Thursday, June 20, 2013

TradeSkillMaster 2.0 Teaser

So, it's been a few days since I first got access to the TSM 2.0 beta testing, and I must say, after the initial re-learning curve, I've been really impressed with the added functionality TSM 2.0 brings to the table.

The Basics

The way TSM works has been changed.  Groups are now set up in a whole new way.  Groups are no longer just in the Auctioning tab, they are their own tab now, and now you add functions to the groups to tell TSM what to do with these items called "Operations":


Groups contain items, and you add them the way you used to, but what Operations do are implement rules for multiple categories you currently have in TSM 1.x  such Auctioning, Crafting, Mailing, etc.  You can create Operations on the Operations tab which looks something like this:


What I have open here are my Auctioning Operations or "rules for posting".  10st5 20g for example is rule to post of 10 stacks of 5 with a fallback of 20g.  Now that I've made that Operation, I can add it on to any group I want under that Group's Operations tab.  In all there are 5 Categories of Operations that you can apply to each groups (I'm going to go more in depth below):
  1. Auctioning - Defined selling rules that can be added to a group.
  2. Crafting - Defined rules for crafting of items that can be added to a group. 
  3. Mailing - A set of mailing rules that can be added to a group Player & Quantity.
  4. Shopping - A set of rules for buying items that can be added to a group.
  5. Warehousing - A set of rules for storage of items that can be added to a group.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mysterious Circumstances

It's been quite a busy week for me, and it's only Monday!  Sunday Night I got accepted as a Wind Trader at the Consortium Forums, and started working with TSM 2.0.  Those two alone were enough to consume epic amounts of my time, but today I also participated in the Happy Hour Roundtable Podcast which should be up on The Drunken Mogul in a day or two.  I've enjoyed TSM 2.0 so far, but I probably won't post about it until I have a better understanding.

Extra Ink
The past few days my herb farmer had gone a little crazy and farmed hundreds of stacks of herbs.  I milled a lot of them, but I still had a ton of extra ink.  So, I did what any self respecting gold maker would do, jumped into an old favorite market, Mysterious Fortune Cards.  I used to bark these things back in Cataclysm, and I even had the macros still.  They sold like hot cakes!  I sold over 400 in an hour and a half while futzing around with TSM 2.0.  If there's one thing I will say is that there is a lot to learn thus far, and I've really enjoyed it.

Confrontation
It seems I always get in the middle of confrontations on my server, maybe because it's small, maybe because it's me.  Anyway I was barking the MFC's like the good ol' days, and this guy starts complaining about the markup on the cards, saying he can make them at 5g/piece.  I of course told him if he wants to sell things below crafting price I'd gladly buy it myself.  He replied with "the crafting cost is the price of the parchment because I can farm the mats".  /twitch.  The old it's 100% profit if I /facepalm the mats.  He also added "I'd do it to just to get you to stop screaming in trade chat.  So I barked MFCs again, and off he went to Mt. Hyjal to farm some Cata herbs.  I got to give him credit, the man stuck to his convictions.  I did not stick around to see if he actually undercut me, but I like to hope he did and got 3-7 cards sold for his silly farming.

Any/Everything Else
That's about it for me.  I just want to give a special shout out to Bones, probably one of the highest commenters on my blog in the past few months, who just hit 1 million gold.  Definitely a big congrats to him, and hope he can find some good ways to spend it!



Cheers,

Phat Lewts

If you like my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Phat's Review 6/14 - New Project!

I haven't done a weekly review in a while now, and I stopped because I felt they were getting a bit repetitive, but I have new/hopefully interesting things to talk about that I've been doing, so I'm going to write about them.

DMF Failure
I know it may not be a great market for most servers at this point, but on my small server, there's still a great markup on the DMF Trinkets, especially relatively to the price I pay for herbs from my supplier.  So I had 8 decks ready, and was waiting until the last day of the Faire to see if I could get that last CD card I needed, and wouldn't you know it, I messed up.  Of course, although the event "ends" on Sunday, it ends in the wee hours of the morning, which was an overlook by me.  Now I'm left with this for the next few weeks:
Might try to sell them as decks, but I've had no luck with that in the past.  Worth trying at least though, because I'm going to have a fresh set of decks for the next DMF, where I'll turn in the decks as I have them!!

