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Filed under: Making money

Time Is Money: Putting your emblems to work


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time Is Money.

If you're like me, you have a lot of excess emblems sitting around. Maybe you never got around to spending them before the next tier came out, or maybe the badge gear just never quite compared to your raid drops. Whatever the case, there is no sense letting them go to waste when you could put them to work and earn some gold!

First, here is a quick breakdown of the current badge system, from most recent and difficult to acquire on down:
  1. Emblem of Frost: These can be acquired primarily by raiding Icecrown, completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly," or by completing one WotLK heroic dungeon per day using the Random tool.
  2. Emblem of Triumph: Most raids now drop these badges, as well as heroics. You will also be awarded these for doing any number of WotLK heroic dungeons past your first one per day using the Random tool. You will also get some by completing your first normal WotLK dungeon per day using the Random tool, as well as completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly." Also of note: If you get Heroic Oculus using the random tool, don't drop group! Not only has it been nerfed like crazy, but when you defeat the end boss, every player will receive a loot bag that will contain these badges and more, plus a chance at getting the super rare Reigns of the Blue Drake, which used to be available only by killing Malygos, who now drops his 25-man version (Azure) in both 10 and 25-man.
  3. Emblem of Conquest: Originally, these were acquired by running 10-man Coliseum, or 25-man Ulduar.
  4. Emblem of Valor: Originally these dropped from Ulduar 10-man and Naxxramas 25-man.
  5. Emblem of Heroism: These were among the first WotLK badges, and dropped from Naxxramas 10-man and heroic dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Economy, Features, Guides, Making money, Time Is Money

Breakfast Topic: Make it all BoA

Gnomeaggedon happened to post something so interesting the other day that I thought it merited a bit more discussion. He actually posted it almost as an afterthought (I guess he's moving in RL -- good luck with that), but it's quite an idea just the same: "Make it all BoA," he says. Blizzard has added in some more Bind-on-Account items, and most recently made it possible for BoA items to go across factions. But Gnomeaggedon says it's time to stop messing around: mounts, emblems, tier and arena gear, currencies, vanity pets, reputation items, anything that would be useful across toons should be able to be traded freely between them. Why, he asks, should there be limits on which character you decide to play with?

And actually, while the possibilities there might make some players' heads spin (imagine how many badges you could earn on your geared-out pally for your newly 80 warlock), I think that Blizzard is probably headed that direction. They may not want to open the floodgates completely, but look at where we've come -- we just heard Frank Pearce say the other day that faction changes are a direct result of Blizzard wanting to give players more choice of who to play with, so wouldn't it follow that we'd eventually get more choice about which characters we use? You have to think that we'll see more and more BoA items, so why not just skip to step ten and open it all up? What do you think?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Making money

Shipping costs removed from Authenticators

We'd already noticed last week that the Authenticators in the US store had gone free shipping, but now official updates on Blizzard's site say it's true in the EU as well. American authenticators still cost $6.50, but you no longer have to pay anything extra for shipping, and EU authenticators have had their price dropped to €6.99. That's still over $10, but they're at least cheaper than they used to be. There's a drawback, however: apparently they went with cheaper shipping, because you can no longer track shipments of authenticators, and shipping will take a little longer (up to 15 business days in the US). Which makes sense, given that you want these things as cheap as possible.

Ancilorn answers some other Authenticator questions as well -- there's no discount for buying multiple units at all; what you see is what you get. And while the only authenticator for purchase at the moment is the Corehound branded unit, there may be more art available in the future, and of course you don't need a Corehound-branded Authenticator to get the Corehound Pup pet. Any Authenticator will do that, including any of the authenticators made for mobile phones, as long as it stays attached to your account. Whew -- that should answer all the questions anyone has. As we said the other day, if you don't have one of these yet, it's probably time to look in to getting one. Not only will your account be more secure, but you'll get that free pet as well.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Account Security

Time Is Money: Dungeon finder


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time Is Money.

The new Dungeon Finder that was added in Patch 3.3 has been garnering a lot of attention lately - and for good reason! But did you know that you could use it to make money?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Making money, Time Is Money

Ammo controversy in 3.3 already

Patch 3.3 is only barely out on the live realms, and already, there's a controversy with the new epic ammo recipes. Lassirra says that hunters are concerned that the requirements to make the ammo are just too high. Blizzard had promised to make getting epic ammo easier, and this still has the requirement of having a high level engineer, with the extra charge of requiring a Goblin engie for the bullets, and a Gnomish engie for the arrows. And even after you find a 450 Engineer in the right spec, you still have to get a couple of Crystallized Shadow or Earth together. That doesn't sound "easier" to me, either.

