Quality vs Quantity

The standard debate for so many things in life. This debate has also been raging for Crafter's Tome pretty much since Beta. I went into Beta with the intent of manually researching all the new content and documenting it for my site. I had no idea at that time how much new information there would be, I guess I thought it would me more like the Argent Dawn or AQ events. Boy was I wrong!

At some point it dawned on me that I would not be able to experience all the dungeons and other various places where recipes might drop, and I started camping the Auction to document new recipes. This worked well, but it didn't really cover all the recipes that were added. It also didn't cover the BoP recipes, which I didn't realize were a large factor until after release.

So now here we are, two months into the expansion and my database is incomplete. Based on my experience in Beta with bad recipes that weren't where Thottbot/Allakhazam said they were or just plain didn't exist anymore, I decided to only add confirmed data to my site. Either confirmed by me (I try to check everything people send me if I can) or submitted by users with a screenshot. I visit all the vendors, I visit all the trainers. I even stealth into Hordie towns to mark the location of their vendors.

Crafter's Tome was born out of my frustration with the other big sites and their confusing data. Thottbot is notorious for listing vendors and mobs in half a dozen zones which only exist in one zone. I've gotten to the point where I can mostly sniff out the bad eggs, but it's taken me almost two years to reach that point. I wanted my site to be different. If I list a vendor, then you know when you visit him that he will be there and he will have the recipe I said he had (unless someone else just bought it!).

On the other hand, my users get frustrated when they visit Crafter's Tome and we don't have a recipe listed that they saw on Thottbot or Allakhazam. I can understand that, I know we all want to see everything that's out there, not a partial list. At the same time I know people who've tried to locate a recipe based on the information from those other sites and given up because there's just not enough to go on, or whatever they read was wrong.

I get emails every day from users who send me screenshots of their finds (Big THANK YOU!). I also get emails from folks who don't have a screenshot but have a guildie who won a recipe on a dungeon run or some other similar situation. I appreciate all my readers and I want to help them. I'm having more and more difficulty deciding where the confirmation line should be.

So I'm going to put it to you. I've set up a poll and I'll let all of you vote on whether you want all the recipes, or only recipes that we've been able to confirm in some way. This way the site truly is yours as well as mine and you can have your say.

Quality or Quantity : you decide =)

***UPDATE*** Please visit our newest post to get the latest information on this topic.

17 comments:

  1. Quality is better for me, and your site has it in droves vs. the 'other' guys.

    Justin

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  2. Thanks Justin! I'm so glad you appreciate what we're trying to do and I hope you keep coming back!!

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  3. I always look at your site first. You're right that it doesn't have everything, but it has a lot and I trust what it says.

    Thanks!

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  4. Maybe look at a little of both worlds? If you receive a piece of information and are able to confirm it list it as usual on your AWESOME site. If you receive some information that you cannot confirm or can only pratially confirm post it up with an unconfirmed marker next to it. That way everyone who uses the site can at a glance know if wha tthey are looking at is the "gospel" or not.

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  5. I vote for quality! I fell in love with this site the moment I saw it (which happened to be at work and my secretary now thinks I'm nuts). I really count on it to give me accurate information. I'd rather find 99% of the info I need here and know it's for real than have unconfirmed data like other sites. It has only been two months so some of those ultra-rare drops may not have even surfaced yet. All the best things take time and I for one am willing to wait for it to be complete (if that is even possible) and accurate. As for what constitutes "confirmed", I think the basic guidelines you have listed on your "contact" page should work well. There are always some exceptions and I would trust your judgment on other reports you get.

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  6. Thank you guys so much for all your great comments about the site, I'm really happy that you like what we're doing!!

    Sigi: To a certain extent we had already started posting some partially confirmed items on the site, which some of you may have already noticed. I guess in the wake of doing that we started having trouble deciding where the line should be. So far it's sounding like most of you agree that there should be a line, so we'll continue operating on that assumption. I guess the sticking point for me is that we occasionally get information that's really sketchy and I wasn't sure if I should add it or pass on it. Now that I know most of you appreciate the confirmation aspect of the data I think I'll pass on the really skimpy stuff (ie: someone says that they saw a recipe drop but they don't share any information about it).

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  7. I vote for Quality as well, you do an awesome job with this site and its far more reliable than any of the others like Thot and Alla. I'd rather not find the information than it be wrong, or deliberatley deceptive like so many of the comments left on other site's because they are unmoderated.

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  8. I also prefer quality over quantity, but you could always include a special tagline on sketchy entries saying "unconfirmed" or something, so that we know to be skeptical before we run all over creation looking for the mats. If that's not possible, I just prefer quality. Just a suggestion.

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  9. Quality. There are countless sites out there for WoW that contain databases with garbage data. Be patient and don't be tempted to complete your database as fast as possible. Become one the few sites (possibly the first) which contains almost nothing but legit data.

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  10. Quality . I love your site , it is without a doubt a crafter's mecca. I'm a Dragonscale leatherworker ( main ) and Alchemist and Engineer on my alts , and reading your site gives the the motivation to actually level my crafts all the way so I can make some really nice items. I value your accuracy and quality far more than bulk loads of raw data anywhere else.

