Friday, 23 December 2011

Glyph Walls - are for teaching lessons

There's been some talk about glyph walls lately. As one who frequently uses glyph walls I'd like to share my views on them.

In particular I'd like to address some of the comments and assumptions made by Croda of the marketsforgold blog. Recently he made the following series of posts regarding glyph walls.

The Glyph Wall – what is it and what is its purpose?
The Glyph Wall - how to combat it

In the first post Croda says "The ultimate aim of this strategy is one of two", then goes on to say it's either to permanently reset glyph prices or it's to force others out of the market.

Actually there's at least one more reason to use glyph walls. The reason I use them. To teach obsessive campers a lesson.

In the second post Croda talks about how to fight glyph walls. He says "The aim here is to bring all glyphs where there is a Wall down to just above cost price and let the glyph wall competitor undercut me and so make losses on each sale. Eventually they will become dispirited at crafting, posting making a small loss and repeating time and time again."

Awesome! When I post glyph walls that's exactly what I want the camper to do. Waste his time, effort and materials obsessing and stressing over undercutting me for very little profit. I will find his real threshold, post just over that and let him be the one to "become dispirited".

Croda assumes the purpose of a wall is to sell glyphs and that's not necesarily true. In fact in my experience the exact opposite is usually true. Walls and especially glyph walls often aren't intended to sell at all, they're there to cap the market at very low profit margins and teach someone a lesson.

When I use glyph walls I don't use them to sell glyphs, I use them to teach obsessive glyph campers a lesson. I'll keep the wall (or walls if they try buying me out) up for as long as it takes. Months, years, it doesn't matter, it's not costing me anything to keep the wall up and as long as they keep undercutting the wall, it doesn't take much effort to keep it up either. When the camping finally stops I raise my prices until the next obsessive camper comes along.

Doing a little simple math it costs 1s to post 1 glyph for 48 hours or 1g per 100 glyphs. If I post 5 of each glyph that comes out to approximately 20g to post 5 of every glyph in the game. An insignificant amount, easily covered by selling just 1 or 2 glyphs a day. Even if no glyphs sell, which virtually never happens, losing 20g a day won't make me go broke anytime soon (it'd take over 800 years).

I guess the moral of the story is don't assume the other guy thinks the same way you do. Doing so increases the risk  your plan to combat his strategy is exactly what he wants you to do. You're doing all the work tanking the market for very little profit while he's just posting once every 2 days and laughing at you.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Epic Gems in Patch 4.3 - Queen's Garnet flooding and why prices are the way they are

It looks like there's another wave of cheap duped goods starting up now. There have been reports from several servers about being flooded by level 1 toons selling stacks and stacks of Queen's Garnet very cheaply. If it happens on your server don't be the sucker who buys the first few cheap stacks because it won't be long before they're selling even more for far less

There have also been a few mentions of cheap Essence of Destruction showing up in suspicious numbers on a few servers.

You've probably noticed some colors of epic gems sell better than the rare equivalents and others worse. Queen's Garnet (red) sell like crazy, Shadow Spinel (purple) hardly sell at all and other colors sell better than purple but nowhere near as well as red.

It's the same for specific cuts, some cuts that sell well as rare cuts hardly sell at all as epics. Everyone wants Queen's Garnet (red), the other gems don't sell nearly as well. Shadow Spinels (purple) have been hit the worst. Cuts like Veiled, Glinting and Etched hardly sell at all and prices are dropping fast. Yet those same cuts rare versions still sell quite well. It's the same with other colors and cuts too, Rigid Deepholm Iolite for example hardly sells at all, Sparkling, Solid and probably even Stormy far outsell Rigid... Yet Rigid Ocean Sapphire still sells well.

Ever wondered why?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Epic Gems - How the market is shaking out

This analysis is server specific to Antonidas (US) and may not match what's happening on your server though I do believe the epic gem market is following a similar pattern on most servers.

Prior to patch 4.3 I made some educated guesses and came up with the following:

What I expected 
I figured epic gems would start out insanely high priced (20k+ per gem for reds, 10k+ for other colors) and virtually none would sell at those prices. I also thought it would be possible to pick up the occasional far more reasonably priced gem out of trade chat, especially after someone spent a day or two *not selling his precious red gold mine at the crazy initial prices everyone would be asking.

For the short term (the first month or so) I decided 4-5k would be a good price to buy red epic gems at and 2-3k for other colors. The plan was to buy raw gems at those prices, then cut and resell them for a 1-2k profit (maybe even more for the first few of each color).

Over the middle term I figured red epic gems would go for around 4k raw and 5-6k cut. The other colors about 1.5-2k raw and 2-3k cut. I felt this would continue until several guilds have been farming most of the new bosses for a while, upgraded most of their gear, gemmed it with epic gems and began getting more epic gems than they use. It's hard to predict how long this phase will last, it could be just a month or so or it could last for several months.

For the long term I expected red epic gems would eventually drop to around 2k raw, 3k cut and other colors to 1k raw, 1.5-2k cut. This could take several months, particularly for red gems. Other colors will almost certainly drop in price sooner and possibly much sooner than red.

Of course there are other factors that could affect the market by increasing the availability of epic gems. For example the possible future addition of transmutes, prospecting, vendors or any other new source of gems could cause prices to drop further and faster.

Then the patch finally landed....

Saturday, 10 December 2011

TSM Blacklist Modification

In a prior post Dealing with obsessive campers - Part II advanced I detailed how I modifed TSM's post.lua to calculate price cuts differently to bring prices down fast and discourage camping. At the time my server was literally infested with campers and auction bots. There were so many campers at that time the best approach was an indiscriminate blanket approach that simply lowered prices quickly until the camping stopped..

Conditions are a little different now. There's far more cooperation between big auction players, fewer obsessive campers and the worst of the campers (the bot) transferred. On top of which demand is high and supply lower than in the past. I found the old approach too extreme for current conditions but there are still a few obsessive campers in certain markets. A more targeted approach is needed so I tweaked my modification to use the blacklist and only target specific campers.

Most of it still works the same as before except it only kicks in for blacklisted players.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Co-operation does work!

Lately there's been some talk around the gold blogs about co-operation. Many feel that co-operation is doomed to fail few believe it works. For the record I'd like to say it can work and very well, especially when you get enough big players involved.

On my server (Antonidas US) there's long been a couple factions that competed hard and didn't like each other very much.

The first was the "Glyph Cartel" which has been around controlling the Antonidas (US) glyph market since before my time on the server. The cartel had 16 or so members with 3 or 4 main guys. One of them was pretty much always online watching over glyphs. They pretty much ran the glyph market a couple years ago. They matched prices with whitelists and had a number of other rules regarding the undercut amount (1c), maximum number of glyphs to post at one time (3), policy and proceedure for resetting prices and so on. This worked extremely well for them until my group started competing with them.

The second was a group I put together of mostly gem sellers and a few anti-cartel scribes. We kept 2 whitelists, a general purpose one for gems, chants and just about everything else and a smaller list just for glyphs. We kept things simple with just 1 rule, whitelist the other guys and that was it. No other limits. Those of us on the glyph list thought of ourselves as the Anti-Cartel Cartel. :) This worked extremely well for us too though with 2 competing groups fighting for control of the glyph market glyphs were usually in the tank.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Epic Gem Transmutes and Day 1 of Patch 4.3

Epic Gem Transmutes
4.3 has been out for a full day now and there's still no news regarding epic gem transmutes. When the patch first came out and transmutes weren't on any vendors most of us assumed they must be raid drops but after a full day with no reports of any dropping on any server it doesn't look like that's it either.

That probably means epic gem transmutes are either:

- not intended to be available yet (IMO most likely), or
- something is broken preventing them from dropping / showing up on a vendor.

At this point I'm going to assume that epic gem transmutes while they may be in the data files are not yet obtainable in game and will not be anytime soon. Maybe in some later patch a few months down the road, maybe not until the next expansion or maybe never.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Patch 4.3 - Expectations, Random Thoughts and Ramblings

Patch 4.3 is almost upon us now. Possibly as soon as tomorrow but probably still another 1-2 weeks away yet. Tomorrow according to a just released blizzard status update.

The following is an assortment of facts we can be reasonably certain of as well as my own speculations, conclusions and expectations that I've been taking into account while preparing for patch 4.3.

