Appealing to Different Types of Buyers - Part 4





For the last few weeks, I've talked about different kinds of buyers to whom we can sell.  Last week, I covered the Power-Leveler and tried to give some ideas on how to catch this guy's attention.  This week, I want to expand on that idea for appealing to this type of buyer.  It's worked for me (and others) on our realm, so hopefully it will work for you as well.




The Power-Leveler, Part 2 - The Package Deal


As I discussed last week, your typical power-leveler is someone who already has at least one 85 toon and is now developing a new alt.  There are lots of reasons to have alts, but not many reasons to have alts with duplicate professions (multiple alchemists for multiple transmutation cooldowns?).  Either way, we're stuck with having to build the profession from the ground up.  This isn't that big of a deal for most of us - we can level the profession as we go.  But what about the guy who has no farming professions yet?  Or that DK who doesn't want to spend hours in Elwynn Forest trying to compete with a dozen low-level warriors and paladins for copper ore?


These are the power-levelers who are combing the auction house looking for mats so that they don't have to spend the time farming them.  I suggested last week that you browse the web sites that provide leveling strategies for professions, and make sure that you're selling what's on those sites.  But, let's take that a step further.  You should offer The Package Deal.


The Package Deal is a simple concept that works very well.  As with last week, we'll use Inscription as our example, but you can do this with any of the crafting professions like Alchemy, Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, etc.


On one site, it tells me that I need about a dozen different types of herbs in order to go from 1-525.  When it's all said and done, I need about 2200 herbs total to make the kinds of ink I need.  To create my package deal, I need to :



  • Accumulate the herbs needed to level the profession from 1 to 525.
  • Research pricing for each type of herb
  • Hawk my package on Trade Channel

Now, I'm assuming that you've already created some relationships where you have people farming for you.  If not, this may not be worth your time.  But if you have farmers working for you already, simply let them know what herbs you need and collect them and put them in your banker's guild bank.  (Um.. you do have a banker toon with his own guild, right?)


When it comes to pricing, you're going to have to invest a bit of time.  The idea is not to figure out what the lowest price per herb is on the AH.  The idea is to figure out what someone's actual cost will be on the AH.  For example, let's say that the lowest price for Cinderbloom is 1g20s each.  But, there's only 14 of them at that price and the next 120 are priced at an average of 2g45s each.  The power-leveler is going to have to buy far more Cinderbloom at the higher prices than they will be able to at the lower prices.  So, price your package deal accordingly.


Once you're figured out the total price for your leveling package, now you need to tack on a nice percentage which is sheer profit.  Keep in mind that your goal here is not to save the buyer money - instead, you're saving them something far more valuable:  hours of gathering materials or days of waiting for those materials to appear on the AH.  So, if the total price for the package (if purchased on the AH) is 4200g, you need to be selling it for around 6000g-7000g.  Now, you start spamming Trade and negotiating with buyers.


And, don't be afraid to experiment.  Instead of selling the herbs, why not mill them and sell the inks instead?


This particular strategy works well, but don't expect to sell four or five a day.  Remember that building wealth (in the game, and in real life) involves consistent performance over time.  Real wealth involves utilizing multiple strategies.  Hopefully, you'll find this one to be a valuable tool to add to your tool box.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at wonko@immortalisrex.com. Also, you can find me in-game on US-Dentarg as Wonko, the guild master of Immortalis Rex.

Mists of Pandaria - A New Paradigm in Cross-Faction Trading?

Today's Post is by Guest Blogger Matt Roberts.



As you no doubt already know, Mists of Pandaria is the next WoW expansion. Because I'm like the rest of you, I tried to sift through the new features to find a gold-making opportunity. Looks like pets will be one (Shockmaister covered this immediately after the announcement right here on JMTC - http://www.justmytwocopper.org/2011/10/mists-of-pandaria.html), but pets don't really excited me all that much. Surely there's something else....

*Insert inner dialogue*

Oh wait.

Seriously?

SERIOUSLY?!?!

No way this goes live the way I think it might... but if it does....

/drool

*End inner dialogue*

What was I so geeked about? Pandaren will start off Neutral. This means that they could be the absolute most wonderful cross-faction mules ever. The question, of course, is what type of mail access (if any) do Pandaren have before they declare allegiance to the Alliance or Horde?

If starting area Pandaren have mail access similar to the other races' other starting areas (usually beginning in the level 5 quest hub), we may be able to move goods across factions without the requirement of a second account. This assumes, of course, that you'll have at least one perma-lowbie Panda acting as a postmaster on the Wandering Isle (which if you haven't seen yet, you totally need to check out IGN's fly-through video from Blizzcon - http://www.ign.com/videos/2011/10/21/world-of-warcraft-mists-of-pandaria-wandering-isle-fly-through). If you'll remember, low level mailboxes were added to low level zones with Patch 4.0.3a, so characters could get access to heirlooms faster. Using that logic, there's no reason to think that Blizzard won't provide access to mailboxes in low level Pandaria as well.

Except, of course, that it has never allowed cross-faction trading directly.

Honestly, I don't think there's any way that Blizzard allows low level Pandaren to have access to mail before they declare for the Horde or Alliance. They can use the lore excuse of, "well, these Pandaren are on the back of a giant floating turtle, so they don't actually get mail." Weirder things have happened, though. It will be a while, but keep an eye out for this little gem once we get some beta info (which will be quite a while from now, I'm sure).

GDKP Raiding


GDKP raiding is becoming more and more popular every day, and with a good reason. It can be not only a good source of gold, but a way to gear your character in the meantime too. However, there are still lots of people who don't know about it. This post will definitely help them out.

