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2.26.2013

Speed Up Posting With Common Search Terms


In this post we will be going over how to significantly speed up posting of your 83-84 Mists of Pandaria items using a feature of TradeSkillMaster called "Common Search Term".

While this technique can be used for posting other types of items (most commonly Glyphs) it does have a few specific limitations. While I will be focusing this post on how to use it to speed up posting/reposting 83-84 Mists of Pandaria items it also works great for 77-80 Cataclysm items.

Read on past the jump for how to add the "Common Search Term" option to your own 83-83 Mists of Pandaria item groups and beyond.

What Is A Common Search Term?

A "Common Search Term" is a set of words that is included in the name of each and every item in a Category or Group Override. An example would be adding "Glyph of" to a Group Override of a group that exclusively included glyphs. This would work because every glyph in the game starts with the same two words: "Glyph of".

In our examples we will be using two words common to every dropped uncommon (green) quality 83-84 Mist of Pandaria item: "of the".

A few examples would be "Bronzed Spear of the Mercenary" and "Brick Girdle of the Bear". Both items include the words "of the". This is the Common Search Term we will be using.

How Common Search Terms Speed Up Posting

The way I've had it explained to me (and the TSM developers can feel free to correct me) the "Common Search Term" option in a Category or Group Override in TradeSkillMaster is a term that is common (ie. shared) by all the items in a group.

When you press "Post Auctions" in TradeSkillMaster it's normal proceedure is to searche for each item on the auction house and return a result which it then uses to compare against your Category or Group Overrides and then set the price for the item.

It does this for each and every item in your bags that is included in an auctioning group. While it is fairly fast it is still searching for each item one-by-one.

When you have a "Common Search Term" set in a Category or Group Override TradeSkillMaster will search the auction house for items with "of the" in their name and them use the results of that one search to very quickly set the prices for the items in your bag that are in groups that include the Common Search Term.

When you see this in action is is quite amazing. The speed of the searches for items which include Common Search Terms is lightning fast. It has cut my "Post Auctions" scan time by approximately 60-70% when posting groups that include Common Search Terms.

This isn't an insignificant speed boost when you are posting 400+ items.

When A Common Search Term Will Work

Setting up a Category or Group Override in TradeSkillMaster to have Common Search Term will only work under the following conditions.

  • Every item in the group has the specified Common Search Term as part of the item name.
  • The group does not include an items that do not contain the Common Search Term.

Preparing Your Groups

In order to use a common search term on a pre-existing group you will have to do a bit of checking and possibly moving a few items out of the group.

When I was preparing to use a Common Search Term for my 83-84 groups I found a few examples of items that I had to remove from my groups because they didn't include "of the" which was Common Search Term I was using.

The most common items I had to remove from my 83-84 Mists of Pandaria item groups were dropped rare items and a few crafted items.

Removing Items Without "of the"

In order for the Common Search Term to work in our 83-84 groups we will be removing any items that don't include "of the" in their name.

To do this we will be using the "Select Matches" search in the group's "Add/Remove Items" tab. With this tool we can quickly see if any of the items in the group do not include our Common Search Term.

If any items do not include the term we will have to move those items out of the group. This is accomplished by clicking to another group and back to the original group to unselect the items then selecting the offending item and clicking "Remove" in the center of the two columns.

Groups That Are "Clean"

In this first example we are checking our "mop 83-84 cloth" to make sure all the items include "of the" in their item name.

To do this we need to:

  • Open TSM options with the minimap button or typing "/tsm".
  • Select the "Auctioning Groups/Settings" tab (gold coin icon) at the top of the TSM options window.
  • Press the "+" on the Category that includes the group.
  • Click on the group I want to check. (In this case it is "mop 83-84 cloth".)


Selecting the TSM group to be checked.


Once we have the group selected we will do the following to check that all the items include "of the" in their item name.

  • Type "of the" into the "Select Matches:" box in the middle of the two columns.
  • Press Enter to run the search and select all the items that include "of the".
  • All items that include "of the" will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Scroll down the "Items in this group" column and make sure all items have a yellow highlight.


Select Matches for "of the".


If all of your items are highlighted in yellow than this group is ready to have the Common Search Term set.

Groups That Are "Dirty"

If there are items in a group that don't include the specified Common Search Term your posting will fail until you remove the offending items from the group.

In the example below we have used "of the" as the "Select Matches:" search terms and pressed Enter. As you can see in the image below one of the items wasn't highlighted.



This group includes an item that doesn't contain "of the".


In this case this group contains the item "Deathspite Breastplate" which doesn't contain "of the" in its name. This will cause the posting to fail if we use a "Common Search Term" with this group.

