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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My 4.2 Log

Hey folks, it's still early in 4.2 with a lot of gold to be made, but I wanted to tell you how my day's gone so far.  First off, I'll give you a run down of what I had going into it:

Faid is my BS/Engineer and the only toon I'm really interested in doing Hyjal dailies on.  My only other toon that would really benefit would be Klix, my DK tailor.  (My boyfriend's Leatherworker can handle those patterns.)   However, I just didn't feel like opening up Hyjal on Klix so I did not.

My main gold-making plan was selling loads of gems. Having made out like a bandit with them in 4.1 I was hoping to see a similar showing in 4.2.  I did not stockpile over time, as my previous post shows, but did make a last-ditch effort to pile up some gems the night before the patch.  I logged off last night with about 50 Inferno Rubies and 35 of other colors on Alliance, and about 20 Inferno Rubies and 10 of other colors on the Horde.

Also of interest for pre-patch news.  Last night I found that, if I counted both Horde and Alliance, I had hit 1 million gold.  However, I've always felt that Horde gold was more of a "side venture" and not something to be counted towards my cap goal, so didn't consider it official I'd capped yet.

The Dawn Arrives
I woke up at the crack of noon and started downloading the patch.  Had a hiccup with it not applying correctly, but got it sorted and was able to log on about 10 minutes after the servers came up.  At which point I promptly had a brain meltdown and couldn't figure out what I should be doing first.

I logged onto my JC and posted up 10 of every Inferno Ruby cut I have (Agi/Str/Int) at 275g each.  I sat there staring at my screen. You know that feeling when there's so much to do you just can't seem to do anything?  Yeah, that's how I felt.

I saw someone in Trade looking for someone to make Unleashed Lightning. Hey! I should go research that. So I hop over to my scribe, research it, sell one to the person who was looking for it (350g) and make about 15 more.  I pop them and my Snowfall Ink stock on the Auction House and head back to my JC to start looking at gems seriously. (I ended up selling a few glyphs for 400g, a few for slightly less, then quickly they were undercut down to the price of an average glyph. :(  Oh well, was fun while it lasted!)

The Gemstravaganza
Because I was using two accounts I was able to be on my Horde bank toon posting my few precut gems  (Inferno Rubies 250+ with very little competition ) while simultaneously cutting and posting gems on Alliance with my DK. (Inferno Rubies ended up around 225+ with a lot of competition.)

Shortly after I began posting I decided to take a peek at Elemetnium. There were around 190 Stacks for 44g, which is just under my pre-4.2 threshold of 45g.  I swept all of them up for around 8.5k and spent the next few hours diligently watching the AH, keeping it stocked with every cut that was selling for a good rate (I had no formula, just whatever "felt like good profit") and prospecting ore.

After a while I started getting antsy about seeing new content. There were people with cool Alliance balloons, awesome cloaks, trash epics, and more! I wanted to get some!

So I put my Horde selling on the back burner (Remember, I consider it a fun side-project, not an actual pursuit at his point.)  My plan was to stock my Alliance glyph seller (Liquidate) up with all of my gems and to then be able to go run around on Faid.

First I had to deal with the side effects of all that prospecting I'd been doing throughout the day.  I transmuted all the Carnelians using my Heartblossom I had banked for unrelated vanity purposes, and did the usual jewerly to DE/sell.  I DE'd almost all the jewelry right away since enchant scrolls were picking up speed (300g for Mighty Stats to chest) but got pulled away to a schedule guild alt raid.   Luckily I'd been able to move my gem business to the bank toon first, however, and continued to sell through the alt raid.

After finishing up the alt raid I decided I should go do the dailies so I didn't end up a day behind.  I got about halfway through them when my boyfriend informed me that the Firelands trash farm group he was with had a DPS  opening.  Unlike the other trash farms I'd turned down all day, this one was made up of friends and people from one of the higher end guilds on teh server.  (As of the end of 4.1 my guild is 7th on the server, theirs is 6th.)  So I knew it wouldn't be a time sink wipefest.

I put my dailies on hold and hopped in.  They'd been at it for a while and called it after about thirty minutes more, but during those thirty minutes the following items dropped:

I lost on the Blacksmithing pattern but was happy to be able to snag the tanking trinket.  I equipped it right away so as to remove any temptation nagging me to sell it, as the rules were only roll if you're going to use it. =)  

The farming group was called shortly and I kept on going until I finished my dailies and the Thrall quest line, netting me a nice cloak upgrade.  Two upgrades on the first night of the patch!

The Aftermath
I'm letting the dust settle now. There are farming groups I could go to , or gems I could be cutting to sell, but I'd just like to sit here and enjoy myself. I've got a cool Alliance Balloon and a touched up Dark Phoenix and I'm pretty happy with the first day of the patch.  Here are the MySales information for the past 24 hours from some of my main selling toons, though a few other toons were involved in today's selling.



So there you can see my biggest money making items. Lots of gems, some key enchant scrolls, etc.  

I have one more screenshot to share with you guys now.

Tah-dah! Gold cap. Banked. Alliance.  I've reached the cap.  I'm going to take a breather from gold making for the rest of the evening and enjoy some new content while I decide where to go from here. Look forward to a post in the very near future about my next goal, whatever it may be!

(Oh, and I started my day at ~40k Horde and am ending at 100k, so that's pretty hot too.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

4.2 Stockpile? Blasphemy 'round these parts!

You know what I hate?  Patches.  Right when I get all settled in and into my groove they come along and patch the game and there's a whole new market to learn or all new nerfs to adjust to and all that stuff.  QQ   Of course, if the game never got patched it'd grow boring eventually, but I'm usually that person who hates change and perhaps that's why I refuse to get serious into stockpiling and speculation. 

