PSA - Do not buy second hand Steemmonsters packs

in #steemmonsters2 years ago (edited)

I've been thinking a while how to handle this. I only stumbled over it because @louis88 played around with his debugging console in the browser.
Maybe we're just slow and everybody else knows, as @aggroed said it'd be public knowledge. Then I wonder why in the same sentence he told me a website giving a preview was taken down, giving an advantage to people who know where to look for the information.

Long story short: The contents of a booster are not defined at the moment of opening the booster, as I expected before. What's inside is decided at the moment you buy it. And yes, you can view the contents of a booster before opening it.

So if you buy a booster from a 3rd party, be it Alpha or Beta, you should expect the seller to know exactly what they're selling to you.
In fact, I wrote a small script which can help anyone to sort out the less valuable packs. It's as simple as pasting it to a plugin like Greasemonkey. It'll check the next booster pack you'd open (or "gift") and you'll get an info about its current value. It even moves it to a second account if it's worth less than the defined threshold, or tells you that it's worth to open.

let threshold = 2.05;

var getJSON = function(url, callback) {
    var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();'GET', url, true);
    xhr.responseType = 'json';
    xhr.onload = function() {
      var status = xhr.status;
      if (status === 200) {
        callback(null, xhr.response);
      } else {
        callback(status, xhr.response);

function(err, data) {
  if (err !== null) {
    alert('Something went wrong: ' + err);
  } else {
    let pack_id = data.packs[0].uid;
    let pack_price = 0;
      function(err, data) {
        for (let c = 0; c < 5; c++) {
          let card_id =[c].card_detail_id;
          let is_gold =[c].gold;
            function(err,data) {
              for(let i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
                if(data[i].edition == 1) {
                  if(data[i].gold == is_gold) {
                    if(data[i].card_detail_id == card_id) {
                      pack_price += data[i].low_price*100;
                      if(c == 4) {
                        let value = pack_price/100;
                        if(value < threshold) {
                          let obj = { to: '<trashaccount>, qty: 1, edition: 1 };
                            function(err, result) {
                          alert('Pack with ID '+pack_id+' and a value of '+value+'$ moved to sales account');
                        } else {
                          alert('Pack with ID '+pack_id+' and a value of '+value+'$ can be opened now');

It's a very basic tool, it'd be easy to group lower value packs to send them away all at once, or to open the worthy ones automatically.
There are a few people I suspect to actively abuse this matter, so I felt compelled to share this information.

If you want to buy booster packs, be safe and buy them from the original sources. Buying cheap from others will probably lead to disappointments, as they may keep the valuable cards for themselves.


My hands are clean 😄

I actually did a giveaway about 4 months ago with a single booster containing a Alpha Gold Frost Giant.

Back then people were checking all the time it was a bad culture.

It was such a great day when @neddykelly opened that pack.

Long live authenticity and generosity!

#contestkings #mallsballers #steemedhams

Thanks for pointing this out, this was an unintended consequence for a change to how packs were opened. It has since been fixed so that you can no longer look at the contents of the pack without opening it.

Sorry, I feel like I have to miss something, or is there really no proof of ownership on-chain for cards from boosters, with only a hash for the packs and sales confirmed by @steemmonsters as the accepted authority? I only find data from your API, not on the blockchain about the contents of a pack we just bought to test with. Has it always been that way?

You're correct. Initially we published the pack generation algorithm, which is based on the data from the block that includes the purchase transaction, so anyone could verify the ownership of all cards, on-chain. We ended up unpublishing that (and changing it slightly) due to the issue of people "peeking" at packs and then reselling them.

An alternative is to generate the cards in packs at the time they are opened instead of when they are purchased, but that provides a poor user experience opening packs as you would have to wait for the tx to be published on the chain for every pack that you open. I know it only takes around 3 seconds but if you want to open 20 packs that sucks, so we are prioritizing user experience here.

Overall my goal is to have an open source version of the steem monsters "node" software that anyone can run an independently track and verify the state of the entire game. It is something that is very important to me personally, but I also understand that our primary focus has to be on ensuring the growth and success of the project first and foremost. I would prefer to ensure we have a successful product and then focus on decentralizing it rather than focus on the decentralization now and have it potentially fail.

