the evolution of the game.

The beginning of Magic Online History

Before Magic Online firstly appeared, Wizards experimented with various proposals to transfer the Magic game experience to the digital world. Several games were developed, some with an adventurous format like Magic: The Gathering created by Microprose, and others as strategy games like MTG Battlemage that had little to do with the mechanics of the card game.

Later in the year 1999, a game called Magic Interactive Encyclopedia was released. It basically consisted of a software in which you classify your collection and build your decks to avoid using physical cards. The program was updated online with each new expansion for free, so you had all the latest images of the cards available. This idea had good critics, and in fact it was the seed for the creation of Magic Online in 2002.

The first major difference between Magic Online and the Encyclopedia was that on Magic Online a player possessed digital cards instead of marking the ones that he belonged on the physical world. Therefore, it required a central server to control the collections of the players. Secondly, the rules of the matches were controlled by the software itself so players only have to focus on playing the game. These two features were essential in order to get Magic Online experience closer to the physical card game. The expansions that firstly came out in the history of Magic Online started with the Invasion cycle and Judgment to Scourge afterwards.

Magic Online 2.0

Version 2.0 of the game came shortly after to the public, and its main goal was to adapt the deep changes introduced by Eighth Edition rules. It is also important to consider that the original development team was changed from an independent company (Leaping Lizards) to another group inside Wizards. On the other hand, at that time the programming of mechanics of the cards was not yet dominated, so the newest sets were released much later than the physical cards.

Since the beginning, on Magic Online you could play both constructed and sealed. The traditional formats were Standard/Extended/Legacy for constructed, of course only with existing cards in their digital version (from Invasion onwards). Regards the sealed format, you were able to play Limited (tournament deck and 2-3 boosters) and Draft (3 boosters).

Additionally, some time after version 2.0 was launched, the new format denoted as Leagues was born, which consisted of a 256-man Sealed, although it had several differences:

  • Each week you could play 5 matches. Each match won gave you 4 points, 2 points for a draw and 1 point if you lose. 
  • You could play more matches on that same week but they counted as tiebreaker points. For each match won this way you took 3 tiebreaker points, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loose. 
  • After the first week and before you started the following 5 matches you could open an additional booster to add those cards to your pool and improve your deck.
As you can see, you could play a whole month with the same sealed cards and improve the deck week after week. A great deal for the players and at the same time losses for Wizards (compared with draft queues). Besides, the infrastructure required to manage the huge amount of users playing this format led the League format to disappear from version 3.0. Today people are still speculating on whether Leagues will appear shortly. Wizards keeps saying so, but there are no news that points out we will play this format someday.

The need for a Magic Online 3.0

The main problem with Magic Online at that time resided on its scalability: the game could only support a maximum number of users connected at once. The crashes happened almost daily, so Wizards had to develop a version 3.0 from scratch. When the old version finally turned off, leaving 3.0 as the only valid version, problems like the transition to 2.0 appeared again: errors during the matches, crashes and even the report of cards disappearing from collections.

Although it took quite, in the end the programming team finally fixed most of the bugs and let the Magic Online as a good game from the functional point of view. However, many players disliked the interface design because it looked much less intuitive than version 2.0. I think the biggest problem is that people is usually reluctant to changes, especially if they have learnt and used the same tool for several years.

At that time, Wizards decided to publish old sets at Magic Online. On one hand, they launched the expansions from Mirage up to Mercadian Masques cycle as is, because they were designed for drafting purposes. On the other hand, the oldest collections did not follow this philosophy so they created Masters Edition, a series of sets which compiled Pre-Mirage cards so they could be drafted. In this way, nowadays almost all physical cards are already edited on their digital version. Some of them will never be published on Magic Online (i.e. the ante cards) and others such as Power Nine has been confirmed to appear but we do not know how yet.

And now, do you really need a Magic Online 4?

Once again history repeats with the new version of Magic Online, the v4. The same problems with bugs, the interface is chaotic (or at least completely different from the v3)… Eventually they will probably solve but it will surely require time and money. Furthermore, the transition from version 2 to 3 was justified from the number of simultaneous users point of view. But what justification has this new version? It does not even adapt to new trends on interfaces and consumes more resources than before, despite the game is simply an interface with images that manages a remote database with built-in chat (from a technical and low-level point of view). As an example, you can compare the current collection section with the new one with the following figures.

