28 March 2011

When milling is profitable but glyph making isn't

Someone on the internet is wrong. In this sad set of affairs I am rudely dragged away from my very pressing real world existance, but will not rest until I have set the record straight. (And some people think I'm melodramatic).

Lets walk through the steps of milling.
10 stacks of whiptail @ 70g/stack = 700g

I just milled this and got :

Blackfallow ink: 58 * 7.5g = 435g
Inferno ink : 12 * 72g = 865g

Total  : 1300g

So milling - however long it takes - on 10 stacks makes 600g - nearly double your money.  Not bad.  Most boring activity in WoW, but not bad gold.

However, lets assume you can't sell Blackfallow ink at 7.5g, but can sell inferno ink: You still have 5.8 * 72g = 416g worth of inferno inks.

Now, if you are feeling particularly ... something, you will turn 3 blackfallow inks into a 10g glyph.  So your cost (in purely inferno ink equivialent) is 0.3 & 72g + 55s for a parchment or rougly 22g. 

For me - Doing extra work to turn 22g worth of mats into something that might get sold for 10g is strange.  If you wish to be strange - OK.  In the meantime I will find other uses for my inks - even if I just sell them as is/where is.

Coming soon : Where foo is using up a gazillion whiptail - without losing 1/2 my profit.

PS. my blog posts are a little less frequent than I would like - but real life is still ... being unhelpful.

23 March 2011

Latest PTR notes

New Patch Soon
There will be a new patch coming soon (tm). This means a new rush of gear all needing enchanting and jewelcrafting. I believe that there are new legs (needing spellthreads/leg armor) and belts (new belt buckles), but would not swear to it.

With each re-balancing players also swap toons and old players come back, so my scribe will be busier (more on that in a later post - moonvengence is back)

But these two happen every patch, every new dungeon. So even though there is 'new stuff', it really is nothing to see here, please move along.

Specific changes worth noting from the patch notes.

MMO Champion have 2 items that I think are worth noting.

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/160430/patch-41-public-test-realm-notes-march-22
Items
  • All trade goods available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors have had their prices reduced by 50%.
  • Maelstrom Crystals are now available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors.

While I have not yet bothered to work out the conversion rates, I generally assume they will be aweful. However, there are still enough players grinding Justice and especially Honor points to burn, that we will see a flood of new crystals, and hence cheaper prices. There are so many (other) players out there with more honor/justice points than gold. My enchanter will finally get all his recipees.

Any crafted item that has a Justice point equivalent will experience yet another a price drop. On some realms this price drop will preceed the patch as some crafters dump stock, but other realms will not notice it untill the patch hits.


P.S.
I have not been playing or posting as much lately due to real life intervening. However (with the exception of my very infrequent political rants), this is a WoW blog, and I promise not to subject you to Rift musings.

20 March 2011

Conclave of the four winds

In terms of raiding in WoW, the common consensus is "Do, or do not. There is no try.".  Apologies to Yoda, but I beg to differ.

Thanks to my guild members from Dark Prophecy, regulars from Death's Head Aux, and to our irregular friends from More Than Raids and Bandits, we have our revenge on the Conclave of Wind.

I have no real idea of how hard the fight is.  I know is that it was hard for us.  We all had a huge buzz from struggling and succeeding.  Far more than if we had one shot the boss.


I normally raid once a week.  Due to real life - last week I didn't raid at all. Achievements are not required. Attendance is casual.  If you need to leave, then you leave (even if some others lean harder than they are allowed to).  For two raiders, it was their first time stepping into the raid.  For almost all of us, it was the first time we 'completed' this encounter, with only one raider having completed it on another toon.

As a group, we wipe very well.  I contributed to more wipes than I care to remember, but have the consolation that I was not the only one.  However, each evening, and on most attempts we moved ever closer.  Dodging the wind-wall on

In Dark Prophecy we prefer Becket to Yoda.  Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

15 March 2011

I'm a meglomaniac, and I'm OK

Fishing is too easy.  Fish bite more in stormy weather. Throw a baited line (edit: corrected link) in my direction, especially in inclement weather and I will bite.

If anyone ever tells you that a market is all theirs, they are deluded.  That includes me.  Anyone who genuinely owns a market does not need to tell you. Only those that are insecure or wish they did own a market will make these claims.  That said, the glyphs market is mine, I tell you, all mine. 

I sometimes look to see what competitors are doing, with the aim of increasing my own profits.
  • Could I make more sales?
  • Can I copy a strategy?
  • Are there holes in a strategy?
  • How do I defend a market.

The only time that I look to counter a specific compeititor is where they really hurt my profits.  There have been some toons that I have specifically tracked then adjusted prices. At the moment, untill I find another toon to outsource milling to, I am doing well enough with glyphs.  I have started to raise prices of some of them (where materials are in short supply), still lowering prices on others where I still have too many.