Gold Making Progress
So since I last updated I'm up 200k in the last month, which is pretty low for me.  For a while I was hitting a million every 3 months, now based on these numbers it'd be a million every 5, but if I got to sell those DMF decks as trinks, perhaps I would have hit right on my numbers.  At least that's the excuse I tell myself.

I'm currently short an ore supplier, my latest one has gone belly up so I've been reaching out to some of the major AH sellers with no luck unfortunately.  I really need could use the ore, eating up a lot of my supply.  Not super worried about it yet, especially with all this realm combining news going on.  I'm probably going to  play on the PTR at some point after they update it a couple times, and transfer a bunch of characters with gold cap and throw money at everyone.  Mostly I want to check out the changes, but also throw money.

New Project
I'm also in the planning stages of a new project, which I have been toying around with for a while, but I want to make a reality.  There are a lot of gold making resources and blogs out there, and for someone new, or someone who's been into gold making for a short time (or even those who have been in it a long time), it's pretty hard to tell what blogs or websites contain the best information, which ones are just out there to make a quick buck off you, or which are just some random dude who started a blog, and has as little experience as you do.  There are blog and podcast lists out there, Jim Younkin maintains the most complete list that I can think of, but even he excludes people for personal differences, and hosts some poor content on his list, and I don't think that's overly useful.

I plan on rating the gold making sources based on a variety of factors that end up totaling to a 100 point score.  The ratings will be posted in the form of a blog post, and given a page on my blog, where they will be sorted by score.  The scores will be broken down into categories, and rated on my personal opinions alone (although I have been throwing around the idea of having a panel and averaging the votes).  Hopefully this will at least provide a sort of guideline as to quality and overall helpfulness of the site.  Again this project is still in the planning phases, but I'd love to hear from you.  What are some aspects that you think a gold blog or website should be judged on?  What are aspects from some of your favorite sites that you really enjoy that should be part of the ratings?


Cheers,

Phat Lewts

If you like my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Server Transferring - Don't do it! ...yet.

This post will be featured in Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival, now hosted by Selltacular.  Check out the other great posts, which will be live at the time of me posting this, as I'm a day late! 

If you haven't heard yet (and it's pretty hard not to), the 5.4 PTR Patch Notes have been released, and they're causing quite a stir.  Today I'm going to be focusing in on the most prolific one, at least for those of us who currently play on low-pop realms:

  • Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.
Source

Cross Realm AH
First of all I believe some apologies are in order.  I can't find the post where I ranted about how the rampant speculation about this type of change was premature, and although I still think it was to some extent, it was not as far off as I thought it would be honestly.  I truly did not believe that Blizzard would try to integrate this before dropping a new expansion, but it seems I was dead wrong.

That being said, if you didn't transfer your toons last week during the half off sale (and wasn't that just so perfectly timed to end 2 days before this announcement), then I'd suggest waiting to learn about how they'll implement this before you decide to transfer servers at all, especially if the economy is why you'll be moving.   What it seems like (at least right now) is that they're going to group a few servers together and combine them into one meta-server ("Virtual Realms").  Honestly, we don't know much yet about how they'll combine servers, I'm hoping they'll join multiple small realms together, but we'll see as they release more info.  This is a game changer though.  What they're doing is basically combining realms, without having to change the "home realm" you're on, which I think they did so that people did not have to change overlapping guild and player names.

This change, no matter how they implement it, will be a great and welcome change for small realms with struggling economies, and I look forward to having more sales and increased competition.  There are very few bad repercussions that could come from this, but the one I think Blizzard will struggle with most is the "smooth transition" phase.  They're just not good at that part of things, usually struggling when changes go live.  However, this change will give you more ability to sell, and less reliance on being the lowest auction out there.  I honestly feel like a kid on Christmas hearing these changes, small realmers rejoice!