I would understand a redesign of the interface because they were to release a new version of the game for consoles/tablets/phones or even Mac. Do not get me wrong, I like the improvements on a software but in this case I also think that the update of the client could have been more progressive by maintaining the current version.

Moreover, the last version of the client also may affect, at least initially, to the digital card market and its economy as it already happened before with version 3 of Magic Online. I will tell you more details about this market on the next chapter of this series.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Setting up a "hybrid bot"

 Having a Hybrid MTGOLibrary bot...

Many bot owners don't have the resources to run more than just a few bots and sometimes they need a middle ground between Lite and Pro bot.
Having a Bot that buys for bulk and sells via pricelist is great for small chains. For example a 3 bot chain will not have the dilemma of "1pro+2lite or 2pro+1lite?", instead using these configurations it can be a good middle term for many bot chains.

How to set it up

Firstly, choose your bot to be a PRO bot.

Go on the limits tab. This is where you will write the price at which you wish to buy your cards.
 Then go into the Corrections tab and bump everything into +100% 
(this is to ensure you wont be buying some cards for less than your buying limits)
Then set your selling prices as you wish. 
Hope it helps.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mirror Mirror (Part 3 of 3)

Last time I speculated that the Wizards of the Coast will be making Legends and Planewalkers in the uncommon and possibly the common rarity.  The reason being that the folks in the Ivory Tower tweaked the highlander aspect of the Legends Rule and one of the consequences of this tweak is that it will allow for the printing of more Legends and more Planeswalkers.  This will allow for more interesting games and interesting games are what the casual player desires and that is good for the game as a whole.

But the 64,000 ticket question is this: how does all of this affect us?  Let me postulate a guess by asking this question: Why did WotC change the Legends Rule anyway?

The people who have “Chief” in their titles looked at the income stream and noticed that Magic was not bringing in as much income as they would have liked.  Meetings were called and studies were conducted to ascertain what the problem is.

Part of the answer lies in the available gaming options these days.  There are a plethora of first rate free-to-play games available to the gamer who is unwilling or unable to spend scarce free cash.  If one is willing to allow for micro-transaction-based games, the list grows even larger.

I suspect this research also revealed that the un-fun aspects of Legends was on par with Counterspell and Armageddon.  The Chiefs then requested that the Legends rule be changed to eliminate the un-fun aspects.  The Chiefs are banking that these changes will attract players back to the game when these changes start being reflected in new sets.

So how does this affect us? 

These future Legends and Planewalkers will be printed in the non-rare rarity slot.  These Legends and Planeswalkers will have a heavy mana cost, minimally 4 or more mana.  When players are pondering their deck ideas, they are not going to put four (4) copies of these cards in their decks.  So when these minimalist players are buying their decks, they will only be taking a copy or two and not the full four copies.  This would mean that more customers could be served with the same amount of inventory.  This would be true if a bot has 4 copies or 40 copies in its inventory.  A fully-stocked bot brings in more business than a sparsely populated one.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (Budget)

Introduction:  So you want to play with robots? 

When I recently started my bot-chain using the ML Bot I read everything I could regarding everything related to starting and running a bot chain on MTGO. There are some pretty good guides available, especially on this blog but I still had to spend countless of hours researching information all over the web until I felt I knew enough to start my first bots. Therefore I will be writing yet another guide on how to start your bot chain, and I'll try to make this one as comprehensive as possible.

The first two parts are going to be an introduction that goes through some of the basics to keep in mind before starting a bot and I'll continue going through more advanced stuff in later parts. Since you're reading this I'm assuming you're interested in the world of MTGO botting. This might seem really complicated at first, but the truth is that anyone with some basic computer skills can do it. How complicated it is will be totally up to you, as you could basically start a bot in a matter of minutes with next to no knowledge, or capital investment, if you want. It's your tactics and plan that will determine how much work and how complicated it will be and of course, how successful you will be.

