My 401k

The new World of Warcraft expansion is available for sale tomorrow evening. I fully expect EB to tell me that the collector’s edition I pre-ordered months ago when it was first announced does not actually exist, and that I’ll have to settle for a regular copy. Then I can complain that I’ll never buy from such a dishonest place again, as if any other gaming retail chain is more honest.

That was a tangent. Originally my goal before the release of Cataclysm was to get my gold reserves back up to 100,000. Then Glyphmas happened. I hadn’t been selling anything in the weeks prior and as such was stuck with old stock, a lot of which had been turned to charred parchment (ie. removed from the game). I still walked away from those few days following patch 4.0.1 about 40,000 gold richer. Raiding in my guild was slowing down. There was increasingly little left to do on my main character, and I didn’t want to start any alts until the expansion. So much to the chagrin of plenty of glyph buyers and sellers, I redevoted myself to Gold. Born-again Goblin.

My new goal was 200,000 before Cataclysm. Despite the whining of many players that Blizzard was killing the market by making glyphs single-purchase items, this swift death never really came. Prior to the change, my daily goal if I was really paying attention to my auctions was 1,000 gold. If I made that, I was satisfied. If I didn’t, I was under-performing. In the days after the patch, my daily takings were at least 20,000. Gradually it came down to around 9-10,000 a day, up to 12-13 on weekends. This past week as the expansion draws nearer and I’ve ceased production, letting the slower sales dwindle my stock, it has settled at around 7,000 gold a day.

So I shot past that goal, and set another one at 300,000 gold. Even though my total gold on hand was rising, it was tempered by the massive amount of herbs I was purchasing from the Auction House to keep my stocks up. I had my spreadsheet (I take perverse joy in a good spreadsheet) to tell me what price I could buy supplies at and still turn the desired profit. Anything and everything below that price, I bought. Partial stacks or full. 5 stacks or 50. Some days I spent upwards of 10,000 gold on supplies, and some days I ended very much in the red. But the margins on glyphs are hilarious, and it wasn’t long before I was back in the green. Or the gold.

Then I hit 300,000 at around the time patch 4.0.3 came out, and the conditions for crafting new glyphs changed. I’d already made up my mind to cease production if for no other reason than that the process had become exceedingly boring. This is not surprising considering the time I had devoted to my other, periphery goal. That was, to generate a stockpile of 20 of all glyphs. There are something like around 340 available glyphs to craft in the game. Do the math. With a calculator. That’s around 6,800 glyphs. Lets be conservative, since there were some glyphs I was never going to sell for a profit, and thus didn’t bother to craft. 6,000 glyphs means 18,000 inks. 18,000 inks means 36,000 pigments. Here the math gets fuzzy, but 36,000 pigments means around 60,000 base herbs. That’s just assuming I use the best herbs, which I didn’t always. Mind-numbing does not begin to describe the process.

But hey, this is all a fun-fun game right?

There were fun things to do along the way. Well not to do really, what I was doing most of the time was chatting with guild-mates, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks. But there were some handy distractions. Those listed here were of course not the only ones. And the apparent cause of the hate varied depending on whether the person was a buyer or a seller. If they were a buyer, then I was the scum of the earth because the price was higher than they wanted to pay (never mind the times I offered people glyphs at cost when they approached me and asked me civilly). If they were another glyph seller, then clearly my strategy of selling glyphs for less than they were was criminal, abominable even, while their strategy of selling glyphs for cheaper than I am is virtuous.

People are dumb. I didn’t need this to give me that idea, or even to confirm it for me. There’s little I can do to change that, and where these individuals are concerned why would I even want to bother, given the great amusement their impotent rage gives me. I believe the internet terms it thus: Their tears fuel me.

Oh, and I have an addon that tracks who purchases my glyphs. I am a fan of data, I can’t help it. It’s also a lot of fun seeing the names of people who had hurled abuse at me popping up on my buyers list quite often.

My final goal was set at 400,000, and by now sales were definitely slowing. Fortunately I had my stockpile, so my daily profits stayed fairly steady as the lack of production costs compensated for the reduced sales. Today, 24 hours before Cataclysm is scheduled to go on sale, I hit my final, thrice-adjusted target. 400,000 gold. Still 600,000 short of the gold cap, but I believe I’ve had my fill. This is literally more gold than I know what to do with.

Which is not to say I don’t have some ideas.