Posts Tagged ‘Warcraft Economy’
Blacksmithing Plans available from vendors – remember to sell at a large markup!
Massive Iron Axe
Hardened Iron Shortsword
Golden Scale Coif
Solid Iron Maul
Ok, Warriors are hardy. They are the best hand to hand class in the game. That’s great for play. Not so good for Gold making. They have no healing skills, no movement perks, no “finding” skills.
Nothing really that would make them stand out as good “gold getters” ..other than survivability.
That being said, you will almost definitely use more potions and bandages as a warrior than just about any other class. We find it very difficult to recommend Warriors if gold is a main aim. They are also the most equipment reliant class in the game, meaning more expenditure more often at the auction house. Sorry Warrior fans, that’s just the way it is.
Why “Oops” – Well we’ve had the class talents up for ages – but missed out the wrrior section. Sorry
The material master is provided free for registered users of this guide. It is the tool we used to track prices across servers.
Initially it had Visual Basic coded in to parse the “auction house” and “post box” data we retrieved from the game engine.
The template for this data is still included in a tab called “Historical data”. If you understood the section on price indexing then this sheet might be of use to you. If you do not then please leave the data in this tab alone.
The rest of the spreadsheet is in two tabs labeled “Your Data” and “Profit Graphs” these should prove very valuable to you if you adopt the strategies in this guide.
First of all filter your “items” list with your chosen portfolio by putting a “1” in the tagged items column next to the items name.
The next thing is to decide how often to take the average price from the auction house. We recommend using either 2 days or 3 days between readings.
A reading involves going to the auction house and noting the average price of sale for each item as described earlier in this guide. Repeating this for both Alliance and Horde auction houses, and noting the values in the appropriate column.
After 6 to 8 readings you will have enough data to make good judgments regarding price.
Put the item number from your portfolio in the top left box (number 1 is the topmost item in your list, number 2 the next etc) THIS IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO INPUT ON THIS SCREEN. IF YOU PUT OTHER FIGURES IN YOU WILL FOUL THE SPREADSHEET.
The red and blue lines represent the Horde and Alliance average price from the auction house as recorded by yourself over a period of time as discussed on the previous page.
The gap between the lines is your potential profit for cross market trading.(That is buying from one faction – moving the stock through the Neutral auction house – then re-selling at the opposing auction house)
The variation on a single line is the profit potential within a single market (that is to say, buying low – waiting – then selling back through the same auction house)
This display gives you the information you need to make your tactical buying and selling decisions. It tells you whether an item is worth keeping in your portfolio or not.
What market strategies are recommended based on .
- Alliance Single Market – You can buy from Alliance Auction house in a market dip, hold stock, then resell, and you will meet your required profit potential
- Horde Single Market – As above but within the Horde Auction house only
- Cross Market Selling – Buying from the market shown in the “Source” box, moving through a neutral house, and reselling at the opposite factions auction house.
NOTE. The extra cost for selling through the Neutral Auction house is already factored into this figure !
In the “Your Data” tab, in cell “AF1” there Is a cell where you put your desired minimum Profit percentage. It is set as standard at 25%
This is a decent lower level. All calculations take into account basic auction house selling tax.
Please see the appendix for more details on AH Taxes – and please factor in the deposit in case your items do not sell.
When you are experienced, then these individual prices will begin to mean more to you. Although the automatic calculations take the averages and standard deviations into account, you may want to see if any particularly high or low costs can be attributable to seasonal factors.
In general though, we have found following the advice given on this screen has given us huge profit without ever needing to grind at all.
The historical long term trends graph is filled in automatically for each item
This second graph is taken from the "Historical Data" tab. It is a VERY normalized set of data taken over 22 servers and 18 months of sales history. There are 5 basic price models. This will give you an idea early on of what you might expect for each item over a period of time. Though please remember Blizzard alter the game all the time – we will keep these models up to date with each patch for Gold Consortium Members.
You might read this graph as an example of an item that has a gradual fluctuation in price.
This would make it a safe but not particularly exciting investment if you bought when the market was low. Again the proof will be when you populate the “Your Data” tables with actual prices from your server. This graph is a rough guide only.