 I'm guessing capital investment is one of the most important factors for any aspiring botter, so here's a quick estimate of how much a new botter needs to invest.

First of all you need a basic computer, almost any old junk will be able to run a bot or two. When I started I ran 2 bots on an old Core 2 duo CPU, a 128gb SSD and 4gb ram. GPU is irrelevant as long as it can run MTGO.
An SSD is a good idea but not necessary in the beginning.

Each bot needs around:

  • 5-10gb on your HDD
  • 1.1 gb RAM (for MTGO 3.0) or 2-2.5 gb RAM (for MTGO 4.0 when it's released) 
  • preferably one core of a shitty CPU. 

I'll assume you have a computer at home that meets these requirements so initial investment on hardware shouldn't be much. Other than hardware you need to buy accounts for each bot, which is $9.9 and I'd recommend buying at least 50 Event Tickets per bot.

  • Hardware: 0 
  • Accounts: $9.90 (per account) 
  • Tickets: ~$50 (per account) 
  • Total: ~$59.90 (per account) 

 More next time!
 I'll gladly answer any questions you might have in the comments.

-Tom (Sitrec) 
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3 & ArchBot4

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Magic Online 11th anniversary

Celebration of Magic Online 11th birthday starts on Wednesday, June 19 and ends on Sunday, June 23 at 10:00 PM. Wotc will offer us phantom sealed deck events for 6 event tickets. In return we will get  a Return to Ravnica booster pack, 1 Innistrad booster pack, 1 Scars of Mirrodin booster pack, 1 Zendikar booster pack, 1 Shards of Alara booster pack, 1 Lorwyn booster pack, 1 Time Spiral booster pack, 1 Ravnica, City of Guilds booster pack, 1 Champions of Kamigawa booster pack, 1 Mirrodin booster pack, 1 Onslaught booster pack. Four rounds are planned and if you manage to collect 12 match points you will get 3 Return to Ravnica booster packs, 4 Gatecrash booster packs, 4 Dragon’s Maze booster packs, 1 premium foil Farseek promo card and 1 Farseek promo card. For 9 match points you get 2 Return to Ravnica booster packs, 2 Gatecrash Booster Packs, 2 Dragon's Maze booster packs, 1 premium foil Farseek promo card and 1 Farseek promo card. Prizes are really good so if you have some spare time I recommend you to participate in this event.

World of Warcraft vs MTGO: the Client

Yesterday I wondered why Wizards of the Coast needs to build (totally from scratches) and deploy a new version of Magic Online every 5 years. A software is not like an hardware (read: PlayStation, Xbox) that needs to be completely redesigned every 5 years to keep up with the market. A software can be updated every week (even without a downtime) using Continuos Integration.

Blizzard developed one client (the famous World of Warcraft) in 2004, and continuosly updated it, patched it, added new lands, fixed the rules and so on so forth. I am sure that the World of Warcraft client running today on our PCs does not share any single line of code with the first client of  2004. Still, Blizzard never imposed an abrupt transiction to the user base.

MTGO Library Bot 5.81 has been released

The newest version of ML Bot supports Modern Masters (MMA).

It also includes more options for the "Max Trading Time" and "Max Inactivity Time" dropdown menus - allowing up to 40 and 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Modern Masters support scheduled for tomorrow (June 16th)

A new version of ML Bot will be released tomorrow morning, supporting the new set Modern Masters (MMA).

As usual, the new pricelist will be available for download from the Online Control Panel and it will be free during the update process.

The users of the LITE ML Bot should update their pricelist too because the procelist is used as a reference for the names of the cards.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spotlight on the Horizon

With the spotlight on the beta client done and over with there are a few things many players are discussing. One of those things is the death of Magic: The Gathering Online. While I certainly doubt a transition to a new client will be the demise of magic, many people do believe that the buggy and unfamiliar client will make their collection worthless.

We Don't Like Change! Or do we?
This aversion to change is a common human response that usually diffuses when familiarity is obtained once again. We are creatures of habit and habit can be retrained easily. The majority of people who become upset with these changes to their routine will quickly adjust and acclimate to them. In fact after quite a short time they will become so comfortable with the new client that they will prefer it and the process to resist change will begin again.

