31 August 2012

MOP Alchemist

At the start of cataclysm; there was an absolute flood of flasks; with them being sold below cost so that guilds could level for their cauldrons.  Even I fell for this; making far too many flasks that were simply not needed at that time.

However, elixirs were still significantly cheaper; and while two elixirs had one offensive one defensive bonus; they were still a solid option.  As such they sold well; and profitably.

This means that if any class of item is needed for new guild achievements, let the seller beware.  They again are likely to be sold below cost.


Speculatively I think potions will be in large demand.  I suspect that many healers will be reaching for some form of mana regeneration potions during MoP; Mana regeneration is designed to be tight this expansion. Instant mana for dungeons; and mana over 12 second potions for raids.

It looks like alchemists will (again) learn the majority of recipees randomly after creating stuff, with new recipes being made available as you level up.  It might be worth creating a few potions or elixirs every 25 skill points or so, and rotating between potions, elixirs and transmutes; and seeing what recipes 'pop' up.

Also be aware that for this expansion; simply transmuting gems to red may not always be the best option.  I have read that the importance of many secondary stats have been significantly increased   I am already reading a few healing blogs recommend spirit over intellect. Watch the auction house and transmute what you can; and of those recipes; transmute the most profitable items.  Keep an eye on class specific sites (or elitist jerk forums) for what gem colours are being recommended.

Make sure you have a specialisation (potions; flasks/elixirs; tranmutes); and concentrate on those recipes.  You may find that it better to concentrate on pots and elixirs early.  Flasks were created in too large a number early as guilds were trying to grind out their flask achievements.

Regardless of your specialisation; make sure you find your profitable transmute and do it every day. I am uncertain of whether you will get to choose the elemental transmute the same way we did in Cataclysm.


As I have mentioned ad nauseum; read Kaliope's website for MoP changes.  I have not been bribed.  For yet another expansion, Kaliope has some of the best Beta investigative reporting of any blog I can think of.


(PS.  now that the patch has dropped and the rush is no longer entirely there, the next post will be my Monday morning)

30 August 2012

MOP First weeks - the patch that dropped

One thing I didn't expect was that you could create your 11th character now; before you have upgraded to MOP.


Well, starting today; there is a new rush of alts.  Not as many as there will be come September, but definitely some.

(So many monks; so many pandas - most of them panda monks).

Scribes rejoice.  You sell glyphs to levelling toons. You also have new glyphs to learn;  very few glyphs destroyed.

Tailors rejoice.  You sell bags to levelling toons.  For the record; I still don't think that netherweave bags will be required in large quantaties (and yes I still think you will make some gold from them).

However, a large number of tailors have apparently jumped on the Frostweave bag bandwagon (see wow midas).   I am contrarian - so will recommend making Embersilk bags instead.

I also expect a pick up in raiding as players get used to their new rotations; with some loving it; others hating it (and even more re-rolling because of that).

Enjoy the lead up events (or hate them);  either way you have one month to experience them.


29 August 2012

MOP Tailor

Tailors your cloth at the start of MoP will be demanded, just like it was at the start of Cataclysm and Wrath.


For those that are hunting (and I looked at the incoming search results on the blog - there are a lot of you), according to WoWhead the mists of pandaria bag size will be a 28 slot Royal satchel (tailors to make) and a 24 slot Gummelpack (possibly quest).  I have not seen any evidence yet of new profession bags.


There are two recipees to make advanced cloth: one on a daily cooldown and uses 8 bolts of normal cloth;  The second requires 5 bolts and the 3 of the new 'time gating' item Spirit of Harmony.

Until demand settles down (probably 3-4 months in); you will want to make your special cloth daily; there will be something to use it for.

For the mega-rich who needs crafted product NOW you will need to find a tailor comfortable with farming; you should be able to buy some Spirit's of Harmony off the AH.  There wont be enough to go around for most players for several months.  However, like chaos orbs becoming tradeable, during the close of Mists of Pandaria, you will probably be making a lot of special cloth this way.



When live hits check if your advanced cloth (Imperial silk) is soulbound. If so, then you will be making product for a while to come (if in doubt - check the spellthread prices).  If not; then every tailor will be crafting them long after they are profitable to make.

There will again be 3 spellthreads; Basic/cheap; expensive; and tailor only.  From my view, there is surprisingly little demand for basic spellthreads; as most players seem to only want 'best' or 'nothing'.  While there will be anemic demand for basic spellthreads; there will be a much higher demand for the expensive ones.

