Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What should NOT be in a guildbank

You might heard of that Fusion (world #14 raid guild) got hacked. They posted what was ninjaed. It was 300K cash and 240K stuff including full bank panes of herbs, consumables, enchanting stuff, gems.

I'm not writing about ninjas, they are minor annoyance as the GM-s restore everything, even if there was no hacking but some disgruntled members.

I'm talking about that insane guild bank itself. Let's assume that their claims are right and they gathered/traded for the items and not bought it from goldsellers. (Top guilds often have sponsors and they use to use some of this money to get gold from sellers).

In one word: don't!
In one sentence: Don't gather such insane stuff for your guild.

The key is deflation. Being a packrat is bad for an individual, and very bad for an organization. Everything you have except gold loses value over time. That 1300 frost lotuses in the Fusion bank may worth 52.8K G today but I'm sure that they will be around 40K after 3.2. The reason is obvious: only really serious guilds will raid, the others will farm 5-mans for badges, without consumables of course. We could analyze every single item, but no point, the deflation is well-known to all. Keeping items we don't plan to use within a few weeks is a waste.

However people still love to have items. It somehow give them the feeling of safety. They will have it when they'll need it. However if you have gold, you can buy them any time.

There is a business term "shorting". It means selling stuff now, when prices are high, and buying them back later, when prices are low. At the end of the cycle, we'll have the same item plus profit. Since WoW has a forever deflating economy, it's a place for forever shorting.

Do it! Check your bank and guildbank and sell everything that you don't plan to use in the next two weeks! Everything will lose value, except gold. If you don't believe me ask how many Heart of Darkness was left from BC in the guildbank of progression guilds in your server.


Anonymous said...

I disagree somewhat as you are forgetting about 3.3 when all these guilds will need all their herbs/enchanting mats again. For example when Sunwell started guild's had to buy lots and lots of herbs for haste pots and flasks etc.

Having said this, having lots of gold does not hurt either but you have to remember wow inflationn

Ranjurm said...

An additional exception is materials for leveling professions. After the prime of an expansion the value of it's profession leveling goods increases, sometimes drastically. Another thing to keep in mind is as leveling gets faster leveling profession goods become rarer.

Midnight said...

Your logic would be excellent, if it applied at all. You speak of the value of frost lotus, as if Fusion intended to sell it. They didn't. When 3.2 comes out you can bet quite a bit of money that they will make hundreds of flasks for 10 and 10-heroic and 25 and 25-heroic just to down everything ASAP.

What if Fusion needs five hundred flasks? That's not out of the realm of possibility--my guild is still working on yogg, so not world-ranked. However, if we spend four hours a day, three days a week (a mere 12 hours a week; I'm sure Fusion will be much higher than that for the Coliseum) that's 150 frost lotus (300 man-hours, 2 flasks an hour, 1 lotus for 2 flasks).

Thus, having a stockpile of hundreds of lotus is better than waiting till the patch day to gather things for progression (where value WILL matter. frost lotus will spike up because guilds will need flasks to beat the new raid!)

HOWEVER, I do admit that as an individual, it is a good idea to keep one's stock moving, instead of just having a secure stockpile of... things.

Anonymous said...

Pre-Ulduar my guild required every member to have 80 flasks of their mains spec and 40 flasks of their off spec. 35 raiding members that's 4200 flasks. If their guild is providing all the flask well there you go.

Anonymous said...


Or sell it now and start buying it back a few weeks before big patches. You also end up with net profit: The herbs you need and gold.

Prices tend to be lowest a week or two before patches, at least on my server.

SimonB said...

"Everything you have except gold loses value over time". - Gevlon.

Interesting and slightly naive comment from you here.

Although there is no official rate of inflation in WOW, inflation does exist through the fact that gold gets easier to acquire as the game matures. Consider the relative purchasing power of 1g now vs. 1g in vanilla wow.

Whilst still a relatively safe thing to hold, the only things which really will always hold an inflation proof value are things like vanity pets, mounts, etc. Ie, things that will not be made obsolete in the future.

Okrane S. said...


Well if pets/mounts are purchasable with gold their value also decreases with the increase of money supply.

If not, then they are a parallel currency so no comparison can be made.

I do agree with the posts here: it's not about intrinsic value of the lotuses but more about their availability.

Of course in a liquid market like that of Flasks/Lotuses it is rare that supply would run out, but in any case, risking the quality of a raid by not having consumables available it is an unprofessional thing to do.

So I consider their stockpiling a risk-adverse strategy.

Astmathic said...

