There once was a Death Knight who wanted to get the most our of her professions. She had leveled so fast she hadn't taken the time to level professions. Now she had time and was going to correct that.
When the day came to finally choose her professions. A skinner was something she was born to do so that was her first choice. As for her second she read all the best theorycrafting and decided that the best DPS increase possible was Leatherworking. Wait. Leatherworking?
This didn't make logical sense. She wore plate. She smashed things with big swords and hammers. Why in the world would she choose Leatherworking?
The answer might surprise you. What might surprise you even more is the series of events that would lead to me losing 18,000 gold because of Leatherworking.
At the time my Death Knight was choosing her professions a series of changes to the stat priorities placed Strength squarely at the top of the Death Knight priority.
|The best of the best (or it was for a month or so).|
Strength was so good that any possible profession had to be judged solely on how much Strength it could bring to the table. At the time leatherworking provided a whipping 130 strength via Draconic Embossment - Strength. 130! (Intellect, Stamina and Agility were also available.)
That was 50 strength more all other comparable professions (Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Enchanting and Inscription) could provide. That extra 50 Strength made Leatherworking the clear winner for any Death Knight who wanted to get the most from their professions.
You might be wondering why EVERY Death Knight didn't pick up Leatherworking if it was so clearly superior to all other professions? Blizzard felt the same and corrected the situation in patch 4.0.6 by adding new bracer enchants into the game.
The enchanting formulas would be world drops and would add +50 Strength, +50 Intellect and +50 Agility to wrist slot to bring Leatherworking's power back in line with all other comparable professions.
And so the saga began. Formula: Enchant Bracer - Major Strength, Formula: Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect and Formula: Enchant Bracer - Agility came crashing into our lives.
Whether the original over-powered nature of the LW emboss (and the subsequent new formulas) was an oversight by Blizzard or planned is irrelevant at this point. What isn't irrelevant is how it affected the economy and the auctioneer community.
The gold-making blogs started speculating as to whether or now this would be a new source of income. People speculated as to how much gold could be made.
As with any new potential source of income the gold blogging community let out a collective "AWWWWWWWWWW YEAHHHHHHHHH!"
|Dramatic Reenactment: The Dream|
We dreamed of the Scrooge McDuck-style swimming pools full of gold we would dive into once these patterns started showing up on the AH. We salivated over the chance to get our greedy little hands on them. We were the auctioneers! We were the ones who kept up on these kind of things. We were in the 'know'. How could we possible go wrong!
And thus is was that when the formulas started showing up on the Auction House we were often the first to snap them up no matter the cost. We may have even made a scroll or two. We had the money. We had to be first. We had to strike while the iron was hot.
We also may have had the mats if we were savvy enough to know hot to make our own Maelstrom Crystals. We were smart enough to have been Alchemists/Enchanters. Even with that nerfed we were smart enought to be Engineers/Enchanters or Enchanters that DE'd PVP gear.
Regardless, we knew how to get the mats that were needed to make money on these new enchants. We were ready.
There was only one small problem. No one wanted them. For those who took the plunge expecting huge profits all we got was all wet as the demand for the enchants never materialized.
|Dramatic Reenactment: The Reality|
Those of use who had purchased the formulas for 10k (or 20k) gold, those of us who had poured literally 5-6k worth of materials into one single enchant, found that the player base wasn't buying what we were trying to sell them.
Scrolls sat on the AH week after week. The few early sellers slowly and methodically undercut each other searching for the price point at which they would finally sell.
Scrolls, whose mat cost at creation had been 6k, slowly dipped to 5k then 4k. Today I saw one listed for 3.5k
(For further reading see my post entitled The Drag Hiding In Your Bag (Or Hello Mr. Albatross!) and more recently Stokpile's Investments & Bracer enchants.)
A Looming Threat
Then just when us, the brave auction house vanguard, thought it couldn't get any worse Blizzard announced the content for patch 4.1 which included new Heroic 5-Man dungeons which would drop epic loot.
This epic loot would bring more Maelstrom Crystals into the market which would only lower their value and further devalue and scrolls that were already made.
I wish I could say there was a silver lining to this story. At present there really isn't. In the future maybe there will be a time when they enchant may make those who picked it up a few gold here and there as more Maelstrom Crystals come into the market.
The Domino Effect
I wanted to lay this out in such detail to help show that everything that happens in the game affect everything else.
1) Because of the changes in stats in 4.0.1 the Leatherworking bracer emboss was too strong.
2) Because the bracer emboss was too strong Blizzard implemented new bracer enchants to bring other professions in line with LW.
3) Because these new bracer enchants were world drops they were rare and sold for large sums. Because they had recently nerfed the Alchemist/Enchanter source for Maelstrom Crystals their price was high at the time these formulas were introduced.
1+2+3 = Leatherworking cost me 18k gold. (10k pattern + 12k mats for 2 scrolls - 4k for one scroll that finally just sold yesterday.)
We can never look at any single transaction or opportunity in a vacuum. We can't just see that TUJ shows bracer enchants
We have to have knowledge and we have to have a view of the economy of our server (and the game) as a whole. We have to read patch notes and understand how the landscape can and will change.
We have to take risks in order to make gold. We learn from experience. We can go into these decisions with the best information we can.
We won't always hit a home run. No one can ALWAYS hit a home run. What we can do is practice and hone our skills so that when the right pitch comes out way. When the right opportunity comes our way we can evaluate it properly and then swing for the fences.
- What sources can we use to help keep a view on the whole economy?
- What tools do we have to evaluate the profit potential of a new opportunity?
- What did you learn from the new bracer formulas that you will use in the future?
- Why do you think Blizzard made the bracer formula materials so expensive?