Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Engineering: All the cool kids are doing it

Trinket that fires a lightning bolt for upwards of 3k damage? Check.
Gauntlets that fire a rocket like Boba Fett? Check.
Gizmo that lets me see and extract elemental essences from little steam clouds? Check.
Auction house in Dalaran useable only by Grand Master Engineers? CHECK
Personal robotic butler that will buy my junk, sell me reagents, act as a bank and fetch my dry-cleaning? Double Check!
Gadget that rips apart space-time creating a worm hole that will transport me all over Northerend??? Giggity check check!

Sorry for the nerd-gasm, but the last 3 on the list are a few of the many engineering profession changes slated for patch 3.2. Rorik was my first character and my only lvl 80. I started with Engineering, went to blacksmithing and then went back to engineering shortly after hitting 70 because blacksmithing is boring. Engineering suits me to a perfectly and I’ll never drop the profession even though it’s been moderately useless in raiding situations.

Engineering isn’t for the min-maxer who wants to do 7k DPS. Engineering is for the cool people. The people who want to paint sharks teeth on a turbo charged flying machine. The people who know what a turbo charger even is! We gadget freaks have been shunned by both Blizzard and the general WoW player base for quite a while. Not any longer. Say I’m in the middle of a raid and one of our healers drops out and we need someone to switch specs quickly. Not a problem, I’ll just call on Jeeves to bring me my healing gear! He’ll even press the dings out of your chestplate and offer you Earl Grey to go with your stack of reagents. The addition of the auction house is just beyond awesome. I can scan away while listening to the sweet sounds of the chopper idling outside the entrance of “Like Clockwork”. With all the new engineering gadgets and the old stuff I currently have, I’ll be able to check my mail, sell my junk, buy reagents, access my bank and teleport myself to various places around Northrend without being in a major city. The only way it could get any better would be if they added machine guns and a saronite bomb dropper to the roflcopter.

There are plenty of other more minor changes too, like potion injectors doing more to engineers, cobalt frag bombs incapacitating characters and lowered cooldowns for a bunch of devices. There’s even a mind control dish that can be integrated with your helmet. I’ll be very curious to see how that device works and also to see how it alters the look of my goggles.

Maybe Blizzard doesn’t hate engineers quite as much as I had previously thought…

Monday, June 29, 2009

Engineering ammo changes

A Blizzard developer mentioned recently that he thought that hunter ammo expenses were too high and they wanted to change that. After some reader responses and a few calculations, I found that hunters do indeed spend a lot of gold on crafted ammunition. The costs are so high that one of our guild hunters (read his blog here) recently said that he has stopped using crafted ammo all together and that he’s still doing exceptional DPS. Well now we know that Blizzard is going to go forward with their ammo changes. Here’s the breakdown:

Currently, engineers create ammo crates which hold 10 charges of 200 pieces of ammo. Each crate = 2000 shots and at 20 gold per stack of saronite and cobalt ore, cost roughly 30 gold per crate for saronite razorheads and about 21 gold per crate for mammoth cutters.

The change for patch 3.2 is that engineers will no longer create crates but stacks of 1000 arrows/bullets. The materials cost for 2000 razorheads is now 4 saronite bars. For 2000 mammoth cutters it’s 2 saronite bars and 3 cobalt bars + 1 crystallized water. The materials cost for 2000 razorheads @20 gold/stack of ore should be ~ 8 gold. The materials cost for 2000 mammoth cutters should be ~ 7 gold. That works out to be a materials cost of about 25% of the previous cost.

