Monday, January 31, 2011

Questing and Grinding for Gold

First, let me say I'm not an advocate for grinding, nor questing for gold.  However, some people enjoy it.  I like to optimize my time, whether I'm playing WoW, working or in the gym, and I just don't feel that it's a good use of time for me.  To each their own, however, and I know people do it.  Let's look at why:

1.) Instant gratification.  You either get 13g/16g instantly plus a quest reward turning in quests, plus trash and silver drops.

2.) Materials and Uncommon items.  Unless you're fighting mobs that don't drop loot, you'll more than likely come across massive amounts of cloth and Uncommon items to either Disenchant or sell as-is on the Auction House.

3.) Possibility to come across nodes.  If you're a skinner, you may be able to skin the quest mobs/mobs you're grinding on.  If you're a miner/herbalist, you could maybe find herbs or mineral nodes to harvest while you're questing or grinding.  More profit.

This is all sounding good so far.  Let's look at it a little deeper.

If you quested until 85, and did all the quests in all the zones (or at least most of them), without any instances or experience bonuses (heirloom pieces, guild perk, etc.), you probably hit 85 somewhere in the Twilight Highlands, assuming you started in Vashj'ir or Mount Hyjal (and didn't do the other starting zone).  That's a lot of parentheses.  Anyway, this leaves very little to do in the way of quests to make gold, however, you can do dailies!  Hooray!

Wildhammer/Dragonmaw Clan has dailies in Twilight Highlands, Therazene has dailies in Deepholm, and Ramhaken has a couple quests.  You won't get a ton of gold, but you'll get a little bit and faction rep (which is why people do these dailies anyway).  So where's the money?  Doing old quests.

WHAT but why would I do those, rewards are outdated and bluh bluh whatever.  Let's be cereal for a minute here.  Old quests (green quests) are easier to complete.  Mobs have 13,000 hp as opposed to 70,000hp, and there's nobody there.  So, what do?  Go kill those guys.  You'll be surprised to see that the silver drops aren't that much lower, but 1.) Nobody will be farming them, and 2.) You'll kill them a lot quicker.  Not to mention, the rewards for each of the Ramhaken daily quests (aside from the reputation) is 10g.  The reward from the Icecrown tournament dailies is 13g.  Which wins?  Yeah, I thought so.

In addition, there are 2 great spots in Icecrown to grind gold.  See image:

The yellow part is where you should go for AoE farming:  There are a lot of Converted Heroes here, for the daily and also for your grinding pleasure.  Each one will drop roughly 20s, and they come in packs of 5-6.  Mix that in with the grey items that vendor for around 1g each (on average), the cloth and greens, and you have yourself a nice little farming spot.

The red part is where you go for huge single-target damage.  The Hidden Hollow, below Onslaught Harbor, houses elite level 80 mobs, who have in the vicinity of 20,000hp.  Should be cake at level 85.  They drop about a gold each, around 6 frostweave, and of course the usual assortment of Uncommon and vendor trash items.  Onslaught Darkweaver is one, and I've forgotten the name of the melee mob that resides here as well. A half hour in the cave should net you at least 300g, if not more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How's Your Stock Going?

Again, I play on a low population server.  This makes keeping my stock up somewhat hard sometimes.  I just bought 5,000g worth of Elementium ore last night, about 60 stacks (between 80 and 90g each).  I don't really use the Snatch feature of Auctioneer, although I should set one up.  If you do use it, great!  If not, you should really learn; it makes buying a ton easier.

This evens out, however, with my decreased output of gems and other materials.  Having transferred to a  new realm near the start of an expansion, it's been hard to get a lot of professions going on my new realm.  I'm currently leveling a hunter who will be my tailor and either scribe or blacksmith and engineer; I know that Inscription outclasses Blacksmithing by a ton when we're talking efficacy of making gold, but I'm also toying with the idea of getting my warlock over to Suramar, who is both a scribe and a tailor, but I digress.

This being said, make sure that you search regularly for good deals, and don't neglect using your bank alt(s) and get a bank guild (or more than one).  Altaholic is a great addon for this; it will show you what you have on each character and in each bank, so you won't have to log on and check it out.

Space is virtually limitless if you don't have a ton of characters you play (like on my new realm, there's 4 characters that I play somewhat regularly - my shaman, hunter, rogue and druid, this leaves 6 bank slot characters), so be sure to utilize it to snatch up any stock you can find.  Prices are becoming somewhat more settled, so the deals you find today will most likely be good when you need the materials in a couple months.  Don't be squeamish!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Selling Run-Throughs

I'm sure everyone's seen "WTB Run of XXX, 20g, PST!"  Let's look at this.

You're running an instance which there's no doubt that you can destroy.  There are benefits to this, and there are drawbacks.

First, the pros:

1.) It's easy to do.  Each mob will hit you like a wet noodle, and you'll hit them like a freight truck.  If you can't one-shot most of these mobs at level 85, there's something wrong with you.

2.) You have a loot-collector.  Just set it on "Free For All," and set the loot threshold to Uncommon.  This will allow you to pick up greens, and you'll also get the silver drops.  5s from each mob may not be much, but it'll add up.

3.) Chance at enchanting materials.  If you're an enchanter (or can group with one), instead of rolling on those greens, use the disenchant option.  You'll get materials which you can sell on the Auction House or use to make enchantments.

Now, for the cons:

1.) It's not much gold from the trash.  I know this was included in the pros, but let's be honest; you'll probably make 5-10g from the trash, MAX, throughout the entire instance.

2.) You can only do it 5 times in one hour.  I used to have my friend run me through Scarlet Monastery Cathedral.  It took about 5 minutes, and after a half hour, I was locked out.  This isn't something you can do over and over, unless it's Blackrock Depths or a similarly long instance where it would take you at least 15 mins each time to clear (and 15 minutes is a fairly long time when you move from trash mob to trash mob, one-shotting them.

3.) It's much easier for melee than it is for ranged/casters.  Okay, so this isn't really a "Con" or "Pro" per se, but if you're a caster, it will be slightly harder for you.

