Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Millionaire To Be: Assignment 1

As promised I am going to attempt to help those of you who are interested into getting into the mini-game of gold making and Auction House pvp. The approach that I am taking to this is to get you started on the right path so that when Cataclysm launches you can truly begin to rake in the gold. This is not to say that you cannot start now, but as the expansion winds down it is more difficult for everyone, even AH masters, to make gold so I want to lay the ground work in the weeks/months leading up to Cataclysm to get you prepared to be rolling in it later.

Your assignment for this week is to get a bank alt and a guild bank. If you already have both of these things then good for you, come back next week. Are you gone? Good. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a bank alt with a guild bank. Buying, posting, and storing all of your items in one place will greatly increase your efficiency. First things first, what class is your bank alt going to be? Some things to consider;
  • for the widest variety of fashion choices a dk is best as he/she can wear a wider level range of items and can wear all armor classifications
  • If you are willing to level your bank toon a bit Shaman, hunters, mages, and druids all have low level abilities to help you run from the AH, bank, and mailbox faster (ghost wolf, aspect of the cheetah, blink, and travel form)
  • While you can certainly get your low level toon to any major city with death runs or ports, you might want to consider dwarf, gnome, or human simply because of the proximity to the best cities to park your bank toon in.
  • When naming your bank toon you might want to avoid naming it something that can easily be identified with your main characters, as you generally don't want your bank toon's AH reputation mixing with your raiding reputation.
Once you have your bank toon made you need to get a guild for it. Even if you cannot afford to purchase the bank slots right now, still make your guild right away as I predict it will get even harder to get guild signatures once guilds become a much bigger deal in Cataclysm. Go to the starting areas or the major cities and advertise for guild charter signatures. Make it clear that this is your own personal bank and that people will be removed once the guild is formed. Between 5 and 10 gold is typical to offer for a character signature, but the more you offer the faster you can get it done.

Next get bags for you bank toon, including their personal banks (frostweave if you can afford it, netherweave if you can't) and purchase as many guild tabs as you need/can afford. Finally we get to the best part of a bank alt, fashion! Didn't you know that the cooler you look the more gold you make? If you really want to get into customizing your bank toon a quick google search for bank alt fashions will show you what items others like for looking stylish. The final step for this week is to mail all the items currently on your other toons that you plan on selling or storing long-term to your bank alt. Then mail the majority of your gold to the bank alt, leaving each character enough to cover their normal expenses of course, and you are set. Come back next week for assignment 2.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nerdgasm!



Fear not, I'm still steadily working on some gold guides for the aspiring Auction House mastermind, but I just had to share my new favorite addon, Ackis Recipe List. This is an example of an addon that does one thing, and does is beautifully. Ackis Recipe List will scan your professions and generate a list of recipes that you have not yet learned. It sorts those unknown recipes by either the zone they are obtainable in, or the way you obtain them; drop, vendor, trainer, reputation, etc. It will even provide coordinates. And for those of you who do all your shopping on an Auction House alt, you can view the professions of all of your toons that the addon is enabled for.

A word of warning however, for the completionist super nerds (like me) this addon could cause some unhealthy obsession. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that I only knew about 60% of the available recipes of both my main's professions. There used to be a famous enchanter on my server who had every single enchanting recipe in the game. That feat, combined with his catchy advertising slogan, made him the most famous person on my server. He has since left, but he inspired in me the notion that it would be very satisfying to have my professions 100% complete. However I've never put this plan into action 1) because it would be hard to figure out which recipes I was missing (a problem which this addon solved) and 2) because there was no real reward for doing so. If there was just 10 achievement points at stake for 100% profession completion I would so do it. The beauty and the problem with Ackis Recipe List is that it gives you a nice little bar showing your recipe collection progress, and as evidenced by my ridiculous reputation grinding, I can't resist filling up a bar. So if you are looking for an excuse to never go outside again, pick up Ackis Recipe List.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Can't Make Gold! /faceplam


No Gnome Haters Allowed!


