Sunday, 6 November 2011

Tips and Tricks - TSM Custom Reset Method

Posting walls of items works well to squeeze and discourage campers. The idea is you post multiple items at prices the campers really don't like. Lower than they like selling at, yet higher than and too many of than they'll buy you out at.

The camper then has 3 choices:

1. Undercut you anyhow
2. Buy you out and attempt to reset prices
3. Stop posting until the price goes up again

In my experience most campers will continue to undercut for a while anyhow. That's fine, let the campers work their butts off for peanuts for a while. All you have to do is post enough items often enough to keep the price low and discourage buyout attempts until they stop camping.

Campers figure if they can stop all your sales for a while you'll lose gold on deposits and give up. That only works on the little guys and the casuals. All it's going to do with an experienced goblin who's in it for the long haul is get his attention focused on making things difficult for the camper(s) in question. The goblin won't be losing gold either. He'll be making less gold, but that bothers campers a lot more than it bothers goblins.

The biggest problem with walls is getting your walls up at high enough prices to discourage buyouts while at the same time being low enough to keep the pressure on the campers. If you post too high they'll gleefully undercut you forever and you won't sell much. If you post too low then you might wind up being the one working your butt off for peanuts and that's no good. Worst of all if you post too low the campers might buy you out and reset prices much higher.

Ideally to prevent buyouts you want at least 3 walls at low, medium and high prices. Or better yet think of it as low, medium and high profit margins. The low priced wall puts the pressure on, the high priced wall caps the market and the medium priced wall discourages buying out the pressure wall and re-posting just under the cap wall.

Let's say you're battling an obsessive gem camper who mostly focuses on Inferno Rubies and Ember Topaz (hi phlox).

The three important Inferno Ruby cuts sell fast enough the simplest and most effective thing to do is just post and forget 5 or 10 of each at a time. Keep an eye on the camper and post several times a day for 24 hours with threshold near cost (the price you can normally buy raw gems in enough bulk to not run out at), fallback 150-200% cost and 10-20% undercut. Enough will sell you really don't need to do anything more complicated. If a camper tries to stop your sales completely he's going to have to camp hardcore posting at or near cost. He won't do that for long, especially not if you occasionally buy him out when he goes under your threshold and re-post his gems for more.

Ember Topaz on the other hand are a little trickier, particularly if the camper posts them cut under the usual bulk buy price for raw gems. There are so many different cuts, most of which sell fairly well, it'd take an awful lot of stock to do the same as with Inferno Rubies. Fewer walls (3 or 4 at most) with steeper undercuts works better here. The problem with this is there's a bigger gap between walls making buying out the low priced wall more tempting.

Reset Method tells TSM what do when prices are below your threshold. The options are to post at fallback, threshold, to not post and to post at a custom value. If you set reset method to threshold someone might buy you out anyhow if they see an opportunity for a big price jump. If you set it to fallback they'll just 1c undercut you forever. What's needed here is a wall priced a little higher than the threshold wall. Over the bulk buy price on raw gems but not by too much.

This is where TSM Custom Reset Method comes in handy. The high and low priced walls are easy to maintain with Threshold, Fallback and Undercut settings. Custom Reset Method only comes into play when the price is below your threshold. Simply set Custom Reset Method to somewhere between your threshold and fallback (closer to threshold usually works best) and it'll post at that price when prices are below your threshold.

Unfortunately Custom Reset Method can't be set any higher than 100g so while it works just fine for gems and glyphs it isn't suitable for everything. It's really too bad it can't be set higher because it'd be great for chants, belt buckles, leg armors, spellthreads or anything else that sells in volume and is heavily camped.

In fact I'd love to see custom reset method expanded to allow it to change everything about the reset post from price to duration, stack size and number of auctions posted.


  1. Unfortunately one of my arch glyph enemies is none other than ... the damn author of TSM, Sapu! I has a feeling he's not increasing this Reset limit from 100g because i requested it!

    Nah just kidding hes a nice guy. I'll mention it to him the next time he complains to me about The Camper aka Discretetime. Cant be that hard to do.

  2. So that's why Sapu stopped listening to me! You turned him against me you.. you...

    LOL, just kidding. I'm an old programmer myself, I know what happens when a program of your's becomes popular. No doubt he's so completely swamped with input from "official" testers now he doesn't have any time left to consider input from unofficial sources anymore. ;)

  3. I don't really understand the point of tactics like this I guess. I camp the AH fairly heavily (well, did) and I just make items whenever they pass a profit threshold.

    The moment you would "force me out of a market" would be when you go below that threshold. That's fine with me, there are TONS of different AH markets (flasks, potions, herbs, gear, enchanting mats, enchants, cut rares, etc etc) to make money and only so many hours in the day. I honestly probably won't even notice. As soon as your wall is removed (unless you plan on making a tiny profit forever because my margin is between 5 and 20% depending on market), TSM will automatically set that type of item to restock.

