Friday, July 22, 2011


     Enhancing equipment, oh the joys and troubles this caused me when I first started playing. The problems I faced were numerous, I didn't know what my secondary stat priorities were, I didn't know what gems to look for, and I didn't know which socket bonuses to meet. Eventually, with the help of Elitist Jerks, and the askmrrobot website, I figured these things out, and I now keep a few of the gems I always need for new gear in my bags.

     Knowing which gems to use is imperative for me as a raider, when I am trying to min-max. (Wiping with the boss at 20k health has happened once, and we've even had some .5% wipes.) There are two ways to gem correctly, however one is better, and probably cheaper, but requires more knowledge. The easiest option is to just gem your primary stat. I should mention that this is for healers and DPS only, tanks vary by class, gear, and what you are raiding. If gemming straight red gems, you'll be using either brilliant, delicate, or bold inferno rubies. Make sure that your meta gem is active, however. You might have to use a combo gem or two, to activate it. This method is more costly, as on most servers red gems are the most expensive. You lose out on socket bonuses, but in some cases this is better then losing your primary stat, depending on the bonus, and comes with the ease of always knowing what to throw in a socket.

     The second option requires you to know stat weights. For me, as a fury warrior, my stat priority goes like this, 26 expertise->8% hit-> crit->hit (up to 26%)->mastery->haste. The stat weight of Strength:Critical Strike is .66 roughly, or 3 points of critical strike is worth about 2 points of strength. This means if the socket bonus is +10 strength, with a yellow socket, I will use an orange gem, in my case inscribed ember topaz, which is +20 strength and +20 critical strike. Thus, the bonus from that socket is +30 strength and +20 critical strike, which is slightly better then the straight +40 strength of a bold inferno ruby. Hit is worth slightly less then half a point of strength, however because I need more hit when I go arms, etched demonseye is a quarter the price, and I am OCD about meeting +strength bonuses, I will use this purple gem in blue sockets. As well, I'd like 26% hit soon, for my white hits to always connect, granting more constant rage, and evening out my rotation. With changes, these stat priorities and weight change as well, buffing white hits for fury warriors made hit worth more after 4.1, for instance.

     Knowing which gems to use for your class will help you play better. If you are a jewelcrafter, it should also help, as you can learn which gems will be in the most demand by raiders. I'll always be using bold inferno, etched demonseye, inscribed ember topaz, and reverberating shadowspirit diamond. When my Jewelcrafter hits level 75, the first patterns I will buy will be all three +40 agility/strength/intellect infernos, and then the correct demoneyes and ember topaz cuts for various classes, followed by other gems needed. Knowledge is power, which can be utilized to make money.

     Now, to explain something people consistently demonstrate they don't understand: Reforge for those stats, don't gem! I cringe when I see someone with a hit gem. You never should do that. You can reforge out of a lesser stat, such as haste in my case, to hit the soft expertise cap. By doing this I turn a stat worth less into a stat worth more, and I can gem my primary stat, strength. If I gem hit I lose that strength. You can't reforge into your primary stat! You are giving up that stat for a lesser one. It would be better to be at 7.97% hit as a hunter then to be 8% hit and lose out on that agility. REFORGE! Websites such as askmrrobot are AMAZING at helping you optimize, so as not to be over hit cap, and to utilize your reforging to give the best boost.

     Learning to gem will help you not only do better, but will show you know your class better as well. You can also profit off this knowledge of your class, or other classes as a jewelcrafter. Learn2gem, and profit off that knowledge!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scientia Potentia Est- Knowledge is Power Part 3

     In real life, I dabble in mill work and cabinetry. I've even build some furniture, but I didn't do with just my two hands, or a nail gun and saw. Oh no, I used many tools. Just as important as having the tools is knowing how to use these tools, and knowing what the right tool is for the job. If I tried to use a brad nailer to put up crown molding, it'd topple onto my head almost immediately. If I used my hands instead of a push stick when ripping boards, I could easily lose a finger to the blade of a table saw.
     Just like in woodworking, making gold can be heavily dependent on tools, both to help, and protect you. Sure, you could repost every one of those 300 glyphs by hand, checking to see when they were undercut, and manually posting them, but that would take quite a long time. Trade Skill Master, once you get it set up and understand how it works, will make this quite easy. For me, I only use Auctionator, as it is all I currently need. I run scans to get prices on items, use it to check when items have been undercut, use it to auto-post at one copper cheaper then any other item, and cancel undercut auctions quickly. I also have it set up to allow me to buy out auctions with I shift-rightclick. Time saved here can be used crafting, doing my dailies, or even allowing me a quick AH run to repost my item enhancements during peak time when our raid team is taking a ten minute break. Heck, time saved is often used to play StarCraft 2. Making the most of the time you have, saving time where you can, is a key part to establishing your money making endeavors. Know your tools to save time!

