What I am doing now

You are most likely here because you enjoy crafting. I have been reading up on some of the WoW issues regarding gold making, which make me realize that WoW is not the game for me.

If you want to play a game where gathering and crafting is the cornerstone of the economy, and are not faint of heart, I recommend EVE Online. EVE even has releases purely to support industry. You can play for free if you are good enough manufacturer or trader.

Be the builder in a villainous world.

My journey can be seen at http://foo-eve.blogspot.com.au

For a 21 day free trial, click here (Disclaimer: I do get a bonus if you become a paid subscriber)

26 July 2011

Some DMF trinkets still best in slot

There was some doom and gloom written about Darkmoon Faire trinkets shortly before patch 4.2.  This made me sit up and pay attention. Markets move en-mass, and often over react to new changes.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago, that I used Ask Mr Robot to determine what gem cuts players will be moving to.  However, gems were not the only thing I noticed.

Hurricane and Stones are poor cousins and not recommended as best for anyone, to be sold for whatever I can get.  All our trinket slots have become easier to fill, even for a player like me who has not had the valor points to purchase a single item at any point in Cata, (and I've only purchased a few Justice points items).  The average value of Hurricane and especially Stones are on a downward trend, to be bought by newly levelled toons who cant be bothered sorting out something better.

Darkmoon Card:Tsunami is still recommended as a Best in Slot trinket for Holy Priests (one of 5 healing specs).  This should be some demand, but probably not enough to soak up possible supply

Darkmoon Card:Volcano is still recommended as a Best in Slot trinket for most Caster DPS specs.
The average value of Darkmoon Card : Volcano should be on an upward trend, being the payoff for this phase of WoW.  The average player wealth pool has increased a lot with the firelands dailies.  Players have been to seeing big $$ spent on gear, and there is no reason not to charge it for Best in Slot.  And selling to DPS: How can it possibly go wrong?

I will talk about crafting cards and sourcing mats in a later post.  (I have an excitable commenter.  Don't worry, I'll also address his previous ... comments in that later post)

25 July 2011

Contemplating leaving Blogger over Google+ account suspensions

From my post last night, you may guess that I am unhappy with Google+.  In essence - if you use an google profile that is an alias, and then use Google+, you lose all blogs, google docs, paid advertising, gmail attached to that profile, with little hope for recovery.

I am uncomfortable with the risk of hosting my blog on a platform that capriciously removes access.

I have put a lot of time into this blog, and some of you appreciate reading it.  However I am seriously contemplating moving away from Blogger.  While the risk was theoretical, I didn't care.  Now it has become for some (including one of Faid's profiles) real, it is time to re-evaluate the alternatives.

I recommend using an alias when writing blogs.  I don't recommend using Google under alias.  I therefore recommend that anyone starting a new blog should consider platforms other than Blogger.

This google hosted forum has reports for others with issues.

Moving has the following costs :
  • New domain name.  I will lose readers by the shift.
  • The time taken to do the shift.
  • Time taken learning a new platform.
I am publicly considering options.  This is my equivalent of a dummy-spit.  It does not mean that I will follow up - I think the 'costs' are significant, but I am contemplating it.

However, for those that have moved platforms (Annalias?); either WoW related or otherwise, how did you find the move?

What other blogging solutions would you, as either a reader or author, recommend?

24 July 2011

Gold bloggers should NOT use google+

Imagine your blogger account being deleted just because your profile is an alias?

Lose your email? 
Lose your google docs - all those spreadsheats?

There are reports of Google deleting blogger and gmail accounts due to people using aliases on google+
I use an alias on this blog.  Most gold bloggers do.

I refer you to Google+ AUP
13. Display Name
To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable.

zdnet.com : google plus deleting accounts en masse no clear answers

Slashdot : Google Account Suspensions Over ToS Drawing Fire

I quit WoW over their linking real name to their forums before they reversed it.  I still won't use Real ID.  I will not use Google+.

23 July 2011

GDKP night 2

BWD (extended) : Nefarian down with Healthy bidding.
BoT (fresh) :
  • Halfus down one shot, sharded loot
  • Twilight Enclave one shot, OK bidding + BOE drop healthy bidding
  • Sanctum of the ascended down, OK bidding.
  • Cho'gall wipefest
A total pot of 15k for the evening.

In detail

Given required raid compositions (and I am more flexible than many), I will then prefer to take toons that have accepted ahead of time.  I also make an effort to organise healers and tanks ahead of time.

We had other toons that were tentative accept at the last moment - No probs.  Tentatives means you are interested but won't commit.  Thats OK, I'm interested in you coming (hence the invite) but I didn't commit by sending an invite.

We had other toons that previously accepted the calendar invite but didn't turn up; and had to be chased up.  Grrr.  If you accept, show up (or send apologies).  While I don't have real id, I do read in game mail, and I do have this blog.
 We had a couple of newbies to raiding on very undergeared toons.  That's actually OK - we had a few overgeared ones too.  The undergeared bid on loot - possibly assisted by one of their guild's officers (not me).  I'm hapy with that.