Allow me to show you my 4.2 stockpile!

I've never been one to stockpile and I probably never will be.  Even when I do anticipate a demand (Glyphmas, for example) I will almost always understock myself.  I hate huge stockpiles.  I think they are definitely an asset for those who enjoy that style of gold making and can show brilliant results, but I do not like staring at a bunch of inventory that is gathering dust instead of gathering income.  I would rather sell my Inferno Rubies now for 160g and then have that to reinvest to rinse/repeat ad nauseam than to hold onto it because I'll probably be able to sell it for 250g in a few days/weeks/months.  I want my inventory to work for me now, not later.

Let's say you have 100g to your name.  You could invest this gold in Pyrite Ore, assuming that epic gems will come from it. Let's pretend that 4.2 drops in August as a random month I have chosen.  So now you have a stack of Pyrite Ore and no gold for all of July.  When August comes you may be able to quadruple your money and sell an epic gem out of that stack for 400g. That's a great return on investment; but at the cost of an entire month without that investment capital.

Now let's take that same 100g and put it into a stack of Pyrite Ore.  Prospect it on the spot, shuffle items appropriately, come out with a conservative 120g.  Now do it again. And again. And again.  Within an hour you can be up to 400g. You'll have net the same result of stockpiling but faster, with less uncertainty, and have a whole month to continue doing this while that other guy's sitting on his Pyrite Ore stack and hoping for the future.

Granted, stockpiling is not usually done with all of your capital, but with what you can spare without crippling your other gold making ventures, but I feel the point is the same: I would rather use my gold now for guaranteed income than tie gold up in the prospects of future markets.

I hate uncertainty and I hate stock gathering dust and that is why I am not a stockpiler.

All of the gems in the above image are the result of yesterday's shuffling and will be cut and sold off by tomorrow and I will continue in this manner until I get bored.   Have I lost out on income from lack of stockpiling? Definitely!  I was woefully understocked for Glyphmas, for example.

But am I still about to hit a million gold. Yep.  Stockpiling is great for those who enjoy it, but I guess I just don't see why a lot of people seem to think stockpiling is nearly mandatory for anyone making serious gold.

Do you stockpile?  Do you consider it something all gold-makers should do? Why or why not?

Friday, June 24, 2011

A New Direction for NerfFaids

I've had a problem I've been thinking about for a little over a week now, and I think I've finally come up with a solution.  

The Problem
This sort of issue has the propensity to be drawn out into a long, bitchy rant, and that's not my point here so I'm going to try to keep this as dry as I can.

Through the gold blogosphere I have been appalled at the lack of integrity of many bloggers. No, I'm not getting all pissy because I was ripped off or anything; there have been some definite grey areas and ones that I'm leaning towards being rip offs, but that was a while ago and is water under the bridge.  But I don't have to be the victim to point out a wrongdoing.  

When I started gold blogging I envisioned the blogosphere being a sort of thinktank where many like-minded individuals bounced ideas off of one another to put out great information.  What I've seen in these past months is a dog-eat-dog zero sum game where many bloggers care about generating traffic and income or getting content up on their site, often at the cost of their integrity and honor.

I've always been among those who say "No idea is fully original, there will be some overlap."  I still believe this to be true.  But the blatant disrespect shown by many bloggers towards fellow community members has caused me dismay time and time again.

I could put up my plea to bloggers to have a bit of class, but the time for that is gone, I think.  Sleazy bloggers will continue to be sleazy and upstanding bloggers will continue to be awesome.  What this page is basically about is about the way I'm dealing with this.

The Solution
I was sitting here today thinking "I'll just quit blogging.  I hate what "being a blogger" is in my mind and I don't want to be among those."  I had briefly considered quitting blogging.  If I cringed every time I looked at another person's blog, how much fun can I be having? Isn't it time to throw in the towel?  But then I realized that the fact that I'm blogging isn't what upsets  me. Writing blog posts is really interesting to me!  It's all the other crap that bothers me.  Why punish people who do like to read my blog or follow my videos just because I'm upset about people who probably don't give two shits about their own blog, let alone mine?

Then I realized something.  There is a blogger named Stokpile who was actually the first gold blogger I read.  He seems to have remained completely immune to all of this blogosphere stuff.

How?  What are his magical powers? (Besides ditching WoW for Rift! D:) And something occurred to me. He's not a part of the community.  I'm not saying that in a bad way, and maybe he is more a part of it than my eyes have seen, but as I look at his blog and look at other people's blogs he's not helping people with Podcasts, he's not on Twitter, and he's not doing guest posts everywhere. He's minding his own business and writing his kickass blog.

That is what I want. I've decided my plan of action will to become a sort of "blog hermit."  I've got friends in the blogging community I will still keep in touch with to bounce ideas off of and chat and whatnot, but I'm going to try to extract myself from the "blogging community."  No guest posting/carnivals (written or received,) I'll probably be much less active on Twitter, and though I have greatly enjoyed participating as a guest on podcasts I likely will not do any more of those.  I feel that the people I care for will understand and respect this decision.

I am not going to remove my blog roll because I know a lot of people like using blog rolls to jump from blog to blog, though I will likely not update it much, if at all. (I will move it to the bottom of the page so as to help me "quit cold turkey." :D)

Certain pervasive attitudes have outraged me quite a bit in the blogosphere, some of which I actually was spurred into posting about.  Well, hopefully by removing these attitudes from my world I can, in turn, focus on the thing I actually do care to get excited about: Gold and blogging about gold.

