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)

31 August 2011

Sometimes Addons interfere with goldmaking

I love my addons.  Inventory management, keyboard binding, threat monitoring, encounter warnings, buff management, heads up displays, friends syncing, non-friend ignoring, crafting management, AH management, healing trackers, dps trackers.  I even have an addon to manage my addons. 

For some things however, they just slow things up. Too much lag can be a sign that your addons are interfering. The other night I had a full set of inscription bags with pigments to turn into ink.  Even though this part of inscription is an AFK, it was taking forever.  The crafting bar would 'stutter'; Appear, pause for a long time, and immediately jump to 'finished'.  Rinse and repeat. 

Log out, disable all addons, log back in again, and craft inks with an unmodified UI.  Much faster and smoother, saving in the order of 0.75 seconds per ink made.  Not a deal breaker but certainly worth considering.

Question for the day:  I know that the chef's hat changes time for cooking.  I know that haste changes your global cooldown and combat 'cast time'.  Does haste change your crafting 'cast time'?

30 August 2011

What if you can't prospect Cata Epic gems?

 Anyone remember Stormjewels?

From the WoWPedia page :
Stormjewel is an epic gem that can be found by fishermen when doing Dalaran daily fishing quests. They can either be found in a Bag of Fishing Treasures, or the treasure bag can contain a Tiny Titanium Lockbox which in turn can contain a stormjewel.

Prior to patch 3.2, they were the only Northrend epic gems availabe to non-Jewelcrafters. They provide identical bonuses to the "ordinary" epic gems added in that patch.

Toward the end of Cataclysm Lich King I was buying uncut gems almost entirely sourced from either Honor Points or the equivalent of Justice points. I almost never sourced them from prospecting.

Blizzard have also done nothing but nerf the gold to be made from mining+prospecting since Cata was released. 

As a gold community, we overhype some things.  Remember that there was going to be unlimited demand for Dream Emerald for all those hunter scopes?  I'm still sitting on a large stockpile, with nowhere to sell them.

Back before 4.2, I (correctly) predicted that I thought that 4.2 would not introduce Epic gems.  For the reasons outlined (i.e. it is a stealth nerf to older content), I now think that at some stage in 4.3, we will see new epic gems.  It may not be during the initial release, as leading PVE guild's don't need them initially, but middle of the road guilds will.

It is just as likely that alternate methods of getting Epic gems  (Honor, Justice or Valor points; fishing) will limit the initial windfall of prospecting Epic gems.

I will still do my JC dailies.  I will stockpile a relatively small amount of pyrite ore.

I am uncomfortable gambling my fortune on fools gold.

29 August 2011

Kaliope on transmogrification

I love Kaliope's blog (kaliope.crafterstome.com).  She doesn't write much, but when she does, it's worth reading.  She not only consistently is in the lead of researching upcoming tradeskill changes, and appears to understand 'cool'.

Please note: I don't do cool (or DPS either).  Many AH goblins can't or won't do it either.  This should not stop you from having a theoretical knowledge of an upcoming market. 

She has written up a post Transmogrification and Leatherworking, well worth the read.  She is not on all of the 'main' blogrolls running around, but worth the read, especially if you have leatherworking.  She has said that tailoring is next on her todo list.

27 August 2011

Darkmoon faire next week

I know that some readers have been following my darkmoon faire series, and probably are trying their own hand at card making.

We are about to start the week before the faire.  This means that volatile life and inferno ink's will go up in price (if they have not already done so) as crafters start to gear up for their next set of trinkets.

Also, this is the week that you get best prices for your any remaining unsold trinkets.  I have deliberately not sold some trinkets until this week - just to get these prices.  (Caveat venditor : If everyone else is doing it, then the prices will instead crash).

Anyway, while I did not keep as good a notes as I wanted to, they are good enough to give a comparison of what the theory suggested I might have made vs what I did make.

26 August 2011

Bodycheck the AH botter.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. (Gahndi)

I had a comment on yesterday's post mentioning that while the techniques work on human players, they work less on bots.  It is true that bots are more persistant, if only because they need less human intervention.

Bots are very good at performing the same task over and over, and very bad at reacting to unexpected changes.  As a typical human player, you can be good at unexpected changes, and very bad at performing the same task over and over.  You do have the option of looking at new markets.  There is no guarantee that new markets will be any less competitive.

