Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gold: Farming vs Crafting

I've been reading a lot of different gold making blogs, and the topic of conversation seems to revolve around speculation for Cataclysm.  Well, why not?  That's what everyone has been waiting on for more than a year, isn't it?  As a middle-of-the-road player myself, and by that I mean non-raider, I make a moderate amount of gold on moderate goods.  A very zen way to be, i suppose, but it doesn't help my gold purse! 

I use a combination of crafting and farming to make a decent amount of gold.  i usually have around 1k on the books, which is pretty much enough to buy anything I need, but really have nothing left over if I decide to get prime gems or high end Inscriptions.  My best seller ever has been Bolts of Silk cloth, which, while i make about 500% profit on them, I still can only sell a few stacks a week netting me maybe 200g.  This, plus the Bag market have made me a modest profit, but not a very sustainable g/h ratio.  A friend of mine level from 1-80 in about a month (crikey!) and took Mining and skinning, just sold his wears, and by level 80 had nearly 7k!  Granted this is with no negative sums involved, strictly farming profit with no gold loss and no investments to level a profession.  But, ultimately did he make more money than I did?

For out-and-out time spent, I would say yes, as he spent ZERO time learning new recipes, constructing materials, selling or disenchanting said materials.  He just gathered things as he wandered around, and AH'd them at his earliest convenience, only spending money on bags and bank space.  But, for my above example, where I turned my freely collected Silk cloth into Bolts to be sold, I increased my profit margin on that item significantly.  Even something as simple as a price gap between Ore and Bars of a particular metal constitutes some level of work on behalf of the farmer, and increasing his income.  The key to successful gold-making in a crafting profession is knowing what recipes have value for anyone other than the crafter.

For the longest time, I didn't understand why my Silk Bolts were selling at such an inflated price, I was just cashing in on my 'unique' niche in the market.  Then I saw that there were several Leatherworking recipes that used these bolts for leveling.  More importantly, I saw the Rich Purple Silk Shirt, the single most valuable shirt in the game, uses 4 of these.  This article is valuable because... well, its pretty.  Dark Purple is apparently one of the most asthetically pleasing colors in the online gaming community.  People are paying out the wazoo for this thing... yet the recipe is extremely rare.  I checked the AH, it is selling for 3000 by itself!

What this tells me is while I'm making some money converting cloth into bolts, the real money in crafting is knowing exactly what recipes sell, and why.  The 'why' is the tough part, however.  I totally get why Netherweave bags are a great seller, they are pretty inexpensive and are plenty big for any starting character.  Spending 40g on a new toon to save time going to town and selling?  That's a negligible amount for nearly anyone!  Alchemy has a few low dollar/high seller items, such as Potions of Free Action, Swiftness, and Lesser Invisibility, which all offer unique effects are are fairly low level crafts with inexpensive materials.  (I'll go into more detail of those in a later post).  So the question is, would he have made more money by 80 had he taken the time to craft his earnings into usable and sellable materials, taking a bit more time to reach 80 but earning larger profits along the way?

If he had Herbalism/Alchemy, maybe.  Otherwise I would say definately no.  Blacksmithing/Engineering/JC all take too many different materials, or too high of quantity to not be a drain on resources. Tailoring is self contained, and with the exception of bolts of Silk, there aren't any low level materials that sell until Netherweave bags.  Lets not even talk about Enchanting, and Inscription has become prohibitive to level now with much higher requirements to a scribe.  (Alchemy takes 2 or 3 herbs for most recipes and a bottle and that's all.  Typically in one instance of farming Briarthorn, you have enough to make 2 Swiftness potions!)

While there will be new materials to construct, and a big rush to get to the end and get a 'Server First' and enjoy a monopoly for awhile, for those of us mediocre players who intend just to get in where we fit in, I'm going to recommend pure Farming.  There will be tons of new toons (mainly alts) at the start who will gladly buy your mats, and you'll get to the new content quicker if you aren't worrying about crafting.  If you aren't worried so much about getting that new gear and just want money to purchase it later, get out your picks and flower baskets and get picking!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Tanks

Since 4.0, there have been a ton of changes to the interface and the way things operate in-game.  The main complaint/issue I'm seeing is with threat generation and new difficulties for tanks to overcome.

