Greedy Goblin

Friday, May 7, 2010

Giving value to gold

Our guild has no blacksmith. Not one. I've never found a single blacksmith in the ally side of Maghteridon, and judging how great profit my GF has from transporting belt buckles from horde and selling them on ally, I assume there is no active blacksmith on our side. Strike that, half of the guild are rogues and I can't find one who could open a damn 325 lockbox.

One could make a killing with BS on Maghteridon-ally, by crafting and selling the buckles and enchanting rods (I transport those and sell them for 300% profit), maybe crafted i245 plate for beginner tanks, and so on. Since our guild is full of goblins, it's surprising that no one jumped on this huge opportunity. Or not. Actually they did not jump on it because they are goblins.

The value in an MMO (and in life) is time. BS is a hard to level profession, even if you have a solid AH to buy mats from. Now imagine that you have to farm or transfer from horde 90% of your materials. It would cost 10-12 hours I'd guess. Granted, after the profession is 400+, it's a cash cow. But as I wrote, gold has no value, in a sense that you don't have to farm (if you are not stupid), so getting gold does not save you from farming.

I have 20K+. How could I buy time?
  • I bought epic flyer, won about a minute every wintergrasp to get into position before the fight. If there is world PvP, I can get there 1-2 minutes faster, which actually does not matter because the fight is already over. We either won, or corpses waiting for the reinforcements. Not much gain here.
  • I can buy BoE epics. There is no good PvP BoE, but I can replace blues with higher ilvl PvE items. It might save me (or rather I can save someone I heal), but the power increase is marginal (as opposed to getting PvP item). Better PvE gear saves mana brakes in heroics, another 1-2 mins/day
  • I can buy every reagent, gem, enchant I want without waiting for bargains. Oh wait, that saves me 0 mins since the problem is that there is no item on the AH for any price.
  • I can buy ilvl 251 kirin tor ring for about 10K. Since I'm scribe, I have infinite teleports. The ring stats are nice, but same ilvl Ashen Verdict friendly ring will be available in a week.
So in terms of time, my glyph industry is pure charity. The people (in and out of guild) get glyphs (or get them much cheaper, and gold can matter for a lowbie), while I get useless gold. Of course no business can run on charity. My "charity" is paid by the blog (as business posts are very popular), but for others it's a waste.

Of course I wouldn't be much of a goblin if I would QQ over the "inevitable fall of gold". Instead I give it value. How can I do it? I offer something for gold that people want very much. If they want to buy it, they must have gold. To have gold, they must have industry. If they have industry, everyone are happy customers!

What do people want in WoW? Gear! Since we're a PvP guild, most wanted gear are bought by alternative currency (badge, honor, arena point). But not the weapons. Most of us rolled new character or transferred an alt. 99% does not run around with ilvl250+ weapons. FoS-PoS-HoR can get you to 232 with lot of farming, but no further. You need high arena rating to buy them, or you can loot them from raids.

So here comes the goblinish solution: every week we have a raid. We do the weekly raid, then we do some instance that fits to our gear. The point is speed, not kills, one-two shotting ToC and getting some PvE 245 into green slots and badges to everyone is better than downing 2 bosses in ICC in 3 hours. But soon (I mean in 1 or 2 weeks) the badge raid will go to ICC. Ashen rep and drops. Ilvl 251 weapons. In a month we can do 25 man. Ilvl 264.

This raid will be GDKP. Every drop will be auctioned, starting from 100G (so you should have at least 100G), 50G increments until 500G, 100G increments until 1500G, 250G increments until 5000G, 1000G increments upwards. The gold must be paid to me before the item is given (no "I'll pay next week", but of course you can beg in /w from friendly, helpful loan-sharks), I distribute the gold at the end of the run evenly.

