Friday, May 7, 2010

I am (again) a Blizzard WoW Fan(boy)

As promised.

Well, not really. I'm not blindly, dogmatically supportive of all things Blizzard. I am, however, extremely impressed, again, with Blizzard's WoW support team.
Here's the Cliff's Notes version of the in-game resolution notification:
It was too long ago, we can't help you. Besides, you have enough money and gear to be able to play the game.
That was a depressing response, let me tell you what. More like a kick in the jewels. I was NOT relishing starting over. One oddity, though, was that one of the items in my item restoration emails that were already on my account when I resubbed was a Warrior/Shaman/Priest (I think) Tier7 or 8 glove token. On my Paladin. So in response to the "we can't help you" resolution response, I extended the ticket with a request that, even though they can't restore all my stuff, could they at least swap that token out for something I could actually, you know, use?

Well, for some reason, that got my ticket Escalated. Hmm... ok, I thought to myself. Maybe I'll get a gear token for gear that's too low for the content I want to do, but maybe it will help me build my new Ret set. We'll see.

While in the middle of logging between banker, main, DK alt, and back again in an attempt to rebuild my old glyph business and try to restart some JC biz, new GM mail popped up in my mailbox. Odd. What's this, I think. The gear token should be on my Pally, not my DK. And there's 3 of them, not one. Oh dear, what's wrong now?

Whoa, Darkmoon cards and ore and stuff?!?
OMGOMGOMGWTFBBQ! Quick, log to my main, log to my main!!!
Quick, self, check the mage, check the MAGE!
Yep, there it is!
*happy dance

What did Santa Blizz bring me?
73 DK Alt Miner/newb Enchanter - Money Restored: 87g 68s 24c
70 Druid Alt(old refer-a-friend) Mid Tailor/Mid-High Skinning - Money Restored: 836g 96s 11c
80 Pally Main JC/Scribe - Money Restored: 8,632g 30s 81c
10 Mage Banker - Money Restored: 17,300g 12s 30c

Total - 26857g 7s 46c
Additionally, there were a boatload of Adder's Tongue, Saronite, a few Epic and Rare gems, several uncut meta Gems, Eternals, BoE and BoP gear, Orbs, glyphs, etc.

So, instead of having about 1000g cash and probably 1500g in mats and inventory across all my characters and having to "start over", Blizzard have made me fall in love with them all over again.
I have my bankroll, I have many mats and sellable inventory, and most importantly, calmness, zen, a lack of stress. Coffee may be for closers, but stress kills. I can't concentrate when stressed and depressed, so I lose my edge.

He can fly!
I can play the game without constantly worrying about having money for Cataclysm and alts.
I can finish training up my Enchanting, drop my low tailoring and pick up Leatherworking or, more likely, Alchemy. My spouse has 450 Tailoring because she wanted the carpet and Alchemy Flask master because we were raiding at the time and "free" bonus flasks were great.
So I want to make a Transmute Alchemist, but I also want Leather, but I also want to be able to make money on skinning and mining when Cataclysm comes out, if not by outright selling mats, at least by turning skins and ore into armor kits and gems. Maybe I can get my spouse to switch to Transmute. I can afford it, now. :D

What's the Plan?
I don't know. I know what I want to have when the 'clysm hits.
Goals for Cataclysm
0 - Keep: 450 Mining, 450 JC, 450 Inscription
1 - Get (to): 450 Enchanting, 450 Alchemy(Transmute), 450 Leatherworking, 450 Skinning
2 - Drop Tailoring, as my spouse has that covered.
3 - Level DK and Druid to 78, as I think that will be the "cutoff" for Cataclysm, like 68 was for Northrend. They need to be able to gather the new zones/content.

Who's what?
My Mage will continue to be the Banker, though I'm going to need a second one, I think, if I'm going to get heavy into JC and add Enchanting and Leatherworking.
My Pally JC/Scribe is and will continue to be my main "playing" character.
My DK will keep Mining/Enchanting
My Druid can drop Tailoring but keep Skinning.
I'll also be starting a Worgen. He'll probably be Skinning & either Herbs or Mining, depending on what else is happening to tradeskills for 'clysm.

