Category Archives: Cashey Money
It’s amazing. Mere days after posting a link to one of my articles about How2Auction, I get an in-game chat from a guy that just doesn’t “get it” with regard to an item I was selling.
In this case, one of my side markets are the Tomes of Illusion that Enchanters can make. The mats for each come from the expansions they correspond to, and some of those are a little pricey, especially the older ones from Azeroth or Outland. I don’t mean vendor price, but what they sell for on the AH, which is considerable, if they’re even available.
So you’re looking at on average a cost per tome of around 1500 GP, and of course there’s going to be the traditional markup. If there were no profit, I wouldn’t sell it.
Thus the stage is set.
HIM: Your price for Tome of Illusions: Azeroth is too high
ME: It sells well enough at that price.
HIM: It’s just a cosmetic thing!
ME: But it takes rare stuff to make it
HIM: But the mats are easy to farm
ME: Well, if you bring me the mats, I’ll make it for the mats, though a tip would be cool.
HIM: Fuk u
This reminds me of a recent series of threads on Twitter, in which artists were being yelled at because they wouldn’t provide free artwork “for exposure”. There are a lot of tiny little twitch channel commandos out there that think they’re hot shit, and expect to be catered to as such, and no dumb bish “artist” will be permitted to dis them by not doing shit for them for free.
Entitled little weasels.
Here it is in a nutshell. If you want it, it has value.
I don’t make claims to even remotely the same level of talent of the artists I see day in and day out posting samples on Twitter etc and trying to scrape out a living doing what they love. But I feel in some small way the frustration they must every time some jerk yells at me for not giving away the goods for free.
Don’t be that guy. If you want a thing in WoW, you can
- Pay market price
- Bring the mats and be nice to someone with the skillset
- Get friends that don’t mind your freeloading
If you want art/code assets from a person, pay them. “Exposure” means fuck-all, and it doesn’t put food on anybody’s plate. If you can’t pay an artist to decorate your Twitch channel, or a coder to set up the front end for your database, go get a real job. Maybe even learn to do yourself. Stack Overflow at least won’t charge you to tell you how to do for yourself.
I have a huge, huge rant about glyphs and the glyphmongering economy in the feed chute, but despite some very negative things I have to say about that, it’s still important to note that a resourceful person can make a decent virtual living in this game and still enjoy the game.
Today I poked my head over the 3,000,000 GP mark collectively with the combined sales of glyphs, tomes, and enchants – plus the occasional doodad that has no use to me – such as cloth.
I spend maybe a TOTAL of an hour a day on this, so don’t let anyone tell you you have to be dedicated to the cause of making the cashes. You can be a “dirty casual” AH tycoon and get along just fine.
One may ask what’s the point of having all this gold if not the act of having the gold? Good question. My original goal was to never be wanting for the basic comforts of the game, be that mounts, gear, or supplies. Since the token came out, that goal has been modified to include “while never having to pay real money to play”, and occasionally for a family member as well. Even with the higher cost of the token, I’m still managing that and coming out with a net positive.
Finally, I’ve modified my goals to include “being able to buy other stuff” by converting gold to Blizzard Bucks. Ever since Blizz revealed that you could buy Blizzard Bucks with tokens, and that you could spend Blizzard Bucks on anything in the Blizzard store, new vistas have been opened. For sure, it’s also inflated the cost of tokens by around 100,000 GP per, but that’s because people are buying the HELL outta those suckers (so much for the rumors of Blizzard’s demise).
If this were a bigger chore, or the market less cooperative, I wouldn’t be doing it. But when I can have this kind of “security” without having to go nuts like some of those creatures I see humping the auctioneer’s leg hour after hour, I call it a win.
I won’t repeat myself, though the time may be ripe for an update to how I do this thing. But the core principles still hold. Here’s past posts on the topic for your entertainment.
I’m currently working hard to get my JC and Potion sales going, though getting that “one-off” Alchemy boss has proven to be quite difficult. I don’t really know if there’s a market for either until I have some data, so that’s where we are right now. But in this expansion, consumables are king, so that’s where I’m angling.
After six weeks, I’ve got a bit of a handle on Inscription as it stands. It’s definitely not the old profession we used to have. But is it better, worse, or indeterminate?
Here are the bullet points.
- Glyphs are no longer permanent. If someone wants to re-use a glyph after purging it out, they’ll have to buy it again.
- Glyphs no longer provide necessary improvements to your skills or talents – all they do is change appearances. That’s it. They have no real purpose, and anyone eschewing them will perform exactly the same as they would if they were fully loaded.