So to sum it all up, we're left with a decent amount of pros and cons.  I'd say run the person if s/he's friendly, and you're bored.  There are much better ways of making gold out there, but keep in mind that Warcraft is not a job, it's a game (PLEASE keep this in mind).  You have to do what's fun, and if you're not having fun canceling and re-posting on the Auction House, then find something that is fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Farming Old Content

Sorry for the late post, hectic day at work (again), and class afterwards.  Anyway, ON WITH THE SHOW!

Old content: MC, BWL, etc.  It's still there, it's super easy, and you can get it done quick.  Why?

1.) BoE Epics.  These won't sell for a lot, considering players are going to be constantly trying to level and get BETTER gear.  However, they will drop a few hundred gold on them.  Mostly look for DPS sets; BoE epics from level 60 content is usually more towards putting classes into neat little boxes - priests are healers, warriors are tanks, and so on.  Rarely will you see a warrior try to dps in tank gear.

2.) Crafting mats.  If you go to MC, some very popular items that will drop are:

Essence of Fire: One of the more common ones, and one of the major ingredients to Fiery Weapon, a non-level requirement enchant which is quite possibly the best one at that level.

Lava Core, which is used for reputation grinding for Thorium Brotherhood.  If you're like me, you like having Exalted reputations, so there is a niche in this market, both on the buying and selling end (okay not technically a crafting material but whatever).

And of course all the regular mats, like the cloth.  Uncommon items to sell on the Auction House or disenchant as well drop quite often.

3.) Cash drops.  Magtheridon has a wealth of 500g.  At level 85, you may need another person or two, but the whole instance should take less than 10 mins including travel time.  That's 1002g per hour, approximately, discounting the epics that may very well vendor for upwards of 10-20g each.

There you have it.  Now go nostalgia it up and clear some old content for fun and profit!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jewelcrafting Spreadsheet

Here is a spreadsheet made by "flyinfungi" of Elitist Jerks.  It basically tells you if Obsidium, Elementium and Pyrite ores are worth purchasing at a given price.  It's a little confusing at first look, so let's examine it.

First, you'll want to go to File --> Download As and then save it as whatever you want (most likely Excel or OpenOffice).

The first segment, "Profit per Proc," just tells us the projected gold we're going to earn from each Prospecting cast.  5% under and so forth indicate percentages of that number: 5% under tells us what the price is if we sold it for 95% of the "Profit per Proc," and so forth.

The next part, "Jems" [sic] is where you enter the market value of each gem.  For the rare gems, you're going to want to enter the selling price of the CHEAPEST cut you have.  Why?  Because if you use the lowest common denominator, you'll only earn more than expected (which is good) as opposed to less than expected (which is bad).

Short tangent time:  You purchase Widget A expecting to make Product B and C.  B sells for $50, and C sells for $35.  If you make your purchases based on the assumption you will sell only B, you will buy widgets for up to $40.  Each B you sell, you make $10, but each C you sell, you lose $5.  The more Cs you sell, the more money you lose.

Anyway, what you do is go to the Auction House and find the values for the gems.  Then, input those values into the spreadsheet.  You could do fancy stuff like calculating the cost if you turned the Carnelians into Carnelian Spikes (as referenced at the end of this post), and then disenchanted them, but let's stick to the basics.

After you input those values, the rest of the values will change.  To make a long explanation short, the other part you need to worry about is the "Total per Stack."  This value will tell you how much you're expected to earn per stack of whatever ore you purchase.

The rule of thumb when dealing with ores is as follows:

Obsidium - will always get 1 uncommon gem, sometimes 2.  Rarely get a rare gem
Elementium - Always get 1 uncommon gem, sometimes 2.  Often get a rare gem, sometimes 2.
Pyrite - Always get 1 uncommon gem, rarely 2.  Often get a rare gem, sometimes 2.  Always get a Volatile Earth, sometimes 2, rarely 3.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Okay to have Bad Days Pt. 2

Part 1 is here.

So, let's say today you were all rested up from your "day off," and rearing to make fat stacks of gold.  You do everything right, craft lots of things, buy things to flip on the Auction House, and your auctions just come back to the mailbox.  Why is this?

Well, there are fast days, and there are slow days.  Think of it as the regular economy; some days businesses earn money, some days they lose money.  It's as simple as that.  There are just some days where not a lot of players are playing, have the gold they need/want to buy an item, or just aren't getting gear to enchant/gem.  What can you do to change this?  Not a thing.

It's the unfortunate truth, but the best thing you can do is plan your schedule around the schedule of players.  Look at where your server is located (No, not in Azeroth, in the real world).  Mine is in California. which means that the majority of players on my server are from that area.  This means a 3 hour time difference, where I'm 3 hours ahead of them.  So when it's midnight on my end, it's 9 PM on their end.  How can you use this to your advantage?

Well, auction timing is big.  If you put up a 12 hour auction (which everyone should be using - any longer and you're sure to get undercut, so why waste the extra deposit fee for the extra 36 hours if you're just going to cancel and relist?), but you list it at 6 AM your time, it will expire at 6 PM your time, or it will be up from 3AM to 3PM on their end.  This is bad.  Why?  Well, most people have school, which they need to attend.  There is a higher concentration of players online after school/business hours, IE between 4PM and 11PM on any given day.  Even on weekends, people don't wake up early to play a game - post your auctions around Noon.

What else can you do?  Well, ask yourself, "Am I selling things people want to buy?"  If you're selling crafted 12 slot mageweave bags, chances are you won't get many sold.  If you're selling Imbued Netherweave bags (18 slots) for 80g, but the Frostweave 20 slot bags are going for 75g, chances are you won't sell anything either.  If you bought all PvP gem cuts (Resilience and Stamina, Spell Penetration, etc.), you won't sell as many as if you bought PvE cuts (assuming you're not on a PvP heavy server).  Knowing your market is key, but everyone always needs:

1.) Low to mid level crafting material
2.) Netherweave bags (Yes, Netherweave bags)
3.) The current ore
4.) PvE gems (higher turnover rate of gear, multiple sets, etc)
5.) Enchanting materials and scrolls

There you go, 5 items I guarantee will sell every time you list them.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And now for Something Completely Different

I know that I usually post about WoW gold, and I also know that I don't usually post on weekends.  BUT, I figured I should write about something that most of us who WoW suffer from: being overweight.

