Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DMC musings

GAHH, the number of apparent players in the DMC market seems to have gone up and the number of those players willing to cut their profits by so much is frightening.  The next 2 weeks will be scary as I continue to monitor card, deck and trinket prices.  In the second week following the fair is when I expect the heavy and active undercutters to have sold out, and moved on to something else after getting their quick profits.  It is my hope and expectation that prices will rise again at that point. 

For instance, the prices dropped on one of the trinkets by 30% overnight, others by 10 and 20%, and then the masses just continue to undercut that new lower price, fixing it there till those good sell out.  I prefer to wait and get more per sale and let the quick sales sell out.   This is not a viable option in many markets.  However, it was viable and hugely profitable last month for the DMC market.  Plus it means I have less time to spend for the same returns.  Like I stated before the drain of milling and making inks took its toll.  Its been a week since I milled more than a couple herbs.

All the same even at markets where they currently are, I stand to walk away with close to 800K.   If the hold out and patience plan works that number could be 1M, or higher. 

Also looking over the names of the players in the market selling DMCs, I dont see some that I expected, so I think there may be others playing at my patience game... not surprising.  The server population is high, and horde biased to an extreme.  Its not surprising that I may not be the only one in town with this game.

All this gives me an idea.  I think I will update my spreadsheet to show current market sales value of all the trinkets I have.  Should be quick and easy to make the change. 

There is the bonus that the DMCs volcano and tsunami are BiS for several.. not sure that ther is a better one healers than Tsunami.  Though there are good ones.  Still hope prices hold out and then people dont refuse to pay the higher prices for a trinket later after the fair is out of town and supplies are more limited.

Thats all for now

commitment musings

Much of my weekend was spent in game at one thing or another.  I get a lot of interesting wispers back from the guild spam, but recruiting was going slow so I began mass recruiting.  It was a way to increase membership by quite a bit.  Pretty sure I did not get my target, but right now, more people playing is valuable.  As with all guild people will wash out.  A few stick around because I have helped them in one way or another.  Often its how to make gold.  To help the guild out since it has no other perks, and no raiding or PVP agenda, Monetizing membership with gold seemed a reasonable means of maintaining membership. 
level 20, 20 gold
Level 30, 40, 50 and 60 100 gold
Level 70 500 gold
Level 80 1000 gold
for recruiting, I reward both parties the gold. (i.e. you recruit "bubbagump" the rogue and he hits level 20, I reward both you (for recruiting) and bubbagump 20 gold)

I think next weekend or maybe mid week I will do another random mass invite and get the numbers up some more, because I fully expect attrition, and see it a lot already.  Its part of the nature of guilds and much more so with this one as we do not have the attraction of perks as guilds are now hitting level 14.  Time will tell how the project evolves, I only plan to stick to the initial guiding principals.  Build a guild where there is some level of commitment for no other reason than to have that ground in common with all players that are high level.  As I ponder over that, the question comes up in my mind of "What are the threads and commonalities that bring players together in guild, and more importantly, what drives them apart." 

There is a percieved shared goal in guilds, but my experience has shown that is a fragile element.  For some guilds, like world first and even server first it is clearly defined.  Most others seem to project that they are going to be the next big guild, however the failures at achieving this are many more than the successes.  Those that have some level of success still have issues with commitment from players as they still have a largely rotating pool of raiders.  This is the element I hope to defeate.  If there was consistency in the players, and they start out so low a level to PVP or raid with the guild there will be the hesitation to leave the guild looking for something better, since the idea of comming back will not be an option.  Raiding guild often have an element of casualness to them.  People just don't play a game to get bossed around that way in most cases.  So if someone is decent and leaves the guild, there is rarely a hesitation to get that decent player back in the circle of old friends.  I don't expect amazing turnouts or a changing element to the overall player base, just looking for a solid group to change it with a small group that share something in common, and share some goals that are similar.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Millionaire mussings

I aimed for just needing help.  I have played a casual raiders game for several years.  Late BC saw me with 2 max level toons. and early wrath saw me with my first epic mount.  The end of wrath I had 6 max level, at least 5, with epic flight, 5 I raided with at one point or another, and 38K in gold.

Via real ID friends, I knew some old friend were in what was "going to be" a great raiding group and clean house in cata.  I made a hard reset about 2 weeks before cata, and rolled a Disco raiding priest to be on a new server.  A beautiful cinematic for the new race and new faction and I was level one and moving with no gold, no heirlooms and an ego that would not let me ask for a starter bit of gold, and no one offered, not untill much later when I was reflecting on what I had and where I was going with the game and mentioned I had done it with no hel. 

