Thursday, May 22, 2014

What's New in 5.4.8 and How to Make Gold

     Welcome to Patch 5.4.8, everybody! So, what's new? Honestly, there aren't a whole lot of changes as you can tell by the number of decimal points, but there are enough to influence us for a little bit and to talk about them. So let's do that, shall we?

     If any of you played back in Lich King, or have run Icecrown Citadel in a while, you'll notice a huge buff when you enter that instance: Strength of Wrynn if you're Alliance or Hellscream's Warsong if you're Horde. ICC was released on December 8th, 2009, and by patch Patch 3.3.2 when the entire instance was open a majority of the players were still banging their heads against it ("[2] DKillerz - "LFM Gearscore 8000+ required!" ...shoot me now), so Blizzard decided to buff it. They did something similar, yet opposite, in Dragon Soul with a raidwide nerf, the Power of the Aspects.

Patch 5.4.8, How to make gold, WTBGold, Reckles, Xuen
5.4.8: Get buffed enough to solo Xuen...maybe...probably not...unless you're a Blood DK
     Now, one of the goals of the Blizzard is to get everyone playing regardless of whether they raid or not, so they're trying something new this time. Instead of nerfing raid bosses or buffing raiders, they're instead allowing all players to double upgrade their gear again. So, rather than being able to upgrade an epic 2/2, you'll be able to upgrade it 4/4. Also, Heirloom BoA Gear from Garrosh is buffed 8 ilvls higher. In short, everyone will be able to be quite a bit stronger if you farm up some valor and do your daily quests or heroic scenarios. If you don't like doing dailies how can you get all that valor though?
     To see the second big change, take a trip on out to the Timeless Isle. Chances are, it's more packed with PVP-killing action and rare farming than you've seen it in the past couple months. (If you haven't read my article on Sha-crystal farming on the Timeless Isle, go do that now, it'll be important in a second) You can now trade in 3000 Timeless Coins for 100 Valor at Mistweaver Ai by purchasing Deeds of Valor. These stack with the Valor of the Ancients buff, although the Heart of the Valorous buff didn't seem to make it to live.

     So, we've got people back out in the Timeless Isle farming their hearts out for Deeds of Valor, and we've got buffed up raiders killing and disenchanting more gear than ever before. What does that mean for you and your goldmaking opportunities right now and in the future? Well...

Sha Crystal, TUJ, The Undermine Journal, Patch 5.4.8, Maelstrom Crystal
Maelstrom Crystal History
     1. Sha Crystals are at the highest they're ever going to be...ever again. People are going to be farming up Sha Crystals on the Timeless Isle, and with better gear more people are going to be disenchanting gear in from Siege of Orgrimmar. Since, the demand for Sha Crystals has gone down, we can expect that prices will fall. (Note: gearing and enchanting insta-90s may initially offset/stabilize this drop in demand, but I personally wouldn't bet on it). So absolutely sell any Sha Crystals you have right now before prices plummet uncontrollably. Or you could convert them into Mysterious Essences, except

GCE, Greater Celestial Essence, TUJ, The Undermine Journal, WTBGold
Greater Celestial Essence History
     2. Mysterious Essences are also the highest they're ever going to be...ever again. With a new expansion comes a dramatic fall in demand for the secondary resources for last xpac's enchants. Greater Celestial Essences dropped from 60g to 20g, and not only that but they hardly ever sell. Unload your Mysterious Essences.

Hypnotic Dust, TUJ, The Undermine Journal, Spirit Dust, WTBGold
Hypnotic Dust History
     3. Spirit Dust will boom. Blizzard has designed Patch 5.4.8 so that the entire player base is buffed up, out and about, and killing things. With that comes greens to disenchant. As a major leveling component, Spirit Dust, which currently sells for under 1g each, is likely to be pushed a smidge lower. However, if Cataclysm, and MoP are any examples, then we can expect that once people stop farming dust, but people still need it to level professions and get a few basic Enchants here and there, that the price of Spirit Dust will go from it's current price to somewhere in the range of 5g-15g each and the supply falls lower than demand.


