Monday, January 26, 2009

Gold 101 - Predicting future trends

In today's installment of gold 101 we're going to tap into our spiritual clairvoyant side to see if we can see the future and make predictions based on our visions.

Making gold is 90% inspiration and 10% perspiration or in other words a good idea is worth more than working your rear-end off trying to flip and bid all day long.

But good ideas are hard to come by and even full time bloggers that blog about nothing else but how to make gold in wow will rarely make a post on their blog saying: if you sell x you will be able to turn a profit.

Besides obvious differences between server economies the reason for this is simple: If I reveal a niche market on a blog then chances are that people will read my blog post (even though that's pretty unlikely with noobding). If the knowledge becomes commonplace then everyone will want a piece of the pie and beforelong the pie will be gone (i.e. the market for x will collapse).
Call it greedy, call it healthy business, call it what you will but the fact remains is that people will rarely tell you exactly what steps to take to make gold (they'd rather write guides and sell those for real money see?)

But even for the completely uninspired there is one solid strategy that will work 90% of the time; And more importantly it even announces itself to you when the time comes.

Case in point: I and a fair share of other people knew that the prices for frozen orbs would go up, we knew the dream shard prices would go up slightly as well and we also knew that the prices for eternals would slowly but surely approach each other, a trend that is certain to continue.
We also knew a few other things about how the market would develop.

(Un)fortunately none of us are clairvoyant, instead we predicted a trend based on one simple thing: Patch notes

Every now and then Blizzard will roll out a patch to fix bugs, implement some changes, add new content or re-balance existing elements in the game. Before any patch is rolled out the changes are usually splattered all over the wow forums, discussed extensively and very much visible on either the PTR (public test realm) or through other channels.

So in essence, before every change to the game is implemented we know (to a certain extend) what is going to happen. We can literally see the future unfolding before our very eyes... and that future always has its roads paved in gold just waiting for someone to stroll by and pick it up.

Normally we'd look at the patch notes for the next patch and predict trends based on that but 3.0.9 or 3.1 are still too vague to make predictions on so lets take a look at 3.0.8 and see what you could've done (useful no?) before the patch went live:

The trick here is to skip the class changes (unless you're interested) and focus on anything that could be crafting related which is usually found in the professions section. So let's take a look at a few sections of the 3.0.8 patch notes and note my comments:

Reputation rewarded for killing mobs will no longer automatically deprecate. This means trivial mobs will continue to give out their full amounts of reputation on kill for the majority of cases in the game (level 70 creatures in Stratholme, for example, will continue to award the full amount of rep to level 80 players seeking to boost their Argent Dawn faction).

Result: This could very well mean that if mobs give full reputation at any level that the value of sellable reputation items may drop.


Glyphs
Glyph of Conflagrate now makes it so your Conflagrate spell no longer consumes the Immolate or Shadowflame spell from the target.
Glyph of Death and Decay has been changed to grant 20% additional damage instead of its current effect.
Glyph of Hammer of Justice: Now increases range by 5 yards instead of increasing stun duration.
Glyph of Invisibility duration has been increased.
Glyph of Deterrence: Now -10 seconds instead of -20.
Glyph of Holy Light now affects friendly targets in a larger radius.
Glyph of Horn of Winter now increases the duration by 60 sec.
Glyph of Spirit of Redemption: Now increases the duration of the effect by a fixed amount of 6 seconds.
Glyph of turn evil now also increases the cooldown of your turn evil spell by 8 sec.


Result: As some glyphs are now more useful and other less useful the prices for those glyphs will adjust accordingly.


The Cooldown on Transmute: Titanium has been reduced to 1 day, and the materials required have been simplified.

Result: Cheaper titanium across the board.


Increased the materials required to make several recipes that require cobalt.

Result: Cobalt prices will go up a notch and stay there.


Many high level enchantment recipes have had the amount of Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essence requirements significantly reduced, but with Dream Shards being added to them.

Result: Infinite dust prices may drop a tiny amount (still needed for a lot of other things) but dream shard prices will increase.


Jessica Sellers, a new vendor in the Dalaran inscription shop, will sell most inscription inks for the cost of one Ink of the Sea. She also sells Snowfall Ink for multiple Inks of the Sea.

Result: Ink of the sea cost will go up a notch.


The epic leg armor patches now require a Frozen Orb in addition to their other materials

Result: Higher frozen orb prices.


I could probably go on with a few more points and other notes in the patch can also be indirectly responsible for a shift in prices for mats but I think you get the basic idea.

Predicting trends based on patch notes is relatively easy and even though the results aren't always what you expected them to be (in my case the dream shard prices only went up by about 4g each, which is nice but not exceptional) you will generally be able to get some profit here and there (I still managed to make 200g off of selling dream shards after the patch).

So next time the big hooblah starts about new content this, new patch that and the blogosphere start filling up with PTR patch notes again take another look and read beyond your own classes' specific changes... who knows maybe the next patch will make you a whole lot wealthier.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...


Increased the materials required to make several recipes that require cobalt.

Result: Cobalt prices will go up a notch and stay there.


Many high level enchantment recipes have had the amount of Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essence requirements significantly reduced, but with Dream Shards being added to them.

Result: Infinite dust prices may drop a tiny amount (still needed for a lot of other things) but dream shard prices will increase.


I quote these two because they're related, and you seem to have missed the link ( and resulting consequence. The specific recipes that had their cobalt reagent increased were the Reinforced Cobalt items - these pieces, particularly the chestpiece, were absurdly cheap to make (4 bars!) and disenchanted incredibly well (4-5 dust on average, or 2 GCE's). This was in fact driving Cobalt prices UP, and dust prices DOWN.

The impact post patch, has been a crash in Cobalt prices (as even at 60% of what they were before, the reinforced cobalt pieces still aren't really worth crafting to disenchant), and a spike in dust prices (as fewer people know how to manufacture enchanting mats in bulk)

Captain The First said...

That's interesting because that really shows the level of awareness of people on different servers.

My predictions were spot on for my server because people were less aware that the reinforced cobalt items were well suited for DE'ing.

The net result for my server was that cobalt went up 10g/stack, infinite dust pretty much stuck around where it was.

We didn't have that weird market bump where cobalt prices went up to supply the disenchanters simply because we had relatively few people doing it (I know because I did it quite a bit and there was ample cheap cobalt available ).

The examples were probably poorly chosen in this regard due to some server being very much aware of the DE potential of those cobalt items and some others werent.

This definitely is a good warning against drawing conclusions based on a sample size of one server though :)

Still... betting on patch notes has always paid off for me so far but yes, you need to take a look around and see what other people are doing.

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