07 September 2012

Now it's your turn

I first started this blog when a couple of the existing gold bloggers bowed out.  They had done their time, and were moving on.  It was time for a new wave of bloggers to step up; and new sites to be formed. 

I was a noob with half baked ideas and 'a cunning plan'.  I was interested in writing about it; and it turns out others were interested in reading it.  200,000 page views counted by google stats, plus countless other views read via places like the undermine journal and via RSS feeds.

Very few of the authors writing when I started blogging are still talking about WoW gold making.  While it is sad to see old names go silent; there are plenty of new names coming into the scene.  This really is a reflection on the players and not on the game itself.  A game that hold daily attention for 4 years is doing something very right.

To pull a number out of the air, it seems like there is about a 3 year authorship for WoW blogs.  Plenty of time for you to be keen, eager and learning.  Even more time for you to be strong and established, and to shape your community.

The hardest post is number 1.  Number 2 isn't so bad.  Getting to a dozen posts is a hard (all these posts and no-one is reading me).  Getting to post 100 is a thrill.

To get a readership, it is almost necessary to get the eye of an established site. Some of my early posts had a readership of 1.  But some those early posts were read I was picked up by other blogs.  Writing relevant information will also get you picked up by search engines.  Established bloggers have seen new sites come and go; and most of us hate removing sites so want to ensure that you have some longevity and quality before adding you to our lists.

As an open invitation to any upcoming bloggers, even if you have just one recent post;
  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Read up about the new blogger initiative
  • Leave relevant comments on other wow blogs as a logged in user.  We check your bios and the linked websites.
  • Once you have a dozen gold posts under your belt, submit your blog to https://theunderminejournal.com/ and http://chronicle.powerwordgold.net 
  • If you have any niche in WoW, after a few posts also submit to http://www.wowheadlines.com/ (a newish and nice looking blog aggregation)
  • Write more posts. 
  • Persuade us, Inform us, Entertain us.  Dare to be right.  
  • Dare to be wrong.  I have publicly disagreed with the views of many bloggers.  So what?
  • Read this post about self censorship, and the difference between engaging the argument and engaging the person.
 If you wish to follow my latest exploits, I am still blogging over at foo-eve.blogspot.com

05 September 2012

AFK for a little while

I still have a couple of months to go on my annual pass, and will see it out.  But I currently don't expect to be on much.

I started this blog as a fumbling wannabe gold maker, seeing blogs that I had read sign off and the community shrink.

I ended up as a fumbling gold maker, and even managed to make my way through Dragon soul normal; no small surprise to me.

I have listened to many departing players state "The game just isn't what it used to be.  Back when I started it was new, shiny and I had so much to learn.  Now it's a just little more of the same."  Every player I heard say this started raiding in the previous expansion of WoW, while also saying how great that expansion was.

What has changed is that I accomplished my goals.  I made my gold; more than I thought I could; less than I should have.  I spent most of my gold; sometimes frivolously; sometimes with deliberate forethought.

I herded cats;  the single most demanded and unappreciated role is not tank, healer or dps; but is instead the organiser; the herder of cats.  Each player has different skills, and is not always tolerant of others.  As organiser; I went grey and lost hair; but very rarely had to sit out; even when I was the weakest link.

I also spent far to much time in /trade looking for 1 more any role - you must be gemmed and enchanted; but the runs happened anyway.

And I downed pixel dragons; on two levels of difficulty.  But I was not up to the final challenge; herding 9 others through hard modes and heroics.

As such, there is still room for me to 'fail better', so I would not be entirely surprised to see myself back into WoW at some later date.

I am quietly confident that PokeWoW (otherwise known as pet battles) will not only fill /trade with even more nether region 'jokes' around downtime, but also create the raiders for the next 4 years.

It is a bold move, and will alienate older players who had to walk 20 miles to the local shops, uphill both ways, in the freezing snow without shoes.

WoW was a bold move.  It gained dominance by breaking out into new fields doing what no-one else had done.  It lost membership by doing the same thing it had always done with minor tweaks and being copied by everyone else.

However, for me currently I am failing in another game.  Things to learn and places to see.

I do however have one more post up my sleeve.

04 September 2012

Spirit of Harmony

Professions: Living in Perfect disharmonyWe want crafters to be out in the world adventuring instead of camping out in front of an auctioneer.

I can only think of a couple of times that I joined a general QQ chorus and they generally revolved around real names or real id.  But this one ... ugg.

This is designed to raise prices for most players and encourage more casual crafting and discourage anyone likely to be reading this blog.