Decisions, decisions...
That leaves only one slot for Alchemy AND Leatherworking. Or rather, OR. The worgen won't be meaningful to this decision, as I want to level up and skill up before 'clysm.
So, what would you do? Take Leatherworking and hope I can get my spouse to switch masteries? Ignore Leatherworking because you have to focus, limit yourself at some point? Maybe Gevlon can do it all(or rather, chooses to), but I prefer to spend more time in random dungeons than in AH PvP, though you do have to deal with competition, no matter what, unless the competition deals with itself for you. I know I need to diversify some, as my previous business was almost entirely Inscription, and due to a lucky hit by the RNG and some slick salesmanship in the /trade channel, a big chunk of my ~30k was from a single, once-rare recipe. Rituals of the New Moon. When I first got it, noone else was selling them. I made about 8k over a couple weeks in /trade and on the AH, hawking them for anywhere between 200 and 500g. Each.

Point is, I need to diversify. I just have to decide between two valid options. End-game benefits have no bearing, as this character probably will never raid.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Many Unhappy Returns

Almost 30 thousand of them, to be a bit less vague.
That is how much gold is missing from my account upon my return to WoW and the Auction House.

Perhaps I should back up a bit and explain how that is.

Last season on AH Antics...
In August, my 10-man raid team was having trouble getting 10 signups each week. (Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a raiding blog.) Also, my possible start-time was going to get later come September, locking me out of my guild's "official" 10- and 25-mans. So I quit WoW because raiding was as important as Auction Housing for me. In fact, my Auction House Antics were merely a means to an end, not the actual enjoyment of the game. It allowed me to buy gear, mats, mounts, repairs and more for my spouse and myself. I was no Greedy Goblin, but my steadily growing bankroll, around 27k when I quit, was plenty for my needs and showed no signs of doing anything but continuing to grow. I was considering buying a motorcycle for my spouse.

Anyway, I left the game in September. Abruptly and without warning.

In December, I got a High Priority email from my former co-tank from the aforementioned raid team.
Have you been logging on? If not, someone may have hacked your WoW account. Wanted to make sure you were aware just in case.

Well, no, I had not. A quick trip to the Battle.Net site and two(2) password changes later, I had fired off an email to AND started an in-game GM ticket, ass ALL my money and banked items and Raiding gear had been "disappeared" by an account hacker. From the time my guildmates had noticed my suspicious activity to the time I had changed my password and had a ticket in (two ways), less than 3 hours had passed.

Five days later, all my stuff had been restored and I was notified by an email per character from exactly which items and how many and how much gold was restored to each character.
26957 gold to be precise.
And at least 2500 gold more in mats and items. Probably closer to 5k.

I was extremely grateful, but still not interested in coming back to WoW, yet, so I left my account alone, with a new, unguessable password, used nowhere else.

But wait! There's more!
This brings us to last week. I saw some news about Cataclysm, listened to a couple podcasts, and started feeling that urge to play again. So my spouse and I re-subbed two days ago, on Saturday. I was really looking forward to doing some instances and not having to worry about gold, since I knew I had over 25,000 gold waiting for me, as well as a knowledge of how to earn 2,000 gold per week without trying, which I'll share again later. Except...

My gold was gone!
Where could it have gone? Why isn't it there? What on earth happened? I still have the 5 emails from detailing exactly what was restored.
My guess is that it got lost in the mail. I don't recall actually logging in after getting that email to verify that my gold was there. So I think that it got Mailed to my characters, and then expired and disappeared.

I'm sure Blizzard has logs that can check this stuff. I worry that it's so old that they won't want to or be willing to dig it up. I don't know what kind of data warehouse they have set up, or how easy it is to search historical data. I do know that if they can filter it on my character names, there should be VERY few records, as I haven't played in 9 months, not counting the handful of logins in December to deal with the Account hacking.

In December, I was effusive about how well Blizzard handled my account restoration. I was ecstatic that, even though I was not actively subscribed - not counting the hacker's paying for a month on my account to reactivate it to hack it - they handled my issue quickly, politely, and with care. Well done, Blizzard. Mostly.


Well, yes. Mostly. See, I'm still out about 25,000 gold at this point. There's a handful of gold on each of my characters... maybe 3,000 total, account-wide? But that's a far cry from the 27,000 that should be there. I'll be an unbelievable Blizzard fanboy if they restore my lost gold. If they don't, I'll be disappointed, no mistake. But, by the same token, I know how to make money in WoW. I can rebuild my bankroll. It will take time and effort, but I don't have to learn how to make gold all over again. That's knowledge that doesn't disappear. Even if I didn't have a maxxed out Level 80 Scribe-Jewelcrafter and a maxxed out Level 73 DK Miner, I would still be able to make gold on the AH.

