Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Calculating Enchanting Material Costs & The Enchantment Shuffle

In Mists of Pandaria we were introduced to 4 new types of enchanting materials: Sha Crystals (epic), Ethereal Shard (and Small Ethereal Shard) (rare), Mysterious Essence (uncommon), and Spirit Dust (common). We were also given a way to convert these mats to and from each other. For instance you could use 5 spirit dust to create 1 Mysterious Essence, or you could use 1 Mysterious essence to create 3 Spirit Dust. As you can see its not an even conversion going down from the more rare mats to the more common mats. For this reason its a bit harder to just set up a shopping list or dealfinding list in Trade Skill Master with percentages. Due to this I decided to make a simple calculator which you can enter in each materials current AH value (or what ever value you wish) to calculate material costs so you can maximize your enchanting profits or simply shuffle enchanting mats for profit.

I based my design of this calculator off of Jim Younkin's Simple Living Steel Calculator but modified for enchanting mats. The basis of Jim's Calculator is to figure out what is the cheapest way to make a living steel given current mat costs. My calculator differs in that any enchanting mat can be turned into any other enchanting mat using a series of enchanting spells, so the calculator will tell you the cost to make these conversions.

To use the calculator simply enter the current value of each of the materials in the top row. The Calculator will then due the rest. You simply look for the material you want on the left and read across its row to find the cheapest solution. So if you look at the screenshot below, if you wanted to know the cheapest way to make a Sha Crystal given the prices I entered from my AH you would see that the current AH value of a Sha Crystal is 380g. To make one from Ethereal Shards it would cost you 227g15s. To make it from Mysterious Essence it would cost 609g75s (5 Mysterious Essence per shard and 5 shards per Crystal) and so on.



As I said above this spreedsheet servers 2 purposes. First being to find the cheapest way to get the materials for your enchant (not including disenchanting which you could run a TSM destroying scan for) and second to simply shuffle materials from one type to another to profit in the AH.

Download the Calculator
Here is the link to the Claculator.  This link will open in for you in Google Docs. Once open you can download it via the file menu.

I hope some of you find this useful. I will try to get a youtube video up with the basic instructions as well but it should be simple enough to use. Good Luck!

-Erogroth

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weekly Recap 5/13 - 5/19. Better Late then Never

This weeks review comes a bit late in the week due to real life getting in the way once again. But it was to wonderful a week not to do a write up. So here we go!



First and foremost this week I hit Goldcap! If you have been following I did a big write up on that already so I won't go into too much detail but needless to say it was the highlight of my week. To top it off, the day I hit it was my biggest sales day since I started tracking gold on a daily basis.



I got into the gem market pretty heavily and it has paid off. I am much more comfortable now with pricing and strategy for posting and resetting markets. I have had some great help from several members of the IRC channel and profits are up! I do have some heavy competition for one person in the gem market but I don't mind it so much. He is obviously a smart seller and knows what he is doing and I appreciate the challenge. I am not sure if he feels the same way about me but I think it makes it more interesting and I definitely respect him/her. I try not to be too big a jerk and I will back off at some point once I am happy with my numbers and let him/her have the market for the day. So far they still remain aggressive but as I said, it makes things interesting.

I also leveled up my tailor this week. Although he is still level 80 I am able to get out to the Silken Fields everyday and do my cool down. I have been making the crafted dreadful gear to get my last few skill points and have been trying to sell them.

Blacksmithing is still keeping steady. Some days are bigger than others but for the most part I can rely on at least 5000g on a bad day.

So I have been growing my business. Expanding into new markets and testing out some new strategies. I am investing heavily again, mostly in ghost iron to support my blacksmithing and JC sales and I am even getting a bit of a stock pile.

Stay tuned this week for some new posts I am working on. As I learn new things I like to share them with you so hopefully you can benefit as well. Good Luck all!

-Erogroth

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One Million Gold. Reflecting On My Journey To Gold Cap


One Million Gold! Back in August of 2012 I set a goal for myself to hit gold cap. Today I have reached that goal. The past 10 months have been amazing and changed not only the way I play World of Warcraft but has changed my life as well. I want to take this moment to reflect on my journey and share with you some of my thoughts.