As an observer, it is difficult to tell the difference between:
  • Prohibited
    • automated bot.
    • semi automated bot that only automates the 'keypress/click now' requrement.
    • Account sharing campers being on 24/7
  •  Permitted
    • A streamlined account using addons, but with a player using a scroll wheel mouse performing clicking while they are watching TV, eating dinner
    • A streamlined account using addons, but with a player using a second account, having the keystrokes from their first account send keypresses to the second account
    • A very dedicated camper with basic addons spending all day on the AH.  Or even 2 dedicated campers on two accounts operating in shifts.
I am not a lawyer, and the above rules match my understanding of what is allowed/not allowed - if you feel that the above criterea is misleading, please comment below, giving sources (terms of use, blizzard forum posts etc).

A player using prohibited methods (especially if they are acutally on 24/7) should be reported to Blizzard.  You will not get any instant gratification in return, but they may look at your complaint at some stage.  Blizzard do ban botters in waves.  With the exception of getting the (passing) 'feel good' of reporting a botter, is no significant difference between any of the above.

They are all good at repeating a simple task, and are all bad at reacting.  So, make them react.

In yesterday's post, I talked about learning all the skills, 48 hour posts and cutting off their profit. 

Today, we look at body checking the opposition.  Your aim is to get them to post at cost (or less), keep them grinding and posting. You will need patience, all the profitable recipees of that market segment, and a stockpile to start.  This is not yet about profit.  You are already making none - because a persistant undercutter is already preventing your sales.

You will need your own spreadsheet, calculator or pen & paper. 
  • Guestimate the amount of demand at low prices.  Stockpile enough mats to satisfy that demand.  (You can always sell surplus mats later)
  • Over a cycle, determine what are your costs, including AH fees, based on the minimum market price of material. theunderminejournal.com gives you a fortnight's history of supply.  Remember the darkmoon faire when looking at herbs and volatile life.
  • Use trade chat, other crafters to see if your intermediate costs can be reduced (e.g. JC's should find a transmute alchemist to make your inferno rubies).
  • Use a deep undercut - aiming each time to post at halfway between your cost and market prices.  Post for 48 hours, in singles at this point.
  • Wait for their response:
    • Do they buy?  Then Sell.  Lots.  Until they give up you have a guaranteed buyer for 1/2 the potential profit.  Offer to sell COD.  (even botters keep an eye on their accounts).
    • Do they undercut? Then do another deep undercut - again halfway between your cost and market price.
    • Do they sell below your cost?  Buy untill you have your desired stockpile.
    • Reached your stockpile limits?  Post singles, in 48 hour auctions at your cost price.  This caps their income (remember - they have already capped yours).
This is boring and not particularly profitable - for both you and your competitor.  If you have done your research better than they have, then they may be losing gold.  There will be other crafters; levelling toons, others getting out of the market, players farming for themselves.  These competitors will unkowningly help you in making your botting competitor's life hell.

At the moment, my time is better spent working around other players.   However, it's not that hard to run off both botting and camping competitors.  It comes down to endurance.  You can devote an hour every 48 hours, they are spending one or more account's full time 'owning' a now worthless market.

25 August 2011

What to do with that camper?

On the Auction house, there are dominant names in some fields, often a 'camping' player.  That is, someone who does nothing but sit on the auction house, and undercut's you by a copper or two within moments of you posting something.  You could camp in responce.  I don't.

In response to a recent comment.  I will illustrate my methods to combat this.

First of all, learn everything for your chosen profession.  The harder the recipee is to get, the greater the chances it will be profitable.  Your camper may not have the time to learn these recipees.
  • For jewelcrafters, this includes dalaran JC dailies as well as Stormwind/Origmar dailies.  
  • For scribes, do your research (minor and major), and pick up books of glyph mastery (though they may become somewhat redundant later - with research also being able to do this too).
  • Bored enchanter's should organise older content to pickup patterns - either for maxing out low level pvp toons, BOA enchants, or just cater to the low level rich player.
  • Bored leather workers, tailors and blacksmiths should also consider farming older content for the patterns that look 'cool' for transmogrification.  Caveat Emptor : I have no idea what 'cool' would look like.
  • Engineers should get pet recipees.
Second, do your market research as to what is profitable to make.  There are addon's like Lil Sparky's workshop, spreadsheets (both on the web and one's you do yourself), and even TradeSkillMaster has a tool.  You will sometimes craft stuff no-one ever needs, and sometimes will find genuine niche markets.  Your camper may avoid these recipees.