Assuming that LFD/LFR is again gated on gear level; PVP gear will be demanded by newly dinged players.  Of course you will level tailoring mostly on the back of PVP gear, so supply will be higher.

For all crafters looking at profitable crafting; you either want to be out in front; or slightly behind the other crafters.

If you are in front (realm first or similar); and can get a supply of Spirit of Harmony; you will be able to demand a premium for starter raiding gear.

If you merely are meh - I will level cloth when I get to it; using the same levelling guide that everyone else uses; you will still pay a fortune; but won't be able to sell stuff.

I have always looked at the cost per point of crafting; taking a bit longer but doing so much much cheaper; and having stuff to sell later.  If you are looking to level on the cheap; there are always options.  Look at that recipee that gives a chance of a level but no one else is selling on the AH.

Finally; you will have useless cra. crafted stuff that no one wants to buy.  That is why you either have or know an enchanter to get something useful out of it.

Finally; for week 1-3; either
  • Already be very rich; and strive to be among the realm firsts now (or not be far behind them); OR
  • sell it now and buy it back for 1/2 price next month instead.

28 August 2012

MOP Profession firsts

Are you considering achieving a realm profession first?

Apart from vanity, there are good reasons to do so;  some may recall me mentioning Wek at the end of Wrath and the start of Cataclysm.  He achieved realm first Alchemist.  His elixirs were much in demand, and more than paid for his skill leveling costs.

You need some things:
  • 525 skill; 
  • on a level 85 toon.
  • Gold;
  • Probably a willingness to rush to level 89.
  • Some farmers hooked up ahead of time.
  • An idea of what recipes you will use, with the flexibility to cope with a lack of some mats.

The realm first seeker should read Kaliope's website.  Kaliope is the best research site I know of for Beta tradeskills.

You need your gold stockpile.  If Wek remembers right, he got his alchemy realm first for 15K;  Speculatively, I would allow for at least 5 times as much as that.

Those farmers that you had lined up to gather for you will currently have good intentions.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Bribe and remind; but accept that your farmers might be more interested in the new shiny expansion.

I normally would not consider it, but a second account or the remote auction house can keep an eye out for those missing mats while you are still questing.

Set your hearthstone appropriately.  This should either be at an auction house capital city or where you are currently questing.  You might still be able to use your teleport cloaks and have group will travel once MoP hits; but have a backup plan just in case Blizzard turns these off.  Warlocks can summons; and Mages can teleport.

Have mats on hand for crafting out the last few points of yellow or green recipes for your existing 525 skills.


Can you get mats or recipes for any skillpoints ahead of time?  The cooking dailies in the prequal to Cataclysm had some of these.

You needed to have level 84 toons to access some of the vendors and recipes.  My recollection was that some of these were required to get to 525 skills.  This kind of change can be tweaked by Blizzard with very little notice.  Be prepared to level quickly (including flasks, potions and food).

27 August 2012

MOP Gathering

Sell your gathered items as soon as you can.

Your biggest earning day for the entire MoP expansion will be day 1 of MoP.

Your 2nd biggest day for the entire MoP expansion will be day 2.

Your next biggest day will be day 3.

It will continue like this for the first couple of weeks; where finally you will start seeing gathering days followed by consumption days.

What does this mean to you?  Day 1: Miners and Herbalists : level only by gathering.  Traditionally, 1 node is worth 4 mobs of XP in the same area.  Skinners; skin everything.  Picked up meat, cloth?  Then sell that too.

Have a banking alt sitting next to a mail box and auction house.  Every opportunity mail your loot back to your bank alt, and post it on the auction house.  At least daily if not more often.

Ask a lot.  At first, the demand will outstrip supply.  Secretly - what would you rather be doing?  Gathering or exploring new quests.  So will the other gatherers.  There will be rich buyers out there with nothing to buy.

Some guildies will ask you to donate to the guild bank; so next month they can start leveling their tradeskills.  SELL YOUR STUFF NOW AND DONATE LATER.

Sell everything as soon as you get it.  If you feel generous, buy it back again in a month's time when prices have dropped.  If you feel inclined; you will be able to donate more than you had gathered, with a nice weight of gold sitting in your pockets.

Gatherers; the start of an expansion is your time to earn.  The gathering bots have not yet been written.

Go make hay while the sun shines. 

26 August 2012

MOP cooks and anglers

Cooks

Speculation: If Blizzard follows the same trends as for Cataclysm; you will be able to start doing cooking dailies during the pre MOP launch.  There may also be parcels of food available via daily tokens.  If you are going for cooking realm first you will want not only the cooking tokens but also the food.  For Cataclysm this food is trad-able so presents opportunies to both buyers and sellers.

