Monday, April 8, 2013

Bart, Sapu, You Win This Round

Ok, back on track.  If I'm not roasting the gold bleggars I'm roasting Blizz.  I'm pretty sure most of the readers believe I do nothing but complain about things I don't like.  Well you would be right.  I'm not writing this to gain a huge audience, a large readership was never what I wanted.  See my Bio - dedicated to everyone that cares.  Not those bored enough and looking for something to read.  Like people keep telling me about the donation sites - if you don't like them, don't read them.  Well, I don't.  Except to find material.  Do stuff with a purpose, I say.

Also, yes, I am that grumpy old dude.  Oh, hi there, Clint.

So what should we talk about today?  How about a history lesson/opinion?  I'm thinking I should first explain the poll that was up the past week - what was the best Auction House addon of all time?  With nearly 2000 visitors during that week, all 25 or so of you voted.  I'll take that as a good sample.

Of course TSM was going to win.  I'd wager most people working the Auction House today never even used Auctioneer, and I'm betting many have never even heard of it.

The backstory:  I was in IRC, as I usually am in the evenings and Bart39 popped in again.  For those of you that don't know him, he's Sapu's counterpart on the TSM development project.  Lots of things have been implemented purely because of him, so everyone owes him a big hug and kiss.  He's always there but usually AFK sleeping.  Not sure if he ever eats or anything.  I digress here, but one thing led to another, and I only remember saying something like "We'll see about that".

My personal favorite Auction House addon is actually Auctioneer by Norganna.  TSM is great, but this was the first real addon for the AH which replaced the stock UI entirely, which Blizzard spent an alcohol fueled weekend making and about 20 minutes updating since Vanilla Beta.  It also allowed mass posting, undercutting, snatching, and some other toys that TSM still doesn't offer (although Sapu assures me 2.0 will have them).  The worst part of the addon - it is far too cumbersome for the layman to set up.  You needed to know what you were doing in order to squeeze the power out of the addon.  This happens to also be the best part of the addon.  Essentially, talking monkeys need not apply.  If you implemented the full suite, you could make an unstoppable gold making machine.  For years this addon served me really well.  I was even an early donor on the project, since good coding is definitely worth rewarding.

The problem came for me during Wrath when they implemented those stupid glyphs.  I still call them stupid, I dislike this market with a passion.  The only way you could cancel your auctions that were undercut was to run through with a macro one-by-one, or cancel them all in one shot and repost.  Talk about cumbersome.  That's when I started looking around, and Shadowed put together the first real tool for mass posting and mass cancels - Quick Auctions.  Those of you around at the time in early Wrath who adopted this early on quickly saw the power of this with glyphs and gems.  Not only that, but gold making from Vanilla through early Wrath was a relative odd-hobby, only a very small playerbase really engaged in it except a few tycoons and they were getting almost all of their information off sites like JMTC.  Today it's a pretty common thing to do, since people are looking to buy things from guilds, the BMAH, or generally improve their character.  But back then, it was practically carte blanche.

I never really abandoned Auctioneer, it's always been in my list of addons to use.  Whenever TSM requires a new group, or I have to make an exception to some floor price (BOE epics come to mind), I hit the Appraiser button and manually undercut by 1 copper.  Further, nothing beats it's ability for buying in mass quantities.  Hey, didn't think you'd read anything useful in this post?  Well there it is.  Fogies like me and Z-Man still use the thing.  (In fact, Sapu asked me to check something in it a few weeks back, call me honored to help out)

Up until Boub at MMOC really made the utility of QA mainstream by actually talking about how auctioneers everywhere were cashing in on the general public, it was pretty much a hidden addon except within the gold community.  Further, the addon was so easy to setup that anyone could do it.  It wasn't like Auctioneer, which required weeks of scans before you could get appropriate pricing data.  You just followed the herd and posted at whatever someone's addon was setup at, poorly or otherwise.

Unfortunately Shadowed abandoned the project before Cataclysm, and fortunate for the general public Sapu and Co. picked it up and improved on it to what you have today.  Today you have automatic price scans from API downloads, automatic queuing, and so many toys that are really QOL improvements.  The downside here is that it doesn't necessarily make a person adept at philosophy, economics, or techniques, but it definitely makes it faster to get business done.

