Saturday, January 26, 2013

20 Days of Gold Making - Day 1 (Better Late Than Never)

Evening, gold fans.  Like many out there in the blogging community, I sometimes experience a shortage of that most important element:  topics.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been in the mood to post something here, only to realize I couldn't think of a particularly interesting topic.

That's not surprising.  Gold making is, in some ways, ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration.  That is to say, the vast majority of my time in game is simply spent going through my routine:  buying my mats, doing my crafting, posting, maybe occasionally cancelling.  There are weeks at a time where nothing really changes.  Shockingly, those parts aren't very exciting.

So when I saw Nev (of Auction House Addict) post her "20 Days of Gold Making" post, I was intrigued.  Give me a topic, and I'm perfectly willing to ramble on until you beg me to stop.  It took me a while to hop on board, but I'm going to try my hand at this.  I certainly can't promise they'll be 20 consecutive days, but my goal is to get all 20 covered over the course of...well, however long it takes me to do this.

With that in mind, let's head straight into Day 1.

1. When did you start gold making & what triggered it?

I'd venture to say I'm a bit newer to the gold making aspect of WoW than most of the bloggers out there.  I'd been playing since mid-TBC, but the event that sparked my interest in gold making actually took place in December of 2011, not too long after Dragon Soul released.

I was taken with the holiday spirit, and decided to get presents for all my raid members.  It wasn't a gold making exercise in and of itself, but most of what I got everyone was Argent Tournament pets, which were going for 3-5k at the time.  Multiply that by ten people (I was doing it in a sneaky, anonymous way, so obviously, I also needed something for myself), and it was enough gold that I really had to work for it.

That taught me that I could make gold, and that it was actually pretty fun.  Around the beginning of 2012, I actually entered into a competition with my partner to see who could reach gold cap first.  It was fun, but I don't know that either of us were that serious about it at the beginning.

Things changed, though, near the beginning of February 2012.  That was when my mother, who had been battling with breast cancer for the last three years, decided that the last couple of chemotherapy options available to her were too riddled with side effects.  She decided to end chemotherapy, and began in-home hospice care.

I'm thankful for the hospice team's help, but other than nurse visits and bathing visits, the rest of the care pretty much fell to me (and to the amazing family and friends who brought food and things like that).  Surprisingly enough, though, I still had some free time, and was in desperate need of a distraction.  I had classes (mostly online, as leaving the house was difficult), but that didn't take up all my time.  Maybe it should have, but when you're averaging 4-5 hours of sleep and pretty much unable to leave the house, it's funny how the free time builds up.

There was WoW, of course, but the nature of my free time didn't lend itself well to traditional WoW activities.  I might have as much as an hour or two at a time between Mom's medication, but at any given moment, she could need something.  Of course that's more important than any group I may be in or even any mob attacking me.

That's where gold making and the AH really started to shine.  They were one form of play where if I needed to drop everything and rush into the other room, I could do so with absolutely no consequences.  It was the distraction I so desperately needed.  And when the couple of weeks the doctors predicted turned into a couple of months (a gigantic mixed blessing, if ever there was one), gold making is one of the things that got me through the toughest time in my life.

I realize that's a bit more personal than something one normally expects to see on a gold making blog.  I apologize if I offended anyone by being so open.  I just wanted everyone in this wonderful community to know that their blogs, podcasts, and videos provided me with so much more than just virtual currency in a game.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Everything Is a Learning Experience

Greetings, gold fans!  I can't help but feel I've left you in the cold again.  A few weeks ago, I announced my new project for the new year...then promptly proceeded to post absolutely nothing further about it.  I do apologize most sincerely for that.  It wasn't right to just go silent, especially after disappearing for most of December.

So what happened?  Well, some of you who follow me on Twitter may have gotten bits and pieces, but let's start from the beginning.  My guild's raid nights were cancelled from December 24th through about January 7th.  No real surprise there.  There was Christmas, then people were on vacation, etc.

