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Anatomy of a TSM Release: Feature Selection

In this series, we are 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.

We are Hiring a JavaScript (React) Developer

UPDATE 3/28: This position has been filled so we are no longer taking applicants for it. Thanks for your interest!

The TradeSkillMaster team is a small group of gamers who love to learn new skills and constantly push the boundaries of what TradeSkillMaster can do for our users. What started as a small addon has grown into a comprehensive gold making addon, desktop application, and set of web-based tools and resources. We are driven by self-improvement and creating a great set of products and services for our users, while working in an efficient, but low-stress environment.

We are always exploring new ways to improve the experience we offer to our users. To that end, we are working on a new version of our desktop application and are looking to add a passionate JS developer to the team to get it across the finish line and shipped to our hundreds of thousands of users.

The Role

As a part of this role, you will be expected to work closely with other members of the team to implement new features, constantly improve the overall quality of the codebase, and drive the project towards initial release and beyond.

This position is part-time (we all have day jobs) and paid hourly. While we are looking for somebody to work on a specific project initially (our new desktop application), this position may be extended beyond that. The work will be purely remote with NA/EU time zones strongly preferred.

About You

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Strong technical background in JS (React preferred) and good code design sense with an emphasis on UI and data processing
  • A proven ability to work in established code bases as part of a team and self-motivation to constantly improve code quality and processes

Preferred Qualifications:

  • The tech stack for this project includes React, Redux. Electron, Socket.IO, Node.js, and Python (backend), so expertise with any or all of those
  • An eagerness to learn about new technologies and jump into different areas of our overall tech stack (from in-game addon to backend infrastructure) as needed
  • Experience with TradeSkillMaster and a passion for improving it

Ready to join us? Send me (Sapu) a message on Discord (https://discord.gg/woweconomy – if I’m AFK I’ll respond ASAP) or send me an email ([email protected]). Come prepared with your resume and any questions about the role you may have.

TradeSkillMaster to power Classic AH Database by NexusHub

We’re very happy to announce our partnership with NexusHub, to provide Auction House data for a brand new Classic WoW AH Database.

Through the NexusHub, you can monitor and report on current item prices on the Classic WoW Auction House as well as dive in to pricing history for all realms and factions in both regions, completely free. With this data they are also able to offer estimated Crafting profits and material price information for your convenience.

In addition, the entire database is available in a fully open and free API to integrate in your gold-making spreadsheets, apps or services.

You can access the site via desktop and mobile via classic.nexushub.co or nexushub.co/wow-classic today!

Read more from NexusHub developer Nakroma on the /r/woweconomy subreddit.

Classic Pricing Data is now available through the TSM Application!

We’ve been hard at work setting up the infrastructure to process and distribute pricing data through the TSM Desktop Application and are happy to confirm that this is now available for Classic.

This functionality relies on your diligent Auction House scanning, so this does not mean that you no longer need to manually scan on your Realm and Faction. The more players that continue to scan, the more robust and accurate the AuctionDB data will be.

With the introduction of addon version 4.8.8, the application will now update AuctionDB values assuming you have set up your Classic realm on the TSM website settings. A free account is required to set up your realms and access the app.

Other changes in version 4.8.8 include more accurate Disenchant data in your tooltips, and various fixed to profession windows not loading correctly. More details can be found in the changelog

If you encounter any issues in Classic WoW, be sure to join the Discord server for assistance.

TSM4 to be available in WoW Classic!

In the lead up to the launch on August 27th, we wanted to let you all know that TradeSkillMaster 4 will be available and functioning in WoW Classic!

As of version 4.8 of TSM, the addon will load in-game for Classic just as it does for Retail. You may need to select the option to ‘load out of date addons’ initially.

When using TSM4 in Classic WoW it’s important to be aware of some of the limitations, including pricing data.

Blizzard have not yet provided any Auction House data APIs for Classic, this is expected at launch however it is still unknown whether they ever will be introduced. This means TSM will not be able to provide any pricing data for your realm or region via the Desktop App for Classic. This also means you do not require the AppHelper addon when using TSM4 in Classic.

With this in mind, we have made sure that support for both Auctioneer and Auctionator pricing is implemented, so if you were to scan the Auction House in-game with either of those addons, you can use that pricing information in your TSM operations.

We hope you’ll enjoy reliving the memories of Vanilla WoW, or discovering the original game as it was in Classic WoW – all the while making enough gold for your epic mount using TSM!

