Tag Archives: Jewelcrafting

Titanium Dropping in Price

The WoWenomics team was discussing Titanium Ore recently and all team members agreed that the prices are down from their peak just a few weeks ago. Whereas typical prices for a stack of ore were reported as being in the area of 350 gold or more, we searched ten auction houses across five servers last night and found stacks available for buyouts at sub-300 levels on seven of the ten auction houses. We cannot say definitively how much prices are dropping since we have not been statistically recording the prices across servers but, anecdotally at least, it would appear that the ore, and goods and services related to the ore, are currently on the decline.

The reasons for the drop in price of Titanium are probably a combination of:

  • Increased supply– Titanium Ore has been so profitable for so many weeks that many more players are jumping into the farming for resale market, causing a certain amount of over-supply.
  • Decreased demand– As epic gem prices drop and stabilize perhaps Jewelcrafters are finding high ore prices intolerable.

In fact, one interesting correlation that we noted in our research was that of the seven servers that showed lower ore prices, every single one showed decreased epic gem prices. Prices for uncut gems on these servers were typically within the area of 140-150 gold. It may be that epic gem prices can be used as an early indicator of the direction of Titanium Ore. If you are in the ore market, either buying or selling, you might want to also look into the prices of epic gems to determine your optimal pricing and/or farming strategy before you set out on your daily quest for profits.

It is impossible to say if the observed decline in Titanium prices is here to stay of if this is just part of the cyclic nature of the WoW economy but, for the time being at least, we are rating Titanium Ore as a sell.

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All About the Patch 3.2.2 Economy

Here are a few observations about the post-3.2.2 economy based on reader tips we’ve received and the WoWenomics teams’ own observations. We hope you find them useful. Feel free to share your own observations in the comments section.

A Big Ol’ Cup O’ Hurt

The Tankard O’ Terror, a BoE mace dropped by the Brewfest boss, is now being heavily sold in the AH and marketed in the /trade channel. The prices on this item range widely from the area of 1,000 gold to 3,000 or so. Tobold put up a good post explaining that he sees this item being BoE as an oversight on Blizzard’s part and suspects that the item may be made BoP in the near future. We don’t necessarily see that as happening and, in fact, are sellers of this item as opposed to buyers. Currently we will purchase the item at bid levels below 800 gold and sell at any above 1,100. A few of our team members have generated a bit of income with this strategy but longevity is limited. As the event progresses we expect the price to continue to drop as more and more players attain one and post it. Longer term, however, the price of these maces may increase significantly if similar holiday events do not yield comparable weapons. This is to say that, come six months from now, any remaining Tankard O’ Terrors might catch a pretty penny (copper?).

Conversely, sales of the Titansteel Bonecrusher are slowing significantly as players can attain the higher item level Brewfest mace for approximately the same (or lower) price.

On a personal note, I’m pretty sure I drank from that tankard more than once during college.

My Orbs Dropped

No, that wasn’t another personal note. Rather, Crusader Orbs have dropped sharply in price, as they are now attainable for 15 Emblems of Triumph. We actually predict there will be a slight bounce back in going rate for these items as two things happen:

  1. Players will be attracted to the lower price thereby driving up demand and
  2. Players will exhaust their reserve of emblems thereby slowing supply.

Runed Orbs have dropped slightly in price (presumably because more players are crafting the higher level items that require the recently inexpensive Crusader Orbs)

Frozen Orbs have actually increased in price albeit marginally. This is possibly due to content distraction and connection issues. We expect prices to drop back to ‘normal’ levels shortly.

Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the…

Two new types of drums were released. Drums of Forgotten Kings and Drums of the Wild both offer what were previously class specific raid buffs but are now available as a Leatherworking crafted item usable by even non-Leatherworkers. Prices for the drums are being reported to us as between 100 gold and 300 gold. These prices are expected to drop somewhat in the coming days as Leatherworkers flood the market.

Most servers tested showed a sharp increase in the price of the materials required to craft these items. If you are a farmer/supplier of such goods, now is certainly the time to sell.

It is worth noting that the buffs granted by these items do not stack with the class-offered versions of the same.

A Script for Profits

Scribes are reporting success in selling their version of the open-class raid buff, the Runescroll of Fortitude. Current price point on all servers tested varied from a low of just under 10 gold each to a high in the area of 22. This item is also usable by all classes and professions and, similar to the drums, does not stack with similar buffs granted by priests.

In other Inscription news, we’ve received scattered reports that the going rate for a few glyphs is on the rise. Specifically, glyphs that cater to skills in the Mage’s Arcane tree are on the rise (presumably this spec became more attractive given the buffs it received) and we’ve also heard the same (although to a lesser degree) about the Glyph of Seal of Command due to buffs to that specific skill. A few other glyphs have been redesigned and sales are moving upwards or downwards as the community reacts to the changes. If you are a scribe you may wish to reassess your pricing and adjust accordingly.

