Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Milking morons reloaded

I've got record comments and visitors for my previous post about milking morons. While my ideas did not change, I see that the post had some bad arguments (especially ice cream) and lacked perpective. So here it is again, completely rewritten.

We all have aims in life (both real and game-simulated). For these aims we need certain resources. So we spend our time with three kinds of activities:
  • Biological: eating, sleeping, toilet...
  • Fun time: doing what we'd like to do. It can be absolutely anything we choose. For example in the game it can be raiding, PvP, annoying people with the piccolo. No one has the right to call any of these activities stupid (unless they are obviously harmful)
  • Work time: when we gather the resources for our activities. In the game it can be farming for consumables, doing BG-s to get honor-gear for arena, grinding elementals to buy the toy train to annoy people even more.
Assuming that someone is not paid for his hobby, the work time is something he does not like, but he has to do to support his fun activity (and in real life food and shelter for survival). This activity therefore has an objective criteria: minimizing time. Someone who fails to do it by a large margin can be called idiot.

The state of technology defines the average time spent on work. In the game it's defined by Blizzard through node respawn rates, drop rates, monster strengths (time to kill them), fishing cast time, travel speed.

In Utopia, everyone would have to spend equal time with working. Then we would barter our goods to each other to maximize utility (herbalist gives me herb, I give him glyph). We would be like a big happy family. There would not be money either as making gold (like doing dailies in game, or printing paper money in RL) is actually useless to our big happy family. We would just trade items for items.

Too bad that this Utopia is not going to happen. The most obvious symptom of the non-utopic state of the world is the existence of rich businessmen (goblins). They sit on large cache, much more than they need or could intelligently spend, while doing nothing useful work (at first sight).

Socialists believe that it's the businessmen who corrupt the World, keeping it away from Utopia. They tried and try again and again to form a world without goblins. Their attempts failed miserably, both in every real world attempt (Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cambodia, Cuba...) but also in the much simpler and more forgiving world of the game (guild of friendly, helpful people who support each other, give gear to the one who need most and do two Naxx wings every week).

I believe that the socialists are right that the goblins have no place in Utopia. However I strongly disagree that goblins cause the fall of Utopia. Actually we make the non-optimal world much better than it would be without us.

The reason of the world not being utopia is human stupidity. The guy who spend 1 hour at the mailbox with the piccolo and 20 mins grinding elementals is stupid not because of his 1 hour (that's fun time), but because of the 20 mins. He could get much more money in that 20 mins by trading (or even with dailies) than he could get from the 4 elementals he manage to kill in his unenchanted green gear.

By being stupid I mean that they do some work that has little use to the world, therefore little price. For example deadnettle sells for 60s, while an average glyph sells for 15G. You can make 1.5 inks from 5 herbs, so 2G worth of herbs could be transformed into a 15G worth of glyphs. Why?

Because too many people farming herbs (high supply), and too few people craft glyphs (low supply). So when a herbalist/scribe makes a choice to go farm herbs instead of crafting glyphs, he is stupid. All tradeskills have profitable and not profitable parts, choosing the latter instead of the former is plain stupid. There are also more and less profitable professions and releveling professions is an option for everyone.

Enters the goblin. Someone notices this huge error and sets up his business. For example I provide glyphs with 700%!!! profit. I'm too lazy to work with lowly 400% profit (10G) glyphs. The goblin gets extremely rich. He is not harmful to the world, on the contrary: for example I consume herbs (prices up) and provide glyphs (prices down).

The people who let industrialists get shamelessly rich are the third class morons: those who do something of low profitability instead of a high. They achieve it by not looking around the market. Farm herbs instead of crafting glyphs. Or farm deadnettle while goldthorn sells for 3x more. Or farm eternal shadow when it cost 1/3 of fire. Real world example: the guy who goes to marketing school when 70% of the new graduates cannot find a job in a year, while 90% of the graduating engineers get job.

