Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Inscription - 5k gold in 3 weeks

I have had a bit of a rough week and even now am suffering from ‘Man Flu’. On my second box of paper tissues now. I have managed to spend a little time developing my scribes on Magtheridon and Mazrigos (EU).

Mazrigos (EU)
Yesterday I got my retribution paladin to level 35 and immediately jumped to 247 inscription, my highest level in this profession. I am only making profitable items at the moment rather than power levelling, it did expand my range of glyphs made from Celestial Inks though. Currently the Lion Ink Glyphs seem most profitable and I am adjusting my strategy to focusing on my most profitable glyphs using data gathered over the last 3 weeks.
Here are the headline figures;
Week 1 glyphs sold 76, 500 gold plus stock (estimated 600+ gold)
Week 2 glyphs sold 103, 1500 gold
Week 3 glyphs sold 210, 4500 gold

What follows is a breakdown of my process, I have made a few tweaks here and there over the last few weeks.

I use just two addons, AuctionLite and recently MailOpener, both can be found on Curse. I also made use of a spreadsheet to keep track of the current selling price always adjusting downwards and number of sales of each glyph though I have read of an addon that will do the same thing.

Buying the materials;
at the start I had 30-40 gold to buy herbs but I have repeated the process on another realm just using farming. Of course a smater auctioneer will probably buy out cheap herbs and can then list their own at a higher price. Generally I go through each group of herbs for a particular ink and buy any below the threshold (for Midnight Ink this is 50s) unless I have more than a weeks worth of ink stock. It depends on how much storage space you have to be honest.

Based on this price I have a cost to make of each glyph, currently glyphs made from Midnight Ink cost me around 7.5 gold to make. I will then list one of each glyph (two if someone has listed them for more than my maximum price). AuctionLite allows you to remember the buyout price so this isn’t as time consuming as you might expect. If my buyout is lower than the current minimum bid price I will often adjust upwards. I continue to adjust my price downwards as long as I make an acceptable profit as determined on the spreadsheet. Intially I set this at 5g per glyph but with such a large range available now I have increased my minimum profit.

As I sell glyphs I re-craft and re-list. Remember each realms economy differs, for example on Magtheridon EU I only sold 40 glyphs but made more gold.

I research one glyph each day and if profitable I craft and auction it. From day to day some glyphs may drop below the cost price but will often be worth selling a day or so later

Over the 3 weeks I found some glyphs earned me more gold than others allowing me to focus on those more if I had limited time. 10 glyphs account for two-thirds of gold made from midnight ink glyphs for example. If I have time I also post other glyphs though.

I found it useful to have Herbalism on my scribe due to the XP boost it gives while levelling and just in case there is a sudden lack of supply of a herb group. I am currently unable to gather the Celestial Ink herbs but that should change very soon which stops anyone from trying to force me out of the market by controlling the availability of materials.

Don’t forget to list the non-glyph items, they are essential free to make so any gold they make is extra.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

My First week of Cataclysm

So cataclysm has been out for just over a week and in this time quite a few people have gotten to the new level cap. WoW Census has not been updated to cover levels above 80 yet but I am guessing most people with level 80 characters are either at or well on their way to 85.
In the first few days I stuck to my plan of just doing daily quest on my level 80s. Blizzard decided to reduce the XP received for killing mobs if you were above a certain level though;
Level 60+ only 10% XP for killing classic content mobs
Level 70+ only 10% XP for killing Outland mobs
Level 80+ only 10% XP for killing Northrend mobs

I haven’t been on my level 80s in the last few days, instead I have been spending time on making gold at low level using inscription. I wrote before about levelling inscription on Mazrigos EU because I couldn’t afford any glyphs. Well after two weeks and spending around an hour a day on this I have over 2k gold on my level 20 Paladin. I decided to try and see if this would work on a realm that was for ‘New Players’, and rolled a couple of characters on Magtheridon EU.

