Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tips for low level inscription

I started a new character on Lightbringer-US to join the <Power Word Guild>, the official guild of Power Word: Gold. It was just the excuse I needed to experience the Worgen storyline, which I had wanted to do for a while, but just never seemed to get around to it. I'd also wanted to get a feel for playing the Worgen race as a possible race change for my level 85 hunter.

<Power Word Guild> is a guild designed as a place for gold makers to hang out and interact. There is another guild across the globe on the EU servers too, as well as a guild forum. If you are interested in the guild, or just learning more about the gold making community, head on over to Power Word: Gold and check it out.

As a brand new character, and a glyphing enthusiast I wanted to see just how profitable inscription is at low levels. Get straight to the tips, or read on for my story of how I started making gold on Lightbringer-US.

First up, I played through the Worgen starting zone, and had a fantastic time. I started as a hunter, and liked having "dog" to keep me company (to this day he hasn't been named, despite barking in trade about [Certificate of Ownership]). By level 10 I had 55 silver to my name, and I actually felt quite wealthy. I made it to Darnassus and got some training and hit level 13. My first sale on the AH was [Malachite] for a huge 3g28s. I was gobsmaked. Over 4g after logging in on my second day of a new character was very exciting.

I had chosen to take up herbalism in order to get me through those first few levels of Inscription, and went off questing, making sure I picked every herb that I saw. There is nothing worse than coming across a herb in your travels that you can't pluck from the ground, so I kept a keen lookout. So my second day consisted of a quick herbing session with some miscellaneous quests, and looking for some teeny tiny transmog items (none of which turned into anything).

Overnight, I had a great deal of success selling some linen cloth and little bits and pieces from questing, giving me 21g. I was pretty excited, because now I had a bank roll. So I started with my herbs, leveling inscription and looking at the leveling glyphs that were the highest in value. I sold my first two glyphs on my third day, bumping me up to 78g. Two glyphs. TWO, and I'd not only quadrupled my working capital, but I had 19 glyphs on the auction house. I was motivated to herb, quest and even drop into the dungeon finder with my guild mates to move on up to level 20, where I could increase the cap on my inscription skill.

Logging in on my fourth day, I had sold 12 glyphs for 269g and I was jumping for joy. I pretty much reinvested the lot back into herbs, and found 60 [Midnight Ink] at 1g/ea. I also had my inscribing as high as 190.

On the fifth day, I had sold about the same in glyphs, and while reposting 43 glyphs, I realised I need more bag space. So a quick check of the auction house, and I couldn't believe my eyes! [Pack of Endless Pockets] were on sale for 5g/ea. I quicly snapped 3 up, two for my bags, and one for my bank. It instantly made a difference in how quickly I could manage my inventory. I hit 225 inscription and level 21 (how OP is the XP from cooking and fishing dailies at low level?!?!) and enjoyed a quick scan for transmog items.

Logging in on the seventh day, I saw my first transmog sale for 225g. From the graph, you can sell what a boost that was, giving me a good buffer as I was reinvesting almost every coin back into inscription (or cheap transmog items). I kept on milling and glyphing, making a reasonable return on my time and the gold spent on herbs, making sure I did my Minor Inscription Research every day.

My graph shows a good, solid profit and increase in capital with low level inscribing, even as I spent coin on increasing my glyph stocks and grabbing the odd transmog item. I very quickly had a sizeable bank roll (nearing 2k in only 9 days) and as I only introduced one new glyph per day, wasn't needing to reinvest a lot into herbs and inks.

The last chunk of orange, was a 750g sale for a [Warmaul Helmet] which instantly pushed me into the realm of what I consider wild riches for a level 23 hunter. Life on Lightbringer-US is great, and 10 days later (with a very limited amount of play time) I had reached the 10k mark and level 25. That graph will have to wait for another post, so I'll get right to the point here and present...