The people who let investors rich are the second class morons. They are those who don't plan ahead, buy their consumables on Wednesday and their Christmas presents on Dec 23. Their short-sightedness causes the market fluctuate. The investor who stockpiles when demand (and prices) are low and sells when high gets rich, but also smooths a bit from the hectic curve. Lack of understanding markets is the name of the game of these morons.

Other example of second class morons are those who get loan for other purposes than starting an industry/investment or buying their first, small home. The guy who wants flatscreen TV now, and gets a 25% interest loan to buy it is a perfect example. Lack of impulse control, lack of ability to plan ahead, lack of understanding the loan system (market).

The people who let arbitragers rich are the first class morons. They are those who cannot compare two prices. They are those who buy the crystallized fire for 2x more than the eternal would cost right now. They are those who buy the very same shoe in an expensive shop for 3x more than it would cost in an outlet. They are those who buy 0.5l of baking oil for 75% of the price of the 1l oil right next to it. They are those who buy an expensive item just because it has a trademark on it, while an item with similar quality (for example a non-branded product of the same company) cost 20% of it. Lack of basic mathematic skills, lack of ability to gather information, lack of common sense.

People use to say that they "don't care" or "not focused on" making money. However this is only valid if they don't do it. If they somehow have enough money (from heritage or welfare) or they don't need money at all (punks, monks, bomb-making-forest-hut-dwellers), it's true. But if they spend significant time making money (like 40 hours a week), they must optimize their earnings and spendings or be morons.

The morons let us goblins be rich. However as a consequence, a strange, moron-like activity emerges: the careless spending of the goblins. Since a goblin makes so much money, it's sometimes rational for him to do some of the mentioned moron-activities, since thinking would cost more time (= money) than the loss because of the "stupidity". For example I bought 5 spell power and 5 mana regen flasks for 30G each. I did not check the material prices, although I could save about 10G/each if I buy herbs and find an alchemist. However in the same time I could craft 50 glyphs. 50*12 is more than 10*10.

The above activity obfuscates the whole system. If you just watch a goblin spend, you can learn nothing. You may find that the goblins are the most careless and moronic members of the market. However it's just a consequence of the earnings of the goblins. If the people would not be idiots, the goblins couldn't earn money, so they could not spend it carelessly.

For further obfuscation former stupid moves can place someone to the position where the best move is still stupid. For example if you have eviction notice, accepting a lowly payed job and selling your car for 80% of its market price is a good move. From outside it seems like "locked into poorness", forced to be poor by some huge impersonal system. But if we dive deep enough, we can find the (large series of) stupid move what caused the havoc, and there is always a way out.

And the crown jewel: the economists claim several business activities useful, denying the fact that only work is useful. They are right, because the goblin decreases the harm done by morons.
  • The industrialists provide goods where there is demand.
  • The investors suck up the fluctuating oversupply and put it back when demand phase comes.
  • The arbitragers smooth out the market and prevent lucky poors from taking items instead of the rich.
But the bottom line is: if there would be no morons, there would be no use, place or need for businessmen.

Finally: as I mentioned the average productivity is defined by the technology level. If you are significantly below this average, you are a moron. Period.


Jormundgard said...

Uneven distribution of real wealth causes serious problems because every activity that we do is connected to or facilitated by money. In WoW, the money we make is only peripheral to the major activities in the game. There's little reason to accumulate wealth unless your goal is to become a Greedy Goblin for its own sake.

Anyone who engages in the regular activities of the game (dailies, incidental farming during transit, instance BoEs) is going to be wealthy enough to meet their goals. And so they are going to make terrible financial decisions on a regular basis. There's no incentive to be frugal. The gold is a small part of the bigger problems in the game.

If you want to eliminate moronic behavior, then you need a system with enormous penalties in its feedback. WoW is not the place to look for that.

Catalin said...

Awesomely written.

Just one comment, about the generalization of what you call morons. From a businessman perspective, it may be counter-productive to go farm herbs to mill and produce glyphs.

In one hour a gatherer would pick let's say 1000G worth of flowers. Gevlon may be able to make 5 times that in the same amount of time.

