Part 3: Groups
So, what is it that makes TSM all that great? There are many profession and AH-related addons to choose from, some with a pretty hefty rep (hello Auctioneer). Why choose TSM?
If you are going full-blown goblin-mode in WoW to make large amounts of gold, you need an efficient system of handling tons of raw materials, sellable merchandize, the bagspace-issue it creates, all the professions and possible crafts, their costs, availability and potential profits, distribution of said items without clogging up your mailboxes, and the list goes on.
This is achieveable through other addons, mixing and matching until all potholes are covered. Often these addons don’t have native synergy with eachother creating the need for more addons or clever workarounds, all adding to the mess.
TSM is built from the ground up for goblins, by goblins, with constructive feedback from – goblins – throughout the development process. This has evolved into the ultimate gold-making tool available today. Every new version features tons of requests from the users themselves.
So, how does it work?
This is the main TSM window. It’s accessed by writing /TSM or clicking the minimap icon. You will spend quite some time inside this arrangement of modules, so it’s best to get aquainted with them sooner rather than later.
There is 10 Icons in total on top of the window.
The 4 left are (1) General options, (2) Groups, (3) Operations, and (4) Tooltip Options.
The 6 right ones are (5) Accounting, (6) Extras, (7) AuctionDB, (8) Itemtracker, (9) Destroying, (10) Crafting (and materials)
In the beginning you will spend most your time in (2) Groups and (3) Operations (after you’re done setting up (1) General options and (4) Tooltip options), the 6 right ones are tools that becomes more important as your business grows bigger and older.
Items and Groups. Items in Groups.
To access the Group-menu, click the second item from top left – the Crystal-looking icon. This will take you to your groups.
TSM 2 works in a very tree-structured way in everything it does, and it all starts with putting items into groups. If you want to do something (craft, mail, sell) to an item in some way or another, you will want it to be in a group. Groups looks like this:
These are currently my root groups. They each have their purpose for me, but they do not have to be oragnized this way. Your way of organizing groups are up to you, I only present the tools, and an example.
Lockbox: I have no rogue (yet), so I send all my lockboxes to my girlfriend. An attached mailing-operation to that group makes sure all lockboxes gets automailed.
Mats: In here we have all mats that I don’t use. Here I typically got some mailing-operations to gather all crap I don’t use on a single character, and some auctioning house operations that dumps it relatively cheap on AH to get rid of it.
Profs: Professions. Here’s where the action’s at. Operations everythere.
Random Stuff: Random shit you want to get rid off without thinking about it. Mail-operation to single char, auctioning operations to try to squeeze some value out of it – but prioritize getting it sold.
Safekeeping: Some items just show up as orphans in TSM that really should not (like your blacksmiths hammer etc) and you don’t want them accidentaly mailed all over the place. They will also clutter the list of items you move between groups, which can be a bit annoying.
This is the group for such items, with NO active operations. This stuff is just un-touched by TSM.
Shit for Disenchanting: Exactly what it sounds like. Greenies gets sent to disenchanter, disenchanter distributes the mats to banks and crafters.
Trash Can: Worthless items. Dump in bulk, cheap. Vendor sell price is the floor here.
My philosophy with these groups are that the goal is to have as few groups as possible at the parent level. The children in the groups inherits by default all operations, and this comes in extremely handy when building a distribution network. Before we get ahead of ourselves, what is a group again?
All items you want TSM to handle needs to be in a group. By handle I mean sell, craft, mail, etc. A group is simply a container with as many items or subgroups in it as you want, and to that group you can attach different types of operations. A group in itself does nothing but keep items categorized, the only way groups come to life is by attaching operations.
The different operations are:
-Auctioning: Is this something I am going to sell on Auction House? If so, I will create – and attach an auctioning operation to the group (or multiple ones), which in turn affects all items within that group.
-Crafting: Is this something I will craft regularly and keep in stock? If so, I will create a crafting operation defining how many to craft, and attach that operation to the group. Keep a stock of 20 of each gem? No problem.
-Mailing: Who is supposed to hold this item, and how many? Does it need some finer distribution? Create mailing-operations and attach to groups to get items where you want them. Sky’s the limit.
-Shopping: Will I be shopping for this item on AH? If so, I define a shopping operation with my shopping values, and attach that operation to the group.
-Warehousing: Will I be moving a lot of these items (1000s of ore, 100s of potions) in and out of banks and gbanks? If so, I should mayhaps define some arehousing operations to streamline some usual moves. This is kind of next-level stuff, not in difficulty – but in nescessity. Nice warehousing-operations are very nice to have, but should not be a priority in setting up.
