Monday, July 11, 2011

Obligatory Post-Patch Status Post/Rant

Vacation. That's why I haven't posted in two weeks. So there.

Sorry to be terribly boring, but this is something that's expected by everyone - especially myself - so I'll try to make this as interesting as possible.

To resume, Euripedes has confirmed what I figured was happening, but it still took 48 to 72 hours for me to realize that patch 4.2 had so much free-for-all that it was mostly a non-event.

If you went for the markets that were expected to get a major boost right from the get-go (gems, enchants and whatnot), you were okay and you made serious bank.
As far as the rest of it went, it was fairly lackluster and seemed colored with a absinthe-tinted palette of schizophrenia.

The Green Faerie told me that enchanting dusts are on the rise...

PVP Craftables
As predicted, the PvP craftable items were up in the AH in a matter of minutes and hungry buyers made happy sellers.
The rest of the PvP crowd looked at their gear, then at the Arena set now buyable with Honor Points and turned away from the AH.
Seasoned PvP players were waiting for their new season to start before doing anything.
(At the time of writing this, the admitted gear fuckup by Blizzard hadn't been confirmed yet.)

For my part, Jewelcrafting and Inscription PvP items sold fairly well in the first few days for around 2k each (first to put them up = cha-ching!), but I had to repost a few of my second batch to dodge competition and then barked to let people know that the items actually existed.
I wanted to craft a third batch of them, but by the weekend the competition had dragged the market to the point that the volatiles needed to craft the items were more expensive (and still are today).
Today it looks more like they are trying to get rid of them at whatever cost.

Gotta sell 'em all!
Very happy to have stockpiled a bunch of them.
A little barking twice a day and almost everything was gone by the end of the weekend after the patch.
Got a couple of rare/hard-to-farm pets in the AH too - they've been sitting there for about a month at a ridiculous price. I want pet collectors to know of them, to find by themselves how to get one, try to farm it and come crawling back to the AH with their moneybags. Now I will slowly drag the price down and see what's the server's threshold for them.
In the meantime, I'm walking around on my main with the 150-pets-reward Celestial Dragon and getting whispers from people who want to know how to get it. (Surprised that so many people think it's a Blizzard Store pet.)
I think of it as advertising for my auctions in a six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon way.

Kevin Bacon leads to Celestial Dragons because HE IS ONE. That's not even one degree.

Took a week before the market picked up some steam, and in the following week it felt like no one could manage to put enough gems up for the demand.
The trick I used was : post my gems up, 20 minutes later cancel the auctions because I've been undercut, repost them.
If there were some Inferno Ruby cuts, I sold 2 at a time and kept refreshing.
In the next 2 to 5 minutes I would get bought or undercut.
Sell the stock right now or come back later when most undercutters were offline.
''Cutthroat'' isn't an appropriate word to qualify how the gem market is on my server.
It's more intense than breathing down each others' necks and stepping on toes all the time.
It's a hatefuck orgy, really.

No pic for that, you silly people.

Enchanting still utterly dissapointing.
I tried to flip some Heavenly Shards and essences and it worked for 2 days.
And then someone decided to set the market 50% lower than my prices and people followed.
Haven't been able to turn any of what was left into profit (for the price I bought all of that), so I bought new recipes and enchanted my own toons with that.
I knew there was a reason why I never dealt with the high-end of enchanting.

Surprising auctions
With so many items in World of Warcraft, it happens that we forget some or a lot of them.
Once in a while, I either plunge into my weird junkpile or I browse for the odd item and try some experiments with markets that are either neglected or abandoned.
That goes from flipping to creating items that aren't "Hot".

And sometimes I get surprising results!

Why are these items in demand ?
It's a bit hard to tell, because the demand for them goes and comes in waves.
Sometimes there's nothing - no action for months.
Or the prices are dirt cheap and there's plenty of auctions that steadily keep the prices down.
And then suddenly someone decides it's time to get their Burning Crusade reputations to exalted.
Someone discovers items they had not heard of before.
Someone is a collector of items and, as the goblin says, you've got what they need.
They hit the Auction House - you collect the money and laugh your way to the bank.

That's part of the schizophrenia that I was talking about earlier.
It's just stuff that got sold and I have no explanation for it - except maybe that there's been an influx of a lot of players in the last month, both new and returning to Azeroth.