What Does This Have To Do With Me Mr. Author?
I'm glad I made you ask me through conveniently placed bold titles! Those people who act on their impulses will be trying to sell off their collection at a reduced rate to flee the ‘sinking ship’ that is Magic Online. This presents a great opportunity for bot owners to buy up collections to stock their bots at a pittance of what they would normally pay for them.   The players who wish to offload their collection will be happy to have something tangible when they walk away from the game and the buyer will be happy to take the risk for the prospect of great gains.

What Are The Risks?
There is an element of danger in buying a collection speculating that the future of magic and the online card economy will endure. However, the risk to an observant individual is very minimal. We’ve made transitions between clients before and many people will tolerate the awkwardness to continue making use of Magic Online because it is so convenient for casually picking up a game of magic.

Put It All On Black!
Because of the spotlight creating such a fuss in the community the moment is ripe to buy up collections at a reduced price. If you’ve never bought a collection before it may be a great opportunity to add that pillar to your emerging botting business model. Branching out to add collection purchases to your botting acumen could prove very rewarding and I encourage you to explore your options. What are your thoughts on the beta client? Do you buy collections; will you be keeping a sharper eye on the market with the impending ‘threat’ of a forced transition to the new client? Post your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mirror Mirror (Part 2 of 3)

Last time I postulated that the health of an activity is due to the amateur, the non-professional.  In the case of Magic, if the casual player is playing, this is good for the game.  Professional players do not primarily care about how fun a Tier 1 deck is, only can that deck win a tournament.  Casual players on the other hand, want a fun experience.  A professional player would never ever consider a tribal deck of walls; something I concocted to better success than one would expect.

The folks in the ivory tower know this.  This is why “un-fun” cards like Armageddon, Stone Rain, and Counterspell have been removed.  We’ve also seen deck archetypes nerfed to make them less appealing, decks like Land Destruction and Hand Destruction.

These same folks took a look at the Legends rule and decided that it needed tweaking.  How many games have you seen where a person plays a Legend, strictly as a defensive measure; either as an expensive kill spell, or as a one-turn Status? Professional players understand such nuances of the game and do not care, so long as they can gain an advantage, no matter how small.  But to the casual player, who has only one (1) or two (2) Legendary cards, to finally get a chance to actually play it meaningfully, and only to have it removed because the opponent randomly added it to their deck, is totally un-fun.

So the ivory folks decided that the Highlander aspect of the Legends Rule needs to be removed.  This will have little effect on the professional player.  But to the casual player, it means a little more fun.

But the real impact of this change will be in future cards.  Instead of a handful of Legends and Planewalkers, Wizards can now make these cards in the uncommon and even the common rarity.  This would allow for Planewalker-drafts to be interesting.  And to the casual player, interesting is what you want Magic games to be.

MTGO v4 spotlight

Today MTGO v3 will be closed for a couple of days and you will only be able to use MTGO v4 (it's the so-called "mtgo v4 spotlight").

Mtgolibrary will have some bots running on v4 - I will post a list as soon as possible. If you want to take a look at the future of ML Bot, just open trade and see with your eyes :-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Expanding Business

BestDeal Chain now up to 10 Bots

In May 2011, BestDeal bot was created by me with the hope of having a bot that could feed my love for playing Magic Online casually. This bot started as a lite bot, and very quickly I realized that some of the cards the bot was buying were worth much more than he was selling them for, it was time for my first expansion one month later, June 2011, that's when I created BestDeal2, this became the Lite bot, feeding BestDeal, now a PRO bot. This was enough for a while, but as any other business, when you have the willpower to go above, there's always room for improvement.

I wanted turn my chain into a one stop chain that would please every kind of MTGO player,
from the drafter that wants top offers for his newly picked mythics and somewhere to get rid of all the junk commons, the casual player that wants commons for much less than 1 penny and the "rich guy" that doesn't mind to pay a little bit more for a card, just because he is able to get all his needs from one bot.

