Tag Archives: Engineering

A.B.C. (Alterac Brings Capital)

A quick trip to the Alterac Mountains can often bring in a fairly hefty sum of gold if you know where to look and what to do while you’re there. Here are the sights and NPCs to visit if you want to know how to conduct a profitable trip to the mountains. We’re willing to bet that you haven’t heard of all of these…

Frost Oil

Deep in the Alterac Mountains, just beyond the Hillsbrad Foothills, high atop a wall guarded by once mighty ogres (seriously, they used to be elite) sits Bro’kin. Bro’kin, a Boooty Bay aligned goblin, is an otherwise unremarkable Alchemy vendor with the exception that he is the only NPC that sells the Frost Oil Recipe. This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail. This quest line is still completed by alts and veteran players alike because part of the chain awards a fairly unique trinket, the Nifty Stopwatch. This old trinket still has use for running long distances when you can’t mount. PVPers will like it for running flags; Bankers will like it for the occasional speedy mailbox/bank/AH run. The oil is also used, albeit a lot less frequently, for the old Dire Maul Tribute run.

The point is that you’ve got a fairly steady demand and a limited supply which means a good potential for profits. Pick up a few copies of this recipe from Bro’kin for less than a gold each and learn one (if you’re an alchemist) and sell the others for as much as you can in the AH. We typically wait until no one else has one posted to post ours and then we price it in the area of 30g each, one at a time.

Note that you’ll have to wait a few minutes before purchasing the recipe again as it is a limited supply item. So what do you do while you wait? Well we’re glad you asked…

Nodes

There are various ore and herb nodes appropriate to the level of the quests and mobs in the zone but the standout winner here is a key component of Frost Oil, Wintersbite. This herb can be picked by herbalists of requisite level and is found only in the snowy mountainous areas of this zone. The nice thing about this herb is that this is the ONLY area in which it grows, so if you have extras after crafting your own Frost Oils they can be sold for pretty high prices.

If you’re an alchemist/herbalist (or are friendly with one) you are now in the business of selling the Frost Oil recipe, the oil itself and the requisite herbs for crafting of the oil. You, essentially, control this tiny market. Savvy traders will even take steps to ensure that the price of the herbs remains formidably high such that even if other players buy the recipe from you they find it unprofitable to craft a bunch of the oils to compete with you. Muhaaaahaaaahaaaaa!

A Bonus Rare Engineering Schematic

But wait, there’s more… Did you notice the little guy in the cage during your Alterac Travels? Rizz Loosebolt is another obscure Alterac vendor, this time of the engineering variety. Like Bro’kin, he is friendly to both factions and sells various trade items but has one recipe in limited supply. This time it is the Ice Deflector Schematic which is a bit of a harder sell (there’s no quest associated with the crafted item) but it does sell to completionist Engineers (many haven’t even heard of this schematic). While you’re talking to Rizz, you might also want to buy out his supply of Gyrochronatoms which usually sell at a hefty markup in the AH to lazy players that don’t bother finding them elsewhere for less.

In an interesting example of WoW synergy, it is worth noting that Frost Oil is a required crafting component of the Ice Deflector and one of the Gyrochronatoms are required for completion of the afore mentioned Nifty Stopwatch quest line.

Something Else to Think About

Did you do your Alterac Valley quests? There are a whole slew of them available in your race’s AV cavern. Quest givers are located about half way down each tunnel. Both factions’ tunnels are located symmetrically on opposite sides of a path between the mountains that make up the border of the Hillsbrad Foothills and the Alterac Mountains. An informal poll amongst friends and family showed that most players, particularly those that started playing within the last two years, have never even heard of these quests. They are easy to do and are often completed along the course of attempting to win the AV battle. In fact, the hardest thing about completing these quests is simply finding the quest givers. So what are you waiting for? That’s some easy XP/gold right there? These quests might prove particularly lucrative to those players attempting to level with PVP as it just becomes an added bonus to what they are already doing.

You’ve now got yourself a little, agreeably unusual but highly profitable, farming circuit from the old world. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time visiting these old areas but we would argue otherwise, because who knows what the availability of these items, vendors, quests and even zones will be after the Cataclysm hits? May as well head out there now while you still can.

