Friday, August 30, 2013

Countdown to Patch 5.4 - 10 Days: Jewelcrafting Guide for 25k per Hour

     About half of the people I've met in game who have more than a million gold say that they made most of it though Jewelcrafting, and they did so by taking advantage of singular moments. While there is a rush almost every patch, the only one I've been online to actually witness is the 5.2 launch, where PVP Power/Resil changes caused everyone to regem for the hardly-used PVP cuts. People reported (with proof) consistently making 14k, 20k, and 25k per hour, with a few even spiking here and there to 40k in sales. In this post, I'll explain why this all transpires, then go over what class changes we should expect, and finally wrap up with a plan of action so that you can be the next person making 25k, but first things first...
      Ok, so, here's what happens. People log on after the patch and start doing their new quests. That one guy in guild who always reads every single word of the patch notes says "Hey guys, Haste is more important than Crit for warriors now. No, I'm serious. Go to AskMrRobot." And everyone freaks out because there's no way haste could ever be worth anything, right?! I's...haste! So we check it out and "zomg, dude you're right. That's so weird, oh well, lol." So we spend 1000g-2000g reforging and regemming. It sucks for us, but we do it once and we're done. The great part for JCs is that it's not just that one person; there are 3,000-50,000 level 90s on every server doing this. That's a high end estimate of 100 million gold in revenue for a high pop server's FIRST regemming...and then everyone runs LFR+Flex+Normal and gets new gear (that they need to optimize).

I read WTBGold, so I can afford to buy this temple now

     Here's a brief rundown of the major changes that are coming up, as it pertains to gemming and enchanting. *Legal: Does not constitute raid optimization advice; consult with your local raid leader and class expert before fully reforging. Subject to change before Patch 5.4 release date.

Death Knight
Frost: DW>2H,  so 2H players will be switching to Mastery>Haste>Crit.
Blood: Riposte added. This gives crit when you block/parry.

Guardian: Stamina is getting buffed, further pushing gemming crit and active mitigation for bears
Restokin: Everything's changed, enjoy your new spec! Same reforge priority though, oddly.

You're getting buffed. I mean nerfed. I mean buffed. I mean nerfed...(meh, more haste gems?)

Holy: Mana changes. Seal of Insight no longer returns mana, but Divine Plea returns more. Spirit/Mastery gemming changes depending on your proximity to the ~12k break.

While there aren't any changes here, it is worth pointing out that SoO raid gear is very light on Spirit+Haste gear with only 6/12 of the main slots being covered. So people will need to gem more for these stats than they were previously. This is more longterm strategy though.

Resto: Healing Rain and Healing Tide Totem buff, however this does not change reforging.

Arms/Fury: No stat changes, but I am excited that Bladestorm is on a 60second CD, and Arms is viable for raiding.  
Prot: Riposte added. This gives crit when you block/parry. Arguable incentive to gem passive mitigation.

So, crit/agi, haste/agi, haste/int, spirit/int, and mastery/str mixed cuts should get a decent bump based on the current PTR.
[Update Septemper 10, 2013]
      Now that the patch has been live for a bit, we have a little more data on recommended cuts. These are the most purchased cuts from a sampling of 5 servers. The cuts that were selling well on all or almost all servers are italicized.

Red  Brilliant, Delicate
Yellow  Quick, Smooth, Fractured
Blue  Sparkling
Purple  Purified, Glinting
Orange  Potent, Adept, Artful, Reckless, Deadly
Green  Energized, Misty, Lightning, Zen

     To take advantage of all these changes, and make enough to tide you over for a while, Jewelcrafters will need to follow a few steps. First, start prospecting ore now to build up a supply of gems. Go as crazy as you feel comfortable with here; Blizzard has confirmed that there will not be an epic gem released in 5.4 so you can continue selling this inventory until 6.0 is released (people have inventories of 2000+ of EACH rare gem, so go hog wild, you'll be fine). Make sure you have TradeSkillMaster set up appropriately for you, not for anyone else, but for you and your comfort/greed levels. (Click here if you need help with shuffling the uncommon gems)
     Have a couple stacks of the basics cut. You'll want to load up on pure agi, int, strength first, and then focus on Orange cuts and the wider used purple cuts like Agi/Hit, before moving on to the speculation list from above. However, the specific cuts that will sell vary wildly by server makeup, PVP vs PVE, and whether it's a strong progression server, so I cannot, unfortunately, give you a list of "the best Jewelcrafting cuts to make gold with in 5.4," but I can come close. If you go to The Undermine Journal, you can see a nice layout under Crafting->Jewelcrafting of all the cuts with the profitable ones highlit in red. Then, if you go to WoWuction you can see the demand for them. In other words, while a cut may be listed for a profitable price, there might only be 1 person a month who buys that specific gem, so why bother? Finally, if you don't know any of these cuts, make sure you finish up the daily cooldowns for them now. Oh, and grouping up in the Barrens is a great way to farm Spirits of Harmony for a second cooldown.
     Come release day, we may all be surprised by what gems actually sell, how ridiculous prices are, how large the market's demand is, or how small it is, but it's usually better to be the person who put him/herself in a position to profit. Prices WILL jump around. I like to keep The Consortium forums open in Chrome all day on Patch releases, just to make sure I don't miss anything.

