Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekly Sales Summary 11/09/2012

Greetings, gold fans!  I apologize for being fairly quiet, but to be honest, it's been a slow week, especially for a Fair week (more on that a little further in).  When it's a slow week, the gold making process tends to be boring.  When that gets boring, it's harder to get motivated to write about it.  It hasn't been uncommon this week for little daily bursts of WoW to be followed by long stretches of playing my Mechromancer in Borderlands 2.

Still, sales have been made, so let's at least give a bit of an attempt to analyze them.


As you can see, Darkmoon cards are still prominent, but not as much as last week.  I also let a Tiger's Deck go fairly cheap, simply because that's the kind of server this is, especially now that we're into our second Fair.

What's happened to Darkmoon cards?  It's a combination of a few factors, I think.  With the very late implementation of the Ink Trader last Fair, very few people were able to make full decks, and many were left with an inordinate amount of Starlight Ink.  Making things worse is that the "I can just get everything from LFR" attitude has increased with ilvl 483 items available from Heart of Fear.  All in all, I think we're seeing Darkmoon cards fade into obscurity much quicker this expansion.  Not something I want to hear as someone with six Scribes, but there it is.

Sales for the week total 148,951 gold.  Not bad, but purchases total 224,806 gold.  Wait, what?  Oh, that's right.  The Black Market Auction House.  There are very few of the cosmetic things there that would catch my eye (although if, say, Mimiron's Head came up, it'd be another story).  However, Sunday night saw a metaphorical horse of a different color enter the BMAH.  By which I mean, not a horse at all, or a mount of any kind.

No, Sunday night featured something much more special on the BMAH:  my heroic boots.  I know some would say it's silly to spend too much on something that will just be replaced at whatever theoretical point in the future brings us tier 15, and objectively, they're probably right.  When you're a main tank for a raid group, though, it's hard to quantify that boost to your whole group's progress.  And that's how the last half hour of the auction turned into a bidding war between myself and a Gnome Monk, with me eventually winning the boots for 180k.

Still, viewed another way, that means I only spent 44,806 gold on more routine things, mostly crafting materials (especially ink).  For a week with 148k in revenue, I can live with 45k of expenses.

I do plan to do at least one more post between now and next week's summary.  I don't have a topic chosen yet, though.  This means if there's something you'd like to hear about, you should definitely leave me a comment.  If I don't get any, I'll still come up with a topic on my own, but I'd much rather know what you'd like to see.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekly Sales Summary 11/02/2012

Greetings, gold fans!  I know I'm a little late on this week's sales summary, and for that, I apologize.  To be quite honest, I just wasn't in the mood to blog yesterday.  It may sound immature, but I was in a bit of a funk.

Why, you might ask?  Well, Wednesday was kind of a big day for me.  It wasn't so much that it was Halloween (although we did actually end up with candy left at the end of the night), but because it was when I reached gold cap.  I was obviously ecstatic and rushed to write a blog post about it.

About 12 hours later, when I went to bed that night, I'd gotten congratulations from my guildies during our raid, but nothing from the blog.  No comments, no tweets.  That's not uncommon for a typical post, but I had hit gold cap.  It was a big milestone and accomplishment for me.

"But it's Halloween", I reasoned, and let it go at that.  Then all of yesterday also went by without a peep, and to be quite honest, that got a little depressing.  Long story short, I spent a good chunk of my time online that day feeling sorry for myself, and it delayed this week's summary.

It was stupid of me, I'll admit, and I'm not going to let it continue to bother me.  I didn't start this blog for fame or praise.  I started it because I enjoy writing, I enjoy making gold, and I figured maybe I could help some people in the process.  Even if I don't get a word of feedback, I can see by Blogger's statistics that the posts are being viewed.  People are seeing it, and if they're coming back, presumably it's helped or even simply entertained some of them.  As long as that continues, I'll keep posting here.

Now, enough of my sentimental whining.  Let's get to this week's summary.


Now, there are a couple of items in this week's top page that we can discard right now.  Relic of Niuzao and Breastplate of Ancient Steel both went for far less than they're worth, and in the cast of the chest, probably less than the cost of the base mats to make it.  They were a harsh lesson about my server:  People there just aren't willing to buy crafted epics (at least not at what they're worth).  I think Faid had a point in this week's Power Word Gold podcast when she said that with LFR, more casual players often have the expectation that they no longer have to buy gear (at least, beyond what's necessary to meet the ilvl requirements).  Thus, I got what I could out of the items and moved on.

Strangely enough, though, despite the relative lack of interest in completed Darkmoon Fair trinkets, there is plenty of interest in the individual cards.  I covered this briefly in my Profession Roundup Post, but essentially, people are much more willing to spend the gold when it's a couple thousand here, a couple thousand there, particularly if they can make some of the cards themselves.  This trend persists even when in the end, they've likely spent more than if they'd simply bought the trinket outright.

As you can see, Living Steel is getting downright pathetic.  Generally, if I can make even a slight profit on it, I'll make it, simply because of the chance of a proc.  However, today officially marked the first time when none of the base mats were cheaper on my server then the resulting Living Steel.  At that point, you're relying on a proc in order to not lose money, and that's never where you want to be.

Jewelcrafting also seems to continue making me gold, but I realize that's not the same for everyone.  I may have to make a post about it soon, but there is one thing to keep in mind.  Most of the prices on my server seem near the Undermine Journal's average across all realms, so most realms should get some value out of Jewelcrafting advice I give.  However, Jewelcrafting and Enchanting are two areas where certain servers just seem to wildly swing one direction or the other.

Anyway, that's about it for things of note this week.  Are things similar for you?  Wildly different?  Is there a specific market you're having trouble with?  Please let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gold Capped!

Remember my sales summary post last Thursday, when I said that at the pace I was going, I'd be gold capped in about two weeks?  Since then, I'd been noticing myself outpacing that, to the point where I woke up to a Halloween miracle today.  After logging into each of my alts and checking their mail, I found the little gold summary in the corner of my WoW client reading over 1 million!

Obviously, there was one thing to do before anything else:  take a screenshot!


So beautiful, isn't it?  After that, I wanted to experience truly being capped, so it was time to once again log onto each of my alts, this time to send all of their hard-earned gold to my Druid.


And a zoom-in on the bags, because I can't make the above pic any bigger without messing up all the formatting of the blog post:


I was a little disappointed by a couple of things.  First off, it wouldn't let me open the mail from my last alt, because the amount of gold contained there would have put me over cap.  So I had to return that gold (thank goodness for Postal's return button), and instead figure out the exact amount to send to myself that would put me at cap.  I also couldn't get the "You can't carry any more gold" error.  In fact, I tried vendoring something while at gold cap, and the vendor still took the item, while offering me nothing in return.

Still, I'm finally here. In a way, it's the finish line, but in an another way, it means things are just beginning.  I'm playing with the big boys (and girls) now.

I remember one of the first gold-making podcasts I ever listened to was an episode of the Power Word Gold Podcast where Jim and Jokine were discussing the view some people in the gold-making community had, that someone was only worth listening to if they were gold capped.  Neither of them believed that (Jim has, in fact, been wonderful as both colleague and resource), but there are still those out there in the community who think that way.  So, if any of those people are reading this, I have just one thing to say:

I'm capped now, so pay attention.

There's so much more I could (and will) say about this milestone and the journey that led me here, but for now, I'll simply let the joy of this moment speak for itself as I savor it.

One thing's for sure, though:  I may be capped now, but I'm not going anywhere.  I hope you'll join me right here for tomorrow's Weekly Sales Summary.  Until then, as always, good night and good gold.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weekly Sales Summary 10/25

Hey there, gold fans!  Just a quick weekly sales summary today, like I promised you earlier in the week.  I can go on and on about what's been making me a profit, but a picture really is worth a thousand words.  Without any further delay, let's get into this week's screencap.


A few things should be noted.  In terms of pure sales, Living Steel was the best performer.  However, it also has the lowest profit margin, and unless you've got as many alchemists as I do, you're unlikely to have 28 to sell in a week, anyway.

Darkmoon cards are solid, when they sell.  Right now, there's a glut of supply, without much demand to eat it up.  Expired auctions are common, and a backlog's beginning to build.  In the long run, that's fine, as it means more in stock when the fair rolls around.  In the short run, though, it does dig into my profits, having to supply 6 Scribes with their Starlight Ink on a daily basis.

