My Very Own Guest Post

I've been slacking, I know.  This has been a busy week for me.  There were some good posts out there, but you can find most of them on TUJ's editorials.

You could say I've no pirated content today, but I'll let you have a look at the very beginnings of my latest project.


Still I Look To Find Reason

There's a song that'll be stuck in my head the rest of the day.  It came to mind as I was thinking about all the stuff that bloggers write about that has no bearing on the game.  I've done it before, and it's part of why I stopped writing for a while. 

The doldrums of worn out content are treacherous.  Sales, bloggers, add-ons - all wander, fold, resurge, or limp along until the next big opportunity.  I missed my mashup last week.  Partly because I was out of town.  Partly because I didn't have anything nice to say.  Partly because it was easier to just not deal with it.
You're either are nodding your head, swearing, or trying to figure it all out.  Don't sweat it.  Bad news is that I'm skipping the mashup again this week.  Good news is that I'm giving you a link to my glyph guide:

Enjoy.  Or don't.  Your competitors will read it.  I'm hitting 7k/day on glyphs.  I move DMC Trinkets at a rate of 50/month at a lowball-average of 5k each.  Who needs napkin math when you're turning out 450k in sales a month?  Profits are probably closer to 300k - from a single profession.  There's still the TCG and big-ticket flips, and w/e else.

Liquid - idk how much I have.  Haven't put it in the same place long enough to see if I cap.  There's roughly 2M between inventory and liquid, though, I'm pretty sure.  That's having done without the shuffle for a couple months.  Can't do much with gems when there's a guy camping 16 hours a day.

My main focus is personal stockpiling for 4.3 and leveling an army of alts.  I got the idea of having a GBank full of current mats as my personal reserve about a month ago.  It sure sounds nice, but ofc, I'd never pay retail for that.  I've got a RAF account that's patiently waiting for Actibli$$ to drop the price on Wrath to something more reasonable.  After that, I'll be dual-boxing a tank/dps combo another 4-5x through LFD until I have 7 more freshly-minted L80 toons.

And 4.3 I'm pumped about.  I've been reading boss guides, walking through strategies in my head.  The first 4 bosses seem doable in currrent gear wihtout much more than a good effort and some practice.  I never thought when I resolved to get the legendary daggers 2 months ago that I'd end up leading a 10-man raid from a PvP guild.  That we'd get Rag down and be fully geared in the 5-6 short lockouts we had left before walking in to Firelands.

It was a breath of fresh air that made raiding fun again.  My GM is also a nice guy, and I basically got to set the raid times, myself.  We try our hand at our first hardmodes tonight.  I'm also pumped about my buddy Kathroman, who is levelling a Shaman Ally-side on my server.  He's gonna run 3s with my brother and I (RLS, aka orange-cleave =P) and I'm really looking forward to that.

There's a lot to look forward to.  The least of which is off-loading my backlog of gems when that jackass camper runs out of stock on patch day.  But honestly, none of it has to do with gold or with blogging.  There's always been more to the game for me than that, and it's time like these where that extra clarity serves me well and reminds me not to worry about the other stuff  that gets thrust through the blog rolls at us, no matter how far OT it goes.

Countdown Begins

Well, it's been formally announced that Arena Season 10 will end on November 29th, so it seems reasonable to start the countdown to 4.3 now.  Here's a look at gold blogs around the web this week:

Today is Veterans Day (Armistice Day in some countries).  Armistice Day coincides with the end of hostilities in the First World War.  It's a day we honor those veterans who have served.  My grandfather served aboard the Destroyer USS Ault in WW2 in the Pacific theater of operations for the US Navy.  The Ault joined Naval Task Force 38 in December of 1944 shortly after TF38 had encountered Typhoon Cobra.  He watched the Japanese sign the articles of surrender from the helm of the USS Ault, as she laid anchored next to the USS Missouri in the harbor.  He later served in Korea and then ran a civil engineering firm for 25 years.  He passed away about 5 years ago.  He never told me much about his time serving, but my dad related a lot of stories to me after he died.  My humble gratitude extends to the men and women of the armed forces who defend the innocent from aggression.

Alto has a great collection of special offers for our veterans in the USA - go check it out.

A great piece of highly recommended work by Xsinthis - an analysis of survey results reveals interesting facts about goblins - whether they raid, pvp, both, what resources they use, and how liquid wealth is distributed among repsondents.  This is a must read.