Tips for Low Level Inscription

Minor Inscription Research
THE most important tip is to do your Minor Inscription Research every day, without fail. Every low level scribe is going to be making a bunch of the trained recipes just to level up. Some of these seem to have a never ending supply, and almost no demand. So glyphs that come from research are where the money is. Scribes that are leveling purely for the end game, their profession buff and avoiding a rep grind will often not do research at all, so already the supply for these glyphs is reduced to those that are active in the glyph market.

For me, there was another factor in play as to why glyphs from research do better. Say for example, you throw yourself into a new server and a new guild full of fellow gold makers. BAM! Inscription is a fantastic profession for low level characters, and when you have competition who know what they are doing, glyphs from research can help you avoid some of the massive overlap when competing with them. I might discover [Glyph of Mark of the Wild], but my fellow <Power Word Guild> members might not have it yet.

There aren't too many other crafting professions that can make a good profit at low level. So when picking a profession to go with Inscription, I recommend herbalism. Particularly when you are first starting out, herbing as you level can help you level up, and avoid spending the precious little capital you have on herbs. Once you have a bank roll though...

Check the AH Regularly
It doesn't take long to scan the auction house for low level herbs to mill. If there's some interest, I can post my Auctionator shopping lists that are neatly divided by inks. If you can get to the auction houseand have a quick peek, you might be surprised at just how cheap people are selling low level herbs. I try to cap my spend at 75s per herb and really go to town under 50s. If I have glyphs to make in the 100g+ region, I might splash out on some more expensive herbs.

My Auctionator shopping lists also include the pigments and inks themselves, so don't forget to check the final product before spending too much on herbs. If you have a decent bankroll, there is also some value (in your time) in buying the inks direct if they are cheap enough. The only reason to mill herbs is because it is worth your time in the savings you make over purchasing inks themselves.

Tradeskill Master is at the backbone of my entire Enterprise. The link that sends you over to curse has a ton of guides listed, including getting started with crafting glyphs. It does take some time to set up and learn, but if you stay in the glyph market for any length of time, you will be repaid many many times over. There will be a new version of TSM out soon, so keep a lookout over at Nerf Faids for videos that are ready to go when it drops.

Cancel and Repost
In my regular glyph market, I never cancel an auction. It is completely inefficient for me to do so. I have a stockpile of glyphs in the bank, and if I need to post more, I just post more from my stock. I can then drain my mailbox wihle I'm AFK, and quickly deposit them in the bank.

A brand new character can't operate like this. You can't afford to stock 15 - 20 of every type of glyph, and even if you could, you'd probably have a hard time finding low level herbs and inks at the right price over a short period of time to create the stockpile... and then there's bag and bank space issues to contend with.

So I recommend crafting one (or two at most) of every profitable glyph you can and posting them up for 48 hours. When you manage to get back to the server and the auction house, check for undercuts (I use Auctionator). Cancel and repost. Then do a scan (using TSM) and make the profitable glyphs you currently don't have posted. Repeat. Along with searching for herbs and inks, this is the core of your glyph business.

Bag / Bank space
I admit, I've been a little slack in this area. I grabed my 3x [Pack of Endless Pockets] and haven't done a lot since. So as soon as you have the coin, grab the biggest inscribing bags you can afford, and use two of them permenantly in your bags. Inscribing bags in the bank are great for storing excess inks too. The goal with increasing your bag space is to be able to do a full cancel and repost with a single trip to the mailbox. Every time I scan, cancel, open mail or post... I'm alt tabbed out of wow and writing a blog post, reading email / rss / twitter or running my characters through wow reforge (or even making my wife a cup of tea). Getting the most out of every opportunity to be productive in game becomes second nature to gold makers.

Biproducts help you level
You can use [Hunter's Ink], [Dawnstar Ink] and [Royal Ink] to significantly level Inscription. Firstly, they are a biproduct of milling herbs to make glyphs, so you might as well get some use out of them. Secondly, getting these points from biproducts can help you avoid making trained glyphs that sell poorly. If you've been able to buy inks direct, and haven't needed to mill herbs for these biproducts, make sure you check the auction house for them (and associated pigments). Just as with trained glyphs, players often dump these biproduction on the auction house super cheap just to get rid of them, so you can grab some Inscription skill points efficiently.

