Greedy Goblin

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trading with the enemy

I got a comment on my trading post. Anonymous claimed that I'm actually helping the hordies (the enemy of the ganking project) by bringing them cheap materials. Am I a traitor of my own project, enslaving my guildmates to farm items that I turn into profit helping the enemy?

As business serves the smart against the dumb, I believe it's not the case. While the horde unquestionably benefits from our work, we benefit more. I believe we win more power by the trade than the hordies, so we got closer to our goal.

At first, there are more world-PvP-oriented players among the ally than among the horde (as 20-30% of players online are in the guild). Even if we assume that a trade provides equal strength growth to a random hordie, this strength growth has 90-95% chance to be lost to the world PvP strength of the horde. Most of the benefit of the trade goes to a M&S and get wasted. JhonnyUKlol's working day and night achievement does not make the horde stronger at all. If some HC raider buys our peacebloom because alchemy is the new tradeskill of the month, it also won't increase the power of the horde on the field. He will down more bosses with our mats and I'm happy for him, he is not our enemy. If he is an arena junkie, aimed only on higher rating and does not move out to the world to fight us, his portion of the trade benefit is also lost to the horde.

Secondly, I can say without doubt that the business skills of our guildmembers are higher than the skills of a random hordie. We were recruited on a WoW gold blog, many of us are goldcapped on main. I bought huge amount of Ink of the Sea and selling them on ally side. It allows our guildmembers (and other allies) to level inscription. Let's say that, a guildy reaches 450 inscription, and in the same time DaRkGnOmKiLlEr on horde side reaches 450 alchemy from our herbs. Is it equal benefit to the sides? No, because our guildy will start a glyph business (actually I noticed 2 who are surely doing it, lowbie glyph prices are falling), providing much needed glyphs to our side, while DaRkGnOmKiLlEr will only craft consumables for himself from the herbs he "farms for free", providing no help to other hordies.

Thirdly, being lowbies, the same material gain has larger effect than it would be on a max-level, geared hordie. Let's say that one of us gain 300G from selling herbs, while a hordie saves 300G as he buys herbs cheaper. Is that equal? No, because 300G for a lowbie means flying skill + mount, while 300G for an established lvl80 means 2% progression to get a bike.

Business supports those who are more focused (don't waste wealth), have business skills and need resources more.

There is one thing left to discuss: even if our project gets more power by the trade, is it "right" and effective, that most of the profit comes to me, and I don't hand it out to guildies? Wouldn't it be better to distribute my profit among the members?

No! I have no privilege in trading. If I make 800-1000% profit on the trade, that's only because I have quasi-monopoly. No one else bothers to do it. I can't do it all alone, I'm sure there are lot of items that should be traded and I have not found them. If I would hand out welfare, the people would be fine and would not be motivated to trade themselves. I rather just keep my profit, forcing others to start trading if they don't want to starve, increasing the quantity of the trades, decreasing trading profit. The increased quantity also means that the demand for the traded items increase, increasing their price, rewarding the "farmers" more.


Yaggle said...

I guess you could be like North Korea and avoid trading with the rest of the world. Look where it has gotten them.

Vladdi said...

It all hast to do with "the law of the handicap of a head start" ( means the alliance can close the gap quicker then the horde can enlarge it.

Anonymous said...

Your transfer of resources to the Horde is progessing too slowly while it is attractive the you are making a 1000% mark up from your alliance laborers you must step up resource gatherering.

Giving them step by step instructions on making money is good as they seem unable to think for themselves. Step by step instuctions are good as they seem unable to deal with simple AH concepts although you shouldn't have revealed the 2nd neutral AH location.

Remember the Hordes time is worth more the the alliances. So we are not worried about buying cheap resources the Horde is awash with gold.

Remind your comrades of value of mageweave, primals etc. Start gatherering better ores soon and increase the transfers of existing ores. We can and will pay more for these than the alliance scum.

There was a panic in UC yesterday.

PS Saying that they are elite is good it is not like just anyone was recruited. :). Be careful though they might get better just keep telling them how good they are.

20g * 1000% values them at 200g each seems a bit steep as you say a good mount is only 300g but I might buy one.

Anonymous said...

"although you shouldn't have revealed the 2nd neutral AH location."

Doesn't do the same?
Seriously what the hell are you talking about?

"Remember the Hordes time is worth more the the alliances."
How is that?
You are saying that one players time is more worth than the others.
That's just bullshit. Time is only worth to oneself. You can't say the time of a horde player raiding ICC is more worth than that of an alliance leveling his character. Out of the point of view of an external viewer it's the same. Alliance point of view: Horde raiding(gathering mats etc) is less worth than my time.
Horde player point of view (in acceptance that the alliance player will reach lvl80 and gank them to dust) Alliance time is more worth than mine.
M&S view: My time is worth more than anybody else's.

"There was a panic in UC yesterday." Why is that? Are they afraid of lvl 40-50 alliance players? Are they afraid that alliance players will control their AH too?

Krod said...