Forewarned is ... well, I forgot how it goes, but you get it.  Faid delivers a video review of the wow-crusher addon with no punches held.

Though you guys know I can't recommend inscription without glyphs, I can understand Faid's frustrations with them - they're all too common in competitive glyph markets.  I didn't get a  chance to check out the video, but have a look and tell me what you think about Faid's recommendations for running inscription without glyphs.

I have to give it to Kuja, he has a knack for sniffing out a niche.  While making Origami gizmos isn't going to make you rich, it's a great way to have fun with your gold-making and get your feet wet with using Trade Chat to drive sales.  I just wish I knew what his next big secret was that he teased us with - I guess we'll have to wait :P

Wes touches on one of the several softer points of gold-making - consistency and endurance.  Being able to set realistic limits and goals for the time you spend making gold is critical to enjoying yourself.  Having a consistent routine is what sets goblins apart from the guys who run hot, burn out, and never make any real progress in their auctioneering.

Xsinthis talks about how to prioritize stockpiling.  A lot of bloggers are capped, and I find that capped bloggers aren't as useful to new players.  You see them talking about stockpiles and patch speculation and how many GBank tabs they have of Leather or Ore or whatever.  X brings it back with a clear, bullet-point priority list - and guess what's at the top?  Diversity.  To be clear - X talks about long-term stockpiling, not keeping a nice cushion of mats for everyday operations (which is important).  SO go check out his post and start leveling those toons.

Gold Queen
Old tip, I know, but it's worth a reminder.  My advice?  If you have a max level Blacksmith, get off your butt and grind out the weapons patterns from the Molten Front.  The new 5-man heroics in 4.3 will have a 365 ilvl requirement, and the crafted weapons will represent a very much needed missing link in the gearing chain to anyone leveling an alt.  Think about it - grats on 85 - ready to grab a 365 weapon and start gearing up?  Yesplz.  Oh and PS - with all heroic dungeons rewarding ~140 VP in 4.3, expect the average dungeon time to drop significantly.  Most people will grind out their Valor in the original cata heroics, so I expect orbs to drop a bit in value.  having a blacksmith allows you to capitalize on this.  And Alchemists - blacksmiths will need your truegold for those weapons.

It's an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.  MoxNix presumes that the campers we deal with are legit.  I can assure you that not all campers are legit.  Quite a few are bots.  My advice for dealing with a camped market?  Nuke it or ignore it, and focus your effeorts elsewhere.  Nuking is just posting a couple cycles worth of goods on a 48-hour auction just above mats cost.  Ignoring can be good, too.  In either case, you're probably just gonna have to wait it out and find another market to focus on for your bread and butter.  MoxNix does spend some time talking about some semi-advanced TSM features, though, so check it out if you're interested.

Flux gives us a very prudent heads-up that switching Alchemy speciliazations in 4.3 will be much more costly than the standard fee we're used to.  Go have a look at the new tax Blizzard is placing on alchemists, and start making some Truegold for all the guys who don't pay attention now and switch to transmute spec later.

For a nice recap of the new and improved Darkmoon Faire coming in 4.3, check out Jafo's latest post.

Kaliope gives us an in-depth preview of the quests coming in the new Darkmoon Faire in 4.3.  High quality stuff, as always, from Kaliope.

The Consortium
Another quality guide at The Consortium Forums courtesy Gimp.  Integrating add-ons to form a smooth routine is something that every true goblin must do.  Gimp gives a great guide and video on how to setup and use his favorite system.  Worth a look - even if you are all setup in your routine.

The Consortium
An old, but good post on how to avoid getting hacked by Zero.  My brother was hacked a couple months ago and we lost hundreds of thousands of gold and inventory.  I can't stress enough how important it is to take precautions.

The Consortium
Abeni's post on selling opposite faction Argent Tournament pets gets necro'd.  It's still a nice way to make some really sweet pocket change, especially with all the buzz surrounding pets created by MoP.

Two Way Analysis Of Epic Gems

There's plenty of posts out there this week heralding the spoils of proper preparation for a patch.  There's plenty of posts about which add-ons don't work.  Most of them share one thing: If you're wanting to use their advice right now, you're too late.

Didn't stockpile?  Too late.  Didn't know about the Maelstrom Shatter?  Too late (MCs aren't as cheap as they were a month ago).  Want to see how you did versus your fav blogger - you're in luck :)  In all honesty, grats to all you guys and gals who made out like bandits.

