Category Archives: Lulz

Return of the Dawn of the Revenge of the Cash Shop

So, as posted on the EU community website, Cosmetic helms are now for sale in the cash shop Blizzard Store. And if you’re into gaudy, they’re not bad.

First of all: 15 US dollars ((That’s 12 Euro on this date.)) is not a microtransaction. I don’t care what your favorite omnibus WoW website says, I don’t care what your favorite MMO forum site says.  The cost of a month’s game time is not a microtransaction. So don’t call it that, and we’ll get along fine. ((We are straying dangerously into pet peeve territory, yes?))

Next item: will it affect the game at all?  I can’t really see how, other than consuming precious frame rate.  Seriously, what would a 25-man raid look like with these on everyone?  Will a new Alliance battleground strat involve wearing these and lagging the Horde out?  Considering that it’s gotten zero beta time, these are actually kinda relevant questions. But I’m SURE they’ve gotten EXTENSIVE testing in-house ((Kaff kaff /points at Theramore)).

Item the third: when will this hit the US?  Days? Hours? Before this post goes up ((Looks like: "no".))?  Update:  I found out at 2 PM (two hours after publish) that they’re now available in the US.

Item the fourth: what next?  Will we see matching robes, shoulders, cloaks? And sidebar: will the WoW punditry also insist on calling those other items "microtransactions" if they cost 15 bucks ((My money is on "yes".))?

The big one: how long until we see pay-to-win items?  And does this indeed signal the final death rattle of WoW ((I’m out of sarcasm tags, so use your "imagination".))?

that escalated quickly

Oops, sorry, accidentally plugged in to a forum.

The personal one: I’d almost buy the Firelord helm for Flora if she was into gaudy baubles. But in general none of this stuff speaks to my nature.  I seriously doubt that they’ll ever introduce a mog set that says "I work for a living" rather than "I’d like to think that I raid stuff you can’t even imagine."

The thoughtful one: It’s not just this stuff.  So much WoW raiding tier and its predecessor gear looks so hideous to me.  It’s covered with horns, and glitter, and flanges, and glitter, and orbs, and glitter, and ropey things, and glitter, and then they add glitter. SOME of the old vanilla tier stuff is okay ((Though that Rogue helm that looks like a respirator mask is just stupid.)) but for the most part, Blizz is in love with its art department, and its art department all apparently majored in "Ming the Merciless’ Court Trappings".

You thought I was joking

But the thing is, they wouldn’t keep getting more ridiculous with every tier if it weren’t for the users wanting, or at least encouraging it. Those of us that want a more functional approach to awesomeness are not as vocal or as profitable.

I am very much of the opinion that awesomeness is not a function of frills and special effects.  The most iconic weapons are often very much, shall we say, to the point.

Anduril, Flame of the West

Rather than …

I blame Cloud

Maybe Ming wasn’t at fault after all. 🙂

If you can’t please everyone, the best you can do is give them choices, and that’s where mogging came in in the first place. You may recall my own mogging preferences are somewhat more functional than what my armor actually looks like ((I mean, if I was wearing my tier gear, you wouldn’t be able to see my head, even with the helm hidden!)). And there are others that go the other way – well, I can certainly see the attraction of some Ulduar and Icecrown gear.

The Cheap One: What I would love to see with this sort of throwaway mog fodder is for it to (also) be sold for in-game currency of some sort, especially near the end of an expansion when people have piles of tokens and nothing to blow them on.  It would be a great JP dump, or Greater Tokens, or Halfhill Tokens, or what have you.

An even better approach would be to (a) make the items purchasable for a new special token type, (b) make it so you could buy that token in the cash shop (e.g.Neverwinter Zen), and (3) then also make that token purchasable for varying amounts of other in-game tokens, such as JP, Darkmoon tokens, etc.  That way, if one particular faction grind was "your thang", then you could, oh, I dunno, enjoy yourself while playing a game.

Because here’s the bottom line for me: they could make the perfect Hunter garb of all time available, and I’d not buy it for cash, not ever. I’m paying that much a month already.  I’m not even sure I’d pay for it if it was F2P.   Virtual items are pretty much gone as soon as you stop playing the game.  Game time, for all its ephemeral nature, gives you a month’s worth of enjoyment, whereas a hat isn’t even usable unless you pay more money.

But I might grind for it.