However without gatherers Gevlon wouldn't have any herbs to buy, thus he would make 0 profit.

Agreed, those in the crystallized vs eternal can rightfully be called morons.

Thus, I'd make a differentiation... There are gatherers and morons. First class provide a useful service to the society, the second do not. A society composed of only businessmen does not work.

Okrane S. said...

But if all those gatherers would also train Incription along their herbalism and sell glyphs instead of the raw herbs, their profits would go up and goblin's profits would go down. So eventually the goblin would have to farm herbs to get mats.

So if everyone correctly maximizes their profit, in the end the only valuable currency is time.

This is the point where gatherers are morons. They willingly provide someone else the opportunity to arbitrage them. They are perfectly capable of making more money but dont because of their ignorance.

Really easy to extend this to RL.

Observ said...

@ Catalin: The gatherers are indeed a diffrent kind of "moron" than the crystalized vs enternal one.
What Gevlon tries to say there i think is that without morons, there would be no business men. If every gatherer would be smart enough, he will only farm the best "item" that he can profit from. That leads to the fact that every farmer would farm that item, leading to that item price to go down, and forcing a part of the gatherers to move to a diffrent item.
In an utopic world, the balance is shown by this simple math formula:
y = most profitable item
x = low profitable item

Supose 2x = y
In an utopic world the time required to gather x will be 2 times faster than gathering y.
So in order to not be an unprofitable moron you will have do one of the following 2 things:
1. Eiter reach an understanding with all the other gatherers to create the balance
2. Screw the balance, and farm "y" item.

We can safely assume that no. 1 is imposibile to reach. That leaves us with no. 2 : You as a farmer are not a moron, but everyone who does not farm "y" is a moron.

This leads to the same conclusion as being a goblin: You need morons in order to not be yourself a moron. In a way you work out for the greater good, and to reach the intended balance by doing so.
Look at this following formula:

x = 10g
y = 20g
This is the balance from what you start of.

100 people farm x = morons
20 people farm y = smart people

If 20 morons will realise that they are farming the wrong thing, the balance will be preserved.
If only 10 of them then the balance will look like this:
90 people farm x
30 people farm y
x will rise by 9% in price = 10.09 gold
y will drop by 50% in price = 10g

So it is in your best interest that the morons will keep farming x, while you farm y.

Observ said...

If 20 morons will realise that they are farming the wrong thing, the balance will be preserved.I meant will no longer be preserved. Even one will screw the balance :)

Daniel said...

@Catlin - not quite. Gatherers must earn almost as much as a scribes and alch on stack of herbs. Assume we have server only of smart people. there is 2 main supply of herbs to the market - random - I fly to somewhere and see yellow dot gather continue doing my job. And dedicated gatherers - aka fly for 4 hours just to gather herbs.

First amount is almost constant. Second is variable depending on people that want to spend 3 days farming for the big mammoth.

Now - if we are living in a smart server - when goblin makes 700% profit on a stack of herbs - more herbalists will become gatherers/alchemists. So competition forces glyph prices down and herbs prices up.
there will come a moment when when glyphs will be marginally more expensive than the raw materials.

So the goblin will make 10% on stack of glyphs.

At the end - the scribe will make 15 gold of 10 minutes labor making glyphs and processing 10 stacks of herbs. for the same time the gatherer will win 15 golds of flying and collecting one stack.

That is not happening - why - stupid people. Since herb gathering is slow and steady where as glyphs require a bit brains. So they prefer to gather thus making free gifts to the goblin making glyphs. Simple.

I think that socialists got the thing right. Human labor must be valued roughly equal. Of course this requires a society with no stupid people. This is the requirement for Ayn Rand's objectivist utopia too. So - if we have society where all people got equal opportunity and access to resources in life (education, healthcare), free labor market and lack of stupid people we will have a place where classes will very very close together.

Catalin said...

@Daniel: Human labor must be valued roughly equal.This is completely wrong.

Human labor must not be valued roughly equal, just as we as humans aren't born equal. The right to a basic education and basic healthcare may be equal, everything else is not and should not.