Yeah, it's not pretty, but there, I said it, it's out there.  I lift M/W/F, I try to eat right, but most of us spend a lot of sedentary time in the chair.  But it's cool, don't worry: losing weight is easy.


Yeah, of course they do.  They want you to buy their product, and follow their diet plan, and lose weight. It's called marketing; the entire point of commercials.  They want to make you think that you can't do it on your own, and that you need their help.

Well, where should we start?  At the beginning is nice.  Let's talk calories.  To lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out.  Yes, it's that simple.  But how do you calculate calories?

My favorite formula is the Harris Benedict calculator.  This one takes into factor your age, height, current weight, and activity level.  It is as follows:

Men:  BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

I took them from this site: BMR Formula.  They also have the formula in kg and cm if you're looking for those units.

So, this calculates your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), or in other words, the calories you burn just doing nothing.  Now, you need to multiply that by your activity rate:

(From the same website linked above):

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

 You have to use your own judgment here.  I fall in the moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days a week category, so I multiply by BMR by 1.55.

I'm 6', so that's 72".  I weigh 200lbs, and I'm 24.  SO, my formula looks like this:

66 + (6.23x200) + (12.7x72) - (6.8x24)
66 + 1246 + 914.4 - 163.2 = 2063.2

2063.2*1.55 = about 3200.  This is the amount of calories I need to eat per day in order to maintain my weight.  If you want to gain, eat more.  If you want to lose weight, eat less.

Yes folks, it's that simple (for the most part).  You could do cardio, but it's all about the foods you eat.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Okay to have Bad Days

First, a big LOL at Google, saying that I don't have original and interesting content in my blog.  I wasn't aware they were anti-WoW =D  I received an e-mail saying my blog was suspended requiring further action.  I couldn't understand why, but then I read the part where it said "Blogs must have original and interesting content."  Either they're saying I'm a hack (which is entirely possible) or boring.

And now, on with the show!

Yesterday, I made 0 gold.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  Why?  I just didn't feel like it.  Every day we have days where we just want to do something different.  I spent my WoW time yesterday PvP'ing, and I ran a few heroics.  It was fun and interesting (unlike my blog according to Google, apparently), and it got me refreshed.  It was kind of like a cheat meal; it restarted my metabolism to the point where I'm ready and rearing to go today.

This is the great thing about WoW; it's a game.  If you were the owner of your local Subway (or however franchising works), you'd lose business and customers would be really disappointed if you just said, "You know, I really don't feel like going in today," and just didn't open the store.  In WoW, you're the owner, but your customers will continue to buy from you even if you take a day, week, or even a month off.

The moral of the story is, you need to avoid burnout.  10k in a day, then 0 for the rest of the week is a lot worse than 3k per day.

There's my post, now it's time to go steal boring ideas think up more original interesting content for tomorrow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maelstrom Crystal Generator hotfixed, Mysterious Fortune Cards

So, for awhile Alchemists/Enchanters have had a pretty easy racket going on with making Alchemist stones and DE'ing them for the Maelstrom crystal.  However, Blizzard changed this so that the level 85 Alchemy stones are no longer disenchantable.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

In any event, let's talk about the Mysterious Fortune cards.  A little late for me to be bringing it up, but oh well.

First of all, this is the card in question.  Made from Inscription profession, requiring 450 skill points.  It's basically like the lottery: flip it over and you could get a card worth anywhere from 1s to 5,000g (when you sell to a vendor).  Note that the materials are 1 Blackfallow Ink, and 1 Resilient Parchment. Take the price of a stack of Cataclysm herbs, divide by 4, and you have roughly the price of 1 MFC.  Depending on your realm, that's anywhere from 5-10g, most likely.  Let's now bring them to the Auction House, and list them for anywhere between 20g and 50g.  Yeah, they'll sell.  Not only is this a great way to make gold, it's also a great way to level your profession.

The reason is because people who play WoW a lot usually have an addictive personality.  WoW is addictive.  Gambling is addictive.  Gambling in WoW?  Yep. There's a chance to get a 5,000g vendor card, and people will go crazy for that.  Of course, the chance is very low, but you might get "lucky"!

At any rate, the key to this market (as with any other RP/non-useful item) is advertising.  I'm not talking about taking out a billboard ad in Stormwind or Undercity, just post in Trade chat,

"WTS [Mysterious Fortune Card]!  Are you lucky enough to get the 5,000g Grand Prize?  Now on the AH for XXg each!"

Another tactic I've found that works is limiting your supply at one price, and have the others posted from an alt for about 2-3g more.  Maybe post 10 cards at 20g, for example, and then another 10 at 23g.  The reasoning here is that people will buy your main's out quickly, and then realize that there's a few for just A TINY LITTLE BIT MORE.  More often than not, they'll buy those too.  I know I do when I'm buying ores or anything in bulk; if my cutoff is 80g/stack, I really mean 83g/stack because it's worth the extra 3g for me to be in production and have lower profits, rather than not be in production and have no profits.

As always if you have any comments, questions, hatemail or death threats, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When to be aggressive in a new market

This is another hypothesis post, so here goes.  When should you be aggressive?

Let's look at the big consumable markets: Potions, Flasks, Gems and food.  Everyone always needs these for raiding.

If I listed flasks a month ago, would they sell?  Probably not.  Why?  People aren't raiding yet.  If I listed rare quality gems a month ago, would they sell?  Probably not!  Why?  Again, people aren't raiding, and aren't getting new gear.

Now is a great time for these markets; people are always getting new gear, wiping on raids, and downing bosses (although not necessarily in that order).  Prime time to capitalize.

