Saturday, October 26, 2013

3 Ways to Farm Sha Crystals on the Timeless Isle

     Who doesn't miss the days of 2,000g Sha Crystals?  Luckily, now that people are finished with their Shaohao rep (those that went to grind it out ASAP), the commotion in the Timeless Isle has died down and Sha Crystal prices are starting to rise back up from their miserable bottom we all experienced at the start of 5.4 (let's just hope the end of progression doesn't absolutely kill demand). Now that we're all geared enough that the elites on the island aren't the "OMGWTF!" that they were at release, I thought I'd do some testing to see how much gold we could make strictly from Sha Crystal farming by D/Eing Timeless drops on the island. This is a little unconventional, since generally I include transmog greens, gold drops, and rare items in my totals, but today I want to focus on one item only. (If you sit still and keep your shoes on all the way to grandma's house, I'll include both). So, let's go and get to testing!

That stupid charge.

Method 1: Berserker Farming
      To do this,  I went over to the Burning Berserkers. Grab a food and flask buff, a shrine if you can on the way there, a Timeless Nutrient buff from the Roasted Seeds around the Ashleaf Sprites, and as you go get Singing Crystal, Book of Ages, and  Dew of Eternal Morning. The Berserkers act a lot like Korda Torros; they cast an AoE, and an enrage. While they're unengaged though, they'll cast a 5-second ability called Forage. If you're having trouble with them, start attacking as soon as they Forage and you've got 5 seconds of free damage. Interrupt/stun their AoE a couple times, and run slightly out of it when you can't interrupt it any more, but stay close to them because their charge hurts if you get too far away. Other than that they're a pretty simple mob to burn down without taking too much damage.
      Alright, results: marginally depressing. From 30 minutes of farming and killing 32 mobs, I got a grand total of (drumroll please) ONE sha crystal from those and two more from rares that spawned in my face. Turns out, according to, this is actually exactly what I should have been expecting. With a 3.2% cumulative chance of dropping timeless gear (adding up all the 00.08/7/5% chances of the timeless legs/rings/chests dropping) 30 mobs should have given me just about 1 drop in my 30 minute test - and it did! Cool. Now, because you're running around and killing yaungol and the occasional sprite, you may spawn Leafmender and the Champions of the Black Flame like I did; anyone who's done rep grinding has seen these two a lot.
     On the gold side, the grand total per hour would be about 1200 from the crystals alone, minus probably about 450 for a leeway of rare spawning. If you include expected value of all drops, you'll get somewhere around 3k per hour. Not bad, but really nothing to write home about, especially if you're on a PVP server where bloody coins are still being farmed and getting ganked will impede on your progress. Now. if I just happened to accidentally kill two rares and triple my sha crystal results from efficiently farming berserkers in heroic raid gear...maybe I should look into rares...

Method 2: Rare Farming
     Turns out that while the Burning Berserkers have a 3% drop chance of the Timeless gear, some rares have a 30% drop chance, and the harder rares like Cinderfall and Archiereus of Flame have as high as a 50% chance.

     If you know where all the rares spawn, and don't care about rep, you can DEFINITELY get your hands on some crystals with this strategy. In a one hour period, during peak time on my medium pop server, I got 10 Timeless pieces from rares, along with 5500 Timeless Coins (thought that number would be higher, honestly). While this comes out to significantly more Sha Crystals than the previous test, it's still only 1500-2000g per hour, and this time, you aren't getting any other loot, since rare elites unfortunately don't have anything else on their loot tables. Well...that's even less than before! And we're even trying to be creative. There's gotta be some way to make 5000g or more on this dang island!

Method 3: Mogu Runes
     While the money from pet farming is still there, that's not the best way either, since those prices have stabilized, so pets are more of a bonus than a primary income; you don't go out saying "I'm going to do nothing but kill Garnia today for the Ruby Droplet pet." After some brief mathing, turns out one of the most profitable uses of Timeless Coins right now is actually Mogu Runes of Fate. The introduction of Flex, and the way the new crafted epics work has really slowed the price decay on Haunting Spirits. While they would have been selling for 300g-500g right now in any other patch, they're still selling for 1000g on most servers, and are still getting 1500g+ on small/med pop. So, here's what you do; grind out 13,000 Timeless Coins with a party by killing yaungol. It should take an hour. Go buy 13 Mogu Runes from Mistweaver Ai and then run ToT with your guild or a good OQueue group. Coin every boss, and get all the normal drops your group will let you have. After a full clear, you should have about 6 pieces of loot. That's roughly 7 Sha Crystals, 7 haunting spirits, and 9,000g for 2 hours of play without including raid trash drops or anything we may have picked up while farming yaungol. With that stuff we're looking at least another 1k, an average of around 2-3k extra.  *Note: Very important, don't be skeezy in raids. If someone does Need loot, don't take it just for the 1000g worth of haunting spirits and a sha crystal. You don't know what that person had to go through to be able to raid and get a chance at that gear. (Friends|People) > Gold *