At one point we wiped on Nefarian with less than 1% health.  To be honest I love attempts like that (both the 1% win and the 1% loss).  However during the recovery I scanned gear.  Even some of the boosters had a missing enchant.  Some of the undergeared had way too much missing.  I don't mind you being 'cheap' and not getting the best enchants, gems or reforges, or occasionally forgetting the odd item.  Not making an effort makes for a grumpy Foo.  Battlenet provides you with a view that shows you what you are missing (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/caelestrasz/Foofixit/advanced), as does Ask Mr Robot (http://www.askmrrobot.com/wow/gear/usa/caelestrasz/foofixit#v1 - and yes I could do a little more reforging as of writing this post.)  Making an attempt at gemming, enchanting and reforging turns a 1% wipe into a 1% win.

As for BoT, I just healed.  Failed at some of my assignments, and it only really mattered on Chogall.  While I like putting together the strategy on some fights, I find I am just as happy running with others leading.

No matter; starting at Chogall next week.

If you are looking for an invite, rules, including what/where/who are on this page

21 July 2011

Enchanting mats & ore shuffles

I don't normally do much with my enchanting.  I've been 'slack'.

However, after picking up a set of 378 bracers to replace my 333 ones for my healer; at the 'bargain' price of 20k (meh - it's what I get gold for), I went to purchase a wrist enchant of the AH; for the bargain price of 1.7k.

Umm.  Mats prices are less than that; I'm sure of it.  Nope : they have gone through the roof.

Ok; get something to disenchant.  Someone beat me to it.  I have never seen the AH have so few greens.

Ok.  I'm a JC, surely I can do something with that.  Yup.  Uncut common gems in the bank.  Elementium ore is through the roof, but Pyrite ore and Obsidium ore are OK (not cheap but OK).

I could have done better at this preparation.  I read enough blogs.  Breevok told us to (and is now gloating - with justification).

I also should look at enchanting as my next profession to properly set up.  But Later.

There looks to be gold in the ore shuffle and enchanting scrolls to be made.  I'll tinker in the enchanting market but won't make waves.  At least not just yet anyway.

PS.  LFM Gold bid run Friday 8:30 pm server.  Currently short 1 tank and a few DPS.

20 July 2011

Ask Mr Robot about gems

When it comes to gemming, enchanting and reforging; I can barely work out what is OK for my own spec, let alone anyone else.  So when in doubt, I ask Mr Robot. On top of that I am trying to work out what gem cuts to buy next for my JC.

Today, I looked up the PVE recommended gems for various specs with (apparently) best in slot gear.

I won't pass much judgement about the theory crafting behind some of the decisions, though I am sometimes confused (Pally tanks value dodge & parry more than mastery - yet are recommended pure mastery gems?  Diminishing returns?)

I was specifically looking for recommended Dream Emerald cuts.  There is 1 (Puissant - Mastery/Stamina); There is also only 1 recommended Amberjewel (Fractured - Mastery).

I have not looked at any PVP gem cuts, unsure where PVP players get their recomendations.

Players wear all sorts of gems, and get their advice (or lack thereof) from lots of different places.
 Some even think any epic gems must be better than any rare gems (they are not - the epics are northrend and carry less bonus than a cata rare), so don't restrict your sales to this list.

However, being aware of what some knowledgeable players will be picking up is still a good idea.  My consolidated list of gems as recommended by Ask Mr Robot for BIS Tier 12 is here on google docs.

19 July 2011

(Not) owning that market

There was a comment outlining a method of owning the glyph market. This is my deconstruction of it.

For the record; I have played the deep undercut game.  I have been both the dominant seller, and the quiet mouse.  I have played with glyphs - owning all the recipees since Mid 2010.  I have posted with 3 toons, and posted with one.

A few weeks 1 competitor will give up. After a few more weeks the second one will give up. And so on and so on. When they leave u gain market share. increase the ceiling to 40g, then 50g then 60g. Dont be greedy or else they will come back. - Critical Goblin

My understanding of the deep undercut method is that you drive other players out of the market with a very low margin sustained campaign.  After a while they will give up; and loose interest; change proffesion, or server change.  Once your competition has given up, you can then raise prices and have large profit.

There are a couple of problems with this strategy.
  • What if you are running deep undercutting for months and they still have not given up?
  • What if you are up against a farming goblin; who is willing to farm his own herbs and sell glyphs below a herb price sustained by alchemists?
  • What if your competitors have a range of alts with different crafting professions?
  • What if you can make more gold by being greedy and allowing the competition to come back?
If you are prepared to play hard; accept that there might be others prepared to play harder.

Back in the dying days of lich king, I sustained a very deep undercut pricing of glyphs.  I knew what herbs I could buy, and what glyphs needed what parchments.  I bought all types of herbs and inks; buying whatever was cheapest (including old world herbs as well as northrend ones).  The profit margin on glyphs was 50s to 2g per glyph over careful purchasing of herbs.  This was done for two months.

My stated goal was to discourage scribes.  It did discourage the younger kids seeking a quick bit of gold, it ran out the gold sellers.  I know of scribes that left the market because of our deep undercutting.  However, there were stubborn toons that matched me - Breevok and Bankzoors, and a few others.  Even in this market a new player joined; you may have heard about him - Moonvengence; starting out with only vendor taught skills, but picked up his daily research and glyph books.

