Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Taste of Things To Come - Part 2

Note: Again, I want to reiterate that I'm not Sayge the fortune-teller and it has happened that Blizzard decided to change the rules I had based my assertions on literally a few days or even a few hours after I have written posts. So I might be shooting myself in the foot and various other body parts, but hey now you're warned so we're cool, right ? Right.

Moving forward from my last post, let's look directly at gold-making IN - THE - FUTUUUUURE. (So I've been listening to some old cheesy movies recently, so what ?)

We'll have:

  • Patch 4.3
  • SWTOR exodus and Holiday Lull
  • Exodus to Diablo III
  • Stocking Up phase for the next expansion
  • Summer Lull
  • ? (Fall 2012)

Patch 4.3
We're still getting details on what will happen in there, but there's 2 things that will be sticking out: Transmogrification and Epic Gems.
Transmogging will be the New Cool and will will be followed very strongly in MoP, so I don't know why people wouldn't get on that train because the possibilities are so vast it's overwhelming to stand in front of Wowhead's database and think that you have to look at everything in there with a new angle.
It warps the mind a little bit (and by 'little bit', I mean 'a whole fucking lot').

As far as gear outlets, we'll get:
  • new gear from the 3 new 5-mans
  • 3 pieces of Valor Points Firelands gear dropping down to Justice Points
  • PvP season gear dropping down to Honor Points (hypothetically)
  • new gear from the Dragon Soul raid and the Valor Point gear vendor
The usual gold-making staples will be in demand : gems, enchants, armor kits and bow and gun enhancements.
Jewelcrafters have their necklaces and rings upgraded to the new PvP hotness (meh, but I'll be the first to chuck a couple of each on the AH - that seemed to work for me the last time this happened).

A Vision of the 4.3 Gem-taclysm
Now I'd be quick to conclude that because Epic gems are arriving this late in an expansion (because this will be the last raiding content) I would say it's a big non-event filled with a whole lot of hot air, with some players (not all) wondering why they would dump all of their gold in these upgrades instead of rares as the next expansion is showing it's head, with all that quick gear replacement it will entail.
Yeah some players will make their money with the gems and it's all good.
But the interesting part this time around with the gems is that we currently don't know if Epic gems will be available from other sources than the geode drops from the Dragon Soul raid.
With Ghostcrawler's cryptic bit of info and nothing else being datamined and confirmed, we could very well be facing the scenario of having to deal with that single source.

Now THAT would be interesting.
If this happens, it will be a nice little experiment from Blizzard and I'm eager to watch the developments.
We can already predict some of the effects...

Just imagine: on Patch Day, thousands of Jewelcrafters rush to the trainer to learn as many Epic Designs as their token limit permits... and they just stand there, and wait for raw Epic gems to magically appear in their bags.
The ones who have been waiting, praying, shouting at the four corners of the interwebs for more than a year of the arrival of their in-game monetary Savior... they can't get their hands on a single gem!
Oh!, the crying and anger and braying and nerd rage that would fill the forums...
Oh!, the Blue posts telling everyone as diplomatically as possible ''You were warned, guys'' and pointing everyone to the new Raid Finder system and saying ''Epic gems are in there and we've made them really easy to get - go get them''.
Oh!, the entitled smug replies that will follow !...

But enough about my fantasies...
There will most likely be another source for Epic gems either by the time of the patch or in a mini-patch in the future when they'll apply the incoming nerfbat to the Dragon Soul raid...
Most likely.

Holiday Lull
Like most lulls, things will go up and down on the Auction House.
To make things interesting, some players will leave for a brief vacation to SWTOR, some will go play Skyrim (I've been told it's a big deal, but I don't believe the hype), University-type players will be back for a couple of months and kids will be back for Holiday vacation.
Chaos and shenanigans will ensue - a semblance of balance and normalcy will return mid-January as raiders manage to clear the Normal Dragon Soul content and try Heroic modes.
That lull will be the time for gold-makers to have fun, experiment with items that don't usually sell and boost some markets that will have been left wide open by the regular players.

The Great Diablo III Exodus
Whenever D3 will come out, you'll have the aforementioned lull effects happen again, but this time it might be from fellow gold-makers.
As we are all aware by now, the siren's song of the Real Money Auction House will attract the skilled auctioneers as they will use all of the tricks of the trade to attempt to cash in on Blizzard's offer.
Whether people will able to purchase gold-coated teeth apparel on eBay from that experiment is yet to be seen.
But what is sure is that many of them will be leaving WoW's Auction Houses empty of their presence as they try to beat the random drop and stat system of Diablo III.
If you notice that effect on your server, think 'Screw D3 - acquire currency' and get to it.

