Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Dynamics in Gold Making

Low population servers are going extinct Soon, once rollouts of Connected Realms are complete.  We don't know the final "size" goal of these connected realms, but low population realms are set to be a thing of the past.

Low Pop vs. High Pop
Right now the main talked about dynamic in WoW gold making is low population vs. high population.  It's inherently clear that high population servers have the possibility to make more gold than low population servers.  The downside is that the gold per hour put in is lower on high pop than it is on low pop, the turnover ratio just being that much higher on a high pop that it makes it a more valuable gold making environment.  There has been many a heated debate over which is better and how to compare the earnings potentials.  I've personally for example have 3.5 million liquid gold on a low pop server, what does that equate to on say Illidan - Horde?  Hard to say, hard to compare, but it's the main dividing factors of gold makers now.  But that's all about to change.

The Dark Below...
Low population servers are slowly getting phased out, and will be completely phased out by the next expansion.  One thing that crept up about connected realms that's going to be really interesting from a gold making stand point is that when Realm A is connected to Realm B, you can have 11 characters on each realm for a total of 22 (yes, even post connection), but you see, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Account Cap on One Connected Realm
Confirmed by this blue post earlier today, in theory, if 5 servers were merged (and they have been already), you could create the account cap (50) of toons on that server.  Now I don't know about you, but leveling 50 toons to cap does not sound like fun to me, but if they don't allow 50 toons on all servers the comparison has gone from low pop vs. high pop to single-realm (1) vs quint-realm (5 connected).  Fifty potential toons means 100 potential TradeSkill slots, a theoretical army of Alch/Scribes that could destroy gold making empires.

And how about those gold makers who have 2 accounts for cross faction trading?  100 toons.  Better yet, if you're not using 2 accounts yet or want to start fresh, you can RAF yourself, and get that 300% XP to level up an enormous army of max level Death Knights. Now, if you haven't noticed the pattern, the level you need to max professions is going to be 85 for the next expansion (it's 80 currently), so having all these toons at 90 would theoretically set you up for two expansions worth of max alch/inscription CDs, although it could bump to 95 if there even is another expansion after this on, but don't worry that's like 2 years from now.  It's really a bit excessive.  Cooldown markets can now be controlled by brute force, and it's going to be very interesting to see how this all pans out on different servers.  In fact, there's already a quint-realm up on live US servers, but I doubt anyone has account cap on a single server yet (although multiboxers probably have previously).

The Future
It will be really interesting to see how all these things will pan out.  Maybe a big profession announcement at Blizzcon (doubt it) or a caustic environment for classic cooldown gold making in the future, only time will tell.  I don't think the average player will be rolling all 50 character slots to make gold, but don't underestimate people, it is bound to happen if it's still a possibility moving forward, and will be an interesting dynamic to watch.

I'm personally still really excited about connected realms, but as you may know if you follow me on twitter, the connected realm fairy has not yet come to little ol' Shattered Halls US.  You will know when it does, because it will be all I talk about (hopefully).


Phat Lewts

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Shuffling and You.

I'm a pretty active member in a few different WoW gold making communities, and a common thing I see throughout them is people telling noobies starting out to pick up shuffling. Shuffling is a great combination of professions, where I made a majority of my gold.  A true legend in WoW gold making, but I just wanted to go over a few things about the shuffle that I think people should know before diving into it.  I'm going to assume you already know how the shuffle works. If you don't, leave me a comment on how you actually made it to my blog, and check out this handy dandy flowchart summarizing the shuffle.

Ghost Iron Shuffle
This is your (my) guild bank on the shuffle (click image to enlarge).

Shuffling is a really great combination of professions, arguably the most lucrative combination of professions in game throughout expansions.  There of course is one caveat to shuffling though, that it's very time consuming.  Now there are ways that you can cut down on the amount of time you spend mashing buttons using tools from The Consortium, but you still need to have that time available to be in game and not doing something else in game.  If you don't have that kind of time, odds are that other professions might suit you better.  A lot of professions with daily CDs can really add a lot of value to items in little time.  Professions like Tailoring, Leatherworking, and Blacksmithing (etc.) might suit you better if you don't have a lot of in game time, and want to get the most bang for your buck.  In 5 minutes switching between multiple toons doing daily CDs, you could make as much as you could shuffling for say 30 minutes.  This of course is a ballpark estimate, but you get the point.

