Posts Tagged ‘Jewelcrafting’

T-minus 24 Hours And Counting

Mists of PandariaMists goes live tonight at midnight and I finally got around to purchased my copy yesterday (nothing like waiting ’till the last minute!) I’ve been cleaning and organising and I think I’m about as prepared as I can be;

  • Vixetta’s professions have been switched over to Alchemy/Inscription and maxed both out. Unfortunately, Blizzard updated the material requirements for the Transmute mastery quest already so I haven’t been able to do that just yet: You now need to provide 4 Living Steel so this will be one of my first tasks once things go live.
  • Gomjabbar (Rogue) hit 85 recently and has maxed out her Mining to go with her Engineering.
  • All my glyphs are crafted and banked ready to start selling in the coming weeks.
  • Bags are cleared on all my toons ready for questing.
  • I’ve cleared as much junk as possible on my banker to make posting auctions of new stuff as easy.
  • Full set of Frostweave Bags crafted for my Monk.

My only real concern is with my Warlock: Everything that I’ve read points to only needing to be level 80 to train professions to 600 skill and I’m really hoping that this is the case as my Kinetick, my main scribe, is only 81. I’ve been meaning to get her to 85 for a while, but I’ve just not had the time; something else just always seems to be more important (either both in-game or out). I did manage to knock out 80-81 in around an hour or so last weekend so I expect that, if it turns out you do need to be 85 to train, I can probably power through in a fairly reasonable timeframe.

Launch Day Plans

For me (playing on US servers from the UK) the expansion will go live at 8am tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I’ll be on my way to work at that time so won’t be able to log in until the evening. Sure, I could have booked the day off work but I decided not to bother. This means I’ll probably miss out on any realm firsts but that’s not really a big loss. I’ll probably hit 90 fairly quickly anyway and MoP is going to be around for a while so why rush?

So what do I intend to do on launch day?

  1. Gathering:
    I’ve just spotted something on Wowhead: Mist-Piercing Goggles. My first goal will be to get at least one pair of these crafted. To this end, I’ll be taking Gomjabbar (Miner/Engineer) out first. I have a feeling that these will sell for a LOT of gold in the opening weeks of the expansion, though the market risks becoming quickly saturated. The limiting factor here is going to be the requirement of two Spirit of Harmony. If these turn out to be easy to obtain (seemingly anything can drop them) I’ll consider farming them for a bit. Regardless, once I’ve got my pair crafted I’ll work on mining up the ore I’ll need for Jez’s Jewelcrafting (see below).
    Once this is done, I’ll send my (second) set of goggles to Wizzadora and take her out herbing firstly for Inscription then for Alchemy.
  2. Inscription:
    There’s no real need to rush Inscription to 600 on release day, the key thing here is to get both Kinetick & Vixetta to the trainer and learn Scroll of Wisdom (needed for the new Darkmoon Cards). This will give me access to one of the new glyphs which (assuming the market hasn’t already crashed) I’ll want to get up on the AH as fast as possible. Given that I’ll be losing a good 10 hours to the competition I’ll probably miss out on the best profits, but I’m hoping I’ll still be able to make a reasonable return on whatever the RNG gives me. The new glyphs are orange all the way to 595 as well so these should be a profitable way of levelling Inscription.
  3. Jewelcrafting:
    Something tells me that JC is going to be rather expensive to level. Everything needs gems and gems need ore, I would guesstimate that 525-575 will take around 50 stacks of ore. There only appears to be one type of common ore in Mists: Ghost Iron Ore for which there’s currently no prospecting data on Wowhead’s MoP site. So this estimate is based on the following assumptions: 1 stack of Obsidium Ore gives you (on average) 1.5 of each green gem, Elementium Ore slightly less. Assuming these probabilities continue (there’s no reason for them not to) levelling on Ornate Bands and Shadowfire Necklaces you’re going to need 50 of each green gem. Assuming a worst case, I think that 50 stacks for 50 levels is likely. With any luck, those 50 stacks of ore should also yield sufficient blue gems for the remaining 25 levels.
  4. Alchemy:
    Transmute: Living Steel is the goal here. Unfortunately, this requires 600 Alchemy. Wowhead has no information on where recipes are obtained yet, but broadly speaking I’d guess I’m looking at something like the following…

    All told, I’d estimate needing 30x Silkweed, 60x Rain Poppy, 25x Green Tea Leaf, 55x Fool’s Cap and 25x Snow Lilly (multiplied by 4 alchemists!)

