29 July 2010

QA3 vs Auctioneer - Glyphs

I share the glyph market with another player - Wek.  I have a scribe with every glyph. Wek does not even have a scribe.  Instead of the traditional my glyph/your glyph market mix, Wek acts as a supplier of inks, and a commision seller of glyphs. 

Wek's role: buy all the herbs we need, and pay scribes (I think he keeps a stable of 3 or so) to mill and sells me the ink's for 2g.  I then cut the glyphs till we have at least 20 of each, which he then posts - again for a cut.

Using QA3, our preferred posting is (I think): post 3, 48 hours, with a range of 5-20g, 2g undercut.  Wek keeps 1/3 of the sale price, and I get the rest.  However, glyph prices do not stay stable.  Wek can post three times day, morning, mid afternoon and late evening.  I can only post twice a day - early & late evening.  With the extra posts, I am making a little more gold/day with a lot less effort.  Wek seems to make sufficient gold/hour.  We use altaholic's account information sharing to keep track of glyph and ink levels (and also gems from my last post).  I use skillet and ktq to craft the glyphs.

For me, ideally I will make about 400 glyphs/week, adjusting profit margins as needed.  This seems to be the amout of time I am comfortable crafting glyps. When first entering the market, I used a hard 3g sale price, and simply sold too many glyphs, not being able to find enough herbs or the recrafting time needed.  Wek being gold poor and time rich offered to help.  We tested various prices and found the 5-20g, 2g undercut pricing to be effective, until....   In the last two weeks I needed to craft 20 glyphs total.  That was it.  My ink stocks were skyrocketing (2500 inks, from 100 inks a fortnight ago) as I am currently buying all the 2g Ink of the Sea that I can get. 

Another seller Bankzoors (and maybe alts?), had come into the market with 1s undercut as soon as Wek logged out.  While I find that gems sell better for me, I still make enough gold from glyphs to be worth while.  So our response is a hard 3g sale price, Wek getting to sell me replacement inks, and I get the (tiny) profit from the glyphs.

The response was immediate.  Bankzoors started undercutting on many (but not all) glyphs, but whispered asking for a fair cut for everyone.  Yet another toon - Flagrante (maybe an alt but not sure) bought out all of a set of glyphs (seemed to be a grouped by name not class), and reposted for 50g.  We sold 400 glyphs.

400 glyps/day exceeds my preferred sell rate.  I would rather make more profit/craft time than I currently do.  So we will raise the price a little.  I find it amusing when we are bought out for resale, and will be posting many many more stacks, and trying to find additional time for posting.

By participating in this glyph war, we are still making gold.  Not as much easy gold/hour as I would like, but still profitable.  As we do not 'camp' the AH (and for my guidies - honest I dont), we can not match the cancel/repost cycle of those that do. A very deep undercut wall of glyphs will do the trick. 

For Bankzoors, a suitable counter strategy would be a cheaper wall of glyphs (say 2g50).  Keep that up and I will let you have the market, at least until you choose to raise the prices.

For Flagrante, are you willing to buy all the glyphs we are willing to sell?  Please help yourself.  I can mail them COD.  How many would you like?

In summary - for glyphs.
Selling glyphs is more complicated than selling gems.  I like QA3's ability to sell for my price range, and not sell if I am undercut.  Setting fixed prices on QA3 for a wide range of similar items (i.e. for all glyphs) is easier than on Auctioneer.

Coming soon: where I only use auctioneer.

28 July 2010

QA3 and/or Auctioneer - Gems

In general, regardless of the tool, I always post in 48 hour postings, with a deep undercut model.  I am not on enough during the day, and when I am on, do not want to partipate in a cancel/repost process.

For epic and meta northrend gems, I have a 'buy price' and a 'sell price' per colour.  Both the buy and sell price drift according to supply and demand.  When I am low on a colour, I pay more and charge more.  When I have too many of a colour, I pay less and charge less.  In either instance, I move gems up or down in a 5-10g range.  My sell price is currently based on a range between MaximumBuyPrice + SmallMarkup, and MaximumBuyPrice + LargeMarkup.  I list 2 gems at a time.  My prefferred stock levels are between 40 & 80 uncut gems.  I do not post if I can't make my minium sell price.  I have most cuts, missing the many of the Hit + cuts.  I will sell uncut gems if I can make this profit.