If you're someone who enjoys playing the game for raiding, PvP, or whatever it is you may enjoy that's not gold making, and just want to make some coin "part time", shuffling is most likely not for you.  It takes a lot of time investment, and not just in the actual processing of the mats.

The shuffle can make you a ton of gold, and the more time you put into it, the more gold you'll make.  This is best summarized by a recent thread on the Consortium Forum, where a user asked "How much do you make on the shuffle daily?" to which Kathroman replied "As much as I want to." More in depth discussion occurred that you can check out, but that's the bottom line. The main point though is that there is always profit potential in this market, hindered only by the amount of time that you have to dedicate to it and number of times per day you can post.  Shuffling will nearly always make you gold, but quite like all other professions there's a breaking point where it'd be more efficient to just go out and farm, or you start hurting your own profits by over saturating the market.  Basically, know your limits here.  If this is not something you'll keep up with, getting into it may just be a waste of time for you.

The last thing I will say about Shuffling (in this post at least) is to keep an eye on your rare gem ceiling, the highest price you will possibly pay for 1 rare gem.  I calculate this by using GIO numbers: 1 rare gem, 6 uncommon gems, .5 Serpent's Eye per stack.  Ignoring Serpent's Eye's (although you could factor them in if you really wanted to), and assuming I go the route of guaranteed income with the 6 uncommon gems, making jewelry and vendoring it (again, not necessarily best route, but the minimum I can be guaranteed to make), the net profit on those is about 16g.  I pay 50g/stack for GIO, so the ceiling for my rare gems is:

50g - 16g = 34g/gem.

That's the theoretical most I will pay ever for a rare gem at that stack price.  Then I can look at my profits and make sure I'm making smart choices.  Some quick math can save you headaches in the long run.  Again this is the MAXIMUM price I'll ever pay for a gem at these stack prices.

Shuffling is by far one of the most profitable profession combos in game when utilized properly.  When I wrote my post for Nev's 20 Days of Goldmaking that had the prompt "Which Market has made you the most through the years?" I wrote my response on Jewelcrafting.  Obviously I (and many other serious gold makers) see this as a great method of making profits in WoW, but it's not right for everyone.  If you have the time though, the profitabilies are endless!


Phat Lewts

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Guild Scams

I really wanted to touch on this topic for a while, but this is something that really bothered me when it happened to me, and it's happening again on my server, and I think it's ridiculous that Blizzard does not do anything about it.

Disclaimer: I knew the risks of buying guilds, especially in sketchy situations, and took them anyway.  That part is 100% on me. This is mainly a critique of how Blizzard dealt/deals with it.

Guild Scams
Telling people you will sell them a guild, and taking their gold for nothing is apparently a legitimate method of making gold according to Blizzard, so this is indeed a gold making post in case anyone was wondering.

Story time!

So earlier this year in February, someone was selling a level 25 guild with 7 tabs on my server.  After getting an invite to the guild on an alt and using Sapu's Guild Bank Macro to evaluate the tabs, I found there were over 29,000 g worth of goods in the tabs, including lots of current mats/gems etc.  The guild also had a few hundred members who were active, so a fairly valuable guild, a rare find on my small server.

To recap: ~30,000g in goods, 19,350g worth of purchased tabs I'd be saving, and active members. I offered 40k, feeling I could sell what was in the Guild Bank and get a nice profit from the resale of the guild.  He wanted 50,000 and wasn't willing to budge.  Looking back now to that period on my previous gold totals graph, I had 1.45 million, 50,000 being ~3.5% of that.  This of course doesn't justify the stupidity that occurred next, but provides some context.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crafting vs. Gathering

I often see people who are new to the art of making gold in WoW ask the age old question of  "Crafting or Gathering?"  In this post I'm going to attempt to clarify the thought process behind why crafting is a more efficient gold maker than gathering.