Blogging about acquiring gold in WoW and auction house pvp is all the rage these days. One of the best WoW communities on the net, Just My Two Copper, is all about amassing astronomically amounts of gold to feed your little goblin soul. As I’ve mentioned before I dabble in gold making. Right now I’m sitting on 80k liquid and a large stockpile of materials to sell come Cataclysm. I really enjoy being a minor force on the Auction House and of course never having to worry about gold is a plus too. However, inevitably when guildies find out that I’m realatively loaded they bemoan how they are always broke and ask how they can make gold. While I have developed my own gold making strategies I find it difficult to communicate them to others, but I’m going to give it a shot. This post is going to be about making gold for the truly gold impaired. This is not a post on how to become gold capped or how to become a master of the Auction House. Instead this is for those who are continually broke and can’t fathom how anyone can even have 10k gold. Therefore some of the strategies I am going to suggest are not necessarily the most gold per hour and will be poo-pooed by serious gold makers. However they are effective and can get you your epic flying with a bit of breathing room if all you are interested in is living comfortably and not becoming an Auction House mastermind.

Addons – I have a secret. I don’t use Auction House addons. This is a source of great shame for anyone who considers themselves a gold maker. I used to have the ubiquitous Auctioneer, but I hated scanning and I didn’t utilize most of the functionality, so one day it broke and I just dumped it. Now things like Auctioneer, Auctionator, or Quick Auctions are absolutely great addons that can really aid your gold making process, however they are not necessary, especially not for the casual gold maker. So my suggestion is this; if you consider yourself an “addon person,” that is you have a fair number of addons, you enjoy them, and are not intimidated by addon set up then go ahead and pick up Auctioneer or Auctioneer Lite. If you like to keep addons to a minimum, skip the Auction House addons.

The White Rule – The first step to making gold is not to vender valuable items you have picked up out of ignorance. A simple rule is that if it is of white quality or better, look it up on wowhead. The average price that wowhead gives is semi-useful, but also read the comments. Many things are more valuable than people realize. For example, did you know that Dreadfang Venom Sacs are used when you want to change from Scyers to Aldor? Or did you know that the recipe Enchant Shield: Lesser Block while functionally useless is one of the rarest enchanting recipes in game and a profession completionists will pay thousands for it. Unfortunately what usually happens with these items is that some unwitting person will either vendor it or put it on the AH for a pittance of what it is really worth. So if an item is of white quality or better make sure you are informed about its possible uses before getting rid of it.

The Lazy/Stupid Rule – Many people in WoW, as in life, are either lazy or stupid and you can take advantage of this. The easiest way to do so is to visit your friendly npc vender, buy the things they sell for a pittance and resell for up to 1000% profit. The two main categories for this are pets and recipes. Pets that are sold by a vender, either in your local cities, Dalaran, or out in the world, will absolutely sell on the Auction House for more than you paid for them from the vender. The only catch to this is that this is a fairly popular technique, so start with just a few pets and see how the market is on your server. Another way to exploit venders is to resell rare spawn recipes. Most will easily double your money and some like Frost Oil or Large Prismatic Shard with sell for 5-10 times what you paid for it. So have a look through Wowhead and pick out some venders to exploit. You can also sell recipes that are not rare spawns, although your margin will typically be less. Other applications of the lazy/stupid rule include selling items needed for holiday achievement, reputation items, and quest items.

Farm Smart – Markco of Just My Two Copper frequently says that crafting is more gold per hour than farming and he is right. However for those without access to capital, multiple crafting proffessions, and knowledge it can be hard to capitalize on this. Therefore if you have the patience to farm do it, just farm smart. By farming smart I mean don't just randomly go out and collect things. Consider your proffessions, any achievements you are going for, and the value of the items relative to how difficult they are to obtain. For example, many people farm Northrend herbs. However low level herbs, pretty much mageroyal and higher, often sell for more than Northrend herbs at this point in the expansion. So you smartly decide to go farm low level herbs, but there are many places you can go to do this. If you are farming smart it means that you will go farm herbs in the Barrens because all mobs in that zone have a chance to drop Recipe: Deviate Delight, which sells for 1000g on my server. Another example of farming smart is say you want to farm some runecloth, either for yourself or to sell. Stratholme is a great place to farm this however you want to farm it with your toon who is a tailor/enchanter instead of the one who is an herber/miner in order to disenchant and sell all of the drops.

