Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why is it hard to find crafters?

Adam wrote a post about his crafting experience. He is practically the only active enchanter/JC on our server/side (If you don't know, we have a ganking guild going on Maghteridon-EU ally side where 30 people online on prime time is a lot). He doesn't know if it's "right" to craft for guildies for free.

Spinks wrote how hard it was to find a crafter for her panties.

The two things are closely related to each other and my experience to Blizzard's tolerance towards boting. And this is the reason why this post is Analysis and not Philosophy.

Survival is nerfed to the ground in WoW both by the welfare of Blizzard where you get gold for just queuing up for a HC and by the bots who sell all the mats for very low prices. They can, as they really farmed it for free, as the boter invests near zero time in farming them. He may spend some costs and time to create, level and gear the bot, but that's sunk cost. Now he has the bot running, it just makes him gold for noting.

This means that anyone who has more than 2 brain cells (so doesn't buy Mammoth or bike) has enough gold. If Adam would have to farm an hour every day just to repair his gear and buy consumables for being competitive in PvP, he wouldn't hesitate to ask gold for his services. The reason why the question can emerge at all is that he doesn't need gold. Adam enchants for free even if he charges us as the gold has no utility for him, so he gains nothing from the payment. The same thing for the BS Spinks searched for. He does not need the tip from Spinks, so why should he spend his time answering her /trade request, go to her, craft for her?

Since crafting is not related to your own needs, it becomes fully a philosophical question. I mean if you craft at all, you do it because you think it's somehow "right". I keep crafting glyphs although I have 20K+ on this server, because I want to make a post about the glyph industry in low competition. Adam may crafts for free because it's "nice" or crafts for payment because it "teaches people for business" . Neither is a selfish choice.

So the answer for Spinks: if you want to find crafter, make enough noise in the blogosphere to make Blizzard ban the bots, therefore forcing the average player to farm gold at least 10% of his playtime. This case the crafter would happily spend 5 mins crafting for you instead of spending 30 doing dailies.

The answer for Adam is that there is no rational answer from the personal point of view, and that's the goblinish point of view. The answer to charge or not depends only on your philosophy.

PS: my philosophical answer: I do charge guildies simply by selling my glyphs on the AH only and not crafting for request. Every time some guildy asks "can you do glyph of X?" I answer "If I can, it's on the AH". Maybe that's the simplest way for Adam too: buy some vellums (I can mass craft them for low tip), enchant them while waiting for BG queue and list them on the AH for material price + fee. 90% of the players use the same 1-2 enchants/slot: tuskarr, SP or Agi on gloves, SP or AP on bracer, SP or AP on weapon, 8/10 stats on chest, haste/Agi on back and so on. You can mass buy the materials (maybe at horde side), mass craft, get a bankalt, list them and make an industry. That's what I do. But of course it's not a rational answer, it's a philosophical one.

Ganking update: there is a loophole in the ganking statistics, one can easily boost his gankscore, so it's no longer used. The new measure is Wintergrasp domination.


Terra said...

I don't advertise my crafting unless it's an ICC recipe, and they've been asking for upwards of 20 minutes.

It's primarily at that point that I do it to shut them up, and get an easy 100g out of them. What are they going to do when I state my fee? Look for somebody else?

Christian said...

First of all, Terra, I've been giving 100g tips to crafters for recent-dungeon crafts. I think it's a fair price, and I think paying a fair price leads to a good business relationship with the person.

As for guildies, I generally don't ask for or expect to pay a fee. It's a two-way street for me, and should I feel that I ask more of a particular person then is reasonable, I'll try and set the balance right.
Then again, when my brother and I needed the pillars crafted, we bought the crafter the recipe.

I believe in doing honest business with people - I pay what I think something is worth, and I ask for the same in payment.

Daniel said...

The only thing I have found difficult to find crafter for is the +30 sp enchant from molten core. But that is mostly because of the rareness of the enchant. You need either some old vanilla raider still active or some enchanter farming mc for legendary items. So there is high probability that there is no enchanter online with that enchant.

Everything else is quick to be found just offering 200(toc)-500(icc) gold usually finds volunteers fast.

Spinks said...

"I don't advertise my crafting unless it's an ICC recipe, and they've been asking for upwards of 20 minutes."

I would never be sitting around in Dalaran for 20 minutes ;) (I mean, as a crafter, I'd never know how long someone had been asking.)

Bloodshrike said...

