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  1. #1
    Sterling's Avatar
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    [TSM3] Sniper Mastery Guide


    When people ask what Santa got me for Christmas, I tell them about the sweet Sniper functionality @Sapu94 built into TSM_Shopping.

    For me, sniping was the last major missing feature in the TSM suite. At this time the potential with sniping is massively under-appreciated and under-utilized by goblins. I hope to change that with this guide. Back in 2010-2011, sniping was a major source of income for me. It has since become a lost art in goldmaking, one that died alongside Auctioneer when TradeSkillMaster was unleashed unto this world. Earlier this year, some attempts were made at developing a Sniper module for TSM, but the addon wasn't very functional the the project eventually died. Last week, in blazing and glorious fashion, Sapu stepped in and wrote Sniper functionality into TSM_Shopping. You can view the original thread here.

    What is sniping? Sniping is a strategy where you look to pick off cheap items from the Auction House moments after they're posted, or just before they expire (bid sniping). It's easily the most effective method by which to get great deals. TUJ's Great Deals page and WoWuction's Bargain Hunter are awesome, but the deals shown on these pages can be several minutes old. True deals sit at the Auction House for mere seconds - these are the deals we wish to target with Sniper.

    Sniper works by constantly refreshing the first and last page of the Auction House and checking freshly posted auctions for deals. This is where you pick off deals mere moments after they're posted.

    The good about sniping:
    • It's "lazy gold". Your dedicated attention isn't needed. Once the initial setup is complete, little customization is required.
    • Very high earnings are possible.
    • Stacks with crafting. You can do sniper scans, say, while shuffling.
    • Stacks with homework and studying. You can run sniper in the background and tab in deals are found.
    • Doesn't require a large investment.
    • It's fun!

    The bad:
    • Highly random. A session might yield 40k, or 200g.
    • Scales poorly on smaller servers.
    • Fiercely competitive (since the release of this guide, anyway).
    • Requires extensive configuration and understanding of the game.


    My intention was to make this guide as newbie-friendly as possible, so the steps below are fairly detailed. You should nonetheless be familiar with the very basics of TSM. For this I always recommend @PhatLewts TSM video series. Make sure to check out his blog and drop him some rep while you're at it. Also make sure to check out his quick sniper tutorial.



    The first step is to tell sniper how to look for deals. Open up TSM, go to the Options tab (2nd icon), and click Shopping. Here, you have 3 options:

    1. Below Custom Price: Entering any value here will tell sniper to flag absolutely anything that is posted under said value. If you enter 10g, sniper will flag any and all items that come under that value (realistically you might use something like 10% DBHistorical). In the example above, I use 1% snipe, a custom pricing source.
    2. Found Auction Sound: Quite simply, the sound played when a deal is found. Self-respecting goblins use the Cash Register sound here.
    3. Below Vendor Sell Price: Checks for items that are posted below their vendor sell price. Useful if you're just starting out and need a quick buck, otherwise just leave this unchecked.


    Most sniper guides will tell you to set option #1 and call it a day. The problem with using this "blanket" option is that sniper will return too many "false positives". Sniper will not be effective if you need to babysit everything it flags, and believe me, it will return tons of false positives. For sniper to be effective, you need to be 100% confident in all its flagged results. Otherwise, you'll end up second-guessing yourself and missing out on deals. Trust me, I've done countless days of sniping back when Auctioneer realtime scanning was king, and this is the way to go. This is where we differ greatly from all other sniping guides/methods.

    To snipe effectively, you need to set sniping thresholds for any and all items of interest. That might sound insane, since this means setting up groups for thousands of items, but just bear with me for now.

    Make sure that your Market Value Price Source match across the board. You don't want to use auctionDB as your price source if your Max Price is, say, WoWuction pricing. Use one or the other across the board. I use snipeold and snipelegion, custom prices that accounts for realm, regional, and vendor pricing. Using a custom price is dandy, since I can change how all my groups operate by changing a single line. This custom price might seem conservative, but it's set up in such a way that I never doubt the value of flagged deals.

    Edit: Some of you have asked for more detail with regards to my custom pricing so here's a quick rundown;

    snipeold: min(crafting,75% vendorbuy,avg(DBRegionHistorical,DBHistorical))

    "Snipe Old" is quite simply for sniping old-world markets. This source takes the minimum of crafting price, vendor buy price, and market value (historical and regional).

    snipelegion: min(DBMarket, crafting, 75% vendorbuy)

    This source is for anything new in Legion. Since most Legion goods are in high volume, there is sufficient data for DBMarket to be accurate. Once again we take the minimum of crafting, vendor buy price, and market value.

    The use of custom pricing allow you to modify any given custom price without having to touch operations, so I encourage you to use it extensively.

