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Insider Trader: Advertising your profession


There are relatively few avenues for selling your profession's wares. The first, and probably the most universal, is to create your trade goods and then list them on the auction house. This is a pretty common channel for selling trade goods. As such, there's more than a few techniques and arts to getting the most out of working the auction house. Check out Gold Capped, for example, to pick up a lot of great advice on how to work the AH.

The second way to sell your goods is via small-scale professions gathering. We talked a few weeks ago about how to get together a crafting bazaar. The advantage to a crafting bazaar is that you get a lot of exposure from a lot of people. If your event is fairly well attended, then you're going to get a lot of different customers cruising to buy crafting goods. It's especially advantageous to spend time working with a consumer in a bazaar environment, because you have face-to-face interaction during which you can try and upsell the client. You can check out all of their gear and enchants, and make recommendations for things they might want to purchase to improve their performance.

There's a middle ground between those two methods, however, and it combines a lot of the best traits of the crafting bazaar with the open, free market of the auction house. By advertising your profession on Trade, the official forums, and word of mouth, you can get in touch with prospective customers while still respecting and interacting with your server's overall economy. You get the chance to meet someone "face-to-face" (or, at least, whisper-to-whisper) and you get the same chance to review the gear that you would in the bazaar. However, you don't have to wait for a special location or particular time in order to meet those folks.

Considering how important word-of-mouth can be to growing a network of steady customers, we should take the time to review a few tips for advertising your profession.

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Filed under: Insider Trader (Professions)

Breakfast Topic: Fancy meeting you here

A random reader email we received this week sparked an interesting topic of conversation among the crew here at WoW.com -- the odd places and ways people happen to meet or bump into fellow World of Warcraft players.

Some of us find fellow players through work, some of us meet them on the street or in the store, and there's no real way to identify them. Whether it's a hoodie, a sticker on a car, or someone making the familiar mouse and keyboard hand motions when mentioning they play video games, there's a peculiar thread that connects the millions of people that play WoW. It's identifying that thread that can sometimes be tricky. By the end of the conversation, it was pretty much decided that WoW players need some sort of signal to indicate they play, a secret hand gesture of some sort.

As for myself, the most random of these moments was selling my television. I found a buyer who arrived with a friend to pick up the thing and noticed the friend was wearing a WoW hat. Upon asking him if he played, I discovered not only did he play, he had played on my server, and not only had he played on my server, he played a character that I'd randomly /licked in Dalaran out of sheer boredom one evening when turning in a cooking daily.

Small world.

With a game that has over 11 million players, running into someone that plays the game at some point in real life is almost a given. Where have you met your fellow players? What's the most random, unexpected moment you've run into someone that plays WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Spiritual Guidance: Assessing yourself

Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

Last week, I had a bad day. More specifically, I had a bad raid day. I logged in, prepared, researched, and with high hopes of downing 25-man Sindragosa that evening. My guild had plenty of attempts, and many members had the weekend to explore the fight on 10-man or at least watch a video; I was certain we'd succeed, even with the initial difficulty of the ice block gimmick. For whatever reason though, it didn't go as planned, and with our attempts on the line, a small debate would break out after every pull. Tension between guild members rose quick and appropriately, my own focus and abilities deteriorated. What started out as an occasional mistake on my part turned into frequent and reoccurring disasters. I did keep trying hard, even though I failed, but there was no amount of effort to change how awfully I was playing.

Despite everything, I understood everything that was happening as it exploded around me. I could source each mistake I made to some bad step, wrong guess, or mistakenly pressed button. Past the mistakes, as I looked over my output on each attempt I could see it was suffering tremendously as well. This is what we'll be talking about today; how do we assess ourselves as players, and as healers?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Preparing for BlizzCon: Minicards -- social networking in person


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza.

The last time I went to BlizzCon was two years ago and I was woefully unprepared. I regretted multiple times that I didn't have some form of business card with me. But this year I am ready if Tommy Tallarico approaches the WoW.com writers again asking for cards. Squeeeeeeee!

