Tag Archives: Profitable PVP

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 This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail.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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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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Wintergrasp PVP Becomes Less Profitable

Last night Blizzard announced that they will be changing the quest format for Wintergrasp PVP quests from a daily to a weekly quest system in an effort to better control lag in the zone. Presumably, the aim is to disincentivize players from participating in the battle regularly and thus reduce the amount of lag generated overall. The disappointing aspect of this change, in our opinion, is the significantly lower profit potential for participation. Previously, Wintergrasp was a fantastic use of time in that it offered high-end farming of herbs and ore (and, most recently, even fish) while providing significant gains in honor, honorable kills, and gold and shards. At this point it looks like the new weekly quests will reward the following:

  • 1/7th the amount of gold as the current daily version (same amount of gold for weekly as for daily)
  • Less than ½ the amount of honor (equivalent to 3 days of the old quest)
  • Less than ½ the amount of shards (equivalent to roughly 4 days of the old daily quests)

MMO Champion posted photos of the new quest rewards should you wish to research further.

The irony in the change is that the lag was caused by massive player participation which indicated a large amount of interest in the content. It would seem that the content was too successful and now Blizzard is looking for ways to make it less attractive as opposed to either making alternative content more attractive or finding a way to reduce lag.

In decreasing the rewards for participating in a Wintergrasp battle Blizzard has also increased the opportunity cost of participation. It will be much more difficult to make the decision to join the battle going forward but this was, of course, Blizzard’s intent.

For what it’s worth, Blizzard later stated that they’re still evaluating this change… And yeah, we won’t be holding our breath for a correction either.

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A Tutor for the School of Hard Knocks

Okay, we’re not a PVP blog. Nor are we an achievement blog. We don’t even play one on TV. That said, we’ve heard a ton of complaints from both readers and friends regarding the School of Hard Knocks achievement that is part of the Children’s Week meta-achievement. Earlier today all of the WoWenomics team members completed the hard knocks achievement and we did it on different servers with PUG groups. Naturally, we’ve figured out our own tricks to efficiently complete this (agreeably challenging) PVP component to an otherwise easy holiday event. It is these tips and tricks that we will share with you now.

First of all, it should be noted that all of the WoWenomics team members are in agreement that this achievement will be removed from the meta-achievement required to attain the Long Strange Trip achievement. It is simply of a different degree of difficulty to most players than the other holiday achievements. Blizzard has already stated that they believe that “…all of the goals listed are actually fairly simple to accomplish.” And we know that statement absolutely enrages some players (a look at the official forums confirms). All this is to say that, for now anyway, it is probably best to assume that the requirement will remain.

Breaking Down the Battlegrounds

  • Alterac Valley (Assault a tower)- This one is a big race to a tower. Ideally, you’ve got any skills or items to increase your riding speed increased at your disposal. Once you get into a tower consider using some of the tools of the trade mentioned below. Beyond that, the best way to win the race to a tower is to get a head start. Start auto-running at the gate before it opens. If you’re on the alliance side you can take the high path while others follow the road. This route (behind the tree to the left of the path where it starts to go downhill) takes some skill and practice to get used to but can save you a few seconds in the race if executed correctly. Note, if you don’t have a speed enhancement of some kind it will be more beneficial to stick with the group assuming someone’s got a group riding speed buff up.
  • Arathi Basin (Assault a base flag)- This is probably the easiest of all the BG requirements. Simply be the first to assault a base flag. Note that you’ll have to complete the flag capture to get credit. This doesn’t mean you have to wait for the base to cap, only that you have to complete the flag capture process. For this reason, we do not advise going for the blacksmith unless you’re very fast or have teammates that can and will keep your opponents off of you. To give yourself a head start, pop out your orphan, mount up and begin auto-running into the gate before it opens. You’d be surprised how much of a head start this gives you. There are certain class skills that can also help. For example, a mage can put slow fall on the group and this group can jump off the cliff to the flag at the gold mine or a death knight could put the water walking buff on a group who could then race across any water and directly to the blacksmith. Anything helps here although the easiest way is to go straight to the flag closest to your base (although that’s also the flag with the most competition).
  • Eye of the Storm (Capture a flag)- Here’s where you need the speed tools from the list below. After gaining control of the middle, flag-spawning area, you’ve got to be the first to click the flag and complete the flag attainment process and return it to a friendly base. Any damage you take will interrupt the attainment of the flag. The best way to insure that you are the one with the flag is to begin clicking the space where it will appear just after the flag is capped by either team. A few practice runs and you’ll perfect exactly where it spawns. Note, everyone running straight for the flag is not a good idea as the opposition will take all the bases (since they start off neutral and must be capped) and you’ll have no where to take the flag if you get it.
  • Warsong Gulch (Return a flag)- This one can be tricky. You’ve got to be the person to return a flag to your base after it is captured. Try clicking right above the head of the opposing team’s flag carrier right before he dies. And, for God’s sake people, kill (or stun) the darn healers first or that flag carrier will never die!
  • For all BGs- consider going in pre-made. By far, the best way to get all the achievements done is to go in with a pre-made group (ideally guildmates or friends) and take turns completing the various tasks.

Tools of the Trade

These items are all standard issue to regular PVPers. You might want to use them yourself if your class’s skills don’t have any of the abilities they grant.

