Thursday, June 27, 2013

WTBGold is Now Streaming! (And Killing Puppies)

       You heard right, WTBGold finally got its act together, and with the help of PowerWord: Gold and TheDrunkenMogul, has a stream up and running. I'm super excited about sharing what I know with y'all and hopefully learning a thing or two from you as well, so if you have an account, go and follow me at If you don't have an account, they take two seconds to set up, so gogo.  :P   Now, in all fairness, this is a three day old Twitch channel at this point in time, so I'm still working out the kinks and figuring out which levers to pull to make the *ping* noise at the right time, but we'll get there.

It's the most expensive Twitch account in the hospital.

While there are a lot of different ways you can stream, I like to be structured, informative, and still laid back and welcoming. I'm still working on a concrete format, figuring out when we'll have guests, but for now, if you want to tune in, follow me on Twitter as I generally post there before I start rolling. 

10AM-Noon: Morning Reposts and Q&A Central Time.

11PM-1AM: Evening Reposts and Q&A Central Time

7:30-10:30, T-Th:  Heroic ToT Raiding Stream Currently 6/13

WoW News
Your boss can wait. Click me!

     Also, if you haven't heard, there were some problems with hacked mobile armory accounts. Not all of them, but enough to be a problem. In short, the hackers would post grey items from their personal accounts for huge amounts of gold, and use the stolen accounts to buy them, in essence transferring gold. It was a big enough problem that Blizz shut down the mobile AH services temporarily. This will mess with prices, and make sites like TheUndermineJournal and WoWuction, unreliable for a few days, not themselves of course but the markets they try to relay. It will jack with demand. It will make supply wonky. A lot of people use the mobile app to easily repost their goods while at work. Taking the mobile auction house out doesn't do anything other than change the volatility of the markets; it's as if you suddenly went from a medium-pop to a low-pop server, or a high-pop to a medium-pop. The same items are being sold, and at the same general price points, but with less traffic, the invisible hand acting on them is weaker. 

Oh also, we killed some puppies last night. Heroic Iron Qon is the only fight I've ever seen resto druids go bear form to keep from dying. Damage is nuts at the end there but we got him...and his little dogs too...*snicker*

Monday, June 17, 2013

First Look at TradeSkillMaster 2.0 - First Impression w/Screenshots

      Sapu94, the lead developer for TradeSkillMaster, recently Tweeted "Exhausted, but it's finally over :D" They've been working on a ground up rework of the TSM addon for a long time and let a few of us take a sneak peek to work out any kinks and refine the user experience. Rather than just a boring walkthrough, I wanted to give y'all a first-person view of my experience, so here's a journal-of-sorts from my first day of testing. More thorough guides and videos will come later once I know the in's and out's, but for know, sit back and enjoy! (If you're just here for pictures, that's ok, just scroll down a bit)

The tweet that will go down in history!  :P

Initial Thoughts 6/16
     I haven’t received my code to activate yet from Sapu,  so after installing everything, “/TSM” doesn’t work. I was hoping that looting gold from my mailbox would cheer me up and to my surprise, I was able to see the new TSM mailing addition. It’s just a neat little tab at the bottom of the mailbox that pops up a replacement mailbox interface, kind of like Postal, or how TSM_Mailing was trying to be but just...wasn’t. Remember way back in the day when you would use TSM Auctioning here and there, but you’d mainly use Auctioneer for everything AH related, and then somewhere along the line you switched full time to TSM? Well, this is going to do that to Postal. I don’t remember exactly when the shift over to TSM happened for me, when it comes to auctioning, but in a different arena, this small mailbox window actually did something pretty significant.

     Before now, TSM has been a suite of programs; you’ve got TSM_Auctioning, and TSM_Crafting, there’s TSM_Mailing and TSM_Wharehousing. On, when downloading all the programs, it seems like you’re clicking for days. But now, with this silly little mailing window, the last bastion of Blizzard’s UI is gone and replaced by a single program and whatever fully-customizable color scheme you want.