Maybe the misconception that gathering is a legitimate source of high income comes from all those youtube videos or guides out there that quote "thousands of gold per hour with this awesome spot!" or something similar.  I'd like to believe that no one sees these guides as legitimate sources of information, but the sad truth is that they do.  Hell for all I know Hayden Hawk may actually be the richest player in WoW (he's not).  I think a majority of the misconceptions come from the fact that the average player just does not interact with this gold making sub-community.  We are a niche group of people, but if you have a conversation with any serious gold maker, most likely farming isn't in their vocabulary, unless they're suggesting an activity for you to gain a few thousand startup gold, or perhaps farming at their Sunsong Ranches at Halfhill.  Reason being in the long term, crafting is much more profitable per unit of time invested.

Gathering consists of 3 (maybe 4) professions: Skinning, Mining, Herbalism, and sometimes Fishing.  First of all, if you're really going to insist on having Herbalism and Mining, PLEASE have it be the same toon!!  I so often see people saying they have "Mining/JC" on one toon and "Herbalism/Alch" on another. Every time I see that, it I cringe.  I'm pretty sure a puppy dies when you spread gathering professions on separate characters like that.  You're wasting so much time and efficiency spacing them out like that! Why farm for 1 at a time when you can farm for both at once?  Convenient while leveling, maybe. Terrible at max level.  If you're going to bother having them (and by the end of this post, hopefully you won't) at least put them on the same toon!
You don't want hurt us do you?
Gathering derives it's profits from flying around in circles and collecting nodes (or farming mobs for their skin).  Is it a profitable endeavor?  Yes, surely.  You definitely can make gold using gathering professions, and have no vested risk. That last part is what makes gathering so appealing to players new to the gold making scene, and rightfully so. It gives you a guaranteed increase in gold, with no gold investment needed, sounds great right?  Then why do all serious gold makers utilize crafting professions and item flipping, and not gathering?  Just like in real life, these types of low risk/guaranteed return investments have much lower return rates than their higher "risk" counterparts. The reason I put risk in quotation marks here is because if you're doing it right, there should be no risk whatsoever when you craft. I'm not going to dive into opportunity cost too deeply in this post, but by farming instead of crafting you're essentially losing gold.  Selling yourself short as it were.

Crafting consists of 8 core professions: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, and Tailoring.  All of these are profitable in their own right, but most have a daily CD that adds to the profitability of these professions, and that's where the benefits start.  A lot of players don't realize that if they just used their cooldowns for even 2 crafting professions daily that they could make all the gold they need for max flying, flasks, and other basic WoW expenses.  These items generally (usually more so during the beginning of a patch/expansion) have the best return rates per time invested.  Also, consider that with the average craft time which is about 3 seconds, and even if you make a measly 10g profit per craft, that amounts to...

Eat that crappy YouTube videos!

There is however a catch.  Crafting professions standing by themselves all have limited use.  For example there's some number of gems I can craft that just won't sell within a reasonable time frame.  There's an amount of cloth PvP armor that will sell, and beyond that crafting any more becomes unproductive.  If utilized correctly (crafting the most profitable things first), crafting should follow an exponential pattern in terms of "gold per hour".  "Gold per hour" is a fairly useless metric when thinking about trends in gold making.  I much prefer Profit per week, or Profit per day, but for modeling purposes I'm going to use Gold per Hour (GPH).  GPH for crafting in my examples will be net profit from your action of crafting, and gathering roughly the same.

