Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Bit About 5.2 Professions

... and why I'm probably right.

I wanted to make this end of the week's editorial a roast, but I just can't do it when this crap is staring me in the face.  There is a lot of speculation going around as to what's the best prof-comp to have for this next patch purely because of PvP gear.  Additionally, Blacksmithing gets a revamp and it's time to dispel the BS in BSing.

What we know so far...

All 5.2 Dreadful PvP gear recipes and epic patterns are entirely discovery based*.

Blacksmith - Discoveries will be made via Thunderforge research, opened by the new daily chain and completely dependent on your server's idiots to DO THEIR DAILIES.  It's then 40 days to retain all the recipes.

Leatherworking - Discovery based again!  You will have to locate one of the two Magnificent Leather recipes that will use either 20x Prismatic Scales or 20x Exotic Leather, with the cooldown being shared.  With one leatherworker you are looking at roughly 64 days to retain all the recipes.

Tailoring - Discovery based!  This one is tied to your Imperial Silk cooldown, and will take 40 days to retain the recipes.

*Note that my counts are a quick count off MMOC's database

This is a widely anticipated introduction, but my only real question is...  why would people just now be getting into PvP gear crafting?  PvP gear was always a good seller for me, even in Wrath when the gear was a joke.  Where were you during 5.0-5.1 making Contender's?  The rabble was cleared out of that market far too quickly, and I'm on the largest AH in the US.  For almost all of 5.0-5.1 I enjoyed excellent sell-through on a daily basis.  Of course, it's boring, like a job, don't tell me to do something that takes time and effort.  I get it.

The bad news - people are going to be doing this purely to get the new epic raid patterns.  We're now not relying on bleeding edge guilds to cough up the extra recipes they don't want or need.  There's no solo farming Firelands to get each pattern to drop.  Rarity of these patterns is now gone and your ability to make them is now based on RNG and not gold.  Within the first day they will become available on your server no doubt.  It's sort of like when Inscription had a brief rollout where only one person on the server had the penguin glyph, and the guy was charging 5k for it, only to see none of them sell at that price and before long everyone was posting them at 10g per.  Regardless, people will want to learn all those epic patterns for when Haunted Spirits start appearing.

No question this will cause a short lived surge in pricing of Exotic Leathers, Mag Hides, and Windwool cloth.  Did you remember to stockpile several thousand stacks of leathers/scales at below market prices before everyone is tripping over themselves to make Mag hides?  Did you get your cloth together for a month of cheap cooldowns?  I know I did.  If you want to have some fun the first week, reset pricing on Windwool and Exotic Leather.  Just buy it all and repost it at 10-20g per.  The sheer amount wanted initially is going to tick some people off who didn't plan ahead.  Skinners will very well enjoy a windfall.

I've now got 3 LWs, 3 Tailors, and working my 2nd BS up.  Technically, I should have all the new recipes within 1/3 the time of a person with just one Tailor and LW, and half the time of someone with one BS.  

So Who Hoarded All the Ghost Iron Ore/Bars?  Show of hands, please?

Blacksmithing gets a change to level to 500 using Ghost Iron for projects.  For those following the people screaming "Buy all bars and ore!  zomgwtfbbq!!!1!one" let me crush your dreams of easy profits and wake you up to the cold reality of what taking it in the derriere feels like when you don't think things through and analyze and mindlessly listen to the Mad Money podcasts/streams/blogs telling you what to do like some zombie.  Like all things WoW, it's going to depend on your server activity.

For the past month people have been going gaga snapping up all the Ghost Iron Ore and Bars they can because they heard from someplace that leveling Blacksmithing to 500 was gonna use these and they could take advantage.  The thing they didn't hear was that it was about 9900 ores to get to 600, and that it will be used primarily for those situations where Copper, Tin, Iron, Mithril, Thorium, Fel Iron, Adamantite, Cobalt, Saronite, Obsidium, and Elementium are not widely available or decently priced.  In order for this to work, three things must happen:

1)  People have to want to level a blacksmith.  What's the motivation?  15 days of cooldowns to make 476 weapons, which people will have replaced in LFR by the time you hit 15 bars?  Transmog to TBC models that weren't that awesome?  Or are people magically going to want to get into the epic crafting market?  Meh.
2)  All of the previous ores HAVE to be higher priced than the Ghost Iron alternative.  Given the hoarding that's been going on (yes, hoarding, calling it stockpiling is an affront to the professional AH crowd everywhere) people are counting on seeing Ghost Iron at release level prices and counting on them to sell at that.
3)  It relies on people like me not to put pencil to paper and whip out my spreadsheet and do a quick analysis.