GDKP raiding has many forms, and comes with various sets of rules. I'm trying to describe the most common one. A GDKP raid is held by a guild. Around 50-75% of the people are from the guild, the rest of the players are guests. The majority of the guildies assure completing the dungeon. At the start of the dungeon every player gives a small amount of gold (usually 1-2k) to the raid leader which (s)he will get back at the end of the raid. This is for filtering out the quitters. You're not likely to leave the raid if you have 1-2k in the pot.

Loots are "auctioned" for. Auctioning has about a million different forms, both in IRL and in the game, but usually it is an open bidding-war style auction. After the winner is determined, (s)he buys the loot for the amount (s)he won the auction for. This money goes to the raid leader as well.
This goes on for every loot of every boss. By the end of the raid, the raid leader will have a huge amount of gold (hundreds of thousands of golds), which (s)he splits evenly among the players (this assures that everyone gets back their 1-2k).

The amount of money the leader will have to split depends greatly on what loots drop, and how much money are the players are willing to spend on them. Usually, a GDKP raid, if you don't buy anything means at least 5k gold, the key word being "at least". I've heard of loots going for 60k in auction (not much after new content came out).

While the temptation might be great to start this right away, and never buy a loot to maximize the profit, getting invited back depends on spending money occasionally. It might be easier to get in if you are in the guild, or very close to the members, but in most cases GDKP raiding is a game of high stakes for the "high rollers". The profitability of the raid require the players spending too, and everybody knows it, so this won't be your magic fortune-maker, however it is a great opportunity to gear your character, and gain some golds too, if you are auctioning cleaverly (or you have lower competition then others on your loots, for example by being the only rouge in your guild).

Once again, GDKP raiding has many forms, and every guild plays it with a slightly different rulebook. The concept however is the same.

The Long Tail


Let's be honest. Keeping up a highly productive and successful gold-making business in World of Warcraft can be exhausting. I love to play the Auction House game, but sometimes I can't summon the energy to make my business ridiculously profitable. I have a limited amount of time to play, and the time I do play, I don't want to do repetitive tasks like milling, prospecting or disenchanting. Could I make a lot more gold doing those things consistently? Sure.

But why? I have enough liquid gold, plus a stockpile of materials waiting to be processed and sold, that I can afford to purchase pretty much whatever I want in the game. I recently purchased a valor point bracers for my Death Knight tank. They were "only" 5k, so I grabbed them. For a character I rarely play because I have a better geared Paladin tank.

Playing the Auction House on My Terms
There's a saying in business: It takes money to make money. It's true in real-life business and it's certainly true in Warcraft. The more gold you have, the easier it is to make gold. Now that I have enough to do what I want, when I want, I've scaled back my Auction House commitment.

I restock scrolls and gems when I feel like it (usually once/week). I post on a ridiculously predictable schedule because that's when it's convenient for me. Except when I don't post at all because I don't get around to it. I'm not really doing much in the way of exploring new markets. In short, my business is essentially on auto-pilot.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race
But here's the thing: the gold keeps rolling in. I have Trade Skill Master configured to buy the materials I need for my core business whenever they dip below a certain price. A few minutes clicking through and I've purchased some materials. A single click at the mailbox sends those materials to the right characters. I occasionally spend 20 minutes crafting goods to restock my banker, who then clicks a few buttons and TSM does it's thing, posting gems, scrolls and a few other select items.

In total, I spend about 3-5 hours/week on my gold business. 10 minutes most mornings, another 10 in the afternoon, and the rare extended crafting time. With minimal play time, I'm still bringing in 10-15k in liquid gold profits each week, after all my expenses for restocking, buying epics for toons I rarely play and speculating on 4.3 stockpiling.

The Long Tail
All this is made possible by a phenomenon known as the Long Tail. In business, it refers to the initially high sale prices for a short period of time, which is followed by a long tail of smaller sale prices on a consistent basis. The real money is made on the long tail. In Warcraft, the "Long Tail" is essentially time and research. I spent a lot time initially figuring out my core markets and setting up addons, not to mention leveling characters. It was a huge investment, and I wasn't making much more than I do now.

But thanks to the long tail, I'm now able to spend a minimal amount of time to bring in a healthy amount of gold. Is it tops on my server? Definitely not. Is it enough to fund all my in-game activities? Definitely.

So where are you in establishing a long tail? Have you optimized to the point of being able to spend minimal time to make healthy amounts of gold? Or are you still struggling to find a good system that works for you? Spend more time optimizing your core gold-making business to the point of almost mindless auto-piloting, then use the added time in your play schedule to do new things. Explore those new markets. Join a raid. Roll a new toon just for fun.

I consider myself a somewhat casual auctioneer. I can be found via Twitter @Aleithia3. I also like getting email at Aleithia AT jasonthedce DOT com. Send me your questions and I'll try to write about them on the site.

Guess Who's Back With Some Killer News


It’s been a while hasn’t it? I hope you’ve read my last post 2 days earlier and if you haven’t, let me bring you up to speed.

If you have been following events closely in the last few months, you will have noticed that I haven’t been as active on JMTC as I would have liked to be.

The truth is I’ve been working tirelessly on a top-secret project, something that would shake the very foundations of the game as we know it.

It soon became a lasting obsession and before I knew it, days had passed into weeks, and weeks into months as I was holed up developing, testing, perfecting the perfect blueprint for every aspect of the game.

And like all masterpieces, I eventually hit a snag.

And that’s when I met Kevin Richardson, one of the finalists at the WoW Arena Tournament that was held at Blizzcon over the weekend.

We eventually got to talking about the game, and that’s when I decided to take the plunge and ask him to hop on board my project.

I had a great respect for his achievements in PvP, and as it turns out, he was equally impressed with my work on JMTC.

After getting Kevin on-board, it was all systems go.

