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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spreadsheeting Sandbox and Wowuction Data Updates

I wanted to take a bit to talk about the updates that have been to both my Spreadsheeting Sandbox (download link available from the Stede's Signature Tools Page), as well as the Wowuction data extracts.  Back in December, I told you guys that most of the stuff added in Patch 5.4 had not been added to the Wowuction data extracts.  Today, while doing some heavy digging and coding to make a few updates to the spreadsheeting sandbox, I noticed that a lot of the new glyphs that were added in Patch 5.4 are now showing up on those extracts.

This got me curious.  I was writing code to allow you to lookup item ids from an item's name.  I made a function that would grab this from the Wowuction data as well as from The Undermine Journal data.  I did some comparisons for all the glyphs and noticed there were mismatches on 29 of these - mostly where the item could not be found by its name on the Wowuction extracts.

On further investigation, I found that the Wowuction extracts are using an outdated names list.  That means that while the other data is correct, including itemid, market value, etc - the item's name is not being correctly matched to the item id.  Both TUJ and Wowuction pull down the data from the Armory API and merge in the names, keyed on the itemids.  Blizzard tends to rename items when they are changed but not removed - think of a hotfix that changes what a glyph does and also changes the name.  So older naming files will match names that are no longer correct to itemids.

The issue is that if you're trying to look up data in your extracts based on the item name, then Wowuction is not going to be 100% accurate.  With the addition of the itemid lookup functions, though, you can get around that inaccuracy by looking up the id of an item with the TUJ data, and passing that itemid to a function for the Wowuction data (all TUJ and Wowuction lookup functions in the sandbox will work off item name or item id).  Which sounds convoluted, I know, but it works.  Sure I could write more functions to make it easier, but it'd take time & effort and the problem isn't really on my end.  Alternatively you could just TUJ data.

Now, in addition to the updates that were made to add more functions, I also made further updates to the default Inscription module.  It was the result of many hours of research.  Glyphs are messy.  Especially in regards to sourcing.  Here are some examples of how difficult it can be to list and catalog all 444 glyphs according to the easiest source for learning them:

  • Of the 4 glyph techniques that can be bought from a Vendor, three are now taught by a Trainer.  This has changed as new patches come in.
  • The technique "Glyph of Lightwell" makes the item "Glyph Of Deep Wells".
  • The technique "Glyph of Lightspring" makes the item "Glyph of Lightwell".
  • There are over a dozen glyphs whose technique name does not match the name of the item they make.
  • Wowhead's source information that tells how glyphs are learned is not 100% accurate.
  • Hundreds of glyphs can be learned from multiple sources.
  • Scroll of Wisdom will tech Northrend Research and Book of Glyph Mastery glyphs once you have finished learning all the glyphs specifically taught by Scroll of Wisdom.
  • There are two different glyphs named "Glyph of Stampede".
All of these have combined to make curating the list that I keep on the default Inscription module of the Sandbox rather difficult.  But they have inspired many new features, and I can finally say that the list is complete and is accurate.  If you've downloaded the sandbox in the past, I encourage you to download the new one and copy your work over to it.  I know it takes a few minutes, but it will make everything more accurate and increase your functionality.

Hope you enjoy the new update.  There's no show tonight - I've some major deadlines at work, and Kath said he could use a break, but we'll be back to record next Thursday at 11:59pm Eastern US time - hope you'll be able to join us!

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