What Readers Can Expect
Nerf Faids will continue as it has; I'll post about gold making and WoW and such. The site should remain virtually unchanged, though probably with less "WTF, OTHER BLOGS?!" rantings since, hopefully, they won't be an element in my blogging life anymore. =] 

What this will mean is that, with other blogs not being among my reading material, I will probably be a lot less likely to be able to readily give "link love," something I think is very important.  If you are a blogger and ever see something even remotely related to a post you have done, please post a link to your post in the comments and I will edit it into the original post at the earliest convenience.

If all goes as planned this will be the last long, drawn out, emo, non-gold related post you'll see on the pages of NerfFaids.  Thanks for listening, all, now go out and make some gold!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Minimizing risk when flipping via the Neutral AH

The Neutral AH is an amazing tool in a gold maker's arsenal.  When one has learned to use it effectively it is a gold mine.  However, it's easy to get burned when learning the ropes and many people are so worried about the risks they never even give it a fighting chance.

I've been growing my Horde business by leaps and bounds lately.  My problem is I don't have as much infrastructure set up on the Hordeside.   Here's where the Neutral AH comes in.  Today I bought about 80 stacks of Elementium on the Horde and prospected it all there.  The problem was that I ended up with a lot of rare gems and very very few patterns.  Rather than burden a guildie to cut them or tip a JC, I decided I would send them to my Alliance DK to cut then send them back to sell.  This meant moving rather large amounts of rare gems across the AH, something that I'm never happy to do, but I've become more and more comfortable with over time.

Basically the way the Neutral AH itself works is both factions can buy and sell on it. However, unlike your faction's AH, the Neutral AH (Blackwater Auction House) will deduct a 15% cut of the take instead of 5%.  In order to avoid losing out on large amounts of gold because of this cut many players like to post their items for very very cheap, such as 1c-1g for an item often worth 50-10000g!

Herein lies the risk.  Other players, or often even bots, will watch the Neutral AH for someone attempting to move items like this and will "snipe" the item when it's up.  Some may see a moral problem with this practice, but as far as Blizzard is concerned, they are not breaking the rules and have every right to snipe your auctions.  (I agree with this. I don't like snipers and would not do it myself, but if you lose an item on the Neutral AH it is your own fault in the end.

The most foolproof way to avoid having your auctions sniped (besides never posting them, of course!) is to post them at a value you'd be willing to sell it for. Then, if someone does buy it, you didn't really lose out all that much.  However, most people don't want to take that 15% cut and so it becomes a game of managing risk.

Some have probably heard me say I take a lot of precautions to avoid sniping on the neutral AH and have been mostly successful.  I wanted to share these with you so that, hopefully, you guys can lower the risk associated with cross faction trading as well!

  • Have instant communication with your accomplice.  - Ideally you would be buying and selling your own auctions with a second account.  However, if you cannot do that, you will likely be using another person to help you.  Make sure that this person is in Vent/Mumble/Teamspeak with you, or better, in the same room! Communicate often. "I'm about to post up 14 Resplendent Ember Topaz. Posting in 5, 4, 3, 2, Posting!"   This will make sure they're always searching for the right item quickly and can buy it before anyone else gets the chance to.

  • Minimize clicks. - Using addons is great for this.  With Auctioneer you can enable Easy Buyout so that you can Shift+Click (Or whatever you set it to) to buy out auctions quickly.  With Auctionator you can buy large amounts of items by spam-clicking the Buy button.  If you use the default UI frame you will find your self having to click on the item, click buyout, click accept, click next item, etc.  All this clicking can mean a few extra seconds a bot is able to scan and snipe your auctions.  Be sure your accomplice knows how to use these addons for this purpose too!

  • Mix it up. - Do not schedule times to meet your accomplice to do this.  If someone is watching you and sees these same two characters go to the Neutral AH every Wednesday at 4 AM they'll start connecting the dots.  Make the transfers at different times and different days each time.  When possible, use different characters at different Neutral AHs.

  • /who the Zone.  -  Before posting you can /who Winterspring  /who Tanaris  /who Cape of.  This will give you lists of the toons in the areas.  Now, people may just be questing, but if you see my level 1 Mage Neutrality in Winterspring, a place a level 1 has no business being, you can probably bet that toon is made with the Neutral AH in mind and you may wish to be wary.

  • Cover as many Auctioneers as possible. - Rather than meeting your accomplice in Booty Bay have him go to Everlook while you chill in Booty Bay or Tanaris.  This way you can visually watch multiple auction houses for anyone slinking up to take a peek at what you're doing.

  • Talk to the others. - If you see other pairs of people who appear to be flipping items extend a friendly tell.  Not everyone is necessarily out to get you and they may be just as afraid that you're going to steal their auctions.  Often I've found that politely approaching others has created a rapport and I've even found people who are willing to do gold trades (I give you gold on Alliance, you give me the same amount on Horde) to avoid the hassle of moving gold straight across.  If the person gives you a bad vibe then don't risk it, log off and transfer your items tomorrow.

  • Slow and steady transferring is key. - Twenty different gem cuts you say? Don't post them all at once.  It's easy to create a TSM list and post up everything you want to transfer but it takes a large amount of control out of your hands.  Which cuts will appear on the AH first.  While you're frantically spam clicking to buy out all the Bold Inferno Rubies is someone else taking that time to snipe your Etched Demonseyes? Post one type of item at a time to reduce the amount of time your inventory is sitting on the AH.

