Inf Transfer

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Overview

Inf Transfer refers to the process where a player moves inf from one of his or her characters to another. In the current implementation of the game, this process is very easy: a player simply uses the Mail System to send a global email to his or herself with the inf attached to it. This is the safest method of transferring inf to one's own characters. Some specifics with regard to inf transfer using this method:

  • The maximum amount that can be transferred in a single email is 2 billion inf.
  • A maximum of 20 global mails can be in a mailbox at any one time.
  • Global mail sent to oneself will be kept for a maximum of 60 days, after which it will be deleted.

Prior to the introduction of global emailing and email attachments in Issue 17, players had to rely on less reliable methods to perform inf transfers among their characters. The rest of this article details these methods. However, players are strongly cautioned to avoid these methods in the current implementation of the game.

Historical Methods

Badge time.png This section contains information that has been superseded by changes in City of Heroes Freedom. It is provided for historical purposes.

Warning. There currently appears to be a bug with the Auction House and certain items, particularly certain DOs. The bug has the CH reporting exactly one item for sale, if there are any items for sale, no matter how many are actually for sale. This make the "Number for Sale" check below invalid, and transfers using these items quite unsafe in general.

Basics

The basic idea for an influence/infamy (Inf) transfer is to have a poor character on one server offer for sale a cheap item, and then have a rich character on the same or different sever purchase the item for a large amount of Inf, effectively transferring the Inf to the poor character.

Warning: This is not an intended use of the consignment houses

Lighthouse, a Community Relations Manager at NCsoft (a redname) posted this message in the official forums:

We wanted to make people aware that using the Consignment Markets as a means to transfer influence or infamy between characters is not an intended use. If you attempt to do such a transfer and someone else buys your item, or the item is sold to someone else, please know that this is an issue our Customer Support Team will not assist you with. Our apologies, but the Consignment Markets are designed to enable the games economy, not to make transfers between characters. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

The original message is a sticky in the Market section of the forums.

Short list of steps for safe transfers

  1. Select transfer item
  2. Make sure there are none of that item for sale
  3. Make sure the transaction history includes some sales prior to the current date
  4. Use the recipient to put the item up for sale for a low price
  5. Log into the donor
  6. If there is any number other than one of that item for sale now *or* the transaction history has additional entries, abort
  7. Otherwise place your bid in confidence

Detailed Reasonings

Transfer Item

Selection of a transfer item is important. Ideally you want as a transfer item something that is rarer, and thus less likely to interact with anyone else's sales/transfers. The easiest selection is off-level low interest TOs and especially DOs. To avoid hazards (see below) you also want an item that is 1) not currently for sale at the Auction House, and 2) has not been sold more than four times during the current date. Selecting an item that meets these two criteria will allow the player to have the information that they need to safely conduct the transfer.

Hazards

Given how the consignment houses function, the above basic transfer method is subject to a couple of different versions of interception, where a different character than the intended recipient ends up receiving the transfer. Both involve the interceptor happening to be at the auction house during the time it takes to swap over from one toon to the other to complete the transfer. This may seem like a small chance of occurrence, except that there are likely to be people specifically waiting around the consignment houses specifically to try to make these intercepts in order to make a bunch of Inf for little effort.

Buy/resell interception

This interception type involves the interceptor seeing the odd, low level item placed up for auction, buying it himself, and immediately relisting it in order to be the one to receive the transfer. This scheme relies on the fact that items can be bought for much larger amounts than they are actually listed for. For example, player A wants to transfer 10 million Inf from character A2 to character A1. Character A1 only has 10,000 Inf on hand. Because of the 10% listing fee, the most A1 can list the item for is 100,000 Inf. The player wants to transfer much more than that, and so goes ahead and doesn't bother listing it for even that much, instead listing it for a relatively small amount, say 100 Inf. He intends to then swap over to A2 and go ahead and buy it for 10 million Inf. But while he is changing characters, player B purchases the cheap item and immediately relists it. A2 gets logged in, and goes to purchase the item. But since he cannot see who he is purchasing from, he ends up sending his 10 mil to player B instead of character A1.

Same item interception

This interception type is based on the Interceptor seeing the transfer being listed, and happening to have a copy of the same item already in their inventory. While there are a huge number of potential transfer items, it is still a finite list. And some types of items are much more likely to be in the hands of random Inf-poor alts. Low level TOs of various types, for instance. The interceptor watches the consignment listings, watching for a listing that happens to match an item he already has. The moment he sees such a listing pop up, he immediately lists his own copy for sale at a minimum price. The low offers sell first, so when the transferring player logs back in with his rich alt and goes to buy the item, it will most likely be the interceptor's version that gets sold, not the transferer's poor alt's version.

Avoiding interception

The consignment houses provide the necessary tools to avoid interception. Basically, by watching a couple of the details that the system provides about the auctions, it is possible to detect whether either of the above interception methods are being attempted. If an interception attempt is detected, the player can either halt the transfer altogether, or start from scratch with a different object as the sale item.

Detecting Buy/sell interception attempts

When placing the transfer item up for bid, take note of the sales history of the type of item. After swapping to the high level character, again check the history. If the history has changed since the item was placed for bid, then the transfer should be considered unsafe and aborted. The above criteria that the item not have sold more than nine times on the current date allows the use of the given date time stamps to make 100% certain that noone has manipulated the sales history.

Detecting same item interception attempts

Ideally the transfer is being done with an item that is not currently for sale by anyone else. So once the player is swapped over to their high level, check the number of auctions active for the item. If more than one of the item is now for sale, the transfer should be considered unsafe and aborted.

Protective Purchase Method

This is an alternative transfer method that gives an extra measure of protection, and is not subject to the bug warned about at the top of the page.

  1. Select item to sell. Does not have to be zero for sale in the market, and in fact extra items of the same type in the market will help hide the intended transfer from potential intercepters until it is too late for them to act.
  2. Record the item's recent bid history.
  3. Place the item up for bid at an odd price. Likely 3 digits or low 4 digits, but not a round number of any sort. Remember the price.
  4. Swap to the rich character.
  5. Validate the sales history to assure that noone else has purchased the transfer item to relist.
  6. Begin to place bids for one inf less than the price of the transfer item. If you buy any, keep biding at the same price. You want to clear out any items of a lower price than your transfer item.
  7. When a bid finally does not buy an item, leave that bid active as an extra protection against any last second low-price sales listings of the item.
  8. Now place your transfer bid. It should buy the transfer item, which is now the lowest priced copy of the item availible for sale.
  9. Relog over to the no-longer poor toon and collect your inf.