I don’t know what to think of the change. I don’t sell a lot of ammo crates because there is more competition and it seems fewer buyers. Lately with school being out, it seems there are a lot more buyers for my ammo stacks. I guess more casual players are picking up the game again for the summer. What does this have to do with anything? Well, ammo crates are going to go away for good. All crafted ammo will now be sold as stacks of ammo. This is good and bad for me. It’s good because it means more customers, it’s bad because it means more competition. Since the price of materials is going down by 75% it also means more room to undercut. It’ll be interesting to see how much ammo goes for after the patch. On Bleeding Hollow, the price of a stack of 1000 has stabilized to about 35-37 gold. Will we see prices drop by half? What will the competition be like? Ammo sales are my primary source of income, so I am a bit concerned.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Other major changes in 3.2

Spare some...change?
There’s a lot going on in 3.2 beyond the titanium/epic gem addition. No, they won't turn us into homeless zombies (though the addictiveness of the game might), but there are tons of class and profession changes. I think the vast majority of class changes will not be ground breaking or game altering. Retribution Paladins are getting a pretty big overhaul with how they do damage but in the end, they will work pretty much the same as they had before, they’re just using a different seal and will be hitting Crusader Strike more often. They’ll also still NOT be able to kill a healer by themselves since their damage won’t be as “bursty” as it is now. Hunters are getting a few minor buffs but in general, they’ll still be stink on toast in 2v2 Arena due to them having issues getting melee DPS off their back. I’m not familiar enough with the other classes to really say if they will see huge changes, but from what I’ve read I’ll go out on a limb and say no, they won’t.

These are the big changes:

New change: Emblems of Conquest from every form of dungeon/raid. New emblem from the new 25 man Argent Tournament instances.

Effect: Since most Emblem of Conquest gear is ilvl 226, it’ll be harder than ever to gear check a potential PuG, so be sure you have some decent raid achievements to prove you aren’t a slacktard. It should also mean masses of new gear to gem and enchant, so there should be a steady demand for gems and scrolls of enchants on the AH. I’m not predicting massive inflation, just steady prices for a few months.

New change: Wintergrasp is now something of an open world instance where there can only be 100 players per side in combat.

Effect: Much less lag in Wintergrasp and the potential for massively lopsided matches. I know that players are randomly selected from the queue but it will be interesting to see if the system can be exploited. All in all a good change and with the weekly quests for Wintergrasp, it should really help to spread out the numbers over the week instead of the entire server being in Wintergrasp every Tuesday evening.

New change: The addition of Normal and Heroic raids.

Effect: Raiders who want to attempt bosses on Hard Mode will now be able to run the regular raid and not worry about getting saved to their hard mode group.

New change: The Argent Crusader’s Coliseum

Effect: New 5, 10 and 25 man instances much like the Ring of Blood except now an instanced dungeon/raid. Sounds like a cool concept and a good change to the standard “clear trash, boss fight, clear trash, boss fight” dungeons. I’m very curious to see what the rewards are.

New change: Resilience will mitigate both crit and non-crit damage.

Effect: Longer matches and not as many insta-gibs. Talent specs with no Mortal Strike type debuff and limited crowd control/interrupts will probably disappear from 2v2 matches *cough* ret *cough*. Warrior and rogue teams will dominate even more in 2v2 but Blizzard won’t care because…

New change: Season 7 Arena gear required a 3v3 or 5v5 rating.

Effect: 2v2? No soup for you! This is why Blizzard won’t care about 2v2, because they won’t be able to get Season 7 gear unless they play on a 3v3 or 5v5 team. For 3’s, heavy CC teams with Mortal Strike effects will dominate more than usual. Expect to see Rogue-Mage-Priest teams dominating…again.

There’s another change that I’ll be writing about more after I do the proper research and that is the change in materials to Engineer crafted ammo. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This just in: Epic Gem prices, transmutation and prospecting rates

After some searching on the mmo-champion forums, I found the prices of epic gems and a small titanium ore prospecting data sample. Here's the thread: http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=67563.0

and the prospect rate thread: http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=67480.0

Prices will be 10,000 honor or 15 emblems of heroism. The prospect rate seems to be about 25%, or 1 per stack of 20 ore. It is also possible to get Uncommon and Rare quality gems from the prospect. 10 titanium dust can be turned in for 1 Jewelcrafter's token.

