A couple of days ago, TSM – an addon for auctions, among other things – lost its data feeds. These data feeds provide information about item pricing on the auction houses of specific realms.
This data is fetched live by a desktop utility which, incidentally, also keeps your addon up to date for you. So the expectation is that, when the game launches, the data that the desktop tool fetched is waiting for it.
Now, normally when the feeds die, the addon refuses to function, or at least it refuses to do auction-related functions that rely on that data(1) without a very noticeable notification. But this time, what we saw was that TSM threw an error when we logged in, and some – but not all – auctions that rely on TSM data feeds refused to post, or be cancelled, through the addon.
What I did not realize at the time was that some auctions were posting even though they relied on data feeds.
Now, there was an indicator in the AH window that there was a problem with the data feeds, but the desktop app insisted the feeds were up to date – though I noticed that they were last updated over 24 hour ago.
Anyway, unknown to myself, as I said, some of these dependent auctions were allowed to go through. But due to the vagarities of how the defaults were set up for these auctions (with a category called “dump” you can probably guess the nature of those vagarities) some of these auctions posted for less than 10g or, in one case, 1g. These auctions were for items that were normally priced around 25,000 to 100,000 GP.
Now, I’m not going to point fingers here. Ultimately, the driver is responsible for plowing into the side of a school bus full of kindergarteners. And I took out, metaphorically, about 10 busses. I took the defaults. I was lazy. I did not react to obvious danger signs. This was 100% on me.
But it is vexing – vexing! – that TSM has multiple publication channels and yet none of them were updated regarding this. Their blog was last updated in March. The Twitter feed, April. I don’t live on Discord(2) but just posting on Discord is insufficient and, not to put too fine a point on it, lazy.
So, yes, I do take full responsibility for losing around 200Kg in one night, but TSM bears responsibility for not being up-front about what just happened. 24 hours after this incident, nothing. It’s not like you can blame my computer. I am the master of this ship and know what happened on it. So let’s not go there and make TSM’s maintainers look stupid(3).
The main cause of this loss is something called “sniping”. This is an AH practice that involves finding ludicrously undervalued auctions and snapping them up to resell at the market value, which happens to be far higher – thus, a profit. You may think this is not something that happens a lot, but, in fact, it does. In fact, it happens so often that TSM actually has a “sniper mode” built in. “Goblins” are expected to be “snipers” because Mammon forbid if they were portrayed as fucking geeks with fucking spreadsheets that happened to notice that something sorted lower than usual.
Listen, I loathe the concept of Sniping but I really don’t have a beef with them. Normally. In this, an abnormal situation, they ate my lunch. Good show. Go you. I still, unexpectedly, have no beef. Listen, in a month, I’ll have recovered all losses and then some. I knew these fuckers existed, and planned around it – based on known solid, accurate information(4), and my plan, as it were, is basically let them go do their thing while I focus on the long game. That has not changed.
Have lessons been learned? You bet your hairy ass they have. I will in the future be less cavalier in posting auctions when there are any indications at all that my AH addon is malfunctioning. For the simple reason that I can no longer trust that the people that maintain it and its infrastructure are doing so in good faith. And, if I notice that the data feeds are over 24 hours out of date? Best practice is probably to wait a day before doing any auction-related activities. This is something that would be de rigueur when, for example, transitioning from one expansion to the next. But In the middle of all the shit, with no expansion or even content patch? Unexpected. At best.
I’ve been pwnt. Well played, pwner. You goblins got your pound of flesh. I’ll keep the metric ton of fleshage, though. Carry on. I am playing the long game. And I will be here long after this event. Regardless.
- It’s possible to do so, but it’s not the default.
- Discord is not an archive. #IYKYK
- Somebody please tell me they aren’t stupid
- Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.
Deja Vu All Over Again
If you play this game long enough you start to see things repeat themselves.
I don’t mean in-game, but in the Blogospheric Echo Chamber(1) that we all operate within. There are themes, observations, and opinions that keep coming back. Sometimes, even on the same blog.