Here's the monkey wrench, and hopefully some of you Enchanters spotted it already. If Sha Crystals Drop to 15 gold in the first week or two of the expansion, and Spirit Dust jumps up to 15 gold in the same time frame, what's the obvious answer? Well, there's two that pop up immediately.

Next Expansion's Annoying Enchanting Requirements:
MoP Full Breakdown
     So, Spirit Dust is trying to be as expensive as Sha Crystals and will sell the fastest on almost every realm (highest relative demand out of the enchanting mats).  Then, if you're farming old Pandaria dungeons, rather than just disenchanting your BoP boss drops and BoE Blues, you will "have to" completely shatter them down into dust. While this seems silly it adds that extra "ugh" hassle to farming old content. However, it may not be necessary at all because of the future-

MoP Shatter Check
      This expansion is the first we've had with a full conversion, and right now, Enchanting mat prices are kept in line with the Shatter, where you destroy a Crystal or Ethereal Shard to break it down and sell it into the occasionally more valuable and definitely more in-demand Mysterious Essence. In WoD though, we should keep our eyes out for huge discrepancies between Crystals, Shards, Essences, and the then more valuable Spirit Dust, especially in the first couple months before and after WoD is released. The Invisible Hand should drive Sha Crystal prices up to the point where they match the value of Spirit Dust, whevever it ends up at. So, if Spirit Dust gets to 15g each like Hypnotic is, then someone would be willing to pay 270 gold per Sha Crystal, since each crystal yields 18 dust. A more reasonable 5g value would give you 90 gold crystals, 45 gold shards, and 15 gold essences: about what we're at now. Depending on your stock, and how things go, Sha Crystals may rise in value and it could be very smart to invest heavily in Sha Crystals.

      Ok, so it may have sounded like I went back and forth or lied to you here. There was a method, I promise. I started with the premise "There will be a small permanent increase in the supply of Sha Crystals from Patch 5.4.8" and then used a few different available models to try and figure out what will happen now and into the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Funny thing is, that some models say sell all your Sha Crystals now, because they'll all be worthless, while others say that since Spirit Dust will go up in value 500%, so will Sha Crystals.  As we approach the next expansion, this is the type of thing you'll be reading on forums from people trying their best to make sense out of everything going on with the coming expansion. It was an in-depth look at a very simple example showing how varied your answers can be. Essentially, the point of this article is "there are lots of correct and contradicting right answers when it comes to WoD speculation. Make money now how you know you can, and learn about WoD, but don't stress about any one blogger's method." We'll give you our best insights but only gameday will know for sure.
     So, how am I going to profit from this? What are my actual personal recommendations? I think Crystal, Shard, and Essence prices will fall, Essences less so, but I can still profit by selling my current stock right now, since I don't have a huge supply, and then just stay out of the enchanting material market until it bottoms out and enter again around patch day. On WoD release, I think everything will plummet like we've seen before, but since we have the first full conversion/arbitrage system in place for enchanting, there will be a demand for goods. I'll buy anything above dust right after launch and hide it away somewhere for a month. After a month, when everything evens out and those are worth double or triple I sell and make some cash. Alternatively, I might be off the mark and Mysterious Essences will be the old world mat of choice, and be the driving force, but luckily the same basic rules apply since it's a full conversion. But that's just me and my speculation.
     Either way, I'm betting 100g that they remove one of the Shatters from the game.

Thanks for reading my little WoW blog! You can follow me on Twitter here and Google+ Here. Visit my YouTube channel or just I recommend that all goldmakers download the TSM Suite and the UndermineJournalGE addon for all goldmakers. You can read my setup guide if you'd like. And remember that the key to making gold in WoW is just to 

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The World of Warcraft 2014 Q1 Subscription Numbers Are In!

     I was on the conference call with the Activision Blizzard gang yesterday and things are looking great. I don't invest with them but I like to stay up to date on the business side of things. New games are coming out, profits are up, even Kevin Spacey is on board as the villain in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. But no one reading this cares about First Person Shooters, amiright?! So lets get to the meat and potatoes and get talking about some Blizzard products.

