Item Levels and Epic Profits

Buying and reselling BoE gear is a well-known and widely accepted way of making gold in WoW. It is beneficial to remember this old trick as we all sometimes have a habit of getting caught up in our own worlds of crafting and profit margins.

Because many players will not take the time to strategically analyze and compare their existing gear to the various items found while questing or scanning the AH, the traditional logic has always been that purple, or epic quality, items will sell for more. This is true even when the upgrade on a blue (rare) item might be the better improvement for the specific class or spec in question. Purple sells better than blue simply because many players have become trained to respond to this color system in a somewhat Pavlovian approach to gearing.

Similarly, players also respond to item levels of gear. It wasn’t until the release of patch 3.2 that players were able to display the item level of gear but after that change, many took advantage of the new interface option, and now the decision of ‘is it an upgrade’ has taken a new turn. Whereas it used to simply be ‘purple is better’ many player now also refer to the item level so we’ve now got several tiers of epic and upgrades. That’s actually a bit of a misnomer because we’ve always had these tiers; they just weren’t as accessible to the common player.

The lesson here is that you should always enable the ability to display item level in your interface, even if you’re capable of making your own decisions on upgrades. The reasons to do so are:

  • It can help you better decide on suitable targets and buy and sell prices for resale.
  • Assist in negotiations on price “Man, I’m not paying X for that item, it’s only ilevel 200.”
  • It can help you develop a more effective marketing approach to selling BoE items, “Ulduar 25 hard mode equivalent bracers for sale.”

Further Reading:

We’ve previously explained how to enable item levels for your interface in our article on selecting profitable quest rewards.
WoWWiki has a fantastic, if somewhat outdated, article on the hidden formula and mechanics of item level. (Pro tip: Gear resellers, be sure to give that WotLK chart at the very bottom of the page a careful look for marketing ideas.)



Filed under WoW Gold Making Tips

4 responses to “Item Levels and Epic Profits

  1. All very true, the uneducated masses always values epic gear above blue, no matter how much better the blue is.

    This is extremely prevalent on my new server – where every single PuG raid I’ve seen being formed so far, bar none, has requested a link of the ‘Epic’ achievement alongside any other they request.

    While the achievement does also impose an iLvl minimum, it’s still not enough that some blues don’t perform better.

    And no matter what happens, Epic gear does not a good player make!

    I do like the idea however of using the iLvl to barter better deals from trade, a very sneaky and innovative idea.

  2. Rob

    Good idea about the ilvl. My feeling is that it’s now extremely complicated to figure out if the gear is an upgrade for you, so I look at the spec appropriateness first and ilvl second. For example hunter gear has a mix of 7-8 different stats, without using a spreadsheet or target dummy its impossible to say what is an upgrade, however changes are if its a ilvl better, it will be an upgrade (of course you assume that the loot is appropriate for you).

    Its pretty natural that the first reaction to a purple is ‘oh a shiney!’, i was entranced about them when i first started playing, and alot of people still have this mentality that purples are somehow better than blues when looking at upgrades. However, as a specific example, some blue tanking legs are the best I can find until i spend 75 valor emblems, because they have what I need.

    The converse is, dont’ throw away those purples just because a green has more AP or spell power. I am still using tier 6 stuff at 80 because the blues are missing 2-3 stats entirely, making the T6 purple better overall in terms of longevity.

  3. @ Rob – Sorry going off on a tangent here but it is worth pointing out that testing dps on a target dummy is never accurate at all to your real dps.

    Firstly, you are lacking full raid buffs. The boss is also lacking raid debuffs. While this might be okay if you did all your tests with the same buffs, some throw this out completely (such as the +3% hit buff)

    Also it would take far too many iterations to get a ‘fair’ number from training dummies. There is just too much RNG to get realistic averages. One test you could have an average crit rate 10% higher than your average, and the next be 10% lower. This carries across for other things too such as procs from trinkets, talents and class mechanics.

    As such the only really accurate way to compare gear that aren’t direct upgrades is to use Spreadsheets, or sims – either of which takes difference approaches but both essentially have the potentional to do thousands of iterations very very quickly.

    Sorry for the total derailing! At least I’ve posted a comment before this I guess… 😉

  4. Thomas Jespersen

    I didn’t read the Wowwiki article, but I think this Elitist Jerks thread might interest you if are into the mechanics:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s