This is when I've decided to make a price scaling chain, where each bot would buy for less and sell for less gradually, being BestDeal the highest buyer, down to the last bot which would sell the cheapest (and buy the lowest).

Two months later I pursued this dream, creating BestDeal3 and 4, these would now be the lite bots, and BestDeal and BestDeal2 the pro bots. BestDeal2 started using the old BestDeal corrections, while BestDeal now started buying at higher corrections (rares/mythics +30% pricelist).  This is also when I decided that each bot (other than BestDeal4) would not buy up to 8 cards but only 4 instead , each bot would then be refilled up to 8 cards from the next bot. This is when I noticed how many decent commons and uncommons (such as oblivion ring, lightning bolt, etc) were being sold for a decent profit on BestDeal while getting refilled from the chain, meaning that they being bought for much less in BestDeal4.

While this was working well, 2 lite bots wasn't enough to have a good flow of different lite pricing bots, I had a "medium-high bulk bot" and a "medium-low bulk bot" meaning neither could be "too high", or more importantly, "too low", I was still buying basic lands for 0.005 or so in BestDeal4, and selling Timely Reinforcements for 0.02 on BestDeal3.

After creating my clan (BestDeal) I spent the next few weeks using the bots profits to build my new (and current) PC, Which would allow me to run a few more bots.

My next expansion happened in April 2012, This time I've gone from 4 bots up to 7 bots, 3 Pro and 4 Lite. This gave me a much needed flow in prices, allowing me to stretch my lite chain and getting bulk (such as basic lands) as low as 0.002 a piece and in higher quantities and having a third (BestDeal3) Pro bot, which would sell decent commons and uncommons fast enought before starting selling them on BestDeal4 for much lower prices. This made all my customers much happier and made them feel that there was no need to use other bots (unless i was out of stock in a specific card etc).

This week I've gone from 7 to 10 Bots. All it was required was some more Memory Ram (from 16gb to 24gb) and I think this machine can easily take 2 more. I am happy with the expansion and I hope this will mean more profits in the future.

Hows been your expansion story? anything you want to share with us? Please comment.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Modern Masters

Modern Masters is a upcoming set, which contains 229 reprint cards drawn from Eighth Edition through Alara Reborn, including the most powerful cards from Modern, such as Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant or Vendilion Clique.

Modern Masters online, same like in paper Magic, will be limited. Booster packs will only be available in the Magic Online Store for two weeks, starting Friday, June 14, at 10:00 AM PDT and ending with the downtime on Wednesday, June 26. Modern Masters events also begin Friday, June 14, at 10:00 AM, will run until the downtime on July 10.

Modern Masters booster packs will cost $6.99 USD. The draft queues will have their entry reduced from 30 Event Tickets or 9 Event Tickets plus product(as it was in firstly announced) to 25 Event Tickets or 4 Event Tickets and product.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

ML Bot 5.80 has been released

ML Bot v. 5.80 is now available for download.

It fixes a problem with the Classified messages, not working correctly with the CFA (CardsForAdvertisement.txt) file.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mirror, Mirror (Part 1 of 3)

When a new product is released, who can afford it?  Only the rich can afford to purchase it.  Businesses then use the profits from these purchases to begin to produce a larger batch, which is then sold to the almost-rich.  Then those profits are used to mass produce a product which is then available to the general public at a reasonable price.

We’ve seen this process occur many times in recent years.  The automobile, televisions, cell phones and computers are listed as common examples of this process at work.  But it is not limited to just technology products.  Medical breakthroughs, rehabilitation from injuries, and programming techniques all filter down so the general public can gain access to them.

So what does this have to do with Magic?

This illustrates that the health of an activity or a sport is based not on the very top, but on the masses who can partake in the activity.  Tiger Woods popularized golf, but it is the multitudes of people who play golf regularly which makes the health of golf, tournaments, television revenue, etc all possible.  The same can be said of tennis and soccer and others.

It’s not the professionals, but the amateurs which determine the activity’s health.  I’ll expand on this next time.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Short downtime

The server is down for maintenance.
It will be up very soon, for sure after the Mtgo downtime.

UPDATE: server is now up and running

Float - a different approach...