First, let me state that I do not use add-ons.  Not any.  I did use Auctioneer and Altoholic, but since my last install of Altoholic (I have 5 computers that I may play Warcraft on) shortly after is when my account was hacked, so I will not be using any add-ons ever again.  Which also means i don't have anything that tells me exactly my DPS or my threat generation.  However, I do have a Warrior tank at level 56, and I've mostly leveled him by insta-queing instances.  Currently he is operating in Dire Maul, which is a pretty good dungeon to be in.  (Libram of Rapidity Ah's for 200-300g!  I NEED on it, cuz i'm a jerk like that!)  Also a great dungeon to run if you are a Warlock because there are very strong demons you can command for a change of pace from the imp or Fel Stalker, there are a few Warlock only quests, and Pimgib the Imp has a unique drop.

First thing I did when dropped into Dire Maul East is state to everyone that this was my first try tanking after the patch.  People said that's fine (or nothing at all... damned anti-socials) and we went to town.  First thing i noticed is rage was just flooding into me... NO trouble at all having enough rage to do anything, even just spamming Cleave/HS, I just could not get below 50%!  Also, Victory rush.  Warrior healing?  On top of amazing armor and stamina?  Holy Crap!  Without even being healed, I barely took any damage at all! 

The problem I noticed was that I was struggling my ass off to keep the enemies focused on me.  Bloodrage is gone, so now my rotation starts with Charge --->Thunderclap--->Demo Shout--->Cleave to get as much AOE as possible, then tab-attack everyone in the group with Shield Slam and/or Devastate.  Always worked just fine in the past, rarely lost any, and if i did i just rotated and taunted, no problem.  This time however, plant-monsters were just streaming right past me to the lesser ranks; DK, mage and Hunter, not so much the healer, but he took some too... I was running all over trying to pick up the adds so no one took too much damage, then another one would peel off and I'd have to zip over to him.  It sucked, but we didn't wipe... well, I died at one point, but the DK stepped in and they finished the encounter. 

At first I thought the issue was the DK, who couldn't keep his finger off of the Death Grip button, but after reading a post by Tobold, I think it was more an issue with the group mentality.  People USED to wait 3 seconds for the tank to get aggro then charge in... well, we haven't really had to do that in awhile, with gear being so prolific now and threat being what it was.  I noticed it some on my Shaman in SM Graveyard; I was able to pull pretty readily from the tank.  Luckily I'm enhancement, I can take a punch as well as deal one out, but Shaman's used to have abilities that specifically reduced their threat level, and now i don't. 

Tobold mention a change to a more difficult Warcraft, where we cannot just AOE things down and have to use more of our tools instead of Facerolling through dungeons just to level.  I, for one, would LOVE that, as I'm a career leveller and always design my toons with multiple functions in mind.  Nothing satisfies me more than when the healer goes down and my Shammy can back up from thumping bad guys to heal the tank for the last few seconds to save the day.  I see these changes as a chance to relearn to play a game that I love, and make things new!  I've run all parts of Dire Maul several times, but now that my mechanics are changed, that makes the bosses and battles different than before, and therefore more exciting!

One other thing that may come up as a result of this, however.  I mentioned before that I run my tank when I have plenty of time available and I feel like working and paying attention.  Well, now that its harder, i may have less time or inclination to bother with doing that, making tanks even more scarce than they are now.  Tanking is work, especially in LFG, because you never know if you'll get a veteran group and there is a high likelihood of douchebaggery going on.  One jerk out of 5 makes the game 20% less fun, and as a tank, your job is tough enough.

I'll post more of my findings here later on, probably won't be playing for a few days, got personal stuff going on... BOOOO.  If you have similar stories, give me a holler.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make that money

Did not play at all last night, got personal stuff going on, but I did just get a great tip today:  Halloween wands and the Masquerade achievement.  People want zapped, and they want zapped NOW.  So, oblige them.  For cash, of course!  5, 10, 25 gold, whatever you can get, its virtually free money.  And, the best part, I've still got a Pirate wand from LAST Halloween! 