For transmuting, see this thread: http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=67505.0

The more interesting transmute is for the Cardinal Ruby, which takes 9 Forest Emeralds. Sounds like a good way to get rid of those rare gems that don't sell well or sell cheap.

With all these methods of obtaining epic gems, I'm beginning to wonder if holding on to Titanium Ore will be worth it. I'll have to give it more thought before I hazard a wild ass guess.

Badges and Elitism

Sometimes I raid. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, raiding for me isn’t about clearing content, seeing new dungeons or watching my DPS meter. I could really care less and think that raiding isn’t nearly as difficult as PvP is. It takes a lot of practice and preparation to be successful, but it’s nowhere near as instinctual as a good 2v2 match. When I do raid, it’s to help my friends and my guild. That’s why I don’t mind switching between healer and DPS. It’s one of the benefits of being a hybrid class (paladin) and having dual spec. I can change to fit the needs of the group. Sometimes, it’s pretty fun too, like last night when we decided to try Sarth 10 with one drake up. It was fun not because we got great loot or we felt “l33t” because we downed a boss. It was fun because we used teamwork to overcome an obstacle and everyone was on the same page. We did Vault 10 earlier with the same group and again, great teamwork all around and didn’t wipe on Emalon.

In that 10 man traveling raid we had several freshly minted 80’s. Was their DPS great? Not really. Did they do anything that endangered the group? Nope. It’s a testament to their competence that we were able to do Sarth 10 +1. If we had been a group of elitist raiding asshats, I’m sure we would have kicked both of them for substandard DPS after finishing Vault 10. We didn’t, because we aren’t like that, sometimes to a fault. Would we have invited them to do an Ulduar run? Probably not because they just aren’t geared for it yet.

So what does this have to do with badges? Well, there’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the proposed changes to the badge system in 3.2. Anything that dropped an Emblem of Heroism or Emblem of Valor will now drop an Emblem of Conquest. Why did Blizzard do this? Well, it’s not because they want to reward “noobs” with great gear. It’s to keep players interested in the PvE game. We did Vault and OS 10 to get these two new level 80 characters geared up. There is absolutely nothing that is dropped in OS 10 or from Archavon 10 that I need. I’d be willing to bet that getting an OS 10 run is fairly difficult because most players are in the same boat. When these bosses start dropping Emblems of Conquest, it will benefit the entire raid in addition to getting the new 80’s geared up. It will motivate more guilds to do the starter raids and heroics to help gear up their alts and new members and make it much easier for everyone to get the prerequisite gear to do Ulduar and beyond. We’ve all done Naxx WAY too many times already, why should we keep going just to gear up a new alt or new off spec? The players who don’t care enough to figure out when and where to stand will still show their true colors and they will continue to not be invited to raids where as those of us who don’t have the time or desire to run Ulduar 25 ad nauseam will slowly accumulate badges to supplement their gear to the point where they can do Ulduar when the opportunity presents itself. As an added bonus to us PvPers, Emblems of Conquest can be used to gear up with Deadly Gladiator set items, which will greatly reduce the amount of time spent grinding in battlegrounds.

The Emblem of Conquest change is a good one for everyone. If you don’t agree, then maybe you need to turn off Recount and stop taking the game so seriously.

(this post partially inspired by a post on Holy Sh---ock )

Monday, June 22, 2009

An Interesting Prospect

Oh sweet, sweet Titanium, how do I love thee...

One of the most substantial changes to the WoW economy in 3.2 will be the addition of epic quality gems that can be prospected from titanium ore. There will be other sources for these gems which are PvP (purchased with Honor), emblem of heroism and transmutations.

So, what does it all mean? Well, just like gas prices rise just before Memorial Day due to speculators buying up gasoline, the price of titanium ore is absurdly high right now. I’m seeing stacks of 20 going for between 150 and 250 gold. Plus, the amount of titanium ore on the auction house is very low on Bleeding Hollow. Just like higher gas prices mean higher prices for consumer goods due to higher transportation costs, the titanium ore situation will affect a lot of other areas of the WoW economy.

