Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 15, 2011

25000 glyphs (or 2500)

The devs announced serious nerfs to profession-related guild achievements. For example The pen is mightier currently demanding the crafting of 25000 glyphs and will demand 2500. We have 19000 done, and I considered it normal progression. I mean it's obviously a long-term achievement that is meant to be completed later this year, like 1M honorable kills. At first I thought "damn, another nerf to cater family-sized guilds".

Calculating the glyph achievement number is pretty simple for Blizzard: every new character buys about 20. They know how many characters are leveled to 85 every day, they multiply it with 20, divide it by the expected guild size (since it's a guild achievement) and multiply it with the number of days they want the achievement to be completed. So either the average guild is 10 times smaller than expected or 10 times less characters are created than expected (WoW is totally dead).

But then I checked the achievement progression of all alliance side guilds on the server:
  • Pescorus 337
  • Red Army 112
  • Suomislackers 195
  • High Definition 551
  • Vanilla Core 819
  • The Pug 19042
  • Wrath of the Alliance 342
  • Nordic Crüe 327
  • Centurions 256
  • Solidarity 210
  • Clarity 404
  • Flying Circus 364
  • Alaemortis 3
That's weird. It seems that no one else crafts glyphs on the server than us. Out of the 19K glyphs I crafted about 14K. And I'm far from being alone on the server. My auctions are regularly undercut, I sell about 10-15% of my postings, getting the others back. Random scans shown that I sell about 20-25% of the glyphs of the alliance. Considering that the other guilds crafted nothing, the question rises: who is selling those glyphs.

The answer is simply "unguilded goldfarmers". The cutting of the profession achievements to 1/10 is practically acknowledging that 90% of the stuff in the AH (save for lowbie greens) are provided not by legitimate players, but by goldfarmers and bots. While Blizzard could approximate the glyph, flask, material and fish demands, they did not expected that 90% of this demand is satisfied by unguilded farmers, leaving only 10% to guilded players. Unless these players are AH-focused goblins, they are totally uncompetitive to farmers, so they don't craft at all except for their own alts and random guildies who beg on /g.

The Tol Barad siege vehicle has the ultimate CC spell: taunt moron.

The blog needs you! Send moron pictures!
By the way the "goodie bag for tanks" patch will have a plus: tanks who go to dungeon for it will encounter lot of specimens to screenshot and send!


Anonymous said...

What about low-level banker alts with own guild-banks?

The ownership of a guild bank is a non-trivial bonus to an AH user, right? It even shows. You keep the GB for your OWN use, and are an AH goblin, in a raiding guild.

This is extremely assymetric. Most raiding guilds do not have AH-minded GMs who use the GB for their personal business, but rather store crap in it.

The claim that 90% of the AH is ran by gold farmers is simply a spurious claim. You haven't even attempted to explore other lurking variables.

Anonymous said...

As you have pointed out repeatedly 'goblin' and 'social' are not traits which typically appear in the same person. As you have also pointed out, most guilds are social.

So of course it is unguilded goblins which are making all of the glyphs. I was one of them on my server and never had a guild.

Anonymous said...

In any case, I tried to use the armory to search some guild bank guilds on your server, but Blizzard's search tool is about as crude as a wooden-tipped spear.

What kind of forums doesn't support wildcard searching and regular expressions in 2011. Pfeh.

Carson 63000 said...

Maybe they're being crafted by tradeskill-alts of players whose guildmasters don't allow alts in their guild? :-)

Anonymous said...

Another point I missed.

You say that you sell maybe 20% of the glyphs on the server alliance side. This means that so far, since Cataclysm started, there's been about 70000 glyphs sold.

This means that so far, only about two guilds would be able to get the achievemnt so far, if the other guilds would do 0, and you would lose nothing to gold farmers.

It's been 5 months. Now, I can't tell for sure what Blizzard is thinking, but I'm fairly sure that's really really low, even for a low pop server.

Not only that, but Blizzard's (older) statement that said that 90% of the people don't even get to max level, and combine with the amount of Ungemmed/unenchanted/unglyphed morons, it seems that Blizzard was only a tad bit too optimistic about estimates.

Anonymous said...