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Wallpaper
Diablo 3
     Mike Morhaime got on the mike (get it?) and started off with Diablo 3. It's broken records as the top selling game of 2014 so far and had 2.7 million purchases in its first week alone. Mr. Morhaime said "We attribute a lot of the game's success to a focused effort on listening to player feedback and making improvements to the game based on that feedback." While that may sound like a pretty obvious course of action, it can be an expensive one, and was seemingly ignored for a majority of Diablo 3's release until recently. Thank goodness this has changed because things are gamers are getting involved again. Players can look forward to content updates that include Tiered Rifts, which will be Rifts that increase in difficulty and give greater rewards based on that difficulty, as well as "The Ultimate Evil Edition," a console edition of Reaper of Souls.

Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas WTBGold
     As far as numbers go (which y'all know I'm big on) 10 million people downloaded and played the game even before the official launch of the game, which is phenomenal. With the launch of the IPad version, even more people have joined and Blizzard has earned a top rating on Metacritic. However, they claimed it was too early to talk specific numbers of the IPad launch, which I kindof don't buy, but whatever. The big news is the upcoming expansion of the Curse of Naxxramas "The Naxxramas content will be released over several weeks. To celebrate the launch, the first set of content will be free for a limited time, while the subsequent ones will be unlockable through in-game gold or real money." This is great news because it gives alternatives to Arenas for those who don't like that content, and it gives players another option to spend gold, since once you have all the cards you need, gold is essentially worthless.
     Personally, I've always had a problem with companies that say "we released this product on 'so-and-so date' when they had an massively marketed open beta months or years prior. Other than that sneaky little bit of finagling, Hearthstone is going great, and is a fantastic game that I love playing. I can get lost in it when I feel like it, or can spend 10 minutes if I'm in a rush and just want to knock out a daily quest. Great job, Blizz.

Heroes of the Storm Bikini Stitches WTBGold MOBA Team Brawler
Heroes of the Storm
      Again no numbers were released on this product but they're super excited about the combination of MOBA/Team Brawler and the iconic blizzard characters. It's in Technical Alpha right now but will be opening up to larger audiences soon, but no word on whether or not this will be an open beta. At the PAX East event though, people stood in line for 2 hours just to play. Pretty phenomenal. Blizzard, if you're reading, I wanna invite! Let me innnnn!

World of Warcraft Warldords of Draenor Logo Wallpaper
World of Warcraft
     Alright, so things dropped off a smidge from 7.8 million subscribers to 7.6. With no new content released, this slight falloff was to be expected, and in the call, he said that before Warlords of Draenor is released, things will probably fall off a little more. From my perspective, while games like Wildstar may nibble away at the MMO market share, any doomsayers out there that think a 200k sub drop is worth prophesying the end of the world, should just relax and join a Flex raid. We all lived through one Cataclysm. This is the end of expansion blues. As Mr. Morhaime relates "Overall, we're pleased with the ongoing stability in the player base but look ahead cautiously given seasonality and the late expansion cycle dynamics." They know what they're doing and have done this five times before. They're prepared.
     On the other hand, even though WoD is still 7 months away from it's 12/20/2014 scheduled release date, it already has 1 million presales. These come with an automatic lvl 90 boost, which I used to level my Pacifist toon to 90 (yes, I gave up on the goal to level it through mining and herbalism alone, although I still haven't killed anything after several hours of farming ore and herbs in Valley of the Four Winds). You can also purchase level 90 boost for $60, and those seem to be going better than expected, and I really wish they would have released some numbers on how people purchased these 90 boosts, but no luck. That was the call though, hope my wrap up was informative!

Thanks for reading my little WoW blog! You can follow me on Twitter here and Google+ Here. My YouTube channel is growing and has lots of great guides over here. I recommend that all goldmakers download the TSM Suite and the UndermineJournalGE addon for all goldmakers. You can read my setup guide if you'd like. And remember that the key to making gold in WoW is just to 

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

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World Of Warcraft, WoW Loot