Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recognizing a bad trade and knowing what to do with it.

I had been reading this comprehensive post over at wowenomics that talked about the bad trades people make and how to recover from it. I found it a very educational read and I intend to share my own perspective also, but I shall do it here within my comfort zone :D

The article talks about identifying your mistakes and picking yourself up instead of moping over it. I find this a very refreshing change from all the other blogs out there, as while everyone had been talking about their successes, few had down an in-depth analysis of their failures.

While Jederus has outlined his solutions into 7 key categories, I would like to focus more on the types of mistakes that one can make, which makes it easier to decide what solution to focus on.

1) Risky Ventures/ Testing of waters
This is something we must all take part in, and that is to explore new opportunities and new markets. Sometimes we succeed brilliantly, sometimes we fail terribly.
When we do fail, what we must do is to employ the strategy of loss minimisation.
For example, in 3.1 what I did was to take a gamble on armbands on the construct.

I purchased it at 1600 gold, intending to sell it at a 25% markup, around the market price I suspected it would hover for a few weeks. Unfortunately, I underestimated the number of people rushing headlong into Ulduar 10 and have subsequently flooded the market, rendering me unable to sell it. The market price now hovers in the few hundreds.
What I did in the end, was to pass it to a Holy Paladin friend of mine, as he would actually benefit from this wrist slot upgrade. While it was undeniably a loss, my main goal was to minimise it as there was no way to recoup the gold used.

It would also be what Jederus calls donate!

2) External Changes/ Shock
Sometimes, a mistake or something fundamental changes about the market you're moving in, sometimes that change is not your fault.
Very often, blizzard will make stealth nerfs and hotfix or undocumented patch changes. Sometimes, it totally screws up a cash cow of yours.
It happened to me in the form of Kibler bits

I had purchased a few stacks of buzzard meat before, and sold them nicely to Hunters and Demonology warlocks as they were easy to make and were the same as the mammoth treats that cost northern spices. I could buy each stack at 1 or 2 g and sell it to those damage dealers for 20g.
In 3.1, it got nerfed from 30 str, stam to 20 str, stam, and I had to subsequently lower my price in the AH. I have been "bleeding them back into the market", and once I finish my stock, I will no longer sell them as it has dropped below my minimum gold per active action ratio.

3) Miscalculation
It happens to the best of us, some joker sold a gray at 100 gold and you accidentally purchased it. Or perhaps you sold a stormjewel at 60 gold. Its those things that make you want to kick yourself in the foot.
The best thing to do now is to suck the loss up and unwind the trade, following which you diversify back into other industries. In a sense, you will spread the overheads (cost of this miscalculation) and thin it out over your other markets to attain economies of scale.

4) Entering a contested market.
I've faced this in the Jewelcrafting market, as people come in and go, and random people sell gems at a loss. Its the bane of a lot of small time operators, as they seriously do not have the time to deal with the big players, or a person who comes to ruin the party.
In this case, I will sometimes practice strategic domination. Often, I'll wait till nightfall, or some lull in sellers, buy out some sellers, and relist my items. This involves both holding the item and waiting for the write time, as well as knowing when to enforce a sudden monopoly.

And with that, I should have covered the mistakes that can often happen while dabbling in trading. Do let me know if you've found it helpful!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A summary and shoutouts

This has been long overdue, but its time to give shoutouts to the people who have featured this blog!
Where I am now a guest poster, the most recent was about gem recovery, and my first was about spidersilk boots
Recently, they found value in my stormjewel item guide and featured it in their weekly blog post roll.

Markco's Blog
About a month back, when everyone was still in a tizzy over 3.1, he featured my post on eov bracers which you can read over here

Big Bear butt
For directing his visitors to a humor list I wrote for Noblegarden week

If you're new to the site, or have only been here recently, you might want to look out on the things you might have missed out on!

One of the more popular articles amongst guilds has been my short series on Flame Leviathan, if you are intending to do hard modes anytime soon you might want to check it out.
an update on flame leviathan information, as well as a theorized hard mode tower to rewards list
the first flame leviathan article

Another recent one is the hateful and deadly pvp gear that you can now buy with honor in 3.1

If you're an enchanter for your guild, you might also want to check out the cloak enchants for resistance that you can obtain in icecrown for use in guild progression against the elemental damage that some bosses throw out

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Item Feature: Gems; Stormjewels wide and varied

The assessments in this posts have become slightly dated with the introduction of the patch3.2 notes, for the latest updates, you might want to check here for epic gems in 3.2 titanium ores

If you're a hardcore raider, you would have probably heard of these.
And then subsequently gasped at the Auction House prices.