The past couple of days have been a rollercoaster of emotions as we have been working tirelessly around the clock, putting the finishing touches to our project.

You know, cutting out the stuff that didn’t work, and scaling up what did...

We were like zombies on a mission.

And eventually, we got it down into a kind of perfect “system”

Even now, when I think about the moment we completed the project, I get goose bumps.

I mean, this is my greatest accomplishment to date. I'll never forget how alert I was this morning when we actually put the finishing touches to the system.

To everyone who helped me along the way, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, most of all Kevin who helped me put the missing pieces of the puzzle together.

Without his valuable insight and expertise in PvP, this project wouldn’t be half as good as it could have been.

We both share the same vision of helping players around the world master every aspect of WoW without the need to pour as much time and energy into it as we did.

Users of my 20KLeveling Guide will find that there’s so much more to this new offering, which will be my lasting legacy to the JMTC community, so check it out now!

Feel free to email me with questions should you have any.

Good luck and have fun in Cataclysm everyone.

WoW Crusher: How The Pros Do It


Freud never said anything about Warcraft Gold



As we approach the ending time of Patch 4.2 and enter 4.3,  there will be a large blitz of people
posting up their items.   Looking to undercut prices to sell all the materials they have.  A general bloodshed mentality to dump product onto the market.

Included in this will be a larger amount of yard sales of guild banks,  personal bank items  and people liquidating assets as they leave the game.  The announcement of Mists of Pandaria and it's changes to the game play has caused many people to reconsider whether to even continue with their major addiction for the past couple of years.

We all starve for the little tidbit of information presented in each and every update on the PTR.  From
class changes to even the introduction of the High Society Top Hat.   Each change causes us to make minor or major changes in our game play.   A new item could bring us more money making opportunities.  Or it takes it away (the pyrite ore giveth and it taketh away).

Keying on the idea that with everything we do,  our actions and reactions to warcraft end up being a small part of who we are.    A famous comic once referred to cocaine as something that "enhances the personality".   He later responded with the idea "but what if your an A@@hole"?

So in every transaction,  every time we can squeeze a little bit more from a buyer, or take advantage of someone who is new to the game,  a measure of who we are as players come out.    People take away an anonymous reputation for what is said in trade chat.  What is spoken in the middle of a raid,  and including how we conduct ourselves in each transaction.

In the long run with this "anonymous" game,  no one truly gets hurt.    To take advantage of a seller who is liquidating his stolen guild items,  presents the idea that it is truly a victim-less crime.   Except that as a server economy starts to lose the hangers-on,   the ones that dabble in the AH and don't hang with the "big boys",   we create our own rules and regulations on what is allowed for server etiquette.    

It isn't unheard of to shout down the occasional scammer in Trade chat.     To mute them out of existence on trade chat.   We build our own rules and our own social writings.   Whether it's in our own personal guilds,  or in the gameworld at large.   The responsibility is not just to enjoy the game,  but when the new patch an the new expansion begins,   to look to instruct a proper way to play the game so that everyone can enjoy it.  This isn't a call to be some type of warcraft ethics police.    But every so often we are presented with the opportunity to do the "right thing".   We see something that is extremely underpriced by someone in trade chat.  Where 9 times out of 10 we buy it to flip the item.  Taking that 10th time and informing them they are asking for too low of a price.    Does it cut into our profit margins?  Yes,  but it also sets a precedent that may pay us back into the future.

I have amassed a large amount of gold playing WOW.   My first year of playing continued to be a stumbling,  bumbling player who did not have any idea how to actually make gold.  I vendored everything (including greens),  spent tons of money on stupid items (my first blue item purchased was the 6 demon bag),   and generally played the game with little or no money.  But it was the occasional tip from people that started me on the right track to making money.    My first pattern that I crafted and sold was the Bracers of the Green Fortress.   A donation made from a Guildmate that didn't have a blacksmith.   After making a set for our guild off tank,  i then started to place them on the AH.  Having already developed a "don't vendor anything" attitude when it came to items.  White or even grey items went into my personal bank.   This is when I started learning how to make money.  Reading websites,  seeing what items sold.  And where to farm items.   I was introduced into a new world of playing.  By the simple idea of one person giving me information and showing me how to make
money.

So how does this make me money Mommar?   It really doesn't.   Every little bit counts in the long run.  Trusting that we create a better atmosphere for gold making.  As the weeks go on you will get reminders of already used tips.   Sometimes a new view of farming.   And ultimately the same principles that will both start you on your money making tour,  or continue to bigger and better gold making opportunities.   

But the important thing is that when the computer turns off, and you go to bed.   You still retain the measurement of whether you have added to the Warcraft community as a whole,  or taken a little bit of it away with you.

Freud never played Warcraft,  but I wonder what games he would played in trade chat.

Want to get in contact with me? . Email me at Dragonbearjoe @ gmail. dOT com or find me on twitter at  "@Dragonbearjoe" or leave a comment here.   Would love to know how your experience with this tip works out.

  





Maximizing Profits And Minimizing Losses With BoEs



Hey guys, Alerick here again with another gold-making strategy for you all. This week, I am going to be discussing an important part of every WoW economy; Bind on Equip items. These are pieces of gear, usually epic ones, that can be used to make colossal amounts of gold, and can sometime be regarded to as an investment as they may or may not take a long time to sell.
Now on to the good stuff. These are some things you should either have know before dealing with BoEs.


1. Know your market.
Before making an investment in a BoE item, know the population on your server, is it large?how quickly can I move this item? What type of consumer base is there on my server? Is your servers economy doing well? If so, people will be more willing to spend their gold on items like this, or pay more for an item they would have bought otherwise. Know the value of the item your selling. Don't make a blind investment. How much has it sold for in the past? Do some research on the item before buying it. BoEs can also change drastically in value from server to server, so I can't stress enough how important it is to know the market you're dealing with. Be conseverative with your purchases. Don't run off and buy a bunch of BoEs that are decent investments but might take months to sell for a profit. BoEs are high risk, high payoff items, so a good move could lead to major profits, but a bad move could make you lose gold.