Try resetting glyph prices
There is still a market for trained glyphs, they aren't all [Glyph of Voidwalker]. When you see the market flooded with glyphs at well below cost price, do an assessment about how much risk you want to take on, and buy them all out. Be prepared to try for a quick sale, recoup your coin and sit on your stock, as the price may well plummet as the next batch of scribes levels up.

[Glyph of Starfire]
With some success in resetting markets, you can apply the practise to the rest of the market (including glyphs you don't know yet).

Try out Transmog flipping
Last but not least, try your hand at the transmog market. Glyphing is a great way to make a steady income while leveling a profession. At max level, glyphing can drive your enterprise to the gold cap. However, particularly at low level, there's a great rush from turning a couple of gold into hundreds or thousands in a single transaction. My post on Transmog Auctionator Lists has links to a bunch of resources on the topic.

Monday, January 23, 2012

397 Valor BoE Auctionator List

Kneebreaker Boots

I love lists! Ever since I finally started putting shopping lists together outside of the game, I've been looking for more items to group in to neat little packages to make gold related decision making quicker and easier.

So while the 397 valor list isn't that useful to me (I don't have time to farm excess valor (and if I did my alts would gobble it up)) I hope someone gets better bang for their valor thanks to this list.

Keep in mind that boots cost 1650 valor and bracers only 1250 valor. Remember too that bracers have to compete with the list (here we go, another list to do) of 397 crafted bracers, for which itemisation being equal are better due to the extra sockets.

Class and spec knowlege comes in handy when selling epic gear. Many players will grab an item for the added iLvl (and therefore major stat (strength, agility, intellect)) or a minor upgrade if the itemisation is poor. However, the better the item is for the largest number of specs, the more likely it is to sell well.

Take [Heartcrusher Wristplates] for example. Haste isn't a great stat for either Warrior DPS spec or Retribution Paladins. So that leaves DPS Death Knights. Haste is a highly desired stat for both specs, but the bracers still have stiff compeition from other sources. Firstly, [Bracers of Destructive Strength] while expensive is pretty much BiS for all specs with a massive two sockets. It is more expensive, containing four [Essence of Destruction], but gets even better if you are willing to plug epic gems in them. Secondly, [Rockhide Bracers] drop from Morchok on normal Dragon Soul. I find that players will often put off buying a piece of valor gear particularly when an alternative drops from the very first, delightfully undertuned boss in an instance. If you are raiding Dragon Soul each week, you are going to see this boss die a LOT in any level of regular raid team.

Does this mean the plate bracers won't sell? No. There is still definitely a good market for them, but with analysis, the market might be smaller than you first think.

If you'd like to learn more about how different classes value itemisation, I recommend heading over to Ask Mr Robot. Having not played my Death Knight in a DPS capacity for what seems like forever, I jumped into their "Generic Characters" feature to have a look at stat weights and BiS lists. It has an increasingly user friendly interface, and the different gearing strategies are well explained.

Here's the list (as a bonus, here's the search in wowhead I used to make the list):

*** valor_397
Bladeshatter Treads
Boneshard Boots
Boots of Fungoid Growth
Bracers of Manifold Pockets
Bracers of the Black Dream
Bracers of the Spectral Wolf
Bracers of Unrelenting Excellence
Chronoboost Bracers
Dragonbelly Bracers
Flashing Bracers of Warmth
Heartcrusher Wristplates
Kavan's Forsaken Treads
Kneebreaker Boots
Luminescent Bracers
Rooftop Griptoes
Sabatons of the Graceful Spirit
Silver Sabatons of Fury
Splinterfoot Sandals

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Transmog Auctionator Lists

Want to make some coin in a lucrative new market? Flipping Transmog items might just be for you. The first port of call I highly recommend is Disenchanting Azeroth where Keelhaul gives you an enormous amount of information about the market, as well as some stunning graphics that bring your transmog options to life. The second thing to do is follow @DEazeroth on twitter, since that's where Keelhaul is most active these days.