Ghost Iron Dragonlings have made it onto the first page, but their profit margin is actually not great.  However, each one sold almost inevitably means someone will be buying three Tinker's Gears.  Those didn't quite make it to the front page, but with their incredibly cheap mat cost, they're almost entirely profit.  ( For example, I sold 13 Smooth Tinker's Gear at 108 gold each.  Doesn't sound like much, but each one cost less than 20 gold to make.)

Other than that, results are fairly typical.  Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Jewelcrafting are all strong showers.  The only reason Tailoring hasn't made an appearance yet is because I have yet to get the Spirits on my tailor to buy the patterns.  I should have much more time to do that now, though.  My Druid has reached Exalted with Golden Lotus, will reach Exalted with Klaxxi tomorrow, and has reached Revered with the Shado-Pan.  Three less sets of dailies means more time to get those alts up and get them their patterns.

How did this all add up in terms of liquid gold?


Current total is 855k, up about 75k from my "I'm Not Dead" post a little less than a week ago.  Not a breakneck pace, but certainly not bad either (plus I'm sitting on a rather large pile of Darkmoon cards).  If I can keep going at this pace, I could be gold capped in as little as another couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MoP Profession Round-up

Greetings, gold fans!  I hope we're all having fun out there in Pandaria (even if the mass of dailies starts to feel more and more like work).  Amidst all of that fun beyond the Mists, however, you're probably wondering how to part your server's population from some of that sweet, inflationary daily gold flowing into the economy.

I'm here to help as best I can, with the profession round-up I promised in my previous post.  As always, note that this isn't necessarily a complete list, nor is it guaranteed to work on your server.  It's simply a summary of what has and hasn't been working for me in each profession.  Take it as an inspiration, then go out there and make it your own.

That being said, let's get down to brass tacks here.

Alchemy

 If there's one profession that's really disappointed me so far, it's Alchemy.  The main draw of the profession is, of course, the Living Steel cooldown.  Unfortunately, the profit margin on this seems to be getting thinner and thinner, as the price of Living Steel continues to drop (when it even sells).  Like with many things in Mists, I blame the Spirit of Harmony.  Other than the Living Steel Belt Buckle and the new Engineering-only helms, everything else that takes Living Steel takes Spirits.

At the same time, supply seems to be up compared to where Truegold was this soon into Cataclysm.  Logically, that makes sense.  There's no alternative like there was with Cataclysm's Living Elements.  What else are most alchemists going to use that cooldown on?

A few people have suggested attempting to reset the price of Living Steel.  I could see that potentially being viable, but after my last experience with resetting, I think I'll play it safe.  What I do recommend, however, is taking the time to look at your options and see what's the cheapest way to get your six Trillium Bars. The following options are available:

- Buy 6 Trillium Bars directly.
- Buy 12 each of Black and White Trillium Ore (assuming you have access to someone with 600 mining)
- Buy 60 Ghost Iron Bars (Hopefully your alchemist has already learned Transmute Trillium)
- Buy 120 Ghost Iron Ore (assuming you have access to a miner)

Hopefully, one of those options will provide you with some savings.  Do keep in mind, however, that transmuting your Trillium means a chance to proc extras.

Flasks may also be an option on some servers, though on mine, the profit margins aren't great.  Obviously, if flasks are profitable and you do decide to make them, changing your specialization to Elixir Master will help.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring

 Despite all the new options that have unfolded for these "big three" gear crafting professions, I've definitely had the most success with the same tried and true category:  crafted PvP blues.  All of the reasons these were popular in Cataclysm still hold true to this generation.  More than that, PvP stats are no longer counted against an item's budget of PvE stats, so there's actually no shame this time around in using them to get your ilvl up for heroics.

Now, the factor that somewhat complicates things is, again, the Spirit of Harmony.  Thankfully, none of the "Contender's" patterns require Spirits to craft.  However, each one costs one Spirit of Harmony to purchase.  They're also BoP, and can only be purchased from vendors in your faction's city in Vale of Eternal Blossoms.  In other words, don't get too comfy standing around Orgrimmar on these crafting alts just yet, at least not until they have all these patterns. (Your Leatherworker, in particular, will be visiting Pandaria for a long time.)

There is a benefit to these patterns costing Spirits, however.  On many servers, there are patterns that are completely missing from the AH.  These should obviously be where you focus your attention first.  You can't necessarily name your own price (try to keep them in line with the other pieces), but obviously, no competition means anyone buying that piece is buying yours.

Enchanting

For whatever reason, I haven't had much success in Enchanting yet.  I think it mostly comes down to the fact that I'm not babysitting the market, and competition is very common, since the only things in play right now are all trainer recipes (and more than that, often used to skill up).  My Druid will be hitting Revered with the Shado-Pan tomorrow, so I'm highly considering taking up Enchanting on her until my Mage can catch up, as this would make me the only person selling the high-end weapon enchants.

Other than that, the only real advice I can give for Enchanting is to remember your upward and downward conversions.  This keeps the high amount of dust from the Jewelcrafting shuffle from being wasted, can help get you cheaper mats, and can sometimes even turn a profit in and of itself.

So remember, when converting up:

5 Spirit Dust = 1 Mysterious Essence
5 Mysterious Essence = 1 Ethereal Shard
5 Ethereal Shard = 1 Sha Crystal (daily cooldown)

When converting down:

1 Sha Crystal = 2 Ethereal Shards
1 Ethereal Shard = 3 Mysterious Essence
1 Mysterious Essence = 3 Spirit Dust

Engineering

There's good news and bad news for Engineers in Mists of Pandaria.  The bad news is that, once again, Engineering isn't going to make or break anyone's fortune.  The good news is that for once, there's something they can make for gold that's not a vanity item.

The new Ghost Iron Dragonling is a fairly nice, entry-level trinket that actually doesn't require Engineering skill to use.  The trinket has no primary stats, but has three Cogwheel slots that can be filled with the new Tinker's Gear Cogwheels, which give 600 to a secondary stat of the wearer's choice.  It's actually a pretty solid trinket, and versatile enough to be useful to all classes. (Ironically, the ones who benefit the least from equipping it are Engineers, since Cogwheels are unique-equipped and their Engineering helm has two sockets.)

The Dragonlings themselves often have a rather narrow profit margin, but the Tinker's Gears are solid.  Then again, it's really tough to be unprofitable when they only take 2 Ghost Iron Bars each.

Inscription

I've got a little confession to make.  I hate the glyph market. It's one of those few markets where babysitting the AH is non-negotiable.  Particularly after my 5.0.4 reset fiasco (and the literally thousands of glyphs it left me with), it'll take a very major event to get me back into that market.  I made enough glyphs to get my Scribes to 600, but that's it.

Still, there's more to Inscription than just glyphs.  Most notably, there are Darkmoon Cards.  These are realistically what you'll want to do with your Scroll of Wisdom, and with the Ink Trader finally fixed, it shouldn't be too much of a pain getting the Starlight Ink you need.

The first Darkmoon Fair of Mists has come and gone, and I certainly should have been in a good position.  I was, as far as I could tell, the only one Horde-side on my server able to scrape together even one trinket, let alone the three I had when all was said and done.  In reality, though, I learned a painful lesson about my server: no matter how rare they are, most of the people there just aren't willing to spend above a certain (relatively small) amount of gold on gear.  There are only about three progression-minded raiding guilds over here, and only one of those doesn't consider itself "casual".

Eventually, I ended up selling two of the three trinkets to raid members at steep discounts.  More specifically, Relic of Chi-Ji went for 50k, while Relic of Yu'lon sold for 20k.  While these still more than covered my ink prices (especially since I also ended up with a good two or three dozen other cards), it was still disappointing compared to the 100k+ prices people on other servers reported.

Strangely, though, while no one seems to want to buy the trinkets outright, there are plenty of people buying up individual cards.  I suppose a few k at a time seems a lot more palatable.  The decision then becomes one of selling the cards now, or waiting until the next fair?

Certainly, cards tend to go for higher amounts during the fair, as people scramble to complete decks.  However, as we get ready for Heart of Fear/Terrace of Endless Spring to open, that means more trinkets coming into the game, which lowers the value of the DMF trinkets, and consequently, the cards that compose those decks.  It's a calculated risk either way, to be sure, but for what it's worth, I've chosen to start selling mine now.  Realistically, I'll probably have some left when the fair rolls around again.

Jewelcrafting

As always, this one's a real gem (pardon the pun). Despite the MoP green jewelry taking more gems than its Cataclysm counterparts, the shuffle is still generally alive and well.  Then again, it's not uncommon lately for me to find ore under 5 gold per ore (a price I would've been happy with even through most of Cataclysm), so at that price, it's hard not to make a profit.  Obviously, this will vary from server to server.