Say a raid goes to fight Magmaw, and spends 3 hours on that boss.  They average 5 attempts per hour, which is 15 per night.  They get it down on the last attempt.  Let's break it down:
25 man - 15 attempts: 25 X 15 = 375 food pieces they require.  75 flasks, 375 potions (assuming everyone uses a potion every fight, like they should), and maybe 12 gems required.

375 food
375 potions
75 flasks
12 gems

Add it all up and you have major profits.  Of course, not everyone will buy from you, but THIS is the EXACT reason why raid nights are so profitable.  GO FORTH AND EXPLOIT.

Note: leg armors/spellthreads are consumables that get replaced often as well, but they're only on one piece of gear.  Ergo, they get replaced about 1/10th as often as you regem something.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Foray into the Blogging Community

Seems to have gone well!  Spread my blog around, and 41 followers within the first day.  Found a lot of great blogs, subscribed to those too.  I have a feeling this is going to be a good community.

The reason why I just started putting it out there is because I wanted to have a good amount of back information, before I said "Hey, here's a new blog, I know what I'm talking about I promise!"  I wanted readers to check out some of my other ideas, and hopefully realize I'm not full of garbage and stick around for awhile.

On to today's post: risky investments.

We all know that if you buy items for less than the vendor value, you're guaranteed to make SOME sort of profit.  It may only be a few silver, but you'll profit nonetheless.  If you buy things that you can craft and sell the finished goods, you'll make a bit more profit, BUT there's always the chance that the item won't sell.  Let's look at the riskiest of all markets: epic flipping.

Epic quality items sell for a lot: anywhere between 6,000g and 22,000g.  Sure they're worth a lot, but the task is finding someone to purchase them.  I've seen a lot of people buying cheap epic items, and trying to resell them (usually in trade, /WTS [Gloves of Epic PWN] 12,000g!).  This is great and all, but this is a different type of investment; one with depreciation.

You want to hold on to the epic for as little time as possible: the epic item isn't like any other item at Wal-Mart, where it will stay fresh and won't expire.  The epic items are more akin to cars; each year, they lose a little value.  Why is this?  New car models come out.  Likewise, more players start raiding, and start getting the gear from raids.  When more people are getting gear from raids, they're less likely to shell out the gold for an item which may be replaced in a week.

Put yourself in their situation: Would you rather spend 12,000g on an item that's 13iLvls higher than your current, or would you rather raid the instance, and have a chance at getting the item for free?  Free is always better, and I'm willing to bet that a lot of players would opt for the latter option.

Here's a quick hypothesis (let's remember the scientific process for proving fact here - I have no data on the subject, nor do I intend to collect any), players purchase epics most on Wednesdays or Thursdays.  Why?  Here's my reasoning: the raid just ended on Tuesday or Wednesday night.  The player is disappointed that s/he didn't get the item, and is now feeling bad that they have to wait a full week for another CHANCE at the item.  Then, along comes someone in trade chat, looking to sell the very item the player wants.  Later in the week, the player may think, "Well, it's just a couple more days until Tuesday maintenance and reset, I think I can wait," and in addition, most later days in the week are progression nights.  Guilds will most likely want to progress, and better gear helps this happen.

-Epic flipping is high risk/high reward
-Epics lose value quickly compared to other items in the game
-My hypothesis: Epics will sell best on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Are you gold capped yet? If not, why not?

Okay, so everyone likes to buy gear, mounts, pets, etc.  Let's look at this as revenue out.

We all like to make gold, too (why you're here, reading this blog).  Let's look at this as revenue in.

So, if revenue in is greater than revenue out, we have profit.  Profit is good.  If revenue out is more than revenue in, this is called a loss.  Loss is bad.  I know this is a "duh" thing, but raiders still stand in the fire, PvPers still fight on the roads (as opposed to on the flag, I'm sure we've all seen/been that armchair General who announces it), and we still have WoWBankers who are less than gold-capped.

I'm not saying that you need to have a static 214k on you at all times, I'm saying that just because you know how to MAKE gold, doesn't mean you know how to be WoW wealthy.  How do the rich stay rich?  By not going out every night and blowing $5,000 on booze and drugs.  Or buying a new $4,000 TV every day, whatever.

A good add-on program I used was Gold_FuBar.  I'm usually not an add-on guy (anymore, at least), but this was one of my favorites.  It showed me gold coming in, gold going out, and helped me find out if my investments were profitable.  It could show me all the gold I have to my name, on all my characters, and it would even track what I spend and make.

Another helpful add-on to keep track of what you have is the Beancounter tab on Auctioneer.  To be honest, I'm not as huge into min/maxing my gold output as I could be.  When cutting rare gems, I put them on the AH for the lowest price (they're 100% profit for me, usually, after I sell the uncommon quality gems).  When they inevitably come back to my mailbox, I re-list.  If I see them coming back 10-12 days in a row, I know it's not a good gem to continue cutting; I'll usually reduce my # cut to 1, and then eliminate if it's still not selling (and I'm not being undercut).  But I digress; you can use the Beancounter tab to see what you've sold, what you've bought, and what you've put on the Auction House that hasn't sold.  You can use this data to analyze what is selling and what you're spending too much on listing fees for.

Let's say you bought 10 stacks of elementium ore for 90g, but then 5 days later you say, "Hmm, I wonder what I bought those for."  Just open up your handy-dandy Beancounter tab, and you can find out immediately.  You can also find what you sold by looking at the raw materials, and then either do the math to see if you made a profit, or just mouse-over the Fu_Gold tab to see if your net gain was positive.  Handy!

-Making gold doesn't mean you're rich
-Fu_Gold and Beancounter can help track how much you've made and spent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Thrive on a Low Population Server

First, I apologize for the tardiness of today’s update: unforeseen circumstances have led to the delay in the posting.  At any rate, here we go:  How to thrive on a low population server.

I originated from Detheroc, a medium population, pvp-heavy server.  I then migrated to Thorium Brotherhood, a low population, RP server.  From there, I made the move to Suramar, also a low population server.

