Author - DawnValentine

New TSM4 Beta Version and Invites!

The TSM4 beta is always evolving and today we have some updates to share with you. We’ve been working hard to get TSM4 closer to release. While there is still a lot of work to be done, we’re excited to share our latest progress. There are a few big new features that we’ve been focussing on and will go through in this blog post.

New TSM4 Beta Features

Export

Moving functionality from TSM3 to TSM4 is a big part of the massive project that is TSM4. Importing and exporting of groups and operations are features used by many of our users on a daily basis. There are many enhancements planned for the export feature in TSM4, and we’ve made great progress towards implementing our vision for an awesome export feature. With this latest update, we’ve implemented the brand new TSM4 export UI which makes it as easy as possible to export groups and operations. This is a feature which we will continue to build on and improve as we get closer to the release of TSM4.

Main UI Settings

Many pieces of TSM4 are still in TSM3 placeholder mode. In this update, we’ve removed the TSM3 placeholder settings and replaced them with the new, fully-implemented TSM4 equivalent. With the various settings there are to configure TSM, we’ve had a real good look at our settings window and completely reorganized the settings tab. Navigating to find the setting you’re looking for might take some getting used to, but should feel far more intuitive.

Shopping Advanced Item Search

The shopping advanced item search UI was in an interesting situation where it was inheriting the TSM4 looks, but it hadn’t actually been fully finished from a UI perspective. With this new update it’s been rewritten and you’ll see that everything looks much better and aligns with the overall look and feel of TSM4.

New Beta Invites

TSM4 is a massive project, and it’s great to see how many people are already enjoying using it as part of their gold-making routine. At the same time our beta testers have been sending many bug reports our way, which help out greatly in ensuring that TSM4 will be as stable as possible once it launches. With the big new changes we’ve announced above, we’ll be pushing a staggered wave of invites over the course of the next seven days to get a bunch of new people into the beta to try them out. If you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, you can do so here to reserve your spot in line for future beta invite waves.

In short, TSM4 is constantly evolving, and we’re spreading the love by sharing some great new updates with you as well as sending out our biggest wave of beta invites yet! If you like what we do and would like some extra functionality, please consider becoming a TSM premium user. It includes priority access to all of our betas, including TSM4.

See TSM4 by watching our affiliates

If you haven’t yet received an email inviting you to the TSM4 beta, then that doesn’t mean you can’t see it in action. There are many people who stream their goldmaking activities, and some of them have beta access. If you don’t have a favorite streamer or community person, we’ve included a list of our affiliates here. Hopefully between them you’ll find someone to your liking!

Dozerbob
TheLazyGoldmaker
Sheyrah
Phat Lewts
Arganthe (Portuguese)
Totemwerfer (German)

For those of you who’d prefer to listen to one of TSM’s own team members, Gumdrops regularly streams his goldmaking and answers any questions people have about TSM, including taking a look at new versions of TSM4 as they are released. Be sure to go check out his streams if you’re interested!

If you want to ensure you get into the beta as soon as possible, you can go ahead and sign up for an invite here. If you like what we do and want to support the continued development of TradeSkillMaster and also get priority access to all of our betas, please consider becoming a TSM Premium user.

The Design of TSM4

The TSM Team has been hard at work for a very long time to bring you the TSM4 beta. We wanted to give you some technical insights on what goes on behind the scenes. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Design of TSM4. H3ggers will be joining me to answer some questions!
I asked him three questions, and he’s been so kind as to offer detailed answers to them.

On a high level, what goes into setting up a UI from the ground up like this? How much of the old UI gets taken into account, and how do you decide what is best from a user experience standpoint?

Great question. So for any UI/UX work, it’s always good to start with research. Whether you’re working on a brand new product or something that has been around a long time (like TSM), you always want to start by investigating. You focus on what has been done, is being done, what’s working and what isn’t.