Even if you are not going for realm first, the raiders that I talked about earlier will want your buff food.  I assume that +max feasts will not be available in the early weeks.  Do your dailies as soon as they come out.  Consider doing them on all your max cooking toons to maximize your tokens and food.

Raiders and even dungeoneers will want food buffs to start dungeons.

Cooking will not be a huge earner (there are few restrictions on the amount of competition out there), but should be good for a few gold.

On that note: Sell your meat.  As with all gathering; have a bank alt sitting next to an auction house.  Every time you come across a mailbox; send your crap to the bank alt and post it before logging off for the day.

Fishing

Speculation: and probably fixed.  During the lead up to Cataclysm, enterprising fishermen stood on the boundary of new cataclysm zones and fished away.  This was considered 'enterprising' but undesirable by Blizzard; who then turned off the fish catching until Cataclysm was attached to accounts.

Water walking elixirs can help fishermen with reaching hard to get spots.

Fish for feasts are still very much in demand today.  I think that there will be some gating on fish feasts limiting this. but I fully expect that for certain fish demand will exceed supply.  Look at cooking training choke points and best buff foods, and when feasts are available - what is needed for them.

Anglers; keep an eye out for your new pets; there are lots to be fished up.

25 August 2012

MOP Raiding firsts

There are a set of players that are rushing towards dungeon and raiding firsts.  I won't be one of them.

They are competent raiders; have booked time off work/school (or simply call in sick);

They have at least some wealth; having sold valor purchased bind on equip gear; epic gems; and boe drops.

This release; they are going to have a whole week to level and do dungeons (again and again and again) and even grind out honor, to get the best gear they can before they start raiding in week to of MOP.  (I have read that raids will not be released until week 2).


These players will buy buffs; and spend what they need to.  Many of them will spend gold on BOE valor gear and save their valor points for BOP items.  They already know what gear and buffs they want; and are spending time raiding on the beta server.

Your preparation now is to find out who these players are; and ask them what they want.  If you don't already know who they are, look at http://www.wowprogress.com/ or similar sites and ask them what they need.

Keep an eye on the forums at elitist jerks for your class; looking at what gear; potions/elixirs/flasks; gems; enchants, food they are recommending; and learn those recipes.

They are gold rich and time poor.  Not as gold rich as those working on profession firsts; but good enough.  I will have profession specific advice in later posts, but you want to be selling to these guys; and to the wannabes that follow after.

24 August 2012

MOP Scribes (inscription)

Before MOP prequal

I recommend converting inks before MOP drops.  Assuming the MOP lead in events follow that of Cataclysm; you will no longer be able to convert your inks 'down' from (now) cheap blackfallow ink.

I have re-worked the schedules of posts specifically for Scribes; because of this post http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/08/14/patch-5-0-4-releases-on-august-28/

Assuming Blizzard do not change the inks required; you need the following inks from most to least:
  • Ink of the sea (most)
  • Ethereal ink (many)
  • Lion's ink (some)
  • Midnight ink (some)
  • Jadefire ink (some)
  • Celestial ink (some)
  • Shimmering ink (theoretically some; but I have never needed to trade down for this ink)
  • Blackfallow ink (few; and definitely no rush)

From Kaliope's site, there is a new Scroll of Wisdom that you can make to learn new glyphs.

However, I would keep aside mats for the existing Minor Inscription Research(Moonglow ink) ; Northrend Inscription Research (Snowfall ink) and a few Books of Glyph Mastery; just in case.

Before MOP drops

Some glyphs will most likely be 'charred' during the transition to MOP - i.e. turned into vendor trash.  However, Blizzard stuffed up a few glyphs during the transition to cataclysm.  For several weeks I had the only remaining stockpiles of a Mage armor anywhere on the server - for both factions.

This more than made up for the glyphs that got charred.

Many of the old glyphs simply were turned into new glyphs.  We did not know what ones those would be ahead of time.  If I recall, I even gained some of the new glyphs from this transformation

Also; glyph making takes time.  When MOP drops, do you want to make glyphs or do you want to be levelling?

That is make your glyph stockpiles early.  There is no time like the present.

After MOP drops

At 570 you make the new BOE shoulder enchants.  You will want to be in this market; and it appears they use the new advanced ink.  These will be in huge demand.

According to Kaliope's current research, there  will be 20 points of grinding of Runescrolls of fortitude.  If this proves to be true; there will be a huge glut of them, and this glut will last a long long time.

