We're launching a new Blog series detailing what goes on behind the scenes to ship a new major TSM addon release. Specifically, we will be describing how version 4.12 of the addon is being built, from deciding what features will be included, to publicly releasing it. This first post will focus on how we decided what features will be in version 4.12 of the addon.Selection Criteria
There is no end to the list of things we want to implement into TSM to make it the best gold making addon possible. We have curated a list of improvements we are considering on our public roadmap, so any discussion on what we prioritize for the next version starts by reviewing the list there. Our biggest constraint as a team (and, not to get philosophical, but in life as well) is time, but there are many factors we consider as we filter through this list. In no particular order, and with much less formality than they are described here, these include the following high-level points:
What portion of our user base would benefit from this feature?
- How much value will this feature bring to them?
- How much complexity would it add to the addon for new users or those who wouldn’t directly benefit from it?
- Is this feature especially relevant to the current state of the game or the other projects being worked on within TSM (i.e. new pricing data functionality)?
- What resources (design time, development time, dependencies on our web backend or desktop app, etc) are required to ship this feature?
Back when we were deciding what the focus of TSM 4.11 was going to be, we went through a ranking exercise to help us prioritize our list of high-level features we wanted to implement. This resulted in optional material support and custom themes being prioritized for 4.11, and also Gathering being called out as the next big feature to prioritize in 4.12. Therefore, when it came time to plan out 4.12, we went in with the idea of Gathering being the primary focus.Digging Deeper
Once we’ve decided on the primary feature, in this case Gathering, the next step is to go one level deeper and figure out exactly what use-cases we want to better support. This is almost entirely influenced by feedback we’ve received around Gathering from our users over the years. The most challenging part of this is deciding what we are NOT going to do. Again, we are balancing how much of our time we want to spend on a given feature (and how long before we can release it) vs. how much value it will deliver to our users. For example, Gathering for multiple characters at the same time is not something we are going to be doing in 4.12 because it would require a ton of design and development effort to do it in a way which doesn’t add a ton of complexity that the user needs to manage. It would also provide relatively-low value when compared with the other features, such as supporting intermediate crafts from other professions. The result of this exercise is again reflected in our public roadmap under the “Prioritised Ideas” column. In the case of 4.12, it includes the following:
A bunch of general usability and UI improvements to the Task List and Gathering tab of the Crafting UI
- Adding support for gathering from the bank in Classic
- Support intermediate crafts on alts as a Gathering source
- Improved connected realm support
- Add a default “Farming” source which will track how many the player has acquired through a more manual means
This is a fairly ambitious set of features, but we are fairly confident in being able to tackle them within 4.12. Of course, things may change as we go along, and we may tweak this list as we go through the design and implementation process. However, this list is what we are currently working towards delivering. In addition to the major feature of Gathering, we also went through our overall backlog of feature requests and pulled out a few things which we thought would be easy to implement and/or especially timely to pull into 4.12. This includes things like persisting the “Show Ungrouped Items as” selection between sessions.Next Steps
The next steps are split between design and development. On the design side, we are brainstorming what a better UI/UX for the task list and Gathering tab looks and feels like. On the development side, we are starting to implement some of the backend changes to support the new features, and knocking out other things which don’t have any dependencies on the new UI.https://blog.tradeskillmaster.com/anatomy-of-a-tsm-release-feature-selection/
Since there were some questions about when a vendor shuffling becomes profitable, I thought I would write a guide with my approach. Hopefully it will help some fellow goblins in understanding the topic, and making some gold. Although I am happy to get any feedback I want to tell you, that this is kind of my first attempt of writing a goblin guide, and that english it not my native language. So please be kind ;)- What is vendor shuffling?
A vendor shuffle is gaining a profit by buying cheap materials in the AH, then crafting them into gear and instead of trying to sell that gear in the AH you just sell it at a vendor.- Why vendor shuffle?
Although you might get much better prices in the AH we are talking about buying such quantities of raw materials, that there is no way anyone would buy them in the AH. So we might as well sell them at a vendor, and still get a nice and more important a calculatable profit. Even though the profit margins are slim, if you stockpile enough material it all adds up!- What professions are we talking about?
In my experience the only two professions worth doing a vendor shuffle are tailoring and leatherworking. There still are profit points for blacksmithing and jewelcrafting, but these are at raw material prices that are rarely seen in the AH- What are the requirements for a vendor shuffle?
Firstly cheap raw materials such as shrouded cloth, pallid bones and desolate leather. I will go into detail what cheap means in this context. Most importantly we will also need a lot of secondary cheap materials. What I mean hereby is penumbra thread. You will want to buy these with a character that has exalted reputation. This can be at one of the covenant, at Stormwind/Ogrimmar/Dalaran or any other fraction where you can buy thread. The cheapest possible price is 7g 20s instead of the usual "neutral" price of 9g.- How to vendor shuffle with tailoring?