You probably want to craft more intellect-gems than Tier 3 PVP Mail chest armors, which is why those items should be in different groups so you can attach different crafting operations to them.
You probably want to ensure a bit more minimum profit on your epic enchants than you do when selling potions, which is why you want different groups so you can attach different auctioning operations for those items as well.
Two groups may want to use the same mailing operations (going to same bank), but use different crafting operations (a group of gems vs a group of tier 3 crafted PVP gear). The only thing two groups needs to have in common to share an operation is the purpose of achieveing the same goal.
Craft 20. Mail to bank A. An operation to craft 20 does not care what it is set to craft, it will just queue up 20 of all items within that group – and that’s that. This functionality helps keep the amount of clutter down – which we will see later.
Starting to get the picture? Items with similar characteristics should share groups, then refined down the chain via sub-groups. I.e. Gems -> Mist of Pandaria Gems -> Rare Gems -> Orange Gems -> High Sellers.
A change to an operation in Gems will affect all the other groups down the chain Mist of Pandaria Gems -> Rare Gems -> Orange Gems -> High Sellers, until you spesifically tell them to override its parent operation and use another. If this stuff confuses you, don’t worry. I’m not really supposed to cover this bit yet.
Here are some more pictures to illustrate group hierarchy:
My blacksmithing-setup as of today, and jewelcrafting. Here you can see all green gems gathered in their own subgroup of ‘Gems’, which will go on to be refined even further into high, normal, and low sellers with different crafting and auctioning operations. Mailing operation is just inherited down the line, since all gems goes to the same bank eventually.
Orange gems split further into high and low sellers. Those who remain are normal sellers. Now I can assign 3 different operations to those 3 groups of orange gems. Brilliant! The tooltip helps me keep my head in the game.
Items can be added to groups in 3 ways:
- By TSMs profession group creator from the profession-window
- Manually placing them in groups by moving them up and down the tree-structure using the ‘add’ and ‘remove’ buttons.
- Imported to the group by item-link or itemid. This is the most hassle-free for future inserts, after your initial setup is done. The only thing you need is the 5-digit itemID, which can be obtained i.e. on wowhead.
Importing item via Itemlink in the import-tab. This would place Large Brilliant Shard in the same group as Tier 2 PVP Blacksmith gear. Not very logical, but good for screenshot-purposes.
Make sure you got the “Move already grouped items” checked, because odds are the item is in another group already.
The ‘Management’-tab (rightmost one) on every group is where you can alter a group. Change name, move it to a completely different place, duplicate it, or delete it. If you delete a group, all items in it will end up at its parent – unless you specify not to.
The first time you open a profession on a character after installing TSM 2, it will show you something like this:
This is a good place to start, letting TSM create groups for that profession. It will create the parent group ‘Professions’ with the child ‘Alchemy’ with 2 children of its own called ‘Crafts’ and ‘Materials’. This will be your point of entry for most professions.
By now you should be able to:
- Create groups
- Rename groups
- Move groups around
- Add items to groups
Think about what you are going to be selling. What items you are going to be handling, both materials and merchandize. Give each profession its own group, with a subgroup called all crafts. From there you make a new subgroup called “Sale” for the items you actually are planning on crafting and selling. From there the items should be further split to match their characteristics. Don’t be afraid of sub-groups, sub-groups are your friend! They give you that last little touch of control that you will need.
A word on materials:
Since proper goblins use tons of materials, it can be nice to keep the materials you currently use (current-expansion materials) bundled together with the profession they are used in. A picture could illustrate better:
Each profession has 1 parent group, like “Alchemy”. From there we have two sub-groups:
All Crafts, and All Materials, that’s the way TSM set it up by default when you first create profession groups from your profession window. I made a sub-group under “All Materials” which I called ‘Usable Mats’ – moved all the items I use on a daily basis into that, and moved the whole group up one level, so it got “Alchemy” as parent.
The All Materials-group from that single profession (now with just a bunch of old-expansion mats in them) gets renamed to i.e. ‘Alchemy materials‘, and moved into their own parent-group at the root level. The reason for this will be explained later when we look at Accounting, but in short I want only the costs and profits associated with the items I actively craft and sell bundled in 1 group pr. profession.
This way, when I later run accounting for the group “Alch” it will show me costs related to herbs, profit related to flask and potions sales. Any bulk purchases of old world mats to lvl alchemy on an alt will not show up in that scenario.
As long as you understand what’s going on here, feel free to organize groups in any way you want that feels logical to you. The worst that can happen is that you got to do it all over again.
With some basic groups down with the most important items in them, it’s time to see what we can program TSM to do with these items. We need to define some operations!