Potion materials requirements are being greatly reduced. Most cataclysm potions will take just a single herb and a vial to make. Expect potion prices to drop significantly and once players get used to new low prices they should start selling in greater numbers too.

Epic gem transmutes. We don't know what the materials costs will be and we don't know how the cooldowns will work either. We don't even know for sure if they'll be in the patch though it seems very likely. Blizzard hasn't said a thing about transmutes but from what they have said about the availability of epic gems don't except an instant gold mine. Transmutes will likely be limited by both high materials costs and long and/or shared cooldowns.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Addons and User Interface - Data Brokers every good goblin should have

Data broker plugins are addon threads for displays using LibDataBroker. A data broker display like Fubar, Titan Panel, or my personal favorite Chocolatebar is required to use data broker plugins.

Many plugins display additional information when you mouse over them and/or have drop-down menus allowing you to clean up your user interface yet still have quick and easy access to everything. By adding plugins you can set up a broker display mod to show virtually anything you want exactly where you want it.


Creates a bar at the top or bottom of your display where other addons called broker plugins can display things like your fps, latency, gold earned, and much, much more.

Ara Broker Money
I really like Ara Broker Money for keeping track of how much gold I have across all characters. It also shows you how much gold you've made (or lost) for the current session, today, yesterday, the last 7 days and the last 30 days.

Ara Broker Tradeskills

Another handy addon from Ara. This one shows you all your tradeskills on all characters. It shows cooldowns, including which ones are up and how long it will be until the others will be up again. You can also open and view the tradeskills for any character on the account.

Broker Micromenu
I like this one because it allows me to completely remove the blizzard default bars. I can use a custom bar mod (Macaroon!) for abilities and macros while Broker Micromenu takes care of things like opening a ticket or viewing the character. It also displays FPS and Latency, putting many seldom used but useful things into a small space where they're unobtrusive yet still readily accessible for when you do need them..

If you're looking to find more broker plugins there's a nice big list of broker plugins over at WoW Ace complete with pictures for most of them. Mouse over the thumbnail pictures there to see larger pictures.

Addon Control Panel isn't a display broker or plugin but it comes in real handy for turning various mods on/off and reloading the UI without leaving the game... Like you'll be doing when trying out a bunch of new data broker plugins.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Brief history of a scammer

That crook Markco is at it again with yet another scam. Faid over at Nerf Faids has done a nice detailed video expose of his latest scam, the so called WoW Crusher Addon.

WoW Crusher claims to make you the best at everything (yes everything) on your server.

It slices, it dices, it even cuts tin cans! It cures colds, flu, whatever ails you, even cancer! It cleans, calcium, rust, lime, grease, all the worst most difficult to clean up messes in just seconds and you don't even have to wipe it off, everything just disappears like magic!

You get the picture, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true. Snake oil sales at it's worst. This isn't the first time Markco's been caught in shady business. He's been doing it for years. Here's a brief history of some of his more obvious scams and shady dealings over the years.

Nerf Faids Nov 2011 - WoW Crusher "addon"

The Gold Mint Sept 2011 - Tycoon "addon"

Cold's Gold Factory May 2011 - Coaching fiasco

Tobold's MMORPG Blog Nov 2009 - Trying to get other bloggers to run his scams too
Greedy Goblin Nov 2009

Read the comments too, it's hilarious how he tries to weasel his way out of things with more lies and constantly tries to change the subject.

He claims to have sold the JMTC website and the name Markco for 50 thousand dollars but many fellow bloggers don't believe that. More likely it's just another lie in an attempt to disassociate himself from all the crooked business going on there.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Tips and Tricks - TSM Custom Reset Method

Posting walls of items works well to squeeze and discourage campers. The idea is you post multiple items at prices the campers really don't like. Lower than they like selling at, yet higher than and too many of than they'll buy you out at.

The camper then has 3 choices:

1. Undercut you anyhow
2. Buy you out and attempt to reset prices
3. Stop posting until the price goes up again

In my experience most campers will continue to undercut for a while anyhow. That's fine, let the campers work their butts off for peanuts for a while. All you have to do is post enough items often enough to keep the price low and discourage buyout attempts until they stop camping.

Campers figure if they can stop all your sales for a while you'll lose gold on deposits and give up. That only works on the little guys and the casuals. All it's going to do with an experienced goblin who's in it for the long haul is get his attention focused on making things difficult for the camper(s) in question. The goblin won't be losing gold either. He'll be making less gold, but that bothers campers a lot more than it bothers goblins.

The biggest problem with walls is getting your walls up at high enough prices to discourage buyouts while at the same time being low enough to keep the pressure on the campers. If you post too high they'll gleefully undercut you forever and you won't sell much. If you post too low then you might wind up being the one working your butt off for peanuts and that's no good. Worst of all if you post too low the campers might buy you out and reset prices much higher.

Ideally to prevent buyouts you want at least 3 walls at low, medium and high prices. Or better yet think of it as low, medium and high profit margins. The low priced wall puts the pressure on, the high priced wall caps the market and the medium priced wall discourages buying out the pressure wall and re-posting just under the cap wall.

Let's say you're battling an obsessive gem camper who mostly focuses on Inferno Rubies and Ember Topaz (hi phlox).

The three important Inferno Ruby cuts sell fast enough the simplest and most effective thing to do is just post and forget 5 or 10 of each at a time. Keep an eye on the camper and post several times a day for 24 hours with threshold near cost (the price you can normally buy raw gems in enough bulk to not run out at), fallback 150-200% cost and 10-20% undercut. Enough will sell you really don't need to do anything more complicated. If a camper tries to stop your sales completely he's going to have to camp hardcore posting at or near cost. He won't do that for long, especially not if you occasionally buy him out when he goes under your threshold and re-post his gems for more.

Ember Topaz on the other hand are a little trickier, particularly if the camper posts them cut under the usual bulk buy price for raw gems. There are so many different cuts, most of which sell fairly well, it'd take an awful lot of stock to do the same as with Inferno Rubies. Fewer walls (3 or 4 at most) with steeper undercuts works better here. The problem with this is there's a bigger gap between walls making buying out the low priced wall more tempting.

Reset Method tells TSM what do when prices are below your threshold. The options are to post at fallback, threshold, to not post and to post at a custom value. If you set reset method to threshold someone might buy you out anyhow if they see an opportunity for a big price jump. If you set it to fallback they'll just 1c undercut you forever. What's needed here is a wall priced a little higher than the threshold wall. Over the bulk buy price on raw gems but not by too much.

This is where TSM Custom Reset Method comes in handy. The high and low priced walls are easy to maintain with Threshold, Fallback and Undercut settings. Custom Reset Method only comes into play when the price is below your threshold. Simply set Custom Reset Method to somewhere between your threshold and fallback (closer to threshold usually works best) and it'll post at that price when prices are below your threshold.

Unfortunately Custom Reset Method can't be set any higher than 100g so while it works just fine for gems and glyphs it isn't suitable for everything. It's really too bad it can't be set higher because it'd be great for chants, belt buckles, leg armors, spellthreads or anything else that sells in volume and is heavily camped.

In fact I'd love to see custom reset method expanded to allow it to change everything about the reset post from price to duration, stack size and number of auctions posted.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Tradeskillmaster Mailing - Quick Setup Tutorial

TSM_Mailing handles mass mailing items to other characters. In a nutshell what it does is you load up your bags with things you want to mail off, open the mailbox, press a button and it automatically mails everything off for you. It will fill up all 12 mail slots whenever possible.

It's particularly good for sending bulk mail to alts. It does not handle sending CoDs, just regular mail so it's not very good for selling in bulk.


Configuration is pretty easy, nothing like configuring the auctioning or crafting modules.

Type /tsm and click the "Mailing options" icon on the right side of the window. The mailing options tab has 3 options at the top:

 1. Auto recheck mail
 2. Don't display money received
 3. Send items individually

Leave them all off (not checked).

Below those options is a "Player name" text entry field. Add the name of a player you want it to send mail to and hit enter. Make sure you spell the name correctly. If you spell the name wrong it will send the mail to the wrong person!

The player name will appear in the list to the left. Now click on the player name in the list. Two lists will appear "Items / groups to add" and "Items / groups to remove". The left list contains everything in your bags and all your TSM_Auctioning Groups. Select everything you want mailed to the character in this list and hit the "Add>>" button to move it into the list.

