Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting Ready for MoP: An Overview

This post is a part of Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival, hosted by Cold of Cold's Gold Factory

The World of Warcraft is all abuzz lately with news of the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that a lot of Annual Pass subscribers already have access to a (rather unfinished) beta. Speculation about the release date is rampant. I won't speculate, because I'm terrible at evaluating the situation objectively; I just want MoP to come out this summer because Dragon Soul is a drag. I'm ready for new content.

Since I'm new to goldmaking, I've never before prepared for an expansion in terms of anticipated profit. I don't necessarily recommend following any of the strategies I'm using, but I'll give a quick rundown of each tactic and my reasoning for it. I'll continue to make posts as we learn more and my strategies change.

Companion (Non-Combat) Pets
Since the announcement of the Pet Battle System, I've been keeping an eye out for somewhat unique BoE pets. Vendor pets don't qualify (unless they state that some of them will go away) since they're easy to acquire and would just take up valuable bank and bag space. It's a fairly popular theory among goldmakers that pets will rise in value as players get involved with pet battles. There are a few things that might affect this value; for example, if Blizzard makes your pets account-wide the market will be smaller. And there's the question of whether we'll be able to sell pre-leveled pets -- frankly, I have no idea what will happen with that. I'm not going to fill an entire guild bank, but I am trying to get one or two tabs' worth. Word on the street is that Cataclysm drop pets like Elementium Geode will be less prevalent once folks aren't grinding in Cataclysm zones anymore. That's code for "buy them now when they're cheap and sell them later when they're not." That's just one example of what I'm looking for in pets.

Leather Transmog Gear
I hate the transmog market; it doesn't seem to do well on my server, and I find it tedious and frustrating. However, I'm collecting another one or two guild bank tabs' worth of leather gear I think monks will find appealing. Jim at Power Word: Gold has a good post on transmog gear that might appeal to monks; I agree with some of his conclusions but am also trying to draw my own based on what I like.

Profession Leveling Mats
Specifically, TBC, Wrath and Cataclysm mats. If you've ever leveled a profession, you know there are chokepoints -- materials you really need but which are in short supply because nobody's farming them anymore. Most of what I'm stockpiling are the Cataclysm mats. For example, I'm keeping a lot of my Hypnotic Dust which is almost always below 1g right now on my server. But the dust from Wrath goes for about 8 times that much, since you need a ton of it to level, and you don't get nearly enough just leveling through the zones. I'm also keeping gems, elementals, etc. This is a long long term investment; I anticipate that at the beginning of MoP, everyone will be unloading their excess Cataclysm mats and the market will be saturated. However, three to six months in, the prices should rise.

Getting Professions Ready
I have three alts at 85 and one at 80, all with maxed professions: JC x2, Alchemy x2, Enchanting, Inscription, Herbalism, and Leatherworking. I'm working on leveling my alts and maxing their professions so they're ready to go when the expansion hits. As far as I know, we don't know yet what the level requirement will be to train max professions, so I'm going to try to just get them all to 85 anyway. My plan once MoP is actually here is to spend a few weeks gathering, since mats should go for high prices initially. I also plan to level my Inscription as soon as possible. The other crafting professions will wait, since their items tend to be more important once players have reached the endgame (flasks, cut gems, crafted gear, belt buckles, enchanting scrolls, and so on).

So those are my strategies as they stand now. What do you think? What are you doing to prepare?

Guest Appearance on the PW:G Podcast

Hey guys! I was honored to be asked to guest co-host the Power Word: Gold podcast with Jim Younkin. The podcast is awesome and you should definitely check out the archives if you're not already a regular listener. And make sure to listen to the PW:G Podcast episode 32, starring moi! Thanks, Jim! We talked about transmog, Cata greens, MoP, and lots of other cool stuff.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ATGT: Quarter Million Edition

Start: 209,339g
End: 252,000g (approximate)
Profit: 42,661g

No, it's not April Fool's related, and I'm a couple days late for that anyway. I was actually not in game last week as much as I normally am, since I was running around trying to get RL stuff done. That means this post won't be as detailed as I'd like. However, I had a goal of 250K gold, and I did manage to meet that goal. Big woohoo! I had to estimate the week ending gold amount because I forgot to write it down, but that's about accurate within 1-2K -- it may have been more, not less.