Also, while there's no real need to level your Jewelcrafter, be sure to take them for a quick trip to Jade Forest to pick up all the cuts that use Serpent EyesMai the Jade Shaper is just sitting around Greenstone Village, not phased or anything.  She'll teach you all of those cuts as well as the ilvl 450 jewelry that uses Serpent Eyes, such as Band of Blood.

(If you have some spare time or are going to level up that character anyway, you can go killing things in Pandaria for your meta gem cuts, but it's by no means required, and certainly not a big component of Jewelcrafting profit.)

Generally, after I've prospected all my ore, the first thing I'll do is take care of restocking any of that ilvl 450 jewelry I've sold.  After that, I'll take any rare gems left over and take a look at the Jewelcrafting page over at The Undermine Journal for my server.  As I look at each gem color, if I have a cut that's currently selling for more than the raws (and I don't already have a bunch on the AH), I'll make that cut.  For the first color I encounter that I don't have a profitable cut, I'll use my daily cooldown in hopes of discovering one.  Everything else, I sell raw for now.

Lastly, the uncommon gems are used to make Shadowfire Necklaces and Ornate Bands.  Any blues get put on the AH for around 200 gold.  The rest get sent off to my Enchanter for DEing.  As I mentioned, though, the Enchanting business is a little slow, so I'm starting to sell some of the mats raw for now to prevent having a bunch of overstock.

Conclusion

As you can see, just about every profession has something to explore and a way to make gold in Mists.  In fact, this post ended up much, much longer than I had planned, with each category being almost long enough to be a post on its own.  Still, hopefully that gives you some ideas.

On Thursday, I'll be starting my weekly summary posts again, so you'll be able to get an idea of exactly what's been making the most gold for me.  Until then, it's off to bed for me, so I can wake up in time to do all the things I need to do daily in-game.

I swear, there just aren't enough hours in the day...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Not Dead! Mists of Pandaria So Far

That's right!  I'm still here!  I'll admit to feeling a bit guilty that it's been almost a month since Mists of Pandaria has come out, and I'm only now writing my first blog post about it.  There's certainly no lack of things to discuss.  The problem is just the opposite, in fact.  There's so much that most of my free time is spent actually doing it.

I think this is a common phenomenon among the blogging community.  Most of my favorite bloggers have done a post or two, but nothing like the torrent I half-expected to bombard my RSS feeds.  People are ironically so busy in Azeroth, there's not enough time left to write about it.

A lot of what's keeping us busy is great.  The questing in Pandaria is top-notch, even if my main experienced it as a sleepless 48-hour blur to 90 (I had done it all in beta, including the finished Jade Forest, just so you don't think I took the great questing and story work for granted).  I had, against my earlier judgment, decided to start the expansion with dual gathering (Mining and Herbalism), hoping the extra experience would mean getting to 90 quicker.  In fact, I actually think it hurt me, as time spent running to and collecting nodes distracted me from quests.  The gathering XP was also rather underwhelming, particularly at higher levels.

Much as I rushed to 90, by the time I was there, the Realm First professions had long been done.  The initial demand for my gathered mats had come and gone; prices were declining much more rapidly than anticipated.  Given that, I decided to use those materials to level my own professions.  There was enough to get my Alchemists all started on their daily Living Steel transmute and my Scribes all started on their daily Scroll of Wisdom cooldown.

And let's not forget that once you reach max level, that's where the game truly begins.  In this case, the name of the game is dailies. Oh, gods...so many dailies.  In theory, these should be sorted by priority.  Blacksmiths will want to jump right into the Klaxxi dailies (which can actually be started at 89).  For Leatherworking, Tailoring, and Enchanting, you'll want to get started ASAP on Golden Lotus, since you'll either want Golden Lotus themselves, or one (or in the case of Enchanting, both) of the two factions gated behind Revered Golden Lotus rep.  Obviously, there are pieces of gear unique to each faction as well, but those will vary by class and are better covered by various class blogs out there.

Amidst all the craziness, make sure you don't forget the Tillers, either.  While their quest line can be started as early as 85, it's another one of those things that only really opens up at 90.  At that point, you can begin earning rep with them.  Simply harvesting your crops each day will yield a bit of rep, but to speed the process along, we've got...more dailies!  These are generally a bit quicker and easier than any of the other dailies, with regular quests interspersed a bit more frequently.  You'll want your Tiller rep up ASAP, so that you can unlock more plots and the ability to grow Motes of Harmony.

(Note that within the Tillers rep, there are also individual Tillers members, who have their own friendship bars going from Stranger to Best Friend.  While getting these up eventually can be fun, the rewards for doing so are almost entirely cosmetic.  They do not affect your main Tillers rep in any way.)

Now, while it's best to prioritize and make sure you know what to do first each day, the reality is that, time permitting, you may want to do them all each day.  It's time consuming, but I know that personally, between raiding and gold making, there's not a single one of the factions listed here that doesn't still offer me some advantage.  At least I should be exalted with Golden Lotus and Klaxxi in a few more days, so that should cut down on the daily load considerably.

One thing I definitely recommend is that when you do your dailies, particularly if you're going to do all of them, you bring a friend.  Between killing things faster and talking while you quest (either in person or over Vent or some other voice program), the dailies go by much quicker than if you're alone.  This also tends to help prevent burnout, as well as keeping you accountable on the very likely occasion that you're tempted to skip a day.

Now, I was actually going to continue this post by going into an in-depth discussion of what I'm doing with all of my professions, but this post has already gotten a little on the long side, so expect another post within the next couple of days instead.  Also, I realized today that MySales has been off since 5.0.4 launched.  I've corrected that problem, so you can look forward to weekly summary posts again starting next week.  For now, I'll simply show I have been doing fairly well, by posting a liquid gold summary:


We're practically coming into the home stretch at this point, and I've passed the 750k milestone, if that's even a thing.  How am I getting there?  I'm afraid I'll have to leave you in suspense for now, but check back soon.  Who knows?  It could be up as soon as I finish tomorrow's dailies.

Friday, September 21, 2012

To Level or Not To Level: A Matter of Professions

Welcome back, gold fans!  First of all, hey, I'm not dead!  Yay!  I think, like a lot of bloggers, I just haven't had a lot to write about.  The patch came and went, and now we're just waiting for Mists (while quite possibly also enjoying things like Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2).

Since my last post, I can at least say that I've achieved my pre-expansion goals.  All of my professions are where I want them, and I my Refer-a-Friend account has a level 80, a level 40, and a level 20, all ready to boost a Pandaren Monk from level 10 to level 80.  I'm still working on freeing up some bag space, but other than that, my pre-Mists activities in game are done.

Now I find myself looking ahead, to Tuesday's launch of Mists and beyond.  My participation in the rush of launch gathering and realm first attempts will likely be minimal, but I still need to set my priorities.  Who gets leveled first, and who gets to stay behind in Orgrimmar for the time being?

The choice of who comes first is obvious for me.  My Druid gets top priority simply because she's my main and my raiding character.  I love making gold, but the main reason I play this game is still to raid with my team.  We're not "hardcore" enough to have any strict deadlines, but I want to be leveled and geared quickly so that I'm ready as soon as everyone else is.  No one wants to be "that guy" who's still leveling when the rest of the team is ready to go.

Other than that, though, it comes down to professions.  Which ones benefit the most from getting out into the world, both for leveling and for reputation?  I honestly wasn't sure, so I did some research, which gives me something to share with all of you.

Gathering Professions (Mining, Herbalism, Skinning)

These ones really go without saying.  You can't very well harvest the things in those max-level zones if you can't get to them, can you?  We saw this somewhat in Cataclysm, although for most of the zones, a determined adventurer could work around it (Deepholm being the exception).

In Mists, though, there's another big consideration:  flight.  Players will be unable to fly in Pandaria until reaching level 90.  You know how efficient it is to gather herbs or ore on a ground mount?  Not very.

Alchemy

As far as I can tell, all Alchemy recipes (including the Living Steel transmute) should be learned via discovery, so right now, these are looking to be prime "stay home" crafters.  That being said, thew Spirit of Harmony item, which is bind on pickup and drops off any mobs in Pandaria, can be used to circumvent the daily cooldown on Living Steel.  In addition, the Tillers faction will eventually let you grow Motes of Harmony (which are combined into Spirit of Harmony), so it certainly wouldn't be a bad idea to eventually get your Alchemist out into the world.