Mining is one of my professions and before the patch notes for 3.2 came out, Titansteel Bars sold for about 90 gold each. I suspect the quantity of Titansteel will drop dramatically and the price will shoot up quite a bit. It takes 6 titanium ore to smelt into enough bars to make 1 bar of Titansteel. At 250 gold per stack, that’s 75 gold per bar of Titansteel in titanium materials alone. Miners who would normally smelt Titansteel aren’t going to buy titanium because their costs have skyrocketed and they’ll likely save any titanium that they mine for themselves, either to sell at greatly inflated prices or to have prospected when 3.2 hits. A lack of Titansteel on the AH and in personal stocks will also affect the prices of crafted BoE items like the Titansteel Destroyer, Shield wall, etc.

How will this affect rare gem prices? It’s hard to really say. On the one hand, it could kill them because rare gems will become the new “perfect” cut uncommon gems. On the other hand, these new rare gems will likely be going for over 400 gold each, probably higher for the +strength and + spellpower gems. Add to that the fact that all dungeons and raids (save for the Argent Crusade stuff) will drop emblems of conquest, which can be converted into lesser badges if needed. This means that we will be able to run heroics until we’re blue in the face and buy ilvl 226 gear. That means multiple upgrades for the vast majority of players and those players aren’t going to want to drop 1000+ gold just to gem their new chest armor. If anything, we may see a modest increase in rare gem prices for at least a month. Rare gem prices will likely deflate over the long term once players stop using badges and honor to buy new armor and start using them to buy epic quality gems.

Should we be speculating? How should we plan for 3.2? Without details on prospecting rates for titanium ore, transmutation materials and honor/badge costs, I think the best bet is to hold on to your ore and only buy new ore if you see it listed for close to the old market prices. If you aren’t a jewelcrafter, don’t want epic gems for yourself and see ridiculous prices for titanium ore on your server, feel free to sell. My guess on the prices and prospecting rates for epic quality gems is about a 25% chance for an epic per prospect (1 per stack of 20) and cut gems will list for 500 gold and up. Just look at the prices of Stormjewels, which have the same stats as the new epic gems, and use that as a comparison. To prepare for 3.2, the only thing I’m doing differently is saving the titanium ore that I mine and as a result, not making any more Titansteel. My behavior may change once we find out how much the new epic gems will cost and what the prospect rate will be.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Come PWN with us!

Aculeus Upon Ordeum, is recruiting! Over the past three or four months, attrition for various reasons has thinned our ranks. Here’s a little bit about us.

Aculeus Upon Ordeum (AUO) is an Alliance guild on the US PvP server Bleeding Hollow. I would classify us as a casual raiding guild. We’re full of friends and family and that are helpful, kind and respectful to each other. I found the guild back in the spring of 2008 after searching for a while for a guild with a casual and friendly atmosphere. I consider myself very lucky to have found exactly what I was looking for and wouldn’t dream of ever leaving. Most of us are working professionals and live in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.

What do we do? Pretty much everything. We raid, run heroics, battlegrounds and many of us are on arena teams. We’ve done some Ulduar 10 raids but with no great frequency mainly due to lack of key roles that we don’t want to pug. We also like to run organized battleground nights.

What are we looking for? First, no one is obligated to do anything. If you don’t want to raid, no sweat. Hate PvP? We have plenty of PvE stuff that we need help with. We’re looking for all classes and levels. Gear and levels we can change, but attitudes and personalities we can’t. If you want to transfer an existing character to Bleeding Hollow or start a new one, that’s ok with us. We’re running a little low on tanks so if you happen to be a level 80 tank, that would be a great bonus to me personally.

What are we NOT looking for? Our one main rule is: No douchebags. Also, we aren’t a progression raiding guild, so if you’re looking for Ulduar 25 twice a week working up to hard modes, this isn’t the guild for you.