You are forgetting that you dont sit on the 1300 frost lotuses for selling them later, you sit on them to make them to the appropriate flasks when the next patch hits. Fusion is in the top and want to be able to compete in the top. Therefore they stack up on mats when its a farming period (like now) and earn gold by for example selling Meta Achievements. Then when the next patch hits they will be able to provide all consumables possible for the raid to be able to focus 100% on raiding and none on farming consumables. The gold is just repairmoney, the average top 30 guild probably spent around 200-300k gold to progress through ulduar.

Action Hank said...

In general I agree with the anti-hoarding sentiment - too many people keep way more than they should. That said..

However if you have gold, you can buy them any time.

This is not always true, especially on smaller realms.

We pared down the bank to one stack per item. If you needed more than a stack of something, chances are you need tons of it and so should be buying from the AH anyways. However if someone needs like 3 of some random reagent, and there's none on the AH, he can dip into the stack to get it now. When the reagent drops or shows up on the AH again, the stack can be refilled.

Think of the guild bank as a buffer between you and AH.. it helps smooth out the differences between supply and demand.

It's impractical to keep enough to cover large differences between supply and demand, so just keep enough on hand to cover the majority of demands.

Anonymous said...

Said above, "....Pre-Ulduar my guild required every member to have 80 flasks of their mains spec and 40 flasks of their off spec. 35 raiding members that's 4200 flasks....."

That is pretty silly requirement. Just tell whoever to come to raid with whatever flasks they have to have, Otherwise, they don't raid. Works and guild doesn't waste time on these things.

SimonB said...

"Well if pets/mounts are purchasable with gold their value also decreases with the increase of money supply."

Not true for non-vendor available pets, the opposite in fact. I'm talking about the dark whelplings and the like of the world.

If I can sell a dark whelping for 500g now and gold becomes twice as easy to get in future then I should be able to sell that vanity pet for 1000g at that point in the future.

If it takes you X number of hours to grind the gold to buy the whelpling on the AH and gold becomes twice as easy to get, X number of hours will yield a higher return in the future. The relative effort stays the same but the price goes up.

Thus vanity items such as this that will always be in demand regardless of gear levels and which can't be bought of vendors have a certain degree of protection against inflation.

Wooly said...

I actually had to lol when I saw their bank screenshot! Are they expecting some upcoming wow ice age? :D

Still, I don't know if I agree with your reasoning. The reason for keeping the stuff shouldn't be for financial/economical reasons, but mainly to have stuff ready when the guild needs it. The raid is out of flask X? Grab the herbs and make some. Who cares if it loses AH value as long as it's there when you need it. It's way to risky for a raiding guild to have to rely on AH availability at any particular moment. A raiding guilds focus should be on raiding, not about gold.

This should be the reason anyway. I have no idea what Fusion is thinking there, a cleanup couldn't hurt them :)

ZacharyPruckowski said...

1300 Frost Lotuses is actually only 100 raiding hours for a 25-man raid. Fusion (according to their wowprogress recruitment post) raids up to 20 hours/week, so that's 5 weeks of flask-mats they have stocked up.

Given that there are 14 Yogg-clearing guilds and 2 top-50 guilds on their server, keeping a stockpile makes a lot of sense. That way, they're never in a position where they have to frantically grab 20+ Frost Lotuses or 40+ flasks for a raid night (where they'd no doubt get gouged). They can just casually accumulate them whenever they find them cheapest. There's a high level of demand for raid consumables and associated mats on their server, so stockpiling makes sense.

Fawr said...

My first though here was; wow, all the prices on their server are almost double what they are on mine (Thaurissan - Horde).

Anyone else think that total is slightly inflated?

Anonymous said...

???? I thought you had an insane amount of stuff in your guild bank.

ie a ton of ink and parchment. Plus other materials.

KevMar said...

I would hate for you to see my guild bank.

I think its time for me to go on a liquidation sale to clear out my clutter. I just started a 3rd guild bank for quick bulk storage becuase my others were too full.

I have a 3 tab and a 4 tab guild bank. I decided I needed that 8th tab but could not justify the price for what I was buying it for.

What do you do if you have lots of a low demand item that does not sell for much. Just vender it?

outdps said...

Sometimes there's an advantage to not being subject to market fluctuations. If a guild has cash to spend on frost lotus, but for some reason, when they need them, there's little stock on the AH, then that money won't do them any good. Aome of what they lose due to depreciation, they may well gain back from not being exposed to the higher markets that sometimes happen.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

"My first though here was; wow, all the prices on their server are almost double what they are on mine (Thaurissan - Horde). Anyone else think that total is slightly inflated?"

Generally speaking, raid consumable prices should be a factor of two things: realm population, and number of hardcore guilds. The higher the realm population, the larger the supply of materials. The more (and harder-core) raiding guilds, the more the demand. Fusion itself is likely a major mover of those Frost Lotus prices, since they (and the Alliance World-First guild on their server) likely account for a large fraction of the market.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

"Some of what they lose due to depreciation, they may well gain back from not being exposed to the higher markets that sometimes happen."