I craft, and I charge for my time. I've either gone out and farmed for the recipes from the specific mobs that drop them, or bought the recipe off the AH for a large sum of gold (I think I paid 2k gold for the 30 spellpower to weapon recipe). As such, and since I could be at least making 13 gold every 5 minutes or so for a daily quest, my time is valuable to me.

My enchanter has this macro:
/2 Heirloom [enchanting] 50g crafting fee for rep grind, 75g for 29 or 30 spellpower, and 15g for all Wrath enchants.

And that's me being nice. When I put the spellpower enchant on a vellum, it's priced at about 600 gold, with my alt having one priced upwards of 1500 gold, to make mine more appealing. I sell at least 1-2 of them on scrolls everyday, EVEN THOUGH if they just bought the mats and paid my fee, they'd be saving themselves a couple hundred gold.

Anonymous said...

I am a crafter and i don't give a **** if someone's asking for anything in /2 or /y for over half hour or more. No goblinish, egoistical, egocentrical or any other attitude; my answer is simple, AH is there, go and buy the craft/gem/ench OR level your own profs in another char, as i did.I did NOT powerlevel 6 profs for "helping the greater good of the faction" or "for getting my money back from fees after 8 months". Profession is the long word for profit, in WoW.

Maybe the most undervalued thing in WoW is having the right alts with the right profs. You need ench recipe+30sp? My ench Lock was able to get it after an almost month(4 resets) soloing the first Bosses in MC. Lucky? yeah, difficult? hell yeah, however i will never rely on the existence of another ench with +30sp again.Never. Independance(aytonomy) is a precious state, where no patch or faction's activity can harm you. Additionaly, If you are pvper also the "world" of your server's faction practically does not have *any* impact on your personal gaming experience and that's the sweet part.

If he is the only active maxed Ench/JC on maggy horde side, he should either crazily boost the faction's economy(he'll get ALOT of money back by doing that) or try to rip off the few active players, since he has a weird kind of "monocrafty".

About charging the guildies?Hell yeah, if they are 95% goblins then they should have enough money to pay fees to the ONLY ACTIVE same-faction enchanter/jc in the realm. And they should be very, very grateful he exists.

thenoisyrogue said...

Interesting take on the situation, Gevlon. I hadn't really considered the point of view of gold being easy to obtain undermining the crafting economy, but it's a vaild point.

I think however, that selling glyphs on the AH is a bit different to selling enchants. Most of the guildies who have just hit level 80 have a lot of enchanting mats from the greens and blues they have collected over the course of their levelling. They want to use those mats to pay for their enchants, so they will resist buying a scroll off the AH until they can find an enchanter. I have had quite a few scrolls up and they sell very slowly. The best one has tended to be the cloak agility enchant.

I know that you can argue that if they can't find an enchanter they will eventually buy my scrolls, but I actually enjoy helping my guildies out in this situation. I have the luxury of having my main on this server, I can only imagine what it's like to level up a new toon and have to find gems and enchants. Maybe they wouldn't do the same if the situation was reversed, but that is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. And while I don't ask for gold for doing it, if a guildie sticks some gold in the trade window I will accept it.

I don't have a monopoly on JC/enchanting - there are a few others around. They are hard to find though from what I've heard. My initial post on this that Gevlon linked was about my uneasiness at crafting in this way in a goblinish guild. I feel that things have been clarified now, and last night I crafted a bunch of stuff for different guildies and came out with a few hundred gold for my time in donations, which I think is fair for all concerned.

Anonymous said...

I think you underweight four issues:

1) unless you really, really need gold, why would you read trade chat? I certainly would not base a profession upon that.

2) Now with vellums removing the need for real time enchanting, my server show 1014 enchant scrolls on the AH, why not just buy stuff from the AH? Once a few people have the pattern, you can buy it for about what it costs plus a generous tip; but you save time. E.g., of the 4935 glyphs on my server the median price is under 5g. A goblin product of the past, NW bags go for under 9g and the mats would cost you about 40+20*30 so maybe you save 2g. A reasonable % but still 2g.

3) No goblin would ever buy anything used to level a profession for the material cost. E.g., FW bags are cheaper than the mats. the goblin pocket knife, especially cool before all could make fire, would sell for 1 or 2 gold when the mats were above 20g.

4) The AH is safe. Giving some unknown, who values their time so little they read trade char, is not safe. You given them the 9 PSaronite. maybe they give u back an item, maybe they log. It is not a huge risk, but still one more convenience that the AH has.

I think it would be a sign of a mature economy, certainly one I would enjoy playing more, if there were fewer and fewer items made via trade chat as it migrates to the AH.

Jeanie said...