I like the Windows 95 colors. So sue me.

     In short,  with TSM 2.0, I suddenly see TradeSkillMaster as a full service UI improvement and not a piece-by-piece replacement, which from a marketing standpoint could be very important if other people agree. I don’t have much else to explore at the moment, other than this window and some excited tweets from fellow bloggers, but if they fulfilled the potential they were initially trying to go for with Mailing, I can't wait to see what they did with everything else.

1:40 PM
 I got my code to activate! After a quick /reload and /TSM,  a few things start going through my head
  •  Toby, get down. I’ll take outside to go potty in a little bit.
  • Uhhh, there…aren’t categories anymore? Ok.
  • Oh, Cool. Just changed the naming system: Parent Group. Sub Group. That’ll be easier for new people. Groovy.
  • Toby, get down!
  • What the heck is an operation?
  • Why can’t I set price points?!
  • Oh, I set prices with operations. That just seems like an awkward name though, that I would personally rename as “Group Strategy” or something along those lines. Strategy and Operation are close enough in meaning but strategy is more self-explanatory, in my opinion. Also, people who play the auction house like to consider themselves master strategists. This is made by programmers though, so, meh.
  • Oh, I set everything with operations. Hmmm. And they’re separate entities. Wow. That deserves a break in the list. Also, Toby is eating my leg. Brb.
My basic recommended catch-all posting operation...I think. 

     Alrighty, we’re back from a lovely walk in the 150 degree Texas heat. I just want to say that this program is neat, albeit a little intimidating at this point. I’ll spend some time working at it and talking with the other guys to put some guides together, but I think it’s pretty clear that this is not the old TSM with a pretty new cover on it. They did a ground up restructuring of the program. Categories have changed, and operations have been introduced. This alone is enough to completely change how AH goblins think about auctioning. While it's similar to what we've been doing in the past, setting things up this way will have some interesting effects, (for instance, if you use TheUndermineJournal GE Market Median for pricing, you don't need individual groups for your items anymore I'm told...and there was much rejoicing)

     If you were to introduce TSM to a new person and ask them what they thought was awkward or difficult to learn, it’s not that those things have been removed, it’s that 2.0 program has been built so that those processes don’t have to be dealt with. At this point I haven’t done enough testing to legitimately say if TSM 2.0 is good or bad, but I can say that the developers have put a lot of thought and experience in.

6:45 PM
     Against the recommendation of the developers, I didn’t delete all of my groups before transferring, and I’m feeling the pinch. I have posted a total of 200 gold worth of auctions today. Honestly though, I don’t care. The program looks fantastic and really, I haven’t found any reason why I’d ever want to uninstall this and go back. I may not know how to use this yet, but once I do, dang it, it’ll be AWESOME! The Auctioning Window is more robust, the Accounting window has a few features it's been been missing, and everything, even this early on, is just...better. Time to bite the bullet, delete absolutely everything from before, and start fresh. Wish me luck!

     If you want more of my ramblings, Follow me on Twitter, but for now, I’ll just leave you with some screenshots as teasers. Enjoy!

(Note: Most of these are not the default color combination, but my personal favorite, a "Windows 95" theme, lol. I'll put some of the default in at the end. Also, these windows are subject to change, of course.)

Blacksmithing/Easy Smart-Group creation

Group window
Combined Crafting Queue (Larger than in WoW)
 Seperate Posting Tab w/Selectable posting groups up front and cancel/reset option

 Improved Quick Posting Screen

Fantastic Destroying Screen

A usable summary! Hazaa!

Who's got two thumbs and likes graphs?!  This guy  ^ ^

Standard Color Theme-Goblineer by Sterling

     And that's all folks, hope you enjoyed the preview! Follow me on Twitter for more updates or subscribe here on the right hand side. I'll be putting out guides as soon as I can, but until then, just remember that if you're struggling to make gold, there isn't a secret or magic wand, all you have to do is

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Making a million gold before 5.4...with mining?