There are several types of player in the game that get involved in the market in a serious way.
  • Casual gatherer.  This person picks up loot, and sells it.  Sometimes at the auction house; more often at a vendor.  These farmers do not gather a lot individually but there are a lot of them.
  • Casual crafter.  This person makes their own gear, and that for their guild/circle of friends.
  • Casual buyer.  This person goes to the AH to buy stuff and complains about how expensive everything is.
  • Dedicated farmer.  The majority of players - when they need gold, go and farm on their gathering toons to sell later.  I have poor friends and those running GKP runs doing this.  And the bots/gold sellers do it too.  These players do not like the risk involved in crafting and putting items on the AH.
  • Dedicated crafter.  The core readership of this blog.  You like your bargains, know different ways to buy and sell.  You love the grind of crafting (even milling and glyphs) and generally dislike the grind of the world out there.  You keep the prices down by your wars with each other.
With the changes for (sic) spirit of harmony, dedicated crafters will not be able to be dedicated any more. will need to be out there more often.  You might have a regular raid, but the chances are - most of us are not interested in spending 7 days/week raiding/dungeoning or even questing.  Blizzard has said - that for most professions and most items - dedicated crafters are not welcome.

Now; what drives prices down so that Joe Average can afford items. Two or more dedicated crafters in competition with each other.  Leave me to my own devices and remove competition, and I will charge what I like.  And what I like is far more than what regular competition will let me get away with.

Since I started playing there has been restrictions on starter gear in the form of Chaos or Frozen orbs.  At the start of the expansion when we are interested in running dungeons these have been fine.  Later on they were turned into tradable items, and crafters kept crafting.


But by sending crafters out to farm their own gathered items, you remove the main buyers of farmed items.  Yes, before, many crafts were restricted by drops from end dungeon bosses or raiding bosses, but more and more crafting is being bound this way.


For those that like simply to farm, or simply to craft (and there are a lot of each), then this direction is unfortunate.

The winners will be those that farm their own mats, then craft their own gear.

03 September 2012

MOP Leather and Blacksmith

Leatherworkers and Blacksmiths

Given Blizzard's stated intention that "Initially, we want crafters to be out in the world adventuring instead of camping out in front of an auctioneer, hoping to score some cheap mats.", consider taking up gatherer + crafter.  I do not make this suggestion lightly, and it will still be wrong for a lot of players I will have a post dedidcated to the spirit of harmony later - and it will not be pretty.

My recommendations on tailoring also apply here:
  • Be ahead of the 'pack' levelling these skills, or be behind them.  The way to be the most out of pocket is to be the average player these skills when everyone else is; following the same leveling guide.
  • Consider making some top end cataclysm PVP items to get your first few points
  • You will make some items you are unable (or at least unwilling) to sell.  This is what (dis)enchanters are for.  Have one or know one. 
  • Assuming that LFD/LFR is again gated on gear level; PVP gear will be demanded by newly dinged players.  Of course you will level these skills mostly on the back of PVP gear, so supply will be higher.

Blacksmiths


Read Kaliope's recent Blacksmithing  posts.

You know that belt buckles will sell like hotcakes.  As an added bonus, the (only) levelling guide I have read so far avoids them.  You could justifiably craft these for every skill point you need.  Every raider in the game will be getting multiple belts over the next few months - so on average every raiding blacksmith will need to make probably a dozen buckles each.  Some will make more - others will only make their own.



Leatherworkers

Read Kaliope's  recent Leatherworking posts.

Legging enchants will be your bread and butter, but not as many leather leg enchants will be needed as belt buckles (1/2 of the population will use the tailor leg enchants instead.

31 August 2012

MOP Alchemist

At the start of cataclysm; there was an absolute flood of flasks; with them being sold below cost so that guilds could level for their cauldrons.  Even I fell for this; making far too many flasks that were simply not needed at that time.

However, elixirs were still significantly cheaper; and while two elixirs had one offensive one defensive bonus; they were still a solid option.  As such they sold well; and profitably.

This means that if any class of item is needed for new guild achievements, let the seller beware.  They again are likely to be sold below cost.


Speculatively I think potions will be in large demand.  I suspect that many healers will be reaching for some form of mana regeneration potions during MoP; Mana regeneration is designed to be tight this expansion. Instant mana for dungeons; and mana over 12 second potions for raids.

It looks like alchemists will (again) learn the majority of recipees randomly after creating stuff, with new recipes being made available as you level up.  It might be worth creating a few potions or elixirs every 25 skill points or so, and rotating between potions, elixirs and transmutes; and seeing what recipes 'pop' up.