I think it's worth mentioning, but it's amusing that TSM has become nearly as complex as Auctioneer in terms of what you can modify within it.  I say nearly, because you guys still have a little ways to go to make it as complex.  Just to let you know, Sapu has said to me several times that he's not interested in making money off the addon, and he derives extreme pleasure in making it the best possible addon.   Let's call it his legacy, I would call it a line on a resume.  Give him some props here for being a super guy for donating so much of his time to make the Auction House something anyone can make a fortune at.

Also, you two may have won this round...  where's 2.0?  Hrm?

Why write something like this?  Wait for it, I've got an article in the works.

Margin Call - Week of March 31, 2013

Here's a lesson for you for later, it's a bit late to have learned it now, but goes in line with my logic for keeping Sha's in stock.  The vast majority of players in WoW today are not raiding with an organized guild, they are opting to do LFR.  LFR has the big benefit of not having to deal with scheduled times, performing to the requirements of the guild, being awake during encounters, and rewards practically free loot.  LFR's downside, at least here on the US servers, is having the fun of pantomiming instructions in game to those that cannot speak the language.  "Don't dps the boss, kill adds".  "No speak engish".  Regardless, it's not really raiding, but offers free gear and rep for the unwashed masses that you'll never see again, hopefully.  Amirite?

The other big benefit is knowing what drops in the various wings - specifically weapon upgrades.  Because I was bored, I decided to break out my Boy Scout uniform and go on a camping trip on Tuesday just to push the envelope.  First time since patch release 4.2 that I've actually done that.  I threw down just over 400k in sales, with margins in the 50% range.  If I only had more stock, I would have made more.  Yes, I blew through a week's stockpile of high end enchants in one night, and ran out before the end of the night.  I figured the demand would be high (per my MC last week), but every last crystal high?  I learned something important - I still hate camping.

The rest of my week was spent playing Diablo 3.  So how did I compare?

It's also nice at this point to have virtually every crafted pvp item in the game... except Blacksmithing.  I've got every epic craft now, and duplicates of most other recipes.  So I got really lucky with tailoring, but Blacksmith paid me back.  Hmph.

Thanks for stopping in!


  1. I remember when the QA guy gave it up, and two others took the code and ran with it. They were called ZeroAuctions and AuctionProfitMaster. ZA faded away and APM of course became TSM.

    I also can't forget that QA plugin with the bot-like behaviour! I'm glad that didn't last long after Marcko and Basil Bernstein exposed it.

    1. Yep, for a few months there after Cata's release it was mass hysteria as people couldn't get QA to work, too. Was sort of funny reading that people hadn't been able to post for weeks because they never looked around.

  2. Never noticed the polls before - fingers crossed you'll get 25 votes next time!

    I'm always interested to hear about the profits that gold bloggers tend to make - would you say that it is mostly due to volume of postings and product choice or a lack of competition?

    For example, I get around 1k profit on Dancing Steel, glyphs are horrendous, gems are probably 5-100ish profit.


    1. I'd say my profits are due to timing, timing, and timing. Sha Weapon enchants last Tuesday were earning about 100%-200% ROI, which would be between 3k and 6k per. Gems are decently priced (magically) the same days as enchants. Other days of the week I completely ignore these markets and work other ones. I see no reason to sell my stock at market lows, ever.

      This goes back to my stockpiling and spreadsheet discussion, where I talk about buying materials that you will need, regardless if you need them immediately, and they are at a price that returns a projected profit. Addons are great, but pencil and paper and being able to time your entry and retreats make you more gold with less effort.

      As for competition, I work the largest US AH in the game. Competition is extremely fierce everyday of the week. Like any carnivore at the top of the food chain, you have to work it with strategy, and not do the mindless drone thing and post because that's what people tell you to do.

  3. I recently quit playing so I missed the poll, but my vote would definitely have gone to QA/ZA I remember when ZA finally stopped working. My solution was to bribe my AH competitor that did coding on the side to make mine work. I didn't think he took me seriously but I was like "I'll give you a 100k if you make this unsupported addon keep working for me by tomorrow night" and I logged on the next day to a link to a zip file in my mailbox. with instructions on what he did and how I could do other stuff with it (sadly all that stuffs went way over my head) though it was not until quite a ways into MoP that I finally had to learn TSM. and I still missed things about z/a.

  4. I'm one of those who still uses Auctioneer. A lot of my auctioning is done with TSM but you can't beat snatching up 20-50 stacks of ghost iron ore quickly or posting with the appraiser.


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