Just keep prospecting! Just keep prospecting!

1. Prospect ore en masse.
2. Load up on Solid Pure Cuts. 
3. Research which cuts sell well for YOUR market, not anyone else's. Make these.
4. Learn anything you're missing.
5. Be ready and prepared to be flexible.

     Final note. This all applies to the enchanting market as well, since it's part of any mass-optimization change, although people tend to change out enchants much less frequently. Still, if you're an enchanter, the same rules apply. Have a material stock in place, make profitable crafts, and be ready. 

     Thanks for reading, and I look forward to the next guide, when we're only (*GULP*) a week away from Release Day. Follow me on Twitter if you haven't already and Share this with your guildies if it was helpful. Until next time remember to 

Sear. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

<PREVIOUS Part Two: Build up Your Inventory                                              Part Four: Noodle Cart Devastation NEXT>

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Countdown to Patch 5.4 - 12 Days: Build Up Your Inventory!

     Welcome to part two of the countdown! Only 12 days left until the Alliance and the Horde set aside our differences and beat the heck out of an empowered Warleader with the help of an orphaned dragon-man, whom we also set aside our difference in order to kill his father (...and his mommy Onyxia before that...twice...three times if you count the 60 and 80 raid seperately). Looking over at MMO-Champion, things seem to be coming to a close for Patch 5.4. On the latest PTR Build, there were only 4 ability changes, which pretty much means they have everything ironed out, until the next PvP season starts and people start complaining about how overpowered Shamans are (I'm calling it). But as it stands, we goldmakers have some hustling to do in order to prepare ourselves if we want to buy out and farm up things that will be in demand in the near future.

That poor little butterfly...

     In my previous post, I mentioned profession changes. Nev did a great write up on all the 5.4 crafting changes if you'd like to read it. In short though, things are gonna take a ton of mats, and rather than using raid essences to craft epics, we'll use normal materials like trillium, hides, and cloth, and a LOT of them. The amount of materials needed to craft PVP gear has been increased, and I expect the AH prices to increase accordingly.

The PVP Rundown
Wrist: Was-8 Bars  Now-12 Bars
Chest/Head/Legs: Was-15 Bars  Now-20 Bars
Gloves/Belt/Shoulders/Boots: Was-10 Bars  Now-15 Bars

Wrist: Was-1 Hide  Now-2 Hides
Chest/Head/Legs: Was-2 Hides  Now-3 Hides
Gloves/Belt/Shoulders/Boots: Was-1 Hide  Now-2 Hides

Wrist/Back: Was-4 Bolts  Now-6 Bolts
Chest/Head/Legs: Was-6 Bolts  Now-8 Bolts
Gloves/Belt/Shoulders/Boots: Was-5 Bolts  Now-7 Bolts

      So, looking over those numbers, there's about a 50% increase in the materials cost, which should mean about a 35% or so increase in mat prices if Blizzard doesn't mess with node spawn rates (it's not a 50% increase because Demand doesn't increase Price 1:1, since Supply and Demand are curved lines). Remember that on top of all this, everyone has their new daily cooldowns to learn all these new PVP recipes that each require 1 trillium bar, or 10 bolts, or 2 hides, just to keep the markets moving a little more. 

     These will have trickle down effects on Living Steel but I'd be hesitant to go whole hog on trying to control that market at the moment. Although, the Sky Golem mount is one of the coolest things you've ever seen.

I want to Flag PVP, sit in Twilight Highlands starting zone, and wait.

These are a new toy Engineers get to play with, and Blizzard was nice enough to let them sell them to other players so that it can finally be a profitable profession somewhere near the end of the expansion. The Sky Golem recipe requires 30 Living Steel and 30 Stabilized Lightning Source, the new Engineering daily cooldown, so Mid October would probably be the best time to unload your LS.

     You'll need about 50% more of the basic stuff for everything craftable in 5.4, so it'll be more expensive. Buy it cheap now and either flip it later if you want, or just use it and sell the results. You'll profit either way. 

Hope this post was helpful. If it was, hey, share it with your guildies and I'll see y'all for Part Three. Until next time remember to

Search. Craft. Post.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Countdown to Patch 5.4, 14 DAYS: Sell-off Preparation

     Evil Garrosh is coming, and so are the crazy markets associated with any new patch release, so every other day, I'll be bringing you something you can do to prepare so that you can either make money with Patch 5.4...or in the case of this post, prevent you from losing your shirt!

