Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gold Making Competition and The Golden Keg

Two big news items today. The first is that The (free!!) second edition of The Golden Keg magazine is now out and available for your consumption. Featuring myself and other gold makers including Wowprofitz, Novitsh, and 8Bit Bruce, the magazine is a monthly compilation of articles that are only available in one place. The topics range from noobie gold making, to farming, to Warlords of Draenor speculation (guess which one I wrote), this magazine has information for any level of WoW gold maker out there, and the articles within are only posted in the magazine. If you don't want to miss out, be sure to check it out!

You can find the latest edition of The Golden Kegat this link, and you can also find our first ever edition from this past March at that link as well! If you are a gold maker who is interested in writing for The Golden Keg you can contact me via email at PhatLewtsGold@gmail.com.

The second bit of news is that I will be competing in the "Gold Making Invitational 2014". An interesting choice of title as any one who wants to (regardless of invitation) can compete, but anyway I'll be hamming it up with some gold makers over on the Mannoroth - Horde US server. If you're interested in checking it out, or even competing, details are up over on GoblinRaset's blog. I'm honestly not going to have a lot of time to commit to this, so as of yet it's still undetermined if I'll be really able to compete to the level that I can, but regardless I'm going to try, and it'll be fun. The competition lasts for a full month, so even if you miss the signups by a day or two, could be a lot of fun regardless. There are two tiers of prizes, one based on having the most gold at the end, the other based on your gold per played time. Joked about that last part on Twitter today, thought you non-Twitter peeps might enjoy:

NobleGarden and/or Thinly Veiled Easter Holiday
As always my stance during this holiday, as with all WoW holidays is to ignore the holiday and carry on. At any level there are more productive things to be doing with your time than competing with others for colorful loot eggs. If you need the achievements though, more power to ya!

I still have one Springstrider from last year's, but I'll definitely be watching the market to see if I can snipe a few. I can usually sell them down the road for 10k, I'll be shopping for anything below 4k to flip. The plainstrider mounts are very boring to me but there is indeed a market for them, I'd imagine mount collectors that miss the holiday for the most part, which is a market we can see growing throughout this summer as MoP drags on and achievement hunting is on the rise.

Phat Lewts

Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 Years of Phat Lewts!

So I missed it by about a week, but April 12th, 2011 was the date of the first post ever posted on Phat Lewts' Gold Blog, making this past April 12th 3 years since my first post!

Taking a Look Back
So let's look back to that original post, the one that got things started. As you know I'm generally not one for fanfare, so there was no "introduction post" to Phat Lewts' Gold Blog, just a post titled Accountant. Receiving a whopping 87 views to this very date, my first post was a bit of a dud. You can check it out, I edited the text formatting a bit. The original text was black and impossible to read on my current background, but I preserved the wonky layout and text of the original. You may also notice I was posting under the name Dwhittman, which at the time the name of my main character (an Orc Warlock).

Shortly after that first post I wrote my second post TradeSkillMaster - Posting & Canceling. Looking at the screenshots in that post, I can safely say that both TSM and my Blog have come a long way since! In contrast to the 87, that post saw over 2,000 views by today, more of a testament to TSM than my own writing ability. By May of 2011 I wrote my 5th post, and fell off the map for almost 6 months thereafter. Probably lost in the nether as one of the defunct gold blogs that started out as a great idea, but fell into obscurity. I came back in November of that year, and I've written at least 2-3 posts in every month since (and usually many many more).

If you want to check out some of my older posts, you can find my entire Blog Archive in my left sidebar. One last thing in the reminiscing department! I did not have all of these saved, but I went to archive.org and grabbed various screenshots of the different layouts of my blog over the years. I also added when I created the logo I used for a majority of the three year run.

Of course as a numbers man I have to give you some statistics at this point. My post with the most views of all time is Your Guide to Spirit of Harmony receiving 28,383 views. It came out near the beginning of MoP and was obviously a hot issue at the time as people got used to their new trade skill item. My highest number of site referrals come from google with nearly 100,000 (~10%) of my pageviews coming from them.

One of the coolest things about writing this blog though is being able to reach readers across the world. Here's a list of the top 10 countries that read my blog:

United States512147
United Kingdom 72134
Canada 49318
Germany 43185
Australia 36996
Sweden 30702
Denmark 13801
Netherlands 12151
China 10131
Ukraine 5285

Pretty damn cool!

