Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Satchel of tradeskill-killing goods

Lot of guildmembers complained that low level farmed materials (ores, skins, herbs) are cheap. As you could read, I'm buying cheap materials and sell them on horde side. Too bad that the prices are falling there too. It seems that the influx of lowbies created a supply of these materials that cannot be sucked up by the market, not even the much more mature horde market.

The reason is a design flaw in WoW, or more likely a one-sided redesign. Once upon a time the lowbie crafted items were wanted by the lowbies. Barbaric bracers or Shining silver breastplate were BiS for several levels, and second-third best to some rare dungeon drop for another 5-8 levels. Bit cheaper crafted items were great upgrades to slots where the RNG and the quest reward design did not gave an acceptable green. These crafted items had a lowbie market, the crafter could get skillups from selling these, or crafting it to lowbies from the materials they "farmed for free". The alts usually were twinked from the AH, providing endless demand for lowbie stuff. I still remember how my girlfriend got her first 20G on her first char, below lvl 20: selling embossed leather vests for 50s (30s mats, 20s profit).

Not anymore. Heirlooms, satchel of helpful goods, the improved quality of dungeon drops and dungeon quest rewards made the whole lowbie crafting obsolete. There is only one reason to craft lowbie stuff: to get skillups. This means that everyone levels with gathering or no professions and power-level their profession, using the most cost-effective way, using as few materials as possible. Result: low demand of materials.

Blizzard could (and should) obviously fix these, either by improving some crafted items to make it worth buying, or introducing NPCs who buy lowbie leathers and bars, like they buy lowbie cloth for XP and rep, or for "book of tradeskill" that gives skillup in your trade. But we can't wait for Blizzard to fix the game, we have to act now.

The gathering professions still give materials, so they are still better than nothing, especially with their bonuses (lifeblood, toughness, anatomy). They won't make someone rich in low levels, but can make the difference between walking and flying. However if someone have gold on his lowbie (leveling alt or AH goblin), he can start leveling his endgame crafting professions soon. The materials are very cheap sometimes when some desperate lowbie sells his skins/bars/herbs. You surely check the AH often, so add 2 more searches and check for cheap materials. If they are available, buy them and gain a few skill levels. Since you craft few items at once, you might even get lucky and sell some.


Georgi said...

Gevleon, either your girlfriend got her first 20 SILVER or you made a typo - "selling embossed leather vests for 50s (30s mats, 20s profit)."

Gevlon said...

She mass produced them, selling a dozen a day

Sten Düring said...

Anecdotal evidence isn't reliable, but still:

If you have more than one toon, the lack of buyers of low-level greens could at least be used to cut the opportunity cost for levelling enchanting to next to nothing.

With some luck, a saturated market can lead to people simply vendoring their crafted greens, in which case the demand for enchanting mats will become artificially high.

In my case the opportunity cost for both my enchanters were negative (ie I succesfully made MORE money from low level enchants and selling enchanting mats compared to handling my own crafted greens otherwise).

A convoluted way of AH-camping helped. Basically you log on your enchanter as soon as you happen to hear someone giving away free enchants (they're levelling a tradeskill and for some strange reason feel obliged to spend additional time and effort enchanting other lowbies rather than chain-enchanting their own gear).
Travel to wherever they stand and announce selling your services. Your customers will feel they're getting two enchants for the cost of one (you charge full price and the other enchanter is giving one away for free).

Yes, it's timeconsuming, but when you're rolling new toons on a realm from scratch (as in NOT transferring), you soon learn that it takes gold to make gold.

Smeg said...

on my realm, copper bar stacks go for 14-20g. saronite bar stacks rarely are above 15g.

my younger brother with his level 25 dwarf warr has over 500g.

realm specific i think

Seth said...

lowbie gear still sells, though the price is ridiculous low.
From what I can see, most of the buyers are people that just got enchanting and buying greens for 30ish silver is faster then running dm 500 times.

Anti said...

for the longest time gathering professions have dominated the leveling process. they were just so superior to crafting in terms of earning potential that most people ignored crafting until highest level.

it might have been wise to boost the usability of crafted goods long ago. however dropping the earning potential of gathering professions might have the same long term effect.

personally i would enjoy the game more if crafted items were more useful in comparison to other sources of gear as people level. people level so fast no and heirloom items are so superior i doubt many crafted items will be used these days.

perhaps have heirloom items cost 20 wool, 20 silk, 20 mageweave, 20 runecloth, 20 netherweave and 20 frostweave (or similar ore, leather amounts) as well as the current costs. could even be needed to upgrade the item every 10 levels. or just need crafting mats to repair heirloom items. (i like this last idea the best actually)

Nees said...

