Friday, August 29, 2014

Battle Pets: Daily Tamer Experience

For those of you unaware, one of my favorite aspects of the game today aside from gold and GDKP raiding is pet battles.  I got into it last year and like most things I ended up documenting certain things.  Maybe this will be of use to you in case you're trying to figure out how the tamers work and why people do the quests everyday.

The reason is simple:  You get a lot of experience depending on the level of pet you are carrying.  I had a theory when I first started that the experience had some sort of diminishing return, so this led to me actually performing battles with every single variety and documenting the results.

As you can see from the chart below, the yellow highlight shows you the spot where you will earn the most experience, and it's a mirror.  This is why it is bad to use a level 3 against a 25, your best return will be a 10 or 11.

Note that the chart assumes you are wearing the safari hat.  If you aren't, then you net 10% off that amount.  If you are using the pet treats, obviously you'll account for the extra boost of 25%.  More or less I use this as a guide so I don't waste experience on pets that are too high or too low.  The difference between 25N and 25P here:  25P are Pandaria trainers, Ns are Northrend and Cata.

Additionally, I put together something for 1-25 Wild Pet battles, and since 1-19 is mostly boring for folks I'm only showing the returns you see when fighting level 20 to 25s.

Again, yellow shows the sweet spot and assumes the safari hat is worn.  Where I placed the "x" means I never got to those levels, but you get the idea.

I figure that since we're about 2.5 months out, I can share this little nugget with you in case you're looking for something to do.  I'm presently trying to get all the pets I have to 25 (or at least most of them) prior to the release.  I have 550ish pets, 170ish at 25, and the vast, vast majority are between 16 and 24 right now.  Only greens are 11-15.  I figure if I get this out of the way, I won't need to bother with my OCD for about another year.

Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

November 13th is no longer just for Wrath of the Lich King

So at midnight, November 13, 2008 I was standing in line at Wal-muerto (it's the Wal of the Dead), huddled with all my fellow geeks.  I had arrived an hour early because I knew that would guarantee me a Collector's Edition, and the ire of my guildmaster at the time who was freaking out about the dragons.  I still never understood that, he played because of dragons, of which there hadn't been one since Onyxia.  Prior to all of this, the game had been an absolute blast and was inhabited by the old school MMO/gamer community that understood "shit is s'poseda be hard" and not everyone would walk away a winner.

I bought the game, went home all excited, installed it while trolling my GM, completed the first quest, found an inn, and went to bed.  It took me a week to hit my first 80 because, well, I work and 10 levels at 3 hours a night was quite a commitment.  I don't take time off for video games, I take time off for sunny places that serve drinks with umbrellas.  Or places that have snow capped mountains and craps tables, and I bring my own drink umbrellas to those.

Now, 6 years later, we see that same number come up again.  I'm thinking it was a Freudian nod to their most successful release in the history of the franchise, Blizz loves to pay homage.

As I said in my last entry, Warcraft is all social marketing nowadays, and the people who had the access were glued to their screens watching the announcement party for the release date.  Yes, a big party for the announcement of the release date.  It was advertised in the launcher, a countdown clock was all over MMOC and other fan sites...  all to hear the announcement and watch the cinematic for the expansion of a 10 year old game.  I think that means the franchise is going to go on for a while longer.

Just a note for those concerned about the longevity - Blizzard expected maybe 1 million subscribers when Warcraft originally launched.  Don't believe it?  Check out how many original servers they had at launch.  Prior to November 2004, Blizzard was not the behemoth that World of Warcraft built.  Blizzard was known for making RTS games, and their subsidiary Blizzard North handled Diablo.  Today they have an enormous marketing budget and cash flow thanks to the little engine that took the best parts of the MMO industry and improved on them.

I'll tell you how you'll know it's dead:  When they no longer make expansions and merely deliver patch events.  See other MMOs out there for a guide.

It's still interesting.  I play because it is a giant puzzle, and I like puzzles.  I've been playing Diablo 3 like a fiend since March 25, and that's only because someone somewhere buried their foot in the ass of the development team and made it something of quality and something resembling the best franchise Blizzard has. 

What is the first thing I'm doing November 13?  Getting a good night's rest, I have work in the morning.  I still haven't bought the expansion, and I'll probably make that decision in November.

Have a fantastic Fall people!  Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wake me when it's November...

I think we'll see the next expansion drop by mid to late November, probably even first week of December (a la Cata).  They won't be releasing it prior to Blizzcon because Blizzcon is a giant advertisement, which is the 7th-8th of November.  There will be a ton of buzz and everyone will go home and tell their friends, their guildies, their little brother/sister that the game is so awesome and they should buy it.  The whole idea behind the beta invites, Blizzcon (which is not at a loss, this is advertising folks), and the fansites that have direct links (and are totally allowed to datamine against the TOS) is to sell the game.  Social media is how massive games sell, and while I'm perfectly fine with that, I'm more into being entertained.

As with all expansions since the first (TBC), I will not be participating in any betas, I won't be speculating about how to make a mint the first week, and when I buy the game I will be getting a good night's rest for work in the morning and then trying to log on when I get home from work that Tuesday the Xth, whatever month it is.  I'll no doubt be days behind the first week, but like the tortoise and the hare, the hare unsubbed the next month because he got bored.  And in the end, I'll put together my mint within the first month - once I figure out what's what of course.

