Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maelstrom Gambit

As expected by everyone, the prices of Maelstrom Crystals have plummeted with the release of the quasi-farmable ZA/ZG heroic duo. Prices on Auchindoun have a floor of ~400g but it can creep up to 850g depending on availability. As is often the case however, just because material prices have gone down, that does not mean the prices of finished products need follow. At least not yet.

If you have a max-level enchanter, I suggest looking at the high-end scroll market.

I am talking about big-ticket items like Landslide, Windwalker, and Power Torrent. I am also talking about things like the wrist enchants. The weapon enchant patterns take around 2000g to purchase with Maelstroms at 400g, which is a reasonably expensive barrier to entry, keeping competition low. But just because Maelstroms are 400g does not mean you have to price them accordingly. Landslide might not be going for 26,000g anymore, but a "reasonable" 6,000g is still a particularly ridiculous margin now that Maelstroms are low. This is a sweet-spot time in terms of high-end enchants, insofar that everyone knows Maelstroms are less valuable than before (although still nothing to scoff at) but before the greater server groupthink expects weapon enchants to be cheap.

And as I mentioned in New Crafting Paradigm and/or Using the AH as your Bank, do not forget to put your leftover supplies on AH while waiting for the scrolls themselves to sell. I had four Maelstrom Crystals left over after making a Windwalker scroll and I simply undercut someone in the mid-level of crystal prices. Next day? 


Flipping 400g Maelstrom Crystals for 650g might not be particularly glamorous, but that 250g is damn far more than I have ever made trying to sell things like the buff potions that I am tempted to just vendor out of spite at this point. Mythical and Mysterious? Sell well. Other potions? Not so much.

One final thing that I will drill into your head at every available opportunity: I highly recommend never crafting something that you could not eventually use. This applies more to the high-end scroll market or other markets that require steep up-front costs than, say, cut gems or potions. My first Maelstrom Gambit was actually a scroll of Windwalker that I can up and enchant my tank's weapon with right now if I felt like it. Merely knowing that fact gives me the psychological freedom to price it more aggressively (e.g. at the upper end of the price curve) without worrying about what happens if my gambit "fails." Worst case scenario: I (likely) have the cheapest Windwalker scroll available anywhere. Conversely, if you make a Power Torrent scroll and have no spellcasting toons, you might end up getting into undercutting wars with someone in a race to the bottom, or maybe discover there appears to be no market for the scroll above the cost of mats. Stranger things have happened, but this sort of uncertainty period is precisely what we will be capitalizing on.


  1. My server prices are still rather hefty at 700g per Maelstrom but I've seen them come down every week. I'm waiting till they hit the magical 500g mark to really jump in.

    On another note, I answered a /trade call the other day "WTH Enchanter w/ Power Torrent, my mats plus tip". I asked him how much he planned to tip. He said "50g". I said, "pass".

    If I'm going to spend better than 3k on a pattern, I feel justified in asking a higher amount for a tip. I told him I needed 500g. He refused and scoffed at my rate. In the end, I did the chant for him via trade--he gave me one Maelstrom and 5 Greater Celestial Essences.

    I promptly crafted a Magic Lamp and sold it for 1,500g. Good win for me. I hope more Enchanters will fight the urge to undersell their high end patterns.

  2. Kammler, you fail to understand what 'tip' means. What you were doing was charging a fee.

  3. Anonymous, I should have made the distinction between a tip and my fee. I felt the reader would be able to infer that a demand for a set rate was not the same thing. Should have painted a more clear picture.

    Had his tip offer been more reasonable I would have most likely accepted it--given the value of the gem I felt his offer was very unreasonable.

    I did one today for a guy who offered a 150g tip.

    The point is to find out upfront what the buyer's idea of a tip is, and to either accept or deny the request at that point.

  4. Is that an addon that says 'one power torrent scroll at 4254g is made by enchanting costing 1230g' ???

  5. It is actually a screenshot from The Undermine Journal that I editted so that the text could be somewhat readable. I do not think I particularly succeed in making it readable, but hopefully the idea gets across.

  6. Hmmm, a tip is normally 10-20% of the value of what is consumed. So this customer basically wanted a 500-1000g "meal" and only pay 50g for it since he brought the "meat and veggies" for the cook. In restaurants much/most of the cost is for the labor, not the ingredients.

    Anyway, this is an interesting problem in general. How much should be charged for a service? How much for mats if not supplied? More important, how about soulbound mats (chaos orbs currently)?

  7. Power Torrent costs 5 Maelstroms to buy and 4 more to make, plus the Heavenly Shards. At old prices that's 5k to buy and 4k plus to make.

    That's more like a 50g tip on a 4,000g meal.

    I always negotiate fees upfront, but seldom will I actually do /trade chants.

  8. I sold some of these for 1,000 gold of profit a few times, but now the prices are mostly all around 200-250 gold/each.
    I hope that the prices will get higher in a near future....

    By the way, really interesting guides. I like them!