Greedy Goblin

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trading in a dead economy

One of the points of the ganking plan is trading and living in a practically dead economy. On the alliance side there are 1.8-2.1K items in the AH. Many items are missing or terribly overpriced. The quantities are small. The professional goldfarmers are missing, so don't expect 10 pages of icethorn from the same seller.

At first, the above situation is anything but tragedy. In WoW, most services are provided by vendors. Of course that needs gold, and as lowbies you don't have it. However as lowbie you don't have high needs. You may want 4 frostweave bags, but 4 8-slot bags are enough for a lowbie. So survival is not a problem. Also, I send 20G to every lvl19, so no one has to walk on his feet.

However the lack of trading opportunities threaten us with terrible fate: we may have to farm our gold or tradeskill materials. That's of course inacceptable to any goblin, at least in the HC form: flying over and over for nodes or doing dailies. None of us can fall so deep! Of course I encourage every leveling players to get at least one, or rather 2 gathering professions, to pick the herbs/ores/skins where he already is.

Of course we can use the neutral AH. That's what I did when I rolled Gevlon here. I traded ally-only pets and cooking recipes. Now I intensified the same business, asking my GF to create chars here, so I list the items on the neutral AH for low, she buys it on a horde alt, trade face to face to my horde alt, and I list it on the horde AH. But this is a very limited market, and besides these ally-only vendor items, we have nothing to offer to the horde that they couldn't get. On the top of that, they can get everything more efficiently, since the bigger market means higher specialization. If we also mention PvP, meaning we always have to look over our shoulder and they do not, it's obvious that any item can be gained faster by a hordie than by us.

Such neutral trade can still be efficient in a sense that it's still better than any other option. However I don't think we could gain significant amount of gold selling things to the hordies. On the other hand it can be pretty efficient to gain items from the hordies. The most obvious goblinish choice here is starting a hordie DK, level it to 65, and have an industry on the horde side, making gold there, then buy items and transfer them cheap to the ally side. This way the hordie M&S support their own ganking.

The most important thing on the other hand is that the economy is not dead. There are people with needs and people with supply. There are lvl80-es with gold. Hoping that the "market" will handle things is just as communist idea in its core as the "state" will. Strike that, the "state" is an existing body, while the "market" is just a term for people, just like "hordie" or "priest". These communist-in-heart people expect some mythical "market" to care for them. It won't.

The "market" is a collective term for lot of businessmen, suppliers and customers. There is opportunity to trade if there is someone who wants to buy my stuff and has something I need. And in WoW the wants of the people are very simple: glyphs, gems, flasks, mounts, pets, recipes. If you can supply, they will buy. It's true that you'll have much less potential customers than you'd have on a full server. But you'll also have much less competitors. Look at the screenshot below. Do you see hopelessness? Because I see hell of a profit!

PS: the guild has no bank and it stays that way. It's also forbidden to use /gchat as /trade, offering items. If someone has to sell, visit the AH (of course one can ask for an item that cannot be found in AH).


Phil Hannent said...

As a member of the guild I would like you to clarify some more rules.

Whilst selling is not allowed people have been offering skills for free, is this ok?

Whilst begging for boosts is not permitted (for good reason), can I setup a system of if I boost they owe me a boost in return and be able to talk about it in gchat?

Also the punishment for breaking any rules, will you out and out gkick or do people get a warning first?

Last night several people whispered me asking if there was anybody on that could invite, I guess its only you but will that ever change?

Anti said...

you might be surprised how big the market for faction only pets is. i've mentioned a couple of times in the replies to yesterdays post my experiences on Thaurissan.

horde -> alliance and alliance -> horde pet sales and cooking recipe sales (alliance have it especially easy to get cooking recipes) provided my initial capital and generated enough revenue to easily pay for my epic mount training and power leveing enchanting.

only once i started to get some competition did i drop pet / recipe prices below 20g each.

Gevlon said...

@Philip: you can do whatever you want.

You can even spend your time boosting lvl1s or beg for boost in the middle of Stormwind. Just don't do it on /gchat. The littering of the gchat is forbidden.

Breakers of course get warnings. It's not my interest to kick everyone.

Anonymous said...

I checked that AH.
Seems that whatever fractions of market exists there, they are monopolized by a few guys.

The picture is really quite dramatic. There wasn't a single level 80 flask, when I checked. Same with gem market. Epic gem marked is nearly non-existant, while rare gems are for pretty high prices.

So yeah, a business opportunity is there. The only problem is that the gold must somehow come into the economy. And that requires someone doing these dailies and vendoring these grays.

Anonymous said...

I will take up 2 gathering profs and sell part of that on AH. But at the same time i'll be sending mats to certain guildies free for them to level up a crafting prof (in return they will provide me with crafted goods) The one hand washes the other. We could do this
via AH, but until my bank alt is transfered, a mailbox is always closer that running (no mount) back to the city all the time.