The Final One: The Godmother over at Alt:ernative had an interesting thought (or a dozen) about the cash shop ((She’s on a roll, folks.)), one which was the sale of armor dyes.  I do want armor dyes.  I especially want one like the one in Diablo III that makes your shoulder pieces go away. But I categorically do not want them to be part of the cash shop.  Special colors? Possible.  In general?  Not.  It might be close to a deal-breaker for me, a last sign of cynical money-grubbing from a company that swore up and down that Activision wouldn’t do that to it.  I can only swallow so much hypocrisy, and that would probably mark the high water ((Well, it looks like water from a distance.)) line.

Doing so would also eliminate one of the potential fun elements in-game: making of dyes.  I personally think this would be a great product for Scribes to make ((I know, I know, just throw more money at them.)) since they already have all sorts of dyes in the bank.  I think it would be great if they managed to exploit ALL of the herbs from Peacebloom to Golden Lotus to make different armor dyes.  They could just keep adding different shades of dye as new herbs came into being.  Heck, Ghost Mushrooms would be perfect for making armor invisible! ((If they do this, seriously, I want a quarter for every game they sell.))

I kind of doubt that will happen, though. I could be wrong, but they seem to be pushing down hard on the crafting game, and it’s starting to look like there is either a paradigm shift about to happen, or they’re starting to dismantle crafting as an mainstream part of the game. Certainly, it has problems.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.  At least the potential cash mounts will give us more people to admire as they preen on the bank steps and RP walk around Stormwind.

swaggah

Or something.

Just because I can’t play doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion

Welp.  Post-moving, we’re still playing catch-up with the bills.  A gigantic phone bill was settled at the expense of cable and internet. It’ll be back on in a couple of weeks, and things should be better from there on out.

mifiStill, I’ve got network of a sort, via a nifty personal hotspot device. And while 4G may be fast enough to play, I fear that would eat up our bandwidth allotment, and I need that for job hunting and snarky blog posts.

Oh, yes, there’s snark, of a huntery sort for once.

This little gem posted on MMO-C provides an exemplary example of hunter tears and forum logic. And Ghostcrawler … well, he answered.  I find there to be snarkable material on both sides of this argument.

I want to be up front about something – I’m not attacking the individual that posted this thing.  I am attacking the common mindset that generates such posts.  It’s a further illustration of how forums disease the mind.

So let’s go.

sarcasmWith the recent 5.3 “adjustment” to stampede ((I “Love” how this guy thinks using quotes makes the word “adjustment” seem “snarky and sarcastic”.)), you have removed any kind of utility from the talent ((What he is referring to is that pets summoned with Stampede no longer auto-cast their special buffs. They only do damage on auto-cast.)). Simulating my character with the “normal” settings (all buffs on, 5 min fight, 93 target, yada yada) I would lose 1229.7 (-0.52%) DPS in Beast Mastery spec and 2077.93 (-0.93%) DPS in Survival spec.

That’s “interesting” ((Ha! I can do that too!)). Choosing to sim in a 5-man configuration?  As a PvE-er concerned with raid encounters (see below, “Silencing Shot”), HONEST results can only be gained from simulating a raid encounter  ((Options / Target Level / Raid Boss.)) . This stinks of chicanery and fitting the data to match a theory or preselected opinion. Meesa no approve.

Either way, Stampede now gives us ZERO utility (micro-managing your pets in order to provide buffs your raid did not have during stampede or giving out minor healing through spirit beasts, etc).

  1. Real hunters micro-manage their pets, period ((Trufax: BigRedKitty, in Cataclysm, actually had a stable of all of the same pet, each specced to a different task, such as tanking, healing, pure DPS. That was before our current brain-dead pet talent “tree” implementation, but it hints at what a true master of the craft was capable of given the options before him.  We miss you, Daniel.)).
  2. Assuming you did bring the spirit beast, I have one word: “macros”.
  3. Regardless of the snark, Spirit Beast is actually simming as a high DPS, so if other buffs are covered, and if you’re BM, look into it.

It is, quite simply, a button we press every five minutes in order to do 0.5-1% more DPS.

A button. Talk about impersonal.

You tell us that you want to deal with hunter’s bars being bloated by too many abilities […]

too many buttonsActually, they didn’t.  We did, and they said, “maybe, maybe not. We think you’re having trouble counting that high.”  Well maybe not that last part.  But it would have been funny as hell.

