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...

1 comment:

  1. Do be to hard to yourself, you play this for fun, and since you already have 800K the next 200k are easy to make. This game is so rich in ways to make gold that is impossible to use them all.

    I am also one of those slow gold makers, I lack the analytic and almost computer like mind, most gold makers have, and are lazy sometimes :).

    In the end is a matter of personal choose, you do what you want to do.