  • Off-Peak hours are best. - Many times when an item is sniped it wasn't by a "professional sniper" but by someone who just happened to be in the zone, saw you run up to the Auctioneer, and figured they'd do a search and see if anything interesting was happening.  By transferring your auctions at, say, 3 - 5 AM you can often limit the amount of exposure your habits receive and lower the risk of sniping.  This also allows the /who of zones to be more "accurate," as you're less likely to see large amounts of people out questing at these times.

  • Don't be obvious. - Many people may end up making characters just to transfer via the neutral AH.  Don't follow my lead.  Neutrality was a funny and fitting name, but not very secretive.  One look at a level 1 named Neutrality in Gadgetzan and you know what she's up to.  If you make a Neutral AH banker give it a "normal" name, not a funny bank name or anything to do with transferring.


It's worth mentioning there are a few other things you can do when transferring that I do not do; either because my server is not built for it, it doesn't interest me, or I don't want to pay for it.  They should probably be mentioned though.

  • If you play on a PvP server you can watch the neutral AHs.  If you see anyone nearby that you think may snipe your auctions get on a character of the opposite faction and continuously gank them to keep them from meddling in your AH affairs.

  • Regardless of your server type, if you're willing to take a beating from the guards you can attack and kill Neutral Auctioneers.  This would allow you to limit the "auction kiosks" available to only the ones you are using, allowing you to have far greater control on who can hurt your business in-game.

  • Many of the sniping programs work by doing constant scans of the AH.  If you post up tons of junk (20 pages of Skinning Knives, for example) the bot must scan all of those 20 pages, giving you more time to post/buy what you're actually transferring.

  • I'm under the impression that you can flip items using the Remote Auction house without ever having to visit an in-game Neutral AH or mailbox.  I cannot talk much about this since I do not use the Remote AH, but it's something to remember.  Also, keep in mind, if competitors use the Remote Auction house there's not much you can do to "watch out" for them.  Just be sure you limit the amount of time your items spend in their reach; make sure the item's bought within a few seconds of posting and you should do okay.

There may be other tactics to avoid having your auctions sniped.  These are the tactics that I personally use or have heard a lot of other gold maker's talk about, I hope they help take some of the weight off when you're deciding if flipping across the Neutral AH is too dangerous to risk or too lucrative to pass up!

WoW Gold Rush - Alchemy

First off, a foreword:
I've had a few people send me messages or tweets after a Gold Rush video goes up basically saying "You didn't mention X and Y!"  Indeed I did not!

My Gold Rush videos are not meant to be a comprehensive profession guide meant to show you every single one of the gold making ins and outs of every profession.  There are plenty of those already.  My mission with the Gold Rush video series is just to show you a thing or two in a quick, compact, easy to follow format that can net you some gold. It will rarely be the highest gold per hour, the must lucrative recipe, or the super specialist secret tip.  They're ways to spend minimal time on the AH, avoid spreadsheets and market research, and just glean a bit of gold out of a bit of time.

If you feel I missed something important in my videos feel free to put them in the Youtube comments for those who watch them afterward, more information is always great! (For example, my boyfriend listened to me narrate this new video and was like "Why didn't you mention Deepstone Oil?" to which I promptly and politely replied "MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEO IF YOU'RE SO SMART."  Eheheheh.  Basic point being: I don't mention everything there is to say about a profession, tis true. But you're welcome to share any input you have, and to engage your wits and find more tactics as well!

Anyways, without further ado, Alchemy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Loaves of Bread

First off, news! Today I hit 900k banked (Roughly 960k across all toons on both factions, but I like to only count "banked Alliance" gold) and I'm now officially in the home stretch. It's weird to think I still have 10% to go; it sounds like a lot. Then again my first 100k took me two months and the last 100k took me 10 days, so I guess there's some snowball effect to count on!

Lately I've been thinking about the value of gold and how I perceive it.  In one of his election years (I tried to look it up but everyone else just says "one of his election years" as well . . .) a reporter asked George H. W. Bush a rather loaded question.  They asked him the going rate of a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.  When he answered way off the mark they considered it a "gotcha" question; a sign he was out of touch and didn't understand the lives and problems of the average American.

I've sort of been feeling that way about gold for the duration of Cataclysm.  I wasn't rolling in gold at Cata launch, sitting at around 250k, but I had more than your average player.  Because of this I've started to wonder if my value of gold is drastically different from other players, or if it's much more similar than I expect.  

In late Wrath, as an example, I was discussing alts with a guild member.  He has a priest and was saying he can't really solo because it's Holy.  I was like "Well, just buy dual spec for her, it's really cheap."  He said something along the lines of: "You know, not everyone has so tons of gold to spend, Faid."  (In my defense, I thought Dual Spec had already been lowered to 10g but was actually still 1000g, mah bad!)

By the end of Wrath I know I was "rich" compared to your average player.  I wonder, though, is 250k that much now? I haven't seen a huge spike in the gold you get from dailies (though I've not looked at Firelands rewards) and raiding doesn't bring in tons of gold, but it seems there's more gold floating around.

There's a Reins of Poseidus on my AH for 200k (not mine!) and of course that gets Trade talking about the "ridiculous price people charge for mounts."  I asked how much people would be willing to spend for it and a lot of people are putting their price point similar to mine: 30-50k.

It's surprising to me, because before I started making gold as a concentrated effort I considered myself comfortable at 10k and rich at 15k.  The fact that your average player is now seeing it as reasonable to spend 50k on a mount is definitely a surprise to me.

It's caused me to realize that the degree of inflation in Cataclysm was entirely lost on me.  I don't know how much the average player has, what the average player's expenses are, and what they are willing to pay for certain things.  I am, quite frankly, out of touch with those I market to.

