Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cataclysm Thus Far

Based on some of my prior posts, I would probably have to describe myself as a Fairweather Auctioneer. Based on my realm's markets thus far in Cataclysm, I would probably describe it as containing fair weather. A visual aid:

In short: 137,811g over 71 days or just shy of 2.5 months, averaging 1,941g a day.

Tragically, I only downloaded MySales in the past few weeks so I don't have as much hard data as I would have enjoyed browsing. Generally speaking though, I do not pool the gold across my various toons as you can see; by keeping it separated, it gives me a way of judging how profitable and/or self-sustaining certain individual professions can be.

In essence, this is a personalized recap episode for my time versus the Auchindoun auction house thus far. Feel free to keep right on browsing if these aren't your thing, although I would like to think I can make it somewhat entertaining for the both of us.

The clear darling child of this expansion thus far, just as the expansion before it, is Inscription. As various blogging man-machines can attest to, selling your soul to the gods of addon automation can net you practically limitless amounts of wealth by the ancient rite of Glyph-making. Being the hopeless conscientious objector I am, I have made zero glyphs for sale. Fortunately, there are other ways to squeeze blood from the Inscription rock and the 60,000g made in the last two months (nearly half of it all) atests to this. At the time of writing, the Faire is currently making it's rounds and I have a Volcano and three Hurricane decks still at large.

Nearly every stage of the Darkmoon card creation stage has space for profit, from milling and selling the Inks up to the individual cards and finished trinkets. If you haven't explored the potential yet, you are missing out.

The first heady days of an expansion presents many opportunities to corner the market on certain cuts, while also giving those with less predatory inclinations to simply turn the JC daily into a 300-500g payout by selling the special JC gem (e.g. Chimera Eye). While I have been getting my hands dirty, I actually prefer the mature JC market to Wild West one it is presently. As you can see on most realms right now, gem prices are getting tanked hardcore by a truly prodigenious turnout. Six months or more from now, things tend to quiet down, and cuts that are selling for less than the gem it takes to make it will start heading back up to sustainable levels.

What I do want to say is that the color shuffling and stat consolidation has really invalidated entire gem types. There is no practical use for Amberjewels, for example - DPS is in every circumstance going to want a hybrid +Int/+X or similar cut, whereas pure +Crit was a decent seller throughout Wrath (nevermind the +Hit). Straight blue gems needed the boost of +Hit to feel useful, but I am pessimistic about the future of Amberjewel in general.

Outside of Transmutation, there really has not been any Alchemy this expansion thus far. Flasks have been a complete disaster on Blizzard's part in every respect - it is difficult to imagine that the designers have any idea whatsoever what the hell they are doing when they expected guilds to have created ten thousand (10,000) flasks for a 10m guild within two months (e.g. hitting the level 10 guild perk that buffs only guild cauldrons). And that is putting aside for the moment the absolute re-goddamn-diculous material cost of the flasks themselves. Twelve (12) different herbs of two different types for one flask? Frost Lotus was the limiting factor for Wrath flasks, of course, but what people often forget in that comparison is that the recipe ended up making two flasks. Yeah, originally they made one flask before they were changed, but that one flask lasted two hours. Over the course of the last few years we have gone from a two-hour flask, to two one-hour flasks, to a single one-hour flask while materials necessary to farm has increased. Patch 4.0.6 cannot come fast enough.

Potions have largely been a joke as well, mainly due to the throttling of herbs. It simply makes no sense even as a Potion Master to crank out normal potions when you could be selling those, say, 2-3 Heartblossom at 14-15g each. Potion of Treasure Finding is garbage, and Potion of Illusion needs to last 30 minutes at least. Hopefully the unnerfing of Heartblossom and Whiptail will allows those potions more room for a margin.

Transmutations though? Obscene. Truegold can be hit or miss, but a controlled Living Elements is genius, even if it is almost always more profitable to go from Life --> Air. Rare gem transmutes without a cooldown also opens interesting new market correlations, or at least they would, if herb nodes weren't so heavily nerfed. If Heartblossom comes down far enough, we may see the prices of Carnelians spike since they may actually become more widely used in Transmute: Inferno Ruby.

As par for the course, Enchanting right now is really hit-or-miss. If you were one of the lucky bastards with the otherwise obtuse Alchemy/Enchanting combo, you are probably logging into WoW from your retirement estate in the Hamptons via the very-late hotfixed Maelstrom Crystal farming. Enchanting materials are still selling rather well, but the scroll market is still groping for the bottom of the hole they are falling into. By the time it rebounds, who knows whether it will bounce higher than the price of Hypnotic Dust and Celestial Essences? Like the JC market though, the more mature the market, the easier it is to find the margins.

I do not think it has ever been a better time to be a Blacksmith. Assuming, that is, you are level 84+ and have been soaking up Chaos Orbs. My own Blacksmith is stuck at level 80 as the fourth alt in line for some TLC, but I have still made ~10,000g or so from selling the level 81 rare weapons and some missing pieces of the crafted tanking and Redsteel set.

I am trying to remember back to TBC and Wrath if there was a better time to be a gatherer than presently. I don't think there has been a better time, unless you count being a Herbalist with an extended Freya-room ID. By the end of Wrath, we saw herbs like Adder's Tongue down below 16g a stack, but even though the number of bot farmers seem to have increased since then, I think the Inscription changes have stabilized that market. Even low-balling the ore markets still means between 12-27g per node depending on the type, which ain't bad. I cannot comment much on Skinning other than note it's volatility, which is par for the course.

Unfortunately, I cannot comment much on these two otherwise disparate professions because they currently share the same fate as Blacksmithing: trapped on non-level-84 alts. Indeed, my Leatherworker is on a level 75 hunter I never plan on leveling, so I got particularly screwed on that account. Well, not entirely just yet. The reason is that both my Leatherworker and my level 80 Tailor can make the rare leg enchants, which is a market you do not want to be neglecting. I can occasionally be the only seller of Twilight Leg Armor for example, and can push the ~90g-in-mats item into a very healthy 350g range considering the raid-worthy Charscale Leg Armor takes a Pristine Hide trading north of 500g by itself, not counting the 20 Volatile Fires.

Similarly, don't forget about the deceptively deep Ghostly Spellthread market. After all, +Spirit is amazing for healers and some hybrid DPS classes like Elemental shaman who basically get free +Hit out of the bargain (as opposed to +Stamina from the other spellthread).

In any case, this has ran on particularly long, so thanks for slogging through it with me. Here is for hoping for continued success in 4.0.6 and beyond, one and all.

1 comment:

  1. this was a pretty good read, thanks :)