It was when I poked my head back onto my main server on January 9th, what should have been our next scheduled raid night, that things went in unexpected directions.  It turned out that, seemingly out of the blue, our raid leader/guild master was quitting the game.  He just felt the game wasn't really doing anything for him, he had other things to do with his time, etc.

Now, I don't have a problem with anyone deciding to quit.  It's a game, after all.  However, when you've been raiding with a group for almost three years, and most of them consider you a friend as well, it seems a bit rude to give no warning until the day you're leaving.  Doubly so if you're in a leadership position.

But that's neither here nor there.  The bigger concern was that there were 2 or 3 RL friends of his that were likely to go with him.  Now, that may not sound like much to some, but we're a 10-man group, and our server was inactive enough that we'd often have trouble getting a stand-in when one or two people were absent.  Four people would be unthinkable.

To be honest, I thought our raid team was doomed.  The one thing I didn't want to do was start all over with another group.  If I couldn't keep raiding with them, would I quit raiding?  If I quit raiding, would I quit the game?  I have my gold making, but even with this blog going, I mostly consider it a side project.  I couldn't imagine quitting, but I couldn't imagine losing my raid group, either.

Thankfully, the remaining members of our group pulled together in a way I wouldn't have expected.  Basically, we all got together and said "Well, I guess that means it's time for that server transfer we've been talking about, so we can start recruiting."  And just like that, within a couple hours, we were all moved over.  Of course, we had to wait for the guild itself to follow.  Apparently, in order to server transfer a guild, you need to have been the GM for at least 7 days.  Who knew?

The new server is treating us well, but as it happens, the new server is Zul'jin, the very same place where I had been engaging in my "from scratch" project.  At that point, the temptation to mix those gold pools was too much to maintain the integrity of the project.  Thus, it ended much quicker than I thought it would.  However, it was still a valuable learning experience, and I gleaned a fair amount of knowledge to share with you all.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more regularly now, but with classes getting back into full swing, we'll see.  If nothing else, feel free to poke me on Twitter if I go a week without posting.  Sometimes I'm not really busy, per se, just too distracted to notice how long it's been.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! A New Project Unfolds

Long time, no see, gold fans!  I'd definitely like to apologize for my extended absence.  Things have just been so busy with the holidays.  Combine that with the fact that there hasn't been anything terribly new in gold making, and it makes for a real lack of motivation to post.

Still, it's a new year, and I'm excited to take Swishco Ventures into 2013.  It's certainly been an exciting year, with many things to celebrate, from the start of this blog to reaching my first million.  And as much as I may sometimes complain, wondering if anyone's reading this thing, I can also look at the stats and see this blog is doing better than I ever imagined.

However, with success comes choices.  What should I do next?  What's the next big goal?  At first, I thought it would be 2 million, but that just doesn't seem to have the same appeal as that first million.  I'd rather have a learning experience, do something I haven't done yet.

So what do I want to learn, and perhaps through my experience, teach others?  I want to learn how to start from scratch (slowly develop an army instead of already having at least a decent basis).  I want to learn the differences between a medium population server where my side is the minority (like my current server), and a high population server where my faction's in control.

Then I remembered a discussion my guild had a while back about possibly switching servers.  It hasn't panned out so far (we've got a member or two holding out), but it gives me a flimsy excuse.  I can investigate and build resources on that specific server, rather than some random one that may not ever see any further activity.

Furthermore, as I bounced this idea around with my partner, he expressed the desire to join me, and to perhaps turn it into a competition as well.  So we're both going to start out on this new server, without any outside help, and with very few rules otherwise (one of the main ones being no Death Knights until at least one character is level 55).  Classes, professions, and methods are all up to the player's discretion.  First one to gold cap (or perhaps to make such a large gap that the other gives up) wins.

Thus, it is with great pride that I introduce the star of this new endeavor:  Naturalcause, Undead Hunter on Zul'jin-US.

Look for another post later in the week as I sort out what I want to do as far as professions.  Inscription has definitely crossed my mind as one, since much as I hate the glyph market, it is one of the only professions where you can make things right from the beginning that are useful to characters of any level.  I'm still definitely open to suggestions, though, so post them in the comment section if you have them.