Wednesday, March 7, 2012

5.0 and 5.1 list, plans, thoughts

With the pending news on MoP, and the probable rush to act on it, I am considering some things...

This is a long post, sorry :-/

First the list is down there... Second if you don’t have massive gold stocks to just buy and flip, consider farming in your off time and look the final comment...

How to plan and what to stockpile for MoP...  This is largely my own thinking through how to best approach the X Pac for me to think through my plans and what I will be doing...

Banks are going to be getting emptied of lots of items at low, low prices in the weeks and months preceding MoP.. it’s the time to buy.. Maybe

When MoP kicks off, Lots of New toons will be getting leveled, Which means lots of Professions will soon follow, Time to sell, almost definitely..

One problem with any strategy on this is the "inflation vs. deflation" question w/ how MoP will be implemented...

And how to use what time and gold you have now and then... If your focus on MoP release will be to take a current lvl 85, Ding and get Raid/RBG/Arena ready to valor/conquest cap in the first week and max professions? Well, lots of others will be doing this or something similar too.  If you are of the mindset to grind a Monk from 1-90 in the first week for raiding in the same week or the second, well, you will not be alone.  And if you plan to level and rep grind to start raiding on week 3 with just one toon... well, there will be many with similar plans.  If you plan to level your main first and then a Monk/Panda, you will not be alone, there will be many others leveling their Pandas/Monks in the following weeks.  And the really casual players... which are not really worth prospecting IMO...

So you have 4 markets to profit from after release:
  1. Week one and 2 end gamers going from 85-90 to end game content in the opening week(s)
  2. Week one and 2 end gamers going from 1-90 and end game content in the opening week(s)
  3. Slower leveling players going for "endgame ready" in week 3, 4 and beyond
  4. And then the several months of trickling players getting the Pandas/Monks to Cap and max professions.
Of those, you have 2 markets to potentially prospect now.  The markets we can prospect now are those in #2 and #4... If you will be racing to cap and endgame, you may not want to prospect #2, since it will be a division of priorities on your play time, however #4 will still be a good and more durable group to profit from, evaluate the time you will spend on your own goals early on level capping old toons, leveling new toons, capping professions etc? What are those goals? gold, max professions, end game, a new toon? how much time will you honestly have to offload what you buy now to sell later, and are the 2 goals compatible.  And is the risk/time in line w/ the reward.  You may decide it will be time better spent to just play the new high volume market for the new content rather than manage the old and niche markets.  Or your plan is to relax and fish for feast for the new raid groups, or farm up mats and sell or craft…