The economy on Magtheridon is crazy, some midnight ink glyphs are selling for 65-70+ gold each and the herbs are in the 1.1 – 1.5 gold range. In other words you can make over 100 gold by just selling a couple of glyphs. On the other hand other glyphs are selling for less than the value of the mats. It took me a little while to get started, I levelled a Troll Druid as my gatherer. In hindsight it would have been better to level my inscription character first with Herbalism as the other profession. My characters here are currently a level 16 Druid and a level 10 Hunter. At times it has been difficult to buy enough herbs to make even midnight ink. However last night I did get to 250 gold most of which I re-invested in a lot of low price herbs that had just appeared on the market, I also bought a couple of netherweave bags as on character storage was becoming difficult. I can make 56 different glyphs and have sold 21 glyphs so far, almost at level 150 inscription I will need to level my hunter again soon.

So not much love for my main realm, my Warlock is 5% away from level 81, but my Hunter on Hellfire EU has put on a few levels to level 57 and my Paladin on the same realm reached level 66. These will be the character hitting the new content at level 80.

Winter Veil starts today so I will be stepping up my Small Egg farming to make some quick and easy gold, if last year was anything to go by. Unfortunately I will miss the first 7 hours of the event but I am predicting small eggs will sell for 5-10 gold each. Just as well my holiday break starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Use it or Lose it

Just a week away from the launch of Cataclysm and one thing that will happen is that all rested xp will be reset to zero. In other words any character below level 80 that you intend playing in before December 17th you should reduce their rested xp to zero before the reset. I have plans to be active on 4 characters that fit into the category which means using up that xp. This is in addition to levelling my 2 level 80’s.

My main focus now is on my Hunter, currently level 50 with at least a level of rested, once I have used up the rested I will attack the rested on a level 46 Druid and level 65 Death Knight.

One minor distraction has been trying to get a handle on the Herb market on Hellfire EU, I have a high level herbalist and I am still working out what things are worth and since patch 4.0.3a where herbs can be found. At least 2 herbs changed their names as well. I’m mainly going to be trying to exploit shortages in the market, though this did lead to an ill tempered exchange with someone who wanted to buy my goldthorn but wouldn’t pay the higher value I placed on it. Instead they decided that I should sell it for the lowest price I had seen it on the AH all week. In the end they decided I was a noob who hadn’t been playing WoW very long. My bank character was at the time sitting on over 4k gold but I couldn’t discuss it further as they put me on ignore. Fortunately I have a low level Scribe/Alchemist on the same realm who can make use of the herbs if the price drops. Still not everyone understands supply and demand.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

State of play on Cataclysm's eve

So Cataclysm starts here...
The zones for levels 1-60 are released and I expect over the next couple of weeks they will see a lot of activity, hopefully this will result in a lot of gathering data appearing on the internet. I have a level 80 on two different realms and while one is focused on crafting the other is a gatherer.

Status Report
Warlock (Tailor/Enchanter) level 80 – doing dailies for gold, working on Silver Covenent and Wormrest Accord.
Death Knight (Blacksmith/Jewelcrafter) level 65 – currently inactive
Druid (Miner/Herbalist) level 46 – currently inactive

Death Knight (Herbalist/Skinner) level 80 – levelling herbalism/skinning/fishing/cooking (all around 300)
Paladin (Mining/Blacksmith) level 64 – aiming to reach level 68 by December 6th
Hunter (Skinner/Engineer) level 49 – working on venomous ravarsaur mount, aiming to reach level 58 by December 6th
Druid (Miner/Herbalist) level 14 – bank alt

There is a lot of hype about realm firsts, there is no way I will get one of those and to be honest I have no interest in them. I am content to get to max level a few weeks later than the first wave, I do however want to take advantage of those that do. So my level 80 herb gatherer/skinner will be keeping a close eye on the AH. I have already started recording the price of herbs twice a day at times I am likely to post, this should help identify gaps in supply and the best herbs to gather for gold per hour. When I get back into the new zones I’ll be spending an hour in each to see what I can farm and recording the information. I’ll get a clearer picture of what sells once I start listing on the auction house. Something for a future post.