Since Cataclysm dropped, we had months (not weeks) of glyphs being at (or under) herb costs; driven by Moonvengence.  I am happy to work for minimal profits; I am not happy to work for a loss.  I lost a lot of gold buying guild banks (not tabs - banks) of cheap herbs of the AH; sitting on them watching deflation erode my wealth).  I dropped out of the Alliance market and moved over to the Horde market (via the neutral AH), and raised my profile in other tradeskills (a notional win for Moonvengence).  However, herb prices started to fall, and glyph prices were being chased down to follow them. That is Moonvengence was 'allowed' to own the market at a loss, but not at a profit. Wherever there were small profits (as little as 2g/glyph); there was competition.  It was during this period that a new competitor - Neoriv entered the glyph market.

You can play with the cost of milled herbs such that inferno inks are allocated the majority of the cost; but even then, 1 blackfallow has a minimum value of 1/10 of inferno ink; and with the introduciton of trinkets; blackfallow vs inferno is more like 3:1  instead of 10:1.  Regardless, spending your time milling unloading inks can be profitable if you drive the price of glyphs down far enough; if only for levelling scribes that dont want to grind Therazane rep.

Don't get me wrong - I still will deep undercut; where it suits me.  I just have an expectation that I will reduce a market to a handfull of players instead of driving them permanently away.

Where my sales expectations are not met, I will do what it takes to drive sales. For me; this has meant : getting out of bed earlier and posting glyphs before work; finding new markets (horde ah); deep undercut; followed by a very very distant AH camping.

I can not currently sell a glyph in the evening at my current prices.  Within 1/2 hour, I get consistently undercut.  Getting up 1/2 hour earler and posting 12 hour auctions before work; and I won't be undercut for 8 hours (but Breevok will - he still goes to work hours before me).  To make things interesting - there are some mornings I won't (or even can't) post in the morning.

By previous rounds of undercutting, we weeded out many less committed scribes.  We still have several determined scribes.

At the end of the day I am left with the following choice:
  • 2 months of 200 glyphs per day at 2g profit each =  24k gold profit
  • 2 months of 40 glyphs per day at 5g profit each =  12k gold profit
  • 2 months of 20 glyphs per day at 100g profit each = 120k gold profit

By not undercutting, over the space of 2 months, I will earn an additional 96k gold.  The higher prices will encourage new competition.

As circumstances and competitors change, I will change my strategy.

18 July 2011

Gold Blog Networks

I have a pet project at network.phase3profit.net.  This is a list of gold blog post for those that don't have (or can't be bothered updating) a feed reader.

It's current incarnation is signficantly influenced by the blog list at PW: Gold

It gathers the recent posts from (currently) 38 different blogs; in essence a glorified blog.  It is a good place to send wannabee goblins.

17 July 2011

GDKP thoughts

My primary aim was to put together a pug and go and down some bosses that I had not seen yet.  In this aim, it was an unrivaled success.

I am used to crawling along; wiping on a new boss for nights before moving to the next boss.  As for me - one night of raiding generally is all I do for the week, getting boss kills takes a while.  Friday night, we downed 5 bosses;  in 3 hours; 4 of which I had never downed before.  Yes, the bosses have been nerfed by 30%, but the evening is far closer to what I hoped than what I feared (pity we didn't get that last boss down).  I normally extend raids looking for the next thing I can't do yet.  The last time I downed 5 in an evening was Trial of the Crusader.

The bidding was ... lackluster, and my guarantees (2k/boss) were called on.  This still meant a 10k pot.  No worries, I still ended up with new hat for cheaper than I would have paid to get crafted (if there was a suitable hat).  Most of us downed bosses.  The run was worth it.  The run was enjoyable in it's own right.

Several other players also seemed very happy with the run; some with the bosses and achievements, and others with the gold.

I ended up running with a mix of old friends and new associates, including a 'hired' raid leader. It was not my best night for healing; and it's a sad thing when you can look at the healing meters and say "Hmmm,  I want to do better.".  (I didnt heal as well as Breevok did on his horde GDKP run Friday night).  We had enough healing, and more than enough DPS. One of the best things for me was that our tank and acting raid leader also has a Holy Priest , and was able to provide tips.

Things I will do different next time:
  • I know I want raids completed rather than re-running content.  Acknowledging that the last boss is usually harder than the earlier ones; I am doubling the minimum guaranteed pot for the last boss of a raid to 4k.
  • I am paying 'bonus' gold to tanks; healers and raid leaders.  I intended this to be paid from the pot, but did not make this clear.

Next Friday I am extending the raid, starting at the only remaining boss : Nefarian.  Please read up on this boss.  I will split the pot immediately after him; We will then move onto another raid - most likely BoT.  I now have a permanent page for GDKP runs.

If you are interested in a spot, please in game mail foofixit, or leave a comment. 

16 July 2011

Only rich alts get Northrend epic gems

I have been selling Northrend Epic gems, for very large markups.  I am going to have to find additional sources of raw gems, because the AH is not keeping up.

I had convinced myself that only rich alts were buying these gems, as the cata rare gems essentially require cata gear, in turn (mostly) requiring level 80.

I looked at beancounter to determine who was using my gems
  • A level 70 toon that has my epic gems equipped.  Fantastic choice.
  • A level 85 toon that had cata rares equipped.  Let's assume he sent the gems to an alt - fair enough.
  • A level 84 toon with a mix of blue and green cata gear.  Umm.  Maybe a newbie.  I may have to in-game mail this toon.
  • A level 85, wearing 365 and even 384 gear; mostly PVP.  Equipping Northrend Epic gems.  Don't be this guy.  Just don't.
For the record, the stats are (mostly)

  • +40 for Cata rare gems
  • +30 for Cata uncommon gems
  • +20 for Northrend epic gems
  • +16 for Northrend rare gems
As of this post, our most expensive Cata gem (110g) is selling for less than the cheapest Northrend Epic gem (120g).  If you can wear a Cata gem, there is no reason to wear a Northrend one.

