Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Dream Features: Sorted trade goods in the auction house

In the second installment of my column on single features I'd like to see in World of Warcraft, I'm going for something hopefully a lot less controversial: A better sorting of items, especially trade goods, in the WoW auction house.

The World of Warcraft auction house works reasonably well if you are looking for weapons or armor. Want a plate glove for your level 65 warrior? Just select the armor category, plate sub-category, hands sub-sub-category, and optionally select a level range, and all the plate gloves available will be shown. But if you look for other things than weapon or armor, things become more complicated.

For example imagine you found your first item with sockets, and you want to buy a gem to put into a red socket in the auction house. Good luck! Right now there is no way to find them, unless you know the name of what you are looking for. Gems, cut or uncut, are listed under trade goods, together with ores, metal bars, cloth, enchanting supplies, leather, and a wide range of other materials. As the name "trade goods" suggests, there is heavy trade in them, and you can usually find more than 1,000 items in this category. And there are no sub-categories, all you get is an unsorted list, over 20 pages at 50 items each. Sorting by rarity or price only works on the one page you're on, not over the whole 20 pages. Going through that list to find red gems is a nightmare. The best you can do is find the names of all possible gems that fit in red slots (blood garnet, living ruby, flame spessarite, noble topaz, shadow draenite, nightseye) and search for them by name, although that will still give you a mixed list of cut and uncut gems.

What is missing is sub-categories for trade goods. Even just having sub-categories like alchemy, blacksmithing, jewelcrafting etc. would be a big help. But ideally there would be sub-sub-categories like red gems, blue gems, yellow gems under jewelcrafting, or ore, bars, and miscellaneous under blacksmithing. The probable reason why nobody has implemented this is that apparently currently any one item can only be in one category. So ├╣ost trade goods like metal ore, which would be used for blacksmithing, engineering, and jewelcrafting can't be sorted into one category. The solution would be to allow one item to have several labels, and thus be present in several sub-categories.

Sorting trade goods into categories would make life a lot easier, without changing anything in the rules of the game. It is just an improvement of the user interface.
Hmm, i may be wrong, but i see subcategories in my tradegoods AH window. not the best, but i can select at least "gems", which also show "admantite" and blue saphires. It may be an option added via auctioneer though, which i use for my AH activities.


That must be a mod. For my socketed items, I find out which gem I want to use and them do a search for it. Searching through 1400 items is a pain. Great Idea Tobold. Maybe this could be applied to the "Consumables" as well. Seperating potions and food and such.
Yes, first time I got an item with sockets in it, I rushed to the AH, only to find, er... where are the jewels?? I can't find any!!

One of my addons (not sure which one because I installed a zillion of them at once - maybe auctioneer, though?) makes the distinction between trade goods categories. Gems-wise, the only thing I have to complain about the thing is the lack of division between cut gems and uncut gems. Still, it makes my life a lot easier.

Also missing from the search features of the AH is the possibility of searching for items with a certain stat, or resistance or whatever. You can't search for items with +intellect or +healing, unless you hope to find it on the items' name.

Definitly a feature that needs improvement on the game.

Sophia the Healadin
Yup, it's Auctioneer which adds sub-categories including gems, though that still gave 850+ results for me. I asked a similar question myself, and the splendidly helpful Alsalil pointed me to Siena's Gem Viewer (available at all good WoW addon sites), which scans all cut gems, then gives you the option of searching by socket colour and/or rarity.
Siena's Gem Viewer ftw
The fact that mods can sort the trade goods category while the default blizzard UI does not suggests truly criminal laziness on blizzard's part.

I think I read a blue forum post at one point to the effect of 'the sorting ability of mods like Auctioneer is only a partial fix and we don't want to half do it, we want it to be perfect'. So instead, we get nothing. Yay.

I'll definately have to try Siena's mod.
I know that one of the CM's has said that this will be an upcoming feature in one of the patches. From what I understood it's a flaw with how their databases are designed. Trade goods are considered trade goods in the db and there are no subcategories. Changing that means redesigning the whole trade goods table and modifying each and every item. Quite time consuming. :)
If that's true, then the mods wouldn't be able to do it. All they need to do is the same thing they've done with all the other UI fixes - DL the mod and reverse engineer it.

Although, that doesn't always work so well. Blizz's SCT is horrible, for example...
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