As far as the crafting goes, you should craft the most lucrative things first, and work your way down.  For farming on the other hand, gold per hour is fairly static.  The only limiting factor is eventually you'll farm so much it becomes valueless, but let's pretend that you're not botting for this example and can make a steady GPH rate during your reasonable farming sessions.  This is what one gathering profession compared to one crafting profession's GPH looks like:

As you can see, having 1 crafting profession is better for a while, but soon you run out of things to produce, while a farmer can keep farming the same mats for the same price.  A staple of good gold makers is Diversity.  Having different markets and venues for profit.  What if we were to compare 2 or more crafting professions to 2 Farming professions?  For simplicity, I'm going to assume you picked the 2 most profitable gathering professions on your server, and can make a steady GPH using them.  Since you can only utilize 2 gathering professions at a time, while you can switch between the most optimal crafting profession during a set time once you've run out of things to craft, the graphs will look something like this:

As you can see, the more crafting professions you have, the higher "gold per hour" you can make by switching between professions and making your most profitable items.  Also keep in mind that although the GPH dips below gathering at a certain point, the average per hour for that whole time will still be way higher for the crafting professions, unless you gather for ridiculous amounts of time (see: Botting).

What have we learned today?  Gathering professions are a source of profit for sure.  100% profit?  No.  You are investing your time, which you could be putting to better use crafting for even better profit margins!  Using crafting professions you can make more gold in less time.  If you buy your materials properly, there should be no doubt of guaranteed profits, and you will be showered in gold and phat lewts.  If you enjoy flying around in circles and picking up nodes, more power to you, but there are more gold efficient ways you could be spending your time.


Phat Lewts

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sky Golem Madness

Sky Golem, as stolen from the Wowhead Model Viewer
I've seen some crazy speculation in the past few days, on the profit of the Sky Golem, which will be craftable for the first time Wednesday on US servers, and Thursday on EU.  The most ridiculous prediction I've seen came from the reddit gold making community, where someone said they thought they'd be able to sell their Sky golem for "at least 500k".  With a mentality like that, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Now this isn't to say the thing isn't going to be profitable. Oooooh it will be. But let's look at the numbers for a moment shall we?  
Here are the Market Price to make one across US servers.  

Ghost Iron Bar x 300: 2,616 g (8.72g per)
Living Steel x 30: 16,196 g (539.87g per)
Total: 18,812g

Well well well, not exactly a cheap investment, but no bank breaker either, at least for most of my audience.  This (or more accurately your own servers average) is what you should value your cost as.

You may say "but I'm a xmute alchemist" etc.  Yes you are, but you could have sold these Living Steel at market price, and made that part of the profit regardless of whether you put it into crafting the Sky Golem or not.  You want to look at the value that crafting the Sky Golem adds to these mats!!

Maximizing Profit
If you have other crafting CDs (Tailoring/BS/LW) and crafted belts, surely you were disappointed with the prices.  Don't expect Sky Golems to be any less cutthroat.  That being said there are 2 things that are worth considering with the Golem:

  1. It's much better advantage than a 553 belt (or even pants), it's an item that adds value to someone's account, not just 1 slot on 1 toon.
  2. They are strictly limited to every 30 days (given you don't think there's massive dupes inc). 
So what's the bottom line?  My thoughts are this, opinions may vary, servers as well.  First of all you have to consider that not everyone's going to be able to craft this thing on day 30.  I missed 2 days already myself, being the casual gold maker that I am.  

***Side Tangent: I did a flex raid a few days ago where one of the guys I was raiding with got a Jard's pattern for the first time and asked what it was for.  He was also that guy who had to switch to an alt to get gold for repairs later in the raid.  Point being, there's all sorts of people who play this game and not every Engineer is going to be making this, but as far as love for professions go, Engineers are undoubtedly the most dedicated and most of them will be ready to craft within a few days of Day 30.***

 Second, know that if you are ready on Day 30, you may be among a smaller crowd than Day 31 or Day 32.  Getting a deal in trade for 1-5k less than the AH may be a solid bet.  If you can't sell it within the first few days, don't drop your price by 20,000g or some ridiculous number just because the market is over saturated.  I expect these to at least have a small pricing trend like the Darkmoon Faire trinkets did early in the expansion.  Week of the Faire?  Everyone is turning in their decks and undercutting each other like crazy.  Two weeks after Faire?  Higher profits for those with a little patience.  Now this may vary on your server due to a lot of factors (size being the main one), but I'd expect to see a similar pricing trend for Sky Golems, so don't dump it for super cheap this week if prices take a dive! Hold on to it maybe 10-14 days, and see what the market does.  

