Sunday, December 18, 2011

Status: 4.3 Results and Looking Forward

This was the patch I was mentally prepared for.

This doesn't mean that I knew everything that was going to happen, like what were all the mats that were going to be in high demand.
This also doesn't mean that I had amassed a huge stockpile of items ready to be dumped on the AH.
But much like an athlete, it was all about flexing the muscles, making sure my whole body was in check and ready to go.
This patch was more about proving to myself that I could deal with the high-end, with the real-time business of the server, about being able to make that quick money and see the possibilities to make more if I were more prepared.

I've mentioned my issue with risk a few posts ago and that's what I was testing without straight out burning myself.
I purposely limited my stockpile to make sure that I wasn't too prepared and to be able to limit the damage of bad decisions I might make.

I had 2 stacks of every uncommon and rare gems and a dozen Shadowspirit diamonds, 12 stacks of Blackened Dragonscale, collected about 30 transmogrification items of all rarity levels, prepared a dozen scrolls of high-end enchants, and a stockpile of about 14 stacks of Pyrite ore.
And I had also the usual low-end crap I usually sell: rep items, vendor recipes, leveling mats, ores, etc.

Here's what happened to me - take whatever lesson you will from it.

Jewelcrafting
I finally caved and babysat the AH on my Jewelcrafter.
On Patch Day #2 at Peak Time, almost all of my gem stockpile of Shadowspirit, Ember Topaz, Demonseye, and Inferno Ruby were all sold within an hour.
I did not think I would fare this well with so many Jewelcrafters around (that are quite prone on quick undercutting to no ends).
Dream Emeralds, Amberjewels and Ocean Sapphires are barely not viable raw or cut, with the low prices and a lot of undercuts from people who shuffled a lot and want to get rid of them.
They sell much better as PvP jewelry and monocles, if the prices on Volatiles are not killing your entire profit.

Shadowspirits were very viable.
I used all my green gems to transmute as many as possible until I ran out of Carnelians.
By then, the AH was empty of Carnelians.
The ones that were posted after that were going for a third of a cut Shadowspirit... and were being bought!
Obsidium ore and Elementium ore went the same way.
Jaspers, Zephyrites and Nightstones were kept for Jewelcrafting dailies, both for the AH and mine.
Alicite and Hessonite were turned to jewelry.
Blue procs were posted.
Green jewelry with good stats was posted - unpopular ones were disenchanted.

Now the Essences and Dusts would be posted for profit... normally.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one that shuffled recently, so the market was (and still is) flooded with cheaper and cheaper mats to the point that I've decided to not sell any other current enchanting mats and stockpile them until we reach the end of the first third or half of Mists to get rid of them at 5x their normal price. (I base that assumption of price on the curve that Infinite Dust has had during Cataclysm.)

In my leisure time (and server low pop times) I jump on my engineer and farm Obsidium ore in a still-phased Hyjal (didn't do any questing, don't have Twilight Drakes chasing me in the Twilight camps, 99% of players are phased, most mobs are still level 80-81) and I mine my heart away.

Shuffle, shuffle, win.

Enchanting
Getting back to Enchanting, I must make a note here: huge success in my stocking up of cheap scrolls.
Some - not all of them - are being sold from anywhere from 20g to 200g (depending of the days) when they were bought at less than 5g each back when people were leveling Cataclysm Enchanting were flooding the AH with cheap scrolls.
Apart from that, the new 5-mans are good enough sources of enchanting mats.
Perfect to make high-end enchants that everyone needs for their new gear.
But because some gold blogs and podcasts have been talking about Peerless Stats to Chest, that specific market is usually found flooded and in constant decline because of people who have an odd conception of undercutting and didn't understand the reason behind the tip that was given. (Maybe it's just my server ?...)