Garrosh, Patch 5.4, MMOChampion, MMO Champion Garrosh, Siege of Orgrimmar
Poor Garrosh...This is what happens when you eat Mentos and Diet Coke. 

     It's two weeks out and time to start selling off your ilvl 522 crafted epics and Haunting Spirits. These items, like Blacksmith's Haunted Steel Headguard, Leatherworker's Quillen Hide Helm, or Tailor's Falling Blossom Hood sell more slowly than the PvP gear because of the higher prices, but luckily, everyone is gearing up alts right now and is a little more willing to pay. I've been selling them in the 25k-35k range (lower for boots, of course) but remember, you're selling off inventory, here. Craft more if you want to but do so at your own risk because prices for these will fall considerably after the 10th. If you have any Blood Spirits left over, get rid of those as well, as they will continue to drop in value, although probably not by as much as Haunting Spirits.
     If you have several Haunting Spirits, now is the time to sell them. Since TSM 2.0's release two weeks ago, I have sold 58 of them on my tiny little server...wait wait, let me log in...since TSM 2.0's release, I have sold 65 of them on my tiny little server. (Click here for my guide on how to initially set up TSM 2.0) People are hungry for the materials for the gear, even if they aren't buying out the 522 crafted markets.

Liquidating AND making a ton from it? Yes, please!

     The Blacksmithing daily recipes in patch 5.4 give iLvl 553 legs and belts (well, the Leatherworking dailies and Tailoring dailies do, too, but I like Blacksmithing best...hush). BUT, this gear only uses trillium/windwool bolts/exotic leather as base materials, so the demand for spirits will fall. Counterpoint: Helm and Feet patterns have not been introduced, so craftable 522 gear will still be an upgrade for new toons dinging 90 who have the gold to buy them and don't want to grind rep/dungeons/dailies. My rebuttal though, is that since mat prices for the spirits will fall so much, the prices for the gear will fall, making it more cost effective to sell everything you can right now, and then craft any profitable 522s that arise in the future with materials purchased in 5.4 at 5.4 mat prices.  

     In short, drop your epic prices a smidge and start selling your expensive stuff. If it doesn't sell, discount it more. You don't want to get caught in late September having to sell a 522 helm for 8,000g that you crafted for 40,000g worth of mats. Likewise, look at the chart of blood spirits compared to haunting. Two weeks after release (Sept 24th), Haunting Spirit prices will likely drop to 1k. One month after patch release (Oct 10th), expect them to sell for 600g, and in two months (Nov 10th) expect them to have bottomed at 250g. I don't know about you, but I like getting 3k a pop for em right now. :)

Other News:
     My YouTube channel is up and running, and we actually have a guide up now, too! It's completely unrelated to anything I'm talking about up above, but I had a lot of fun filming it, so here it is. Enjoy and hope you make some gold from it. So, if y'all have any requests for future videos (would you prefer addon guides? instance guides like this? PTR guides? profession walkthroughs? flipping tips?), drop me a message in the comments. 

     Until next time, follow me on Twitter for more tips, and always remember that there isn't a secret to making gold in World of Warcraft. All you have to do is just

Search. Craft. Post.
Ever Day.

<PREVIOUS Competition: When the Good Times...                                      Part Two: Build Up Your Inventory! NEXT>

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Competition: When the good times stop rolling

This is aimed at new goldmakers more than anyone, but something "interesting" just happened in the glyph market, and by interesting I mean that, if I just had inscription as a profession, I would want to strangle someone.

On my realm, there are about four major posters, so not much competition. Prices bounce around between 30g and 350g for any given glyph. We reset the price high if none of that glyph are available and then slowly undercut by a couple copper with one or two glyphs until the price bottoms out. It's a nice ebb and flow.

Well, a new poster came on the scene and was doing the same process, but undercutting every hour and this really got under the skin of one of my competitors. He wasn't selling any more than two glyphs a day, so, he made a "firm wall." This strategy involves posting a large number of an item at a low price, a strategy useful when you want to prevent someone from buying you out and resetting your goods (Notice that this wasn't what was happening?)

This is frustrating for the rest of us though because this wall was set at 49g and encompassed all craftable glyphs. In short, he crashed the glyph market.

Total Daily Value of my Posted Glyphs

Which brings me to my advice for new goldmakers and one of my cornerstones that I'm constantly harping on: diversify. When the new poster entered the market, I made less money in the glyph market as well, but it didn't phase me, because I'm involved in other markets. There will always be a market that is down: Blacksmithing will have underpriced ore and will be selling too cheaply, glyphs will have awkward competition, transmute will just...not be profitable because screw transmute, that's why. Diversification prevents the emotional involvement and thus the emotional over-reaction to competition that occurred here.

