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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Episode 30 - The Good, the Bad, & The Rest: WoD So Far

After taking launch weekend off to gorge myself on the new expansion, I hop back on the mic to talk about my impressions so far of all the new profession systems.  Have a listen as I talk through the good stuff, the bad stuff and my thoughts of the rest of it all, including Enchanting Work Orders (dude, where's my dust?), jerks posting singles, Trading Posts, and Barns.

Full show notes are after the break - enjoy!

Episode  of Late Nite With Stede - Show Notes

Stede (S): Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Episode 30 of the Late Nite With Stede Goldmaking Podcast.  I’m your host, Stede Bonnet - and I want to thank you for listening.  

This is my very first show of the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and I welcome any new or returning listeners that managed to find the podcast.  I wanna take a minute to let you know that you can find more Late Nite With Stede on my website - - you can also find the show on Stitcher & on iTunes - so if you like the show, be sure to subscribe.   

Alright, today is Sunday, November 23rd

-  Last time I talked about planning your launch week.  I focused a lot on the breakpoints in levelling your toons with regards to unlocking the abilities of your Garrison.  This week is gonna cover a lot of ground as I talk about the good, the bad, and the rest of WoD so far.

===WoW NEWS===
We know that raids don’t open until December 2nd, but this past Friday, Molten Core opened up via LFR as part of WoW’s 10-year anniversary celebration.  Not only are there pets & a mount that players can snag for a limited time, but there’s also an ilvl 640 helm to be looted.

So make a mental note - don’t craft ilvl 640 helms to sell on the AH.  The flip side of all this is that players need to have an ilvl of 615 to queue, and the queue / clear is a bit arduous - with most folks taking 2-3 hours to clear the entire instance.

This means that consumables, gear, and enchants will get an early boost as folks make an early foray into raiding via LFR to snag the new shinies.

Which is fortunate, because - if there’s anything that we’ve learned this week - it’s that demand is dictating prices.

===Goldmaking NEWS===
Blizzard pulled a 360 in less than 24 hours this week by first taking the axe to personal loot in LFD, and then adding it back in while guaranteeing groups that use it a 630-drop in every pot when you kill the last boss in any heroic dungeon.

Expect this to stabilize shard prices a bit as there was an initial glut from questing, followed by a relative void at max level.

TOPIC: The Good, The Bad, & The Rest: WoD So Far
Last weekend I was so busy playing and trying to follow everything that I literally didn’t have time to do a show.  That could’ve been the case again this weekend, but I’ve made it a point to talk about all the stuff on my mind before I forget it all.  

So far, I’ve only a single L100 toon - my main, my rogue.  But my other 5 alts are L96, L94, L94, L95, & L95 so far - and I’m pretty happy with the progress.

But enough yakkin - it’s Thanksgiving week in America, and that’s where I’m freezing my ass off right now, so let’s talk Turkey.

The Good
Let’s talk about the good stuff in WoD so far:

  • Questing is smooth.  The bonus objectives are very intuitive and rewarding, making rotating alts through rested easier and actually enjoyable.  Treasures follow the same pattern of being rewarding and fun to find.
  • I find that a lot of the systems in play for goldmaking are very linear in how they initially build - while mines and gardens give a quick shot in the arm to your materials stash, they require an honest bit of levelling before they can be unlocked, and the items you’ll later craft follow a similar pattern.
  • WoW is up to over 10 million customers now - I mean subscribers.  That means even more folks who will buy our stuff.  And there’s a solid handful or three of folks to whom gold is nary an object - who’re willing to go to 5 & 6 digits to buy the gear they need - thank god for them.
  • The currency CD system for learning new patterns is awesome because it allows us to enter markets with little competition to maximize our profit potential.  If you’re an engineer with 100 Gearspring Parts, but see that there are 5 other Guns listed on the AH, you can make pets instead.
  • Goldmaking is democratized even further by the current system.  Some folks may see this as encouraging competition - a bad thing.  It’s not.  The reason why it’s not is because 99% of the playerbase are not goldmakers.  And yet they’re making things - things that they may not need as much as other things.  But they want those other things, and they’re willing to trade ---- And since our inventory of the best items is gated, being able to make saavy trades is something that’s certainly worth considering.  This is something that’s common to markets like DMCs, but newer to epic gear.

