Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Scribe's Tale: Farming vs. Purchasing

It's no secret that a great place to farm Northrend herbs is in Sholazar Basin. I used to do this on my Death Knight scribe quite regularly. I'd farm for an hour or so, mill the herbs and craft various inscription stuff to sell on the AH. Then I learned on a fellow gold blogger's blog (sorry, I don't remember who) that Weapon and Armor Vellum III are great sellers on the AH, so I focused all my farmed materials on the crafting of those. My short time farming would usually allow me to sell a stack or two of each, and they sell fast on my realm. Usually within a matter of a couple hours.

I realized three things pretty quickly:

1) There's a lot of demand for the vellums if they are selling that fast, which means there must be a lot of enchanters selling their wares on the AH.

2) The number of sellers selling vellums on the AH is super low compared to all the people selling enchants. There's room for me.

3) Farming is too time intensive to keep up with the demand of the vellums.

So I went about and started adding herbs to my snatch list in Auctioneer, hoping to get as many stacks of herbs on the cheap to mill and turn into inks of the sea, which is the ink needed to craft the vellums. And it has paid off. Sure, it's more of an upfront investment to purchase all the herbs instead of farming them, but think of all the hours I would lose if I farmed herbs for one hour a day! The sheer volume of vellums I can stockpile and sell results in so much profit that the cost of purchasing the herbs is like dropping a penny into a wishing well.

Here's some things I've learned about selling vellums on my realm. Your realm may vary, it's your job to pick up on the trends:

1) I find that selling them in stacks of 5 works best for me. The few other people selling vellums regularly seem to do it in full stacks fo 20 or one at a time. Offer something different than your competitors.

2) Weapon vellums are much more profitable on my realm, probably due to there being more people selling weapon enchants than armor enchants. Still, both are profitable and its a good idea to sell both.

3) They sell pretty well 24/7, but they sell extremely fast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

To summarize, farming can be profitiable in short bursts and it's a great way for a beginner gold maker (which I still consider myself to be) to familiarize him or herself with the economy and what's worth what. I believe everybody should farm a little here and there when it's convenient. But purchasing and stockpiling your mats on the AH gives you much more time to craft and sell, and that means more money in your pocket. The benefit of stockpiling is that when all your stuff has sold on the AH, you just grab more out of the bank and restock, whereas with farming you have to drop everything, fly to wherever, spend time farming, etc.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Tips For Multitaskers

A couple things. If you're somewhat into getting achievements like I am, at least on my main (which is my level 80 hunter), but you're also into multitasking, these two tips are for you.

On my hunter I'm trying to complete all the Northrend quests in the game, so when I'm waiting for my dungeon finder queue to spit me into a heroic, or if I just feel like killing off a few low level quests, I'll go and do exactly that. Not only am I working towards getting the achievements associated with doing all the Northrend quests, I'm also disenchanting random drops and quest rewards into enchanting mats, which I am saving for my final push to 450 enchanting. If you've already maxed out enchanting then this is pure profit. On top of the enchanting mats and gold rewards, you also get tons of vendor trash which surprisingly adds up into decent profits once vendored.

My second tip is related to the Midsummer Fire Festival event. This is a great time to get easy gold and experience for your leveling alts. Take my 73 priest for example. Fully rested and in heirloom (BoA) gear, the exp. gains from simply riding around and honoring (or desecrating the opposite faction's) bonfires is easy money and exp. Sure it's a little boring but just put on an episode of your favorite podcast or two and get to work (talk about multitasking!). Since you go all over Azeroth, Outland and Northrend in persuit of these bonfires, it's also a great time to work on that Explorer achievement and title. If you're not into doing that and just want to stick to doing dungeons and quests, don't forget to visit the nearest Ribbon Pole once an hour and use it long enough to get the full 60 minute duration experience buff, which adds a 10% experience bonus to enemies killed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello JMTC Readers :)

First of all thanks to Markco over at Just My Two Copper for the link to my blog. Second, welcome new readers. Well I guess that would be readers period, as you're probably the first. This blog is fairly new - only a couple months old in fact.

Here's a quick overview of what this blog is about. My goal in WoW is to have every profession maxed out and get gold capped eventually. I'm also doing a project where I level my first Horde toon to 80 before cataclysm comes out, so that I can see Azeroth from Horde eyes before things change forever. The secondary objective of this is to see how much money I can make leveling to 80.

