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.


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.