    The only way I could see this type of thing being useful is on a really popular AND expensive type of item (Power Torrent/Landslide). Again though, I heavily monitor the high-end enchants because those have huge profit margins. I would just lower my profit margin to like 5-10% and if I had to, base the crafting costs off the shuffle itself instead of AH prices.

    It just seems like walls are a strategy for people with limited time (or to reverse that - walls don't seem very effective for people like me with no life) or people who want revenge on X person for Y reason.

  4. That's precisely the point of walls... To counter no-life campers. ;)

  5. I actually asked Sapu about this 100g max on the Custom Reset earlier last week but then forgot to follow up (crazy weekend).

    Here's a thread to the Consortium topic for when he gets back to me again:

  6. I'm always sort of amused at people that wall up the gem market. Considering that I will generally make 4-6x whatever I spend on the initial investment of ore, walling doesn't really do anything other than present a slight annoyance. I'll still undercut (pretty frequently as I camp the AH while my daughters are watching Sleeping Beauty and the wife is on her laptop...), it gives me an idea of who I should watch out for, and three it pushes me to be innovative in terms of pricing and posting strategies. Granted, YMMV server to server but the gem market seems dynamic enough to handle more than one fully armed goblin - shades of US/USSR "MAD" strategy. Additionally, I've found that working to stabilize a market economy has far better returns for everyone involved vs. aggressive market pushes for dominance.

  7. Interesting post as always Mox. I liked the phlox shout out. he says mean things to me and makes me cry.

  8. 4-6x your ore investment?

    That's amazingly high. Sounds like your server's gem market isn't very competitive. I'd guess ore is cheap too.

    Enjoy it while it lasts!

  9. I agree working to stabilize the economy is better than trying to dominate it. I'd much rather sell 10 a day for 100g profit each than 100 a day for 10g profit each.

    The problem is all it takes is one greedy no-lifer trying to dominate a market to ruin it. When it comes to that, then I'd rather sell 100 a day for 10g profit each than none, or maybe 1 or 2 a good day for 100g profit each.

  10. I hate to play the devil's advocate but i can't not comment!

    First of all I tried TSM 3 times and uninstalled it a few minutes later each time! Now I won't touch it even with a 100 foot pole! Second walls are never a good idea! It just waists your gold paying the deposit! I simply wait until the wall poster goes offline post my items a few silver cheaper and laugh as mine sells and yours doesn't because people don't want to deal with walls!

    @ MoxNix, I used to agree that stabilizing the economy is better than dominating it! However I have changed my mind after spending 5kg to stabilize the gem market just to be undercut so much that raw rare cata gems went from 33g per down to 1g a pop!

    I admit to being a greedy "no-lifer" but I am not the problem! The real problem is people under-cutting each other so much that the value of items drop so low that they aren't worth posting! A good example is my true gem story above!

  11. If rare gems went to 1g each and you didn't buy out every single one, even if there were twenty thousand of them, then you really don't know what you're doing.

    Also, holy exclamation points, Batman.

  12. You bet your butt I bought them all out and have been selling them to raiders at 25g per that are too busy to check the AH!

    As to the exclamation points they make me feel powerful so I will continue using them! :P

  13. Well of course if people post below vendor you buy them out. Depending on color, cut and sometimes even timing I'll buy them out for a lot more than that.

    As to your point on stabilizing vs dominating. That's what walls are about. When someone won't stop trying to dominate sales, dump the price and keep it there until he stops.

    You don't even really want your's to sell then. Find his real threshold, post just over it and let him work his butt off for peanuts while all you have to do is repost every 24 or 48 hours.

  14. Also when I say it's better to stabilize than to dominate that's assuming the competition isn't trying to dominate.

    If he is then it's time for 48 hour walls. Find his real thresholds and post just over them. You don't really want your's to sell then. Let him work his butt off for peanuts while all you have to do is repost every 2 days. While he's working desperately to dominate gems for peanuts you'll have plenty of time to work other more lucrative markets.

  15. "As to the exclamation points they make me feel powerful so I will continue using them! :P "

    Gotta love your readers Mox, made me grin.

    PS: dont u feel dirty having to defend wall strats =).

  16. Sometimes it amazes which posts get comments and which don't. I never expected many comments on this post while other posts I thought would get plenty of comments got none at all.

  17. Critical is a pro blogger, who just so happens to be pro at comment baiting. What is comment baiting you ask? (i know u didnt say a word but Critical can read minds). It is giving away 99% whilst withholding 1% until a reader asks, then Bam! Its like bees to a honey pot!

    Now you know the secret to Critical's active comments board!

    PS: i dont actually do the above. Not intentionally anyway.

  18. @ MoxNix, I stay away from the gem market all together, i just had to comment anyway!

    @ Critical Goblin, Wave, I read your blog as well! :P Also I am glad my exclamation points made you grin! I don't like bee's as I am allergic to them, so i am replacing them with a bear!

    "Bam! Its like a bear to a honey pot!" - fixed! :p