With TSM, I had a great leg up in that so much thought has already been put into it, especially in terms of what its features are and what users have wanted added over the years. So yes, the old UI was extremely important from the perspective of starting fresh. The old UI really tells a story about how TSM has developed over time, and why, what its strengths are but also what its weaknesses have been. So it was super helpful when setting out what we would and wouldn’t do from a “refresh” point of view.

As far as going from there and making decisions, I wanted TSM4 to not stray too far from its core competencies, but overall feel more approachable and intuitive. TSM is tricky in that it has always been perceived as a “challenging” addon, with a very steep learning curve. And a lot of that I think has to do with the fact that it has very advanced features comparative to other addons on the market (what other addons can you name that essentially have the equivalent of a file management system within them?). So just the scope of what you can do with TSM is a bit staggering for a new user and I think in some sense, always will be.

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t gains to be made that would help us hit our goals of being more approachable and intuitive. I think in TSM4 we were able to really think about how certain features would be organized and maybe move away from some things in TSM that didn’t really make sense (I’m looking at you ‘Features’ tab).

From a purely stylistic standpoint, what was your thought process on what TSM4 has come to look like? Why did you choose the colors, shapes and style that you did?

Stylistically, TSM operates in an interesting space. Historically, the look of TSM has developed through what I would call a “path of least resistance” mindset. We’ve added and improved upon features but haven’t really thought through the design outside of, “what sort of component do we need in order to achieve X/Y/Z, and where can we place it?” And while this has been done thoughtfully, with great concern for usability, I felt it had led to a somewhat scattered design aesthetic. So my first thoughts about style had to do with just keeping things clean and providing a less cluttered experience.

After that, it was really a matter of what sort of tone and personality TSM needs. I find that addons are a really unique design challenge, because you have to decide if they should align closely with the game’s default UI, or carve out a style all their own. With that said, I opted to keep a clean, modern aesthetic that wouldn’t diverge too much from what existed and wouldn’t be too jarring for our users. Down the road I think it would be cool to think about ways in which we could open TSM, stylistically. One of the early things that always impressed me about TSM was that it had a pretty robust appearance editor. Unfortunately, we rolled that functionality back for the time being due to the nature of the overhaul; I’m personally hoping we can bring it back (in a more structured way) at some point, and possibly even augment that feature with things like “UI skins”. TBD obviously 🙂

Are there any constriction points where looks and function conflict with each other? In such a situation do you make concessions, or look for a different solution?

Hah, oh yes! Design is always about balancing your stylistic goals against usability and feature requirements. The team and I had many conversations about certain design choices that might conflict with learned behavior and expectations from our users. I know that I’ve certainly conceded some ideas in favor of keeping a certain workflow or feature in tact.

This is one area where I really like to look at what our users are saying. There are so many unique aspects to TSM, and our users have all developed different ways of approaching certain tasks. Being able to engage with our community and test certain ideas out with them is really great and I hope that we’ll only continue to grow that process as it makes designing a lot easier.

That wraps up this first Technical insight into TSM4! We have more planned for you so if you enjoyed this content be sure to keep an eye on our blog!

The TSM Team is Going to Blizzcon

The TSM Team will attend Blizzcon this year! We’re thrilled to be going, and can’t wait to meet everyone. While some TSM Team members have met each other in person, this will be the first time most of the team will be in one place. We are also extremely excited to meet all of you and talk shop about all things TSM and WoW gold making! Read on to learn more about what we’ll be doing during Blizzcon and where you can meet up with us in person or online.

Q&A Stream

On November 2nd, at 11AM PDT, the TSM team will be doing a live Q&A stream from Anaheim, California, and you’re invited to tune in to learn more about TSM4, hear about TSM from the team who makes it happen, and get your questions answered. Gumdrops, our Support Manager & User Evangelist, has been so kind to allow us to use his Twitch channel for this Q&A stream, so be sure to tune in!