But what can be done?  My view of the value of gold is so skewed and even if I didn't have this gold, now that I know how to make this much there's no way I'll ever think 15k is rich again, you know?

Anyways, just some "I'm almost there" musings!

Image Source: Loaf of Bread

In other news I've started a Minecraft Let's Play video series, check it out if you're a Minecraft fan! If you're not a Minecraft fan you probably will be soon. :o

I love everyone. Group hug!

Hey guys, I'm writing a gold-oriented post that will probably pop up later this afternoon, once folks have had time to get a glance at this one; I don't want to bury it too soon.  But yes, gold post coming very soon.

I just wanted to take a few moments to state a stance and clear some things up.

  • There have been some strong responses to my most recent post about bloggers being people too, and I'm glad to see so many people appreciate bloggers. =]  I have to admit I've had some unhappy feelings surrounding blogging recently and hearing overwhelming support has been great.

  • A few of the later comments have dealt with the use of the response to my WT application.  I will say nothing was taken out of context that it was given to me in; the original quote may have been taken out of context, but it was the full quote that I received.  It was one of several reasons, not the only reason, which I was declined. I've known this, but the other reasons had nothing to do with the post. The post wasn't "WT application process and my problems with it," the post was about how bloggers are judged differently in the gold making community, and the quote provided seemed to support that theory. 

  • A small handful of people said they were now reconsidering applying to the Wind Traders.  Don't reconsider. If it's something that interests you: Do it!  I found that, for many reasons which I provided to Sterling and really don't need to be brought into the public view, it was not the place for me and so I declined the generous invitation.  It was not a place for me personally, but that's not to say it is a bad place, just not a Faid place!  They are amazingly knowledgable, and through every step of the application process Sterling was incredibly kind and an upstanding individual, something I believe is true of most Wind Traders and folks over at the Consortium.  Don't let anything I've said here deter you; if you have ever wanted to apply then do so!

  • I'm going to see if I can lock comments to the previous post.  While I appreciate everyone's comments I feel I've said my piece and gotten that off my chest.  I want to get back to blogging about gold and let that post get buried.  Thank you all for allowing me to vent; now on with the regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

WTFaid?: Bloggers Are People Too

Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless.  If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you.  Also, read on!

(I didn't have any great images to use to break up the wall of text, so here's cute .gifs of kittens I've collected from Reddit!)

This post is about something I've been rather surprised ever came up at all.  Namely: People who choose to blog about gold are judged because of that choice.

I'm going to use two basic examples, but I would bet other gold bloggers have plenty of their own.

Example 1: Wind Trader Status
For those who have been living under a rock and haven't already heard, there's a great resource for gold makers called The Consortium. Pretty much anything that comes out of this forum is A+ material and, though some of it is sometimes over my head or a bit to number-intense for my liking, I love the quality of information they churn out.

On their site they have a group of people called Wind Traders.  They are described by the Consortium as "a proud, elite and very exclusive group of individuals keen on sharing ideas. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained within the private forum, membership is limited to 1 per server."  Essentially they're kind of like an "elite gold maker's club" (My words, not Consortium's) with their own private forum to discuss sensitive information about gold-making.

A while back I applied for WT status.  After a while I received a response to my application that was essentially: "The vote was close, but declined.  We would greatly like to see you apply again and fix/expand upon x, y, and z  from your application as they were the trouble spots."

Now, the whole situation was a tiny bit complicated but basically shortly after receiving the notice of being declined apparently they revoted and I was invited in, but had decided to decline for reasons that I don't really feel like bringing up since I have absolutely no bad blood with the Consortium and I feel that explaining it all would reek of non-existent drama.

The reason I'm going through all of this is to discuss one of the "problems" that was brought up for the reason I was declined as a Wind Trader the first time around.  This was, verbatim, one of the reasons someone voted no on my Wind Trader application:

I genuinely enjoy her blog - I like the attitude she brings to it, but I think that a distinction needs to be made. I think I can confidently assume that I was not elected based on the content of [Blog Name Removed] - let's be honest, it's a place for me to blow off steam.

Without calling anyone out, past or present, The Consortium has been attempted to be made into a platform for furthering the efforts of individuals' blogs in the past, so I think it would be prudent to ensure that people are willing to contribute to this community for the sake of the community.

If we ask for a second application, I think it will tell us a lot about Faid and her commitment level to helping the members of The Consortium.

Amusingly I actually do know who put this comment because their blog name remained even though their name was removed, but I have no issue or hard feelings so I don't mind either way and removed the blog name from the quote myself. :P

Essentially this person stated that because I am a blogger my motives are automatically suspect and I need to go above and beyond the Wind Trader application to further prove that I want to contribute to the community.

So let's look at that for exactly what it says: Because I am a contributing member of the gold making community I am now suspect of being in it for my own gains and assumed to not want to be a contributing member of the community. :|  WTF?

I have no blogging aspirations. I write my blog because I like to write and I like to help people and interact and it keeps me focused on my own gold-making goals. I have pledged in the past to not monetize my site in any way and I don't intend to ever sell any service. I do like to increase traffic to my blog because I like to interact more with the community, the exact thing that has caused me to come to The Consortium. I'm actually rather surprised that being a known member of the gold-making community apparently actually hurt my application.

I do not intend to come off haughtily when I say this, but being a Wind Trader I do not think would help me further my blog in any way I could not do so already. I have been invited to guest post for The Consortium; Euripedes has linked me a time or two on WoW Insider. I've been invited to be both a regular host or a guest on several podcasts. If my agenda was to get my name out there I could sleeze my way through the blogosphere, but that's the last on my goal list. First and foremost is being a member in the gold-making community both to contribute and to learn, and that is why I applied.