    Note that I use dozens other pricing sources tailored specifically for certain groups. I change them on a regular basis and don't claim to have a perfect setup yet. At the very least, however, you should use custom stepped rules as outlined by @Ord here.



    Next, we're going to create groups and populate them with items that sniper should look for specifically. In normal circumstances this would be a painful, confusing, dreary process. For example, to populate the BoE Epics: 1-59 group, you'd need to dig up every single item that fits this category, and add them to the group. Rinse and repeat for the tens of thousands of items in WoW. Luckily for you, uncle Sterling has done the hard work already. All you need to do is import them. Note that I had to split my imports into small, manageable chunks that don't crash the game...

    WARNING!

    Importing items can screw up your current groups if you don't know what you're doing. I suggest creating a new profile and working from scratch for any sniping activities.

    To import the group structure and items, first create a parent group. Call it "Sniper Groups" or something similar. Highlight this group and go to the Import/Export tab. Copy paste the strings below in the Import String box, then hit ok. You will end up with the same group structure I'm using!

    WARNING! No doubt these groups still contain items that will come up as false positives. Should you find one, please reply to this thread and report the item so that we may remove it.

    I couldn't fit all the text in one post. Click here for all groups.



    Next, create "shopping" operations for all your sniping groups. Go to Module Operations / Options, and click on Operations. From here you can create new operations. You could technically get away with creating a single operation that snipes all your groups at 10% DBHistorical, but extra customization never hurt anyone.

    Feel free to use whatever price you wish here, but I find that DBHistorical and DBGlobalHistorical work best. Again, I encourage the use of custom pricing here. Whatever you do, make sure that your pricing model supplies a high seen count for all items, as to not overvalue items.

    Show Auctions Above Max is entirely optional. It shows you auctions above your max snipe price. Not recommended unless you're troubleshooting.

    Again, make sure to use descriptive names for your operations. You'll notice I put my actual market %s in my operation titles; this helps me see what I've done at a glance.



    Navigate back to your groups and start assigning operations. Make sure to check Override Module Operations here, since we don't want the group to inherit anything from its master category/group.



    Open up the Auction House UI, and go to the Shopping tab (by default this will be your tab). Click on Other, and Start Sniper. If you go to the Browse tab, you'll notice that the search pane is quickly cycling through new auctions (otherwise, something is wrong). When sniper flags a potential deal, it will pop up in the search area, similar to Shopping.

    I started sniper just to take this screenshot and wasn't expecting much (maybe a good deal on some ). Those deals popped up literally 10 seconds in. What you see there is a ~1500g value, conservatively, at a cost of 68g. That is the power of sniper.



    Session #1 Stats

    = 300g
    = 300g
    = 250g
    = 1500g
    = 1000g
    = 1500g
    = 50g
    x 20 = 60g
    = 300g
    = 200g
    = 150g
    = 150g
    x 5 = 150g
    x 4 = 10g
    x 32 = 64g
    x 8 = 24g
    x 6 = 20g
    x 34 = 136g

    Spent = ~1300g
    Expected value = ~6200g
    Expected profit = 4900g
    Session duration = 1hr, 15min
    GPH = ~3900

    Session #2 Stats

    = 400g
    = 200g
    = 400g
    = 450g
    x 4 = 4g
    = 200g
    = 200g
    x 24 = 50g
    x 15 = 50g
    = 125g
    = 750g
    x 9 = 5g
    x 9 = 15g
    x 7 = 15g
    x 12= 12g
    x 3 = 600g
    = 200g
    x 9 = 27g
    x 12 = 100g
    = 75g
    = 75g

    Spent = 674g
    Expected value = ~3900g
    Expected profit = ~3300g
    Session duration = 1hr
    GPH = ~3300

    Session #3 Stats

    = 3500g
    = 300g
    = 350g
    x 47 = 60g
    x 20 = 60g
    = 250g
    = 1500g

    Spent = 816g
    Expected value = ~6000g
    Expected profit = ~5200g
    Session duration = 45 min
    GPH = ~6900

    ATFAQ (all-too frequently asked questions)

    1. I run sniper, and all sorts of junk shows up.

    Vendor search may return some junk, as will Below Custom Price, if set too low. If your market pricing is too high, too many results will be returned.

    2. I run sniper, but nothing shows up. My life is ruined!

    It may take a while for results to show. On smaller economies, items are posted infrequently, and thus deals are rare.

    To make sure your shopping rules are being respected by sniper, set them to 1000%. Run sniper and see if anything is flagged. If not, your shopping rules have not been configured correctly.

    Also make sure that you have valid pricing in your tooltips for the shopping rules you are using.

    3. I want to run sniper while I sleep.

    Not really possible, unless you want to break the ToS, in which case you should head to OwnedCore and hang out in that cesspool.