2. Know the demand
Know the demand of the item your considering buying or selling. The last thing you want to do is step into a market, and invest in a BoE that's two patches old, and wasn't even a good seller then. Know which BoEs are the best for certain classes. Maybe a best in slot item is BoE, this would be an excellent investment if you can get it for a good markup price. Know what items there is a shortage of in heroic dungeons, and early raiding tiers. Basically, know your demand. If there is no really good item that drops in heroics or t11 raids, a player would be prompted to buy one off the AH, and thats when the time is right for you to be the one selling that item. Know what classes you're aiming your sales at, and make sure the itemization is right. If the stats aren't ideal, the item may not be worth an investment.


3. Use trade chat.
Trade chat is one of the best sources in-game to find excellent deals. Many entrepreneurs and goblins alike choose to filter out trade chat just because of it's foolishness and immaturity. What goes mostly unnoticed though, is that it is one of the best places to find deals. People selling items off the AH in bulk for a discount. Uninformed players trying to get rid off an item they deem to be worthless but is in fact the opposite. This channel can be an excellent gold maker, and if you take some time to look at it more in depth once in a while, it could be worth your while. Also, unlike the AH where there is an unchanging price, buying from a person in trade chat usually allows for some negotiation with the seller. Use whatever style or tactics you want, this is when real world bartering skills come in handy. Anything goes.


If you ever see someone in /2 chat selling something your interested in, don't hesitate to stop and send them a tell. More often than not you will be blown away by the asking price, but if you learn to negotiate, you can easily come to a decision that will net you heaps of gold. If you see an item on the auction house that has been up for a while, or just want to give it a shot and see if you can get the seller to listen to you, send the auctioneer of the item a thoughtful well written in-game mail asking a lower price or negotiation. This tactic has proven itself over and over again for me. You can achieve great deals by doing just this to the seller of an item, and creating more profit in turn.


4. Examples of good items to look for
These are few of the items I keep an eye out for at a good price:


Both pairs of the ilvl 359 tanking shoulders; Heaving Plates of Protection and Pauldrons of Edward the Odd. There aren't many pre-raid tanking shoulders available. Unless you want to spend countless ZA runs trying to get the ilvl 353 12 percent drop rate shoulders that "never drop" (I know from experience), picking these up for a good price is an excellent investment. Both pairs of shoulders are visually appealing, and are almost identical stat-wise. They are very well itemized also. Fresh level 85 Pallies, DKs, and Warrior tanks will be going after these if they can get their hands on a pair. These fetch anywhere between 15 and 25k on my server currently and just two weeks ago I picked up a pair and flipped it for 10k.


The ilvl 378 Obsidium Cleaver 1h axe that drops off of trash in Firelands. Even throughout the regular version of the raid, this is a best in slot item for dual-wielding DKs. This axe also serves the purpose of being a well itemized tanking weapon for both Paladins and Warriors. These are in EXTREMELY high demand, and picking one up cheap will result in an easy to move, profitable(if you can find a good price for one), investment.


Darkmoone Faire volcano and tsunami cards and decks are still profitable. Know the market values of these on you server. Since both have been around for quite a long time now, there should be some solid market information on them. If you can pick one up cheap using a tactic listed above, go for it. Also be sure to know whether or not the faire is in town, because the value of the actual cards is at its highest right after the faire is over because it won't be back for another month. You can usually find cheap decks during this time because they are useless until the faire comes around. This is a great time to make smart investments. The tsunami card with intellect is an amazing PvP as well as PvE healing trinket. The volcano trinket is also excellent. Through two patches, this trinket remains one of the very best for a lot of caster classes especially an arcane mage. It is better than every other Firelands trinket for an arcane mage except for the one off Ragnaros which recently got buffed, and didn't used to be any good. Both darkmoon card investments are worth a shot. Follow these rules and you will be set for making some gold with BoEs!



For more interesting gold tips, or if you would like to contact me, you can get in touch through my twitter @AlerickF


Coming Very Soon




Hey guys, it’s Markco here. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I hope everyone’s excited about the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria which was announced at Blizzcon 2 days ago which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.
Capping off a very, very busy week for me, I had an extremely fruitful  meeting  with a very special person at the event yesterday and convinced him to help me on a very special project, something I have been working on for a very long time and is almost near completion.
A little insight into what I’ve been working on
In the last 5 years, I have helped over 13,537 players in making gold through my gold guide, 20KLeveling, one of the best-selling guides on the market. This is a testament its quality, the outstanding customer support and, of course, my loyal readers, I couldn’t have done it without you.
And just as World of Warcraft is a constantly evolving game, I am constantly searching for new ways to communicate and build a lasting relationship with you guys…
Close observers have noted that Blizzard is releasing new content and expansions at a faster pace, with new expansions (Patch 4.3) and a new expansion in the not too distant future in an attempt to solidify customer loyalty.
At JMTC, I constantly ask myself what I can do to reflect the shift in the WoW landscape.
Change = Opportunity
Sure, 20KLeveling remains the foremost authority on gold-making, but over the years I noticed that more and more players have been asking for a more complete solution to all their problems in the game.
They didn’t want to spend more than 2 hours a day playing the game to achieve all their goals in PvP, raiding and gold-making. They wanted an all-in-one answer, and a simple guide wasn’t going to cut it this time.
And so that’s what I’ve been working on. I needed a format that was going to take the WoW community by storm and provide you with exactly everything you needed to be the best in all aspects of the game. It took me a while but I believe that after the events that went down this past week that I have finally stumbled upon the perfect answer and you are about to become the beneficiary of that discovery.
This is probably the most ambitious WoW project I’ve ever attempted and it will be my final, lasting legacy to the WoW community.
I haven’t decided on the exact release date yet as I’m still putting the finishing touches to it but no doubt you will all be seeing it out VERY VERY soon, so keep your eyes peeled to this space.