Post when your camper is AFK.  My Horde glyph camper has this posting activity (from http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Caelestrasz&seller=Massterbank)

I respond with this posting activity (from http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Caelestrasz&seller=Foostrait)

I suspect that Massterbank's overall earnings are higher than mine.  However, I have a much greater gold/hour than he does. There is absolutly zero value in 1c undercutting Massterbank when he is online.  He is prepared to outwait you.

If all the above don't work or are undesireable, look at cost based options option of dealing with campers.

Learn exactly how much it costs you to make something (gems, glyphs, belt buckles, pets - whatever).  Work out how little you are prepared to sell something for above costs.  This is your threshold.

Will your camper buy out your auctions if you post at your threshold?  Then sell away.  He may build a stockpile, but you are making gold (i.e. you are above your cost).  Easy sales.  I have several times had competition buy out my glyphs.  I then sent a note thanking them for their support, posted more on the AH, and asked them how many more they wanted COD?  Apparently this is demoralising for a wannabe monopolist.

Will your camper undercut you anyway?  Then sell a 48 hour 'wall'.  You are not making any sales as he continues to undercut you.  However, you are making his life hell.  There are still levelling toons posting things below cost - taking away his sales.  You are not allowing him to make a huge profit.  Your time commitment is picking up mail every 2 days and reposting (i.e. blessed all).  His is crafting, posting, ah fees, and doing this for less than questing gold/hour with a huge time commitment.  All it requires is patience, and the willingness to 'destroy the market' (buyers still think its great). 

It may take a month or two to drive off a particularly determined camper.  That's OK.  I am developing other markets while he is grinding for no reward.

AFK, still making gold

First life interferes.  Mostly good, but I have spent a fair amount of time /afk.

My routine still involves posting 12 hour glyphs many mornings, on each AH, collecting the sales and unsold glyphs in the evening.  I am way way behind in my crafting, but as I have not had time to solve that, still making 1.5k (profit) per AH per morning I can get to the PC is worth it.

Gem sales are also pleasantly reliable. 
  • Log onto sales alt, collect mail, pick up 2-3k in sales, and yesterday's crafted gems.  Post 48 hour auctions.
  • log onto JC, do the stormwind daily, and re-craft gems, and mail gems.
Two of my recent interests require significant amounts of volatile life, (One interest is the darkmoon faire series I have recently been blogging about).  Volatile life is stubbornly high alliance side (10-30g each) with limited supply, and significantly cheaper horde side (8g) with larger supply.  On a seemingly unrelated note , my horde toon is richer in assets and poorer in cash.

For me, there is no question that 'time is money'.  However even small amounts of time can be significant amounts of gold.

19 August 2011

Transmogrification again instead of real news

I'm not great at 'cool'.  Too old, too results driven, and I normally don't care.

Transmogrification is about 'cool'.  The blue trackers are still going ape.  It has caused more excitement than, ... well the real id changes, but this time for 'good'.

Blizzard are confirming that to change your own gear's look, you need to have that gear.  Some gear that is unobtainable on your toon (eg Death Knight starter gear).

Many readers of gold blogs won't care about it.  Many players that wish to be parted from their gold will care a lot.  I'm surprised I haven't read a rant from Gevlon about the type of player who will care.

Regardless, old raids will become popular once this is released, with associate changes.  Players making or buying old gear.  Players incidentally farming those raids, selling what they farmed on the AH.  I also expect to see a reduced supply of high end disenchanted items as players start dumping them old gear store.

In terms of research, as a follow up on my recent darkmoon card series, I am writing a follow up on what cards, decks and trinkets I bought and sold or continued to hold.  However, you won't get it untill the next darkmoon faire.  Some readers expect me to make a fortune.  Others expect me to lose one.  The reality should be somewhere in the middle.

18 August 2011

Transmogrification an opportunity for profit.

Transmogrification is all the rage on the blue forum trackers (sites that track posts of official blizzard representatives)

I'm a packrat.  I like the idea of somewhere to store that armor that I'm likely to never use (eg PVP, DPS). 
I won't be changing the look of my gear (maybe with the exception of rediculous plate shoulders), but many others will be.