Since the auction is zero-sum (the amount of gold among the raid members stays the same), you can of course easily get lot of gold from not bidding on anything. After all, one can raid ToC, and soon ICC with ilvl 200 blue weapons, right? But if you don't want that annoying moment when you die and the opponent wins with 2% HP left, pay up and get an upgrade! To pay up, start an industry! Check the AH, see what's selling, find a big void and get to work!

PS: if you don't understand why is it an "analysis" post, instead of ganking update, because it's about one of the basics of economy: the money has no internal value, it's valued after the things we can buy with it. Also it's about the importance of a stable, valuable money in the economy. There is no trading without money besides necessities.

Ganking advertisement: the first arena team in the guild reaching 2000 rating gets 1000G/person from me. So if you are a good PvP-er looking for a new home, Maghteridon-EU-Ally is your choice!

Ganking announcement: I'll offer free goldmaking tips to all guildies, /w me if interested how can you make gold with your existing profs.


Anonymous said...

This is why I have every profession covered on my main server and I still die a little inside when I remember what I had to put into blacksmithing in order to level it to 450 (Yes it's worth it in the end, but it's not normal you have to keep reminding yourself this, all the way up to 450)
Lockpicking is one of those professions that's best leveled at higher levels, and by that time, some rogues won't go through that timesink. For some reason, people seem to think rogues should open lockboxes for free aswell, so ask a fee and not a tip.

thenoisyrogue said...

I have found one blacksmith on the server, but he is mostly inactive and a terrible player to boot, (we had to kick him from a VoA a few weeks ago and he spent a good time after abusing the raid leader in whispers and in chat).

Oh, and there is at least one rogue who has 400 lockpicking and has been opening quite a few lockboxes for guildies .... (shame on you).

I like the gold for items raid idea as it solves a few potential problems and could give the AH a little kick start as well.


Gevlon said...

@thenoisyrogue: damn I wasn't careful enough searching. Or you wasn't in advertising your trade!

Azzur said...

Horde Frostmourne regularly holds GDKP raids. Bids start from 500g with 100g increment. Big ticket items like Bryntoll, DBW, Dislodged Foreign Object, etc can fetch more than 10k gold.

Syeira said...

With the off chance I may yet still see The lich king before the end of the expansion I'm considering moving my "main" over, my protection paladin who is also a Blacksmith. He's just sitting rotting with the rest of my alts right now anyway.

I've heard of GDKP before but have never seen it in action, probably because I'm so slack I never have vaste quantities of gold.

As for the lock picking, gimme a break! I get my rogue to 80 in 4 weeks, level two crafting professions (both 300+ now) and have my dk well on the way to 68 with two gathering professions. Lock picking is next on the agenda, I promise boss!

Sir Nicholai said...

I presume you've read this thread, Gevlon:

I've been running GDKP for about 7 months now on Horde US Chrommaggus.

One thing I find useful to incentive people to perform well is the reward and dock people with gold.

Examples of rewards and docking I've used in the past:
Get hit by Icehowl: -500g
Pull a boss before the raid leader tells you to: -500g
Turn off the buff in Ice Crown -5,000g (someone paid this once so they would keep getting invitees)
Die to Legion Flame: -250g
Die to not switching essence on Twin Valks: -250g

You get the idea. I like to make the things very specific, especially for new people who don't respect me as a raid leader yet. Older raider generally will defer to my judgement since they've been on alot of raids with me and trust me to be fair. Sometimes I will offer rewards, like 250g for top damage of bone spikes, or snowbolds, or infernals.

I'm glad you're going to try GDKP runs. In my experience, I have three concurrent saturday GDKP 25 man raids, which raid for 3-4 hours a week, and they are now 10/12 in 25 man ICC. You don't need a guild or friendly social people to progress, you just need a decent reward system for people to show up on time each week and run together in a professional manner.

Anonymous said...

It's a pretty common system in korea or other asian regions. I would love to have such runs on my realm too, but you can't find any people willing to join them.
They usually don't understand it at all, no matter what...

Gevlon said...