We are in the process of trying to raise some additional funding which will allow us to be able to hire some people full time and spend more time on these things, and i very much hope that we are able to do that.

The opening call can happen over your api, that's fast enough for user experience, and already happening. You just need to publish the are a trusted authority right now, and if you disappear no new boosters should be opened anyway ;-)

The history entry of the opening contains a block number, I would've expected to find the contents of the pack published there (or in one of the following at least). But no custom_js transaction confirming ownership is so weird. The only way to take real ownership of a card is by buying it now.
That stands in clear contrast to the presentation on the website which says "every collectible card is a unique token that is owned by YOU". You or the licensed partners do not issue tokens (owned by us) for the cards before they're sold.

I have 500 alpha packs and have no idea what's inside them. I bought them as investment in case the overall price and demand for alpha monsters grows. Does this mean I can look inside my packs and see if I have a shiny golden legendary monster worth a lot?

Can I have pack 154 please :P

Yeah this is shitty news for those speculating. The hope is that all the cards go up in value. Maybe you should open some and start playing?

Lol as we spoke earlier, maybe I´ll just go full force into SM and buy a lot more and get strong and win tournaments... if i had the time :(

Also niet, pack 154 is already reserved, its got a shiny legendary card inside ;)

Yes, and you'll know exactly which pack it's in.

Sucks though, the whole point of me buying the packs was to sell them in the future, but this whole premise makes my packs "un-buyable". I guess I'll open them and sell them by pieces :(

Its a real bummer for honest people...

Hey! well, it´s something that comes with the speculation you get into when buuying something new, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn´t.

Sooooo true...😉

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There are people whom I trust on this platform when they gift packs and such. If I had a pack, I would not know what to do to view its contents. And then if someone gets only regs and rares, they would complain us honest people were ripping them off. There has got to be a way to remove this so that no one see the contents of a pack. Mystery for everyone! But don't worry, Karen, I trust you :)

I agree, and trust you too, although I have never sold packs and don't plan on ever doing so, plus I have never bought packs from people only from Steemmonsters . Why can't people just be honest!?!?🙄

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IKR. I've only gotten packs from winning things, contests and such. It's a shame that this exists, a way to see what's in the pack before it's opened. That should be removed if possible. Then it takes away that ability for those who would otherwise abuse the good nature of most people on this platform. And if not, then we just have to trust those whom we trust and if we buy second hand packs from people we don't know, then to be aware that we might only get regular and rare cards. But sometimes, regular cards are good too.

I totally agree , it really is a shame that now it's also going to be hard to trust people putting on contests and giving packs as rewards . While they make money on the upvotes from their post and gain followers etc all the while knowing the packs are not that great. I just really despise dishonest people.Hopefully they find a way to stop this from happening. See you on the battlefield!👍👍👍😉

Posted using Partiko Android

That sucks. :/

Good luck with that, I hope you have many gold, or legendary.

Corssing my fingers about that one man, good to hear from you :D

I know of a few people that have told me that they can "peak" inside the packs for months now. I never looked into it any further or did it myself but the way they made it sound you could see the exact cards in there. And that was from day 1 of public trading of the cards. Shortly after that was about the time I started to move away from steem monsters. I let a friend borrow my entire deck and she has been playing it for about a month or a month and a half now.

Also on a side note, yours are not un-buyable. I think it goes on a case by case basis on how much the seller is trusted. I do not think anyone would have a problem buying from you as you are probably one of the most trusted members on steemit.

You can open them and sell individual Monsters on Monster deck, If you a long time investor i think this would be more profitable than selling card packs because of the chances of getting a rare or better card which can be worth something more than the price of a card pack.

Buying packs is a bit profitable to buyers than sellers - unless the peeking thing :)

Posted using Partiko iOS

Sorry about that anomadsoul

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You bring up some great points here. On another similar vein of thought - if they ever do airdrops... the benefit will go to the person who originally bought the pack, not who opened it.