In point of fact ((I promised my grandmother I’d never use that asinine old phrase.  Now I have to go do penance.)) I think we need fewer buttons, too. But I don’t recall anyone saying they’d do me a solid on that.

[…] – yet you take one of our DPS cd’s, make it pretty much worthless, and call it a day. We don’t even gain anything from making sure we use Stampede during haste buffs anymore, because the pets do not use their specials (energy) attacks anymore. It’s a mindless, and completly unnessecary button.

Fascinating.  Having five pets out at once doing DPS of their own – insta-cast, by the way – is considered a net loss to this bloke.  I’m no min/maxxer, but even I know that part of a DPS increase is better than no DPS increase at all.  It’s math!

1.0 > 0

0.1 > 0

See?

GhostCrawler had a thought on this:

Stampede was never intended to provide utility. It’s a DPS cooldown.

But the thing is, I remember distinctly how the Blizz team (including GC) trumpeted the fact that Stampede would *add* the special abilities from the pets as part of the action’s effect.  In my mind, they should say instead:

We screwed up. We went overboard. Sorry.

so sorryThat’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re wrong and trying to fix it.

But also, this.

You may recall that I have complained in the past that making pets into portable buff machines was a bad idea, something that de-characterized the pet and diminished the Hunter class. Read the above with that in mind, and you begin to see the ultimate trajectory of that change to pets.  In WotLK we chose pets based off which did the greatest damage. In Cata and later, the buffs were the thing.  Then they added the five-slot stable so that we didn’t even have to make hard decisions on which pet we brought to a raid.

It’s a very sad end result, really.

ghostcrawlerAnd here’s the stinger.  Crab Man and his ilk comment over and over again how they want to make it so you choose a pet based on how “cool” it is, how it fits in with your idiom and personality.  Read between the lines and reflect on past changes, and the ultimate outcome may be this: pets will have no special abilities, and all do the same DPS, no matter what.  I hope not, but it’s starting to appear that way.

Moving on.

Silencing Shot

In 5.4, we no longer have an interrupt, unless we go Marksmanship – the “weakest” of all 3 specs, from a PvE point of view. For a hunter in a guild like myself, the choise between BM and Survival is currently a 4% difference, and if there is not something that makes Surv better on a specific encounter (pet dying to AOE dmg is one – I’ll get to it in a moment), […]

Let me stop you right there.

You let your pet die?  And you have the nerve to complain?  Get with the program first!  Your pet is your responsibility.  If the raid’s healer is too busy elsewhere, it’s your job to keep the pet up.  If you can’t heal it, get it out of there. “Micro managing” again.  It’s what leet hunters do.

[…] I will be BM for that increase. Currently, MM is 6% behind survival – a full 10% difference between MM and BM. There’s just no way I’d go MM, even if we needed an interrupt. Taking in any other player would be better, as (and once again, I’ll get to it!) hunters are far from the “top dog” damage wise.

Given what I read, I wonder who IS “top DPS” since so far, every DPS class has had that exact same complaint. What, is it ret pallis and they’re just being quiet about it?

Currently, five of the twelve revealed (out of 14) encounters has interrupts incorporated in them somehow. Is it really fair that hunters will not have an interrupt for this?

You can DPS or you can interrupt.  Pick one.  The role of the Hunter, as BRK once defined it, is to deliver Massive Quantities of Ranged DPS. Period.  You MUST accept that anything else will diminish that.  And a true team member will accept that gladly, if it helps the team out.

brkI remember a vid that I constantly tried to live up to: BRK using Hobbes as a tank on the Moroes fight.  I actually got to try that, and it’s not as easy as it looks.  That’s giving up the DPS in order to be a team player. That’s what it’s about. Not “I must have moar DPS than the other members”.

Back when I was raiding with the Effers, we had a new mage DPS come in to test with us on Dragon Soul. We were on Blackhorn, and still working on getting the strat down – which requires that DPS switch off to alternate targets during the first phase.  For some reason, his assigned targets weren’t dropping, yet his DPS was high. Eventually we figured out it was because he wasn’t handling his targets, and he resented that we insisted that he do so.  Had he not quit the guild because “he just didn’t feel comfortable”, he’d’ve probably been kicked – if not that first night, the following time he failed to pull his weight.

But that’s the thing. They’re not always Patchwerk fights. Sometimes you take the hit.