Why not farming?
The astute will have noticed that I didn't mention going farming with my level 80(paladin) or 73(deathknight), either of whom are fantastically suited to it. My tankadin can AoE grind like nobody's business. Put on my BlockValue gear, find a spot with humanoids in large numbers just low enough level for me to be able to handle 10 or 15 of them at once, continuously, and many would say "Rake it in!" Bollocks, I say.

In WoW, Farming is for chumps.
I bet that'll get a rise out of a few folks. That's kind of the point. Making people think. Beyond the 3rd grade "No, you are!" retorts, any dyed-in-the-wool farmer will need to actually *think* to refute that. I used to farm by AoE grinding and is a crap way to make money. In the same time someone can grind for 3 hours, I can spend 30 minutes at the AH, cancelling auctions, collecting the cancellations, scanning the AH, and using Auctioneer's Appraiser to Batch Post a few hundred auctions. You know what I do after that? I go have actual, real, World of Warcraft fun! /gasp! No really. While the farmer is grinding, I'm seeing content I haven't seen before, I'm running instances which is even easier with the new Dungeon Finder tool, so I actually spend 2 of the remaining 2.5 hours playing the game instead of trying to find one more body to do something, anything. Add in the nifty Disenchant option to the Loot Window and now I don't even have to bother with hanging around after the run to hope the Enchanter is going to actually hand out shards.

Next time on AH Antics...
I expect to know within a week if I'll get my old gold back or not. I sincerely hope so, as I'd much rather be seeing the content in the game than playing the "I'm better at math than you are" game or the "I'm better at configuring Auctioneer than you are" game. Yes, I can play them, and be successful at them.

But I'd rather play the other game. The one I originally bought. With monsters and bosses and elves and orcs and my once-derided Tankadin wading into the fray. Things are good in WoW right now, why would I want to spend this time staring at spreadsheets?

So, here's what you can expect from AH Antics in the future.
Yes, I'm back to posting, and back to my old Antics, but there's gonna be some changes around here.

First, I don't play WoW so that I can play the AH. I play the AH so that I can play WoW. (Hey, look, a tagline!)
I'll be writing here from that angle. There's lots of blogs aiming for the gold-cap or trying to corner a market or making the whole game about starting with (almost) nothing and documenting their rise to tycoondom. That's not my niche. I'm not playing Auction House Tycoon. Everything I do at the AH is to support my and my spouse's game time and playstyle. I need gold for the following things: repairs(lots of repairs), mounts, training, flask mats and other raiding/instancing supplies, BoE BiS gear, and shinies, preciouses, and fun things. Think of it as Auction House Eye for the Casual Guy. Feel free to steal that for a blog name.

Second, I may talk about raiding and intancing. That's the part of WoW that's important to me. However, the main focus here will still be Antics at the Auction House.

Last, it's good to be back. It will be better if I don't have to start over, but even if I do, there's some good writing in there. I've already restarted my glyph biz, already made close to 1k gold between Saturday night and Monday morning, just from leftovers from when I left and a couple of new purchasable glyph recipes. Either way, I'll keep on writing as long as it's fun. And we'll see what Cataclysm brings.

The goblin in me is already drooling at the thought of all those Goblins and Worgen alts.
That's a lot of demand for more glyphs.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is This Blog Dead?

The question was in a comment on my last (ooooold) post.
I'm simply reposting my reply here for those that are interested but might not check comments.
Short answer, no, not dead, just sleeping. If it wasn't nailed to the swing, it'd muscle right up to the bars and VOOM!
Not dead, just fallen on my priority list of things to do, right behind Find a Job, Raise my Kid, Spend Time with my Wife, and Actually Play WoW. There will be more, I promise. Right now, it's pretty boring on the money front. Collect Mail(sales and fails) Scan AH Post Glyphs (batch post) Rescan AH Buyout all Adder's Tongue below 19g and send to Main. Make Ink Craft any glyph with Undercut above 10g(10-20 ea) Send Glyphs and Snowfall Ink to banker Rescan, Repost I only craft new glyphs about once a week, maybe every other week, when I notice sales slipping due to reduced inventory. I only really "play" on Raid Night, once night a week, other times, I'm just checking AH for sales and relists. Otherwise, Real Life calls.
Alright, it wouldn't VOOM! if you put 10,000 volts through it, but it's not really dead, just resting. Sorry for any disappointment, but there'll be more. Eventually. ;-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mount Changes = Money Making Opportunity

Mount Changes coming in the next patch -
  • 60% mount - available at 20
  • 100% mount - available at 40
  • flying mount - available at 60
Remember all the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Riding Crop got nerfed?
Well, now there may be a reason for people to buy them, which will also mean there may be a reason to craft and sell them again.