I’ve been hard on myself, trying not to be one of those blogs, where occasionally I circle back onto a topic and retread it. Though, of course. when you’ve dropped as many words as I have over the last dozen or so years(2), you’re bound to hit on similar things eventually. Hell, I’ll wager that I’ve used the title of this article before(3).
That being said, one does expect other long-timers – as few of them left that still blog – to also remember how things were and not start going on about how this is neat or that is bad without realizing that it’s nothing new.
The same can not be said for players that aren’t, exactly, new, but haven’t been here for the duration. Say, that guy that started playing as a Panda rogue and just now discovered something that old timers would recognize as a riff on Reforging, for example, but which they feel is a Significant Discovery.
It is hard not to be cynical about this. How it seems that the only thing that you can count on is that someone else is getting mileage off of something that you’ve seen others – or yourself! – writing about years ago.
But how can this be avoided? You can’t just yell at people to do better research. First of all, how would they? Are we literally expecting them to go back and re-read all of Big Red Kitty before having an opinion on Beastmastery Hunters? I mean, assuming it was possible, which I don’t think it is? Heck, you can’t even point people to go read back-issues of WoW Insider’s Guild Watch column to get an example of “your guild’s not as bad as you think, this shit was happening long ago.”
I don’t really have an answer. It’s not really feasible to take on the mantle of “rememberer of things” if nobody actually wants someone to do so. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen someone on The Internet say “Boy I sure wish there was somebody around that remembered how things actually were.” People are more invested in providing their own interpretations of how things were and will actually argue with someone that was THERE about how wrong they are. Talk about “alternate facts.”
Now, with some of the new features for Dragonflight, we’re getting Deja Vu. The new talent trees, as an example, are going to present some of the Same Old Problems and these are going to be run up the flagpole as Fresh New Scandal. As an example, I’m sure we’re going to see “cookie cutter” specs come out of this change, where people look up a spec on Noxxic or Icy Veins or WoWHead even, and use it rather than do the thinking for themselves.
Us Olds are gonna say yeah, seen it, done it, and it was fine. And besides, how were the previous tiers any different? But yeah the kiddos not going to get it, or appreciate it, and, likely, resent that we’re even saying that.
Another thing, as @Marathal pointed out, is how some of the features of the new crafting resemble nothing less than the old Reforging feature, and remembering the big bruhaha over Ask Mr Robot’s role in demystifying that feature(4).
Nobody cares. Not that it happened before, nor that we remember.
Yeah yeah. Go back to sleep, old guy(8).
All that aside, there’s meat in them oysters, and I’m limbering up for some – at least personal – theorycrafting. I will not be competing with these young whippersnappers in that regard. They fancy with they slicked back hair and backlit keyboards and solar calculators. I can’t compete with that.
But maybe I can apply a bit of perspective as compared with what we had before. Though, as I’ve said, I doubt it will matter. If they’re too lazy to rez up a toon in TBC-Classic (or Wrath-Classic later this year) to see For Reals what it used to be like, then they’re not going to be interested with someone deconstructing their carefully constructed constructs of How It Was, I Just Know It.
The most annoying thing about this, if there is to be an annoying thing(5), is the possibility that Blizz is counting on this. That there exists a Machiavellian intelligence at Blizz that thinks that, if only they get enough “churn” in the playerbase, they can pull off a revisit to old game systems without anyone calling them into question, because the ones that remembered that have either moved on to other things(6) or are so few in number that nobody really pays them any attention(7). To them, it isn’t about loyalty – it’s about numbers. They don’t care that there are 1,000,000 loyal customers, only that there are 1,000,000 customers. Done and done.
You won’t find me in the “Blizz has a Machiavellian Intelligence” camp because I don’t think The Suits are that smart, but they’re good enough at Faking It that they will claim credit for anything, be it good or bad, just to make it look like they’re smarter than a lump of coal. You can go along with that if you want, but I’m voting for the lump.
- You’ve seen it a lot even if you don’t know what to call it. One blog espouses something, then another riffs on that, and then another riffs on that, and so forth. Eventually you have fifty blogs all talking about the same thing, only different.
- Not gonna look, not gonna look …
- Not gonna look, not gonna look …
- Called out by some as “cheating”.
- And there always is, isn’t there?
- /waves to FFIX players