Lastly, if you want to dive into searching for bargains and begin the flipping, head over to the Hatchery at Power World: Gold, where Jim has hosted Keel's unabridged lists for Cloth, Mail and Plate armor, as well as a host of other information.

So credit where credit is due, these lists are NOT mine, they are Keel's... I've just done the translation into Auctionator shopping lists for use by the gold making community. I highly recommend reading Keel's post for each type of armor, so you get an understanding of his theory about where particular sets should be priced. I've also stopped with each list at the threshold recommended by Keel for low population or poor transmog market servers.

I haven't personally done a great deal with Transmogrification for profit, but the little I have has been very rewarding. Turning a green quality helm from a 20g purchase into a 700g+ sale to double your working capital as a new character on a new realm is pretty damn exciting, so have a play with it and make coin!

Alto has a guide to importing Auctionator shopping lists if you need assistance getting these lists up and running. Grab his weapons list while you're there too!

Plate - The Unabridged Mogging Plate Flip List by Keelhaul

*** transmog_plate
Armor/Plate/Imbued Plate

Mail - The Unabridged Mogging Mail Flip List by Keelhaul

*** transmog_mail
Armor/Mail/Chief Brigadier
Armor/Mail/Blood Knight
Armor/Mail/Black Dragon Mail

Cloth - The Unabridged Cloth Mogging Flip List by Keelhaul

*** transmog_cloth
Armor/Cloth/Vicious Embersilk
Armor/Cloth/Windchanneller's Tunic
Armor/Cloth/Windchanneller's Leggings
Armor/Cloth/Barbaric Cloth
Armor/Cloth/Black Velvet Robes
Armor/Cloth/Imperial Red
Armor/Cloth/High Councillor's

1 million gold

I hit 1 million gold today, and celebrated with a tried and true measure of decadence - a chopper for an alt. Only in the context, it's not really an alt. Twitchie the Gnome Warlock has earned his chopper.

The second order of business was to give [Bracers of Destructive Strength] to my main Borgthor for his DPS set, since they were very slow selling the second time around, and essences are only getting cheaper.

I still have 100k auctions that aren't glyphs up on the AH. So hopefully this will turn into a fun competition to see if I can spend coin as fast as I make it.

In my Warcraft Econ interview, I mentioned that 1 million gold would happen naturally, but not any time soon. However a few factors conspired to get me over the line a lot quicker than I had anticipated. Shortly after hitting 500k, my real life work started ramping up. Firstly, I had very little time to play alts, so my expenses plumetted. Secondly, the easiest WoW activity that I could squeeze into my schedule became gold making, so my regular routine kept the coin rolling in.

On the subject of alts and lack of time, the raid finder feature has almost killed off my enthusiasm for alts raiding. I enjoy the challenge of raiding, and whilst it is novel to do raid finder once for each alt, the mechanics are so detuned the place is like a series of test dummies. I appreciate that you can queue, come and go as you please and are rewarded with loot and valor, but to me it isn't an improvement on grinding for valor in heroics.

I've got plenty more to write about when I have the time, and I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures in <Power Word Guild> on Lightbringer-US where I'm enjoying starting all over again in the low level inscription market. I've also found the savior of my JC market in epic gems, where the profit of each cut often exceeds the market value of an cut inferno ruby, no prospecting required.