Blacksmithing

The recipes for the crafted epics and for the new Living Steel Belt Buckle require your Blacksmith to be Honored with the Klaxxi, which in turn requires level 90.  It will be interesting to see what the new belt buckle market looks like, since they'll now require an item that's on another profession's daily cooldown (Living Steel from Alchemists).  Overall, though, I would say a Blacksmith deserves to be taken out sometime relatively soon after launch.  If nothing else, the prices for those crafted epics will never be as high as they will be when raids open up a week after launch.

(As a side note, all of the crafted epics will also require Spirits of Harmony, which is another reason to get them out into the world, and perhaps to get them a Tillers farm going as well.)

Enchanting

 While most of the recipes for Enchanters will be available from the trainer, high-end weapon and bracer enchants (the ones that have traditionally had the hefty price tags) will both require rep grinds.  The bracers require Revered rep with the August Celestials, while the weapons are held by the Shado-Pan.  Both of these require level 90, as well as Revered reputation with the Golden Lotus faction.

Enchanters have their work cut out for them, so starting early is a must.  On the plus side, this also means that your Enchanter is able to Disenchant their quest rewards near launch, when they should fetch a very decent price, either raw or as scrolls for progression raiders.  In short, an Enchanter definitely deserves a spot near the top of the list.

Engineering

Let's face it.  Engineering has never been a major money maker, and that will probably continue to be the case.  However, the good news is that as far as I've been able to tell, none of the Engineering recipes are locked behind a level or rep requirement.  You may still want to at least give them a Tillers farm, though, since Spirits of Harmony are needed for most of their new toys (and in massive amounts for their new mounts).


Inscription

 None of the recipes for Scribes in Mists seem to be gated behind level or rep, so they're generally fine "staying home".  However, their epic weapons and off-hands require Spirits of Harmony, as does making a Darkmoon Card without the daily cooldown Scroll of Wisdom. 

Jewelcrafting

The only things locked behind a rep grind (and therefore level 90) for Jewelcrafters are the new panther mounts, which, while very cool, are probably a bigger investment than you'll want to be looking at early in the expansion.  However, all of the meta gem cuts seem to be BoP world drops from mobs in Pandaria.  You can still make a tidy profit without these, of course, but eventually you likely will want to do some farming for these.

Leatherworking

Leatherworkers will need to reach honored with the Golden Lotus faction (which requires reaching level 90) in order to unlock their crafted epics and their raid-quality leg armors.  In addition, both of these things take Spirits of Harmony.

Tailoring

Like Leatherworkers, Tailors will need to reach honored with the Golden Lotus to access their epic crafted gear recipes and their raid-quality Spellthreads.  Also of note, however, is that Tailors must reach Exalted with the August Celestials if they wish to make the new 28-slot Royal Satchel.  All of these things also require Imperial Silk, which can only be made on a daily cooldown or with Spirits of Harmony.  The new Royal Satchel, in fact, requires a whopping 12 Imperial Silk.

Conclusions

Hopefully, this gives you some idea of how you want to prioritize leveling your various alts going into Mists.  After my main (which also takes care of Blacksmithing), the first alt through will likely be my Enchanter, since that seems like a long grind that it's best to start early.  My gatherers will likely come after that, though I'll admit there's a good chance I'll have missed out on some of the launch highs on gathered materials.  My Leatherworker and Tailor will then follow as time permits, with everyone else bringing up the rear.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Darkmoon Faire and You: A PSA

Hey there, gold fans!  Just a quick reminder tonight for those of you like me who are shuffling professions around or otherwise trying to skill up before Mists.  The Darkmoon Faire is in town, and this is the last opportunity you'll have to take advantage of it before Mists releases.

The biggest draw to the Faire, especially this month and next, is the variety of monthly profession quests, each of which earns you 5 skill points in that profession.  Some people prefer to save these for the last 5 skill levels in a profession.  Others prefer to use them to ease a bottleneck (anything that lets me level Alchemy with a few less Goldthorn is a good thing in my book).

Either way, just be sure you get these free skill points by the end of the week.  Don't do what I've done many times, insisting to yourself that you're going to use them on a particular level, then not having time to get to that level before the Faire is gone.  Better to "waste" it on some relatively easy levels and at least save the mat cost than to not use it at all.

Also, do remember that many of these quests require outside materials not available on Faire grounds.  Save yourself a bit of trouble and pick them up before you go.

Tailoring:  One Coarse Thread, one Red Dye, and one Blue Dye, all available from any tailoring supplies vendor or most trade supplies vendors.

Alchemy:  5 Moonberry Juice, available from any innkeeper in "old world" Azeroth.

Inscription:  5 Light Parchment, sold by any inscription supplies vendor.

Leatherworking:  10 Shiny Baubles, 5 Coarse Thread, and 5 Blue Dye, available either separately from fishing and tailoring vendors, or all together from a trade supplies vendor.

The rest of the primary profession quests supply you with everything you need.  So go out there and get crafting!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Of Risky Bets and Price Resets - My Patch Week So Far

Greeting, gold fans!  As most of you are hopefully aware, this Tuesday (Wednesday for the EU) was Patch 5.0.4, the pre-expansion patch for Mists of Pandaria.  After a bit of a rocky start with the usual extending of maintenance, I first logged into my glyph seller to re-post anything that had expired during the maintenance, so that I could be sure everything I had was represented.

My next stop was, of course, taking my scribe to the glyph trainer.  After learning all the new glyphs, I crafted a stack of each, including the new monk glyphs.  That last part may or may not have been wise.  I don't expect them to sell now, of course, but I had the ink and I figure this way they're already done when I need them at launch.

I mailed those new glyphs over and posted them, seeing as I did so that even in that short time, there had been quite a healthy amount of glyph sales already.  However, something just didn't sit right.  As some of you may know from my question to Faid's LiteCast last week, there's been someone on my server effectively creating a price ceiling by selling about 3-4 of every single glyph for 40 gold each.  It had been galling, to say the least, and in what was presumably a time of high demand and low supply, I'd had enough.  I set out to reset the market.

Now, I should make it clear that my experience with market resets had been limited and very small-scale so far (a couple of times resetting the price of volatiles).  Realistically, this was probably not a market into which I should have dove head-first.  Still, I had made my decision and would stick to it.  I bought out every glyph under 50 gold and re-posted them with threshold of 50 gold, fallback of 245.  This effectively reset the price of 99% of glyphs to 245 gold.

Now, of course, they didn't stay that way.  I didn't expect anyone to just stop trying to undercut.  I also didn't realize at the time that while the tooltips at the ink traders said Ink of Dreams, they were in fact still taking Blackfallow Ink.  This is apparently intended (though the info's a bit out of the way).  This means the supply low we all were hoping to see never really materialized.  In fact, the more attractive glyph prices seemed to draw more competition out of the woodwork.

Thankfully, the one person who seems to be staying away (knock on wood) is Mr. 40 Gold Glyph Ceiling.  This leads me to hope that perhaps he was actually someone trying to get out of the glyph market.  I really hope that's the case, since it would mean he finally got what he wanted and is gone, but only time will tell.

Looking back, I don't know that I'd do this reset again if I could go back, knowing what I know now.  I spent about 130k gold overall on resetting the prices.  So far, I've gained about 30k of that back, and still have a stock of about 10,000, meaning I'll almost definitely profit in the long run (particularly if at least some of the prices stay high through MoP launch).  Still, having all of that capital in glyphs instead of liquid gold stings a bit, and more importantly, I'm spending far too long each day just trying to move thousands of glyphs from my mail box.

Still, it's not all bad.  Many glyphs didn't stay high, but that's fine.  I never expected them all to stay high.  All I wanted, and what I've largely gotten, is a glyph market that's set by supply and demand, rather than someone's artificial ceiling.  It chafed me to see the rarest and most in-demand book glyphs going for little more than useless trainer glyphs, and for the most part, that's been fixed.  I'm not thrilled with the massive overstock in a market for which my enthusiasm is mild at best, but I'll work through it, and at least I'm well prepared for the flood of alts in Mists.

We're already seeing a few alts trickling in, thanks to the unlocking of the 11th character slot and the new class mechanics to try out.  I've seen a bit of a bump in heirloom enchants, but nothing staggering.  I think, though, that many people are saving that extra slot for a Monk and/or a Pandaren, so we'll see many more alts come launch.