There has never been a time when every market is down at the same time though. Use a few different professions. Use TSM so you know what is profitable. Run raids so you aren't always relying on professions. Level some pets. Farm ore, so you're always profitable. Sell some green MoP items.

And that's it. If you want more updates, or more information, follow me on Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook, and until next time, remember that the secret to goldmaking in the end is just to

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Using TSM 2.0: Basics, Sources, and Problems with AuctionDB

     TradeSkillMaster 2.0 was just released to the public and if you aren't currently using it, you should be because it saves an absolutely absurd amount of time on auctioning. For current users, I have a slightly different take on it than most people on one particular point. In short, it's about time for me to put together a guide for my fans on how to set up auctioning with TradeSkillMaster, and go in depth about something a little closer to the SOURCE of my heart. Get it? Cause sources are the...alright, let's just...

     If no one has ever answered the question "what is TSM?" for you, well in a nutshell, it's a rather complicated program to setup that, once you do so, allows you to queue, craft, and auction everything potentially profitable with (ideally) one button click each. Version 1 was amazing, but they just completely reworked and improved the program, flipping all of us on our heads. One of the biggest additions to TSM 2.0 is Operations. These are interchangeable sets of rules for the groups and subgroups that you set up (categories/groups have been replaced). While we're just going to be concerned with the Auctioning module in this post, operations are used for every module and are the foundation of 2.0. To set up a maximum price point in 1.X, you would type in either "50g" or "150% DBMarket" or "Max(20g, 100% Crafting)". DBMarket and Crafting are called sources and let you determine what system you're going to use to set any given price. To see a list of all available sources that TSM can understand, type into chat "/TSM sources" and you should see a list of things that you can put a XXX% in front of. Note: If you download Auctioneer, TSM_WoWUction, Auctionator, TheundermineJournalGE, or TheUndermineJournalRE, you will unlock additional sources not viewable when you first install TSM 2.0.

TSM Suite

     For starters, let me just say that, if you walk away from reading this post with anything, let it be this: use "tujgemedian" for a majority of your selling, rather than DBMarket. There are caveats and rules to this but it's a good general rule to follow. Alright, so, what do I mean by that? TSM scans your auction house (btw, you can download the TSM app here, so you don't have to scan the AH it manually) and builds a pretty awesome and reliable price average. It's fantastic, but unfortunately, it only relies on your AH's data, which can still be skewed (low seen count, one seller posting the same thing over and over for too much, etc). With TUJ GE, it looks at every realm, every hour, and gives you various averages for data from the past two weeks for worldwide data; this is much more reliable data when you're talking about supply and demand on non-realm specific or time-dependent goods - a majority of what you will be selling. I am a fan of efficiency, and when you're trying to sell something, your post price is trying to mimic demand. The only demand information we have is from supply though: sellers (when demand rears its head, a buyer removes that item from the AH, and that datum goes away). In other words, I use TUJGE because I feel much more comfortable taking aggregated minimum market price and trying to interpret demand based on 1000 sellers, than based on the 3 people on my realm, but that's just me. I do recommend you follow my lead though.

Ok, enough overview and theory for now. Let's get into some guides for people new to TSM!

So, let's say you have some items in your bags that you consider Transmog worthy, and you want to put on the AH. Here's what you should do in ten easy steps:

Update 11/5/2014 With the revamp of TheUndermineJournal, TUJ GE is currently down, for an alternative that works just as well, download the Tradeskill master app, and substitute the following source/tag "Wowuctionregionmedian" where you see the TUJ source"

Auctioning Items: Creating Groups and Operations for Inventory

1) After opening TSM with "/tsm" Click Groups (the crystal tab at the top), and make a new group for whatever is in your bags, then [next slide]
2) "Create Auctioning Operation" for that group.
3) Give the operation a name. This is my "Catch-all Operation" so "Catch All" is a good name. I use Transmog Operation here.
4) Yep, add this to the group you just made. Isn't that a nice feature?
5) I like to ignore short duration auctions; after thirty minutes you'll be the cheapest, so there's no need to undercut those. Also check "ignore operations on characters." You don't want to sell a Haunted Steel Headguard on your main by accident before you equip it, just because you forgot to put your Main Toon on your Blacksmith operation ignore list (wow, what a specific example..../sadface).
6) Click on the Post tab. Change duration to whatever is comfortable. I've never found a situation where "stack size as cap" isn't useful; always check that. Keep undercut by 1c, (unless you're dealing with high priced items, then do 1s, no more).  Minimum price: 50% TUJGEMEDIAN, Normal price: 120% TUJGEMEDIAN, Maximum Price: 200% TUJGEMEDIAN, Post at Normal Price. 
7) Click back on Groups->[the group you made]-Items. What you see is everything in your bags that isn't in a group so far. Click on everything you want in the group and hit add.
8) Click Module Operations/Options (3rd tab up top)->Auctioning, and the big button at the bottom. Make sure you don't have anything bound to Ctrl+mouse up/down, and that you have two free macro slots. 
9) Go to the Auction House, click on the Auctioning tab, and click "Start Post Scan." [If errors came up, 1. you haven't downloaded the data from TUJGE for your realm. TUJ updates realms for manual download more often than they do for the curse download. 2.) it's a craftable that you either don't know how to make or is crafted from something soulbound like spirits of harmony that doesn't have a price on TUJ, 3.) it's something like a caged battle pet that can't be seen by TUJ, for this, you need to scroll down to the rest of the guide, geez, keep your shorts on!]
10) Press ctrl+scroll, and you should be good to go.  

