Saturday, August 17, 2013

Using TSM 2.0: Basics, Sources, and Problems with AuctionDB

     TradeSkillMaster 2.0 was just released to the public and if you aren't currently using it, you should be because it saves an absolutely absurd amount of time on auctioning. For current users, I have a slightly different take on it than most people on one particular point. In short, it's about time for me to put together a guide for my fans on how to set up auctioning with TradeSkillMaster, and go in depth about something a little closer to the SOURCE of my heart. Get it? Cause sources are the...alright, let's just...

     If no one has ever answered the question "what is TSM?" for you, well in a nutshell, it's a rather complicated program to setup that, once you do so, allows you to queue, craft, and auction everything potentially profitable with (ideally) one button click each. Version 1 was amazing, but they just completely reworked and improved the program, flipping all of us on our heads. One of the biggest additions to TSM 2.0 is Operations. These are interchangeable sets of rules for the groups and subgroups that you set up (categories/groups have been replaced). While we're just going to be concerned with the Auctioning module in this post, operations are used for every module and are the foundation of 2.0. To set up a maximum price point in 1.X, you would type in either "50g" or "150% DBMarket" or "Max(20g, 100% Crafting)". DBMarket and Crafting are called sources and let you determine what system you're going to use to set any given price. To see a list of all available sources that TSM can understand, type into chat "/TSM sources" and you should see a list of things that you can put a XXX% in front of. Note: If you download Auctioneer, TSM_WoWUction, Auctionator, TheundermineJournalGE, or TheUndermineJournalRE, you will unlock additional sources not viewable when you first install TSM 2.0.

TSM Suite

     For starters, let me just say that, if you walk away from reading this post with anything, let it be this: use "tujgemedian" for a majority of your selling, rather than DBMarket. There are caveats and rules to this but it's a good general rule to follow. Alright, so, what do I mean by that? TSM scans your auction house (btw, you can download the TSM app here, so you don't have to scan the AH it manually) and builds a pretty awesome and reliable price average. It's fantastic, but unfortunately, it only relies on your AH's data, which can still be skewed (low seen count, one seller posting the same thing over and over for too much, etc). With TUJ GE, it looks at every realm, every hour, and gives you various averages for data from the past two weeks for worldwide data; this is much more reliable data when you're talking about supply and demand on non-realm specific or time-dependent goods - a majority of what you will be selling. I am a fan of efficiency, and when you're trying to sell something, your post price is trying to mimic demand. The only demand information we have is from supply though: sellers (when demand rears its head, a buyer removes that item from the AH, and that datum goes away). In other words, I use TUJGE because I feel much more comfortable taking aggregated minimum market price and trying to interpret demand based on 1000 sellers, than based on the 3 people on my realm, but that's just me. I do recommend you follow my lead though.

Ok, enough overview and theory for now. Let's get into some guides for people new to TSM!

So, let's say you have some items in your bags that you consider Transmog worthy, and you want to put on the AH. Here's what you should do in ten easy steps:

Update 11/5/2014 With the revamp of TheUndermineJournal, TUJ GE is currently down, for an alternative that works just as well, download the Tradeskill master app, and substitute the following source/tag "Wowuctionregionmedian" where you see the TUJ source"

Auctioning Items: Creating Groups and Operations for Inventory

1) After opening TSM with "/tsm" Click Groups (the crystal tab at the top), and make a new group for whatever is in your bags, then [next slide]
2) "Create Auctioning Operation" for that group.
3) Give the operation a name. This is my "Catch-all Operation" so "Catch All" is a good name. I use Transmog Operation here.
4) Yep, add this to the group you just made. Isn't that a nice feature?
5) I like to ignore short duration auctions; after thirty minutes you'll be the cheapest, so there's no need to undercut those. Also check "ignore operations on characters." You don't want to sell a Haunted Steel Headguard on your main by accident before you equip it, just because you forgot to put your Main Toon on your Blacksmith operation ignore list (wow, what a specific example..../sadface).
6) Click on the Post tab. Change duration to whatever is comfortable. I've never found a situation where "stack size as cap" isn't useful; always check that. Keep undercut by 1c, (unless you're dealing with high priced items, then do 1s, no more).  Minimum price: 50% TUJGEMEDIAN, Normal price: 120% TUJGEMEDIAN, Maximum Price: 200% TUJGEMEDIAN, Post at Normal Price. 
7) Click back on Groups->[the group you made]-Items. What you see is everything in your bags that isn't in a group so far. Click on everything you want in the group and hit add.
8) Click Module Operations/Options (3rd tab up top)->Auctioning, and the big button at the bottom. Make sure you don't have anything bound to Ctrl+mouse up/down, and that you have two free macro slots. 
9) Go to the Auction House, click on the Auctioning tab, and click "Start Post Scan." [If errors came up, 1. you haven't downloaded the data from TUJGE for your realm. TUJ updates realms for manual download more often than they do for the curse download. 2.) it's a craftable that you either don't know how to make or is crafted from something soulbound like spirits of harmony that doesn't have a price on TUJ, 3.) it's something like a caged battle pet that can't be seen by TUJ, for this, you need to scroll down to the rest of the guide, geez, keep your shorts on!]
10) Press ctrl+scroll, and you should be good to go.  