When you have lots of customers, making gold is easy.  You can sell most anything, relist a lot, and generally the more customers you have, the more you’ll sell at any given time.  Selling on a low population server is more tricky.

First, you need to identify your market, and your major players.  Here’s how:  start a character on any realm, and run to the Auction House.  Search “Glyph of” (or whatever your desired market is), and sort by “Name” under the Auction pane.  This will list all of the glyphs, sorted by name (it will also get rid of items like “Glyphed Helm of Terribad,” etc.  If you see 2 glyphs posted by one person, then chances are that person isn’t a major player.  If you see 5 pages of glyphs posted by “Undercutter,” or “WoWbankzorz,” then the chances are that this person is a major force in the market: using a bank alt to mask his/her real identity, and having a major presence filling lots of needs (not just selling rogue glyphs, or prime glyphs for example).  There’s a good side and bad side to this on a Low pop server: first, you’ll have one or two (if any) competitor(s), but there’s less business to go around.  Second, you will get to know these people, but the downside here is that relations can take a turn for the worse.

To start, add this person to your friends list.  You don’t need to contact them, just know when they’re online.  A great time to post is immediately after they sign off.  A bad time to post is right when they sign on; chances are that if they have a character whose sole purpose is to scan the AH and undercut you, that’s what they’ll be doing minutes after they log on (I usually check my mail, survey my bank/guild bank, look over the Auction House, and THEN post depending on what materials I have).

So we’ve covered competition, what else can you do?  Well, advertise in the Trade channel.  It’s there for a reason, although that reason has been migrating towards more Chuck Norris and other “jokes”.  When it’s the JC daily to cut gems, I usually post, “/2 WTS [gem]x3 for the JC daily, XXXg!  Right by the questgiver.”  People are lazy, and I usually sell between 9 and 15 gems this way.  I make the price slightly less than the Auction House value, which also entices them (though it’s gold I’d lose on the Auction House cut anyway).

How about getting materials?  The fewer people there are, the fewer people farming, and the fewer people undercutting to get their gold.  This leads to higher prices all around.  So where do you go?

    Ever hear of Chinese Farmers?  While the term is slightly racist, the majority of the people who do this are Chinese (which is where it originates from).  This terms stands for anybody whose job it is to play World of Warcraft and earn gold to sell online.  These people have a quota to reach, be it per day or per week, but in order to keep their jobs, they must reach a certain amount of gold earned.  More often than not, they’ll sell things at a fraction of a price.  Find one, add them to your friends list, and use basic English.  Most have a basic grasp of the language, and if you say, “Hi, I’ll buy XXX” then they’ll understand.  They sell a lot at a time, for a low price - Elementium Ore frequently reaches 90g on the Auction House, but I purchase mine from a “Chinese Farmer” for around 60g.  S/he knows that I’m always buying, and if you buy EVERYTHING even if it’s not a great deal, they’ll remember you, and whisper you first.  Another alternative is to find a regular farmer, and say “I’ll always buy XXX from you, just CoD it to me if I’m not online, let’s work out a price.”  Most people would rather take the guaranteed gold, than chance getting a lower price (if even selling it) on the Auction House.

As far as selling materials and crafted goods goes, well, you can’t force people to buy.  You can offer discounts for bulk, sell for less, etc. but you can’t make them give you gold.  You just have to be vigilant to have the lowest prices that you can still make a profit on (remember, opportunity cost, those herbs you farmed weren’t free!), and I guarantee you’ll come out on top.

-Find the major players in a market, keep track of them
-Try selling in trade, and/or making it convenient for the players
-Find a “Chinese Farmer,” or a regular farmer to augment your materials supply.
-Offer the best prices, and you’ll get the sale, not the other guy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What to do With All Your Hard-Earned Gold

I've just recently brought another one of my characters to gold-capped status, which leaves me the question: What to do now?

Well, I legitimately enjoy making gold in WoW, so of course I'm going to keep it up (although probably at a slower pace), but what's the point of having the gold if you're not going to spend it?

Gearing up your alts and mains is a good way to start.  Most BoEs from the new raids, and crafted epics, are available for around 10-15k (with the belts being less, around 6k).  Gems, enchants, and leg padding/spellthreads are another good source to improve your character.  Pets, mounts, novelty items, whatever you can imagine can be purchased with your seemingly-infinite wealth.

I'm a mount collector myself, although I haven't been doing much collecting as of late.  I'm at 93 mounts, currently, and unfortunately I don't have access to the Goblin Trikes as I'm Alliance side.  So, in lieu of the non-existent Gilneas mounts, I'm purchasing a Vial of the Sands, for both myself and the crafter (as a sort of "tip").

I gear up my friends, give gold away for epic flying, and hold contests!  I post in trade "First person to successfully guess my middle name, starting with a 'J,' wins 1,000g!"  How do you spend your excess?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Taking Advantage of Raiders Becoming Raid Ready

So, "taking advantage" is putting it a little harshly, but we all know where gold comes from.  People don't want to do things themselves, and would rather purchase ready-made goods.  Let's take a quick glance at how we can capitalize on this.


There are now 5 flasks:
Flask of Flowing Water - Healers (Although they'll most likely go for the Flask of Draconic Mind)
Flask of Steelskin - Tanks
Flask of Titanic Strength - Plate DPS
Flask of the Winds - Other DPS
Flask of the Draconic Mind - Caster DPS

Each of these has a fairly tall materials list, at a total of 24 Cataclysm herbs and 6 Volatile Lifes (Lives?) but I guarantee that you can sell these flasks by the truckload on Tuesday night.  Don't forget to get your friendly neighborhood Flask Master to make them, chances are you'll get a proc, and any proc is 100% profit.

Another great way to make some gold is through cooking recipes.  Being a secondary skill, it doesn't get as much attention as some others, but it can be just as profitable (although slightly less now that Blizzard did away with a Cataclysm equivalent of Northern Spices).

Each recipe requires only one ingredient, which is good for us, the seller, and also good for the buyer: ever wonder why Wal-Mart is so huge?  They offer a big variety of inexpensive goods.  How can they sell their goods for cheap?  They get them cheap.

