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.


  1. i am not so sure we will see a huge demand for glyphs. My experience on my server was that in Cataclysm the player base would buy all the glyhs at once for each alt (i could see that when one player would come on and buy all the glyphs for that class at once).

    Hence, the new demand in MoP would either come from Monk class characters or new players or those few players who return and did not buy their glyphs during cataclysm.

    unless i am missing something here?

    1. First of all, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Second, like I said, there are quite a few people that aren't competionists and didn't buy every single glyph in Cataclysm. Plenty more only bought ones that were useful or fun to them, so I think you may be underestimating those "few" (I know my partner and myself both fell under this category). For example, if I was a Restoration/Balance druid, I may very well have never picked up Glyph of Mangle. But in MoP, that's becoming Glyph of the Stag, a fun cosmetic glyph that most druids will want.

      Third, the pre-expansion patch will likely, as always, see a fair number of alts being rolled out, as people want to try out new mechanics and talents. Not to mention once MoP launches, don't forget that we have a whole new race, Pandaren, and they can be other classes besides monks. We'll see plenty of monks, sure, and we should all probably make sure we're learning the monk glyphs as soon as possible after launch, but we'll also see Pandaren mages, priests, etc.

      Finally, demand's only half the equation. Price is also affected by supply, and it will be more difficult to get inks. I'd be very surprised if we retained the ability to trade down Blackfallow Ink. Assuming this functionality is given to the new MoP herbs, those will be quite expensive at the launch (and not there at all between 5.0.3 premiering and the actual MoP launch). This means ink gets more expensive, which means glyphs get more expensive, which is all the more reason to have what you can get crafted now while it's cheap. Even if by some fluke we can still trade down Blackfallow Ink, once Mists launches there will be far fewer people farming Cataclysm content, so the prices on those herbs will rise.

      Will it be exactly as much of a rush as the original Glyphmas? Perhaps not, but demand will increase, supply will decrease, and prices will therefore go up.