Do you view payment for a brain surgeon's service and of a street cleaner as being valued equal? Not that I have anything against street cleaners...

As you're fully aware, the value of a product or service is determined basically by demand and supply. And there's never an equal demand, or supply, for pretty much anything.

Anonymous said...

But the bottom line is: if there would be no morons, there would be no use, place or need for businessmen.To me that looks like work and services provided. Moron doesn't think, so he pays (without knowing) the businessman to do it for him.

Also, why is it that griding elementals is work and thinking that eternal/10 is lower than crystallized is not? I mean biologically if you will, you spend some of the energy you acquired through food and sleep to think that, just as you spend it to farm elementals, right? So why is one work and another not?

Also, morons are according to you irrational. Another way to look at it would be to think if they aren't somehow rational but have hidden (perhaps imaginary) payoffs. I would bet you that in most cases, there is less irrationality in processing data than there is error in getting accurate data.

In other words, my personal opinion is that morons are morons because they don't form an accurate opinion of reality, not because they could not process it well enough.

Daniel said...

If we have oversupply of brain surgeons and shortage of street cleaners it is obvious that cleaners will make more.

What working people are doing is selling work. If we have more brain surgeons than the population needs they will make less money than providers of services that are in high demand.

The only reason brain surgeons are in short demand is not that because of the high entry barrier but because majority of population is restricted from even taking a shot at this profession.

The only reason ones labor must be valued above others is if it provides non commodity. Most of the professions do not do that.

Now I am not saying that we should enforce equal pay, but that in truly free market where people have equal opportunity and are not morons the payment will be much more equalized than the wildest socialist dreams. Achieved by capitalistic means. Go figure ...

Catalin said...

My point exactly Daniel. The level of income is based on market supply and demand, not an arbitrary decision that human labor should be valued equally.

As to the reason brain surgeons are in such short supply, I beg to differ. It's precisely because of the high entry barrier, meaning lack of brains and skills.

I don't know how it is in your country, but where I come from if you have the mental capacity and are so inclined you can get the training to become a brain surgeon - thus equal opportunity. Yet, there seem to always be a short supply of them.

Nils said...

More nuanced post this time. However you are ignoring one cruical factor when you decide to call people morons when they don't use optimal means of getting rich. People are different and have different capabilities to preform certain jobs. This is much more pronounced in the real world compared to WoW.

People are different, due to genetics and social factors beyond our control. A person who takes a low paid job as a janitor is not necessarily making a bad choice by not taking up, let's say, IP-law instead, simply because he wouldn't be capable of producing any worthwhile work in the latter field, no matter how hard he tried. So he has adapted to his circumstances. To take your example with deadnettle and glyphs. Realising the potential profits in turning herbs to ink requires knowledge that comes with time invested in research and your genetic predisposition towards intellectual labour. Now we are not talking quantum physics here, but it still will be beyond the capabilities of a plenty of ten to 12 year old WoW players, which means that there will be a market for goblins to take advantage off. Then there is also the fact that a certain amount of money is not worth the same to all actors in a market. A factory worker a third world country get a lot more utility out of a dollar than an investor in New York who buys his products to re-sell them. Both make rational choices on how to invest their time and both end up happier with the end result, even if one of them profits far more, in absolute terms.

Now what the socialist will see is that you make a lot of gold out of just a little work while the factory worker work hard and long for much less gold and automatically assume this is unfair and call you an exploiter.

However what actually does happen is that you, the capitalist, provide a market for the work that the low skilled worker does. You might make a much larger profit from the trade than he does, but without you he wouldn't make a profit at all, since there would be no market for his product, or his profit would at least be lower.

What I object to in your reasoning is not that you advocate taking advantage of people charging low prices for their work and the products of their work. What annoys me is that you frame your resoning in terms that reinforce the socialist stereotype that making profit by investments is a usless endeavor that merely exploits the poor workers, when in fact the opposite is true.

Nils said...

An addendum.