Speaking of alts, things have been going fairly well there, though it's not without its hiccups.  All of my sub-80 alts had hit 80 before the patch.  Special thanks goes to my partner for running my Paladin and Death Knight through each Northrend instance for 300% experience dungeon quests.  My hunter was at just over 50% of the way into 84, so when the patch lowered the experience needed at that level by 50%, it meant my hunter logged in ready to ding 85 as soon as she did anything that earned experience.

Since then, the paladin's gotten the most play, mostly because it's still on my other account and can be played while I'm posting glyphs and retrieving mail.  Pally's 83, DK's somehow managed to get to 82 between posting sprees, and Priest is at 81.  Soon I'll have an 85 of each class, just like I said I would someday.  At least until September 25th, when I'll have yet another new one to make.  If I have some extra time, I may actually get a couple characters leveling up on the RAF account almost solely for granting a monk levels.

I've also been forced to re-assess my profession plans somewhat.  With 5.0.4, Blizzard has changed the Alchemy specialization quests to require Mists items.  Only one of my Alchemists already has his transmute specialization learned, so all the others would have to spend the first week or more of Mists making Living Steel solely to have it go to the trainer.  I still want multiple Alchemists, so I will still have to suck it up somewhat at launch, but I've decided to make about half of them Scribes instead.

It was a galling idea at first.  After my recent adventures, the last thing I wanted to see was more glyphs.  Realistically, though, these extra Scribes will be making few, if any, glyphs when they're done skilling up, and while what they make to do so will unfortunately be more overstock, it's a drop in a bucket compared to what I already have.  The new Scroll of Wisdom cooldown in Mists should be a decent source of daily income, being usable for Darkmoon Cards, BoE gear, and BoA gear.

It's difficult to say at this point which will be more profitable, Living Steel or Scroll of Wisdom, but I should be well prepared in either case, and on the off chance that there's an extreme difference in value, I can always shuffle the professions around a bit.  Special thanks to Jim from Power Word Gold for letting me bounce some of this off him on Twitter yesterday.

Bit of a long post, I know, but that's been my week so far.  Hopefully the weekend will bring more people back to buy glyphs.  How has everyone else's patch week been?  Have you found any old markets reviving somewhat?  Any new ones popping up?  Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Patch 5.0.4 and New Glyphs

Greetings, gold fans!  Just a quick update on glyphs in patch 5.0.4.  As suspected, the Ink Trader no longer trades for Blackfallow Ink, instead demanding the new Ink of Dreams (which is unobtainable until Mists launches).

Second, as was suspected, glyphs that changed but kept the same item ID were changed to the new glyph.  More importantly, though, there are several new glyphs available that  don't correspond to any Cataclysm item IDs.  These are learned from the trainer in patch 5.0.4.

Many of these are Monk glyphs, but some are truly new glyphs for existing classes:

Glyph of Lightspring (Shimmering Ink)
Glyph of the Bear Cub (Midnight Ink)
Glyph of Fetch (Lion's Ink)
Glyph of Aspect of the Beast (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Mind Flay (Celestial Ink)

As you can see, it's a fairly even spread of inks, so it should be quite doable by anyone stockpiling inks already.  If you haven't stockpiled before the patch, you're likely out of luck, as low-level herbs are few and far between on my server right now.  Yours may, of course, vary.

There's also a fair number of monk glyphs added.  Be careful about crafting these, though, as monks cannot be created until Mists actually launches on September 25th.  Some may sell to those looking to grab those glyphs now, before demand drives prices up, but in general, you're probably better savings your inks for the more in-demand current glyphs.

In case you want to craft them anyway, the Monk glyphs that have been added are:

Glyph of Retreat (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Touch of Death (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Surging Mist (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Renewing Mists (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Zen Meditation (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Fists of Fury (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Afterlife (Jadefire Ink)
Glyph of Fighting Pose (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Flying Serpent Kick (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Crackling Tiger Lightning (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Uplift (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Sttoneskin (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Leer of the Ox (Ethereal Ink)
Glyph of Life Cocoon (Ethereal Ink)
Glyph of Sparring (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Crackling Jade Lightning (Celestial Ink)
Glyph of Touch of Karma (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Path of Blossoms (Ink of the Sea)
Glyph of Fortifying Brew (Shimmering Ink)

As you can see, if you do plan on crafting the Monk glyphs at some point, I hope you have plenty of Ink of the Sea.

So, for now, I have a couple of pieces of advice for Scribes going into this patch.

First, go to the trainer and learn the new trainer glyphs ASAP.  The first person to realize those are there and start making some is going to make some serious bank.  (There was probably a good half-hour before I got mine where one of my competitors was the only one with this glyph.)  It may be too late for a lot of us here in the US, but hopefully this will do our European friends some good.

Second, this may be one of the few times in the glyph market where it's better not to constantly run cancel scans.  The level of demand may easily be at the point where people will buy through your competition and get to yours.  However, if you're canceling, that's a significant chunk of time where you're retrieving the glyphs from the mail and trying to re-post them, which is a significant amount of time they're not on the AH.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Stable and their Plans Leading up to Mists

Hey there, gold fans!  I know things have been quiet from me in this exciting period of build-up to Mists of Pandaria, but I'm also a full-time student, which means real life has to intrude sometimes.  For many, the summer would be a quieter time, but for me, that means trying to get ahead with summer classes, and 90% of what my school offers during the summer is online.  Surprisingly, cramming 300-level accounting and finance classes into six weeks and removing the benefits of an actual classroom environment does not make them easier or more fun.  Who'd have guessed?

Anyway, most of my time in-game lately has been spent leveling and otherwise preparing my stable of alts for Mists.  Leveling has taken the majority of the time, but some profession work has been necessary as well, especially with my planned professions shifting radically.

One thing I would like to note about my professions is that I'm not planning on going in with a dual gatherer, nor will I have a gathering profession at all on my main. This was a tough decision for me, particularly since I saw the Consortium post about dual gathering and agreed with most of the points.  In a perfect world, I could make any toon I'm planning to level at launch a dual gatherer, then use the gold from inflated mat prices to power-level whatever professions I'd prefer to have.

In that perfect world, though, I'd have plenty of time, and that's just not the case, particularly with the launch of Mists.  There's going to be so much to fill the time as it is:  leveling, maxing the professions I actually want on those toons, getting ready for raiding, and of course RL stuff like school work.  Leveling another profession from scratch, even power-leveling it with mats bought from the AH, just takes time I won't have after launch.

So, with that said, I've been getting my team ready for Mists, their levels maxed and their professions where they need to be.  Today, I'm going to present them and my plans for them in their entirety. This includes names. I'm not on a particularly large server, and I'm fairly sure my competition has already figured most of these out, so no loss there.  And on the up side, it means I can spend a little less time redacting screenshots.

So, let's get to the introductions:

Tailswish, level 85 Tauren Druid

A Pimp Druid Named Tailswish
We all know this one already, my druid, my main, my banker, my baby.  Right now, she's got Herbalism and Mining, more for coincidence than anything else.  Herbalism makes sense, since Tauren Druids are by far the most efficient herbalists.  Mining just sort of came about because I was without one for a while and needed to make some ore into bars for my blacksmith.

I'm also main tank for my 10-man raid team, so I need to have good bonuses.  Unfortunately, that means switching my professions around for Mists.  Blacksmithing will have by far the best bonus for Guardians, because of the increased item budget for secondary stats on gems come Mists.  Thankfully, alchemy is up there, too, since the Guardian mastery's armor increase is calculated after the armor elixir and Mixology.  Everyone's planned to have Alchemy as one of their professions, since with a planned 10 max-level toons, there are few other options for profession stacking.

The other main option for stacking would be Inscription, for more Scroll of Wisdom and therefore more Darkmoon Cards.  I will indeed be keeping a close eye on that and shuffling some professions around as necessary, but for now I prefer Alchemy and its Living Steel cooldown.  A recent post from Faid lets us know that the new belt buckles will be gated behind reputation and take Living Steel.  An unexpected but welcome bonus for my Blacksmith main and her small army of Alchemists.

I will, however, leave redoing the druid's professions as one of the last priorities on my pre-Mists list.  If I get everything else done, I'll go for it, as time before the launch is more valuable than time after it.  If I don't end up having time, it's still all gravy because at least I'd have a dual gatherer for launch.

Zelphair, level 85 Blood Elf Mage

Equal opportunity eye candy. I'd love to find a Barbaric Loincloth, rather than aboriginal, to pull the color scheme together.

