Avoiding Scammers: The Complete Guide to Secure Trading in Trove
In any online game, there are scammers looking to take advantage of the innocence, ignorance, and/or impatience of other players. While you can never remove these scumbags from any community entirely, there are specific steps you can and should take to protect yourself. With all the skins, collectables, and materials in Trove, you will definitely be trading with other players at some point; here's how to do it as securely as possible.
TL;DR - The Three Ps: Polite, Patient, Paranoid
- Practice common sense. Trust your gut, avoid players and deals that seam sketchy or fishy in any way. If you feel hesitant, you probably have a good reason. If the other player can't get the trade right in three attempts, they are probably trying to scam you. Don't be afraid to nope out of there.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Scammers often play on the sense of urgency/excitement that comes with thinking your getting a great deal. "Hey this noob is selling a Penta Forged Soul for 10k, better trade quick before someone else swoops in and gets the deal first." So you rush through the trade so quickly you don't notice the seller switching the Penta for a Twice at the last second. Being patient and methodical is one of the best safeguards against scams.
- Trust no one [cue X-Files Theme]. No matter how long you've "known" someone online, you can never be sure they won't end up trying to scam you at some point. Maybe their account got hacked and your in-game bae who wants to borrow your Radiant Sword for a quick screenshot and then give it right back is really some random stranger looking to scam you out of your favorite weapon. If they have a problem with "I only trust people I know in real life, sorry" then it's their problem.
- Measure twice, cut once. If you're cutting lumber to build a table, chair, etc., measure twice before cutting the wood just to be sure you're cutting it right. Why? If you measure once and cut wrong, you could end up wasting time and lumber. In other words, it's better to take a little extra time to be cautious up front than to spend even more time trying to recover from a mistake. What does this have to do with trading in Trove? Double-check all trades before hitting accept (see Safe Trading Procedure below). The extra ~2 seconds it takes to verify a trade is nothing compared with the frustration of getting scammed.
- Educate yourself. Keep the trade chat open while your mining or building your club so you have a general sense of the value of commonly traded materials. Check the Trading Posts on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/TroveMarketplace) and the Official Forums(http://forums.trovegame.com/forumdisplay.php?22-Trading-Post) when new items get added to the game. Why? I have seen some crazily inflated/deflated prices, and heard some of my club mates bragging about how they sold/bought an item for way more/less than it was worth. Don't be that guy/grill that gets taken advantage of.
- Be a decent person. The Trove community is what you make it.
TL;DR - Routine = good, out of the ordinary = bad. Pay attention to your internal "BS Detector."
- Selling codes. There is currently no guaranteed secure way to trade codes. Period. Buyers have no way of checking the codes in advance, and the person who goes first in the trade has no guarantee that the other player will hold up their end of the bargain. There is nothing worse than paying 150k for a Balefire code only to realize the seller traded you their refer-a-friend numbers as a scam.
If you are absolutely determined to trade for a code, keep two things in mind:
1) Advertising/selling codes on the official forum will get you temp-banned.
2) Your best bet is to use a 3rd party "broker" or middleman. Check the Official Trading Forum (http://forums.trovegame.com/forumdisplay.php?22-Trading-Post) for players offering this service; but of course, trusting a middleman is very risky too.
- Drop Trade Scam.
What it is: Someone is selling the exact item you've been looking for and at a great price too, but when you accept their invite, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. "I found a great mining/fishing spot," they say, or "I'm in the middle of building my club world and don't have time to leave this zone, just drop the flux and I'll drop my item at the same time. 3, 2, 1..." SCAMMED.
How to Avoid it: Anyone who is "too busy" to port to a secure trading post is a scammer. The hub is never farther than a keystroke away. NEVER EVER DROP TRADE. Always use the secure trading post in the hub.
What it is: Unfortunately, if a trade is interrupted mid-transaction, your item can be lost. There are two popular interrupt scams, but fortunately there are ways for you to protect yourself from both of them.
1) You place your items in the trade window, then suddenly the seller/buyer or an accomplice bombs/destroys the trading post, interrupting the trade. When you check your inventory, you see your item is gone. Then the seller says "oops j/k lolz" and tells you to accept a trade for 1 Glim to bring the item back from limbo (if you accept this second trade, your item WILL be gone for good).
2) As your dragging your items to the trade window, the seller quickly moves out of range of the trading post. If they time it just right, the window will close and your item will fall on the ground, where the scammer is waiting to pick it up (warning: this scam works even at the secure trading post in the hub).
How to Avoid it:
1) Only trade at the secure trading post in the hub (which can't be bombed/destroyed by scammers). If you're trading somewhere else and the transaction gets interrupted, log out immediately. Your item will return to your inventory when you log back in.
2) NEVER drag items to the trading window; instead right-click to add them (you can control+right click to set a specific quantity. See Safe Trading Procedure below).
