In this blog post, I will be giving a behind-the-scenes overview of the new deployment system we have created and been using throughout the development of TSM4.
Why did we create this new deployment system?
The primary goal of all this was to make it quicker and easier for us to get new changes into the hands of our users, and give us the ability to control which sets of users get which changes. Let’s talk about the latter goal first. We currently split our users into 4 separate release channels: Internal, TSM4 Alpha, TSM4 Beta, and TSM3 Release. The ‘Internal’ channel is used primarily for TSM team members for testing the very latest changes. The ‘TSM4 Alpha’ channel was used during the invite-only alpha phase of TSM4. The ‘TSM4 Beta’ channel is currently being used for everybody who has access to the TSM4 beta. The ‘TSM3 Release’ channel is one which all of our users have access to, and gives all of our users access to the latest version (of TSM3) we push to Curse. These release channels can easily be changed and adapted as our needs change (i.e. as TSM4 goes from internal-only to alpha to beta to release). So, the goal of our deployment system is to make it as easy as possible to release new versions to the proper channel. Read More
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. Read More
Many users have become somewhat aware of the check() function in TSM3 thanks to the popularity of BilisOnyxia’s sniper string. In my own personal experience, check() is definitely something that at times can be hard to wrap your brain around. I’m pretty sure I used TSM for over a year before I fully understood it!
To quickly explain check(), you can feed it 2 to 3 values in the format of check(a, b, c) where “c” can be optional. These 3 values can be any value TSM recognizes, from custom prices to flat gold values, to simple price source references like DBMarket. The check() function then takes a look at “a”, and looks to see if it is valid and greater than 0. If “a” is not valid, the custom price returns invalid. If “a” is greater than 0, the custom price will give you the value of “b” back, otherwise it gives the value for “c”. If you did not supply a value for “c” and “a” is not is not greater than 0, then the whole thing is treated as invalid. Read More
Sniper has long been a very popular feature of TradeSkillMaster, with many goblins even setting up a second, dedicated sniper account. The Sniper feature allows for snatching up deals as quickly as possible once they are posted on the auction house by constantly scanning the most recently-posted auctions and comparing the buyout price with user-configured maximum prices at either a global or operation level.
In TSM4, we’re making Sniper a first class feature by adding new Sniper operations and a top-level Sniper tab to the Auction House frame. We’re also adding an entirely new type of sniping in the form of a new Bid Sniper. Read More
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! Read More