First off, yes, this post is about how specifically you can make a million gold mining, and as an added bonus we'll be shooting for a goal of hitting that before 5.4 drops. I've been on a little bit of a mining binge recently with my posts, but I think it's going to be my vehicle of choice for the next few weeks on my goldmaking journey, and hopefully y'all can benefit from that (see side note near the bottom for my personal reasons). Many of you reading might not be miners, so I'll get information that's pertinent to you out first, since at its core this post is about selling efficiency, and not "mine route X."

Alright, alright, fine, you twisted my arm. Mine these routes.

Ok, now that that's out of the way. To make consistent money from any profession you need to do it, well, consistently. And making a MILLION gold (on paper) isn't actually all that hard. All you need to do is find some way to generate a positive income of just over 5k/day and you're a millionaire in 6 months; make 11k/day and you're a millionaire in 3 months- about when 5.4 will probably come out. Mining, generally considered one of the least profitable profession, can pretty easily pull in 2-3k per hour and with a few tricks you can double that. Back on the consistency note though, if you're mining every day, you'll be mining up and, in turn selling, a lot of ore, every day. Here's where other professions can benefit: don't put all your eggs in one basket! Mix things up and don't just sell the ore. In fact don't just sell bars, and don't go 50/50. If your goal is rapid movement of any item, convert it into as many other equivalent items as possible and sell everything at or just above market prices. Here's a little spreadsheet I put together trying to explain this all mathy.

The top line is the global median price of each column (Ghost Iron Ore, Ghost Iron Bar, Trillium Bar, and Living Steel - Hover for current prices) according to The Undermine Journal as of writing; hover over the links for current prices. Second line is my personal average of 40 stacks of ore per hour gathered in Valley of the Four Winds. Ignore the third line; just numbers for calculations, and they're rounded anywayssmute,  (and rounded, sorry about that): . The fourth line is the amount of ore needed per smelting or transmute, and adjusted for proc rate: 2 ore to make a bar, 10 bars to make a trillium, and 6 trillium to make a living steel, BUT transmute masters proc on average 18% more (so while it would normally take 120 ore per living steel, since you get 18% trillium * 18% LS extra, you can look at the ore/xmute:LS and see that you only need on average of 86 ore when crafting en masse). "# Craftable" is how many of each column you could craft with one hour of farming. So, for example, with 800 ore you could craft either 47 trillium bars or 9 Living Steel. And finally, DUHN DU DU DUUUUHNNN! the last line is about how much gold you could expect to make from one hour of farming from either conversion. If you farm for an extended period of time, spread things out over these four columns. A good rule of thumb is to post the same gold amount of each item up: so 1000g of Living Steel, 1000g of trillium, 1000g of bars and 1000g of ore, and you should be able to log on in a couple hours to 4k in your mailbox.

My current strategy:
My strategy is to tie the bucket to the light bulb, put the dynamite on the brick,
magnifying glass and flashlight next to the cannon. Cannon. Fired. Done.
But really, my strategy is going to be spending an hour or two (or three) a day mining. I'm always on the lookout for a free living steel cooldown, and am asking around in trade for people looking for ore/bar suppliers. On the AH side, rather than constantly undercutting the market, I'm going to repost somewhere between 20-50 stacks of ghost iron ore and bars once a day, although so far they've been selling almost immediately (haven't 100% decided on size yet; but ore has sold much faster than bars recently, so I'll probably leave 50 stacks of ore up and 20 of bars). I also have a blacksmith, jewelcrafter, and enchanter, so while I would recommend you out there in Azeroth to also convert ore into gems and armor, I already have an inventory of living steel and a few stacks of gems I'll be using for those professions. Another great conversion is cogwheels, which still sell for a huge profit, when they sell. If you ever have extra ore that you can't sell though, the JC/Enchanting shuffle is another great diversification. 