Talk to us in Person

For those of you lucky enough to have secured a Blizzcon ticket of your own, we invite you to seek us out during the convention days. Please don’t be shy to say hi if you see us walking around the convention hall. We’re very anxious to hear what you think about TSM and the state of gold-making in WoW. You’ll be able to recognize us by the special TSM Team shirts we’ll be wearing. You can expect a picture of all of us in our shirts to be posted on our Twitter soon!

Something for You

At Blizzcon, we’ll have some awesome goodies to hand out. One of them is a very cool TSM sticker, which you’ll be able to stick on your phone, laptop or anywhere else you want to show off your gold-making prowess! Secondly, we’ll have our own spin on Cards of Omen. These are custom printed cards with a very cool TSM-based design. The backside will hold a code for at least one month of premium, but it could be much more!

We’re incredibly hyped to be attending Blizzcon as a team this year and get to meet as many of you in person as possible. We hope you’ll say hi during Blizzcon, either in person or at home during our Q&A stream.

TradeSkillMaster 4 is Here and it is Better Than Ever!

Over the past few weeks we’ve kept you all in suspense. If you’ve been paying attention, then you know by now that TSM4 is coming. Here, we’ll go into a bit more detail on what TSM4 will bring.

Making TSM Better for Everyone

The main focus with TSM4 is to make TSM less intimidating and easier to use for newcomers and experienced goblins alike. To this end, we’ve completely rebuilt the UI from the ground up to be simpler and more intuitive to navigate. Even though ease of use was one of our main goals, we’ve not forgotten about our power users, and have plenty of goodies in store for them as well!

TSM4Dashboard

The first thing that you will notice when opening up the core TSM4 window is a beautiful new dashboard where you can see a summary of your gold making and catch up on TSM news. The dashboard will show you how you’re doing with your gold-making and help you decide at a glance what to do next. The graph within the dashboard is highly interactive and allows you to quickly and easily track your gold on hand over time as you pursue your gold-making goals.

TSM4Groups

One of the major hurdles new TSM users face is setting up meaningful groups and operations. In TSM3, we introduced the “Quick Post from Bags” feature, which gives easy-access to the powerful functionality of TSM_Auctioning to post items on the auction house without having to create groups and operations. With TSM4, we’ve taken that a step further with the new “Base Group” which lives at the top of the group tree. This group automatically contains any item which is not in another group, and comes pre-loaded with powerful default operations for more than just Auctioning. We’ve also completely reimagined how group management works in TSM4 to make it easier to move groups around, rename them, and manage the items and operations which they are tied to.

TSM4Sniper

One of the most popular features of TSM is its sniper feature. This feature allows you to snatch up deals the second they are posted on the auction house. With TSM4, we’ve integrated all the great feedback we’ve received on the sniper feature to make it easier to use and even more powerful. The sniper settings have been simplified into new dedicated sniper operations, including a default operation which comes pre-loaded in the addon. Once you start the sniper scan in TSM4, you’ll notice that the results are now ordered conveniently with the most recent results shown at the top, along with a special icon to clearly call-out the newest results. We’ve also made it much simpler to buy items as quickly as possible by getting rid of the confirmation window and replacing it with a single buyout button. Because we know people like to run sniper in the background for long periods of times, we’ve also added a new way to quickly remove things which you’re not interested in from the results, or restart the search completely to clear all the results and start fresh.

TradeSkillMaster has always had extremely powerful features to help advanced goblins make gold as efficiently as possible, and TSM4 is no different. Complex custom prices have become a staple of any mature TSM setup, so we are very excited to announce that TSM4 brings many new functions and data sources to custom prices. This includes everything from new, advanced logic functions, to being able to use things like sale rate and inventory quantities in your custom prices. We can’t wait to see how people take advantage of these new custom price features!

In summary, TradeSkillMaster 4 brings powerful gold-making features to experienced goblins and causal gold-makers alike. The entire addon has been rewritten from the ground up to be a joy to use, and to drastically lower the barrier to entry into the world of gold-making. This is evidenced in everything from the new Base Group and Dashboard features to the cleaner, yet more powerful sniper UI which we showed here. We also didn’t forget about our most advanced users and TSM4 brings powerful new features to them as well with the new custom price functions and sources.