Perhaps Blizzard could introduce something like Scrolls of XP with a min and max level requirement to use. These scrolls would require a large amount of materials which are appropriate for the level range they provide the boost for.
I'm sure they will sell like candy, which will skyrocket the demand for low level gathering goods.

Bobbins said...

The market is following a natural progression with lots of low level characters creating an over supply of items at the present time.

I predict price deflation to follow those characters through the leveling process before supply gets back (and prices) to a normal levels.

In order to benefit from this, where possible 'cheap' goods and materials should be purchased now. If it is left while everyone gets to higher levels the supply will have gone and cost significantly more.

Also people can also collect the resources for two profession using one gathering profession and advance them both at a later time.

At low levels the need for cash is limited all mounts are now easily affordable with minimum effort (yes even the lesser flying mount). At the moment prices are being forced down by unusual circumstances be careful in determining a true price for your labours.

Hording materials without purpose is undesirabe. Save and collect valuable resources with an intention in mind. Think ahead it will reward you.

Backthief said...

No more lowbie equips, but certainly enchants, alot of enchants. A change for good.

And Satchels and dungeon loot tables are very predictable. Same loots, always.

HokieJayBee said...

smeg, if saronite BAR stacks are selling for 15g each you should be buying all of them and vendoring them for 25g each.

i can only assume you meant ore stacks for 15g.

Dave said...

I think Bobbins has the right of it. The prices are artificially low because of the large influx of players you have brought to the server.

If an enterprising Goblin were to sit on this stuff and dole it out slowly, profit could be had.

How are the prices on low level enchanting mats? Would it be worth making whatever greens are cheapest for mat cost and converting them to enchanting mats?

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"saronite bar stacks rarely are above 15g. "

maybe ore?

Anybody who ah sells saronite bars for less than 25g a stack is an idiot as the vendor will give you that much. Really, it's stupid to put them on ah unless you can list for 30ish given the cut and risk of losing a big deposit.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

lowbie gear will sell cheap top enchanters, and lowbie greens are still worth something, it's just that chests and shoulders and weapons are worth much less than previous. Other pieces some in the satchels, but you level so fast that it's worth paying a few g for a good green for speed rather than waiting for a satchel drop. Especially if you are leveling a pure dps class in which case you will be doing a fair amount of questing while in queue and running fewer dungeons.

I find good greens will still sell for 1-5g and I will often buy them for that as well. In general the quality of crafted gear in the 40s and 50s is absolutely terrible. It's either rare and requires large quantities of rare drop mats in places nobody farms (because it's not worth farming essences etc), or it's itemization is worthless. I generally try to grab good gear around 45 and then don't botther upgrading anything until outland.

I'm picking up my lock that I left in the low 30s a long while back. I had a pair of necromancer leggings (lvl 30, 8 spellpower 11sta 11int) that I'd put a lvl 50 spellthread on thinking of selling it, before the patch that nerfed leg enhancements for twinks. So I gave it to my lock. I finally got a pair of pants that was an upgrade yesterday, at 51, out of a dungeon satchel, but it's only like 3 points of spellpower and some spirit. Is it worth burning 200+g on a spellthread for a minor upgrade like that? (primals are through the roof on my server as nobody farms them, and even at current prices, I'm not going to either).

I figure I'll be wearing those lvl 30 pants until I hit outlands.

Darn near every character I've had, I equip very little between 45 and 58. That includes characters leveling before BoA existed. The gear just doesn't exist that provides sufficient upgrade to matter.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how having any non-gathering profession makes sense before 80 these days (or you can do the profession daily - which is down to just alch and jc ) The 20g from tailoring was clever; but that is 4 stacks of copper you can find while travelling.

So you can keep some mats for w/e profession you are going to be and sell the rest.

And yes. professions in WoW are broken in so many ways, especially 1-70

Anonymous said...

Hmm, but doesn't Blizzard have a system for rewarding lowbie crafting? For some professions anyway. I remember doing some lowbie blacksmithing quests where you had to make X of whatever items and then bring them to some guy... lots of skillups and lots of xp.

My server is one of the oldest in the game, yet lowbie farmed materials are in high demand...

Sven said...

I'd have thought the main driver of low level item prices was people disenchanting them to sell on to others who are levelling enchanting. It's been a good source of money for me.

Perhaps what's really happening is that fewer people are levelling enchanting at the moment, so the price for the products of disenchants is falling which, in turn, lowers the price of the original goods.

No idea why that might be, though, unless it's simply pre-cataclysm boredom.

Entrak said...

The blacksmithing quests are "nice" if you like running around all over the world to get mats.

Mithril isn't exactly the cheapest to get ahold of and you do need quite a bit of mithril to complete the quests.

Seeing what you get, it's only good for roleplaying, if you're into that.

Otherwise, those quests are a general waste of time.

Steven Gosling said...

