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3.12.2011

The Obsidium Shuffle: Heating Up or Winding Down?

On this lazy Saturday night as I sit here cutting and vendoring an obscene amount of Zephyrite I have to wonder. Is the Obsiduim shuffle still worth it?

With ore prices dropping to rock bottom on many servers (many believe because of an increase of botting activity) you'd think the shuffle would be more profitable than ever (although my sore gem-cutting fingers may disagree with you). Is it still worth the time to do 'the shuffle'?

The Problem
Now I'm not one bad-mouth 'the shuffle'. It has been mighty good to me for the last month or so. Somehow I get the feeling that it will get less and less profitable as time goes on.

The reason it was so good was that at least 2 or 3 of the gems we prospected sold in the 20 gold range. The others often sold for well above vendor value. The three that were involved in the JC daily could sell on a good day for 25-35 gold each.

The problem is that they aren't selling for that price anymore. I feel the dirt cheap ore has pushed the prices of almost all the green-quality gems down and profit margins are shrinking.

Even rock star sellers like inferno rubies are dropping into the 65-70 gold range as cheap ore brings cheap carnelians.

State of the Union.


My fear is that it will get to the point where we are simply prospecting, cutting and vendoring all our gems. While this may bring in SOME profit it is an incredibly laborious process and I may have to start evaluating if the time spent is worth the profit gained.

The Silver Lining?
The one thing that dirt-cheap ore prices may bring for those JC who are dedicated and don't mind spending time semi-afking is the obsidium ore price floor.

What is the obsidum ore price floor? What is a price floor? Because the cut green-quality Cata gems vendor for 9g each if you prospect, cut and vendor all the gems you will make an average of 54 gold.

This the price floor. This is the least you earn by prospecting one 20-stack of obsidium ore. That means if ore is selling for less than 54 gold you have zero risk of losing money by prospecting. Worst-case scenario your gems don't sell and you cut and vendor them.

This was a great safety net back when green-quality gems were selling for much more. Now it may be the ONLY way to make money via the obsidum shuffle.

The Alternatives
There are other things to do with green-quality Cata gems. One is transmuting meta gems. Meta gem transmutes take 3 of each of the 6 green-quality gems. 3*6=18 total gems. Each gem cut would vendor for 9 gold. Thus for metas to be profitable they would have to sell for at least ((18*9 gold)+5% AH cut) = 170.52 gold.

Dirt cheap ore...dirt cheap metas?

With metas selling for 60 gold uncut on my server it makes me wonder if people are aware of how much they are losing by creating them.

Clearly at the current prices metas aren't a good option for me.

What about creating jewelry and disenchanting it? Well lets take a look at that. In my experience I've only done this when I needed mats for my  enchanter to blow through.

Lets be scientific and use the addon OreCrusher to see if doing the JC/DE shuffle is worth it. Below is a shot of the current AH prices for Obsidium (note many are below the 54g price floor) and the OreCrusher Disenchant recommendations.

OreCrusher DE Recommendations
From the image above the only thing OreCrusher would have us DE is Carnelian Spikes (which DE into Greater Celestial Essence). While this may be a good idea we first need to see if we would be better to put our carnelians to use by transmuting them into inferno rubies. For that we check the OreCrucher Transmute Values against the Disenchant Values.

Comparing DE to Xmute Values

It looks like the values are very close on my server at the moment. If they were further apart I would simply choose which ever was more valuable at the time and do that.

You can't see the rest of the OreCrusher Transmute values but all were recommending to auction the raw gems which means transmuting (even with transmute specialization) simply isn't worth it.

So besides a few examples of carnelians being able to be sold for a profit it seems we are either going to be selling them raw or vendoring them.

The Bottom Line
If we see our profit margins for 'The Obsidum Shuffle' shrink we will have to adapt and change with the times. I blame botting for the continued drop in our bottom lines. While it's exciting (at first) to get mats at dirt-cheap prices I feel that it does irreparable hard to the economy as a whole and loses us all money in the long run.

You simply can't compete with a machine. Bots never sleep. They never eat. They don't have families and real lives. They only thing that will stop them is being banned.

If you buy from someone who you know for a fact is a bot please stop. Please report any accounts you suspect of botting. It is not a lost cause. We have seen some success in our community with getting botters banned. (See "AH PvP Record: 1 - 1" at Nerf Faids) Don't give them your gold. Don't continue to let them pollute the game.

All the information in this post is related to my server alone. However, I don't think it is too far off by what I've been hearing across the community. basically it's time to check your 'shuffle' to make sure the music hasn't stopped and you're swaying with yourself all alone on the dance floor.

Talking Points
  • How has 'the shuffle' been treating you lately?
  • How are you planning on adjusting to the lower price of ore?
  • What profitable uses have you found for cheap ore?

Happy Fun Time Math Bonus!

FLUXMATH : CALCULATING VALUE+AH CUT

Here is a fun little equation if you want to know how much to price auctions to include the 5% AH cut.