It is worth noting that this is not the prices in gold pieces,. It is based on the price indexing techniques we have shown previously, with the highest price from the vending faction given a price index of 1.00 (one point zero zero) and all other prices expressed as a ratio of this.
Starting with a working capital of 100 gold, the red shaded area shows how it grows if you can make it grow by 20% a day.
The blue Manhattans show what happens if it grows by 80% every 4 days.
Those of you that know the maths will know that it is a compounding increase that makes the former a quicker growth prospect than the latter.
But your play style should be a factor as well.
Put simply, if you are a weekend player, or someone who only wants to go to the auction house for some serious trading once or twice a week, then taking long term high profit items is going to be better for you.
If however you log on an play every day – and are quite happy to tinker in the markets every day, then short term lower profits will generally yield better results.
Of course the best of ALL worlds is short term high profit turnover. If you see items like that, and you understand them, then grab them no matter what your main strategy, but they do not come that often.
Once you are of a high enough level you should make this decision. Am I going to log on every day and play the market, or am I looking for a decent – but slightly more modest – long term reward.
Be warned, choosing the short term route, and then not following through on it will cost you a lot of profit potential. It would only take missing a couple of days on this chart for the short term market trader to fall behind the long term trader.
You will find it easier to trade as a long term trader with high end items and vice versa. But there are always those who look to sell tons of harvested loot on a Saturday tea time, but instance look in the early hours of Sunday morning, and sell it back on again to hungry week day players looking to just get out and play on Monday evening. It’s a matter of scale. Buying 250 stacks of Runecloth at 2g a stack and selling it the next day for 4g a stack to someone looking to grind rep is a tactic we have used over and over again.
This chart represents the “ideal” a softly undulating – easy to read sine wave. Price goes up, price comes down. Read the market for a week or two. Then buy low and sell high.
It’s an ideal, but it’s not that common.
We’ll discuss this then move on to some of the many other types of market movements.
"Bread and Butter" – The graph will show a gradual undulation in price, probably no more than 15 to 20 % over and below the mean price. As long as you know where the mean price is, then this is a low risk item to buy and store to sell.
Check how long the cycle takes however. Many cycles are weekly, but some run over a much longer period (which is one of the reasons why we recommend 8 days between readings).
Early on you will want to work out which ones are more profitable. Your storage tied up with item that will make you 80% profit over a month ? Or items that will make you 18 % over 4 or 5 days.
You see the answer isn’t as simple as calculating the number of times your stock "could" turn over in a month.
Quite obviously, if compounded the 20% over 4 days will yield far higher profits over a month.
The graph on the next page shows how the compounded amount pulls away.
So little and often IS best, but not for everyone. Why ? Because it requires you to act every day.
If you do not log on everyday and take your profits, you will very soon fall behind.
Ok, so what items fall into these categories.
This is not a hard and fast rule, but Epic Weapons and armor fall into the slow category. Rare instance loot also falls into this category. During the summer recess high end loot was pretty common, especially at 2:00am on a Sunday morning when people put the BoE items they did not want on the AH after finishing the high level instance runs.
Likewise more people were farming for mats. Those mats were either competing in the market place as they were, or being crafted into epic items. During the vacation season this will increase. A similar thing might happen at weekends – but sometimes doesn’t. This is because people sometimes just want to have fun at weekends and meet up for instances. Take your readings from your own server to find out what the market does and when.
Earlier we discussed normalizing the prices of items across two markets. It is worth mentioning now that you can index or normalize the price in a single market place. There are many ways to do this, but for example – take three separate median asking price for an item over a period of say a week. You will then have three “median” prices. Average these to find a “mean mean” and give that figure the index of 1.0.
Every other price can then be rated as a ratio of this 1.0. Look back at the last chapter for more information on this.
Price indexing can, at first glance seem a waste of time. It comes into it’s own when you are comparing the profit profile of several different items. It allows you to graph item that are of a very different price on the same scale and just compare how profitable they are as a percentage.
Is Swifthistle more profitable as a percentage than a Titansteel Destroyer or would Netherweave be a better investment, Using indexing you can compare these side by side and get a true comparison
But something is missing. Profit is measured OVER TIME.
