Saturday, June 25, 2011

Keeping it Fresh, Keeping it Real - What's YOUR Priority ?

Bringing the old school to the new school with another 'Gold-Making for Dummies' installment...

Gold-making isn't just the ability to find the right items to post on the Auction House to get the most gold back.
One of the greatest feats to master is the ability to cope and react to change.
Change comes to us in many different ways :
  • someone decides to reset markets
  • someone posts a wall of items in your way
  • someone is babysitting the Auction House, cancelling and reposting to undercut you constantly
  • people stop buying items
  • patch info from the PTR is datamined and influences buying and posting behavior
  • you've had a Real Life situation that's been keeping you from logging into the game for a certain amount of time
  • etc.
You can't always expect what will happen (just like Real Life financial markets), so you have to be quick on your feet and know how to react accordingly to make the best out of a situation.
Just like normal problem-solving, it's always best to investigate the roots of the change before you react to it.
But it's not just that : you have to know the range of possibilities open to you.

Efficient gold-makers are always on the lookout for ingenious ideas to solve these problems.
Newbie ones will - at some point, if they're stuck - ask for comments or help.
The gold-making community is great to shuffle ideas and answer people who are "stuck".
There's the Consortium forums, the JMTC weekly meetings (where experienced gold-makers can answer your questions live), personal gold-making coaches, gold podcasts and a vast amount of gold-making blogs.
Getting accurate information is the key and we are not lacking on resources anytime soon.
Don't be afraid to browse, comment, ask questions.
Some people may have different point of views on how to address a particular situation, but one thing's for sure : the community will not hold back if you are asking for help.

What's also very important in situations of change is to get your priorities straight.
Do you even have a list of priorities, even if it's just in your head ?

Here's an exercise for you : piece of paper + pen, and write it all down and put it in order. (Results might raise your eyebrows)

In these Cataclysm days there's so many things to do in-game and not enough time to complete it all (that is, if your aim is to complete any of the in-game objectives that can be completed).
You have many things to consider/factor in:
  • weekly transmutes and raids
  • weekly server maintenance
  • your daily transmutes
  • the amount of time you can play per day/week
  • the usual hours of raiding on your server
  • the posting times of the competition
  • your 7 heroic 5-man heroic dungeon runs
  • your weekly Baradin Hold run
So many things to consider!
I have not listed them all and some of them might not be important to you, but maybe they are important to others.
You have to ask yourself: what are your goals ?
What do you have to do to reach them ?
In what order ?
(Order of doing things is very important in WoW - there's a lot of situations that are very much about being at the right place at the right time and you want to make yourself available to take advantage of them.)

Now the second ability of a gold-maker that might actually be even more important than having a list of priorities is to be able to reevaluate your priorities.
You need to find a way to synch your priorities with the ever-evolving game we work in.
What I do - and suggest strongly - is to look at your list of priorities every week, preferably on Maintenance Tuesdays.
You can take the time off to browse through all the online info about the game - patch notes, gold blogs, Wowhead - and figure out new strategies to make gold and tinker a bit with your list in order to properly schedule your week.

Where am I currently with the goals I want to reach ?
Am I making progress ?
Can I work more efficiently ?
Are there changes in the near future that will keep me from going further and how can I counter the changes or work with them ?
If a situation is not progressing at all, what can I do about it ?
I am out of ideas OR All the options I've come up with do not please me : Is there any way I could get help with that ?

There's a philosophy about keeping things fresh and updated.
In all aspects of Real Life.
It makes things grow, it's nurturing, it's part of the cycle of things.
Dead things fall back to the earth, get recycled, come back in another form.
If things are not renewed, are taken away from cycles of life, they become stagnant and still.
Nothing grows from them and they become stuck in a perpetual sick and dying stage.
This applies to ideas and your head as well.
A good gold-maker will be always on the move, ready to cope with any situation that comes their way.
Your Auction House prices go up and down, items become 'hot' then not, you have to deal with high and low stock and supply and demand, and Blizzard decides to throw in a ton of new items once in a while.
That's a lot of things to deal with.
A challenge comes your way - will you know how to deal with it ?
With time and practice, you'll be able to react accordingly, wisely and swiftly.
And you'll pocket the gold like nothing ever happened.

My way of seeing it: gold-making is stimulating for your brain.
It has to be.
If it's not, there are other things in and out of WoW that are.
Gold-making HAS to be something that needs to be renewed.
You have to keep it alive and well-nourished.
It HAS to evolve at the same rate of mutation that the game goes through.
If it's not, it's not a game anymore, is it ?

Go ask other bloggers about phases of gold-making they've been through - they'll tell you that they went through a whole range of different headspaces before arriving where they are now.
Then ask then about the Obsidium Shuffle.
Most of them have been admitting that it was a very lazy way to make gold.
A very assured way to make gold with barely any risk involved, yes - that was the whole point and the popularity of it was undeniable.
But in terms of stimulation, it was Zangarmarsh's Dead Mire: very brown, very dry and very boring.
I tried it - I ran the fuck away from it.
I don't play this game to get bored out of my mind.

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