This means a market for unusual (i.e. old) armour and weapons, as cosmetically oriented players 'gotta catch em all', both in terms of crafted goods as well as paterns.  Tailors, Leatherworkers and Blacksmiths with old rare patterns - rejoice.  Gather your mats of the AH now while the are cheap.  When this goes live, make your goods, and maybe even get your social guildy to dance around in Stormwind/Origmar with the 'retro' look.

17 August 2011

What to make when you have made everything?

Wes over at capped by cata had the following question
What do I do to make gold when I have nothing to do to make gold? When I run out of things to mill/prospect/DE etc. When I'm waiting for things to sell on the AH when there is nothing else. Do you have any ideas? BS/JC/enchanting/alchemy/herb/mining. Running into this problem more and more as I run out of 4.2 stock, and its not efficient to buy raw mats off the AH.

I find the question useful, but Wes's advice - especially about holding your current prices ... curious.

There are a few forces at play :
  • Firelands dailies:
    • Massive cash injection causing inflation : Blizzard have inspired the masses to do dailies.  Lets say 17g * 15 dailies * 7 days/week = approx 1800g/week/toon.  Thats a lot of gold to be bringing into the economy as a whole.  It will take a lot to soak that up.  Soaking up surplus gold is what goblins do.
    • Less levelling of alts.  Questing and heroic running alts supply green and blue quality armor and weapons, which in turn are disenchanted into enchanting mats. 
  • Bot farming : Regardless of what your take on bot farming is, it is naive to think that 'that toon' that always lists thousands of herbs on the AH isn't a bot farmer.  It's also naive to think that your competitors are not buying those same herbs.  Bots create a fixed base supply of herbs and to a lesser degree ore and leather, regardless of demand.  Over time, there is downward pressure on the price of herbs, ore and leather.
  • Fireland trash runs.  Uggg.  Why deliberately clear trash and not fight bosses?  Oh well.  These supply nice BOE epic drops, that are then bought by wealthier toons - redirecting gold from goblins to less capable 'raiders'.
Keeping your same listing prices.(Wes's advice.).  Mine : Follow the market. While you have a stockpile to sell down at higher prices, do so. If mats + value of time is more than the price of finished goods on AH, then buy mats, craft then sell finished products.  Stockpile bargains that you think will go up in value; sell stock you think is overvalued, and take advantage of the higher prices.

Level 80+ toons without skills?  Get those tradeskills up.  For lower risk, higher profit options, I suggest:
  • Jewelcrafting : Prospecting, northrend epics and rares, and potentially even the northrend daily (~100g per dragon's eye from the token)
  • Inscription : Milling, and research based glyphs.  Some scribes (me) prefer to buy inks rather than grind their own.
  • Enchanting : Disenchanting
  • Alchemy : transmute master for northrend epic gems
Of course each tradeskill has cata sellable items (some before cata too), but JC and Inscription have the greatest choices in things to make, in turn making the greatest potential profit.

Farming? Maybe. If you can stomach it.  If all else fails, take up fishing.  Volatile fire sell for 10g/pop and can be fished from pools.  Also, you don't need a high fishing skill to fish from a pool either.

Of course, there is always first life.

You know it's a slow news day when bloggers are talking about other bloggers.

13 August 2011

Competition for glyph sales on the Horde AH

My early morning horde AH glyph sales are now being camped.

This morning at 9:30 AM server, I was camped within minutes of posting glyphs.  Normally I dont have time in the mornings to take notice.  However, over the last week, my horde AH daily sales have dropped from around 2.5 k in sales/posting cycle down to 800g/posting cycle, and then a mere 100g.

This morning, being Saturday, I checked.

My historical defence against camping was deep undercut.  At the suggestion of Breevok, I moved to a early morning posting cycle instead, using time to protect my auctions. 

I don't camp.  First life requirements prevent me from being able to do this.  With being camped immediately using time to protect sales is no longer an option.  This leaves me with my previous defense - the deep undercut.

I am trying to make sales.  A 100g - 48hour undercut will encourage people to buy from me instead. 

I know that their fallbacks are lower than mine.  For most glyphs I post at a minimum of 20g.  Others are posting at a minimum lower than that.  I am content for my competition to have the low value glyph sales.