Licensed sellers like peakmonster are okay - but gifts and other third party sellers will only benefit the original purchaser, not the person who opened the pack.

Yeah thanks for pointing that out, I appreciate it.

In fact when you buy from you're literally buying directly from @steemmonsters account... we just helped facilitate the purchase from them. The money goes directly to steemmonsters and everything.

Oh, wow!

There are a few people I suspect to actively abuse this matter, so I felt compelled to share this information.

If there is a gap for abuse, you can bet it's being filled. Luckily, I've not purchased packs from anywhere other than the main site.

Thanks for the info, shared!

THANKS, for this valuable information! it is something that I heard about a long time ago but thought it was taken care of. I will not be buying packs from anyone anytime soon! upped and resteemed to help spread the word!👍💁

interesting that people are still not aware of that. It was the same from the old days. In fact, I had monster explorer showing the pack contents.

Maybe I should bring it back to life, so people actually see what's inside the packs before buying it cheap. :)

Hmm I think everyone should have the same resources and informations about the game. Right now there is a few knowing and able to check as well as a few people out there that have written a working bot but keeping it secret which gives them a head start in both ways.
Therefore I would open up those things so that everyone has the same possibilities. Right now only a few are having all Infos and the rest is trailing behind in a lot of things.
This is creating an atmosphere of trickery and bad feelings that for sure is not healthy for Sternmonster in general
Just my 2cents

Bringing it back would be amazing! Let me know if you do man


From what i understood from previous posts about this matter (they were from a couple months ago, i would have to search for them if theres anything else to find out or remember), we are able to even check the cards contained on the booster pack in the Tx itself, this is only part of how the blockchain tech works, as it is transparent and auditable, it's just the people that put their time and energy to cheat the system and its users in some way, just to get money.

Just like those guys who made multiple accounts and where everywhere begging for cards and starter packs, just to start selling them for half the price once the last update kicked in.

In my opinion, we are responsible for fixing this problem, we should find, report, and isolate the users that incur in these practices.

Technically it would be possible to define the contents at opening, but it would require a lot more transactions for people who buy many packs. Due to RC limitations it's an understandable design decision to do it this way.

In my opinion, we are responsible for fixing this problem, we should find, report, and isolate the users that incur in these practices.

Awesome thought!

__________On a different vein, but similar in part as it relates to 2nd hand packs ____________

Another reason NOT to buy 2nd hand packs (beta more so than alpha) is their actual value is about 50c, yet people try to sell them for 3x that...

Let me explain -
When you buy a beta booster for $2 from Steem Monsters, you aren't just paying for the cards inside, you are paying for:

  1. cards inside (50c)
  2. pay for the developers - they have risked a lot and worked very very hard to bring us the game, they deserve some pay (50c)
  3. Future development requirements (50c)
  4. SM tournament prizemoney (50c)

These numbers are of course approximate, but too many people are selfish and only think of themselves and not the bigger picture and greater community, comparing a $1.60 purchase of a 2nd hand beta booster as a 'bargain' when compared to the $2 SM price.

But none of the $1.60 is going to points 2, 3, and 4 above - all of it just goes to the 2nd hand seller. I've never understood why SM would allow such a thing from happening through their sites... it can't be policed off-site but why allow yourself to effectively get 'robbed' under your own nose.

Anyways, buy boosters from SM or peakmonsters and support the game, the developers, and the community. Buying from 2nd hand sellers allows them to profit easily from pack farming.

Peace all.

This will be a reminder, that it is better or try your luck buying steem monster packs, or go to the market and know what you want to buy, and that you probably buy the most expensive commons for trying to get an offer, and that possibly is 1.50$ (value pack) / 5 card= 0.30 $ eachs common [this could only be possible if you use a third party, when buying a cheap pack]
being able to go directly to the market and encourage the economy of the game:
1.50$ / 0.09 $ = 16 commons

This does not take into account finding very high value cards. I pulled a gold dragon worth $174 out of a pack yesterday.

wow. danke für die Information. Krass. Ich hatte schon öfter überlegt mir solche packs zu kaufen.... jetzt ist klar, warum die teilweise für 1$ verkauft werden

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gut zu wissen, daran werde ich in Zukunft denken, wenn ich mir BoosterPacks kaufen wollte.

