Tuesday, September 8, 2009

General Update: 9/8/2009

Edit: Randomsmo has started a blog and posted on the 2T8 vs 4T9 debate I talk a little bit about below. Since I already gave him credit for sparking idea, I think it is a good idea that I link to his post. You can find it here.

It’s been a little while since I wrote a real post. Since I don't have anything specific I am ready to post on, it is time for a new General Update.

Raid Progress:

Well, Anub'arak became available and everyone marched into the loot piƱata that is ToC. Once again, the normal mode boss was pretty much a push over in my opinion. We got him down in two shots, and the first was a 2% enrage wipe. If we had been a little more comfortable with the fight mechanics it would have easily been a one shot.

Granted, one of our 10man groups did get in there on Tuesday and had a little bit of trouble. However, that was primarily due to a flawed strategy that they took from the PTR. Once they figured out it wouldn't work they downed him easily.

So with Anub'arak down, we moved onto Heroic ToC. I will admit my expectations were pretty low for the Heroic version of ToC. Given how easy normal was, I thought we would walk in there and down a couple of bosses. Boy was I wrong. Heroic ToC is pretty darn tough. We had a couple of issues with Group Composition given that some of our regular raiders weren't available, but we couldn't get out of phase 2 cleanly on the 25man version. My 10man group didn't even attempt it because we are trying to finish up the Ulduar Meta for a couple of people, but the other group did get in there and downed the first 3 bosses on heroic.

Heroic ToC is definitely doable, but it will take some practice. Unfortunately this poses another problem. We still have some fights left to finish up in Ulduar. We still want to get the meta achievement in there which means we need to pick up Firefighter, Vezax hard, and 1 light in the darkness. Since we have only a 9 hour schedule it will be a little difficult to work on both the ToC and Ulduar hard modes. Luckily they haven't announced the removal of the Drakes yet so we have at least 30 days to finish it up.

BiS Lists:

In some of my comments and emails, I've had a couple of questions about my BiS choices. I would like to address what I think are a couple of misunderstandings. First off, everyone needs to understand that a BiS list is just a Christmas wish list. Ninety nine percent of players in the game are unlikely to be able to get everything they want before a new tier becomes available. So, basing all of your gearing choices on a BiS list is pretty unrealistic.

Second, I never intended anyone to make loot choices based entirely off of my BiS list or the larger gear list. The list is a tool to help you see how things relate. It also organizes all of the options in one convenient place. What I expect players to do is to take a look at what is available and come up with a gear plan. What choices are best for you given the gear you already have and what is likely to be available.

For example, my back is pretty old. I picked up the [Shroud of Luminosity] from Naxx and have been rocking it for a long time. There haven't been a lot of good upgrades since then, and what there has been hasn't really dropped for us. [Jaina's Radiance] is BiS for me, but let’s be honest. I am nowhere close to being able to complete a ToC 25man tribute run. I can't hold how for that item. On top of that, most of the best items are from ToC tribute runs, so I need to realize that picking one up might take a while. On the flip side, [Shawl of the Refreshing Winds] is number 11 on my list, but it is an upgrade and drops off of Normal Beasts. The next time it drops I will probably invest a significant amount of DKP into it, despite it not being on my BiS list.

Tier 9 vs Tier 8:

I've commented on this before, but I want to take a look at it again, since I've heard some interesting new ideas, and continue to get questions about it.

  • 4T8 vs 2T9: The 2 piece T9 set bonus is better. My math from several months ago showed that instant Starfires were worth about 2.5% DPS while critting Moonfires were worth about 4.0%. When you consider the additional stats from T9 the 2T9 set bonus is an easy winner.

  • Which 2 pieces of T9: This really depends on what items you have and what you can pick up, but let’s assume you have full T8. If that is the case then I would pick up the T9 Chest and Helm. You're giving up 2 pieces of Spirit for two pieces without. Also, you wouldn't be making any big shifts regarding the hit cap by replacing your T8 gear in this way. Your T8 chest doesn't have hit on it and neither does the T9 chest. The T8 helm has hit on it and so does the T9. This makes for a very easy transition.