- Older glyphs cost all of three Roseate Pigments, the “common” pigment of Legion.
- New glyphs, or NuGlyphs as I like to call them, cost varying amount of Roseate and Sallow Pigments – Sallow being the “uncommon” pigment of Legion.
- Pigment drops vary vastly between different herbs.
- Roseate Pigment is the Palmetto Bug of Legion herbalism. You can’t get rid of it, and it’s everywhere.
So first I’ll address the yield rate of the different herbs. Observe:
- The first thing I will point out is that Roseate and Sallow yields vary widely between different herbs, and an herb that yields a lot of Roseate may be crappy for Sallow.
- Sallow Pigment is the real limiting factor for NuGlyphs.
- Secondly, from a strictly Herbalist perspective, and with the previous in mind, Dreamleaf is the way to go for glyphing. At a .23 yield, it’s a couple of hundredths ahead of even Starlight Rose.
- Roseate pigment yield isn’t really much of a factor.
- Dreamleaf yield rates do not reflect the addition of Nightmare Pods. These pods can yield a lot of Sallow pigments, and are the after effects of Dreamleaf milling. So Dreamleaf may have a higher effective yield of Sallow than the chart reflects. I will be working on gathering more info on this statistic at some point, but off the cuff it seems like it’s almost a 50% boost.
- I have more data on some herbs than other. Which brings me to …
- I have zero data on Felwort. Do I look like I’m gonna spend that kind of money on something so expensive to get data that nobody in their right mind would use? No matter how good the yields you get from this bonny jewel, it’ll always be better to sell it on the AH. Oh, all right, some day when I’m fat and buttery I’ll prolly blow a few Gs on a stack. But today is not that day.
Regardless, strictly for herbalists, Dreamleaf appears to be the clear winner.
But for Scribes, maybe not.
Let’s be clear: most Scribes are going to burn a lot more herbage daily than they can gather in a day. So that means they’re going to have to buy herbs from someone – either the AH or private channels, it matters not at all. Coin is coin. And that takes us to the more complex level of this equation.
Here you see three data tables. On the upper right is a breakdown of the prices for all but one of the herbs. To the left of the prices is a breakdown of the general price for each pigment as based on the yield rates of each herb.
The data are clear. Regardless of their inferior yield rate, Aethril’s much lower cost produces a much lower cost per pigment. Looking at the table to the left, you can see a calculation of price per glyph by class. As I said, mat requirements for each class varies. For example, Paladin and Priest only require 2 Sallow pigments, while Warlock requires 15.
The final table in this image is a little selector that changes the “Sallow” and “Roseate” values for the table on the left based on what herb you choose. Easy enough … right now, at this point in the game, on my connected realm, Aethril is the clear choice for purchasing off the AH.
Vantus Very Little
A word on Vantus Runes … I have no data. These runes require you to have defeated a boss before you can get the recipe, and I have not raided even a bit. Given that Jas is hogging all the glory, I imagine I probably never will without running LFR – which I look forward to as much as my next tax audit.
For the Profit
So, what is happening in terms of profitability? Before this expansion, Inscription was my cash cow. Slower at times than other, but still a steady source of income.
Now, it’s hard to say. I’ve suffered a massive loss of cash getting ramped up – at least 300,000 – but the treasury is starting to grow once again. Having said that, the sell rate is starting to fall off. So I’m not sure I can draw any solid conclusions yet.
There are around 20-30 glyph techniques – recipes, basically – that are drops out there in the world, making your ability to perform somewhat random. If you get some good luck in drops, you’ll be able to produce product that few others can. If you get bad luck, your stock will be limited.
Not saying we have a trend here, but from level 100 to 109, I’ve gotten exactly two – two – technique drops.
Gonna throw a little shade, here. Most other professions, you have “ranks” for items that you can produce. The higher the rank, the fewer mats required to create the item. These ranks come from various sources, such as drops in the world, world quests, experience, and so forth.
Guess which profession doesn’t have this mechanic?
If you guessed Inscription, you get a no-prize. Our recipes cost the same no matter what. There is no potential for improvement no matter how many of the darned things you make. I am not exactly pleased about this.
As I watch this profession for further trends, I have to wonder where we’re going with it. I see exactly zero motivation for people to buy my wares, and have to wonder which profession will be next to be hit by this sort of nerf. Enchanting? Alchemy? Hard to say.
I hope it swings the other way. That the person that thought that this was a great idea gets transferred to Diablo and never comes back. That we see a return of Inscription as a profession of great interest in the next expansion.