In the post that started all this my objection was that you assumed that there would always be a loser in the scenario you described. One reason that is a flawed assumption, that I didn't mention, is that it assumes parties would act in a more profit maximising manner, in case of your abscense. This is not an assumption you can make. In the case you don't make your initial investment, which would smooth demand and supply over time, there is nothing that says the Death Knights would have invested their time different anyway. They would probably just have acted in the same manner, and ended up buying mats at a higher price compared to if you had bought up the previous surplus aand stored it. The situation IS win-win, even if, assuming your investment pays off, you win more.

Dw-redux said...

Theres a base-logic here that i just do not agree with. And that is the preassumed notion that people do theese things that arent optimal for making gold are morons. One of your examples I agree with: If you farm A instead of B where B would give a higher profit, you are a "moron". But if someone prefers to grind herbs over playing the AH for whatever reason, i wouldnt call them morons. I have plenty of friends who likes to relax when playing, and they find it relaxing to grind herbs or metals for 5 hrs straight (go figure). I dont get it, but that doesnt make em stupid, they make their gold the way the like to earn it. Just as rediculous is the notion that if you study marketting instead of engineering... I mean, what kind of a moron would study anything he likes to do, over something he does not want to be doing?

For many reasons making gold in game does not apply to real life examples. And i would really have a hard time katagolizing anyone who justs wants to relax after work in a game, and therefor just buy the glyph instead of the herbs needed, as morons. Making a concious descicion to just not wanting to worry about something, hardly makes you a moron. At least in my world.
Now on the other hand, those that read all the guides, play all the AH tricks, and still dont make gold, those we can agree on are morons! (or that one guy on my server that keeps on taking his own stuff of the AH to sell it again 1copper lower than whatever is the lowest bid... and does this 24hrs a day, he is a moron - but for a totally other reason ;)

Daniel said...

@Catalin - not sure you quite understand me. I am not saying arbitrary that all labor is equal.
The brains required for this kind of job and skills are not that high - if you have IQ above 140 and good memory you are good to go as a programmer, surgeon, lawyer. The reason this highly skilled jobs are in such a high demand is not because its that hard, but because lots of people that have the capacity to do them don't develop their potential at the current society. They are M&S. So by scrubbing toilets they do two things - they take money from the cleaners (high supply) and give money to the high skill professionals(reduce supply so they want more money).

Now - I grew up in such a way that I was always near the smart people in my country(father scientist, very elite high school)so I may tend to undervalue the smarts a bit. But if you remove the M&S from the job market we will see much higher pay in the low skill jobs and lower in high skills.

The problem is the M&S - they disturb the labor market, they finance the next ponzi scheme. So - if you remove them both atlas shrugged and the socialist dreams become true.

One of my finest memories is after the fall of the Berlin Wall - a lot of ponzi schemes were developed in my country. Now - when one such scheme collapsed it was common that there was run on the firm that operates it. And some people managed to salvage some of their money. What they did next - gave them to the ponzi that opened on the next side of the street on the same day. We watched with a friend as were only 10 or 11 and it was quite a laugh.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree to this, I have a question. When I take your point of view and talk to people, I always end up with this: Some people never got a chance. They grow up with alcoholics as parents, they never learned to listen to their teachers, they never figured out how to get information and cannot recover from this. I then argue that they could ask someone (more intelligent) what to do, because that's what I would do. I get answered: They don't know that they could ask someone. They never tried (and are far too badly educated to try new things).

What now?

kyrilean said...

I have a question. I logged early this morning to continue leveling Inscription on my 65 DK. One of two reasons to even do so.

The herbs for ink between 150-200 were extremely expensive and sparse. There were not enough to level it entirely, so I grabbed my herbologist and farmed them until I logged off the other night. It wasn't enough to level to 200, but I was close.

I chose this morning to pay for the extremely overpriced herbs on the AH and made it to 200. Overall I lost money on mats for what I can sell.

Does this make me a moron?

