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Filed under: Economy

Currency Changes coming for Patch 6.0

We mentioned already that item upgrades would become purchasable with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Now, Blizzard has clarified a host of changes to how currency will work in Patch 6.0 and beyond. In addition to being used to upgrade items, Lesser Charms will now be directly tradeable for Warforged Seals, and there's no longer a restriction on how many you can get in a week - You can dump literally all of your Lesser Charms to Seals if you so desire.

Other changes include the utter removal of Valor and Justice points (not Honor/Conquest, those remain), the removal of the Test of Valor component of the legendary cloak quest (you can still get the cloak, you just don't need to get the Valor points first), and the switching of all honor/justice items over to costing gold to purchase, including heirloom items.

You can read the post here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

5 ways to get rich off an agonizing grind

Skyshards are a bit like leprechauns: Some people never see them, and some -- usually the heavily inebriated souls awake at 2 am -- see them all the time. You need 10 for a Sky Crystal which brings Alani crashing out of her route around the Vale. Because that's the only way to get the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, and because some of us are working on Mount Parade and will barf the next time we see the Argent Tournament, sometimes you just have to resign yourself to a long and boring grind. However, if you've got to kill thousands of mobs anyway, you might as well make the most out of it and improve your hourly genocidal "wages" with a few things:
  • Helpful Wikky's Whistle A rare drop off Major Nanners. While definitely the least helpful item on this list, the Whistle isn't expensive to use and doesn't use a trinket slot. Blow it, and a tiny hozen will appear. Talk to him, and he'll run off to forage for you while you kill mobs. Once you get to around 50, Wikky will reappear with a Bag of Helpful Things. Warning: He vanishes fairly quickly if you don't talk to him, so keep an eye on the emotes in your chat screen. He'll always announce his presence.
More past the cut!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

Results are in for World of Wealthcraft survey

Last month, we reported that Xsinthis of The Golden Crusade was putting together his annual wealth report survey -- the third year he's put this particular survey together. The results are in, and while the pool of participants was smaller this year, there were still plenty of interesting facts to be found. The reported gold average has risen a little since the last survey, making the leap to 472,979 gold -- but nearly 81% of those surveyed were under that reported average.

Other interesting facts -- wealthy players make use of addons and websites to boost their gold-earning prowess. While that shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone, it does mean that those looking to get a foot in the door may want to check out the various addons and websites listed if they'd like to be competitive with those already pulling in the gold. In addition, there's a section that inquires about ToS-breaking activities, and according to the survey, botting doesn't seem to be making a big impact.

All in all, it's an interesting survey, and has some good food for thought for those seeking to make more gold, or just wondering where they stand in the grand scheme of wealth and WoW players. Xsinthis has the full results, including more information about demographics and in-game activities, available for reading on his website.

Filed under: News items, Economy

Will fewer gems and enchants in Warlords of Draenor affect profession profitability?

Gem and enchants in Warlords of Draenor
One of the pieces of news to come out of BlizzCon relating to itemization in Warlords of Draenor was there would be fewer pieces of gear with gem sockets, and that not as many items would have enchants available for them. The concern from jewelcrafters and enchanters is that their professions won't be able to make them gold anymore. Community Manager Lore chimed in with their intentions for the change, and how your actual income shouldn't change if all goes to plan.

Lore
We do want to slim down on the overall number of gems and enchants you'll need to put on your gear. That's primarily a quality of life change. We want to make it less of a hassle to be able to equip a new item.

That said, we don't think these changes have to mean that e.g. Jewelcrafting will no longer be a decent source of income. We could -- and this is purely a hypothetical example -- make the best gems rarer, which would drive prices up and increase profit margins. If you can make just as much gold (comparatively) off of one gem in Warlords as you can selling three in Mists, that'll help substantially.

I actually think it will end up being more of a rough transition for the buyers than the sellers. The buyers won't be used to paying all this extra gold for their gems and enchants, but they're going to have to get used to it because the sellers will have less to sell and crafting each one will cost more. To make up for the smaller toolbox, Blizzard could even add things such as epic gear patterns, pets, mounts, and maybe even some toys to put in our toy boxes. Gems and enchants will always be the backbone of these professions, but adding a few extra perks like that would help keep them interesting (and profitable) going forward.

Filed under: Economy

World of Wealthcraft survey returns

Everyone loves data. We've posted in previous years about the World of Warcraft Gold Survey, which is a data gathering attempt run by Xsinthis, a keen WoW economist. He's gathered the past two years of data, looking at how much average gold a player has, and now he's after a third. He uses that data to provide WoW wealth reports to the community. As Xsinthis says:
As you may recall, the World of Warcraft Gold Survey (called the Wealth Survey in previous years) is an attempt to ascertain how much gold the average player has on them. In addition to this, the survey asks some background and demographic questions to gain insight on how the gold is spread out, if different aspects of the game correlate to having more gold, etc. Last year, 11,344 people participated and I got some fantastic results. This year's survey will give a third data point, and will be the first time that a second survey has been done in one expansion, so I'm really looking forward to the results this year.