The thing that you are forgetting about glyph makers is that they probably are in guilds, just bank alt guilds that have their guild banks for storage and crafting. Have a look at the people that undercut you, see if they are in a guild (need to friend them first if they are under level 10), look at their guild in the armory and check their achievements.

Gevlon said...

The lvl 1 sellers are in banker guilds. The glyphcrafter must be high level, and chances are that he is guilded, simply for bonuses. Claiming that unguilded players do most of the crafting is a longer shot than farmers (despite technically possible).

Jana said...

All it takes to make all glyphs, except Glyph of Colossus Smash, is a level 65 alt. That easily can be unguilded or in personal ink/herb storage guild.

Implying that the other 90% glyph crafters are gold sellers is not scientific at all. The only information you know about them for now is that these crafters are not in the guilds you listed in your post. Or can you provide an automated guild achievement datamining tool that I don't know of yet?

The only profession achievement that was totally out of proportions comparing to others was the 250k corpse skinning, because the mining and herbing ones were only 100k and they counted ores and herbs not nodes.

I wonder how soon Blizzard is going to cave in about all raid achievements, which are not 'fair', because some ultra-friendly 7 man guild can't get them.

Apparently, their politics is that all so called 'achievements' should be gainable in under two months, because otherwise too many people stop paying their subscribtion fee for the 'unfair' and 'hard' game, where only 'nolifers' (because farming 125 pets = life) can achieve something.

Squishalot said...

Just to be clear - are you defining 'gold farmers' as 'those who farm gold and sell for cash', or 'those who farm gold' full stop?

Just wanting to make the distinction clear. The glyph posters are not necessarily bots who herb, mill and scribe, but actual players who seek to maximise their gold. I've got one such character on an old server who makes money solely from glyph crafting/selling low level glyphs. The character is only level 25. The glyphs get flogged off on a bank alt. As such, you will never find such a character in your searching (unless you waste too much time).

Anonymous said...

Did you mean that you sell 20% or you list 20%?

And new characters may purchase 20 glyphs by 85 but 80 in Decemeber characters probably buy few if any glyphs.

I am nit sure if the number is 10% but I strongly believe that Blizzard's subscriber numbers and especially toon numbers are well below expectations. re toons: the phased, linear questing model helps get you to 85 quicker the first time, but, combined with same quests on ali & horde mean fewer alts get leveled. So I expect the toon actuals to be worse shortfall than the account shortfall.

A design consequence but probably not goal of Cataclysm is to have fewer players and max-level toons.

If WoW subscriptions were going well, we would have seen another "xxx subscriber" press releases like the 13m announced during Wrath.

Anonymous said...

"The lvl 1 sellers are in banker guilds. The glyphcrafter must be high level, and chances are that he is guilded, simply for bonuses. Claiming that unguilded players do most of the crafting is a longer shot than farmers (despite technically possible)."

You are making a massive unfounded assumption in this argument. And it is the same assumption you make in many other arguments: the only reason to play is to raid so most intelligent players are in a raiding guild with all of their high level characters.

there are many reasons that this is wrong. Alts, as usual, is one factor you ignore. My primary glyph crafter is not my main and has never been guilded, yet he provided the glyphs to my near monopoly of the market on my server for nearly 3 months during Wrath, and a healthy chunk of the market for much longer than that.

second, there are people who play the game only for the 'real pvp': the AH game. they often don't raid at all and are also unguilded. after I burned out on raiding I entered this category for some time.

there is plenty of evidence out there for unguilded crafters. there is no evidence of gold farmers driving the glyph market. Occam's Razor suggests you are wrong.

Grim said...

I don't know what the proportion is, but crafter alts have always been a reality and I doubt all of them have been stuffed into guilds since Cata.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Aren't gold farmers usually in guilds, though? I think they commonly use the guild bank to distribute gold to alts.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: Goldfarmers are those who sell gold for money.