Preparing to part the Mists
To welcome a new era, we must get rid of our old ways of thinking, we must shed our skin, we must leave our possessions behind... and that means some major Cataclysm item dumping.

Okay I'm gonna ask you to try to think back at the months before Cataclysm.
Do you remember that a lot of markets completely crashed because people were getting rid of a ton of stockpiled items ?
What you need to consider and evaluate is the time to sell those items at the highest profit possible, both before the market crash and a few months down the road of Mists of Pandaria, when players will level their alts and alts tradeskills.
When markets will go down, you'll have to evaluate the cheapest possible price for some items to buy and stockpile for later.
Yeah, it's been like that for every single expansion in the past.

Example: remember how Eternal Shadow was going for about 1g a piece for the longest of times in the last part of Wrath ?
Remember when Cataclysm came and people dumped stacks of them at 1g per stack ?
Notice how today the market is up to 20g per Eternal Shadow ?
That's just one of many examples of how I've been making some of my money - with past expansions' items.

People will be dumping their items when they realize that no other content will be coming until the next expansion, when we learn of an Alpha test happening, when the Beta testing will start, when the official release date will be announced for Mists of Pandaria.
And there will also be the people who didn't think of getting rid of their items until MoP's Launch Day as well as returning players who cancelled their subscriptions after they got bored of the 4.2 content.

So selling and buying Cata stuff - watch for your server's mood and you'll get your timing right.

Perfect timing

Why not get into it right now ?
I mean, as long as I'm thinking of all of that, I might as well think already of all the stuff that might happen...

Have you been stockpiling Blackfallow Ink, by any chance ?
Remember that Ink of the Sea was the Wrath equivalent and was also used as currency at the Ink Vendor ?
Remember that as of patch 4.0.3, Blackfallow Ink became the new currency ?
While it's okay and even reasonable to keep a bunch of them to craft glyphs in the next expansion, people that will try to find a way to get rid of them later will have very limited avenues on what to do with them and everyone will be competing to do the same thing, that market will not become profitable because of incessant undercutting...
Well, you get the picture.

If Cataclysm enchanting materials take the same route as the Wrath ones did, Hypnotic Dust will be worth stockpiling, as well as the Celestial Essences.

Another thing you can prepare for, both for yourself and other people's moves: Mists of Pandaria crafting leveling.
People with crafting mats still in their bags will probably start leveling their crafting with the items that they already have in their possession before scouring the vast unexplored continent of Pandaria.
I'd look at the high level craftable items that we currently have and save just enough mats to get those beginning points.
I'd also look at those items to know what to look for in the Auction House when people will do that and flood the markets with those items that no one wants to buy - but you just might.
I wouldn't stockpile with the perspective of providing mats for the people that want to level their crafts because they'll be way too much supply already available cheaply by that point in time.

Pet Battle System - You're already on this, right ?
Gotta admire Blizzard's elementium-coated balls to almost directly point-by-point insert Pokemon in their game - and do with a straight face.
It was amazing to see the reaction of the audience at Blizzcon as everyone connected the dots and Cory Stockton was pushing even further.

Either you get it or you don't

You got what you asked for, guys.
It's been years that people have been asking for an in-game mini-game to kill time while waiting for a raid to start or for your queue to pop up, so that's what we got.
Now I don't know about you, but pet sales have been crazy since Blizzcon.
(And I also mean crazy in the way that tons of vendor-bought pets are in the AH and people are undercutting each other, even to the point of selling for less than the vendor price...)
Right as the Pet Battle System was being explained, was being mauled by viewers like it was a patch day (and is crashing almost daily from all the traffic!).
Tons of people going through their collections to find out what pets they were missing !
There's never been a bigger or better incentive for people to get their in-game pets before they start getting traded and leveled.
But you already knew this because you're on this right now, right ?

Peering through the Mists
Yeah there's a bunch of stuff that we can assume about the content of the next expansion, like that the Talent System re-haul and the removal of Relic slots will cause a huge change in the Inscription skill and Glyph market, but that's not something I would worry about or think too much about until we have more info on the direction that Blizzard will be taking.
The Cataclysm expansion has been one of surprises and a lot of molds have been broken, both to the surprise and dismay of many.
Guessing Blizzard's next steps is getting trickier, but it's all part of the game and the gold-maker has to adapt to everything's that being thrown at him and find a way to profit from any situation - even if you're looking waaaaaaaay out INTO - THE - FUTUUUUUUURE!

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