I will still make more profit at these levels than I would by not making any sales at all.

08 August 2011

Darkmoon depreciation

Yet another post in a series about darkmoon trinkets.

I like far too much the sight of my own walls of text.  The last post was too ... long? dry? Must write shorter.

All 359 gear prices are heading south, trinkets included.  I have some hope for volcano trinkets (apparently still BIS for many caster DPS specs), and Tsunami for healers has surprisingly strong prices.  The tanking trinket (Earthquake) is no-ones friend even before 4.2 and will only get worse.  Finally Hurricane (in either strength or agility) is ordinary.

As a rule this month's trinket peak price is less than last months.  This month's bottom price is less than last month's bottom price.  I try to sell out of trinkets during the week before the next faire.  I would rather get less and sell out than be stuck with trinkets left over.  I would love to present you with proof, but could not find trinket prices over several months.

PS.  I'm having a .. less than perfect experience setting up scheduled posts.  Anyone else currently using blogger scheduled posts?  Are you having success, or do they just end back up as 'draft' posts?

06 August 2011

Pugs get defender of a shattered realm

Friday night was a good night, though it started very slowly.

I ran my gold bid run to complete Chogall, starting off short by 1 Healer, and 1 Tank (and a couple of DPS).

I had an interesting pair offer to Tank and DPS.  Gemmed but unenchanted.  Didn't have Vent (which I use).  Reforged PVP gear. "Why do I need to download another program?  How much does it cost? Are you sure this isn't a scam?"   Umm.  Thanks for signing up, but I think you need to start at an earlier boss. /kick

I picked up another tank and dps toon.  Unlike last week, we hit Chogall's phase 2 with only 30 corruption accross all toons - so much eaiser to heal than the previous week starting phase 2 with 350+ corruption, and one shot him.  Swapped a couple of toons out that needed to go, and one shot both of Throne of the Four winds.  I had never downed Al'Akir before, but the Conclave of Winds was so much more forgiving than I remember (including forgiving a mistake of mine that would have guaranteed a wipe when I first went there).

Last night my healer foofixied achieved Defender of a Shattered World.

Very happy.  I have no doubt that the nerf bat helped us down the raid.  I also have no doubt that offering a minimum gold pot gold bid run meant we got a few higher callibre players than we otherwise would have.

Then we swapped both players and roles, including me swapping my healer for my tank, and we went to BWD and didn't down Magmaw.  Oh well.

So, I'm off to firelands.  I've been happy with the results of the gold bid runs with guaranteed pots, so will continue with that method for the time being. 

If you are interested, invites will go out slightly earlier at 8:15 pm (though confirmed players have untill 8:30) As always, either in game mail foofixit on Alliance Caelestrasz, or leave a comment here.

05 August 2011

Timing the trinket market

This is the 4th post in a series on Darkmoon Trinkets.
All markets have price variations.  Raid nights need flasks and potions before the raid starts, and gems and enchants after the raid finishes; creating periods of peak demand and higher prices.  Casual farmers and crafters work on nights that are not raid nights, creating peak supply and lower prices.

As I explored with yesterday's post, for darkmoon trinkets, the faire dominates the pricing cycle.  It's not enough to buy mats and expect to sell trinkets at profit. Timing the trinket market is more important than time in the market.

The basic process again is :
  • Gather herbs and volatile life
  • Mill herbs -> Inks (Blackfallow & Inferno)
  • Combine Inferno inks and Volatile life to create an individual card (Ace to Eight of one of the 4 standard card suites)
  • Combine 8 different cards of the same suite to create a deck. 
  • Turn the deck into a trinket during the Darkmoon Faire.
You can use the AH at any point (or even multiple points) in this cycle.  I only get mats from other farmers (sometimes direct ; usually off the AH).  Sometimes I mill herbs, other times I buy or even sell Inks.  I make, buy and sell cards.  I make, buy and sell decks.  I create trinkets during the faire and sell them later.

Each 'line' in the above process has it's peaks and troughs : related to each other but lagging.  Eg.  Peak ink prices occur during the time that Trinkets go from most expensive to cheapest.