That lot should keep me pretty busy! I expect there to be a fair bit of competition for resource nodes so the goggles should be a big help and I’ll want to get them crafted ASAP. I suspect I’ll end up levelling up one toon’s profession at a time, unless I end up with an abundance of lower level mats. Blizzard have, unsurprisingly, adjusted all the skill up bands for Cataclysm patterns such that they’re not viable for grinding very far beyond 525 so the ability to go back and do this is cut.

I’ll be sure to check the Auction House before heading out farming as you never know, the hard-core farmers might have already have driven prices down to where it’s viable to buy them off the AH (unlikely).

How do you make your gold?

I had a conversation with a guild-mate yesterday about the different ways we make gold.Seemingly we have a few things in common…

Like me, he’s just come back to WoW after having quit in the autumn (he left to play SW:ToR). Unlike me, before he left he gave away virtually all his gold leaving each of his toons with 100g. This puts him an interesting position as he flat out refuses to accept “charity” (our guild master tried to give him back 10k gold he donated to the guild bank and he refused it!) instead he plans to rebuild by farming & trading and he tells me that so far, he’s not doing too badly. His main source of income is from Jewelcrafting & Enchanting (hey, that sounds like a familiar concept!) however he’s doing something very different to me.

We both buy and prospect Elementium Ore (currently trading around 35-40g a stack) and on Sunday we each purchased about 100 stacks of Elementium for a cost of around 3.5k gold.

Jaspers, Alicites, Hessonites & Nightstones get turned in to rings and necks (Jasper Ring, Alicite PendantHessonite Band & Nightstone Choker) All four of these patterns have a chance to proc a blue quality item with improved stats. Green items get disenchanted and any blues are either disenchanted or sold intact depending on the current price of Heavenly Shards (currently around 150g each so DE is the favoured option).

We both agreed that Zepherites are a waste of space and end up getting vendored (why are these so useless Blizz?)

This leaves Carnelians which we handle very differently: He turns his in to Carnelian Spikes which he disenchants (they have a decent drop rate for Greater Celestial Essences) whereas I transmute mine in to Inferno Rubies (between prospecting and transmutes I usually net at least 50 Inferno Rubies from 2000 ore).

Now we’re both left with a bag full of blue-quality gems and this is where we really differ: He turns all of his in to The Perforator which (you guessed) get disenchanted for more Shards. I on the other hand sell cut gems.

Whatever our strategy to this point, we’re both left with a big old pile of enchanting mats. He sells his on the auction house at whatever the prevailing rate is (less a reasonable undercut). Once again, I take a different route and produce enchanting scrolls. Some scrolls, with the additional purchase of a Maelstrom Crystal for 150g, can sell for up to 3k gold a pop (Assassin’s Step).

 

We compared notes and our respective returns on investment. Bearing in mind an identical outlay of ~4k gold (ore + settings)…

  • He anticipates he’ll get 5-6k gold from selling his enchanting mats. A profit of 1-2k gold.
  • I on the other hand conservatively estimate I’ll make between 8 & 10k from cut gems alone (Inferno Ruby cuts sell for 130-150g each which accounts for ~7k, plus whatever else I can get from the rest). I’d then expect to make a further 5-6k from enchanting scrolls (depending on how many weapon enchants I sell and with the addition of a few crystals). This gives me a potential profit of 13-16k gold.

Quite a significant difference don’t you think?!

A Quick Update

Following on from my recent posts about market competition, here’s the latest:

My original plan was to suffocate my competitor by cutting off his supply of raw materials and forcing him to post below his cost price. This worked for a couple of days but, as is often the case, circumstances have changed. The volume of ore available on the auction house this week has increased quite significantly on recent times making it virtually impossible to close this avenue.

However, my competitor has also changed their posting schedule. Earlier this week we were posting at the same time resulting in constant back and forth undercuts, however the last two days it seems s/he is now posting a few hours after me. I’m happy with this because I generally post first, giving me a couple of hours of sales at higher prices. I’m not sure if this is going to last or not, time will tell.

Somewhat interestingly, Foo has been posting a couple of articles the last few days discussing Auction House campers that reflect my recent experiences very closely. Needless to say I’ve been reading his thoughts on this subject and seeing if any of his ideas will work in the gem market. There are a few that I have adopted, mostly in regards to walling at a price that nets me a reasonable return while forcing my competition to post lower than me.

To The Mattresses!

it’s all-out war — we go to the mattresses!
 – Sonny (The Godfather)

This is a quick update to yesterday’s post.