  • 2T8 vs 4T9: Mathematically, 2T8 is a clear winner unless you’re able to build a full set of T9.258. However, I read an interesting point on the WoW forums recently. (Randomsmo posted his point on his new blog here.) The point was that while 2T8 is better than 4T9 mathematically, 4T9 is a lot more consistent. Every Starfire and Wrath you cast will benefit from 4T9, while you can get screwed by RNG with 2T8. When you combine that with the stat advances you get from the T9.245 gear you can make a good argument for the upgrade. I will have to plug it into the model to be sure but I don't think it is a big DPS sacrifice.

Toon Update:

I haven't done much with the Lock or the Priest lately, because Grayvik my mage has been getting all of my alt attention. He is currently level 69 and I am trying to get him to Northrend as quickly as possible. (I know I could take him now, but I want him to be 70 first. It just makes it easier to use the guide that way.) He has been advancing pretty quickly for a couple of reasons. First, Outland is much more fun to level in than Azeroth is. The quest lines are easy to follow and you can do a lot of quests at once. Also, since I can fly, it's a lot easier to complete some of the quests. Second, I need a herber in Northrend. Since I dropped Herbalism on Graylo, I am at the mercy of the Auction House for my herbs. That's not a big deal if you plan ahead, but I don't like not being able to farm if the prices are unusually high.

Overall his levelling has gone well without issue. I did find one very surprising thing, however. The quests in Nagrand have been nerfed quite a bit. I think I remember seeing a note saying that the animal slaughter quests were nerfed, but it doesn't stop there. My guide lists what it thinks the quest requirements are and what the actual quest requirements are. For almost every quest where I had to "kill X number of this" or "collect X number of that," the number of items or kills needed had been reduced, by between 33 - 66%. That is huge. It has made the zone go a little quicker but to be honest I am a little disappointed. I was looking forward to skinning all of the beasts. Anyway, I am about half way through 69 and should ding 70 in the beginnings of Blades Edge Mountains.

One Quick note: Thank you Myraxa and Tigeris. I was doing the bird quest in Shattrath and couldn't seem to solo it. I was getting through the 3 add rushes with no problem, but the last bird did too much damage and had too much health for me to kill on my own. So I asked for help from the guild. Myraxa and Tigeris helped out, and wanted to be mentioned on the blog.

Goblin Activity:

I am continuing with my AH activities. I've had my ups and downs, but overall I think it is going pretty well. A guildie of mine, Nosismyhero, walked me through Auctioneer and explained a little bit of the functionality that I didn't understand. It has made playing the AH a lot easier.

My bag business has been tough lately. The cost of mats has gone up quite a bit. I used to find a lot of the mats around 4 gold and below, but lately a lot of it has been above that. In addition to that, the price of bags has gone down quite a bit, with prices being between 7g and 7.5g. There is still money to be made but it's not a lot. The flask business seems to be on the rebound. The flask prices have gone back up, but the price of Frost Lotus has gone up as well.

Also, I have a lot more respect for people like Gevlon who have been able to make a lot of money from Inscription. Since picking up the profession, I have tried to make money from it a couple of times, but haven't been able to find the right glyphs yet. I may not have discovered the right glyphs yet, but most of what I make has sat on the AH with little profit. It's definitely not as simple as some of the other professions. With Alchemy and Tailoring there are really only a few things you can sell for a profit so it is easy to figure out. Since there are literally hundreds of glyphs it is much tougher to learn for Inscription.

The bright spot in my Goblinish Activity is that I think I've found a good market to play in. It is the Armor Vellum III market. The volume is high, and the competition seems relatively low on my server. I sold several hundred over the weekend for 100% - 150% profit. On top of that, there is no deposit cost for listing them, so the market has very little risk. If this past weekend is any indication I might be able to make 1k gold a week off of just this item.

If anyone reading this is experienced in the glyph market and has any suggestions, please pass them on.

(Edited by Flamedor)


Will said...

The Glyph Market

Addons, needed to be successful w/o lots of time involved.
Auctioneer - List glyph Prices
Advanced Trade Skills Window - Allow batch creating glyphs
Lil'Sparkey's Workshop - Show prices of glyphs next to recipe in ATSW
Altoholic - To see how many of each glyph you have on all your toons.
QuickAuctions2 - To Sell Stuff
Postal - Makes getting your mail, more palatable.