Now that we've done that, let's set up your professions.

Auctioning Items: Creating Groups and Operations for Professions

1) Open the profession, go ahead and click yes. This will create a Profession group, a subgroup for that specific profession, and furthur subgroups for Crafts and Materials, with all crafts for that profession in crafts and all materials used in that profession under materials. 
2) You're done here. Open the main interface with /tsm.
3) Go to groups, click on professions, and assign your TSM Catch All group, whatever you named it.
...annnd, wait, that's it?

     Yep! That's actually it...well, almost. But, that's how powerful TradeSkillMaster is; set it up once and you just swap in the operations. But, with professions, the whole goal is to click the restock button to queue up profitable crafts, and here is where TheUndermineJournalGE falls short. Take Alchemy, for example. If I want to see if my Transmute: Eternal Earth to Air is profitable today, I don't care at all about global market prices. I want to know how cheaply I can buy Earth for on my realm's AH. The moral? When you're dealing with Crafting operations, as opposed to Auctioning operations, use realm specific Sources like "AucMinBuyout," "DBMinBuyout," "WoWUctionMarket," or "matPrice."  I recommend the following price catch all pricing method for crafting: "min(100g, 120% DBMinBuyout, 120% matprice, 120% tujgemedian)" Feel free to adjust the numbers lowers or higher to your needs. Lowering it to "min(10g, 100% DBMinBuyout, 100% matprice, 100% tujgemedian)" Once you do this, open up your crafting profession again and click the "restock selected groups. For this step, it's really important to play around with it on each profession, and get comfortable with the sources. Do a little research. What you choose to craft is going to play a huge role on your profitability, and since you're automating the threshold of what you're crafting, it makes it that much more important to get it right the first time.

     As a final thought, it may sound silly, but I'm a big fan of deleting all your groups and operations every six months or a year and starting fresh. You really learn a lot about how you function and what you really want out of your program, and end up with a lot more efficient grouping when you redo everything.

Hope this was useful to everyone in getting up and running. If you haven't downloaded it yet, stop procrastinating and do it now. TSM 2 is amazing! You can follow me on Twitter here, YouTube here, and Facebook here. Until next time remember that the best way to make gold in WoW is to 

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Profiting from Your Motivations

     I'm so excited to be participating in Copper-To-Gold's/Cold's blogging carnival for the first time. I've read them individually for a while and have always thought it was a great way to bring the blogging community together. This month topic is "What drives you to make gold? What do you do to avoid getting burnt out?"

My grandaddy always said, "make WoW gold like ya got a fire under your..."

What keeps driving you to make gold?
      If I can say anything on this topic in order to save a new goldmaker time, it's this; my driving forces have always been things that I eventually incorporated into my sales routine. So, look at what motivates you to make gold, and figure out how you can sell that.
     One of the great things about WoW is that its developers are smart enough to keep the game decently malleable. When I was first starting out, I was making gold because it was just, you know, part of the game. You level your skills 1-525 (or whatever it was back in Lich King when I started, shhh! How am I supposed to remember way back then?!)  I was in a social guild and pretty quickly I was the wealthiest person in the guild because I was the only person regularly mining copper ore and posting things on the auction house...without addons, omg. When Cataclysm rolled around, I transitioned to a different part of the game: raiding. My gold making goals transitioned as well to supplying myself with weekly raiding consumables of food, flasks, gems, and enchants. After a few months of that I leveled an enchanter, jewelcrafter, and started grinding crocolisks in order to supply those consumables to the raiding community and profit from it. Later when raiding got more serious, I had to start saving to buy BiS craftables. Only took buying one of these (and spending everything I had EVER EARNED) for me to realize that selling these, while slow sales, is a great low-competition market.

