Monday, February 24, 2014

Let's Talk about Glyph Walls

I mentioned off-hand in my previous post that a glyph wall was currently in effect on Argent Dawn. I still wasn't sure if I'd do a post on it; and truth be told I'm not sure it's such a good idea I'm posting this given I know that many people on my server read this blog. But we'll see where it takes us.

Anyways, like I said, I mentioned in passing that I enacted another glyph wall. I used to call it the 30GGC; 30g Glyph Ceiling, but the price is changing rapidly. Currently we're at a 25GGC. 

Inevitably when I discuss this strategy I get some interesting responses. Most people are confused, annoyed, or both; they see selling glyphs at a low buyout as a waste and why would anyone sell lower when they could sell higher? To put it simply: We are playing a different game.

Think of the time you used to make 5k a month or so; when you quested and did dailies like everyone else, maybe sold a BoE here or there, but you didn't really play the gold-making game. You might not have even known there was such a thing as folks who actively play to make gold.

Now you've moved up from there. Perhaps you're still a beginner setting out and getting your footing, perhaps you've been at this quite some time and consider yourself fairly well-versed. But at the end of the day if you believe glyph walls aren't useful then you are still not playing glyphs to the level they can be played.

Glyphs can always be profitable if played correctly. The level to which you play will determine how profitable glyphs are for you. However, the vast majority of people in the glyph market play the short game. They might feel like they're playing the long game because they're in the game so long or have been in the market since we were all twinkles in our fathers' eyes, but they're still out for today's profit, for this week's bottom lines.

I'm going to link a few blog posts from others at the bottom of this post, many of which are ancient in gold-blog-years, but I think that glyph walls aren't being talked about enough nowadays. The lost art of glyph walling. Other than Twitchie, who is awesome, I just don't see a lot of glyph-centric bloggers playing seriously at glyphs anymore. But I digress.

In 2011 croda wrote that the ultimate aim of a glyph wall is either to permanently reset the fallback of glyphs, thus increasing profit for anyone in the market after the wall has ended, or to force market participants to leave the market, allowing the waller to take over their market share. In response Moxnixx added a third reason: using glyph walls as a learning tool. 

Glyph walls have served me in all of these ways and more. I have learned far more than I can ever write about in regard to the glyph market and my competitors. I have made boatloads of gold both during and after walls, and I have driven many competitors off, never to be heard from again. I also offer a fourth purpose to the glyph walls: Fun. Who doesn't like to mix it up again? Be it spiteful glee or just enjoyment from a change of pace, glyph walls can really break the monotony in an otherwise pretty vanilla market.

If you look at today's bottom line then it would be foolish to sell a glyph for 30g when I could sell it for 300g. But when you look at one sale today at 300g or hundreds of sales at 425g once the wall lifts then you see what I mean about playing the long game. You can even see the effects in comments on my last post. One commenter writes:

I was selling Glyphs for a good profit on Bladefist and when they merged with Kel'Thuzad a Boyfriend / Girlfriend guild and all there alts killed the glyph market. Glyphs were selling from 25 gold up to 700 gold each and you could all ways find the glyph you were looking for. Im not going to sit and fight over selling glyphs for 12 to 15 gold each. I have even tried talking with these people but all they are is rude I'm not saying all the people from Kel'Thuzad are that way just the two of them. I hope one day they will get tired of the posting 10 stacks of glyphs for nothing and the market can be restored back to what it was,

There's nothing wrong with this; if one doesn't like a market they should definitely spend time on things they find more fun and profitable. But this, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of a glyph wall. Unflinching, discouraging, soul-crushing, cock-blocking market manipulation. It's not about the sales, it's about breaking the will of those who are standing in the way of your maximum profit. (Though admittedly it sucks they were rude. Though I guess I can be pretty snide when talking to competitors myself . . .)

Anyways, sometime in the distant future I'll talk more about this particular wall event but until it has run its course I probably won't talk too much more about my specific goals and intent at this point. Until then here are some great posts from yesteryear on glyph walls:

Critical's War (17 Posts)
Breevok's Glyph Experiment (60+ Posts)

Also, el oh freaking el. I was just reading some old stuff I wrote about the glyph market. "I guess my stance is, if you view the glyph market as a box I'm tired of pretending it's a spaceship, now I want to pretend it's a boat." What the fuck was I smoking in 2011?


  1. Caffeine Smokes and Auction House Fees! Talk about a blast from the past!

    1. I remember it well - I was in his guild. Sadly, he doesn't play anymore.

  2. I do the glyph wall to teach lessons. My main market isn't glyphs, it's x-mog, but I like to make a litt extra gold by posting for 48 hours, coming back and getting that extra 2 or 3k gold.

    Some dude moved to my server and was constantly posting and reposting for 18 hours a day. Tried to reason with him to no avail. That's when I made my glyph wall. Post each and every glyph for 25g and do it 10 deep. It's just high enough where he wouldn't buy me out and low enough that it really wasn't worth it to camp there all the time.

    He eventually saw the light and didn't constantly undercut anymore and we all made gold.

  3. I'm having a similar issue on my server as Lasagna. New arrival, undercutting every single available glyph for 18 hours every day, literally undercutting every 3-5 minutes. I actually thought he was a bot, but he's still around after being reported, so I guess he isn't. I just can't compete with that with a job and all, and neither am I willing to. I usually just flip items, but the consistent income from glyphs is missed.

    Any ideas how to unseat this guy? He's obviously obscenely rich, the AH mule he uses is kitted out in all the most pricey vanity gear, so I'm not sure walling will even make him flinch, and in that case all I'm going is milling and crafting for him.

  4. I have a competitor in the gem market on my server who set up a wall back in Cataclysm and is still going strong as of today. Not only does he have a wall in place, he camps the AH as well. It makes it difficult to buy, for instance, half of his inventory and sell at a reasonable price 1/2 way up his wall because he camps a lot, you can buy 100 gems and he'll post another 100 in a few minutes. He has successfully driven out almost all competition on the server in the gem market. The only other people posting are those who don't know they don't have a chance or people like me, that will sell a few gems here and a few there when he runs low on certain cuts. How do I get rid of this guy?

  5. "I guess my stance is, if you view the glyph market as a box I'm tired of pretending it's a spaceship, now I want to pretend it's a boat." What the fuck was I smoking in 2011?

    This is the best thing to come out of gold blogging ever.