Sunday, July 20, 2014

Transmog List Beta Testing

Recently I've been getting a bunch of comments on my Transmog videos/blog/emails/etc. about how the TUJ sources are erroring out. Come on guys! I know it's probably not the people who actually sit down and read my blog, but if a price source doesn't work, take it out of the expression, simple as that!

I'm adding DBGlobalMarketAvg to my pricing, and I'm going to average (avg function in TSM) that and the wowuction source now. I've edited my original xmog instructions to reflect this change.  If you do not have access to that pricing source, you can get it by enrolling in the TSM App open beta by following the instructions here.

Beta Testing
So the TSM App is not the only gold making tool going under some beta testing. Thanks mainly to TheExile, a Wind Trader over at The Consortium Forums who mentioned that quite a few of the items he liked to flip were missing from my lists. So of course I had to make it better.

My first instinct was to import other xmog lists, and see what they had that I did not. When I started to do so, I was finding a lot of items valued under 100g, which is wholeheartedly not my style. So of course I did what any "sane" person would do, I took TUJ's (now defunct) in game pricing addon, pulled all the pricing information from that addon, got it formatted into excel, and took literally all the items it that were above 300g, and imported them in game to cross check my xmog list. I looked at all of those thousands of items by hand, and added the ones that I considered to be Xmog, exported that list back into excel, sorted them into their previous pricing structure, and imported them once again into their proper groups.

It was a laborious process, but I think my list is better for it. The problem is, I'm on a small server, and do not have a lot of time to play WoW right now, so I'm not going to be able to see the potential errors that may exist in these groups before I unleash them on the public. So to that accord, I'm going to be "Beta Testing" the list, and hopefully the pricing structure I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

All this really means is that before I replace my main xmog list with my just created one, I'm going to ask you all to test it and give me feedback on what you like/don't like, items you think should/shouldn't be on the list. I am going to suggest only people that have already been involved in xmog markets test this list. Feel free to leave feedback and respond to feedback in the comments on this post.  Your feedback is going to be critical on making or breaking this list, so please if you see anything suspect about the pricing, or think I'm missing an item, let me know about it! Click here for access to the beta list.

Thank you all in advance for testing this out, I look forward to your feedback!

Cheers,
Phat Lewts

@PhatLewtsGold
  PhatLewtsGold

Monday, July 7, 2014

Are We Inflating Transmog Prices?

So thanks to TheExile, a Wind Trader at the Consortium forums, I've recently gotten the bug to revisit my transmog groups, and I'm currently in the process of creating an additional list of items that I'm going to (at least try) and do something pretty "revolutionary" with, and have people 'beta test' it out before I release it as my default list. The method I'm using to do this is not for the feint of heart, and will take me at least a week (mostly because of work time constraints), but I'm really excited on revamping and adding many items to my transmog lists, and having all your feedback on it, but that's for another day (PS you can follow TheExile on Twitter here).

Inflating Transmog Prices
While going through this process of revamping my transmog lists, I had a bit of an interesting thought. That is, with many of us using region wide pricing, and marking prices up above 100%, are we artificially inflating prices for super rare transmog sets such as Jade/Exalted etc.?

We see this effect very often if we are the only sellers of a particular item on our realm and we use a % of realm price to sell it. A sort of "compounding interest" problem. Unchecked, the price for this item will grow exponentially until it hits gold cap and errors out. The question is, is the same sort of process happening for these rare xmog items, and the answer may (or may not, gasp!) surprise you.

The Samples
So of course I went to data to see if my hypothesis checks out or not, here's the selection of what I looked at to try to determine if we are having an adverse effect on the prices (which actually benefits us, but may inflate prices too high):

Jade Breastplate
Exalted Harness
Bucaneer's Vest
Elemental Mage Staff
Lofty Breastplate
Bloodscale Breastplate

What I gather from this data is that my hypothesis is clearly incorrect. Prices have gone up and down over time, but have never gone up a considerable amount.