I call it Project Tauren Shaman and you can read about it here. For a quick summary so far my Tauren Shaman is level 20 and has 340 gold.

A little update on my first goal of getting every profession capped. I recently got Blacksmithing and Herbalism to 80. My level 80 hunter has been slowly grinding out Enchanting and she is now at 430. I'll probably get lazy and just buy the mats needed to level to 450 on the auction house. Speaking of, the last 10 points in blacksmithing required nearly 1000 gold in AH purchased mats. The good news is those 10 points let me make 10 Titansteel Shield Walls, which netted me nearly 5000 gold once they all sold. (Most of them sold Tuesday - Thursday on my realm, which is basically raiding time) This speaks volumes about how investing in materials in the AH (versus wasting hours and hours farming the same mats) and turning them into products people want can net you huge profits. Farming does have its place, but turning 1000g into 5000g in just a few minutes of crafting time is a no brainer.

Back to my professions. I now have the following crafting professions maxed (all gathering professions are maxed, as is cooking and fishing on one character): Enchanting, Jewelcrafting, Inscription. As mentioned earlier I'm nearly there with enchanting and my 73 priest has Alchemy up to 395 I believe. My lowly level 40 mage has tailoring up to 300 so that will be my focus soon. After that I'll work on leveling up a leatherworker.

Here's a quick gold tip: If you have more than one herbalist toon you probably have a surplus of random herbs stashed in somebody's bank. At least I did. I needed to free up some bank slots so I sent dozens of stacks of random herbs off to my scribe to have them milled. Once everything was milled I turned all the various inks I ended up with into random glyphs, crafting two or three apiece. I also ended up crafting a couple rare quality off-hands which sold pretty quick on the AH, turning some dusty old herbs that had just been sitting around doing nothing into a couple hundred gold. The glyphs I stashed away in my bank toons guild vault for Cataclysm. Why? Once the expansion hits people are going to be buying out every possible glyph for their toons because of the recently announced changes to the glyphing system. Sure, the glyph market will be saturated, but the demand for every glyph in existence will also be through the roof and that will drive prices up.

Could I have made some decent money NOW by just selling the herbs? Sure. But I will make a lot more later by converting them all into glyphs and just having a little patience. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part 3: Levels 14-20

Man oh man! These last few levels have been filled with sheer excitement and entertainment! Not really. Shaman isn't the most exciting class to level but I'm sticking with it. What is exciting, however, is that in the last few levels I got lots of nice gear upgrades, did my first couple dungeons, earned a lot more gold and got my first mount!

Money Spent

Let's get this out of the way. Obviously one of the goals of Project Tauren Shaman is to accumulate as much gold as possible on the journey to 80, and that means not spending any money on frivolous things such as auction house gear and vanity pets. However, I did cough up some money on necessary things such as learning to use one and two handed axes, as well as a couple Netherweave Bags for 14 gold each. Things I deem necessary. Some quest turn-ins found Spirithorn in Ratchet where he invested a few silver in some engineering plans and jewelcrafting designs and turned them into gold, thanks to the auction house. Other than that and leveling up his abilities and professions, no money was spent.

As you'll recall in Project Tauren Part 2, a couple bags dropped off of random mobs. With the aforementioned netherweave bags and another eight slot bag that dropped for me, my bag slots are now full. Eventually I'll pick up two more netherweave bags and should be set in the bags department for a while.

Money Earned

My quests didn't put me in the way of as many mining nodes as I had hoped, but I did get a few stacks which immediately went into the auction house. Same goes for herbs. It doesn't help that I can only track one thing at a time, so I'm sure I'm missing out on quite a few mining nodes and herbs. I got lucky and managed to loot a semi-rare vanity pet, the Leaping Hatchling, which netted me 158 gold in the auction house. Not bad, though if I was more patient I probably could've made more. There were at least eight other people selling them and so everybody was undercutting. I held onto it for a few days but there were never less than 7-8 people selling it. Oh well. I also signed another guild charter for an easy two gold. As of the time of this writing I probably have another 20-30 gold tied up in the auction house so things are going quite good, money wise.

