Thursday, January 13, 2011


Cata herb prices are like a fine race horse at the beginning of its career: nervy, highly strung, full of promise, and likely to throw off aspiring riders, leaving them broken and hoof-marked. That said, surely this is where the fun is for Inscription?

So let’s review said ‘fun’ shall we?

The flask market on our teeny tiny Alli faction has only sprung into existence within the last fortnight but it’s solid. I can’t say the same for the herb market as supply pitches and tosses with price gouging rife. Stormvine is the most affordable herb, sometimes dipping as low as 120g a stack but it, along with others, regularly sits closer to 200g a stack or higher. Now a good auctioneer will buy when prices are low and during the week, as per normal cycles, this does occur. “Low” however is an extremely relative term at the moment.

So how do I continue to roll my
glyph steamroller along the gold-paved road that is Cata?

Other proponents of the wow gold game will tell you that there are ways to purchase herbs cheaply; these pretty much rely upon Inferno Ink as an offset though (plus of course the ‘mystical’ na├»ve farmer who offers you Cata herbs for 50g a stack and never checks the AH to see what they’re really worth… we’re all still looking for one of those O.o). Unfortunately the Inferno market doesn’t yet exist on our server. Elsewhere these inks might sell for 200g each which makes a certain sense when you realise that there’s about a 0.5 ink drop per stack. For me to sell Infernos for 200g though I need someone to want to buy them. Our server simply isn’t there yet. So here I am with a capacity to turn out about 5 Blackfallow inks per stack and no Inferno goose to lay me any fiery gold eggs.

The solution? Casting off my pre-Cata mindset and entering the age of plentiful gold and unbridled purchaser capacity (yes, I said “unbridled” O.O)! Previously, I had thought that my bold price of 69g a glyph was way out there. I set this price about three or four weeks prior to 4.0.1 and the gold streamed in. I revelled in my shininess as goblins and auctioneers fell about me, either suffering from lack of foresight on stockpiling mats or simply giving up and going off server. I sailed forth on a stack and a half of each and every glyph in game. Gold tumbled into my coffers and I was happy…

… except now, I’m getting dangerously low on some stocks, and buying Cata herbs at prices between 100g and 200g seems crazy.

Or is it?

If I’m buying for 140g to 175g a stack maximum price here’s how things drop out:

My sell value is break even + 45g which gives me, at 140g stack price, glyphs at 129g each.

A jump from 69 to around 150g (I included the 175g stack price as I know I’ll be tempted to buy higher to flesh out my stock) is a big one but this is not WOTLK, this is Cata and these glyphs are a one-off purchase that will continue to provide value for the life of any character. I always try to think what I’d pay for a product and so… 250g glyphs? Not for me! Additionally I won’t need to buy all my herbs as Cata herbs – I’m running three macros at the moment for milling and regularly clean up the AH for lower-level herbs under 40g/stack – so if glyphs from those herbs sell there’s a good deal of offsetting profit against the more costly items to craft.

So what price shall I post for… ?

The mogul steps through a tall archway to his side verandah and out into the grove of fruit trees beyond. He observes a grapefruit: they’re bitter, but juicy and good… and once activated (with sugar) are wonderful…kind of like a high-priced glyph. He thinks about how much he likes gold… thinks about what a glyph might be worth to an aspiring main, or alt. The ripe grapefruit drops from the tree but before it can strike the ground he catches it. Inside he places the fruit on the kitchen’s cold stone counter and separates it into two halves. Sugar gently falls from above, forming a sweet and sour crust over the tangy flesh. Raising an eyebrow, Mogul is pleased with the result and goes looking for a spork.

75g to 179g is my starting range for glyphs – buying out all stacks under 160g. Knowing our market there’s really very few other players who cover the whole AH. I believe most will follow me up to 179g. Then it’s a matter of seeing if the server goes into cost shock and refuses to buy.

This is going to be fun!!! : )


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