Monday, April 30, 2012

Cataclysm: Looking Back it Wasn't Half Bad!

As the expansion winds down I've found myself thinking back on all that's happened since the Cataclysm. Due to very large breaks in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King this is the first expansion I experienced all the way through and when I look back I realize how far I've come in-game.

This was a pretty eventful expansion for me. I was able to achieve server first for Engineering while Eluniar took Leatherworking. Leveling was pretty interesting and I tried out the new Archaeology thing.  I had only recently hit old gold-cap of 214k and change so I set my sights on the new gold cap of 1 million gold.

I quickly set my sights on something I couldn't finish in Wrath: Shadowmourne. I was a tank for all of Wrath and so I was at the bottom of the priority list when ICC was current content. For the first several months of Cataclysm I herded a ragtag bunch of cats through Icecrown Citadel, netting myself an orange axe, some nice vanity items, and a complete hatred of ICC. (Over a year of raiding it every week really wears you down!)

We are in Legacy of the Illuminati, a rather tight-knit friends and family PvE guild. We're not the best of the best but we're within the first dozen guilds on our server more often than not as far as raid progression. While we didn't expect to get any server first boss kills we were able to really pull together as a guild and grab Realm First Guild Level 25. I can definitely say that the time we spent coming together to push for that achievement was the most fun I've ever had with my guild.  (Though I can also definitely say I never want to run Halls of Origination ever again!)

I was rejoined by some old friends, transferring my original Faid character (now named Rixen) and my warlock to the Alliance from my old server where I played Horde.  It was fun to be playing my long-forgotten BC main again, even if she's now alt-status. 

We had a lot of issues with rostering tanks this expansion. Our main tank in Wrath rerolled as a resto druid and so we were left with myself and a DK who eventually rerolled as a druid as well, then quit. Tank instability impeded our progress quite a bit but we pulled together and have accomplished nearly all of the raiding goals we have this expansion. All three of our main spec DPS casters have legendary staves, our rogue has legendary daggers.

I eventually hit 1 million gold, then moved on and hit 2 million gold as well. I've spent a significant amount of that on mounts including completing my own personal challenge: Buying a Swift Spectral Tiger. In fact, I bought a Swift Spectral for myself and two non-epics, one for myself and one for Eluniar.
I'm back down to about 1.2 million and this is probably where I will hover in preparation for Mists of Pandaria.

All in all I'm pleased about how Cataclysm's gone.  My friends, aka my raid group, are still going strong and we've done well as a team. Most of  my goals were met and then some.  Regardless of how I view the quality of content I will say I found Cataclysm a very fun time for me.

Current Stats:
Achievement Points: 13,070
Mounts: 158
Pets: 167
Titles: 53
Gold: ~1.2 Million Liquid
Favorite Memory this Expac: Server First Guild Level 25

Monday, April 23, 2012

Preparing for Preparation

It's that time of expansion again, a time when I get downright bored. In Wrath of the Lich King it's at this time that I picked up gold making for the first time, it kept me interested in a game that was otherwise getting very dull for me.  This time, however, gold making is not a new and exciting adventure, it's just more of the same. 

I've been trying to figure out what I should be doing in regards to gold-making to prepare for MoP.  I was at roughly two million gold a few weeks back which was a nice place to be.  Quickly I started spending like a madman, however.  I've spent close to a million gold on TCG mounts (Magic Rooster Egg, Swift Spectral Tiger) and buying the mount from the winner when we killed Heroic Rags for the first time as a guild last night! (Grats LotI, a bit late but still third on the realm!)

Now I'm hovering between 1.1 million and 1.3 million liquid gold. I considered trying to regain what I spent and planned to try to hit 2 million again before MoP. Then I realized that would be painful. While not necessarily difficult it would undoubtedly be incredibly boring. Any gem but Inferno Rubies sell for <10g on my server and it's usually more profitable to cut and vendor non-reds. Transmog is profitable but slow. As raiding dies down so too do enchant, flask, and potion sales.  The only market I have that even interests me lately is glyphs, and that is a special kind of boring. An endearing kind of boring, but boring nevertheless.

I could hit two million before MoP but I just flat out don't want to. 

While I don't intend to take a break from playing WoW upon Diablo 3's release it's entirely possible that it comes to pass and I've decided to make sure I've got the bases covered. With this in mind I've turned my attention in the last few days to clearing out any stock that I think won't increase in value in MoP.