Deadmines / Wailing Caverns

Spirithorn got his first taste of pugging instances as a dpser. First up was Deadmines, which is a fun instance and never really gets old. It was pretty straightforward and we cleared it pretty fast. I did a whopping 20 dps and I have no idea if that's good or bad. I think I was level 16 or 17 with one or two greens and the rest of my gear was lousy. I did get my first Satchel of Helpful Goods, which was exciting.

Wailing Caverns was a different story. A lot of the mobs in there use sleep and fear spells, sending random members of my pug running every which way and pulling other groups, or sitting idle while under the effect of very lenghty sleep spells. Eventually a wipe occured because both myself and the dedicated healer were asleep, leading to the death of the tank. This led to the group disbanding which was a shame, as we were probably ten minutes from clearing this rather lenghty instance. I was frustrated by the sleep and fear spells that had disbanded our group, as well as the fact that a lot of the mobs in Wailing Caverns are immune to nature damage, completely nullifying a lot of my attacks as well as my nature based interrupt, Wind Shear.

Then it occured to me. Tremor Totem! This little gem of a totem doesn't prevent fears or sleeps, but it does dispel them pretty quickly after they happen. I assigned it as my earth totem of choice and requeued, hoping to get Wailing Caverns again. Sure enough I did and about 45 minutes later our group was victorious, partially thanks to my awesome tremor totems. I got my first taste of the satisfying utilitarian aspect of the Shaman class, and it was tasty indeed! I threw the tank an extra heal or two when our lagging healer was too laggy to do so himself, saving the tank from certain death many times, which was extremely gratifying. I was also second on the DPS charts which I was pretty stoked about seeing as how the tank in my earlier deadmines run did more dps than I did. In my defense, said tank was a couple levels higher and in heirloom gear.

Still haven't queued as a healer as all my healing spells are not very mana efficient and have long casting times, but at level 20 I learned Lesser Healing Wave, so I'll give dungeon healing a try soon.

Side Note: As early as level 20, thanks to loot from Satchels of Helpful goods and random dungeon drops, I'm already starting to accumulate a DPS and Healing gear set. Craziness!

Fun New Abilities

First and foremost, thanks to herbalism I finally learned Lifeblood, which has saved my ass more times than I care to admit. Having an instant free heal over time when you're a lowly shaman in garbage gear is invaluable. Now, at level 20, my gear is leaps and bounds better but I'm sure it will come in handy occasionally.

At level 16 I learned Ghost Wolf which sped up my travel times in the way-too-large zone of Barrens, thankfully. It's also cool to run around as a semi-transparent wolf. Neat stuff.

I mentioned earlier that I learned a new healing spell that will make pug healing easier. Combined with the mana-regenerative goodness of Water Shield and that gives me some stuff to work with as I experiment with healing.

I feel like the longer I stick with the Shaman class the more rewarding it's going to be, which is reassuring as the first 20 levels have been pretty dull.


I have room for one major and one minor glyph. Not sure what I'm going to get but I'm open for suggestions. Time to do a little research. More on my glyph choices in the next installment of Project Tauren Shaman! Unless, of course, they are ridiculously expensive. Are there any scribes on Doomhammer that want to hook me up with a couple freebies? :)

Part Three Summary:

Starting level: 13
Finishing level: 20
Talent spread: 0/11/0

Starting money: 92g 93s
Ending money:340g 80s

Mining skill: 66
herbalism skill: 118
cooking skill: 68
first aid skill: 72

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reselling Books of Glyph Mastery

Just a quick gold tip for my readership (currently 0).

In the words of Alice Cooper, "school's out for summer". I've noticed the change on my realm as well as the economy, as more players are active. And with that activity are more people leveling, questing and grinding/farming. This means the auction house is being flooded with more materials, thus driving down costs as sellers undercut eachother. This is currently affecting the prices of Books of Glyph Mastery on my realm.

The regular going price for them on my realm is around 30-45 gold depending on how many are being sold on the AH, but with the recent surge in activity I routinely find them for around 13-15 gold.

The other night I found six such books of glyph mastery, each for 13-14 gold. All the rest were listed for 20+ gold with the highest priced ones listed for around 40 gold. I decided to wait until not so many were on the AH (at the time there were 2 full pages of listings) and resell them later. Sure enough, a couple days later there were less than 10 listed, all 45 gold and up. I relisted the six I had bought earlier for 43 gold and they sold within a day, netting me around a 300% return on investment.

So keep an eye out for books of glyph mastery on your realm and add them to your auctioneer snatch lists.