@Syeria: The text just been amended with "I'll offer free goldmaking tips to all guildies". If you care about how could you make gold with your existing profs, /w me

I'm obviously not telling you not to transfer your pala (your $), but I've always told one does not need alts to be successful.

I also believe that the time leveling a gathering DK could get you much more gold on your rogue (by doing simple quests you get seed gold)

Anonymous said...

Now now, that's an interesting idea Gevlon, let's observe it on flesh...

Anonymous said...

Actually Gevlon, there is at least one BS in the guild - me (Kalafior). But as you said "gold has no value" and i'm definitely not going to farm 24/7 to get mats and make some useless gold of it. I've made some rods and other items but only for people who asked for it in /trade , they had mats and it would take only few minutes of my time.

Inquisitor said...

Be interesting to see if GDKP works out. I have a feeling that people may go 'but we could get gear for free, just by running the raid ourselves...' (missing the point, of course).

Not surprised so many of the guild are rogues, this being a *ganking* guild, but I know I'd have rolled Druid.

Oh, and you missed the Kirin Tor ring out of your 'gold for time' analysis. The extra hearth is of some value, assuming you want to make use of Dalaran's portals for quick travel to world PvP.

Then again, I think the inscriber self-teleport scrolls wouldn't be much worse, even with the randomness factored in, unless they've changed the behaviour there.

Oh, and Engineering. Great world pvp profession, and it has a pile of teleports. Another cheaper way of getting a similar effect. (Assuming you can but the materials for money, which we've just established you can't).

Syeira said...

Speaking of the dk gatherer, I took your advice and moved my horde "spy" to a city to scope out their AH. I saw even the horde AH lacks decent quantities of Outland and late vanilla herbs.
For a few hours invested I have a constant supply of the mats I need and will always needs as long as i'm world pvping plus a good chunk of extra mats I don't need that will hopfully sell well in a niche that is lacking.
Profitable, perhaps not. Useful, I think so.

Gevlon said...

@Syeria: if you found something the AH lacks, than you are completely right farming it. It's not my taste, but hey gold is gold.

@Kalafior: That's exactly that the GDKP run wants to change. Why would you work for worthless 5K gold? How about working for 5K gold that could get you

@Inquisitor: kirin tor ring added to post

Taemojitsu said...

Form raids to encourage proficiency in blacksmithing! The connection would not have been obvious to everyone.

Three years ago, the method of sharing gold in a PUG sounded quite unusual to a Western audience, just a historical reflection.

Inquisitor said...

Oh, FWIW, there is a place for 264 PvE gear in an optimised PvP set - especially if you are optimising for 'kill quick', rather than 'survive and outlast'.

I'd imagine there are a few 264 BoE pieces, on the alliance-side AH, that could have a long-term place in your PvP gear.

This is probably even more true for rogues.

That would save you 50k honour worth of BGs, and get you somewhat ahead of where they would leave you.

Not sure if you count cross-faction purchases, though, given that you aren't allowing that as an option in other places (profession grinding).

Bobbins said...

Remember when your guild came to Mag the alliance AH was floods with lowish level items where have all these gatherers gone?

Also I suspect one issue is the overall gold wealth of the alliance server. Can they afford to buy the goods on the AH? The inability to make money via the AH seriously limits my ability to purchase 'overpriced' items.

Your 'wealth' must have been gained using the cheaper resources of the horde thus you are able to undercut those who solely dependant on the alliance AH. Your ability to gain gold on this server I suspect is a factor of being able to efficiently transfer resources from the horde faction.

But by doing so do you disadvantage alliance crafters. If you can transfer buckles from the horde you will be able to 'destroy' any alliance competition in a biding war?

Why are finished items tranfered from the horde servers rather than resources??? One helps crafters, the other hinders!

Gusztav said...

Don't forget that 245 craftables have that stupid faction-restriction on them :S Before transfering it from horde side

Gevlon said...