But I have a hard time thinking that Blizz is going to go back now that they’ve taken the first step on the voyage of “making professions fun again.” Which seems to be a euphemism for “make stuff for yourself, but not so much any one else.”
You know, “Fun.”
“Back in the day” there was an event that Scribes around Azeroth fondly remember as “Glyphmas”. During this time, it was impossible to make a glyph that didn’t sell. And the money for said glyphs was being trucked in by the wagon load. It was a heady time, and Blizz killed it with their dirty “game mechanics”, but it happened just the same.
Now we’re quickly approaching an apocalyptic cusp in the history of Inscription. Legion is changing glyphs in a big way, or I should say many big ways. But, as glyph mongers1, only a few of these ways concern us at the moment.
By far the biggest changes that affect glyph mongers are thus:
- All Major Glyphs are being discontinued. Period.
- All minor glyphs that do anything are being discontinued. Period.
This leaves us with just (roughly) 45 out of 425 glyphs, plus 61 new ones for a total of 104 Glyphs to sell2. All of these glyphs are cosmetic only. Heck, some of the purely cosmetic glyphs from WoD didn’t make it – they were very selective!
(Note: click on the little arrow in the header to open filter options. Filter out “Charred”, for example, to just see the glyphs we’re gonna have in Legion. You can also filter based on class, which is useful if you’re only interested in your class’ glyphs, though I have to say, if that’s the case, this is not the blog post for you.)
Now, the good news is that these cosmetic glyphs will have a higher demand, because Glyphs are once again consumable. Right now, in WoD, when you use a glyph, it adds it to your permanent Glyph book, as it were, so these cosmetic glyphs would have a very low throughput. But now, they won’t be permanent. Once replaced, they go away, and the only way to get that effect back again is to use another glyph. Hooray?
There are a couple of other items that are of interest.
- Tome of the Tranquil Mind allows players to change talents wherever they are, such as in an instance. This is new since one may only otherwise change spec / talents in a “safe” location, such as Stormwind or Dalaran.
- Codex of the Tranquil Mind does the same thing, but for entire groups, so will bring quite a bit more on the AH.
I feel these may be a bit of a sop to Scribes to make up for the decimation of our glyph inventory.
Not entirely related to commerce, but kinda is. If this makes final implementation, then we’ll be able to craft things more efficiently as we gain recipe ranks. Not clear on whether this is per recipe or per profession.
Unlearned Tab in Spellbook
One thing that always bugs me is that data mining just doesn’t cover it when it comes to telling if you know all the recipes you can … so this is a welcome addition to the trade skill panel.
Aside from Boon of the Scavenger, rumors of the return of shoulder enchants seem to be somewhat rumor-ish.
From what I can see, Artifact weapons have removed a few sources of income (staves, wands, off-hands), but we still have our Tarot card trinkets. In WoD, those wore out fast because you were allowed max 3 items of crafted gear, and anyone with a calculator could figure out that head + chest + weapon (or pants) was the best bang for the slot. Does Legion change that limitation? If so, these guys will regain some popularity, like they had in previous expansions.
Waiting with bated3 breath
There are a lot of unanswered questions before I know my comfort level. How difficult will our mats be to get? Will recipe ranks have any real effect? Will the consumable nature of glyphs compensate for the fact they’re only cosmetic? Will the Tranquil Mind items take up the slack? Will the three-crafted-item limit be lifted?
I watched in horror as Alchemy and Enchanting and Jewel crafting got gutted in the past expansion, with the offerings of each reduced to a sketch of previous expansions. Looks like it’s our turn now, and I’m kinda hating it.
Plan of action
Forewarned is for-aremed, they say. Whoever “they” is.
At any rate, be aware that 380 or so of your current glyphs will be junk by the end of August, and adjust appropriately. Getting 1 GP for a glyph now is better than getting 1 SP for a Charred Glyph after the pre-release patch hits.
Armed with the knowledge I have, I’m going to start dumping glyphs around June 20 or so. I plan to have all of the “Charred” items sold off by the end of July. Don’t forget, the expected launch of Legion is the end of August, and the typical pre-expansion patch usually occurs 4-5 weeks prior to the expansion. So the actual drop dead date is when patch 7.0.x will occur.
- My own term: those of us that make and sell glyphs for profit, ignoring all other aspects of the practice that aren’t reflected in Auction House trending. We don’t care about what glyphs are most potent or what mechanics are in place. All that matters is how much gold we can get for the least amount of gold expenditure.
- The current count of new glyphs is incomplete, because there are many that are currently missing, or apparently so. So while most classes have 10 or so glyphs available, some, like Mages, only have 7. Gonna go out on a limb and say that’s not where Blizz wants to land.
