Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feeling empty? Lost? Alone?

The Diablo Phenomena had hit the servers.  Many previously frequent players were already on break or slowing down in anticipation of MOP.  Then Diablo kinda caused servers to vacate a huge number of players in addition to the already dwindling server activity. 

I can only imagine what it would be like on a low pop server, but, I feel it when I have a gapped raid spot and it takes more than 30 minutes to pug an RDPS. 

So, what are you doing now in this lull?  Still making plans? still stockpiling goods? how about speculation on inflation?  BMAH and some other gold sinks could have a pretty big effect on slowing inflation considerably.   Account wide achieve and mounts could too.  I know I will definately by buying the YAK... and who knows abou the JC panther.   Still a lot more information to process and collect from the Beta.

For now I am back on focus of stocking with a snatch list, and leveling toons.  Get the tailor/engineer and the farmer leveled up.  And continue to raid.  I would like to get all of DS HM while it is still current, even if it is nerfed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Are you in Coast mode

I mean, have you changed the way you play the way you post and the number of blogs you actively follow?

I know I have, and in part due to the way everyone else around me is.  Life changes, game changes, and the number of new and exciting thing to read and write about.

What are you doing to fill the time?  Chasing achievements, titles, rep grinds or maybe rolling up a new character to help round out your PVP/Raiding/crafting/gathering stable.

Personally I am impressed with the way some people work towards certain achievements, and probably should myself, but right now, I do not plan on doing too much until we know more about how final implementation of account wide achievements will work.  It is kinda funny that a lot of what I am doing revolves around that event called "Mists Of Pandaria" go live/release. 

On achievements, like the ones that give you points in the game, I completely lost interest in them.  At one time I was a complete monger about getting achieves, I remember we stopped a raid when our timers were up to go to a capitol for more valentines "candies".  I collected a lot of pets, and mounts and was looking for ways to get more, then I was playing other characters more, and then I had 6 level 80s and could not tell you who my main was, it was like, "the one I am playing RIGHT NOW" and that changed a lot.  But I was still going for achieves on that character that I was playing less and less except for achieves.  Finally, I left those toons, and everything I had on that server and re-rolled a new server and new faction.  Since then, I did transfer one toon over with all my BOAs and otherwise stuffed his bags, but that is about it.  Personally, I got to the point of "What's the point."  Well, now w/ account wide achieves... hmmm, I think I like the idea of getting all those mounts and pets on all my toons.  That will be nice.

I set up several goals for my self a while back in a post of what I wanted to accomplish in the closing months of Cata and pre MOP.  The ones I remember are here:

- Level up the farmer, since then, that character has gone from about level 40 to 70
- Level up a tailor/engineer, that toon got past level 50 and was able to take a guild bank tab of netherweave and make it take a lot less space by crafting it to bolts and a few bags.  I was not pre-crafting bags for MOP really, just going for the points in tailoring.  I also boosted that scrubs Engineering from 0-300 but have only gone from level 49-51...
-One of the last goals I had was to also install, learn and use TSM.  On that front, I have been more interested in other things, sorta like the months it took me to start using Zero Auctions. 

ZA was completely worth it, but its another example of why you can make more gold than a lot of other people.  It took me a few minutes daily building list, and weekly maintenance on pricing, and really save a lot of time, but it took a fair bit too.  Learning and using addons is a big task that really does not make you 10,000 gold for 15 minutes of work.  It is not the quick magic mushroom from Alice in Wonderland that will make you BIG fast.  That is what most players want, they want to PVP, or raid or get achieves or all of the above and justify why they don't go make the gold.  They would rather spend their time doing other things.  And right now, I too am in that category.

I went back to that old post to see what my goals where when I wrote it.  That is a great thing about a blog, I can go back and see stuff like that.  My goals have not changed a whole lot.  Priorities have certainly shifted, but overall, IMO it is nothing major.

Chill out and coast while you can, because the way you play will almost certainly change again when MOP releases.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What are you up to?