Oh wait, I just did that!  Using's basic material requirements, I threw this together...  a visual illustration of the material costs from 1-500, which is where the "catch-up" mechanism is supposed to help out.  Beyond 500 obviously requires GIO so I'm not going to worry about that.

These numbers come from my server, Wednesday February 27, about noon prices.  Bottom line here as you can see is roughly 9,270g to hit 500.  If I wanted to level a Blacksmith today (already doing it) I would spend a quarter of a day's revenue.  Pretty good deal, so why's this catchup mechanism being implemented like this?  To keep people from having to farm old world mats too easily?

Let's look at 1-500 using Clampz's nice illustration, but with the costs filled in.  Same source of pricing as above:

Buying those Ghost Iron Bars you spend 23k, and smelting them yourself you save TWO THOUSAND GOLD!  What a bargain, eh?  Rather than waste time buying out all those lesser mats, you can save yourself the trouble next week for an extra 11,902g.  This is using today's pricing, so imagine when you try to boost those prices an extra 1-2g per ore.  Do you think people will be buying GIO to level Blacksmithing at that point?  Uh oh, I think I hear the stomachs of those that hoarded GIO turning.  I hope you didn't convert those things into bars!

Oh hey, what would the price need to be right this second to where using entirely GIO throughout breaks even with old mats?  Well, let's see...

98 silver per ore.  1.96g per bar.  Anyone seen these prices on their server?  If so, consider yourselves lucky.  We touch 1.5g every so often, but that was a long time ago.  It is possible that we could reach these lows again should people lose it and there's a mass rush to get rid of the stuff to get their gold back.

This catchup mechanism is great if you're on some backwater server where lesser mats are never available, or you hit a part of the leveling process where mats are egregiously overpriced as I mentioned.  Otherwise, this cannot be sustained unless you prop the lesser mat prices up on any server in order to make GIO more attractive.  Do you think Rough, Coarse, Heavy, Solid and Dense Stone are gonna magically go up in price?  The most expensive GIO option happens to be between 300 and 500, and having leveled another BS recently I found it very cost effective to go the Fel through Elementium route since I was comparing it.  

Blacksmithing still only needs 400 for the sockets anyhow, a full 200 levels don't need leveled unless the person is looking to use it to craft current gear.  Sure there are completionists out there that will go the full stretch, but seriously, that's wishful thinking.  I deal in reality, and reality is most people will probably stop when they get the benefit and see what the crafting requirements will be for those "godly" ... new ... weapons... of ilvl 476?!?!!  It's pretty cool in a world dominated by LFR today, people have the option to purchase an item that's not 483.

But won't these people just be able to convert those items to gems and enchanting mats?  Sure, if they have a jewelcrafter.  But consider something else, we have no catchup gear.  LFR is only boosting the odds of retaining gear, and Blizzard closed the store on free gear for dungeons.  Rep gear still requires rep.  People actually stockpiled uncut gems for the patch because this is what they were told to do during Cataclysm, even though they missed the memo about MoP not having Cata catchup mechanics.  It's completely possible we'll see an absolute cratering of gems and enchant mats with all this idle GIO laying around today, so who knows? 

I do know I'm snagging all the cheap GIO I see when the markets flood, because I frankly have a use for it for the next patch.  Bars can be transmuted for certain, but will we see a flood at release?  Will people use the GIO method without looking at the costs?  Probably, there are enough idiots willing to hand money over for anything new.  I also know that if GIO and GIB sales crater, you're going to see Living Steel fall through the floor, as if it hasn't done so already.  There's no real need for it except in the new epics, which don't require a truckload.  Belt buckles will certainly be in demand but will this apply enough pressure to cause Living Steel to go up a lot in price?  Possibly, but that's a bet, and I tend to deal in sure things.