Thank You
Last but definitely not least, I want to thank you all, the readers of my blog for supporting me through these years. I'm quickly nearing 1,000,000 pageviews (also in the left sidebar), and without an audience I'd be writing to myself and this blog wouldn't exist. Through these years I've really enjoyed taking part in and interacting with the gold making community in WoW. It's amazing what happens when people come together from different walks of life and all around the world to combine and discuss their different approaches to gold making. I've really enjoyed being a part of the communities over at The Consortium, on the TSM IRC, as well as on reddit, and everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog posts or Youtube videos. It's been a fun ride, but look for much more to come as we move forward to WoD!


Phat Lewts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garrisons and Gold Making: What We Know

As you may have heard, Blizzard is planning a 4 part series of blogs on Garrisons Soon™, but we've been getting bits and pieces of information from Blizzard interviews as well as datamined information. We discussed this at length on the latest episode of The Drunken Musings Podcast which I co-host. Quite honestly I'm a bit disappointed on how Blizzard is blatantly dragging their feet on releasing information, but I guess they have a long time to stretch it out over.

One of the most important things that we have learned from Blizzard so far is that "Garrisons are tied to every aspect of max-level tradeskills so if you want to advance your tradeskills, you have to build that up in your garrison." I'm going to try and summarize what we know so far, of course related mostly to gold making.

Garrison Levels
Everything involved with Garrisons, both buildings and the actual Garrison itself have 3 levels. Level 1 is the base level you receive, and you have to work up to Level 2 and Level 3. The exact mechanics on how you do this for each is not yet established, and I'm not going to speculate on that at this point. Just assume it involves some sort of work/grind/thought. The most interesting part here is the different benefits for the Garrison Building Levels have been datamined, and are going to be the focus of this article.

You are given the Mine, Farm, and Fishing Hut by default. Everyone will have these on their Garrison, I'll get into each building below. There are 3 different types of buildings: Small, Medium, and Large, each has to be created on a limited number of plots. As you level your Garrison you will receive the following plots to build on:

Level 1: 2 Small, 1 Medium, 1 Large
Level 2: 3 Small, 2 Medium, 2 Large
Level 3: 4 Small, 3 Medium, 3 Large

So basically, you're unlocking 1 extra type of plot every time you level your Garrison. So building choice is going to be an important component in maximizing gold making.

The Default Buildings
The default buildings on the Garrison that are relevant to gold making are the Mine, Farm and Fishing Shack. Each has a unique function, and I'll cover them in this section.

The Mine
The mine seems to have 2 benefits. The first is that it will produce it's own materials daily, and as it levels it will gain holding slots from 1 to 2 to 4, which is common among all of the profession related Garrison buildings. You will generate one "batch"  (vague but it's all we have) of goods per day, and hold them in storage. As the building levels you'll have to visit your Garrison less to harvest your goods, as it will have more storage slots. The Mine also has Ore nodes within it, each level unlocking a new "mineshaft", the final level unlocking Rich Nodes. Whether or not these will be farmable by non-miners is up to speculation.

Herb Garden/Farm
So the Farm is also called an Herb Garden, and it's precisely that. Possibly the WoD Tillers farm, it works similarly to the farm, expanding in size as it levels. The tooltip states that you'll be able to "grow and harvest useful herbs", so this makes me think it'll be possible for non miners to harvest the nodes in the mine (or maybe your followers will have professions), but honestly it's about 50/50 at this point in my opinion. Seems to be a WoD farm, and right now one of the possible specializations is the ability to automate the picking of herbs from the garden. It will be interesting to see what we have to pick against for that specialization, but I hope there's a similar mechanic in the Mine.

Fishing Shack
The fishing shack is the only one among the 3 that does not seem to produce it's own materials. It unlocks a fishing vendor that provides bait, tackle, and "support" (think Ben of the Booming Voice). As you level it, it will also unlock 3-5 fishing daily quests. The Devs have also mentioned that there will be a fishing pond on your Garrison. We do not know the mechanics on the fishing dailies, but I think there could be some interesting opportunities here if Blizzard plays their cards right.