Patch 5.4 Goldmaking
I'll probably be posting more about the changes, because these sorts of things get me excited, but there are 2 really good discussion threads you should check out on The Consortium forums in the mean time: Scaling Item Enhancements and Fused Realms, there's already a lot of good discussion going on about these changes there, with no doubt more to come as more info is released.

EDIT: 
Additional information!!   Blizzard said they will be releasing a blog post Soon™ on these changes:

We're working on an article currently that will explain more about Virtual Realms in detail. We're hoping to have it out to you all soon and will do our best to answer as many questions as you have as possible.

Keep in mind, we've only released the PTR notes at this point and still have testing, refining, more testing, gathering constructive feedback, testing, and then... when we think it's actually ready, releasing this live. While we have an idea of when we think we are going to have the patch go live, it's no guarantee that everything will go as expected (*crosses her fingers*). This isn't something that's going to be out in a week or anything.
Source

I'll post the link to the article when it goes live, but it will most likely be on the front page of the WoW website.  It will be interesting to see how Blizzard is currently planning on implementing these changes.  Also don't get your hopes up too high because all I keep seeing Blizzard employees saying is "anything can change before live, this is just PTR".  Grain of salt.

Cheers,

Phat Lewts

If you like my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Total Gold "Earned"

Today I wanted to tackle one of the more annoying parts of the gold making community that has been bugging me lately, the Total Gold Earned statistic.  A lot of gold makers (particularly streamers/youtubers) recently have been starting use this to show off their gold making gusto, or prove their 'legitimacy' as a gold maker, but is it really a statistic that reliably says anything about your gold making?

TGE Addon
Before I get into my rant, I just want to mention this addon.  I've posted about this addon before, but I think it's worth bringing up again.  Shiftywarloc (AKA j311yf1sh) put together this addon a while ago called Total Gold Earned, and it tracks the Total Gold Earned statistic (from Blizzard) across all your characters, and sums it up for you in a neat little package.  I think that TGE is a really interesting number to look at and consider for personal use, but to use it to prove how good you are at gold making to others is asinine.

My Numbers
Using Shifty's addon, my TGE is sitting at 10,291,500g.  To me this is an indicative number of the gold I've earned in the past, as I can verify my own gold making past.  I haven't sold any TCG items that I payed cash for, or manipulated the number in any way, so it's interesting for me to think about.  For your own numbers, it might provide something of the same.  It's great to look back on your legacy after achieving so much.  My qualm though comes from those who use this statistic to show "how good" they are at gold making.  This number can be easily manipulated, and is by far a terrible and misleading figure to go by, unless you are trying solely to increase your view counts.

Reality Check
Here's a chart I put together of what I personally could raise my Total Gold Earned to by moving my gold to a second account and buying my own auctions.  Of course each time I do this, the total amount of gold I have left to reinvest will be reduced by the 5% Auction House fee.  Below is a chart starting at where I am now, and going until I only have about 1 million gold left (rounded to 2 decimal places).



As you can see, I can roughly quadruple my current Total Gold Earned to over 40 million, and still have just under a million in liquid gold.  Did donating a large chunk of my gold to Blizzard make me a better gold maker?  No. Would I be able to use this number to impress people?  Without a doubt.  To put it into perspective, someone who made only 500k gold in their WoW lifetime could bankrupt themselves using this method, and their Total Gold Earned would be about 10 million gold.

What This Means
Now I'm not saying anyone in particular has fudged their data.  I just think that the general public should understand that this number can easily be manipulated, and is by no way a true indicator of knowledge of gold making.  I understand people want to draw in extra views to their blogs, videos, or livestreams, but I think this statistic should be taken with a grain of salt.