As a participant in the project, I appreciate that you create some demand for raw material. On my main char I have indeed enough gold, more than I could ever spend on reasonable stuff (which of course does not include mounts, pet, and other frills). Money making? Been there, done that. I don't want to have another char, where I sit at the AH for a significant amount of time.

So thanks for providing liquidity. As all the bankers found out, liquidity can be elusive. If there is no one to buy the toxic part of CDOs or all the gathered copper and peacebloom, life becomes a lot harder.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually rather inspired by what you guys are doing. Back in the old days I belonged to a world pvp focused guild.

If I was on the European servers I'd certainly join you guys.

And if anything similar appears NA side I'd join them.

Kaaterina said...

"Giving them step by step instructions on making money is good as they seem unable to think for themselves."


"...although you shouldn't have revealed the 2nd neutral AH location."


There's one in Gadgetzan too, you know. That's the third one. Am I to think that a knowledgeable person such as yourself didn't know that? I am left speechless.

Anonymous said...

I play like a social and do a lot of things that would render me a moron. But even I caught on to neutral AH arbitrage and have profited greatly from it. If other people aren't taking advantage of it, it's their loss.

Fricassee said...

"Remember the Hordes time is worth more the the alliances.
How is that?
You are saying that one players time is more worth than the others.
That's just bullshit."

Actually, that's exactly true. The value of the time is directly proportional to the amount of money they can generate from dailies, as that is a guaranteed, low risk investment.

A level 80 toon can get 25g in like 3-5 minutes. A low level toon can do no such thing. Therefore, time on a level 80 character is absolutely worth more than time on a leveling character.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"And if anything similar appears NA side I'd join them."

It's on cho'gall.
PM greenhell in game.

Ryan said...

I'm fascinated with this project of yours, to the point that I would like to see it's progression in hard numbers. Could you post stats relevant to your goals, like faction population comparisons over time, avg hon-kills per guild member, ammounts and market prices of some key things in the AH, whatever you think would measure your big picture progress; not as blog posts, but a page we can visit whenever.

Kaaterina said...


No, it's not true. While it's true that Horde has greater income, it has higher overhead.

What's the overhead for a leveling character? A mount and maybe some mats for leveling a profession.

What's the overhead for a raider? Repairs, flasks, enchants, gems, profession rerolls for the FOTM profession.

You can't just compare income in absolute figures and say that one person's time is worth more because they earn more, else Zimbabweans are the richest people in the world. We all know that's not true.

If you'd like to be thorough you'd have to calculate a per capita income@PPP. Since, obviously, the purchasing power differs between the Alliance and the Horde.

Economic reasons aside, there is another reason for it.

Morons 'farm stuff for free'. How exactly is their time worth anything then if themselves are valuing it to 0?

Nielas said...

As with the entire 'ganking project' people are overestimating the impact Gevlon and his guild would have on the server way too much.

People in WoW simply do not care about PvP and gold enough for this to impact them too much. The M&S of the opposing faction simply will not care about Gevlon's ganking that much no matter how much hate mail he might get.

Similarly while Gevlon is going to make a lot of gold leveraging the economic differences between the factions it will not really matter much to the other factions economy since shifts in the WoW economy really do not affect how people PvP and the PvE results are trivial. Maybe if he was flooding the AH with cheap Primodial Saronite it would have a serious impact but anything else is peanuts.

Oxymustard said...

@ Vladdi

It has nothing to do with the law of the handicap of a head start.

-the head start, initially an advantage, subsequently becomes a handicap. When a society dedicates itself to certain standards and those standards change- Quote from your link

Which standards are changing? For the Horde: cheap mats are coming in. The hordies does his dailies, fills the economy with 300g liquid gold. While Gevlon doesn't transfer gold back, instead buys items to sell on the Alliance side. This adds no gold whatsoever in the economy only in Gevs pockets.

In order for the Alliance to catch up economically the player count needs to rise, doing quests, dailies, downing bosses not spending 16k on a mammoth.

Surely you get flying + riding skill. You said in some post earlier that you'll not transfer gold back, but instead items. But if 30% of the servers Alliance side is your guild; there is a high chance the money will come from one of your comrades minus AH cut.

Gevlon said...

@Oxymustard: I had to start transferring gold back, simply because I could not find enough materials that the ally could buy (for more than the horde would give it)

However most of my gold still arrives as items. While we give 20-25% of the ally side, we are lowbies, while most allies are 80 (or alts of 80). So they buy my wares.

Bristal said...


I think you are defining the word "value" too broadly and subjectively. Of course you cannot fully value a human being's time. That's subjective.

But if you limit the definition of value to income potential, then you can easily say that someone's time is worth more than another's.

For instance, If I make $10 an hour and can only get 30 hours of work a week, I'm not going to value paying a housekeeper $50 a week to clean my house.

But if I work 60 hours a week and can make $40 an hour, that same $50to save 4 hours a week doing unpleasant work becomes more of a cost-effective option.

Thus 4 hours to one person has less monetary value than 4 hours to another.