At any rate, here is the link to WoWhead's Cooking database - you're going to want anything that gives 90 stam as well as 90 of a PRIMARY stat.  90 stam/90 crit may not sell as well as 90 stam/90 agility, for example.  It never hurts to diversify, but put more money into the recipes you KNOW people want, rather than just that huntard (if you'll excuse the rhetoric) who's not really sure how to play his/her class.  Remember the rules of thumb when dealing with stats - Strength is for Warrior, DK and Paladin dps, Agility is for Hunters, Enhancement Shamans, and Rogues, and Intellect is for magic DPS and healers (most of the time).

-Flasks and cooked food can net you a tidy sum
-Be sure to know the market, but also to diversify to cover all the bases (or as many as you can)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Finished Product Isn't Always Cheaper

So, as a frugal person, I quickly realized that the cost of the materials is usually less than the cost of the finished product.  Case in point, Stormleather Sash.

I purchased this belt about 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks after Cataclysm had come out.  The pristine hides were 900g each, the Blackened Dragonscales were fairly cheap at 10g each.  The 25 volatile water was around 10g each, but the 25 volatile air was 25g each.

Let's do the math: 900*3 + 10*10 + 25*10 + 25*25

This comes out to 3675g, and I "bought" the two Chaos Orbs for 1,500g each.  Now, 3 weeks later, it's currently on the Auction House for 12,000g.  This is despite the fact that the cost of the materials keeps dropping.

Let's look at Enchanting, though.  Say you want a mid-level enchant for that mid-level blue piece you just picked up.  Maybe you don't have the gold for the highest tier enchant, or maybe you don't want to spend 3,000g on the high tier enchant for a heroic blue item.  I can't say I blame you.

Say, instead of "Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect" (9 Hypnotic Dust and 4 Greater Celestial essences - a materials list of approximately 335g), you choose "Enchant Cloak - Intellect" (6 Hypnotic Dust - around 90g).  Great, so you buy the dust off the Auction House, and post in Trade that you're looking for an enchanter.

Not so fast.

Did you check to see if there was a Vellum on the Auction House first?  No?  Well, I just did, and there are vellums up there for 5g.  -5g-.

This is because everyone is leveling their professions, and they are willing to move the enchants at such a low price to just make some gold back, not even looking at the economic side of things.

This is also a great opportunity to make gold: some of the Best in Slot enchants are going for half, if not less, of the cost of materials.  Buy those up, and a few months down the road they're sure to rise in price as the demand increases due to people raiding, and the supply decreases due to people being done leveling their professions.  Of course, we have to be aware that the cost of materials may (and most likely will) decrease over time.

-Always check the Auction House for the finished product
-Possible to buy pieces for less than the cost of the materials, and resell for more later on.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Farming - What it is, and Why I Stay Away

I'm a man of efficiency, especially when my time is limited.  I like to log on, do my dailies, do my heroic, and then make gold - in that order.  I have found that instead of running laps around Stormwind while waiting for my heroic queue to pop, I log on, hop in queue, do my dailies, and by the time I'm done with those, the queue pops up.

Farming is what a lot of people do to make gold, but for the life of me I can't fathom why.  You farm for an hour, basically running around in circles, to obtain, let's say, Elementium Ore.

The ore is currently going for roughly 90g per stack on my realm.  How much ore can you gather in an hour?  6 stacks (120 ores)?  6*90 = 540g per hour.  That's a little low by Cataclysm standards.

Don't get me wrong, farming has its place, and I'm glad that people do farm.  Playing on a low population server means that I won't usually have huge sale days, so I could compound that with farming.  BUT, if you had 2 hours to play the game, what would you rather do?  Farm for 2 hours, making 1080g, or do some dailies, get some reputation up, run a heroic, and STILL make 2,000g on the Auction House?

To each their own, but I don't think I'll be picking up my stereotypical pitchfork and put on my jean overalls anytime soon.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Buying Jewelcrafting Cuts vs Buying Chimera Eyes, and Fire Prisms

Here's kind of a no brainer that'll make you go "ohhhh....damn," after you read it.

Every day, you can get 1 Jewelcrafting token.  This is good for 1 Chimera's Eye, or 1/3rd of a Jewelcrafting Cut.

If you take the Chimera's Eye, you'll get an instant bonus of 350g, every day (until prices start to drop, but just bear with me).

If you save for three days, the opportunity cost would be 1050g: the gold you would have earned from selling the Chimera's Eyes.  I'm not sure about your realm, but on mine the cut rare gems go for around 100g, whereas the uncut go for around 50g.  Some sell for more, and some sell for less, but on average it's about a 50g profit per gem.

Say you sell popular cuts, like the Bold or Brilliant Inferno Ruby, Timeless Demonseye, Jagged Dream Emerald, etc. and can sell 2 a day on a lower population server.  After purchasing a recipe, it'll take the sale and profit of 21 gems, or 10.5 days,  to make the same amount of gold that you would be making by purchasing a Chimera's Eye.  This is a fairly long time.

Of course, YOU GET TO KEEP THE RECIPE AFTER THE 21 GEMS SOLD, so every gem sold after that is even more profit than if you would have bought the Chimera's Eye.  /discussion.

Let's talk a bit about the Fire Prisms, as well.  I've made a few, and they're not bad.  HOWEVER, we're looking at the opportunity cost here.  For a quick refresher, let's say that you mill x amount of ores.  The cost of making the Fire Prism is whatever you paid for the orbs, we'll say 100g, after the excess uncommon gems are sold, and the rare gems are cut and sold  (again, we're just using pretend numbers).  The cost of the Fire Prism, therefore, is 100g.  The OPPORTUNITY cost, however is 100g PLUS whatever you could have sold those 3 uncommon gems for.  Again, your mileage may vary, but on my realm Nightstones go for 30g.  That's 90g for the Nightstones, around 30g for the Zephyrite, 70g for Jasper, 45g for Carnelians, and we've covered 4 of the 6 gem types.  90 + 30 + 70 + 45 = 240g, it adds up quick.  Hessonite goes for around 40g each on a good day, and Alicite is a bit cheaper at around 20g each.  120 + 60 + 240 = 420g.