Based on your criteria, I'm guessing it does. However, I want to level Inscription as fast as I can and would rather pay outrageous prices on the AH than spend 2 hours farming herbs.

So again I ask, does this make me a moron?

*vlad* said...

Your post does not take into account gold sellers.
I could become a Goblin overnight if I paid a gold seller enough money. Then I could look down my nose at the other Goblins who have made their money in-game, and laugh at them for wasting their time.

You might then argue that playing the Auction House is as much entertainment/leisure for you as it is work, and I could argue that someone running round Outlands or Northrend collecting herbs could say the same thing.

If you don't raid, then your out-going costs in WoW are extremely low; there is no need to work 40 hours to keep a roof over your head and buy warmth/food like there is in real life.
You don't have a family to support; your mount, although expensive, will last forever, unlike a car, and you don't have to pay taxes.
Unless you are into serious raiding, and are having to spend a lot of money on consumables and repairs, then Fun Time is going to be 95% of your on-line time.

Even the poorest 'I need gold for weponz' idiot can survive in WoW without bread or water.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

What some commenters missed is that there's a line between "fun" and work. If someone finds grinding herbs relaxing, then it doesn't fit Gevlon's definition of work, which is "something you do to be able to afford fun". If someone enjoys grinding while joking around on guildchat/vent, then they're not working, they're having fun (and making money).

It's only work if you're doing it because you're like "crap, I want to run heroics, but I need gold to pay for my raid consumables". In that case, you want to minimize your "make gold to buy raid consumables" time, and should look at the grinding/crafting trade-off.

kyrilean - Under Gevlon's definition, whether or not you are a moron in that situation depends on whether or not you needed that money for something else. If you have 20k gold lying around and aren't going to have to go out and make that money back in the near future, you're making a logical "gold for time" trade-off. If that dropped you to a level where you need to make that gold back quickly and doing so will take you more than 2 hours, you are (under his definition) a moron.

Terumi said...

Yey I don`t put faith in the economy.
Economy is not some mystical thing that does not want us to spend, because is all about spending.

According to wikipedia, morons are people whit mental retardation, people whit a mental age of between 8 and 12.
So "The morons let us goblins be rich.", that means that goblins are the exact opposite to morons.

At first , you can read Greedy Goblin as a good guide how to make gold...for..middle class, essentials...etc. But all that can be teached very quickly. Because the market and the economy in WoW does not have that many products and services, and the buyers are spending pixels.

From time to time the are some new markets(DKs,Inscription,Mounts,BoE)that people exploit, making more then enough gold.

Of course this pixels mean real time in real life.

But arena rating, beign a member of world class guild and other aspects. Are more rewarding then to acquire insane amounts of gold.

If you invest all that time, and "experience" in real life should you get the same result?

If Gevlon quits wow, and ventures in to making real money, will he find Inscription to milk morons?

I think not. There are much more aspects and math in real life. And the proportion of wealth is very different. To acquire a 20k gold mount in real economy is different then to acquire a Kodo.

So we better eat our "ice cream" (WoW) from time to time, and spend our time doing something more rewarding.

When I first read the last blogs my first thought was about one episode from South Park- Margaritaville (

Wealth is not supposed to "create serious problems", and gold/money should not be important, because are just notions that we put our faith in

Okrane S. said...

We should not lose perspective here.

I believe that Gevlon does this for making a point rather than anything else.

The problem is real world already has lots of "Inscription" goblins. Think of all the brands who sell their products at inflated prices (just to give one example). Of course it is much more complex. But this is the beauty of wow-economy: that you can notice the same effects you see in real life at a more simplified scale, therefore drawing some interesting parallels and conclusions.

Milking of morons happens in real life. Everyday. All the time. This is what brands, advertising, show-biz, mass-media, investment banks etc, are all about. And the list could continue.

But besides that I think we should try and keep into perspective the real things discussed in here. Gevlon does it in a large scale. But anyone can do it at the scale they choose. It implies, that a smart player can get more than enough gold pretty easily(with zero dailies or farming time done). It also means that if you are smart, you never have to worry about the chore of making gold and dedicate your time to other aspects of the game.