Small Buildings - Gold Making Central
I'm not saving the best for last, I'm giving them to you right now, the category that contains the profession buildings!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Death of the Leveling Gear Markets in Warlords

One of the big flipping markets currently is leveling gear. Will the leveling gear market die in Warlords of Draenor with the item squish? This question has been on the minds of everyone involved in these markets since the news of the item squish came out.  Based on datamined stat changes, the answer is looking like a resounding yes.

For those of you unfamiliar with the markets, there is BoE leveling gear in the 77-79 and 80-84 brackets that are from an expansion ahead of where you are currently leveling. For example the 77-79 gear has Cataclysm stats for a WotLK leveler. These additional stats make them ideal for leveling, both in increasing output and efficiency, as well as being able to faceroll BGs. Of course there's gold to be had in this market, to read more on the strategy you can check out my old post on it here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Engineering: Becoming a Gold Making Profession

Including a "this is early alpha and mostly speculation" disclaimer here and now, but I just wanted to focus in on some of the cool changes to engineering I mentioned previously in my post about the items datamined off the Alpha as well as some changes that Blizzard employees Zarhym and Celestalon talked about during their Final Boss Podcast Appearance (link goes to relevant discussion).

Engineering has never really been a true "gold making profession". Never in the history of World of Warcraft has someone said "I want to make gold in a productive fashion" and someone suggested "You should definitely get Engineering to rake in the gold". In fact if I made a list of all the crafting professions in order of gold making prowess/priority to get, Engineering would probably be on the bottom of the list. No, you don't get Engineering for gold making, you get it for the cool perks.  PvPers and PvEers alike swear by engineering for the awesome on demand burst damage and speed bursts, others enjoy being able to summon Jeeves or a mailbox at the drop of a hat, while others still prefer to use the quirky and entertaining vanity items that sometimes backfire, and the hilarity that ensues. It seems that Blizzard is trying to change that in Warlords of Draenor, by giving Engineers a stable source of possible income.

MoP Lookback
Engineering as a gold making profession in MoP has been pretty blasé to say the least. They got their Ghost Iron Dragonling trinkets and matching Gears to sell, which did fairly well. A couple expensive mounts to craft and sell, and end game Scopes and guns that required Spirit of Harmony to craft. Overall, not an impressive lot.

In Patch 5.1, during the 5.2 Beta, Engineers were promised new gold making avenues in the form of 2 pets and a mount, that went along with a new Blacksmithing Lightning Steel Cooldown. Very cool indeed, but it was not meant to be, and the pets and mounts were delayed to 5.4. Now I must say, for a few months the mounts and pets sold well, and there was quite a big profit to be made, but every crafting profession had the same to say during 5.4, if not better. A couple months down the road and these new mounts and pets are going for mat price on most servers. Not very impressive from a gold making standpoint.

WoD Changes
With both the Alpha Patch Notes we saw that Blizzard is focusing on a more "balanced" view in WoW, even more so than in Cata/MoP. They've changed racial buffs across the board, and have balanced classes and profession buffs as well. Engineering is not a safe harbor from these changes, in regards to items such as Nitro Boosts and EMP generators.

In a recent interview on Final Boss Podcast, Celestalon directly addressed Engineering saying "Let Engineers make them and sell them to everyone, and let everyone use those, but at a reduced effectiveness." On top of that, looking at the datamined profession changes, we saw that some items previously only usable by Engineers had been made Bind on Use such as:
It would seem that on top of the other changes that Engineers will be able to sell some of their long staple profession items to the common folk.

Now I know that a lot of Engineers aren't going to be pleased with these changes. I'm not a huge fan of Engineering as I focus mainly on gold making, but some of these vanity items that are slated to be usable by non-Engineers is what makes Engineers fun to play.  I know that a lot of Engineers are most likely going to be upset with the changes to their profession, but as far as gold making goes, I think that it will do a lot to make Engineering a much more viable profession for making gold.

It is going to be interesting to see how they implement this, I would think selling these items such as something like a Thermal Anvil that has charges would be the best route, but as of the current moment it doesn't look like they're doing that. Maybe having the items usable by non-Engineers attached to a daily cooldown of sorts. To me that seems much more likely. I'd personally want a portable mailbox on literally all of my alts, so it's something I'd be willing to spend a great deal on, depending on the price, although I'll be crafting my own. It will be very interesting to see how these changes come out once they're implemented on the Alpha/Beta.


Phat Lewts