Let's not forget, however, that this is cutting edge (no pun intended) ammo -- this isn't the kind of vendor junk you just fire while leveling. It's a 30 point DPS gain from the previous high level ammo, and that kind of increase probably does justify a little tougher requirement to make. Of course, it'll probably work out so that other classes get that increase normally through their itemization, but that's just the way it works for hunters. If you want the new ammo, you'll have to find an friendly engie of the right spec with the right skill Honored with the new Ashen Verdict faction, and then keep them supplied with as much Crystallized Earth and Shadow as you can find.

Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Local paper profiles TCG $50k winner

This is cool -- after local paper the Winter Park/Maitland Observer (near Orlando, Florida) heard that the winner of Upper Deck's last WoW TCG World Championships was from the same area, they went and found him, fittingly, in a game store. William Postlewaite, a.k.a. Billy P, won $50,000 just for playing the WoW Trading Card Game very, very well.

While there's not a lot of info on the actual mechanics behind his win (this is a local paper, after all), it's very interesting to get a look at the player himself -- he works at the game store while going to school to learn finance, and spent about two months testing decks of cards with a friend before he found the one that he thought could go all the way. And what's he doing with all of his winnings? He's planning to buy a house. Smart play. You always hear about these wild sums being won by card game players -- good to know that this set of winnings is going to what seems like a good guy.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Making money, WoW TCG

Patch 3.3: Fishing pool guarantees and what it means for the market

Wryxian has written a book on fishing over on the forums -- he originally responded to the thread with a quick link that affirmed in patch 3.3, you will never ever catch trash from fishing pools, regardless of your fishing level. If you put the bobber in a pool, you'll get what you're supposed to, no matter what (presumably to allow even low level players to do the fishing quests). But players have problems with that. First, there's the old issue of things always getting easier as the game changes -- people are complaining that they had to level with missed catches and trash, and those who level fishing after 3.3 won't. For that, I don't have a better answer than Wryxian does: that's just the way it works. The game is ever-changing, and most changes make things easier. That shouldn't devalue what you did before.

The other issue is that this may destroy the fishing economy -- if even low level characters always get the fish they want 100% of the time, that means more fish in the market, which means any money high-level fishermen would have made off of rare fish will probably go bye-bye. But Wryxian says that's OK -- people will still use fish for themselves, and he believes that the pain of losing that AH sale will be solved by the bonus of always getting the fish you want. We'll have to see -- it's true that between the updates to cooking lately (and the future fishy updates we're expecting), Blizzard is making sure the secondary professions are much less exclusive, which means there has to be the balance of also making them less lucrative.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Fishing, Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Advancing the battlegrounds

With all of the hubbub around the new LFG interface coming in patch 3.3, we haven't done much thinking lately about that other form of group play in the game, battleground PvP. But Cassandri at HoTs and DoTs has, and she has some interesting insight about what players are doing in the battlegrounds and why. She notes that some people dive off on their own, like Lone Rangers. And she hints that maybe, if these people were so persuaded, things would go better if they fought together, rather than on their own.

An interesting thought, for sure, and probably true -- while there are situations where I aim to be by myself in the battlegrounds (if I'm on my rogue and just want to hunt down some clothies), things almost always go better in there when you work as a team. So here's an idea: why not take the rewards implemented in the LFG system and apply them to better behavior in the battlegrounds?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Making money, Battlegrounds

Time is Money: Down with the cooldown


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time is Money.

Among the goodies that patch 3.3 will bring is a very welcome change. Transmute: Titanium will no longer be subject to a cooldown! This means that you can turn all of the saronite bars you can get your hands on into titanium bars; and saronite is so easy to obtain. Check out our previous guide to mining saronite.

So how will this change how you will go about making your money? Pass through the break to find out.

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Filed under: Mining, Alchemy, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Making money, Time Is Money

Rent seeking (or lack thereof) in WoW

Elnia continues posting some interesting (and complicated) insight into the World of Warcraft over at the Pink Pigtail Inn. This time, it's about what she calls "rent seeking," which isn't about trying to find the money to pay for your apartment so much as it's about individuals petitioning authorities (the government, or in this case Blizzard) for their own income. The post dabbles with some complicated market theory, but in the end, the conclusion is this: while players have definitely petitioned Blizzard for changes to their own class, they have generally stayed away from asking for more money, or changes to the rules that would grant it to them. In general, players are fine with Blizzard staying hands-off of the various in-game economies running in Azeroth.

