Thursday, August 30, 2012

Auction House Sorting: A Whole New Game

Now that people have driven Warbot Ignition Keys into the ground all for their sweet, sweet, 25g profit I've turned my attention to the more interesting thing that came up from the patch.

Some sellers, particularly in glyphs, may have noticed they were getting some strange sales. Even if there were countless glyphs cheaper than yours people would sometimes buy your higher priced one. Why?

Blizzard messed up their Auction House sorting with the patch and right now, contrary to what players have known for their entire WoW-lives, the auction house is sorting the most expensive items first. Now, this all goes out the window if you use Auctioneer or another AH addon but for those using the default UI they are seeing the most expensive items first.

Most players will then see an expensive item and shop around, go to the next page, and find the cheaper auctions. But not all of them.

After I noticed this strange sorting bug I changed the way I posted my glyphs. Currently on each faction I have a wall ten deep of each glyph for 500g. This ensures that my glyphs are at the top of the list and that 500g is all they see if they don't go scrolling or page-flipping.

In the meantime on another character I'm moving in with two of each glyph at my normal threshold/fallback. This way I'm selling to both the lazy buyers who buy the top of the list and to those who shop around and buy the cheaper selection.

I don't sell many at the high prices, I've probably sold about 45 glyphs this way. But 45 glyphs at 500g/glyph is a pretty substantial thing when you think about it and by selling at my normal settings on another character there's no missed revenue.

I'm sure eventually the masses will catch on to the sorting bug but until then I'll be happy to sell them 30g glyphs for 500g.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Six Thousand Gold Vendor Pet

This has been posted about on the Consortium forums but I thought I'd bring it to the blog since it's been so freaking lucrative and, well, I can't pass up an opportunity talk about reselling vendor items!

Years ago Mountain Dew and Blizzard had a promotion for Game Fuel. If you registered you'd get a little Warbot in-game pet and if you bought Game Fuel you could get fuel for your Warbot and make it fight with other players' bots.

Thanks to the patch new players or those who just missed the pet during the promotion can now purchase one from one of the toy vendors:

The Warbot Ignition Key will run you 350g after all applicable discounts. You can also buy the fuel for under a gold for a stack of five which is great for those of us who got the pet but never could stomach that terrible soda!  

Here's the fun bit: The pet isn't BoP.  You can sell it on the Auction House. Now, it is Unique, so you can only have one in your bags at a time but with multiple runs between the toy vendor and your preferred destination you can have several on the AH and can also store them in the mail or guild bank!

So just how much are these pets worth? I've sold a few for six thousand gold so far! You may even be able to run yours higher though the competition will be setting in once this gets out. Get some high sales fast!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Belt Buckles - Get em sold!

This post was written by Eluniar for our guild forums and I thought it was relevant to pass along. 

Just as a heads up, the current Ebonsteel Belt Buckle  is available at 525 blacksmithing and can be used on anything ilvl 500 or lower. The Ebonsteel Belt Buckle will be changed to only affect items 375 or lower.  This change could be implemented as soon as 5.0. 
What does this mean?  
If you get a belt from:
  • Hour of Twilight
  • Firelands (Normal/Heroic)
  • Dragonsoul (Normal/Heroic)
  • Firelands Vendors
  • JP+VP Vendors
  • Any other belt > 375 iLevel
. . . you will not be able to socket it with an additional socket until you get a Panda belt buckle Living Steel Belt Buckle.  This belt buckle currently has no ilvl requirement, requires a Blacksmith at 600 skill who is honored with Klaxxi reputation and picked up the plans, and has living steel. Living steel is only made once per day through alchemy, or multiple extra times ignoring the cooldown via farming a ton of spirits of harmony. 
What this ultimately means: if you have the option of getting a belt upgrade now, get it now and you can put a socket it in. Any belts over 375 (which basically means 378+ belts) will not be socketable until a bit into MOP.