So, if you are looking for a new guild, meet the criteria above and want to come check us out, please fill out an application here and the GM and officers will get back in touch with you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More on hunter ammo

I was a little shocked to hear how much ammo hunters use in raids. I had always assumed it was maybe 1000 arrows/bullets for a full clear on Naxx. Once I read the comments on how much hunters are spending on ammo, I decided to do a little math to support their assertion.

Assuming that 1 shot of ammo is used every time a player clicks an ability that causes something to fly out of the end of their bow/gun and (for the sake of simplicity) an auto shot speed of 3 seconds, we can calculate the burn rate of ammo as (t/1.5) + (t/3), where the first number is ammo used by hunter spells and the second is ammo used by auto shots. That also conveniently works out to be 1 round of ammo per second as we can reduce the formula to Burn Rate = (.66t + .33t). Math is fun! And you thought algebra was dumb and you’d never have to use it after high school.

Let’s assume also that it takes 5 minutes to down a boss in Naxx and since some bosses have an enrage timer of 5 or 6 minutes, your hunter won’t be using ammo face down in the dirt after an enrage wipe anyway. Sure, a well geared raid can burn a boss down in less than 4 minutes, but we’ll just use 5 minutes as a hypothetical median. There are 18 bosses in Naxx and sometimes there are wipes and always trash to clear, so we’ll go with 20 bosses worth of ammo consumed.

Here are the numbers:

300 seconds per boss = 300 units of ammo used * 20 bosses = 6000 units of ammo used in a full clear of Naxx.

That’s 3 crates of ammo for one raid.

I was shocked that my original assumption of how much ammo a hunter uses was so low. Some of the commenter’s numbers are probably a little conservative too. Even if the hunter were to buy stacks of ore to give to a miner/engineer to make ammo, he’d still be spending about 90 gold on saronite ore to make 3 crates of ammo. Add on top of that the costs of repairs, flasks and buff food and it can be very expensive to be a dedicated raiding hunter.

It almost makes me feel bad about making money from ammo sales. Almost, because I’m sure Blizzard will nerf engineering/change hunter ammo soon and I’ll lose a major source of income. Because Blizzard hates Paladins AND Engineers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Interesting blue post on ammo

Ghostcrawler responded to a post from a hunter on a range of subjects. You can find it here. There are a few interesting comments made.

But we did design the hunter around having potent CC, and we don't think their CC feels scary any longer. Traps are probably in most need of some attention here. We'll try and go into more detail in the class Q&A if it isn't too far away.

First, it seems the developers are really getting the point that hunters in PvP aren't anywhere near what they used to be or should be. I can only hope they made some changes soon so my arena partner Krys and I can get our 2's back to a more respectable rating.

The more interesting comment is this one:
We agree with the comments that ammo costs have gotten too high. It was acceptable when hunters realistically did not die as often, and thus didn't have high repair bills. But it has gotten too high now.

I certainly hope Ghostcrawler is talking about vendor ammo and not crafted ammo. I know they have plans on redoing how hunter ammo works. This plus the comment above doesn't bode well for us Engineers who make a living from ammo sales. I really have no idea how much ammo a hunter goes through in a week but I'd guess that a raiding hunter that does some light questing/skinning on the side doesn't spend as much on repairs and ammo as a tank that does the same. I'll have to gather some data from the guild hunters to see how expensive things have become.

More Pet Peeves

Some of these are just minor annoyances. I know a lot of times people are rushed to type and mistakes get made a lot. That’s fine. When I see these mistakes being made on forums or even worse in business emails, it makes me a bit mental. I’m not the best at grammar and punctuation, but here goes.

1) Advise and advice – I see this one over and over again on forums where people write “my advise is”. Seriously, stop playing WoW and do your English homework. I’ll give examples of the correct usage: I’m going to give you some advice. Please advise him of the problems with his gear. One ends in “ice” and is pronounced like “ice”. See? Is that so hard?