Also be aware that for this expansion; simply transmuting gems to red may not always be the best option.  I have read that the importance of many secondary stats have been significantly increased   I am already reading a few healing blogs recommend spirit over intellect. Watch the auction house and transmute what you can; and of those recipes; transmute the most profitable items.  Keep an eye on class specific sites (or elitist jerk forums) for what gem colours are being recommended.

Make sure you have a specialisation (potions; flasks/elixirs; tranmutes); and concentrate on those recipes.  You may find that it better to concentrate on pots and elixirs early.  Flasks were created in too large a number early as guilds were trying to grind out their flask achievements.

Regardless of your specialisation; make sure you find your profitable transmute and do it every day. I am uncertain of whether you will get to choose the elemental transmute the same way we did in Cataclysm.


As I have mentioned ad nauseum; read Kaliope's website for MoP changes.  I have not been bribed.  For yet another expansion, Kaliope has some of the best Beta investigative reporting of any blog I can think of.


(PS.  now that the patch has dropped and the rush is no longer entirely there, the next post will be my Monday morning)

30 August 2012

MOP First weeks - the patch that dropped

One thing I didn't expect was that you could create your 11th character now; before you have upgraded to MOP.


Well, starting today; there is a new rush of alts.  Not as many as there will be come September, but definitely some.

(So many monks; so many pandas - most of them panda monks).

Scribes rejoice.  You sell glyphs to levelling toons. You also have new glyphs to learn;  very few glyphs destroyed.

Tailors rejoice.  You sell bags to levelling toons.  For the record; I still don't think that netherweave bags will be required in large quantaties (and yes I still think you will make some gold from them).

However, a large number of tailors have apparently jumped on the Frostweave bag bandwagon (see wow midas).   I am contrarian - so will recommend making Embersilk bags instead.

I also expect a pick up in raiding as players get used to their new rotations; with some loving it; others hating it (and even more re-rolling because of that).

Enjoy the lead up events (or hate them);  either way you have one month to experience them.


29 August 2012

MOP Tailor

Tailors your cloth at the start of MoP will be demanded, just like it was at the start of Cataclysm and Wrath.


For those that are hunting (and I looked at the incoming search results on the blog - there are a lot of you), according to WoWhead the mists of pandaria bag size will be a 28 slot Royal satchel (tailors to make) and a 24 slot Gummelpack (possibly quest).  I have not seen any evidence yet of new profession bags.


There are two recipees to make advanced cloth: one on a daily cooldown and uses 8 bolts of normal cloth;  The second requires 5 bolts and the 3 of the new 'time gating' item Spirit of Harmony.

Until demand settles down (probably 3-4 months in); you will want to make your special cloth daily; there will be something to use it for.

For the mega-rich who needs crafted product NOW you will need to find a tailor comfortable with farming; you should be able to buy some Spirit's of Harmony off the AH.  There wont be enough to go around for most players for several months.  However, like chaos orbs becoming tradeable, during the close of Mists of Pandaria, you will probably be making a lot of special cloth this way.



When live hits check if your advanced cloth (Imperial silk) is soulbound. If so, then you will be making product for a while to come (if in doubt - check the spellthread prices).  If not; then every tailor will be crafting them long after they are profitable to make.

There will again be 3 spellthreads; Basic/cheap; expensive; and tailor only.  From my view, there is surprisingly little demand for basic spellthreads; as most players seem to only want 'best' or 'nothing'.  While there will be anemic demand for basic spellthreads; there will be a much higher demand for the expensive ones.

Assuming that LFD/LFR is again gated on gear level; PVP gear will be demanded by newly dinged players.  Of course you will level tailoring mostly on the back of PVP gear, so supply will be higher.

For all crafters looking at profitable crafting; you either want to be out in front; or slightly behind the other crafters.

If you are in front (realm first or similar); and can get a supply of Spirit of Harmony; you will be able to demand a premium for starter raiding gear.

If you merely are meh - I will level cloth when I get to it; using the same levelling guide that everyone else uses; you will still pay a fortune; but won't be able to sell stuff.

I have always looked at the cost per point of crafting; taking a bit longer but doing so much much cheaper; and having stuff to sell later.  If you are looking to level on the cheap; there are always options.  Look at that recipee that gives a chance of a level but no one else is selling on the AH.

Finally; you will have useless cra. crafted stuff that no one wants to buy.  That is why you either have or know an enchanter to get something useful out of it.

Finally; for week 1-3; either
  • Already be very rich; and strive to be among the realm firsts now (or not be far behind them); OR
  • sell it now and buy it back for 1/2 price next month instead.

28 August 2012

MOP Profession firsts

Are you considering achieving a realm profession first?