All Your Buffs Are Belong to Us!

Players would be well advised to note that the buffs granted by the aforementioned drums and scrolls will stack with each other. Further, and perhaps more importantly, the buffs stack with those granted from consumables. Thus, you could theoretically use both types of drums, the scroll and an elixir of both varieties (or a flask) all at once- even while soloing. Take it away min/maxers…

One final comparative note is that the buff granted by the drums is 30 minutes long whereas the scroll grants a 60-minute stamina buff.

A Gem of an Opportunity

Raw gems continue to rise even while the prices of the cut versions stabalize. One area we’ve observed strong gains in price with Armor Penetration gems. This is quite probably a result of players trying to compensate for a nerf to this statistic that was introduced by Blizzard with this patch. Here is a full list of Armor Pen gems to help you plan accordingly. It should be noted that this rise was somewhat unexpected by our team. Rather, we would have predicted a decline in the price of these gems since their value has been nerfed. Perhaps that price drop is still to come.

Further Reading

3.2.2 Information (including the patch notes) from MMO-Champion
Further market predictions from WoW Confidential
3.2.2 Summary from WoWhead
Onyxia Flying Mount video (highlighted just because it’s so damned bad a**)

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Raw Epic Gems on the Rise

Uncut epic gems are showing increases in price on every server we tested. This is occurring even as the prices of many cut epic gems are decreasing in price. The reasons for this pricing anomaly are simple.

Demand is Up

Uncut (or raw) epic gems gain value as demand increases. We are currently seeing a demand increase because many jewelcrafters now each have several learned patterns and are increasingly gaining more. As jewelcrafters learn more patters, and seek to cut more gems, the demand for raw gems increases. Demand for cut gems is also on the rise due to the new Arena Season, new PVP gear and additional PVP content but the cut demand is not increasing as fast as the uncut demand… for now. It is reasonable to expect that cut gem demand will equalize with, or possibly even overcome, uncut gem demand as more players gain new gear and as players develop a coherent strategy as to how they wish to gem their gear with epic cuts. Of course, any increase in cut gem demand will also increase demand for uncut equivalents but the opposite relationship is not necessarily true.

Supply is Down

Again, with the release of new PVP gear, many players are back to spending their honor points on attaining this gear as opposed to purchasing gems for resale. Further, most players are reporting their experiences with prospecting Titanium Ore to be unprofitable and are thus not pursuing this avenue of gem creation either. This leaves a significant dent in the supply of raw epic gems and a market ripe for exploitation by the savvy WoW trader.

Conclusions

If you have excess uncut epic gems keep an eye out for opportunities to sell them at a premium. The servers we tested each showed at least 3 out of 6 possible colors of epic gems to have at least some cut gems that were selling lower than the price of uncut gems. One server showed at least one cut gem in each gem color category to be selling cheaper than their raw counterparts.

The signs of a good selling opportunity include (but are by no means limited to):

  • A very low (perhaps < 5) amount of uncut epics available
  • Multiple cut gems selling for less than their uncut counterparts
  • A sharp rise in prices of a popular cut gem(s)

The market is moving, make sure you are moving accordingly. In put it in PVE terms, don’t stand in the purple AH fire.

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WTS Titansteel Cooldown

For several weeks now, every server tested is showing the price of Titansteel Bars to be higher than the price of the materials required to create them. The bars are hovering at a consistently higher price while the more volatile Titanium Ore and Titanium Bars fluctuate wildly. Whilst a miner can only create one bar daily, this is a fast and easy means to profit provided you purchase or farm the materials inexpensively.

Even if you cannot find the materials at a price that makes the bars worth crafting there is still an opportunity to profit by selling your cooldown to another player with the materials. The thing to remember here is that, with the bars as profitable as they are currently and many new patterns circulating in the game, the price of that cooldown should be adjusted upwards instead of the decline that we were previously seeing. Let this message serve as your reminder to stop selling your cooldowns for pre-3.2 price levels and readjust at prices that reflect the new profitability of Titansteel and the loss of income that you experience by not crafting the bar yourself. When you are selling a cooldown, you are not selling the item but rather the opportunity cost of the item. It costs you gold to not craft your daily bars and it is for that loss of income that you should be compensated.

Along those same lines, if you’re an alchemist, even if you’re not transmute specced, be sure to transmute titanium bars on days when you are not transmuting epic gems. Ideally you’ve found plenty of opportunities with the overpriced epic gem market at present but on those few occasions when you either don’t have the mats or cannot attain them inexpensively don’t waste the opportunity that is your daily cooldown by ignoring this skill. Again, at the bare minimum, sell your cooldown to another player and profit from that.

Finally, with the price of Titanium and Titansteel bars being elevated, and the cooldown sales becoming more expensive, this is a fine time to reevaluate your pricing of secondary market Titanium-based goods as well.