What's the difference between rational and philosophy answer ? I thought philosophy ought to be rational ?

Gevlon said...

@Jeanie: rational is supported by hard facts. Philosophy is BASED on hard facts but it always contain an element of speculation, something that is out of our control and neither deterministic natural force.

"90%+ criminals who did 3 crimes will do a fourth" is a fact. "let's keep them in prison after 3 crimes" is a philosophical choice. "keeping 1 criminal in prison is worse than letting 9 loose" is also a philosophy. You can BELIEVE in one, but you can't prove they are objectively right.

thenoisyrogue: there is business solution for everything. You could advertise "send me your BoEs in mail, I disenchant them and pay 80s/infinite, 3G/lesser planar, 10G/shard, 20G/abyss in a return mail".

This way you'd get materials to craft scrolls, they get gold to buy your scrolls (or to be exact, pay for the material cost of the scroll, they still have to pay the fee part from their pocket).

lux said...

Just a funny note about the +30sp enchant.
I found on maggy ah the +30sp ench recipe for 30g (buyout). I could not resist and immediately bought it (in my server this enchant is sold on ah at 1-1,5k). So now I have the recipe but I doubt I’ll have any customers to sell the enchant.

Anonymous said...

"So the answer for Spinks: if you want to find crafter, make enough noise in the blogosphere to make Blizzard ban the bots, therefore forcing the average player to farm gold at least 10% of his playtime. This case the crafter would happily spend 5 mins crafting for you instead of spending 30 doing dailies."

I have to disagree with this statement since in my opinion farmer / bots are a viable part of a factions economy and the fact that botters have left you factions side say volumes about your server. Blizzard only does mass bans against sellers / farmers / bots after lenghty time lapses kind of like a politician has mass drug raids prior to election to show voters he is tough on crime.

Bobbins said...

Not a critisism but I expect that your glyph auction is heavily reliant on getting inks from the horde side due to Mags alliance lack of farming/bots of the alliance.

The glyph part of the AH seems to operate well unlike the rest of it.

Wilson said...

"So the answer for Spinks: if you want to find crafter, make enough noise in the blogosphere to make Blizzard ban the bots, therefore forcing the average player to farm gold at least 10% of his playtime."

Much as I like Spinks (and hope she gets her pants), the notion that noise in the WoW blogosphere is going to get Blizzard to alter what is clearly a corporate policy is absurd. No blog, or group of blogs, or community of blogs carries that much weight. And if I was wrong, and it was possible to change Blizzard's mind, the more effective strategy would be to get them to increase the drop rate of the patterns, not take care of your obsession with farming bots.

Blizzard clearly designed WoW to be a game about killing monsters and taking their loot, not sitting in safe cities crafting gear for others. The tools available for crafters (AH, trade channel, rare pattern drops) allow for those that want to play this way to do so, but it's obviously a low priority for the developers. I suspect the reason crafting even exists in WoW is that they were initially reluctant to stray too far from the EQ model, and now it is not worth the effort to remove it.

csdx said...

Gevlon, why so much rage at the bots? Couldn't you just consider them entrepreneurs, similar to yourself? With bots, they really did 'farm it for free', and their gold/hr (of non-afk time) must be great. So what if they're breaking Blizzard's rules, they're just social conventions anyways. Seems you do want to uphold some social conventions.

Gevlon said...

@Wilson: you are wrong here. The official Blizzard policy is "no bots allowed". They are violating this. We are NOT changing their policy. We just show that they are lying. It's like catching a conservative politician with a whore.

@csdx: no, I'm just trying to take out competition

Anonymous said...

I've read a good post on "Troll racials are overpowered" blog why crafters don't bother to reply to trade requests. Because they're disillusioned. It looks like this:
- LF JC/Enchanter/whatever!!!
- the person doesn't know what he wants, asks you to link
- the person doesn't have mats
- sometimes he can't even buy mats on the AH if they're rare, as for twink enchants
- his "HS is on CD" always
- he tips 5g and thinks it's oh so overly generous

Basically he's wasting your time. Why waste yours and even reply to some loser.

I've seen everything.
- Giving me blue/yellow gem and requesting purple/orange cut.
- Giving me no tip for crafting a 245 epic, when I asked "no tip?" he have me 10g...
- Telling me "omg nolifer why 15g fee for a stupid gem cut?"
- Asking my LW to make enchanted leather for some craft because there was none on the AH (hint: enchanters make it).
- Expecting that vendor bought mats like thread should be supplied by the crafter (I mean wth??)

So yeah, enough to stop bothering.