For some reason, as I was pulling mail last week, I felt like I wasn't making as much gold "as usual," but apparently I was. A brief rundown on markets:

Cata Greens
Sales of these items have slowed down considerably for me, but they are still moving; I'm just not collecting 5K every morning anymore. I bumped the prices back down to 400g per item as of yesterday, since even over the weekend sales were slow. I'm torn on how many pieces I should continue to pick up. On one hand, I want to keep them off the AH; on the other, I have a ton of 'em already. I'll probably keep buying at a good pace for the time being.

I managed to get a decent number of glyph sales this week, though the competition here is still fierce. I've had a new strategy suggested to me by Alto, so I'm going to try it -- posting for 48h is the short version. Since I'll be at work all day, I won't be able to repost constantly, so I needed a change in strategy anyway.

I didn't finish out the shuffle all the way last week, but I did manage to sell every cut inferno ruby I had as fast as I could post them, all on Tuesday night at raid time. That represented a nice chunk of change. I also sold a few other rare cuts. I didn't even make and DE jewelry, so I missed out there, I'm sure.

Vendor Recipes
I made a new bank alt just for these recipes, and she pulled in 6K this week. Yup. Worth doing.

Other Stuff
Leathers and ores from my leveling rogue; a very few transmog pieces, all at lower prices; random leveling gear; a few herbs, gems, pets, and other stuff I can't remember.

So that's it. Overall it was a better week than I thought it was while it was actually going on, and I'm over a quarter of the way to gold cap, which is really exciting. So far this week I'm up to about 262K, but I expect I won't see as many sales since I barely have time to play.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Professions: The Darkmoon Faire and You

The Darkmoon Faire is in town again this week, from April 1-7. That means lots of fun (well, they were fun until I did them 1000 times) mini-games and relic turn-ins, but don't forget the profession quests. Right now, I've noticed a lot of people are leveling alts to have max level professions ready to go when MoP hits. If you're doing the same, or if you're just trying to eke out the last few skill points on your main, make sure you do these quests! They grant 5 skill points in the corresponding profession, as well as XP/gold, DMF rep, and 4 DMF tickets and one DMF game token each; you need a skill level of at least 75 to pick them up.

If you can, it's ideal to arrange to do these at a chokepoint in your profession leveling (e.g. when you need Golden Draenite for jewelcrafting, Goldthorn for herbalism, etc.) or as close to max level as possible, since those are usually the points where you'll otherwise spend lots of gold. If you can't do that, though, just make sure to do them.

Some of these quests require you to bring materials with you to the Faire; none of the items are sold on the island, so pick them up before you head out. Here are the professions and the required materials for each, with a slight Alliance bias on locations. In addition to the sources listed, you can get many of the trade supply mats from any Trade Supplies vendor, so check in Mulgore and Goldshire:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Herbalism: Secret Cinderbloom Farming Spot for Lower Levels

If you have an alchemist or especially an inscriptionist, or if you just want to sell herbs as-is on the auction house, leveling through herbalism can be quite profitable. The amount of XP granted per node is pretty decent, especially if you're wearing heirloom gear. I leveled my druid from 75 to 80 solely through herbalism.

At level 75, you'd naturally be in Northrend, and on my server those herbs are more profitable on the whole than Cataclysm herbs. Also, Inscription uses a whole lot of Ink of the Sea, which is milled from Northrend herbs. However, your server may be different, and making tons of Blackfallow and Inferno inks isn't bad either. If you're also leveling alchemy and inscription, still, you'll probably want the Cataclysm herbs. Or maybe you're just sick of flying circles around Sholazar Basin and need a change of scenery. What to do?

Everyone probably knows by now that you can fly yourself to Hyjal and farm before you hit level 80. (If you don't, you'll need EK/Kalimdor flying. As a druid, it's easy to teleport to Moonglade and fly from there, but you can get there from anywhere in Kalimdor.) However, the giant difference in gear and mob health/hitting power can be a huge problem. Luckily, there's a great spot to farm (mostly) Cinderbloom in Hyjal, and until you've quested through the zone, it's almost entirely mob-free. That spot is the area near the Seat of the Chosen in the southeast corner of Hyjal, where the Twilight Cultists will later be hanging out. Until you phase the area, though, the only things you'll see are a few basilisks here and there. They are easily avoided at lower levels, and once you get to 77 or 78 (especially if you're wearing Cata greens) you can take them down without much trouble.

Here's a map of where to go:
Look, Ma, no mobs!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TSM Shopping List: Book Glyphs

I originally posted this list on the Consortium Forums, but I feel it's useful so I'm sharing it here.
If you're in the glyph market, you probably realize by now that the most profitable glyphs are those learned through daily research and via Books of Glyph Mastery. These are also the only glyphs really worth trying to flip, since the trainer-taught glyphs are so common you're almost guaranteed to be undercut within about 30 seconds.