@All: now let's think, what is more possible?
* Professional goldfarmers who make their living from this are ignoring the most profitable gold source and lvl 65 alts are doing it just for "sake of fun". I'm doing it. It's not fun. It's a grind. It's a tool to get gold I spend on the guild.
* Goldfarmers are doing it.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, you are committing a hasty generalization fallacy. *you* don't like it, therefore most don't like it. it simply doesn't work that way.

there are many blogs/forums out there with people who play the game just to make gold. many of them probably read your blog or have read in the past. Marco and others post often about having a stable of high level alts for profs.

furthermore, even if it is true that most don't like it, it only takes a couple of such people per server to get the numbers you are showing.

traditionally gold farmers use methods which are guaranteed to work with a steady non-fluctuating income. they have short term quotas they have to meet, they often share accounts with other people who also have quotas and there is no cooperation between them, making long term strategies impossible. furthermore, it takes a heavy investment of time and money to learn all glyphs, which is a risky thing to do for a farmer account which could be banned at any time. many of these facts has been documented in various reports over the years.

it is entirely possible that this has changed in recent months. but if you think that is the case then you are the one making a claim with no evidence. you have to provide evidence if you want anyone to take that claim seriously.

nightgerbil said...

Question for gevlon: with that rate of "no sales", how do you make any gold? arent the lost deposits of what gets returned eating you alive?

I know my own business (jc) is so competitive for the top cuts, and even selling at 20g/gem I lose about 3g when someone undercuts me after I go offline. I have tried to follow your market approach ie. sell lots cheap, as opposed to other gold blogs advice on this. So I sell at really low prices, I get 50% sales/50% returns even though I think I am being bought sometimes by competition who flip my gem a sale is a sale right? At what point do you abandon a certain item and either vendor it or sell it at/below manufactoring cost? never, the tenth time it was returned unsold, the third time it was returned unsold?

Jana said...

Why do you want to exclude a legit level 65 alt that does glyph crafting rather casually (let's say selling only like 500-1000 glyphs per month) just for the nearly totally automated gold making? They can even be totally social and farm gold just as achievement points - 100k, 200k, 500k, 1mil and so on. Or just to buy some newly released stupidly overpriced epics ASAP? Or any other reason like pets and mounts. People that are just playing the game for fun as their subjectively perceive it,without taking it as a field of research and crusade of converting them socials to asociality and logical reason.

Anonymous said...

You may be right that alot of crafters are goldfarmers, I saw a shift during wraith on the servers I played of farmers moving into crafting rather than just posting on AH or wholesaling, but that said my main is a Tank in a semi casual raiding guild and I grew tired of people whispering me to tank when I was on a crafter alt, hence all six of my crafter Alts are now unguilded and have been since soon after Cata hit ( and yes if The Pug was on a US server I would have applied to join long ago).

Bobbins said...

Question for gevlon: with that rate of "no sales", how do you make any gold? arent the lost deposits of what gets returned eating you alive?

May I?
The deposit on glyphs is about 1s so posting 400 glyphs cost about 4-5g.

Ðesolate said...

My crafting Twinks on aggamagan are not in the Pug (they are twinks, only for crafting... 2 present atm.

So none of the crafted material will come up in the Pugs AVs. I have several 1 man Guilds to have a steady stock of several materials / glyphs that I will need when I take a pause from WoW (As I do recently).

In the needed efford to level up a character I need 3 Days each 8 hours if I have full support of a Guild group or 5-7 Days 8 hours a day depending on the class for max tradeskill-level. Clearly I am a twinkaholic but not the most experienced.

I know that this is not state-of-the art, so it would be interesting who crafts most of the AH sold items.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't have to be goldfarmers, I only have my main in the raidguild, the rest has either their own guild for storage or is guildless and those are the chars that usually craft most of my stuff (I do craft some gems on my main, but most of the enchanting is done on an alt, despite my main also being an enchanter, simply because the alt has been an enchanter for longer)

Anonymous said...

I have a un-guilded glyph crafter on the sever, and I currently have no need of the bonuses that a guild brings whilst levelling (after watching my old horde guild fall to arthusdklol players it's nice to have some peace and quiet from QQ-idiotlol-raid-spam-chat)

I have no need of a guild until I hit current content and start thinking about gearing and working towards raids again.

I undercut in the AH 5/7 days a week (I have more than likely undercut you many times by now)
Whilst levelling and levelling inscription I need the gold to pay for herbs/flying/repairs, but at 85 what will I need gold for?