Mists of Pandaria




Today, on Blizzcon, the developers finally revealed the next expansion. It is called Mists of Pandaria. They gave quite a lot of information about it, and this post will highlight the most exciting features. Also, I will go into a little theorycrafting on moneymaking in MoP (yes, that really is the correct abbreviation, WoW: MoP).

Features
  • Level cap increased to 90
  • New race: Pandaren: They look like pandas, and they will be available to both factions. Pandarens will start as neutral and they have to select a faction at level 10.
  • New class: Monk: Focused on martial arts, themed around chinese-japanese martial arts culture. Yes, they are a bit like Kung-fu Panda. They will have a tank, melee healer(evidently), and melee DPS spec. They will have a specific resource: chi. They will be able to wear only cloth and leather armor.
  • New continent: Pandaria: 5 zones, flying will only be available on level 90. There will be an AH and a bank on the new continent.
  • Pet battle system: You will be able to fight battles with your vanity pets. They will now gain xp, level up, and get abilities. The battle system will go somewhat like an arena for you pets. There might be item slots for you pets in the future, but it is uncertain.
  • Revised talent system: Talent trees are changed drastically. Instead of having to spend talent points every second level, every 15 level you will be able to choose from 3 different abilities. The specialization system will stay in place.
  • Stat changes: Resilience will be a primary stat.
  • Spells will be automatically learned, not from the trainer.
  • The spell book will be cleaned up, they're getting rid of the abilities that are rarely used, and giving the players new ones.
  • Account achievements.
  • Raid finder for all raids.
  • Three raid difficulties.

PVE

The expansion will start with 9 5-man dungeons and 3 raids. HC Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery is coming.
There will be two new types of PVE activity called scenarios and challanges. Scenarios are like short instances where you will be given tasks such as slay 25 goblin, and then the boss, or get x amount of loot, etc. It is a bit like group questing. There will be new UI elements to facilitate this feature, and from what we've seen from the presentation, it will be quite amusing. The other new PVE activity is called challange. It is about completing a dungeon in x minutes. You will earn a bronze/silver/gold medal depending on how fast you did the instance. For every medal there will be different loot. Gear levels will be normalized to even out the challange. There will be a whole new UI for this feature too.

PVP

There will be one or more new battleground(s). They have three concepts layed out, none of which is final. The first one is a payload style map called the Stranglethorn Diamond Mines. The name says it all about the theme. The second one is the Valley of Power which will be located in one of the new zones. It is a murderball style battleground. The third one is called Azshara Crater. They didn't give much information about this one.
There will be a new arena located in Uldum, called the Tol'Vir Proving Grounds. The layout will be pretty simple, much like in Nagrand Arena. There will be 4 LoS blockers.

Theorycraft

As someone who plays the game for making gold, a few things caught my attention.

  • First of all the possibility of having item slots for vanity pets. If this comes out, there is a good chances that items for pets will be acquired (among many other way) via crafting. In that case, it will be a great opportunity to make money, especially at the beginning of the expansion when all of this is new, and everyone will need these items.
  • The fact that they are making such changes in the talent system might suggest a change in the glyph system too. They did not say anything about this, but at least in my mind talents and glyphs go hand in hand. In that case we might be looking at anohter glyph rush.
  • Expanding the raid finder, and setting three difficulty levels for the raids means that a lot more people will get into raids. Many people who are now not raiding at all, might start either with PuGs, or with a guild at an easier level. This could mean a huge rise in demand for enchants, gems, armor kits, etc.
This is just a preliminary dissection, as only the first day of Blizzcon is over. I'm sure that there are more information coming, especially in the Q&A sessions. I'm hoping for more information about the professions and such, which could effect the future of "the business."

Making Gold with Alchemy


Before we get into the meat of the post, don't forget BlizzCon is today and tomorrow. MMO-Champion has a complete schedule that adjusts to your current time zone. Some of the highlights for the gold-making community that you might want to pay attention to through MMO-Champ or Wow Insider:
  • Expect the next expansion to be announced during the Opening Ceremonies and then elaborated on during the World of Warcraft Preview slot. This will give us some clues about what to expect (and possibly when to expect) about the new expansion. Which may or may not include Pandas.
  • The Class Talent System session is a new piece to the schedule this year. You don't spend an hour at your big annual convention talking about adding a few more points and talents to the existing system. I expect some major changes (again) to the talent system. Glyphs could be affected. There could be a 4th talent tree added (doubtful) or some additional means of customizing your character's talents (possibly even a profession to make it happen like Inscription in Wrath).
  • On day 2, we could see some news during the Class/Profession/Item Q & A about a new profession, plans for gold-sinks in the economy, raising the Gold-cap, the future plan as it related to craftable epics and epic gems.

And now, on to Alchemy...

I have a love/hate relationship with Alchemy. It’s incredibly powerful as a quick profit profession through the incredibly profitable daily transmutes. But how do we use it to make money consistently?

The Great Alchemy Nerf
One of the problems with alchemy in Cataclysm was the introduction of the guild level system. There were two problems that added up to a major nerf for alchemists interested in flask production. First, supply increased exponentially as people leveled alchemy and began working on the Better Leveling Through Chemistry guild achievement: Create 3,000 flasks and you unlock the Big Cauldron of Battle. Raiding guilds that fueled the flask market were now flooding that market on their way to getting cauldrons.

