Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tips for Patching

Yes, I said Patching in general - not just for the incoming one.

  • Clear your cache - Will save you some database conflicts and errors. Yes, it will affect the load time of all your specific character's data for a short time (mainly for tradeskills) but it's to be expected and you don't want to clear your whole WTF folder after a few hours of hair-pulling.
  • Clear your auctioneer data - Time to clean up a bit of data, don't you think ? "/auc cleardata ALL" I believe is the right command line.
  • Update your addons - Well duh, right ? Still, check often before and after the patch launch.
  • Follow gold-makers on Twitter - Link to Power Word: Gold's Gold Blogging Directory - all Twitter info is posted there for everyone - There are more wonderful and helpful people out there, but you'll have to find them. Seriously, some very helpful tips (almost) in real-time can make you some extra gold that is only available on Patch Day.
  • Don't panic/Don't get cocky, kid - Remember to breathe and to check the posting and canceling fees if you're going to go in an all-out undercutting war with other profiteers.
The Patch Day Effect is a very small and limited window of opportunity to make gold you wouldn't normally be able to get your hands on.
People have been saving their gold for this day/week - you just have to set the right price at the right time.
Have fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top 5 Best Worst of Khalior

Because I'm writing a hard, complicated and convoluted post that might take way more time and effort out of me than usual, and before the handful of people that follow me think I've fallen off the face of the planet (and ended up in its' buttcrack), I want to post a sort of buffer thing.
Yep, I admit it up-front: this is a 'filler' post. That doesn't mean it will not be interesting - just less than usual, I guess.
Whipped cream: the perfect filler. For everything.

In the recent 'upheavals' of the gold-blogging community, I've been taking a much more personal look into gold-making practices (more on that later) and a bit into the whole blogging thing, so I've been looking at the stats tab of my blog.

Now I usually don't look at it, for fear that my ego decides to write to get more page views and cater to the demands of the crowd.
I want to write.
I need to write.
Heck, I was a few months away from getting a Master playwright's degree before my personal world collapsed.
Admittedly, my writing itself is far from perfect.
I come up with weird sentences and odd punctuation and my vocabulary seems somewhat limited, but that's what you get when English is your second language.
I can work writing 'orders' when asked, but I usually write what's on my mind and that's what ends up on here.
It's more about an outlet to a scribbling addiction than it is about competing in a popularity contest with a community that I don't feel like I am really a part of.

That being said, here are the Top 5 most popular posts of 'all time' (ie: since I started this blog) according to Blogger stats.

#5 : Warning: Too much barking may mute you
Where I discuss barking techniques, barking as annoying people on Trade, losing potential future sales and the Ignore list.
You hear people mention barking about Mysterious Fortune Cards, but there is potential for so many other items! (Personally, I think Chocolate Cookies are awesome because they're tied to an easy achievement - it's instant gratification for everyone.)

#4 : Setting Goals and Making Gold with Guild Achievements
A three-part series where I detail how I managed to combine gold-making with helping my guild reach its' achievements.
Not the best Gold Per Hour, but it's easy multitasking brought to a new level.

#3 : WoW Trek: The Next Expansion: Deep Space Five (Farm your Fire Phoenix!)
This is a non-gold post where I give props to the theory that the then-undeclared Mists of Pandaria expansion would be an Outer Space Weekend Adventure.
Okay, it didn't turn out to be that, but signs still point to the possibility of that happening for the next expansion following MoP.
At BlizzCon 2011, Chris Metzen said that the draenei would not be playing a big part in MoP but that something was cooking for them in the future.
He also expressed the desire to go back to the Burning Crusade high-fantasy, to see what the Burning Legion is up to, to see the draenei home planet of Argus.
The books and short stories have been building a lot of back-story for Anduin Wrynn and Velen and... well something is going to happen with that.
(He also got the order from the fans to bring back Illidan in some way, so an Outland revamp might be in order *cough cough*)

#2 : The Best Leatherworking Quest of Cataclysm
Yes, anonymous guy, I should've said "Best Skinning Quest".
A simple post about how the Blackout quest is awesome to help farm some leather and scales - and pop a Treasure Finding potion for extra loot.
This came in really really handy.