Ah, my Mage.  I haven't played him seriously in quite some time, but I'm very fond of him.  He was the first toon I had ever gotten to max level, and my main for quite some time.  His current professions are Tailoring and Alchemy, but sometime before Mists, he'll be giving up his Tailoring for Enchanting.  We'll see why a bit further in.

Dunkelheit, level 85 Blood Elf Warlock

Don't let the transmog fool you.  In some cultures, white symbolizes death.
My warlock actually used to be a male Forsaken.  Looking pretty good, all things considered, eh?  Back when she was a he, Dunkelheit was actually the first toon I made in WoW.  Her professions are pretty much set with Jewelcrafting and Alchemy, although her Alchemy needs a few points before Mists.

Shieldwench, level 85 Blood Elf Warrior

I'm not sure that can legally be called Plate anymore...
Shieldwench was the first of my stable to be created and leveled exclusively in Cataclysm.  Despite her late entry, she's been a solid money maker for me with Blacksmithing and, to a lesser extent, Engineering.  When Tailswish takes over her Blacksmithing duties, she'll replace it with Alchemy, of course.

Naturalwoman, level 85 Orc Shaman

Whoever said Orc women weren't sexy has obviously never met Naturalwoman
I knew I'd roll an Orc eventually.  They may not always be as pretty as Blood Elves, but at least they're not Trolls.  This shaman is currently rocking Skinning and Leatherworking.  Of the two, Skinning is the one that'll be moving on to someone else, mostly because Leatherworking is the bigger pain to re-level, but also partly because I've got the pattern for some very Stylin' hats.  Come Mists, she'll have Leatherworking and Alchemy.

Rosalyngrace, level 85 Blood Elf Rogue

They say the less you wear, the harder you are to detect.
This little lady's a relatively new addition to the gang, but she's been working hard.  Right now, she's got Enchanting and Inscription, so between heirloom enchants and glyph/ink stockpiling, she's definitely been logging the hours.  Thankfully, most of the heirloom enchants are relatively easy to unlock (and I have an extra Crusader recipe no one's buying), so she'll pass on her Enchanting duties and settle into Inscription and Alchemy.

Piercingeyes, level 84 Blood Elf Hunter

This outfit just screams "Blood Elf".  In a good way.
This is the latest toon to be fully leveled.  Yes, she's only 84, but I'm waiting to see if the XP changes from 84 to 85 go live in 5.0.4 before I slog that out.  She's currently got Herbalism and Mining, mostly for the sake of quicker leveling, but also so that if I run short on time and can't finish my profession changes, I'll at least have a dual gatherer for launch.  If things go as planned, though, she'll pass her Mining on, and settle at Herbalism and Alchemy.

Anklegnaw, level 71 Goblin Death Knight

What?  It's leveling gear.  Not everything needs to be transmogged.
This little gal has been surprisingly busy.  In addition to leveling, she's the Guild Master of my personal bank guild, Something Awesome.  She's also been responsible for storing and selling the glyph stockpile crafted by Rosalyngrace.  She's currently got Herbalism and Mining, but that's purely for leveling.

I ran into a bit of a problem when selecting professions for her.  Alchemy would be one, of course, but all the others still "up for grabs" had been those that benefited from Bountiful Bags.  Since Something Awesome is still level 1, she doesn't have access to this, and thus needs a crafting profession.  In the end, I decided the easiest thing to do was give her Zelphair's Tailoring and have the mage take over Enchanting.  At least Tailoring should be easy, if not cheap, to level.

Shiningbeef, level 71 Tauren Paladin

What are the chances of having a second set of heirloom plate?  Given what an altaholic I am, pretty good.
There's a reason this gal is the exact same level as my Death Knight.  Last night, I transferred her over to the second account I created for Recruit-a-Friend, and when both are 80 and she's granted her levels to my last toon, she'll get transferred back.  It's not a strategy I'd recommend for everyone, as it takes a fair amount of real money, but if you're going to do it, now's the time, with being able to buy everything up to Cataclysm for $20.

(Just be warned, if your main account has pre-ordered the digital version of Mists, that account is now considered at the Mists expansion level, and therefore the second account must also have Mists in order to transfer characters.)

This paladin has Mining, as well as the Blacksmithing I never bothered to drop from her.  For Mists, I plan to have her keep Mining and pair ir with Alchemy.

Darkcow, level 51 Tauren Priest

One nice thing about heirloom cloth is you don't have to worry about pants not matching.
Finally, there's the runt of the litter, my little Shadow Priest.  He's currently trying to get leveled up to the point where my paladin will be able to boost him to 80.  Then sometime before Mists, he'll get to 85 and also level Skinning.  Yeah, I know, but it's all that was left.  His other profession will of course be..........Tailoring!  Nah, just kidding.  He'll be another alchemist.

So, those are my plans for my stable before Mists, and I'll try to keep you updated on how their progress is going.  Do any of you have similar plans?  Vastly different plans?  Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

5.0.4 Releasing August 28th

According to a blue post, we now know that 5.0.4, the patch that sets the talent and mechanic changes for Mists of Pandaria, is coming in two weeks.

 Please be aware that with the release of the pre-expansion 5.0.4 patch on Tuesday, August 28, all raid lockouts will be reset. This means that you will not be able to extend a raid lockout beyond the week before the patch release.

For most of your stockpiling and preparation, this doesn't mean much.  We won't see pandas or Monks or leveling content until Mists itself actually launches on September 25th.  I would have some heirloom enchants and other leveling stuff ready for people who roll alts to check out the new talents and mechanics, but it won't be the explosion of alts we see when Mists launches.

However, the changes to glyphs and inks should be going live with 5.0.4.  This means that Glyph of Frostbolt and Glyph of Shadowburn will become Faded Glyphs.  If you have any of these left, now is the time to try to get rid of them.  As the patch gets ever closer, anything you can get for these over the 50 silver vendor price of Faded Glyph will be more and more appealing.

Similarly, come 5.0.4, you will no longer be able to trade down Blackfallow Ink for the lower level inks.  The ink trader will only trade for the new Ink of Dreams, which won't actually be obtainable in any way until Mists launches.  Your only source for inks at that point will be the lower level herbs themselves, which are often cheaper, but not available in the mass quantities that Whiptail and Cinderbloom tend to be.

Blackfallow Ink still won't be entirely useless, as the Mysterious Fortune Cards continue to be a viable market on many servers (though I wouldn't be surprised to see it crash temporarily as people who didn't trade down before the patch scramble to dump their Blackfallow Ink).  But if you want to sell glyphs come 5.0.4, please make sure your Blackfallow Ink is traded down no later than August 27th.

In fact, I would highly recommend either making your glyphs now or at least trading your inks.  If you play it close and leave it until the night before, who knows what may come up that night to keep you from logging on?

If you're going to craft glyphs ahead of time, I'd recommend starting with a stack of everything (minus the two that will become faded, of course).  With most of the glyphs either getting new functionality or becoming something new entirely, trying to guess which specific glyphs will be in demand is something I don't think any of us want to bet on.

If you prefer to have your inks ready and just craft as needed after the patch, Jim at Power Word Gold has a very handy Ink Distribution Calculator.  Just plug in the amount of Blackfallow Ink you have, and it'll tell you how many of each ink to trade for, given the amount of glyphs currently crafted with each ink type.

There's still time left to get in on the glyphy goodness, but only if you get your act in gear right now.  Work hard, use the tools you've been given, and before you know it, August 28th will be here, and we'll all be making plenty of gold while we wait to destroy Theramore.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Informed Marketplace

Greeting, gold fans!  I had an experience today that made me think. something I thought I'd share with you all.

I was emptying some mail and posting some auctions today, and as I was doing so, I kept a bit of an eye on trade chat, as I always do.  Someone asked if people weren't doing Dragon Soul anymore, which led to discussion of Mists coming out, which in turn led to a bit of talk about stockpiling.

Someone in trade chat said glyphs were a no go for stockpiling, because they were all changing and prime glyphs were being removed outright.  I could have just let that comment be.  Some would argue I should have.  Instead, I made sure to correct this player, to let everyone in the conversation know that almost all of the old glyphs should be turning into new glyphs, so it was fine to stockpile them.

I even went a step further and told them to just be sure they did all their necessary trading down (if not the crafting itself) before the pre-expansion patch, since Blackfallow Ink won't be able to be traded down at that point.  I got sincere thanks for the information from someone who was very glad to know their existing glyph recipes on their scribe wouldn't be useless.  It was only then that something occurred to me:  I may have just created more competition for myself.