Sending Mail

That's all there is to configuration. Once you have it configured simply fill up your bags with stuff you want to mail, open the mailbox and hit the "Tradeskillmaster_Mailing: Auto-mail" button you'll now see on top of the mailbox window.

One caveat, mailing gets laggy with large configs. The larger your mailing config gets the worse the lag gets. The lag can be so bad it's really not even usable. How big your config can be before that happens probably depends mostly on your cpu. I tried setting it up with settings for all Cataclysm gems (uncommon, rare, raw and cut) once. The lag that caused was so bad I had trouble just closing the mailbox to make it stop! With that in mind I recommend only using TSM_Mailing to mail a limited number of big bulk items like ore and herbs.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Tradeskillmaster Auctioning - Quick Setup Tutorial

This is the first in a series of quick setup tutorials to help new TSM users get the most used modules up and running quickly. I'll be covering basic setup and configuration for the 4 most commonly used modules, Auctioning, Crafting, Mailing and Shopping-Dealfinding. I won't go into detail on every possible setting or option, just the important ones. This first post covers setup and configuration for TSM Auctioning.

Before starting make sure you have a few items you want to post in your bags.

To open the configuration window, either click the TSM button on the minimap or type /tsm

TSM Auctioning

The module that handles posting auctions is probably the first module most users will want to get up and running. It's one of the most complex modules to configure but we're just going to worry about basic settings to get you up and running and ignore the rest for now. First some definitions:

Threshold - the lowest price you want to post at.
Fallback - the highest price you want to post at.

Category - Categories are the first of 2 levels of item organization in TSM.
Group - Groups are second level of organization in TSM.

There are 3 levels of override settings, global default settings, category overrides and group overrides. Global defaults apply to any setting that hasn't been overridden at the category or group level. Category overrides apply to any group setting that hasn't been overridden at the group level. Any group settings without values set will use the values from the Category the group is in and any category settings without values set will take their values from the global default settings.

Configuration settings order of precedence: Group > Category > Default

Ok, moving on to doing the actual configuration.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Addons - Dumpster

I just started using the addon Dumpster recently. Wow! It's great for glyph posters, especially those who use just a single posting character.

I've had my glyph business operating efficiently and mostly /afk for quite a while now but there was one thing that was still so tedious and annoying that I hated doing it. The thing I hated was swapping the glyphs in my bags. Dumping the glyphs in my bags into the bank and getting another bunch of glyphs from the bank. It was time consuming and took an awful lot of mouse clicks. Bankstack is terrific for sorting items in your bank and bags but I found it's bank deposit and withdrawal functions lacking a lot. I've been looking for a mod to make this chore easier for a while and finally found it in Dumpster.

Thanks go out to Steed of the Consortium for mentioning Dumpster in his excellent post optimizing glyph operations on a single toon. This post was the one that convinced me to try Dumpster and I'm sure glad I did! The post itself is a great read with a comprehensive strategy full of detailed explanations, theory and plenty of useful tips.

My own current glyph posting strategy all about popularity and stealth is similar in many ways though I'm using two posters, one focusing on just the most popular glyphs and a 2nd poster covering all the rest. Dumpster doesn't help the popular glyph poster since all his glyphs fit in one set of bags anyhow but it's a godsend for the other poster. The 2nd poster needs to swap glyphs and post twice to post all of his glyphs. Dumpster has cut the time spent swapping glyphs from a few minutes to about 4 seconds. About 2 seconds to dump and another 2 seconds to refill my bags.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Backpacks and disposable alts

If you're looking for earthshaking news, controversy or imaginative speculation you won't find it here... At least not today. :)

All I have for today is a quick tip

Low level disposable posting alts come in handy sometimes. If the competition is going out of their way to grief you it's nice to be able to delete an alt they know about and make a new one they don't know is you yet. It'll usually take them a while to figure it out too.

Or some competitors might not be out to get you personally, just anyone who dares try to make gold in *thier* markets. They'll leave a new name alone for a little while but once they decide you might be serious competition the gloves come off. It might be more profitable to just make a new alt rather than fight a war.

A lot of people tend to use 16 slot Netherweave bags for bank alts because they're so cheap. The bags get destroyed when you delete an alt and you have to buy new bags for the next new alt. Not a big deal for ah goblins really but there's a better bag option for disposable alts you don't intend to keep for long.

Why spend 30-50g on bags every time you make a new alt if you don't have to?

Traveler's Backpacks are 16 slot bags too and they don't bind on use. You just buy one set of 4 bags and after that you just keep mailing them off to the next new alt.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Abuse of the Economy - How it works and how blizzard could stop them

This post is probably going to be very controversial.

It talks about cheaters and exposes some of their methods. I fully expected to get blasted, flamed and be accused of being a cheater myself for bringing this shady business out into the light of day where honest players who might pressure blizzard into doing something about it can see it.

I've made similar posts on the official forums before (without specific details on the methods cheaters use) and all that happened was the threads were very quickly flamed / trolled into oblivion. I did not make this post to help people cheat. I made it to expose how they cheat and hopefully maybe finally get it stopped.

What's wrong with the auction?

In a single word camping is what's wrong with the auction house. Campers sit at the auction all day constantly cancelling and re-posting their 1 or 2 of everything profitable. It takes most of the skill out of playing the auction. All that really matters now is being the last to post (for 1c less) just before someone buys. Knowledge of your markets, timing your posts, etc., none of those matter very much anymore. Now it's mostly about being the last to post just before someone buys.

Quick posting mods that take most of the work out of mass posting and cancelling are a big part of the problem. Campers using quick posting mods are bad enough but it get's completely ridiculous when someone sets up a bot or hotkey program cheat script to automatically press buttons for him. Most players have no idea just how easy it is to do.

I'm going to go into some detail regarding exactly how simple cheat scripts can be used to abuse the economy. My purpose is to educate honest players about how easy it is for cheaters to abuse the auction and hopefully eventually get blizzard to put a stop to it once and for all by fixing the underlying problem.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Glyphs - Popularity and Stealth for increased profits

Like Stokpile used to say "I have a personal fleet of dedicated campers".

They know my posting and crafting alts. All my important alts are on their "friend" lists so they can watch me constantly and try to undercut everything I post as soon as I post it. I still sell a lot but sometimes it can be difficult making much profit especially in the glyph market where there are several persistent campers and a long established cartel all trying to dominate the market.

Low enough priced glyph walls will chase pretty much everyone off except the cartel's 3 main guys and 2 or 3 of the independent campers. The independents will usually stop when prices get near cost. The cartel will keep on undercutting by 1c with their own walls no matter how low the price goes until they decide to try another buyout and price reset. Multiple walls at progressively higher prices stops buyouts but maintaining multiple walls takes a lot of time and though it is profitable it isn't really profitable enough to justify the time it takes. And if I'm busy posting glyphs I'm not posting other more profitable items.

I wanted a new glyph strategy that would be more profitable, take less time and fly unnoticed under the competition's radar.

I've been using my new glyph strategy for several weeks now. I'm selling more glyphs than ever at much higher profit margins while spending far less time at it. The majority of my glyphs are now selling for 119-200g rather than the 15-20g I usually got with a wall strategy.

Popularity and stealth are what it's all about. Here's how it works:

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Patch 4.3 - Which Epic Gem cuts to get first

A new gem vendor, Farah Facet, has turned up on the PTR and finally confirms that Jewelcrafting Tokens will be used to purchase the new Epic Gems.

Source: MMO Champion

It'll cost 5 tokens to buy the pattern of your choice or 4 Tokens to buy a Tome of Burning Jewels for a random pattern. According to wowhead there are 66 epic gem cuts. It'll take 264 tokens (on a single character) to buy them all with tomes or 330 to buy them straight up.

Unless you have 264 tokens on a single toon, it makes the most sense to spend 5 tokens at least until you have all the best cuts and most of the decent cuts. The following is a list of the very best selling cuts of each color based on sales of the rare gem equivalents.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

AH PvP - Cleaning out bots

If you've been reading my blog for very long you've probably noticed auction bots are a pet peeve of mine. I can tolerate farm bots they don't really hurt the economy much and they can't stop anyone else from farming. In fact in some ways farm bots actually have a positive effect on the economy. They keep material supplies up, keep prices from becoming astronomical and save the rest of us from having to farm too much ourselves. Auction bots on the other hand can really dominate a server's economy, they can stop other people from selling much and after having fought a long drawn out war against one for the last 2 years I really hate them.

