Funny Money- Halloween is for Nerds (And That’s Why We Love It)

Halloween now safely behind us, it is time to have a fun look back at the best geeky moments of our favorite holiday.

  • Check out the Geek-O-Lanterns. Which one was your favorite? Ours was the Death Star. Ha! Freakin’ Awesome!
  • High-tech costumes were all the rage…
  • …But there were some standouts of the low-tech variety as well.
  • The Apple Store’s treats were really tricks. Still pretty cool though.
  • Want to freak out the kids that come to your door next year? Just build one of these.
  • Looks like the folks from The Today Show learned a thing or two about the dangers of drunken Ewoks. Meh, probably not but it was still the most entertaining thing we’ve seen on that show in years. It’s not every day that you see an Ewok dry-hump Al Roker’s leg.

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The Top 10 (Murphy’s) Laws of WoW Trading

Sometimes things just don’t go your way as a trader. Sometimes it seems as if the world is against you. We call these situations, the Murphy’s Laws of WoW trading.

10. If you really need a farmable material, and set out to go farm it, you will find lots of other materials but very little of what you are looking for. You will see, however, your guildmates finding lots of your target item in whatever zone they’re in. They will proceed to say things like, “Oh look, more Titanium. I wasn’t even looking for that tonight. LOL!”

9. Flying to that same zone yourself will only ensure that neither of you find any more of the target material.

8. Identifying a new, underserved niche market, that no other player has sold in for months, will always bring competitors who wish to supply that same market at exactly the same time.

7. The one item that is selling for an abnormally high amount on your server and you also have in stock and available for sale at the moment will also be the very item that your guild leader, significant other or best mate will be selling at the same time.

6. If you read that X item is a great investment or selling opportunity on one of the WoW blogs and set out to invest in this item yourself, you will quickly learn that you were the last of many people to read this advice and the opportunity will be long gone.

5. Hoarding an item for sale at a later time will ensure that that item never significantly increases in value. Instead…

4. …The item you decided not to hoard and have little supply of will spike in value.

3. Your farmer will disappear. Inevitably. The likelihood of their mysterious disappearance increases as your dependency on this person for your supply increases.

2. The higher the amount of the deposit on an item, the less likely it is that it will sell in a single sales cycle.

1. The percentage of completion of posting your auctions is proportional to the percent chance that your main competitors will log on. Thus, once you have posted 100% of your auctions, a competitor is 100% sure to log on and undercut you on each auction.

Any of these ever happen to you?

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Filed under Funny Money, Off Topic, WoWenomic Theory and Discussion

The Bulk Test

It is sometimes difficult to spot a good deal in the auction house. Sure, there are those times when something is obviously under priced but there are many other occasions of items at ambiguously attractive prices that we are just not 100% sure about. The problem is greatly exacerbated when the item for sale is outside of our normal trading niche. Another factor is that we are human- As much as we’d like to pretend that we are entirely analytic and cold calculating traders, we are still all humans and can make mistakes based on emotions or other impairment.

One way to help avoid such mistakes (aside from not taking large positions when you’re drunk) is to conduct what we call The Bulk Test. Before you press the buy button, ask yourself, “Would I buy this in bulk?” If you’re willing to purchase one or a few of an item, would you be willing to do the same deal with hundreds or thousands of them? Putting aside the issue of actual demand, if the very idea of this item at this price in bulk quantity makes you balk then you’re probably not getting that good of a deal. If, on the other hand, you find yourself saying, “I wish I could get thousands of these at this price,” then you’ve more than likely just found yourself a good opportunity.

Sometimes you’ll still make mistakes but this simple way of looking at opportunities can help us make better trading decisions. We are not sure why looking at an item from the bulk perspective can give traders a clearer understanding of value- Our suspicion is that the mind plays tricks on us by suggesting, “Well, if I’m wrong it is only a few gold lost” whereas with bulk quantity this is no longer a factor. But perhaps it would be best to leave those sorts of discussions to those that bloggers more apt at studying the psychology of WoW gamers.

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The Loot Council- October 25, 2009

The Loot Council is regular column highlighting interesting and informative posts from around the WoW finance blogosphere.

Comings and Goings

WoWenomic Links

Note that the above blogs are not listed in any particular order outside of the way the team brainstormed them. Please let us know if there are any sites that you feel we should feature and we will do so in a future edition of The Loot Council.

