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Insider Trader: Of fish sales, glowcaps and other crafting minutiae


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last month, Insider Trader reported on Elite Fish Vendor, a web site providing Dethecus players offline shopping for in-game products like stat foods and raid consumables. This week, we've learned that Elite Fish Vendor has developed yet another unique feature: a groundbreaking new system, released just yesterday, that includes Auction House synchronization with Elite Fish Vendor web prices. "Prices are dynamically generated based on the current cost of mats for the items on the in-game Auction House and then displayed on the site," explains EFV designer Koobluh. And just yesterday, another brand new site threw its hat into the ring: warcraftlist.com, which aims not only to provide a craigslist-like experience for buying and selling in-game products but also guild recruitment and searches, social events and more.

More on web-based shopping for in-game products -- plus random notes on flying high over gathering nodes, motes of life and glowcaps, sitting while fishing and other important *coughcough* random observations on WoW professions -- after the break.

Something fishy
We told you last month about EliteFishVendor.com, a web site that's cleaning up on crafted product sales on Dethecus. This month, EFV debuts a system that syncs current Auction House prices on the EFV ordering site. When you order stat foods, consumables or other products from EFV (in-game gold for in-game products -- nothing fishy here except, of course, for the fish), the site prices your purchases based on Dethecus AH averages. It's like shopping the AH without even being in game.

We asked EFV's Koobluh for an update on all the new technology and item packages (he's added eight crafters to his production line to help provide a wider variety of items). All he would share about the back end of his project is that is reads AH data collected by the Auctioneer add-on. A visit to his site turns up a little more information:

Behind the scenes, this ordering system is powered by close to 12,000 lines of code, all built completely from the ground up. What does the code do? The site has been designed to provide dynamic pricing of goods based on current in-game auction house prices, something never before attempted. In case you were wondering – no, the AH data used is not real time. The data is collected every several hours. Exactly how this is done will be kept very secret, although I may release or sell the source code for it eventually. Because of the way the dynamic pricing works, there is no need to change the pricing data by hand. Everyone knows how potion prices can vary a lot. With this system, the price is adjusted completely automatically to match the Auction House. What if a product isn't available on the AH? The ordering system calculates the price based on the reagents required for the item!

While Koobluh notes that his code is very much still in beta and cautions customers about registration and ordering policies that some might consider inconvenient, it's an ingenious initiative, and Insider Trader looks forward to seeing how this venture develops in time.

The virtual marketplace
Just yesterday, we got notice of a craigslist.org lookalike that aims to connect WoW players who are looking for something with players who have those certain somethings."The site is a virtual-world version of the classified sections of real-world newspapers and real-world sites such as craigslist.org," claims warcraftlist.com, brought to you by the same folks who created the Google Maps-ish mapwow.com. "Sometimes reposting your latest Epic BOE drop on the auction house until it sells isn't the best idea -- all those auction house deposits add up." We all know how frustrating it can be to search for posts on a specific item or need on Blizzard's official server forums -- they tend to get lost in the white noise. WarcraftList offers a familiar, structured way of helping players find what they need and telling other players what they have to offer.

The new site is gold ad-free, claims Drew from the mapwow.com team, adding that "we're even working to remove the gold ads from mapwow.com now that we have a decent ad provider that can give us gold-free ads."

So there you have it, dear crafters. What do you think? Will web-based shopping for in-game products become the new trend?

Random crafting observations
We wrap up this week's Insider Trader with a round-up of crafting tips, news and chatter from around the world.

Mo' motes Herbalists out picking the weed in Zangarmarsh know that motes of life drop randomly off all Zangerherbs – but you might have wondered if glowcaps also offer a shot at a mote or three. In a nutshell: nope. Glowcaps aren't technically harvested but rather are looted items, and motes of life aren't included in their loot table. Sorry, guys!

Cop a squat Did you know you can fish while sitting down – or even completely laid out with /sleep? While we've mentioned this little-known, somewhat recent change before, it seems a lot of fishers don't know just how chill fishing can get. Take off your pack and sit for a while!

Farming LPSs and GPEs Enchanters in need of large prismatic shards and greater planar essences may want to check out this thread on the official forums. Players share some interesting server-specific observations, as well as their favorite crafted items that DE into LPSs and GPEs.

In search of mana thistle Can you get to mana thistle (used in various alchemy products) without a flying mount? You're not supposed to be able to – but tricksy players have discovered a quest (Aldor and Scryer versions) that allows you to teleport up to one area that has mana thistle spawns. Be sure not to finish the quest, though, or you'll no longer be able to use the teleporter!

The ol' switcheroo You gatherers may want to keep this macro switch back and forth quickly between their two professions close at hand: /castsequence Find Minerals, Find Herbs. Smack it once to find minerals and again to find herbs. Makes alternating between the two much easier on the mouse-finger!

Head in the clouds Insider Trader hereby declares January as "ZOMG I Think I'm Flying Too Fast to See Nodes Month." Nervous Nellies on a number of forums are agonizing over whether server lag, ultra-speedy mounts or sluggish computers are causing them to miss valuable gathering nodes. One European player even asked if Blizzard could implement some sort of feature that would create an audible signal when a node appears on the mini-map (to which blue gave a sympathetic thumbs-down). The general consensus on speed causing players to miss nodes? Yeah, it could happen – but missed nodes are more likely a result of your being too high above the node to get picked up on your radar. You don't have to follow the dwarven exhortation to "Keep yer feet on the ground!" ... But maybe a little less time in the clouds is a safe strategy for farming runs.

Insider Trader writer Lisa Poisso's latest (and as yet, still grounded) main character would trade a whole week's worth of nodes for a mount that could fly high and fast enough over nodes to make it possible to miss spotting them.

Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Alchemy, Enchanting, Tips, Insider Trader (Professions)

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