Darkmoon cards can be made at some stage. The prices due to shoulder enchants also consuming rare inks not withstanding; it is worth considering the experience from the start of cataclysm.  These will not be able to be completed until the first darkmoon faire starts.

Off hands; Staffs will be wanted.

Both Gevlon and I recommended selling rare inks as soon as you got them.  We made a lot of gold that way.  Breevok instead made (incredibly expensive) darkmoon trinkets; and posted his trinkets almost as soon as the faire dropped.  He made more even more gold on these than Gevlon or I did on inks.

For darkmoon faire trinkets; what is your risk profile.  If you are a high roller, willing to risk it all for the chance of a fantastic return; then trinkets are for you.   If you are a conservative investor (and I am) then you may consider just selling inks.  Caveat Venditor.

Speculation:

Unless Blizzard changes the milling return rates; the new advanced ink will be very expensive due to the consumption via the shoulder enchants.  Every raider will be replacing shoulder gear regularly and will want these.

I think early trinkets will sell well; reversing my opinion on cataclysm.  However darkmoon trinkets are already subject to RNG; In Cataclysm, the numbers were roughly 32 cards to make your first deck; and then needing 9 cards to make each (8 card) deck after that.  (10 cards if you do not do trading).

23 August 2012

MOP Engineers (Pets)

Engineers; well you still are not designed as a gold grinder.  Enjoy your utility though.

Portable mailboxes, portable banks, teleporters are all things to keep you on the road for longer.  Temporary and flimsy crafted tanks can help with levelling - especially for clothies.

But the biggest thing for you this expansion is pet battles.  Love it or hate it; Blizzard are aiming for the next generation of players with them.  My high school child loves them.  My primary school child looks up to them with awe and will work them out.

I already have 'Dad - can you buy for me this pet?  What about this one?  And this one?'

Engineers - you can make pets;  On the topic fishing and archaeology are other very good sources for pets.

Look at your favourite recipe site (http://wow.crafterstome.com/recipes/engineering.html will do), look at the pets and find their sources.

Guns and triggers sell well.

Portable anvils (I could not see if they are bound in any way) will be very popular.  I have played the collect from mailbox; run to forge/anvil; run back again, and groan. I am not even a serious blacksmith or miner.

Blizzard really really wants engineers to also be gatherers; with a new pair of goggles to spot additional nodes herb/ore.  If you are an engineer with either of those two skills; get the new goggles sooner rather than later.

There are two new mounts; As speculation (because I was not in the mount market at the start of Cataclysm), I don't think that most mount collection will start until the collectors have several alts at lvl 90; but there probably will be a couple of wealthy collectors.

22 August 2012

MOP Addons

How will you survive when your addons break during the changeover?

One of them will break.  It will most likely be when either the initial patch launches, but might be when MOP is released.  It will be the addon you consider most important **. 

When do you want to learn how to live without addons?  Now, when you have time?  Or later when you are trying to level, your opposition is getting all the sales, and you can barely login?

You could practice living without them right now.

You could hop onto Beta (or PTR), and let your addon authors know of your joy or otherwise.  You could get involved in fixing or testing them.

You could be a small time supplier using the remote auction house. Note that you are limited to the number of auctions you can have up; and it is incredibly easy to use up all of your remote AH slots selling multiples of glyphs.


** Confirmation bias will back me up.  Those with important broken addons will find this post come MoP; those without errors won't even remember it.

21 August 2012

MOP Backup

If the blizzard updater fails; are you going to be locked out of WoW for a week while you have to re-download the entire client again?

This very nearly happened to me during the start of Cataclysm. My WoW installation became corrupt during the upgrade.

As a solution, I managed to copy the base WoW install from my son's computer, and only had to re-download some of the patch.  It took about 4 days to recover (during glyphmass - and some may know how much I like my glyphs), and once I got into WoW there were already too many things for me to do.

I can help you with Windows XP (yes, an old operating system; but better than Vista that was offered when I last bought PC's).

If you are on Windows XP; copy your c:\program files\World of Warcraft folder.
  • Take a copy now. 
  • Take another copy everytime you download a big patch
  • If you have access to another computer, put your copy on it and run WoW from there.
If you are running another operating system; do your research now not later when things have broken.

As an aside; the patches are huge and consume both quota and network capacity; if you have 2-3 players in the household; you only need to download the patches once and can copy the patches to other computers; it is much faster.