One of the more effective, most satisfying and just plain FUN ways to deal with an auction bot is to clean him out of stock whenever he leaves it running unattended. That forces him to stick around monitoring the bot and turn it off when he's not around to watch it. Most of the botters I've run across are actually there watching the bots work much of the time anyhow but they'll leave them unattended for hours at a time too. In particular they'll often leave it running overnight while sleeping which is perfect.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

More 4.3 News - Maelstrom Shatter

There's a new enchanting ability Maelstrom Shatter on the PTR servers that splits 1 Maelstrom Crystal into 2 Heavenly Shards.

Some players are already trying to corner the market on Maelstrom Crystals causing the price to go up a little. This probably won't have much effect on Heavenly Shard prices now though speculators will probably cause Maelstrom Crystals to go up a little more yet.

When 4.3 drops the demand for chants will go up causing chant prices to rise and chant mats prices will follow. Heavenly Shard prices might drop a little initially if a lot of people start shattering big stockpiles of Crystals but things will quickly balance out. Maelstrom Crystal prices will wind up pegged at around double Heavenly Shard prices and Heavenly Shard prices at about half the price of Maelstrom Crystals. The prices of both Shards and Crystals should become more stable and shattering will function as a safety net preventing an oversupply of Crystals or an undersupply of Shards.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Patch 4.3 News - Chaos Orbs

Chaos Orbs will no longer be soulbound!

In 4.3, Chaos Orbs are no longer soulbound! Everyone will be able to roll on new orbs that drop, and any existing chaos orbs will become tradeable.

source: MMO Champion

Anyone will be able to roll on them, players will start  farming them and they'll be sold both in trade and on the auction. At first the price will go up due to all the new patterns using them but eventually orb price will drop down lower than ever. Maybe even low enough it'll be viable to make dreamcloth with them.

After an initial rise in prices expect the price of crafted gear utilizing Chaos Orbs to drop to all time lows too.

It's pure speculation but I think there's a good chance they'll make Dreamcloth BoE too. That won't change much, the price of Dreamcloth will go up initially regardless due to demand for the new patterns, but there might be an opportunity to pick up a lot of cheap cloth when the patch first drops. Within a few days the price of Dreamcloth and Spellthreads should rise significantly and stay up for a least a month.... Unless they decide to remove the CD on Dreamcloth too, in that case watch embersilk and the lower priced volatiles shoot up for a while as many tailors furiously try to corner the Dreamcloth market and wind up killing it instead.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Patch 4.3 hits the PTR - News on Epic Gems and more!

Patch 4.3 is up on the PTR now and wowhead has been busy datamining info from the PTR build. New are 10 zones, 84 weapons, 768 armor items and 226 gems, recipes and other profession items.

There's good news regarding Epic Gems. There are transmutes for Epic Gems though we don't have any information on what the mats will be yet. The gems themselves are uncut and there are patterns to cut them though we don't how we'll acquire the patterns yet.

Anyhow, there's not much sense repeating the info here. To see all the new stuff, check it out at the source on wowhead

Patch 4.3 PTR build14732 - Spell Changes, New Items, Maps and More!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Pyrite Ore Crash update

Just a little update here.

On my server for a few days after the news about epic gems broke pyrite stockpilers were in denial. They kept insisting pyrite would not crash and kept the price propped up for a few days.

I was advertising in trade to buy pyrite and got flamed a lot for it. I was accused of lying and making things up to "cause panic and crash pyrite". Most of that comes from a few guys with a lot of alts who seem to spend more time flaming me and trying to discredit everything I say than anything else.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Reins of the Spectral Tiger pricing oddity

I was perusing The Undermine Journal last night and typed in Reins of the Spectral Tiger for the hell of it. There were none available on my server but I immediately noticed something odd on the "other markets" graph. The highest price was 429,496g 73s and 16 servers had one up at exactly that price.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

HURRAY! The auction bot transferred!

This is server specific to Antonidas US but I have a number of readers from the server and this is terrific news for us. The auction bot transferred his main to Stormrage US on Sept 13th and his posting bots haven't been seen working the auction since. Hopefully he'll stay there now and transfer all the alts he left behind here soon too. I feel sorry for players on Stormrage though, he's probably already pulling the same crap there he pulled here for years.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Base Materials - What they are and why they're important

Base materials are high volume items like herbs, ore and volatiles. They are the base material for many crafting processes. Some of the processes are obvious with base materials being used directly to make a high volume item like Truegold. Other's like the ore shuffle aren't so obvious, being longer processes with several processing steps utilizing multiple professions to turn ore into enchants.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pyrite Ore Crash

Yes pyrite ore will crash.

The only reason pyrite ore prices were so high in the first place is people were stockpiling it in anticipation of being able to prospect epic gems from it. Ghostcrawler specifically mentioned they expect it will take an entire patch cycle for one to replace all his gems with epic gems. It wouldn't take very long at all if epic gems could be mass produced by prospecting pyrite. That means it's virtually certain we won't be able to prospect epic gems from pyrite unless of course blizzard changes their mind.

The demand for and price of pyrite has been held artificially high for a long time by stockpilers hoping to make a killing on epic gems. Those stockpilers no longer have a reason to continue overpaying for it. The price of pyrite is already down a fair bit and will drop further as more stockpilers and farmers hear the news. The price of pyrite will crash is crashing, the only question is how far will it crash?

Things will snowball from there causing a ripple effect in other markets. Some sellers will panic and sell too cheaply. Some pyrite will get bought out by people like me who like to play the materials markets contrary to what everyone else is doing (buy when everyone else is selling and sell when they're buying). Some pyrite will get prospected which will raise the supply of rare gems causing a drop in rare gem prices, which in turn will probably drag elementium and obsidium prices down too. Truegold, eternal belt buckles and many other things will follow like a row of dominoes falling down.

Eventually it'll hit rock bottom, the oversupply will peter out, prices will rebound and stabilize at new levels. In my experience it seems the faster and harder a market crashes the sooner and more robustly it rebounds so here's hoping it's hard, fast, over and done with quickly and with as little pain as possible.

Of course it's still always possible blizzard will change their mind yet, or they could even be playing mind games with us to surprise us on patch day but I'm not betting on either.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Patch 4.3 - Epic Gems a raid drop

Well I called it (Last chance for Epic Gems) when I said we either won't get epic gems at all or if we do we won't like the way they're implemented. According to an Interview with Greg Street on MMO Champion they're going to implement Epic Gems as a raid drop this time around.

That brings up a few more questions.

Will they be cut gems ala the BC heroic 5 man epic gems or will they be uncut gems Jewelcrafters have to cut for you?

Will they be BoE or BoP? Those BC 5 man gems were BoP at first.

If they're cut gems will they be Unique Equipped like those BC gems were?

If they're raw gems, how are we going to purchase the gem cuts, with the same tokens we use now or something new? Or maybe the patterns will be raid drops too?

Players will start dumping Fools Gold (Pyrite Ore) stockpiles now. The price of Pyrite will plummet and affect the price of all kinds of things from Truegold to Eternal Belt Buckles,  to blacksmithing epics. Depending on the size of current stockpiles it's quite possible pyrite prospecting could drive down the price of rare gems and drag the price of elementium and obsidium ores down with it too.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Greedy Blogger - Bullshit sells scams

There's a new mod out there being sold for *real money* making absurd claims about what it can do and being flogged by one of the biggest wow gold sites.

The site flogging this mod isn't allowing comments on the post flogging the mod. Gee I wonder why? It provides a link to another site that blatantly breaks the ToS by offering the mod for sale for real money. The language and claims on the selling site fit the posting style of the owner of the linking site and he's well known for being all about making real money and putting his less savory content on seperate sites so it seems obvious what's going on there.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Search Engine Hits - The power of Google

I noticed a huge spike in traffic to the blog today so naturally I was curious what was causing it. At this rate the total pageviews for this blog since it's inception will more than double in 24 hours. I figured it had to be either my most recent post patch 4.3 - last chance for epic gems or some big site linking to my blog driving the traffic.

After doing a little checking I found when typing "epic gems 4.3" into a Google search my article came up first.