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The Profit Potential of Powder

We’ve previously explained our reluctance to write about already hyped up WoWenomic trends but our resident Jewelcrafter has recently weighed in to point out that he is just killin’ it these days with Titanium Powder.

Titanium Powder is the residue remnants of prospecting Titanium Ore. Ten of these powders can be turned in to Tiffany Cartier, the Dalaran Jewelcrafting supplier, for a single Dalaran Jewelcrafter’s Token. These tokens are then used to purchase various items and recipes of value to Jewelcrafters. Most recently, four tokens can be turned in for an epic gem recipe introduced in patch 3.2. The fact that these recipes are still so new to the game and the source material, Titanium Ore, is so high in price, creates an elevated demand for Titanium Powder.

Pricing, Prospecting and Powder

Our associate informs that he is generating huge profits by purchasing any Titanium Ore that falls below his bid level and immediately prospecting it and selling the proceeds. He claims to receive approximately one stack of 10 powder per 30 ore prospected. A rate that is roughly in line with the listed results on WoWhead.com. All told, he claims profits in excess of 150 gold per stack of titanium that he purchases. Provided he can gather or purchase enough ore below his bid level, this allows for an unbelievable amount of income in a very short time so we asked for his specifics. And he provided…

Bid level on stack of 20 Titanium Ore: equal to or under 300 gold
Sell price for single Titanium Powder: approximately 50 gold
Sell price for stack of 10 Titanium Powder: approximately 475 gold

The Big Money

So if he gets a stack of 10 powder (which he sells for 475-500) from approximately 30 Titanium Ore (at a maximum cost of 450 gold) we are left questioning where these ridiculous profits are coming from as this is only 25 to 50 gold. Still nice for zero effort but where’s the big money? That’s when he dropped the bomb… Titanium Powder is only a small part of the prospecting results. In addition to the powder, he regularly gets at least one epic gem per 20 ore prospected as well as 3-4 rare gems and 4-5 uncommon gems. As he’s a Jewelcrafter by trade (and not just an ore destroyer) he also cuts any gems that he has cuts for prior to listing in the AH. He sets his ask level for these items as follows (based on market conditions):

Uncommon gems: 1-5 gold
Rare gems: 5-12 gold (up to 50 for Scarlet Rubies)
Epic gems: 130-160 gold
Cut Epics: 190-380 gold

Let’s take the most modest of all those numbers (price and prospecting results): Assuming only 3 rare gems (and no rubies), 4 uncommon gems and a single epic per stack (not even counting cut epic gems) of titanium ore, all priced at the bottom of the chart above, we’re talking about an additional 148 gold. But wait, that math only accounts for a single stack of Titanium Ore but our previous numbers to reach 10 powder were based on prospecting 30 ore. This brings the total gem proceeds up to 222 gold. That’s 222 gold on top of the already 25-50 he’s bringing in from the powder (since we paid for the ore with our powder in this equation). Hot damn… those are some nice numbers.

Overall Strategy Tips

There are a few tips to making this strategy work for you.

  • We advise only selling the powder in stacks of ten or singles. The ten stacks are the perfect amount for someone just trying to get an additional token quickly and the singles are the perfect increment for players that just need a few more powders for their next token.
  • Don’t flood the AH with the dust or gems. Doing so will only cause the prices to drop faster.
  • Speaking of which, this is a “limited time only” strategy. Eventually the prices of powder and epic gems will deflate or the market will otherwise normalize. Act now if you intend to cash in.
  • Just like a drug (or junk bond) dealer, never get high from your own supply. Be patient and get your own tokens from the daily quest system. Don’t use your own powder for tokens since it sells for so much right now. Later, as prices of powder go down, you can use it in this fashion.
  • Have patience; sometimes the powder or gems won’t sell during a posting cycle. Other times it will all sell out, at any price. People get desperate or greedy but it can be cyclic. Play the long game.
  • Don’t try this on a single stack and expect exactly the same results. Our Jewelcrafting expert actually came up with these numbers based on spreadsheets that he uses to record his results and profits. Yes, he’s *that guy*. Anyway, he prospects hundreds of ore daily and the numbers he shared are based on his averages. In short, YMMV.
  • This strategy assumes an understanding of, and strict adherence to, a solid bid/ask strategy the development of which requires some amount of common sense. We make no assumptions about the common sense level of the average WoW player. Consider this a disclaimer.
  • The prices on your server may differ from those described above but the ratios and relative values are probably similar. Thus, use the above as a guideline but not exact price points. Do some homework and develop your own bid ask levels that work for your unique profit goals.

The Only Downside

Our Jewelcrafter asked me not to post the exact details under threat of incineration. His fear, and reasonably so, is that if this strategy becomes too popular then prices will drop faster and it won’t work any longer. I was actually hesitant to post this because he was pretty clear about his mortal threat to me but then I remembered that he plays a mage so I just LOL’d and posted it anyway. Of course, this assumes he was talking about in-game death. Perhaps I should have clarified…

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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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