#1 : Lore: Leader Issues: Thrall Vs Malfurion VS Garrosh Vs Varian
Yes, my #1 most popular post on this mostly gold-based blog has to do with friggin' lore.
Bartender, I'll have another Rum 'n Irony.
In this post, I explain the differences between the leaders of both PvE and PvP in the Alliance and Horde.
I also point out that the strong points of how the story of the Horde are fueling the player base are also what's lacking in the Alliance story as well as the Alliance player base.

As a general recommendation to everyone: read them Warcraft books.
With the incoming faction fights in Mists of Pandaria, having a pile of good reasons to fight will go a long way with your game immersion.
If you don't understand what's the big hubhub about players taking offense with the imminent destruction of Theramore, the books will help you see more of the rich tapestry of Warcraft lore.
They're wonderful, well written and they're just getting better and better every time.
(If you don't know where to start, at least read Rise of the Horde, even if you play as Alliance.)

So there you go!
I'm way not done yet and there's still plenty of topics to cover about gold-making, so stick around!

Obligatory Epic Thanksgiving video

Monday, November 14, 2011

Space Goat's Log: My server is 'special', info is still #1, and Risk

Sorry I haven't posted as often as I used to (or would have liked), the RL November rush caught me too in the last few weeks.
So this will again be a status/travel log/thinking out loud post of jumbled thoughts.

Yeah I used quotation marks - to use the word in its' derogatory form, the same way that a mother would describe you to her friends when they saw you walk out of the house in... let's say full juggalo apparel (it's an example, don't get your feathers ruffled).
''Oh he's a very 'special' kind of boy, my little angel...''

My servhurrdurr
I look up prices on the Undermine Journal and compare with US average prices and almost without fail I'll see that my server's prices are way below the norm.
The US average price for the Guardian Cub has been rising at ''launch'', while my server's average has been falling steadily...
Three days later, it was in the cheapest 10 servers worldwide, according to AHSpy, and hasn't budged since.

Towards the end of the Burning Crusade era, my friends and I were quite happy when we found this new nest we would be migrating to.
The time and population were australian, the Trade trolls were not incredibly vocal, and when they were the big adult population put them in their place.
Also, the prices on the Auction House were reasonable.
Because it was one of the Oceanic servers that were created when Burning Crusade was launched, it had not yet inflated ridiculously (compared to Vanilla servers).
That pleased everyone at the time.
We were about as broke as everyone else - we could have been richer than most if our past GM had not disappeared with all the guild mats we had provided.
No one in our group was trying to reach a gold cap back then.
And while the server had time during Wrath to acquire enough currency to compete with other servers (especially when it came to high-end items), the population seemed to have acquired a taste for low-priced items.
(Luxury items are bought by wealthy players, but let's be honest here and admit that it's a limited market.)

It's really hard to get these players to pay what The Undermine Journal shows as ''average prices''.
I've tried often enough that I've given up on using it as a direct price indicator.
Now some would cry about that kind of situation or ask why I have not moved to a wealthier server, but I take this as a personal challenge.
I get to work 10% to 25% harder (or longer) than the average gold-maker to reach my gold caps.
Consider also that there are already a handful of millionaires in this sandbox I play in...
Challenge accepted, indeed.

There's a few handfuls of wannabe millionaires too.
I know they read the gold blogs that offer quick and easy gold tips and I can be 2 steps ahead from them when there's an option to do so.
It takes a few hours and suddenly I see the ''recommended'' markets' prices jump up magically!
The most obvious ones are those that still copy/paste Cold's Mysterious Fortune Card barks.
Usually 1 or 2 of the first barks on the list.
Could there be a more quick and easy way to have them stand out in the crowd for me to know exactly who they are ?

Filling the gaps
Some people will rush to buy the New Shit - most will wait for prices to settle.
Wannabe auctioneers that are amazingly quick to undercut each other to ridiculous limits are friggin' LEGION.
However, there's a TON of lazy people, so we got a few markets that are easily artificially bloated.
I should know - I've been helping with that.