Personally, I like to search for underpriced glyphs to flip from time to time. I mainly look for book glyphs, i.e. those taught by the Book of Glyph Mastery. Especially if I can find one under crafting cost, I'll snag it, but even if it's over crafting cost but way under market value, I'll buy out to try to reset.

One way to search for these is with a TSM shopping list. I went through Wowhead and put together a shopping list with all the item IDs for every current book glyph in the game. You can import this into your TSM and use it as you see fit. I hope you enjoy this and/or find it useful; if so, let me know!

TSM Book Glyph Shopping List:

Monday, March 26, 2012

How To: Vendor Recipes

I'll start this post by saying that Faid over at Clockwork Riot has a great list of vendor recipes for sale for $2. It's well-edited, nicely laid out, and contains some extra tips. If you're brand new to selling vendor recipes, I recommend picking it up; my post is going to be a little less straightforward and assumes a bit more knowledge of TSM and basic AH techniques. Please note that when I say "recipes" here I mean any profession recipe/pattern/plan/schematic/formula/whatever, not just cooking recipes.

So, vendor recipes. I've had a lot of luck selling these, to people who are either too lazy to go pick them up from the vendor or who don't know they come from a vendor in the first place. Their ignorance is my bliss. I did a vendor run of half of EK on my mage yesterday and pulled in about 1200g. It's never going to be your primary money maker, but every copper counts, right? Right. How do you get started selling them, though?

1. Know where to get the recipes in the first place.
As I mentioned above, Faid has a nicely edited guide that lists profitable recipes by location in an orderly fashion. That's going to be the easiest way to find them -- she's basically handing the information to you on a plate.

You could also look on Wowhead and try to sort out everything and make up a big huge list and so on and so forth, but let me tell you: That would be a giant pain in the rear. Seriously.

Or you could do what I mostly do, and get an addon called RecipeProfit for GatherMate. Obviously you need to have GatherMate 2 installed in the first place, but you probably already do. If you don't, you should. RecipeProfit adds markers in for vendors and when you mouse over the marker, it shows the vendor's name, the items they sell, and how many you have. That last feature is limited, as it only counts what you have in your current toon's bags; it doesn't make use of Altaholic to show your other toons or auctions. Still, lots of information. It shows the icon both on the minimap and on your big map. Here's what it looks like:

1b. Make a flight plan.
No matter where you get your information, buying up the vendor recipes is going to involve some serious travel time. Many of the recipes are limited supply so you'll only be able to buy one at a time, but they're not all going to sell out on the same day so if you do this once a week or every few days you can build a slight stockpile. (I created a bank toon specifically for vendor recipe storage and selling, because I get confused when I post too many categories of stuff on one toon.)

Originally I had planned to grab recipes on my mage, since she can teleport around easily. However, I've ended up mostly doing it on my hunter, who has archaeology. I combine recipe buying with rare spawn hunting and archaeology dig sites. That way I'm not just flying around buying stuff. This would also pair well with a gathering profession.

After you've done this run a few times, you'll come up with an idea of how to get to the vendors most efficiently. Again, Faid's list is already organized for you, so if you're overwhelmed by the idea, go buy that.

2. Sell the recipes.
I use TSM for this, because individually listing each recipe would take forever, given that you can have hundreds of different items up at one time. I created an auctioning category in TSM just for vendor recipes, and I have several groups within that category for different price brackets. The vendor recipes sell for very different prices, so I didn't want to just throw them all in with one threshold and fallback. The threshold/fallback spreads for each category go from just above the previous group to the price the group is named after. That way I can undercut. You can undercut on these pretty seriously since you'll rarely pay even as much as 5g for one of the recipes. Then you just go to the auction house, hit Post Auctions in the TSM tab, and wait for the gold to roll in.

2b. Stay organized.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a bank toon specifically for vendor recipes. I set up TSM auto mailing to send all the recipes to her, so I don't have to pick through my bags; it saves on clicking and mailing time. I recommend doing this. Just create the toon as a mail-to character and then add all your vendor recipe groups. Voila, done. I also use AdiBags, which separates the recipes by profession automatically. You don't really need to do this since you're going to be selling everything, but it's there if you want it.

So that's it -- vendor recipe selling in a nutshell. Good luck!