TradeSkillMaster 4.10 Teaser

It has been some time since we posted any updates here on the blog, the TSM team have been quite busy outside of the Auction House so far in 2019. Today however, we wanted to take a moment to share some insight as to what’s to come in the near future for TradeSkillMaster, with version 4.10.

New UI

One of the biggest areas we tackled in version 4.10 is a complete iteration on the UI and user interaction philosophy of the addon. Since the launch of version 4, we have read lots of discussions and comments with feedback on the design of the addon, both positive and negative, to understand the underlying reasons that created these feelings and experiences for you, the user.

We’ve made more efficient use of space and reduced the bulky overheads across the addon. In the primary interfaces such as Shopping, this gives more room to see the searches you use most often for example. Most of the buttons and actions most-used have been rearranged or moved to more prominent positions, creating a smoother flow as you move around the Auction House.

After running a shopping scan, the results are polished and clean making it easier to see the information you’re looking for at-a-glance. Columns are more clearly marked when sorted, and more of them are sortable. You can even resize them.

You may have noticed the pause button in the Shopping Scan screenshot, this is a new way of managing your scans and jumping in to buy something you spot that’s a crazy deal without losing your scan data, or even post items before your Auctioning scan is complete without needing to start over.

Custom Price & Value Improvements

Being able to reference your operation prices has been a popular request for some time, this will finally be possible in TSM 4.10. As an example, you have a Shopping Operation assigned to a group which provides a maximum shopping price for any item contained within it. This maximum shopping price can be referenced as a custom value in your Auctioning Operation assigned to the same group for example, or your minimum Auctioning price defined in the Auctioning operation can be referenced in your Shopping Operation. We think this will help create very powerful operations and tailor them even more to your preferences.

Empowering your operations even further, we will also be allowing the use of custom values and prices in some non-price fields. Take your Crafting Operation as an example, you may want to craft more or less of an item depending on its region sale rate, this will be possible by using a logic function in your max restock quantity instead of only using integers.

We are also exploring the addition of more value sources based on your own personal accounting data, such as sale rate to compliment existing purchase history and expiration data.

Crafting Spotlight: UI Improvements

Another common request is to replicate the default WoW UI with recipe pinning or favouriting. We have implemented this in to the TSM4 Crafting window and you can add your most commonly used recipes or cooldowns to the top of your recipe list, regardless of which expansion they’re from. Working in tandem with the Task List you’ll never miss a daily cooldown or restock. You’ll also have finer control over the Crafting Queue, with options to remove an item from the queue entirely with the click of a button regardless of quantity, and modifying the quantity on the fly with a text box instead of increments of 1.

As part of the general UI revamp, we have made more use of the space in this interface too. The materials required for a recipe has a bigger space to fill which is useful for those bigger crafts, plus the toggle between the recipe list and your TSM Group tree is more distinct for easier access.


We’re very excited for what’s to come with the version 4.10 of TradeSkillMaster, let us know what you think by joining the discussion on our Discord server, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more news and updates!

TSM is Hiring a Part-Time Addon Developer

The TradeSkillMaster team is a small group of gamers who love to learn new skills and constantly push the boundaries of what TradeSkillMaster can do for our users. What started as a small addon has grown into a suite of powerful addons, a desktop application, and an extensive set of web-based tools and resources. We are driven by self-improvement and creating a great set of products and services for our users, while working in an efficient, but laid-back environment.

At TradeSkillMaster, we always strive to improve the products and services we offer. To that end, we are looking for a passionate addon developer to work on adding critical new functionality to our in-game addons which are used by hundreds of thousands of people.

The Role

As a part of this role, you will be expected to work closely with other members of the team to implement exciting new features, constantly improve the overall quality of our codebase, and improve the general stability of the addon.

This position is specifically for somebody who would be working on the TSM addon (TSM4) 25-30 hours a week. Therefore, the ideal candidate would be an independent contractor (potentially with other, smaller workloads), and not somebody with a full-time job. The work would be purely remote, and there are limited requirements on location, but roughly NA/EU timezones are preferred.

About You

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Strong technical background and code design sense with an emphasis on UI and data processing
  • A proven ability to work in established code bases as part of a team and self-motivation to constantly improve code quality and processes

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Lua and WoW addon experience is a plus
  • SQL experience
  • Object-orientated programming
  • Experience with TradeSkillMaster and a passion for improving it

Ready to join us? Send me (Sapu) a message on Discord (https://discord.gg/FJ4877H – if I’m AFK I’ll respond ASAP) or send me an email ([email protected]). Come prepared with your resume and any questions about the role you may have.