On average, you'll get 2 rare gems from the Fire Prism.  Cut, we'll say those are worth about 150g.  So, 300g down off of the opportunity cost, and we're left with 120g.  The chance of getting a Chimera's Eye, according to the WoWhead drop rate, is 9%, so we'll round up to 10% and subtract another 35g (10% of 350g), and we're left with 85g.  So, we can see that if you sell each individual gem, you'll make on average 85g MORE than if you made the fire prism.  Of course, if you're a lucky person and got a Chimera's Eye every 3 days instead of once every 10 days, then it'd be worth it (350g* 1/3 = 115g), but most of us will have to adhere to the 9% average drop rate.

-Purchase gem cut patterns over Chimera's Eyes - it will eventually be more profitable
-Unless you can find the uncommon gems very cheap, do not make Fire Prisms

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Fall of Carnelian Spikes

As previously stated, Carnelian Spikes would usually Disenchant to Greater Celestial Essence x2, sometimes x3, and rarely Hypnotic Dust x4.  This was a great investment, considering Carnelians go for around 20g each.  60g + 3.60g for the Jeweler Settings at Exalted yields a total of 63.60g, and Greater Celestial Essences sell for somewhere around 60g.  Instant 100% profit.

It's not hard to see why the Disenchanting rates were nerfed, if you will, but it's unfortunate that Jewelcrafters and Enchanters no longer have this cash-cow.  Upon disenchanting 14 of them last night, I received 9 Greater Celestial Essences, and 30 Hypnotic Dust.  This still made the crafting and disenchanting profitable, but worth my time?  It's borderline, but I don't think I'll be buying any more.

On a side note, Reputation grinding is terrible.

Cliffs aren't really necessary here, but:
-Carnelian Spike Disenchanting has been nerfed
-Usually get 4-5 Hypnotic Dust per Disenchant

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to Make Good Gold with Alchemy and Enchanting

Alchemy and Enchanting are two professions that don't normally go together, but if you like to make potions and you like to enchant things, you're in luck!

The object in question is the Lifebound Alchemist Stone.  This is an epic quality item, which (depending on your realm), costs about 700g-1,000g to make.  This can be disenchanted to a Maelstrom Crystal, which are selling for around 2,000g each.  Fairly simple process, although you may move one or two a day; most people aren't willing to put BiS enchantments on heroic blue items.

HOWEVER we could take this one step further with the Enchanting pattern: Magic Lamp.  This is a non-combat pet which can only be made by Enchanters, and it requires one (1) Maelstrom Crystal.  See where I'm going with this?

You could make 2 Lifebound Alchemist Stones, disenchant them, sell one crystal, and use the other to make the Magic Lamp.  Other materials may run you 200-400g to make the Lamp, but I've seen them on the Auction House for upwards of 3,000g.

Cliffs (short entry but I promised cliffs where applicable):
-Alchemy: Make Lifebound Alchemist Stone
-Enchanting: Disenchant said Alchemist Stone, either sell the crystal or make a Magic Lamp
-Sell the Magic Lamp for more gold

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Disenchanting for Fun and Profit... Okay Just Profit.

Today let's look at disenchanting.  Sure, we all knew that the huge spike in enchanting mats wouldn't last when the expansion just came out; I remember selling dusts for upwards of 800g per stack.  Now, they're roughly 350g where I am.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't disenchant items.

First, you have to look at the cost of selling the item on the auction house, and disenchanting it.  If you have a level 84 green item that gives crit, agility and hit rating, chances are some hunter or rogue will want it.  If you have a level 84 green item that has only spirit, chances are it won't be in as big a demand.  Now that we're done discussing common sense, you have to ask yourself, do you want to wait for 100g profit, or would you rather 50g profit now?

Greens may come back to your mailbox a few times before they're sold, and with them take a pretty substantial deposit (upwards of 1g per 12 hour post).  You may sell that green for 100g, but after listing it 3 times that's 97g.  It's important to not discount the cost of the deposit when listing items, although it may seem trivial.  Usually, the deposit is small enough to not be noticed, but if you're listing an item 10+ times, it starts to cut into your profit.  Personally, I just disenchant all my green items because it's easier for me to group them together and sell.  If you're into micromanaging, you could list them all individually for a slightly higher profit.

So, how do we get greens?  Well, let's look at the 3 options:
1.) Finding them
2.) Buying them
3.) Making them

1.) Finding them - You could grind, or run instances.  I find maybe 1-2 per day doing my daily quests, but this isn't going to get you rich.  Higher level enemies drop higher level greens.

2.) If you purchase a level 82-84 green off the Auction House, you'll more often than not get at least 2 Hypnotic Dust, if not 3.  Thus, the rule of thumb here is to purchase any green item, level 82-84, that can be bought for twice the price of one dust.
Ex. 2 Hypnotic Dusts on my realm go for 30g.  I buy any green item, level 82-84, for 29g.  I disenchant them, and most of the time I'll make my gold back, but when I get 3 dust it's like 15g in my pocket.

3.) Making them.  Every profession has a cheap green item to make, although it may not always be worth it.  Again, be sure that the item you're making isn't worth more in raw materials (unless you need a skill-up), or worth more as the item itself than the dusts.  Jewelcrafting is great for this: recently, prices of Jasper have dropped to roughly 9g.  Add in the cost of 1 Jeweler's Setting, and you have 10.20g (at exalted with whatever vendor faction).  Disenchanting this yields 1-2 Hypnotic Dust.  So, if I get 1 dust, that's around 4g profit.  If I get 2, that's roughly 20g profit.  Solution here is to buy all the Jasper on the Auction House, disenchant it to dust that moves very quickly, pick up the gold from the inbox, and /dance.  I still sell Hessonite and other gems because they are worth more as the gems than they are as the dusts.