Not what I bought, of course, but makes you feel honored thinking that some people have only made that 41,800 gold, ever 

     About this time Blizzard introduced transmog and outfitting my characters drove my gold-making goals for a while, but then I figured out a way to profit from it, thanks to all the wonderful sites out there dedicated to TSM shopping, crafting, and auctioning lists. In summary, I recommend working in markets as they interest you. Sure, you can capitalize on everything all at once, but it's much more fun and rewarding to be profiting from something that is also your personal goal at the time. 
      I actually just hit a big milestone, 500k gold, and with my inventory of about 800k, the question "why continue crafting?" is a lot more valid, when I could just sell off what I have and be set. I wasn't playing during the Mimiron's Head days and missed the Invincible's Reins push by about a month or two. So, neither of those holds a special 999,999g spot in my BMAHeart. I guess it goes back to the general consensus of last month's carnival- Gold making is fun for me! :)  It's like asking Riggnaros 'Why do you keep raiding?' or any of the Loremasters out there 'Why do you keep questing?' Well, for me the answer is, "Why not? Logging on and looting the mailbox is enjoyable enough at the moment for me to be a major part of why I play the game." Although...

What do you do to avoid getting burnt out?
      I'll take a break. As most of you know, my motto on WTBGold is "Search. Craft. Post. Every Day." It's an easy to remember breakdown of how to make gold. But, if you're doing that at the expense of your sanity, then that's just silly. I've got a loving family, a business here we're building, a blog I'm trying to grow, and a progression raid team. There are days, rarely, when posting 700 glyphs and/or 1200 Vine Britches of the Monkey morning and night is just not a priority. So I don't do it that day. And you know what? That's ok. The market will be there tomorrow. I don't make the 5k-20k gold from those glyphs, and that sucks, but I will tomorrow and I'll be happier. If you do the same, so will you. Even people who love their jobs take vacations, and in fact, I'd be willing to bet that people who vacation love their jobs even more
      A big problem with MoP was that people who weren't used to dailies were suddenly bombarded with them. And while it hasn't had as much press, people who weren't used to raiding, were suddenly "forced" to do 4/8/12 LFRs every week in much the same way they just had to do the dailies. Blizzard lost subscribers because of this, despite having an absolutely superb expansion. Take a cue from them, and don't let your drive to succeed at goldmaking become an obsession. Use a checklist to help you remember what you have to do everyday, but if you are looking at that checklist and saying to yourself "Ughhh, that sounds awful," then just queue up for a dungeon with some friends and go wreck some face instead. :) I hear Heavenly Shards are going to be selling higher at the start of 5.4, anyways.

Less posting. More Bladestorm.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter and Twitch. I also just started up a YouTube channel for the blog that is up and running.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How To: Level Battle Pets 1-25 Quickly for Profit

     In my previous post, I mentioned that running old raids was a viable way to earn gold because you can farm up battle pets. If you've tried it chances are you've found a pet or two that are only selling for 200 or 400g on your AH. Well, the pets in question, the ones that Blizzard added for the patch 5.1 achievement Raiding With Leashes and the patch 5.3 achievement Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition are all level 1 pets. Since you can only battle SW rats with them, they're only really viable for that achievement. Easy fix though, just level them up! Level 25 rare pets sell pretty consistently for high prices, in the 3k to 10k range. And if you can level em less than an hour, all the better, right?

Pictured:Chrominius Source:Chromaggus, BWL
Left: Good for achieve 400-1000g. Right: Lvl 20 ability 1-shots any battle pet out there 6,000g

     What I would recommend doing, and have been doing myself recently, has been leveling any duplicate pets up once I'm done with my initial to-do list of crafting, posting, transmog searching, and farming. So let's get down to brass tacks. Here are three great ways to level a pet to 25 in under an hour. (Note: These are all 10-85% faster with the stackable pet battle XP buffs: Safari Hat, Lesser Pet Treat, Pet Treat)

One level 25 pet (type depends on option)
If you do not have a level 25 already, go here or here.

Option 1:Aquatic
Eternal Strider Farming-Vale of Eternal Blossoms
      Eternal Striders in the Vale have two abilities that do no damage. They also come in packs with Golden Civets and Dancing Water Skimmers, both aquatic pets. So, the strategy is to open with your lvl 1. They'll heal (usually) so you can get an ability off without dying. Then, since Flying pets are strong vs aquatic, you switch to a level 25 Flying and finish off the rest. If you use a Crow from the Darkmoon Fair you can Call Darkness and then Nocturnal Strike. The Gilnean Raven is the Poor Man's version and available to anyone who has a Worgen. You can also use any Owl type (Brilliant Kaliri, Miniwing, Hawk Owl, Great Horned Owl, etc.) and usually one-shot a gray quality opponent. I prefer Owls over birds with Slicing Wind because of this; en masse it seems to keeps the total number of rounds fought lower, though I'm willing to be corrected if wrong on this point.
     Without buffs, the 25 doesn't take any XP, and the first fight gets you from lvl 1-6, and the second fight gets you to level 10. From there, each fight earns you about 1 level, and each fight takes about 90 seconds. Go run around and battle Eternal Striders for about 45 minutes total and "tah dah," you got yourself a level 25 pet. If you ever need healing, and your Revive Pets button is on CD, there is a stable master right at Mistfall Village. Ook ook!