If you really don’t want to give hunters a silence, atleast give us a PvE interrupt – no silence effect, just an instant interrupt. Spec MM, get the silence? Either way, hunters being the only DPS-class to not have a baseline interrupt is just absurd.

“Just absurd” is not checking up on what other classes have.  Hunters are not alone in this. But guess what? With, say, six DPS and two tanks, you have quite a few interrupts that can be brought to bear. 25-mans even more so.

Ghostcrawler responds.

Silencing Shot is tough. As a talent, it will always get chosen. But hunters don’t need more CC so we don’t want to bake it in.

Somebody will have to explain to me how “[Kil’Jaden’s Cunning] will always get chosen, so it must be nerfed” squares with the above tweet.  Using the same reasoning to get to two different conclusions for two different classes must make more sense when you have a PhD in Oceanography.

Pets – Survivability

From a high end PvE point of view ((“Which is why I simmed five-man, durr!”)), you have to realise that a hunter see his or her pet as a singletarget DoT with a travel time. In some cases, the pet provides a valueable buff for the raiding team.

Speak for yourself.  I can assure you that’s not how “most hunters” see their pets.  Though it might be a convenient way to conceptualize the damage a pet does, to a certain extent, it’s an oversimplification that doesn’t take into account pet management, situational awareness, or hunter skill ((“Micro-managing”, again.  I got a surplus box of those words.)).

This makes it so much more annoying that our “DoT”, as one of the very few, has the ability to die, making us spend precious time ressurecting it. Losing out on the valueable buff at the same time, is a kick in the groin.

Here speaks a bloke that has seemingly never played a DoT class.  I imagine any dedicated DoT class player would gladly exchange a need to “maintain” a DoT rather than constantly refresh one.  Or maybe that’s the same thing. Either way, the proper way to deal with this “traveling DoT” is to heal it, or keep it out of trouble. It’s easier to cast Mend Pet periodically than it is to cast Revive Pet. Hell, if you want to burn focus, macro it.

Pet survivability we can look at, but pets aren’t supposed to be free DPS with no management either.

This time me and the Crab are skoshe. Other classes have to manage their DoTs, and so do we. Our management is just a bit different than others.  It’s a “DoT” that’s maintained by some other spell.  Oh, wait.

If you’re in a scenario with constantly spawning adds, using Beast Cleave as an AOE is sure to get your pet killed, quickly.

You don't say

The AOE-damage it does on mobs is simply IMMENSE, and if the tank does not instantly smash everything in the face, HARD, then the pet will get hit instead. Especially in random dungeons is this a common occurence. We can’t control our pet’s aggro – and frankly, I don’t think we should have to when we’re AOE’ing. Controlling the pets position is enough of a task already.

Pet control is a core feature of being a Hunter. This guy has no grasp on what it is to be a Hunter.  To him, it’s a box. With his epic ego as in input, and epic epeen as a result. I swear to Mammon. This is the difference between leet DPS and leet Hunters.

Blink Strikes now makes our pets instantly blink behind the target if they’re close enough – this is great!

What is NOT great, is the fact that when I say instant, I mean freaking INSTANT. They teleport to the boss, get a 200K special-attack and a melee swing in, all before my first auto shot has even HIT the boss. If I lead in with a Kill Command, you can add another 150-200K threat hit to THAT (which does not get transferred by MD). Simply put, even if I were to misdirect the tank and spam arcane shot for the first 4 seconds of the fight, my pet would STILL jump to the target and hit it quicker than anything could react, and my MD won’t do jack !@#$ to fix it.

I guess nobody remembers the old days when you WAITED FOR THE TANK TO GET AGGRO FIRST AUGH /haet

Oh, wait.

THAT STILL BLOODY APPLIES, YOU GIT.

Jaina FacepalmThen here are some tweets

Please don’t buff hunter’s focus dump. PTR + T16 2pc will reduce value of special shots and homogenize specs.

Can you explain why it homogenizes specs?

It MEANS: “I haven’t got time to provide numbers, so I’m just gonna use words.  Geez!”

Seriously, the term generally implies that one spec is indistinguishable from another.  I don’t really see that, though. Each spec has a different “feel” to it – BM being lightest on its feet, MM being a bit more deliberate and ponderous.

This doesn’t really explain how the T16 2-piece will make the three specs operate the same, though.

Does it mean that one spec is better than the other? I suspect just the opposite. I think this guy’s pissed that he can’t find a perfect cookie cutter spec that lets him pwn the meterz. And I suspect that GC would call that Mission Accomplished.