Note:  I don't like doing beta because 1) It's not live, everything is still up for change 2) it spoils the story for me and I love new toys and adventures 3) there is no dessert when it goes live, you get to do everything all over again 4) I absolutely love experimenting with game mechanics when they're live, and not so much when there are loads of bugs.  I don't even mess with PTRs.

So where does this leave me?  I've done about everything I cared to do in MoP, I've got the Heroic gear on multiple characters, I've got my gold tmog on 4 of my toons, I got all the reps, I made and pissed away millions of gold, and my guild is dead still.  For some reason the AH is still buzzing, I'm guessing people still leveling alts or doing PvP in that last preparation for Orcland. 

If there's one thing you learn from expansion to expansion, it's what the keep and what to dump.  This past week, after spending all my free time slaughtering demons over in D3RoS since 3/25, I decided to finally get rid of the crap in my bags and pass it off on the good people of Illidan.  No more buying, no more snatching, no more mailboxes rotating thousands of stacks of ores/bars/cloth/herbs.  Just sell it off.  I haven't been doing squat in months anyhow, so put that banker to bed.  What I've come to the conclusion of is simple:

Dump almost everything

I am going to hold onto my Windwool Collection however.  And some items are going to be quite valuable for leveling in the future, so I wouldn't get rid of those just yet.   I'm not going to tell you what to keep however, that's the job of the hoarders who stay home all day.  Here's a short list of some of the trash I've pawned off, and how I snagged a clean 117k in gold with about 1200g in AH costs in the past week doing nothing but posting once per day, going back to Diablo, and repeating in 24 hours.

Note that all materials/items are assumed to be Mists of Pandaria, not previous content.

* All epic BOE crafted armors and weapons.  This includes all the blacksmith, leatherworking and tailoring purples that take 21/28 days each to make.  If they are BOE purples that dropped off a mob, you may want to hold onto that for leveling/twink purposes later.  Further, the PvP blues are not worth holding onto, unless you're going to engage in some weird transmog idea later (I don't bother with it) then lock and load.

* Gems.  If it comes from Kyp/GI/Trill ores, it's going to be useless.  Leveling greens and blues will not have sockets in them, and people will be going for the new gems for their epics.  You may consider holding onto metas however, as there is a small demand for those.  Personally, I'm dumping them all.  Professions are going to be streamlined, so it may not be worth holding onto anything except blue uncommon and rare gems

* Enchanting materials.  I think 'server first enchanting profession' was generally scored within 30 minutes at release.  Tell you anything?  Hypnotic Dust was incredibly high in demand throughout MoP, and stacks of it prior to MoP could be traded for magewater.  But after the Miners and JCs moved onward, the best way to make it became through embercloth, which was going for a fortune and was time consuming to farm.  This caused prices of it to skyrocket because enchanting required a lot of it and they didn't have easymode shortcuts to gain 2-5 levels off very little dust.  MoP offered this.  Hasta la vista, baby. 

Shas, well, we all know the score on these things.  Ask the Maelstrom hoarders how that worked out.  Make Dancing and Jade and be done with them.  If you need Shas, check your enchanter's bank.  I went through my 4 enchanters and DE'd everything they weren't equipping or going to be using.  I scored about 6 scrolls just from that alone.

* LW Leg and Shoulder enchants.  What better use for Mag hide and your SoH?  Or leftover junk for darkmoon cards.  I hate darkmoon cards of course, too much time involved, but I do like shoulder enchants.  I wouldn't craft the Mag hides the old fashioned way (50 leathers), just burn cooldowns because you'll probably want to keep the hides around for next expansion when people aren't skinning MoP.  (I know, I said I wasn't going to say what to keep).  Sell those damned scales, too.  If you got em, off they go.

* Herbs.  I sell these in their glyphed version.  Alchemy was so damned bad for elixirs, pots, and flasks this expansion, unless it was the time following patches.  I heard from somewhere that milling won't be happening anymore, so there's no time like the present.

* Leftover raid materials.  This is a bigger list actually.  This includes all foods, fish, veggies, elixirs/pots/flasks, Spirits of War, Haunted Spirits, etc.  I personally craft my SoW into belts.  Nobody is going to care about these items, unless you want to keep some back for leveling come Orcland.  I usually don't care about anything for leveling except maybe flasks.  Cooking is generally one of my first activities to level, and the day MoP released I got home from work and went to 600 fishing prior to leveling.  I'm not even joking.

* Anything you've crafted with Living Steel that isn't a mount or a pet.  Belt Buckles and Weapon Chains.  I had dozens of these things laying around, and I used to make 10:1 buckles to chains.

* Engineer scopes.  My engineers were always guilty of having too many SoH in their banks, and I used to love screwing hunters every Tuesday by buying out all the LBSoDs and reposting at 5 to 10 times the price I paid.  Yeah, did this, I sold them all usually, and fuck hunters.  Because they required SoH, you couldn't just turn around and craft 2 dozen of the things, so I used to love getting all my money back with a sale a two, and then reaping it in off the worst fucking people in the game!  That's right, your bullshit of whining because you couldn't have the healing mace for your stupid pet healing has stuck with me for this long.  So, suck it!  Where was I?  Oh yeah, sell the scopes before they have no more value and are replaced by the first green recipe scope in Orcland.

