Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fly Through the Fire

"What's that, up in the sky?"
"It's a bird!"
"It's plane!"
"Um...I think it's a druid auto-flying into a mountain."

That's right; it's that time of year again.  The time to go around honoring or desecrating every bonfire you see to get some pretty flowers to spend on stuff, AKA Midsummer Fire Festival.  The only coverage I've seen this year on the holiday from a gold-maker's perspective came from Just My Two Copper, so I figured I'd give my own attempt at spreading the word.

The biggest change this year is the re-introduction of the Captured Flame non-combat pet.  This little guy can be yours for 350 Burning Blossoms, which are easier than ever to get this year.  A typical max-level character can get enough for two just from grabbing all the fires, including the ones in enemy capital cities.  With diligence to the dailies and queueing for the holiday boss each day, it may even be possible to reach enough for 3 on each max-level character.  (Though if you're uncoordinated like me, you may not be doing the Torch Catching daily each day.)

Initially, these were going for about 10k each.  That price of course decreased as more supply entered, and currently there are some on my server for 3k.  However, these will almost certainly come back up in value once the holiday is over and supply has essentially disappeared.  Whether or not they'll go back up to that 10k mark remains to be seen, but personally, I see them being the next Swift Lovebird.

Now, you may be saying "Swift Lovebird was a mount and completely new.  Captured Flame is a pet that took a couple years off."  This is quite true, but there are a few factors to consider.  Many people are taking a break from WoW right now, and even many of those that are online aren't grabbing fires.  Many people started playing during the Captured Flame's hiatus, so it's new to them.  And of course, MoP will be adding pet battles, which most people agree will drastically increase the demand for pets.

The best thing is, most of the time required for this achievement doesn't even have to be spent at your keyboard.  Hop on a flight path, then go grab a sandwich, do some dishes, etc.  Or, you know, read a blog.  The holiday is even useful for toons that aren't max level yet.  My 75 rogue got to 78 just from fires.  If nothing else, it's something different than doing the same quests for the billionth time.

Oh, and one more minor detail:  Captured Flame is Unique, so you can't have more than one at a time in a character's bags or individual bank.  There are a couple of ways to get around this.  The preferred way would be keeping them in a guild bank, but if you don't have one of those of your very own, the mail can work as well.  Just send them all to an alt you're not currently using.  Just keep in mind they'll return to the characters you sent them from in 30 days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekly(ish) Update

I know I haven't done one of these in a while, but first I was on vacation, then honestly, there wasn't much to tell.  We're seeing a bit more of a slowdown, as is normal for this point in an expansion cycle.  It's going to get worse before it gets better, especially if we see a release date, or at least indications of it, within the next couple of weeks.  I predict we will, but there's really no way of knowing until it happens.

So, without any further delays, let's get right into the meat of the post.  First, this week's liquid gold summary.

As you can see, yes, it's an increase from my last update, but not by that much.  Part of that is the general economic slowdown, yes, but part of that's also me.  I've stopped cancelling, I'll generally post twice a day, I'll only restock once a day.  That's not to say I'm not preparing.  Alts have been getting leveled, professions in order, Midsummer fires visited (more on that in a later post).  It's just not the sort of thing that immediately shows up in my gold total.

Next, this week's MySales items:

There's only really one thing new to note this week, the emergence of Enchant Weapon - Agility into the mix.  Keep in mind, this is not the Cataclysm agility enchant, but rather the Vanilla +15 agility enchant, notable because it's useable on heirlooms.  I had gotten this enchant and its two-handed equivalent about a month ago, but this is the first week they've really started selling.  Another one actually sold as I was writing this post, making it the highest single item for the week.

Both Vanilla agility weapon enchants come from Timbermaw reputation.  Timbermaw rep gains have been drastically increased in Cata, and it shouldn't take more than an hour at the most to unlock the recipes.  The only slight snag is that both take Essence of Air, and on many servers you'd be lucky to even see this on the AH.  If you can find Essence of Water, Magnus Frostwake outside Scholomance sells a recipe to transmute it to air.  Keep in mind, though, that this shares the daily transmute cooldown with all your other big transmutes, including Truegold and Living Elements.  Your other option is to go farming Dust Stormers in Silithus.  A pain, yes, but arguably worth it in the end.

Overall, I think this shows us that at least some people are getting their ducks in a row for leveling a monk in MoP.  I fully expect sales of these and other heirloom enchants to increase as we get closer to release, and certainly for the first few weeks afterward.

Stay tuned, as I plan on hopefully getting back into the swing of blogging this week.  The next post will likely be some information and personal perspective of the Midsummer Fire Festival.  Until then, good night and good gold.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rampant Speculation

First off, a disclaimer:  This post is not strictly gold-making related, although there are some reasons it can be useful, which I'll talk about.  This post is rampant speculation on my part, laying out my predictions for Mists of Pandaria's release and the reasoning behind them.  I apologize that my first post after a bit of an absence is so random, but I wanted to write about this.  I should be back to gold-making with a weekly update post on Tuesday or so.