Swifthistle might sell for you at 30 stacks a day at the auction house, 2 gold a stack. 60 gold turnover. If you bought for 1 gold a stack. Discounting the Auction cut for now, you have made 100% profit PER DAY.
Now the Titansteel destroyer might be bought (or made) at a cost to you of 800 gold, you put it on the market at 1200 gold – but it takes 4 days to sell.
In this example – again discounting the auction house cut you have made a 33% profit over 4 days – or an un-compounded 8.25% per day.
Now this is where you need to make a couple of decisions regarding your trading. Are you a busy day trader – or a long term magnate.
If you play regularly, and quite like to dabble in the market every time you play, there is often more profit in buying lots of lower value items – and selling them on quickly. If you log onto Warcraft only a couple of times a week “go long” with higher value items.
If you choose the quick route, but miss a few days every week, you will find that you are making less money than someone who only logs on now and then and trades slowly.
Why waste your time ? There is a subtle choice between turnover and profit – decide what kind of investor you are, and make sure your portfolio reflects that choice.
While we are on the subject, we have already looked at the issues of copllecting your sales data through an add-on like Auctioneer. The problem being.
Auctioneer does not collect sales data!
That’s a pretty big problem. It can keep a record of what your characters sold items for, but for the rest of the servers population (that being 99.997% of the data then) it only collects the ASKING price, and that can be nothing like the selling price. On some servers almost 50% of auctions don’t sell at all.
Secondly it does not take seasonality or trends into account (at least not very well)
And thirdly it is skewed by rogue prices.
As we mentioned before the practice of putting a low level item, like a piece of copper ore, on for say 1000 gold pieces happens. Annoyingly it happens quite a bit. This skews the averages a lot.
Which brings us nicely to how YOU get around these issues. Well you filter them out. We use what is known as a “pareto” or “80-20” rule. We take our averages from the middle 80% of all prices offered.
So if ten prices were showing for an item say 1, 3, 5, 5, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, and 4000 we would not put the “1” or the “4000” into the equation. The 4000 is clearly a rogue price. The 1 probably isn’t , but not including it does not slant the average much. The difference is one will give you an average price per item of 405.3 gold. The other 5.5 gold. One is hopelessly wrong the other nearly right.
Back to an old point, Indexing also lets you compare prices between factions and across servers – allows you to filter out rogue data, takes seasonality into account and ensures you yourself keep an eye on your portfolio. Auctioneer - while a very useful tool, does not do this.
As noted previously, the state in which a an item is taken to the auction house can affect the price you can expect.
Over the long term, we found having an Auction house runner in Stormwind or The Undercity with Enchanting skills proved the most efficient way of making more gold.
The items that are LEAST likely to sell for a decent amount are green weapons and armour. A look at the disenchanting yield in the auctioneer tool-tip will tell you that if this happens – then 9 times out of 10 – disenchanting makes you a lot more gold.
Milling, Prospecting and Smelting all have a role to play here as well.
In the rush to get to Illustrious 525 with these professions, don’t forget these vital abilities.
Here are links to the permanent pages dealing with these sub professions.
Click a link above to visit the page.
I just want to get this out of the way. It’s not a major part of the guide, but here is “video 2”, and it deals with cross faction trading.
You need two accounts, or a friend you can trust to do this.
Bare in mind that 2 accounts will cost you twice as much per month, and a friend will probably want half the profit from doing this – so this method is not for everyone.
Tomorrow we are back to the single player gold guide, but for now, here’s the vid.
|Mageweave Cloth ALLIANCE||26||24||28||31||33||35||35||21|
|Mageweave Cloth HORDE||44||45||51||53||67||66||44||29|
Above is the data for the item “Mageweave Cloth” taken from European server “Anachronos” over a period of 16 days in August 2009. The prices are in silver pieces per individual piece of cloth.
This data in the Material master will give you some clues as to whether this item is a potential profit maker.
Firstly, the average price in Alliance auction house is 29.13 silver pieces per cloth
The average price in horde auction house is 50 silver pieces per cloth
So instantly we know that to buy from alliance and sell from horde gives us a very good average profit (the price difference is 72%)
Buying from Alliance and selling to Horde is a no-brainer.
