Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 23, 2010

Envelope of the lazy scribe

Tobold wrote that the inscription profession is totally messed up. Some make goldcap with it utilizing huge set of addons, others don't even touch it. Prices fluctuate terribly and due to the low production and listing prices often 1/3 of all auctions are glyphs. This is bad design without doubt. But it will be solved: "In Cataclysm apparently you only need to buy every glyph just once, write it into your spellbook, and if you ever need it again due to repeated respecs, you can get it from the spellbook instead of buying a new one. Which means a few months after Cataclysm comes out, everybody will have all the glyphs they ever need, and except for a small market for alts and new players, demand will be pretty dead. I would have preferred other means, like a 1 gold auctioning fee for glyphs to stop the current excesses. But killing demand sure will work to kill the glyph market. Good riddance!"

Well, it won't! Cutting the demand to new players (and also Tobold's 1G deposit cost) do not touch the fundamental problem with glyphs: they are many, they are important and they have no substitutes.

One is not much of a hunter without Glyph of Steady shot. Not having this would hurt his DPS similarly like replacing his bow with vendortrash. Not having flasks would cost 0.5-2% DPS and not 10. No other profession have so strong bonuses to the power of the characters. Also, he can't just pick "something similar" like he can with gems or enchants. You can use Agi/Crit or Agi/Haste or blue quality Agi gem if you don't find pure epic Agi. It will cost you 0.1% DPS. You can't just "farm more" for a replacement to drop like you can with crafted epics. If you need Glyph of X than you'll buy Glyph of X for any price.

The lack of substitutes and the fact that people need it, guarantees demand for even 10000% profit (200G). But that's not enough on it's own to guarantee a messed-up market. Leg armors and belt buckles are also important and having no alternatives. The big difference is the insane number of glyph types. There are 300+ in the game and even if just 15/class are useful, that's 150 items that people want. The fundamental problem is that you can't craft glyphs casually. No casual player can touch the glyph market. You can craft a few buckles, check the actual price and list them around that price. With glyphs? Which one? Why that? If you want to list, you must research the market and for what? The demand for any individual glyph is low.

The "buy glyph once" system of cataclysm won't fix the problem. The demand will be lower, but still aiming for many types of glyphs. As long as there is demand, there will be supply. There will be glyphs of every type listed. Maybe not that many as several scribes will leave the market. But the fewer supplier will mean even more hectic price!

To solve the fundamental glyph problem, the number of different glyphs must be decreased. Since they can't actually destroy 95% of glyphs, Blizzard must come up with something else. I'd suggest the "envelope of lazy scribe". There are 10 kind of envelopes, one for each class and their flavor text would say "a lazy scribe thrown some glyph for [class] into this envelope". It could cost a bit more than a glyph to produce. Upon usage, one random glyph would be learned. Since most people will try to get every glyph anyway, buying a stack of envelopes would be easier for someone than handpicking glyphs. Since there will be much higher demand for envelopes than any kind of individual glyphs, there will also be bigger supply. It would make market manipulation harder, yet crafting it would still be profitable as it will be easier. Just mass-produce 100 envelopes and list them by 10-s. It can be done by casual players too. This way inscription would be like any other profession: producing a few kind of items in large quantity.

The PuG update: I'm thinking about an ICC25 boost raid on Wednesday (with fixed boosters, 100g/boss), but only if:
  • We can fill up the whole raid
  • We have at least 10 boosters
  • The participants fit to the beginner and not the M&S profile.
If the mentioned points are missing, I'll organize a 10 man boost raid, while someone surely start 10HM.

Undergeared update: We could raid again! We were exactly 10, but we are back in action! PP on 7% and surely will follow "impossible" Festergut. We have 2 new warlocks and other new people. So if you have a char sleeping in Undergeared, next week wake up and death to PP!

Finally the moron of the day, by Flex:


DKS said...

Generic Glyphes.

What could be done is either:

1. Glyphes by Type (Major, Minor, Grand)
2. Glyphes by Classes (DK, Warrior etc)
3. Glyphes by Type & Class (DK Minor, Warrior Major etc)

First case, glyphes will have 3 variations. Second case, 10 variations, third case, 30 variations.

Think of them like the next netherweave bags - Instant sellers, regardless of time of the day. Deman for one single item would be huge (As each character will look out to buy around 30-40 glyphes eventually). Each new character is a new demand for 30+ glyphes. Even after the market completely saturates (Every single 10-80 has every single glyph), with around 20 more new characters a day, there's a demand for around 600-800 more glyphes.

Anonymous said...

Actually I do not find them broken. They are just different.

On undergeared note. I know that usually you do logs. Are logs from last raid on WOL ? I'd like to browse them to find spots for improvement.

@Tazar from undergeared

Bobbins said...

People need to produce thousands of glyphs to make decent amount of gold because the sale price is low and the market is flooded. Always.

Why can people post hundreds of glyphs at once?
1. The insane stack size of twenty.
2. The low material usage.
3. The fact you only need northrend herbs.
4. Low posting cost.

It is the supply of glyphs that is the problem not the demand. Restrict the supply!

Jana said...

The glyph changes are twosided:
1) The demand for 'musthave' glyphs will eventually fall down (since it was driven both by respecs and new characters)
2) The demand of glyphs that someone only bought like once a few months for some weird soloing experiment will overall go up (Blizzards overall plan to make things more useful for Cata, including glyphs and 'must have all glyphs' mindset of large part of players).
Simply as changing from spec to spec on encounter by encounter basis is normal now, reglyphing multiple times in a single raid will be the norm in Cata. Hardcore minmaxers even now keep full stacks of certain glyphs in their inventories.