So that's what I'm doing.  Am I going to be dead wrong on things?  Maybe.  Who cares, it's not like I'll be poor.  But I damned sure won't be getting stuck with anything I don't want to be selling.  It's bad enough having to redo TSM groups for a new expansion again, and I relish the thought of removing most of these categories only to replace them with new ones.

For now, I'm going back to Diablo again.  The game's actually a lot of fun, and feels very similar to the way we used to do it in D2.  Of course, the original abomination was horrid, but they're under new management now and it looks like they're going the right way.  I for one am glad, because the franchise looked like they were going to be happy putting a bullet in it.

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Locked, Loaded, So Why Unsub?

First, a quick toasty and tasty roast.

I recently caught a retweet from Power Word: Beg about “Top Gold Makers to follow on Twitter 2014!”…  which I affectionately call “People who have not yet told me to go get a job”.  In the list, he listed a whopping 2 people I would definitely follow if you’re looking to score gold consistently (and not luck of the draw 10k crap).  I’ll let you decide who.  And if I chapped your ass by saying only 2 because you know who ONE of them is and you know you aren’t the other one, then please, feel free to take it up with me after class.

Besides, anything you read in public is useless information because when everyone knows, nobody wins.  It’s one reason I don’t publish “How To” guides on my own blog, I muse about thought processes because I already know what I’m doing and obviously most don’t.  For example, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll never get anything except my kneejerk reactions to things, so you have to follow me for entertainment purposes only.  Since I’m not doing this for money, I don’t care how many or who follows me.  Professionally I’ve dealt in trade secrets my entire career, even signing NDAs with every contract I enter into.  One even forced me to relocate geographically upon severance.  So if you want to know what I do, you become my friend and prove we are on equal footing and the relationship would be beneficial for both parties.  Twitter is essentially high-tech bathroom graffiti with hyperlinks.

I don’t follow the Stay-At-Home streamers, they either need to get back to school or do something more productive, and I’m busy.  I do however rely on retweets of others to let me know how these boneheads are doing because it’s just not worth the time to follow the inane banter that their pointless little lives produce while calling it their pursuit in life.  Check out Gamebreaker and see how that’s going.  Just saying, my company is hiring.  Within a few hours you could pay for that fresh 90!

So support your local bleggar – tell them to go get a job.  And on to our topic!

What’s Content?  Certainly Not What You Think It Is From The Looks of It

Blizzard went and released the pre-sale event with a ~9 month projected release date on it.  They knew what they were doing, Q1 ends in 3 weeks, and they knew there would be some fallout from it because the majority of their playerbase are whiney little entitled shitheads that are used to being handed the carrots now rather than chasing them.

Let’s further talk about how freaking stupid people act by saying there’s nothing to do between now and expansion and we have months of endless boredom ahead of us.  No, really, these are talking monkeys who should uninstall and leave my game alone – everytime these chimp brains get together Blizzard takes more shit away from me.  Back when I raided was always pushing for server pole positions and having to loot players from competing guilds, my favorite time in the game was “Me” time.

Progression is over, you have just under a year to play the game your way and do interesting things that you didn’t have time for normally.  It’s been this way for freaking 10 years, progression, break, progression, break.  Anyone who’s screaming for new content at this point needs to join the bleggars and go get a job with all that free time they now have.  Like I said, I love getting content breaks, it’s sort of like daylight savings, you get an hour of extra sleep but at the expense of losing sleep when it begins!

Given how behind the devs have seemed in Twitter and elsewhere, a summer or early fall release just never seemed to be in the cards.  I said June, but that was way back in January and prior to seeing the type of tweets we’ve all seen.  After all, Blizz has historically been about polish, and forced releases are just not going to be something they engage in.

Today is all about staying occupied while we’re in a time of relative peace.  That’s right you serial killers in training, there’s lots of content.

Interesting Things To Do Between Now and Expansion Release

1.    Join OpenRaid

I know the vast majority of players are decent people.  Some decent people are also decent players, who know how to treat their fellow players in a public raid setting.  Check out, get yourself some street cred and make some friends.  I’m on there, and I do things from time to time when I want to go for an achievement.  If you suck, or like to rage in vent or drop groups as a revenge tactic, please stay away.  Otherwise, everybody in the pool!

2.    Complete Gold Proving Grounds

Most of you are going to have to do Silver just to get into Heroic dungeon modes anyhow (thanks to Blizz for letting us know LFR is definitely trash for the first new tier).  Get gold and then see how far you get with Endless.  It’s merely a test of your ability to time cooldowns and spec for a fight.  If you cannot get Silver, it’s ok, you can always …

2b. Learn how to play

It’s a perfect time to get that dps up over 50k with i500.  You know who you are, I see you in LFR with ungemmed/unenchanted gear.  If you’re rolling Timeless Isle 496 trash, you should easily be doing 80-100k regardless of mods and with the right mods.  I ran across a 515 hunter in ToT LFR the other night.  The guy was doing 34,000 dps and whining because he wasn’t getting battle rezzes.  And we wonder why tigers eat their young?