This reduced flask prices to the cost of mats or lower, even with procs factored in. Exacerbating the problem, guilds could now get away with using 12 flasks to produce enough for a 25m raid thanks to the Happy Hour guild perk. This effectively reduced demand among raiding guilds by about 50%. Then there's Chug-A-Lug (Rank 2) that doubles the duration of a flask from the cauldron. Raiders are now using 12 flasks in a 25m raid to replace 50 flasks. Puggers also have to buy fewer flasks as they fill out spots in a guild run that has the cauldron. Ouch.

Now, news from the PTR suggests the cauldrons are becoming Battle.net Account Bound, so they'll be usable on your non-alchemist toons as well. Most guilds have the perk already, but this only hurts the flask market more.

So What Works?
There are still some great options for making money with Alchemy. Obviously, all of these will be dependent on your server’s prices, so take my gold numbers with a grain of salt. Research what’s viable for your server and act accordingly.


  • Daily Transmutes: Do your daily every day. It’s free profit. Truegold and Living Elements are both viable at this time, though we don't know for sure that there will be Truegold used in crafting the new items in 4.3. I expect it will, but that's just conjecture at this point. For me, Truegold costs 550-600g to produce on average and sells for about 750g after the AH cut. Air and Water transmutes cost me around 10g for the Volatile Life and sell for around 25g each. If you’re a Transmutation Master, Truegold might be best as the procs are 750g pure profit versus 50-100 for the living element procs, which can't be controlled like the intial 14-16 that all alchemists get.

    To determine which is most profitable, figure out the average sell price of all your volatiles (Earth, Fire, Air, Water) and multiply by 3.5 (average of 3-4 procs per cast). So if your average price is 12g, your daily proc value is 42g. (12g * 3.5) If Truegold has a 15% proc rate, you'll get one approximately every 7 tries. Multiple your Living Elements proc value (42g) by 7 (now 294g) and compare it to your average Truegold sell price. Whichever is higher is the one you should be making if your only plan is to sell the materials. (Note: this assumes your daily profit on Truegold is similar to your daily profit on Living Elements. For completeness, add your daily profit * 7 to both numbers above to get a more accurate picture of which is best to transmute.)
  • Potions: Have you noticed you haven’t looted any potions from mobs since Cataclysm launched? That’s because they aren’t available. Raiders need your potions, so you might be able to make some gold here. With new 5-mans coming in 4.3, even dungeon goers might buy them to help ease the learning curve on the new dungeons, assuming they are a similar jump in difficulty to the Zandalari ones from 4.1. Reports from the PTR say the new instances are a little easier, but my guess is that they are tuned down for testing the mechanics. Difficulty will be raised for release and reduced over time. There's also the release of the Looking For Raid feature to bolster sales.
  • Flasks: They aren’t profitable on my server with my methods of acquiring materials, but they could be on yours, especially if you have a good supply network.
  • Vanity Items: Mageshadow did a summary of three popular ones: Giant Growth, Deepstone Oil, and Illusion.
  • Primal Might: It comes from a limited supply recipe and is needed for the transmute master quest. It also is used for a wide variety of Burning Crusade Era armor and weapons, which could see a bump in crafting with the introduction of Transmogrification. Enchanters also need it for their Runed Adamantite Rods.
  • Oils: There are some low-level, low-cost oils that can be applied to weapons for buffs while leveling. You’ll need to advertise in trade chat to sell them consistently.
  • Vial of the Sands: Demand is pretty slow for the item on my server, but if you can make it, you might be able to profit off it.
Tips For Optimizing Your Alchemy Income
Some of these tips can be used across professions, but here are some helpful ones for boosting your Alchemy income:
  • Consider crafting items in bulk. I generally keep Transmutation Master active for the procs while I gather supplies for potions or flasks. Then, I switch specializations, craft in bulk and go back to Transmutation Master. For reference, the master trainers are Lorokeem in Shattrath City (Elixer/Flasks), Lauranna Thar'well in Cenarion Refuge (Potions), Zarevhi in The Stormspire (Transmutation). You have to factor in the cost of the specialization switch (150g each, 300g total) to your profit calculations.
  • Don’t sell your daily transmute for less than the cost of Truegold - Materials or Most Expensive Volatile – Volatile Life * 15. For example, if Truegold is 750 on your server and the materials are 500, selling your CD for less than ~250 is losing money.  Bypassing the Auction House is worth something, but not 200g.
  • Never “toss in” or discount your transmute procs. If you proc a Truegold and “toss it in” for 200g, you’ve just lost 550g on the deal. Sell them on the AH or for the real value.
  • Sell your rare quality gem transmute services. Some Jewelcrafters don’t have alchemy and will be interested in buying your transmute services for Carnelian to Inferno Rubies. 5-10g/transmute is a very reasonable price, but get what you can based on your server's current prices. Remember to keep the transmute procs to sell yourself, or sell them for something close to the actual value of the gems. Use material costs + your transmute cost (that 5-10g above) as a starting point.
What tips do you have for the budding alchemist? Any hidden gems in your alchemy routine you want to share with others?

I consider myself a somewhat casual auctioneer. I can be found via Twitter @Aleithia3. I also like getting email at Aleithia AT jasonthedce DOT com. Send me your questions and I'll try to write about them on the site.

Bring me his head... and those wands




It's that time again.   Hollow's End.    Tricks and treats,  masks and ghoulish delights.

But how do I make money on this?    Isn't that what always runs through our auction house dominated mind?  Show me the money.

We'll look at three ways to make money with Hollow's End.