If a gem vendors for 9 gold and we auctioned it for 9 gold even we would only get 8 gold 55 silver back as the AH takes a 5% cut.

The equation for adding the 5% into the cost of the Auction (or TSM threshold) is this:

x/0.95=y

Where 'x' is the vendor price and 'y' is the lowest price you should auction for.

Example: Green-quality gems vendor for 9 gold. 9/0.95=9.47. Therefore if you put up an auction for anything less that 9 gold 47 silver you are losing money you could have received by simply vendoring them.




14 comments:

  1. I just thought about this today when I saw tons of ore up for <40g a stack. I ended up buying about 200 stacks since I'm on break from University and can prospect it during the free time I've got. It's definitely not super lucrative anymore.

    As you pointed out, though, because of the high vendor value of the cut gems there's always some profit if you're buying under the appropriate price. It doesn't come down to "Is it profitable?" but "Is it profitable enough?" If you aren't doing anything else with your time it's a great way to get some extra gold out of your "AFK" time, but, on my server at least, I'd say it won't make anyone rich.

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  3. Hi there,
    on my server the shuffle still does it very well. I usually do the shuffle with 100 stacks/day. I buy'm for 60g/stack from a friend of mine (no bot!), AH price is hovering above 68g/stack even on weekends with much more supply.
    And I do the full service...
    prospecting
    cut/vendoring
    cut/ah'ing>
    cut/de>enchanting scrolls>ah'ing enchanting mats
    transmute gems/cut'em ah'ing
    transmute ssd/cut'em ah'ing

    And so I make gold hand over fist.

    And here a ss from my OC:

    [IMG]http://www.bilder-space.de/show_img.php?img=e32e19-1300004340.jpg&size=thumb[/IMG]

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  4. @Faid Our servers seem similarly mature economically. Many younger servers seem to be a few months behind us in terms of economic cycles. Either that or smaller/less mature server economies are just inherently different beasts.

    Larger servers seem to attract bots which makes sense since they have more potential customers.

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  5. @Hazel Just goes to show each server is different. I'm always glad to see our community members making gold hand over fist!

    Your comment took me back to my early days of shuffling. Hopefully those days aren't gone forever.

    Also for future reference Blogger comments handle standard HTML for things like links.

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  6. @fluxdada btw I'm on EU-Nathrezim, High/Medium populated vanilla release server, so it's a mature one^^

    Follow me on twitter if u want @HazelWoW

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  7. You get 2 metas from the transmute, not just 1. So the cost per meta is actually around 85 gold. Factor in alchemy transmute procs and more realistically you're looking at 75-80 gold. Still, if people are only selling them for 60 gold each, they're crazy.

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  8. Exactly, it depends on the server. On big servers the ore gets bought and profits are still good from prospecting it, so better be you that buys it than the competition.

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  9. My server's starting to experience the same thing. The bots are back, and they're not messing around this time. Ore is just crashing. Most of the obsidium on my server is well below the "floor," and even elementium is edging below 50g/stack. Last night I saw about 240 stacks of obsidium for about 40g each. A quick bit of math showed that I could make over 3k profit just buying, cutting, and vendoring everything. Sounds pretty good, but the whole process just sounds daunting. And like you, the rest of the shuffle is becoming obsolete. With dust going for ~4g on my server, even Jasper Rings aren't worth crafting and DEing (though maybe the blue procs could cover loss from the dusts, but since I'm still trying to sell a few Alicite Pendants from a month ago, I'm skeptical).

    If you don't mind, I'm going to do a short extended commentary on your post over at my blog, bankofwukam.blogspot.com.

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  10. Sorry am I missing something(only just resubbed)? the green gems only have a vendor value of 5g for me. =\

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  11. I was actually thinking this same thing for the last week. One thing to note, is that I trade almost exclusivly in Pyrite Ore. At first, finding stacks and stacks of Pyrite at 3-5g/ea, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make even that cash back. Volatile Earth, my major source of reclaiming that spent gold, is becoming more and more difficult to sell. I don't DE anymore either, as the price of dust is now in the 3g/each range.

    I think I need to find a new source of income until bots are taken care of.

    One thing to note, is "Should I continue to stockpile extreamly cheap stacks of Pyrite, for the chance of epic gems, when they are released?" I cannot imagine Pyrite getting much lower than the 3-5g/ea range, so even if it's not possible to obtain epic gems via Pyrite, you can still make up your losses.

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  12. The price of ore is below vendor on my server as well. At this point I'm not doing the shuffle in the desperate hope that if the bots keep going at it the price will fall into the 30g/stack range. At that price I think it will be worth my time to cut and vendor and I'll be a happy camper again.

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  13. @Chris We are talking about green-quality gems prospected from Cataclysm ore (Obsidium, Elementium and Pyrite).

    The specific gems in question are Zephyrite, Carnelian, Nightstone, Jasper, Alicite and Hessonite. Those all vendor for 9g each.

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  14. @Chris Cut gems vendor for 9g. Raws vendor for 5g. Obviously we always cut before we vendor. Sorry for the confusion.

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