However it looks like some players see purple and think it must be great.  It is impolite to use the word for these players on a public blog.

Names have been withheld to protect the guilty

OT: Etymology of Foo

This is not a real post.

I had been a regular user of 'Foo', and had read this document well before I played WoW. My first toon name was foobarfoo (foobar being unavailable); a glorious level 20 mage on another account.

Definition and Etymology

bar /bar/ n. [JARGON]

1. The second metasyntactic variable, after foo and before baz.
"Suppose we have two functions: FOO and BAR. FOO calls BAR...."

2. Often appended to foo to produce foobar.

foo /foo/

1. interj. Term of disgust.

2. Used very generally as a sample name for absolutely anything, esp.
programs and files (esp. scratch files).

3. First on the standard list of metasyntactic variables used in
syntax examples (bar, baz, qux, quux, corge, grault, garply,
waldo, fred, plugh, xyzzy, thud). [JARGON]

When used in connection with `bar' it is generally traced to the
WW II era Army slang acronym FUBAR (`Fucked Up Beyond All
Repair'), later modified to foobar. Early versions of the Jargon
File [JARGON] interpreted this change as a post-war
bowdlerization, but it now seems more likely that FUBAR was itself
a derivative of `foo' perhaps influenced by German `furchtbar'
(terrible) - `foobar' may actually have been the original form.

For, it seems, the word `foo' itself had an immediate prewar
history in comic strips and cartoons. In the 1938 Warner Brothers
cartoon directed by Robert Clampett, "The Daffy Doc", a very early
version of Daffy Duck holds up a sign saying "SILENCE IS FOO!"
`FOO' and `BAR' also occurred in Walt Kelly's "Pogo" strips. The
earliest documented uses were in the surrealist "Smokey Stover"
comic strip by Bill Holman about a fireman. This comic strip
appeared in various American comics including "Everybody's"
between about 1930 and 1952. It frequently included the word
"FOO" on license plates of cars, in nonsense sayings in the
background of some frames such as "He who foos last foos best" or
"Many smoke but foo men chew", and had Smokey say "Where there's
foo, there's fire". Bill Holman, the author of the strip, filled
it with odd jokes and personal contrivances, including other
nonsense phrases such as "Notary Sojac" and "1506 nix nix".
According to the Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion [WBCC] Holman
claimed to have found the word "foo" on the bottom of a Chinese
figurine. This is plausible; Chinese statuettes often have
apotropaic inscriptions, and this may have been the Chinese word
`fu' (sometimes transliterated `foo'), which can mean "happiness"
when spoken with the proper tone (the lion-dog guardians flanking
the steps of many Chinese restaurants are properly called "fu
dogs") [PERS]. English speakers' reception of Holman's `foo'
nonsense word was undoubtedly influenced by Yiddish `feh' and
English `fooey' and `fool'. [JARGON, FOLDOC]

Holman's strip featured a firetruck called the Foomobile that rode
on two wheels. The comic strip was tremendously popular in the
late 1930s, and legend has it that a manufacturer in Indiana even
produced an operable version of Holman's Foomobile. According to
the Encyclopedia of American Comics [EAC], `Foo' fever swept the
U.S., finding its way into popular songs and generating over 500
`Foo Clubs.' The fad left `foo' references embedded in popular
culture (including the couple of appearances in Warner Brothers
cartoons of 1938-39) but with their origins rapidly forgotten.

One place they are known to have remained live is in the U.S.
military during the WWII years. In 1944-45, the term `foo
fighters' [FF] was in use by radar operators for the kind of
mysterious or spurious trace that would later be called a UFO (the
older term resurfaced in popular American usage in 1995 via the
name of one of the better grunge-rock bands [BFF]). Informants
connected the term to the Smokey Stover strip [PERS].

The U.S. and British militaries frequently swapped slang terms
during the war. Period sources reported that `FOO' became a
semi-legendary subject of WWII British-army graffiti more or less
equivalent to the American Kilroy [WORDS]. Where British troops
went, the graffito "FOO was here" or something similar showed up.
Several slang dictionaries aver that FOO probably came from
Forward Observation Officer, but this (like the contemporaneous
"FUBAR") was probably a backronym [JARGON]. Forty years later,
Paul Dickson's excellent book "Words" [WORDS] traced "Foo" to an
unspecified British naval magazine in 1946, quoting as follows:

"Mr. Foo is a mysterious Second World War product, gifted with
bitter omniscience and sarcasm."

Earlier versions of the Jargon File suggested the possibility that
hacker usage actually sprang from "FOO, Lampoons and Parody", the
title of a comic book first issued in September 1958, a joint
project of Charles and Robert Crumb. Though Robert Crumb (then in
his mid-teens) later became one of the most important and
influential artists in underground comics, this venture was hardly
a success; indeed, the brothers later burned most of the existing
copies in disgust. The title FOO was featured in large letters on
the front cover. However, very few copies of this comic actually
circulated, and students of Crumb's `oeuvre' have established that
this title was a reference to the earlier Smokey Stover comics.
The Crumbs may also have been influenced by a short-lived Canadian
parody magazine named `Foo' published in 1951-52. [JARGON]

An old-time member reports that in the 1959 "Dictionary of the
TMRC Language", compiled at TMRC (the Tech Model Railroad Club at
MIT) there was an entry for Foo. The current on-line version, in
which "Foo" is the only word coded to appear red, has the
following [TMRC]:

Foo: The sacred syllable (FOO MANI PADME HUM); to be spoken
only when under obligation to commune with the Deity. Our first
obligation is to keep the Foo Counters turning.

