Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Auctioneer Advanced Overview - Part I

I've been getting lots of comments regarding Auctioneer Advanced (AA). They range from "how the heck do I use it" to "it makes me want to beat the monitor with a Wii controller." It comes up on the blogs I read from time to time as well, like Gitr's recent post (big GRATZ on the 69 ding, Gitr!).

So to all of you who /shrug when trying to figure out what AA is all about, this post is for you.

Keep in mind that we're talking about a pre-release candidate. Some of the things that AA falls short on will be fixed with the major release. I'll note those things I know about.

OK, let's get started...

The Tabs

If you are running only AA, you'll notice three new tabs in the WoW Auction House interface: BeanCounter, Appraiser and BtmScan (i.e. BottomScanner). You'll also note that the Scan button is in a different place if you are used to Auctioneer Classic (AC)....

Browsing Auctions

AA does not have a search interface like AC does. The good news is that the Auctioneer team is working on it already and it will be part of the final release. This is one reason why I still run both.

Why both? Why not just AC?

Because, in addition to a bunch of great tools and features, AA also shows how well items are priced, compared to their fair market price, as a percentage. And they're color coded. I'm very visual (though you wouldn't know it by my underwhelming blog design) so I like this feature A LOT. It tells me instantly what the great deals are. Here's an example on a browse through the Rare and Epic weapons on sale (pages 1-3)...

One thing you'll notice about the previous screen shots is that just because I sort by the "Percent of Market Price" it only sorts it on a per page basis. Remember that. You'll need to page through all pages to make sure you don't miss a good deal.

The Slider Bar

Configuring the AA Suite of tools is done by clicking on the appropriate icon on the slider bar. The slider bar? Yes, the slider bar. It's hidden off to the right of your screen right below the minimap (at least on my plain ol', non-add-on interface). Just move your mouse over to the edge there and it'll "slide" out - hence the name.

I'll go into my configuration settings for AA later in the series.


This tab rocks. This is one of the add-ons bundled with the AA suite and it is simply the best thing since sliced Conjured Bread. What it does is keep track of what you bought from the AH, which auctions were successful, which weren't and what your net (what you brought in after the AH took it's cut) was.

Since I avoid manually keeping notes of what I buy and sell like the plague this has been a godsend. When posting I can very quickly see what my purchase price was and get an idea of what I'll be making. Or if I should hold because I'll break even at the current market price.

Here's a screenshot showing some auctions of Wool Cloth...

BeanCounter can also tell you which items you should stay away from (if you see a lot of failed auctions) or ones you're not making the money you thought you were.

Part I Wrap-Up

So that's a wrap for Part I. Next up I'll hit on the other most-favorite-AA-functionality - Appraiser. And then there's the matter of my settings and BottomScanner (which is going to be over several posts).

I'm thinking this topic is going to keep me busy for a while.


Gitr said...

Good write-up and thanks for the link love. Basically, my stance is that when you use BottomScanner, you don't know how many other items are listed just 5-10% more expensive than what you bought. I'd rather buy with a little more control and do the searches.

I generally liked the Appraiser, but I can't count the number of times I'd be in the middle of posting auctions and it would suddenly decide that I couldn't post anything and I'd have to log off and back on.

I put Classic back on last night and need to get Igor's Mass Auction addon from my old interface folder.

Copra said...

I cannot somehow run both Classic and Advanced at the same time: the result is flooding of errors in the main chat window, referencing Fence, Auctioneer and Stubby.

So I made the decision to learn to use Advanced. I miss some features (like the Search) from Classic, but I'm doing more killer sales now than with the Classic only.

BottomScanner is brilliant and I haven't experienced the problem gitr mentioned: I think I have tweaked the limits so that I really cut the competition.

It takes some time to tweak the whole package to correspond to your personal style.

Cheers and looking forward on what you have found in the AA!


Og said...

Gitr - Good points. BottomScanner makes it pretty easy to spend all your coin on great deals and then find out there are ones that are 20% cheaper. Or you find killer deals that you don't have the coin for any more. Found myself sitting on 6 stacks of Thorium Bars at killer prices, but it took me nearly two weeks to unload them. That's not a bad thing but it also means that my gold isn't working as hard as it could be.

On the flip side, if you have BottomScanner configured well, and know the pitfalls, you can do VERY well with it.

I had a problem with the Auctioneer suite until I upgraded to the most recent pre-release version (from mid-December and right on the Auctioneer home page). Not sure that would do the trick for you, but it may be worth a try.

Classic is good. I'm curious about the add-on you mentioned. I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the comments. Now go out there and get to 70!

Og said...

Copra - Bizarre. When you say you can't "run" both, do you mean have them loaded or scan at the same time? I'm pretty sure scanning at the same time won't work (never tried it, but my hunch is it would barf an error at me). I do have them loaded together and they seem quite happy. If it's not that it's got to be a versioning issue.

Search is coming to AA and it will be a Good Day (tm) when that happens.

I'm with you on BottomScanner. It does take a bit of time to configure correctly, but when it's all set it can bring some fabulous bargains your way. You still need to be aware of the downside Gitr mentioned because it can bite you. Even still, it's worth getting turned on.

Thanks for the adds.

Copra said...

I have both AA and AC installed and running, and there are errors.

First of all, the AH layout is very much off: AC has extra tabs, which expand the AH window length wise. However, AA doesn't seem to take this into account in any way.

Secondly, everytime I slide my pointer over an object to see the stats, for example, there is a huge list of errors in the general chat window. I would understand if they went to bugsack or such, but no.

There were some other problems, too, but I do not dare to delete all and start from a blank slate: that would destroy the current data!

Anyhow, like I said, I'm in AA completely now, and I'm looking forward to make some killings with it. Already had some success, but the 'big one' is yet to come.


Og said...

Copra - Sounds like a mess. I get some quirks and errors but they're different.

It might not be a bad idea to head over to the Auctioneer home page, click on the forums and post your problems on the Technical forum. They can help you out. There's also an IRC channel link where you can talk to the Auctioneer team live.

I'm of the same mind that if I can still rock-n-roll in the AH I won't do anything that might wipe out my data.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Og...I've recently (like, last weekend) discovered the goodness that is Bean Counter.

I can't wait for your discussion of Appraiser: It drives me nuts! For example, why on one item does "Match Competition" for Simple show higher than not checking "Match" but for something else, it's the reverse? (If that doesn't make sense, then you have some idea of my frustration with Appraiser--even though I know it's an excellent tool! Too bad everyone doesn't use it!)

Og said...

Kestrel - Thanks! And BeanCounter is da Dark Iron Bomb. I love it.

Just keep in mind that Og is of Small Brain. I like to share what I know, but I don't know everything about Auctioneer (hard to believe, I know!). Not even close.

So, when I do the Appraiser piece, if it doesn't answer your question just let me know and I'll see if I can't track the answer down for you.

Mykal McFarland said...

Three main things that increase the functionality of auctioneer 500%

1) When auctioneer gives you the pop-up on "good buy" it also SHOWS you the info on what the market of that items is by making a second search eliminating the "slow sells" we all get from time to time.

2) Auctioneer gives you the ability to remove "99999gold" set items and such by selecting the item and then clicking a button to remove it from the data base.

3) Auctioneer instead of suggesting 5% undercut cuts by a set amount of copper/silver. Since the next person to post an auction will undercut you and if it sells you will increase your gains.

Og said...

Mykal - Spot on. Good adds.