Updates - This month has turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. I am writing this from my wife’s computer. The hard drive on mine failed and now ...
New Auction Data Site AHSpy.com Launches (EU Soon*)
With the re-launch of The Undermine Journal earlier this year as well as the recent introduction of WoWTrader.org.uk the race to be the best auction house data site is heating up. Add AHSpy.com to this growing list of websites presenting searchable World of Warcraft auction house data on the web.
In its early beta stages AHSpy.com doesn't offer many options and doesn't (sadly) include any data for EU realms. (For updated info on EU realm availability see end of post.) I decided to to take a look at what they have to offer so far. Read my initial impressions after the jump.
While still in it's "Beta" stage I thought I'd give AHSpy a once over. Loading the site you are presented with a search box and that's about it. Entering a search term you are presented with google-style auto-completion which saves a few seconds of typing.
|AHSpy.com live auto-completion during search.|
Once you select the item you'd like to search you are presented with a list of servers from which to choose which server data you'd like to use. AHSpy.com notes that new realms will be added gradually and there it no way to request a realm be added before any other.
At the time of this writing there was a total of 18 US realms available. The first thing I looked for was to see if EU realms would be added (as that is one of the largest current short-comings of The Undermine Journal). Looking in AHSpy's API Documentation page I found the following.
"Country is either ‘us’ or ‘eu’. Right now, we only support US realms."
This should at least give all you EU players a small glimmer of hope that EU realms might be added to AHSpy at some point. If you play in the EU and would like to see AHSpy include EU realms sooner rather than later I encourage you head to the AHSpy Feedback page and let them know you want EU data now.
Let them know that there is a large pent-up demand for an EU auction house data site and that get EU realms listed may give them a slight advantage over other non-EU auction data sites. *cough* The Undermine Journal *cough*
But Is It Useful?
Right now it is hard to tell if AHSpy will be useful or not. One thing that The Undermine Journal does extremely well is provide multiple useful data visualizations, graphs, etc. It not only provides the raw data but also the tools to be able to use the data.
So far AHSpy seems to offer a bid/buyout price and quantity graph along with a listing of current auctions on the currently selected realm. It seems that you can't view items as per-item cost which is unfortunate. It does show seller names which is somewhat useful.
I looked on the AHSpy Roadmap page to see what features were planned but unfortunately the page is "coming soon" at the time of this writing.
My initial impressions is that it is in beta. With a limited set of realms it is next to useless until realms I play on are added. The data visualization so far is a bit lacking. Perhaps it is just because I'm comparing it to The Undermine Journal but if AHSpy wants to compete they have to either do data visualization better than The Undermine Journal or find different/more useful ways to present data.
I noticed that once I chose a realm all searches defaulted to searching that realm with no obvious way to choose a different realm as my "default". I did figure out how to choose a different realm (click on the realm name) but something more robust is in order.
All in all it looks like the beginnings of a useful tool.
My Advice to AHSpy
Here is my advice as to what I think could put AHSpy.com over the top and provide the best fighting chance for competing with The Undermine Journal.
Hold off on adding any more US realms and instead add all the EU realms first.
This one single change could put AHSpy on the map in a way no other single piece of advice would. The amount of demand I hear from my readers for an The Undermine Journal-like site for the EU realms is overwhelming. Do this.
Add the ability to receive email/twitter/etc. notifications when a designated (ie. one of our auctions) auction is undercut. Also allow notifications when a certain character posts auctions.
I don't know all the back-end processes involved in this but this is one killer-app I think could make a auction data site very popular. You do have "Spy" in your name and this type of "spying" would be a great feature.
Competition is Good
As in gold-making, competition in the auction house data site world is a good thing. Having multiple options helps drive sites to do better and get more creative. I am anxious to see how AHSpy progresses as time goes along.
Those of use who utilize these sites do so often and having additional tools at our disposal is always a good thing. I encourage you to head over to AHSpy.com and give it a good looking-over. If you think there is something that could be added/improved I encourage you to use the AHSpy Feedback page to send them feedback. (Hint hint EU players.)
- What are features you'd like to see in an auction house data site?
- What do you use current auction house data sites for the most?
- Why do you think auction house data sites have been so slow to include EU data?
After writing this article I decided to put my money where my mouth was and submit my "advice to AHSpy" section on their feedback page. (Read my submission here.) To my surprise I've already received a response from the developers of AHSpy. (Color me impressed.) Below is the response from Pierre. (Emphasis added.)
"> instead add all the EU realms first.
EU realms will start showing up before the end of this week
> Add the ability to receive email/twitter/etc. notifications
There's going to be a really good notification system coming up shortly. Most of the notifications you requested will be implemented. You'll also be able to be notified when certain items are posted at certain prices.
Thanks again for your interest :). I'll try to update this topic when your requested features get added."
So there you have it. AHSpy says that EU realms should start showing up before the end of the week. This makes me hopeful. Having responsive developers is a very good sign.
I received the following message from Pierre at AHSpy.com:
"The following EU realms are now available on AHSpy:
Of course, more will be added later."
Definitely exciting times for those in the EU who've been waiting for a armory-based auction data site. Keep it up!
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