Gimme Candy


There are candy stations at different points around Kalimdor,  Eastern Kingdoms,  Outlands and Northrend.   There are also changes to previous stations as well as additional stations.  Each stop
nets you 8g 27s plus a handful of treats.   It's the handful of treats where you can obtain the wands used for the next money making section.



Show me Your Wand


The money making opportunities circle around the achievement The Masquerade

You have different types of wands that will show up as you go through your trick and treats
over the holiday. (see the previous section).   Each wand has 5 charges that are cast on other players.   As the holiday goes on you will have more and more people looking to buy charges to finish up their achievement.    Don't be afraid to advertise that you have individual charges to sell.  Look for between 5g and 15g per charge depending on the "rarity" of the wand and also how much longer the warcraft holiday has to go.

Quests?   We Need Quests? 

With the new holiday, there is a new hub of quests in Undercity for the Horde,  and Stormwind for the Alliance.   The quests include desecrating the opposite sides wicker man, stink bombing the enemy's capital city,  and a chain quest that will reward you with a new companion pet.   Each of these legs include gold rewards at maximum level of 10-16g per turnin.   Included are feeder quests in the major cities as well as the normal headless horseman/water dousing quest in Brill or Goldshire depending on your Race.

I've included links to the achievements on wowhead.com.    All of them include a list of the coordinates
to find each of the inns.  Both for the achievement,  as well as some unlisted ones for bonus cash
and wands.

Don't forget to keep the candies to turn in for items this year.    It's candy,   everyone likes candy.

Alliance Links: (links Courtesy wowhead.com)
Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdom (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats Of Kalimdor (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats of Outland (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats of Northrend
Tricks and Treats of Cataclysm

Horde Links: 

Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdom (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats Of Kalimdor (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats of Outland (includes "missing" candy buckets)
Tricks and Treats of Northrend
Tricks and Treats of Cataclysm


Enjoy the holidays.

BoA Enchants, And Their Gold Making Opportunities



Hey guys, Alerick here again. Today I'm here to write a follow-up article on my last one about how to create and maximize profit through using Illusion Dust, Greater Eternal Essences, and Large Brilliant Shards. All of these materials can be disenchanted from Runecloth Headbands (see last weeks article) These enchanting mats are required for almost every high end, expensive boa enchant, because BoA gear can only be enhanced through Classic WoW enchantments. You can make quite a bit of gold by controlling either the materials like runecloth required to make the mats, the market of the mats themselves, or the end products, the enchants. If you have a firm grip on any of these markets, rest assured that after time when people run out of their supplies, you'll be the one with the upper hand.


This is a list of a few of the best selling and stat-wise enchants for leveling a character using BoA gear:


1. Enchant 2H Weapon - Agility. This is the best enchant for either a leveling hunter or feral druid with a staff or mace. This is also a very common enchant for twinks, so if you see your market is compatible, give it a shot.


2. Enchant Weapon - Agility. This is probably the most popular/best selling boa weapon enchant of them all. This is a must have for any hunter leveling dual-wield, and any rogue in general. This enchant is amazingly common among twinks. If you can monitor the price of Essence of Air on your server, then you're good.


3. Enchant Chest - Greater Stats. This enchant is pretty widely unknown and is pretty weird in and of itself. It is a random world drop from mobs both in Outlands, and Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms. The enchant itself is +4 stats which is drastically underrated, and is better than the more common +100 hp to chest. It is regarded as a vanilla enchant, and can be placed on BoA items.


4. Enchant Weapon - Crusader. An excellent choice for leveling any tanking or melee dps character that uses strength. Can sometimes be used by rogues or druids. Has a chance to proc 100 strength, very useful. This enchant is a must-have, and the recipe was unfortunately recently taken out of the game, so if you don't have it by now, you'll either end up spending a lot of gold buying one, or getting someone else to enchant them for you.


5. Enchant Weapon - Mighty Intellect. This enchant is often compared to the healing and spell power enchants from MC, but is better now that intellect provides both mana and spell power. This enchant is amazing for any caster class using a boa weapon.


These are the top 5 enchants that sell on my server. Depending on your market for people leveling new characters with shiny boa gear, this could prove to be immensely profitable. However, just to clarify, I cannot stress enough how important it is to know your market. Before stepping into a market know what your doing, have done research, eyed it for a few days, scanned regularly for a good period of time. Jumping into a market with no knowledge could be fatal, and you may wind up losing gold. But if your server has a good market for these items, go for it, and use this tip to make as much gold as you like :D. Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope this tip helped.


You can get in contact with me through my twitter @AlerickF



Appealing to Different Types of Buyers - Part 2



Last week, we looked at The Achievement Junky and discussed the importance of maintaining listings that appeal to this type of buyer.  This week, we look at The Collector. As with all posts, YMMV.

The Collector
The Collector is most likely an Achievement Junky, however that is not always the case.  Regardless, The Collector is trying to get as many of one type of thing as possible.   Most of the time, this coincides with an achievement, such as is the case with pets and mounts, or it might be that The Collector is trying to complete an armor set in preparation for Transmogrification in 4.3.  Or, it may be that the player simply wants to have every pattern or recipe for their profession.  Generally speaking, The Collector has a list of what he or she needs and they shop the AH to see what they can find prior to going out and finding the items in-game.

To sell to The Collector, simply acquire collectible items and make them available on the AH.  The most obvious example is with pets.  Outside of Stormwind is a lady in a house who sells four or five different types of cats.  Each one of these cats sells for a handful of silver.  These can be listed for a huge markup and people buy them like crazy.  On our server, they will sell for up to 10g each.