      Knowing your tools can save more then time, it could save you quite a  bit of money. Once, when I didn't have my addons set up, and wasn't paying attention (no addon can fix that, sadly) I posted a few bars of truegold for 1/3rd their price. Of course, I didn't notice until they sold. If my addon was set up right, I would not have posted so cheap. Having scans of the AH can help you know how to price rare items, whether current iLevel BOEs, or rare old world drops, keeping you from underposting.  They can also help you find deals. Blood of the mountain, a semi-rare drop off molten destroyers in Molten Core is used to craft the sulfurion hammer, combined with a drop off Ragnaros to make a legendary. They normally sell for between 1500-2k on my server, but I've seen a few for 250 gold, which I snapped up in a second, having scanned them for 8x the price a few days earlier. And the list goes on. Keep yourself from being burned, know your tools, and how to set them up, and customize them!

     One more thing tools can help you do is to keep your self organized, useful especially if you have numerous toons or guild banks. Addons such as altaholic keep track of how many of a certain item you have across toons. Titanpanel, among other things, tracks my gold on each toon. My Sales tracks sales, average price per item, and tells me how much I collected when I close my mailbox (in the past 2 weeks I sold 110 ebonsteel belt buckles, for around 16,000g profit). Baudbag combines your bag and bank view into one, making it easier to organize things, and find things. Lets not forget Postal, one of my favorites. Opening all my mail for me? FTW! Know your tools, stay organized.

     This post was aimmed more at newer players, or gold makers, and is fairly basic. If you have any questions about addons, except TSM, post a comment and I'll try to help. Next up: Learn2Gem.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Scientia Potentia Est- Knowledge is Power Part 2

     "Knowledge is the most democratic source of power." This is indeed true. In this second part of my series "Scientia Potentia Est" I would like to highlight and explain why knowledge in, and of, this portion of gold making in WoW is not only the greatest equalizer of the playing field, but also how you can take advantage of knowledge to advance your own goals, be they so humble as that BOE you wish to purchase, or so lofty as establishing an empire which will stand for raid tiers to come.

     This source of knowledge which you should seek to advance is the knowledge of people, especially your competition. Part of what makes WoW different from several other MMOs is the closed server, and faction effect. Unlike, say RuneScape for instance, where anyone can throw something on the Grand Exchange and anyone could potentially buy it, in this World servers are economic islands. Having two factions, with limited trading between the two possible further isolates both potential markets, but also competition. Depending on what you are selling, you may have no competition, one to several people, or overwhelming completion. There are too many variables to deal with those markets which are flooded with sellers, and so besides watching market trends which these sellers follow, we are rather limited in what we can glean, and know about this set.

     Thus, we will focus on the sets of competition which include the lower amounts. The first step is to get to know who they are. Are there many people on your server who have a finger in many pies? Do your competitors only focus on a specific market? Learn this. Get to know names. Recognize their posting patterns. How often do they post? How many do they post? When they undercut, do they heavily do this, perhaps in an effort to drive out competition by lowering or eliminating profit margins, or are they simply lazy, or even worse *gasp* noobs, undercutting by 25g when one copper would have done. All this knowledge can be put to use. In the Ebonsteel belt buckle market, I have 4-5 competitors. One of them posts, at most, once a day. The others are more of a concern, posting several each time several times a day. Thankfully, these posters (or at least their addons) are rather smart, undercutting by a copper a time, helping keep the price high. Every so often we will have the person posting 2-3 at half normal price. This is when knowledge again comes to our aid. At times, this is simply a person who was training a skill, and I take the chance to both keep the market price high, and get a few more of these items to flip. However, if it is certain people, I stop undercutting and posting in that market. Why? These people I know as infamous "Trade Trolls". The sole reason they have for posting is to mess with the market. I won't undercut, or buy them out, as they throw more up on the AH, and forget the consequences!