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  11. Just thought i would say that i love ur site...and quality is definately better than quantity...i really liked how u the speediest way to get to 300 in jewelcrafting and i was wondering if u ever thinking about adding speed faqs about the other professions...like with what items u need and stuff...the jewelcrafting one really helped ALOT prolly saved me 200g...so thank you and good work

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  12. Thanks so much guys! I'm so tickled that you all value the site and the effort we put into providing quality data for you. It's a labor of love for me to work on it and to try and create something that the users will find worthwhile. You're input means a lot to us - thanks for taking the time to share your opinions and let us know how we're doing!

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  13. The reason I appreciate this site is (I admit) the community and the posts, much more than the information part, precisely because a lot of information is missing. I think I agree that we don't want this site to become Thottbot 2, but adding recipes as unconfirmed will a) increase the completeness b) encourage people to post confirmation screenshots/messages about it. And again, the value added of the site is really on the posts by Kaliope on stealth runs, the posts by various people about "secret" farming sites, or even guides to level different professions - that's what most of the other "database" sites (even accurate ones like WoWHead) don't have, and that's what we should put into evidence.

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  14. I think you've hit the nail on the head here Tsark. We want to encourage more folks to use the site and I fear when they come here and see missing recipes they may not stick around. Obviously the folks who stay appreciate our thoroughness, but those who are visiting for the first time may be turned off by the omission of items they see elsewhere.

    We have other features we want to add in the coming months that we hope will bring more users into the fold, but in the meantime this is definitely one thing that could be hurting us. At this point I'm inclined to take a more relaxed approach to submissions and simply use the notes to identify the unconfirmed data.

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  15. I think if you KNOW a recipe is live, because youve seen it used, advertised, on the AH, etc. You should have it listed here, and get the drop/acquisition method from any source you feel is reputable, wowhead, thottbot, or allakhazam for instance or say if two of them concur on the same thing.

    Your premise that you should only list recipes which members submit is flawed simply because it depends on member participation to build your database. Personally I think it would be relatively easy to take one tradeskill per week and research every 301+ recipe and get the site up to date.

    Personally I quit using the site's database because it is (or was) missing so much data that I could find on Allakhazam. Between their actual database, and the subsequent member postings I get far more useful information when I am seeking acquisition info. The only reason I come here now is to read your blog.

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  16. Bomb: I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. For those who prefer to have the type of information Thottbot and Allakhazam provide, you have those sites at your disposal. I don't believe we need more sites that use datamining and forums to fulfill their information requirements. Therefore I've chosen not to use the same model for my web site.

    Crafter's Tome came into being because I was frustrated with the confusing information I found on other sites and I wanted to provide something different. Something where each recipe and vendor is confirmed by an actual person and not a glitchy data-mining algorithm. I do as much of the research as I can myself, but I don't believe it's a bad thing to include the users in that process. Thottbot and Allakhazam rely on their users to comment in the forums and contribute verification in that way, we invite our users to participate as well. It's certainly not a mandatory process on the part of the users, they have no obligation to share their experiences. But at this point I've researched every tradeskill and added all the recipes that I can find in-game, the majority of the recipes that are still missing are loot drop recipes, which would be impossible for one person to manually locate and catalog.

    However, if I did as you seem to be suggesting and spent a week on each tradeskill, using other sites as my information source and simply cross-referenced them with each other, I would absolutely end up with bad data in my database. Right now, both Thottbot and Allakhazam list arcane dust as an result item from arcane crystals under Enchanting, something I've personally tested and know cannot be done. It's my understanding that this ability was removed during alpha testing, yet it's still in both databases. They also list items such as the Arcanite Sword Pendant and the Silver Rose Pendant under Jewelcrafting, as a couple of examples. I've never seen either of these items in the game and based on the complete lack of supporting data (drop rates, lack of user corroboration) I'm willing to bet they don't exist. But if I employed your methodologies, the fact that both sites list them would make them legitimate items. I personally would prefer not to perpetuate errors of this type because I can't support their existence in any concrete way.

    There are deficiencies in the information that Thottbot and Allakhazam provide due to their methodologies. Perhaps you haven't noticed that they really have no skill level information for the new trainer recipes that were added in the expansion. That works out to about 30% of the new recipes that are lacking skill level data on both sites. Maybe this isn't the sort of information that's important to you, but there are probably other folks who appreciate having it. I'm able to provide that because of my in-game research efforts. By employing the data-mining method of information gathering we would still have holes in our data, just different ones.

    I'm not trying to suggest that our way is better than their way. For the type of folks who want to be "first" to get something, our site probably isn't the place to visit. For the people prefer not to spend their time on wild goose chases, our site is probably a better match to their gaming style. Both strategies have their pros and cons, of course. But as I said, we already had enough Thottbots, WoWHeads and Allakhazams out there and my goal was to do something different :)

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  17. you're realyl doing an awesome job here! big thumbs up!!

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