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The Bronze Age

Bronze Bars present an interesting value proposition to students of WoWenomics in that they benefit from having both a relatively high demand and a limited supply. Due to this combination of factors, and the fact that this material is often overlooked or forgotten about by maximum-level players, the bars can be an otherwise neglected market from which to profit. Bronze Bars will frequently sell out completely from the AH. In fact, we tested 14 auction houses at different times over the past week and found that approximately half the time the metal was sold out. In the occasions that the bars were in stock, the prices varied wildly suggesting that the bars go through lulls with no buyers and then peak when someone is power leveling an alt or switching the profession of their main. This presents a further opportunity for the astute WoW trader. Put another way, the majority of the prices we observed were on par or higher than those of Saronite Bars.

Demand

Bronze Bars are an essential part of the leveling process for Blacksmiths, Jewelcrafters and Engineers. For several of these professions the bars are integral to not only direct crafting of goods but also the crafting of component goods that go into other items so the metal has the somewhat unique position of being necessary for a higher than average part of the leveling process. This causes additional demand and is a key part of the reason that the bars will often sell out in bulk, regardless of price.

Supply

Unlike most other metals in WoW, Bronze cannot be made directly from an ore. As with the real world, no such raw ore exists. Bronze is made from mixing two metals, tin and copper. This slightly more complex process leads to a lower supply of the bars themselves. Many ore farmers just dump their supplies of the farmed ores into the AH without giving a thought to the possibility of making more gold by combining the two cheaper metals. Indeed, our favorite way to profit from the bronze trade is to find the two cheaper metals in the auction house and combine them, reselling the produced bronze for a hefty mark up.

Watch the Bronze Bar market yourself and see if you can’t identify some opportunities for profit that would otherwise be overlooked.

Here’s an interesting side note for you: Every student that has ever completed an elementary history course understands that the Bronze Age proceeded the Iron Age. What most people do not know is that the iron remained the inferior alloy at the time, with bronze being both stronger and more resistant to corrosion than the more popular and accessible wrought iron. So instead of an evolutionary process leading to the adaptation of a new metal, disruptions in the historic supply chains of tin (a key component of bronze) caused the cultural shift to the less sturdy ore. Ultimately, as smelting techniques improved, humanity progressed wholly into the Iron Age. But, in an interesting correlation to the WoW valuation of bronze, the tight supply of tin caused the metal to retain the property of being a semi-precious metal throughout the ages and, to a significant degree, even today.

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The Loot Council- Patch 3.2 and Other Good Reads

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

Here is a quick selection of interesting WoW finance articles from around the web over the past few weeks:

  • Right off the bat, we’d like to give a shout out to Warcraft Econ. They’ve got some great information posted regarding coming changes to professions in patch 3.2. There are at least five good pertinent articles over there, so it is hard to pick just one, but our personal favorite so far is probably the comprehensive look at epic gem stats and transmute requirements. Be sure to give the whole site a look though, as they’ve really got some amazing stuff up regarding inbound changes to the economy.
  • One of the things mentioned by Warcraft Econ is the prospecting rate of Titanium on the PTR. Kaliope did some testing of her own and the two articles together present a pretty clear picture of what Jewelcrafters should expect from the ore.
  • There is further interesting information regarding 3.2 profession changes over at WoW.com from Insider Trader. This time, as relates to engineering and Alchemist transmutations.
  • Speaking of patch 3.2, our friends over at the Armory Data Mining project announced that they would begin tracking hunter pet stats shortly after the release of the patch. We can’t wait!
  • Alterac Volley posted a great gold-making tip using the old cheap-craft-for-purpose-of-D/E trick.
  • On the matter of old tricks, Dominate Your Server posted a good one on inflating prices.
  • Tobold’s done a nice analysis of various MMO economies. How they differ and how they might be further improved.
  • This week we bid a fond, but unfortunate, farewell to the short-lived AH Trading, Simplified blog. Best of luck to ya!

Going over to the RL side of things here are a few other interesting finds for you:

  • The NPC comic crew has a good take on the people behind those WoW subscriber numbers.
  • If your driveway looks anything like this, it is safe to say that you’ve reached the real life gold cap.
  • [Very NSFW warning] And finally, this article from playboy.com is almost too over the top to be real, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. We’ve all seen traders behave in this sort of fashion so it is at least plausible anyway. NSFW Reminder: Just like your significant other, your work IT admins and supervisors will not believe the “I swear I visited it for the articles” excuse.