The Bad
Bad stuff of course includes all technical difficulties we’ve encountered over the last week and a half as well as some other things:

  • Wildly fluctuating prices.  If you’ve been watching it, you saw it first happen to ore, then to herbs.  As more and more people unlocked their mine & their garden, we saw the prices cascade downward.  
    • Initially this allowed some opportunities for price resets, but in time, we’ve learned that a L2 Mine can feed a toon with BOTH BS & JC - and a L3 simply builds a surplus.
    • There is no unlimited dump for ore in this expansion, so it just backs up onto the AH.
    • We saw Herbs start to follow a similar, but delayed, trend at the end of this week as more folks hit L96 and unlocked their gardens.  As a result, herb prices have dropped, as well - but not to the same extent as ore.
    • While ore has no market to dump into, herbs still have everything from MoP but shoulder enchants, including glyphs.  On top of that, Jewelcrafting and cooking recipes now even make use of herbs.
    • We’ll probably see herbs level out a bit higher than ore soon.
  • 60 pages of ore.  All because some jackass decided to post 200 singles - cratch that, there’s usually a half dozen of these guys.  And spending 3 minutes scanning a single item at this point in the expansion that’s only worth 2g a shot is a waste of time.  It’s a strange game, indeed - as the only winning move is not to play -- how about a nice epic gear market?
  • Easily accessible markets, no matter how often they’re reset, are managing to crash.  This is a prime example of the old saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”  
    • Each item in the game, even this early, is worth whatever is purchaser will pay for it.  The hard part is that it’s really tough to know what that number is when we don’t have data on it.
    • Developing a sense for what folks will spend in the absence of data is an artform practiced and often failed at by even the most successful goblins.
    • Pigs get rich, Hogs get slaughtered - don’t overdo it.

The Rest
All that’s very general.  Personally, I’m now trying to get all my toons to L96 so that I can unlock the Garden and L2 small buildings.  

This is important to me because I’ve been waking up before work to hit my Garrisons.  They take around 6 or 7 minutes each, if I’m not also trying to craft items - just gather materials, hit my cooldowns, punch in a few missions, and feed my work orders.  It adds up across six toons, but if I can knock it all out in the morning, it lets my evenings be a bit more relaxed.

Problem is that with L1 buildings, I can only Queue up 28 hours of work orders, so if I hit em in the morning one day, and then sleep in on the next day, then I’m missing out on Work Orders.  And that sucks.  So L96 is a big deal just for that - not to mention the help it provides in feeding my Scribe, my Alchemist, and all the Scribe’s Quarters I’ve built.

There were some things I’ve been proven wrong about, but the biggest one was the usefulness of extra Enchanter’s studies.  Before I start - I wanna make this point - I stand by my assessment of Enchanting as an awesome profession - even as an awesome profession to have more than 1 of.

But if you wanna build an Enchanter’s Study on a toon that is not an Enchanter, then be prepared to lose gold.  As it stands, dust on my server fluctuates between 20 & 30 gold a piece.  That means that feeding a work order costs between 100 & 150 gold.  A day’s worth is 600 - 900 gold, and it gets me about 7 fractured crystals.  Remember it takes 10 of these to make a big crystal.  Meanwhile, I can regularly find big crystals on the AH for under 500g.

You may want to run your own math, but for the most part, it’s not worth doing work orders on your Enchanter.  Which means there’s no point in having an enchanter’s study on a non-enchanter.  The recipes, though, take time to unlock, and the Shard->Crystal cooldown is still worth ~500g a day on its own on my server.  So Enchanters rock, but non-Enchanter posers - they suck.

All this is due to the fact that we have neither a shuffle nor a downconversion for dust.  The only source of dust is from green drops.  Green drops are a perfectly linear market in terms of their sourcing.  If you grind 10 minutes and get 2 greens, you can expect that in 30 minutes, you’ll have 6.  There are no bonus rewards for the first 5 minutes of every day like there are for ore in your Mine and Herbs in your Garden.  It’s play to pay, all the way.

I will say, that my gut tells me that high level enchanters seem to get a larger yield for dust when disenchanting, but don’t go quoting me on it.

My advice is to sell your dust and use the gold to buy crystals when your market looks like mine.  As Zerodamus tells us, “If you build it, it will become mandatory.”  Folks will pay whatever to feed their cooldowns - even if they lose gold on it.  Somebody is gonna sell em that overpriced dust - it might as well be you.

