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.


  1. all good points. and indeed when i look at the ultimate strategy of the "Auction House Camper" using walls is a method to combat the camper.

    as ever, though, i would add that the way to combat a competitor who uses the Glyph Wall strategy is to being the prices right down such that the competitor makes no profits and so hopefully abandons the wall.

    keep up the posts, i very much enjoy your blog.

  2. Well that's where we disagree.

    Walls aren't often about profits, usually they're about bringing prices down near cost so campers make little or no profits and abandon camping.

  3. Walls can be multi purpose. For me, it's just a convenient way to sell glyphs. If I price them too high I'm just going to get undercut. If I price them low, one of three things can happen. I'll get undercut (least likely), the competition buys the glyph (happens occasionally), or I'll actually sell the glyphs!

    Selling at a fixed price isn't just a great way to scare away competitors. It's an efficient way to sell glyphs with minimal time investment.

  4. Hmmm. As a wealthy camper, a wall is meaning less. I force you low, buy, and resell or trash em. The goal is to make you work, stumble, fumble, etc.. If the price is lower than my threshold you are now my farmer. All Best. Keep creating walls to replenish me. And yes, I do laugh. A camper can camp for months or years. Extreme patience. I simply stop selling glyphs an attack another market, you cannot win.

    Builder and Demolisher of Walls.

  5. I already did win. Chased the biggest bot camper on the server right off the server.

    As a wealthy non-camper I make you work your butt off. If you buy me out, that's great I made a ton of gold and I have plenty more to post.

    Attack another market? Even better! More easy gold.

    Feel free to transfer here and try proving me wrong. I could always use another million gold from yet another camper thinking he can just buy me out.

  6. "A camper can camp for months or years. Extreme patience."

    In other words... you bot and nobody can beat a bot right?

    That camper I chased off botted the auction 24/7 for over 2 years. He thought the same way you do and he lost.

  7. With Great power comes great responsibility

  8. Aren't you failing to take into account how long it takes to craft glyphs? It's often a 1-2 hour process to completely restock (buying herbs, milling herbs, crafting ink, crafting glyphs). It's one thing to say that all you do is post every 2 days, but that's not all the time you're investing (not even close).

  9. Not at all Seiru. As I said I put the wall just over the minimum price the campers will post at and let them do all that work. Sure a few of my glyphs sell anyhow but it only takes a few minutes once a week or so to restock those... Until the camper(s) stop camping and then I raise prices.

  10. Instead of spending all this time posting Glyph Walls for possibly exorbitant lengths of time (years? seriously?) to "teach the camper a lesson", why not play the game, or experience real life, etc. As Seiru stated, restocking glyphs takes a rather lengthy period of time...sooo is it worth it just to prove a point and stroke your own ego via virtual wealth? I'll never understand why people devote this much time to such an inane aspect of meta-gaming. Posting Glyph Walls to prove a point is about as interesting as a feigned attempt to casually hint at the degree of one's wealth. Thank you for enumerating the reasons why this is such a pointless time sink. You're rich, you win, now go eat a sandwich and call it a day mmmk?

  11. "With Great power comes great responsibility"

    I shoulda known that anonymous post was you sagal.

  12. That's the point. It doesn't take much time or effort to keep the wall up as long as the other guy continues undercutting. I'm not restocking, I'm not sitting there constantly posting, the camper is.

    I have no life? Give your head a shake. Who has more time to play the game and experience real life, the guy posting a wall every 2 days or the guy canceling and reposting every minute of every day?

    Pointless time sink? Not at all, it's just the opposite, it turns the pointless timesink of trying to beat a camper at his own game (camping) into a quick post and forget process.

    It has nothing to do with ego, it's just business, dealing with obsessive aggressive greedy competitors. It takes minimal effort, works incredibly well and yes it is worth it.

  13. Another question, if the camper buys you out, aren't you then forced to do a full restock again and again? Presumably if you're posting right above the camper's threshold, you won't be making very much profits at all (as long as they drive the prices down in order to push you out). Would you still be willing to devote so much time for minimal profits (or maybe even losses, depending on whether one of you has a private seller of herbs)?

  14. I keep 20 of each glyph in stock so even if someone does try a buyout I can re-post immediately and restock at my leisure.

    In that case I'll post the next wall a little higher and maybe do a couple extra progressively higher walls.

    If he still keeps buying those out I'm making big gold now so putting more time into it is well worth it. The last time someone tried that I made over 500k in one week before he finally gave up.

    There's no need to wall on my server now though, all the major glyph players are co-operating to keep prices nice.

  15. Also I post just above his *real* threshold, not the price he tries to push prices down to so he can buyout. Sure he might push prices even lower and buyout once, but then you know that's too low and just post 5g higher next time.

    In any case I won't post below a certain point no matter what. I won't go under about 5g profit or 10g price (whichever is highest).

  16. I had a JC try this on me for cuts like Fractured (5g), Puissant (5), Reckless (25g) and Purified (20g) cuts. He posted 50 fractured and puissants and 30 purified and reckless. I just bought em all, reset the market on each to 99g and made back the cost of buying his gems on the the sale of the first 2-4 gems.

  17. Gems are little trickier to wall. Higher demand. If he was smart he would have split those posts into multiple walls at progressively higher prices to prevent buyouts like that.

    You probably wouldn't have bought the fractured if there were 10 at 5g, 10 at 10g, 10 at 15g, 10 at 20g and 10 at 30g. Same with the purified and reckless, if they'd been 10 at 25g, 10 at 30g, 10 at 40g, you probably wouldn't have bought them either.

    Or if you had bought them all anyhow he would have made decent gold on them and if he's paying attention have another wall up well before you recovered the purchase costs.