Thursday, November 11, 2010

Speed is Money, Friend

As I continue to buy Northrend herbs to build my stockpile of glyphs ready for Cataclysm's release, I continue to look for other potential money-makers.

But before I go into a few suggestions, I want to draw attention to two recent announcements that affect the game in different ways.

Firstly, Blizzard announced that they are revoking the unattainability of the Insane in the Membrane achievement. With the changes to Feralas, Dire Maul is having its level reduced, and with these changes the Shen'dralar are becoming an obsolete faction. This meant that the associated achievement was to become impossible to complete post Cataclysm. It also meant that anyone wanting to get the Insane title was forking out tens of thousands in gold in order to complete their Shen'dralar rep. In fact, I made 30k off this sudden drive towards completion; as told in my initial gold-making post. It is what truly kick-started my gold-making endeavour and the change of tack for this blog.

Well, you can imagine just how upset people were - some of whom spent up to 50k gold on ensuring they got the achievement - when Blizzard decided to remove Shen'dralar from the requirements for getting it. They are planning on adding exalted reputation with the faction as a Feat of Strength in the future, but that is no consolation for this big kerfuffle.

This is just a reminder to us that you never know when Blizzard will make changes to the game and how it will affect the community. Everything, from spending gold to trying to make it contains some sort of risk. You wouldn't get anywhere if you didn't take risks.

It also reminds me of the Razzashi Hatchlings I have sitting in the bank. This is either a great asset or a waste of bank space. As I mentioned in my gold-making post, they could skyrocket to a very high value; but they could just as easily become worthless, if Blizzard decide to add a means of acquiring them from a vendor, or some other such simple method. The good thing for me is that I didn't pay one copper for them - I farmed the two that I have. But time is money, and so the time I spent getting them to drop was time not spent elsewhere doing something with a guaranteed reward. When I do sell them I will be able to calculate my hourly rate. Here's hoping that it is impressive enough to have a blog post of its own!

The second thing that I wanted to mention is the removal of the achievement, Helping Scribes Pay the Bills. This isn't the best news for scribes hoping to sell every single glyph and will reduce the demand for not so popular glyphs. Since I am focusing on simply providing just the most popular glyphs, it shouldn't affect my own sales terribly much. Also, who knows if they will add a similar achievement to the game in future.

And now, onto the main point of this post.

As everyone is aware, there will be a huge influx of levelling toons. I mentioned it in my previous post, but I will say it again: there is money to be made in providing a service for all those new toons and twinks, as well as people levelling from 80 to 85, and everyone levelling professions; albeit from scratch or from 450 to 525.

As the title of this post says, speed is money. The faster you go, the more you get done. And if the means is there to do something faster - move along the ground, zoom from node to node, be able to gather reagents at a lower skill level, or even to cook faster* - then there is also demand.

*Too bad tailors can't make Chef's Hats. ;)

Speed Enhancements
Some things to keep an eye on:
  • Mithril Spurs: with mount training available from level 20, and these puppies usable until level 70, who wouldn't want to pop a pair onto some ragged old boots and decrease the time getting from point A to point B? You can even steal my goblinesque phrase that speed is money, for trade channel advertising.
  • Enchant Gloves - Riding Skill: another mounted speed boost. Can't hurt to try selling these to all those Worgoblins, too.
  • Enchant Boots - Minor Speed: not just a twink enchant, having a minor speed boost is excellent for levelling - even after getting a mount. Also, ask any high-end raider and they will tell you not to underestimate the DPS increase that a speed boost provides. Blizzard have given multiple classes more skills, and even glyphs that increase speed in various ways. This points towards the attraction that movement speed provides under more circumstances than most people realise.
  • Enchant Boots - Boar's Speed: the mid-level movement speed enchant. It provides an extra 90 health to the wearer - a pitiful amount, even in the mid-30s, but people may just pay for this over Minor Speed.
  • Swiftness Potion: the alchemical answer to temporarily increasing movement speed. Sales of these are also worth considering with the sudden influx of levelling and twink toons.

Tag 'em and bag 'em
The best gatherer setup is to have a herbalist/miner druid with Master Riding and a pocket paladin (also with 310% flying). That way, you never have to dismount and you gain the benefit from Crusader Aura!

But no matter whether you are into gathering or not, there is an abundance of people who farm herbs, leather and ores. And what better incentive to go out and fill your bags than to have big bags to fill!

If I spend my first few Cataclysm hours taking advantage of the insane prices that will no doubt be affixed to brand new shiny ores and herbs, I would be wise to equip my chosen gatherer with four of the appropriate 32-slot bags.

There should be a demand for these bags, but you can always look into the cheaper options to provide for people without quite so much gold to spend on item-specific bag-space. Remember to check reagent prices now, while people are dumping their Northrend stock!

Gathering Enchants
Not only will people profit from having the most bag space possible, but being able to mine that node or pick that herb as early as possible is also beneficial.
  • Herbalist's Gloves - for leather armour wearers and above.
  • Enchant Gloves - Advanced Herbalism: I would imagine that the demand for this enchant will rise if it hasn't already. And it stacks with the bonus on Herbalist's Gloves!
  • Enchant Gloves - Advanced Mining: the miners' equivalent to the above enchant. Too bad there are no gloves with a mining bonus, but there is a helmet for Engineers. :)
  • Enchant Gloves - Skinning. There are BoP items out there that increase skinning skill, but not everyone knows about them or has had the luck to acquire them. I know that I coveted both Finkle's Skinner and Zulian Slicer (when ZG was released) back in the day but just never got either on my hunter. :(
  • Enchant Gloves - Gatherer: note the minimum level. This should still go up in demand with the amount of people gathering in the new high level zones. Also, unlike the other +5 enchants, Gatherer is learned from enchanting trainers.

Remember that there are plenty of other options out there! Look for other ways to help players enhance their levelling experience and you will both benefit. The reward for this is likely to be greater than the risk. Just remember that nothing in life is certain. :)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

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