About a week ago an article was published on WoW.com advising readers of the financial benefits of farming a certain highly profitable fish. While we’ve also previously advised that WoW traders focus on fishing and cooking Dragonfin, we do not have quite the same community reach as WoW.com.
The result over the past week has been, as you might have predicted, a sharp drop in the going rate of uncooked Dragonfin Angelfish. Generally, the price of raw Dragonfin stays higher than the prices of equivalent Northrend fish not only because the demand for the cooked fish is so high but also because the supply is diminished by not being connected at all to any fishing daily quests. The currently lower price, however, presents a fantastic opportunity for in-game chefs to turn a quick gold by simply purchasing the price-depressed fish, cooking and selling at a hefty mark-up. The key to this, and really any high-end cooking-for-profit, strategy is in attaining the Northern Spices inexpensively. One idea is to purchase Dragonfin Angelfish for less than 50 gold, the spices for less than one gold and then sell the stacks of cooked product for 100 gold or more. This nets a nice 30 gold per stack minimum profit and the time investment is minimal because we know you’ve already got your Chef’s Hat right?
Be sure to consider both types of cooked Dragonfin for the most profitable variety. Both Dragonfin Filet and Blackened Dragonfin can sell profitably but our experience is that there is usually higher demand for the Filet variety. The profitability of the Blackened fish, however, was increased with the patch 3.2 changes that reduced the amount of raw fish required to cook the item.
The irony to this easy tip is that the author of the post over at WoW.com quite correctly advises readers not to sell the fish when the market is flooded and to examine the entire value chain to determine whether it is best to sell the raw or cooked fish. Naturally, these key points seem to be lost on the community and the result has been a mass influx of uncooked Dragonfin onto the market. If, indeed, the uptick in raw fish on the market is attributable to this article, it can also be expected that the over supply period will end and prices will return to normal levels as the more casual players exit the market. In the mean time, we’re scooping up all the cheap fish we can find.
The WoWenomics team was asked to brainstorm their thoughts on what makes the best bank or Auction House alt. Here are the a few of their ideas:
- Private Guild
First and foremost, a bank alt should have their own guild. We won’t get too deep into the specifics of why beyond saying that it is the most inexpensive storage solution for mass amounts of materials. Bag slots per capita are cheaper when paying for a brand new guild and a few bank tabs then when purchasing additional personal bank slots and crafting or purchasing large bags. Further, you can better categorize your materials by naming and selecting an appropriate icon for tabs (herbs, ore, gems, consumables, etc.). Zekta’s got a nice write up of the benefits to creating your own guild. Definitely worth a look.
A selling alt should have fast movement speed. Faster than other players anyway. The idea is that you often have to run back and for the between mail box, the bank and the AH. You want a player that has skills that enable this sort of fast movement. If its something you’re going to be doing lots of, you want to save as many seconds as possible.
No need for a gathering skill. Your bank alt will be spending the majority of their time in capital cities so there should be very little gathering involved. You may wish to choose gathering professions while leveling your bank alt and then switch to crafting professions later after you’ve attained the desired level. If you can’t let go of your farmer, we’ve advocated previously that your main should be your farmer as that toon will be spending the majority of its time out in the world. That said, it we understand if your play style prohibits that type of setup. The only thing we min/max around here is our wallets. Just remember that there’s no need to have a gathering skill on your banker. It’s a wasted profession. Ideally your profession should be something that has a neat cool down that provides a unique benefit every day or so also. This way, on days that you can’t really play, you can at least log in for a few seconds on a single toon (one that already has all your materials) and activate your cooldowns and log right back out.
- Additional Skills
We like the idea of maximizing profits. If you’re going to be on your bank alt standing around the cities, why not choose a class that allows you to benefit from an additional skill. Rogues that provide lockbox opening services and water boys that also sell ports come immediately to mind. Both of these skills are fairly easy to level although mages have the edge in terms of easy skill leveling. At any rate, choosing a class that grants an additional, albeit negligible, amount of income is a nice bonus.
This one is overlooked most often by amateur players. If your banker toon is also going to be doing a lot of your AH buying and selling, it will pay off to have a toon that is at least honorable with the city in which you are conducting business. Raise your reputation with this toon and save gold over the long term.
- Limit Spending
There is no need for your bank toon to have expensive mounts, toys or BoE gear. Bear in mind that this toon will mostly sit in the cities and generate gold. Don’t bother buying expensive stuff that won’t get used and instead save the money for upgrades on your other toons. Remember that saving gold is as important as generating gold when it comes to profits.