Fun Calculations
Wondering how much gold you could add to your TGE by using this method and bankrupting yourself (theoretically of course)?  Wonder no more!  Just multiply how much liquid gold you have right now by 19, and that's how much TGE you could add to your value.  Yes, 19 times whatever you have on hand.  I think even the most novice gold makers among us could come up with some misleading numbers!  

If you're interested in how , this ends up being an infinite geometric series, if you're unfamiliar with geometric series and want to learn more, you can read a quick intro here, and more on the calculations I did to obtain this here.  For a bare bones explanation, the first term you add will be .95 of your current total, which we'll call x, so your first term is .95x.  From there, you would have .95 of the .95x, or (.95)2x, the third term being (.95)3x.  From there, you can see that this is a geometric series with r = .95, and a = .95x.  If you read the second article, you would know that if we wanted a sum of all these terms, with -1 < r < 1 such as we have here, doing this method as many times as possible, what we have is roughly an Infinite Geometric Series, which sums to a/(1-r), which comes out to be .95x/.05 = 19x, 19 times your current gold total. 


Cheers,

Phat Lewts

If you like my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gear Flipping Advice (Transmog & Leveling)

One of the things I constantly see, especially after posting my transmog lists, is people saying "it just doesn't work" on their server, or that they bought 80+ items, and not one sold in their last posting, and they are about to give up.  The following is some advice/theories to pay attention to, to make sure your gear flipping is successful.

Law of Large Numbers
As a math major in college, this one is easy for me to see, but not necessarily easy for everyone else.  The Law of Large Numbers loosely says that the more times you repeat an experiment, the more likely you are to get to the actual average.  Let's look at an example.  Say on a specific server, about 5% of active level 90s are involved in hardcore raiding.  If you pick 5 level 90s at random, odds are none of them are hardcore raiders, say our average is 0%.  Now lets say we interviewed 20 total, 2 turned out to be raiders, 10%.  Later we have interviewed 100 players total, now having 6%, eventually if we interviewed the entire population of 90s on the server, we'd get that 5%, with each interview, getting relatively closer to the population average.

That's great Phat, but how does this apply to gear flipping?  Simple.  Say on any given day 1.5% of all transmog gear sells.  If you have only 47 pieces, odds are you're not going to sell one on any given day.  Now if you keep reposting you may, but one of the largest parts of selling transmog or leveling gear on a regular basis is increasing your stock.  It's simple, the more of the field you control, when someone actually decides to make a purchase in that market, the more likely it will be from your stock of goods rather than your competitors.  I have over 900 pieces of transmog and leveling gear in my inventory, and there are times I don't sell a thing, and other times when I log on to 20k+ in my mailbox (coincidentally, I just pulled in 24.5k  worth of transmog/leveing gear sales while writing this post, an all time high for me!).  It's a very variable market, and the only way to hedge against this is by increasing your stock.

General Strategy
The following is my general strategy, I go AFK a lot during transmog/leveling gear reposting, and do other things to not waste my time.  I'm sure it's not perfect but it works for me (use windowed fullscreen mode if you want to tab out).  This will work for reposting in general as well.

  1. Collect mail (to repost) while afk (TSM_Mailing), until character starts yelling at me.
  2. Walk to auctioneer, click TSM Post button, AFK
  3. Wait for readycheck sound telling me I'm ready to post ( /tsm -> Auctioning Groups/Options -> Options -> Enable Sounds)
  4. Tab into WoW and use scroll-wheel to post (set this up under /tsm -> Auctioning Groups/Options -> Options -> Macro Help)
  5. Once I'm done scrolling, start running back to mailbox, click mailbox, click Open All button, then AFK (Auctions will still post while you're in the mailbox window, and mail will start opening once all auctions have been posted)
  6. Repeat until done.
Hopefully nothing new there, but if you're new to the flipping game, hopefully it has shed some insight on the best way flip gear, while not staring at your character standing in one spot for minutes on end.  Also, if you're not using TSM to flip gear, you're wasting so much time, and are putting yourself at a disadvantage.  Learn it.  

Relevant Past Posts:

Cheers,

Phat Lewts

If you enjoy my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!