I intend to avoid getting frustrated by over populated zones while levelling my characters and my plan is to level my 80s initially in Northrend. My Death Knight has not done any quests in Icecrown or Storm Peaks and if my experience in the beta is correct just doing dailies can net around 25-35% of a level per day. The reduction of xp required for level 70-80 will leave my Paladin (mining/blacksmithing) in a strong position to reach level 80 quickly as well. Because all rested xp is to be reset to zero when cataclysm launches it is actually best to level a lower level character first so I may be spending some time on levelling my (currently) level 14 druid (mining/herbalism) however my weekday time will probably be largely used up just running dailies on my level 80. The advantage of delaying is that when I finally hit the new zones most of the bugs should have been fixed and the number of players competing for mobs should be much lower. The first few weeks in the beta were pretty frustrating with quest choke points so levelling my Paladin through Northrend and Hunter through Outland should be very time efficient.

Something that will take me away from that is keeping up with my girlfriend who rolled a druid on another realm, we plan to 2 man as many instances as possible. I created a Hunter but seem to be constantly a couple of levels behind here which makes holding aggro an issue (she heals my pet tanks). It also gave me an opportunity to see how much I have learned when it comes to rolling on a new realm, gold is a slight issue. I struggled at levels 5-15 due to little gold and no bag rewards, because she had Herbalism/Skinning I picked skinning and leatherworking. I found training costs kept me broke for much of the time and often I couldn’t train new skills until I was halfway through the level. All of this wasn’t made easy by the lack of a pet until level 10, fortunately I know how to kite. A stack of light leather sells for about 2 gold so eventually I was able to buy some better bags, as a rule I have around 20 slots available at level 21. I am just around even on gold at the moment. On the other hand she has over 100 gold from farming herbs! To try and catch up I have been running pick up groups without her and these do make for quicker levelling and of course there is good gear to be had. The only instance we have 2 manned so far is Ragefire Chasm (RFC) at level 18/20 but this was before patch 4.0.3a and many spells are going to be nerfed so it will be interesting to see when we can complete Wailing Caverns.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

My Death Knight got to within 5% of level 80 without doing any quests in Storm Peaks or Icecrown so it is looking like it will be possible to reach level 82 without even leaving Northrend. I got to L72 before leaving Outland, and still had a lot of quests to do there. Next time through I will start Northrend in Howling Fjord to get the Kalu'ak daily then switch to Borean Tundra because I want to make the dailies a big part of my levelling.

I tested levelling from 80 with dailies on the beta realm, although xp could be adjusted (gold rewards from dailies already have been reduced), it is an option if the new zones are overpopulated. This happened a number of times in early beta.

Running dailies on my L80 Warlock gained a good level percentage just from my normal morning run (22 daily quests) starting at level 80.94 I got to 81.24. 8 of those quests are 'PvP' however I have yet to encounter any other faction players while doing these quests and I doubt this will change when cataclysm launches.

Having a litle bit of gold on these characters I hope to buy a few nice uncommon (green) items on the auction house, though my Warlock shouldn't need them before hitting the first level 81 zone. I have 3 crafted raid epics from patterns I bought on the auction house and I haven't even bothered to gem or enchant them yet.

Because it seems that it will be difficult to max out some professions without getting to at least level 84, dailies in Northrend are going to be significant for those with crafting alts. However it looks like it might only take a week playing around 90 mins per alt to get to level 82.

My focus in live has now switched to my Hunter, people are raving about how overpowered Mages are but my level 44 Hunter is able to take on multiple mobs 4-5 levels higher with relative ease. I'm not brilliantly skilled so most players should be able to do this. I want to get to level 48 to unlock the Venomous Ravasaur mount quest at which point I'll be aiming to get my Paladin to at least level 68. Currently he is 10/20 on the ravasaur quest and L55.5, but with mining can level quite quickly.

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Gnomer run

I logged in the other day on my flying mount in Wormrest Temple and got a whisper from a level 75 Death Knight who asked where I got the 5k gold from (they were still 2k short). The most likely answer would be I have alts or a gathering profession, and while I do have a number of alts (none above level 51) my professions are both at level 1.
I explained to him a way you can get around 80 gold an hour on a low level (42+) character. First off I want to thank Marco for his monthly blogging carnivals and for showing me how to do this.
Here is a link to the post in question
While that post suggests a complete clear of the instance. I approached it slightly differently because my time was quite tight and I had other things I wanted to do in game.