Hopefully these tips will help you get started in creating a profitable bank or AH alt. What other ideas can you think of to maximize alt production?
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.
Most quests in WoW offer some form of physical reward in addition to the gold or XP gained from the quest’s completion. Following the steps outlined in this short guide will help make certain that you pick the best rewards for your needs.
Items You Intend to Equip
If the item is something you intend to use the choice should be fairly easy. You’ll want to remember that items equipped while leveling are transient in nature meaning that just because an item seems useful now that doesn’t mean it will continue to be for very long. As most quests are completed at or near the recommended quest level, the items rewarded for quest completion are often even more prone to becoming obsolete than a crafted item or BoE drop that you might purchase from the auction house.
The other concern when selecting a quest reward for usage is that you might find it helpful to select items that address whatever issues you may be having. If you’re having a hard time with survivability, for example, select items with stamina. If mana regen is your issue, choose something with MP5 or spirit. Don’t simply go for the items that seem to suit your class or build. Remember, leveling and end game are different modes of play and benefit from differing approaches.
The final consideration is that, in the rare occasion when all things seem equal, you might want to choose the item with the highest item level. For almost all quests the item levels of the rewards are the same but there are a few instances when this is not the case. Patch 3.2 allowed the viewing of the item level but the feature needs to be enabled by the player. To enable item level viewing go to the options screen, select ‘interface’, ‘display’ and then check the box labeled “show item level”.
Items for Sale to a Vendor
When selecting items to be sold to a vendor you obviously want to pick the item that will sell for the most money. Until very recently, you would have to rely on one of several add-ons or mods to view the vendor price. As of patch 3.2 however, you can see the amount for which every item will sell. The conventional wisdom holds true in that higher DPS weapons sell for more and armor value is a good indicator of vendor price for armor. Just remember to make note of this feature while questing as a lot of old school WoWers are likely to revert to the old guessing game before even noticing this recently added feature.
A final thing to bear in mind is that it is almost never worth buying a BoE drop item from another player while leveling. As stated above, if you’re actively playing the game the item will be outdated soon enough as you progress through the game. The exceptions to this rule of thumb are trinkets that do tricks like regen health or mana or increase a certain stat (as these items can be quite unique even in the end-game), weapons (which seem to stay relevant for longer), off-hand items (good ones are harder to come by) and items in the ranged slot (librams, etc.).
Ever accidentally hit a bar along the top of the unmodified auction house and mess up the sorting? It helps to know that the default AH view is by rarity. Use this knowledge to correct the issue. An even more powerful use would be to sort your searches by an order that is more appropriate to your needs. Perhaps you want to view items by price or, even better, time left. Sorting items by time left within the category or search phrase you’ve already typed in lets you find those rare opportunities where other players have underpriced their bid level. Snipe these low priced goods up by bidding just before a patch day and you’ll get the occasional amazing deal. Even better, check out how profitable your sales become when you make a habit of sorting by time left and bidding on desired materials just before you log off. You’ll find that you snag a few amazing deals every week. It’s surprising how few players perform this simple AH trick.
When flying to Coldarra, save yourself a little change and fly to Amber Ledge instead. It’s only a savings of 50 silver, but if you find yourself going there why not just take the transfer and save the money? To do so, simply talk to the big red flight master drake, Surristrasz, and select the first of the two dialog options and your flight from Amber Ledge to Coldarra will be free of charge.
Now this would normally be enough of a savings to motivate cheap bastards like those of us behind this blog but, as Coldarra is a bit of a bottomless pit if you get summoned there before you can fly, Blizzard has built an option to also return to Amber Ledge free of charge. Many players don’t realize it but directly across from the Coldarra flight master there is an NPC by the name of Librarian Tiare who will instantly port you back to Amber Ledge thereby saving you the 45 silver return cost. Yes, it is strange that it costs 50S to get there and 45S to leave but by this we can only assume that Coldarra is the New Jersey of Northrend and so the best thing about it is the cheap travel to more desirable locales. Kidding… we’re kidding. No need to whack us dear neighborly mobsters.
With the combination of free flight and a free portal this simple mechanic can save you both time and gold so there is no reason not to amend your Coldarra travel plans and save a bit when you can. Oh, and as long as you’re headed to
New Jersey Coldarra be sure to help them with their nefarious drake exploitation plans as it is such a fast and easy daily and also take a look around for ‘The Don’ of the zone himself, Old Crystalbark. We’ve seen him there several times now that far fewer people are questing in the area.
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.