3.    Challenge modes

Grab 4 friends, some flasks, and invisibility potions and go get the gear before it’s gone forever.  Or find a group running them for gold.  I’ll tell you this, this is one of the only Tmogs you’ll want to have.  Between my S11 Elite Paladin set and my CM Gold Challenge mode gear, I’m set.  Two sets of very exclusive pieces, and the mount isn’t half bad either (Silver).  You don’t even take durability in CMs, so there’s really no excuse – except not knowing what you’re doing.

4.    Get Beloved

I personally got this when it required 70 Exalted factions, but it now only requires 60.  You make a ton of gold running the various raids for rep, and some also give up pets now.  There are plenty of resets left between now and expansion.  If you can’t be asked to do some dailies, then there’s just no hope for you.

5.    Over 600 battle pets are available

And they need to get to 25!  If you haven’t done them by now, give them a try.  I was the original “Pokemon sucks, screw MOP” asshole, now I’m with the program.  Go visit and read some guides or see where you fall.  I’m currently working my up the Illidan ranks again, 21 spots til #1!  I love when you can keep score.

6.    Finish the Pandaria dungeon achievements

These are pretty easy, although some are annoying.  Get it done before Blizzard goes and fucks up something they’ll never fix thus removing the mount forever. It happens!  The pink dragon is a decent skin.

7.    Finish the remaining quests

I’m big on quests.  Finish Loremaster of Pandaria, it’s a decent amount of gold, rep, and toys.  You may also find out the answers to several things you’ve seen in game.  I know when I finished Dread Wastes it was an “a ha!” moment.

8.    Archeology – Seeker of Knowledge

If you have this achievement, you’ve got one of the rarest titles in the game.  It will only take you several dozen hours to get it assuming you don’t get screwed by the RNG gods, so get started now.  Besides that, you get a really nice amount of gold from the Tolvir boxes which would be the preferred box-dump.

At the very least, you will get all the BOAs offered for MoP, so when WoD hits you can start on those, too.

9.    Grind Conqueror or Justicar

Old school achievement, entirely time spent based.  Don’t suck and you’ll get it faster.  Get a group of people and dominate!

10.    Finish leveling all character slots and all classes on your server

Who needs free 90s?  Or at least have 10x90s and 1x60 for when you buy the expansion.  The 60 will receive 600 professions.  The only real reason to have a free 90 is to kickstart your WoW playing career, reroll for free, or get carried in LFRs until you get some better gear.  Profession slots are nice, but we’re not really in a boom time for those.  Besides, I think it’s more interesting to learn where the class has been instead of just seeing one level of it.

I will say I’m disappointed I’m being asked to pay an extra 10 bucks for this expansion, which offers a free 90, when I have all my server’s slots at 90.  This is more of an annoyance, like being told you are required to tip 18% for parties of 6 or more and then having a server that gives you a terrible experience.  (yes, Humperdinks, thanks for the memory)

11.    Finish all old content raids and their achievements

Hey, it’s a free mount most of the time, why not?  Gear is temporary, mounts are forever.  You will need a group for most of them.  Ulduar through Dragon Soul, and using OpenRaid makes this definitely possible regardless of your server size.

12.    Finish something that will take weeks

During Wrath it was Insane, the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, and ZG mounts before they changed them forever (also, check, check, check/check).  Today, you can go for the mount in Vale of Eternity (shard drops), which also allows you to grind exalted Golden Lotus across all toons since the shards are BOA and can be mailed to one character.  Grind the remaining achievements that require you to get exalted with competing factions (Sholozar Basin, Shattrath) and be the envy of achievement whores everywhere.

13.    Roll the other faction on another server, or maybe on your main server

Go 1-90 as your favorite mirror faction/race.  Gnome? Go Forsaken.  Tauren? Try Night Elf. Worgen? Go Goblin.  This will award the Double Agent achievement and you get to see the storyline from another perspective.  I did this back in TBC and I was shocked at how awesome the Horde was.  Today I’m almost entirely Horde. That’s right, fuck the Alliance.

14.    Do something bizarre, crazy, and probably against the TOS

For me, it’s always rolling over to the Goldshire Inn on Moon Guard.  Nekkid neckbeards all over the place all looking for the hookup and to act crazy and like deviates.  It’s entertaining for me, but for some people I’m sure this will be memories that last a lifetime.

15.    Play for the sake of playing

It’s not all about getting the best gear out of carrymode raid instances and then demanding more “content”.  This game is an endless carrot chase, with different modeled bosses doing the same thing – dropping loot.  Take it from someone that remembers the reaction to Hellfire Peninsula when it was 10 minutes after midnight on release.  Your epics become worthless in the next expansion and frankly, that LFR gear is garbage anyhow when within a month of WoD’s release you’ll probably have access to Heroic SoO versions for your xmogging pleasure.  Get away from the Auction House for a few hours, go make some new friends, do someone a solid and run them though some dungeons.