I've liquidated tons of herbs that I had sitting in my "just in case" pile and smelted all my Pyrite. I'll combine that with my Volatiles to begin crafting Truegold for the longhaul. Titansteel increased in value to an alarming degree and I anticipate a similar happening with Truegold, and so that will be my main focus this early in my stockpiling.

I also intend to stock up on a good amount of pretty much every Volatile.  By pure chance I found myself with an entire guild bank of Eternals, mostly the "cheap" ones like Earth and Shadow, at the beginning of Cataclysm and that has paid off very well, I anticipate Volatiles will maintain a good bit of value going forward.

Once we've seen the way glyphs and Inscription are being handled in the beta I'll turn my attention to the idea of stockpiling inks or maybe premade glyphs if I can discern with any certainty the value of that.

Right now I'm just kind of coasting along, enjoying the quiet end of the expansion when we finish up our raiding goals and just chill until MoP comes out. And, of course, I'm overdosing on the D3 beta!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From the Vault: Undermine Journal Notifications

From the Vault:  Every Tuesday and Friday we'll be shining a spotlight on some of the most popular and timeless posts from Nerf Faids here on ClockworkRiot. Folks who missed them the first time around can enjoy some of the best pieces and folks who have seen them can maybe be reminded of a trick or two that they'd forgotten.

Isn't that just the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? This enchant has sold on my server in the past for upwards of 30k.  I'm not yet sure if I'll flip it or learn it, since it's also the highest +Stats enchant that can be put on BoA chestpieces.  Regardless, it's an amazing deal.

With an incredibly active AH (3 AM on a Wednesday? Over 900 pages of auctions!) however did I snag such a great deal before someone else grabbed it up? The answer to that is the greatest thing since sliced bread, if sliced bread sent you e-mail notifications to tell you it had recently been sliced.

The Undermine Journal has a feature which allows you to set parameters for notifications.  Basically anything that can be posted on the AH can have a notification set up for it. You can have one just to let you know if one's even available, if one's available under a certain price, or even if there's none available so you know when you can jack up prices.

I get these notifications sent to my e-mail which I'm constantly able to view throughout the day. I believe they're now also doing twitter and Facebook stuff though, so you can probably even have it, either directly or roundabout, sent to your phone!  (Don't quote me on that though, you kids and your newfangled facetwitterbookspace confuse the heck out of me.)

The best bit is that if, like me, you're too lazy to make your own notifications you can now import other people's lists. Granted, this may cause you more headache than help; on my server most of the "rare" items are posted in vast quantities so I often get mostly useless notifications, but I deal with them for the time saving and for these great 45g deals.

A great guide to setting up notifications as well as a list of notifications you can just copy and paste (the same list I'm using!) is available over at The Consortium, check it out!

Friday, April 6, 2012

From the Vault: 1c Undercuts

From the Vault:  Every Tuesday and Friday we'll be shining a spotlight on some of the most popular and timeless posts from Nerf Faids here on ClockworkRiot. Folks who missed them the first time around can enjoy some of the best pieces and folks who have seen them can maybe be reminded of a trick or two that they'd forgotten.

I'm not sure what's caused this to come up so often all of a sudden but I've heard about 1c undercuts one way or another nearly every day for the past week or so. 

On the one hand I hear competitors yelling at me about  my 1c undercuts or guild members saying that 1c undercuts piss them off.  On the other I've got people complaining about how stupid it is for people to undercut by 10g+ and just cut everyone's profits down.

I don't pretend to know what's "right" in the realm of economic theory. I always just sort of assumed that this was a personal preference and everyone thinks that their way is right.  Well, let me tell you what my way is and why I think it's right.

The Supposed Case for >1c Undercuts
I've heard a few reasons for undercutting by more than 1c, or to put it another way, why undercutting by only 1c is not a smart decision.  Usually it's one of these beliefs:

● My item will sell faster if I undercut more because people will see that they're getting a better deal.
If there is an item that is usually 20,000g and I see it for 10,000g I have to admit I would be getting a deal and I may buy this item to flip it.  However, that is usually not the case.  Usually the 1c undercutting is happening in markets like gems or glyphs when the price tag is often under 100g.  When I look at discounts I look at them as a part of the entire cost of the item. Getting 10g knocked off a 20,000g item is a lot less of an appealing discount than getting 10g knocked off a 20g item, you see?

I will dare to say that most buyers are similar to me: We don't care if you're cheaper by 1g or 1c, if your item is at the top of my list (aka cheapest per unit) I'll buy yours.  Why? Because it's at the top.  Hell, with TSM_Shopping I don't even usually see a price comparison on many commodities, the items are just queued up by cheapest automatically.

