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.

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!

Phat Lewts


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.

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gold Making Invitational: My Competition's Strategy by Anddi

Today I've got a really exciting treat for you all, I asked Lakza, my main competition during the gold making invitational if he'd be willing to write up a post on his experiences, and he gladly obliged, so today I'm featuring a guest post by Lakza, otherwise known Anddi on his main server. I just want to give a big thank you to him for providing his perspective, I personally found it very interesting, and I hope you do too! Without further ado, his post:

I only began playing WoW during early 4.3, starting off on a backwater RP server. In the last few months of Cata I got interested in gold making and built up some capital flipping items, eventually moving onto shuffling and more serious gold making with professions at the beginning of MoP. A year ago I transferred to a higher pop server, Proudmoore-US, which allowed me to greatly expand my gold making operations and to get into more serious raiding. I’m currently sitting at 5.6 million gold there, and am working towards a heroic Garrosh kill.

Ironically given that I ended up winning the gold per hour portion of the competition, I decided early on that I’d be going for most gold overall and not really concerning myself with limiting my /played time. I was also curious to see what would happen if I used techniques I’d normally consider too boring or not worth the time investment on my main server, like farming and reselling cheap vendor mats.  As such, one of the first things I did after leaving the DK starting zone was farm enough Noblegarden Chocolates to buy a Swift Springstrider, which gave me a decent chunk of capital early on. I also decided to go with Mining and Skinning as my professions, since Vanilla leather prices looked good and I had no intention of leveling all the way to 80 in order to make a crafting profession worthwhile. I did initially level my toon to 60 to buy flying, but in the end I opted not to take the hit to what little gold I’d accumulated by that point and to just stick with flight paths.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gold Making Invitational Wrap Up

Days 1-5
Days 6-15
Days 16-27

I got very busy during the last few days of the competition IRL, and could not continue the log style of my posts, so the last 3 days are in a group summary form.

Final Days Combined Log (28-30)
Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances IRL, these last few days will require a lot of out-of-game attention, so I will not be able to maintain the log style of the previous posts. That being said I am liquidifying everything I possibly can on the competition realm, going through my bank and things I've been putting off, buying LS cooldowns to dump excess Trillium. Liquidating. Everything. Doing a lot of cancelling when I can to get those extra sales. Restocking gems as well, anything I can to turn an extra buck. Saw my main competition on just 24 hours before the deadline, and I did a compare achievements on him yielding the following:

Now honestly, I feel that this guy is the only one who IMO will be competing with me for the two titles (most gold/most gold per hour). I'm not sure that anyone else has even been continuing on at this point, or is trying/playing at this level. So, comparing the numbers we see some interesting trends. One is that I've acquired roughly twice as much gold as Lakza. I'm very interested in this. From what I was seeing, he was very invested in flipping mat markets, and selling vendor items. This also tells me that he was making much better returns on his investments than I was, although again, I think my strategy was too long term. On our most gold owned, for one I'm assuming that we both currently were holding the most gold ever owned on our characters at the current time, which puts Lakza 6,000g ahead of me. I think that with persistance in this last 24 hours that I can overcome the gap and then some. I've been roughly earning 10k/day in the past 2 days, so getting 12-15k I'd feel comfortable in where I am, but it only means these last few hours are going to be essential in making my most gold title.

It really sucks, because I think it just took me too long to hit my stride, and given an extra week I could make over double what I have now, but there's no one to blame for that than myself. Throughout the 24 hours I was posting like a mad man whenever I got the chance and restocking/posting all my gem cuts in stacks of 5. At the end of the competition I decided not to go crazy and vendor all of my items as it would be a complete waste of future earnings that I plan to do on the server.

The final totals for the two winners were:

PhatLewts: Total: 61,203g | Playtime: 66hrs 46mins | GPH: 916.5
Lakza: Total: 56,678g | Playtime: 51hrs 40mins | GPH: 1096.6

So I was able to make 18k in my last day, and Lakza pulled in about 7.5k, giving me the larger total, and leaving Lakza with the most GPH. Lakza and I were very close throughout the competition, and I could tell early on that he and I would end up being the front runners by the end.

Post Competition Analysis
So, as I've been saying throughout I think that my strategy was poor for this competition. At the beginning I envisioned it starting to work properly much earlier in the process. I'm currently set to make hundreds of thousands of gold on this server, but getting to that position took longer than I expected. If I were to do this competition again, I'd have reused the strategy I used in my competition with Selltacular for getting in the gem market, that is, hiring out JCs and Alchemists to do my dirty work for me. I thought that given that this competition was roughly twice as long, that it would pay off in the long run to level the professions myself, but I do not believe that it has. The only way I could say that it has was that Tiger Opals were in the 40-50g range almost constantly on this server, which still leaves avenues for profits, but really cuts down on the margins. Being able to prospect for Vermilion Onyxes and cheap Tiger Opans was almost a must. If they actually sold for 40-50g people were making more than a stack of Ghost Iron was going for in just that one uncut gem. Good for them, but that's ridiculous.

Throughout the competition sales were a bit slower than I had imagined they'd be. I don't know if it's the size of the server, or perhaps the amount of big players in the market, but I dabble on a different medium pop server, and my turnover rate is much higher, and I went in expecting the same on this one. Managing everything from one toon was a bit of a pain as well, keeping armor auctions and gems/enchants/xmutes all on one character is a bit of a juggling act, but worked out okay in the end.

Hindsight is 20/20
If I were to do the competition again, I would probably change how I approached the whole thing. I like the way Lakza approached things, getting a few levels then flipping what they could. To me though that'd get boring, but is probably a much better short term strategy. Overall I think the biggest hurdle in this competition was building up quickly, and I was not as successful at that as I'd have liked to been, but now have a solid base to build upon on that server, if I indeed choose to do so. I've been talking with Lakza and he's expressed interest in writing an analysis post from his perspective on my blog, so I'm pretty excited about that, look for it later this month!

Guessing Competition
Probably most disappointing was my guessing competition. I had a lot of guesses in the 200k range, and man did I not live up to that. The winner is of course @discorddave with the following guess:

For a while I was thinking I'd end up with less in this month long competition than I did in my 2 week competition, but thankfully that was not the case. So, congrats again to @discorddave, to whom I've already sent a DM on twitter to for the prize!

Phat Lewts