Monthly Archives: March 2009

Hot Item of the Week- Enchanting Vellums

We have come to love vellums and the profit they generate. Only a few of the people behind the WoWenomics project are actually enchanters themselves but now, with the introduction of weapon and armor vellums into the game, there is finally a way for the rest of us to make some gold off of the enchanting profession.

Vellums Explained-
A vellum is a type of scroll created by scribes that can be used by enchanters to make their various enchantments portable. Prior to the introduction of vellums to the game, enchanters had to sell their wares directly to potential customers who would first trade the enchantment materials to the enchanter, then place their target item in the ‘Will not be traded’ box of the trade screen where the enchanter would (hopefully) enchant the target item with the desired effect. The system worked but was flawed in several senses. First, it meant that, unlike other professions, Enchanters had to be logged in and present to sell their wares. Further, due to the nature of the transaction, it often meant that enchanters worked for tips. And, as anyone who has ever spent even a few days waiting tables in a restaurant will tell you, not all tips are created equal. What the vellum allows the WoW enchanter to do, in essence, is transfer one of their item enchantments to a BoE scroll (importantly, using their own materials) that can then be traded to another player. This is an important mechanic that completely transforms the enchanting profession and allows enchanters (and others) many profitable new ways to use their trade.

Vellums come in two types, those for armor enchantments and others for weapon enchantments. Each type comes in three different levels that allow for enchantments of various levels to be cast upon them. There’s plenty of information out there about which levels of vellums are made for which enchants but a summarized version is as follows:

Level I Vellums- Pre-Burning Crusade Enchantments
Level II Vellums- Burning Crusade Enchantments
Level III Vellums- Wrath of the Lich King (and all lower) Enchantments

Vellums of all levels are crafted from the items derived by scribes from milling herbs. This is a small historical inaccuracy on Blizzard’s part but we’ll overlook this oversight and assume that the developers were concerned with further offending D.E.H.T.A so the animals of WoW are still safe from scribes for now.

Tips for Making Money with Vellums-
Here are a few of the many ways we use vellums to our profitable advantage by carrying a few of each type of vellum around in our bags or stored in our bank:

Enchanters can save money by no longer wasting enchantment materials on enchanting their own gear for skill ups. They can make gold by simply selling the enchanted vellums outright either on the AH or directly to other players.

Enchanters can now enchant their own alt’s items by simply enchanting and subsequently mailing the appropriate vellum to the other toon. Every enchanter with an alt that has played the game for any amount of time knows the pain of having to pay another enchanter to take care of your alt. No more we say, no more!

When you predict that you may have a need for an enchantment on an item in the near future have a friendly (ideally guilded) enchanter place the target enchantment on a vellum. This way, the very second that sword you’ve been lusting after drops and you win the roll, you can enchant it right then and there. In fact, if you’re really obsessive about planning your gear and enchantments, why not craft one each of all the enchantments you plan on using in the near future whenever the materials are cheapest and permanently avoid the dilemma of trying to find an enchanter after you get the desired item? Of course, in these instances you will be supplying the enchantment materials.

Guild leaders can now ensure that enchanting materials in the guild bank are used for their intended purposes by more closely managing who gets what types of enchantments and when rather than simply giving away the guild’s enchanting materials. Not a huge issue for most guilds, but still a nice option.

There’s also a significant amount of money to be made by simply buying blank vellums cheaply or crafting them inexpensively and selling them in the auction house. The vellum market is still largely undiscovered in the general community so they still often sell for more than the cost of the materials. As long as this remains true, you can profit in this regard.

It’s worth noting that enchanted vellums are treated by the auction house as enchantment materials and thus not subject to auction house deposits. This means that there is a much lesser incentive to undercut the competition and very little reason to not put the auction out there for the full 48 hours.

-And finally, our personal favorite trick: You know those guys that advertise every now and then in /trade chat something like “Enchanting, with your mats… paying X amount of gold if I skill up.” We now love these Enchanters. With the vellums we have stored we purchase the materials (to be honest, some of us stockpiled cheap enchant materials simply for this purpose) and have the advertising Enchanter apply their skill to the Vellum. This allows us to A) profit when the enchantment is created- in essence the Enchanter is now tipping us and B) resell the now enchanted vellum at a time when we deem most profitable or keep to ourselves for later use. Either way, being paid simply for stocking vellums is a nice thing indeed. Even better, those uninformed enchanters that still advertise “Free enchantment X in front of the auction house… hurry only 10 left.” We’ll take all ten thank you very much (and then go post them in the auction house).

A Few Warnings on Vellums-

Do not, repeat DO NOT, try to enchant a vellum in the traditional enchanting sense with the blank vellum in the ‘Do not trade box’. You will lose your mats and the enchantment. You’ve been warned. We expect a fix from this from Blizzard at some point but there’s nothing in the patch notes at present.