I needed gold and bags.  The only profession that can sell anything worth money at low level to high level character is a scribe.  Even max level toons want your glyphs.  Unlike every other profession that you make DE mats for a loss and compete with the floods of crafted junk hitting the AH as people dump, Few people at 85 want anything a pre level 80 can make except a scribe (for the most part).

Professions became herbalism and inscription.  It was soon paying off as I already had a good working knowledge and addon setup for making craftables, leveling professions, and using the AH to make some profit or at least minimize perceived loss... 

Bags and such ready to go farm the world, and then bank bags to store it.  Away I went leveling like nuts.  mostly in dungeons, this was before the nerf to the dugeon quest xp...  still like 7 days played to 85, and what I ended up with  was a 525 herbalist going into cata content and over 500 inscription.  At one point I farmed herbs for XP in sholazar basin.  An entire level worth of XP from just herbing, I had done a lot of this previously, but at lower levels, and more of just going further out of my way to herb while questing or traveling.  Slower than questing, but not bad all considered.  Instead of 2 hours for a level it was like 2 1/2 to 3.   And I had piles mats to continue my profession, at least it felt like piles at the time.

Already I was doing well enough that I had epic flight and when I hit 78 cata was out and so were the greens... the last 2 levels in NR were a breeze in that green gear.  As cata came out the strategy of questing and LFD became a wash.  They were horrible experiences as any decent player was into the cata content and on the way to 85 or on a new worgen/goblin.  The only people left in the LFD for NR were me and a BUNCH of BAHHHHDS it seemed... not worth the time.  So I finished out NR questing and herbing. 

A couple days after I Cata released,  I was able to hit 80 and go see what others had been talking about.  Somewhere after a friend mentioned that a guy had sold DMCs for 75K, I also realized around this time that I could play a patience market of one month and make a lot of gold probably by turning in my decks for the trinkets and just holding out on prices as the next fair would not be back for weeks...  It paid off. 

I found a high volume markets to keep the seed money flowing in, via the Mysterious fortune cards and the ilvl 346 relics, and bit of unloading glyphs from the leveling herbs.  Glyphs had to be camped though or you would not sell.  The norm was rarely more than one would sell after the first hour they were in the AH.  I would be able to sell 7-10 of the 50+ glyphs listed and then have to cancel and repost.  Too much time, in the AH and not grinding levels and rep etc. for the furure raiding.  The relics were expensive, but the server market was strong and I was able to sell a ton of them for around 1,000 gold profit each, profits began to fall and volume went up, so it was okay, but I was losing mats that could have been going into DMCs.  Still I needed to play that game to get the stockpile of gold to keep buying herbs and making the DMCs.

I sold out of DMC from the second fair and hit 415K, a personal best, but I was also begining a stockpile of cards and mats to rinse and repeat at the next fair which is in town today.  Spending 20k + a day on herbs in the AH I was able to keep prices stable by buying out everything below my threshold once and twice a day.  Doing this I had strong confidence that competitors would not be really able to undercut me terribly and I had pretty solid influence on the market.  For some reason I dropped herbalism, as I never farmed the wild reaches of Azeroth for herbs, rather I would farm the AH, and I was a raider at the time, herbalism is a sorta dudish profesion for a raider. That and the vial of sands...  I have made 2 canopic jars and gotten a mumified organ both times. 

Now, not sure why and your guesses are as good as mine, but the herb supply has dropped or demand risen,  and prices are holding without my influence.  I have under 10K, right now thats good  I could not have continued that strategy.  So herb prices are holding without my intervention.  Taking my piles of cards, I made from over 1,200 inferno inks at one point, and since added to, I still had enough gold to buy the (individual) card(s) I needed to finish out several decks, and pick up a few completed ones for 30-50% discounts on expected returns. 

I do most of my business from my main, and I have 3 inscription bags in the bank, all filled with mats, 2 hebalism bags, often filled and a couple 22 sloters to fill it the bank slots. (Now a days, none of my toons has less than 22 slot bags, I just buy them at the start rather than UG later) I was loaded on mats an no where to stock up.  I was short on space and storing inferno inks on a bank alt.  Arkinventory told me I had over 1000 inferno inks, thats over 50 stacks and something like 5K volatile lifes.  There are only 32 cards, so math and storage constraints said it was time to turn over the mats to incividual cards and stack them.  Preparing for future plans to buy a few cards and go to the next fair with a bunch of decks, I could evaluate then what card(s) I needed to finish a deck, and buy them. 