Patch Lil'Sparkey's - This will add counts to the left of the recipe in ATSW

if itemID>0 and LSWConfig.showLevel then
local _, _, quality, _, itemLevel = GetItemInfo(itemID)
if itemLevel then
local r,g,b,hex = GetItemQualityColor(quality)
if (itemLevel == 0) then
itemLevel = "1"
local scroll = LSW.scrollData[recipeID]
if scroll then
itemID = scroll.scrollID 

my code is between the ******

Milling Macro: Bind to some key combo and press it every 5 sec or so to mill stacks of herbs.
Other possibilities include using AutoHotkey to programm a macro to press the button every 5
sec, or using the programable macros on a Logitech G15 keyboard to hit the button every 5 sec
(thats what I did). Then watch TV, eat dinner, etc and come back to stacks of milled herbs.

/cast Milling
/use Adders Tongue
/use Goldclover
/use Deadnettle
/use Lichbloom

Bank Alts:
Depending on how many Glyphs you can create, you will need from 1-3 bank alts, fully decked out
with 32 slot inscriptons bags, just to hold all your inventory. What I do is I craft "Stacks"
of glyphs, I do my stacks for the most part up to 10 or 14 glyphs, and just keep the stacks
full. Once a week, mill, and craft, takes a bit of doing, about an hour or so for me.

QuickAuctions 2:
Configure QA2:
Post Cap - 1,2,3 whatever you want to put up
Post Time - 24 or 48 depending on how much babysitting you want to do.
Undercut - from 1s to several gold.
Bid Percent - 95% or so is what I put
Per Auction - 1
Fallback - If you want to make more gold per auction, but less gold overall then set this
to 35 - 45g. If you want to burn through inventory, then something like 8 - 10g
which seems to make more money overall, but require more crafting time.
Fallback Cap - how much over your fallback you will go before cutting out, when you are
undercutting someone. ex. If your fallback is 35g and someone is selling a
glyph for 200g, and your fallback cap was 200% you would post for 70g instead of
Minimum - Price underwhich not to post. Lots of people leveling inscription, leveling
glyphs are very cheap in the AH.

Create 2 groups of glyphs, those that use 1 ink, and those that use 2. From there you can
make intelligent decisions about the min cost of the glyphs and such. Set it up so that
you get a 2g profit based on the max you will spend on herbs to make inks. Do daily AH
searches for cheap herbs and inks.

The most time consuming part, is getting your mail. QA2 makes posting glyphs a snap. I'm working
on a script that will go through your glyphs, and queue some for production if you have less than
x quantity of that glyph available for sale. Probably take a week or two before I actually finish
it off.

Mobus said...

August 8th? You mean its my buddy's 21st again? Sweet, I'm totally gonna get trashed all over again! :P

Just kiddin, I love your blog Gray!

kindercan of bladefist said...

they should put a sign outside TOC "FREE STUFF"

Unknown said...

I levelled a priest to level 65 for the primary purpose of making money off inscription. After 2 weeks of effort I've made over 16k gold and I have a nobles deck I made for my boyfriend.

As Will says a large part of making gold with inscription is mods. Quick Auctions 2 is critical. It's basically the only mod I care about. I use the functionality of QA2 to craft any and all glyphs that are currently selling for over 4g (which is roughly the break even point for a 2 ink glyph on my server) and where there's no competition pick a price- I like 50g to list glyphs at (but at a high price like that you are more likely to be undercut, so set the prices based on how able you are to check back on the AH throughout the day).

As my priest was created purely to do glyphing, I have 4 full 32 slot inscription bags with which to post on the auction house (posting a full day's auctions usually takes 4 trips to the AH- I list over 200 different glyphs at a time). I don't need alts (saving me time), but if your scribe is used for anything other than inscription you will probably need an auctioneer alt.

You will make money with Inscription. You just need to mass post glyphs. You need to make at least a couple of 80% of the glyph recipes you know and then just list them all en masse. Listing so many glyphs only costs a couple of gold and you'll make that back from the price of a single glyph. When glyphs sell for 50g I'm making a 2500% return. Gevlon's started a new series so that may help you out more. But for me it's simply a matter of having Quick Auctions 2. That does 90% of the work for me.