What it is: Last Christmas, the devs added snowballs as lootable items in dungeon chests. You could throw them at other players, and the epic snowball fights in the hub were a pretty fun diversion (this was before the days of hourly dragon challenges). Unfortunately, the snowballs looked almost exactly like Pearls of Wisdom, and scammers started trying to pass them off as such during trades.
So many players got scammed by this that the devs had to update the thumbnail for snowballs to make them easier to tell apart. The Dancepad/Discoblock is one of many additional examples of a Lookalike scam.
How to Avoid it: Always hover your mouse over the item in the other player's trade window and carefully read the description BEFORE pressing accept just to be sure (see Safe Trading Procedure below).
- The Old Switcheroo.
What it is: A seller puts the item you want in the trade window, but switches it for a far less valuable item while you are busy/distracted completing the trade.
For example: the seller moves a Shadow Level 4 Ring into the window, then quickly switches it with a Shadow Level 1 while you are preparing your end of the trade. Unless you are paying very close attention, you may not notice the switch has been made.
How to Avoid it: As with the Lookalike Scam, ALWAYS hover your mouse over the item right before hitting accept (see Safe Trading Procedure below).
- Market Manipulation.
What it is: This one is a little trickier. Since Trove is Free to Play, scammers can create alt characters to artificially inflate/deflate the price of items. I have also seen members of a club collude to artificially raise/lower prices, while bragging about it in club chat.
For Example: a new mount comes out in the Chaos Chests. A player who wants a good deal uses his alts to advertise the mount for 50k, then 45k, then 40k, then 32k. At this point a player who actually has the mount for sale lowers his price to 35k, and boom: the scammer has saved himself 15k.
This scam also works in the other direction: if several sellers (all secretly members of the same club) are advertising Eyes at 1:10, another seller (also from the same club) advertising them for 1:7 seems to be offering a good deal. A player can easily be taken in by this if he/she doesn't know the actual selling price of Eyes (1:4-5).
How to Avoid it: Stay educated on the current price of items (see General Guidelines above).
TL;DR - Always use protection.
- Insist on trading in the hub for all major trades (scammers usually focus on higher cost items, so while it might be safe to buy 200 infinium in someone's cornerstone/club world, I can't recommend buying Pentas there).
- Make sure you and the seller/buyer have explicitly agreed on both quantity and payment, then stick to that. If the other party tries to change the terms of the trade, back out.
- If the trading post is crowded, make sure you click on the correct name.
- ALWAYS right-click to move items to the trade window, NEVER drag items (see Interrupt Scam above).
- Once the seller/buyer has moved their items into the trade window, ALWAYS double-check the items by hovering over the icon and carefully reading the description BEFORE hitting accept (see Lookalikes Scam above). Does this take a few extra seconds? Yes. Is it better than losing your hard-earned flux/items? ABSOLUTELY. Rushing trades is the quickest way to open yourself up to scams.
- It's a nice courtesy to thank the other player once the trade is finished just to confirm that everything went smoothly on your end.
TL;DR - Don't piss people off. You will get /ignored, making it harder for you to trade later.
- NEVER advertise your trades in Global. Instead, join the trade channel by typing "/join trade" (that's what it's there for).
- DON'T SPAM (wait at least half a minute between sending messages to the trade channel; longer if things are moving slowly. NEVER "double message" to try to get more visability, you will just get /ignored, costing you trades in the long run.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE. Use "WTB" for items you want to buy, "WTS" for items you want to sell; include the exact price in flux whenever possible.
- BE CLEAR. For bulk items, include the ratio of ITEMs:FLUX
Example: WTB 1000 Eyes 1:5
(This means you want to buy 1000 Eyes of Q'bthulu for 5 flux each).
This is much clearer (and therefore much more likely to get a response) than "WTB Eyes." It cuts down on negiotiating time too.
- BE CONSIDERATE. Most players prefer getting a private message about the sale first rather than a blind invite (the invite popup can be pretty annoying if they are in the middle of something else like hourly challenges or Shadow Arenas).
- BE DIRECT. Don't negotiate in trade chat. Use "/t PLAYERNAME", "/w PLAYERNAME", or right-click on their name in chat and select "Whisper" to send a private message, which should include the item name, quantity, and price (in flux unless stated otherwise).
- BE PREPARED. Use "/joinme PLAYERNAME" or right-click on their name in chat and select "Invite to Join Me" to invite. Make sure you have the flux/items in your inventory or are near a trading post BEFORE inviting. Some people are patient, some are not. Don't make another player wait for you to get your "shhhhtuff" together.
- BE POLITE. Say "thank you" or "thx" if you're in a hurry. Seriosly, "/r thx" takes like 2 seconds to type. Be someone people will want to trade with again.
Feedback? Suggestions? Something Missing? Updates Needed? Leave them in the comments below.
Thanks, and happy trading!
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