When I started out in gold making it was more of something I wanted to see if I could do. An in game friend told me about some of the transmog gear that he was selling and I was surprised at how much money he was making. I did some googling and came across an article about Keelhaul (A.K.A. The Mogfather) and how he had made a million gold in just 45 days. This lead me to powerwordgold.net where I began to learn some of the basics of gold making.

Now I am the type of person that when I find something I like I get very into it. Soon I began finding other gold blogs and eventually the consortium. Here I found so many ideas and resources I was overwhelmed. This was where the pros came and where new gold making strategies are forged. I had found a wonderful and thriving community and I wanted to be a part of it.

I slowly began making gold in flipping markets and did a little bit of crafting. I was still trying to find my footing and understand how the auction house game works. I began using new addons like Autioneer and eventually Trade Skill Master. I started seeing results and felt all the more encouraged. When I hit the 200,000 gold mark I purchased the Grand Expedition Yak I saw this as an investment to save time while killing mobs with Potions of Treasure Finding and Potions of Luck but it was a fun splurge too. Can't say I regret it. I also picked up the Vial of the Sands mount and a Ruby Panther mount.  What can I say, I like mounts.

A few fun splurges aside, I continued to watch my bank roll grow. I started listening to the Power Word Gold Podcast which I enjoyed but I found myself wanting to listen to more podcasts about wow. I began listening to The Instance and All Things Azeroth. These too were awesome podcasts but I found myself getting addicted to them and wanted more. Then one day, Rho posted a link to his podcast livestream guide on Realm Maintenance. Suddenly I found myself in live streams listening to these shows. This is where I feel things took a turn for the better for me.

I was introduced to this amazing community of people. They put on these wonderful shows, interacted with their audiences and made me feel at home. Shows like The Chaos Portal, Tauren Think Tank, Holy Shatt and so many others became a regular hang out for me. Though this has little to do with my gold making, it was my journey into gold making that brought me here. I want to thank all those people from the podcast community for what they do and let them know they not only are entertaining but make a difference in peoples lives. Please keep doing what you do.

Through all this I continued trudging my way through. Sometime in February two things happened. I hit 500,000g and I meant a wonderful person whom has become a good friend, Profitz (wowprofitz.com). He started his blog and put out his first podcast, The Cross Realm, and in episode 1 he talked mostly about how he got into gold making and what he was doing with it and his plans for the future. I find myself listening to him and thinking "this is totally my own story". I contacted him and we began chatting on a regular basis. He asked me to be on his podcast as his first guest and I was more than excited to do so. Profitz started an IRC channel to bring some of the community together. There was already a gold making IRC channel at the consortium but the idea of this channel was not to just talk about gold but to bring the community together. At first it was Profitz and I and maybe one or 2 others. But then it began to grow and grow. Today we have around 20 people in the channel on any given day (maybe more) and we have many regulars. Through the channel I have made so many friends. People like GoblinRaset, Thairus, Rennick, PhatLewts, Ayshayz, Socowow, and so many more. We even have been joined by a Consortium Wind Trader, Mithrildar who has been a huge help to me in the past week, with fine tuning my jewel crafting and gem selling. These people are all amazing, fantastic individuals who I count as friends. I have made more friends in the past 4 months of playing WoW then in all my 8 years. So again, a special thank you to Profitz for setting up that channel and to all the people who are a part of it.

As my climb to Gold cap continued I finally decided to expand into new markets. I had only been flipping greens and transmog, and doing my Blacksmithing as I only had one level 90. I got my rogue leveled up and picked up JC and Alchemy and started getting my feet wet in new markets. I enjoyed the challenge and the extra income. Then Jim Younkin of Power Word Gold asked me to come on his show as a guest. I was more then happy to do so and afterwards he asked if I would like to co-host. I had been wanting to get into podcasting for some time and this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to do so. I have done several episodes now and the listeners have given me some wonderful feedback. So thank you Jim and the listeners for your support.