The standard deviation is 5.22 on Alliance and 12.44 for Horde.
This tells us that buying from alliance to sell at a later date to the same market is not a particularly good choice. A standard deviation in single figures is a pretty good indicator of a low margin potential.
Horde however is a different matter. 12.44 tells you that buying low and selling high in the Horde auction house is a great idea for someone playing a single market strategy.
However, there is an issue. Closer examination of the data shows that we have a “rogue” figure.
7 of the 8 data points for horde are between 44 and 67 silver pieces per cloth. One point is however 29, silver pieces per cloth.
This low figure is capable of skewing the figures quite a bit. However, if you replaced that figure with the average of 50 would give you a standard deviation of just below 10, and an average even higher at 52.63
These are still great figures for either a single market or a cross market selling strategy.
Okay, to normalize the figures and obtain a price index take the following steps.
- Work out which is the “Buy From” market – in this case Alliance.
- Take the worst buy price from this market (i.e the highest price) – In this case 35 silver pieces.
- Give this 35 silver pieces the Index rating of 1.00 (one point zero zero).
- Rate every other price as a ratio of this price
Another option is to take the average price and give that an index rating of 1.0. You would use this if you were comparing prices across servers, or comparing PvP servers with PvE for example.
Once indexed, here are the Alliance prices. Below are the Horde prices. Remember they are indexed as an average price over time across BOTH factions auction house readings.
The top row of each factions data set shows the actual prices, the bottom row the “price index” As you can see 35 silver pieces is rated as 1, every other price is a ratio of this price. In this way you can compare item against item, even server against server without worry.
Below is a video we have added showing the Material Master spreadsheet. This will be a download on this site once the serialization of the Advanced Gold Guide is complete.
What Items should you concentrate on when starting out?
We STRONGLY recommend you concentrate on a subset of items that you are familiar with. The Materials Guide lists over 150 items. It covers just about every material required to craft in the game.
We recommend you specialist. Make a list of a minimum of 12 items – a maximum of around 25 and make these items your "Portfolio". These are the items you will specialist in.
Over time you will instinctively know what is a good price – and what is a bad price on these. But for now – using the material master to help you, updating the data on more than 25 items can be quite time consuming, and will not give you a good enough return on your time spent.
Which items should you specialist in ?
Cloth – all cloth. Cloth of some type is used by everyone at every level, it levels First Aid, it is a "hand in" for reputation quests (in huge quantities in some cases), it makes bandages, it is the staple resource for tailoring.
It’s your choice, but we recommend taking the items on the list above appropriate to your level and adding them to your portfolio (if you are just starting in the game – and have character below level 20 stick to Linen and Wool – move up as you feel comfortable)
These are great items for low level characters to start a portfolio with – particularly on a single market strategy.
hese are the low level herbalism items. Used by Alchemists and Inscribers. Again very variable rates at AH. There are other low level herbs – but these two tend to sell the best.
The low level skinning items. There are "Ruined Leather Scraps" however these rely on the buyer having the skill to convert them. By all means have these as well, but the market for your sales may well be lower
Finally – Whatever you gather…
Now you did choose at LEAST one gathering profession didn’t you?
We recommend 2 gathering professions – but one is a bare minimum. If your first character or "main" does not gather at all (except cloth as we discussed above) you have lost a very major value stream. Keeping up with the materials you need to advance 2 crafting professions will take an age and add considerably to your levelling time.
It’s not the end of the world – but you will make so much more money during your normal playing time (levelling, PvP or Instance runs) if you gather while you play.
With your gathering profession/s you should have 10 – 12 starter items in your portfolio.
If you are new to the game, stick to the lower level cloth, leather, herbs and ores. We suggest sticking with the cloth appropriate to your level all the way through the game.
Note. Every 5 or 10 levels that you progress..or every time you double the gold in your capital, consider moving your portfolio on. Dropping some low level items and replacing with some higher level ones from the material master
Of course, by dropping we mean "Selling for the best price to clear your stock space"..but you know what we mean.