No mashup today.  Instead, we'll talk about flipping epic gems.

Epic gems don't come from the stork.  Every Normal-Mode Dragon Soul boss kill will award each raider with a "Mote of Darkness" - a currency that can be redeemed with the vendor Dasnurimi inside the Dragon Soul raid (Wyrmrest Temple) after the first boss is defeated.  One "Mote of Darkness" will buy you a "Crystalline Geode", which has a chance to drop an epic gem when looted.  I'm not sure how big that chance is, but most of my 10-man raid got a Jasper, Carnelian, or Nightstone last night after clearing the 1st boss.  Noboy got an epic (that I know of).

Now, every Deathwing kill awards a currency, "Essence of Corrupted Deathwing", which can be turned in at the same vendor for an "Elementium-Coated Geode".  This will give a gauranteed epic gem when looted.  It remains to be seen whether this will be dropped from earlier bosses in Heroic-Mode Dragon Soul, but we should know next week.

So, let's break this down; where do epic gems come from?  Well, I can personally attest to the fact that the first boss in Dragon Soul is an absolute faceroll.  Morchok is the loot pinata of this tier.  A lot of people cleared him last night, and a lot will be clearing at least him every lockout.  This gaurantees that some folks will try to make a buck by listing their lucky loots from their "Crystalline Geode" on the Auction House.

I think the most likely candidates will be casual raiders.  The guys pushing into Heroic-Mode content will be using their epic gems.  While Morchok is a joke, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, and Hagara (2nd, 3rd, and 4th boss) will take some time and a modicum of skill for most.  Ultraxion, the 5th boss, is a gear-check, and the remaining fights will present a challenge for guilds that don't walk in with 391 gear.  All this to say that the kind of guys getting the "Elementium-Coated Geodes" with a 100% chance of looting an epic gem will be your serious raiders.  They will hang on to these. 

Looking forward, it looks like the circulated supply of epic gems will be low for this reason.  It will gradually increase as regular guilds manage to get the first 4 bosses on farm, but then I expect it to level out for awhile.
The other side of this equation is demand.  At the prices we're seeing these epic gems go for, only those with a deep commitment to min-maxing their gear will be interested in buying.  These will primarily be your Heroic-Mode raiders, to start with.  The kind of guys that clear Normal in the first 1 or 2 lockouts.  Their own acquisition of gems won't be enough to keep pace with their gear, so odds are they will look elsewhere for their extra stats.

The catch: don't expect mr. pro mode to shell out 5k for a Bold Queen's Garnet unless he's got a 410 peice of gear that needs it.  You'll see demand start to pick up in Week 2, and continue trending upwards for a bit.  This will keep pace with supply, causing epic gems to hold value.  However, once enough time passes (~2 months is my best guess now), or a guild clears Heroic-Mode, all those epic gems that were being used internally will start finding their way on to the market.  By that time, though, expect more raiders entering Heroic Modes to add to demand.

Conclusion?  Epic gems will hold value.  They may be a bit overpriced right now, as most things are at the beginning of a patch.  But, if you can stomach the risk, go for a quick flip straight away.  I would advise buying late Tuesday night / early Wednesday morning, after most raid have finished their first night of the new lockout and the glut of sellers causes the market to tumble.  Look to resell Wednesday-Friday Night, as most raiders go back for their 2nd night to work on progression bosses.  They will be very keen on min-maxing their gear at that point.

In between doing all that, level more alchemists.  There aren't any epic gem transumtes currently atcive in the game, but expect them to be introduced later in the patch as a sort of soft-nerf.  Good hunting!

White Ribbon Heart Of Gold

With one voice, as one community, we are speaking out and working to end violence against women.
Today's post isn't a recap or mashup, but something I wanted to take a few paragraphs to share with my readers.  Today, many others in the wow-gold-blogging community have united together to post about a very important message that we all play a role in: ending violence against women.

Many of us have busy lives and the closest we get to worrying about violence is watching the news or the latest prime time police / detective drama on television.  It's human nature to take some things for granted when they don't directly affect us.  I was no exception until recently.  My wife just finished serving on a jury for a criminal trial, and an acquaintance of mine also experienced violence first-hand.  Because of these, the reality of violence really hit home for me.