     Therefore, knowledge of your competition is very useful, as it helps you make informed decisions as to what road to take in your money making endeavors. Thankfully, you don't have to memorize all this information, adding their names to your friends list, especially if they are alts who simply log on to post, and using The Undermine Journal to find out their patterns is amazingly effective. A new feature TUJ has added for its members (sign up, its free) will notify you when you have been undercut, a useful tool for those who can utilize it. An example of how I can use this to track is found here. This was a random server, and a random person in the glyph market. Looking at the chart, I can see that they tend to post once a day, over a few hours time, four days a week. By checking this out over the course of a few weeks, I can recognize patterns, and know when to post, or repost. Knowledge of your competition helps prevent you from being undercut, and helps you keep your items fresh for the masses to purchase.

     But knowledge of your "enemies" is not all that can be useful. Knowledge of friends (You do have some, don't you?!?) can be amazing as well. Not all of us have ever profession, or every specialization of alchemy. Having friends who can help you out is great! I'm not advocating taking advantage of your friends time. Do not send your guild enchanter 500 pieces of jewelry from the obsidium shuffle and expect them to take the time out to DE it all without asking before, and probably giving them a healthy tip too. But friends can help you out in niche areas. I don't have an enchanter yet, but I have at least 4 people who don't mind DEing things for me, and making me scrolls. A good friend of mine, who is an officer in our guild, but not a money making mogul could care less about her alchemy CD, and so lets me have it for free whenever we remember to use it. I know three alchemists who will help me do transmutes, (I only have 1 alchemist) for a small tip everyday, and are willing to go to either Uldum or Vash'jr to do the transmute. I have contacts who will give me first dibs on their ore for a discount, or sell me all their volatiles. And the utility where you can be mutually beneficial, or just help a friend out goes on and on. Remember, not all people are Goblins at heart, and could care less about money. 

    As well, knowledge of when people post items you need is important. On our server, ore prices tend to be cheapest at night, and on weekends, whilst peaking or being bought out during the day.

     In summation, know people. Get to know the other goblins, often you can often help each other out by collaborating in certain venturous, and failing that you can keep from being stymed. Friends can help, whether its by making a few enchant weapon- hurricane for you to throw up on the AH, cutting some gems you don't have the pattern for yet, or giving you a cooldown they don't use, friends are amazing. Knowing contacts to help supply you for cheaper, or in greater bulk then the AH is also invaluable, especially when dealing with lower profit margins. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scientia Potentia Est- Knowledge is Power Part 1

     Those of us who are Goblins at heart may know that Time is money. Now all of us, however, can be small, green, money loving, and the size of a football. Orcs are cunning too, and we know that there is more to playing the market then simply having time! Knowledge is power. That phrase can not be overstated in its importance. The more you know, the farther you can take strategy. Without a strategy, or at least an idea of what you are trying to accomplish, making gold can be a rather daunting task.

     Thus the all important need for knowledge. Why is knowledge so important, and what type of knowledge do you need? Any and all is useful, it all comes down to analysis, and what you can do with that knowledge. I'll list a few different types of information I've picked up from various, shall we say "sources" *conspiratorial laugh*.

     One of the most basic needs is to know your server. Know when the various types of players are on. Know what different players do. When do guilds raid? How large is their guild? How good are they at raiding? How far are they currently? Are they working on bosses, or simply on farm? For this first example we will talk about my demographic, the raider.

     This information is important. Since raid lockouts reset on Tuesday, many guilds raid on this day. More casual players do Baradin Hold, and don't forget that you can gain more conquest points on Tuesday too! Valor point cap for the previous week is reset, and people are doing Tol Barad for the weekly quest, and trying to keep the area so they can raid that quick fight.

     Knowing all this, what can you deduct? One of the more obvious conclusions is that GEAR will be entering the game. Good! What do players do when they get a new shinny? Hopefully most will enchant it, and gem it up. Belt buckles, leatherworking leg enchants, gems, enchants, and more will be in demand. The raw materials will also be wanted, as more savvy shoppers will buy the mats and have a friend craft the needed item. Guilds may be purchasing Lavascale Catfish, Highland Guppies, and Fathom Eels for Fish Feasts. If they are progressing, many wipes will probably be forthcoming. (A few months ago, it took us 150 tries to down Heroic Maloriak...go ahead and laugh.) Some guilds will be OMGPANICING when they check and none are left in the guild bank, and will try to buy them up. Flasks will be purchases, although some guilds require people to bring their own, or provide them in the form of cauldrons. The same thing for potions. Last night, on the 3rd pull of Baleroc we were teaching 5-6 new people on 25man the fight. A mess up on the switch killed a few people. (I'm looking at your Mr. Death Knight who wasn't standing close enough to me when I was tanking the crystal... *hug*) and we ended up wiping with under 1 million HP, around .7%. This underscores the importance of a little extra damage. Many progression guilds pre pot, thus using 2 potions per pull. Twenty or so pulls a night, dozens of people pre potting, healers using potions of concentration...the numbers are staggering. Knowing whether guild buy these potions and flasks, or provide their own but buy the materials, or even farm the herbs themselves is important!