What are you doing these days?  Are you still listing large volumes of goods in the AH, or are you waiting and preparing for the next big gold rush?  I have gone into stockpile mode.  There are few things I am still putting up in the AH.   Those things I do list are just cleaning out stocks, and organizing and preparing for MOP as well as keeping up with current raid content.  I have 5 raid ready and capable characters to take to Dragon Soul.  So that has the potential of keeping my schedule full by itself.  Most I do not bother with running in LFR anymore, it is often more frustrating than it’s worth.  I continue to go back to some characters I have ambitions to level up to cap before MOP, though rather that happens or not, I don’t know. 
I guess right now a question that is burning in my mind is what is the best number of characters to maintain?  The answer and justification in my case will differ from almost everyone else answer.  I struggle to stay interested in any one character for a long time.  So that makes the number of characters pretty high.  On the other hand, 5 raiding toons?  I don’t raid everyone of them every week.  In fact it is rare that I raid them all in a week.  So, for me the question seems to have an answer that revolves around 2 things.  #1  Have all the professions covered #2  Be able to raid more than one on any given lockout schedule.
Having #1 for the gold savings and also for the gold making potential, and #2 for the raiding itch I like to scratch.  As a raid lead, I have learned more from 2 sources than any other.  1. Playing a healer/tank/MDPS/RDPS as well as exposure to classes and specs, abilities and cooldowns available.  Seeing raid encounters from all aspects has helped me more than any website or video.  2. Then there is the pugs I get into or run.  Other RLs often do things differently, as well as the capacity to learn more from helpful pugs about mechanics, timeing and such… They have taught me a great volume more too.  Various ways to play, cooldowns and combos to put in place for my own raids and adaptations of multiple strategies for effective boss kills.
I guess in the end, it’s all relative on how you enjoy the game.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Start with the BEST. Finish with the MOST IMPORTANT!

Start with the BEST.  Finish with the MOST IMPORTANT!
Okay, so I started a series on Professions, and I covered them all.  So if my opinionated views on the best were first, and I have covered all professions, what is the most important?  I will get to that, but first a random thought.
I remember reading a comment from “Blue” (GC  maybe) about a very effective/fun/creative solution to server population woes and economy impacts with small, large, medium and the imbalanced servers where 75% or more of the population is on one faction.  It crossed my mind that whatever solution they implement, could have massive impact on server economies for the better or worse, depending on your current position, great for casuals, and more competitive for the goblins?  Who know, it was a pretty ambiguous suggestion of a design goal that we could see almost no warning on, it just happens one day where you AH is merged w/ all Ahs on your Battlegroup?  It is a direction to make WOW regionally more “One World” to ensure the masses can be entertained and that WoW remains their game of choice as other games continue to copy, be original or take down the giant.  To my rough recollection it started with “server battlegroups” for PVP queues, has grown to include cross realm raiding, real ID, battlenet tags, challenge modes and more to come in MoP.  It adds the value of strengthening the community, and crossing boundaries that used to be clearly marked by what server you were on, then what battle group for PVP, and now? Well the sky seems to be the limit largely on what they will do. 
Okay, done with random thoughts and on to IMPORTANT THINGS!
1.       Be a student
2.       Be consistent
3.       Be patient
4.       Be persistent
It is a lot more HOW you play the AH game that will account for you gold piles, rather than the professions you use.  Profession, especially certain combinations can have huge impact on potential, but they are not profitable without consistent time invested, market analysis, continuous review, process improvement and looking for new markets.  The FOTM markets will get saturated and you have to move on to a new segment.  Though there is not any profession that is (currently) level to 525 and profit.  You have to get mats, reprocess mats, craft, market, cancel, post, collect mail, manage crafting queue,  manage inventory, watch market prices fluctuate up and down on an hourly, daily weekly, weekend, raid reset and patch cycle and react accordingly to buying and posting habits and price thresholds.  Massive inventory for massive events, modest inventory for maintenance, playing in niche markets, getting camped, fighting with or fighting off competition, considering posting and reposting fees when marketing, the time it takes to get one sale and how that time is valued.  I could go on, the point is clear, there is a minority of players that are server top 10 ranked in raid progression, there is a minority of players that are gladiator level PVP monsters, and a minority of successful goblin millionaires. 

Simple we do what other do not in thick and thin, all the time, every day, adjusting strategies successfully bases on a multitude of information sources, and a little bit of luck sometimes.

LUCK: Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity

You can not get into the epic flip market until you have the capitol to do so.  So don’t say, “If I only had 300K, I could buy and flip epic pieces and would have millions like you”  It can be perceived that those who make lots of gold on flipping epics or getting an EPIC world BOE drop are lucky.  I got an EPCI BOE in early cata.  Sold it for 30K, reinvested that into more herbs and more darkmoon cards/trinkets.  I created the “Luck” I have, I planned it, I sacrificed for it, I engineered it and sometimes I made really bad bets.   I could have figured some of them out prior to the event that led to me losing my tail on investments, such as the price crash of Volatiles, however, patience paid off,  I bought almost 150 Tankards of Terror from the Halloween event, and I am still getting sales on them at 200-500% profits.  Lucky? No, I risked around 75K gold in buying those, so far I would estimate, I have made 125K+ back on that investment, and still have more to sell.  Did you notice how long ago that was?  OCTOBER!  I have been holding that inventory of over 100 of those things (and diminishing) for going on well over 6 months now.