(We'll come back to this in the conclusion, but for now . . .)

Example 2: It's a Blog Eat Blog World?
For those who haven't hit up JMTC recently Markco has a new plan involving a writing staff doing guest posts, I believe. I'm not completely sure how it works, but to get the ball rolling he's been putting up at least a guest post a day and asking people what their opinions of the author was.  As a reader of Just My Two Copper I've been putting in my input where I have it.  I have to admit I'm a bit of a advocatus diaboli in most of my responses but I figure anyone can say "Yay!" but the important thing is to improve the content, not generate more mediocre posts that are unhelpful or incorrect. I do plenty of mediocre unhelpful posting to go around! ;P

So I basically went through and pointed out the errors in reasoning in today's post by Brendon. As far as I know I'm the only "well known" blogger who replied, so I assume that this post by an anonymous commenter was directed at me:

Hmmmm, i'm not sure a competitive blogger should be reviewing authors on this site :-) Especially when he's harping on one small paragraph out of the whole work.

What is that?  This person is effectively implying that because I have a blog my opinion doesn't matter or I am exempt from pointing out shitty reasoning in posts?  And what exactly is "competitive blogging?" Is that like competitve eating? Because I don't like hot dogs.  But maybe if it were pie . . .

Since when are blogs competing with one another?  Why am I not allowed to try to help breed useful and informative information within the gold blogosphere?  It all comes down to: Why does my choice to go above and beyond your average gold maker and share what I learn with everyone else mean I'm no longer able to be a person, a blog reader, and a contributor to the very community that caused me to want to get started in the first place?

Nerf Faids Mission Statement
Many bloggers seek to generate revenue, be it via advertisements, selling guides, affiliate links (Are those ads? I don't really know what those are.) and other means.  Well, look around yourself as you read this post.  I have no advertisements, I sell no product.

I'm not going to lie, money's tight.  I go to school with student loans I will one day need to pay back.  I have no job because of the schedule of my classes and could really really use some income.  I've considered, for a time, putting ads on this site.  But I chose not to.  I do not believe I've taken some moral highground and other bloggers have fallen short, it's up to each blogger to choose what they want for their blog.

What I want is a place to share my thoughts and ideas, mostly about the subject of gold making.  I love to engage in the community, or at least I used to before all this drama and accusations and judgemental crap.  I want to avoid any hassle in what is, essentially, my keeping a public online journal of my thoughts and feelings and experiences and that includes not using advertisements or selling anything, as that seems to just breed issues and hassle.

I do not sell anything or monetize my site and I do not intend to.

Time and time again I've been blatantly or subtlety accused of trying to get ahead in the blogosphere or to try to generate hits for my site or some bullshit blog drama.  No.  There could be one reader on this site and I'd still write it because I do this for me.  I like you all and love being a part of a community. But, at the end of the day, if I had one reader, I would still write my blog because it's not about having more readers than Blogger 1 or selling more guides than Blogger 2, it's about having fun blogging and that's why I write this blog.

So shove your prejudice against bloggers up your ass and forget the idea of competitive blogging, quit treating us like corporations that are out to screw you and acting like I'm trying to sell you something because I'm just like you but I like to ramble more than most.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WoW Gold Rush - Engineering

Hey folks! The next installment of my WoW Gold Rush series with a focus on Engineering, I hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

Discussion question time! =D

I'm puttering around Vashj'ir on my druid farming some Volatile Life and I was thinking about how this has been something that's been a core of how I play for a long time.

Back in Wrath when I had to make my own flasks I would often find myself in need of Frost Lotus.  I didn't have a lot of gold at the time so I would farm herbs for my flasks myself.  I would sit down on a farming session and set a quota for myself.  "I won't stop herbing until I have 10 Frost Lotus" for example.

Now, with my small Alchemist army, I need 60 Life every day for transmutes. It would probably be more efficient to just buy Life when it's cheap in bulk but farming my own Life has been a routine for me for so long that it's almost my "chill out and get back to my roots" time every morning.  Even if I do find a great deal on Life that Life is "bought" Life and off limits for transmutes, transmute Life must be picked fresh every day!

I keep fourteen stacks of every Cataclysm herb (I'm not sure why; I don't really need so much but it makes my guild bank look pretty I guess.)  Once I've passed my 14 stack quota all herbs that come from my Life farming go to my scribe which also offsets my costs for glyph production without causing me to feel I was on some massive farming spree for hours.

Do you have any routine or tradition you've had since early on that you continue to this day? Do you consider it an efficient use of your time or gold, or do you do it more out of tradition or habit?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Profitable Power Leveling

I've been spending the week getting my gold making 'biz more established on Horde, which included doing some work on my professions. Two days ago my professions looked like this:

74 Warrior - Alchemy/Engineering
48 Paladin - Enchanting/Inscription
20 Mage - Tailoring/??

So, clearly there's only one that will hit "profession endgame" but with my eyes on the future and not on the present I wanted to make sure my professions were in order.  My big issue was the warrior and the mage.  I really wanted Engineering on my mage but I certainly didn't need two Engineers.  What I could really use Hordeside was a JC.

I hit 75 on the Warrior two days ago and realized that it was now or never; if I wanted to profession shuffle I needed to do it before I was "set in my ways" with which toon had what. So my mind was made up; I dropped Engineering on my warrior and hit up the Dalaran JC trainer.