     Thus, one of the first steps is knowledge is know your server. The two best ways I've found to doing this are to check The Undermine Journal, to see how often certain items sell, at what price, and what the range these items normally go for inside. With practice, you'll get to know when to sell hard, as the price is way inflated, and when to hold back. Example, belt buckles. On my server the materials cost me around 90 gold to make, on average. They sell for between 190-375 gold, with an average price of probably around 270g. Knowing when to post to get most sales, and to be the lowest priced seller is key, as is knowing how many sell, on average.

     Knowledge is power. Know when guilds raid, and what they require so you can fill their needs. Understand demand, understand your server. Riches await. Know when many people log on, when demand is high, and what sells is a major key in being more then a greedy little goblin, it will lead you to the higher calling of being taller cunning, like us Orcs.

Lok'tar ogar!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Understanding Efficiency

Not everything in WoW can or will yield the same amount of gold per hour. There are a number of reasons for this, such as only a certain amount of demand for items, only a certain amount of materials, or only a certain amount of time. Crafting and posting various blacksmithing items could be viewed as an insane G/hr rate, considering I can smelt the ore and craft the items in under 5 minutes, for thousands of gold of profit. Yet only so many of these items sell a day, or every several days. So you have to progress to something else. If you are lucky enough to have cheap ore on your server, you could conceivably carry the shuffle even farther, yet eventually you will hit the same wall of either market saturation, or a lack of materials/time. This can be carried even further. In addition, most of us don't have unlimited time. Thus making the most of our time is important. If I only have 5 minutes, I'll check the AH, and repost items. 10 minutes, and I'll fish out the fire pools in Hyjal, and do a round of mining out obsidium ore, and look for Blazewing. (NPC Scan FTW, got this guy twice for a 1500g/item) 15 minutes, I'll check for TB, its a fast 400-800 honor for a win, esp. with the weekly quest. And so on and so forth.

A major key to becoming a real goblin is efficiency, not only in budgeting time, but also in spending the time you have wisely. Example, I prospect ore as I level up my JC in instances, in between pulls and such. When I'm waiting during break in raid, I repost on the AH, and fish out lava pools. I use addons such as baudbag (amazing addon for bags/banks) Postal, and auctionater to help organize and speed up posting/tracking.

As the Goblins say, "time is money, friend". Time you spend farming herbs or ore is not "free". Just because you gathered it doesn't mean you should value it less then market value. There is always an opportunity cost. 

All in all, becoming efficient is one of the most important steps you can take to becoming a gold mogul. Knowing how to do things quickly and efficiently will even help you decide if a certain gold making method is for you. Sure, vendor pets may be sellable for 50-100g each, but if it takes you 20 minutes to buy them up and post them, is it really worth the time unless you are already in the area?

Just a few thoughts on my take on efficiency. Becoming efficient is a whole new mindset.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thoughts on this tier of raiding.

Some people seem to be surprised that a few guild are (at the time of this writing) 5/7 heroic in Firelands. This should not be surprising. The reasons, however, of why it took several guilds a bit longer to get heroic kills in Tier 11 are not so obvious, so I thought I'd point them out. First, people had to level from 80-85. Next, they had to gear. Some guilds such as paragon were going into BWD/BOT in wrath purples, and cata greens/blues, and perhaps a cata epic. Going from the upper 200 iLevel to a tier where the iLevel is 359/372  is quite big. In addition there were new mechanics added both into the boss fight, but also into the PVE scene. The talent tree was different, and rotations changed.

Going into T12 is quite different know. The upper guilds have people in 372/sinestra gear, not anywhere as close to the difference there was back in December. They've learned new rotation and talent builds, etc etc.

Thus it should be no surprise that guilds are already downing these bosses. They are, after all, some of the best of the best, and have no where near the challenges they had back in T11.

My guild went 5/7 normal mode the first week, while it took us much longer to progress back in T11.

As a note, my favorite fight so far has to be Beth'tilac. Climbing up to the web and all that is quite fun IMO, much more fun then fighting shannox...

