Monday, March 18, 2013

Duplication Stinks

For once I'm not talking about Blizzard's blind eye to their games.

When I wrote about my 5.2 Marketing Plan, one of the features I was installing were multiple crafters of the BS/Tailor/LW type.  This week I've gotten to 29 Tailoring patterns, 28 LW patterns, and I now know almost all of the epic patterns for LW/Tailoring.  The problem I had this week were crafters learning duplicate patterns.  I recognized this would possibly be an issue, and this last week I acknowledged I got excessively lucky the first week in not getting any duplicates, but this week I felt like I was buying baseball cards in foilpacks and getting the worst possible cards. Basically 7 new PvP patterns of each, which is what everyone else retained, which still puts me at 2 weeks ahead of everyone else but I couldn't get over the fact that my luck always runs out when I get on a streak.

If anything, I'm able to craft most everything a little easier, since I've had to bounce around different characters just to restock.  These things still sell for a decent profit, but not 1000% like they did the first week.  We're approaching saturation of the talking monkeys.

Talking monkeys tend to craft things, and then just put it up for whatever they want to make.  If something only cost them 100g to make, they post it for 110g.  Thanks to TSM, these same people just follow downward spirals in the pricing.  What the hell am I talking about?  The leatherworking CD gives a lowball price to items, and people don't adjust their addon to account for the full value of the materials required for the craft.  So they post an armor for 110g, when it really has a cost of 200g.  It would seem like a good idea to try to reset the price, but these items are not like gems.  These items will sit for a while before they sell, sometimes requiring 2-3 reposts to sell just one.  In that time, talking monkey takes my gold and starts the process all over again, sticking you with overpriced items.  High pop server problems, sigh.  It's not that bad, many items are very well priced, although the profits on most of them are not that great.  50, 100, 200g?  Items are considered too high priced and people waiting?

This is why I love leatherworking even more.  Most of the playerbase posting these 5.2 items today were incredibly lazy during 5.0 through 5.1.  They couldn't be asked to grind out the Contender gear.  1 SOH per RECIPE!?  That's criminal and bad design, I'm going to vote No!

Since the 5.2 items are playing the game of "Race to the Bottom", I've made a truckload in the previous market. After all, who the hell would want to buy crap from the previous patch?  It's outdated and we've moved on, right?

Answer:  Most people.

Are you a consumer in real life?  I'm pretty sure you are.  Ever go to a Walmart and see your favorite shampoo and then notice that they have the store brand for about half price?  If you're someone that buys the brand name, you have lots of extra money to throw away.  If you're me, you're snapping that offbrand up and probably buying two of them and congratulating yourself for saving money.  Maybe this is a bad example, I'm assuming people wash their hair here.

My point is consumers want a bargain that will satisfy their needs for the least possible outflow of cash.  Not everyone playing Warcraft is wealthy, and they tend to treat their gold like they would real life money.  Blizz has stated it before, the average amount of gold people have is incredibly low.  I was chatting with a friend of mine that came back to the game, and he told me he only had about 7k to his name.  After all his repair bills being paid, flasks paid for, foods, high end enchants, and him grinding all those dungeons with friends for years, he only has about 7k.  Another guildie after Firelands received a 20,000g severance package from me when I let her go from our raid group.  She told me "No hard feelings, I'm now rich!".  A warrior I brought in (who was really good and listened) had extreme money trouble - he was worth 3,000g after 4 years of playing.

Most people are really, really bad at making and SAVING gold.  Even with all the dailies, enhanced gold drops, and opportunities to make gold in the game, they flat out aren't going to have the spare gold to blow on your 1k bracers or 2k chest pieces.  The target market for these expensive new items are people who don't have the alts to make things, but have the gold to spend on their alts.  If everyone was extremely wealthy and carefree with their gold, then I would be selling through everything within an hour, given my server has about 22,000 90s running around on it.  People budget what they spend on their characters, and they aren't always going to choose top of the line, just good enough.

So I'm still posting everything from 5.0 leatherworking daily, and it's selling out.  Tailoring, much harder to do because the reagent cost is not as much. 

Enchanting - If you didn't know this trick, you're in the dark

I can't understand why Crystals haven't plummeted through the floor.  I haven't had the time to really sit down and analyze my market, but my gut guess is that people are still not doing math or the demand is behind the supply since people aren't aware of it.  Since Tailored items now offer several recipes that will give a cheaper Ethereal Shard, I shake my head nightly as I see them still priced well over 50g per.  Either people aren't in this market or someone's keeping pricing fixed in place, and the latter I highly doubt given the supply of them.  If anything it's made me nervous about keeping a large stockpile of Shas laying around, last time I did a 2 week supply black came up and I spent the next week running Gold-Cost-Averaging calculations.

Here goes (plug these into your spreadsheet to get your own ceiling):

Windwool Cloth - 2g per (cap)
Windwool Bolt - 10g per (cap)
1x458 Cloak/Wrists Armor - 4 Bolts, 40g cost
Disenchant the item, you now have a 40g Ethereal Shard, 20g if you get a proc.