As the commenters over there say, there's a good reason for that, and it's because most of the economic play in WoW is completely optional. Aside from repair costs (which can be high for raiders, but for everyone else are fairly inconsequential), you don't really need money at all; given enough time, you can collect whatever you need from somewhere in the world, either by simply collecting ore or herbs, or by running instances and doing quests. But that doesn't mean that the "rent seeking" comparison isn't valid.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

The Daily Quest: Cash4Emblems


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Mistress of Pain costume contest winner is actually a Diablo-related costume, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. You'll find an interview with her and more bloggy goodness below.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Making money, The Daily Quest

Tom Chilton talks about the in-game pet store

The guys over at The Instance podcast got a chance to talk to Blizzard's Tom Chilton about the recent decision to sell in-game noncombat pets for real money, and the interview is now up in the latest episode on their site. He talks first about the pets' development, and it sounds like they designed the pets thinking they'd be sold on a real-money store eventually. He says the price point was "arrived at by trying to figure out what it would have to be to make sense for us to spend time working on it." And he mentions the TCG and their loot prizes -- he says those were meant to be a bonus, and they ended up being a roundabout way for players to buy pets anyway, so Blizzard decided to go with this more direct plan.

He doesn't say much about the future, but he does say that Blizzard is planning on doing some "pet and plushie" deals, where you'll be able to buy a plushie from the Blizzard store, and get an in-game pet with it. For the game specifically, he mentions the guild transfer service that's coming (we heard about that back at BlizzCon -- you'll be able to server transfer an entire guild rather than do it account-by-account), but otherwise he tells players that the pet store is just a "side project" -- right now, it's not taking away from development at all, and if it does grow, Chilton says Blizzard would hire more people rather than using current developers. We'll have to see what happens in the future.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Interviews

Activision-Blizzard makes lots of money, no update on Blizzard earnings

Activision-Blizzard has released their third-quarter numbers for the financial year of 2009, and as you might expect for the company in charge of Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and World of Warcraft, business is brisk. They were expecting to bring in around $700 million, and ended up pulling in around $50 million more than that. It's good, we guess, to be the king.

Blizzard, in particular, laid claim to three of the top five selling PC games in North America on the good side, and on the bad side, Activision acknowledges in the press release that they're happy to have WoW back online in China, but a little worried about the troubles it's seen over there lately.

Strangely enough, there is no information in the earnings about how much money World of Warcraft has pulled in for the company, or any updates about subscriber numbers. Usually, that gets at least a mention, so maybe, with subscribers certainly down in China, Activision-Blizzard wants to keep that under their hat for now.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, News items, Making money

A WoW player's guide to microtransactions

Well Blizzard has finally done it. After charging only for out-of-game services like faction changes and character customization, with the release of in-game pets on the Blizzard store, they've finally moved on to selling virtual items for real money. And there's a word, dirty in the mouths of some, that's floating around that some of you may not have heard or understood before: microtransactions. We wouldn't blame you -- some of our own staff didn't even know what they were just a little while ago. But with the decision to sell in-game items for straight cash, Blizzard has entered the fascinating and treacherous world of microtransactions. And if you're going to follow them off into this world, you might as well at least know what they're all about.

And so, we're here to help. Whether you've never heard of microtransactions before, you're convinced that they're the devil and that Blizzard has grown too greedy for their own good, or you can't wait to open up your wallet and get a Pandaren Monk to follow you around, let's take a second and look at the history of the microtransaction model, what it means that Blizzard made this decision, and what might happen to the game in the future.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

Azeroth United and Raid for the Cure running charity giveaways

Halloween is over and we're headed towards Thanksgiving, which means it's the time of year that charities everywhere ask you to open up your hearts and wallets and support some good causes. Azeroth United, the recently-formed community for WoW players, just revealed the prizes in their "Hearts, Hands, and Voices" charity giveaway. They're officially supporting Child's Play (they got mentioned on the main website), and your donation there (of $10 or $20) will get you into two tiers of giveaways, featuring prizes of all kinds from all over the WoW community. Sounds like a great chance to both support a good cause and maybe even win some free stuff.

And from our old friend John "BigBearButt" Patricelli comes news of a "Raid for the Cure" -- on Saturday, November 14th, a group of players from both factions will walk in-game on the Kael'thas server from Darnassus to Ratchet (and on to Booty Bay) to raise awareness and funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity. Pink shirts will be handed out at the event, and making a donation of any kind over on the WoW page for the charity will enter you in a raffle to win a guest appearance on the Sidhe Devils Gone Wild podcast (a member of that guild has been dealing with breast cancer, and the in-game run is in support of her and her cause).

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, News items, Making money

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