Overall, this is the same type of overhyped 'death of glyph market' as introduction of dual spec was.

Samus said...

I think for the first few months of Cataclysm, demand for glyphs will go way up. Instead of only buying the glyphs they need, lots of players will try to get every glyph for their class.

Gevlon said...

@Tazar: click the link!

Maladroite said...

Video of our best try on Putri:

I think there's still much room for improvement, we had some people hit by goo/gas bombs, which is really crippling to dps/healing. Tanking Putricide differently in P3 might also be an idea. Anyway, he'll surely go down like the other impossible bosses.

Anonymous said...

for the morons that demand money, I have a better system:
"Of course brave adventurer. But first, you must do me a favour too, it's only fair after all. I need you to vanquish a dragon named Onyxia and bring me its scales. Then kill a second dragon named Sindragossa and bring me its heart. Then the price is yours"

I even have it macro'd, pretty hilarious responses usually

Treeston said...

@Jana: According to the latest Beta changes, Glyphs are now learned once and placed in your spellbook, after that you can always change your glyphs without having to buy another one (simply click it in the spellbook).

The Cursed Gnome said...

From my experience, any patch/change that "breaks" a market usually makes that market more lucrative since a lot of the morons who weren't making money anyways leave for another profession then. I earn more money on rare quality gems now than I did before epic gems were introduced and people started using honor/badges to buy them.

However, I'm not sure if I agree by the "single item market" analysis - on my server, those markets are badly screwed up due to a bunch of people misapplying deep undercutting - Infinite dusts have been selling for less than production cost for months now. I still post them from time to time since I get them as a byproduct (Cosmics are still profitable... usually), but they're at best a zero-profit item.

So basically one-item markets in my eyes usually attract a lot of people without even basic skills in adding numbers together. On the multiple-item markets (in my case gems), however, those guys usually just nuke a few of the items, which means I can just refrain from crafting those that day.

And just for the record - when I describe Enchanting as a single-item profession, I am of course aware of the existence of vellums. However, I'm on a low population server, which makes them difficult to sell - people usually just get enchants from an enchanter directly. On more-populated servers I guess that's a bit different.

RaduKing said...

Gevlon this week I most probably won't be able to raid due to my birthday but please don't end the project even if you can't raid this weekend.

- Guldanosh

Jana said...


I am well aware of these changes.

In case you misunderstood, then by
"reglyphing multiple times" I indeed meant "pressing a button in your spellbook (most likely even dragged out on an actionbar) to change your active glyph multiple times".

If now only few hardcore people do change glyphs on encounter basis, then come Cata it will be done pretty much by anyone, who cares to fill up their "glyph book", since once it's full, the cost of chaging will be 0 gold and like 5 seconds.

Tonus said...

As I understand it, they are revamping the glyphs for Cataclysm, changing many of them, adding new ones, and replacing the Path of the Titans stuff with additional glyphs. So there might be more glyphs, and there will be new and different ones to take advantage of the new mechanics.

The inscription profession may not be the easy way to max gold in the future, but in the first weeks and months after the expansion I figure it will be a reliable money maker. Which is similar to most of the other professions at the start of a new expac.

Wilson said...

Well, I am glad to see that the hubris-driven sidetrip into Ruby Sanctum didn't kill Undergeared after all. I do notice though that there are a lot of people in the guild who (according to the armory) have not logged in in over a month. Since you once made such a big deal out of purging people after a month of inactivity, I have to ask what's up with that?

Graylo said...

"The "buy glyph once" system of cataclysm won't fix the problem. The demand will be lower, but still aiming for many types of glyphs. As long as there is demand, there will be supply. There will be glyphs of every type listed. Maybe not that many as several scribes will leave the market. But the fewer supplier will mean even more hectic price!"

I disagree. I've seen many people predict that the glyph market will be dead when the "buy once" system goes in place, but I think that claim is a bit premature.

Don't forget that there are a large number of completionist in the game. Sure the demand for the popular glyphs will go down, but the demand for the completely crappy ones will go up, because some people hate to have gray spaces in their spell books.

I think we are going to see leveling of the prices, but I don't think it's going to severely change the market.

Anonymous said...

Why do people assume Blizzard will make glyphs profitable? Mana oil died for chanters with WotLK but Enchanting was fine. There was a GC quote along the lines of easier to fix scribes' profits than player experience. The profession needs to be competitively profitable, glyphs do not. I remember when Darkmoon Greatness cards sold for 15000g,

There is also this GC quote from June.

Street: We’re going to focus inscription on more of the non-glyph aspect of the trade skill. So, Darkmoon Faire cards, trinkets, offhand items, things like that. We also want to tie the ability to change glyphs into inscription. We’re not sure of the name yet but the idea is that scribes would basically sell a kind of eraser and the eraser is what allows you to blank out your glyphs and write in new ones.

Anonymous said...

I think the real conclusion is "Glyphs are overpowered".

This is because Blizzard got bullied out of their original design where they gave both a buff and had a penalty. Eventually the penalties were removed, but the strength of the buffs was not decreased.

e.g. 10% more damage, 15% higher mana cost, became 10% more damage, no mana penalty.

Anonymous said...

More specifics on what scribes will do for profit when the glyph market goes away was mentioned on today:

Adventurer's Journals, which give XP boosts, or Fortune Cards, which grant you a vendor trash worth up to 5000g

Jana said...

Here we go, a nice little achievement that will boost the demand for glyphs:

"Helping Inscribers Pay the Bills
Achievement in progress
Learn 20 glyphs for your class."