-Disenchanting can be a very valuable way to make gold
-Buy level 82-84 greens selling for twice the price of Hypnotic Dust
-Make any greens that would be worth more as dusts than they would as items or raw materials

Monday, January 3, 2011

Selling Yourself In-Game

So, we all know that prostitution is illegal in real life, but it's a little different in WoW.  Hear me out.

On my realm, queues for a heroic instance can reach 45 mins to an hour very easily.  Players who are just starting out are going to want to chain-run heroics to get gear/justice points very quickly, in addition to any heroic drops that may happen.

So where does this leave you, oh class that can tank or heal?  Well, on the flipside, heroic queues for healers or tanks are much shorter, if not instantaneous.  You lucky few are able to carry your friends to victory and shorter queue times.  But what if you don't limit your shorter queue privileges to just your friends?

Post in Trade Chat, "WTS Tank/Healer for Heroic Random, 3-5 min queue!  100g!"  I guarantee you'll get a reply.  When it comes down to the very basis of the economy (especially WoW), you pay for convenience.  Sure, you could plant the seeds, water them every day, and eventually harvest the fruit.  Or, you could go to the grocery store and buy the fruit from someone who has already grown them.

In short, never run a heroic by yourself.  You'll always be able to profit from someone else who wants a short queue, and you'll get the same rewards as if you ran it yourself.

Let's look at this from the other side, though.  Let's say you're a DPS class who can't tank or heal (rogue, hunter, mage or warlock), or maybe you don't want to.  Don't fret, you won't lose much cash by buying that tank.  Completing a random heroic instance will net you a tidy sum of just over 80g.  Just for killing the last boss!  Never mind the regular loot that drops, the shards, money drops, grey drops, etc.  Assuming no deaths in a heroic instance, you'll easily, EASILY make back the 100g you spent on a tank.  There's an opportunity cost here of 100g, but the actual cost is just about 0g, if not negative.  Think about it this way: If you were driving to the store to buy oranges, and you bought the oranges, you'd be out $4.  If you were driving to the store and a man stopped you on the way, said "here, buy me a bag of oranges too" and handed you $10, you would still buy your oranges and make out with $2 in the end.

-If you're a tank or healer, never run a random without selling another slot
-If you're a pure dps or don't want to heal, you could buy the tank anyway and the only downside is you wouldn't MAKE gold, but not "spend" any in the long run.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How to Make Gold Being a Horrible Person

There are a few theories on alignment.  Thomas Hobbes said that all humans are innately evil, but do good because it's what society dictates.  Calvin said that humans are innately good, but are prone to evil acts.  Whatever your view on this, there's a way to exploit being a bad person.

One of the most recent tricks is to sell Fortune Cards.  Not Mysterious Fortune Cards, but the Fortune Cards that have already been flipped. These are not Soulbound, and thus can be put on the AH.  Unsuspecting players will buy them out, only to find out they basically bought vendor trash.  Even more devious still is to advertise them in Trade Chat, saying that you could win big from them, and put them up at a fraction of the price of the current cards.  Players will immediately rush to the Auction House, shift click the name in the Trade Chat, and buy them out.

The old trick, which is now obsolete, is posting stacks of Ice Threaded Arrow in the AH for less.  The trick is you don't post a full stack of 1,000, you put maybe 100, or 10.  Most players won't notice, and buy them out.  Alternatively, you could post 500 arrows individually (10 pages), but this is more of an annoyance tactic.

Something more sneaky that you can do is hop on an alt, and post in trade "WTT XXXXX (super rare epic item) for X amount of Embersilk!"  When people ask why, just say that you're cutting out the middleman: you need cloth for leveling your profession, and you'd rather just trade the item for cloth.  A good way to do this is to make sure the total worth of the cloth is around 2/3rds the value of the epic.  "Savvy" players will quickly realize the deal, run to the AH, buy all the cloth, and whisper you.  The sneaky part is that you already purchased all the cloth on the AH and relisted it for slightly higher prices (under a different alt), so they're just buying out your auctions.  Profit!  But we're not done yet.  You know that epic that you're trading for all this cloth?  You don't even have it.  When you get a whisper, "hey I have all the cloth where should I meet you?"  just respond "Oh I'm sorry I already traded it, thanks anyway."  Log out, delete the toon, and you got a ton of gold.

One more thing that you could do, although this is a hit or miss, is ask people to CoD you things.  Some newer players may not know that you need to change the radial button on the mail pane to use the CoD option.  Just tell them to send you the item, put the amount of gold you're paying them in the gold box, click "Send" and then "Yes."  They may not fall for it, or they may know to change the option to get it to be a CoD instead of just sending you gold, but you never know.  There are some not very bright people out there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year and New Chance to Make Gold

Happy 2011 everyone, I hope it's great for all of you so far.

Let's look at a new chance to make some old gold: Thorium Ores

Thorium ores was implemented before Jewelcrafting as a profession, and thus will not give you uncommon quality "cuttable" gems when prospected.  However, leveling Jewelcrafting from 280 skill points to 300 can be quite expensive.  Arcane Crystals, Azerothian Diamonds and all those higher end gems are expensive, and also obtained through Thorium Ore prospects.

Let's say that you buy a stack for 40g.  Ores are still fairly expensive in later expansions, so a higher price is not uncommon.  That 40g will net you 4 prospecting casts.  The chance at one of the "expensive" gems (Large Opal, Blue Sapphire, Azerothian Diamond, and Arcane Crystal) is about 30% each, and the Star Ruby chance is around 16%.

Each one of the "expensive" gems usually nets me about 20g, depending on the day.  The Star Rubies usually go for around 5g.  SO, assuming that we only get 1 gem per prospect, and 3/4 are the "expensive" gems, that's 65g (3 "expensive" gems at 20g, and 1 Star Ruby for 5g).  Less then 40g we spent on the stack leaves us with a profit of 25g.

This probably isn't the way you're going to reach the gold cap in less than 3 months, but if you're someone like me who likes to have their hands in a little bit of everything, it's a nice source of extra income.

Happy New Year again, everyone, and I hope 2011 is just as good (if not better) than 2010.