The cap came closer and closer. I was over 700,000 when I finally got off my butt and started this blog. I love doing this. Even if no one ever reads this I get to put my thoughts out there and it feels good. So for those of you who do read it, thank you. It means a lot to me. I began tracking my sales with the blog and was able to really break things down. I love that I do this now and recommend it to others. I ended my last week at 968,558 gold. It was time for the home stretch!

This week started off strong. I had nearly 19,000 in sales on Monday bringing me up to 983,686. I figured I would hit cap by Wednesday at the latest. However Tuesday turned out to be one of my biggest sales days to date. I sold a ton of blacksmithing items and my gem sales just blew up. I ended up with over 26,000 gold in sales, more then enough to put me over!




When I realized that I had done it, I just sat there with a smile on my face. It was late at night so most of the IRC people had logged off and my wife just doesn't care about wow. Luckily at least GoblinRaset was around for me to talk to. Thanks Goblin! I had promised I would live stream the actual collecting of the Gold which I did today. I am happy to say that as of the writing of this post I am sitting at 1,006,576 gold!



Everyone keeps asking how it feels. Well, it feels good. Damn good! But accomplishing your goals always does. Now I need to set a new goal. So I am making a push for 2 million gold. Once I am there I will wait for Mimiron's head to show on the BMAH and snag that up! I would like to try to hit the two million mark in 5 months, half the time it took me to hit one million. I think at the rate I have been going, I can do that. So here we go again!

Moving forward I want to make some changes. I read a great post this week by Zerohour and it made me think. I do not feel that I am providing my readers with anything original or something they can't get a million other places. I want to challenge not only myself but those of you who visit my blog. I want to do something different. That is easier said then done. So perhaps my posts will become more infrequent but I hope they will also become better quality. I want to hold myself to a higher standard. I hope you will help me do that.

My family is growing as well. My wife and I are expecting our second child in October so time will become a factor at some point. But for now I will continue to podcast and blog and make some gold. I have another project in mind as well but it will take some time and energy to get going. That is a limited resource for me but I really hope it comes to fruition.

So to wrap up this lengthy post, I want to thank you all again. Gold making may have been how this journey started but the people along the way is what made it memorable. Thank you so so much my friends!

-Erogroth

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekly recap 4/6 - 5/12 Investing big for profit





Another week gone by and crazy week at that. Originally I planned to be gold capped by now but a plan is just a list of things that never actually happens (Way of the Gun). Instead I took the advice of some friends and spent some money to level Alchemy and did some investing.

This past week I talked about how my sales of slowed down and reflected about how to deal with it. I talked about expanding into new markets, invested into materials that would turn a nice profit and lowered some of my prices. I am happy to say it all paid off.

For starters I leveled Alchemy without the aid of herbalism. Phatlewts has made a case for herbalism not being worth it and so I bought all the mats. I went the route of a transmute master for the living steel transmute and to assist with Jewelcrafting and the shuffle. As part of this I needed to purchase a few living steel bars for the quest turn in. I spammed trade chat for them and got a response. A brief conversation with this person ended with me buying 100 living steel bars at 350g/bar. That is a great price for my server and I have been flipping them as belt buckles all week. I was very excited about this investment. I also picked up a good supply of Golden lotus to start transmuting gems. On Tuesday alone I spent over 45,000 gold and another 16,000 on Wednesday.  But these were all smart investments in my opinion and will pay off.

My blacksmithing sales had been taking a hit as well. I decided to drop my prices. The 950g fallback was working well when the Crafted Dreadful gear first came out and not everyone had the patterns. Now someone takes a look at that price and decides they rather wait for a guildie to craft it. So I set up my groups like I have my other blacksmithing gear. I broke it up by the number of bars it takes to craft and dropped the price to a point where I felt buyers would be willing to pay but I still make a pretty profit. I hit a home run on this one. I have been getting good sales almost everyday. In fact I think this moved saved my week and kept me in the green. I ended up 16,000 gold in the green this week after all that spending. Not a huge week but much better than the last 2 weeks.