Raw Mats Alliance Mean Min (Alliance Cael) Max (Alliance Cael)
Volatile Life 9.21 7.5 13.33
Whiptail 2.19 1.7 2.31
Inferno Ink 40.7 23 52.5
Blackfallow Ink 11.9 4.28 7
Milling value
Inferno Gold 2.04 1.15 2.63
Blackfallow Gold 3.57 1.28 2.1
Total Gold 5.61 2.43 4.73
Value increase 256% 143% 205%
Volcano 10,742 6,300 15,000
Tsunami 15,153 10,986 20,000
Earthquake 5,125 3,531 15,000
Hurricane 9,680 6,318 15,250
Average 10,175 6,784 16,313
Cost - no waste 5,471 3,644 7,404
186% 186% 220%
Cost 10% waste 6,018 4,009 8,144
169% 169% 200%
Cost 50% waste 8,206 5,467 11,105
124% 124% 147%

Pricing was established @30 June 2011, taken from theunderminejournal.com. The Alliance mean is the undermine journals 'US Alliance Mean pricing', and the minimum and maximum are taken from eyeballing the 14 day rolling window for Alliance Caelestrasz.  I make no warranties that trinkets were sold at any price, let alone 15,000 for the earthquake, but these are the listed prices my AH - and without any manipulation on my behalf.

First of all I am listing pricing for both the basic mats (Volatile life and Whiptail as a representative herb); as well as the pricing for Inferno & Blackfallow inks.

For my own reference, I have listed the notional value of milling a single whiptail, and it's markup; assuming you sold it as ink.

At the bottom I have included trinket prices - both individual and average; followed by costs and markups (from volatile life and ink prices) based on 3 scenarios : No waste; 10% allowance for wasted cards, and 50% allowance for wasted cards.

The first thing to note, is that if you look at only average pricing; OR only minimal pricing; OR only maximum prices; even allowing for 50% you can make a profit.

The next thing to note is that if you buy all your mats at the 'top' of the cycle (7400g no waste), and sell your trinkets at the bottom of the cycle (6800), then you will make a loss.  No brainer huh?  But look at the implications.

(Please note : the profit's mentioned below are theoretical only.  I doubt even the most rabid card maker would expect them on a regular basis.  However, it is still valid for illustration purposes).

Take the 10% allowance for waste cycle in 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1
  • Buy inks and volatile life at the bottom of the market for 1 trinket : 4000g.  
  • Craft cards
  • Sell completed trinket at the top of the market : 16,300 g
  • Profit 12,300g
 Scenario 2
  • Buy inks and volatile life at the bottom of the market for 1 trinket : 4,000g
  • Sell inks and volatile life at the top of the market for 1 trinket : 8,100g
  • Buy completed trinket at the bottom of the market : 6,800g
  • Sell Completed Trinket at the top of the market 16,300g
  • Profit = 4100g + 9500g = 13,600g
By hanging onto your cards for the entire cycle, selling at the top of the cycle; you loose 1,600g per card : or 10%.  If you miss the (hard to pick)

I have also skipped all the 'fun' that can be had by selling individual cards and decks. Any trinket maker is already playing with risk, at points in every cycle having crafted goods worth less than unprocessed mats.

In scenario 2, you do not need to be a scribe; Making greater just by buying low and selling high.

04 August 2011

Monthly trinket time

This post is the third in a series on crafting Darkmoon Trinkets

Tailoring has a weekly cooldown, Blacksmiths and Leatherworkers need chaos orb's, Alchemy transmutes have a daily cooldown.  Scribes have the faire.

You can gather your mats, do your crafting, buy and sell cards and even finished decks of the AH, and do this any time.  A finished deck gives you a quest that can only be turned in during one week per month, during the darkmoon faire.  It is this handing in this quest that creates your trinket (and for hurricane - determine if you will have a strength or agility trinket).   For those players who don't attend the faire, its location moves between horde, allilance and neutral venues, and is listed in the in-game calendar.  I live on a PVE server, and it's easy enough to avoid the opposite faction's guards, but it may be worth careful timing or organising a group when the faire is near your opposite faction's cities.

