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.