I made a routine of doing a Gnomer run whenever I logged in but set a time limit of around 40 mins. This is a great way to get extra gold if you lack a high level character, think of it as the equivalent to doing dailies in Northrend for gold.

Because my Death Knight is on the Horde faction getting to Gnomer is initially a little difficult. First I had to get the quest Find Scooty for the Goblin Transponder. After that it was pretty easy to use the teleport to get to the instance. I did Gnomer runs on my level 64 DK, a L51 Hunter and a L42 Hunter, by basing a character in Booty Bay it is very easy to get to the instance and return to Booty Bay to dispose of my drops. There is a repair NPC next to the teleport and an inn and postbox nearby.

Instead of clearing the instance I just cleared the walkways up to the Clean Room before killing all the Gnomes in there. After that I would run between the cleaning machines until I either ran out of bag space or Grime Encrusted Objects. At this point I could run back to the teleport and then return back to the instance, which had not reset. Personally I also did the Trogg Tunnels event (looting the box of assorted parts) and cleared the platform with Troggs (there is always a chest and box of assorted parts there). Despite having 20-25 bag space I usually had to return to Booty Bay before I could convert most of the Grime Encrusted Objects. Hunters are good at this because of a faster run speed, by running between the two closest polishing machines you can maximise your time spent.

The mobs that drop the Grime Encrusted Objects are both out side and inside the instance, the ones inside the instance seem to have a higher drop rate and re-spawn so in theory you could spend as much time doing this as you like.

This is a typical run;
I have a character based in the Booty Bay Inn, run to the teleport and clear all the mobs to the instance entrance. They also drop silk and wool cloth.
Clear all the walkways on this level, first going right and then left.
Speak to the Gnome to start the Trogg tunnel event, make sure you kill them away from the tunnel entrances so you can loot them after the entrances are sealed.
Continue clearing the walkways all the way to the cog platform, reached by a small plank.
Usually I was out of bag space at this point so I ran back to teleport and sold greys, repaired and mailed out the rest to a bank alt.
Return to the instance killing the few re-spawns.
Clear all the mobs in towards the Clean Room, I used to go via the Dormitory.
Clear all the Gnome mobs in the Clean Room (not necessary if you are Alliance plus you have the advantage of a mailbox and vendor in this case I would recommend clearing the dormitory as well).
By this time I would have 30-40 Grime encrusted objects to convert at 3 silver each, while you will get some junk you will also get Copper,Tin and Silver Ore as well as pearls and low level gems all of these sell well on the AH.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Weekend to Oct 25

A bit of a mixed weekend as technical issues after an emergency patch and a very long F1 race cut pretty deeply into my playing time. Looking at the positives, I got my DK on Darkspear to level 65 so getting jewelcrafting and blacksmithing to max level is just a case of getting the mats together.

The AH on Darkspear is not generating much income for me so I started running daily quests on my Warlock to boost my income a bit. The reson for this is probably that after the patch people have jumped back on to their mains.

I’m running the Ebon Hold and Kalu’ak quests as well as the daily at Wormsrest Accord, these bring in around 100g and as well as 1-2 stacks of frostweave cloth worth another 10g. I don’t have Kalu’ak or Wormrest Accord at exhalted yet so that would get me the 15 exhalted reputations achievement. I have a couple of crafted items from ToC patterns on my Warlock which has pushed mana and health past 20K making these runs very easy (I haven’t gemmed or enchanted these pieces yet). Inspite of this Immolate/Incinerate/Combustion are enough to kill most mobs in under 4 secs.

On Hellfire I got my DK to level 75 in 5.25 hours played I have added in dailies which means I shall have plenty of gold to level my professions. At the moment I have 2 Kalu’ak quests, the Defence of Wormrest Spire and Drake Hunt. These don’t take much time to complete and give good xp and gold for the time invested. The quests in Borean Tundra are still offering efficient levelling. I haven’t been running instances because in the time I complete an instance I can run quests for well over 100k xp. It took another 5.25 hours to hit level 76 although that included a trip back to Undercity to clearout my bags, it is worth keeping free bag space to 15-20 every time you are at an inn/mailbox.