For example - Eye of Zul
At the moment I am buying all Eye's of Zul for 80g.  My minimum 'profit' is 10g, and then I add the AH cut (5%), giving a minimum sell price of roughly 95g.  My maximum sell price includes a profit of about 60g, so (80+60) *1.05 is rougly 150g.  I use QA3 with a group containing all Eyes of zul (including uncut) post 2, no auto fallback, 95g-150g.

Gems are very cyclical in nature.  Often someone dumps 30 cheap uncut gems, then supply dries up for a fortnight.  A crafter dumps a cut below my price range, but leaves other cuts alone.  If they dump gems below my uncut buy price I will often buy them out.  I am currently selling 20-30 gems/day, more on the weekend.  The problem with my current strategy is that it is too simple. I post the same number of popular and unpopular gems.  I miss out on sales with not enough stock on the AH.  It redeems itself by being very quick.

I use auctioneer with a snatch list to buy gems.  I simply can not get enough gems from the AH at a price I am willing to pay. I also dislike the time commitments from advertising in trade.  My solution is that I have a guildy 'farm' the commumity for me.  He provides alchemists with mats, pays them a pittance, takes a cut and sells gems to me.  This still is not providing enough gems.  So now my guildy advertises in trade buying gems, and on-sells them to me at a small but guaranteed profit.  This latest approach is solving my supply issues.


20 July 2010

Leadership & Greedy Goblin

Gevlon, the greedy goblin has recently posted a series on "Leadership: The induced magic". As part of his series, he claims that the key to success is asocial behavior with peers. With all due respect, I call cough b&llsh!t cough.

According to HR World's article on Leadership Qualities, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.".  A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.

Based on this, Gevlon fits the definition of a good leader.  In my opinion, his success is based far more on social factors than he would be comfortable with.  He appeals to the elitist in us.  He is visibly successful.  He collects others to share his vision.  He expects patients for new players, especially tanks and healers; they can't practice on a dummy like DPS. They must get into the action to get better. They will be better (sound advice for any guild).  There is a clear mechanism to call out and correct mistakes. He has a clear set of social rules (similar in many regards to some effective work environments)

Yet even Gevlon has his failures.  His ganking project first started with an objective that "M&S - even in huge numbers - can be defeated, since they are a class, but not a group"; and "Their help each other idea is a lie.".  Instead, he gave up.  It happens.  He could not prove his viewpoint to his own satisfaction let alone to anyone else's, and moved on to more profitable grounds.  His conclusion that successful PVP MMO's can not be made is dubious. There is the huge success of Electronic Sports, and I would hesitate to call EVE a niche market.

I am incurably more social than Gevlon.  From each according to ability; to each according to need.  Family groups work in this manner.  Small teams do too.

P.s I thank Blizzard for the opportunity to spend this evening writing this post rather than playing WoW, due to the abundant notice that we had for Oceanic servers going down. Would it really kill you to give us more than 7 hours notice when you are changing the 'scheduled' downtime?

Select Realm 24 Hour Maintenance - 7/20   07/19/2010 03:32:13 PM PDT
The realms listed below will be undergoing a 24 hour extended maintenance to prepare them for the upcoming expansion. They’ll be brought down tonight at 12:01 AM PDT, July 20 and will remain down until approximately 12:01 AM PDT, July 21.  All realms not listed below will undergo their Tuesday maintenance on July 20, at 1:00 AM PDT, and be down until approximately 7:00 AM PDT.

10 July 2010

Real names will not be required for posting

... we've [Blizzard] decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums ...

Thank you Blizzard.  This means that, as I said earlier, at this time I will renew my subscriptions.

I am pleased with this decision.  I welcome that 'character name' + 'character code' will be posted on the forums.  This will allow for the accountabilty that you wish to bring.  If this was the implementation for in-game real id information (as opposed to providing a real life name), I may even start to use Real Id in-game.

Please be aware that I am still upset with your earlier decision.  I would like a re-affirmation that privacy is again important to Blizzard.  Real ID is tainted.  Your association with Facebook is unwelcome.  It saddens me that there is an 'at this time' disclaimer around the announcment that real names will not be posted on the forums.

09 July 2010

Blizzard no longer believes in privacy

Edit: Blizzard have recently announced that at this time real names will not be used in forums
  • Before Battlenet: Privacy is important. You may activly particpate in all parts of the game without releasing personally identifying details. You are required to respect other people's privacy. This is what Warcraft players are used to.
  • Current: Privacy is important, but for your real life friends that already know your name, you may link your real life details to your gaming details. With this exception, you may activly particpate in all parts of the game witout releaseing personally identifying details. You are still required to repect other people's privacy.
  • Tomorrow: Privacy is inconvenient. You may link your real life details to your gaming details. If you wish to actively participate in all parts of the game, you are required to release personally identifying information.  (The forums are a part of our game)

Blizzard used to understand that privacy was important, it no longer does. They have thought long and hard about the tie-up with Facebook. There are lots of users of Facebook that have no issues regarding privacy. If all Blizzard wanted accountablity, they would allow us to create an online persona and work from there. This is what players want.