Thinking Deeper on moving stock

     When one considers the various steps of the numerous shuffles, one has to, in order to be efficient, calculate a number of factors. There are also several thinks to take into account, which can not be so easily factored. Lets start with an example, first. Take the oh so common JC shuffle. The ore is purchased for 42 gold/stack. For this example I will list the numbers of my test last night. 48 stacks of ore were purchased at this price, and a tip of 150g was made during the whole course of a full shuffle, leading to a cost of 2450g, roughly (After factoring in heartblossom and jeweler settings). Now that the "Lazy Wes" shuffle has been nerfed (Referencing my good friend Wes of, who before 4.2 had Obsidium ore buy able at 19gold a stack...) and you can no longer efficiently vendor all gems save carnelians for 5g, one has to carry the shuffle even further, in order to make profit, unless of course you are able to sell or dump all your other gems. Thus we bringing in the crafting and disenchanting factor. For my test I crafted everything into jewelry, and had a friend in a level 25 guild disenchant it. This left me with 39 carnelians, 40 zephryite, 10 stacks of dust, 25 GCE, one heavenly shard (DE'd a few blue rings, oops) and 7 blue pieces of jewelry. At current prices, this left me with 4450 gold in items. Since I prospected the ore while in dungeons, leveling my DK, I won't factor in that time. Multitasking FTW, eh? So for getting my items DE'd/crafted/bought/sold, etc, I factor in 45 minutes. Not terrible, around 2500 gold an hour, minimum. But wait! Now to decide what to do with the enchanting materials.

     This leads into my second factoring portion. What to do know? How does one decide what to do? You have two main options, to sell the materials, or to make enchants and sell. Although while making the enchants will lead to a higher profit margin, there are several things to remember. One, what are faster to move? If you can continually move the raw materials, and get the ore at a price which is cheap enough to make it worth your while, you might be better off only taking the shuffle to this end, to prevent a bottle neck. After all, how many enchant bracers-critical strike can you move in a day? The undermine journal is a great place to figure out how often certain things sell.

     An even more important factor is actually being able to sell things. If you can get rid of all your stock in a few hours as enchants, for slightly less profit, it is often worth it to do so. Example, if it costs me 107 gold to make a certain enchant (using the price I could get for mats) and I can sell it for 100g, but it sells right away I'd do that. I already profited by getting the materials for half price (2450 in costs for 4450 of materials) I can move stock faster, and I have an extra market to move stock in!

     Thus, in a perfect world, I can be selling both the materials I don't need, and the enchants, and increasing profit for every step I carry the shuffle. But in this practical world, sometimes its better to move stock in several markets (DIVERSIFY!) and move it quickly, to prevent bottlenecks, then to be sitting on lots, moving it far more slowly for a very little more profit.

      But that is only in one market. Enchanting materials are, at least on my server, fairly stable, as are the profit margins. Thus you can learn how to move stock. But lets look at another market, belt buckles and red gems. These are polar opposites, the prices vary wildly within a certain range, but sell at a fairly constant rate. The key to remember here is that if you aren't supplying these markets, someone else is. I'd have to disagree with Cold of Cold's gold factory, where he states that he is preferring to hold onto his inferno rubies until his competition sells out. The problem is this, unless his stock is limited, he can't produce more, or there is a bottle neck, such as no one else creating inferno rubies, that this sell out will never come. As a fairly hardcore raider, I know that gear enters the game at a fairly constant pace. Every 2-3 weeks I will be getting a new tier piece, and I will probably be getting 1-2 other pieces a week, either PVE or PVP gear. Thus I will be using up ~4-6 meta gems (tank/DPS/PVP sets) and 15-20 inferno rubies over the next few months, as I gear up various sets, replace old 379 with 391 gear, replace boss drops with tier gear, or vis-versa. There will, of course have been a vary fast burst demand for gems, as people got their belts and new pvp gear. But that is pretty much over. Yes the market is more active now, but there probably won't come a time where all the rubies are sold out. Thus, try to reset prices where practical, try and get as high a profit margin as you can, but don't stop supplying or creating these items. If you don't supply us raiders, someone else will!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 1, or something like that

So I decided to start up a blog about, well, many things World of Warcraft. From raiding (We are 5/7 normal mode on the first week of Firelands) to gold making, which I've really been working at for the past three weeks, ever since I started talking to, and made friends with Wes, from Auction House Junkies (Epic Podcast),, and @cappedbycata on twitter.

To Come: Raid storier (horror stories included) Money making attempts and random rantings and thoughts.