Quest breakdown;
Borean Tundra 135/150
Howling Fjord 53/105
Dragonblight 99/130
Grizzly Hills 9/75
Zul'Drak 1/100

Total quests 822
Daily Quests 18

I also started a little preparation work on my Paladin, once my DK is level 80 this will be the character I am levelling so I got mining to 330 ready for Ungoro Crater. I put talents into Protection as this seems best suited to gathering, I was surprised at how low the xp for mithril ore was though, hopefully thorium will be more in line with the zone. Eventually my druid will take over the mining role but at level 8 it will be after Cataclysm, hopefully my paladin will be well into Outland by then (level 64?)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

the week to Oct 22

My Death Knight on Hellfire reached level 74, time taken was 5.25 hours. It probably would have been less but I was just doing quests as I came to them. Much of this was done in Dragonblight, quests seemed to run out of just short of level 74. This was without doing any quests in Borean Tundra though, fortunately I found some quests at Moa'ki Harbour including a daily repeatable.
I'm moving into Borean Tundra, although it is a level 68-72 zone many of the quests are still amber and giving around 20k xp and it leads to another daily quest.
The daily quests are going to become part of my daily levelling process, they give a little extra gold and extra reputation.

On Darkspear where I am mainly active in the AH, prices are a bit messed up. Material costs have risen but crafted items are either selling slowly or at much reduced prices. It could be that people are clearing out stock in anticipation of Cataclysm. Because of the patch, profession specialisations have disappeared so that Ebonweave/Spellweave/Moonshroud cloths now require twice as many mats as before. I didn't prepare for this but I did immediately adjust my prices, as a result I haven't been able to sell all of these cloths at competitive prices for now. Emerald bags still sell consistently though so I'm just holding steady on the AH. I'm going to start doing some dailies with my Warlock to bring in some extra gold in the meantime. This way I should be able to take advantage of any bargains that I find. I probably spend over 800g on mats a day when prices are right.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The cast for Cataclysm

Time to introduce my characters, I will be creating some new ones during Cataclysm but this is how things stand at the moment

Hellfire (Horde)
Main – Death Knight L73
expect to be level 80 by the release of Cataclysm
Alt – Hunter L42 (Skinning/Engineering)
hope to get to Outland for Cataclysm
Alt - Paladin L50 (Mining/Blacksmithing)
hope to get to Northrend for Cataclysm
Bank Alt – Druid L7 (Mining/Herbalism)
This will be my gathering character in Cataclysm
Inactive Shaman L44 (Herbalism/Leatherworking)
Mage L42 (Tailoring/Enchanting)
Warlock L40 (Alchemy/Inscription)

Darkspear (Alliance)
Main – Warlock L80 (Tailoring/Enchanting both 450)
Levelling – Death Knight L74
Levelling to L75 to max out Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing
Levelling – Druid L46 (Mining/Herbalism)
Gathering alt

Vek’Nilash (Alliance co-op)
Main – Warrior L63
levelling with a L64 Druid
Bank Alt – Priest L??

Aerie Peak (Inactive - Horde)
Druid L50
Priest L50
Warrior L65
Rogue L48

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Patch 4.0.1 – the first week

When a new expansion is launched there is always a major patch to the game. However the changes for cataclysm include changes to how all the classes play. For those that use addons it is especially stressful, many players look upon some of these addons as being part of how they play. Nearly all addons did not work and some will not be replaced in their current form. For these reasons the first week or so after the patch were always going to test players, anyone who visits the official forums cannot help but see the complaints (or QQ) about the various changes. Fans of Player versus Player (PvP) were especially dismayed because as the developers admitted the patch temporarily unbalanced PvP.