Quick side note here, people.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Smart gold-making is so much more than just taking someone's advice on what item to put in the AH at what price.
It's about understanding the markets, understanding the other auctioneers that are most likely getting the same info that you are reading, and understanding the buyers, their motivations for buying, as well as the money they have in their pockets.
If you are making gold by simply blindly following the advice, that's good.
But not only sometimes you could be making more money than you are now (and you are throwing plenty out of the window), and at other times you could be ruining a market for a lot of people who are trying to keep it high.
*steps down from the soapbox*

Leatherworking & Blacksmithing
I bought cheap Pristine Hides, made Leg Armors.
Then sold stacks and singles of Blackened Dragonscales.
That's it.
I could've crafted some of the new PvP sets, but honestly I still haven't seriously looked at any other possibility with Leatherworking.
Plus the leather and volatiles were fairly high on the AH, so much that very little profit could be gotten from that.
I just stepped away.

Made Belt Buckles, both Cata and Wrath ones (people think they can get away with using a cheap Wrath buckle, but they realize later that there's an item level limitation when they try to put it on).
Now I was expecting a lot of competition in that market.
Funnily enough, we were only 5-6 sellers in the first week.
Considering the staggering amount of people that had stockpiled Pyrite ore, expecting to be able to prospect Epic gems from it, I thought I'd see more people trying to get rid of their Pyrite by any means necessary.
When the first week was over and buckle prices had dropped 400g and were still falling, the rest of my stockpile of Pyrite was prospected.
Future acquired Pyrite will also see the same fate up until the announcement of the World Event signaling the end of the expansion.
When Mists of Pandaria will happen, the Pyrite will either be sold to help level the few first points of tradeskills or will be stockpiled for future sales when the ore will be forgotten from the public space.
Same will go for the rest of the ores, but a little Obsidium will be transformed into Engineer Bunnies.

Odds and Ends
I could say/do something gold-related in regards to Embersilk Cloth, but I have to stockpile for personal use, to help with my main's bandage achievement, leveling the few first points of the First Aid skill in Mists, as well as for my Tailoring skill.
So no Dreamcloth talk from me.

Chaos orbs ? Didn't have any.
I just know I'll be using them for the guild crafting achievement.
I'll either be posting or disenchanting the items for profit (now or later).
Chaos orbs have already plummeted below 50g because so many people are running the new 5-mans (me included).

I unfortunately don't know what happened in the Alchemy market.
I didn't have enough flasks to put in there to really make a huge significant profit worth reporting.
I just know my 2 stacks of Flask of the Wind went for 25-30% more than what they would've gone for usually.
The rest of my herbs were being funneled into jewel transmutes or Inscription, selling straight Blackfallow Inks, using the Inferno Inks to make one of each of the PvP relics that people were buying to boost their alts' item level to get into the new 5-mans.

While I'm talking Inscription...
Hey did you know that the Origami Rock, Beetle and Slime always find a buyer ?
It doesn't happen all the time and I only post 1 of each at a time.
The buyer is always a different person, he usually buys the 3 of them all at once and doesn't even think of flipping them.
Huh.
It's a weird little niche market and I'm trying to see how high I can price these items and how much pocket change I can get from this before people realize they are useless items and stop buying.

Transmogrification
Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh how I love it!

Some items did take a few days/weeks before being sold, but man when the server's common gears start turning, it feels really good, especially if you know what to post.
The fun thing about it is the 300-1000% increase in price of certain items.
You can basically spend your whole time browsing the AH for gear and weapons, dressing room them and flip for as much as you want (theoretically).
As I've previously mentioned, transmogrification is new for everyone, prices are not set in stone (yet) and it's a long-time flourishing market.
Everyone is discovering the game's database and realizes that there's really good art in here.

If you've been following Keelhaul on Twitter, he's been giving a ton of tips and heads-ups on items and sets and it's hard to wrap your head around all the gold-making possibilities that are most likely staring you in the face.
He really is the king of transmog and he's very much deserved the title of the "Mogfather".
He wrote a guest post on Flux's Power Word: Gold that everyone interested in transmogrification gold should read.