This definition used Bill Holman's nonsense word, then only two
decades old and demonstrably still live in popular culture and
slang, to make a "ha ha only serious" analogy with esoteric
Tibetan Buddhism. Today's hackers would find it difficult to
resist elaborating a joke like that, and it is not likely 1959's
were any less susceptible. [JARGON]

4. [EF] Prince Foo was the last ruler of Pheebor and owner of the
Phee Helm, about 400 years before the reign of Entharion. When
Foo was beheaded by someone he called an "eastern fop" from
Borphee, the glorious age of Pheebor ended, and Borphee rose to
the prominence it now enjoys.

5. [OED] A 13th-16th century usage for the devil or any other enemy.
The earliest citation it gives is from the year 1366, Chaucer A B
C (84): "Lat not our alder foo [devil] make his bobance [boast]".
Chaucer's "Foo" is probably related to modern English "foe".

6. Rare species of dog.

A spitz-type dog discovered to exist after having long been
considered extinct, the Chinese Foo Dog, or Sacred Dog of
Sinkiang, may have originated through a crossing of Northern
European hunting dogs and the ancient Chow Chow from Mongolia or
be the missing link between the Chinese Wolf and the Chow Chow.
It probably derives its name from foochow, of the kind or style
prevalent in Foochow, of or from the city of Foochow (now Minhow)
in southeast China. [DOG]

foobar n.

[JARGON] A widely used metasyntactic variable; see foo for
etymology. Probably originally propagated through DECsystem
manuals by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1960s and early
1970s; confirmed sightings there go back to 1972. Hackers do not
generally use this to mean FUBAR in either the slang or jargon
sense. It has been plausibly suggested that "foobar" spread among
early computer engineers partly because of FUBAR and partly
because "foo bar" parses in electronics techspeak as an inverted
foo signal.

foo-fighter n.

World War II term for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) noted by
both German and British military. See [FF] and entry above for

3. Acronyms

The following information is derived primarily from the compilations
at University Cork College and Acronym
Finder generally filtered for computer


Generic file extension which is not meant to imply anything about
the file type.


Base Address Register

Buffer Address Register


Forward Observation Observer.

FOO Of Oberlin. An organization whose name is a recursive
acronym. Motto: The FOO, the Proud, the FOO. See

File Open for Output. An NFILE error code [RFC1037].


FTP Operation Over Big Address Records [RFC1639]. (Particularly
appropriate given that the first RFC to use "foo", [RFC269], was
also about file transfer.)


Failed UniBus Address Register - in a VAX, from Digital Equipment
Corporation Engineering.

Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition/Repair - From US Military in
World War II. Sometimes sanitized to "Fouled Up ...".

FUBARD - Past tense of FUBAR.

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

The above is taken from The Internet Engineering Task Force Request for comment : 3092

15 July 2011

Self Censorship

Recently, a comment was withdrawn from this blog (by it's author), and a post to another blog that was going explain why the another author disagreed was not written.  Both viewpoints are valid.  Both viewpoints make gold.  All that was at issue was which way makes more gold.

Passions arose, and people thought that their opinions would be unwelcome - at least by some.

It is a tragedy when bloggers withhold useful information, due to fear of a subset of their audience's reaction.

Readers have confirmation bias.  If we read something that we agree with, a post is 'obviously' correct, and the author is a 'nice person'.  If we read something that we disagree with, the post is 'obviously wrong', and the author is a jerk.  This has a place in social blogs, but should have little relevance to gold making blogs.

I have sufficient hubris to be confident in my own gold making skills, but know that there are always other options, things that I can do different.  Sometimes I don't get it as right as I could.  While it strokes my ego to have people agree with me, I sometimes get valuable information when people disagree with me.

The gold blogosphere has seen the worst of personalities attacking personalities.  This serves no useful purpose, and certainly does not give me new ideas. 

We have also seen the 'best' (in my opinion) of personality wars.  Sometimes two bloggers will - by prior arangement - and with prior permission - needle each other.  This adds colour and makes for a more interesting read.

So what is the difference?
As a reader: 
  • Listen to the arguments, not the personalities.  If all you are reading is about personalities, you can file it for use as a filter of bias, but otherwise, the comment or post is of little use.
  • Look for the value of posts and comments; especially where they disagree.  You have a confirmation bias that inhibits you from learning new things.
As an author/commenter, leave the message you want readers to have, in a format they will accept: 
  • Engage the argument in preference to the personality.
  • Engage personalities in a method that assists the message.
  • Accept that readers that disagree may feel attacked.  If you think that they are defensive, take the extra step to highlight you are engaging the argument.
I want your ideas.  Risk being wrong.  Risk being right.

PS.  Shameless plug for my  GDPK BWD Fri 15 July Alliance Caelestrasz 8:30 pm server 10man

13 July 2011

What does blizzard have against crafting alts?