Then there’s this guy, that REALLY gets what Hunter is all about:

Would you ever consider bringing back the arrows/bullets for hunters with an extra quiver just for hunters to store them in?

I love it!  I absolutely HATED managing ammo and quivers, but I LOVE that there’s someone out there saying, “I think it made Hunters more Huntery.” Light bless you, sir, Light bless you!

We’d like to do a quiver just for the visuals. Ammo returning is unlikely. There wasn’t much depth to that system.

This is Engineer-ish for “JESUS H CHRIST ON A POGO STICK WHERE WOULD I FIND THE MEMORY FOR THAT??!?!?111

I was really gob smacked by this though:

Readiness should do more defensive stuff. Masters call and traps and so forth.

Master’s Call, maybe. Traps were one of the big things we wanted to eliminate.

spit take/wipes off monitor

SAY WHAT??!?!?

I think it’s time to get the Crab off of the Hunter project.  ELIMINATING TRAPS????? That is one of the most … unhuntery … things I can think of.  Traps are a signature attribute of our class.

I swear to the Titans … I will reroll as a Monk ….

that escelated quicklyOkay, let me wrap up.

As you can see, there is intense tension between what it really means to be a Hunter … and what it means to “play the hunter class”, aka just a DPS that happens to be a hunter.

I would like to say that the epeeners and min/maxxers are making vain noises as usual and that the good folks at Blizz are holding the line, but it is patently clear that they are not holding.  The possibility that traps are even being CONSIDERED for elimination indicates that there is something terribly wrong with the designers of our class.  The continued decharacterization of our pets has lead to the mindset that “pets are a DoT”. This is not right.

It is possible, that there is a paradigm shift about to take place.   There were a couple before ((Exchanging mana for focus, making pets more homogenous than before.  And by Homogenous, I mean I have a chart you can suck on if you really wanna see it. NUMBERS, bishes!)), and maybe we’re due another in 6.0 or even earlier.  But what I am hearing is not true to the core of what it means to play a hunter.

Hunters are more than what we bring to a raid. It’s a way of life. Ask a hardcore warlock, you’ll see we’re not alone in this mindset. There is, for lack of a better word, a lifestyle that goes with the class.  That lifestyle will, however, be ejected if you substitute raiding or PvP in place of all else.

It should never be that Warlock = Hunter = Mage = Ranged DPS.  They should not be interchangeable. The whole stated reason for the rework in Cata was to make tweaking the classes easier. So, tweak. Don’t redesign.

We are gamers. We adapt, we overcome. But sometime our patience is tested.

Happy patch day

Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later.  This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).

I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea ((I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches.)). All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.

Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.

Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one.  I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!

The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.

I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15.  First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline.  As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead.  Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose.  One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.

The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug.  I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup.  Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.

A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes?  Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned.  I’m not sure it is.

Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.

I have a solution

As long as I’ve played, I’ve seen a constant flow of envy from other classes.  They look at our magnificent demonic steeds, and say "Hey, why can’t we have one?" ((Mind you, they didn’t look at the massive cost of our mats and go, "Hey, why can’t we be taxed as much for our mounts?"))  They gaze longingly at our portals and whinge, "why can’t we use them?"  They even cried about healthstones so much that Blizz gave them a vending machine for healthstones. I imagine that somewhere out there, someone’s upset that they can’t summon Warlock pets, either.

The most recent outbreak has been over a new quest series in patch 5.2 in which Warlocks go to change our mundane orange fire for green fire, as it should have been all along ((Don’t get me started on THAT,)).  Apparently, some people are annoyed that we get to have all the fun here, and want something like it for themselves. Ignore the fact for a moment that there’s nothing about (for example) mages ((You know that fire mages have GOT to be at the center of this.)) that gives them that "cool factor" like Warlocks, and thus no real REASON to have a special epic quest series.  They just want it, because, reasons.

As always, Auntie Flora has worked long and hard to bring a solution to you.

You want all the warlock goodies?  Here’s what you do.

  1. Log out.
  2. Select CREATE NEW CHARACTER ((If you have no free slots, delete a mage.))
  3. Select class = WARLOCK
  4. Log in.
  5. Get your neat Warlock stuff.

You’re welcome.