Now that we've done that, let's set up your professions.

Auctioning Items: Creating Groups and Operations for Professions

1) Open the profession, go ahead and click yes. This will create a Profession group, a subgroup for that specific profession, and furthur subgroups for Crafts and Materials, with all crafts for that profession in crafts and all materials used in that profession under materials. 
2) You're done here. Open the main interface with /tsm.
3) Go to groups, click on professions, and assign your TSM Catch All group, whatever you named it.
...annnd, wait, that's it?

     Yep! That's actually it...well, almost. But, that's how powerful TradeSkillMaster is; set it up once and you just swap in the operations. But, with professions, the whole goal is to click the restock button to queue up profitable crafts, and here is where TheUndermineJournalGE falls short. Take Alchemy, for example. If I want to see if my Transmute: Eternal Earth to Air is profitable today, I don't care at all about global market prices. I want to know how cheaply I can buy Earth for on my realm's AH. The moral? When you're dealing with Crafting operations, as opposed to Auctioning operations, use realm specific Sources like "AucMinBuyout," "DBMinBuyout," "WoWUctionMarket," or "matPrice."  I recommend the following price catch all pricing method for crafting: "min(100g, 120% DBMinBuyout, 120% matprice, 120% tujgemedian)" Feel free to adjust the numbers lowers or higher to your needs. Lowering it to "min(10g, 100% DBMinBuyout, 100% matprice, 100% tujgemedian)" Once you do this, open up your crafting profession again and click the "restock selected groups. For this step, it's really important to play around with it on each profession, and get comfortable with the sources. Do a little research. What you choose to craft is going to play a huge role on your profitability, and since you're automating the threshold of what you're crafting, it makes it that much more important to get it right the first time.

     As a final thought, it may sound silly, but I'm a big fan of deleting all your groups and operations every six months or a year and starting fresh. You really learn a lot about how you function and what you really want out of your program, and end up with a lot more efficient grouping when you redo everything.

Hope this was useful to everyone in getting up and running. If you haven't downloaded it yet, stop procrastinating and do it now. TSM 2 is amazing! You can follow me on Twitter here, YouTube here, and Facebook here. Until next time remember that the best way to make gold in WoW is to 

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.


  1. After creating the auto-generated groups for professions, why would you not further create subgroups of the crafts that you actually want to craft? I have found that just blanket crafting is not a very good idea, as a lot of old crafts can be very volatile or have extremely low demand. This just seems like a bad practice, and especially a bad practice to teach to new gold makers, as this post is designed for.

    Secondly, on the pricing formulas for the crafting operations, where are you applying those formulas you are giving? As where those formulas are being used can have some serious consequences that can lead to bad decisions, again especially by new gold makers as they overly trust addons/bloggers. My reasoning behind this is that, if those formulas are placed in the "min profit" section they will hardly ever return any thing to craft at all, as it would be trying to gain more profit than is possible. This is happening becuase the max of those prices sources will be added to the crafting cost, and since the max of those sources is likely higher than the item can possibly be sold for they will never be queued to craft. Alternatively, if it is for the "Craft Price Method" then it is still not a good idea because it will be overvaluing the amount of profit one may get from crafting an item, thus turning unprofitable crafts into profitable crafts.

    Lastly, the auctioning operation you setup for the transmog, why would you not include some hard stops for double checking that you never accidently sell at a loss, ie. max(50% TUJmedian, avgbuy), where avgbuy will stop the operation from dropping below what you paid for the items even if for some reason the TUJmedian price starts to fall. Putting these sort of checks in place will greatly decrease your possible chance of accidently selling an item at a loss, which is never a good thing and should only be done as a last resort simply to get rid of the item, and recoup your costs.