My Tips:
If when reading above you gawked at the idea of gathering 40 stacks in an hour, I won't do a guide, because there are better miners out there, but I will give you a few tips I've gleaned:

1. Be a druid. Instant cast flight form saves 1.5 seconds per node. With 30-50 nodes per lap, that's a minute or two wasted just mounting. You'll be doing lots of laps.
2. Buy Mist-Piercing Goggles from the AH or an engineer friend. You'll get about 10% more nodes. No need to equip these.
3. Kill Korda Torros whenever you're in Kun Lai, for the chance at Foragers Gloves. Honestly, it's not worth spending time camping him. Because that's time you could be mining, but if you're ever up there, go kill him. You DO have to equip these. I however have not been "lucky" enough to have these drop yet.
4. Follow the path of least resistance:
  • Avoid nodes near mobs, killing them wastes at least 5s/mob, and then you can't fly in combat.
  • Avoid aggro from patrols when mining. Again, entering combat wastes time whether you fight or not. 
  • Stay close to the ground. Flying high is pretty and easier to see, but can waste 5-10 seconds per node. (I did this all the time in Cata, and was always wondering why I was getting lapped in Twighlight Highlands)
  • If multiple nodes are available, picture a few imaginary lines connecting them, and mine the shortest line.
5. If another miner is on your tail, skip a node. Let him have that one, and the next three should be all yours.
6. Set some kind of limit- time frame or ore amount- and do that. Distractions happen but the mining groove is a lot of fun when you get into it, and the consistency is money when it comes to professions. :)
7. Finally, learn how to mine well, but once you have a pretty good idea, just go out there and do it. Watch a youtube clip here and there, but don't waste time trying to perfect technique. There's probably not ever going to be a huge shift in profitability without a new patch or expansion.

(As a quick personal side note, the reason I've been mining recently is because I've been jumping back and forth between a couple different computers IRL. I had been pushing hard on the AH getting my glypher set up, but configuring all the addons and customizations I've done from my transmog ventures onto the two different computers multiples times (cause hardrives crashed, like ya do) just kinda burnt me out for a while. So, I decided to sell down my inventory so that I don't have to repost 1500 items multiple times a day. It was just too much. In short, I'm sticking with my current strategy with crafting but transitioning to only the upper tier xmogs. Should be the same gold amount up on the AH but just with fewer items, and therefore less time spent auctioning, and more time spent either blogging or with my family).

We all want to make gold, and while a million is fairly arbitrary, it's a nice fun big number. To hit that number just make 5k-10k a day, you'll be a millionaire in 3-6 months. Mining that much ore takes between 1-3 hours a day, which isn't hard but takes practice (3 hours is a lot though, use your other professions to help). Selling off that much ore can require diversification though; convert your ore into bars, trillium, and living steel, and you should be able to sell off 80 stacks per day. If not, and competition is high, use Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Enchanting or Engineering to whittle down your excess ore and bars. Other professions can use this idea just as well: just because Haunted Steel Headguard is the most profitable, doesn't mean you should craft 4 of them if you have an excess of Haunting Spirits, spread out your crafts over a few patterns while prices are high. Either way, diversification is great for the market and keeps competition flowing, and your income flowing more rapidly than it would otherwise. Even if you don't make a million, assuming you spend some gold along the way on gear or mounts or (shudder) companion pets, you'll still be a much wealthier player and more knowledgeable gold maker. It all comes back to my previous post of just of just getting out there and doing it.

Until Next Time:
Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Coming Up: 
As I'm transitioning to higher tier xmog, I'm starting to move away from AH flipping and trying to farm up my own Glorious/Lofty sets, which has peaked my interest in the expected value of the various runs listed in Power Word: Gold's great instance farming guide. (i.e Glorious Legplates have a median price of 60k, and a 0.01 drop chance of mobs in Dire Maul. That means, from that one piece of gear, each mob is worth 6 gold when you kill them, and a 50-100 mob dungeon is worth 3k/hour. From ONE piece of gear.) To see the results of that when I'm done, FOLLOW me on Twitter  or subscribe here on Blogger.
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