A rebuttal, of sorts

In the “goblin” world, there are goblins, and there are those that write about goblins, and there are those of us that more or less peer in from the edges, bemused at how far one person will go to make a few gold pieces.  I fancy myself in the latter, no illusions there, but I wonder where WpW Insider’s resident goblin journo places himself?

His topic of the day was something near to my heart, inscription as a money maker.  As usual, he almost gets it right, or almost gets it wrong, but doesn’t really nail either.

Buy the Numbers

The first thing I want to tackle isn’t provably wrong – not yet, or at least not provable by me – but I want to shed some light on the statement that possibly was edited down for brevity. ((Or uberness. One never knows.))

Assuming you can make a full deck for every 12 cards you produce (which is the ratio you see if you trade really well and/or produce a lot of cards), it’ll cost you 120 stacks of any herb but Fool’s Cap, or 75 stacks of Fool’s Cap. At 40g per stack of, for example, Green Tea Leaf, that’s 4800g per deck. Some decks can sell for over 20,000g.

What’s he talking about, Fool’s Cap requiring fewer stacks?  Well, basically, what he’s saying here is that Fool’s Cap yields up more Misty Pigment than other herbs do.  If he got his numbers from WoWHead, I do question them – WoWHead does not appear to purge old data that often, so the numbers up there could possibly include Beta data.  Hard to say, since they’ve become less transparent by the day. ((Doesn’t mean I’m going to wax poetic about WoWDB any time soon.))

However, I wrote a little addon that has been tracking all milling I do in real time.  So far, the yields look like this. ((Green = common yields, Slate = rare yields.))

MoP Herb Yields 2012-12-28

So, everything hovers around the .25-pigments-per-mill level, except for Fool’s Cap, which has yielded around .60.  Yes, that’s more than double, which is in excess of WoWHead’s numbers.  I have no idea whether this will hold, but I’ll be monitoring it.  Right now, I don’t have enough samples from all herb types to make me comfortable publishing a link to the database, but before too long I will.

The upshot is, yeah, right now it’s worth it to buy Fool’s Cap for purposes of making Darkmoon cards.  But now that Euripides has let the cat out of the bag, I expect there to be at least a window in which it will be priced beyond reason.  Keep your eyes on the prices.

Don’t Believe it

Glyphs are a whole other beast. I’ve said a few times that this market isn’t worth pursuing, and to some extent, this still holds true. The main reason I’d advise against trying your hand at the glyph market is that everyone else disagrees with me, and that the profit per hour in this market is purely driven by competitors’ willingness to spend more time cancelling and relisting.

This shows some old-fashioned thinking on Euripides’ part.  The “work harder not smarter” attitude works, if you have no other interest in this game than to sell things and make gold. I’ve other things to do. This is and has been a side-project, in which I attempted to determine if one could make money on the AH in an intelligent way.  I’ve succeeded – if you disagree, it can only be on the matter as to what degree I’ve succeeded.  However, since I started this exercise in Wrath, I’ve accumulated over 1,000,000 gold, so I think I’m on solid ground here.

I published my methods here, so I won’t go into great detail now, but essentially these principles held, and still hold.

  1. Treat the enterprise as you would a retail outlet.
  2. Maintain a working inventory of glyphs.
  3. Cultivate a reliable, inexpensive source of materials.
  4. Rotate stuff out when its price drops too far (as opposed to a forced reset, which is too labor-intensive) and shelve stuff that doesn’t sell at all.
  5. Don’t worry about Euripides and the goblins.

#5 is the part that flies in the face of what Euripides said. He maintains that you have to undercut like a fiend.  I don’t. I sold 5000 GP worth of glyphs last night.  Does that sound like a good turnaround for an hour’s work? It does to me.  I post ONCE per day. I still sell stuff. There are a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason is that the stuff that sells, will sell.  Some “goblin” may undercut me, but if the glyph is a seller, then his glyphs WILL be bought, then mine are right there for the next buyer.

Don’t take the advice of trolls

I like angry letters, so when I have time to troll my esteemed competitors, I’ll go and post a "glyph wall" of 3 of each glyph for triple the materials cost. This is just expensive enough that it’s not worth them buying me out, and cuts the high end of the market (the 300g glyphs that cost 15g to make) out from under them. This can be fun, not unlike popping bubble wrap. I still get undercut within an hour, but since this doesn’t really drive demand up that much, I don’t end up selling anything more than I would have at the high prices. That’s generally when they’ll mail me letting me know this.