    Some good information though,
    The Drunken Mogul

    1. All excellent points, TDM. Yes, I highly recommend that new people create subgroups for their professions. However, since each profession is different, and each realm's profitability is different, I didn't want to recommend a specific group setup. This works for an initial setup. They can see what it does and work from there. I will be writing a follow up.

      For #2 I think you're absolutely right and that this is actually a mistranslation from my actual account to the test account. Jeez, good catch. I'm away from my comp but will be fixing this asap.

      Last, this post is for new people and while this is a great recommendation, it is not something you can apply universally (avgbuy=n/a if its not purchasable) and this operation is a catch all. Also, I tend to get wordy, as you may have noticed, so I try to limit my topics. Thank you for the feedback though. Much appreciated.

  2. Thanks Raset for saving my life. :)

  3. I personally believe, TSM 2.0 goes beyond the scope of game play and for gold making in general, how is it that I go from 0 - to gold cap on two toons and have now a complete nightmarish hell with TSM 2.0 - blanket posting, warehousing blows, operations/rules or whatever you want to call it, groups/subgroups - seriously - this just destroyed gold making for beginners, intermediate users who have time to login a few hours on a couple of days...

    At least TSM 1 was more user friendly and less stupid proof...I'm completely disappointed with this version, had I been on the PTR, would have blasted this from the beginning...

    Mark me words, this addon in this form will crash - for me, back to Auctioneer/Auctionator/Skillet - simple scans, simple auctioning and simple sales.

    1. You are right that it is a very complex program beyond the scope of many players, but I will disagree with you when you say "gold making in general." The part of the game that is devoted to gold making has become increasing complex as multiple expansions have been released, and this addon is does a great job of wrapping it up into a singular unit, in my opinion, once you use it for a week or two and get used to it (it is VERY awkward the first couple days). If you spend more than an hour a day looking at Auctioneer or Auctionator though, some part of TSM can save you time.

      I will mark down your words though, but to whom should I attribute the quote?

  4. I'd like to keep this one short, but I feel like it's gonna stretch out a bit. Anyway, I'd really like your help on this one since I got myself entangled in a few problems.
    It's about setting prices on JC market with TSM2. I'm buying GIO at 55g/stack and I've been trying to find out what's the final value of my raw gems (either rare/unc or rare/ench mats that I get from DEing). Second is trying to find ideal Operation to go with it.
    Now I have a problem with your advice up there in post. Using tujge/dbmarket/dbmin/wowuction data is highly unreliable in such fast moving market so that's why I've decided to set custom gem prices in the first place. So let's presume I have nailed the custom prices correctly.

    Now, what should I set as my Craft price method? Using just "matprice" atm.
    Also, what should I set as my Threshold? Is 110% crafting + Xg profit fine?
    Last one, which source should I use to determine Craft price (that's end product price if I'm not mistaken - in this case Gem)

    1. Succinct questions so I can be quick, I think. :) Sorry it took me a while to get back to you, but I actually don't generally deal with this problem, since I mine my own ore, so I don't care quite as much about the cost of it, even though I should from an opportunity cost standpoint. Anyways-

      1. Final value of raw gems? Best operation?
      I'm a little confused why anything that includes minbuyout doesn't work for a fast moving market, as it includes prices of the current scan. But I think this should answer your question on how to include custom gem pricing
      Rings Proc rate:
      Disenchanting Goldifier

      2. Material/Craft Price Method?
      Default Materials Cost Method I use is

      "min(tujgemedian, dbmarket, crafting, vendorbuy, convert(tujgemedian))"

      and the Default Craft Price Method that I use is

      "min(dbminbuyout, dbmarket, tujgemedian)"

      Yah yah, there's redundancy in there, I know, I know. Hush. It saves me 3 letters. But really, after talking with one of the Dev's they recommended setting up your materials and crafting price methods and not deviating from them. If you use "matPrice" in your operations, it pulls the first string and if you use "Crafting" if would pull the second, but it pulls the second automatically, without an override. You might want to try TUJRE data which is the realm edition of the undermine journal, although wowuction has equivalent data. You probably won't like my materials cost method, so feel free to switch around some of the sources in there to things you feel more time-appropriate.