Bonus round: As you do this, you'll probably be able to collect a rare Eternal Strider. You can use these (even if they're lvl 22 or 23, just let them die) on the next pet you level to go one shot Farmer Nishi, the Pet Battle Tamer in Valley of the Four Winds (credit for this tip goes to Ajwowgaming on YouTube). Run Water Jet and Pump on the Strider, and after the Terrible Turnip opponent casts his first two damaging spells swap in-and-out your lowbie pet (have him lvl 5 at least), as his only other options after that are heals. Easy 5,000 xp. Your lowbie starts the Strider grind at level 13 or 14 and saves some time on that.

Option 2:Critter
Bandicoot Farming- Valley of the Four Winds
     If you don't have any Flying pets, you probably have a beast or two. Who doesn't? Beast is strong vs critter and Valley has loads of critters that stick together. Head on over to Thunderfoot Ranch in Thunderfoot Feilds, and fight any Bandicoons or Marsh Fiddlers around. They deal a bit of damage, so it's nice to have a healing ability (Spiders work great) or healer pet on your team,  but if you don't, that's ok too. Just head to the Easternmost flightpath, Pang's Footstead, and talk to the stablemaster Little Tib, the boy with the big turtle. He'll heal you right up.
     There are two pets that shine here. Xu-Fu, Cub of Xuen can destroy critters with Bite or Spirit Claws, and then Heal to Full with the Prowl+Feed combo. If you haven't done the celestial tournament yet though, (you get a free pet the first completion so pick Xu-Fu), then Feline Familiar is also amazing. Put stoneskin up if you're facing a rare or uncommon pet but otherwise just Onyx Bite and Devour when they're about to die and you'll stay at full health.
     Games with option 2 last about as long as option 1 but you spend a little bit more time running around looking for battles. Just go with whichever pets you have and whatever you have more fun with. After all, leveling is a grind.

Option 3:Tamers 
      If grinding out the same critters over and over isn't your thing, then you can level up with the Pandaria Grand Master Pet Tamers. You can only fight these once per day, but they give great XP. At this point, things get a little out of my league though. I would hate to explain something that I am not an expert in yet, but you can do some cool stuff if you have a level 25 pet of every type. 

      These guys know their stuff, and the general idea is that if you have the team for it and know the strategy, you can rake in some serious XP and level a pet super quick. The drawbacks are that the battles take a few more rounds, you run the risk of wasting time by losing, and that the flight time factors in. Both of those websites are definitely bookmark-worthy though.

(Edit: Strapped for time? Here's a fun idea. Go to the AH and buy 3-5 underpriced rares. Go out to either the critters or the aquatics, and fight two or three battles with each of the pets, getting each one to level 10. Crate the pets, fly to a mailbox, and post each one on the AH for 500 or 1000g more than you bought them for, whatever is reasonable for that pet. Easy peasy 2k-5k gold in about 15-20 minutes of work.)

Finally, back on the goldmaking front, it may also be worth noting that there is a market for level 24 pets. While everyone always wants to avoid leveling pets starting at lvl 1, if you buy something on the AH at 25 already, you don't get credit towards the Pro Pet Mob achievement. So, if you stopping your levelling in the Vale or the Valley at 24, you might open up your market to the handful of people who care about that achievement, while still retaining everyone willing to purchase a level 25 pet for 5,000g.

Now, a quick word to any realists/naysayers out there. Are there better ways to make gold? Sure, and by all means do those first. Heck, you could make a million gold in 3 months by just mining for 3 hours every day. But here's the thing, battle pets are surprisingly fun. For anyone who is still complaining that it's just like Pokemon, maybe you should question why Pokemon was fun enough to be the #5 top selling game of all time (ahead of Super Mario 3, Zelda, CoD, Halo,...). More to the point of goldmaking though, you get flawless Battlestones pretty often. Upgrade a green-only pet to rare quality and there ya go, free 1k-10k, depending on the pet. You learn which pets are good vs which, and that help you identify your personal AH market. You can then navigate cross-realm trading better if you choose, and isolate your searches on those pets that would actually sell. In short, it's super fun and opens up a new way to make gold. That's all.

Hope y'all enjoyed my guide for this market that Blizz has been feeding so much recently, and I'm glad to finally be on board. Let's do this! Until next time remember to

Bash. Scratch. Lift-off. Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

200k PER DAY?!