Another strategy for selling pets to The Collector is to make friends with an Engineer.  The Engineering pets generally sell pretty well on our server, as long as the market isn't flooded.  And when you break down one of the pets into its core materials, the cost is pretty low.  So, I have an Engineer friend of mine who will make pets for me for a nice tip if I provide the mats.  I can then turn around and list the pet on the AH and make a tidy profit.  (My friend knows I do this, but doesn't care as he's not interested in playing the AH at all.)



And remember, it's not just pets.  Cooking recipes are hugely popular with The Collector (and The Achievement Junky, too!) and most players don't want to have to fly all over the world looking for those four recipes they don't have. 


Keep an eye on Trade chat (I know... it can be painful at times) and watch what people are selling.  A lot of times, you'll get a great deal on a hard-to-find enchantment, pattern, recipe or whatever.  These are the things for which The Collector will pay outrageous prices.


Again, the key to success with the Auction House is consistently listing items that appeal to a variety of buyers.  And buyers such as The Collector are an extremely lucrative demographic as they're willing to pay foolishly in order to complete their collections.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at wonko@immortalisrex.com. Also, you can find me in-game on US-Dentarg as Wonko, the guild master of Immortalis Rex.

Appealing to Different Types of Buyers - Part 3

In the first two weeks, we looked at The Achievement Junky and The Collector. This week, we look at The Power-Leveler. As with all posts, YMMV.







The Power-Leveler
Blizzard designed professions fairly well, and in most cases, it is pretty easy to level your professions as you level your toon.  However, for most people, once they get that first toon to 85, they're no longer interested in spending a lot of time getting the alts to 85 as well.  So, they level as quickly as possible using a combination of dungeons, battlegrounds and quests.


Once the alt gets to 85 (or earlier, if they're ambitious), the average player now realizes that they need to get the toons to 525 on whatever professions they've chosen for their alts.  For farming professions such as Herbalism and Mining, there's not much we can do to appeal to those buyers.  For crafting professions such as Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, Alchemy, etc., we can provide power-levelers a way to level their profession quickly while netting us a tidy profit.

To take advantage of this, you need to think like a power-leveler.  Let's say, for example, I want to level up a Scribe as quickly as possible.  What do I do?  Well, generally speaking, I go to a power-leveling website and start following their instructions for leveling Inscription.  These sites maintain lists of materials that the power-leveler will need in order to level their toon.

My job here, as an in-game Entreprenuer, is to make sure that the materials listed on that site are also listed in the Auction House with my name next to the item as the seller.  So, in the case of Inscription, there might be 12 different herbs that can be used to produce the ink that someone needs to progress to the next level.  However, only two of those are listed on the leveling guide.  If you've got an Herbalism toon, then you need to get those two herbs and forget about the other ten because those are the two that The Power-Leveler will search for on the AH.

Better yet, if you've got a Scribe, you can mill the ink instead and not worry about which herb is which.

This applies to all of the crafting professions and is a great opportunity to create some income in the game.


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at wonko@immortalisrex.com. Also, you can find me in-game on US-Dentarg as Wonko, the guild master of Immortalis Rex.

No Time for Crafting


In most cases the biggest obstacle in one's gold making plans is the lack of time. Everybody has a life, and there isn't enough time to do everything you want in the game. People learn to prioritize, doing only the most rewarding businesses, but how you find those is a real challange. It is not simply just about calculating gold per hour with a spreadsheet, there are more factors in play.

Crafting

If you have many professions maxed out, crafting is most likely your biggest source of income. It is also the most time consuming. However different professions require different amount of time, based on which you can prioritize them. The most time consuming of these activites are, of course the shuffles. Prospecting ores and milling herbes can take hours and hours of clicking on the same button. They are very rewarding, but if you have limited time, it is best to put it off for some time. After the shuffles comes the products that are low on price/unit (even though the profit margin can be very high). I'm talking about items that you are selling in massive amounts. Mysterious Fortune Cards, inks, glyphs, Hypnotic Dust, etc. They are great, but crafting an item usually takes about the same time (2-3 seconds), and to make the same profit as you would by selling 1 piece of bloodthirsty gear, you would have to make about a hundred mysterious cards, which would take much more time. The last part of the business to shut down is the high price items. Gears, expensive enchants, decks, etc.

Auction House

Reposting on the AH, can take the most time, however it is necessary to make any money, so you can't put that off. However there are ways to optimize it.

  • Start a bank character, and load it up with big bags. Bigger bags means less rounds at the AH for reposting.
  • Start posting items for longer times. 24/48h.
  • Level your character just enough so you can get the fast flying mount (or make one of your alts your bank character). In some cities like Orgrimmar, there is quite a bit of distance between the bank and the AH. If you are storing items in your bank/guild bank, and your business is so big that you have to make about 6-10 rounds from the bank to the AH, flying over instead of walking can save you 2-3 minutes in total. Notice that you can mount while you auto-loot the mailbox, so while you are getting items that are expired, or you cancelled them, you can mount.
  • Use /reload ui macro. While you are auto-looting the mailbox, only the first 50 mails are displayed, and they can only be refreshed every 60 seconds. That is if you don't reload your UI. If you have a fast computer and internet, looting that 50 items will only take you about 30-40 seconds. If you reload, you can hit auto-loot in 5 seconds instead of waiting 30. In total this could also save you 4-5 minutes.
  • If you haven't restocked your products for a while on either factions (in case you are doing cross-faction trading), you will end up with the most unwanted items on both sides. For example after about 2-3 weeks, everything worthy of any decent amount of gold is sold, so in the end you will make only 2-3k of gold daily, even though you still have 500-1000 items rotated on the AH. In this case it is wise to swap your stocks of products on the two factions. It takes less time then acquiring materials, and recrafting everything, and the products that are not wanted or low on price on one faction, could be great on the other. Using this method, I boosted my income from my burnt out stock from 2-3k/day to 12-13k/day.


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