Join the Beta

We’re sure you’re super excited about TSM4, and are dying to know when you can try it for yourself. We share your excitement, and in that light, we’d like to announce that the TSM4 beta is to be expected in late November. We know it’s still a while away, but we promise it’ll be well worth the wait! Upgrading to TSM4 will be a smooth and completely painless process, with all your important TSM settings being preserved. If you want to ensure you get into the beta as soon as possible, you can go ahead and sign up for an invite here. If you like what we do and want to support the continued development of TradeSkillMaster and also be first in line for the TSM4 beta, please consider becoming a TSM Premium user.

Stay Tuned!

Between today and the TSM4 beta, we’ll be diving deeper into the countless changes TSM4 will bring, so stay tuned for future blog posts. If you don’t want to miss any, you can sign up for our mailing list here. These deep-dives will cover various topics, from the new custom price functions and data sources to the new TSM4 design, and much more that we couldn’t fit into this post!

If you’re dying to learn more about TSM4, Sapu, TSM’s lead developer and project manager, will be doing an AMA over on the /r/woweconomy subreddit at 11AM PDT. The AMA has ended! The thread, named “TradeSkillMaster 4 Announced plus Lead Developer Sapu Q&A!”, is still available for you to read through!

From newsletter to blog

Our blog has been up a little while now, and as planned it’s here to stay. We felt it would be the right thing to do to tell you a little more about why we stopped with the newsletter. And why we chose to present you our news through a blog instead.

What started the newsletter

The TSM Newsletter was intended as a medium for communication and engagement. We needed a way to reach out to our users in our own way, with our own words. That’s exactly what the newsletter was. A way for us to tell you what was happening, no matter if it was about TSM, or something else in the goldmaking community.

Why we’re choosing a blog now

But as with all things, improvement is always possible. Over time, we learned that a monthly newsletter has its constraints. News is quickly old if covered somewhere else, and there wasn’t much TSM specific news that fitted a monthly newsletter setup.
For a while, newsletter became a chore to make, rather than an outlet for us. Don’t misunderstand; it was still fun. It just didn’t feel like we were doing what we set out to do. We came to realize that for what we had in mind, we needed something less strictly scheduled, something like a blog.
The blog will allow us to send out information and interesting stuff the moment we have it, rather than having to wait for the next ‘scheduled moment’. It will allow us even more freedom with the topics we choose, because there will be categories. You can find the news you find interesting, while easily skimming over others that don’t quite tickle your fancy.

Where to find old newsletters

Sometimes it can be fun to read something old. To remember how things were, or a funny thing that happened way back. We’ve always kept the newsletters text somewhere, because of those very reasons. We’ve collected them all and set up this page for you, where you can find links to all of our old newsletters.

Hello, World!

Greetings to you all!

We’d hereby like to welcome you to our brand-new blog! We hope you’re pleasantly surprised by this sudden new part of our website!

At the start of 2016, we started with the TSM Newsletter. There were a lot of things we wanted to talk about. We felt that by setting something new, we would create better community engagement. We would be able to tell you exactly what we wanted.

Since then we’ve sent a newsletter every month. It’s been a blast to see so many of you sign up. Watching your opens and clicks gave us a lot of insight into what’s interesting.

Recently we’ve been looking how we can improve all this. We want to bring you news quicker, and on a wider variety of topics. At the same time we don’t want to bury you under content that doesn’t interest you.

That’s why we’ve set up this blog. We’ll let you know about developments as they happen. We’ll give you a wider variety of topics, while also making TSM news easier to find.

The blog is very new, and we’re going to be trying our best to get everything right. But please bear in mind that we might need to change a thing or two in the future. We’d like the blog to be an interesting place. Both for us, and for you.

Please let us know what you think!