Tradeskillmaster offers a lot of customization. You can go complex or quite simple and both ways can work. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to see how it looks.
What do I mean by complexity?
TSM operations and value sources can be as simple as 10 gold or dbmarket (just the market value) or as complex as BilisOnyxia’s Sniper string which uses both a custom price source as well as a bunch of if clauses to set different behaviour for items with a different price level.
Generally speaking complexity can offer more accuracy, but it requires quite a bit more effort to set up and maintain. Let’s just run through the pros and cons and then finally where I land on this spectrum.
Complexity – pros
If you introduce more complexity into your TSM strings you can do more with one string, whether it is a custom value source or a maximum shopping price. You can do stuff like reduce the maximum shopping price if you have a lot in stock, or decrease your minimum price based on the number of expires.
You can also get more accurate or at least more precise pricing based on your preferences.
The prime example of a great use case for a complex string is of course the Sniper string that sets different max price percentages for different price levels. You’re willing to pay more of the market value for very expensive items, as there’s still a lot of gold to make.
Complexity – cons
The main con for this is really the setup time and skill required. It takes a lot of time, and the more complex you make it, the more chance you have an error sneaks in and you make bad decisions. If you are someone for whom TSM doesn’t come naturally as well this might make the entire task seem to daunting.
It can also be much harder to keep track of what the string is doing in your head. This might not even be a con however, as outsourcing our decision making to TSM and our rules is an important feature.
Simple setup – pros
Using simple strings makes it super quick to setup new operations. Generally goldmaking doesn’t really require any fancy math or complex pricing strings. As long as the minimum price in any auctioning operation is higher than your maximum crafting or acquisition cost everything else is just bells and whistles.
Keeping it simple also makes it more understandable for others, which is one of the reason why so many of the operations I publish and make are dead simple with setups like 120%crafting, 200% crafting, 500% crafting for crafted items for instance. It works, it’s robust, but it might occasionally post at a normal price that is below dbmarket.
Simple setup – cons
The cons here are obviously going to align with the pros of going complex. You miss some accuracy and preciseness and you can potentially miss out on larger profit margins in some markets. It will also mean that different approaches will likely need a different set of operations.
Personally I am on the simple side generally. As long as my settings guarantee a decent profit I’m not particularly concerned with absolutely maximizing my profit per item. I like simple percentage based settings with a single base value source, whichever is most “correct” out of crafting, dbmarket or dbregionmarketavg is usually what I stick to.
I have some exceptions, including my battle pet flipping which features some sniper-stringesque logic so I can use the same operation on literally every pet in the game.
If you like TSM feel free to dive deep, otherwise, there is no need, you can get by really well by sticking to the simple stuff.