Anonymous: Of course they are in high demand on an old server. Your comment suggests to me that you have no clue as to how older servers function in regards to lowbie mats, even with it having been explained in the article.

Simply, older servers have lower lowbie populations, but have a higher number of active characters. Profession switching and gathering profession-less alts will soak up almost all of the lowbie materials gathered.

I have 7 characters that are 80. I "farm" on 0 of them. Even my last 2 alts didn't have gathering professions while I leveled as it felt more of a hassle ("Fun tax") to care about my bag space while leveling, or walking out of the way to gather materials. People like myself will soak up a huge amount of lowbie materials.

I am well aware of how much more gold I could have if I seeked out gold everywhere I went, like Gevlon. But I always have enough to purchase items I want, on all my characters. And being any more than above the poverty line doesn't buy happiness for most of us.

Bristal said...

Buffing low level moneymaking with gathering professions on a mature server potentially buffs illegal farmer income.

Which would in turn hurt the market again.

It's unfortunate, but I understand Blizzard's hesitation in boosting income for repetetive grinding activities in low level zones.

I haven't leveled a lowbie since the dungeon finder, but it seems to me that you should be able to make decent income from just vendoring dungeon drops.

pugnaciouspriest said...

An adjustment for more useful items for skill ups would work eg bags, armor patches. Make them give xp longer.

Thaumaturgos said...

I agree with Smeg: what will sell well is realm specific. I have jut started some new toons on Muradin (US Server), where on Horde side the un-smelted copper stacks go for about 10 - 14g. A couple of loops of Durotar by my newly 'raptored' collector has seenme with enough gold for some time.

Glyph, the Architect said...

Perhaps Blizzard could introduce something like Scrolls of XP with a min and max level requirement to use. These scrolls would require a large amount of materials which are appropriate for the level range they provide the boost for.

Although that would likely provide a boost to the economy, you realize this means there will be many people who will buy their way to 80 with their alts. Then they will set foot in instances having never actually played the class. And not the normal not playing like we have, but literally "Never even left the capital city."

Anonymous said...

Actually they DID boost the tradeskills, just a bit earlier than they introduced "the satchel of BOP +str cape on a mage vendortrash".

For example, back in the days the first shoulders (reinforced woolen shoulders or something) or first hat (azure silk hood) were white items with no stats. Now, they're green with stats.

A lot of smithing items were "vanilla plate with +spirit", which got changed to more useful stats like crit rating.

Same can be said about leatherworking items for druids and shamans, spirit was changed into spellpower etc.

The market died mostly for shoulder and chest slots though because of heirlooms, but for example headwear still sells well on my server.

However, another reason the demand for blue lowbie items plummeted was even earlier, the twink-killer patch, items like deviate belt or spider silk boots were niche items for level 19 twinks.

Also, bear in mind most people who powerlevel their profession level on trainer-obtained patterns with lowest mats usage, while actually some nice items come from different sources. One of the most funny fact I discovered there's special tailoring trainer with "shadoweave" items around level 40, which give nice spellpower boost, I wore those items on my clothies.

However the trainer-obtained blues can be really good as well, for example the dreamweave circlet can be worn somewhere after level 40 and is comparable to Zul Farrak drop (which will drop or no and you can be outrolled) and beats the Sunken Temple quest reward.

Anyone who complains that "tradeskill eldorado" has finished, has a short memory, doesn't remember when tradeskill stuff was enchanters' fodder because it had all useless stats like spirit and fire resistance, and many items like guardian gloves had no stats at all and were vendor trash.

And at worst if you're levelling tailoring, leatherworking, blacksmithing or jewelcrafting you can ask an enchanter friend to de all this crap and sell the dusts. I did.

But after levelling alchemy I had heaps of low level elixirs no one wanted to buy and potions which were going on abysmal low prices because they drop from mobs as well. Though the worst much be enchanting, you can't get back any money if you can't "sell your skillup", if people don't buy your "generic bracer of skillup", disenchant it, if they don't buy your "elixir of levelling alchemy", vendor it, for enchanting, all the money sunk - is sunk, and while you maybe argue that SOME points on your way can be sold on the AH because they can be put on heirlooms, or are fancy in some way, it's true for most other professions. For example when you level tailoring, you get various bag patterns (only the 6 slot didn't sell, all others did, even if not for best prices), shirts, fancy outfits like haliscan or tuxedo etc.

Especially pay attention to items needed for quests. Mithril casing, deadly blunderbuss, hillman's cloak, elixir of fortitude, gyrochronatom, frost oil... until they nerf the quests there's some niche market for those.

Nees said...

@Glyph, the Architect:
What I meant wasn't scrolls that give XP when used, but they would boost XP gains for a couple percent for an hour or so. Just like the heirloom items do. Players would still be required to play to actually gain XP.