Float is one of the most straight foward ways of making a profit with mtgo Bots. The more customers leave unused credit on your bot, the more you will profit for it, as you just got more cards than you paid for, or, got more Event tickets than the given cards are worth.
After a few months of running MTGO Bots you will find yourself in a situation where the combined float of all customers will be in the hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands.

Today I've tried something new, maybe stupid, maybe smart, only time will tell;
I've messaged every player/customer that had 0.25+ credit left on my bots and had his last trade with them between april and march.

What to expect!?
Thats what I will find out, but if I have to guess, maybe some of those stopped playing MTGO, some forgot about the credits and will just take whatever cards they can with it and hopefully, some will type "sell" to drop more cards into my bots or pick some big cards and drop more Event tickets in.

What do you think of this? good idea? or.. not really?...

ML Bot 5.79 has been released

ML Bot 5.79 has just been released. The release contains a number of small fixes. One is about the "clicks" on the Confirm Trade button, sometimes not working properly and now performed slower to give MTGO the sufficient "time" to behave correctly

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shady Dealings

In today’s article I’d like to point out a few things you should never do with your online card trading business. It seems to have become common practice these days to use the classified in many shady ways to deceive and cheat potential customers. While it might get you a few extra trades in the short run you will end up alienating the community and gain a reputation as a bad dealer.

The Human Bot
The first and most frequent thing I notice in terms of bot owners abusing the classifieds is setting up a classified message that includes the word “Human” in an attempt to deceive players who prefer to deal with other players.  When building a classified message it’s important to include certain key words that individuals search frequently so that you’ll get noticed, but lying to a potential customer and doing so blatantly is going to do a considerable amount of damage to your reputation as a dealer. Nothing sets me on fire as a buyer quite like searching for a card and seeing a score of bots who even include bot in their username advertising that they are humans buying or selling a card.

Spamming Classifieds
Another popular shady tactic that many people have turned to is polluting search classified search results with dozens of bots all buying chase rares with the same classified message. For example you search for Sphinx’s Revelation and seeing GenericBot1, GenericBot2 all the way up to GenericBot41 all with the same classified message saying they will pay a modest price. 
This clouds searches with dozens of results and make sorting through the classifieds for someone actually selling a card a difficult task to achieve. Being the most obnoxious person in the room isn't the best approach to making a sale.

Deceitful Advertisement
I’ve encountered frequently bots that advertise they are selling a card in a classified ad but do not actually have the card to sell. This can be very frustrating because it wastes their time as well as wastes valuable trade time your bot may have with someone who wants what you have instead of what you claimed to have had. On top of that your reputation can be tarnished as easily as a single bad experience and having a customer open a trade expecting to make a purchase to find out you are out of stock (or were lying entirely) will make a very sour affair.

Likewise, Advertising at a price that you aren’t selling at is a great way to turn people away from your service. On several occasions I have seen a bot advertising a sale price of 1 ticket when in reality the card when selected costs a ticket and change. It may seem like a great idea to get people in the door but $1.00 at the door can incite a lot of confusion and aggression from customers who feel cheated when it suddenly costs $1.99 at the register.

In For The Long Haul
If you are playing the short game you may scrape up a few bucks with dirty tricks and a disregard for your reputation. For those of us in it for the long haul dodgy methods of making sales can ultimately cost you more than they are worth. Weigh your decisions heavily and remember that repeat customers are the heart of your business.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Legendary rule change

Beginning with Magic 2014 Core Set, the change in legends rule will be applied. The new rule separates the field of play into your battlefield and your opponent's battlefield, and only checks those to make sure that there are not multiple copies of one legend with the same name or Planeswalker with the same type. When multiple copies are on the battlefield under one player's control, that player chooses one to put into the graveyard as a state-based effect until only one remains. You will still only be allowed to have one version or copy of Jace or Geist of Saint Traft on the battlefield at one time, but your opponent will be allowed to have one as well.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Welcome to is a friend forum mainly focused on business and on ML Bot. The forum launched one week ago, it's still pretty new but promizing: let's make it grow! Bot users in fact do not have a dedicated place to discuss, to know each other and possibly have business together.