     All in all, not a very productive place when just about any Vanilla, Outlands, and Cata dungeon run can not only beat this but double most of these methods on a gold/hour basis, but here's the thing, you can't have a failed experiment if it yielded usable results. For this test, we have some simple take-aways. Remember to save and D/E all the loot you get by grinding Shaohao rep rather than throwing away timeless gear like you've probably heard of many guildies doing.  Keep a healthy stock of Mogu Runes in case you run a ToT.  Sell Sha Crystals when they're expensive on your server. To find when this is, go to and look at the weekly price and availability history for your realm. Prices bounce around a lot for crystals so even though prices are 150g now, how high can you keep 10 or 20 individual posted so that over the next 48 hours, they'll probably sell: 200g, 250g? Also, tag any rares that are close since they have huge chance to drop easy timeless gear. However, each rare tag may not be necessarily as valuable as you may have thought  (50% drop)x(150g/ShaCrystal)= 75g/rare so don't go chasing Evermaw all around the island for 20 minutes just for 75 gold worth of expected value; it's not worth it on a strictly gold per hour basis. If you want their loot though, go for it. :D Everyone has that one item that they're trying to get off a rare on the Timeless Isle.

     And on the Katy Perry note, I'm out, guys. Hope this had some helpful information in it. If you want to see a short video guide of this, I put one up on my YouTube channel here. You can follow me on Twitter here for future updates and gold tips. Thanks for reading, guys! I really appreciate everyone of my readers and fans. See you around in the LFRs! :) And until next time remember that the secret to making gold in WoW is just to

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

     P.S. As an end note, can everyone just scroll back up to that picture of the berserker up there? Open world mob with a fire weapon. Here's a screenshot of a mob to compare where we've come from graphically since Vanilla WoW - same Ultra gfx settings - a level 47 Darkflight Soldier from Badlands. Just look at the fire on the weapons. And the feet. And the face. Way to go Blizzard. Thanks for always trying to make the game more enjoyable!

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Troubled Waters on the TCG Front

     Last week, I made the biggest investment I've made in the game so far, or at least the biggest purchase of a single item. I bought a slightly underpriced Ghastly Charger's Skull the awesome new flaming ghost horse mount from the Trading Card Game. Almost immediately I regretted the decision, as I know very little about the TCG market, but in the end, what better way to learn, right?

     The first step was doing what I normally do with items, spamming trade. Most things sell pretty quickly but expensive items take a while, so I wanted to make a macro for it. Unfortunately, you can't actually shift+click to link items into a macro (ikr? Try it if you don't believe me). If you don't know how to make a macro for items, PowerWord:Gold did a good video a while back. But if I can try and explain in a few sentences, with the cursor where you want the link to go, press "Escape" to back out of that macro window then "Enter" to open up the normal chat pane, and type  Anyways, I looked up how many there were being sold in the US and had a nice fancy smancy bark "WTS Ghastly Charger, Rare TCG Mount! Only 27 available Worldwide! Pst with Offer" Got a couple offers the first day but no one followed through and actually purchased.

     Then something funny started to happen. In economics, there's something called Ownership Bias, also called the Endowment Effect. It's actually a really simple concept that everyone experiences almost much every day: when you start to claim ownership over something, you begin to value that object more than you did beforehand. I have a really cheap Ibanez-knockoff guitar that is scratched-up, hardly works, and was $79 when I bought it with my saved up allowance 12 years ago, but it's priceless to me because it's mine. A professor did a fun example of this with in one of my classes where he had a bunch of really cheap cups and a bunch of decent pens. He asked us how much the pens cost. "Meh. About a buck or two." And how much did the cups cost? "Probably about a dollar or two." (He clearly ran through the 99 cent store on the way to work.) Anyways, he passed out the pens and cups randomly to the students at the beginning of class, and at the end of the two hours went back around asking everyone if they wanted to trade in their cup or pen for a different cup or pen. Almost nobody did the trade! Even though monetarily there was absolutely no difference (and the students had been told so upfront!) the cups had transition in everyone's minds from just part of an experiment to a possible favorite coffee mug or a gift for the little sister.

     Back on topic, my TCG mount, went from a quick investment, and only an investment, to "man, you know, it would look pretty cool if I was on that outside of raid." And then the little devil popped up on my shoulder a little later adding on "Didn't your raid team's main tank lowball you? If he wants it, just think how jealous he'd be." And then the angel chimed in the next day, "Your priest is almost lvl 90, doesn't she deserve a new mount to ride around on? Oh, wait a second, this is a lvl 20 mount and you're leveling your monk next! How great would it be to see him on it at level 20!?"  I'm just completely fascinated that, over the course of a week, I have gone from being willing to sell it for 250-275k to putting it up on the AH for 375k and legitimately wondering if I should post it for more. Usually, with almost any other item I've sold it's the other way around; you start high and then when it doesn't sell, you lower the price until it does sell. Here, I'm subconsciously raising the price so that it doesn't and I can convince myself that I'm better off learning the mount myself.

"For real though, guys. I'm just trying to go do proving grounds. Get off me."

     I'm not saying I'm gonna stay out of the TCG market forever, but I'm gonna have to get a better deal next time, cause I am five minutes away from learning this thing and wasting that initial investment.

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter, and until next time, remember that the best way to make money in the World of Warcraft is to

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day. (and NOT just buying random mounts!)
World Of Warcraft, WoW Loot