I've been having fun reselling vendor recipes these last weeks (1-2k per day is better than nothing) while I've been busy doing everything else but gold-making.
I like remembering the odd vendors on Azeroth that sell recipes and items on long timers.
(Do you know of the timed vendor for the Alliance in the Swamp of Sorrows ? Ever heard of the Formal Dangui ?)
It's little tidbits of information that open your eyes to markets that haven't been touched in the longest time - or at least been maintained by any regular auctioneer.

Rule: the further away the vendors are from cities and portals, the less likely you are to find their wares on the AH and the pricier they get.
Apparently, a quick 3-5 min flight to check a recipe on a vendor that can bring you back hundreds of gold is ''too boring''.

I knew that already.
I just didn't know how much people were willing to pay for the items... like holy crap you guys are nuts for buying this 30s recipe for 125g.
The depths of laziness in this game still surprise me.
(And then Blizzard will nerf something to make it easier to access and lazy people will go ''Can you believe we had to waste 3 minutes of our time to do that before ?'', and then ask for more nerfs...)

A handful of people had a total handle of the vendor recipe market for years.
Now the unfortunate lull that the community is suffering is keeping a lot of people off the server.
And I love it for the usual reasons: resetting markets, reviving others, etc.
Also, slowly but surely, I am sneakily getting rid of banked supplies that will be hard to sell later - both from past expansions and this one.

Inform yo self before you break yo self
Information or lack thereof is still the key in this game, and though some people would argue that retaining critical information from the public knowledge is a way to make sure that you can still make a good profit margin, sometimes I feel bad about that.
Yeah some people out there are not ashamed at all to use tactics that are generally described as 'shady' and now I understand them better.
It's about the game being a bunch of pixels with no feelings, it's not caring what people think because they always have the choice to buy your auctions or not, it's about strictly making gold and it's a goal that you have to keep in your mind at all times and not let feelings other than greed come hinder you.
I'd say that my approach to most markets has to do with player psychology, about luring people into buying.
But looking at the unashamed gold-makers, I feel like sometimes I am losing track of the ultimate goal here: making gold.
And while I am busy carefully calculating the right pricing that would not offend buyers and laying traps for gold-makers, I am wasting a lot of time and missing a lot of opportunities if I were bolder with my auctions.

Risk: The Game
One thing that's been bothering me a lot during this expansion is that I barely have been crafting items to put on the AH.
I've been crafting to disenchant and sell dusts and essences, yeah, but that's not what I mean.
I'm talking about doing what everyone else has been doing: buying mats from the AH, crafting items, sticking the items in the AH.
Markets have been full of people doing that.
The decision I took was also the risk I was taking, which was not to risk competing with everyone on the high-end items and work on maintaining the availability of past-expansions items.
To sell items that way and working on guild achievements was sure to make my incoming gold steady, but also slower than the people dealing in the high-end.
That was not my gold-making ''plan'' to reach 1 million gold.
I was just trying to combine as many objectives as conveniently as possible.
I was helping the guild, the server and myself.
But that process did not make me a get-rich-quick gold-maker like most of the community seems to be.

So it comes to this: I really haven't been risking much at all in this process of mine.
I have crafters (except for a Blacksmith - I'm working on this right now) but they're just sitting there.
There's a ton of potential on my account to make thousands of gold easily, but I haven't got to the point where I decide to risk losing gold to gain much more in the end.
I realize this and at the same time I notice that it's maybe a little too late in the expansion to delve in the high-end.
Hmm, that kinda sounds like a challenge, now that I think about it.
Perhaps I'll be working on low-risk items first and work my way up.
The important thing is that at least I am aware of that issue.

Home stretch
I still have a buttload of things to accomplish with my very limited amount of in-game time, but at least my mind is still wired on gold-making, so as I'm running through the new vanilla questing zones there's not a single opportunity that escapes me (including transmog items).
The way I'm going with my steady stream of pocket change, I'll be close to hitting 800k once I've completed Eastern Kingdoms questing.
The home stretch of 200k will be another difficult challenge: selling craftable items during the end of an expansion, while people are seeing the next game on the horizon, preemptively dumping their items at dirt-cheap prices and stop buying gear that might quickly be replaced in a few months.

Whether it's conscious or not, I don't seem to like to make things easy on myself, do I ?
I blame my brain.
Stupid brain...