I started up Hoarders on Netflix and powerleveled her from 1-485ish in a single sitting. (Only need enough at the moment to do the dailies/make the JC jewerly.) I wanted to power level so I could start getting JC tokens ASAP. I've never been against power leveling professions; but I've also never been a penny-pincher; if I end up in the black at the end of it all I'm okay, even if I didn't do it the most efficient or the cheapest it could possibly be.

Quickly I realized I was in for a problem though.  It was time to make some Delicate Copper Wire.  As you've seen, I don't have any gathering characters on Horde; so I was to be a slave to the AH.  The problem? No. Copper. Bars.  It was about 3 AM on the smaller faction and there wasn't a single Copper Bar on the AH.  Uh-oh.

A Slave to the Auction HouseS
This wasn't too big of a deal for me actually.  You see, during my Server First Engineering push I ran out of Volatile Air on Alliance very quickly.  At the time I had about 30k on Hordeside entirely from vendor pet/recipe flipping and I spent about half of it buying all the Air from the Horde AH and moving it over to give myself the edge. 

I certainly wasn't looking to spend 15k on Copper, let me assure you, but I decided it was stupid to limit myself to the Horde AH when the Alliance AH was just flowing with Copper, Thorium, Fel Iron, and Adamantite, all ores which I had issues with on the Horde AH.

Hordeside I invested about 2k gold, on Alliance I invested about 3k.  All in all I ended up investing about 5,000g.  I didn't do tremendous bookkeeping since I didn't anticipate writing a post about this experience, but Auditor tells me the generics. =]

Ouch, 5k down?
Not quite.  I'm not JC expert, I've only power leveled it once in the past, and that was back when I had no real gold-making knowledge.  However, as time's gone on I've taken note of many different things.  For example, I personally will pay 5-10g  for Woven or Heavy Copper Rings for my alts.  Rings at that level are hard to come by and +1 or +2 is a nice stat boost at level 10!

I knew that Sapphire Pendants of Winter Night can disenchant into the immensely valuable Illusion Dust and Greater Eternal Essence.  I have sold Sapphire Signets of Awesum Suffixez for 200+ gold. I knew not to use my Mercurial Adamantite and sell those for 100g each to other aspiring JCs. I knew not to bother cutting Cata "gems" and instead make jewelry to DE the greens and AH the blues. 

By using all this information I was able to spend most of my levels crafting something that would be profitable.  Some of it wasn't so great and got DE'd or vendored, but if I spend five skill ups at a 10g loss each but spend the next five skill ups crafting items that were 60g profit per item, I'm okay with this.

So why do other people experience losses after power leveling?
A lot of people will claim that power leveling a profession is a net loss, and in some cases it may be.  However, for most professions I hold the opinion that you can profit through leveling without having to drag out the process.  

If you are experiencing a loss through power leveling you are probably: 
  • Not utilizing both Auction Houses to get your materials at the cheapest possible rate at the time.
  • Not taking the time to buy vendor or AH recipes that offer cheaper skill ups or more valuable items. (When leveling Blacksmithing you can craft items with twelve Mithril Bars, or spend 100g for the Mithril Spurs pattern which only takes four bars, for example. They sell pretty well too!) 
  • Crafting the "easiest" item to craft, not the most valuable.

Power Level ALL THE THINGS?!
Nah, don't do that.  Power leveling will not always 100% of the time result in a profit.  Plus, it's an aggravating experience that just makes me scream "ONE MORE SKILL UPPPPP" all night. 

My point, though, is that if you engage your brain and think about how you're skilling up instead of blindly crafting "whatever's orange at the time" you can minimize loss and even see a profit.  At the end of my JC leveling venture into which I sank rougly 5k I posted auctions "valued at" 17k.  I expect to see closer to 12k from sales after AH cuts, feels and combating undecutting.  So, around 7k profit, not bad. 

You don't need to be an expert about the profession and you don't need to plan ahead for every skill up. As you go along just be sure to actually look at what you have available to craft.  Also, check the AH recipes for your profession. Here are my two favorite profession resources:

  • Ackis Recipe List - Scans your profession and tells you what you're missing; you can sort it by skill to pinpoint ones that should give you skill ups, and their sources. Very handy in finding out if you can just run over to the vendor in the next zone and get a great pattern to skill on.
  • Crafter's Tome Guides/Kaliope's WoW Crafting Blog - Kaliope has an amazing and informative blog all about professions; including great news from the PTR when patches are coming out and all that jazz. I followed her 525 Engineering Guide because I knew it would be my best bet for Realm First and it certainly paid off.  If you're ever looking for profession news or guides, check her work out.  Some of the guides may not give you the most profitable way to level, but they will likely be very efficient/easy, and the whole site is just an amazing resource.

Good luck with professions, whether you choose to go slow and steady or power level like a maniac! =D

A few days ago Cold posted a different opinion on the same topic, this was not meant to be a direct challenge to his post as much as, perhaps, a dissenting opinion or different way to look at it.  After talking a bit on Twitter about my profitable venture several people encouraged me to make this post and I felt it was interesting enough. =D  Check out his post if you'd like to see another side of the same coin.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Nemesis Returns

Back in early March I posted about someone I thought was a bot. He would be online 23ish hours a day, constantly posting auctions.  He kept this up so steadily there was no way it was a single human being doing this, it was either a program or multiple people playing the same account, both which are against the rules. So zomgReported!1 After about two weeks of reporting him every other day he just poofed.  He'd been the main presence in the glyph market for several months and he just vanished for as many months.  I considered it a win and a bot banned.