Gold for repairs/enchants I will gain from the few dailies I (will) do and from daily HC run. But I won't bother to undercut glyphs everyday then, just a handful of top sellers at a weekend.

I have no need to make millions of gold but even if I did make as much as I used to on my horde side I wouldn't sell it for cash. I am defiantly not a gold seller, just a lowish level re-roller enjoying the game in my own way (with a little encouragement from reading your blog with not having to put up with LFD idiots that I found myself surrounded by recently!)

Yet right now, your scans will count my glyphs but none of my glyphs will be added to the totals you have counted from the other guilds achievements.

Are you more angry that you are being undercut or that I *could* join the pug and thus my glyph creating would count towards the pugs achievements total?

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, if you're doing it to raise funds to spend for your own purposes (be it guild, vial of sands, etc.), what makes you think that others will not do it for the same reasons?

Unless you classify yourself in the 'gold farmer' category (i.e. selling gold for money), it is wrong of you to conclude, with no evidence, that the rest of the glyph market are filled with gold farmers, considering that the only known data point in your sample (i.e. you!) is not a gold farmer!

Anonymous said...

Goldfarmers are using gathering bots mainly since those are easier to set up and require very little maintenance (can run them while being at work/school or asleep). While it is true that botters are dominating the economy on many if not most servers, crafting is still done mainly by "real" players, the margins of crafting are simply too low to attract gold farmers on larger scale.

Thromean said...

As to the low number of glyphs created, many 85's had already learned most glyphs prior to Cata/4.03. These would be the ones who understand their toon and need to customize. This would be one end of the bell curve. As for the other, although you hypothesize that each toon will need 20, many will only use the 9 that they initially fill the slots with and forget about them. This just leaves the space in middle for random purchases.

Also the barrier to entry for inscription is very high. If you don't have a business plan for breaking glyph walls and fall back pricing etc, you wont make a silver back on your random postings of leveling glyphs as many servers have the glyph/inscription market sewn up by goblins. Thus few people bother to make level an inscriptionist when they can just farm some herbs to offset the cost of the glyph.

Anonymous said...

You are also forgetting something simple. Personally I still have over 20k glyphs left over from wrath mats. I crafted them all before 4.0.1 when they took one ink to produce. Is it possible that someone could have such a stockpile left? I've had to consistently craft the newer glyphs but I have as many glyphs banked as your guild has crafted since cata.

Anonymous said...

to further elaborate on nightgerbil's comment what do you do when you constantly get return posts on most of the items you sell.

I suspect that part of the problem is the servers lack of progress in pve making certain items lack value and there seems to be a large amount of the "social friendly" guilds on the server.

Another factor I suspect is the large amount of people in trade who directly seek out crafters as they farm the mats themselves as they think "i get it for free".

I'm just wondering what advice I can do as there are times where I sell to break even and even below profit just to maintain a cash flow needed (mainly for repairs), and it gets a bit demoralising when it constantly happens.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what the other anonymous said. My main is scriber and guilded. And I casually sold glyphs for about 200k since start of cataclysm. But I contributed less than 500 glyphs to our guild achievement.

It's kind of funny that - as a goblin - you overlook the goblinish reason: stockpiling. I crafted about 30k glyphs when the mats were still 1 ink and the costs almost nothing.

For those who wonder: You could know beforehand that it would guaranteed to be a win, because aside from trippling the mats, the ink trader was from ink of the sea to the cata ink.

Anonymous said...

I am also one of those, whose main is guilded, but my alts are not, because I kept only those alts in the guild which I actively play. And I simply did not play them in cata yet.

Yes, with guild reputation now I probably won't take them out of the guild, once they gained reputation. but until then, they are still 80, and only used for crafting, so not contributing to achievements.

(As you can guess, I do not really care about such achievements.)

Ron said...

My scribe, was until recently, a high level, but not quite maxed out, unguilded character. You don't need to even be 80 to get most of the glyph patterns. I think its rare for people to craft one of every glyph, so having EVERY pattern is technically unnecessary ( you only craft the ones you think will make a profit).

I don't think I'm an outlier in this situation. There was no real reason to have my scribe in a guild because he 1) didn't quest/raid/dungeon, 2) didn't need to chat because he's busy crafting 3) guild perks didn't apply.