2) Their, there and they’re –You should know this before you make it to college. If you don’t know the difference, look them up.

3) Rude PuGs in vent – Name calling when someone makes a mistake in a group or raid, making funny sounds too often and chatter at inappropriate times. These are all the characteristics of rude PuGs. As Penny Arcade summed up so well, Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad. That’s right Mr. I Make Chewbacca Noises, it was funny the first time, but now you’re just annoying. The name calling thing came up just a few days ago when I was healing a Naxx 25 with a group of ½ guildies and ½ PuGs. One of the PuGs wasn’t following directions well in a stressed situation and someone else started running his mouth and name calling. That kind of behavior should not be tolerated.

4) Guildies who pug vault on Tuesday afternoon – A significant number of my guildmates and people on my friends list PuG Vault before I even get home from work on Tuesday. WTF? Maybe if they waited for the rest of us they wouldn’t get loot ninja’ed from them and we’d have more stuff to do as a guild. That’s right, I’m looking at YOU AUO! Get a grip on your completion anxiety and wait for the rest of us to at least get home from work!

5) Fish feast – Wouldn’t you rather have the spell power or attack power buff and stamina? You’re hurting my sales! Now go buy some firecracker salmon and dragonfin fillet. You’ll find them on the auction house in convenient stacks of 5.

6) Wannabe raid leaders – What’s that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen? Just because we wiped doesn’t mean the strategy isn’t sound or tanks/healers need to be replaced. Sometimes, $#!^ happens. Suck it up and try what works a few more times before you confuse the whole raid with Plan B, C and D.

7) Using SO as an intensifier – This is used most frequently as “Thank you so much!” with an emphasis on the “so”. What’s odd is that I usually hear it from women more than men. Other examples are “The sky was so blue” “That movie was so bad” and “That guy is so tall!” The word “so” isn’t an intensifier like the word “very” is. Need more details?

OK, I feel SO much better now. ;-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

We're ready to believe you!

Tomorrow, Ghostbusters The Video Game comes out for just about every platform I can think of. I've preordered the XBox 360 version. I'm usually a PC snob but this time, I think playing on the big screen will be better, even if I have to use the clunky console controller. I'm really hoping it will hold my attention. I've been a HUGE Ghostbusters fan since I saw the first movie in 1984. A few years ago, me and four other guys here in the IT department dressed up as Ghostbusters for Halloween and played the movies all day on a projector in the office. That's how much I love the franchise. I wouldn't be nearly as hopeful for the game if it weren't for the fact that it was written and voiced by the original cast. The real test will be to see how much the game pulls me away from playing WoW.

Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Inside the mind of a customer

My wife fished up a few stacks of Dragonfin Angelfish for me over the past few days, which I turned into Dragonfin Filet and sold using my AH broker. Last night, before I log off for the evening, I check my broker’s mailbox.

Click…click… Click…click… Click…click…

“Did any of my fish sell”

“Yep, 3 or 4 stacks of 5”

“How much did you post them for?”

“20 gold each stack”


“Are those unsold auctions, or are you picking up money?!!?”

“This is gold from my ammo sales”



My ammo sales are interesting. First, I love being able to make money with engineering. Sure, it’s not an Inscription Empire, but it keeps me from farming when I don’t want to and I make enough gold to more than pay for my weekly upkeep and my wife’s never ending quest for 100 mounts (she’s up to 80 now). Sales can be spikey, usually every 2 days or so I sell a ton, but in between only a few stacks.

I often wonder why people would by ammo in stacks of 200, or why they would buy anything in lower stacks at a higher cost per unit. I think trying to get inside the mind of your customer is a good idea. It could really expand how you sell on the auction house and open up new selling opportunities.