  • Turbo boost- there are various consumables, items and trinkets that will boost your run speed. Use them. Consider using them one after another in cases where there is not a shared cool down. The situational need for a speed boost should be obvious and, if it’s not, it will become so after an attempt or two.
  • Flask of Chromatic Wonder- This is our favorite PVP flask because it adds to our resistance while boosting all stats. Both of these functions are helpful for PVP. Generally you don’t want to use elixirs for buffs in PVP, as it can get expensive as the deaths stack up.
  • Small mount- this is not the time for the mammoth. You want to be harder to hit and that means being smaller. Clickers will have a harder time hitting you if you lower your size. Further, you’ll be harder to see. It’s a small thing (lame pun intended), but every bit counts.
  • Invisibility potions- if you’re class cannot stealth, you’ll want a couple of these in your inventory and on your hot bar. They’re perfect for sneaking by AV turtles or past tower defenses. Just remember that any damage will take away the buff so avoid AoE spells on your way to your goal.
  • Nets, snags and snares- both engineers and tailors can use their professions to create snares. Almost every class can stun or snare an opponent in some way. Use these tools to your advantage and cap the flag first, then fight.

Dirty Tricks (we don’t endorse these tricks but we’ve seen them used and can confirm that they work-use at the risk of your reputation and karma)

  • Let someone else do the work- The most common tactic, if you can even call it that, is to simply let others do the bulk of the work. In our quest to complete this achievement we repeatedly observed players doing things like waiting for others to fight with tower guards or flag carrying opposing players and then sneak in at the last minute and take the cap. If you’re a good PVPer you don’t need to do this but this is the result of ‘forcing’ non-PVPers into the battlegrounds.
  • Multi-queue- If you want to get in and out and be done with this achievement ASAP the Multi-queue can help. This is where you queue for several battlegrounds at once. The best use of it here is to do AB and AV at the same time. Queue for Arathi Basin and as wait for the invite to come up. Wait until you’ve got less than 30 seconds on the timer to join and then sign up for Alterac Valley. This should give you just enough time to get into AB, race to a flag and cap it. As soon as the invite for AV pops, take it and start that one.
  • Protecting the competition- Now this is a genuine dirty tactic but we observed a few players doing it during our runs today. You can’t cap a flag if you’re immune. If you have some form of immunity that you can put on another player (such as a Palli’s Hand of Protection) and you find yourself about to lose out on the flag cap because they are just in front of you, apply the buff to them and they won’t be able to cap. Again, we don’t recommend this as it can really piss people off but, if nothing else, it is helpful to be aware of this tactic in the event it is used against you in which case just be prepared to click the buff off.
  • Trade achievements with the opposing team- One of our team members reported being in a WSG match today where it seemed players were trading off opportunities to take and then drop and return the opposing team’s flags. Our team member said that at one point he took the opposing team’s flag and tried to return it and was yelled at by his own teammates who wanted him to drop it and let the other side have it back for the credit. They went as far as to stand by and let our friend die when he tried to return it. While the other ‘dirty tricks’ above are bad ideas because they’re, perhaps, morally wrong, this one is just plain cheating and violates the ToS. Our WoWenomics team member’s subsequent conversation with a GM on the matter confirms this. Don’t do it. Play the game to the best of your ability and you’ll get it done eventually.

One Final Tip

Don’t forget to have your little orphan out when you complete a BG achievement. Nothing is more frustrating than forgetting this simple step and not getting credit.

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Funny Money- 19 April 2009

Funny Money is a weekly column published at the end of the week with the intent to have a little fun with the world of finance. Every weekend we’ll bring you a financial quote, a song relating to money, something interesting from the real world of business and a quick WoW gold making tip. Read on and have some fun…

Money Quote

“Taxation WITH representation ain’t so hot either.”
-Gerald Barzan

The Sounds of Prosperity

Supply and Demand
-The Hives

Funny Business

As the US dollar continues to lose value against rival currencies, one artist has found new uses for it.

Weekend Gold Tip

Be sure to loot the corpses of the dead in your battlegrounds when you can. This can be particularly lucrative in areas of heavy battle, such as the keep area in Wintergrasp towards the end of the PVP event.

Bonus: A Gem of Humor from the Official WoW Forums

Ever wonder if Blizzard’s ‘blue posters’ tell their guild mates about their WoW jobs? One forum poster asks the question and gets a response from a blue. Hilarity ensues. For a concise version with only the blue responses, check out the WoWFix version.

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The Loot Council- Economic Stimulus Edition

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

Warcraft Econ has an excellent tip for the PVPers out there. They’ve discovered what they say is an otherwise undocumented new way to spend honor points in patch 3.1- Blue gems can now be bought and sold for honor. Finally, a bailout for those PVPers with their honor points capped! Hurry, because as more and more players discover this trick the gems will fall in value.

The Greedy Goblin talks about Moral Hazard, the social risks inherent in bailing someone out financially. Given the obvious correlation to the current situation in the real world global economy, this ends up sparking an interesting debate amongst his readers so be sure to check out the comments section as well.

Since we’re talking bailouts, Looking for Group made us literally laugh out loud (as they often do) when we read Richard’s strategy for economic stimulus.

WoW Insider’s Insider Trader has a nice roundup of the 3.1 glyph market and the boost it has provided to scribes. The article is both comprehensive and concise and an excellent jump off point for any profit-minded scribe.

Just My Two Copper continues their series on farming mobs for profit. This time with an AoE location suggestion that could prove an effective way to generate gold for AoE DPS classes.

The Pugnacious Priest doesn’t mind sharing but this is ridiculous. All gatherers in WoW are (unfortunately) familiar with this type of behavior but not everyone gets such a good screen cap of the incident. Let this be a lesson to you… Don’t cast your line in another man’s pool!

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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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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