Opportunity Cost - Opportunity Cost sounds complicated, but its not. It is however essential to maximizing your profit. For example you have an herbalist/alchemist. You gather herbs, make them into flasks, and think that minus the cost of the vials you have made pure profit because you farmed the herbs yourself. Wrong. Instead you need to see how much gold you could have made had you sold the herbs instead of using them to make flasks. Depending on the market, raw material can sell for more than the finished product. Basically opportunity cost boils down to this; how can I get the most possible gold for the materials I have?

These are just a few thoughts designed to help the chronically broke. If, however, you are interested in making gold becoming a real part of your game play, but aren't sure how to start check back later as I am currently putting together some posts designed to prep a novice auctioneer for becoming an AH mastermind come Cataclysm.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Wrath Retrospective - Factions Part 1



Random body is random, just like this screenshot.

I love faction reputations. I must fill all those little bars! Wrath had a host of factions and ways to gain reputation with them, some good, some not so much. So without further ado lets get started. (note: As always, this is from the Alliance perspective)

The Kalu'ak - This is by far my favorite faction of Wrath. These little guys manage to be cute and venerable at the same time. In my opinion this is the way a reputation grind should be done. There is an initial quest chain that tells you the story of the Kalu'ak and gets you started on your reputation grind. The daily quests are quick and relatively engaging and even spread out across different zones. For me these guys are a joy to rep up with.

Sons of Hodir - Sons of Hodir is a close second for my favorite faction of Wrath. The quest chain to become friendly with Sons of Hodir is just plain fun, full of flavor, lore, and crazy blue ladies. The dailies are numerous and varied, not to mention bordering on pornographic. I mean who doesn't giggle when completing quests named Blowing Hodir's Horn, Thrusting Hodir's Spear, or Polishing Hodir's Helm? For those who want to power through them with gold there is also the option of turning in relics or everfrost chips. A great change that they made half way through the expansion is that the shoulder enchants are BoA so that if you don't want to you don't have to repeat the grind for your alts.

The Oracles/ Frenyheart Tribe - These guys are truly hysterical. They could have just given you the daily quests, but the addition of your oracle/frenzyheart helper who likes to insult you while completing your dailies is genius. I also like how the quests vary from day to day. The only thing that sucks about them is that the Oracles get all the good rewards. It seems impossible that Blizzard didn't realize this, but I can't figure out why they would do this. However its worth doing both of them just for the entertainment value.

The Alliance Vanguard - This is a type of meta-faction under which are four individual reputations; Explorer's League, The Frostborn, The Silver Covenant, and The Valiance Expedition. Running heroics without a tabard that grants reputation will give reputation through exalted with these factions.

The Frostborn/The Taunka - Other than the fact that the Taunka are the counterpart to the Frostborn I know nothing about them, so on the Frostborn. These guys have a great opening quest line with a big lore reveal upon completion. Unfortunately the awesome sauce stops there. They offer no daily quests or turn in opportunities. The only way to get exalted with them is to run Heroics without a reputation tabard equipped. That is lame.

The Explorer's League - There is so much potential with this faction, its sad that they did nothing with it. Some quests will grant reputation with the Explorer's League, but they have no rewards or daily quests. It's probably not going to happen but I would love to see the Explorer's League tied into archeology in Cataclysm.

The Silver Covenant - These guys have absolutely zero personality and I have no idea what they are even for. However the quests you do for them through the Argent Tournament aren't too bad and the rewards are good.

The Valiance Expedition - This faction is sort of the default faction of Northrend. Not too exciting, although most quests grant reputation with them.

Next time Part 2.