- If I see one more person with “baited” breath I might fireball them right in the face.
If you follow one of the WoW token price trackers such as @WoWTokens on Twitter, you may have noticed a couple of things.
First of all, the WoW Token went on sale in Europe today ((Well, technically yesterday.)). It started at 35,000 gp and peaked at 45,000 gp before it started to taper off.
Seeing it peak at 45K, I mentioned in conversation how it was obvious that there was a surge that would probably repeat on a monthly cycle once things stabilized – people that bought the token and activated it today will no doubt need to buy a new one in 30 days or so.
Having made that observation, I thought it might be a good idea to get my next token somewhere after 15 days had passed, when theoretically the prices for US tokens will bottom out.
They were 21K at the start of the day, but once the buying frenzy started on the EU servers, a curious thing happened.
US token prices started to inch up, at roughly the same time that the EU tokens went on sale.
What’s one got to do with the other? Well, here’s my theory.
The data suggests – but in no wise confirms – that US token buyers are seeing the EU price curve and drawing the same conclusions as I have, only they’re taking action now rather than waiting for another 10 or so days. And so, the US prices are going up. We’re up to 22K from 21K after 14 hours.
I’m going to stick to my plan and wait to my halfway mark, and not buy until I see the first uptick after that. With over 2Mil gold in the bank, I don’t really need to be super-cautious in my purchasing decisions, but it could mean the difference between 10 years of free gaming, and 12.
Not sure what I’m looking at, but it’s kind of fun to poke at it to see what it does.
Today there were two significant announcements.
- Patch 6.1.2 is live on March 24 (tomorrow).
- The WoW token will be $20.00
If you’re not familiar with the WoW token, it is a token that you can buy from Blizz that can then be sold on the AH. It is, essentially, a means of turning Dollars or EUs or whatever into gold on Azeroth.
Blizz has further said that WoW tokens will sell on an exchange that spans all realms, not just your normal battlegroup set of realms.
Blizz has further stated that they will set the starting bid for that token.
What they have not stated is what that starting bid will be.
I await with bated ((Not “baited”, you bastards.)) breath for that announcement.
With the dissemination of the WoW 6.0.2 PTR patch notes, we now have a first good idea as to what the glyph landscape will look like post-Warlords.
In this first round, we are informed that some glyphs will now become known inherently as you achieve certain levels in-game. In other words, you won’t have to buy a glyph off the AH or make it or have it made in order to learn that glyph. Good news for everyone else, bad news for us.
We made several improvements to the Glyph system. While leveling, characters unlock Glyph slots at several specific levels. However, in order to get glyphs, characters need to visit an Auction House (and potentially pay way more gold than an average character of that level has yet), or know a Scribe from which to request them. To solve this, we’ve made characters learn some Glyphs automatically as they level. Additionally, we now have the ability to make some glyphs exclusive with each other, or require specific specializations.
What this means for you is that all the glyphs in this list will potentially be turned into something called a Charred Glyph. These are worth exactly 50s when the patch drops – which is a pretty good deal considering what you can currently vendor a glyph. for something around 14s.
There’s a far shorter list of glyphs which have an uncertain future. To be honest, this could be a data mining error on WoWHead. Some – according to WoWHead – remain untouched, while some of them just … go away.
My methodology here was simple. I took the list from Blizz, looked them up on WoWHead noted the ID of the glyph, then looked it up on the Beta WoWHead. Easy enough. If you see a flaw in that logic, act accordingly.
So here’s the plan.
- Fire sale the glyphs on the list of those going away when the patch drops, stopping at 50s + auction fees. If the price drops below that threshold, stash the glyphs and sell them for 50s apiece when 6.0.2 drops.
- Glyphs on the ‘uncertain’ list will probably go the same route … so it’s probably safe to follow option 1 with them as well. But if you feel that WoWHead is more reliable than Blizzard in this regard, by all means, set them aside or just keep them in your sale rotation, business as usual.
Here’s a couple of lists for you.