Cold was bemoaning his ability to get all of his crafting alts through his firelands dailies, with claim that Blizzard hates us altaholics.

Breevok has abandoned some alts to concentrate on just a couple.

As for me?  Since when do I have time for dailies?  I barely even have time to post auctions.

We have a set of professions that have newly gated recipes. Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Engineering, Tailoring.  The 4 professions that between them have 8 crafted items that players want to buy.  And as an aside, 4 profesions that traditionally have not already required some form of gating.

If there was no gold reward; on what toon do you most need to do the fireland dailies anyway?  Go do the daily on that toon.  It does have two maxed tradeskill professions?

Now, we know there is a gold reward for crafters who get their patterns/recipes first.  If you are time constrained; concentrate on the toon(s) that you think will give you the most gold for the time you are prepared to invest.

Blizzard are giving us an entry cost to the peak levels of some professions.  The correct question may be instead "Why would Blizzard do anything else?"

Also, consider that the glyphs that I have that sell for the most are the glyps that have the highest entry costs.

This is the market, we have stability and a reasonably accessible known framework.  This is all a gold-maker needs.

PS.  Still calling on toons for this Friday's GDKP run

12 July 2011

GDPK BWD Fri 15 July Alliance Caelestrasz 8:30 pm server 10man

With the exception of AH activities, I appear to be considered a very casual raider.  (What's wrong with raiding nearly once per week anyway?).

Historically, I have run with a rotating cast of casuals. We had downed the first boss of every raid, but didn't progress much further.

I want to see more bosses.  I care less than most about purple shinies.  I have gold.  I am too casual for a raiding guild.  I talk about gold too much for a social guild.

Gold bid runs are a solution.  (i.e. instead of /roll or arbitrary prioritisation system, you bid on loot).  It is good for wealthy casuals - we see bosses and possibly loot.  It is good for the rest - they get gold (and possibly bosses

As a pot:
  • 2000 g guaranteed pool per boss downed.
  • Loot can be claimed at first breaks after 10pm & 11:30pm server.
  • 200g guaranteed to each tank or healer active @ 10pm server.
  • 300g guaranteed to each tank or healer active @ 11:30pm server.
  • No minimum bid.  (That said, if I am providing a guaranteed pot, I will likely do so via a bid even if I end up vendoring something.)
  • You have the gear to queue for heroics.
  • You are gemmed and enchanted.  (I will use Bimbo to check)
  • I have a published raid ettiquette.  You don't need to read it, but you will be bound by it.
  • You have vent and will at least listen in.

If this interests you, please in-game mail Foofixit on Alliance Caelestrasz, or leave a comment.

PS.  As my preffered writer has declined, I will address two items in upcoming articles
  • Self censorship
  • 'that deep undercut comment'.
PPS. G'day to Weatbicks (hopfully I spelled it correctly) on Horde Caelestrasz.  Great to receive your in game mail.  Yes, Foostrait (Foo's traitor) is my toon.

Critical Goblin's deep undercut comment recovered

There has been controversy over a comment made by Critical Goblin, and responses that both Breevok and I made.   The original post was deleted by it's author, but I have recovered it with permission (please see below)
Just had a quick look at your server. Definitely excellent potential to own the glyph market 1) cheap herbs, 2)high glyph fallback 3)good DM trinket prices.

I want to help u own the market.

1. create 3 groups of glyphs
Group a - druid, war, dk, pal
Group b - rog, priest, hunter, lock
Group c - mage, sham
2. create 3 chars for posting eg Foosella, Foosellb, Foosellc and give them 4 endless pockets each
3. set TSM automail group a to Foosella etc
4. craft a full stack of every glyph ie 20x every glyph in game
5. manually or using TSM get the correct glyphs to the correct char
6. set all fallbacks to 30g
7. set all thresholds to 12g
8. set duration 48hrs
9. set per auction to 1
10. set post cap to 4
11. for Reset method set Do Not Post
12. set ignore <2hr auctions
13. set ignore stacks over 1
14. set undercut by 9g
15. after posting join Trade and advertise "ALL GLYPHS 10-30G!!!! SUPPORT FOOSELLERS!!!! SEE YOUR LOCAL AH TODAY!!!!"

A few rules:
- u must be able to craft all glyphs
- u must maintain recraft sold glyphs back up to a full stack of 20

- by making and posting all glyphs with a fallback of 30g and a quantity of 4 u are creating a 30g ceiling on sell price. Now u control the max price. Yes someone can buy out your 4 and sell 1 at 200g, but within half a day u will be back and bam another ceiling.
- advertising in trade gets people used to low cost glyphs, and after a few weeks no one will pay 200g or 300g. they will just wait.
- the 9g undercut is basically 30g - 12g then divide that by 2. this is so that if a competitor undercuts your 30g auction and u undercut him, within 2 rounds the price for that 1 glyph is crashed to 12g. You let your competitor control this, ie fine if u want to crash the glyph's price to 12g go ahead undercut me. Soon he learns it is painful to undercut u.
- you need 20 of each glyph so that everytime u Post u have stock on u without having to cancel and unload the mailbox and then come back (remember each time u post u will throw 4 up per glyph). straight away u have an advantage over the cancel-getmail-relist dummy. make him mad by undercutting him, watch him cancel and undercut u and then immediately cut him with another wall of 4 haw haw.
- setting 12g threshold is similar to the 30g ceiling. u are now setting the second ceiling ie u are telling the competitors fine u can sell but u have to sell below 12g dont worry i wont undercut u but u have to sell for 11g.