Are you new to the game, and intimidated?  Good, I made the point I was looking to get across.  OR?  You thought you were doing well, and now you’re not so sure, and wonder what you can do to improve.

Pretty simple, you have one of 3 options:
1.       GO ALL IN (not recommended)
2.       Start small, and grow slow and steady
3.       Something in the middle
By all in on #1, I mean you attempt to copy a market strategy from someone else or develop your own and start trying to list and sell every single one of the glyphs and other inscriptions crafted items.  Or maybe try to sell every single cut of all qualities in the JC market and do the shuffle.  Few could do this as they would not have the capitol to affect a market entry on this level.  But there are glyphs and gem cuts that are just not worth the time to stock, market and will probably never be profitable.
Go small, in option #2, would be to enter in to say just the purple PVE cuts of rare gems after market research to find the most profitable and then grow to the orange and add more colors and cuts and PVP items too then moving onto the Enchanting and Shuffle market followed by adding in the alchemist transmute for meta gems somewhere in the market growth.  This will allow you to start seeing profits and not have a lot of risk.  Learn to manage addons and systems you will use for a long time in market analysis and reaction to events slowly as you go.
Be a student – I mentioned this early on, by this I mean keep reading this blog and or others as they come and go, and follow other news sources on web sites forum, patch notes and even friends you play with.
Be Consistent – At the very minimalist approach to time invested this will require a couple things.  Regular AH scans, and regular posting cycles.  A minimalist approach could be: Weekly AH scans on Raid reset and only weekly posting on the same cycle.  This could be a HIGHLY effective minimal time investment for things like, belt buckles, gems, enchants and enhancements.  Only post once a week for the raiding crowd.  A strategy like this would only then need to figure in source materials and crafting times.  Since your cardinal materials are also going to run a higher cost at your posting time, you would want to find at least one other time when materials cost less.  This is better spread out over several snatch scans throughout the week.  This is a minimalist approach, and could provide a steady income with minimal time invested due to the consistent nature of the strategy, or it could fail completely with competition undercutting you and continuously posting more goods during your 48 hour window.  It is a higher profit window of opportunity, so it is likely you will have more competition, and possible you will have less, since many of your competitors could be too busy with their raid schedules to camp you.

Be Patient – With the above suggested method, I would need about a month to really see what did and did not work.  And then another month to try new strategies, and another month to refine strategies, I would not expect overnight results or data that could be evaluated.
Be Persistent – See last note on patience.  It is almost the same thing, however, I have yet to find any info on someone that had a windfall cash influx that amounted to anywhere close to a million.  The best windfalls I have heard of are actually the GDKP players that are getting paid to “Carry” other raiders in the GDKP bid run.  Even that is not a windfall really.  It comes from months of gearing up to be in a position to “carry” others.

So in summary I can say the most important profession in the gold making is summed up in a single word.
HABIT!!!  If you have it, you will eventually have the gold, if you don’t, you will eventually find an excuse as to why you don’t have the gold. 
Amusing excuses (maybe), from those that don’t have the gold.
1.       I am too lazy
2.       You are lucky
3.       You are stupid
4.       I don’t really need that much gold
5.       What would I do with all that gold?
6.       I Don’t really care about gold
7.       My raid leader pays for repairs/gems/chants/flasks
8.       I don’t want more mounts/pets/gold sink items
9.       It is too hard
10.   It takes too long
11.   I hate addons
12.   My computer won’t run well with addons
13.   I don’t know where to start
14.   I need more gold to get started

What’s the best excuse you have heard, or even used? Maybe you are using that excuse now.  What is stopping you from making the gold?
Why are you reading this blog? To get better or to get started?  Or something else?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crafting profesions. How to set priority for MOP... Part FIVE

I have been out for a bit, I had a funeral out of town and was away for a week, the stuff to do befor leaving the house and office and then the stuff after...  Well priorities are just that.

Dont worry, there is still lots of time to plan and collect your strategy for your own MOP gold rush.

Also, ALL professions can be leveraged to make gold.  Some just have more potential than other to capitalize on 2 thing that make gold.  Profit per sale, and potential sales/day or sales/post cycle.

This is nearing the end of a review for some estimation of the potential of various professions.  But I have one more post clearly outlined in the muddy waters of my brain

Anyway, on with the post.  I attempt to make some sense of the MOP gold rush potential for Tailoring, Leatherworking, and Blacksmithing.  Each is similar and many points apply to all, so lets look at this category.