They go anywhere from 400 gold on some servers to 3000.
Generally, I find them hovering about 1000, with occasional fluctuations.

Here are the three gems you will be most interested in:
Runed, Bold, Delicate

And the next 3 runner ups:
Rigid, Brilliant, Solid

For those unaware, these are the best gems in their genre in the game at the moment. In general, they have an extra +4 stat.

I would hypothesize that these are unique-equipped version of 3.3 Icecrown epic gems, none of which you'll be seeing anytime soon!

You can only equip a single stormjewel in your gear at any one time.

This makes people more willing to spend the 4 digit sum, on a best in slot socketed item. In addition to the difficulty in obtaining them, they have a 6% chance of dropping from the ultra rare titanium lockbox, and a 0.2% chance of dropping from a bag of fishing treasures.

You won't be seeing more than a few of the stormjewels on the auction house at any one time.

Here's how to play the Auction House with these.
Time investment: 5 minutes scans over 7 days
Initial Capital: Quite hefty, anywhere from a few hundred gold to a few thousand
Risk: Scalable, go for higher margins if you're risk averse

Let Auctioneer run for a few days to get a rough gauge for the stormjewels. I recommend you stick with the safe gems, Runed, Bold or Delicate, as demand is always there for those gems...

Mainly from dedicated dpsers looking to squeeze every drop of damage output.

Just keep an eye out for those gems, and buy them if they drop about 200 gold or 35% away from the median price, whichever margin is greater to be safe.

For me, whenever I see a gem listed at 300 gold less than the next one available, I'll just buy it out and re-list it. Usually it sells in a few hours right after I re-list it.

My best mark so far has been to buy a Runed Stormjewel for 300 gold and sell it for 1600 gold 3 days later.

And before you ask, no, I think prices will still stay high for this period of time. There are many factors for these, but 0.2% loot rate is really very small for a daily quest.

If you happen to loot an epic gem from your fishing bag, I would recommend that you sell it whenever you can get a good price however. (Unless you just got a ilvl 239 epic that you can socket)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cactus, Volume 2

Leap of Faith: +15 dodge

Following the grim phone call, I was thereafter informed by my friend that her laptop was still under 24 hours on site repair service.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I hurried off to make another phone call

Amazingly, I managed to secure a living person on the other side of the line!

Yep, no computer operator

To top it off, a repairman will be dispatched off to my house the next day.

It took a bit of trouble, but I was able to convince the repairman that I was actually, my friend.

Repairman: Did you just move house? The address is different from our records.

Me: Um, no, just taking a break over at my friends house, my house is undergoing renovations

Repairman: I see, and your friend doesn't happen to be at home...

Me: Could we get on with repairing the laptop?

It was then that I was introduced to their method of performing maintenance on damaged devices. After fiddling with the laptop for a while, he concluded that the motherboard must have somehow exploded and that he would conduct repairs on the spot.

By repairs, he meant replacing the whole laptop.

By replacing, he meant taking the hard drive out from the old spoiled laptop into an entirely new laptop, of which the empty hard drive he would now replace with the old laptop's hard drive.

Old hard drive into new laptop, remaining parts sent back to his company.


That was probably the most incredible IT repair job I've ever seen.

Its like finding a burst tyre wheel in your car, and having the insurance company buy you a brand new car.

Its like finding a rotten apple in a fridge, and waking up the next day to see an entirely new fridge.

Just wow, I mean, its normal if you see a fly in you soup, and get a new soup or some other appetizer in replacement.

But a whole new laptop?
I'm buying their goods, and slapping a very long repair service bundle on it.

Hey I think there's an ant in my laptop.
No problem ma'am, here's a new one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cactus, Volume 1

There is a saying that cacti are the most low maintenance plant you could ever get. It doesn't need watering, you can just put it in a pot and leave it there and it just lives, without any leaves. Or actually it does, but you already knew that. To have it die, you practically have to kill it by cutting it apart and drinking its life fluids. And even then it regrows.

Like wolverine! The movie one, with claws.

Actually, I watched the movie for Gambit, all 2 minutes of the accumulated screen time he had.

120 seconds...

I digress,
Back to cacti

My point is that, they're effectively unkillable(yeah I made that word up), and yet
All of us, you, me, have at least a friend.
The friend, who manages to kill every single pet or plant under their care.
cat? check
goldfish? check
cactus? check

Well, recently, it has come to my attention that I am just like that with computers

I've mentioned before that I had been posting on a borrowed laptop.