I have a high opinion of my own opinion.  If you ask a question that I feel I can answer, I will answer it.  Sometimes I will give the answer you want (yes I have some mats, or you can find them over there), other times I will provide an answer I think you should have (a link to wowhead or wowwiki/wowpedia).  Something I need to do more is ask leading questions (I do it sometimes but not enough). Some players like it when I provide advice; others loathe it. 



A great thing about vent (and other chat software) is the ability to set up different rooms.  Even before I tried my failed guild hopping experiments, my vent was set up with:
  • A general channel
  • Two party/raid channels
  • A business channel
In respect to those that don't like business, I move down to the business channel and am generally followed by most (but by no means all) players.  In my experience, those that like to learn about different strategies (including gold making) are a larger population than generally believed.

An appropriate way to handle personality conflicts is to provide advice about expected behaviour, and where approprite provide an alternative venue.  On my vent, I have set up a mature language channel so that those that wish to swear without  language warnings can do so without my nagging them.  I personally do not use that room.




PS for raid runners.
I am still /AFK (and have been largely AFK for over a week).  Sometimes storms happen outside of WoW too.  I expect to be back in by the weekend.  If one of the regulars could set up a calendar invite for this weekend, I expect to be available Saturday, preferably healing on Foofixit.

09 March 2011

The difference a single competitor makes

There was on Caelestrasz a glyph maker that had a huge influence on the glyph market (and I mean other than me).  There have been times that I was that single dominant glyph maker.

He originally had a 1c undercut, post a wall, post frequently, and post from one toon strategy.  However, several competitors entered the market.  In response he also put on a 30g ceiling on pricing, in an attempt to discourage competition.

This lasted nearly a week, then he disappeared. I don't know why or where he is gone, but I wish him well.

However with him gone, and having someone else post my glyphs for me - including during the day, I am crafting a lot more glyphs, to the point of occasionally running out.  I also note the significant re-entry of other players - including Breevok (who I would like to make a new post soon - maybe on your apprentice series, or even just glyphs).

I know that my competitor had toons on other servers, and probably other tradeskills too, so may be playing elsewhere.  Or real life may have interfered.  Dominating the glyph market was taking his time - lots of it.   Regardless of why, the fact is that dominating the glyph market no longer is worth his time.

What I do know is that dominating a profitable market takes work.  I have done it before.  The first time I did it I burned out and left the entire glyph market for a month, and defeated my purpose of driving out competition.  When I returned to the glyph market, and ever since, I have been careful to play hard, but not play harder than I am prepared to commit.

If you have less time and more demand:
  • raise prices (reduce demand profitably), 
  • outsource work (make more time), 
  • concentrate on your most profitable items (make more time).
If you have more time and less demand:
  • lower prices (increase demand ), 
  • do your own work
  • diversify (find new markets)
On this note, I am currently looking for either a pay per mill scribe, or a scribe willing to sell inks directly.  You must have a scribe capable of milling whiptail, and be on Oceanea/Caelestraz - Alliance preferred but not required.  If you are interested, whisper/in game mail foofixit, or leave a comment here.

08 March 2011

Darkmoon Faire redux

As part of my toe in the water for darkmoon trinkets, I made some cards, bought some decks.

I bought one of each deck for resale, and an extra Tsunami deck for personal use.  I also had 17 individual cards for sale.  I missed the 17k Tsunami card, but bought a couple of 20-22k cards instead.

This is enough exposure to the market for my 'risk appetite'.

It was my expectation that the prices of trinkets would fall to the deck price, with a flood of new decks and trinkets.  I posted these trinkets within about an hour of the faire starting (as I was on anyway).

I have sold a few indvidual cards, at market prices.  I have found that individual cards are generally more expensive than completed decks.  So far I have not sold any trinkets.

If you see 'panic' selling of trinkets, now is a good time to buy low, sell normal.  Assuming you correctly guess where normal is.  Patch 4.1 will release new trinkets that will undermine the value of darkmoon trinkets.  If you have unused volatile life, now is the time to sell it, with volatile life being the limiting factor for darkmoon trinkets.  My purchase price has risen from about 7.5g each to about 11g each.

I have seen a completed Tsunami trinket now for 16.5k on our server - much much cheaper than the 22k I paid for one, so yet again, I missed the 'bottom' of the market.

I still expect to at least recover my investment, but I suspect that the days of scribes making insane profits on cards have gone, to be replaced with merely very good profits for those adding value.
  • The 'safe' bet is to merely earn 5k/hour creating inks.  Absolutly boring & repetitive work
  • Card making, though you may need to be content merely making 50% profit above costs, and selling the card is slow
  • Turning decks into trinkets.  This is purely speculation and can be done by any toon regardless of whether you are a scribe. I expect that for astute buyers, you will make 25% profit above costs, but there will be others that will simply lose money buy doing this.  (25% profit on 17k is still a 4k flip)

My personal speculation is that prices will remain subdued for the remainder of the faire, and will rise in about 2 weeks time.  I also expect prices to crash very hard during the next darkmoon faire, maybe to 1/2 their current values.