Aside from stacks of [Tol'vir Hieroglyphic] for my wife, how should I spend my incoming coin?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Justice Points BoE: 378 Bracers Auctionator List

I love it when several concepts collide in gold making that yeild positive changes to my gold making in other markets. Recently in the gold making community, there's been a lot of discussion on tools to make searching for transmogrification items easier. Keelhaul (the Mogfather) has been publishing some lists on the Hatchery at Power Word: Gold, and both Alto and Jim (nee, Flux) have put together tutorials on finding those transmog bargains. [Scroll down if you want the direct links to these lists / tutorials]

When I saw Keel's lists for mail and plate, I put all the plate into Auctionator and created a list. I exported the list, and posted it as a comment for other gold makers to use. When I looked at the simplicity of the exported list, I tried again with mail, only this time outside the game. I grabbed my favourite text editor and edited the list from the hatchery down to a list of items. It was also super quick to include the restriction, mail armor only. The list was created in about 20 seconds (rather than searching for each set one by one, building a list in game). It still hadn't occured to me that there's so much stuff I'd like to search for which I would more quickly build lists for outside of the game.

Today as I was about to queue for my last random battle ground for the week, I realised I was yet again at the honor cap. I had recently decided to get back into PvP on my main character Borgthor, and have been having fun doing some casual arena with guildies and capping my conquest points each week. With the conquest points system, if you only do arena and battlegrounds, you need to win three random battlegrounds per week to get those extra 300 points that you can't get doing arena alone. It's far enough into the season that I have nothing left to spend honor on. I've had enough honor to put PvP chants on my shoulders and helm, and even buy a previous season sword just for transmogrification. I also bought up all the old shields for my collection, which now occupies a large chunk of my void storage (WTB more tabs please).

So before I went in to battle for Gilneas, I quickly bought a [Greater Celestial Essence] to avoid wasting any honor. While handing a 2000 / 200 slaughter to the horde, I wondered if there was a better way of spending my honor for coin.

I immediately thought of the previous tier's 378 bracers, now available for Justice Points, and wondered how much they need to sell for to be worth more than a GCE. A GCE on my server goes for around 90g, which at 400 honor is a return of 225g per thousand honor. When you trade honor for justice points, you only get 250 justice for 375 honor, which means bracers cost 1875 honor. Right now on my server (make sure you do the maths for yours) the bracers need to sell above 422g to be a viable alternative to buying GCEs.

The next step, checking all the different justice point bracers, really put me off bothering to do the sums and analyse the market at all. Copy / pasting in all the different variations to see which is selling and for what price is not how I want to spend my time.... until I twigged, aren't I awesome at making Auctionator shopping lists now? Yes. Yes, I am. So off to wowhead I went, grabbed the list of bracers directly from the table and one regular expression later I had a neat Auctionator list ready to go.

Many bracers were around the 300g mark, but [Flamebinder Bracers] stood out at 1400g, and I knew I was in business. So here it is, the 378 BoE Justice Point Bracers Auctionator List.

*** justice_bracers
Bracers of Forked Lightning
Bracers of Imperious Truths
Bracers of Misting Ash
Bracers of Regal Force
Emberflame Bracers
Firesoul Wristguards
Flamebinder Bracers
Gigantiform Bracers
Smolderskull Bindings

To find out more about transmog lists and auctionator, the gold making community has you covered:
How do you spend your excess Justice and Honor points?

December Glyph Sales

  • Total Glyph Sales: 125,165
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 2175
  • Average Price: 57g55s
December was pretty huge. Not only did I sell a LOT more glyphs (up from 1383) but thanks to the holidays increased demand saw the average price of my glyphs rise over 20g. 125k of sales in a month posting at most twice per day 5 days per week and a little more on weekends is exactly why glyphs are my favourite market.

It was my first month mass crafting glyphs and posting a selection on two characters (details to follow in another post) and it worked really well. I've been a little short on time recently with work ramping up, and the ability to ignore glyphs returned in the mail, and just repost every, single, profitable glyph direct from my bank means I can fit posting much more easily into my schedule. For example, while I'm writing this post, I'm emptying the mailbox to the tune of 745 items. If I get stuck on a sentence, or I'm figuring out how to reduce the reuccurence of the words fantastic and awesome in my post.... I just alt-tab and run to the bank, dump the glyphs and get back to the mailbox.

Since I snuck in the infamous blogger caveat of more work and less play, I'll get to my glyph operation restructure a little later this month.