Now if you become familiar with other items during the course of a game, and you see an absolute bargain outside your normal field of expertise. By all means snap it up. Do your research first (check it’s not about to get nerfed by a patch.
Google the "Level 69 Riding Crop" scandal if you want to see an example of a patch nerf that cost unprepared players a fortune. Blizzard implemented a patch which affected an item that wasn’t usable before level 69 …. would become unusable again at Level 70.
This caught a lot of people out – and the item became pretty valueless – but not before a lot of crafters who had seen the pre-patch notes had unloaded there stock in a largely unsuspecting auction house.
So if you are confident, and happy (and can afford it) feel free to go outside your portfolio for an obvious bargain – but check first!
There is no other way to put this. "If you don’t understand how the economy on your server works, you will not make money on it – the more you understand the more money you will make"
So here is a tick list of what you need to know, easy stuff first.
- What can I farm myself at my level ?
- Important note. Selling materials for other people’s professions is probably THE most solid way of making money., and anyone can farm for cloth for tailoring. We are not fans of going out farming for farmings sake, but if you have a couple of gathering professions, you will always have items to gather during your normal every day leveling and questing
- Where is the best place to farm appropriate to my skills and level ?
- How much working capital do I have to start ?
- Ok, not all your gold should be thought of as "working capital", but if you have a decent amount of gold – enough say to buy 4 or 5 new level appropriate "stacks" from the AH – or more – then MOST of it should be working capital.
Think in terms of putting aside enough for 5 BIG repairs of equipment – replenish ammo a couple of times and gold to buy enough potions/bandages to last a day or two of normal leveling/PvP or instances.
The rest of your money is your investment. You could start with as little as 10g. Though the more you have, the quicker you will make it.
- What sort of time investment am I prepared to make? If you only log on a couple of times a week then you will be looking to trade on single market longer term investments. If you are playing WoW every day, then you will probably make more gold hitting lots of smaller margin short term investments.
Do I have the manpower?
Did you follow the guide and get a character to your own and a neutral Auction House?
Do you have a second account or a guild friend to “go into business” with?
Yes – great – All options are open to you.
No – No problem,
It rules out cross market trading for now, but until you are confident – and have a buddy with a character in the opposing faction you can trust, then it’s best to leave it for now.
Do I have any relevant professions other than harvesting?
The most relevant profession for gold making without grinding is Enchanting, (or more specifically disenchanting), Alchemy is next because the key items you make are consumable – and therefore need replenishment often.
Blacksmithing might be next. Warriors are VERY gear dependent, and to level quickly have to change gear more often than other classes – and Blacksmith’s make some of the best warrior gear.
However – at Level 75 or better the best for all classes is often from instances. Leatherwork, Tailoring, Jewelcraft and Inscription (in roughly that order) Though jewelcraft really comes into it’s own at high levels.
While it is very possible to make money without farming (once you have a decent starting capital) we have included farming because it will just happen naturally. If you are a skinner, miner of herbalist then it stands to reason you should just take the items presented to you during the normal course of play. This being the case, you need to know where the places are that are right for your level to farm.
However, we re-iterate. Once you have a starting capital (or STAKE) then if you wish, you can stop farming all together. We don’t advise it, but it is a real option.
You will have a preference I’m sure. It’s great to feel affinity with your character. Many people seem to start with humans, then see the exciting possibilities of playing a Horde character later.
Stormwind or Ironforge might get a little dull. Silvermoon or Orgrimmar seem like a very nice alternative…and they are.
To make real gold, you are best having characters in both camps. There is no need to cross market trade, just make money in both markets – you’d be daft not to ! There will be times when the opportunity arises to transfer items or gold between factions, but taking advantage of two ripe markets separately will do for now.
Ah, I see, someone told you you could make 1000’s of gold with a level 10 did they ?
Well, a level 10 auction house runner can be pretty useful (more on that later)
You’ve read about someone trading up the copper they made from selling their level one clothes and armour (all 16 copper pieces) and turning into 1000g inside 24 playing hours?
The caveat here is “playing hours”. It is just about possible. If you log on 4 times a day for ten minutes trading for about a month.