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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The Secondary Market of Titanium

As we discussed a few days ago, Titanium Ore prices are at an all time high. As a result, the going rate for Titanium Bars is also experiencing a surge.

The WoWenomics team was discussing this price spike the other night when the conversation took an interesting turn. Our resident enchanting expert mentioned that he is seeing some benefit from the Titanium rush as it has allowed him to double his normal price for the vellums of Enchant Cloak- Titanweave that he regularly sells. He usually stocked about 20 Titanium Bars of which the enchant only requires two so he is still working off his stock but even if he had to purchase the bars at the AH at today’s high prices he would still be reaping a hefty profit. He presumes that players are willing to pay the higher prices because they assume that his costs for materials must have skyrocketed so the premium must be fair. The high Titanium prices, he says, also have the additional benefit of driving away competing enchanters who are, apparently, hesitant to spend the gold on the inflated Titanium thus further allowing him to dominate the market.

This revelation prompted our Blacksmith to speak up and say that he’s doubled the fee he requests for selling his Titansteel Bar cooldown to 30 gold. He told us that other blacksmiths will do it for less, and some potential customers balk at the higher price, but that he still sells the cooldown on any night he wishes to do so without too much effort. He is also making money from crafting and selling Titanium Rods and shield spikes at inflated prices and further reported a sharp decrease in the amount of competitors in both markets.

The engineer says his Titanium built items are also up in price although he didn’t have the foresight to stockpile the ore or bars so he only makes them from the mats he farms. But when he does the prices that he asks are higher and competition is also down.

Both of our jewelcrafters reported similar findings on Titanium related items in their markets.

Even our resident alchemist is reporting that he is once again finding it highly profitable to blow his twenty-hour cooldown on Transmute: Titanium instead of another transmute.

The point is that with the higher prices comes opportunity in many forms. Look for opportunities to profit off inflated Titanium prices in your own market and thus benefit even if you’re not a miner. If you’re unsure how Titanium might affect you take a look at the comprehensive crafted items list courtesy of WoWhead.

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Hot Item of the Week- Injectors

The Runic Mana and Runic Health Injectors are staples of effective bag and inventory management. These items allow for the high-level regeneration potions that normally only stack in fives to stack in twenties. More importantly, and for our profitable purposes, they allow us to vastly overcharge for Runic Mana and Runic Healing potions. On every test server, since the injectors became available with the launch of WotLK, they are one of the few items that consistently sells for more than the cost of the required crafting reagents.

The reagents required to craft an injector are 20 of the relevant potion and 1 mana or health injector kit. Engineers craft both injector kits but unlike many engineering items, they do not require the profession to use. They are very cheap to make, requiring only 12 Saronite Bars and an additional either 2 Crystallized Water for the mana version or 2 Handful of Cobalt Bolts (approximately 2 Cobalt Bars) for the health version.

Tips for Profiting from Injectors

  • The main trick to profiting with these is to keep the cost of crafting an injector low. To do this, build up a reserve of Runic Mana Potions and Runic Healing Potions over time and do not to purchase them outright for crafting into an injector. Both health and mana potions are subject to significant swings in market price. Take advantage of these wide fluctuations in price by scanning for them regularly and scoop up the potions when they are under-valued. Even better, build a collection of them in your bank over time from random drops or from quest rewards and use those ‘free’ potions to craft the injectors.
  • Don’t overlook the value in selling the injector kits themselves. They are a fairly uncommon item to see on most auction houses and we frequently sell them for much more than they cost to craft when we list them. I guess people just don’t have any engineer friends or something. If you’re wondering how to price them and there are none on your server’s AH to use as a reference, try listing them as singles at the approximate cost of the materials to create all five of them. Yes, they often do sell for five times their value.
  • Be aware when purchasing these items that the injectors can be separated into stacks of varying size. We’ve seen a couple of shysters attempting to sell single items for the same price as the full stacks. Now we’re all for the concept of Caveat Emptor but we still feel it necessary to warn our readers. Of course, if you wanted to try this underhanded tactic yourselves well… who are we to say otherwise?
  • If you’re an aspiring engineer, consider using the injector kits to level when your skill is in the 410-420 range. This way you don’t have to waste your gold on items you may not have a use for or can’t resell.
  • Obviously, selling the injectors could prove to be a particularly lucrative niche market for potion master Alchemists.
  • You might also want to investigate the market for the TBC versions of the injectors as well. While not as versatile, they can still bring in a nice profit if there are a limited number of them available in the AH.