There is a definite timeline to trinket crafting
  • Faire week 
    • crafters are trying to complete the last of their decks and turning in completed trinkets.  
    • There are generally no decks on the AH, and 
    • cheap trinkets start to flood the AH.  
    • Lots of card trading occurs this week.
  • Week after faire 
    • Crafters are trying to offload their trinkets and some are desperately trying to cash in.  
    • Noone is bothering to do much new card creation.  
    • Herb, Inferno ink and volatile life start to drop and I start looking for bargains.
  • Second week after faire : 
    • Desparados have offloaded their trinkets, and what trinkets are left rise in prices.  
    • Some crafting occurs, and Decks start to appear.  
    • People in trade offer (currently useless) decks for usable trinkets.  
    • There are still cheap mats, but will likely disappear toward the end of the week.
  • Third week after faire, week before next one.  
    • Those that have priced their trinkets properly will sell out for the highest prices in this week.  Priced too high and you will be left with too many trinkets.  Priced too low and you will sell out before this.  
    • Some trinkets will be sold out.  
    • You may also be able to pick up cheap finished decks.  
    • Card trading starts.
 Sometimes there is a 5 week month, meaning more mats on the AH, but more trinkets sold out.

03 August 2011

Darkmoon trinket creation randomness.

This post is part 2 of a series.  In my last post, I talked about how trinket making had 90% profits, with some large caveats.

This post is looking at the randomness of how many cards it takes to make a trinket.  The preious post assumed cards would come in order and you would be left with no wasted cards.  Umm, that was optomistic.  I would allow for 4%-8% wasted cards.

The basic process again is :
  • Gather herbs and volatile life
  • Mill herbs -> Inks (Blackfallow & Inferno)
  • Combine Inferno inks and Volatile life to create an individual card (Ace to Eight of one of the 4 standard card suites)
  • Combine 8 different cards of the same suite to create a deck. 
  • Turn the deck into a trinket during the Darkmoon Faire.
One idea bandied about is that you need to craft 32 cards on average to make your first trinket; assuming you don't buy individual cards from the AH.  I think the number is closer to 50, based on this google docs simulator.  Even after making 10,000 cards, my simluator suggests that I will have about 1150 trinkets and about 800 (8%) unused cards.  Some readers may make 1150 trinkets.  I doubt I will.

The individual cards can be bought and sold on the AH.  Conventional wisdom says that if you have a surplus of one card (eg 8 of the winds), but need a different card (say 3 of the winds), you will sell your surplus card on the AH, and try to purchase the card you need.
  • In my 50 card scenario, trading 6 cards allows me to create another 3 trinkets (using 24 cards); up from 1 trinket using 8 cards.
  • In my 10,000 card scenario, trading 30 cards allows me to make 30 more trinkets, using up 240 of the 800 surplus cards.
  • However, you have also potentially allowed your competitors to do the same, meaning increased competition for completed trinket sales.
If I only have one (or possibly two depending on my mood) extra card, I will sit on it.

I will sell surplus cards where :
  • I have a few extra cards, and they are listed above 1/8 of the completed trinket sale price; or
  • I have a lot of extra cards.
I will purchase cards where :
  • I need them to complete a deck, and they are at or below market prices
  • I need a lot of one card to complete multiple decks.
  • The are significantly below completed trinket price and I only have a few of that card
To the peanut gallery, for this post, I am specifically looking for debate on:
  • your observations on the randomness of cards, and/or
  • selling/purchasing surplus/shortfall cards.

In answer to yesterday's comment : Cold has been trying to get out of darkmoon trinkets, and has some cards he can not shift.  According to my simulation, there will always be cards that are surplus to a servers requirements.  If you want out, liquidate, but try both faction's AH.

Postscript in response to Zamboni 
(It's a bother to put tables in comments, so I have added a postscript.).
Random chance is enough to explain the shortage in cards.  Statistics are funny like that.

You say you have made hundreds of trinkets, lets call it 400, and see what my simlator suggests.
I ran it about 20 times making 3660 cards ~ 1/2 gave more than 400, ~ 1/2 than 400 and one gave exactly 400.

NumDecks 110 Total
NumCards 130 131 110 112 110 147 114 121 975
Suite 1 A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NumDecks 95
NumCards 102 95 129 125 99 123 104 116 893
Suite 2 A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NumDecks 96
NumCards 117 120 96 122 128 105 99 100 887
Suite 3 A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NumDecks 99
NumCards 107 99 140 116 119 102 106 116 905
Suite 4 A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Total decks 400
Consumed cards 3200
Surplus cards 460

As you can see, I am short (by a lot) fo the following cards
Suite 1 : 3, 4 & 5
Suite 2 : 2 & 5
Suite 3 : 3 & 7
Suite 4 : 2 & 6.