Tonight, I'd like to beg your indulgence as I engage in some release date speculation.  It seems to be all the rage these days.  How is this related to gold making?  Directly, not at all.  Indirectly, though, there's a good bit of the gold making game that involves using historical data to make predictions about what will happen in the future.  I also think that as we see more and more release information coming out, we'll see sales of everything Cataclysm level slow way down.  Once people have absolute confirmation that their gear is going to be obsolete in X number of weeks, they tend to stop investing in it.

Personally, my prediction is for a September release, September 4th if I absolutely had to guess an exact date.  Why?  To explain, here's a summary of important dates from past betas:

Important dates:

Burning Crusade Beta:

Collector's Edition Revealed:  10/04/2006
Beta Begins:  10/12/2006
Release Date Announced:  11/09/2006
2.0.1 PTR:  11/16/2006
2.0.1 Live:  12/05/2006
2.0.3/Dark Portal Opens Event:  01/09/2007
Release:  01/16/2007

Wrath of the Lich King Beta

Beta Begins:  06/17/2008
Level Cap Unlocked:  08/14/2008
3.0 on PTR/Raid Testing begins:  09/13/2008
Release Date Announced/CE Revealed: 09/15/2008
3.0.2/Scourge Invasion Live/Arena Season 4 Ends:  10/14/2008
Release:  11/13/2008

Cataclysm beta:

Beta begins:  06/30/2010
Box Art/Collector's Edition revealed: 08/17/2010
Add-ons enable in beta: 08/31/2010?
Level Cap Unlocked:  09/01/2010
Zalazane's Fall/Operation Gnomeregan live:  09/07/2010
Patch 4.0.1 on PTR:  09/12/2010
Twilight Cultists World Events on PTR:  09/21/2010
Heroic Dungeons Unlocked:  09/22/2010
Elemental Invasion on PTR:  09/23/2010
Release date announced:  10/04/2010
4.0.1 Live/Arena Season 8 Ends:  10/12/2010
Raid Testing Begins:  10/14/2010
Login Screen Updated:  10/27/2010
4.0.3 on PTR:  10/29/2010
Elemental Invasion on Live:  11/01/2010
4.0.3 Live:  11/16/2010
Beta Ends:  11/22/2010
4.0.3a (The Shattering) Live:  11/23/2010
Release:  12/07/2010

These dates should be more or less accurate, but if anyone has any corrections, or if anyone's found any other dates that I couldn't, let me know.  Level cap and raid testing dates for TBC would be especially helpful.  Given what dates I have, I can present why I believe the date I've predicted (or earlier) is correct, as well as why I could be wrong.

The Good:

Level cap unlocking:  In both the Wrath  and Cata betas, the max level was unlocked in beta roughly three months before release.  Level 90 was unlocked on June 1st, which would make three months from then September 1st.

Raid testing:   Raid testing for both Wrath and Cataclysm began roughly 2 months before release.  Raid testing for Mists began June 22nd, which would make two months August 22nd.

Length of beta:  Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cata took 3, 4, and 5 months, respectively, from the start of their betas to their releases.  Cata was understandably the longest because of the level 1-60 revamp.  MoP doesn't have that massive chunk of content to test, but they did skip the traditional "Friends and Family Alpha" stage of testing.  Five and a half to six months would therefore seem reasonable, which would again put it at September.

The Bad:

No Collector's Edition yet:  With the other beta tests, Collector's Edition details were released fairly early into the testing.  As of yet, we've heard nothing about the Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition.  However, I highly doubt this means we have another four months of beta.  That said, I also don't know why we haven't seen CE details yet.  My somewhat hopeful guess is that maybe we're getting a digital option for the Collector's Edition this year, and that's taking longer to prepare.

Pet Battles untested:  Other than mistakenly being thrown in during an early build, pet battles have yet to be beta tested at all.  This is a bit troubling, but at the same time, the system also seems relatively simple compared to most of the rest of the game, so it could be that Blizzard is relying mostly on internal testing for this feature.  The same argument could potentially be made for challenge modes and scenarios.  Challenge modes are just a matter of tuning, and scenarios look to be much less complex than even 5-mans.

Pre-expansion patch/events not on PTR yet:  It's not necessarily quite time for that yet, assuming my timetable is correct.  Yes, Cataclysm had 4.0.1 on PTR three months before release, but Cataclysm was admittedly strange when it came to pre-expansion patches.  You can see by the dates above that 4.0.1 hit PTR a good bit before other pre-expansion patches, but 4.0.3 got on there a fair bit later.

The Ugly:

Getting down to numbers, I'd say this means we can likely expect to see 5.0 on the PTR and.or a release date announcement within the next week or two.  If we don't see either of those things in that time period, we're in for quite a long beta indeed, and I suppose I'll...write you all a haiku to make it up to you.

Personally, I think that means now is the time to start taking a good look at how much you're restocking Cata-level goods and likely slowing it down a bit.  If in doubt, keep the raw mats and just make one of something on an as-needed basis as things sell.  The raw materials will likely go up in value (at least eventually).  The items you craft will likely only go down.  (The only exception being Blackfallow Ink.  I would make sure most or all of this is converted to lower inks while you still have that option.)