Wilson said...

"It's like catching a conservative politician with a whore."

Oh, give me a break. Blizzard isn't in bed with the bots - their history shows that they tend to prefer big sweeping banhammers rather than plinking individual bots one at a time, which is why your boy is still skinning away in the Basin. Is this the best strategy? Neither of us really has sufficient data to say. But you haven't caught anyone in bed with anyone.

Kaaterina said...

@ last Anonymous

I agree 100%

I never bother with crafting, unless it's early hours and the customer is willing to pay 100 gold for whatever he's asking.

The pittance earned as 'tips' are not enough to waste my time doing it. They can use the AH (which I keep supplied with some stuff that I can sell well, never something niche. If they want niche they can ask me directly from my forum advert and bring 100 gold.) or they can GTFO.

I'm not going to wait 10 mins for some drooling warrior to stumble through to get to Dalaran and request 40 spirit on staff, just to realize I don't provide the mats. All for 5 gold. 'But m8 u just pres a buton lol. plz b niec, need money 4 mamoot.'

Try to explain to him opportunity cost and sunk costs.

Rather chew rusty nails. I have most everything that money can buy.

Even if I did have to dedicate 10% of my time to gold making, dailies or killing random monsters for vendor trash is better g/h that sitting in Dalalag waiting for (non-retarded) customers.

I do all my business through the AH. Not listed? Tough cookies, cough up the dough or no deal.

In hindsight, /trade crafting is like being employed in customer service. While it's great to start with and build a reputation, customer complaints will erode the will of a buddhist warrior monk.

Anonymous said...

I think GG is very, very optimistic as to the pace Bliz moves at banning bots. ( My cynical response is that if there had been a bot offering Free Aion Beta keys, Blizzard would have spent more resources on anti-botting! )

And watching all the BG bots makes me so angry. My faction; I am ok with the other factions bots.

However, I am not as sure Bliz has been caught: i would like to offer the old adage about multi-billion dollar organizations:

"never assume malice when mere incompetence will explain the facts"

Spinks said...

I have to thank Gevlon because I actually got a couple of orders from people on my server who wanted those pants following this post :) (if you were on AD I'd offer a cut of the tip.)

Which I think proves out the point. People are finding it difficult to find crafters. And crafters are not motivated to advertise. Because you're right, they don't need the gold.

Anonymous said...

Let's see...
I have both leathworking and inscription at 450. Still I never make advertisements in /trade. Why?
Because it doesn't work.

When I'm in the city, I'm either posting my auctions or doing other stuff I don't want to interrupt.
So to advertise in /trade, I'd have to go to a city, spam my macro for 20 minutes and hope that someone will need something. If I'm really, really lucky I can get a 50 gold out of those 20 minutes if someone happens to need something.

Even if I farm dalies I make more gold then that in 20 minutes. So it's simply not worth my time for the times someone actually needs anything crafted.(sometimes nobody needs something, so I end up wasting 20 minutes with zero gold earned. Practically, that's a loss.)

If they want something, they can go to the AH. I'm not wasting my time with spamming some macro while doing nothing else.

Also, I can avoid the morons who don't tip, cry if you ask a fee, don't provide mats or expect me to tell them what glyph they exactly want. Or have to wait for them because their hs has another 10 minutes of cooldown.
It's a simple time spent/gold earned decision for me.
My time spent would be way to high to justify the gold earned by crafting with /trade.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

Agreed on it being worthless to advertise your crafting in trade for the most part.

I do it only in one circumstance -- when I'm already in a city for something else, and I happen to be leveling that profession. Now the opportunity cost is tiny to nonexistent. I also read trade and occasionally respond to people who don't sound like idiots who will waste my time (or who I know).

Mostly I use trade for the other end, to find crafters (well that and grab deals).

Nathan said...

I never charged guildies for enchanting, but then again, I was the "guild enchanter."

ALL non used items in a raid (greens, blues, DE epics) went to me. I kept the guild bank on enchanting mats. I also ALWAYS received the first drop of an enchant (back when that mattered). So while I didn't charge guildies, I did gain the benefit of having an endless supply of mats (only epic gems were technically guild property), getting the first dibs on any enchant, and generally improving the effectiveness of my raids.

Rob Dejournett said...

Agree w/ most others, i almost never work in /trade. It's not worth it, the population is at the level of a drooling moron, and finally I don't need whatever cash they decide to give me, which is completely arbitrary. I never offer glyphs over trade, I put them in AH. I will however sometimes cut peoples gems, since the profit margin on my cuts is so ridiculously low.