Sunday, August 30, 2015

Theory of Transmog

This is a post I've wanted to do for a while, so buckle in kiddies, we're going for a ride.

The Latest in Xmog Fashion
Transmog is a Long Term Investment
One of the most common questions I see from transmog selling beginners is "I've got X items, and I'm not getting many sales, what am I doing wrong?" The answer of course is nothing, granted X is insignificant, say less than a few hundred. Even in the hundreds, transmog can be slow. Transmog is slow.

I also see people claiming they're going to farm a bunch of xmog and turn it around for a WoW Token before their sub expires in 3 days. Really? No. Sure, you can get a piece that's worth 11k, but your buyer needs time to find it. Now if you are trying to sell to sellers, then by all means mark it down low and lose lots of gold, but transmog is the Looooong Game if you're playing it right, and is not a quick turnover market.

Transmog to me is not a market you get in immediately. At first you want to invest your gold in fairly liquid assets so you can reinvest, and get that delicious quickly compounding interest. Only when you have a sizable quantity of gold to invest, and are running out of options, should transmog be your go to market. That's not to say you cannot make gold off xmog alone. With 2k start up capital, and patience you can turn it into hundreds of thousands, but that key ingredient is patience and time. You do not want to tie up all your capital in transmog the same way you do not want to tie up all of your capital in mounts. It's just silly to put all your eggs in one long term basket. You want a nice portfolio of long term and short term strategies, to really optimize your gold's potential future value.

When you decide it's time to invest in transmog, you need to understand unequivocally that you will probably be down gold for quite some time before making it back. Yes, you'll always see those success stories where the first thing someone buys is worth 10k, they spent 5g on it, and sold it overnight. Outliers happen.

Just know that the key to transmog is amassing a large, diverse stock of items, and constantly reposting. Do not worry about items as individuals, but your stock as a whole, and have something else going while you're acquiring armor, or you will lose interest.

One Size Fits All
Now if you're reading this and have tried the xmog market you've probably tested out my price sources which roughly are:

Buy: 20% Global
MinSell: 50% Global
NormSell: 125% Global
MaxSell: 250% Global

These are not perfect price sources for all servers, which I expressed in my transmog video, but people tend to gloss over that. I do like to go off of the entire WoW population when pricing. The global averages give you a nice baseline of what something is potentially worth relative to other items transmog items. For example if Chestpiece A is worth 600g globally, and Chestpiece B is worth 1200g globally, I know that in general, people value Chestpiece B to be worth twice as much as Chestpiece A. That to me, in a perfect world (of Warcraft), would mean that using these sources at a percent optimized for your server would give you ideal pricing, but unfortunately that's just not the case.

That's why I choose to use global sources personally, and lean towards the hypothetical, but if you're on a larger market, incorporating server specific prices can be extraordinarily useful too, as market prices will tend to behave a bit more on large servers. The bottom line though is that you need to experiment with price sources to find out what works best for you. I have been planning for a while on giving multiple examples of what different people are using for transmog pricing on my pricing page, but that will be up when I do my transmog video over for TSM 3.

Hopefully this helps shed some light on some transmog misconceptions, and these are a few I want to address in my upcoming TSM 3 Transmog video, while also addressing the new transmog mechanic in Warlords (possibly separate videos). What else about the transmog market do you think people tend to misunderstand?

Phat Lewts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What I Want From Legion Gold Making

So the new WoW expansion has been announced and the buzz has begun. This article is going to be an opinion piece of my impressions of WoD gold making and what needs to change in Legion.

WoD Goldmaking
WoD was supposed to be an ultimate revolution in gold making. From the beginning, early stages of the Alpha, we were promised a profession revamp, and there were many interactions between the developer Hwoo and the Consortium gold making community. You can go back and read some of the conversations if you'd like, but the basic gist from the gold making community at the time was we were being "heard" by the devs. We all had a sense of optimism heading into WoD that everything would be more interesting, and new challenges would arise from a "new profession system", and gold making had finally reached a golden age.

Unfortunately, that's not what we were delivered. What we got at launch felt like a half-baked product, and left a lot of professions high and dry. Gold making with professions really took a hit this expansion. Maybe it took all those mindless shufflers out of the equation and left the market to those seasoned vets, but it killed the profitability and interesting choices of many professions. Jewelcrafting is probably one of the last professions someone will suggest now, and it had been a king for a long time. Not to say that one profession should be that OP that it's the default suggestion for new gold makers to have always, but they basically took it out back behind the shed and shot it in the head. Enchanting still had some profits, but slots were reduced. The 3 big crafting professions (Tailoring/LW/BS) were reduced to daily CD making machines, with not many interesting choices from there. Sure it was easier gameplay to not have to enchant/get a belt buckle/get leg armor for every new piece you got in a raid, but it killed some nice routes for those 3 big guys. The gold making game has become dull.

Legion So Far...
So far we have not heard much about Legion and the Devs have seemed to realized that WoD as a whole was a disappointment to many players, and are focusing on not making promises they cannot keep. To me this is a good sign, hopefully transparency continues moving forward. What we do know about professions so far is this (via MMO-Champ):

  • There will be a quest line for each profession.
  • There will be some system changes to professions as a whole to improve the UI and add new functionality.
  • The professions team for Legion is the largest that Blizzard has ever had for WoW and lots of new things are coming. The team heard the feedback about Warlords professions.

The quest line could be the same as this expansion, and honestly I did not find the quests all too interesting, and it didn't really add any gating, so they didn't help gold makers much. Thus far though, it seems like they're at least making some corrective steps to change professions, with the UI and new functionality (whatever that may be). It's nice to hear that they've got the largest team ever for professions, but that could just mean 2 interns instead of 1. I jest, but I'm hoping they stay true to that last point, and introduce some new and interesting profession choices and make sure that "no profession is left behind". All professions (sans gathering) should have interesting choices, and I hope they can accomplish that.

What we were all expecting for WoD was a new professions system, not like Wrath -> Cata -> MoP where it was basically the same mold moved up an expansion, but a new system that would challenge what we knew about professions, and change how we thought about making gold. Creating new complex problems for us to solve and new and interesting choices to make. It really fell short of that expectation.

I personally would love for Legion gold making to make me think again. For a beginner, it may still do that now, but once you get that formula down, it's mindless. I'd like new interesting problems to come out of Legion gold making, and I hope the Dev team can deliver. I also hope that the garrison theme does not continue with these class halls. They claim that the professions team has heard the feedback about Warlords professions, but I honestly hope they can move forward and correct them in a meaningful way, but only time will tell! What do you want to see the most in Legion gold making?

Phat Lewts