First, let’s look at some of the items I sell on a regular basis – Mammoth Cutters, Saronite Razorheads, Saronite Bars. For the ammo, I was surprised that people would buy it and not just the ammo maker. When I started selling ammo by the stack, I could only sell it stacks of 200. Then, there was a change to ammo and it stacked up to 1000 per stack as a way to help hunters. I decided to continue to sell in stacks of 200. Why? Because most people aren’t good at doing even simple math. They probably don’t even have a calculator in the house and don’t know that you can minimize WoW and use the Windows calculator (it even has a Scientific mode!). I also know that most players don’t use Auctioneer, so the % of market value isn’t displayed for them. Lastly, most players sort by lowest price. So, I put these three things together and I have a formula for ammo success. Sell ammo in stacks of 200 for over 2x the cost of materials. Buyers will sort by lowest price and see pages and pages of my ammo at a cheaper price than the stacks of 1000, even though their cost per unit is lower than mine. Of course, since they lack simple math skills and calculators, most won’t even notice that my ammo is more expensive. I sometimes feel guilty about this. I’m not as cold hearted as Gevlon seems to be. Whenever I do feel guilt, I tell myself these very real facts: I’m not holding a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to buy my ammo and there are other, cheaper options on the auction house. Plus, I really do hate blatant laziness so if someone can’t figure out how to find a better deal, it’s not my problem. In many cases, these are the same people who come to raids unprepared, do substandard DPS and “stand in the fire.”

For saronite bars, there are a few different reasons for buying a stack of 2 bars for a higher price per unit than a stack of 20. A buyer most likely only needs between 3 and 6 bars so they can have something crafted for them, be it a ring, weapon or armor. If they bought a stack of 20 saronite bars, then ¾ of them would “go to waste” after they had their gear crafted. So, in this case, selling bars in small stacks is kind of like selling boneless, skinless chicken breast. Sure, I could buy a whole chicken and butcher it myself, but my wife doesn’t like legs/thighs and it’s a time saver to not have to dismantle a whole chicken. So, I pay a little more for convenience.

Sometimes I sell crystallized fire/earth/whatever in stacks of 1. They don’t sell fast, but I can sell 10 crystallized fire for more than the cost of an eternal fire, which can be broken down into 10 crystallized. Why? Well, given that they don’t sell very quickly, they are probably being purchased by players who are farming their own eternals and after spending 2 hours don’t want to farm any longer for that one or two more crystallized to convert to an eternal. Again, it’s a time saver or in this case, they don’t want to waste any more time waiting for elementals to spawn.

Get to know your customers and tailor your sales to meet their needs…or to take advantage of their shortcomings.

Oh and thank you Jederus for the kind words and inspiration!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Writers Block

There doesn’t seem to be a lot to write about in WoW lately. The game seems to be on cruise control for the most part, with few major changes to class mechanics or professions. This doesn’t really bode well for me as a new WoW blogger as I'm struggling for stuff to write about. I’m beginning to realize why so many old and popular blogs have closed down in the past few months. There just isn’t a lot of excitement going on in the game to keep long time players interested and thus, long time bloggers have less to write about too. Wowenomics has a nice discussion about the Death of WoW that ties into this idea quite nicely.

So here’s my take on the Death of WoW. For people like me who had a level 70 well before Lich King was released, we’ve probably done most of what we’ve wanted to do in Lich King. We’ve leveled to 80, sometimes on several characters, and got a lot of great epic level gear from the treadmill that WoW haters loathe so much – reputation, heroics, Naxx and PvP. We’ve leveled our tradeskills and have a ton of achievements/mounts/pets/titles to show off. So now what? Ulduar is out, but that really is only enticing to the more hard core raiders. PvP is as frustrating as it always has been. The next major content patch is months away. Yea, I can see why the hard core players (those that play at least 15 hours a week) are starting to lose interest.

I guess it’s not really a bad thing that we hard core players have less to do in game. I used to have hobbies outside WoW. I have over $1000 of telescope and astronomy equipment that hasn’t been touched in a really long time. I used to enjoy cooking dinner for my wife and me. The list of hobbies and activities that were superseded by WoW goes on and on and now I have more time to get back into them.