You have to be very lucky – a mistake early on and you’ve failed.
You need to know the market very well. – a few Auctioneer readings is not enough.
- Markets have variations that are wheels within wheels.
- Evening is busier than morning, Weekends are busier than weekdays
- Summer holidays are very poor trading times, Autumn (fall) Holidays are excellent
- Winter is busier than summer
- Just after an expansion is busier than the eight or so months before it lands.
- Patch day is busy in the evening.
Add all these up and the result is a market that, to the untrained eye pops and weaves all over the place.
Not just a litle bit different, but hugely so.
As mentioned earlier, levelling helps. It’s a simple fact that higher level character has access to better skills, profession levels and can survive in the harder areas where higher value materials and reagents can be harvested.
But if you want to pay Blizzard good money to have your first character sitting outside the auction house for months on end, then go ahead. Be my guest.
If you have an ALT doing this, then that’s a different matter altogether. You’ll soon find a modest amount of levelling with another character will out-earn your “broker” alt by a factor of “many” to one.
When you have plenty of gold. then speculating becomes a worthwhile activity, and yes, using a low level character to process your sales and speculate is a great idea.
Doing it with your first is not recommended.
One thing you “could” do, is get an alt to a neutral auction house for later. It’s always handy to do this. But we’ll come on to that later. For now, it’s an interesting little trip for a level one. And yes, a level one from either faction can do it.
I can tell some of you doubt this, so here’s the videos to finish this post.
First the easy one – Horde Level 1 to Booty Bay…
Now for a much more convoluted route.
Alliance Level 1 to Booty Bay
Apparently, the future is so bright, we may have to wear shades. Ok, that’s old news, but for those of us planning to start new characters in Cataclysm (as opposed to rushing our existing ones to 85 – we can only do one thing at a time you know). then for me the thought of the Goblin class, with it’s emphasis firmly on trade is utterly intriguing.
It’s a shame that currently the Beta does not have them implemented so well. It’s hard to tell what is going to happen.
Here’s a recap of the talents we can expect though – then my thoughts on what I might do with some of them.
- Goblin Racial – Best Deals Anywhere – You always receive the best discount regardless of faction.
- Goblin Racial – Pack Hobgoblin – This racial in Cataclysm will call your personal servant allowing you bank access for a duration of 1 minute. 30 mins cooldown.
- Goblin Racial – Better Living Through Chemistry – Goblin Alchemists will have their skills increased by 15. .
- Goblin Racial – Rocket Barrage – This Goblin racial ability launches your belt rockets an an enemy, dealing fire damage. 2 min cooldown.
- Goblin Racial – Rocket Jump – This goblin racial trait will activate your rocket belt to jump forward.
- Goblin Racial – Time is Money – 1% increased attack and casting speed.
Best Deals Anywhere. Ok, on the one hand this should mean that grinding faction rep for anything other than end game items is a waste of time. End game items you often need the rep just to be allowed to buy. Oh and cross faction mounts of course.
Pack Hobgoblin For me this is a game changer. So for resource harvesters, this is an absolute must. Imagine. Grinding for resources. Skinning for example. No down time required, and everything waiting for you when you return to a city.
Better Living Through Chemistry Blizzard have changed the spec for this. 15 point boost to alchemy, or a boost to the effect of potions and elixirs with no boost to the profession skill itself. I’ll wait and see which one it is. It’s almost definitely the former to balance the Worgen’s 15 point boost to skinning – but we will wait and see.
Rocket Barrage Burst damage, and very decent scaling burst damage at that. I would like to see the animation for this. Sounds fun.
Rocket Jump Get out of – or into trouble quickly. Heroic leap? Or “Run away”. What made heroic leap was that you targetted a mob and leapt towards it. A random thrust anywhere is a different matter altogether. Possibly more useful if used expertly, but could also land you in a lot of trouble (like over the edge of a cliff for instance).
Time is money. The mathematicians amongst you will remind me that a 1% increase in casting speed does not actually equate to a 1% increase in damage and/or healing(I know). But a decent buff all the same.
What do you all think? Is having a Goblin with two gathering professions a no-brainer with this skill set?