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  • Roboticus
  • Member Since Jan 24th, 2008

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PvP Season 9 has begun! {WoW}

Dec 14th 2010 4:45PM I know, it's terrible! All these requirements that your gear not make you a severe liability for your team. What elitists!

Gold Capped: Why deep undercutting on the auction house works {WoW}

Dec 2nd 2010 8:56PM Reposted from comment system fail below:

@cincipon: It's pretty easy to create estimates of total income if you have time-series scan data (auto pulled and organized by an addon) where you take a scan every 10 minutes (or as fast as your server's scans go). The export as I have it set up carries seller name with each auction posted, and so you can see over time the intervals where people post, and by subtracting out the missing auctions, get an estimate of the percent that were sold instead of just relisted. It's by no means accurate, but it's not biased, and so therefore is a decent estimator. You can argue the validity of this particular calculation, but I'll just share my personal experience that it has very closely lined up with directly observable things, like my own (income * percentage of market coverage). But if you're stats minded at all, the thing to note is that even if the measure has lots of variance, it's still shows up as significant given how large the shock to the equilibrium is when the new goblin enters.

But, let me correct your comment: "Glyphs are moderately elastic ... ON MY SERVER." Don't assume that the elasticity of your server's glyph market is the same as all others. Now let me quote from my comment: "market conditions absolutely could be different for Basil and it could actually be the correct strategy for his server." That's the flaw of so many Auctioneer Interneters. They see something that worked for them and assume it applies in all situations, when the conclusion most obviously depends on the particular market situation.

Gold Capped: Why deep undercutting on the auction house works {WoW}

Dec 2nd 2010 8:54PM @cincipon: It's pretty easy to create estimates of total income if you have time-series scan data (auto pulled and organized by an addon) where you take a scan every 10 minutes (or as fast as your server's scans go). The export as I have it set up carries seller name with each auction posted, and so you can see over time the intervals where people post, and by subtracting out the missing auctions, get an estimate of the percent that were sold instead of just relisted. It's by no means accurate, but it's not biased, and so therefore is a decent estimator. You can argue the validity of this particular calculation, but I'll just share my personal experience that it has very closely lined up with directly observable things, like my own (income * percentage of market coverage). But if you're stats minded at all, the thing to note is that even if the measure has lots of variance, it's still shows up as significant given how large the shock to the equilibrium is when the new goblin enters.

But, let me correct your comment: "Glyphs are moderately elastic ... ON MY SERVER." Don't assume that the elasticity of your server's glyph market is the same as all others. Now let me quote from my comment: "market conditions absolutely could be different for Basil and it could actually be the correct strategy for his server." That's the flaw of so many Auctioneer Interneters. They see something that worked for them and assume it applies in all situations, when the conclusion most obviously depends on the particular market situation.

Gold Capped: Why deep undercutting on the auction house works {WoW}

Dec 2nd 2010 5:41PM "Alas, this inflexible demand is a myth." I think you mean inelastic not inflexible. Nonetheless, calling it a myth oversimplifies the situation.

A more general truth than above is: For any market, there exists some level of inelasticity where the increase in sales does not outweigh the decrease in price, even given the effects on demand and supply you list. If you are below that level of inelasticity, then Basil's strategy would increase profits, but if you are above that level, it would decrease profits. Without evidence as to where on that curve your market is, you might as well be claiming you are right by divine authority.

A better approach would be to just look at the data. I've been pulling AH scans into excel (nerd alert) for quite a while now, and I've been keeping track of number of Glyphers posting (i.e. a measure of supply effects), total market size, portion of time during which I'm the lowest price, and a handful of other measures. Every so often, a goblin fresh off of some gold making guide tries out the deep undercutting method. During this period, total income to the glyph industry is significantly lower (not higher, which is a required assumption for your argument). Eventually the goblin leaves, and the price mechanism returns exactly to where it was before. No one leaves the market besides the goblin, and demand is nowhere near high enough to justify the new lower equilibrium price. All this is to say that market data from my server strongly suggests my market is below that critical point on the elasticity curve where Basil's argument would hold.

Now, market conditions absolutely could be different for Basil and it could actually be the correct strategy for his server, but to suggest this strategy is categorically true and that the opposite strategy is a myth does not seem correct.