As for what this means for a gold making perspective . . .  liquidate any belt buckle stock you have now! There's no guarantee when this change will take place but after some discussion Eluniar and I both imagine it will likely happen on Tuesday.  Better safe than sorry, if you have any precrafted belt buckles try and get them sold this week.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Duped Items: The Unaddressed Issue

There have been a few bloggers mentioning botting and duping recently. From Jim's Strong Evidence of Rampant Item Duplication in WoW to Xsinthis' Of Bots, Dupes, and Ethics I've enjoyed reading what other folks have written about this sort of activity within the World of Warcraft.

Of the opinions folks have taken on the matter I agree largely with Xsinthis and I personally view bots as just another factor in the economy that adds an interesting twist. If it weren't for the rise of bots and the eventual (and hard to accurately predict) banwaves the economy would be a very boring place of constant prices and little change.

However, that's not what this blog post is about. This blog post is about something I've been ruminating on for quite some time and something I think we should all be a little worried over. Blizzard's stance on people who buy "illegitimate merchandise."

I'm talking specifically about things like epic gems, Crimson Deathchargers, and other items which exist in the game and are sold within the game, either via trade window or Auction House.

[...] we're out to punish those that exploit WoW, not innocent players. Intent and context play a large part in our investigative process, and those that accidentally purchase ill-gotten items shouldn't fear recrimination.

A good stance to take; if a player spends their hard-earned gold on an item the last thing they want is for Blizzard to take that away. (And as someone who has had Blizzard take items away let me assure you they will almost never refund your gold.)

Unfortunately, despite what they've stated here, this isn't actually how the situations are treated.  A player named Stonewolf is out 600,000g because Blizzard removed Queen's Garnets he purchased through Trade. 

It's quite clear that what Blizzard says and what Blizzard does don't always align (surprise surprise) but never has it been so worrisome as it is in this issue.  Check out these two blue posts, the second of which is a Blue quoting an MVP:

That said, if you suspect that a player is selling items of a dubious origin then steer clear. Only good can come of buying from legitimate sellers; you'll help protect your realm's economy and reduce the market demand for exploited goods. - Source

If you think that you've come into possession of some ill-gotten goods, feel free to report yourself and the player you purchased them from. Nobody here can tell you what's going to happen to those garnets. - Source

This is the unaddressed issue; the question no one seems to be asking that I think we all should be: What has become of this game when players cannot trust even the purchases they make via the Auction House?

One of the reasons that Trading Card Game mounts were made non-soulbound was so that people would quit getting ripped off; Blizzard has no way of policing your giving a random person gold and knowing whether or not they gave you a legitimate code. They just can't enforce anything there.  The idea behind TCG mounts being able to be sold in-game was that you can trust that when you give them the gold you are getting the item, whether via trade window or the Auction House.

This was all well and good until players like Stonewolf began having items removed from their inventory, items they bought entirely in-game.  Blizzard continues to say things along the lines of "If the price is too good to be true it probably is, don't buy it and report them."

Which is absolute bullshit.  Since when is it a player's job to police the activities of other players? Why does it fall on my shoulders, as a legitimate player, to suspect everyone of being a hacker just to protect myself?  Suddenly it is our job to second guess every transaction, transactions which should be entirely protected by Blizzard.

Duping happens. I get that. Hell, I even get the removal of items to try to keep the economy stable. But it is an unacceptable situation that Joe might spend all his hard earned gold on Widgets just to wake up one morning to empty bags and empty coffers because Blizzard was unable to protect their own in-game transactions.

One way or another duping will probably stick around, I don't doubt that. But the fact that a victim who buys duped items can then be victimized a second time by Blizzard because the player wasn't vigilant enough in being suspicious of other players . . . that's where you begin to have problems.

I'd love to buy a Crimson Deathcharger for my second account but now I can't even buy one of the more expensive ones because I don't trust it to be there when I wake up and that's a pretty serious issue, far more than the duping itself.