The survey is really quick, should only take one or two minutes for most people, and is completely anonymous.

If you're interested in WoW wealth, take the survey! And if you want more information you can check out Xsinthis' website. The reports are really interesting reading, very in-depth, and Xsinthis does a great job of presenting the data in a readable way. For example, as he reports, last year's survey in late-Cataclysm found the wealth gap between the mega-rich and the just-getting-by in WoW had widened. Nearly 82% of those surveyed were under the reported gold average, leaving only 18% of players over it. That average? 302,593g. 58% of responders were under 100,000 gold. Interested yet? Get involved!

Filed under: Economy

Is your guild bank going dry?

Is your guild bank going dry
I raid with an extremely generous 25-man raiding guild that is chugging along quite nicely through the Siege of Orgrimmar. They are kind enough to provide not only guild repairs, but potions, flasks, and feasts -- now noodle carts -- as well. The guild is pretty good about keeping everything managed, and raiders do a pretty good job about keeping the guild bank filled with materials for all the stuff that the guild supplies on a typical guild run.

But we've had a problem recently that picked up in patch 5.4. Someone mentioned that the guild bank wasn't making quite as much gold as it used to, and player repairs are bleeding the guild bank of gold almost faster than it can be put in. This seemed odd to me at the time, but I re-doubled my efforts to continue sticking herbs, gems, and whatever other useful items I came across into the guild bank, figuring it would all balance itself out. It turns out, however, that we aren't alone with our weird little problem.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Economy

Blizzard to shut down Diablo III auction house

The auction house in Diablo III has been plagued by various issues basically since the game's release, however, Blizzard's announcement today that they are going to close both the gold and real money auction houses entirely still comes as a bit of shock. In the video embedded above -- and echoed in a Diablo official blog post -- Diablo III's Production Director John Hight and Game Director Josh Mosqueira state that Blizzard has come to the conclusion that the auction house system in Diablo III undermines the game's core gameplay, which is to kill monsters and get loot. This is ostensibly the driving factor behind axing the systems entirely.

A new system, coyly referred to as "Loot 2.0," is in the works for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and they hope that the changes will result in a much more rewarding experience for Diablo players. If you're an avid auction house user you don't have to scramble just yet to get all your ducks in a row before the shut down. We've been given six months' notice, so mark your calenders. The Diablo III auction houses will close their doors for good on March 18, 2014. Until then, it's business as usual.

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Filed under: Economy, Diablo 3

How to use TradeSkillMaster 2

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

TradeSkillMaster is the only addon you need to make millions of gold, and it's the only way to do that without expending an unreasonable amount of energy crafting and auctioning the items you sell. It's just been completely overhauled for version 2, and you should know that:
  • Version 1 is never being updated again. When it stops working, probably on 5.4 patch day, it's never going to get fixed.
  • Version 2 forces you to completely redo all your settings. There are no imports of your old groups or anything else.
Basically, you have no choice: if you want to use TSM (and no other addon comes within spitting distance of being as useful as it for gold-making), you have to upgrade to 2, and you're going to have to redo everything. If you're really unlucky, an addon updater might have already overwritten your old version with the new one and taken all your setup with it.

Version 2 took me a few days to get to the point I'm at now where I can do almost everything I did with my version 1 settings. In fact, I found all my experience with TSM 1 caused this process to take longer than it would have if I was completely new to the addon. Some concepts (like groups) are now very simple and intuitive, but it took me a while to get over my experience using TSM 1 groups.

That said, once I made the jump, I found that things are faster now and I expect I'll be able to make my gold with less effort. There are some things that are gone (or moved) but once I decided to try going without them, I realized I didn't miss them as much as I thought I would. There's plenty of help, but diving right in, here's what you need to know to get started with TSM 2:

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Filed under: Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Gold Capped: Sha Crystals are about to get a lot cheaper

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

I hope you don't have too many Sha Crystals saved up for this upcoming patch. The 5.4 PTR has new epic craftable PvP gear on it which will likely disenchant into them, and some of these pieces will take very few materials. Six Bolts of Windwool Cloth, for example, will make you a nice disenchantable purple cape. The Sha Crystal from this can be turned into two Ethereal Shards, each of which can make three Mysterious Essences.

Right now, the vast majority of enchanting materials are made through disenchanting gear crafted by tailoring or jewelcrafting. Jewelcrafters turn green quality gems into rings and amulets which DE into a lot of dust and a few essences. Tailors make blue PvP gear that disenchants into shards. Sha Crystals are only made on the daily cooldown that enchanters get, or through disenchanting epic gear obtained in other ways than crafting. Patch 5.4 will change everything. These methods will still work, but it'll get you more materials per bolt of cloth if you use the new recipes. Each purple Crystal will be able to be broken down into two blue Shards, which can be broken down into 6 green Essences. This new way will make more enchanting materials per cloth than the existing ways.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Congressional report says you 'may' owe taxes on your WoW income

Image
If you're a World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 player, the federal government would like to have a word with you. Congress's U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the request of Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), just wrote and filed a 23-page report on the tax implications of earning gold in MMORPGs. Seriously.