I think I sold about 30 decks or trinkets last month, and have over 40 now to sell in the next month.  If  returns get close to what I expect out of them, I will break 1,000,000 gold. But more conservative returns will mean I still hit 800K.  Its a riskyish market, but I still have about 30K or so on this server, and thats as much as ever before.  So I am doing okay. 

From nothing 3 months back, now having a real shot at ticking over 1M gold.  I may look for a new challenge.  Time will tell. 

On a side note, its all good that I am low on gold, and the markets are low on supplys.  I have more time to play with the main's new guild at PVP, and have more time to play on the low level twinks in the project guild.

I have made one of the new toons an enchanter, and he will grind rep for xp with the Thorium Brotherhood, Argent Dawn and have already hit revered with timbermaw.  Enchanting will be a fun and new way to go for another cash cow project, Stokpile seems to like it. 

At this point it has reached a near burnout point to getting here, 2+ hours a day of farming the AH, milling herbs and making things to sell and making cards to stockpile has become a drag.  I believe I spent 175k in one day and milled most of it down and made inks...    Mostly now, I think my main motivation is to hit the 1M marker, after that I am not sure what I will do. Whatever is fun I guess, continue this game (of DMCs) at a slower pace or bow out completely, or just farm the AH for completed cards as the discounts and undercuts drive prices down.  I may continue and try at that game, flips for profit. 

I am doing the flips now, but to drive prices up, next time it will be to bring them down. With piles of all cards, if I see one that is not listed I will list one stupid high just to drive up prices.  Not intending to sell and not really wanting to, though at 1,000+% profit if it does sell its okay, I am fine with that. 

I expect the herb market to reset again after the fair, will be fun to watch that.  Last month, it took about a week for them to settle out at a new set of prices after the last fair.  Time will tell.  All the same the million mark is close.  It may be this month and it may be next, but the million is just a milestone in a greater game, its the game I find entertaining, not the gold.  It is however nice to have it for stupid purchases like below.

I bought tab 6 and 7 in the failed guild, 15K gone
I stockpiled both tabs full of herbs and flasks for raiding. probably 20K, lost about 10K in market depreciation loss as I sold out.  I stockpiled food for the raids in the guild bank probably 5K..
I bought "commitment" all 6 tabs in the gbank. 10K
I power leveled mining, engineering up on Proven and 2 other toons, mine and 2 friends for the twinks. 
I have powerleveled up LW, enchanting and first aid on Achieve. And first aid on Proven too.  I sent over 50K to the project twinker toons in "commitment"  still have a little over 20...

Future gold makers.  Vial of sands and enchanting if I can ever get the silly recipie (for vial of sands).  If you have not done archeology very much, its a grind.  Probably the new worst grind in the game, to compete with "the insane" and the oldschool frostsaber mount.  I will say it is more fun as far as grinds go, you get epics.. you dont get that from the other grinds (like fishing), and there are several you can get too. 

Thats all for today...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A new start

Failure in another want to be raiding guild, I was drained, and though I have often said I play to raid, I have shifted my gaming to something with less drama, and less fixed or demanding of coordination and logistics. 

I have stewed it down to a few points of new found interest, leaving behind most of my former attaction and drive to raiding. 

Gold Cap
Leveling more toons
Play for fun with friends

Gold Cap is my own idependant enterprise

Leveling more toons plays into the guild I focus this blog around, and playing with friends.

PVP is just a lot less demanding on schedules and time from raiding.  Fewer people, less time, and more playing with friends

The guild idea for "commitment" was born in my head quite a while back, and recently started. 

There is a lot of thought and consideration in the guilds design and principles.  Keeping it simple is the goal, I don't want another job.  Like most I just want to have fun, and also want to avoid false expectations and failed enterprises, with unrealistic goals and no plans to effectively and realistically achieve them. 

I was able to boil it down to 2 rules for the guild, that should cover most situations.  Level 15 and under to join, and the Golden Rule.  A few policies about practices cover other points that I forsee as potential problems are also included.  No officers in the guild.  Who am I to tell you who is the boss?  Experience has shown me that in most cases those people rise to the top on their own and fill the role in the absence of a title to go with it.  Its more of a playgroud pecking order than a regimented military environment, few people in this game seem to thrive under those types of imposed guidlines.  They just want to have fun and want to make friends that they share something in common with.  Its a mixed bag no matter how you look at it.  If you want to raid you look for a raiding guild, if you want to PVP, you look for a PVP guild.  If you want to level you look for a leveling guild.  But what about those that just want to have fun and play...  what if thats not your focus?  Guild focus and fail on one point or another, casual and relaxed is what a lot of people are looking for and struggle to find.  Why?  I think a lot of it has to do with the way people start out with one plan shift and look for other to join them on that ride.  Time will tell how this works.