Anonymous (before Gev kicks me for being un-goblin-like :)

Gevlon said...

@last anonymous: sending collected materials to crafters is not illegal. There is nothing wrong with such trading.

However you don't have to wait until you transfer some banker, you can run a lvl1 human into SW.

I'm sure that by farming to a guildie, he wins and you lose. But why should I punish that? It will be punishment enough to walk in Outland on the ground in a PvP realm because you can't afford a flying mount.

Draturg said...

"Don't sell in /g" is fine, but what about buying? Would it be wrong to ask: "Does anyone have an Essence of Fire? if there is none on AH?

Anonymous said...

Hi as a non member of your guild but someone who is taking an interest. Surely the solution is for someone to create an horde alt sell direct to the neutral auction house. The biggest problem is that the cross faction AH is bust/broken. While the cost of the goods would be slightly higher than normal this would be more the offset the saving in time and effort required to get the goods on the alliance side. The biggest obstacle would be the high demand for the goods but the low amount of cash low level character are able to obtain and perhaps not many people checking the neutral ah.
I don't know how but supply must be a priorty. What is the point in having 6000g if it can't buy what u want what u need? Would u give a ton of gold for a glass of water if u were dying of thirst?
PS What would be the ultimate outcome of buying and transfering resources from horde faction? Could the ganking objective be accomplished by the horde farming resources for the alliance? The horde supplying the resources to undermine themselves :)

Anonymous said...

A lot of people seem to be a lot less goblin as they considered themselves. At least it seems so if I check out the questions asked and the comments. I'd say relax people. It's no improvement for Gevlon if he kicks you from the guild. So he'll probably promote you to social or something like that first.

I don't get the questions anyway. I mean you're joining a goblin guild. If you're not a goblin, don't join the guild. If you want to be a part of the project anyway, act like a goblin.
It's very unlikely that a goblin will forbid trading. It is very likely that a goblin will forbid giving stuff for free. Use your brains people.

Anonymous said...

With the flying mount (not epic) being much cheaper now than before, it won't be hard to get.

Now, I don't hand out ALL mats for free, that would be dumb.

I give a (small) fraction to someone to level a prof and provide me with some gear. A bit like asking can someone craft me ... + tip? This way the 'extra' mats are the tip. Instead of asking a specific item, I let them decide what they can craft that would suit me best. Saves me the time to find someone that CAN craft something specific that will turn obsolete pretty fast anyway.

I could ofcourse sell in on AH, then with the same gold, but probably more (tip), buy the item back again.

Think it almost evens out that way. Only the way I do it, it creates some goodwill, people will remember and be more willing to help you out in future, saving precious time.

And ... Time IS money, friend ;)

Klepsacovic said...

Have you considered creating a guild trade channel? Just a /join goblinguildtrade, a way to help in-guild commerce without adding spam to gchat. That would help save all parties some gold by removing AH cuts and fess, at least until the AH becomes stronger and people can shift over.

Gevlon said...

@Klepsacovic: and how would the AH become stronger if we avoid it and trade between each other?

Anonymous said...

That is an interesting thought someone just brought up. Gevlon, what are your guild ranks? I am assuming Social would be one of the lowest. This is an interesting subject even for you Blue guild, if it still exists, if you do not use the defaults.

Anonymous said...

Still a specific trade channel would be good.
Wouldn't it?

Sid said...

And how are you getting the tradeskill materials for your glyph/gem/whatever industry?


"Characters on the same account cannot bid on items put up for auction on any Auction House by a different character on the same account, even if the characters are of different factions (Alliance or Horde) using a neutral Auction House."

So you need 2 accounts or a reliable partner to get the stuff from the Horde side to your ally char.

The other option left is to farm it yourself (not very goblinish).

Glyph, the Architect said...

It's no improvement for Gevlon if he kicks you from the guild. So he'll probably promote you to social or something like that first.

I would not consider that a promotion.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...


He simply uses his second account.

Nothing ungoblin about that. Using multiple accounts increases efficiency.

Even at that, though... 50 gold for a glyph makes even farming the mats yourself look attractive. Add in the Eternal Life and Frost Lotuses (assuming those are essentially unavailable on the AH)... and it could be worth your time.

My initial though for this project was "Who cares? This is a failed PvP server". But then I realized the purpose... it's a social engineering experiment that starts with a hypothesis, sets up a test in an appropriate environment, then has measurable goals.

The best part? The guild name. "Inglourious Gankers". Freakin' genius guild name. Quentin Tarantino would be proud.

I predict that this experiment can work. I think people really are this irrational about being ganked. "It can't happen to me! I'M the ganker!"

The "Pro PvP" who can think rationally... won't be affected. But the socials (Horde side) who are there to be the "Lone Ranger of ganking" will be crushed, QQing on the message boards instead of nutting up.