Not all enchantments are created equal. Some are extremely profitable and others are not. Play with the market to feel out what sells best and requires the cheapest investment in materials. Don’t over-invest in an enchanted vellum that sells for less than the materials required to create it.

If an enchanter is creating vellums for you, even with your materials and vellums, it is still customary to tip. This is also true if you have a friendly scribe creating blank vellums for your future use or sale.

Now if only they’d come up with some sort of disenchanting vellum…

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WoWenomic Site Updates- March 31, 2009

More updates and changes here at WoWenomics. All of these changes come as the result of reader requests and feedback. We love hearing from you and appreciate you sharing your ideas. Keep ‘em coming!

Archive page launched-
First, we added a new Archive page. You can finally browse and view your favorite WoWenomic posts either chronologically or by topic. Be sure to give it a look and see what you might have missed if you’re just tuning in.

Additional sidebar links-
We’ve reformatted a few of our links on the right sidebar to include a new category. Recommended Tools are links to some of our favorite WoW resources. As always, you can find the most extensive list of links and WoW resources over on our Resources page but we felt it might be beneficial to have these tools closer at hand.

Resources page updated-
Finally, the Resources page itself has also undergone some fairly extensive changes:
New resources were added to several categories including Official WoW Sites and Resources, Other WoW Finance Sites and WoW News and Information.
Two new Categories were added: Recommended Tools (out-of-game applications) and Skills and Crafting.
We have also added to the bottom of resources page, a small block of text explaining our standards for site inclusion on this page. If you’re thinking of recommending a site for our resources page you may want to give this a quick look through to make sure they meet our quality standards. We only wish to post sites that are interesting and worthy of our reader’s valuable time!

Currently seeking-
While we’re talking resources, we are currently seeking suggestions for additions to the Skills and Crafting category. We are also working on a class blog list. So if you’ve got a blog, or would like to suggest a favorite, for inclusion in either of these categories just let us know in the comments section and we’ll give them a look. Of course we’re always on the hunt to find the best WoW information out there so feel free to let us know if you think there are any other sites that we may have overlooked in our list.

Thanks again for all the feedback. We look forward to hearing from you even more!

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Parking for Profit- Free Gem Collection

Where is your toon parked? Dalaran? Another capital city? An inn somewhere? If you are max-level you can use where you park for the night to your strategic and profitable advantage. Parking for Profit is a column highlighting strategic places to leave your toon when you log off for the night that will allow you to potentially benefit from your location when you log back in. As there is no single best place to park, we’ll feature a new location with profit potential and explain why in each column.

Parking spot coordinates: Approximately 31, 58 in Nagrand.
Target item: Gems, amount gained based on reputation with faction.

Remember the Consortium? Well they sure remember you. In fact, if you go visit your friend Gezhe at the Consortium quest hub in Nagrand (approximate coordinates 31, 58) you will find that he is still quite happy to provide you with your monthly membership benefits, a free bag of (mostly) uncommon Burning Crusade gems. We’ve seen these gems priced anywhere from 75 silver to 8 gold each on our three test servers. This is not a tremendous amount of money but it is 100% profit given that your investment cost is nothing aside from maybe 5 minutes of transport time. To really benefit from your Consortium membership, park your toon and all your applicable alts next to Gezhe the last night of each calendar month. When you log in the next day, simply collect your new gems before hearthing back to your desired city or quest zone. Truly savvy WoW traders will only make this trip every other month. They will wait until the last day of the month to collect their gems, park their toons right next to Gezhe for the night, then when they log in the following day pick up another bag of gems. This way, since your only investment is the time it takes to do this run, you’ve essentially cut your investment cost in half. One thing to note with this, however, is that the game’s timer can be a bit buggy at times and you may occasionally find that it won’t let you collect the new bag of gems immediately upon log in. In these cases you will have to wait a bit longer to collect the next month’s gems.

A few tips on selling the gems:

1) These gems, and arguably all uncommon gems, sell better in singles as opposed to stacks.

2) Don’t sell the gems until a week or two after you attain them. This will allow some time to account for other players who will be doing the same thing and dropping the price. By waiting a short period of time, you can maximize the amount of gold you can charge for the gems.

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My First Gold- A Visit to Thunder Falls

My First Gold is a new regular column dedicated to helping players level 20 and lower to start building their WoWenomic empire. Following these tips should help new players (and alts) expand their WoW wallets to afford training, trade skills and have a few gold left in their pockets. Higher-level players may find benefit in these tips as well, but every tip herein is intended to be within the capabilities of a player below the 21st level.