It was particularly silly of me to not bring any sort of card, considering I went there to work. But even if you are only going to play, a minicard or the like is a very good idea. I used moo.com because they have a good reputation and a nice interface with flickr.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, BlizzCon

Groupcrafting: The art of getting a group together

Tales of the Aggronaut sent us this multipart guide he wrote on one of the things we all do in the game that might nevertheless be tough for a lot of people: actually getting a group together. It sounds like a simple thing (just ask people whether they want to group up or not), but as you probably know from experience, sometimes it can be pretty tough. So TotA set out, instead, to do a from-the-ground-up guide, from how to find and network with people in the game to how to build a group piece-by-piece.

And I like it a lot -- he starts with a preamble with some general networking tips, including finding social channels to join (many guilds and realms have a few social channels constantly filled with folks LFG or interested in playing socially) and putting together a solid friends list, then goes on to explain how to communicate (probably a great read for anyone in any part of the game) and then how to actually build a WoW group, from core classes to splitting up class roles. Very impressive -- while most veteran players have probably heard or done this stuff before, it's nice to see a clear, concise guide that starts at the beginning.

And it's even nicer to see a guide that emphasizes the social aspect of gameplay. Even here at WoW.com, we're all about gameplay tips, from profession insights to class balance discussion, but sometimes we overlook that to play a social game like World of Warcraft, you sometimes need to focus on social skills. As much as theorycrafting and gear upgrading can help, sometimes it's better to learn how to be friendly and social instead.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Raiding

Find in-game friends on Livejournal's WoW Friending meme

The WoW Livejournal communities are really some of the best citizens in the WoW community at large -- they always have interesting discussions and insights going on over there, and if you ever need a question answered or just want an opinion on something in-game, they're always ready with some insight. That's why I think this WoW Friending meme that spirdirslayer has going on is such a good idea -- basically, if you're over on Livejournal and are looking to meet a few players on your realm, you can head over to the page, find your server, and then enter your information along with a few survey questions and check out who else is playing with you in-game.

I almost wish Blizzard did more social networking stuff like this -- through the Armory, we can find out everything we need to know about each others' characters these days, but there's not much we can learn about the people behind those characters. Our own profiles here on WoW.com help with some of that as well, but it would be nice to have it all integrated in the game somehow: examine a character and find out that their player is living in the same town you are. Completely optional, of course -- not everyone wants to socialize to that extent. But for those interested, it seems like it would be a lot of fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

The odd couple, playing together

Playing with friends is probably the most fun you can have in WoW-- while it's fun to solo, a good group is where it's at, and there's no better group then playing with people you know. Unfortunately, because even people who have a lot in common hardly ever level at the same rate, level differences grow quicker than expected, and pretty soon it's just not possible to play with friends without someone wasting their time.

Until friendship shows up anyway. Lev over at WoW Ladies writes about an interesting duo she made with another player-- after joining up for a quest in Winterspring, they've rolled 10 levels together, and even played on their alts. And the weirdest thing is, she's 22 and he's 14, so you don't think they'd have a lot in common, but she says they play together great (she has a younger brother, and she compares their relationship to that). In the comments, someone about her age confesses to being grouping buddies with an 80-year-old person, and someone else tells a story of leveling up 40 levels with someone they met in game.

Makes me kind of jealous, actually-- I've played a long time with the same people at 60 (and now 70), but leveling, I was never at the right rhythm to really grow with anyone else, either in common or otherwise. On my very first character, I played a night elf hunter (duh), and got some help from a night elf priest on how to start playing the game. I still have that guy on my friends list on that realm, and still see him play online, but he outstripped me in terms of levels a long, long time ago (he's 70, and my hunter is stuck in the late 50s). Now, it'd be nice to somehow technically be always able to play with friends (you could have instances that averaged your levels, or just play with premades, which is what I think Guild Wars does), but I think that's just one of the drawbacks of having a leveling system-- unless you only play those characters together, someone will always fall ahead or drop back.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Quests, Leveling

Virtual Networking in WoW

ZDNet has a video report today on a group of CEO's and venture capitalists who have taken their business into the virtual realm, holding meetings & networking in World of Warcraft. The piece doesn't cover much that we haven't heard on the subject before, but it's a good example of the growth of virtual worlds & the directions they might take in the future. Alas, ZDNet doesn't have one of those nifty embedable video players, so click here to see the show...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

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