I have a fairly simple game-plan for dealing with my new competitor which, so far, is working.

  • Firstly, I’m buying up all the ore I can get my hands on below a certain price threshold leaving only the most expensive stacks left.
  • Secondly, I’m buying out any uncut gems that are cheap.
  • Thirdly, I’m buying up Heartblossom.
  • Finally, I’m posting with deep undercuts.

The first two actions serve a dual purpose; they increase my stock while pushing up my competitor’s costs. The third action reduces his capacity to transmute Carnelians in to more profitable Inferno Rubies. Lastly, since I have a lower cost, I have no qualms about driving prices down in the short term. What I loose in single-transaction profit I’ll recoup in volume.

Yesterday I dropped a chunk of gold to set my plan in motion and there was an immediate reaction from my competitor. Here’s an example that played out last night; My established floor price for Inferno Rubies yesterday was 125g, my competitor was listing around 175g. My first round of postings went up at 160g and were immediately undercut with 159g 99s 99c. I pulled most of my first round and relisted at 150g and again got undercut by 1c (I’m only listing a few gems at a time so relisting doesn’t cost me the earth). Third round I went deep and listed at 130g, another 1c undercut ensued. So I went for broke and listed at my floor price of 125g each… Nothing, no reaction, he didn’t relist his again.

I sat in the AH for about an hour last night before I decided to call it a day. A couple of times I noticed that my competitor was buying out of my auctions and relisting them himself. Poor guy, this is the worst thing you can do, especially when the person you’re buying from is online and clearly has stock available. When he did this, I immediately undercut him again meaning he either had to sell the gems he’d just bought from me at a loss or give me more of his gold to try and run my stock out (which is unlikely to happen for a while). Before I logged I threw up a couple of small walls of Inferno Rubies and when I checked this morning they’d all sold.

All in all I’m actually rather pleased with the results so far. My gross sales were up on recent days and I actually made a net profit despite having invested in a lot of stock which I wouldn’t have bought on a normal day. I may even continue with this sort of strategy in the longer term if it continues to be profitable.

Friendly Competition

I’m very active in the gem market on my server, it’s my main source of income. Recently however I’ve noticed a fairly significant drop on my profit and it seems I’m not the only one.

Last night I was messaged by one of my competitors asking if I’d noticed another, newer entrant, to the gem market. Through the course of our conversation we established that this new person has seemingly managed to be online 24 hours a day for almost two weeks solid. Not only this but they have been aggressively undercutting anyone else posting auctions within seconds of them listing.

Now I’m all for a little friendly competition with my fellow jewelcrafters. It’s part of the game and one expects this when you’re as active in a given market as I am. However this new competitor is acting very differently to other sellers. To me and my fellow seller the new comer fells too automated not to be suspicious. Sure, it could be someone camping the AH to make a pile of gold but the circumstances would seem to indicate otherwise. Here is a character who has suddenly appeared on the scene with a seemingly large resource pool to set up their operation. They are bullying the smaller players out of the market using extremely argessive tactics meaning anyone without a significant investment can’t compete.

Fortunately, this isn’t me. I have a good stockpile and can still turn a profit while undercutting the new arrival. I also have enough liquid capital that I can cut off their supply at the source by buying up all the raw ore so it’s a good bet that I can ultimately hurt them at both ends of the market, however in the short term it makes brings an interesting challenge.

The New Protection Paladin III

Previously, I’ve discussed Specing & Glyphing and Buffs, Abilities & Rotations. Now we come to Gearing.

Part 3: Gearing, Gemming, Reforging & Enchanting

 “Philosophers are only men in armor after all.”
– Charles Dickens

First off, let’s run through all the stats you’re likely to see on gear so that you know what we’re talking about.