If you can make it to Stormwind, and if you can kill a couple of unremarkable level 9 mobs, you already have the means to make a couple of extra gold a day. In Elwynn Forest, just outside of the front gates of the human capitol city, lies a largely undiscovered Defias camp called Thunder Falls. This small patch of land, just above Mirror Lake, has a few roaming mobs and, more importantly, a lootable treasure chest spawn point that is almost always available due to the fact that so few players have ever visited the location. An informal poll amongst friends and guildmates exposed not a single other player that has ever heard of, much less visited, Thunder Falls. We have found the area to be extremely beneficial to our newer Alliance characters as, due to both the close proximity to Stormwind and the camp’s vast unpopularity, we can loot the chest spawn point and get back to the city in under 10 minutes.

Getting there- To find the camp, stand just east of the stream that comes from the waterfall that ultimately becomes Mirror Lake and face Northwest (coordinates are 29, 60 on the Elwynn Forest map). Run up the small hill in front of you and you’ll come to the top of the aforementioned waterfall. Here you will find the hidden Defias camp called Thunder Falls. You’ll find the treasure chest on the dock just Northwest of the small hut near two level 9 mobs. Run in, kill two or three mobs to clear the area, loot the chest, run back to Stormwind, profit. Try using this trick as you log in and just before you log out and you’ll probably find the chest available both times.

World Explorers need not concern themselves with this area as it is not part of the Explore Elwynn Forest achievement, but it is kind of fun to have a maximum-level player see the “Discovered Thunder Falls” message pop up on their screen given that it is so close to the Stormwind City gates.

This tip is obviously more applicable to low-level Alliance players than their Horde counterparts. We’ve got a few similar ideas for newborn hordies that we’ll address in a future edition of this column.

2 PVP bonus tips:

1) Horde players on their way to raid Stormwind will find this to be an ideal (i.e. close but also well-hidden) area to gather and prepare for the raid. Discretely meeting here almost guarantees that the Alliance will be unprepared for your assault. Truly hardcore Horde players will quietly sneak up here with a Warlock and only a few others and summon the entire raid group in.

2) You didn’t hear it from us (we hear it may be considered a game exploit), but should you find yourself playing an Alliance character and defending the front gates of Stormwind from Horde assault, you might try standing at coordinates 35, 46 and strategically jumping your way to the top of the Stormwind gates. Up there, you are immune to melee attacks and virtually unnoticed by pretty much everyone else.

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The Gizelton Gold Grab

When traveling out in the remote regions of Desolace you may happen upon our friend Cork Gizelton and his roaming trade caravan. Now, Ol’ Cork is not good for much beyond a couple of escort quests but he does have a really nice feature for the thrifty WoW trader. At two points along his route Cork and Co. will stop. When he does he opens a vendor robot (vending machine?) from which you can purchase a few cooking recipes in limited supply. Most of these recipes will sell in the auction house of both factions for 10 to 20 times their original cost. That’s a nice profit margin but not necessarily big money. The reason that these recipes don’t usually sell for more than 20 gold is that they are all available from other vendors… except for one of them. The Lean Wolf Steak is available exclusively from the vendor he opens when in the Southern parts of Desolace. And, since this makes the recipe extremely limited in supply, you can make a significant amount of gold by simply buying it from the vendor and putting it up in the auction house for as much as you can sell it for. We typically will sell this recipe for 100 to 200 gold which is a fantastic return on the initial 16 silver we paid to buy it from the vendor. Who pays 200 gold for an out-dated, obscure cooking recipe you ask? These guys.

Here are a few other tips to help you maximize profit should you decide to try The Gizelton Gold Grab yourself:

For this trick to work you have to control the market. Just one competitor can ruin your profit margins. If you feel your competitor is selling their recipe too low, simply purchase the one that they have listed and repost it or wait for someone else to buy it. It is unlikely that they will have more than one to sell. In this instance, the recipe being both remote and limited in supply will help you.

You may have better success spamming the trade channel selling the recipe than you do in the AH. Many players won’t actively look in the AH for this item (many don’t even know it exists). Raise awareness by letting players know about its rarity in your advertisement. A few players will ask where you got it. We’ll leave it to you to decide if you want to tell them.

Note that the vendor that Cork makes available when he is in the Southern part of the zone only sells this recipe. The vendor that he opens in the Northern region sells different recipes. Coordinates are 40, 79 for the Southern vendor, 60, 38 for the Northern vendor bot.

The vendors do not open at the quest start locations. You may also want to complete the quest as this has been rumored to move the caravan along its route faster (not confirmed). If you do decide to the complete the quest, keep the caravan in sight at all times or you will fail the quest (confirmed, unfortunately).

Buy all of the recipes available and make sure you’ve got the bag space to do so. They will all sell for more than you pay for them.

If you find yourself killing time waiting for the caravan to reach the vendor location you may wish to spend that time farming the Big Iron Fishing Pole which can also be a highly profitable item when resold in the auction house. Lower level fishers just love this thing and many a twink will pay a decent amount of gold for it.