You can find WoW gold making moguls where you least expect it. Occasionally you'll find that your raid team's vegetable farmer is actually a booming tycoon who rakes in 100k-200k DAILY and has 21 MILLION Gold across all of his toons.

For those of you who may be new to the gold making game, this is just ridiculous. Jim from PowerWord:Gold is an expert and has helped thousands of players make gold. He has just over 2 million. Elvine, another expert, totes on his stream a lifetime earning of 11 million although this doesn't take into account what he's spent, or how much of that is profit. A consistent ~150k daily is bonkers. So who is this farmer?

He's missin a nickle.

I was able to sit down and talk to him for an hour shortly after I finished up the Disenchanting Goldifier post and he was nice enough to let me pick his brain. He's a quiet guy, keeps to himself, and every week keeps the guild vault overflowing with crocolisk meat, Sunsong Ranch mats, and potions. I've asked around and apparently he is also quite the miner too, supplying several people with person-to-person daily ghost iron contracts of about 100 stacks each. He's had his account active since Vanilla, and while he used to raid, doesn't do much more than LFR or the occasional alt run nowadays.

His advice:
First off, don't expect to make outrageous amounts of gold without putting in time to do so. you can make a very decent income in a limited time flipping greens, or crafting specific items, but when I asked him about how he found time to farm so much ore regularly, he said "well, do you want to raid or do you want to make gold?" So here's my interpretation. Ask yourself, "is goldmaking a legitimate part of the game to me, or just something I use to pay for the actual game itself?" If it's the former, then get out there and farm away, but be ready for the work, I vaguely remember him saying something along the lines of "12,000g a day in Auction House posting fees." If it's the latter, then take it easy, and don't kill yourself, because the game won't be as much fun.

He stays  up  to  date. One thing he's been doing regularly because of this, has been running old raids. 5.1 and 5.3 introduced some battle pets that make Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Temple of AQ, Naxx, Karazhan, Serpenshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep extra viable to farm. There are 2 or 3 pets in each raid and each pet has a 10-25% drop chance. I've never been into Pet Battles, but gave it a whirl and ran all of em; got 7 pets ranging in value from 800g to 6,000g. If you bother to loot corpses with an updated version of The Undermine Journal Addon, you'll get a ton of sellable transmog. I generally only pick up anything worth more than 200g, and get about 5-10 pieces per raid. My fingers are crossed for your AQ runs. Do this every week on multiple toons, and multiple accounts, and you can rake in a hefty sum. I'd put an expected value of loot at about 20,000g/character per week for all 7 raids.

One transmog costs 150,000g more than the other. Sure. Whatever.

He follows a plan, and has been using the same 14 methods to make gold since he started, 11 of which do not directly use the Auction House. What are those methods? Well, sorry guys, but I don't know him well enough to have gotten the whole shoot-n-works, and honestly, I don't know if he'd want THAT much of his secret out there. However, I can say that, the aforemention battle pet farming is not one of the core steps to making gold, and from how the conversation went, neither was daily questing. Both are merely bonuses. I can say that rep grinding has something to do with it, so let's just speculate that old-world rep-required transmog items would sell for a decent markup on the AH without any competition. What I can say for sure though, is that if you find something that works for you in particular on your server, stick to it.* Heck, write it down on a laminated checklist and keep it by your computer if that helps you. Use a dry erase marker and every day go through your checklist. May seem silly but until you get used to a system, little things like this can really help. (*Note: Stick to it, but always keep an eye out for ways to improve.) PostEdit: Alternatively, you can just use this checklist addon. Thanks to GoblinRaset's blog.

Embrace all markets. To bring in that amount of gold, you need to diversify diversify diversify. So, you have two max-level professions? Great! Go get two more. You have four now? Great! Go get two more. Or, if that's too much crafting for your taste, Google some other ways to make gold. Flip some greens. Snatch some pets for cheap from another realm (I'll fight you to the death on the term "Arbitrage," Jim!) You can even Duel people for gold, if PVP is your thing. Specific advice from Mr. 200k, was to focus not just on crafted items but also on farming and selling materials, specifically stocking up on Ghost Iron ore/bars like a mad man in preparation for the new patterns in 5.4. Each pattern requires a higher amount of bars than the current ones do, and the rumor mill has Blizz even upping the spawn rate on the GIO nodes in the Valley to compensate, so that prices don't skyrocket longterm.

I'll be sure to keep everyone informed of any future information I glean from him that is worth sharing, but follow me on Twitter cause we all discuss things there too. He's a really nice guy, and I've not only made a lot of gold since talking to him, but I've enjoyed our conversations. Good to have new guildies to talk to. :)

Until next time, remember that all of this can be summed up in a few simple words:
Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.
World Of Warcraft, WoW Loot