It's a fine line, to be sure.  Many gold makers like having their secrets.  Some even feel the need to guard them jealously, believing they'd lose any market advantage if they got out. 

I'd go out on a limb and say that most of us who write blogs about gold making don't fall into that category.  We want to share our knowledge with our fellow players, to help everyone achieve success with us.  Sure, the odds of any given user even being on the same server, let alone turning into direct competition, are small, but it's certainly a risk we take.

I think overall, an informed market is a good thing.  It may not always immediately benefit me, but in the long run, the market grows, which is not only good for me, but for everyone.

Am I being too idealistic? What do you think? Do we need to keep secrets to remain profitable, or do we benefit more from an informed market?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Staggered Raid Release - Good for Raiders and Gold Makers alike?

Hey there, gold fans!  In the midst of all of the hype and preparation for Mists of Pandaria, there's one recent bit of information that's not getting as much attention as it otherwise might.  Blizzard has announced that with the opening tier of raids in Mists, they plan to stagger the release of these raids over the course of the tier, rather than letting us have at them all at once.

The blue post here clarifies things nicely, but the basic idea is this:  A week after Mists launches, the first raid in the tier is opened.  A week after that, LFR for that tier opens.  Roughly 3 weeks after that, the next couple of raids open.  There's been some understandable uproar, as this is a substantial change.  Overall, though, I think it has the potential to be a positive change.

For Raiders:

Even though this is a gold-making blog, I do want to say a bit about this change from a raiding perspective.  It's an aspect of the game I personally enjoy very much, and I think there's a lot more cross-over between the raiding and gold making communities than some might expect.  If you're just interested in gold making, don't worry.  I'll get to that, too.

First of all, I think this change really isn't likely to affect the average raid group much.  My group's a good example.  We're pretty good, but we're definitely not going to be getting world or even realm firsts any time soon.  We may or may not be through normal in that month.  We certainly won't be done with heroic by then.

These changes really seem to be aimed at two groups.  The first is the uber-hardcore, world-first who actually may be done with both normal and heroic in a month's time.  The second, I believe, is actually the uber-casuals who are satisfied never going beyond LFR.  Both of these groups are the ones that tend to consume their chosen content very quickly, then flock to the forums spending all their time between that moment and the next patch complaining about a lack of content.

By staggering the raid content this way, Blizzard is attempting to reduce the amount of content gap between patches without actually having to rush too much on their development.  In fact, I'd go a step further and say that the second two raids should actually be opened one at a time as well.  This way, if Blizzard could manage a 4-month patch schedule and keep up the multi-instance tiers, we'd never be more than a month without new raid content.

Of course, that last part is a pretty big if.  A 4-month patch schedule is a bit optimistic, but I wouldn't mind if they took the the usual 5 months.  The bigger deal is follow-up.  Tier 14 is looking to be a great example of the "more raids with fewer bosses each" design, but then again, so was tier 11.  Cataclysm opened up with three raids totaling 12 bosses (13 on heroic), but then, a whopping 8 months later, it was followed up with one raid totaling 8 bosses.  This staggered release schedule might end up a once-off if Blizzard can't follow through.

For Gold Makers:

For those of us in the gold making community, this has the potential to be a huge boon.  Most of us are aware of the huge effect patch days (and indeed, the first week or so after that) have on the market.  A sudden influx of players and gear means a huge spike in demand for gems, enchants, belt buckles, etc.  Patch days are like miniature Christmases for us.

Now, imagine if this staggered release thing takes off and continues for further patches down the road.  It's technically not a patch when a new raid opens, because everything's already finished and in the game files, merely needing a hotfix to turn it on.  But for a gold maker, it might as well be patch day all over again.

The raid first opens up, and that brings in an influx of gear and demand.  Then a week later, LFR opens for that same raid, bringing in another influx.  Three weeks after that, a new raid opens on normal and brings another rush, and so on.  In short, this has the potential to be very profitable.


Conclusion:

I think this has a lot of potential to change up the way we think of content release, both for raiders and for gold makers.  It remains to be seen, though, if this will be something Blizzard uses throughout Mists, or if tier 15 turns out like tier 12 and this sort of schedule gets shelved until the next expansion.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Release Date and Preparation

Finally!  After months of waiting on the edge of our seats, we've finally got a release date for Mists of Pandaria:  September 25th.  I had know for a while now that my earlier prediction of September 4th was going to be wrong, but it had remained to be seen whether we'd even get a September release date at all, or be pushed back into October.  Thankfully, Blizzard squeezed right in at their usual two month mark, and now we can all stop wondering.

First thing's first.  I was wrong, so I owe you guys a haiku:

Off by just three weeks.
Soon pandas will be bouncing.
Let's make lots of gold.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's get into my steps to prepare for MoP.

First of all, I'm going to completely stop restocking anything based on Cataclysm endgame gear.  This includes the various Vicious PvP gear, Cataclysm-level enchants and gems, etc.  Slowing down on these up to this point hadn't really been an issue, since my restock quantities for gear and enchants were already at 3.  But I feel now is the time to stop entirely.

There's a strange phenomenon that surround a release date announcement.  People have always known, in theory, that MoP was coming Soon, and that when it does, their gear is going to be replaced by questing greens.  Until they have a release date, though, that fact is just sort of sitting in the back of their mind and not readily acknowledged.  Once a release date is announced, though, that realization comes to the fore.

At that point, people may still run raids, both for gear and because, honestly, there's not a whole lot else for the average player to do in-game right now.  Where they'll start to draw the line, however, is at actually spending gold on gear and gear-related expenses.  To that end, the last thing I want to do is invest heavily in restocking those items, especially when they're likely to be worthless come MoP.  If I actually happen to sell through what I've got right now, that would make me ecstatic.

I'm also going to be trying to unload any Heavenly Shards or Maelstrom Crystals while I still can.  With the new expansion, Cataclysm-level enchanting mats will likely only be used for skilling up.  Hypnotic Dust and Celestial Essences should retain their value, and even go up in price as existing supplies run out and no one's running that content for gear to DE.  Take a look at a popular enchanting guide, though, and keep in mind that anything after 500 will be doable with MoP mats.  The only thing Heavenly Shards would be used for is the enchanting rod, and it looks like Blizzard's taking those out of the game.  The result?  Heavenly shard prices will likely plummet.

Next on the priority list is my preparation for the upcoming glyph changes.  I've finally finished learning all of the Book of Glyph Mastery glyphs, and should be done with the research ones in time for the patch.  The actual acquisition of ink and making of glyphs is coming right along, too, and is really limited only by how many herbs I can find below my price threshold each day.  Currently, I'm down to only needing Ink of the Sea.  This sounds more impressive than it is, though, since that still leaves about a third of the glyphs in the game.

Aside from that, I'd like to reach 85 on the four non-85 alts I have left, my Death Knight (58), Paladin (56), Hunter (55), and Priest (38).  If I can actually manage to get them to max level, or at least to 80, then I may in a position to shuffle my professions around, eventually ending up with each character having alchemy + other profession.  Time will tell, though, if there's enough time before MoP.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Massive Nerf to Soloing Old Raids for Gold

Hey there, gold fans.  I just wanted to provide you all with a quick update about a blue post I caught today.  Let's get right to the quote from blue "Watcher" on the forums:

In general, enemies in raids and dungeons drop significantly more gold than outdoor foes, specifically because we are assuming that the gold is going to be split 5, 10, or 25 ways. As player power rises over time, it obviously becomes possible to complete old content with significantly fewer players, such that the gold rewards become disproportionately high.

In the past, our only solution was to drastically reduce the gold dropped by legacy content across the board (e.g., Magtheridon, much of Karazhan, etc.). In Mists, we have a new system in place that normalizes gold yield based on the number of players involved in the kill. If a Black Temple enemy drops 100 gold today on live, and you kill it with a 25-player raid group in Mists, it'll also drop 100 gold and each player will get 4 gold. If you solo Black Temple, that enemy will also give you 4 gold. If you do it with 4 friends, it'll drop 20 gold and each of you will get 4.

In other words, the gold obtained from killing raid or dungeon creatures no longer depends upon how many people you bring, or do not bring, with you. This system does not apply to anything in the outdoor world.

You see, once upon a time, there was a raid called Molten Core.  In its time, it took a raid team of 40 people.  Bosses were set up to give each of those people a little bit of gold.  Nothing to write home about, but ideally enough to cover repairs and that sort of thing.