There’s a truckload of things to do, and if you can’t find something, then you aren’t really trying.  If you must unsub, then do it and leave the rest of us alone.

I await the first “That’s All Boring” reply.  Fine, if you’ve gone as far as you can this expansion to your satisfaction, then take a break.  Maybe join a gym and get rid of the Panda-Paunch, fatty.  Can’t be asked to go outside?  Fine, pick a different game for a little while.  But do not sit and demand more content because you’re bored, entitled, or have higher than hell expectations from a 10 year old game that’s had this same track record of lulls since the end of Classic.

This remains an MMO-RPG.  MMO doesn’t stand for Money Making Online (yes, you, the AH Junkies) and RPG has always stood for character progression.  While they’ve removed a lot of the aspect of progression with keeping everyone at current content by fiat (and losers calling it Quality of Life improvements…  really…), the majority of the remaining content requires your attendance and attention.  While we’re experiencing an RPG within a video game format, there’s still a world outside of stupid raids.  If you aren’t entertained, then check out.  Again, for the third time, stop acting like degenerate addicts by demanding new content from a manufacturer that historically doesn’t respond well to customer demands and threatening them with withholding your wallet.  They’ll let you in on the next adventure when they’re good and flippin’ ready.

Oh yeah, I’m probably going to go play some Rift again!

Thanks for stopping in!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sky is Falling!

People always forget from expansion to expansion that there are some things people will always need, so they assume that things like enchanting materials, ores, herbs, cloth, and even leathers are not needed any longer.  Here's a short list of crap you do not really need moving into another expansion, unless you are going for extreme niches:

Rare cut gems, and rare uncut gems unless they are used in engineering
Non-PvE Meta gems
Most specialty leathers (scales, mag hides)
Enchanting Epic crystals and rare quality shards
Uncommon quality inscription inks
Enchanting scrolls, with the exception of weapons
Cooking materials*
Feasts of all types
Flasks, elixirs and potions
Any and all raid drop crafting materials (Spirits)
* With the exception of carrots, scallions and other pre-575 cooking materials

It never fails that crap on this list tends to just drop in either value or demand, so don't get stuck holding them.

Things you want to horde between now and release, something I call safe bets:

Ghost Iron Ore/Bars
Trillium Ore/Bars
Windwool Cloth/Bolts
Rare 415 JC trash rings
ALL non-bound glyph recipes
Uncommon Quality Blue gems (Lapis, ok?)
Surplus dusts/essences - if your prices look like crap like ours here
Underpriced exotic leather - wait on the dump

There are a few other things I'd be careful of, as we progress into Beta and see drops and changes, but that's my list and I'm sticking with it.

Thanks for stopping in!

Friday, January 31, 2014

1 + 1 = Chair, 90s for all, and Why Nothing Else Matters

Time for a rant and nothing too educational today.

I intend to use my free 90 when they open up more character slots per realm.  Why?  Because I already have the 11x90s on my main server (and 9 others scattered all over the place between 2 accounts) and I had the vast majority of them before the nerfs to XP.  I got cheated, so as reparations I would like about 48 hours time back and $20 off my purchase price for Warlords of Orcland.

That's right, I am not calling it Draenor because space-berries suck, and if you bothered to read the quest text while leveling in Outland you would understand that the entire mess was their fault.  Not only that, I'm a Horde player, and this expansion is dedicated to even more Horde shenanigans just like the last one.  I'm a rather unbiased person, but this time I really look forward to whipping Draenai asses and not having the Naru around to save their puke blue skin.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, if you don't have at least an account with your main realm filled with at least all high level characters, then you're the target audience and cannot be trusted.  But don't worry, the store's got you covered.  With this new experimental service, you just click a button, insert credit card, fill that server up with 90s.  And I'm pretty sure it will make it out of experimental stage faster than the Armory made it out of beta, because people like stuffing holes with money.

There, I feel better.

You know what?  All cool with me.  I personally find it relaxing to take a character through all the familiar zones.  I personally have loved this game for nearly 8 years now.  I enjoy the nostalgia of running the revised questline, and remembering what used to be required, and how I can't believe I go 1-60 in a few hours, when it used to take about 2 weeks played.  I play the game to be entertained, whether it be by leveling, PvP, raids, working the auction house, arranging extravagant business propositions only for the rich and infamous of Azeroth, or finding new ways to do things better.

Love the game, hate the players...  That's my philosophy

Leveling for most everyone else sucks.  You started in this game a few years ago when they introduced BOAs.  You have short attention spans and can't be tasked with spending a few days leveling the character from 1-90 because it's not entertainment, it's about the end-game and being better than your friends, right?  Hurry and get those characters to 90 so they can begin buying their shit from me!  And this is one of the only reasons I like the players.

Once you hit 90, you work for me.  (Insert the sound of chains and shackles ramming home)  Get your ass out there and get new epics, or try to start PvPing.  I encourage you to do LFR until your brains fall out.  Go level a profession, I have a wide assortment of available materials, all overpriced to you for my pleasure.  Don't forget to do your dailies, I mean without them you wouldn't have the currency to be allowed to interact with me, I won't allow it!  Then stand around in Org, or where ever your kind hangs out, and show off them epics.  So why the hell WOULDN'T I like hearing people are going to be buying more of my stuff?  We're going to have a bigger market because there will be more alts to gear!  Gold just falls out of the sky.