● My item will sell faster if I undercut by a larger number.
Yes, I just rehashed the previous belief so I can discuss it from a different angle.  I want to discuss more from the speed angle here.  I am not a patient person.  Most people I know aren't particularly patient when it comes to buying things off the AH.

Understand that in WoW there really isn't a lot of window shopping and impulse buys, particularly for trade goods and consumables. Rarely are people going to stumble upon your great deal on flasks just on accident.  If people are looking at your item on the AH they probably went to the AH and typed in that item in particular.

I just powerleveled Jewlcrafting today.  There's this hellish area in JC when you need Large Opals, Azerothian Diamonds, and Blue Sapphires.  There were about 20 Large Opals on the AH, some were at 3g and the others were at 15g.  You know what? I bought all of them.  I didn't care that the 15g Opals were five times the rate of Mr. Undercut. I wanted opals so I bought opals.  Don't get me wrong, I love cheaper goods, but Mr. Undercut could have easily recieved 15g for his Opals as well had he not undercut so aggressively.

Remember that if your item is popping up in a search most people are specifically searching for that item. They already want it, you don't need to sell them on it by kicking sand in your competitor's face.

● Undercutting by 1c is a dick move.
This one's certainly opinion based so difficult to argue against.  To those who hold this belief I merely must ask you to look at it like this:  I can undercut you by 1c. You can then choose to undercut me by 1c. You've lost, at most, 2c of value off your original sale price and will still be selling it for Original Asking Price Minus 2c.  Or I can instead undercut you by 50g.  You can then undercut me if you want, and given your opinions on 1c undercut you'll probably undercut me by at least 1g.  So now you can, at most, sell your item for Original Asking Price Minus 51g just because you didn't like 1c undercuts. Who's the dick now?

The Upstanding Individual Who Fights 1c Undercuts
A phenomenon in all of this is the buyer who will buy a more expensive item if they see someone's been undercut by 1c.  For example, if you're selling a Glyph of Innervate for 50g and I post mine for 49.99.99 this "Upstanding Individual" will buy your glyph just because they don't like 1c undercuts. I know a few of these people.

But you know what?  For every one of these people I know I know about ten people who don't even look at the others on the AH, they buy the top if it's within their price range.  If you want to "fight the man and his 1c undercuts" by buying more expensive items that's fine; I'm sure the sellers appreciate it.  However, decreeing your moral strength in Trade is rarely a deterrent for us 1c undercutters. The 1c Undercutters are still swimming in gold without needing yours. No skin off my back!

At  the end of the day there are multiple stances you can take on the issue. I don't particularly mind if someone takes one over the other. As you can see here I clearly am in support of 1c undercuts but I don't mind if my competition wants to rob themselves of potential profit. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to Macro Any Addon Button

Certain parts of gold making can be very monotonous, particularly activities like milling, prospecting, disenchanting, or buying out large amounts of items from the auction house.

The in-game abilities are easy enough to macro but some folks seem to stop there. Well, did you know it's just as easy to macro clicking buttons, such as clicking TSM's buyout button or Panda's disenchant button?  Let me show you how.

Essentially the macro command is very simple.
/click [Name of Button]

Not too tough! But I use this really super obscure addon and there's no one out there that will tell me what the button is called!  That's fine, you don't need anyone to do it.  You can figure it out yourself very easily and the best part is that everything you need is built into the base game.

First open your macro frame. You can do this by hitting Escape => Macros or typing /macro into your chat frame. Now here comes the fun stuff.  What we need to use is the built in framestack command.  Type /fstack into your chat window.

That will bring up a window that looks like this:

This window will display information about anything you mouse over. Below you can see what pops up if I mouse over my character pane with Shadowed Unit Frames.

So what does this have to do with making button macros? Using this tool you can learn the name of any button from any addon in the game. If you move your mouse over a button from an addon you will see that button's name displayed in the pop up.

Here's what happens when I mouse over TSM's buyout button:

Using this information you can then make a macro to click any addon button. Here are some examples of macros I've used:

This macro will click the buyout button in TradeSkillMaster and will accept the confirmation window.
/click TSMAHTabBuyoutButton
/click TSMAHConfirmationActionButton

This macro will disenchant the first item in Panda's disenchant section.
/click PandaDEFrame1

This macro will click the automatic disenchant prompt from Enchantrix.
/click AutoDEPromptYes

Hopefully that will help you guys get a handle on some activities that were just boring as could be before. Good luck!