Switching gears a bit, I can say Herbalism and Mining both had brief moments in the sun, and now have fallen into the shadows as most folks get enough of each from their Garrisons.  Skinning, however, has turned out to be a great profession on my main, as leathers have levelled off at about 20g a shot.  I like to farm around Ogu’Shun in Nagrand because the L100 mobs give a better yield.  But don’t come out there on my server >:|

That means Leatherworking as probably the most expensive profession to feed currently as I need 55 Leathers a day to keep up with it - if there’s ever even a couple times that much posted.  That’s good for me that I’m a Skinner / Leatherworker, because it represents a large barrier to entry.

Alchemy is in a bit of a bad way.  Potions require fish to make, and many are crashed.  The reason is because people are fish botting on their Garrison - where nobody will report them.  This gives them as many fish as they want.  So my advice is to stay away from fish-based potions like Intellect.  Make sure you buy raw fish or fish flesh to make your own crescent oil, too - because these dweebs are so lazy they don’t even bother.

But Alchemy, is overall doing well, despite that noise.  Be sure to keep your eyes open - Greater flasks take Lesser flasks to make, but sometimes it’s cheaper to buy the Lessers off the AH than to make them yourself.

The other professions are doing well.  My 3rd buildings have been the Forge and Scribe’s Quarters on my toons, with a Tannery coming down the line.  I had to tear down an Enchanter’s Study on my dual gatherer because it wasn’t doing me any good.

I’ve managed to sell a lot of stuff, and I’ve just started making positive profit in the last few days over all the gold I spent setting up - which is a great feeling.  

I do wanna talk about Medium buildings though.  Initially I built the Barn on all six of my toons to unlock the L3 plans sooner.  Afterwards, I tore them all down on my 5 alts because I realized it meant I was getting Garrison Resources a lot slower.  I replaced those with Trading Posts on those five guys.  

The Trading Post asks for 5 of a certain herb, ore, cloth, etc. for its work orders.  The material it asks for changes each day and each work order yields 30 Garrison Resources.  So I can mail a couple stacks of the mat-du-jour around as I’m hitting my mines & cooldowns and snag 180 extra GR every day that I wanna feed it.  Now, sometimes it’ll ask for something stupid like dust, and I’ll just not feed it that day.

And that sucks, but it’s usually a good deal without being unweildy to manage - like if I had, say, 6 lumber mills.

I kept the Barn on my main and slogged through treasures and rares to upgrade his Garrison to L3.  I immediately built the Trading Post as my 2nd Medium building and I love it.  It’s a great shot in the arm to my GR collection.  To answer your question, YES - you CAN build an AH on your trading post.  HOWEVER - it’s a slog and a half.  I’m expecting it to take me 3-4 weeks to gather all the necessary drops for it.  

You may find that there’s a market for those things (they work a bit like the DMF items in that some drop only from PvP, others only from world zones, others only from raids, others only from dungeons).  I haven’t checked it, but I use a single bank alt atm anyway.

My Barn just hit L3 a couple days ago, and it’s still processing the meaty beasts that were queued from back then.  I’ve become pretty good at trapping the elites, but I’ve no idea what the yield rate on the Savage Blood is yet - or what I’ll do with it when I get it.  I feel like the 640 pieces are where it’s at  right now.

Which is probably the last thing I wanna talk about.  This weekend, we’re seeing the first crafted pieces hitting the AH.  It’ll be interesting to see how prices react now that everyone can make these shinies, but the margins are THICK, so I’m getting my shots in while I can.  THEN I’ll worry about the upgrade items.  This week will be interesting because we’ll see what happens in those markets.

I feel like 6 toons is gonna be all I really wanna deal with in WoD.  They do require a lot of maintenance, but they’re at least manageable and I don’t wanna ruin that.  Full coverage is an absolute boon, especially considering that the unbound crystals and alchemical catalysts really open those professions up a lot.

I feel like I’m making great progress and am poised to make good gold for many months to come.  But I didn’t get there by simply sticking to the plan at all costs - there were plenty of miscues, missteps, and adjustments that i had to make.  That’s part of what makes it all so fun.

I hope you guys all had a great launch week and, like me, are at least starting to see some bright lights flashing gold coins at you.

Question & Answer

Special Thanks:
I’d like to give a special thanks to Gissa, Zerohour, Medvayne, & Slickrock this week - as well as to all my guildies that listen to the show and chat me up as I’m logging around all my toons.  Half the fun in this for me is having other folks to talk about it with.

S: Hope you make a fortune with your epics this week, and come back next week as we keep yakking about how it’s all playing out.  Until then, just remember, if you’re not making gold - I’ve got a name for you: Customer.

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