In the end, though, I can’t spend all day trolling — they just wait for me to have better things to do and then go back to their old ways.

I encounter a number of idiots like this on my server ((And yes, that’s a direct Euripides quote, and yes, I just called him an idiot. It’s justified. Trolls are idiots.)) and I always get the last laugh, because while they’re all wrapped up in this little game of theirs, I just keep posting and selling.  They were thick as fleas on a camel when the expansion posted, but they’re gone now, and I an still making bank.  Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy.

If you’re going to disregard my advice and try to get into the glyph market, the best advice I have for you is to make sure you have the most efficient possible setup, and undercut really frequently.

If you want to make money making glyphs, and you don’t want it to be your life, then disregard this advice and reflect on the article I linked above.  Exercise patience and intelligence ((No comment.)) and you’ll not want for gold in days to come.

Moving on

I’ve a couple more tweaks to make to see how far I can push this thing, but now that I’ve gotten my Million, it’s all become rather pointless. I’m not one of those one-percenters that digs the money just for being the money. My goal has been to provide a comfortable nest egg for ten toons on this server, and I’ve more than accomplished my goal. Anything else is just gravy.

Everybody loves gravy.

I guess I made an impression

I was saying just the other day how the game can catch you unawares with little things that make you chuckle or simply laugh out loud. I’m going to classify the quest Hozen Love Their Keys as one of those. I can help but wonder if the end of the quest was a subtle nod to the ending of a certain movie that came out this year.

poot-poot

One MMILLyun Sovereigns

As treasurer for the clan on the Alleria server, it is my job to disburse and otherwise account for all gold made by the team.  Our goal early on was to ensure a comfortable living wage for all alts in the clan, ensure nobody ever wanted for an enchant, mount, or training session when needed, and to someday reach the lofty goal of one million gold sovereigns.

one millyun

So, yeah, that’s a thing. ((Don’t be fooled. “Grimmtooth” here is not the homicidal dwarf hunter we’ve all come to love.  He’s a baby gnome warlock that keeps the name from being taken should Grimm the First ever decide to return to his homeland. NOT that that’s been on his mind, but we like to keep our options open.))

The addon that shows all the alts’ monies for us is, by the way, Broker_Currency, an LDB addon that manages a few things about currencies, such as showing them on the LDB display bar (ChocolateBar in this case), making a drop-down showing all of a particular currency type for all alts on the server, showing certain currencies when you have bags open, and so forth.  This isn’t just money, it’s also things like cooking awards, faction tokens, and so forth. Basically, if Blizz calls it a currency, you can display it in a number of ways for convenience.

We’re all very sad that the original Grimmtooth can’t be here to appreciate the moment. He started the project in WotLK, and would have appreciated its completion.  He’d also appreciate having access to a million gold since there is a sweeeeet gun that pops up on the BMAH, and he could really use it right now. Unfortunately, no way to transfer money between here and Azuremyst, so he’s going to have to work his dwarven butt off to get it.

There are many ways to 1000000 gold. Our approach was to run a glyph shop.  I did the gathering, when needed.  Illume did the crafting. Jasra handled sales of glyphs and all other items that we found, made, or otherwise acquired.  We went for slow and steady, and it has worked quite well. Nobody in the group wants for anything. And we still exceeded the goal, though not as quickly as expected. ((Sales fell by over 80% after that post.  But the bottom line is, it was still profitable. Just not headline-worthy.))

I’m not sure what we’ll do now. The Glyph Store thing has become its own little mini-game. Illume’s number-crunching on prices, availability, and sales patterns are absolutely fascinating. Things like, WHO IS KILLING THE MARKET?  Answer: look who wasn’t here when prices improved.  That sort of thing. Nothing that will help in a raid, but when somebody in guild chat says GEE MY LUCK ON MISTY PIGMENT SUCKS, it’s nice to be able to say, “Well, based on a sample of thousands of mills, all herbs except XXX have a less than 1-per-stack for that pigment. So focus on milling XXX.” ((Right now, XXX appears to be Desecrated Herb and Fool’s Cap.  Though I hasten to point out that WoWHead’s numbers are much higher for other herbs than actual results obtained during actual milling.))

We’ve been looking at the Enchanting market.  It’s a lot more volatile than glyphs.  But some of the enchants appear to bring some sweet rewards on the AH.

Tedious and boring details will be published when appropriate. Fairly warned be ye, say I.