The numbers that are amalgamated for the statistics surrounding violence against women are a small glimpse of the horrorific reality lived by a shocking number of women every day.  You can see statistics for the United States here and International statistics here.  These figures alone are sobering, and the emotional effects linger long after these crimes are over.

Next Friday, November 25th, has been declared the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the World Health Organization.  This date has served as a rally against violence committed against women since 1981.  As you sit down to enjoy the holidays with you family, think about the women in your life and these statistics.  With the coming 30th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, resolve to do your part to put an end to violence against women today, and every day.

If you would like to learn more about the services available to women in the United States who are victims of criminal violence, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline and / or The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.  If you live outside the United States and would like to get involved, please visit Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women.   All of these organizations play a vital role in assisting women who are victims of violence.  If you've been looking for a cause or an organization to support, both of these could use your help.

My gratitude to those who read this post with an open mind.  My support to those who read this post with an open heart.

Another Week

Well, it's the end of the week (no Tuesday post), and I'm about RP'ed out.  Long week, long day.  I had a lot more typed up for today's post, but I decided to make some changes and scuttle one of my "targets", so I scrubbed those writeups.  I'm not inclined to write about Pandas or Pokemon, but I think that 5.0 will be a lot of fun.  Without further rambling...

I have to admire the guy's tenacity.  Critical makes a lot of posts.  I don't personally agree with walling, but I believe it has its place in certain situations.  Myself, I have the capacity to post glyphs throughout the day, so I usually don't need walls.  I also don't cancel my auctions, which sets up a sort of de facto wall, as I continue to undercut.

I have a full stack of ~240 different glyphs, though, and a stockpile of 12k+ Blackfallow inks - that amount of inventory allows me to post 12+ cycles a day and not have to cancel. 

Critical does a great job explaining in what situations his walling technique is useful in this post.  Critical's main message - to think for yourself - is the best advice a blogger can give.

A neat post about how the pros could counter critical's walling strat.  However, if Jafo is selling all glyphs, I could bring his operations to a standstill by listing craptacular trainer glyphs at 2s, and buying every undercut he posts.  Regular sales over costs subsidize bad sales under costs, but if I tip the scales and force him to craft 700 Glyph of Weaksauce every couple weeks, he's taken a huge loss on his inks with no accompanying demand in profitable glyphs to recover.

Would Jafo notice if someone bought 700 glyphs of weaksauce?  Probably.  But - his post was "just-sayin..." so I'm "just-sayin..."

Kaliope uses the hilt of Thuderfury to nail the Diet of Crafters to the door of Blizzard HQ, outlining her beefs with the current profession setup.

Chaos orbs are a bit crazy now, but that should change when they go BoE.  As for Scribes - they take a significant investment to run properly, but when you're firing on all cylinders, they make bank.  Stupid, filthy, bank.  Kaliope misses the mark completely in saying inscription is not viable.  It is not for the faint of heart, and is not a profession you want to mess with if you only want to post 1-3x a day.  Finally, the lack of Epics from JC is a pain, but... we make a good bit of gold anyway.

I like Foo, but I have to disagree here.  Toons will not be leaving gear ungemmed.  This is Cataclysm, not Wrath.  You will not be replacing gear that quickly, lots of folks have lots of gold, and dungeons are just gonna be harder if you're not gemmed.  I don't think the cut rares business is in any trouble.  Indeed, I think it will see it's best days ever in the first month of 4.3.

Flux has an excellent guest post featuring a video guide on how to use The Undermine Journal.

Quietly Now Find Your Swords Week 1

The ship smelled of dank lumber, steeped in years of trading winds and salt.  The sky was dark as the ship drifted, sails lowered; waiting for the coming caravels of the crowns that still dared to fly their banner.  The sea began to tremble, building quickly to rabid furor.  "Man the cannon!!  We're besieged by the depths!"  "The Krakken!" came the cries of the watch.  The watch - where was he?  Why wasn't he at the crow's nest where from his voice called?

"Cap'n - cap'n!" a voice whispered as the shaking woke him from sleep.  "They be coming, my cap'n - Frew can hear the ruddeh."  First light had broken, but the unseasoned would not have realized, as The Revenge sat at the edge of the heavy fog, just outside the bay.  Stealth was imperative as the captain's spies had recently reported the landside fortifications had been upgraded to rifled cannon, putting The Revenge well within their range.

"What be the orders, captain?"