I did not prepare for Halloween, but I'm definately going to prepare for Christmas achievments this year with both my Tailor and my Leatherworker with Green Winter Clothes, Red Winter Clothes, and Winter Boots.  I may just purchase outright the Red Winter Clothes recipe just to have it, then get to cranking them out.  Also, I'm going to spend some time over near Silverymoon to scoop up a stock pile of Small Eggs... I'm not a mega player in the AH, but if i can get, say 2 or 3 stacks of them, I'll be ok.  If I can sell them for 10-20g a piece, I'll be a happy little goblin.  Once I get a good stockpile of cash built back up, I'll resurrect my Warlock/Tailor so I can finish him to 80 (level 69 and stripped butt-naked still).  I may not run my Hunter ever again, but his LW cost so much money, he's got at least that much use left in him

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Things

Hi, I'm Nikodhemus, and I've been playing around with different blogs from time to time, trying to test a few things out.  I enjoy writing and I enjoy Warcrafting and I enjoy making money on the AH.  I read several different Warcraft blogs fairly regularly and am a regular poster on some of them (especially since I can do alot of this at work now!). 

I have a very small guild called Fat and Drunk and this blog will be tied closely to that with updates for guild members and just other goofy shit i think of.  The philosphy of Fat and Drunk is older folks who like drinking beer and having fun while playing a video game.  Currently my roster is 4 accounts of close friends and my step son, and we will be expanding once Cataclysm gets rolling.  I have another blog that I put some entertaining things on, still Warcraft related, you can check it out too.

I'm a moderate player, maybe 2 hours a day 5 days a week, more if I can help it.  Currently my favorite class is Prot Warrior when I'm feeling like playing serious and Enhance Shammy when I feel like relaxing.  I have 1 (one) level 80 toon after 15 months of playing, a hunter.  However, since I was recently hacked, my two highest level guys stripped naked and my bank alt and guild bank emptied of cash and items, i don't play him much other than to utilize his Leatherworking skills for profit.  It's been 12 days since I reported it, got a ticket number, and have since been totally ignored by Blizzard (but i'm not BITTER!!!)

The one blog I read daily is the Greedy Goblin ... This friggin' guy is a trip!  If you haven't read him, check through his posts for excellent AH tips, and then check out his philosphies on life that tie into Warcraft.  There are others I read less avidly, and only because they are attached to his site; Noisy Rogue, Larissa's corner, Troll Racials, Cold's Gold, lots of good stuff, i've posted a few times on all of them. 

Most of the stuff I read about in these blogs is gold making and the economy.  The big thing lately is what's been called Glyphmas... the time when everyone knew glyphs were being changed and there would be a big obvious surge in people buying up the new glyphs.  Reading most reports, I've seen many people that cleared anywhere from 10K to over 100K in about 2 days... yet now are stuck with a lot of overstock.  As I had just been robbed, I had ZERO liquidity and ZERO stocks in which to even attempt to take part (aside from the fact that I don't have an inscriber or jewelcrafter).  Depending on your economic standpoint, you could count the vast amount of overstock glyphs as a loss in income, as many are now selling for material cost or less.  Curious to see how things play out in glyphs, will people pull out completely?  Will items like Glyph of Bloody Healing still sell for 50g+ until all Fury warriors get one?

For myself, my moneymakers are still in simple items; Cloth and Leather.  I've been turning silk cloth into bolts of silk cloth forMONTHS, and getting 500% profit.  Stack of SilkCloth = 1g or less.  Bolt of Silk Cloth = 4 Silk.  4 Stacks of Silk cloth = 4g = 1 Stack of Bolts of Silk.  Bolt of Silk cloth sell for 1g each or more!  Turning 4g into 20g on a regular basis!  Heavy Borean Leather sells for around 8g each, while Borean Leather sells for 15g a stack.  6 Leathers make 1 Heavy, so 15g turns into 24g at a quick pace as well.

The key I've found in WoW and in live banking is best summed up by the Wu Tang Clan... "You got to diversify yo bonds, nigga"  If I had 1000g, it would take a long time for me to buy up that much silk, turn it into bolts, and sell it... the market would be totally flooded, my stocks would sit for days and days before selling; which exemplifies the point with the glyph market.  People over spent how much they might be able to off load, and EVERYONE was aware of this change.  ie; market over stimulated, profits dried up within 24 hours...

Ah well, that is my two cents for the day, expect more later this week!