If this happens you have two options:

  • Don't use a Common Search Term with this group. (This would be used if a majority of the items in the group don't include the same common search term.)
  • Remove the item from the group and place it in a group that doesn't include a Common Search Term. (This is good if the group has many other items that would benefit from using the Common Search Term.)

Setting The Common Search

Now that your groups only contain items that contain the Common Search Term ("of the" in this case) as part of the item name we are ready to add the Common Search Term to the Group Options.

In order to see the Common Search Term option we have to make sure you don't have the "Hide advanced options" checkbox selected.

To turn of "Hide advanced options":

  • Open TSM options with the minimap button or typing "/tsm".
  • Select the "Auctioning Groups/Settings" tab (gold coin icon) at the top of the TSM options window.
  • Select "Options" in the left column.
  • Select the "General" tab.
  • Make sure "Hide advanced options" is unchecked.


Make sure "Hide advanced options" is unchecked.


Now that we can properly see all the options here is how we add the Common Search Term:

  • Open TSM options with the minimap button or typing "/tsm".
  • Select the "Auctioning Groups/Settings" tab (gold coin icon) at the top of the TSM options window.
  • Press the "+" on the Category that includes the group.
  • Click on the group you want to add the Common Search Term to. (In this case it is "mop 83-84 cloth".)
  • Select the "Group Overrides" tab.
  • In the image below you can see  the "Common Search Term" option text is darkened. This means it is not yet active.

Common Search Term before activation.

To finish:

  • Right click on the darkened "Common Search Term" option to activate it. It will become lighter in color to indicate that it is active. (This is how you activate any inactive option in a Category or Group Override.)
  • Type "of the" (do not include the quotation marks) into the Common Search Term box.
  • Press the red "Okay" button that pops up next to the term.


Add "of the" to the Common Search Term.

Ready. Set. Post!

Now that we have groups that only include items which contain "of the" in their item names and we've added "of the" to the Common Search Term Group Override we are ready to post.

There is nothing new to learn here. You simply go to the auction house and press "Post Auctions" as you've already been doing.

This time however pay special attention to the Post Scan progress bar.

You should notice a few things. TradeSkillMaster will go through the "normal" (ie. non-Common Search Term items) items and it will seem that the Post Scan is behaving as you've always known it.

At some point however the scan progress will seem to slow to a crawl for a few seconds. (My guess is this is when TSM is using the Common Search Term to scan the AH for items with those words.)

After a brief pause the Post Scan progress bar will shoot across the screen as the items with Common Search Terms are quickly analyzed and priced.

The speed is almost socking the first few times you see it. (So fast in fact that it may make you wonder if it actually scanned and priced the items that quickly. It did.)

After your Post Scan is finished you post the items as you normally would. (Hopefully you've enabled the "Create Macro and Bind ScrollWheel (with selected options)" option at the bottom of your Auctions Groups/Options > General tab. If not, do it and after the Post Scan is done hold down the Ctrl button and move your mouse wheel back and forth to quickly queue up your auctions for posting.)

Not Just For Posting

It should be noted that this speed increase also translates to faster cancel posts as well. If you're in a market in which you do many cancel posts setting up groups with Common Search Terms will speed that up also.

This works great for Glyph cancelling for example.

Not New But Used In New Ways

I know that the Common Search Term option in TradeSkillMaster has been around for a long time and I've used it in the past for my Glyphs.

This is the first time however that I've tried using it for items other than Glyphs. Since the majority of my sales come from flipping these types of items this has sped up my posting considerably.

I also wanted to thank the two livestream viewers who suggested that I try adding "of the" to my item flipping groups. It has made all the difference.

Reuse. Improve. Extend.

While I've been able to use the "of the" Common Search Term to my 83-84 Mists of Pandaria and 77-80 Cataclysm item groups this is hardly the only places it can be used.

As mentioned above, the "Glyph of" Common Search Term is commonly used for posting and cancelling Glyph groups.

I could also imagine other groups that, if set up properly, could benefit from the speed Common Search Terms offer.

Gem groups could be set up by specific gems with the gem name as the Common Search Term to speed up gem cancelling and posting.

Vicious PVP item groups could be set up with the Common Search Term "Vicious" in order to speed up posting.

The possibilities are quite vast.

If you have groups that have the same word or words in the item names or if you could rearrange your groups so that the items in a group have a common word or words you could use Common Search Terms to speed them up.

Conclusion

I've really enjoyed having my posting times reduced by adjusting my groups and using the "of the" Common Search Term. On some of my characters it has decreased my posting times by 60-70%. That isn't an insignificant time savings.

How can you change and/or rearrange your groups to allow you to use Common Search Terms? Like many other aspects of learning and setting up TradeSkillMaster, the effort it will take up front to set up Common Search Terms will pay off in the long run.


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