Hell, it also means making gold is fun from the perspective of someone with economic knowledge, and that it's fun to find correlation between real life phenomenon and the in-game market.

Eaten by a Grue said...

I can help with what the "arbitragers" provide. It's not just that they take money from the stupid. It's hard to call that a service, really.

The arbitragers increase market efficiency. That is their service.

Berimm said...

With this definition of work and play if everything within WoW is play then there are no morons in the game.

Lupius said...

The arbitragers... well... I can't come up with any use to the world, except taking the money from the most stupid who would waste it anyway.You seem to have forgotten your own post about it.

Or have you changed your ideas since then?

Narkondas said...

Real life goblins milking morons:

People who offer a mobile-text services offering to send a joke to your cellphone every day. (Jokes they found by spending 10 minutes on the web) - and with next to no operating costs.
The morons pay a price for this service, a price that wastly outweighs the cost of production + reasonable profit.

Ever notice how such services are usually subscribed to by people who are constantly short of cash?

Go figure...

david said...

Gevlon: "The reason of the world not being utopia is human stupidity."

This statement itself is plain stupid. The more I read about your philosophy and rationalization the more I realize how you try so hard to sound intelligent when in actuality you fail.

If I was to sum up the reasoning in which human society is not in "utopia" it would have to be due to selfishness, not stupidity.

david said...

On the topic of morons... aren't we all considered to be morons in real life since we pay a subscription every month to play a video game?

Who are we all kidding here?

MyName said...


Nearly all of the information you need is going to have to be found out by looking at the markets on your own server. So step one: get Auctioneer, even just the basic version, and also "LilSparky's Workshop". Have it scan the AH and then go /afk sandwich for 20 mins until it's done. Repeat over several days. The best way when you're starting out, in my opinion, is just buy cheap herbs like tiger lily and deadnettle and mill them. Otherwise you're just giving your gold to competitors who make a big profit off the ink you buy. There's a macro that will help you mill the herbs pretty easy.

On my server, there's a large number, maybe 20 or more, of people who are making money off of glyphs so I tend to put mine up for 24 hours and repost them. By the time your auctions are done, you will probably have been undercut already if there's competition. Since you are starting now, you are already at a disadvantage of people who have maxed inscription, but it's not a big thing.

The key to making money off of glyphs on a high pop/established server is to have patterns that the people who just level inscription to make Darkmoon Cards don't have. So do your research (both minor and northrend) everyday. Don't bother buying the new books unless they're very cheap, at least not until you've gotten alot of skill. You will probably not make money off of the glyphs you made while leveling as they suck and everyone has the same patterns. There are certain minor glyphs and a few majors that you learn from research that are always in demand.

Eaten by a Grue said...

David, it's not so much moronic to pay to play something. There are many more reasons than that why playing WoW is moronic.

The game is diabolically designed to get you to do the stupidest, repetitive, unfun crap that passes for content. And yes, that includes playing the AH. Moneymaking in WoW is not an accurate simulation, because too many people do not take it seriously. In the real world, everyone in the business world takes money seriously, or don't stay in business long.

MyName said...


>This statement itself is plain stupid. The more I read about your philosophy and rationalization the more I realize how you try so hard to sound intelligent when in actuality you fail.

Well that's nice, and if you actually could point out something to support your crude generalizations (besides "you're stupid and fail"), you might not sound like a 9 year old kid who's snuck onto his dad's computer.

MyName said...


>What annoys me is that you frame your resoning in terms that reinforce the socialist stereotype that making profit by investments is a usless endeavor that merely exploits the poor workers, when in fact the opposite is true.

I think you're, again, trying to force Gevlon's viewpoints on capitalism through the lens of some sort of Socialism vs. Industrialism debate. Socialism's most relevant critique of Laissez-faire Capitalism is that Capitalism, in it's purest form, always produces inequality with winners and losers.

