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.

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