In fairness, this service is a service whose time has come.  No more wishing you had a Warrior because they're so OP and it would take a few days to get there, now it's only a minute away!  They should offer gear that gets people into the previous raid tier of content.  A package deal, yours for only $199.  Which reminds me I would like to see 90s start at about $49.  If the RMAH from D3 taught us anything, people are willing to pay $250 for pixels, so it is my hope that Blizzard was taking notes.  You get it all, gear, bags, epic flying, and 1,000 gold to give to me upon login!  The Great Start package!  Of course, no boosts to professions, otherwise you're encroaching on my territory.

Blizzard Partners With Twitch ...  for streamer of the year...?

I'm such a sucker for streamers.  I was reading a news article recently about someone that makes several thousand a week, and all they have to do is take off their clothes for random people online!  Take THAT stupid low paying corporate jobs!  And why was I born a pointer and not a setter?

Something that drives me nuts about the human condition is we are a voyeuristic animal.  We love to watch. We like to watch sports, actors play out a story, car crashes, people eating dinner, the next door neighbor, etc.  Adult films aren't a multi billion dollar industry for their plot lines, folks.  The internet feeds this.  Apparently, we like to watch people play video games, too.

Make sure you vote for the candidates, because without your support more people won't quit their lives in hopes of becoming a top ranked streamer because in order to even be nominated in this thing it sounds like you had to work it like a job.  Video games are a pretty ruthless business.

I'm having a change of heart on this topic. If you're entertained, by all means watch it. I'm waiting for live gladiatorial streams of combat to the death from remote parts of the world where it's not outlawed and they cover bets with Paypal before I subscribe to anything, however.  My tastes are refined and very discriminating.  And if someone knows where I can find this, please send me a message. I kid, but this is the next evolution!

I must admit I like Profitz' stream.  Probably because he's got that awesome Connecticut Italian accent that I can listen to for hours.  And he speaks like it's a smooth jazz station. Ultimately, I fear he could possibly reach through the internet and strangle me with a piano wire and bury me under his house, so I'm too scared not to watch.  Have you seen his prison tats?  Now if he would just bust out with some wrestling for the home audience from time to time.  Showering with Profitz does have a lot of potential for some viewers, too.  That segment should go into full production.  Just my opinion!  Do him a favor and "follow" him, he likes stalkers and has a lot of gold waiting to be given out.  He also entertains for tips!

The Great Auction House Run Up to Warlords

I've been spending my gold as fast as I make it anymore.  If you want to feel more broke, get yourself into GDKP.  The markets over here are pretty solid, and here's what I'm making:

Royal Satchels
Illusionary Bags
Enchanting Dusts and Essences
Belt Buckles
Weapon Enchants
Old School Enchants
502 Blacksmith Weapons
Sky Golems
All PvP Armors
553 Epics
More 90s

Between all this is an amazing income for this time in an expansion. My revenue is averaging 22.6k a day with very little maintenance, with weekends coughing up twice the average normally.  Costs are minimal because the mats are cheap and I come by them over the course of playing.  I'm also selling lots of garbage I find while leveling other characters.  My dream is to finally achieve the 10 million liquid milestone, but my habits often keep me from ever getting there.  Keep the hamster on the wheel.

Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why grind it if you won't spend it?

One of the interesting things about 5.4 is that the brakes were sort of hit when it came to just making truckloads of gold on a daily basis off the staple markets.  That is if it's me and my overpopulated server where everyone is doing the basic markets.  I know lots of you are still getting great numbers on gems and enchants, which are staple products for most AH farms.  I have characters on other servers, and yes, 200g for a gem makes my mouth water.  Amusingly, my staple products (non-gems, non-enchants, non-glyphs) are still selling quite well.  But reality is, the more populated your server the more downward pressure there is on pricing of most everything. 

This is not an unusual phenomenon, since in the real world, whenever there is a free market that is also free of price fixing (cartels conspiring to keep prices at an artificial level), you will always see a race to the bottom as people try to make their products as cheap as possible.  Eventually, the raw material suppliers determine the price of goods as VARs (Value Added Resellers) take a smaller and smaller cut off the top.  This is where certain traders I know take over the entire AH's supply, making the AH their personal guild bank because the money is better in volume than in one time sales.

Are you unfamiliar with who you are in this situation?  If you're buying ores/herbs/cloths/reagents, the seller of those products is the material supplier.  You are nothing more than a VAR.  Ultimately the only value you are adding is your time converting those products into end goods.  The more you control the channel in this situation, the better your profits will look.  You are merely trading your time to do it, so it's not free. 