Gevlon said...

I make an offtopic comment, though I know all bloggers (including me) hate them, feel free to delete it after (or without) consideration.

It's a question that a moonkin friend asked and I couldn't answer. After cataclysm there will be 2 races available for druids. He is concerned that he will be uncompetitive with troll moonkins and wants to know if it worth rerolling?

Borke said...

Gevlon, I wouldn't make any plans yet about the race of my druid in Cataclysm.

It is true that with the current racials, trolls offer a dps advantage over tauren (how much of an advantage I don't know).

However, Blizzard has already mentioned that they will be revisiting the racials of "old" races, and before seeing the outcome of that, it's impossible to tell whether trolls or tauren will make the better boomkin.

Graylo said...


Pretty much what Borke said.

In terms of DPS the current troll racials are clearly superior to the tauren racials, but Blizzard has said that they will be reviewing all of the racials.

However, even if they don't change the racials I see no need for taurens to reroll. While the troll racials might give them a slight advantage it really isn't that big. Most bosses are not beasts there for Beast Slaying has little impact. VooDoo Shuffle is great for none druids, but druids can shift our of most movement impairing effects. Berserking is great, but it is a 10 second buff that you can only use once every 3 minutes.

Taking a line from some of your recent posts, quality of play is much more important than gear. In this situation racial abilities are basically slightly better gear.

Finally, in the worst case scenario your friend could probably do a paid race change. I may have missed something, but I've only heard Blizzard say they will prevent changes to Goblins and Worgen.

@All of the Helpful Advice

Thank you for all of the suggestions.

The timing of me as asking for help is pretty funny. Right after I posted my request I went and looked at Gevlon's blog and see detailed suggestions on the Inscriptions market.

I think my biggest issue has been that I've tried to enter the market slowly. I didn't want to buy to many Herbs and get over stocked with ink. I didn't want to produce a lot of glyphs that won't sell like the ones I leveled with, and I didn't want to get loaded down with addons. Ultimately I didn't want to lose a lot of gold.

My fear of making a mistake is pretty huge, I am now realizing that this is not something you can do half assed. Its all or nothing.

Really, I don't know what the big deal is about making a mistake. I currently have 28k gold across my toons. According to Gavlon, it takes about 5k to start an inscriptions business. If I lost 5k gold it would suck but I would be ok. On top of that I probably wouldn't lose all of it. I just need to jump in and see if I can swim.

Mera said...

About you saying the Armour Vellum 3 market was no risk - surely there is some risk, although I see what you mean.

If you don't sell 1000g worth of vellum for 2 weeks, assuming you have 100% profit, then that's 500g that you have tied up (100% ==> 500g mat cost). That may be 500g you need to buy other stuff, or make another sale. It is 500g that could also be invested elsewhere, such as bags (for example, I know you said bags were slacking atm though). If you have enough capital for it not to be an issue, then 500g is not much to be tied up. But it's still got some risk.

Graylo said...


I didn't say the market had no risk. I said it had very little risk.

I have two business degrees with concentrations in Economics, Finance, and Banking. I understand the concepts of Opportunity costs and such.

My point was that if the item doesn't sell, I don't lose anymoney to a deposit. On top of that Armor Vellum III is something that is critical to the Enchanting market, therefore there is significant demand. So, it is going to sell eventually at some price. So, I can easily produce a ton of it and post all of it on the AH. What doesn't sell I just repost. That way I don't miss any sale opportunities unless I'm undercut.

So, I stand my my original comment.

Will said...


The weird thing about the inscription market is getting over the idea of selling good glyphs, at least it was for me. At first I started by researching which glyphs were recommended for each spec of each class, and would produce those glyphs, then eventually I went with Gevlon's advice and just produced 10 of every glyph, and started auto posting them undercutting everyone by 1s, and posting any that were not contested for 35g. Went from about 1k gold to about 30k gold in a month doing that. Reinvested a lot in leveling other skills and buying a month supply of herbs / inks. And I'm sitting pretty at about 20k. Now moving into posting more glyphs at about 8-10g each and seriously driving the prices for the whole market down. In general though, you never know what will sell that day. Some days the good glyphs sell, some days no one is leveling, and you make your money on crap glyphs that no one should be using.