Before, I get to the list and thoughts/arguments for the items, I put out the disclaimer of considerations on my hesitations and supporting thoughts that impact my own planning process...
  1.  Blizz caters to casuals and new players.  I guess they have numbers that support their decision to do so based on who pays the monthly fees, and buys the game.  For them, its a tight balance of content and compatibility to maximize the profits... Their profits, nominally, come from 3 sources, Monthly subscriptions, game/xpac sales, and Micro transactions (Pets, mounts, guild, name, faction, server transfers/changes.)
  2. Blizz encourages new players to "dead" low pop realms... or realms w/ population concerns that new players can help fix.  And they will get more $ from players that then server xfer those toons off... The economy on these realms can be a horrid experience to new players... You just cannot compare the original concept of collecting that first 100Gold for your mount/riding skill then to the ability of established players to now go make 100 gold in about 30 minutes of dailies, if that long... Inflation has made the game far less friendly to new players, and it is a monster threshold to cross if you are an unknowing player just starting out and looking to get some gold for gear and training etc... Then throw in the component of, "just farm for herbs/ore/skins, and sell on the AH" well, that only works if there are buyers, which can be scarce on low pop realms...
  3. Look at the new talent trees… they are not going to allow new players to be like I was with my first toon.  It was  a rogue and I took the "more stealth" "OH, COOL!!!" talents instead of the "Improved Sinister Strike" "KILL FASTER" talents... It took me another couple years to pick up that rogue again... I picked it up the second time w/ knowledge, Slow main hand weapon, combat swords spec, Slice and dice is king, if the talent does not say "lower energy cost" "higher energy regeneration" or "more damage" "poison proc rates for more dmg”, Forget it!!! (like wound poison is higher DPS early on, lower dmg and higher proc rate make it that way, that is very new player unfriendly, since intuitively instant or deadly poison would seem the better choices, the tool tips indicate this with higher dmg numbers and “a chance on hit"...  It does not tell you what that chance is 20%? 50% or PPM mechanics)  The new design caters to that new player that I was... It makes only one piece of knowledge in that summary not automatic, fixed or marginal gains... That one piece of information, being the importance of slice and dice to a rogue...  Weapon speed and poison procs are changing in conjunction w/ talents in MoP that they will matter less...  All this is to bring forward an argument for the new player friendliness of MoP Design...
  4. Inflation or Deflation??? I tend to think Deflation will be built in, or at least a different calculation of how players that are new can get gold... like, level 1-50 have increased gold per quest rewards... however I think in the end this would just amplify the inflation problem... The other though is to create some gold sinks... however this does not work for the new players either... they play without a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, Sandstone Drake (vial of sands) or motorcycle... In some ways those things have just made the rich richer and those that don’t have piles of gold, stuck in a rut..
  5. Bots... Bots are popular since they can do the tons of farming to feed the gold making goblin tycoons... and they mess with the economy by introducing lots more gold into the economy from drops and vendor items... The challenge would be to get more players into farming, making it more sensible/viable for players, and less so for farmers...
  6. I have no crystal ball, but my guess is for deflation to hit the game in some way, the reality is that many economies have players with huge volumes of gold, so it will take a while to get that money distributed and to really feel it.  My guess is to reduce the amount of XP > gold conversion numbers for level 90... Though this idea still hurts new players some, it makes great options for them to make the gold… cut the gold from quests and dailies on the upper end and increase it on the lower end... Hmmm... It’s the best economics and new player friendly strategy I can come up with ATM...
  • Cloth, particularly wool, silk, and mageweave, possibly netherweave and frostweave and embersilk.
The first 3 are based on my own banks and piles of stocked mats, and where I have low supplies or have noticed higher prices on the AH to level First aid.  And my experiences leveling... the later 3 will feed the Bags Market...  Ember silk being something of a mystery to me... if you have not leveled across Northrend lately, it is so fast now with the xp nerf to leveling from 70-80... I did it last weekend and was shocked at how much faster it was.  This ultimately is going IMO to drive up prices for NR mats... Especially with the tendancies to power level toons often in instances, and the professions...
  • Ore/Herbs/skins/special mats: Similar theories on best strategies here..
With a twist, Players will spend less times in zones w/ thorium/heavy and rugged Leather/ and similar level herbs, since you go to Outlands at 58... and then to NR at 68, these is a rough group of mats to buy for the cost to buy them oh the AH is often high due to the lack of time spent by leveling toon in zones where players would collect them... AND, often by this point, players have out-leveled their professions forcing them to either go back and farm it at higher levels, or buy it on the AH. Catering to the niche area can be pretty big, Like don’t worry about what Scribes will want, they don’t care, the cheapest is what they will get, look at the rare mats and catering to the leveling Alchys, they need specific herbs more than scribes...
  1. Adamantite
  2. Khorium
  3. Thorium
  4. Fel Iron
  5. Titanium
  6. Mithril
  7. Rugged leather
  8. Heavy Hides
  9. Terrocones
  10. Mana thistle
  11. Many Primals (Primal Air comes to mind first)
  12. Eternals (forgetting what’s good here)
  13. Most all BC skinned items
  14. Most all NR Skinned items
  15. Many enchanting rods
  • Mysterious Fortune Cards: 
Cata mat prices will go up in the months that follow MoP release, and with it the cost to produce these things, though their popularity will not go down... Just look at Vegas, when have they ever downsized?  Added competition for the mats will come from all the leveling Monks/Pandas who are leveling Inscription and Alchemy.

I have some more digging on wow-professions to do and some UMJ research to get a better idea on some of these things for more specifics.. but that’s where I am starting...

Other things, are pets, mounts, transmog items, will the truegold CD stay or be shared w/ the new Cata equivalent? will the quests for alchemy master change again? more and more thoughts and idea..

If you don’t have, access to mountains of gold, and massive storehouses, consider these things...
  1. What can I tolerate farming?
  2. What is the current gold value per stack or inventory slot used?
  3. What is a modest expectation profit per flip.
  4. What am I able to farm while leveling a toon I was planning on leveling anyway?
  5. Buy the BIGGEST profession Bags you can get, You can put 7 additional bags in a toons bank and go from 140 storage slots (7 X 20 slot bags) to 252 storage slots (7 X 36 slot Profession bags).  Over 100 additional slots, yes please.  Ex. wool cloth, 20 gold per stack now and 40 gold after MoP, which would be 2000 more profit in this low number example/guess.
(don’t get hung up on 20 slot bags... it’s still a big difference even if I were to say 24 slot bags, 168 vs. 252, and no I did not count your first starter bank slots...)

More to follow on this whole thing, with some of my thoughts clearer now for myself, I have a better idea how to start executing plans... and I am drawing up some ideas on spreadsheets to document and track data, mainly what will be my current buy thresholds, and what will have the highest rarity and profit/stack.

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