The most of any given card was 147 (Suite 1 card 6).  The fewest of any given card was 95 (Suite 2 card 2). 

The most of any deck was Suite 1 with 110 decks, and the fewest was suite 2 with 95 decks.

To show a bias in the RNG over 400 decks you need to show a difference significantly more than 52 cards.  Until then, it's just random noise.

Creating Darkmoon Cards Part 1 of X

Darkmoon card trinket sellers generally come in one of two groups:
  • Glyph makers selling cards as a use for surplus inferno inks, and
  • Dedicated card sellers, producing surplus blackfallow inks.
I am firmly in the first group.  There will be other players out there that love darkmoon card sales.  However as I read a lot of blogs, and can't point to a recent set of posts, I will write this up.

First, I create inferno inks out of my glyph making process.  When I originally wrote that I was posting glyphs in the evening with a deep undercut method on a single faction's AH.  Today, I am playing less, and posting glyphs in the morning on two factions AH.

This post is covering the very basics of making Cataclysm darkmoon trinkets.  Future posts will be covering more details. (Peanut gallery - you will be invited to argue about optimising costs & sale prices in later posts).

While card creation can be profitable, it does take an ability to run a large stockpile.

All prices below are taken from theunderminejournal.com - average mean price of both horde and alliance servers at 30 June 2011.

An individual card takes 10 inferno inks @ 38g + 30 Volatile life @ 9g (disregarding 1 Parchment @55s)  = 650g.
Each Cataclysm deck takes 8 cards to make @ 650g = 5440g.

There are 32 possible cards - Ace to Eight:
  • Of Stones.  This makes a tanking trinket - seems to be generally unloved, and mean price 5090g
  • Of Waves.  This makes a healing trinket - apparently Best In Slot for Holy priests (even in 4.2) and OK for other healers, mean price 14,890g
  • Of Embers.  This makes a caster DPS trinket - apparently Best in Slot for many casters (even in 4.2), mean price 10,720g
  • Of the Winds.  This makes either a Strength DPS trinket or an Agility DPS trinket.  Mean prices about the same at 9,226g
This means that the mean price of all Cata darkmoon trinkets is 9990g or about 90% profit on top of costs

However, there are other issues with these cards that I will explore in later posts.
  • You don't get to chose which card you will make.  You might have 50 individual cards yet still not be able to make a trinket.
  • You can only make them 1 week every month
  • They have huge price variations (sometimes it's better to sell mats).
  • Like other 359 epics, they will suffer depreciation.

Postscript : In response to a comment below, I have added this image (can't add an image in a comment).  This is a snapshot from my server's Allaince AH taken today for the volcano trinket.  In all the pricing above I used the average of 'US Alliance Mean' and 'US Horde Mean' from two days ago.

    01 August 2011

    GDKP night 3, and upcoming darkmoon fair mini-series

    Revenge of Cho'gall.
    Just a 'tweet' to say that my GDKP night 3 .... went well for Cho'gall. I paid (via game mail) the tanks and healers (I hope I got everyone) , but had no pretty loot to bid for. 

    As such, minimum pot of 6K this week for Chogal, with pot to be divided up immediately on him being downed.  Given time and energy, I may then then move onto Throne of the 4 winds.

    For the first time ever, I am asking for either a minimum DPS requirement of 10K or for a significant contribution to the guaranteed pot.  I will also be organising DPS around the Blood of the old gods.  I also need players not to gain too much corruption before phase 2. I.e. if you have more corruption than me - you get growled at.  If I'm the top of the list, I get growled at.

    If this sounds like fun, you have a suitable toon on Alliance Caelestrasz available from 8:30pm server, please leave a comment here, or in game mail Foofixit.

    Upcoming Darkmoon faire min-series.

    I have been researching stuff for a darkmoon trinket manufacturing series, similar to my glyph making process series.  What I would like is historical pricing for darkmoon fair trinkets covering months rather than just the fortnight provided by the undermine journal.  Any server or faction, any sufficiently long time period (covering at least 4 consecutive faires, and at weekly or better pricing for at least one month).  If you have this please leave a comment here (or roll a lvl 1 toon on Alliance Caelestrasz & mail foofixit).