Just goes to show the power of choosing good titles for articles. :)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Patch 4.3 - Last chance for Epic Gems

Patch 4.3 is in the works with a projected release sometime in November. New things for 4.3 include the Transmogrifier, Raid Finder, Void Storage, the final Cataclysm raid featuring Deathwing, 3 new 5 mans and more. There's plenty of coverage elsewhere (MMO Champion for one) on all the new stuff Blizzard has told us about. I'm going to speculate on something they still haven't told us about, Epic Gems.

Since this is the final content patch for Cataclysm, if they're going to introduce new Epic Gems it pretty much has to be in 4.3. The problem is predicting whether or not they *will introduce them at all and if they do how they'll be obtained.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tradeskillmaster - Part II Shopping Module (redux)

Shopping module

I missed a few important things I should have mentioned about this module the first time I posted this article so I decided to edit and repost it.

The Shopping module has 4 buttons in the main TSM window, Dealfinding, Crafting Mats, General Buying and Milling/Disenchanting/Prospecting/Transforming which put it into different sub modes.

Overall I have to give the Shopping module two thumbs down. Dealfinding might be ok for a casual player who doesn't scan a whole lot of different items or do much bulk buying but if you buy a lot of different things or regularly buy anything in bulk you'd be a lot better off using Auctioneer or Auctionator instead. The other 3 sub modes I view as being mostly superfluous, I don't use them and I don't see many others having much use for any of them either.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Using multiple accounts to your advantage on the auction

As an auctioneer you eventually reach the point where you just don't have enough time to get everything you want to do done on just one account. You wind up crafting during prime posting time or you're stuck managing a price war with an obsessive camper when you really need to be sourcing materials.

In a nutshell, multiple accounts allow you to multitask and multiply the amount of work you can get done in a given amount of time. You can do more than one thing at the same time and don't have to stop doing one thing (like posting auctions) to do another (like crafting on another character).

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Auctioneer - Using realtime search

Auctioneer is old but it still has capabilities none of the other auction mods have yet. In particular it has a number of search and sort functions that can help you find things to buy. Today I'm going to talk about using Auctioneer's realtime search function.

What realtime search does is repeatedly scan the *last page of the auction. The last page holds the most recently listed items. Repeatedly scanning this page is a great way to find the best deals before anyone else does. Whenever it finds something under your snatch prices it'll pop up a search window listing the items and giving you the option to buy them.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Tradeskillmaster - Part III Auctioning Module

 TSM_Auctioning is the module that handles posting Auctions. This module is the TSM version of what used to be the stand alone Auction Profit Master (by the same author) which in turn was one of several Cataclysm code branches of the venerable old Quick Auctions 3 (by a different author).

This is one of the 2 modules most auction players will get the most mileage out of and probably the first module most will use. It's also one of 2 TSM modules (the same 2) I rate as being Outstanding, the other Outstanding module being TSM_Crafting.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Patch 4.2 - Market Update

My plan for patch 4.2 has worked out pretty well, most of my predictions worked out well though there were a few surprises. I've done over a million gold in sales since the patch dropped (250k in the first 24 hours). That's gross sales, profit is harder to say since I'm always buying stuff too but my liquid gold has gone up by over 500k in spite of dropping close to 200k on BoE epics for my level 85 characters.

As I expected demand was greatest for the first few days and then tailed off. There were a few surprises however. Demand for several items has held better than I expected.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Macros for Auctioneers

Here are a few macros I use a lot. Some are the work of others, some I made myself. The one's I didn't make I've had for a long time and have no idea who originally created them so no attribution is given.

Be careful with formatting, Blogger tends to linewrap things that should be on a single line in the scripts. In all these macros # and / start new lines, if there's a line that doesn't start with one of those characters it's been wrapped by blogger and is actually part of the line above it.

If you use Macaroon! bar mod it's buttons can be assigned macros twice as large as normal macros. This is great for disenchenting, prospecting and milling macros, allowing you to put many more items to break down into a single macro. Of course it also allows you to use more complex macros for other purposes too.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Macros with item links - A simple script to make them

Here's a little gem I found with a google search a long time ago. This macro adds a new slash command that allows you to quickly and easily make macros with item links in them. I've edited the original so it puts the macros in the character specific macro list instead of the shared list.

/run SlashCmdList["MAKEMACRO"]=function(c)local m,n=GetNumMacros(),"_"..GetTime();local function o(a)ChatFrame1:AddMessage(a)end if m<36 then CreateMacro(n,6,c,1,1)o(n..": "..c) else o("No more room for macros!")end end SLASH_MAKEMACRO1="/makemacro";

Run the above script once (it adds a new slash command /makemacro) then type:

/makemacro [full text of your macro including item links]

For example:

/makemacro /2 WTB [link] 50g each! 1000g per stack! PST or CoD all you have!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tradeskillmaster - Part II Shopping Module

Shopping module

The Shopping module has 4 buttons in the main TSM window, Dealfinding, Crafting Mats, General Buying and Milling/Disenchanting/Prospecting/Transforming.

Overall I have to give the Shopping module a thumbs down. Dealfinding is ok if you don't scan a whole lot of different items or do much bulk buying but if you buy many different things or make a lot of bulk purchases you'd be better off using Auctioneer or Auctionator instead. The other 3 parts I don't use and really don't see many others having a whole lot of use for any of them either.

I'd like to see a complete redesign of this module. Lacking that, at least fix the Dealfinding stuck scanning loop, shorten the time between clicks when buying, put all three Dealfinding skip/buy buttons into one group at the bottom of the window and change how Dealfinding lists are saved.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Tradeskillmaster - Part I Overview

Tradeskillmaster (TSM) is an offshoot of QuickAuctions 3 (QA3) combined with Scrollmaster and a whole lot more added. It's a very comprehensive modular integrated package with optional modules covering pretty much everything an auctioneer could wish for. Everything from managing inventory across multiple characters to buying materials to crafting, auctioning goods and tracking sales data.

I think Tradeskillmaster is by far the most complete and best set of tools for auctioneers and highly recommend it as such over anything else. However that doesn't mean TSM is perfect, while there are a lot of things I really like about TSM there are a lot of things I don't like too. Things that still need work, things I don't think are very well implemented, things I feel could be much improved and things I just find incredibly annoying.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Things that make you go Hmmm - What was Blizzard thinking when they did that?

Why are Jewelcrafter's the only gear crafting profession that doesn't have any patterns for epic level 85 gear?

Why can't Enchanting bags hold enchanting scrolls?

Why can most profession bags hold alchemy vials?

Please put your own Hmmm questions in comments and I'll add the best ones to the main post!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Patch 4.2 - Day one report

Day one of patch 4.2 is over with about 250k in gross sales over the first 24 hours. My big sellers were one heck of a lot of gems, many chants, volatiles, belt buckles and spell threads. Gem prices were pretty good, on average about 150% of normal prices. Chant, spellthread and volatile prices were great, going for double the usual. Some popular chants with low materials costs (Mighty Stats to chest, Mastery to gloves, etc) were selling out fast for more than double the usual. Belt buckles sold for usual prices but in greater than usual numbers. Also sold a lot of other stuff for higher than usual prices though not in great numbers, In some cases much higher, for example Carnelian for 50g each and Heartblossom for 200g per stack (gotta love those guys making Inferno Rubies late).

I figured the campers would be out in force so I decided to camp the campers for a change. When the server came up another JC made a play to buy out bunches of gems and reset prices far higher. I just kept posting more at progressively higher and higher prices until he finally gave up. It took a couple hours but by then he'd bought several hundred blue, green, yellow, orange  and purple gems from me for an average of over 50g each.

Not a bad start to the day. =)

One of the first things I noticed was cut gems as expected stack to 20 now. There's a glitch though, most Cataclysm gems don't stack as you craft them. Meta gems and pre cata gems do stack as you craft them. The mod Bankstack comes in real handy for that. I just start crafting, click Bankstack whenever my bags are nearly full and continue crafting.

Inferno Ruby sales were just crazy all day long. I sold hundreds, over 20 stacks before midnight, and another 10 stacks or so overnight with most sales in the range of 95g - 125g.

The rest of the day I continued camping the campers. More and more campers came out as the day went on, prices dropped to pre patch levels and sales slowed down with all the competition. Then I went off, did the Firelands quests on all my 85s, made supper, ate, watched a movie and posted every half hour or so. The campers made a few more plays to buy out all the cheap gems and jack prices up. I kept throwing monkey wrenches into their plans.