I tend to command a minimum of 50% ROI on a finished product before I'll make it, and 20% for products that are a bit exceptional.  The reason is I'm a Power-VAR, I buy so much in raw materials on a daily basis that my time is best spent only working with those products that will net me the highest possible return (on the day), rather than just take the shotgun approach and make every flipping thing TSM says to make.  Again, I still use my spreadsheet over anything TSM or Auctionator says, I utilize fixed costs so I can keep from selling myself broke and running out of materials and hitting a dry streak and it enables me to do some very interesting calculations you won't find in your local addons.  For example, I hit a dry spell here on well priced cloth.  It took me a week to get back into the market because demand was higher than my supply.  I sold everything at standard margins but costs rose while mat supply was down, so I found myself not making anything in one market until I could rebuild an inventory.  Right now I'm overstocked in that same market, but you have to make hay while the sun shines so to speak.

So for all of you people who are playing on soon to be fused realms, this is the economic phenomenon you need to become familiar with.  Right now on the low/med population realms, you have people running sheer monopolies, or competing with only 1-2 people daily.  People on these realms talk about "friending" competitors.  That doesn't happen over here, I'd run out of slots in just one category.  If they fuse them right, you'll see prices drop because there's more supply, more people will be interested in farming when there's not just one guy buying all the ores, and you'll need to track the other stuff just like me.

And as they fuse servers, guess what probably will start cropping up on your otherwise dead server?  A better way to spend those millions and not at the BMAH.

I know you have millions laying around, but...

This drives me nuts, but much like the pandapeople ask "Why do we fight?" every person who grinds gold needs to ask "Why do we grind?"

It comes down to:
1) To be Scrooge McDuck/Walter White and count it up so you can leave it to your heirs who will be ungrateful and spend it for you, or to let it rot.
2) To play the meta game and play Gordon Gecko, spending it on lavish things that you want and others can only dream of having
3) Security, having enough to do what you want in the game
4) To fund the efforts of everyone else because you are the only one in the guild who has an IQ above 'talking monkey' and can push Craft Next and Post Auctions in rapid succession better than them (also making you the white knight and everyone in the guild beholden to you!)
5) Nefarious reasons
6) To buy the services of others, giving you purchasing power.

I like #2 and #6, and it's really the reason I grind.  Let's go with that.

If you're me, the idea of not spending your in-game gold is ridiculous.  I'm always on the lookout for new gold dumps.  I hit the 1 million mark at the conclusion of Wrath, and since that time have made and spent millions on both worthy and frivolous things.  I have to say that spending gold is far more fun to me (I get a bigger thrill out of spending 300k than seeing a 50k auction sell).  You see the fruits of your labor pay off.  It brings a smile to my face when I'm rolling around in something new.  Just like real life, it's nice to save money, but even more fun to have the excess to do something fun.  I could wax about how you can't take it with you, but I won't.

I have spent several weeks waiting my turn to go into a GDKP run hosted by my server's top guilds.  I know I'm normally critical of high end raiders for not hiring me as their financial adviser but I got my vindication.  I got to go in and have my way with the loot and the competition, and it was yummy.

GDKP runs, for those who have been under a rock since about Wrath, are simple:

* Top players want your gold and invite you to spend it on gear, mounts, and achievements in current or recent content while raiding with them.  The money spent goes into a pot and the pot is split at the end.  Everyone wins. *

The GDKP runs use gold as your currency.  Not loot rolls, no MS>OS bullshit, not attendance, nothing more than the coin in your pocket determines if you are entitled to that gear.  That's the fairest and most capitalistic system in the history of MMO gaming, and the Koreans were the ones who started it way back when and it took a long time to really catch on in the US servers.

They are mostly meant for gearing up alts, or retaining certain items you can't normally get like Heroic pieces or mounts.  Conversely, if you don't regularly raid or are having problems getting into an adequate guild because of gear (and don't feel like wiping on Immerseus with the (Raid With Friends) guild), this is your golden ticket.  There's nothing wrong with raiding the AH weekly and then getting the stuff you want in one night.

For someone like me, the feeling I get in runs like this is sort of akin to hitting the lottery and heading to the nearby Ferrari dealership - "Hell, I can't decide!  I'll take one of each!"  And you get all the red carpet treatment, especially from the otherwise pompous salesman who will gladly arrange to carry your wallet to the management office.

I can live out my lootwhoring fantasy because I'm richer than 99.999% of other players and gold to me is at a point of being pointless because I have so much sitting idle - and I am WILLING to spend it.  I'm a GDKP RL's dream customer.  And yes, I said it, I'm part of the 0.001%.  Now get those protesters off my lawn.  You too, cute Night Elf, I know you're really a dude.

In the past few months I've dropped a million (easy) on battle pets.  I bought some stupid mounts I didn't feel like grinding out off the BMAH (I don't even use the things... I like the Ashes that dropped for me on kill #3).  I have every TCG mount.  I now have 17x 90s all with their 310 flying and some nice gear, and I still have a warchest that will never spend itself in 10 more years of playing WoW.   I also have the capacity to replenish whatever I spend in a reset or two (maybe three, depending how bad I get).

It's mindblowing to me (see a previous post on Gold Cap and why it's full of shit) that people still think 250k or even a million is a lot of gold right now.  At this point, acquiring 100k is not too hard.  Getting to 1 million can take a little while and a friendly market, and getting to 10 million or more is merely a matter of time, patience, and being able to punch yourself in the head.  Note: I do not have the 10 million mark liquid, yes I suck, I know, I keep spending it.  But I'm saying, they throw the stuff at you.  If you do 25 dailies per day at 90, after 100 days you will have 100,000 gold.  Not even joking, there are people that do this.