I hoped this helped shed some light on the pricing for Sky Golems, and if you'd like to rampantly speculate on pricing in the comment section, feel free.  


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

WAIT WAIT WAIT...Phat you didn't give us a price!

Go for as much as you can when you can log on.  If you're the first to post it and want to try for a half a million gold, by all means go for it.  Who am I to say dreams don't come true?

The price is going to vary LARGELY by server. So, damn much. You should know how your server will react to these things better than I, just keep your bottom line in mind when selling and you can't lose.  Finally, I will let you all know that my goal is the 150-200k range.  I have NO idea what my market will do tomorrow, and I have to wait 2 days anyway, so I'll have a front row seat.  That being said do not expect the same on your server at all, manage your expectations people!

Actual Cheers,

Phat Lewts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Phat's Weekly Lewt Review 10/2

It's been a while since I've done a classic Phat's Weekly Lewt Review (I call it classic but I'm sure most of you forgot I even did them), but I'm considering getting back into doing these weekly, but only time will tell if I'll keep up with it.

So this week my grand total is up to 3,446,744 just 53,000 and change short of 3.5 million!  Over the past month and a half (it's been a while since I've updated my numbers) I've made on average ~6,200 per day.  I'll take it.  Recently I've been playing a little more of the actual game, and less of the gold making side (for me less is still probably 100x more than the average player).  I'm in a bit of a low power mode though

Low Power Mode
I'm currently operating in what your laptop would call low power mode, doing the minimum that I see fit to ensure I keep making gold.  I've got a lot going on IRL, and I've only had a limited time to make gold in game, as I've also been spending much of the limited time I have in game on actually playing the game for a change.  More on that below for those who care.

Anyway I thought I'd go over, with limited time, the priorities of things that I see as "most optimal" when I play the AH.

  1. Burn all crafting CDs
  2. Post Gems/Enchants
  3. Post Crafted PvP Gear
  4. Post Glyphs
  5. Keep up on crafting
  6. Post Transmog/Leveling Gear
Luckily I had enough of a surplus when I started that I've had to do minimal crafting phases.  

New Suppliers
In the past week or two I've had the fortune of coming across a few farmers.  These guys are probably not bots, because they deal in pretty small quantities.  I get about 20-24 stacks of Ghost Iron Ore or 10-12 stacks of Ghost Iron Bars from them each day, and when there's 2 of them, it works out quite well for me! One guy was selling in trade and I caught him, the other had posted GIO for a really nice price I'd be willing to pay daily, so I mailed him and told him we could cut out the middle man/AH fee, and he happily obliged.  I was getting a bit low on GIO, but now I'm in a good place with it, at least until one of them decides to stop playing.

So in theory, both US and EU realms today have 21 (at least) of their CDs, and can start crafting ilvl 553 belts.  I was kind of playing back a bit looking to take a queue from my server on what the pricing should be, but as far as I've seen there's only been one piece posted on my (low pop) server since Monday, the first day they became craftable.  I'm only paying ~40g for my BS CD, ~90g for my Tailoring, and ~240g for my leatherworking CD (notice an imbalance here?).  This makes the belt, if I were to craft it and not wait for the pants have a cost of  840g for BS, 1,890g for Tailoring, and 5,040 for LW.  I'm just finding it hard to put my finger on a price I think is both good for me, and going to sell.  I guess that last part doesn't matter because I'll be the only one with these on the AH.  I'm thinking 30-40k.  Might start at 50 and work my way down.

What really sucks is that I haven't learned a single belt recipe for Tailoring.  I've decided to go with belts because I think that they will sell better than pants, mostly because (and this is my personal rational when I buy gear) I would wait until I got the 4 set before deciding whether or not to shell out the gold for pants.  That being said Paragons won't open on Flex/LFR for another 2ish weeks, so my theory may be complete garbage, but I think belts are definitely a safe bet.

Hope you all enjoyed.  I'm considering writing some more about TSM.  I keep seeing the same questions pop up.  Not sure if I'll actually end up doing something written or some more videos, but if you have anything you'd like to see, let me know below!


Phat Lewts

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