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WoW-GPS 2.0 Dreaming

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I have a dream!

Actually, it's more like a bunch of dreams, but that just doesn't have the same cachet, now does it?

My original dream for WoW-GPS was to provide a suitable replacement for what I felt were cumbersome, inaccessible, offline resources such as spreadsheets. At the moment, there are 3 public modules, and at least 2 more in various stages of development. Although this clearly isn't a complete replacement for the many offline tools, I do believe that WoW-GPS has demonstrated the potential to do just that.

At the same time, it was never my dream to provide a "patchwork" solution to plug a bunch of holes in the existing spread of tools. The name of the site is "Goblin Profitability SUITE", and the original intent was to provide a thorough collection of resources for users to manage just about all of their gold-making needs. While obviously being far from that original goal, I find myself wondering if continuing down this path will actually help to achieve that goal, or instead push the project further away. I receive requests sporadically for individual modules to cover individual markets, and while it would be possible to build a resource for each market in-game, I'm not sure that this necessarily enhances our experience enough over the spreadsheets to justify the amount of time it would take.

This has been bothering me for awhile - especially since not having enough free time to actually develop the resources seems to cause me to THINK about them even more. So, I've been dreaming of a more consolidated experience, something that brings everything together, while still offering a replacement over existing methods. Instead of a handful of isolated modules, I'm dreaming of ONE resource that does a number of different things, but does so using a shared user experience that adds even more value through its connectivity.

The other area where I feel spreadsheets are currently lacking is in how personalized they are. The current model involves a spreadsheet author, with no knowledge of each user's unique settings/preferences, generating a shared, customizable resource. The burden then falls on the user to make any specific adjustments they require, or to manually input unique information. This is necessary, since the author has no way of knowing anything about the end users, and can only make reasonable guesses based on community feedback about settings, default values, etc. By leveraging the Blizzard API, this is fortunately NOT the case with WoW-GPS. Once you confirm your identity, the site can access a wealth of information about you and your gold-making setup. Your professions, their level, which crafts you have learned, your AH data, etc. If you combine this with a back-end process for storing the rest of the info, I think you end up with a powerful tool that users can continue to use day in and day out as their gold-making process progresses and evolves. It can change when you change, offer personalized suggestions, track things that are important to you, integrate with the addons you use, etc. In essence, it would provide more of the "suite" experience that I had in mind in the first place. Ideally, I'd like to see WoW-GPS become for out-of-game tools what TSM is for in-game: a "full service" resource.

If this sounds like a big dream to you, that's probably because it is. Please understand however, that at the moment, that's also ALL it is - a big dream. This is where I'd like to take the project, but there's quite a bit that needs to fall into place before that actually happens. For starters, I probably won't be able to develop this alone - it feels a little bit too big, but it also needs to be fleshed out a bit more, first. I also need to gauge whether this is worth the time investment in the first place, which means I'd like to put out feelers about whether or not there's financial interest in the project. There are also some technical barriers that need to be addressed. Those aren't the only factors - I've been thinking about a project of this scale for awhile now, so viability will ultimately be weighed against the experience of the process, itself, but I feel as though there's some traction here. I think this is the sort of project that can solve a legitimate problem in a tangible way.

In the end, all I have here is a dream, but since I'm dreaming out loud, I'd really like to hear what people think about all of this. Both the good and the bad.

The next few posts will outline some of the specific features I had in mind, and some of the other steps required before moving forward.

Updated September 16th, 2014 at 06:52 PM by Kathroman

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Comments

  1. Ord's Avatar
    Even in it's current form, I love what the GPS is and how it works and I would love to see it grow and expand even more.

    I would even be up for offering whatever help I can to assist. While I have very little web-development experience, I do have strong database/MySQL knowledge, and I'm a quick learner and don't mind helping debugging, etc.

    All that being said, the one thing that came to mind when reading your entry is "What about WoD?" -- meaning that while the 'dream' you have for GPS should be inclusive enough to supersede any expansion pack or new recipes/items by adapting dynamically, there are other potentially large technical changes coming, too, like the APIs you mentioned. I wonder if perhaps WoD beta or even 6.0 live would be a better time to really start digging in. Who knows what things they'll add (or take out of) the API that will change how GPS can (and will, I hope) work in it's future incarnations.
  2. Kathroman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ord
    Even in it's current form, I love what the GPS is and how it works and I would love to see it grow and expand even more.

    I would even be up for offering whatever help I can to assist. While I have very little web-development experience, I do have strong database/MySQL knowledge, and I'm a quick learner and don't mind helping debugging, etc.

    All that being said, the one thing that came to mind when reading your entry is "What about WoD?" -- meaning that while the 'dream' you have for GPS should be inclusive enough to supersede any expansion pack or new recipes/items by adapting dynamically, there are other potentially large technical changes coming, too, like the APIs you mentioned. I wonder if perhaps WoD beta or even 6.0 live would be a better time to really start digging in. Who knows what things they'll add (or take out of) the API that will change how GPS can (and will, I hope) work in it's future incarnations.
    Hang in there - most of your questions will be addressed in my next post (which is about half written, ATM)

    RE: the API - I don't expect much will change in terms of how I'll need to approach it, but I guess we'll have to wait and see for sure.

    Appreciate the feedback, as always