I wonder if I can start an EU account...

Nielas said...

Gevlon said: "and how would the AH become stronger if we avoid it and trade between each other?"

Why should you care about the AH becoming stronger if trading among yourselves gives you a better benefit?

Or are you simply worried that your guild members will be too 'social' to properly use a reciprocity in-guild trading system?

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...


This server is totally dead. And it's prime time in Europe right now!

Of course... my level 1 Night Elf, of a class I don't play, has no support structure. No DK available to roll... no level 80 chars.

(to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme)
No bags, no mounts, no motor cars! Not a single luxury!

This will be fun!

Gevlon said...

@Nielas: If the AH does not work, than no one knows the market price of an item. The stuff you barter with a guildy for another may worth 100+G to a twink. You can only know it if you offer it to everyone for a higher price.

A closed in-guild trading necessarily leads to expensive items are not sold (lot of gold to the guild) but equipped by someone who could get a replacement for much cheaper. The price difference is lost to us.

The strong AH serves us!

Diorinix said...

@ Nielas

This project isn't to just make his guild better, it's an experiment to try to re-invigorate the Ally-side of the server. To accomplish this end, a healthy AH economy will go a lot further than a single guild trading within itself.

Anonymous said...

For US players there is no reason for an EU account as there are "failed PvP servers" in the US too. Cho'gall comes to mind and has a new "Ganker Guild" the Cho'Gall Police Dept. which is doing pretty much the same thing Gev is talking about. Cho'gall has been home to a few save our sever, build up the Alliance side thing a few times but most have sizzled out after some initial success.

That's only an example, the point being if there is enough interest it could be duplicated in the US just like the Blue Raiders concept. Unless of course Gev is the magic ingredient, in which case it kind of invalidates what he's doing.

But, if there is US interest I've been thinking about rolling a toon on a PvP server for something different & to try and improve my skills, so would be willing to give it a try wherever a group wanted to go.

Nielas said...

I was under the impression that the aim of the project was to gank the other side enough that they would quit and 'nation builing' was not really on their list of priorities.

While I agree with you in principle on the AH giving you the 'market value' for items it seems to me too much like 'nickle and diming' where it simply distracts people from the true aim of the guild (PvP ganking).

Of course I also consider the acquisition of gold in the game to be a trivial matter since to me any non-MS can easily obtain enough gold for play purposes (ie epic flyer and repair costs but no motorcycles or other fluff) without resorting to the AH or dedicated farming.

So an in-guild reciprocity system seems like a rather efficient way to build up a guild that is not dedicated to the acquisition of gold but more 'actiony' endevours that do not require much gold.

PS By a 'reciprocity' system I mean a system where favors of roughly equal value(relative to the participants) are traded between reasonable people who know how to recognize and cut out a 'leech'.

Klepsacovic said...

@Gevlon: If you're trading with guildies, you're making transactions which wouldn't be affecting the AH all that much anyway. One buyer, one seller, on or off the AH doesn't make all that much difference. Except a bit of gold is saved so when you do use the AH (I'm not advocating not using it at all), that's more gold to spend, encouraging others to farm.

I suggested it only for the early phases, when gold is tighter and the AH is still weak; to get individually or as a guild stronger before putting force into the AH. The idea isn't for small-scale items like twink gear that require joining the larger market just to get a proper sale price. It would be for the stacks and stacks of farmed trade mats while you're building up.

There is always the risk of creating a socialist collective, but surely a guild of goblins can avoid ending up in a rut of bartering when it no longer makes sense.

Greenhell said...

Cho'gall (US) for those intersted in making a stateside attempt. Whisper or mail Greenhell or Greyknight. Keep in mind I am not transferring any characters so i am starting broke. Wont be a guild till I create my own goblin business. Socials need not apply.

God said...

Planning to roll a character on Cho'gall this next week. Especially interested in the AH. Moving from a server loaded with other players and competition to such a decimated AH and server should be very interesting.

And I love world pvp, as it actually has an impact on the "real" in game world.

Phil Ullrich said...

I, too, am steering a course for Chogall. See you there.

bionicchop2 said...

I have joined Cho'Gall as Meatshake.

Anti said...

i have added to the cho'gall efforts. do we have some sort of gathering point setup? a forum might be a good idea until we can get together.

i may not pvp but i intend to help with the funding.

i have already got 10g on my lvl 1 Horde bankalt. and have started selling single stacks of arrows. Muhahhahahaha.....let their huntards fund our efforts.

i have dual account so once i get a bankroll (my main realm i have earned 4k just from arrow sales) i'll be able to bring supplies from Horde to Alliance AH at reasonable prices.

Anti said...

ps - cho'gall population 3 am server time.

/who 80 = 43 allies
/who 1-79 = 49
( /who 1-50 = 25 + /who 51-79 = 24 so its a legit 49 for 1-79)