  • Primary Stats:
    • Agility (Agi) – Primary DPS stat for; Rogues, Hunters, Feral (Cat) Druids and Enhancement Shaman
    • Intellect (Int) – Primary stat for caster DPS and healers
    • Stamina (Sta) – Primary stat for tanks
    • Strength (Str) – Primary DPS stat for; Death Knights, Paladins & Warriors
  • Secondary Stats:
    • Attack Power (AP) – Increases your base weapon damage. Mainly derived from strength or agility (depending on your class). You will only rarely see this on gear these days
    • Block – Increases your chance to block melee attacks. Blocked attacks deal 30% less damage
    • Crit – Increases your chance to land a critical strike with your spells and abilities
    • Dodge – Increases your chance to dodge melee attacks. Dodged attacks count as fully avoided and do no damage
    • Expertise – Reduces the chance that your own attacks are dodged or parried by your target
    • Haste – Increases your casting speed, reduces your melee swing speed, reduces the GCD (to a minimum of 2 second) and allows certain DoT spells to gain extra ticks. Many DPS specs also have talents that allows Haste to increase the rate at which they gain resources (Energy, Focus, Mana, Rage & Runes)
    • Hit – Increases your chance to successfully hit with your spells and abilities
    • Mastery – Universal stat that “makes you better at what you do”. Every class/spec combination benefits from mastery differently. For Protection Paladins mastery increases your chance to block attacks.
    • Parry – Increases your chance to parry melee attacks. Parried attacks, like dodged attack, count as fully avoided and do no damage. You also gain parry from strength
    • Resilience – Purely a PVP stat, resilience reduces the amount of damage you receive from other players
    • Spell Power – Increases your spell damage/healing. Mainly derived from intellect. You will mostly see this on caster weapons.
    • Spirit (Spi) – Contrary to what some people will tell you, spirit is now considered to be a secondary stat and is aimed directly at healers to increase their combat mana regeneration. DPS mana users have other ways of regaining mana during combat

It’s a numbers game!

To a lot of people, combat ratings are confusing… How do ratings become actual stats? How much of a given stat do I need? How much rating do I need to achieve that? There’s a lot of maths that goes on behind the scenes in WoW but for the average day-to-day player I would recommend downloading an addon like RatingBuster. It takes a lot of the guess work out of ratings by presenting you with a simple translation of what the rating will actually give you. In addition, it will enable you to compare an item side-by-side with one you already have equipped and see what you will gain/loose by equipping it.

Gearing

Now that you have an overview of all the stats, let’s look at which are relevant to you when selecting a piece of gear.

  • Mastery – Through Divine Bulwark any mastery you gain translates directly in to block chance. Given the relative strength of block (30% reduced damage for blocked attacks)  this makes mastery top of the pile when looking for gear in most cases. Mastery is not subject to diminishing returns.
  • Dodge/Parry – Both these stats count as avoidance in that they give you a chance to avoid taking any damage. Common logic would therefore suggest that you should look for block or dodge over mastery since surely avoiding 100% damage is preferable to taking 30% less. In reality diminishing returns prevents you from stacking one avoidance stat too high. For this reason you will want to keep your dodge and block chance fairly even, this is achieved in a number of ways, but mainly through reforging.
  • Stamina – In the past items with high stamina values were generally intended for tanks, however Cataclysm has changed this slightly and now most same-slot items within a given tier of content have very similar levels of stamina.
  • Threat Stats (Hit, Expertise, Crit & Haste) – These come lowest on your radar. With the introduction of Vengeance, a tank who performs their role correctly should only rarely need to be concerned about gearing for threat. Threat stats are generally the first target when it comes to reforging your gear.

Gems

While there are a multitude of gems for you to select from, there are really only a few that you should consider using:

Generally speaking, you’ll want to match gems to their socket as the bonuses in Cataclysm mostly make this worth while, however if you’re re-purposing a piece of dps gear (with a dps-centric socket bonus) you’re probably better off socketing it with a mastery gem, unless you’re already block-capped (unlikely). It’s important to also keep in mind the requirements of your chosen meta gem to ensure that it’s bonus remains active.

Personally, as a Jewelcrafter, I like to ensure that I always use my Chimera’s Eyes in the same slots so that swapping out gear for certain encounters doesn’t leave me without all three. Two have natural homes, the prismatic sockets on your belt buckle & your relic, while you’re free to place the third anywhere (prismatic sockets on bracers/gloves are a good choice if you’re a Blacksmith)

Reforging

Reforging presents a new way to customise your gear. For Protection Paladins, it mainly provides a conduit to obtaining more Mastery. Your priority for reforging should run something along the lines of:

Mastery >> Dodge/Parry >> Hit/Expertise >> Is it really an upgrade?

Keep in mind that you want your dodge & parry chance fairly even when buffed so that when you’re standing at the npc (and likely not raid buffed) your parry should be a little lower then your dodge (due to BoK & Horn of Winter increasing your strength).

Enchants

The final icing on your gear cake comes in the form of enchants. As with gems, there’s an extensive selection of options available, however as a tank there’s a somewhat more restricted range that you should consider:

We’re on the home stretch for this series now. Next time, I’ll be finish up by looking at consumables and profession choices for tanking.

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