Apart from vanity, there are good reasons to do so;  some may recall me mentioning Wek at the end of Wrath and the start of Cataclysm.  He achieved realm first Alchemist.  His elixirs were much in demand, and more than paid for his skill leveling costs.

You need some things:
  • 525 skill; 
  • on a level 85 toon.
  • Gold;
  • Probably a willingness to rush to level 89.
  • Some farmers hooked up ahead of time.
  • An idea of what recipes you will use, with the flexibility to cope with a lack of some mats.

The realm first seeker should read Kaliope's website.  Kaliope is the best research site I know of for Beta tradeskills.

You need your gold stockpile.  If Wek remembers right, he got his alchemy realm first for 15K;  Speculatively, I would allow for at least 5 times as much as that.

Those farmers that you had lined up to gather for you will currently have good intentions.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Bribe and remind; but accept that your farmers might be more interested in the new shiny expansion.

I normally would not consider it, but a second account or the remote auction house can keep an eye out for those missing mats while you are still questing.

Set your hearthstone appropriately.  This should either be at an auction house capital city or where you are currently questing.  You might still be able to use your teleport cloaks and have group will travel once MoP hits; but have a backup plan just in case Blizzard turns these off.  Warlocks can summons; and Mages can teleport.

Have mats on hand for crafting out the last few points of yellow or green recipes for your existing 525 skills.


Can you get mats or recipes for any skillpoints ahead of time?  The cooking dailies in the prequal to Cataclysm had some of these.

You needed to have level 84 toons to access some of the vendors and recipes.  My recollection was that some of these were required to get to 525 skills.  This kind of change can be tweaked by Blizzard with very little notice.  Be prepared to level quickly (including flasks, potions and food).

27 August 2012

MOP Gathering

Sell your gathered items as soon as you can.

Your biggest earning day for the entire MoP expansion will be day 1 of MoP.

Your 2nd biggest day for the entire MoP expansion will be day 2.

Your next biggest day will be day 3.

It will continue like this for the first couple of weeks; where finally you will start seeing gathering days followed by consumption days.

What does this mean to you?  Day 1: Miners and Herbalists : level only by gathering.  Traditionally, 1 node is worth 4 mobs of XP in the same area.  Skinners; skin everything.  Picked up meat, cloth?  Then sell that too.

Have a banking alt sitting next to a mail box and auction house.  Every opportunity mail your loot back to your bank alt, and post it on the auction house.  At least daily if not more often.

Ask a lot.  At first, the demand will outstrip supply.  Secretly - what would you rather be doing?  Gathering or exploring new quests.  So will the other gatherers.  There will be rich buyers out there with nothing to buy.

Some guildies will ask you to donate to the guild bank; so next month they can start leveling their tradeskills.  SELL YOUR STUFF NOW AND DONATE LATER.

Sell everything as soon as you get it.  If you feel generous, buy it back again in a month's time when prices have dropped.  If you feel inclined; you will be able to donate more than you had gathered, with a nice weight of gold sitting in your pockets.

Gatherers; the start of an expansion is your time to earn.  The gathering bots have not yet been written.

Go make hay while the sun shines. 

26 August 2012

MOP cooks and anglers

Cooks

Speculation: If Blizzard follows the same trends as for Cataclysm; you will be able to start doing cooking dailies during the pre MOP launch.  There may also be parcels of food available via daily tokens.  If you are going for cooking realm first you will want not only the cooking tokens but also the food.  For Cataclysm this food is trad-able so presents opportunies to both buyers and sellers.

Even if you are not going for realm first, the raiders that I talked about earlier will want your buff food.  I assume that +max feasts will not be available in the early weeks.  Do your dailies as soon as they come out.  Consider doing them on all your max cooking toons to maximize your tokens and food.

Raiders and even dungeoneers will want food buffs to start dungeons.

Cooking will not be a huge earner (there are few restrictions on the amount of competition out there), but should be good for a few gold.

On that note: Sell your meat.  As with all gathering; have a bank alt sitting next to an auction house.  Every time you come across a mailbox; send your crap to the bank alt and post it before logging off for the day.

Fishing

Speculation: and probably fixed.  During the lead up to Cataclysm, enterprising fishermen stood on the boundary of new cataclysm zones and fished away.  This was considered 'enterprising' but undesirable by Blizzard; who then turned off the fish catching until Cataclysm was attached to accounts.

Water walking elixirs can help fishermen with reaching hard to get spots.

Fish for feasts are still very much in demand today.  I think that there will be some gating on fish feasts limiting this. but I fully expect that for certain fish demand will exceed supply.  Look at cooking training choke points and best buff foods, and when feasts are available - what is needed for them.

Anglers; keep an eye out for your new pets; there are lots to be fished up.