All in all I had a really good week. I made some investments that I am excited about and I think will return nicely. My new blacksmith prices are paying off as well and i am getting more heavily invested into the jewelcrafting market thanks to being able to transmute gems. Too top it all off I found a supplier for Ghost Iron Ore and a great price. I am looking forward to seeing what this next week will bring. I am expecting to hit gold cap tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. I plan to livestream when I hit gold cap so follow my twitch account (twitch.tv/erogroth) to get notified of when I go live if you want to be there. This week I plan to go all out in Jewelcrafting and see if I can make a real profit. I have some heavy competition but I think I can make a good dent in the market.

Keep the Gold Folwing

-Erogroth

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Challenges of Mid to Low Pop servers and gold making


I have been playing on the same server since my very first day of World Of Warcraft back in 2004. I love my server. It is home to me. Back in those days we had top end raiding guilds. There were people everywhere and I would stand in Orgrimmar and look at people all decked out in blues and the occasional purple item. Towards the end of Vanilla, before BC you would even seen the occasional legendary item (including on yours truly!). Ah the good old days. Fast forward nine years and my server has changed. There are no top end raiding guilds anymore. There are a few that do heroics but nothing in the top 100. The Alliance side is twice the population of the Horde (although it has always been an Alliance heavy server) with a Horde population of only around 30k. So what has happened?

What caused this change? What happened to everyone? Where have they all gone? I think there are several factors here. First, the game is nine years old! Some people have just moved on. Some people either grew up and got jobs and wives or husbands, kids and other responsibilities that just took away the time they have to play wow. Some people just got board. Others have hopped ship to other servers. Looking through my realm's forums today I saw 2 big guilds heading for other servers.

So how does this effect gold making? The short answer is less customers means less gold. Now I do feel that I am still closer to the medium population side of things as apposed to the low population but it is kind of border line. Regardless, when you are in this position, you face certain challenges. Recently I have become a big fan of the Low Pop WoW podcast which talks about many of the challenges faced by players on low population servers. On Episode 4 they had several popular gold makers on to talk turkey (or gold). I found this episode very informative. Profitz of Wowprofitz.com has even been working on a project called "Rags to Riches" which is him trying to make as much gold as he can on the second lowest population server in the US in 30 one hour episodes. He has found it much more challenging then he expected and I too was surprised at how much trouble he has had. It actually made me appreciate my server that much more. That aside, I have been facing some challenges of my own lately.

Over the past few weeks I have been tracking my sales and I have noticed a decline in my total weekly numbers each week. The thing is, I have faced less competition in the AH. I have nearly gained full control of my main market which is plate pvp and pve crafted gear. I get undercut very little and most if my items are posting at fall back. However I have not been getting sales.

I am thinking one cause may be that some people may be getting to that point of burn out with the expansion or at least with this patch. Also summer is approaching and many people may be enjoying the outdoors more. School too is coming to a close for many people so they are busy studying for and taking final exams. I could be wrong but I think historically this is just a slow time of year for wow. Many people seems to take the summer off from playing. On a lower population server this takes a larger toll on the economy.



So how to survive this wow recession. I think the best thing to do is expand. Be it the fact that people are taking time off or you are on a low population server, expanding into more markets is not a bad idea. I need to start pushing into more markets myself. If one market is doing bad perhaps another is doing well. At the very least, selling only 3 items a day in 6 markets is better then only selling 3 items a day in one market. I have said in the past that in the beginning you should focus on one or two markets and really get to know them, and if you are new to gold making this holds true. Once you feel comfortable with these markets though you can take that knowledge and move into more markets. The lessons you learned from your first markets will carry over and you should adapt more quickly to the next.

If the lack of sales are holding true for others on my server I should start to see price drops which will hopefully carry over to raw mats. If this is the case it could be a good time to stockpile these raw mats and turn them into a nice profit later on. Come fall people will come back to the game. By then we should see the final major patch which will include the raid of Orgrimmar and people will want to play again. No matter the population of your server you should see an increase in sales at that point. Also, in patch 5.3 Blizzard will introduce a reduced experience requirement for leveling through Pandaria. I will take advantage of this to level alts and professions.