Apologists for Capitalism have replied that, while this may seem to be true, this is because, 1) All people are not equally capable (though it is always best to treat them as equally valuable politically), and 2) That the economy as a whole is always better with capitalists in it than not.

Gevlon agrees with this view, he's just playing down the first point because the economy of WoW is simple enough that many people could learn it if they wanted to. This entire post was about how, if people were willing and able to take care of their needs on their own, there wouldn't be as much inequality. But as that is impossible, utopia (at least from capitalism or socialism) is also impossible.

MyName said...

One last thing that I think is missing from Gevlon's post is that, while I agree that the people who don't plan ahead are being dumb, I don't always agree with his statement that "those who do something of low profitability instead of a high profitability" are being dumb.

Mainly because, while there are some people who mindlessly grind out herbs/ore for less than maximum profit, there are also a number of people who are making a good profit, but are just not playing the same market that you are.

Take for example the herbalist/alchemist: This person gathers a bunch of herbs in a zone. Some of these nodes are high profit for him (Eternal Life, Frost Lotus, icethorn/lichbloom) and some are basically useless if you're making money off of selling flasks made in alchemy (tiger lily, deadnettle, goldclover, adder's tongue). The nodes are all mixed together, so you pick everything, make a profit of what you can and sell the rest.

Granted you would be able to maximize your profit if you leveled an alt, sunk alot of capital into learning glyphs, and got into that market, but there's still the time investment which may not be worth it since your goal is to get the consumables for raiding and then make a fair amount of gold off the rest. This person may not be aware of how *much* gold could be made by diversifying and processing everything they gather, but they aren't being stupid, in my opinion.

Seth said...

good writing, and gz wit h the epics ;)
sorry for the short comment, (at work)


Seth said...

previous comment should be on your other post (/facepalm) sorry, delete these two if you want

Anonymous said...

What if the guy you call an idiot enjoys 1 hour of farming elementals more than 10 min at the AH and has more money than he needs. Doesn't sound so idiotic to me for him to do what he enjoys the most.

Moron said...

Thank you for the enlightening post!

It makes me feel like a moron, though, for some recent decisions I made:

1) I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in marketing and am now earning a very comfortable salary for a Fortune 500 company doing challenging and interesting work. But you're right. I should have stuck with my initial engineering major, despite hating the subject and forcing myself to stick with it for those 1st two years of college. I've got more income than I need now, but I was a moron not to try to get more. I could handle being miserable 60-80 hours a week for the potential extra income. I'm just a 3rd class moron. But no more. I turned in my resignation yesterday and will be returning to school to finish my engineering degree.

2) Just one week before my 1st paycheck at my new job, flatscreen TVs went on sale at Best Buy for 25% off for the weekend only. I had already budgeted to buy the same model after receiving my paycheck (after having allocated 25% of the paycheck to living expenses, 30% to taxes, and 40% to savings/investments). To take advantage of the discount, I took out a consumer loan at 25% APR, with no prepayment penalty to purchase the TV (i.e. I purchased it on my credit card, which I pay off in full each month to avoid paying any interest). I'm embarrassed to admit that after reading your post, I realize I was a 2nd class moron. I should have waited until I actually had the money in hand, paying full price for the TV instead of taking a loan at such a ridiculously high interest rate. But no more. I have canceled my credit cards and will now only use cash to make purchases.

3) Your third example of stupidity really hurt, because shortly after moving into my new apartment, I decided to make a favorite balsamic salad dressing. Not having any balsamic vinegar on hand after my recent move, I purchased a 0.5L bottle of it at the supermarket. The bottle fits into the limited space I have in my apartment kitchen and has lasted up to a year at the rate I consume it. However, you are right! I was a 1st class moron! I have now purchased a 20L barrel of the very same vinegar for only 75% of the price per liter! I have had to remove all the shelves and clothes from a closet to store the barrel, but I won't need to buy any more vinegar for the next 40 years! I have resolved to no longer buy any food ingredients in retail-sized containers. However, I'm having trouble figuring out how to make use of the savings to rent a larger apartment with more storage space. Any ideas?