When I logged out for the night I kept the campers and price jackers honest with walls of 10 Bold Brilliant and Delicate at 150g and 175g each as well as several mini walls of 5 at lower prices. I put up similar walls for several of the best selling gems of other colors too. About half of the wall gems sold overnight, the campers only broke through the walls on some of the mediocre selling gems that I only had 5 or 10 of each up.

I sold another 50k overnight while asleep for a grand total of over 250k in gross sales.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Gems = Glyphs

I've long believed Blizzard really likes the way the glyph market works and wants the gem market to work in a similar way. On many servers the rare cataclysm gem market is already almost as bad as the glyph market with rare cuts selling for little more than raw gems (sometimes even less!) and only inferno rubies selling for much more than vendor price.

Everyone is expecting to make a killing on gems when 4.2 drops. I believe the patch will cause a short term spike in gem prices but it won't last very long.

  • 36 slot gem bags and cut gems stacking to 20 will make camping a whole lot easier
  • everyone is stockpiling gems for the patch
  • raw uncommon gem vendor prices are going down lowering the floor price for gems and ore even further
  • there's a virtually unlimited supply of raw materials

So what's going to happen when all those JC's stockpiling gems log on Tuesday and start posting gems with full stacks of every cut in their bags?

The way I see it is someone will try to reset prices and the campers will go into an undercutting frenzy the likes of which we've never seen before. It won't be long before prices go right back down and stay there. Inferno Rubies might have enough demand to keep prices up for a week or so but that's about it.

My conclusion is there probably is a fair bit of gold to be made on patch day and for at least a few more days after but it'll mostly be in Inferno Rubies and it won't be the huge killing many are expecting. I'm expecting about a week of very good Inferno Ruby prices, 2-3 weeks of somewhat higher than usual Inferno Ruby prices and 2-3 days of moderately higher prices for the best cuts of other colors.

Here's a list of the gems that should have the most demand.

Bold Inferno Ruby
Brilliant Inferno Ruby
Delicate Inferno Ruby

Solid Ocean Sapphire
Rigid Ocean Sapphire

Purified Demonseye

Reckless Ember Topaz
Potent Ember Topaz

Quick Amberjewel
Fractured Amberjewel

Puissant Dream Emerald

Friday, 17 June 2011

Auctioneering Basics - Addons

Today's post is a list of recommended addons for playing the auction. I'm intentionally keeping the list very short only listing the ones I believe are the best, most useful and most popular.

The first three, or big three as I like to call them, are all complete auction mods that handle many things related to the auction and one handles a whole lot more than just auctions. You can use just one or use them all, they play well together. Most players probably won't need or want all three though there are those who do use them all regularly, preferring one for posting, another for buying and the other for something else. If I had to choose just one of the big three to recommend it'd be TSM.

Tradeskillmaster (aka TSM) - More than just an auction mod TSM is a very complete modular integrated package that does everything you used to need a whole bunch of different addons and scripts to do. It has optional modules to handle auctioning, crafting, mailing, accounting, database, shopping, gathering and more. I'd say TSM is preferable for big auction players listing thousands of items daily and certainly for undercutting wars.

Auctionator - Another auction mod with it's own unique and effective way of doing things. Good for both buying and selling auctions. You might prefer Auctionator over TSM for buying or selling auctions. In particular a lot of players seem to prefer Auctionator for buying auctions over anything else. Auctionator's selling interface is pretty good too. I'd say Auctionator might better suit the player who isn't posting a real lot of items every day, likes to pick his prices more carefully and doesn't always undercut. A great choice for auction players who aren't ready for the complexity of TSM yet and need something simpler and more intuitive.

Auctioneer - The grandaddy of auction mods. Still pretty good for buying, sorting auction lists and has good database functionality that can be accessed by many other addons too. It's long been surpassed by other addons when it comes to posting auctions. Unfortunately Auctioneer is getting rather long in the tooth now. I can't really recommend it for anything other than the snatch list, database, sort and search functions. In fact Auctioneer's "protect auction window" might be it's single best feature now (it's the main reason I haven't uninstalled yet) but it'd be silly to recommend installing such a large mod just for that.

While not auction addons per say the following small addons  improve your organization, speed and efficiency by making repetitive chores much simpler.

Bankstack - One click bag and bank sorting and stack compression.

Postal - Very configurable mail opening addon with a plethora of useful features such as automatically opening different types of mail and refreshing the mailbox to get more while you go make coffee or something.

Dumpster - Great for quickly moving items to and from the bank. Almost a must have for glyph posters!

Addon Control Panel - This one won't do much for your auctioning game but it's great for quickly turning different mods on and off in game without logging out.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Inscription - How herb prices affect Glyph and Ink costs

I haven't been working Inscription for very long. I started two or three months before the end of Wrath and wasn't even very serious about it at first. All I really wanted was a secure supply of cheap velum for my enchanter (naturally a few days later the word came out that velum would be sold by a vendor in the next patch). Since then I've gotten a lot better at Inscription. Recently I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter very much what the current prices of herbs are. I can follow the market through it's ups and downs buying herbs in complete confidence I won't lose gold by using simple math and rules of thumb.

There are basically 2 tiers of Cataclysm herbs. First tier herbs, including Cinderbloom, Stormvine, Azshara's Veil and Heartblossom, give on average half an Inferno Ink and 5 Blackfallow ink per stack. Second tier herbs, Whiptail and Twilight Jasmine, give on average 1 Inferno Ink and 6 Blackfallow Ink. 10 Blackfallow Ink can always be traded in for 1 Inferno Ink meaning we can consider Blackfallow to be worth at least 1/10 of what Inferno goes for (note this will always be true though the opposite will not always be true).

To keep the math simple I consider all glyphs to cost 10g each to craft and Blackfallow Ink to be worth 3.333g each.

This means I can buy the top tier of herbs (Whiptail and Twilight Jasmine) for the going price of one Inferno Ink + 20g. If Inferno is going for 40g I can spend up to 60g per stack.

For the lower tier of herbs, I can spend half the price of one Inferno Ink + 20g. The Blackfallows are actually costing 4g each since I only get 5 of them per stack but using 20g here too keeps things simpler. Assuming the same 40g price for Inferno I can spend up to 40g on tier one herbs. A 20g difference between herb tiers.

Inferno Ink 30g then 30 + 20 = 50g and 15 + 20 = 35g for a difference of 15g
Inferno Ink 50g each then 50 + 20 = 70g and 25 + 20 = 45 g for a difference of 25g

Obviously the difference is half the price of one Inferno Ink. This leads to a simple rule of thumb I follow when buying herbs to mill. The difference in the value of the herb tiers is equal to 1/2 the value of an Inferno Ink. If I'm selling Inferno Ink in bulk for 40g then I'll buy top tier herbs for up to 60g a stack and lower tier for up to 40g a stack. If I'm only getting 30g for bulk Inferno then I'll pay up to 50g for the better herbs and 35g for the lesser herbs.

Of course these are my maximum prices, I try to get the herbs at least a little cheaper and only go all the way to the maximum if I'm short on materials and really need to make more glyphs right away.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dealing with obsessive campers - Part II advanced

IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is intended for advanced users who can edit the program code of a mod. If you don't feel comfortable using a text editor to edit a mod then don't try this!

I'm an old C programmer so while I don't know lua well enough to write a mod from scratch it is a simple language making it trivial to edit a mod to calculate prices differently. I use TSM (TradeSkillMaster) and I make 2 modifications in post.lua.

The first change is really simple. All it does is change the way TSM's "maximum price" setting percentage is used. It compares the current lowest buyout price to fallback price * maximum price percentage. Adjust the "maximum price" setting to determine what percentage you want to multiply fallback by.

If the current price is greater than than fallback * maximum then it posts at fallback * maximum.  If the current price is greater than fallback but less than fallback * maximum then it just posts at fallback.

This is extremely useful for quickly yanking prices back into a sane range when someone tries to buy it all out and jack prices up insanely high. Of course he'll be camping hardcore until prices get back to normal. This ensures they get back to normal quickly.

So for example if your fallback is 100g, maximum price is set at 200% and the current price is over 200g, it'll post at 200g, if the price is over 100g but 200g or less, it'll post at 100g. If the price is 100g or less it will calculate undercuts as normal.