The only thing I can report on is that barking about transmog isn't quite working out for me as I've expected.
What did work was starting conversations in Trade about items to transmogrify.
If the conversation is interesting and you are comparing the items that you link, people will dressing room them and will know what the items look like.
And that's half the sell that's done right there.
It's getting the knowledge out that's important.

If your AH is dry of items to flip, farming dungeons is also a good way to find greens (as well as other things), as well as farming the Blasted Lands rares (as Faid explains clearly in this video), and killing a few quick rares in Winterspring. (For those last 2, there's plenty of Thorium ore just begging to be mined along the way.)

Here's a little secret "weapon" I have: a friend who's been an utter completionist since the first day he's stepped in WoW.
He's collected almost every single Blacksmith Plan out there.
And there's some of them that cannot be learned anymore in-game.
I've discovered that one of them is the Blazing Rapier (go look at it in 3D View in Wowhead, it's awesome, I think).
I've worked out a deal with him where I give him a percentage of each sale I make out of them.
I hope I will have enough time to parse through the list of Blacksmith Plans and see if there's interesting stuff.
I'll let you know if I find anything good.

Liquidating
A clever handful of people have noticed that I've been hogging the vendor recipe market (for much longer than I had expected).
So now I'm posting all my stockpile of recipes to get rid of everything.
I'll soon be examining my MySales data and will only restock the most "popular" ones.
I will also be targeting profession levelers with the help of the guides from Warcraft Professional.

Also, I'm emptying my alt guild bank and all my toons' banks and dumping everything on the Auction House that could bring in a profit.
Everything must go so I can have gold, but also because I will need as much space as possible to prepare for the transition into Mists of Pandaria.
A plan is cooking up in my head for this and you should too!

The Undermine Journal
The Deals page is a new friend to me.
I know that you can already look at your auction mod's data to be able to know that, but I don't scan the AH every hour and now I can't track in my head the right prices of all the items in my head anymore, so I check the Confidence Interval meter.
Simply refresh TUJ's page and voilĂ , best deals of underpriced items are right there, ready to be flipped for profit.
You have to be somewhat careful of what shows there, but if you know the worth of some items, it can be totally worthwhile - you could even reset markets that have gone too low.

Twitter
It's been going like crazy, this patch!
So yeah, okay, I'm guilty of using it for non-gold goofy silly stuff...
Hope it entertains a few of you...
If you don't have Twitter, make yourself an account - you don't have to write anything.
The follow the people listed on the gold-making blog directory at Flux's Power Word: Gold.
Then follow some people that they follow.
This has been one of the smartest moves I've ever done as a gold-maker.
So much info is going through there and it might not make it into blog posts.
Of course, it took me way too long to edit and post all the stuff that I am writing here, so it's only normal that Flux has beat me to the punch of making a list of Twitter accounts to follow.

So what now ? Is this the lull before Mists ?
To quote Ulduar's XT : "NO NO NO NO NO!"
Ahem.

Right now, people are running 5-mans, LFR, Normal raids, on mains AND alts.
Yeah some players will go see the new shinies of SWTOR during the Holidays, mostly because guilds are usually on a break during this time of the year, so why not go do a little single player action in another game ?
But that's not for everyone.
Some people have already paid for a game and it's called WoW and they've been too busy in RL to play it more than casually.
Well, the Holidays is their time to shine.
And the Auction House can't be empty all the time, can it?
And when the Holidays are going to be over, the guilds will come back to finish the Normal raid and will tackle Heroic raid and will probably go back to clean up the previous raids in Heroic mode.
Gear enhancements will still be in demand until the whole content is spent.

And then something will happen.
An announcement, a release, a thing will come out of Blizzard... *checks predictions* ...mid to end of February.
And... we'll be talking soon about what to do when THAT happens!

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