Perfectly put. They're buying mats at a set price as a hedge against market volatility. In a real-world market, they'd enter into futures contracts or get some sort of price insurance scheme.

If they were playing a game with a more complex "auction-house", they'd put in buy orders at a lower price (say, 30g each) for a few stacks at a time.

WoW has neither a futures exchange nor a buy order, so stockpiling is an acceptable alternative, especially since there's no deterioration in WoW.

Anonymous said...

As usual, the proper approach lies somewhere inbetween Gelvon's extreme view and the somewhat packrat approach of that guild.

I also find it amusing that Gelvon gets on his high horse without checking out the economy on that server. On my server, Frost Lotus are NOT in a downward price trend, but are actually on the rise, as less folk are farming now it seems.

And those HoD that were in the guild bank? They should have been used to craft gear. That's a sign of tight-fisted guild leadership.

Anonymous said...

My Current guild hoards everything. There is half a bank tab full of level 70 blue gear. I offered to take over control of the bank, making enough money off of what is sitting there to pay for repairs. The answer I got was the guys taking care of it now really like doing it.....

Wonder why this group can't clear Naxx......

Anonymous said...

quote: 4,000 vials of pygmy oil!

Frost Lotus is one thing but this stuff is next to useless, guru's are the only valuable thing i can think of for this make a few stacks and ditch the rest why waste the space on it? thats like 2 tabs of just pygmy oil

Anonymous said...

used to be in a tight fisted guild back in the day, The ability to get items was not there, firey and lava cores and core leather was picked up and stored perpetually even though it could be used to craft useful gear for any class

Most guild banks seem to hold items to rot, if its not useful or avalable to any one whats the point?

other then perhaps recipies which should also go to a guild crafter whats the point in keeping any thing in the bank for more then a couple of weeks

Anonymous said...

Inventory levels without Turnover is a meaningless figure. Next measurement to be considered is resource availibility. For my (minor) flask business I need about 200 Frost Lotus a week. Due to low levels of AH posting I've been able to buy about 40 frost lotus for my sale price point over the last month. As a result of the summer supply lows of these resources.. I've incurred significant losses. I could assume that this top level guild needs to be prepared for 5 weeks of hardcore raid attempts during a resource drought - this makes a large portion of thier supplies sensible. Or they could be silly packrats. Without an analysis of turnover vs production you simply do not know.

csdx said...

I agree with many of the other commenters here, while they could be leverging their materials and assests, its' a question of risk versus reward. Materials in the gbank are 0 risk, and similarly 0 reward. Investing these materials creates risk. Risk of potentially losing money (e.g. if the flooded the market and ended up driving down prices, or needed to buy during a price spike) while offering the potential for returns from a successful business. Since it looks like they're doing rather well, they don't have any particular incentive to risk more to get further reward. Just like a billionaire can be quite satisfied with his returns from money market investments (low risk, low return) an average person would turn to the stock market (higher risk & reward) to even think of making profits in the same league.

So if the intent of the guild bank is to make as much profit as possible and damn the risk then they're failing. If its to provide a saftey net to ensure uninterrupted raiding, then I'd say it's pretty damn effective.

Bristal said...

Totally agree with Gevlon.

I'm in a small guild who's vault is overflowing with useless crap that nobody wants to take the time to sell or is worried "it might be useful someday".

When I originally leveled my main, I kept everything "just in case". I avoided playing sometimes just because of the clutter and figuring out what to do with it and being afraid to get rid of it.

I'm leveling an alt now. Granted with more resources (and a bank alt), but EVERYTHING goes to the AH or gets DE'd unless I can use it NOW. I'm leveling herbalism and alchemy. I just buy what/when I need and sell what I find. No more full bank vaults. And gold still grows.

A cluttered bank vault is a cluttered mind.

I can see stockpiling specific mats for known needs at a known time, or for an anticipated increase in value. But I would bet the vast majority of stockpiling is due to disorganization and packrat subroutines.

There really should be a WoW tradeskill that is primarily used for business. Skill points could be generated based on sales or gold accumulation. You would eventually get discounts on the AH cut, or could access the AH from any mailbox.

Rob said...

You do of course realize that Fusion, being worlds #14, pretty much does not care about inflation?

What you say is probably right for smaller guilds or people who need the money but Fusion is a bad example - they got so many fanboys on their server who farm for them etc. that it really doesn't matter - so why not have all the stuff in your guildbank, ready for progress-raiding.