04 March 2011

It came from the PUG

WoW Insider has an article about learning to tank.  Many players can't find a tank (see dungeon finder queue times).  I do not remember the last time I had problems finding one (Healers - yes; but not tanks).

Not that I have this issue, but I would assume that a rational DPS toon would prefer more average tanks with 1/2 the random queue time, than only best tanks with double random queue times.  Personally, I would prefer a learning tank completing an instance over not being able to find an expert tank.  The difference between an OK tank and a great tank might be 20 minutes in run time; but 90 minutes difference in queue times.

For group play, I manage to run 2-3 heroics a week, 1 raid a week.  This means I am more experienced than Joe Average player, but not up there with the 4 times a week raiders.  I generally run with a tank that does a few more heroics than me, but not many.

Earlier this week we did H Deadmines.  I had tanked the first half of it earlier (before servers shutdown), but that was the only other time in there.  Our tank had DPS'd the same earlier instance, and it was his only time here as well, and informed the party that it was his first time tanking here.  We wiped exactly once, when I (as healer) got thrown off the platform with the Harvesting boss (dont remember the name).

We had a chart topping gogo DPS with us.  By chart topping, I mean : Highest:
  • damage done, 
  • DPS, 
  • damage taken, 
  • healing taken, 
  • time in the fire.

I require the following from a tank, roughly in order:
  • Keep the agro of the healer (and I dont mean when the healer casts during the inital pull before the tank can hit the mobs).
  • Get out of the fire.
  • Use defensive abilities to stay alive
  • Give DPS room to kill boss before enrage timers
  • As an added bonus, give the DPS extra 'threat' protection
I require the following from a healer:
  • Keep the tank(s) alive
  • Keep DPS alive through unavoidable party (raid) damage
  • Keep yourself alive
  • As an added bonus, give the group extra healing
I require the following from a DPS:
  • Don't stress the healer, including, but not limited to:
    • Don't steal agro from the tank
    • Don't stand in bad stuff
  • Crowd control / interupt as appropriate (does not apply for face rolling instances.  A wipe means it is not a face rolling instance for this group).
  • As an added bonus, kill the boss.
If everone performs the above duties,  the instance is completed.  If you complete the instance, your party - especially healers and tanks are 'good enough' (though a single great DPS toon can cover for poor toons).

During the last fight, I went /oom (used mana pot, prayer of hope, and tank's innervate).  All of this healing went to the party, and almost none went to the tank.  Our tank's healthbar stubbornly refused to go below 90% for most of the fight, when the rest of the party hovered around 30%.  Some of this was agro, but the majority was because of general 'bad' stuff.

If you cause your healer stress, you need to improve.  If you are a chart topper as above, you are bad DPS.
This lovely DPS advised our tank to re-roll.  The tank that kept us up and had buckets of survival.


When I first started tanking, I failed miserably on agro and add control.  My solution was to continue reading, re-speccing, re-gearing, re-gemming and tanking untill I became good enough.  Our tank on the evening is already better than 'good enough'.

We can ask any player to improve, and if we know how, provide usefull suggestions. But the next time you wait for a dungeon finder queue, watch what toon you are waiting for.

02 March 2011

Cards, Decks or trinkets?

It is glamorous to have the 'big' sale, but is it always worth it?

Please note: All prices in this document are spot prices, with large amounts of volatility.  I take care but not responsibility.

There are not many trinket makers on our AH at the moment - maybe 10 toons. Admittedly we are mid cycle for the darkmoon goblins, but I have seen one or two players dominate the glyph market which has many more players.  According to the undermine journal, the number of players has not changed much.

Between individual cards and the final trinket, you have a completed deck
This is less than my estimated value of the sum of the individual cards.  Converting cards into decks is a loss (on paper at least).

The final product of the darkmoon cards are (with undermine journal numbers and prices):
The final conversion into decks more than makes up for the loss on cards. 

With the above prices.  I will either sell individual cards, or complete decks and turn them in and sell the completed trinkets.  I will only complete decks during the faire.  I am also buying completed decks for turning in too.


I started off with an investment of about 17k, and ended up with a (potential) profit of 45k.  This is a huge return, and given the difficulties that some players have expressed in selling trinkets, I expect that this level of profit is unsustainable.  There are also new trinkets being released in 4.1 that will also depress prices.

All in all, I am surprised at the value in crafting these cards.  With the reputation reward from Tol Barad being two reputation epic trinkets (one mastery and another role specific), I had expected more players to grind rep rather than pay gold.

But this type of surprises is why I did this research. This is a nice way to make extra gold.

01 March 2011

(tech) Determining your blog readership.

This post is because of a question on readership post a few days ago.

This one is tricky.  Getting an absolute number is very very hard.  Getting 'comparitive' numbers is very very easy.  Comparitive numbers is good enough.

In this post, I will use some technical jargon.  If something is tricky, skip it and continue with the next question. 

In this post :

  • What tools exist to determine readership, and the weaknesses of them?
  • Why using indicators is good enough?
  • What indicators so I use?
After the break reads like an advert for google.  It's not meant to be, but they do provide the tools that I use.