And it goes down from there.  I use 2g because that's the extreme price on my server.  Even funnier because nobody is keeping the cloths off the AH, they keep going lower and lower.  This alone should put enormous pressure on the tailoring market, but it's not for some reason.

If you want to get in on the action, just do the basic math, make a bunch of these, and post at primetime.  It's not exactly awesome GPH or ROI, but you can cash in before the herd finds this watering hole.  Mooo.

Margin Call, Week of March 10

This week was not nearly what I would have liked to have seen, but given I'm putting in 60 hours a week at work this month (yes, exhausted, thank you) and putting my spare time into valor capping (the joke this patch for LFR, your BIS more than likely comes from the new raid rep) three different characters, it wasn't too bad.  I was hardly even paying attention to restocking things, just selling inventory, getting CDs and Tillers done, and doing some mat snatching while hanging around in queues.  Here, check this out:

Hardly any purchases, a decent amount of sales.  If only I cared right now.

And by the way dps in LFRs on Council, It kill the adds before the bosses, or else you get the hose again!  Watching Living Sands wipe the raids over and over told me it's gonna be a long, long patch.

Thanks for stopping in!

p.s. While I have other topics fleshed out in my blog queue (including a nice roast), I am still working on them.  Once this smoke clears I'll be in a better position to get them done.  Not having weekends is wearing on me.  Next time, I'm going to go over my leveling process, or possibly publish a long awaited roast.  I can't decide.


  1. Thanks for the maintenance post, we need something to read! I've been crafting the Ethereal Shards as well. Unfortunately 2g is probably the average on my server, not the high point, and the shards are going for the 55-60g range. Not terrible profits, but for the 15g extra value I might not waste my time most days. Hoping cloth goes down soon, which it should when people start getting lazy and stop doing their tailoring CDs.

  2. Good name for it - maintenance post. I have stuff in my queue but I don't like posting those things unless they are finished. I want to get a roast out but I'm so bogged down with other junk.

    For others reading this and saying the same thing (price is average or the market low), just calculate the profit on a shard. Making these items for DE is an AFK profession, just queue them up and run them through your macro.

    /cast Disenchant
    /use item:XXXXX
    (where XXXXX is the item code you get off WoWhead)

    If anything, you can also make your own supply for very cheap.

    But don't zone in on this thing, my point is, with something like this, what's supporting the price of Shas on my server? If I'm making crystals for 30g, my Shas are 150g. The prices are 200g higher however, and I'm not seeing them posted for less and I scan religiously when online. I love solving mysteries like this.

    There's one certain way for me to crater the price - just stockpile heavily. Within an hour of buying them the price support falters, and the item crashes to below mat cost, and I'm forced to offload them all at minimal profit.

  3. In my opinion sha crystal prices haven't dropped much because the demand is big enough (new raids, LFR, new PVP season) to absorb any cheaply created crystals. You can get a cheap crystals with cheap shards from tailoring, but that's 1 crystal a day. One weapon enchant requires 10.

    1. Decent point, but I have 4 enchanters and many others have multiples now. Like I said, I haven't completely analyzed this phenomenon as of yet since there's more to it than just the raw creation of them. Other factors at play:

      * 5.0 raids are slightly nerfed, also allow crossrealm raids
      * 5.2 pieces @502 and 522 pieces are readily available for upgrades replacing previous tier
      * 5.0 LFR contains DE fodder for many people and has increased drop rates (my monk went fresh 90 at patch to 480 in 2 lockouts). Additionally, one key on the island produced a dozen elder charms for my monk this week. That's a ton of possible extra shards.
      * Several 5.0 rep rewards are very low priced now, offering a decent dump as Blood Spirits decline heavily in value.
      * Galleon is available every 2 hours and not every 2+ days, giving possible DE fodder for everyone's alts

      * LFR offers a weapon upgrade over Sha Touched at the Council. Heavy demand for enchants as several are BIS. LFR is utilized by a large majority of the player population per Blizz.
      * Wrists are available at friendly with the raid rep which is easily attained with a full clear of the first wing. Plate wearers definitely have a wrist drop in the first 3 bosses (I have them).
      * These are both drains on the Sha supply of any server.

      Are we seeing demand force the prices? As an armchair economist I'd like to put more thought into it.

  4. I have three enchanters, mostly because I enjoy offering that service while in a party, and DEing quest rewards as you go seemed like a good idea at the time. I was pretty happy when enchanters got a cooldown, but I still can't cope with the demand for crystal enchants transforming enchanting mats alone.

    1. Actually, this is why I ended up with the 4 I have. Had 5, dropped one to go LW/Tailor this patch. Imagine locating 25 Ethereal Shards everyday for CDs... of course this was pre-5.2 when I had them and Shards were relatively cheaper, but it's definitely a hassle to put 140 shards away per week as it is.

      Somehow I overstocked for the last week (of this writing) and am sitting on over 600 of the Shas.


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