Riding Crop may be making a comeback.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Cost to Make Glyphs Is Less Than Zero

That's right. Less than zero. The economy on my server is paying me to make glyphs in a way you wouldn't normally imagine. Look at the chatlog in that image.

See what I'm getting at? That's right. One Snowfall Ink selling for more than 21g! I generally try to pay 18g per stack of Adder's tongue, but will only very rarely go over 20g. Each stack of Adder's Tongue averages one Snowfall Ink or two Icy Pigment - which, by the way, are selling for 11 - 12g. Each!

What does it mean?
It means, my dear reader, that every glyph I craft is 100% pure profit.

Every. Single. One.
No matter how low I price it.

I'm still reeling from this. I was calculating my costs based on approximately 18g per stack of Adder's Tongue = 6 inks = 6 glyphs + 3g for parchment = 3.5g per glyph cost.

I was wrong. Glyphs cost me less than zero to craft.
/laugh maniacally

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crash Course In Using Auctioneer's Snatch List

This post marks a slight change in the focus of AH Antics. I will likely revisit Tabbytha, my little hordie experiment, but for now, I will be focusing on my "real" AH business.

How would you like to always buy your crafting materials well below the market price? Well, "always" is a bit strong, but I'll show you how to do so any time they're underpriced and you are in the Auction House. We'll be using the SearchUI part of Auctioneer; specifically, the Snatch Searcher.

Now, there are two ways to get to the SearchUI. You can either click on the Search tab at the bottom of the AuctionHouse/Auctioneer interface or you can right-click on the little magnifying glass at the top of the interface. We want to do the latter.

But Why?
That's a good question. I'm glad you asked, and we'll get to that in a moment.
But first, let's click on Searchers in the left menu area of the SearchUI. That will open up a list, and towards the bottom of that sub-list, you will find the Snatch item. Click that. What you see will look something like the screenshot. My list is already populated with a few items that I snarf every time they meet my price requirements.

Price requirements? What do you mean?
The whole point of the Snatch list is to allow you to easily find items you want to buy at a price you want to pay for them. For example, I have mine set to find Adder's Tongue with a price of 85 silver each, which translates to 17 gold per stack. That means any given glyph will cost me 3.33g to craft, including 50s for parchment, the most expensive parchment available.

17g for a stack of Adder's Tongue?!?
Look, I'll admit, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like, but it does happen enough to make it a good point to set my Snatch list. Normal for my server is about 20g per stack. I will likely change my searcher to 90s per herb or 18g per stack. That's still only 3.5g per glyph in mat cost.

So, what? I can do this by hand! Why use Snatch for this?

Ah, but can you buy 40 stacks of various different herbs in 40 seconds? I can.
That's the real beauty of the SearchUI. Once your Searcher has returned a list, you can Purchase All just like the Appraiser will let you Batch Post a ton of auctions.

So I can just leave my Banker on while I go to sleep and he'll buy everything for me?
No, not exactly. So I lied a little. It's not "just like" the Apraiser's Batch Post. Here's what happens.
You hit Search on your Searcher, Auctioneer zips through all the listings for all the items you have in that searcher and returns one unified list of all items that meet your price requirements.
Then you play a little game of Keyboard Twister by pressing Control + Alt + Shift then pressing the Purchase All button - which was the Purchase button before you pressed that magic key combination.
FInally, you will be presented with a rapid-fire series of confirmation pop-up boxes, ensuring you really want to buy 20 x Adder's Tongue for a really great price. Or 17 x Felweed for a really great price.

17 Felweed? But I need stacks of 5!
No, you don't. Look, I make a lot of gold on the side off of people that think like that. Don't be that guy. If you're completely unwilling to hang on to the extras until you buy another odd stack with an extra 3, then just relist those two. But I'd rather buy an odd stack for a really cheap price than limit myself to multiples of 5.

So, that's it. That's the Auction House Antics Crash Course In Using Auctioneer's Snatch List. Use it every single time you're at the Auction House. You'll be astounded at the great deals you find. Like Adder's Tongue for less than 50s each. That's 10g per STACK for the mathematically weak. And that's imba.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

And Now for Something Slightly Different

As you may have noticed, I'm having a hard time making consistent posts about my little hordie auction experiement. I just feel no motivation to play her. I've been above 50g for a couple weeks, I could easily hit 100 just by knowing how to divide by 10 and/or 3. So I'm going to start posting about my main AH character and how I'm making money with him, as well as a few tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.

Expect a real post later this weekend. Or two.