    4. How do I auction off items I snipe?

    Apply auctioning rules to your sniper groups. These are the basics of TSM, which are well covered in PhatLewts' guides linked in my signature.
    Last edited by Sterling; November 24th, 2016 at 09:18 PM.
    Must-See: Stormspire.net Survival Guide | How-to: Tooltips in your posts | Consortium Key Sender (CKS) | Phat Lewts' Learn TSM Series
    Legion Mastery Series: Sniper | Cross-Faction Trading | Cooking | Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring Master
    Old World: Smelting | Garrisons Part 1 - Buildings | Garrisons Part 2 - Followers | Profitable Alchemy Crafts
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  2. #2
    Luzbelito's Avatar
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    I love you, have my children
    Steel your heart, and your soul will shine brighter than a thousand suns!

  3. #3
    Kathroman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling View Post
    Stacks with crafting
    You can also sometimes snipe cheap mats that can then be processed into higher-margin crafted goods
    Like what you see? Become an Ethereal Contributor to help support the site and gain access to additional perks.

        

    Guides: Thunder Bluff Vendor Supply Route | Entry Level JC Strategy | Alternative DMF Guide

    TSM 2.0: TSM 2.0 Groups & Operations GUIDE | TSM 2.0 Basic JC Shuffler | TSM 2.0 ADVANCED JC Shuffler

  4. #4
    Thank you for the guide, Sterling. Going to bounce my settings off it and see if I can make any adjustments. I've been running sniper off and on since Sapu added the feature and I must say it hasn't returned anything in my shopping lists. Likely the AH is just dead. If I use custom price it works fine.

    Am sifting through your items/groups now so will add here if I see anything amiss. Have already come across several valuable items that were missing from my shopping groups. :-D

    [Apron] under Jewelry/Shirts/Off-hands is BOA.
    under Mounts/Pets is BOP.
    Last edited by Spanky; January 2nd, 2014 at 04:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Samiera's Avatar
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    Sterling, this takes me back to the glory days of Auctioneer when I first started my gold-making foray. The guides you and Sinshroud put together were invaluable, and this is a great addition! I've been enjoying playing around with sniper, but have yet to set up groups specifically for it. Your pre-made groups will be good starting point and are much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Branikald's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for sharing this. I've been wanting to optimise and increase my usage for the shopping module for a long time, but I never got around to actually doing it. This will certainly push me into the right direction.

  7. #7
    Samiera's Avatar
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    I added the non-soulbound 5.4 glyph techniques to my sniper recipe list, here's the ID's if you want to include them:
    Code:
    104232,104209,104217,104219,104222,104224,104225,104227,104230,104231,104210,104235,104241,104244,104245,104279
    .

  8. #8
    Sterling's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I just updated the import list, there were several hundred important items missing. Make sure to re-import everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
    Thank you for the guide, Sterling. Going to bounce my settings off it and see if I can make any adjustments. I've been running sniper off and on since Sapu added the feature and I must say it hasn't returned anything in my shopping lists. Likely the AH is just dead. If I use custom price it works fine.

    Am sifting through your items/groups now so will add here if I see anything amiss. Have already come across several valuable items that were missing from my shopping groups. :-D

    [Apron] under Jewelry/Shirts/Off-hands is BOA.
    under Mounts/Pets is BOP.
    Thanks for the feedback @Branikald @Samiera @Spanky and @Luzbelito (I guess).

    At the moment I don't believe max price is working at all. Custom price is working though.

    I've updated the imports list to include the techniques.
    Must-See: Stormspire.net Survival Guide | How-to: Tooltips in your posts | Consortium Key Sender (CKS) | Phat Lewts' Learn TSM Series
    Legion Mastery Series: Sniper | Cross-Faction Trading | Cooking | Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring Master
    Old World: Smelting | Garrisons Part 1 - Buildings | Garrisons Part 2 - Followers | Profitable Alchemy Crafts
    Archived: Enchanting | Jewelcrafting | Toy Box Guide | Blacksmithing Transmog Guide
    Want to get the most out of the site and support the community? Consider Premium Membership
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  9. #9
    Samiera's Avatar
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    I'm going to get addicted to watching Sniper....

  10. #10
    To start with - fantastic guide, as is usual with all of your OPs, @Sterling - real quality stuff. I'll come back once I've a chance to fully read through it and play with it.

    I do, however, want to mention that Auctioneer is not dead (only abandoned - a testament to its own immortality) and its Real-Time Search still works quite well. TSM is not doing anything revolutionary here, but is bringing that 4-5 year-old featureset to the masses. It is continuing the democratization of goldmaking here. In time, if Sniper proves to be consistent, and useful, I may even be able to load a character up without loading Auctioneer.
    Retired - I blame Kathroman for everything.

    (that's a joke, eh)

 

 

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