At schools we teach about safety online through privacy. When I go to an employer I provide them my real name, not my toon's name. I maintain seperate work and private email addresses and phone numbers. I do not put on passport applications that I spend my free time decimating populations, hunting down other players and trying to kill them. I keep that information tied to my gaming persona.

In the weeks leading up to the Starcraft release, the news is about Blizzard and it's lack of privacy. Anyone who reads blogs is aware of this. Anyone who reads 'real world' news can only see the real id debate, where before this announcement all the talk was Starcraft (or occasionally Cataclysm). Blizzard could stop this in its tracks by allowing users to change their published 'real name'. If they are determined to go ahead with this bad idea, they could still calm the tone of the debate by deferring the implementation for the warcraft forums, and only go ahead on the Starcraft forums.

It is my prediction that the first users to users of 'real name' on the forums will be cyber-stalked. Even if it only from players wishing to make a point.

08 July 2010

Last week the blog sphere and forums were excited about the games

Edit: Blizzard have recently announced that at this time real names will not be used in forums

Last week, there was a rush of comments regarding Cataclysm.  Everything I saw about Starcraft was regarding hopes and fears for the game itself.

Now, news media is talking about Real Id, and not in a good way.  Blizzard has chosen to spend the last 3 weeks before release of Starcraft defending compulsory real life names.

I just did a google 'news' search on Blizzard.
I have to read through 25 news stories before I find a single news item talking about Blizzard that does not mention Real ID.  Even there, all the comments starting at 7/7/2010 : 2:40 PM are about Real ID.

Looking at my unread bloglist, I find 18 posts out of 22 about the Real ID, with only 4 being about the game.

Blizzard is a big enough company to survive this.  Talking online I have responses from "I quit too", to "Can I have your gold?".

Is this really the publicity that Blizzard wanted leading up to the launch of Starcraft?

07 July 2010

What happens when a goblin leaves a saturated market?

Edit: Blizzard have recently announced that at this time real names will not be used in forums

I am really ticked about the RealID changes, with Blizzard moving from an opt-in basis to a 'if you want to participate in the forums (or get online support) you must use your real name'. (see my previous post)

As such, I am mulling up my options about whether to continue playing the game. Due to this, and having 80k in gold + ~150k in mats, I have more than enough for my current needs. I am currently crafting and selling ~1500 glyphs/week + ~150 gems/week.

I will probably continue to list my crafted items out of habit. Until I see a sign from Blizzard on how this will pan out, I will no longer buy raw mats, and will either craft & list, or simply list my remaining raw materials.

Caelestraz is 'full' of goblins, with most (but not all) markets having competition. Some glyphs and gems that no one else seems to be selling. I will still be around for a little while, and will take some interest in seeing how the market plays out.

I do not know that I would leave the game forever, but I do not see much hope for this blog if real name in the forums becomes required.

Edit: I have cancelled my account renewal, with the subscription due to expire 31 July. If this is resolved by then, I will renew it again. If not so be it.

Edit: We have been planning this change for a very long time. During this time, we have thought ahead about the scope and impact of this change and predicted that many people would no longer wish to post in the forums after this change goes live. We are fine with that, because we want to change these forums dramatically in a positive and more constructive direction.  http://www.worldofraids.com/wow-blue-tracker/eu-forums/13816838128-battle-net-update-upcoming-forum-changes.html#4053.  It looks like this is so be it.


They resolved it.

Blizzard to display real names in online forums.

Edit: Blizzard have recently announced that at this time real names will not be used in forums

...Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums...

This is a very bad move Blizzard. As the very large and growing thread suggests, this is not popular with a vocal segment of the forum readers. I also disagree with it. There are other ways to control trolls.

I have no problems with a common in-game identification. All of my toons are foo (foolich, foosecond, foobarfoo, notfoo etc). My vent id is foo. I do not use real-id, and will not until I am able to use an alias.

I have added my disagreement to the current forums (as only the new forums will display real id). I will be lodging a ticket in-game as well.

To complain to ESRB as in my opinion this breaches privacy, go to https://www.esrb.org/about/contact.jsp