On the other hand, fairly regularly across the board, the quantity available has risen over time. This is most likely due to the pricing, that takes levelers out of the purchasing market (and rightfully so), but also leads to unbought items on certain realms that will be looted again before they sell.

I cannot say that it's been an issue on most realms, but I'd imagine that over time supply will outpace demand and prices hopefully will compensate so that we get more sales, and don't get inundated with inordinate amount of xmog gear, and can still sell at a fair market determined price that's profitable for us. HORRAY FOR FREE MARKETS!

Cheers,
Phat Lewts

@PhatLewtsGold
  PhatLewtsGold

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Merged AH's and No More 25 Guilds

Unified Server Auction House
Unless you live under a golden rock, you probably heard the news that's echoing throughout the gold making community, that Alliance and Horde Auction Houses will be combined in 6.0 (source).

An interesting decision by Blizzard, kind of a curveball, but as far as gold making potential, to me it means a lot more venues to make gold. For example currently I have 8 or so max profession toons Horde side and 1 Alliance side. On that 1 Alliance toon I also post xmog/leveling gear, and make a pretty sizable income. Now all my profit venues are consolidated, and I can run all of my operations (mainly) from Horde side without penalty. I think it will benefit the AH Campers a little bit too much, but only time will tell.

It does bring up some interesting questions however. For example, will we now be able to trade and chat cross faction? I mean we basically can as is with Battle.net, but as someone who purchases mats from the AH from one toon, then ships them off to alts, it seems silly that my Alli alt that uses the same AH as my Horde alt has to purchase seperate mats, since I cannot sell to myself, or that I can buy GIO from a farmer off the AH, but cannot ask them to COD me batches, which to me is a bit restrictive. To me the change is a good one in general, but it will be one of the many factors that are changing the face of gold making in WoW indefinitely, and will be interesting to see it unfold.

Lvl 25 Guilds
Were you someone (quite like myself) who was holding on to a level 25 guild as an investment to sell in the future? Surely you've heard the bad news that guild levels will basically not exist in WoD, read the full Blue Comment here.

Community
I can't say I'm completely surprised they have removed this feature, but I would not have predicted it. In Cataclysm they added guild levels to give guilds a sense of community and rewards for doing things together. I'd say that short term, they accomplished their goals. When every guild started @ 1, and guilds were pushing every day to hit the guild experience cap, and try to get the first lvl 25 guild on the server, there was a lot of community built up around guilds that had previously been lacking at the end of Wrath.

Since then however, level 25 guilds have held a significant advantage over level 1 guilds, being more desirable to levelers and max levels alike with their bonuses. So much so, that Blizzard decided not to add any additional guild levels in MoP. That was the first warning sign that guild levels were indeed a failure. They've stuck around this long, but times are a-changing!

SELL!
If it's not completely obvious, dump those level 25 guilds you've been holding on to. They'll mean nothing in the long run, and hopefully you can snag someone who doesn't know about the changes. They're also removing the passive income from guilds acquired through non-group activities, so it will cut down on that revenue option, but to me and many other gold makers, it wasn't a huge bonus anyway, and mostly not worth the hassle of maintaining.

I personally have 4 level 25 guilds that I am currently using as storage that I am going to try to liquidate in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to easily, but only time will tell. I bought them all cheap, so I think at bare minimum I'll be able to break even, but hopefully I'll be able to turn a profit as well.

Cheers,
Phat Lewts

@PhatLewtsGold
  PhatLewtsGold

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Alpha News and Thoughts 6.19

For those of you not following me on Twitter and possibly wondering where I've been, well I've been really busy. On top of that, instead of blogging during most of my free time, I've been (thanks to GoblinRaset) invited to the WoD Alpha, and I've been testing it out for about a week now. Since there's been a decent amount of radio silence on my end I figured I'd post some of my thoughts of the current Alpha and what we need to be watching moving forward.

General Updates
So there have been some Alpha updates, the most interesting for us being about a week ago. Lots of the latest updates have been class tweaks, but there are some gold making items that were added that we should be focusing on a bit.