      Yep yep. For crafting, that's an excellent catchall threshold. As an added parachute, maybe throw in "max(110% crafting + xg, 120% VendorSell)" just in case things get wonky on the cheap gems. I've seen guys on Stormspire making a huge number of subgroups (150+) for Jewelcrafting in order to accurately handle changes like what you're talking about. Site's down right now but I'll post links when it's back up.

      4. Craft price, for this you mean what source for Post Price Settings? Or are we still talking crafting?

      Talking to you plainly for a second, you're worried about prices moving too quickly for averages market supply and demand trends. If things are bouncing around in and out of that average, and you're stressing about trying to find the perfect setup for every situation, then you're doing it wrong, in my opinion. Inefficiency in markets is where two things happen: a lot of money is made from the deviation; a lot of stress builds up. So, my advice is to have as much relying on TUJ as you're comfortable with. Markets do move quickly, and it uses a 14 day moving average, which relatively fast stochastic although min functions should prevent that anyways. Ummmm, I feel like I'm rambling at this point, so I'll wrap it up.

      In short, I am a fan of simplicity. I mine ore- sell some raw, smelt some, transmute some of that, prospect some, cut some gems, and make some of those gems into pretty rings. It starts at zero, brings me full profit with one operation, and everything sells within a day. Too much focus on one profession tends to lead to problems. Hope that helped some.

  5. Is there an easier way to redefine the materials pricing model (or to change over the system as a whole)? The default uses dbmarket, but I'd rather use TUJMean which more accurately reflects my low volume realm. Our Standard Deviation is generally high on commodities so it's helpful to use the local mean vs the local market / global median.

    Currently I went into every single un-cut gem entry in Crafting->Materials and changed it over to tujmean from it's default min-dbmarket function. That'll be annoying to do for food!

    1. If you go the the Module Operations / Options tab - > Crafting - > Options, you can change the global default material cost method & default craft price method.

  6. Sure would be nice if there was a auto upload feature and somebody had the profile already done for most of the professions. Seems like everyone is having the same issue and for most of us we only have a few hours a day to buy/sell/craft.Tsm 2.0 is way to complex for the average wow player. I sure wish we still had the option of using The original tsm.

    1. Yah, it would, and gosh darnit we bloggers try to make it easy, but the thing is, TSM has developed into a program that has been explicitly developed for the advanced WoW player. I'm not 100% comfortable with the decision, as I think having a few different "base builds" could be a viable option.

      I wonder if you could upload a copy of your WTF folder with all your groups and everything for people to just save that. Could that happen?

  7. I know I'm a little late to the party, but thanks for this - I had quite a few invalid auctions due to things not being seen on my realm in a bit by my scanner. One thing though - you mention this: 3.) it's something like a caged battle pet that can't be seen by TUJ, for this, you need to scroll down to the rest of the guide, geez, keep your shorts on!
    But I don't see anything specifically about how you post your pets? Any tips?

    1. Oh! Good catch. I never specifically mentioned it. Caged pets are kind of awkward, as you've noticed. WoWuction sources will pick up some of them, after you've imported that database, but honestly, I've just set up a few tiers: a 9.5k crimson/emerald/dark whelpling and since I'm not too picky I throw the hyacinth macaw in there too. Then you have the 6k Disgusting Oozling tier, and on down the line. In short though, doing it manually.

      I'm not 100% but I remember reading that it was the combination of different levels of battle pets and the breed/gender system that messes everything up; it's hard to say there's one average price for a pet when you have 25x10x2=500 different possible variations of every battle pet, you know?

      But yah, sorry if I couldn't help you completely automate the processes but that's all I've been able to figure out so far: wowuction and tiers. Either way, Thanks for being my accountabilibuddy!

  8. Seems like this conversation has dropped off...after 3-4 months of TSM 2.0 - its not convinced me that it is better then its predecessor. As for it being designed for more then the "average" wow player...its not hard too use, configure, setup and use, its also not out of the realm for new/average/limit gaming players to use, its just become cumbersome. My feeling, like most engineers, they over-engineered it by trying to make it player-customizable. Most hard core gold makers, average players, and new gold makers simply want to craft, sell and buy game stuff. Unless they are gold farmers trying to sell gold which is a violation of the Terms of Use. Just my two cents

  9. is there any difference between scrolling up and scrolling down when posting auctions? :<

    1. Nope. While you could, I suppose, alter the macro to do different actions on up and down if you wanted to, it's just an easy "Post and watch YouTube at the same time" kindof thing. Both directions trigger the same post action. Once you activate it, you can actually go into you /macro panel and see what it does.


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