This is what will happen:
1. Glyph A is on AH for 250g
2. u come along and list 4 x 30g
3. somebody either buys u out (which is good because @30g is a profitable sell price, right?) or they undercut u by 1cp
4. u come back half a day or 1 day later and list up 4 x 21g
5. undercut again
6. u relist again 4 x 12g
7. they buy u out
8. u list again 4 x 12g
9. they buy u out
10. u dont care because u just keep crafting more

At the start they will buy yours because they think they can get the market back up to 200g. When u keep creating a ceiling of 4x30g they realise:
What am i going to do with these 12g glyphs because i cant get to 200g price unless i also buy out the 4x21g wall and the 4x30g wall. And even if i buy out all 3 walls and can list my glyph for 200g, only if im lucky i will sell 1 for 200g.

Thats where u come along and set those 3 walls up again and they go fk this glyph, and try looking at other glyphs. but because u have crafted 20x all glyphs and u set the fallback ceiling u control the entire market.

A few weeks 1 competitor will give up. After a few more weeks the second one will give up. And so on and so on. When they leave u gain market share. increase the ceiling to 40g, then 50g then 60g. Dont be greedy or else they will come back.

The most important things are:
- hold stock of all glyphs
- hold 20 of each glyph
- set top ceiling
- set bottom ceiling

With those 4 things in place u now control the market. Thanks to your local Critical.

11 July 2011

Please disagree

This is an extension to my last two posts.

Critical Goblin posted a very detailed method that he thinks would own our glyph market: part camping, part very deep undercut.  I wrote my rebuttal, and Breevok issued a summary of his.

I no longer have the original comment, as it was deleted by Critical Goblin.  This is a pity.

Productive controversy on gold blogs is good.  This is productive controversy at it's best:
  • What worked? What failed?
  • Why did it work/fail?
  • What were the consequences?
  • What are the strengths of a strategy? What are it's weaknesses?
This is all very usefull information, for both novice and experienced player alike.

To be blunt - my Gold blogging has (at least) the following goals:
  • It is cathartic
  • It encourages us to formalise our thoughts, thinking rather than just feeling our way through the AH.
  • It provides information to others.
  • It is occasionally part of our AH war.
Breevok and I blog about the same AH.  Our competitors read it.  Neither of us have intentionally misrepresented facts.  Both of us have on occasions, ... selectivly interpreted them.
This type of controversy on websites is good.  It is good for our readership numbers.  It allows readers to not only see the 'what', but also the 'why'.  And readers love a good fight.

If you want more posts out of either Breevok or I, give us something to disagree with.  Both of us are uncomfortable sleeping when someone on the internet is wrong.

Regardless of whether you were right or wrong for this market, the method you outlined is a valid method of playing the AH.  Players should both know it, and the consequences of it - good and bad.  The AH does not have an I-WIN button.

So, I call on Critical Goblin to repost his comment.  I am very happy to put it here as a guest post.  I notice that Critical Goblin has his own blogspot site - with one post.  You could even put it on your own website, and I will link it.

I then call on other bloggers and commenters to respond; either on this website or on their own.  Comments linking to responses are very welcome.

PS.  Nerf Faids has recently been busy on his opposite faction's AH with glyphs, with him declaring war, then offering terms for a resolution.

09 July 2011

I'm not interested in owning our glyph market

Critical goblin thinks that it is possible to own the Cael glyph market, and drive the competitors away.  Now his comments are worth reading; and are a valid strategy for many servers.

With all due respect, for our server. Sorry : Nope : Not going to happen.

How do I know this?
  • We have been there.
  • There are 5-6 scribes with a full set of recipees, with sufficient alts having maxed tradeskills (I have all 8 tradeskills @ 525, as do many others)
  • We know how the other toons responds to campers, deep undercuts, walls of glyphs, below cost glyphs.
For a history of glyphs on our server, if you have the time, read glyphs on this site, and Breevok's glyph experiment

The deep undercut, wall of glyphs have been played on our server.  A very long time ago we had gold robots selling glyphs.  We drove them out.  I have maintained a wall: here, here, here and here. I outsourced the posting of glyphs here and here, Moonvengence (a competitor) maintained a glyph wall here and camping 1c undercut here.

We have had intense competition for the majority of my time in the glyph market, since May 2010.  With the exception of Moonvengence's time, when he started his wall of glyphs below herb costs (he did his own farming), I have historically been a (and possibly even the) dominant seller in terms of setting the market prices.  We have sold glyphs at less than 1g profit over the cost of herbs and parchments for extended periods. 

At the moment, with me following the market; given the current pricing and competition, I am pleased to say that I have never made more gold for as little effort as in our current glyph market.  This post will introduce additional competition, but Critical Goblin's comments already have stirred the pot.

The glyph sellers appear to be deliberately working around other toons without demanding 100% of sales, and I at least am making much more gold because of it. My posting is restricted to a few days per week, before I go to work, deliberately only having 12 hour posts, but posting on both auction houses. This returns on average 1500g per ah, per post cycle (3k per day that I post), roughly 80% profit.