Gefällt mir gar nicht

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I knew the contents were decided at point of purchase but like you I thought the Steemmonsters team had prevented people from viewing the information. I suppose I should have realised you can't really hide the information and also that the greedy selfish people would take advantage of the situation at the expense of others as they usually do. I've been tempted a few times when I've seen packs being offered for sale at $1.50 or less but thankfully I've only ever bought packs direct from Steemmonsters and will continue to do so. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted using Partiko iOS

WOW, @pharesim Now That I Know This I Would NEVER Buy from Anyone That Saved ALPHA Packs Thinking they Would Be More Valuable as Unopened in the future.........This Sucks for People who thought They were Investing in unopened packs Thinking they would be more Valuable......Some People are going to Ruin Their Reputation if They do Sell in SteemMonsters and Then Sell Unopened Packs to the unknowing public in the Future

When they took down that site i wondered if anyone had maintained that information on how to unlock the data of a pack. I guess we know now. haha

Krass. Danke für den wichtigen Hinweis.

Es gibt außerdem noch den Grund des angekündigten Airdrops. Hier wissen wir aber noch nicht genau was kommt, daher ist das stark spekulativ. Es kann sein, das Spieler nachträglich für das Kaufen von Booster Packs belohnt werden und wer nicht im offiziellen Store gekauft hat, gibt dann seine Sales an den Zwischenhändler weiter.

Edit: Ah, man sollte erst die Kommentare lesen und dann schreiben.

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Each time again I am surprised and amazed what people are able to figure out and do

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Each time again I am surprised and amazed what people are able to figure out and do

Posted using Partiko Android

Each time again I am surprised and amazed what people are able to figure out and do

Posted using Partiko Android

You really can’t keep a hackerman in the dark for too long they’re like girlfriends after you dating a couple of years and you come home and you find them ransacking your room looking for the engagement ring she thinks you bought when it was just a set of earphones

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ha. I had an ex come into my work place to dump her stuff, including a nice ring I'd bought her.

Five minutes later she came back in for the ring 😂

LOL that’s one way to let the ladies know you’re single and available at the next office party! I think as long as they don’t set anything alight you pretty much got the better outcome! Some of us aren’t that lucky

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haha true :)

Yeah this one wasn't a flamer, others have gotten the scissors out though. Some fine selections I've made!

Oh wow, one would intuitivly think it impossible to determine the content of a pack by any other means than opening it. Sounds like a problem that should be corrected by the developers...

Wow. This is a fun fact. First I never knew people were selling third party packs.... and now I learn I can see the packs before opening?! Interesting stuff! Happy New Year @pharesim!

Posted using Partiko iOS

That is concerting I had thought this was resolved a while ago. The downside of the blockchain I guess everything is public if you know how to read it.

So what kind of fix can they do for something like this? This seems to be another blow for people wanting to mass buy at this time.

Glad I don’t buy many packs and when I do its only from the SM website. Makes you wonder now when people want to give a booster away in a contest if they have already taken a look and know they will get more upvotes then the pack is worth.

I wouldn't think this is common knowledge so thanks for sharing, but maybe I'm just out of the Steem Monster loop.

You got a 56.32% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @pharesim!

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Thank you for posting this I was thinking about buying some after market alpha packs but no way I can do it now really without worrying about a scam like this. Not even sure it is a full scam but who would sell a pack with a gold legendary in it if there are ways to see that not I so I know not many.

I know that my question may seem trivial but I do not know much about computer science. Where should the code be located?Thanks

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What's the way to check booster packs like that? I have no idea what commands I'd have to put in to see what's inside a pack. It all sounds like chinese to me. HOW do we view what's inside? I don't understand ANY of those codes.

Wow! I was not aware that the cards can be seen without having to open the pack... Such a disappointing implementation! What if the official site is doing a sortering of the packs?

Each time again I am surprised and amazed what people are able to figure out and do

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