What say you? Are you playing more or less than 15 hours a week and how much has that changed in the past 2 months? Are you running out of stuff to do in game?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bloke in a dress

This past weekend, I did something I had not done before. I finally downed 10 man Emalon the Storm Watcher. I had been in about 4 or 5 fail raids in the past, before I just gave up on it. On Saturday, I got a group together and we got close to taking him down, but couldn’t do it due to a few players who had sub standard DPS. By sub standard I mean awful, e.g. less DPS than the bear tank. So, Sunday afternoon, I see we have plenty of good DPS and enough tanks and healers, so I get the raid together and we down him. I got a very nice upgrade to my PvE healing set, the 10 man tier 8 leg armor.

Once I put the new leg armor on, I realized something. I became a bloke in a dress. I suddenly remembered that some of the tier 8 leg armor looks like a long floor length skirt. Horror washed over me as I realized that now, not only do I have to deal with spiky power ranger shoulder armor for my DPS set, but I have to wear a skirt if I’m healing.

This is further evidence that Blizzard hates paladins.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6th, 1944

To all those of the Greatest Generation, thank you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's On!

That’s right, it’s on! I can only speculate that it’s because of this post on Just My 2 Copper.

What’s happening? Well I used to be the sole provider of ammo in stacks of 200 on Bleeding Hollow. There were others selling ammo, but in stacks of 1000. I’m assuming they sold their 1000 stack ammo when it was listed, but it was listed at about half of what I listed my 200 stack per arrow/bullet so I was making huge profits compared to the others who sold ammo. So, I log on yesterday afternoon and what do I find? Someone listed 10 stacks of 200 arrows undercutting me by 1 copper. So, I posted a bunch more ammo and undercut him.

It was nice being the sole provider of ammo in the small stack category on my server. Every few days I’d sell a ton of it and it’s been my main source of income since the decline of buff food sales. If this keeps up, I’m gonna have to get ugly and pull a Gevlon, which is to say, undercut my competitors by so much that they go away.

So, not only will I Bring It, it’s already been “Broughten”!

Monday, June 1, 2009

WoW Pet Peeves

Justamom over at Magerly Different had a list of her WoW Pet Peeves back in May and I wanted to do my own list. My list focuses more on the "WoWspeak" that players have invented due to lack of typing skills, lazyness, etc.

1) Using the word "roll" to mean "create a new character". I'm pretty sure I know how this one got started. As a former Dungeons & Dragons player, I've rolled quite a few characters in my lifetime. It always involved several dice, thus the "roll" part. In WoW, there is no rolling during character creation, so you aren't "rolling" anything! So, all of you "roll" users, please return the word to its rightful place in the pen and paper role playing arena. That reminds me, please learn the difference between the words "roll" and "role". English is fun!

2) Chieves and Chanters. These two pop up in guild chat all the time and it drives me nuts! They are short for achievement and enchanter. Chanters are monks who recite words in a monotonous and repetitive tone, so sorry, that word is already taken. Chieves just looks like someone misspelled chives, which go on baked potatos.

3) Using odd abbreviations for dungeons or raids. The one that comes to mind most is "VC" for the Deadmines. It took a while before I found out that VC was Edwin VanCleef. Is it too hard to type out Deadmines?

4) Toons. I can kind of see why people started using the word toon, since WoW has a cartoonish art style and the word character is 5 letters longer to type. As we who play dirty auction house tricks have found, people are lazy, so now we have people using the word toon and paying 200% prices for a stack of 4 saronite bars. Which brings me to my last pet peeve for this list.

5) Lazyness. Players will spend 10 hours a weekend farming for herbs/ore/leather and when they get yelled at for doing less DPS than the main tank, they get offended. How about spending 1 of those hours reading a helpful blog or two, or maybe a site like Elitist Jerks and figure out a proper attack rotation and talent build? Those of us who do good DPS in PvE got there by doing a little research. Try asking us and we'll be more than helpful. Besides, top DPS players love to have their ego stroked ;-)