There are also injectors of both the yummy variety as well as the deadly but we have no experience with them.

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3.1 Changes to Crafting Reagent Requirements

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post regarding the 3.1 crafting list from WoR, we wanted to point out another fantastic 3.1 WoW professions tool that works nicely with the resource from WoR: The Reagents Changes List from MMO-Champion.

Sorted by profession, this tool allows crafters to see what source materials will be changing with the implementation of patch 3.1. Take a look at the tab for your chosen profession and make note of items that you may now need (or, as in most cases, no longer need) to craft some of your most popular items.

The following is our quick assessment, by profession, of some of the key 3.1 crafting materials changes that we suspect may have an impact on the WoW economy or your finances in particular:

Alchemy-
The two most notable alchemy changes are
1) The removal of Fire Leaf as a required reagent for the Flask of Endless Rage. Right off the bat, we can estimate that this will bring the price of the Northrend attack power flask more in-line with the other three current end-game flasks. Further, we also predict a significant decrease in the going rate of Fire Leaf and suggest you sell them off now while you can still get top dollar for them. As we expect the rage flask to also drop slightly in value, you may also consider selling off any stock you have now and re-crafting them again later when they no longer require Fire Leaf and, are thus, cheaper to make.
2) The removal of vials as a necessity when crafting several types the various alchemical oils. Expect marginal impact beyond slightly lowering the crafting cost of the oils themselves and thus, a small increase profit margin when they are crafted for purposes of profit.

Blacksmithing-
The two most notable changes in materials to blacksmithing are
1) Reduction in amount of Enchanted Thorium Bars required for two items. This could marginally reduce the price of these bars but we don’t really see an impact given the outdated nature of these older items.
2) Removal of Jet Black Feather, Bloodvine, and grinding stones from several items. Again, we see minimal impact here and will file these changes in the ‘too little, too late’ folder.

Cooking-
Two notable changes
1) Most older, pre-WotLK, items have had their spice or purchase reagent removed. This should allow for cheaper or faster leveling of the cooking skill but will have minimal economic impact.
2) The inclusion of at least three new cooking recipes (although the list from MMO-Champion doesn’t list them as new, we assume that Pumpkin Pie and Slow-Roasted Turkey are new items as well) that call for new reagents. The economic impact of these items will depend on how the new reagents are attained. Our theory is that, given the seasonal nature of these new recipes, they are part of a future in-game holiday event although a quick look at the proposed Noblegarden achievement list provides no additional guidance.

Enchanting-
Enchanting will be getting an overhaul in terms of a significant decrease in the amount required materials for many popular enchants. The complete removal of Nexus Crystals from several items will reduce demand and price for this type of crystal so you may wish to sell your stock of them now. The most glaring change we notice is the overhaul of the Lifeward weapon enchant. The incoming changes will reduce the cost of this enchant from approximately 400 gold to close to 20 gold. That’s a major change and may increase the popularity of Lifeward. Again, many other enchants are also having their material requirements reduced, possibly reflecting Blizzard’s intent to make this profession less of a gold sink and easier to level.

Engineering-
Minimal changes and minimal economic impact. Minor reductions in some source materials. Overall this reflects Blizzard’s stance that Engineering is “working as intended.”

Inscription-
Many new glyphs added. As these new glyphs become more common they may positively affect the prices of Northrend herbs and inks.

Jewelcrafting-
Several new recipes and reduction in required materials for one item. Also possibly reflects the “working as intended” stance from Blizzard.

Leatherworking-
The most notable change to the leatherworking profession is the significant reduction in the amount of the various types of leather required to craft many older items. This, perhaps, reveals that Blizzard intends for this skill to be a bit easier to level but also leaves skinning as a profitable gathering profession in a little bit more dire of a state.

Tailoring-
A few reductions in materials requirements but what stands out to us most is the removal of Ironweb Spider Silk from many recipes. This should significantly reduce the cost of this type of spider silk which already didn’t sell particularly well.

Good luck in your crafting efforts post-3.1. Thanks again to MMO-Champion for the handy resource. We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind our readers that you can find permanent links to MMO-Champion, WoR and many other informative sites on our resources page.

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