Chris said...

My scribe is an active raid toon, and I'm able to run a successful (8k/wk) business without an auction alt.

I craft and list 4 of every glyph that sells at a good profit (100%), aggressively undercut my competitors, and ferry armloads of glyphs to the AH from my mailbox. Since I don't craft much overstock I need to re-craft every couple of days, but QA's queue system works pretty well for that. There are a few glyphs that go like hotcakes, so I'll keep a few extra in the bank.

Don't be afraid to buy up all of those Glyph Mastery books. On my server they ran between 70g-100g, and guildies were willing to pass them to me for about 40. You'll make your money back on the full set of books pretty quickly.

Make friends with a farmer! I have herbs coming COD into my mail every day at a pre-arranged price. Now if only I could find a sucker to push the milling/inking buttons for me for 1g/stack.

Also, I made a modification to the QuickAuctions source that lets it use Auctioneer data, so now cancel/post is lightning quick. It's not stable enough to post the code anywhere, but I may work on a cleaner implementation soon.

Macook said...

I think they nerfed the first post on H ToC since you wrote this. Last week we downed the first 3 bosses -- none were as hard as the Northrend Beasts.

This week - they nerfed the beasts, and buffed Jaraxxus.

It's pretty fun, but I estimate we'll have Heroic Anub down by next week at this rate.

Pucc said...


Since you all only raid 9 hours a week you can do what we did and that is Clear what you can the first week in Ulduar and then do the raid lock out on Ulduar so that you have more time in there.

Good luck with Hardmode 25s Beasts is much more doable now with longer time for icehowl and longer enrage (which wasnt added on tuesday but might be fixed now) Jarax we just got last night and its a another burst DPS check but its a fun fight imho.

Anonymous said...

question: I have over 300 hit, why do I miss in ToC??

I'll go to put FF on Lord J and miss... It is really getting to me. I missed like 5% of all spells in 10 man ToC...

Anonymous said...

@gargen: i think that ff would need 17% hit and you dont have that until ff is up so yeah it can miss, have that problem on faction champions it kinda sucks especially when your trying to cc the rogue :S

@graylo: just an off-topic question, wasnt sure where to post it but with 2t9/2t8 set bonuses which my druid is currently using would it be more dps if u didnt put up insect swarm or not?

ive heard some boomkin say that insect swarm is a dps loss from the gcd's used to put it up,

i myself currently use it havent tried without on a dummy but usually do 5-5.5k dps on dummy self buffed.

Kyanr said...

I was just looking through your blog for a stat weight system and I haven't found an updated version since the changes to Eclipse. I was wondering if one, anything had actually changed (I'm guessing it has because you now want to use both solar and lunar) and two, if you would be awesome enough to post a new one (or tell me how to make my own :P )

Anonymous said...

Enchantrix has an auto-disenchant feature that also applies to milling. You turn it on and then click "Yes" over and over until the box doesn't pop up anymore, and presto you milled all your herbs. I suggest having a TV nearby or Hulu on another monitor or you will go braindead.

Also your server, being rather high population, likely has people that do nothing but camp the AH
canceling and reposting glyphs. Several mods such as MarketWatch and others have the ability to cancel all your auctions that have been undercut by other people with a single button click. So there will be people doing this constantly and relisting their glyphs at 1c under yours. If you expect to make large amounts of profit you'll want to track who these people are (keep your friends close and your enemies closer) so you can know to relist after they log out.

Also there are no magic glyphs. The prices on all glyphs fluctuate quite a bit, the key to large profits is to sell all of them. There are some that are next to useless and so don't see much sales volume at all, like Scourge Imprisonment or Shackle Undead or Rake, so you can just not make those. But pretty much everything else you want to have 3-5 of them up on the AH at all times.

Check your AH often for low priced herbs like Tiger Lily and Deadnettle. These are the best herbs to get for inscription because they're Northrend herbs so they can be turned into any ink you need, and they're the cheapest around. Sometimes you can snag good deals on other low-level herbs like felweed or kingsblood too.

Bottom line, glyph making is a cruel, time consuming task and you'll very likely have to fight several other competitors to make sure your glyphs are the lowest priced. But the rewards can be very nice.