For an altaholic, such as myself, it is a big challenge simply because I play so many different classes. I am actively playing four classes (Death Knight, Hunter, Druid and Warrior) all of which had to pick talents from the new smaller talent trees and learn how to use my spells/abilities after the changes. In addition some classes had the way their resources (Mana etc.) altered so that the old play styles would not work.

I didn’t log on until the evening after the patch, because my work means I only get a little time during the week to play. Although I had played without addons in the Beta, I hadn’t been using the auction house either and this is somewhere where I heavily rely on a few addons. I was too tired to be honest to do lots of manual calculations to make sense of things so I left it for another day.

Next up was my hunter. I had been farming the Gnomeregan instance on my level 42 Orc hunter so this was a good chance to see if things were better or worse after the patch. First I had to deal with being unable to either summon my pet (a gorilla) or train a new one. Instead I had to find a trainer to learn the new ability of call pet 2, my initial pet was in a stable so I couldn’t summon it. At level 42 you can ‘carry’ 3 different pets on you which is useful, this number eventually goes up to 5. Once I had learned all the ‘new’ abilities and spent my talents (Beast Mastery) it was time to return to Gnomeregan.
My instance runs are quite short, no more than 45 minutes, and only take me as far as the Clean Room. Because of the new focus resource and that volley has been removed I had to play around with my rotations before finding one that worked. Hunters can no longer use aspect of the viper to regenerate (mana/focus) and instead I used steady shot to regenerate focus when it got low. Multishot now hits all enemies within 8 yards of the target and is a good enough replacement for volley, in fact the changes made things easier. Once I had re-learned how to play my hunter the run seemed easier than before.

Later on I switched to my main character, a level 71 death knight (DK), I had been using the blood tree but not wishing to be forced into tanking in instances it was time for a change. Because I have two death knights I could try out both trees, another option would be to dual spec which is now very affordable at 100 gold – down from 1,000 gold. I choose to use the Frost tree and change from a 2 handed weapon to two 1 handed weapons. It was at this point I started to miss another addon, DrDamage which shows information on each spell/ability. The addon author is in the process of updating it so until then I will have to work things out by trial and error. Eventually I did work out a rotation that worked for me, which went even smoother once I realised that frost presence is better than blood presence now (without it I found myself low on rune power). Over the coming days I levelled my death knight to level 73, the only issue being when attacked by multiple mobs – Frost cannot tank or at least I cannot.

I also had a brief look around on my gathering characters, ore and herbs now give XP – the amount depends on your level. However there is a bug with newly created characters that mean herbalism has to be re-learned every time you log on (or hit a loading screen?). There was a similar bug with fishing in the beta so this should be quite easy to fix.

In future I will try to post every few days, although many of these posts will most likely be shorter in nature with the occasional longer more detailed post.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A new Beginning

The Cataclysm starts here, today the EU is getting patch 4.0.1 and the changes that the expansion brings start to be implemented.

I am going to be posting on this blog my journey through Cataclysm, but first a quick rundown of what kind of WoW player I am. I am an altaholic but I'm not heavy into the endgame, I tend to play solo (except for PuG groups) whilst still being an officer in a long running guild. I play the Auction House, but I am not obsessed with being gold capped. I have a casual approach to the game but play over 30 hours a week. I follow a lot of WoW sites/blogs but don't min max. Oh and I was in the first wave of Beta testers, I gave feedback and posted on the forums but was not as thorough as some people seemed to think a beta tester should be.

When Wrath of the Litch King (WotLK) launched my highest level character was in the mid-60's but I also had a number of 40 something characters. Since then I have levelled a number of characters, but only have one level 80. Cataclysm is less than a couple of months away and I am just about to launch my second character into Northrend, I have a number of characters on three different realms in their 50's. I have learned so much and I am still learning.

Because I am an older gamer I didn't grow up with video games, indeed they grew up with me. As a result my skills are maybe less sharp than the average gamer and yet my hunger for them remains undiminished. It also means I have had to balance work and home with my favourite pastime.

My motivation for writing this blog is personal, a place to put my experiences and thoughts but I hope there will be good information here for the less hardcore player and we will all learn not to be so terrible at playing World of Warcraft. From time to time I will go off topic but the focus will be WoW and video games.