This is not to say that we are 'kind' to each other. I can not successfully sell glyphs in the evening without crashing prices, but it is easier if I post in the morning.  I also post on both Horde and Alliance AH's, as does Breevok.

To own our AH glyph, I would need to start posting a wall at 30g, with a threshhold of 18g, eventually moving my threshold down to 25g (or even lower following whiptail pricing), and hold it there for months. Within days of the margins being increased - even by a small amount, competition would return.

So my choices are :
  • Share the market, and accomodate other sellers, and make 3k per day, or
  • Own the market for months, for paper thin profits, and when I attempt to raise prices a little, be undercut.

While I am in an position to make my gold the easy way, I will.  At the moment, this does not involve paper thin profits.

P.S.  Breevok - As the leading advocate of not maintaining a deep undercut wall, any comments?

08 July 2011

Inferno Ink - Pure speculation

With the new trinkets, the floor has fallen out of inferno ink.  Admitidly on Alliance/Caelestrasz, it is cheaper than most, but at 26g per ink - in the middle of the darkmoon faire, it's price is heading south.

It's price is only going to get cheaper with the faire ending soon, as well as with the new trinkets from firelands.  I see a few more runescrolls of fortitude II being made, and very cheap 359 trinkets heading our way.

On a somewhat related note, Blizzard are on record as saying "Yes.  We will be changing the discovery spells so they can teach all possible glyphs, and the books will simply provide a no-cooldown method to do the same thing. "

At the moment, northrend inscription research is the 'major' discovery spell, requiring snowfall ink.  If they leave the discovery spell using snowfall ink, once this gets implemented (patch 4.3? sooner? later?), Snowfall will become approximately equal to 10 Blackfallow ink in value, while Inferno becomes cheaper and cheaper, or possibly even drive some herbalists back to northrend.

I think that rather than encourage players back to northrend for grinding herbs, when Blizzard change the research spell to learn all glyphs, it will also change the ingredient to use Inferno ink; or possibly add a new research spell for Cata research.

Even with this possibility, I see dark days ahead for inferno ink

06 July 2011

Selling Alabaster Pigment

This is one for newbie scribes to consider (and some levelling scribes can be unwise).  I don't usually sell pigments, only scribes can use them, and ink making scribes generally grind their own herbs, however ...

Alabaster pigment is made by milling starter level herbs (silverleaf, earthroot and peacebloom) which can generally be picked up for 2g/stack (or less); and at 2-3 pigments / 5 herbs, costs very roughly 3g /stack

This pigment can be used to make Moonglow ink (with some value for minor inscirption research), and Ivory ink.  In either instance, only levelling scribes creating vendor trash and those missing minor glyphs are really interested in these inks/pigment.

In a previous fit of 'must mill herbs', I milled multiple stacks into Alabaster pigment, got grumpy at milling 'uselessly' and dumped it all into bank storage. 

Recently, after staring at junk in storage (including these pigments), I put everthing I could onto a spare bank alt and walked upto the auctioneer and posted everyting for Auctioneer's market value.

After looking at this screen, the Silverleaf went for the value I expected.  The Alabaster Pigment blew me away. 
  • Why did I even think of posting at this price? (I didn't - just used the market price).  
  • Why did someone buy it? (They didn't care what it cost?  They didn't know to buy herbs? Ummm?  They need a cluestick?)
I am not moving into the pigment market, too few sell on an ongoing basis.  For levelling scribes, it is often cheaper to buy blackfallow inks and trade down than mill your own levelling herbs.

A level 10 toon could do this milling.  My first level 10 toon certainly did not have 16g to his name.

If you (or your guildies) find that you are milling herbs, try posting a few pigments on the way.

02 July 2011

Gems - followup

Several bloggers have been posting about the joy of Northrend gems lately, and even this post is a followup.

I have many Cata recipees, but not all.  I post all cata rare & northrend epic recipees that I have, and tinker with northrend rares, providing I am satisfied with the thresholds. 

At the moment - I generally only post once / day.  I am currently very easy to undercut.  Historically I have used exceptionally deep undercuts to protect my markets.  At the moment I am either choosing my market, or choosing the time of day that I post, and making reasonable profits. 

Breevok probably finds my irregular just before work glyph postings a little annoying.  He would find it a whole lot more annoying if I could reliably get out of bed earlier.  As a consolation prize, at least I am not deep undercutting the market with very cheap 48 hour glyphs.

However today is about gems.  I really expected that the new firelands raids would be creating a ton of gear needing gems and people would leave off their alts and the cata market would fall off.

Speculation aside, I made sure I still had all my gems up on the AH, but did increase my stockpiles of cata gems and let my stockpile of Northrend gems run low.  It appears that for my playstyle this was the wrong call.

My effort for JC currently consists of, up to once per day.
  • Log on to gem posting toon, collect mail, log off
  • Log onto JC, do daily, craft gems, mail gems to posting toon
  • Log back onto gem posting toon, collect mail, post gems
  • Consider logging onto alchemist and transmuting something.
Another player in the Northrend JC market (who sometimes reads my blog, and I raid with - at least as often as I raid) thanked me for resetting the market back to 300g (was much lower).  It was not deliberate, I just could not be bothered trying hard to find gems, so raised my margins instead.  For the effort I put into this market, I am happy with the northrend market - and am mildly concerned for the cata market.

PS.  Northend epics are stacking when I craft them, but Cata (edit) rares are not.  Bizzare