Items go in groups. Operations are performed on groups. Welcome to your new vocabulary. #tsm2
— Twitchie (@twitchietgw) June 19, 2013
From the green fire sharpened warlock mind who brought you the hashtag #TSM2, comes a post completely devoid of configuration screenshots to discuss concepts core to TSM 2.
Use #TSM2 in your #TSM2 tweets! Thanks to @twitchietgw
— Sapu (TSM Lead Dev) (@Sapu94) June 20, 2013
With a complete overhaul of TSM comes concepts of pure simplicity, that when combined make the automation of your virtual business both easy and powerful. Unlike some of my colleages, I have found the change is not in itself confusing, but merely change. For the better. If you forget what you know of TSM configuration and read on, you will probably find starting fresh quite instructive.
Moving to TSM 2 is permenant, and I'm here to tell you that there won't be any going back. In time you'll forget all about your TSM 1 backups that you diligently squirelled away. The only thing I forgot about before making the change was the details of my whitelist, but a message on my guild forums sorted that out quickly. Also note that the format for TSM Accounting will change, so make sure you are prepared if you store and manipulate your data outside the game.
Rather than jump right in, let's talk about the nature of things. A thing can be a finished product (belt buckle, potion) or it can be a material (golden lotus) or anything inbetween (ghost iron bar). In TSM 2 you put these things in groups and you can put those groups in groups to organise ALL THE THINGS.
The power of groups is that because your group can have subgroups and those subgroups can have subgroups, you really can organise things any way you can dream up. You might even go so far as to plan it out in advance:
@twitchietgw I created a visual map of how my groups flow, really helped me visualize exactly what I wanted, http://t.co/mFoNsZPCNR #TSM2
— The Drunken Mogul (@GoblinRaset) June 20, 2013
The beauty of groups is that TSM remembers the branching so that rather than an endless list of categories and groups, if you design your groups well, you can always find what you'd like to work on without the distraction of looking at your entire enterprise.
Operations are how you put ALL THE THINGS in motion. You apply an operation to a group to make something happen. So rather than navigate different modules for configuration, just ask yourself what do I want to DO with this group?
- Sell the things - Auctioning operation
- Mail the things - Mailing operation
- Store the things - Warehousing operation
- Create the things - Crafting operation
- Buy the things - Shopping operation
Think of what you'd like to happen and setting that up is just a click away.
The elegance of operations is how easy it is to navigate and see what you've set up, and how quick it is to create new operations and apply them to a group.
The power of operations is many fold. Firstly you can have more than one operation for a group. Have you ever wanted to sell flasks in different sizes? I admit this feature got me a little giddy and instead of just selling 18 flasks in stacks of 3 (enough for a 3hr raid) I went nuts. 6 stacks of 3, 2 stacks of 1, 4 stacks of 5 and 2 stacks of 10. I thought no matter how you like to buy your flasks, Twitchie has you covered. You can apply this to duration or even just for novelty, offer a discount to 'bulk' purchases (I'm kidding of course).
Secondly, operations are reusable across different groups. Now I'm a little bit of a control freak, and tend to micromanage price thresholds in absolute gold values, but I couldn't resist this new technology as an opportunity to let go. So while my tailoring, leatherworking and blacksmithing PvP gear are all in seperate groups, the way I craft them, price and post them are defined in the same operations. You can name your operations with discriptive names to make the whole process intuative.
Thirdly, operations have been applied across everything. I can't say enough about how much warehousing has improved. Want to keep something in stock? Create a warehousing operation and specify a stock level. Hit 'restock bags' and watch things fly in both directions. It changed my cooking operation drastically.
Lastly, applying operations to groups is fun. When you are working on a materials group, and have your shopping operation implemented, you can't help but notice that you don't have an auctioning operation defined. So you think why not? I'll charge a King's ransom* and see what happens. When those lucrative sales roll in as a biproduct of playing with a new piece of software, you truly appreciate how elegance of the new design.
Next time I'll talk about the few things I miss about TSM 1, or a subset of the features in TSM 2 that you'll really look foward to.
* reasonable markup