"Ready the men for boarding."

Riches and Plunder

Aleithia has a great post on how to make gold with Alchemy.  This is a quality post, and is worth a read for anyone who's looking to maximize their potential revenues from an alchemist.

Alerick takes us back to the old-world bread and butter of scrolls - BoA Enchants.  Since BoAs have an item level of 1, they cannot be enchanted with most of the enchants in the game.  A lot of the best enchants are gated behind old-world reputation, that's only a modest grind.  This creates a nice niche market with high profits and decent volume.  Alerick gives a good recap of what enchants are best for folks re-rolling BoAs.

Cold has a better index of all recent posts concerning epic gems than I do.  Just don't expect to get rich on patch day - blue posts indicate that epic gems will be h-e-a-v-i-l-y gated.  The current shuffle will live on quite some time.  There's still no word on how to obtain the transmute recipes, and that will have the largest impact on the supply of these.  In the meantime, keep doing your dailies

Basic stuff is basic.  Right?  Well, yeah, but basics are fundamental to gold-making.  When you've been around as long as Cold, you can dig up quality posts and re-use them on a Friday.  A good discussion about selling at normal prices and how to find 'normal'.

Kuja has a nice idea, but I think you guys are going to want to check the math on your server.  The mats for this novelty potion aren't universally cheap, and depending on the competition, the margins might not be there.  Still, a decent, original tip from Kuja.

The Consortium
(The Consortium is the single best gold-making discussion site in the history of WoW.  The amount of in-depth discussion and detailed guides rivals many paid guides that you see advertised around the blogosphere - except that the Consortium is free.)

Making Gold from Hallow's End
Grey gives a nice breakdown on how to make some gold on the side during Hallow's End.

Icy Prisms, WotLK Gems, and Reviving the Saronite Shuffle
Rabbel opens a good discussion on prospecting saronite to feed icy prism production in his/her WotLK Epic Gems market - which seems to be highly lucrative.

Non-Gold Stuff

As you may know, my main is a Rogue.  Scroll down to see Vodka's screenshot of the entry-level daggers for the Legendary Quest Line.  Shineh purplez!

Breaking us down with your lies, lies, lies - when will you learn?  Blizzard once again proves to us all that, too often, it is completely full of shit.  First, let's take a deep breath and realize that this was written by Blizz's PR department.  That is, the Karl Rove of Actiblizz.  Now, let's rip into it.

Are accounts targeted to be hacked?  Depends on who you ask in Blizzard.  My brother was hacked two weeks ago and specifically asked the GM in live chat if he might have been targeted due to barking a Mottled Drake for 150k in Trade Chat.  The GM assured him that hacks are almost always random.

Are Farmers a small percentage?  Probably of the playerbase, but they're definitely not a small percentage of the AH-Cata-Mats economy.  Any goblin knows this to be false.

Is most gold sold for real money the result of account compromises?  Highly doubtful.  Of course, Blizzard is in a better posiiton to answer this than I am, but I keep tabs on the WoW undergound, and I can tell you that most gold is sold by farmers to goldsites who sell it back to buyers.  A majority of the transactions aren't "scams" - the entire system is built on trust, since a single report or trojan would scare everyone away.  Is it safe?  Hell no - buyer beware.  Is there a "legit" underground gold market?  Of course, and it's thriving.  You don't develop a 100-million-dollar business sector by screwing over your customers.

And then at the end, Blizzard pretty much says, "Yeah, it can be called gold-selling, but it's legit and safe, and a poor noob doesn't get his account hacked in order for you to buy this."  Give me a break.  Translation, "Our Activision overlords decided that we were leaving too much money on the table, and figured this was the easiest way to get more cash.  It also figures into our continuing strategy of monetization, and gives suckers the idea that we're 'working against the bots'."  More spin than a Roger Clemens testimon- err... curveball.

Gevlon asks if "the dance" has a place in hard modes, but I wasn't able to see a clear answer.  I'd say "yes".  Being able to dance while maxing damage is a good indicator of a deep degree of skill and understanding of your class, its utility, and its priority.  Gevlon made the pointearlier in the week that Normals should just be tunneling a boss, so I'd like to think he agrees that the dance has a place.

Clearing the Smoke
Did I leave your blog out?  Check my profile, and shoot me an email to put a bullseye on yourself.  Odds are, you'll be in my crosshairs next time.