Just after line 405 in post.lua you'll find a code snippet something like this

-- Check if we're posting something too high
if buyout > (fallback * TSMAuc.Config:GetConfigValue(itemID, "fallbackCap")) then
buyout = fallback
fallbackCap = true

Cut that code out and replace it with this.

-- Check if we're posting something too high
if buyout > (fallback * TSMAuc.Config:GetConfigValue(itemID, "fallbackCap")) then
buyout = (fallback * TSMAuc.Config:GetConfigValue(itemID, "fallbackCap"))
fallbackCap = true
elseif buyout > fallback then
buyout = fallback
fallbackCap = true

The second change doesn't replace any code, it simply adds a new bit of code that changes the price calculation. ANY undercut value of 50c or less is considered to be a PERCENTAGE. This bit of code calculates the difference between the current lowest price and your threshold, then undercuts by 1-50% of that. The higher the current price is the bigger the undercuts will be but they'll get progressively smaller and smaller as the price approaches threshold. Set the bid to 1-50c to adjust just how aggressively it undercuts and therefore how quickly it brings prices down. If you use this edit too, make sure it goes directly above the first edit or it won't work correctly.

Note: I don't recommend using the second change with a blacklist. If there are any names on your blacklist it could cause you to post extremely low since TSM ignores thresholds for blacklisted names.

  -- Do percentage undercuts as a percentage of the difference between the
  -- current lowest price and our threshold using undercut settings less than 50c as 1-50%
if lowestBuyout > threshold then
  local tempp = TSMAuc.Config:GetConfigValue(itemID, "undercut")
  if tempp <= 50 then
    -- consider an undercut of 0c to be 10% and prevent divide by 0 errors
    if tempp < 1 then
        tempp = 10
      buyout = lowestBuyout - ((lowestBuyout - threshold)/(100/tempp))
  -- do nothing, the undercut setting was a real undercut value not a percentage

Dealing with obsessive campers

Campers... The lowest form of life in the game. Those greedy bloodsucking leeches who spend every waking minute camping the auction, constantly spamming cancel and repost so they always have 1 or 2 of every profitable item up for 1c less than anyone else.

How to deal with them effectively?

First you have to understand the Camper mentality. Campers are like those losers you see lined up in front of the VLTs at the local bar every 2nd Wednesday with fresh welfare checks in hand. They're addicted. They can't stop. As long the lights keep flashing with a payout they'll keep plugging more items into the auction as fast as their mods can cancel and repost. Part time / Occasional campers aren't a big deal, they camp for a few hours and then they move on to doing something else. The real problem is the obsessive camper who's seemingly always online and constantly undercutting.

The obsessive camper undercuts by 1c to maximize his profit per item. He attempts to completely control and dominate sales of everything he camps. He'll usually post just 1 or 2 of most items and reposts replacements as fast as they sell. He's greedy, trying to get all the sales of all the highest priced items and will drive prices into the ground if he thinks it might drive his competition out of business or allow him to buy it all up cheaply and repost at ridiculous markups. He always seems to be there jealously guarding what he considers his markets.

Worst of all are the ones that bot. This type of camper doesn't just seem to be there all the time, he actually is there all time. Canceling and reposting his 1 or 2 of virtually everything within a minute or two of anyone undercutting him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months and even years on end. Even when it looks like he's actually offline for the first time in ages all you need to do is post a few items and he'll appear like magic within minutes to undercut you again. He'll drive prices right into the dirt, then wait till all the competition logs off, buy it out and repost for 10x, 100x, even 1000x more, knowing that all he has to do is sell just one at a ridiculously high price and it pays for buying all of them. He'll repeat this endlessly attempting to break the competition's will and make them give up. He very rarely runs out of anything in spite of completely dominating sales.

Blizzard won't ban him unless he's dumb enough to use an old bot they can actually detect or they catch him red handed selling gold. In fact they'll make up excuses for him when you point out he hasn't been offline for X years and he's posted every minute or two the whole time. How do you beat him?

One way is to camp the camper. When he's camping the auction you camp him and undercut him by 1c just as fast as or faster than he undercuts you. The problem with that is now you're playing his game. Still if he's not botting and you're online as much or more than he is this can be very effective. But if he's online more than you are he's going to win that game and if he's the bot type you have no chance of competing with him for long.

The other way and the one I find works best is to undercut steeply and drive prices down fast. After all the whole point of his camping is to get all (or at least the vast majority) of high profit sales. If profits aren't high he'll be less inclined to camp.

Don't pull your posts like he does. Post your items for 24 or 48 hours and leave them up. When he undercuts just keep posting more with steep undercuts making it very costly for him to buy you out and raise prices sky high when you're not online. The idea is to make sure your undercuts are steep enough and the final price low enough he's going to wonder if it's worth his time to spend the next 48 hours stopping your posts from selling... Yet you have enough posted at progressively higher prices that he really doesn't want to buy them all out either and when he does stop camping you'll still make decent profits.

Check the auction frequently throughout the day and keep enough items up that he doesn't dare buy you out. When he does buy you out anyhow, post more as soon as possible for slightly more and in even greater numbers than the last time. Find his real thresholds, the prices he doesn't like posting under and the prices he won't buy you out in bulk at. He will bluff, posting lower and lower to see how low you'll go before he buys you out. Don't worry if he catches you like that a few times, just raise your prices 10-20%, post even more and see if he'll buy you out there too.

Keep it up for as long as it takes until he stops camping.. At that point your stuff will start selling with the price going up as it sells. With a persistent camper it could take a long time, weeks or even months before it works but it does work. Then you can let prices go up slightly but not too much. He's probably waiting for that and ready to jump right back in as soon as he thinks profits are high enough to justify his time again.

The biggest problem is finding undercut values that work well to drive prices down quickly enough when they're high to discourage camping, yet don't drive them right to threshold too soon when they're already low. For example, with gems a 5g undercut might be too little to deter campers much at all when prices are at 200g and yet drive prices down to cost too quickly when prices are already under 20g. But 10%, 20% or some other percentage of the difference between the lowest price you're willing to sell at and the current lowest price might work perfectly.

Tomorrow's post will go into specifics of how I modify my posting mod's price calculations to better deal with campers.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Jewelcrafting changes in 4.2 - Stacking gems and 36 slot Gem Bags!

36 Slot Gem Bag - Tailoring pattern, requires 3 Dreamcloth to craft

Obtained by doing the Mount Hyjal quest line The Molten Offensive through step 4 Filling the Moonwell which opens up the Vendor Alya Shadowstorm who sells the pattern.

Start saving up your dreamcloth and get the quest line done on your tailor ASAP when 4.2 comes out. Jewelcrafters are going to be snapping them up fast and some will buy 4 at a time.

Start buying out and stockpiling cheap, normally or even slightly above normally priced epic Spellthreads too. They should go up in price because everyone will be using their Dreamcloth to make the new gem bags. My conservative prediction is the bags will go for 5k+ (maybe a LOT more) the first week, at least 3k for several more weeks and spellthreads will jump to 1k+. It'd be a good idea to do the same with epic Leg Armors, Pristine Hide and Heavy Savage Leather too.

Cut Gems stack to 20. Note this info is datamined from the PTR. It probably will happen but you can never be certain with datamined info.

Bloodthirsty Jewelry 6 new ilevel 358 rare PvP rings and necklaces. Each requires 4 or 5 rare gems (Inferno Ruby, Ocean Sapphire or Amberjewel) and several Volatiles to craft. These will probably sell ok. If so they'll almost certainly contribute to rising Inferno Ruby prices (which should be rising anyhow due to increased demand for gemming all the new gear). They might even cause Amberjewel and Ocean Sapphire prices to rise a bit too.

Why is Jewelcrafting the only gear crafting profession that cannot craft any level 85 Epic gear? Show us some love Blizzard!

I intend to have a good stockpile of all rare gems, especially Inferno Rubies ready for the patch. Demand will increase for all gems and dramatically so for Inferno Rubies. On patch day the first thing I intend to do is buyout all the best selling gems at normal or lower prices. Then I'll cut enough to have at least a full stack of all of the 40 or so best selling cuts and 5-10 each of other cuts. I'll quickly post some gems and then go get that bag pattern on my tailor.