The evolution of zerg dungeon farming {WoW}

Nov 18th 2010 8:08PM It's funny the anger generated in these comments when someone suggests that something was easy for them.

Recall that the beginning of WoLK did not have the LFD tool, so most dungeon groups were composed of guildies and not random, uncoordinated LFD people we have now. I'm sure the dungeons WERE difficult for people who found themselves in bad groups.

And to the particularly angry one, it was not hard to get defense capped wearing only quest rewards and non-epic craftables. Moreover, I remember that DPS in quest rewards was well over 2k. Perhaps your perceived difference is not the gear?

The evolution of zerg dungeon farming {WoW}

Nov 18th 2010 7:27PM I'm not sure I see it the same way as Sleutel. Even my first character to hit 80 very early in WoLK never ran a single regular dungeon, as the heroics were beyond easy, even wearing all quest greens. Certainly overpowered gear made them even easier (or maybe just faster), but the fact you can run a heroic dungeon successfully in leveling greens makes WolK dungeons VERY much different from the heroic dungeons in BC.

Gold Capped: Sleazy auctioneers and giving away trade secrets {WoW}

Oct 29th 2010 4:44PM Basil, I'm a little surprised you resorted to "Cry me a river" as a retort, especially when I am not at all bothered by this sort of post (quit the AH a looong time ago after additional gold became worthless). Note that I am only arguing that AHers do have a rational reason to be against posts such as yours.

Regarding claims of originality, there are ways to contribute without coding, such as comments on emerging markets, patch note changes, or a wide variety of other types. Perhaps you do mention things not already listed in detail on JMTC forums, but nonetheless, the notable thing about this post is not the ideas, it's the size of the readership.

So please, no need to go the "QQ moar" approach to respond to me. I just find it a bit strange that the reasons you list for being against popularizing AH strategies don't include the most obvious one, that of basic self interest.

Gold Capped: Sleazy auctioneers and giving away trade secrets {WoW}

Oct 28th 2010 9:29PM You're right that if it truly was competitive, new entrants wouldn't matter to an individual's profit. However, I think that analyzing the number of players on the AH suggests it is most definitely not competitive. The major thing lacking is having "unlimited number of sellers." Take the glyph industry, which is probably the closest to competitive of the sectors. Export the data, sort by poster name, and do a pivot table to count the unique sellers. There are 18 on my server, most of which are not big players. Every other market has fewer posters. Using the Cournot formula above, adding a 19th glyph maker of average productivity (say he just read Basil's post and got super excited by free money!) would decrease the average glypher's profit by 5.2%.

In other words, the number of sellers on a server is small enough that p =/= ATC, and so Basil's posts do decrease profit of the Auctioneers.

Gold Capped: Sleazy auctioneers and giving away trade secrets {WoW}

Oct 28th 2010 8:00PM This would correctly be modeled in game theory as an n-firm Cournot competition game. Profit from the model for a given player i is (a - qi - q~i)((a-c)/(n+1)) - c((a-c)/(n+1)), where a is a fixed demand parameter, c is marginal cost, n is the number of firms, assuming symmetric costs and demand. You can see that profit goes to zero as n goes to infinity (keeping in mind that cost includes opportunity cost).

That's what Basil misses in his analysis. The magician metaphor is not a good description of why some auctioneers don't like gold guides widely available. It's rather that auctioneers know (even just intuitively) that as the number of players on the AH increases (n in the model above), their profits go down. The best example of this is when mmo-champion.com posted their gold addons guide, profit in the industries mentioned in the guide decreased by approximately 30-50%.

Basil writes, "More to the point, the more auctioneers there are, the more fun we all have." That is most certainly not the opinion of everyone in the market. And finally, it is not that Basil is providing secrets, but rather he is just popularizing already well-documented concepts. He's not adding anything new, but just voicing it on a larger audience website. Nonetheless, popularization such as this affects the profit of AH players, and so it should be taken as unexpected that AH players might not like this sort of column.

WoW Moviewatch: Yesterday's News {WoW}

Oct 1st 2010 12:35PM And a good point it makes too. Maybe just nostalgia, but somehow running laps around Dalaran waiting for my magical queue isn't as immersive as being actively summoned, usually by people I knew, or having to actually travel out to the dungeon.