@Bobbins: I have fairly good accounting so my profits
45% selling glyphs, vellums, scribe offhands
15% transporting from horde and selling higher on ally
30% transporting TO horde and selling higher there (thank you stupid hordies paying 50G for an 50s cat)
10% other (quest rewards, dungeon drops, crafting bags)

Transporting between horde and ally is not my privilege, any (or to be specific any two) guildies can do it.

I transport BOTH rough materials and finalized products. So you could buy my mats, undercut me on product. People just don't do it.

I have to confess the 45% is not accurate, as I buy most of my herbs at horde. I don't know how much profit I'd have if I'd have to buy herbs on ally

Brian said...

You can buy an i251 weapon with gold. On my server, a Battered Hilt is going for around 8000 gold.

Klepsacovic said...

Isn't one of your goals to rebuild the economy? Creating a blacksmith would seem to help with that. How about a contest: first person to max BS gets a free ToC run and one pattern from there. Second gets some amount of gold; which they then bring to your GDKP run.

Klepsacovic said...

An addition to my BS contest idea: There is the risk that only M&S will level BS, trying to race up to wint he prize. Then someone else gets it and they quit. But perhaps stupid BS are better than none at all, since they're likely to continue farming mats for free.

Gevlon said...

@Klepsacovic: you answered your own question. If I pay for 450 BS, I'll get a 450 BS. Not surely someone who sells BS stuff.

Doug said...

If you're going to run GDKP raids, don't mess around. Start the bid for items at 2k and go up in 500g (min) increments. Set a 4 hour time limit from the time you pull the first trash pack.

I was in a GDKP run last week that the leader gold capped. The run went 10/12 ICC25 (Its amazing how much an incentive to stay helps people perform well enough to drop bosses beyond Saurfang), payout at the end was 8.2k gold each.

Sir Nicholai said...

Agreed doug. My raids go for 4 or 3 hours (time limit set before raid) and 1k min bid and 500g min raise. I might have to raise that min bid to 2k soon though, not a bad idea.

Last week the highest payout for 6k for 10/12.

Kirby said...

The way I see it, money has no value. It is free, worthless, dirt. But other people (M&S mostly) believe it has value because they can buy 'ooh, ahh' stuff with it. Thus I try to peddle as much of this worthless dirt as possible so as to level other professions. In retrospect it is pointless, as I use the professions to make more gold, but it is still fun to see how much dirt I can amass.

Anonymous said...

@Lockpicking is one of those professions that's best leveled at higher levels

Au contraire, lockpicking is a profession best done as levelling. When levelling you slaughter countless humanoids, take the time to stealth and pick pocket each and every one of them, you will have your quota of junkbox and much much more.

Klepsacovic said...

You might get an inactive BS. But you might find that some less slacker types just need a nudge to get into crafting. That nudge could be the chance of a prize.
Use their flawed mental processes to your advantage. Fear of losing their sunk cost (remember your post?) could help motivate them to farm and craft: "I spent 2000g to level this, I can't just do nothing! I'd better go farm and craft." For only the prize amount, which is trivial to you anyway, you can create an extremely desperate farmer and crafter, who very much wants to sell his product and isn't very good at measuring profits.

Anonymous said...

Giving value to gold is what your whole life revolves around since your an economist (I assume) and we can draw an parallels between WoW gold and real life money, which in the end has no value at all without people desiring it (please don't make any idiotic comments about gold reserves making up for the real value).

Klepsacovic said...

@Kirby: You're right that gold has no value by itself. That's a good thing, makes it more flexible: we can change it value to match what we need. Currency is a combination of social construct and brilliant economic lubricant. It has value because we all say it has value (social) but because it is so easily divisible it makes transactions easier to conduct by replacing bartering (economic). The cow to chicken ratio is hard to work out in a way that doesn't require tons of animals to reach a lowest common denominator or someone getting less than the value of the transaction.