I got to go last night, spend several hundred thousand, and walk out a better man for it.  It's been a while since I got to go hogwild in a GDKP run, but dammit I got up this morning feeling much better.  Sadly, not everything I wanted dropped.  Doesn't it suck?  Rich enough to buy all of Azeroth, but still not richer than the RNG gods.

GDKP Etiquette (From My Perspective)

I had a brief chat with the raid leader last night, and honestly, it appears people need a good talking to about how to act in these things.  If you're invited to attend a GDKP raid, to make it fun for the people running the show and to encourage them to continue the runs, you should always follow some basic rules.

* The run is not a free carry.  Unless you're in a top guild on your server or there to put up top 5 DPS and take a cut of the pie, your role here is to buy gear.  Not bidding or taking gear is an insult.  You won't be handed any gear that nobody wants, those become shards.

* The bankroll you state and show is on the table.  If you tell the raid leader you are bringing 250k/500k/1 million, you are expected to use it.  Further, you are expected to bid it.  Don't say "I am looking to spend 500k" and then bid 5k and stop.  That's just being a jerk. When you want something, man up and put up a bid.  Knock the others in the teeth with big, fat increments.  Own that gear.  Show off when it comes to bidding, the raid leaders will appreciate that and want you to come back again because they aren't here for their health, they're here for their wealth and they are watching you.

Example of how to bid (sorry, screenshots would be awesome here but meh):

Raid Leader:  [Piece of the Awesome Awesomeness], 10k minimum, this is BIS!
Raider 1:  10k
Raider 2: 11k
Raider 3: 13k!
Raider 4: 16k
Me:  50k
Raider 4:  Fuck, not getting that one I guess.
Raider 5: 51k
Me: 65k
Raider 5: Pass

Bam, just landed a BIS for 65k.  Did I overpay?  Hardly.  It's worth every copper to me because I don't care about gold.  A night's worth of AH sales gets me something that could take weeks of raiding and a possible spot in a regular run with a guild.  For sure, they may be getting you to bid more, but who cares?  If you have the problem where you might run out of money because someone bids you up, you don't really belong at that table in the first place, right?  Further, you could always stick them with it. 

* Realize that gold is just pixelated money.  It's not REAL.  To paraphrase Warren Beatty from Bugsy, "Who cares?  It's only dirty pixels, I'll make more".  Like professional gamblers, have a healthy disrespect for the value of gold.  If you're someone who says "that's too much gold", you're not doing this right and GDKP may not be up your alley.  Be known as the guy with too much gold and a psycho bidding style, you'll get invited back to get everything you want.  Remember, it's just a game, not like you have to go home with these people.

* If you can't afford to blow your gold like a champion, then you're in trouble.  Sure, you can make it like a champion, but can you spend it like one, too?  I take a percentage of my wealth to these things, and if you're bringing your entire net worth, you're playing scared.  It's very much like poker, and you have every right to buy the pot and bully the weak.  Trash bids are for wimps.  Who do you think the raid leaders cheer more?  Some coward that pulls back after 20k or the guy who opens everything they want at 50k?

* Play your class optimally or as optimally as you can.  Don't play like you just picked up the game and haven't read anything.  See "Not a Carry" above.  Don't make them kick you or cut your share for being a hindrance.  Being at least competitive with DPS is good, being consistently at the bottom with 80k is bad.

* If you are unfamiliar with a strat they are using or need to know your duties, ask.  Don't cause unnecessary wipes because repair bills for the leaders are not why they are there.  Have a good idea of the fight mechanics before going.

* Have Ventrillo or Mumble installed and join the server and channel you are asked to join.  Don't be that shy asshole who "wasn't in vent".  Along those lines, keep communication clear and concise.  Don't troll or spam vent.  Be respectful of the raid, these are people trying to provide a service, not babysit.

* Tears for losing gear are not appreciated by anyone.  Proclaiming that others are taking your gear is something best left for a PUG Master Looter MS>OS run.  Spamming winning bidders is also not a good idea unless it's a simple "grats".  I know if you piss me off in a run, you will never get another piece we both want.  You know the consolation prize waiting for these people?  "Sorry you aren't rich, bid more".

* Make certain that if you are on a wait list, that you follow up with the raid leaders.  Ask why you are sat.  Is it gold?  Experience level?  Class?  Role?  Are they gearing their alts so they can do more runs?  Update them with how much you are bringing and when you get your shot, hit the gas and leave a trail of fire in your wake.

* Do your best to get invited back or to better runs.  How do you do this?  Play well, bid well, take home gear.

Tip for the week-
"Gear is temporary, gold is forever if you know what you're doing, and pride is not just for Shas."

I hope to see you again sooner rather than later, things are rather busy around these parts between work and new content.  Hopefully we can discuss Blizzcon and what it means sometime, I have lots of things I saw there that I hated and liked, and we need to hammer them out before they patch this thing and release Warlords.

Thanks for stopping in!

- Zerohour