When someone tells you to buy something, or they blindly tell you that a price is going to go through the roof, do the research.  Think about it.  Put pencil to paper.  When someone tells me a price is going to go up, it's speculation until I see cold hard numbers or evidence.  What can I say?  I like to promote critical thinking, it's what keeps us at the top of the food-chain.

Thanks for stopping in!

Thought for the day - When everyone plays, nobody wins.


  1. Personally I stayed out of Contender's gear because logistics of maintaining an inventory large enough to avoid daily re-crafting just didn't fit with my other ops. Of course, remembering that now, I don't think that'll change in 5.2

    I don't think enchancement will crater in 5.2. In the 4.1->4.2 transition - the last one before Blizzard gifted us LFR, the ZA/ZG dungeons were still not to the point of easy, and still weren't much of a catch-up. In the 5.1->5.2 tranistion, we've no equivalent, but we do have a LFR that gifts a wider variety of better upgrades, albeit at a more gated pace (though anyone running ZA/ZG more than their 7x a week was pretty dedicated - that's ~30 boss kills, and should even out to roughly the same number of unique loot rolls on LFR bosses, especially considering charms).

    And the 4.1->4.2 transition was strong for enhancements. Lots of folks made good money on it, in spite of the calamatous events of the great shuffle-nerf of the cataclysm.

    GIB may see a crash - particularly on servers where folks have pre-crafted them, rather than keeping them as a malleable ore. Might see some Living Steel price drops as a result, but there is a definite gate in place to hold back a flood.

    I think that once the word gets out as to just how many GIB are needed to level, this will become a non-issue. Original estimates have fallen far short of the 9900 ore you have shown here.

    The economics will vary by server, though. I originally thought that most would be willing to pay a ~30% premium to skip multiple trips to the AH to buy all the small stuff and deal with any shortages in the economy, but when the song is about 10k, the tune changes.

    Quick note - your 3 Tailors probably won't learn everything in 1/3rd the time as someone with just 1. That's your best-case scenario. Main reason is that your random discoveries will probably overlap at some point.

    Kind of an interesting question to think about though - would probably be most easily answered with simulations.

    1. Of course it's a best case scenario, Stede. I'm up against the RNG gods here, but I've got increased odds in my favor. Ideally, within 3 weeks I've got all the recipes available. Realistically, I'll have most of the recipes in 3 weeks.

      Someone with 1 tailor/LW/BS will be at 21 recipes in 21 days, meaning they're at the halfway point for Tailoring, and 1/3 the way through for LW. I'll have the possibility of 63 different ones in that time with 3 crafters, across 6 different crafters having had a total of 126 cooldowns straight from release (and collecting my LW CD patterns). We all know I'll get duplicates in that time, but that problem won't be a problem until I've discovered the majority of them.

      I've already got the spreadsheet ready to track when they're learned. And nice discourse, thanks.

  2. Assuming there is a surge of blacksmiths being leveled, you should factor into your cost calculation of the non GIB method the fact that there might not be enough stock of the old world mats for everyone. Some people will be able to level at that old price, but some may not.

    1. I don't think there will be a surge, it's not like a daily hub where people gain rep, coins, and gold. This is outright spending a truckload of gold with the end reward being able to make a 476 weapon, buckles, and some PvP gear. The ingots are BoP (per current data), so it's not as if they will have a steady stream of income when they get there.

      Of course, for smaller servers where there are less rerolls/alts leveling mining or actively seeking lesser mats, this may be their only option when they go to level. In that situation, I pity them. Dumping 5 figures to level a profession with minimal rewards is not something most people are ready for.

  3. What an excellent post and I agree with your rational, not only because you proved a good point with the actual #s doing the analysis, but simply because SO MANY people are hyped about GIO, the market will simply crash and burn. Anyways, I look forward to 5.2 when I can buy it so cheap and use for prospecting into JC. :) Be well.

    1. Thanks Profitz, the clown is still creepy.

    2. And the empty hood isn't?

    3. If you knew your Blizzard games you could contribute. Back tot he kid's table with you!


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