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3 Easy Ways to Complete the Cheese For Glowergold Daily Cooking Quest

Nothing like being an uber-geared master of WoW destruction and having to play bus boy eh? Since the release of WotLK we’ve heard so many complaints about this daily cooking quest. Countless times have we seen arguments develop over who owns the right to loot a specific glass of wine that escalates into players /slapping, /spitting and ultimately /ignoring one another. Well we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be so hard. Here are our 3 favorite tips to completing this quest on EZ mode:

3. Near the quest giver-
Look in both the quest giver’s room and in the basement. 9 out of 10 times there are wine glasses right there next to her (or down the stairs in the same area) but many players just rush out looking for the glasses instead.

2. In the cheese shop-
Head over to the cheese shop where you would normally pick up the Limberger that is also required for completion. The reason is that many (perhaps even most) players only head to the cheese shop after they’ve found all the wine glasses. This means that the wine shop is more likely to have a few glasses lying about. We find at least one and usually two here every time we do this daily. The other big reason to head here early is that you have a chance of finding the cheese earlier than you normally would if you waited until after finding the wine glasses. This reduces the amount of time the quest takes to complete. Bonus tip: when looking for the cheese remember to look outside the shop. This simple spawn point seems to be frequently overlooked by many. At least glance over as you’re riding by heading to…

1. In the sewer-
The bar in the sewer, Cantrips and Crows, has several spawn points for the glasses and no one ever thinks to look here. If you want to get the glasses without a fight, simply head down there and pick them up. Of further benefit is that there is a bank, guild bank, and mailbox right there next to the bar so you can do some regular account maintenance while waiting for the glasses to respawn. And if you really want to make the most of your time be sure to use the cooking stove in the small room next to the bar to cook your quest item provided you already have the cheese.

Save an extra glass for yourself and tip one back to celebrate the end of your frustration with this quest.

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Hot Item of the Week- Guru’s Elixir

We just love this elixir. The benefit of taking it is nice (+20 to all stats for 1 hour) and it sells well but by far our favorite thing about Guru’s Elixir is just how cheap it is to make. It is one of those rare consumables that we recommend making even if you’re not (or not friends with) an elixir master. Yes, it’s that inexpensive… and here’s how you can make a couple of hundred gold a week with them yourself.

Cheap vials-
The trick to making gold with this particular elixir is effectively managing the cost of crafting the item. The base materials are 3 Pygmy Oils and 1 Imbued Vial. First off, be sure that the toon you have purchasing the Imbued Vials is exalted with the vendor that is selling them. This will drop the price of the vials (sold in stacks of 5) from 2 G to 1.6 G. It may not seem like much but again, the goal here is to make the elixir for as little as possible so dropping the cost for a stack of 20 vials from 8 gold to 6.4 gold will make a difference.

Cheap oil-
Pygmy Suckerfish are used to make Pygmy Oil. An alchemist can turn 1 fish into 1-2 oil. We tested with 1,000 suckerfish and produced very near 1,500 oil so the proc rate for the extra oil appears to be approximately 50%. If you have the fishing skill and use it regularly then in all likelihood you’ve probably got more of these than you know what to do with anyway. Otherwise buy them as inexpensively as possible from another player. Typically, both the fish and the oil are so plentiful that there is a deal on one or the other to be found if one looks hard enough. In our experience we’ve found the best value in the raw material-to-finished elixir chain to (usually) be in the form of the oils when purchasing from other players. The Pygmy Oil (in stacks of 20) has the bid value of 2.25 gold automatically filled in when placed for auction in the AH. Two or three times a week we find several stacks with this auto-bid amount filled in and we simply place a bid and wait for them to come to us.

Cheap elixirs-
Thus, assuming you pay 2.25 gold for each stack of oil and 1.6 gold for each stack of five vials your total investment cost to produce 20 Guru’s Elixir is 13.15 gold or, put another way, 6.75 gold (for oil) and 6.4 gold (for vials). Producing 20 elixirs that increase all stats by +20 for less than 15 gold is an excellent way to make money for anyone, even more so for an elixir master alchemist. We regularly sell the stacks of 20 Guru’s Elixir in the auction house for about 33 gold which, while not a huge amount of gold, is a significant return on our initial investment regardless of how we obtained the Pygmy Oil or fish.

Expensive auction-
The only real threat to profit is the fact that listing a stack of 20 Guru’s Elixir in the auction house requires a deposit 6 G so if a stack doesn’t sell it can seriously hurt your profits. That said, the opportunistic WoW trader will use that to their advantage and either sell the elixirs via /trade chat or use the high deposit rate to scare off competitors.

Play with it a bit yourself and see if you can’t become the guru of Guru’s Elixirs on your server.

Bonus: If you’ve got extra, try drinking 8-10 Pygmy Oil and go chase the white rabbit.

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