The report, titled "Virtual Economies and Currencies," focuses on buying, using, and selling virtual currencies like WoW gold. The key takeaway for World of Warcraft players is that the in-game economy is a "closed-flow system" -- because you can't exchange your gold for U.S. dollars, you don't need to worry about claiming those 26 gold pieces from completing a quest on your 2013 income taxes. If, however, you decide to sell your accumulated WoW items through a third-party exchange (Don't do it! It's against the Terms of Service and could get you hacked!), then you "may have earned taxable income from the sale of these virtual goods."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Economy, Gold Capped, Diablo 3

Gold Capped: How to handle undercutters

gold capped
WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

I hear this all the time: "Every time I post anything, someone undercuts me within minutes." Luckily, there's a relatively simple solution to dealing with undercutters: ignore them. You don't ignore them hoping they go away, you ignore them because they aren't actually going to prevent you from selling your auctions.

Think back to the last time you bought something from the Auction House; let's say an enchant. You search for the best enchant you can put onto the gear. If the lowest price is affordable, you buy it. If it feels too expensive (compared to what you've paid before or what you know the materials cost), you might buy the mats and ask friends or trade chat for someone to make it for you. You might instead look at the second best enchant for the gear if it's something you won't be wearing for long or you're not expected to always use best-in-slot enchants.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Gold Capped: Never scan the Auction House again

Gold Capped Never scan the Auction House again DNP
WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Have you ever scanned the Auction House with TradeSkillMaster (the best auction management addon, well worth the trouble of learning) and not gotten a complete scan? Maybe you see an error message and your crafting window starts displaying unknown materials prices, even though you can see the prices right front of you when you search? This is a bug that affects anyone on a realm with a lot of auctions (more than 42554, according to the TSM error message). In essence, the GetAll scan that's used to grab a dump of the AH in a few seconds can be incomplete if there are a lot of auctions.

As far as I know, the traditional scans are immune to this, but they take a lot more time; like 20 minutes instead of 20 seconds. Even if the scans work perfectly on your realm, scanning is still an extra step that you have to do every time you want to update the prices before you queue up your crafting list. Luckily, there's a way you can get up to date price information without ever having to scan the AH again.

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Filed under: Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there

Check the Black Market Auction House on The Undermine Journal
The Black Market Auction House is a special AH that allows you to buy items that are rare and sometimes unobtainable with gold otherwise. It's an extremely effective gold sink, but it's tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and you can't see what's for sale on your realm from the remote AH. Unfortunately, since Blizzard doesn't make the BMAH accessible through the same API as the regular Auction Houses, you are expected to log in and travel to the Veiled Stair in order to see whether there was anything there for you.

The Undermine Journal is a website that collects, organizes, and displays information about the Auction House of every realm: Horde, Alliance, and Neutral. Additionally, starting in January, they launched a (still beta) feature that shows us the contents of the BMAH. Assuming you're not on a PvP realm, you can avoid the flight to the Veiled Stair to check whether there's something worth buying by simply checking the Undermine Journal.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction houses shutdown

Sure, we all like gold. But even the most gold hungry among us can see the problem with a bug that allowed players to accumulate trillions of in-game currency, which is exactly what happened with Diablo III's patch 1.0.8. As a result, the game's Auction House was taken down, and Blizzard is still debating what actions to take to correct the issue, but Lylirra posts on the official forums that roll backs won't be necessary.

Lylirra - Auction Houses Temporarily Offline -- Update
12:00 a.m. PDT: At this time (and after careful consideration), we've decided to not move forward with rolling back the servers. We feel that this is the best course of action given the nature of the dupe, how relatively few players used it, and the fact that its effects were fairly limited within the region. We've been able to successfully identify players who duplicated gold by using this specific bug, and are focusing on these accounts to make corrections. While this is a time-consuming and very detailed process, we believe it's the most appropriate choice given the circumstances. We know that some of you may disagree, but we feel that performing a full roll back would impact the community in an even greater way, as it would require significant downtime as well as revert the progress legitimate players have made since patch 1.0.8 was released this morning.

I know it would be a pretty big blow to lose character levels or gear acquired legitimately, so if they can go after the actual accounts that used the exploit and remove just their duplicated gold, that seems like the best option to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Account Security, Diablo 3

Gold Capped: How to make cheaper Enchanting materials

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

One awesome side effect of the latest patch's new PvP gear is a way to make Enchanting materials much more cheaply. Since all the new gear is iLvl 458 blues, they disenchant into an Ethereal Shard. Sometimes two of them, although that is probably from the guild perk. By far, the most popular profession to use to craft this type of gear for disenchanting is Tailoring. Windwool Cloth is cheap and plentiful, and 20 of them make a single Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's piece that can be DEed.

The best pieces to make are the ones that take 4 Bolts of Windwool Cloth: After these, the materials start going up. That doesn't mean you can't use them, just that you'll have to live with a higher cost than all your competitors.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

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