Bags, cloth armor, caster leg enchants, and potentially craft to DE for profit/mats for enchanting.
Cloth armor serves 3 classes and 9 specs that can really be looked at in two categories.  Spirt or no spirit (healer gear vs. DPS gear)  This equates to about 4 pieces of gear for 8 different slots.
1. Spirit PVE 2. Caster PVE 3. Spirit PVP 4. Caster PVP
1. Head 2. Shoulders 3. Chest 4. Waist 5. Pants 6. Boots 7. Wrists 8. Hands
Now add in blue, green, epic gear and it gets to be a pretty long list, and the crafted items dont stack.  So usually it is IMO best managed as a reactive/responsive profession and holding stocks of materials to craft what needs posted, rather than precrafted mats.
Bags, well IMO there are enough other posts out there that you can easily find pleanty of resources on how to get into this market.  The only point here is that early MOP, there will be a lot of new pandas and monks that want bags.  There will be a lot of market potential if you have piles of cloth bolts laying around ready to meet that demand.
Finally, you have the spellthreads to enhance legs for casters.  historically there have been 2 or 3 of these, the healer variety, the caster variety, and sometimes a PVP variety, as well as a rare quality and an epic quality.  They are always in demand, and they are the one real consumable a tailor can market across an entire expac.

Our second profession is leatherworking.  It serves now 5 classes, and 2 armor types for 2 armor classes for the same 8 armor slots.  1. Monks 2. Rogues 3. Druids 4. Shaman 5. Hunters, 1. Agility Gear 2. Intelect gear, 1. Leather and 2. chainmail... and you also get all that for the PVP gear too...
As well as some profession bags
And leg armor for all of the other non caster classes (Tanks, MDPS and hunters).  Again the leg armor is likely to have a rare and epic variety, a tank and dps variety of each and then the PVP options.  A quick tally tells me that is 19 of the 34 specs in MOP compared to the 15 specs tailoring serves.  This is likely to remain a good profession, but dependingon how monks choose their professions, it could become saturated as players level and attempt to make gold with their new toon.

Blacksmithing: 3 armor types, healer, dps and tank, and WEAPONS! 
Weapons are blacksmithings shining star along with the belt buckles.  Weapons are the largest and most important UG players can get on an ilvl for ilvl slot for slot comparison and potential performance.  Weapons are the most sough after UG IMO, witha close second being trinkets and that one drop that wont drop.  (like my 346 ilvl blue JP helm when I was a 385 ilvl equiped... I just could not get a drop, but eventually got a 397.  That was the most important UG in my head at the time, because it was BLUE!!!)
So we have warrior, Deathknights and Paladins that all have a tanking and DPS spec(s) and then the plate caster gear for holy paladins. 

Each has lots of potential for lots of sales with the sheer number of craftable pieces you could potentially sell across the field of markets, PVP, healers, DPS, tanks and the belt buckles...

So why is this the lowest and next to last professions group I put up.   Well, IMO, I has shown the least volume potential and speed of sales.   It is a large inventory management concern to precraft armor since each piece takes up one bank slot, unlike the other crafting professions.  So, If I was to get into any of the markets seriously, I would start with a cancel/collect mail post cycle, followed by a review of sales or inventory to identify what needs crafted, complete a crafting que, and then post again. It just requires a lot more time to do that compared to say gems, where you can just post from precrafted stock and walk away when your short on time.  Ignore the cancel step, ignore the collect mail step, ignore the crafting que and final posting steps...  

There are pros and cons to each profession. There are viable markets in each profession...  Dont think that if the character you plan to level up first has one of todays proffessions you are in dump for potential profits.  It is just that in my opinion, for large scale massive operations in the gold rush, these would be my last picks.

There are a couple other factors that should greatly impact your strategy in marketing good from these categories. 
FOTM, Legendaries, class representation in the game.  For instance, Rogues have traditionally been one of the least represented classes in raiding, untill Dragon soul came out, now they are clearly the MOST represented.  FOTM is the Flavor Of The Month.  At one time in BC it was the Mortal Strike warrior, Druid Healer in PVP... In early wrath the new DKs when played well were OP in all specs, as well as the Wrath release BM hunters...  World first, server first contenders should be looked at and how they impact class stacking and more FOTM presses, or others... Knowing that a mistweaver and resto druid are the most valued healers to have in a raid could mean make more healing PVE leather, NOW BEFORE THEY GET NERFED...

Powerful and diverse professions, each and every one, just not my cup of tea and they do not fit well in my market strategies except


They can all be precrafted, they all stack, and they are all consumable with recuring demand...

Good luck, and remember there is still pleanty of time, and pleanty of information to become available in the comming months.