One other point to consider. Blizzard might decide to slip Epic Gems into 4.2 at the last minute. It's not a bad idea to stockpile some tokens to buy patterns with on patch day just in case they do. For those that don't mind taking some risk you might want to stockpile Pyrite Ore in case Epic Gems can be prospected or Rare Gems and Herbs for possible Epic Gem transmutes.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Professions - Picking your professions

Choosing the right professions is key to making lots of gold. The fewer high level characters you have the more important it is to choose the right professions. You want to choose professions to take advantage of synergies with one profession providing materials required by another. For example Mining provides ore for Jewelcrafting, Jewelcrafting provides uncommon gems for Alchemy transmutes and cheap green Rings/Necks for DisEnchanting.

1 high level character

If you raid with a progression guild they'll expect your main character's professions be chosen to maximize raid performance. That's going to rule out most of the better gold making combos unless you're a tank who can take Mining without getting yelled at.

Dual Gatherer

Usually Mining/Herbalism though could also be Mining/Skinning or Herbalism/Skinning. Dual Gathering is best at the beginning of an expansion when raw materials prices are at their highest. Dual Gathering is terrific for leveling toons too, it really speeds up the leveling process and you can either sell the mats to make gold while leveling or save them up to powerlevel a crafting trade once you're 75+. You can't go wrong making every new toon a dual gatherer until you're finished leveling.

Mining + Jewelcrafting

Once you're 75+ this is probably the best low risk gold making single character combo there is. Jewelcrafting/Enchanting can be even more lucrative though it's riskier since you have to depend on others for a source of cheap materials. If you want low risk and easy profits this is the combo to get. And if you're a tank you can even use it for raiding!

JewelCrafting + Enchanting

The most profitable 2 profession combo of all. Riskier than Mining + JC because you're depending on others for cheap ore. If you already have a fair bit of gold and don't mind taking some risk then this is the way to go. A good raiding combo too.

Blacksmithing + Jewelcrafting

Terrific raiding combo and not bad for gold making especially if you're one of the first to get new smithing patterns and can farm or have access to materials only found in heroics and/or raids.

Mining + Blacksmithing

Good combo if you're a high end raider who's likely to be one of the first on the server to get new patterns from new raids. Unfortunately as a high end raider your guild won't let you raid with this combo unless you're a tank. Other gatherer + crafting profession combos fall into the same boat, they're pretty good for gold making if you're one of the first with the new patterns, soso if you aren't. And they might not be good for raiding either.

Other good gold making combinations include Herbalism + Alchemy and Herbalism + Inscription. These combos aren't very good for raiding though.


If you have more than one high level toon (75+) you should seriously consider taking Enchanting on one even if it means dropping another profession you already invested a lot of gold into. Enchanting has a terrific synergy with gear crafting professions because it allows you to make cheap crafted gear and turn them into enchanting materials which you can then either sell as is or after turning them into scrolls.

The Elementium Shuffle (aka Obsidium Shuffle)

The biggest gold maker in the game. Basically you take ore, prospect it, auction some raw gems, cut and sell rare gems, transmute uncommons into rare gems, craft rings, necks and carnelian spikes to disenchant and vendor any excess uncommon gems (mostly zephyrite and maybe some alicite). To do the full shuffle and maximize your profits you need Jewelcrafting, Alchemy (Transmute Spec) and Enchanting. And of course you need a reliable supply of cheap bulk ore.

Stacking professions

If you have many high level characters some professions make sense to stack (have on more than one character) while others don't. One profession in particular Alchemy stacks extremely well and Jewelcrafting stacks ok too. From a gold making perspective other professions don't really have any significant advantages to having on more than one character.

Alchemy is generally considered the best profession to stack because you can have three different alchemical specialties on different characters and transmute spec cooldowns are good gold makers. Some players with many high level toons put alchemy on all of them. One potion spec, one elixir spec and the rest all transmute giving them more procs on daily cooldowns like Truegold, Living Elements and probably Epic Gem transmutes in the future.

Jewelcrafting is good profession to stack mainly because it allows you to get more gem cuts sooner than a single character would. JC also has a daily cooldown, Fire Prism, but it isn't nearly as good as Alchemy  transmutes.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Auctioneering basics - Introductory concepts

If you're an experienced auctioneer you probably already know most of this.

I'm assuming the reader knows little or nothing about playing the auction and will build from there with a series of articles. This first post introduces several key concepts that aren't necessarily obvious to new auctioneers.

Undercutting is posting an item for less than it's lowest price was before you posted. Many players will insist you should only undercut by 1c because that keeps prices high so we all make more and may become abusive if you don't do what they want. However 1c undercuts generally don't work very well unless you're a camper. Most likely the real reason he wants you to undercut by 1c is that he is a camper who will cancel and repost his auctions 1c under your's the minute you leave the auction.

Campers vs normal players vs bulk sellers
Campers are online a lot and pretty much always at the auction house. They are the lowest form of life in the game, especially the ones that bot. Campers cancel and repost everything they sell within minutes after anyone undercuts them. Normal players tend to post their stuff and leave the auction. Campers always undercut by 1c (maximizing profit per item), Normal players will often undercut by large amounts trying to sell their items in spite of campers. Campers attempt to dominate sales, control markets and force competitors out of business by preventing them from selling anything for a decent profit unless they camp too. Bulk sellers are normal players who are so fed up with campers they start posting items in large numbers and at low profit margins to get sales in spite of campers.

Buy low and sell normal
A common misconception is that you should buy low and sell high. While buying low is of course always good selling high really only works if you're a camper continuously cancelling and reposting your items as fast as they get undercut. Non campers are usually better off selling at normal prices. It's better to sell 5 a day for 10g profit each than 1 a month for 100g profit.

Morning and evening prices
Prices follow many different cycles. There are daily cycles, weekly cycles, patch cycles and so on. One of the more important cycles that many players do not realize exists is the difference between morning and evening prices. Prices are almost always lower in the mornings than in the evenings and the difference can be huge at times. If herbs cost 20g per stack in the morning 100g per stack in the evening and you buy your herbs off the auction in the evening you won't be able to compete with that camper who's online 24/7 on flask prices.

Opportunity Cost
But I farmed the mats myself so they're free. No that's a fallacy, the mats weren't free, at the very least they cost you time and the opportunity to do something better / more profitable / more fun with your time. If you could have sold the mats for 100g but instead used them to craft an item that never sells for more than 10g, then crafting that item cost you the opportunity to make an additional 90g.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Who am I and why did I start this blog?

I'm Moxnixx of Antonidas US.

I've been playing wow since the original release. In the beginning I was a Miner / Blacksmith and always broke or nearly broke. Smithing was like a black hole sucking up all the mats I farmed and any gold I made usually got spent on mats I couldn't make or farm myself.

A few months before The Burning Crusade I decided to drop Blacksmithing, take up herbalism and sell all my ore and herbs. I wasn't exactly rich but I wasn't poor either. I could farm mats for most things I needed, I could afford to buy the rest and when I spent my whole stake I could build it up again by farming a few hours a day for a week or two.

Then a few months into Wrath of the Lich King I decided to drop herbalism for Jewelcrafting and started making a lot of gold without even trying. I spent most of it at first but always had at least 10k on me and usually more like 20k. Then epic gems came out and I started making even more selling nothing but epic gems and posting just once or twice a day. I farmed and prospected my own ore, sold a lot of gems and spent a lot of gold... Then I got serious about making gold, started buying titamium and epic gems. I was very tightly focused on epic gems and didn't bother with anything else.

Shortly after the honor for gems patch the local auction house bot tried to force me out of the gem market with perpetual 24/7 undercutting. He failed... Miserably... About all he succeeded in doing in the end was giving me a good reason to diversify rather than just concentrating on epic gems. I expanded my business exponentially and made even more gold taking market share away from *him in other markets than he was trying to take away from me in epic gems in the first place.

Now about a year and a half later, I'm sitting on over 3 million gold, completely fed up with guilds, raiding and all the politics involved with both. I find myself reading a lot of gold blogs lately.

I'll read some blog where the author says he's been working the auction hard for 5 years, has maybe 500k gold and figures that makes him some kind of gold making god. If he's such an expert why did it take him so long to make so little?

Or I'll read some article full of effusive grossly over exaggerated comments about how much gold you can make farming such and such or working some tiny niche market. No wonder he has so little gold after all that time. He's doing it all wrong.

And that is why I started this blog.