Things that sold:
Enormous Barbed Gill Trout - 20g each
Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Riding Skill - 102g
Eternal Fire - as high as 60g each (not surprising for some servers, but it was dead on mine)
Illusion Dust - Stacks of 20 - as high as 177g each
Infinite Dust - Stacks of 20 - as high as 220g each
Arcane Tome - bought 20 at 2g each - flipped at 20g each
Coilfang Armaments - 20g each
Arcanite Bars -  48g each
Mark of Sargeras - Stacks of 250 - 250g each
Northern Spices - Stacks of 100 - 100g each
Rituals of the New Moon - 4 books - Each one of the 4 colors (Black, White, Red, Grey) - 256g each - (Another way to get rid of extra Eternal Shadow you might have stockpiled)
Recipe: Transmute Life to Earth - 1200g

Surprised that they are still selling
Flipping Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight, bought from Horde at 1-2g or less and selling between 50g to 200g on Alliance.
Epic Wrath Gems from the Icy Prism transmute. Have to mention that I am meeting almost no competition on that market - and that I am also constantly buying all affordable Frozen Orbs I can find on the AH. Even if the profit is not made back by the Rare gems (very rarely), the Infinite Dust you get from shuffling Saronite Ore makes up for an indecent chunk of money back (if you actually do shuffle).

 I can't believe it's sold!

When greed strikes hard, markets freeze (/Rant)
As reported by many gold-makers, the problem of the first few patch days was that everyone threw everything they had in the Auction House - from highly desirable items to Burning Crusade reputation items to rare grey items that were left in a forgotten corner of their bags.
Everyone being greedy, expecting tons of people to raid the AH with large amounts of gold to spend and willing to pay ANY price for ANY item.

And everyone waited.
Undercutters were undercutting, waiting for business to pick up.
In fact, undercutting was getting to such a ridiculous level than some items were found below their average price only a few hours after they were posted for inflated prices...
Sellers were wondering what was happening with all the markets other than the expected jewels, enchants, etc.
Some buyers were appalled by the inflated prices and but most of them wisely decided to keep their gold in their purses because they knew better.
They knew that type of reaction from sellers happens at every patch and gold-makers are ''greedy little fucks'' (/Trade quote).

Garrosh called out the gold-makers in Trade for who they really are, in his own words.
Thrall did not approve and reported him.

Also - and this is a critical point so I'll write it in caps - EVERYBODY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO BE IN THE PATCH.
We knew the content at least a month before it was Live and people took that month to prepare (and complete raids pre-nerf).
Top guilds had a long time to work on Firelands on the PTR - is it any wonder why it was cleared in a week once the patch was Live ?
I know people that are not info-savvy and are not gatherers and even they had stocked up for the patch!

Well I hope that the ruckus created by the WoW community will give the kick that Blizzard's pants deserves for not sticking to their ''more patches, smaller patches'' philosophy.
I understand that, calendar-wise, it would have been a bad decision to release a patch a month before summer began.
I think it would have entailed taking the risk that guilds would have gone through Firelands and cleared Heroic modes within a month and then have nothing to do all summer until the expected Fall Patch 4.3.
Summer creates problems for guilds (vacations, family reunions, extreme boredom, etc.) and I suspect that Blizzard is sorta counting on it to slow progression down.
For the guilds that - by some incredible magic - don't suffer from the Summer Curse, the previous content's Heroic modes and achievements will be the bones thye will have to chew on before they consider to step away from the game for a short WoW vacation.
For the PvE players, the Molten Front daily questing should be keeping them occupied for the most of the Summer lull.
Not to mention that Firelands Normal mode can be pugged...
That gives Blizzard time to work on the next patch (Abyssal Maw revival ? CoT: War of the Ancients ? It's up for grabs what's going to come next. But I bet it has something to do with enabling Thrall to level up and prepare to go toe-to-tusk with Deathwing. Remember, we've only been ramping up the story until we reach the culmination that will be the Deathwing encounter.)

In the Blizzard timeline of things, however, you have to consider Blizzcon.
Will Patch 4.3 come before or after Blizzcon, especially considering that Diablo III is supposed to finally be unleashed ? (And wasn't Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm scheduled for a Winter release ?)

So far so good
So the patch is acting like a time-release pill and doses of economy boosts will be delivered in small packages as people unlock the different stages of the assault of the Molten Front. (And then do it again on their alts.)
Smart of Blizzard - we'll see how that goes.
Could have done much better, methinks, by adding more items/recipes on the vendors and making it even more desirable.
But people will have a blast with the new items and patterns, and that will hold interest for a certain amount of time and that will be all that we will get this summer.
I'm already waiting for 4.3 PTR info.

Now don't get me wrong: the first weeks of Patch 4.2 were profitable - just very weird at times.
The weirdness is settling in though and with surprisingly good effects.
Some markets have sprung back to life and I expect them to regain popularity briefly over the summer, which is a win-win situation and don't we love those!

1 comment:

  1. Loved the post - lots of very good info! My enchants sold like wildfire for the first couple of days and then weekend and continue to sell at a higher than pre-patch rate.

    I also buy lots of low cost greens and sell the excess mats (and send the hypnotic dust to my Lady's alts who is making Embersilk bags for us and for sale).

    BTW - Loved the pic of Absinthe! I was able to try a shot of it while in the Navy and on a port visit to England. (It was at a wine tasting tour). It tasted like gasoline mixed with licorice but I was glad to be able to say that I have tried it! lol