"Was", being the operative word

That I was mortified was an understatement
Grimacing, I placed a call to my friend

Sherry(me): I have good news and bad news
Friend: That sounds ominous, I think I'll take the good news first
Sherry: The good news is, there is only one bad news
Friend: ... (trepidation)
Sherry: As for the bad news, I just blew your laptop up

Somehow, it spontaneously combusted

It wasn't my fault!!!

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Purchasing with honor in 3.1, an illustrated pvp gear guide list

I've not seen any proper listings or tables on the net yet that places everything in one place, so I hope this will be helpful to you:

The following will show you the items you can purchase with honor in 3.1, and also their prices!

As you can see the old savage class-specific sets have been replaced by shiny hatefuls. Take note that those prices are with pure honor, and you can actually purchase discounted versions if you happen to have arena points. In those cases, please refer to your arena vendor.

The total cost of the set above,
would be 2 x 31600 + 3 x 49600
which will be 212, 000 Honor points
which is about 3 x honor cap

Thus, if you're gunning for the set pieces without arena points, it might take a while!
Especially with the new wintergrasp quest changes.

Personally, I think you could try replacing a hateful chest that is ilvl 200 with a wintergrasp vendor chest that is ilvl 213, and just grab the other 4 hatefuls for the set bonus.

Let's move on to the non set piece items:

In 3.1, we can see that blizzard has given the honor vendors plenty of upgrades, no more of the blue savage gladiator gear now. What you see are hateful and deadly purples!

Instead of only hateful gear, you can now buy deadly pvp gear with no rating.

For most people, you'll probably be better off using the wintergrasp trinkets over the medallion, although some might find the battlemaster useful. The medallion has underwent a steep discount however, if I recall correctly it used to be 49600. Most people will want to pick up the full set of deadly gladiator Wrist, Belts and Boots, Back and Ring.

Hey, thats almost everything.
Well, assuming you don't go for the trinkets, here's how much things will cost:

38,000 x 3
49,600 x 2
31,600 x 1
to a total of 244, 800 Honor

All in all, if you totally buy everything and everything from the pure honor vendors alone, you would be spending and farming giant piles of honor and spending them at the same time due to honor cap!

To buy all honor pieces, you would need 212000 honor points for set pieces and then 244800 honor for accessories for a total of 456800 honor points.

Well, that's going to take a while...
All the best in honor farming and pvp pursuits!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Passing Guild Leadership

Well, this past few weeks, my guild has been making modest progress under new leadership. I have only recently officially handed it off an officer to manage, and as far as I have had heard, things are going well.

This had brought a burden off my back, and I've found using modern tools like Msn messenger (or whichever messenger is used), Skype, and Ventrilo, to be immensely useful in the decision making process.

As a result, I will take a break from spearheading progression, although I will not be completely absent from all runs. And this way, I get a peaceful lull to spend more time on this site.

I'm still using an interim com borrowed from a friend at the moment, so 25 man raiding is a bit too much of a lagfest, but 10 mans are okay, and of course the friendly auction house beckons. I would think that gold-making is probably one of the best aspects of wow that you can do on a graphics card challenged computer!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Twink Feature: Forest Leather Bracers

While you're here, you might also want to check out the lvl 29 bracket bracer if you came looking for twink item and profits

While I'm still waiting for news of my computer, I've put a lot of thought into my item feature series, and I'm going to be trying out a new style today.

I intend for today's post to be something that can be read in a minute or two, and then digested over a longer period later.

Here we go!

Forest Leather Bracers
are the best bracers in the lvl 10-19 bracket for any class that can use agility.

Wrangler's wristbands of the monkey
are its only competition, but its off by quite a mile, losing 2-3 agility for 3 stamina

Expected Purchase Price: 1-15 gold
Expected Sell Price: 95-115 gold

Time investment: 5 minutes over 7 days
Expected yield per week: 291 gold approximately

Level requirement: any toon that can walk to the auction house

Gold minimum:
If you're lucky you can buy the bracers off the AH at 1 gold,
and re-listing it costs only 3 silvers, so the startup cost is almost nil.
i.e. anyone can do it!

What I usually do is to integrate one more search into my AH-search list to include forest leather bracers, and basically purchase it once I see it.

Most people are unaware of the potential value of these wrist slot items as a best in slot for lvl 19 twinks, and often price it with other greens of the same level.

I usually see about 3 of the bracers over the course of the week, and proceed to list each one (making sure there is only one at a time on the market) until they sell.