Glyphs turning to Charred Glyph
- Alabaster Shield
- Avenging Wrath,
- Black Ice
- Breath of Fire
- Bull Rush
- Cat Form
- Cheap Shot
- Chimera Shot
- Dazing Shield
- Deadly Momentum
- Death and Decay
- Death Grip
- Demon Training
- Divine Storm
- Double Jeopardy
- Drain Life
- Ember Tap
- Enraged Speed
- Entangling Roots
- Eternal Earth
- Fae Silence
- Faerie Fire
- Ferocious Bite
- Final Wrath
- Fists of Fury
- Flame Shock
- Flash of Light
- Fortuitous Spheres
- Frost Nova
- Frost Shock
- Frostfire Bolt
- Gag Order
- Healing Touch
- Healing Wave
- Holy Fire
- Light of Dawn
- Lightning Shield
- Long Charge
- Mana Tea
- Master Shapeshifter
- Might of Ursoc
- Mind Blast
- Nature’s Grasp
- Rapid Rolling
- Reflective Shield
- Shield Wall
- Shifting Presences
- Siphon Life
- Spinning Crane Kick
- Spiritwalker’s Grace
- Templar’s Verdict
- the Executor
- Unholy Command
Glyphs with Uncertain Futures
- Harsh Words
- Totemic Recall
- Victory Roll
- Victory Rush
- Water Elemental
- Word of Glory
Yes, The Undermine Journal plus its excellent site-specific addon are excellent tools when used with addons such as, say, TradeskillMaster. And thus, yes, if you rely on this combination to drive your pricing needs, you’re totally screwed.
But maybe not. There are alternatives.
You can just call it quits. Frankly, Clan Grimmtooth is close to 2 Mil gold at this point, and I can’t see that we’ll go wanting ever again, even if I closed my final auction and vendor’d over 600 glyphs tomorrow. But maybe you’re not that fortunate. Maybe you had a more aggressive, less successful sales strategy than myself. Maybe you’re still hungry.
Alternative: Manual Scans
You know, it takes me around an hour every day to clear my current auctions and repost them, collect de moniez, and send work orders to Illume for glyphs. I really don’t need to spend another hour idling on the AH using Auctioneer or Auctionator or whatever to scan the auction house for an hour. I really don’t need that. But maybe you have the kind of job where you can log in via VPN and do so. Lucky you.
The rest of us are less fortunate. However, using these tools to do an AH scan once a day is at least SOMETHING. I rarely update my TUJ-realm data more than once a day, for example. So, while onerous, using one of the classic AH addons to do the scanning is at least effective, if not pleasant.
WoWuction.com ((Yes, that’s the way that is spelled. Not a typo.)) is similar to TUJ but does not offer the convenience of the realm-specific addon for pricing information. What it DOES offer is a dataset that can be imported by TradeSkillMaster directly. You will need to install the TSM Desktop app, have a TSM account (and a TSM app key derived thereof), but otherwise it’s not a lot different than what I already do with updating the TUJ realm-specific addon once a day before logging in.
There is the small matter of having to adjust your TSM auction settings to work with the new dataset, but that’s a one-time thing and after that, it’s back to making fat staxx.
Hope for the Best
As you may have read on TUJ, their fate is not entirely set in stone. They may find new hosting. They may be bought out and continue under new management. They may find some way to keep going. The announcement is full of little trap doors that form escape clauses “just in case”.
I am not so much into this philosophy. I’d rather have a backup plan in place, ready to go, or maybe relegate TUJ to backup status and go full pelt into the unknown.
We have a couple of weeks, at least, to figure this out.
I’ve been watching other servers
merge get linked and I’ve been kind of curious as to how the linking affects their economy. Starting this Thursday, Alleria, a high-pop server (my home) is linking to Khadgar, a low-pop server.
Some of the comments I’ve seen from low-pop servers (and one medium-pop) indicate that there are lot of "makers" but very few "takers", keeping prices low and sales flat. Here on Alleria, even common commodities like herbs can sell out, prices can get a bit up there, and things generally do move. Even at that, our prices on Alleria have been historically below the average for all realms ((Thanks, TUJ Realm-specific addon!)).
My own business has been brisk. I generally can’t keep the shelves fully stocked, I’m always playing catch-up. On average I pull in 25,000 GP a week. The glyph business has, surprisingly, remained a decent source of income, especially since Blizzcon ((I guess peeps are genuinely excited by things to come.)).
So what happens when Khadgar’s population gets to taste these waters? That … is the great unknown. Will they inundate us with an oversupply of all things? Will they be starved for goods? Will my counterpart on Khadgar be a total jerk, intent on driving me out of business? ((For the record, that’s been tried before. Go for it. I am Asia. Bring the land war.))
It’s all, at this point, rather exciting, from a glyph market geek point of view. My *hopes* are that it will be positive. I might even get to bring some glyphs out of retirement if prices pick up. But even if it goes the other way, I could take at least 25-50% market depression and still get along fine.
In a few days I’ll follow up, allowing things to stabilize – probably after the weekend.