Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Glyph Competition: A Primer

One of the most common things people ask me about is competition and the glyph market. For most servers glyphs will be the most competitive and challenging market to get a strong foothold in. Those of us who love glyphs really love glyphs and it will take an iron will to unseat some of the more stubborn glyph sellers.

Every situation is different and your course of action should be decided based on your specific situation. How much time to you have to spend? Do you need profit now or can you put profit on the backburner if it means more profit further down the line? How much patience do you have for AH camping? What types of players are keeping you from being a kingpin in your glyph market? What kind of competition will they respond to?  All of these questions are important to consider when planning to enter the glyph market as a serious competitor.

So you want to beat your competitors out of the glyph market.  How do you do it? Essentially if you want to drive vast amounts of people out of the market you have a single goal: Make it not worth their time to stay in.

There are two main ways to do this and it comes down to what you have more of: time or stubbornness.

Method 1: AH Camping
The first method requires a lot of time and that's essentially to camp the AH. You can keep prices high this way because you will always be the lowest on the list. This method discourages competitors because they can't get a sale in edgewise as you exercise complete presence on the auction house.

TSM Settings for this Method:

  • Ignore stacks over 1
  • Post Time: 12 Hours
  • Post Cap: 1
  • Per Auction: 1
  • Undercut by 1c
  • Bid Percent 100%
  • Price Threshold 110% of Crafting Cost
  • Fallback (Your preference, I choose 325g)
  • Reset Method: Post at Fallback

Method 2: Walling
If you don't have as much time the other method is stubbornness. If you can't stop them from getting sales you can instead make sure that those sales net so little profit that they begin to look at other ways to make gold.

This is usually done through walls. Some people do large low walls (Say, 5-10 of each glyph at 105% of crafting cost) while others do staggered walls (2 glyphs at 20g, 2 glyphs at 25g, 2 glyphs at 30g.) I like huge low walls since I feel it gives an impression that you are uncompromising and are willing to take everyone down with you. (Critical Goblin preferred staggered walls and makes some excellent points at his blog.)

If you intend to wall understand you're in for the long haul. Some people may disappear in a few days, others might take several months. The point is to never budge, never falter in the wall. If you stop before you drain them of hope you've just wasted your time and stock. Just keep your prices just above crafting costs so you are breaking even or slightly profiting so you don't go under during the wall event. See a glyph that you could sell for 300g? Don't. Sell it for 25. The point of the wall isn't to make gold, it's to make sure no one else is making decent gold. The profit will come later, right now it's about crushing the hopes and dreams of your competitors.

TSM Settings for this Method will vary depending on if you do single walls or staggered walls. Just remember to have enough glyphs up that they can't easily reset the price (that will give them hope) and you will be able to maintain the low prices even if you can't be online for a while.

For my large low wall I posted 10x of each glyph at 30g with a threshold of 18g and a larger undercut, up to a 10g undercut to make people think twice about undercutting me.

If you can be online most hours of the day I like the first method but if you can't your best bet is more than likely walls.

Most people who have been in the glyph markets competitively for quite some time have their own style of driving competitors out or defending themselves against people using these strategies.  For those interested in the topic here are some of my favorite posts from other bloggers about glyph strategies and market control:

Foo's WoW Musings -
   Foo has always been the first blogger I think of when I think glyphs.  I've always found his information insightful and his thoughts on glyph selling practices to be very thought-provoking and educational.

   You can't talk about Foo's work with glyphs without also talking about Breevok, another gold blogger who was in direct competition with Foo on the same server.  Breevok is very missed in the blogging community but his chronicling of his glyph experiences is still a great read.

   Critical didn't stick around very long but his posts were fascinating to read. He was one of the more aggressive glyph sellers I've seen and walked readers through every concept. While he has many other glyph posts on his blog the best bet is to check out:

There are countless great posts out there about glyphs but the above bloggers I feel give a great view of glyph competition from multiple angles and do a great job showing  off the differing mindsets and varying strategies different sellers use when approaching glyphs.


  1. Camping needs time AND stubbornness I would say.

    I really don´t like the wall method for several reasons:
    1) your aim should be to make gold, not to drive competitors out.
    2) the wall drives the perceived prices down for glyphs, so people might budge at buying them when you raise prices later
    3) your profit goes down the kitchen sink until your competitors are gone
    4) nothing prevents your competitors to come right back when you raise prices again, you might get some Monopoly time, but you never can know when a competitor comes back or a new competitor enters the field
    5) if you don´t have competitors you have to take on every new or returning entrant in the glyph market on your own
    6) tons of work to make glyphs without getting profit, you basically do to yourself what you to do everyone else

    One of my competitors actually bought 2 glyphs at my fallback price this week (which is 495g), makes it hard to drive them out when they are also your best customers. ^^

    It´s nice to have you back writing about WoW again, wb!

  2. Thanks for compiling the information. I have been waiting several weeks for someone to the heavy workload. I am amazed so few glyphs will be charred, this also reduces our chances of a bumper payday.

  3. thanks for the article and the links to the other blogs. Glyphs i find are highly competitive on my server and Critical's blog i found useful here. As you point out, you dont need to be on 24/7 to play in the glyph market.

    I would also point to croda's blog which is still running at as another highly informed source for the glyph market. I use his (i assume it is a him?) free guide as my foundation for glyphs.