I try to push the sale as far up as possible, and normally people are more than willing to pay the extra premium to see the item up on the auction house all the time.

Give this a spin, and tell me how it works on your server :D

And feel free to give me your thoughts on this remake on the item feature series!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My com has exploded! And now I need a new com. Blast you flame leviathan!

Houston, Houston, my com has been downed! Its undergoing emergency repairs now. It, however, did not drop any phat loot, & I for one, hope it can get repaired and won't require salvaging.

The funniest thing is that it died on the shutdown phase of the leviathan, (I've been getting people to try the continuous application of pyrite barrels instead of bursting) when my computer entered a shutout of its own.

When flame leviathan, that unfriendly fire truck, was spewing out its golden rockets, my graphics card were sputtering in spasms as prismatic flares flashes across the screen.

I suppose this wipe was inevitable, its a 3-year old desktop, which makes it an antique by modern definitions. I even had a friend come and overclock the processors and graphics card a while back, just to keep the fps in raids. Now that its final spark has extinguished, I'm waiting to see what the repairman has to say, but I'm already planning for a new computer entirely.

So far I've been hearing good things about Dell PCs, especially for the higher range models. (say for gaming) My colleagues have told me that they have a 24 hour service if you sign up for it where they come to your pc at any time of the day to repair it, no questions asked. That sounds like a pretty strong argument, and the prices don't look that bad either. The only thing is the looks of the Dell PCs, which seems to pale a bit in contrast to perhaps HP. Hmm, I guess I'll have a bit of time before the reports from the repair labs come back.

In the meantime however, I'll live off a borrowed computer from my friend. That means no raiding, and I'm dreading the 7 hour installation and patching process. On the plus side however, that means I have more time to work on this site, patching the tags into the posts, and polishing up some posts with new information and ideas.

I'll probably work on the Flame Leviathan series (FIRE TRUCK)
Which I had the overall strats and loot stuff crammed too tightly into my first post. Following which I wrote a follow up to address the the more pressing issues.

I'm also thinking of refurbishing the PVP issues, and also the low level twink item gold opportunities in the coming future!

*wtb new com*

Friday, May 1, 2009

Noblegarden: Musings and Round-up

First of all, in between the end of noblegarden and the start of children's week, Gevlon is back!

Well, there's only about half a day to a day before Noblegarden will end, I hope everyone has gotten their eggs! One thing I noticed in the last few days is that all the jerks who were polluting the areas on Days 1 to 2 have mostly scooted off, after finalling getting their achievement, or had their fill of griefing other people.

Because of that, it was most heartening to see good folks abound at the starting zones! Kaliope has shared some of her memorable experiences and I figured it would be a good time to share mine too!

I would see people around making heavy use of general chat, be it offering their blossoming branches for un'goro's hard-boiled, or sharing their tuxedos and dresses so everyone could be a part of it and easily get their achievements instead of running all around the place.
Its really nice to see "/1: anyone needs a tuxedo to get their achieve? pst me" instead of people going "/1: Tard get the F out of my camp spot". None of the asshats in Big Bear Butt's post were egg hunting thse past few days.

As for the Shake your Bunny maker, I really do think its more of a playful nod then anything in particular. But like here and here. I do have some thoughts on the matter too!

It was interesting that the most sought after and wanted females weren't the blood elves, or draeneis, or humans or night elves, the ones that there were crowds and mobs spilled all over the streets in dalaran were all clustered around Orcs and Trolls Females, which I dare say you would agree are a distance from being either photogenic or a face you would want on a playboy magazine! Regardless of the motivations of the achievement author, I would say that Females from the Tauren Orcs and Troll races finally got their time in the spotlight! Or the carrot light with bunny ears.
It reminds me greatly of the Dove advertisment quite a while back about true beauty! (and photoshop...)

For those of you rushing to complete your achievement before the clock ticks over, here's also the best circuit to do the desert flowers achieve:
-> From dalaran, take caverns of time portal to Tanaris
-> mount up and ride all the way to thousand needles, once you enter the region, pop your flower and ride back to the tanaris flightmaster outside gadgetzan and fly to...
->Slithus, plant it right there, and fly to...
-> Desolace, yeah you can plant it on the docks or anywhere really
-> fly to ratchet and take the boat to booty bay
-> following which you take the flight path to badlands and get your achievement!

And for all of you who have "the noble"
I guess its time to start on children's week!
But please do give a thought also for the real children out in the real world, and hop over to Brigwyn's children's week child's play auctions and give him a hand in doing your part for charity!