Security breach!

You’ve probably heard about the peeps suing Blizzard over the authenticator thing. If not, WoW Insider has a pretty good summary.

At first I was amused. Well, of course Blizz claims the case has no merit! The suing lawfirm could have pictures of Metzen on the Grassy Knoll with a rifle in his hand, and they’d say that.  So, SHOCK, right?

Then you look at the suit itself and things start to pop out.

After reviewing it, I have come to the careful conclusion that Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman are, collectively and individually, full of shit.

Now, this is notwithstanding Blizz’s own response, which pretty much sums up a fair response on the topic of their response to the data breach earlier this year. I also love this bit:

"…and we will vigorously defend ourselves through the appropriate legal channels."

Heh. In other words, CWBBPB are a bunch of grandstanding losers that are trying to run this case through the press in the hopes of getting some sort of useful publicity.

But in case anyone out there feels like a "victim" and think that CWBBPB make a good point about "forcing" you to use an authenticator, let’s put the record straight.

Blizzard’s login security does not require an authenticator.

It requires two things – an email address, and a password. This is the same thing you get from Twitter, Facebook, Google (who also recommend two-part security, FWIW), MSN, and so forth. 

Maintenance of that password is your responsibility.

The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.

Maintenance of your own security is your responsibility.

The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.

The need for an authenticator is dependent on your own security, not Blizzard’s

As far as I can tell, we’ve had exactly one breach of the account servers since WoW’s inception, and that was in August of this year ((Searching Google for this sort of thing generally fills your page with PSN server breach info, unless you restrict the search to this year, because they generally haven’t had problems in that realm and seem to take it pretty seriously.)).

No, authenticators are designed to mitigate (not solve) problems with users not following proper security protocols.

  • Using the same password for all your accounts everywhere.  All it takes is some bozo to hack Twitter – and Twitter to not inform you – for that bozo to get your WoW password as well.
  • Not using antivirus software. Come on. If you’re on Windows, it’s free, even for XP.  Microsoft’s "Defender" software is highly recommended, it’s lightweight and fairly unobtrusive, and it’s completely free of charge. There is no excuse. And don’t tell me you have nothing to fear from viruses. Just don’t.
  • Visiting website of questionable reputation.  I’m not talking about porn here, or torrent sites, or zero-days, or anything like that. Well, okay, I am, but only in as much as purveyors of Trojan viruses will use the porn, torrents, and warez to get you to click something and then hit YES when the dialog comes up. This is probably the greatest threat out there, and anti-virus software can only warn you. If you don’t listen, and grant some crusty software from a porn site full access to your system, you’re getting pwned, and now. Say hello to my little friend "keylogger".
  • Not using multi-user security on a multi-user system. Sure, it’s a family computer. But Microsoft provides many tools for keeping YOUR stuff out Junior’s hands.  Oh, sure, he’s an angel. And he’s not downloading "free" software, surely.  (insert sarcasm emotes here)

I’m just scratching the surface here.

Point is, the vast, vast, vast majority of account breaches are because you, the user, did not follow protocol, or got some bug somewhere, without knowing it.  The authenticator is as much protection against YOU as it is the bad guys.

All this is to say

If this lawsuit has given rise to a nice, warm sense of entitlement, I want you to reach out, put your hands around its neck, and choke it in its sleep. It’s not for real. It’s like one of those pod people in that movie. It will consume you and return nothing back.

Nobody is forcing you to use an authenticator. Nobody. Well, maybe your GM wisely requires an authenticator for access to the guild bank. But that’s the GM being properly cautious since she can’t control where everyone sticks their noses, as it were.

But the authenticator is not intended as a replacement for Blizzard’s security or your own. It’s a safeguard against YOU at your worse. If you have impeccable security practices online, never have virus issues, use strong security all the time, you could probably get away with not having one.  I, however, am not that good, and am glad for the extra bit of protection.

Guess who?

I’ve gotten plenty of turns through Stormstout Brewery at this point, and something always amuses me near the end …

statler and waldorf

Now, I don’t know about you, but I get this image in my head:

statler and waldorf actual

Our very own hecklers! Well, played, Blizz.

He’s here every Thursday, folks. Try the meat loaf!

Guild business, voice chat.  Discussion: the new talent system.

Me: "They’re not so much talents as much as they are moods."

Alas: "You have to blog that."

Mission: accomplished.