Since there aren't selectable loot roles or anything like that for gold the way there is for other loot, the game had to do this in a rather roundabout way.  The boss (or any mob, for that matter) would have its gold automatically distributed evenly to every member of the raid.  This meant that if Blizzard wanted a boss to give each player, say, 5 gold, the boss would actually drop 200 gold and the game would give an equal amount to each of the 40 players.

This works fine until years later, when people discovered they could down those same bosses with just a very small group, or even solo them.  The same 200 gold being distributed to one player instead of 40 was a bit much, especially when it got to the point where just about any class could faceroll it, so Blizzard nerfed the amount of gold given somewhat.

For Mists of Pandaria, though, Blizzard has a more elegant solution.  Regardless of whether there's one person or 40, each player will get the amount originally intended to be given to each player (5 gold in our example).  For a group of 40 still running Molten Core (do those actually exist nowadays?), this will actually be a slight increase in the amount of gold each person gets from the boss, compared to what they'd get now.  For the person soloing it, however, the amount of gold they earn compared to what they'd get now will effectively plummet.

And what does this all mean from a gold-maker's perspective?  Honestly, not a whole lot.  I would hope you're not running old raids exclusively for the gold dropped by the bosses, as the gold per hour from that would be horrible. 

That's not to say that running old raids can't be profitable.  Things like Sulfuron Ingot, Lava Core, etc. still can sell for high prices if you're patient enough to find the right buyer.  People can and will still make a profit from it, just without the little bonus of the boss gold

The only cases where I can see this making a difference would be when what you're farming is considerably more common, like cloth.  With the added bonus of the boss loot gone, that's one less incentive to farm those things from a raid, as opposed to a five-man or even out in the world.

What do you think?  Are there any old raids you've been running on a regular basis?  If so, would this change make you stop?  Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quick Update on Inks

Just wanted to point out, as a follow-up to my previous post, that I just logged into beta to check a few things, and the ink trader is now trading various inks for the new Ink of Dreams, not the old Blackfallow Ink.

For some reason, Snowfall Ink, Inferno Ink, and Starlight Ink (the MoP rare ink) are still listed as costing 10 Blackfallow Ink, but this is likely an oversight, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this changed in the next build or two.

So, the point in all this?  Keep an eye on MMO-Champion and other WoW news sites, because in addition to hopefully getting some news about an MoP release date soon, we will get at least a week's notice before patch 5.0.3 goes live.  Be sure you trade down your Blackfallow Ink before that patch goes live!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Preparing for Glyphmas 2

Greetings, gold fans.  I realize I haven't been keeping up all that much with posting lately.  I apologize, but for the most part, there hasn't been anything to talk about.  My usual routine's been pumping along, albeit slowly.  My liquid gold total's actually down, and currently sitting at 606k, but I've been making some investments, which we'll get to in a bit.

Today I'd like to talk about glyphs.  I know, "Ugh...glyphs".  Believe me, I'm normally right there with you.  I'm not lucky enough to be on one of those magical servers where there are still a decent number of glyphs going for hundreds of gold. 

In point of fact, I haven't seen a single glyph for more than 50 gold.  And sure, with prices of herbs the way they are, I can keep my prices below 20g, and certain glyphs are at least profitable.  Still, it's a profit of usually a couple hundred gold a day, and thus something I had been ignoring.

But that magical time of the expansion cycle is almost upon us.  What am I talking about?  Why, Glyphmas, of course.  And as we all know, Glyph Santa only rewards those who are prepared.

Now, if you've been in the gold-making scene for any length of time, chances are you've probably heard of the first Glyphmas, or maybe even were there.  You see, when patch 4.0.1 went live, Blizzard majorly overhauled glyphs in preparation for Cataclysm.  Glyphs were now something you learned permanently, and a whole new class of glyphs, called Prime Glyphs, were added.  In addition, Ink of the Sea could no longer be traded down for every other ink.  That honor now went to the new Blackfallow Ink, which was unattainable until Cataclysm launched.

The result was a surge in demand for glyphs.  Even those glyphs that were utterly useless were being grabbed up at that moment by completionists.  While the demand soared, the supply was at an all-time low, as those who hadn't prepared scrambled to find the lower inks they hadn't thought to trade for before the patch.  It was a paradise for those scribes who'd planned ahead.  And the great news is, it seems set to happen again.

With 5.0.3, glyphs are undergoing another big change.  Much like with talents, Blizzard wants glyphs to truly be a choice, rather than anything being "mandatory" or "useless".  To that end, prime glyphs are gone.  Major glyphs generally change abilities in a way that's not clearly better or worse, just different.  Minor glyphs remain fun and mostly cosmetic (and there are more of them now).

Now, very few glyphs seem to be truly going away, so we shouldn't have the whole "Charred Glyph" fiasco from 4.0.1.  There seem to only be two glyphs becoming Faded Glyphs, Glyph of Frostbolt and Gylph of Shadowburn.  Everything else seems to be either staying the same, keeping the same name but getting a new function, or becoming a different glyph entirely.  The treatment this is being given on beta is that these new glyphs have the same item ID as the old ones, so existing glyphs change automatically.

Now, Blizzard could pull a fast one on us and change this last-minute, but we've seen no indication of this.  At this relatively late stage of the beta, it's probably safe to assume they're more or less set.  Still, if you're worried, you can always keep your stockpile in Blackfollow Ink until the day before patch 5.0.3 goes live.  Just make sure you're not caught with all that Blackfallow after the patch, as we may very well lose the ability to trade it down again.

Now, while as far as we know, Blizzard plans to fill everyone's glyph tab with the new version of whatever was there before, there's still potential.  For every completionist out there who had every glyph, there were perhaps a dozen more who just had the ones they planned on using, because they were useful or fun or whatnot.  With all the changes, plenty of glyphs that were useless before have at least some use, and almost every glyph at least has some fun use.  Therefore, we should see demand for glyphs rise as soon as 5.0.3 launches, then rise again when Mists actually launches and we have Pandaren of various classes looking to glyph up.

So, what am I doing to prepare?  Well, for starters, I'm making a stack of every single glyph I know.  Now, my scribe got into the business late, so I still have a few book and research glyphs to go, so I've been sure to do my research every day, and snatch up Books of Glyph Mastery whenever I can.  (Wowuction will let you set up alerts, so that you'll get an e-mail whenever an item shows up on your AH for less than your maximum price set.  The Undermine Journal has this same functionality, but Wowuction doesn't charge for it.)

I've been queueing up my crafting via TSM, basically disabling crafting for everything but glyphs from inscription, putting my max restock quantity at 20, and enabling all glyphs except the two that will become faded.  Since I'm using TSM for my mat shopping, it displays a very helpful "Price per crafting mat" column that actually tells me how much each ink ends up costing if I buy the herbs at that price.  Anything under 6 gold per ink, I buy.

Of course, queueing everything at once through TSM isn't necessarily ideal.  Clicking Buy Vendor items will try to buy all the parchments as well (at least, as many as will fit in my inventory), and will sometimes actually disconnect me.  If you don't have an obnoxious amount of bag and bank space, you may want to consider sorting by ink and just doing, say, one type of ink at a time, or something similar.  Still, it's far better than doing it manually.

Anyway, so far what I've described doesn't sound that much different from what everyone else is doing, other than that I'm perhaps going ahead and doing my actual crafting a bit earlier.  However, things get a little different because, well...I'm impatient.  I don't like to stockpile in general, because I don't like to see things just sitting around in a guild bank gathering dust.  They call out to me, saying "Hey, a lot of us are potentially profitable now!".  What to do, eh?

Well, in my case, it's quite simple.  Like Jim from Power Word Gold once said on his podcast, the AH can actually make for decent cheap storage, only with the additional bonus that occasionally, the things actually sell.  So, that being the case, everything's getting thrown up on the AH in huge, 48-hour, set it and forget it "walls".

My auctions go up for 48 hours, with a threshold of 20 gold and a fallback of 245 gold.  If something's under my threshold, I post at fallback.  You never know when all those cheap ones may sell, so it's better than not having them up at all.

Do I expect to make a profit out of them at this point?  A little, but probably not much.  Do I expect my "walls" to drive anyone out of the market?  Probably not, and even if I do, they'll likely come back for Glyphmas.  Still, it's better than having all of that just sitting in the guild bank.  If nothing else, it gives me more room for stuff I honestly can't sell now, like ShuffleDust.

That's my take on the situation, anyway.  How about you?  Doing anything special for Glyphmas?  Let me know in the comments.  Until next time, good night and good gold.