Here's an entry from Kungens blogto prove my point - not Fusion but check it out anyway:

PS: Check out Kungen 11-part WotLK journey to 80 while you're there - it's a pretty interesting insight into powergamers life and well written...

Anonymous said...

goodness you should look at the screen shot to get a real idea at the waste

Fisrt off , guild bank prices, go something like
Total= 9350 to get all 6 tabs

Their inventory is at unmanagble levels, they must have 7 bank alts in guilds by themselves for the bank tabs!

For 35 raiders i dont see them burining that much material in a reasonable amount of time even flasking every one up 7 nights a week
that would be what 175 flasks a week if every one had a flask, dont know on other consumables, how many feasts you going to use assuming your not fail? 5 a raid tops? 5*7=35 a week

Frost Lotus: 1,302
Goldclover: 13,120
Icethorn: 6,720
Lichbloom: 12,180
Flask of Endless Rage: 394
Flask of Stoneblood: 264
Flask of the Frost Wyrm: 630
Fish Feasts: 1400

Pygmy Oil: 4,620

And it did become a huge liability, when their guild leaders account was hacked and they lost 500,000 gold worth of crap

(40*35=1400 so that by my figures should keep 25 man raids happy for a year!)

Our Guild bank tab has 2 partially filled tabs

My personal guild bank has 6 tabs full of smuggled mats that i move.

Anonymous said...

"Said above, "....Pre-Ulduar my guild required every member to have 80 flasks of their mains spec and 40 flasks of their off spec. 35 raiding members that's 4200 flasks....."

That is pretty silly requirement. Just tell whoever to come to raid with whatever flasks they have to have, Otherwise, they don't raid. Works and guild doesn't waste time on these things."

Not really. The guild was very burned out on naxx and it gave members something to focus on instead of quitting. Also I haven't had to buy a flask since 3.2 came out. It wasn't like we were not going to use the flasks anyway. I've got 13 left 8-).

ZacharyPruckowski said...

Anonymous, your math is way off. First of all, you're figuring 1 flask per night. A flask lasts an hour. For a 20-hour raid week, you need 20 flasks/raider, or 500 flasks for a full raiding week at that level. And they're world #14, so I bet a fair amount of that time is banging on Yogg+0. They need 20 feasts/weeks just to keep the buff up assuming no wipes, and if they put in some solid time on learning Yogg+0, they could easily be wiping 20-30 times/week. So that's 500 flasks and 50 feasts each week right now, 3 months into 3.1.

Come progression time, they'll literally have "wipe nights", where they spend multiple nights out of the week knocking on the boss's hard mode. Easy then to go through 100+ fish feasts per week.

They're most likely overstocked, but at the same time, they have hundreds of thousands of gold in the guild-bank to pay for repairs anyhow, so who cares if it's slightly inefficient? Overstocked to them is much better than under-stocked, because if they don't have enough consumables to go around, they're going to have to spend more time in-game to acquire those consumables, or sacrifice raid time.

Also, don't forget that they literally have about a year to blow through this stash. The absolute earliest the next expansion drops is like May-June 2010. So "they have enough mats to last a year!" actually means "they've got enough, but not too much".

Midnight said...

Totally agree with Gevlon.

I'm in a small guild who's vault is overflowing with useless crap that nobody wants to take the time to sell or is worried "it might be useful someday".

there's a difference between keeping level 72 boe blues or 13 bars of arcanite and 72 unidentified herbs because "They might be useful someday" and stockpiling mats for things that WILL be needed soon.

Fusion had 2 full tabs of just stacks upon stacks of fish feasts, and it wasn't cause "someone might need them".
Instead, they were thinking: "When we are doing the stuff that makes us famous (hardcore progression) we will use a TON of these"

I feel that fusion is justified.

And, with 250k gold or whatever (enough to cap a single player, i believe) they obviously have no need to sell. They are not short on funds; they will be using that money only to buy more frost lotus and such.

Anonymous said...

Justified maybe, but if you read though their page about the hacking...

We don't usually bother to inventory what we have, we just go by a gut of how much is "too much" to store, and we buy multiple times a day from the AH and trade channel whenever we find herbs "sufficiently cheaply."

We've also bought up the supplies of raiders who have quit.

Screenshots of the recovered supplies. No bank panes are duplicated.We freely use both auction houses when supplies are low. For example, in order to get our Fish Feast hoard, we had to buy almost all of them on our alliance AH -- which meant moving epics cross-faction to sell them to have the cash to buy fish and herbs to then transfer back to the horde side.

Nine days later his account was restored through the work of a *very* patient character specialist (who said in an email that he also raids with a top guild and understands what the guild went through losing our entire bank.) We decided to record what it was for posterity -- we were even surprised by the totals!

They didnt even know what they had til they lost it!