The best recipe for a tailor vendor shuffle must be the optimum between few materials and highest vendor price. The optimum is the Shrouded Cloth Cape in regards to maximum profit, but you also want to minimize crafting time to get the best gold/hour ratio. So instead we will concentrate on the Shrouded Cloth Robe. (Edited this part thanks to Wampie)
For 7 shrouded cloth and 5 penumbra threads (as previously explained, we want the cheapest possible price for 7.2g per thread) you will get 49.86g. With this we can calculate the "break even point" where the cloth price will balance out the vendor price. 5*7.2+7*x=49,86. Solve for x and we get 1.98g. So any cloth you can buy for below 1.98g will turn into a definite profit. The lower the price, the higher the profit! (If you would craft the capes instead, you would get ~3% more profit, but also need 30% more crafting time. I would not recommend doing except if you want the highest profit possible. Break even point then is at ~2.03g/cloth. )
My personal limit for buying cloth is around 1.75g. At this price you will get a nice 15% profit.- How do I vendor shuffle with leatherworking?
For leatherworking the whole break even point is a bit more complicated. Instead of only one material we have two. Pallid bones and desolate leather. For reasons that would need too many explanations, I will just say that we will concentrate on my optimum recipie that I found, the composite bow.
With 5 leather, 6 bones and 8 threads we want to have costs lower than the vendoring price of 89.5431g. Our profit equation looks something like this: 5*L+6*B+8*7.2 < 89.5431. Since we have to look at two variables (L for the price per leather, and B for the price per bone) the problem can be graphed a a linear equation: L = (89.5431 - 8*7.2 - 6*B )/5. If we feed this equation with the current bone price at the AH, we will get the maximum leather price where we will get the break even point.
You should only apply this up to a bone price of 2.78g. Above that price the crafting of Desolate Leather Armguards is actually more profitable.
I made a handy chart that explains this concept in a easier way.
On the x-axis you can see the price per bone, and on the y-axis the price per leather. The blue line is the break even point for any price combination below a bone price of 2.78g (thanks to Shadsoz for pointing that out). Above that the red line is to be used. In the first example there is a price of 1g for bones, and 4g for leather, marked by the red mark. As we are below the break even line, we will turn a profit by crafting bows.
In the second example (green mark), the price for bones has gone to 3g. Now we moved above the line, and as such there will be no profit. At a 4g leather price, the price of bones will have to go to about 2g to reach the break even line. The further below the line we are, the higher the profit will be!
In example 3 we have 4g per bone and 2g for leather. In this region we should craft armguards to make a profit.
For me, I will buy any Leather below 3.8g, and bones below 2g. When I have a bunch of these materials I will start crafting. Be aware that you don't have to but them together, but then when they are cheap on their own. Sometimes there are Bones for 1g on the AH when the price for leather is at >5g. In that case I will gladly but just the bones and wait for the leather prices to drop.- What about Blacksmithing?
Blacksmithing also has a break even point where you can make a profit. This point is at about 3.8g per laestrite ore. A price so low I have rarely seen it on the AH.- Any tips on storing materials?
My first tip is you don't need a guild bank or lots of alts for storing all the materials you snipe over time. Use the AH to store your materials! Since the AH fees for raw materials are really low, you can put them back in the AH at prices that are over the break even points. Best case scenario is that they will sell, and you made a profit without needing the time for crafting and selling.
If store your materials just above the break even point, other people might just undercut you at prices below that point and you can buy more materials to turn into a profit. This method has been a win win method for me.- Any tips on crafting?
Use TSM! TSM has some really big advantages which I will try to list:
Sniping the AH. TSM has a sniping mechanism that shows you when prices drop below our break even point
- Automating your AH sales. With TSM you can easily automate your sales in the AH once you understand the basics of the addon. You can list your prices above the break even point and with just a few clicks your auctions are put in the AH.
- Bulk buying threads. with TSM you can buy bulks of penumbra threads. Instead of the usual maximum of 200 threads, you can buy larger quantities at once.
- Auto craft and send per mail. TSM makes it possible to send items every minute while auto crafting. I found this the best way in getting rid of your items. Just store the raw materials and threads in your bank, and craft away. Then every minute your bags are emptied and you can do something else meanwhile. Park your receiving character near a mailbox with an empty bag and fill it up with your crafts. When your bag is full, mount up on a mount with vendors, and sell your items with just a few clicks, also thanks to TSM.
- You can a remote connection to your PC while away. I usually start crafting before leaving for work, and then check in with my phone while riding the train. You can prevent an AFK-kick or switch to an other profession if finished. I use Chrome Remote Desktop, but any other remote app will do, just be sure to protect yourself with strong login passwords or from phishing attempts. Just be sure to switch of your PC after you are done to save energy ;)
I hope this helped you. If you have any suggestions on other vendor shuffles please let me know in the comments! I am planning on doing a spreadsheet where you can put in the materials in your AH and it suggests what to craft for the highest profit. I already made one for me, but it is also filled with other stuff. If there are other suggestions I will try to put them in there too.
Edit: Thanks for all the feedback so far! I tried to improve this guide with suggestions from the comments. I will continue to read all the comments and hear your thoughts on that topic :)tldr:
Be exalted at a fraction of your choice to be able to buy penumbra threads at .
Buy any shrouded cloth below and craft robes.
Buy any desolate leather below and pallid bones below (the lower the better) and craft composite bows.