Inscription
There were some general updates to inscription, namely all of the research spells have been removed and replaced by these spells instead. This will allow for quicker learning of non-trainer glyphs.  Right now I'm not going to comment on it, but check out Elen's (El from El's Angling) post on this on the Consortium Forums. There's not much I can add there.

Joker's Wild
Added to the most recent build are cards like Moon Joker. The Joker card behaves almost as you would expect it to, you can exchange it at the Darkmoon Faire for any card in it's deck (Moon is a deck). This is an interesting change, but keep in mind that it has an equal spawn rate to any of the other cards, so the Joker itself will also be very rare, but a great mechanism to take the RNG out of DMF cards. To me it will reduce the overall gating of the DMF cards, which would also reduce profits, but it opens up some new possibilities in Inscription that I think will majorly be a quality of life fix for most Scribes.

Big Vendor Bags
The last bit on the News side is the addition of the Gronnskin Bag. This is a 28 slot bag that has a sell price of 550g, implying it's likely that it's sold by a vendor (probably not in Alpha yet) for 2200g. Now, if the price doesn't go up, it definitely will effect the bag market. On the other hand things stacking to 200 will largely make bigger bags unnecessary, but realistically, we all enjoy that extra space.

Phat's Impressions
So I've been actually playing on the Alpha server, and I've enjoyed the Alpha thus far, and look forward to learning more. Garrisons are strongly intertwined to the questing experience. Every single quest line and rare spawn you find while questing rewards Garrison Resources, and the storyline keeps bringing you back to your garrison to build and fortify. What I'm trying to say is Garrisons aren't alt friendly. Gone are the days of leveling a toon to 85 just to take max professions and do a CD every day, it's just not going to happen. This video will show you what I mean, it's pretty short, just a peek into Alchemy/Garrison involvement (currently only the alch building is REMOTELY testable as far as prof buildings). Note that you'll need to use your garrison going to get your recipes:


Again, keep in mind it's early alpha. The mechanism to get the tokens to buy recipes isn't in game, but Elen (from above) has suggested in a separate thread that they come from Alchemy follower quests, not yet in Alpha. Now the one saving grace is that once you get the tome to learn 700 professions (only in Draenor), you will be able to craft the CDs, and for Alchemy at the very least, they're not soulbound! This may provide some relief for alts, but that's yet to be found. Otherwise alpha has been fun and buggy, and I can honestly say I enjoyed the questline and building up what little I can of my Garrison. Be sure to follow my blog to keep up with Garrison news going forward!


Cheers,
Phat Lewts

@PhatLewtsGold
  PhatLewtsGold

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Key to Gold Making: Know Your Math.

I see a lot of questions on the Consortium Forums and on reddit where people ask how to tell if x profession or y profession is "profitable". In my opinion, one of the keys of an excellent gold maker is the ability to evaluate this information on the fly with some simple calculation rather than using a spreadsheet or tool (such as TSM) constantly. Know your math.

How I Do My Math
There are other ways of doing this, such as using addons and spreadsheets, but at a base level, I want to understand my product, and be able to purchase Ghost Iron Ore without using TSM to evaluate it, or a spreadsheet every time, being confident that I'm profiting at those prices. Now, no basic calculation will be perfect, but you have to trust that your theories are correct and there will be profits. Now for some examples.

Prospecting
I've used this example many times before, so if you've heard it already feel free to skip to the next subheading. For prospecting we know some simple rates. On average a stack of Ghost Iron will net you 1 rare and 6 uncommon gems, as well as some fraction of a Serpent's Eye. While the Serpent's Eye isn't negligible, I tend to ignore it for my simple calculations. How about those uncommons? The 6 uncommons will net you at a MINIMUM, 16g profit (2x jewelry that vendors for 9g each, and takes a 1g setting to make). Therefore an average rare gem (ie. each gem color) based on prospecting will cost you AT MOST:

Ghost Iron Ore Stack Price - 16g