I strongly think it will be wonderful to have a place where you can post suggestions, ask for advices, post your "hey, I sell tixs" advertisement and this kind of things. The official WotC forums are so moderated that you cannot even talk about bot, business and tixs - we bot owners deserve more.

Visit it daily, write there something - at first it will be boring because you will be "alone" but in 1-2 months the ML Bot user and business men will have a new powerful tool strapped on their

MTGGoldfish, MTGO-Stats, The Metagame & Stats

Last week, Albert shared with you a post about MTG Goldfish. This is a great site for many reasons. It is easy to navigate and it is plenty of information for almost all Rares ranging from Legacy forward. If you haven't had a chance to check this site yet, or missed the post, I strongly encourage you head on over to MTG Goldfish and have yourself a look. 

One of my favorite features of MTG Goldfish is the breakdown of the Metagame. I won't get into what Metagame is, as I believe the article "What is the Metagame?" by Jeff Cunningham does this superbly. Another great source I’ve found for this is MTGO-Stats. It's relatively similar to MTG Goldfish in what it offers in terms of information. I offer them both as pliable solutions, so that choose. Quite simply, you may prefer one layout over the other for what we are going to be looking at here.

There are a great many things that can be taken away from these sites in regards to helping increase our profits, while also helping to benefit our clients. Take for example (at the time of writing this) your standard G/R aggro deck (MTGGoldfish Link | MTGO-Stats Link). Let's see what type of information we can pull from the above sites and how it pertains to our bots. Below is a screenshot from MTGGoldfish.

In the upper left hand corner of the image, we can see that this listing of cards comes from a sampling of 113 decks which make up roughly 17.71% of the Metagame. That means that out of all the decks that are currently being played (in the Standard format) using this archetype and color combination, you and/or your clients have a chance of seeing this deck almost at least once out of every 5 times (actually 5.6, but nobody plays 60% of a game).

So now that we know that, what do we do with it? Well, it's simple...find the most played cards and make sure we have them available for our customers! Let's take a look at the first card shown, Stromkirk Noble. Looking to the left of his name, we see that 100% of the decks use a full set (4) of this card. Great... Now what? 

Here are a few great ideas about how to use that information:

  • Increase the buying price of the card up using the PersonalPercentages.txt file. Offering a higher buying price for cards will attract more sellers. Your profits might be smaller, but your trades may increase with new business. I recommend using the PersonalPercentages.txt file as when the CardsMTGO3.txt prices change, your card will be updated as well, but adjusted according to your entered percentage amount. Simply entering a value in the PersonalPrices.txt file would not allow this to happen, keeping your price static (although, that may be what you want; this article is simply about giving you [new] ideas and is in no way a recommendation on you should run your bot(s); that is ultimately up to you).
  • Adjust the number of cards you keep on hand. You can edit the PersonalPrices.txt file (leaving out the buy/sell prices and only entering a quantity of each line for the desired card(s), as seen below:

    ISD;Stromkirk Noble;;;;;8;0

    The above line, entered into your PersonalPrices.txt file will tell MTGO Library Bot to buy up to 8 regular and 0 foil version of this card, leaving the price at whatever it was set at before. This will allow you to have a second set readily available for the next customer. Keep in mind though, increasing your buy count may decrease your liquidity (number of tickets on hand [buying power]).
  • Update your sale prices. I won't make a recommendation either way as to up or down. This depends a lot on your bot and the rapport you/bot has with client. Using the price to the right of the card name divided by the number of cards being played in the deck, will give you an idea of what the current average of this card is. In the above picture, 4 cards at a total of 8 tickets implies that this card is at an average of 2 tickets. Searching a few sources (don't be afraid to shop around), we see the following prices:
Providing competitive prices and available quantities is key and will help you to provide a one stop shop for your customers where they can feel good about the entire experience of both buying and selling! This, my friends, is are just a few of the many ways we as bot owners can utilize the provided information.

Have suggestions, comments, questions and/or feedback. I'd love to hear them!

Jimmi (aka b1nary0mega)
The b1naryb0t network (b1naryb0t, b1naryb0t_bulk, b1naryb0t_trade)