Ideally; you will have:
  • a current WoW installation you are using; 
  • a current backup on another hard drive
  • a slightly older backup (say for the previous patch) not currently connected to your pc.
  • have used a backup to restore WoW and continue playing it.

20 August 2012

MOP First weeks

Cataclysm is dying; We are now looking at getting those last tasks finished before MOP hits; those bosses (at whatever level of difficulty) down, achievements done; those unused alts and skills that leveled.  Those who are finished with their goals are AFK.


We are looking at the next patch.  There is a huge demand for information and speculation.  Anything I have written .  I have posted very intermittently and am still getting large numbers of hits.  New readers want to know about stockpiles, and what to do with skills.  I have a reading tracker on the bottom right of this page; and that doesn't include those who read entirely via RSS feeds or via sites like the undermine journal.


What I always intended to do; and am currently writing, is a series of posts about what to do for the first weeks of Mists.  I have already talked a bit about stockpiles, and they are important; but so is your plan for your first month.


Starting today, I have posts scheduled (1 per day for about a fortnight); for the dealing with the leadup to MOP, and the first weeks and months on:
  • Backups
  • Addons
  • Raiding firsts
  • Profession firsts
  • Cooks and anglers
  • Gathering
  • Tailors
  • Alchemists
  • Engineers
  • Jewelcrafting
  • Enchanting
  • Scribes (Inscription)
  • Leatherwork and Blacksmiths.
Some of the posts will contain the blessed obvious;  Other posts are bound to be controversial.  It will be most interesting when the posts that some consider obvious are exactly the same posts that others think are controversial.  My posts are a retrospective look at the end of Wrath and the start of Cataclysm




You will also read Kaliope's blog.  If it is not yet on your reading list, you are missing a crucial edge.  My advice will be historical; what worked and didn't for the start of Cataclysm.  Kaliope's is about what is going to happen.

The intention is for easy to write; useful posts and short (just like this one was going to be. Oh well.)

12 August 2012

Mild authenticator sync issues

While mostly AFK; I am still maintaining my wow account subscription.

With the recent security notice where blizzard recommended that you change your password, I decided to log back in and change mine.

I have an authenticator fob I got a couple of years ago, that is meant to last for 5 years.  However, my authenticator got out of sync (grumble).  It happens when the clock in your authenticator runs at a different speed to the clock at blizzard.

The game launcher gives the same message regardless of whether you have a password or authentication token number issue. However the battle.net website gives a different message for authentication token problems.

This has happened twice.  The first time; I had tried to search for an online resync tool.  I found one; it didn't work; and I locked myself entirely out of my account.  That only happened about 2 months ago.

A phone call to blizzard and in a reasonable amount of time; the tech support reset my authenticator.  Despite that there is meant to be a 5 year life on an authenticator; mine is only 18 months old; and the tech support suggested that I change it already.  Mmmm. Incidentally - those of us in Australia will often get priority phone support - Blizzard doesn't like our rates for keeping someone on hold.  (There really are times that those outside of the US get faster support.)

When I tried to change my password; I again had the same problem with authenticator synchronization.  This time I thought I would try to figure it out myself.  Again I went looking for the reset synchronisation tool; but this time I could not even find the page I found last time, so that failed.

But then I got thinking.  Authenticators work by two different machines, with two different - but meant to be accurate clocks, generating the same number with the same algorithm at the same time.

It can go screwy when one clock runs faster than another. In this instance; it is possible that the Blizzard clocks were 'slowed' by the addition of a leap second 30 June this year. As far as I know - authentication servers try to adjust their local clock to allow for the the tokens last use; but I have not been logging in much.

But what I tried worked.  Instead of entering the authenticator code as soon as it came up on my token, I typed the code in straight away; but waited until the token's code changed before hitting enter.  It worked and let me in.  My authenticator's clock was faster than the Blizzard server's clock.

This approach will only work if your authenticator is faster than the server.  If you have problems with your authenticator codes; it is worth trying.

I also set up my SMS alert at the same time; which will allow me to disable the authenticator should this error occur again.
 
Incidentally - if you re-use passwords (and you shouldn't but most do), then you should change the password for anything that re-used your blizzard one.  Especially if it is your email account's password. (No I wasn't that bad at least).

As a final note; I had *awful* problems with the Cataclysm installation when it came out, that were fixed by restoring from a second copy of WoW on another PC.  I will be writing about how I restored my Window XP installation.  I can theoretically tell others how to fix a Windows 7 installation (which will be similar), and might be able to work out a Mac or Wine install, but thing that it would be better if fellow bloggers wrote about how to back up and restore a their own operating system's WoW folders.