So all hope in not lost during these slow times. Use the time wisely and invest and you will see returns at the right time. This is just the nature of any economy. If you are on a low population server you do have one advantage, less competition. Take advantage of that fact and force out the little guys from your market. Undercut aggressively and control your markets to maximize profits. If you can't get tons of sales, at least get the ones you can and try to get the most out of them. Don't set your prices too high but don't sell yourself short and set them too low either.

There are times when things can look bleak and you may think about transferring. But if you are like me, you love your server and don't want to leave. Also the cost of transferring 11 toons is a bit much. So hang in there, invest wisely, expand, and try to control some markets. The gold is out there, you just need to grab it.

Good luck and keep the gold flowing.

-Erogroth

Week 4 Recap and Month 1 Review


Wow! What a crazy month. This post marks one month since I began blogging and a lot has happened. I have become not only a blogger but a podcaster as well and have approached the mark of WoW millionaire! I have had big sales days I couldn't believe and small sales days I couldn't explain. You all have joined me on this little journey so lets step back and have a look at this past month.

Lets start by taking a look at week 4. This is the third week I have tracked my sales on a day by day basis in a spreed sheet so I can look back and see any patterns and big days. This has been a fantastic tool. I love doing this and encourage anyone else who is making gold to do the same. It really is nice to be able to see those numbers. I think over the long run I will really be able to see some patterns emerge and be able to predict sales better. This week however has been pretty lame.

The week started off normal enough. Monday was a bit slow and I was busy. I didn't bother collecting my gold that day and just combined it with Tuesday as you can see from the spreed sheet below. I averaged around 5k a day for those first 2 days and pulled in just over 9k on Wednesday. Thursday saw a dip in sales but looking back at my numbers from the previous two weeks Thursday is never great. Friday picked up a bit but was still slower then I am used to for a Friday. The weekend however hit me hard.



Saturday is usually one of my biggest days of the week. I had a wedding to go to and a lot of plans so I spent some time in the morning doing some investing and getting ready for the day. I purchased 2 stacks of golden lotus and transmuted a bunch of gems. Got all the cuts I wanted to sell posted. I had stopped learning new recipes from Lighting Ingots as I had learned them all and so I had them all posted. I restocked my greens and re-posted everything. I was ready for the big day. It never came. I ended up with only 6,500g in sales and had spent 5,762g on mats and posting costs netting me only 751g on the day! Ouch!!! I was never undercut very much on my blacksmithing stuff and kept up via the phone app but the sales just did not come.

Sunday brought in the Darkmoon Faire and I got my auctions up for that. I sold 4 items there but that was all. My JC did mange a handful of sales but my blacksmith busted again with only 1 sale the whole day.

In the end I only had 51k in gross sales and 35,500g in net income. Not my best week. I did break the 950k mark but didn't push past it much. All in all it was a pretty sad week.

As for the month, I think it was pretty successful. I saw some big milestones with the 700k, 800k, 900k and now 950k marks. I started out in some new markets and have seen some success. Thanks to the folks in the IRC channel I have come up with some pricing for buying my gems that I like.

Also, now that I have learned all the new patterns that I can with Lighting Steel Ingots I don't need to keep making them. I have more than enough to make a weapon but I am lacking the Spirits of Harmony. I keep using them to make smaller weapons that I think have a better profit margin.

I continue my quest to master the gem market. I am still learning new cuts but now that I have my pricing down I am getting into the groove. I plan to level my Alchemy on that toon as well so I can start transmuting gems and living steel.

On the whole I really enjoyed this past month. Real life has been especially busy the past two weeks but I am hoping that will calm down now and I can get more focused. I want to write more and get into some live streaming. But first I really want to hit gold cap this week. I think it will happen and when it does I will live stream it. So keep watching and be ready for some big stuff to come!

Keep the gold flowing

-Erogroth