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Funny Money- One Man’s Trash…

This weekend one of our team members did a lot of PVPing to pass the time while the AH was down. Now he generally enjoys PVP so we weren’t surprised to hear that this is how he spent his time but we were taken aback when he said that he found an item dropped by one of the mobs in Wintergrasp that reminded him of a girl he ‘dated’ in his college days. The drop was just a common junk item but we began to understand his meaning when he further explained that the ex-girlfriend’s name was Cyrstal.

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AH Issues Resolved

It would appear that the ongoing AH issues we reported on yesterday have been resolved. While scattered reports of AH instability and missing items remain, our own investigations have found nothing conclusive. The items that were ‘missing’ were returned to the AH if they had time left on their auctions or to player’s mail boxes if the auctions expired during the outage. This includes items that were lost in both ‘waves’ of disappearing goods in the AH resulting in some fairly skewed market pricing data due to wide price ranges for many items.

Compensation

We do not expect to be compensated for the lost deposit fees in any form. While it would be a nice gesture, we suspect that it would be a significant drain of resources for Blizzard and therefore not worth the effort to the company.

Cause of Issues and Ongoing Concerns

We also do not have any information as to the cause of the issue or the likelihood of it happening again. This is the most concerning aspect of the ordeal to us as having a stable, functioning and, most importantly, reliable Auction House is a cornerstone to successful MMO trade. Our GM ticket was answered (after a 20 hour wait) with a form message prompting us to check our in-game mail. The in-game mail message was a generic form letter apology and statement of the issue’s successful resolution.

Further Problems

If you have further issues with the AH the people at Blizzard would like you to use this forum post to make them aware. Please note, that this thread is not the forum to vent your frustration or ask questions but rather the best place to make the developers aware of ongoing issues. There are plenty of other places to rant over on the official forums.

Further Reading

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Breaking News- Some Servers Experiencing Missing AH Items

Ongoing updates are listed at the bottom of this post.

Every realm we surveyed this morning reported experiencing rolling restarts. Most reported this happening more than once. Several, however, also reported experiencing ‘missing AH items’ after the latest restart.

It appears that, for a few select realms, the AH was cleared of ALL items. New auctions can be listed, but the old goods were not returned to players, nor are they relisted in the AH- They’ve simply gone… missing. We’ve logged into one of these realms and have put in a ticket to speak with a GM about the issue. WoWenomics would like to know where the items went, if they will be relisted or simply returned to the user and if the deposits on these items will be refunded. Naturally, the GM’s are experiencing ‘high ticket volume’ on these servers so responses are delayed. Stay tuned for an update on this issue, hopefully some insight into the cause and how the ‘missing items’ issue has been resolved.

UPDATE #1: The issue remains unsolved. Auction Houses were back up for a few hours on most realms but missing items were not returned or relisted in the AH. New items could be listed, but old ones are still in WoW limbo. A forum thread was started and a blue left a few comments concerning the issue but gave up somewhere around post #190 (it was over 300 last we checked). The TL;DR version of Blizzard’s stance is the predictable “we are aware of the issue and working…” Of note, the blue poster responds that all items will show up again in the AH or mailbox but, so far, this has not been the case. Further, many of the AH’s that were back up are now, again, unavailable. This time no items can be seen or posted and the message returned is the ambiguous, “Internal auction error” we’ve become so familiar with. For what it is worth, we’ve had a toon on one of these servers with a GM ticket open for over 8 hours. No response yet. We will continue to investigate.

UPDATE #2: 12 hours since our ticket was opened, still no response from Blizzard GMs concerning the issue. Also no more blue posts in the forums. There was, however, the following message was recently posted on the Status Alert page:

“SERVERALERT:
October 24, 2009 8:50 PM PDT

We are aware that players across several realms are having trouble accessing the Auction House or viewing their characters’ posted auctions. These items have not gone missing, however we are actively working to restore the Auction House to its intended functionality. In the mean time we do appreciate your patience and will keep you apprised of any updates we are able to provide.”

Some players are reporting there auctions have been successfully reposted in the AH and those that expired returned via in-game mail. Others are reporting that they’ve now lost items two or more times since the AH was wiped clear at least as many times on there servers. We still have no direct word from Blizzard concerning the issue or when all players will have their items returned. We continue to monitor.

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