Now is also likely the time to start taking a good look at what, if anything, you want to stockpile for Mists.  Better to grab it now than after a release date announcement, when the prices may very well be driven up a bit by others also stockpiling.

What do you think, readers?  Am I way out of line?  Too early?  Too late?  Be sure to leave your comments below.

Until next time, good night and good gold.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Half a Million Milestone!

Just a quick post here.  I swear, this one was taunting me, with a very nice day of sales right after my last post, but with restocking and a couple of slow days leaving me seemingly stuck at 495k.  But tonight, lo and behold, I log on, check my mail, re-post things, etc., and I happen to look up in the corner and see this:

I've reached the halfway point, and there's no stopping me now!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Late Weekly Update

Hey there, gold fans.  I realize I said I'd post a weekly summary late Tuesday night, but real life's been riding me rather hard, and I never really got around to it.  I'm taking a vacation next weekend, so I've been trying to get ahead on all my coursework.  I sincerely apologize to anyone who was dying of anticipation.

So, without further ado, this week's numbers:

Liquid gold summary:
Only a couple major things of note here.  First, I'm really psyched because I'm getting close to the half-million milestone!  At the rate I'm going, I should have it by this time next week, no problem.  Secondly, you'll notice my gold's a little more spread out than it was last week.  My druid is still my banker, but a sizable chunk went to my mage.  He's my main cross-faction procurer, and I was getting tired of feeding him gold.  The second largest chunk went to my warrior, who's my blacksmith/engineer.  I make a new batch of blacksmithing goods at least once a day, and swapping back and forth to my druid was getting tedious.

The only other one who may get a bit of cash in the future is my rogue, the enchanter/scribe.  However, I've pretty much gotten out of the glyph market for now, and my enchanting materials mostly come from my jewelcrafting.  The main exception is Maelstrom Crystals, which are the responsibility of my only toon exalted with the Avengers of Hyjal, my druid.  (For those still unaware, enchanters who are at least friendly can get Maelstrom Crystals for 200 gold via the cloaks sold by the Firelands vendor.  This price goes down as your reputation increases, to 175 at exalted.)

Next up, the MySales screen:

Red gems, enchants, and blacksmithing items continue to top the list, but there are a few things I'd like to point out.  First off, the gems were actually not selling well at all until Tuesday, and most of the sales have been since then.  As I said on that day, the recent nerf means people are able to down more content and thus get more gear, and all that gear needs gems and enchants.

Secondly, this is all with no cancelling, which was a hard habit for me to break.  Before, I was running a cancel scan every hour.  With all the auctions I have, though, this would often take up to a half hour each time, and it just wasn't worth it.  My sales haven't really dipped because of it, particularly since that's now time that can be spent dipping my toe in new markets.

One of those new markets is the Hardened Obsidium items from blacksmithing.  I put these items (including the blue ones) in with my 77-80 Cataclysm greens, as they're great items for those just hitting 80 and wanting to get into randoms.  They don't sell fast, but they sell well, so they go with the rest of my 77-80 Cata green armor, on 48 hour postings for 300 gold each.

Another market I've finally gotten into is leatherworking.  This has been successful, despite only one of the items showing up on the first page of MySales.  Firstly, I've only had these recipes for less than half of the week.  Second, I went for the Vicious Dragonscale patterns first.  They're not the most popular, but my skinner/leatherworker is an enchancement shaman, and I end up skinning my own leathers with her surprisingly often, so the faster she can kill things, the better.  I had to get the recipes and make it myself because there were none on the AH, but that also means...there were none on the AH.  It may be a slow market, but it's all mine for the moment.

Finally, there's one more category that was quite successful despite not making the first page:  vendor recipes.  If you haven't checked out Faid's vendor recipe guides, you owe it to yourself to do so.  She does a great job, and honestly, I think this sort of thing is the future of guides:  very specific and small, but also very detailed and very cheap.  Nowhere near all of the recipes sell right away or even at all, of course, but when you find the right buyer, someone who really likes collecting recipes but doesn't care to round them up personally, you can very easily turn less than one gold investment into a 900 gold sale.

Anyway, that's been about it for me this week.  Anything on my list surprise you?  Anything you think should be there that isn't?  Let me know in the comments.  Until next time, good night and good gold.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DS Nerf and You

Hey there, gold fans.  It's been a busy week for me, and I apologize for the lack of posts the last week or so.  I'll have a weekly summary post later tonight for you all, but my summary's changed so much between when I took the screenshot earlier today and now that I thought I'd better give you all a quick heads up.

For anyone who missed it, the Power of the Aspects buff, the progressive nerf to Dragon Soul, has been raised from 20% to 25% today (tomorrow for EU).  What does this mean?  More gear coming into the market, and more people needing gems.  For me, enchants haven't budged much today, but gem sales have skyrocketed.

Check your server to be sure, and if you can find some cheap ore, jump on this while it's still hot.