I moved back into the glyph market and it's been very good to me.  Competitors came and went, some stayed and were a hindrance to my profit, but all in all it was your average glyph market.  About two months ago I noticed a player started to undercut more diligently. They used a 1c undercut so at least they weren't gutting the market, but they were online a lot.

I did the usual add to my friends list so I could keep an eye on their online status.  One day he walked up to me and I saw it. The guild tag.  He was in the same guild as my previous competitor.  I'd done some guild armorying in the past and found that this guild only had about five toons in it, none maxed but maxed professions. In other words, a profession alt guild.

So my immediate thought was that this was my old glyph nemesis back again.  My knee-jerk reaction was to report him, but I had no proof it was him and he wasn't playing in quite the same style so I decided to watch him.

He seemed to have changed his ways; he has very little time online, at least on his main glyph posting toon, and didn't seem to blanket the market and only posted a few different types of glyphs. So I let him be; plenty of gold to go around.

All of a sudden this week though he's in full force. His online time is almost matching mine (and that's a lot of time) and he's undercutting with extraordinary tenacity.  I'm going to keep an eye on him and once his activity has been to "bot" levels I'll probably report him again, we shall see.  Bot Battle 2011 still rages! :O

I'm just glad I'm more diverse than ever in what markets I hit and still bringing in plenty of gold to stay on track towards my goal. 

WTFaid?: We So Excited

I've been playing with this idea for a while.  Something I would like to do, mostly for my own catharsis, is have a series of blog posts that aren't so much about gold making, but about other WoW-related, or blog-related stuff.  They probably won't be extraordinarily useful, in fact there's a good chance most of them will end up being ranty vents.  Feel free to skip over them if you're interested purely in gold-making, but please, allow me these posts every once and a while. =]  If I share an opinion that differs from yours you are welcome to comment saying so, I hope I do not offend anyone. =]   That said, let's get right into it shall we?

So, what's caused me to finally take the leap into self-absorbed rants disguised as a semi-regular "column?" The blogging community is what's been on my mind lately.  I assume most of the readers of my blog picked up on the fact that this post didn't come at a random moment, it was largely brought about by the drama going on in the blogging community right now.  Here's effectively what happened as I understand, which may not be the whole story, but at this point I'm so sick of it all I'm not really interested in any more of the story.  If you aren't and want to skip over this summary I don't blame you one bit, kudos to you for avoiding what I wish I had.
  1. Markco started a coaching program.
  2. Cold signed up.
  3. Cold quit.
  4. Markco cancelled the program.
  5. Cold continued to be charged.
  6. Cold e-mailed Markco.
  7. Markco claimed to have stopped the charges.
  8. Cold was charged again.
  9. Cold blew his top and went on a tirade about how Markco was trying to rip him off, attempting to disguise it as an "I'm just trying to help and warn others."
  10. A bunch of people who I assume are in Markco's camp but I have no idea left a bunch of childish comments on Cold's ranty blog post.
  11. Twitter wars (lawl) started between Cold and a bunch of other Bloggers.
  12. Cold continued to throw more of a bitchfit, finding excuses to take posts which could have been valid and helpful to the community and center them around his little lover's quarrel.
  13. Now here's the surprise: Markco stooped to the same level of childishness.

So now you're mostly up to speed. It's a watered down version of it all, but, hey, why make you suffer reading through all the shit that I had to? 

So WTFaid? Why are you writing about this, Faid? Here's the thing.  First Cold's most recent post about his Carnival, then Markco's post about why he quit, I sat there and stared at my screen; I drafted several rather lengthy comments to both bloggers basically saying the same thing to each of them, but at the end of it all, I deleted them and posted something as unscathing as I could.  But the more I see this crap the more I just need to huff and puff and stamp my feet for a while, so please permit me to do so.

To Cold and Markco I have this to say: Stop. Just. Stop.  You are doing a tremendous disservice to yourselves as well as to your readers by continuing to beat this dead horse.  If you cannot handle it by yourselves in private then handle it with the proper authorities mediating, do not drag one another's names through the mud in an open forum that couldn't care less about your guys' drama.

You claim you're trying to do what's best for your readers, be it warning them about a scam artist or avoiding blog roll drama.  Bullshit.  If you were doing what's best for your readers you'd be doing one thing: Blogging about gold, because that's what your readers care about.  (Yes, I realize the irony in this non-gold related post.)

You say you're trying to be the hero saving us from being ripped off, or that you're the victim who was just the target of senseless blog drama because you were so awesome and so of course you had to remove content to avoid drama.  Newsflash: Heroes don't sling mud and you're only a victim because you see yourself as one.

Cold: We get it, you feel cheated. Maybe you were, maybe you weren't.  I'm not going to take sides on this issue.  But the bottom line is you've said bucketfuls about your side of the story.  Let the people who care make their own minds up, and let the people who don't care get back to reading your blog for its gold tips, not a bunch of shitty drama you seem to enjoy stirring up.

Markco: Quit playing the martyr and quit stooping to the level of your accusers.  You were doing so well, I was actually respecting your handling of the situation very well, that you kept your cool and didn't waste time defending yourself against what you claim are untrue accusations. You kept on keeping on and writing/managing JMTC.   But that respect is pretty much gone. 

"Bloggers especially, are filled with drama and a quest to be the best." When I read this I was quite takenaback. Thanks for lumping all bloggers into a category of drama-fueled power hungry jackasses.  I can't speak for any other blogger but I blog because I like it.  It doesn't matter if the only reader of my blog was me.  (Hell, I probably account for 70% of my Youtube views; I love listening to myself talk.) Not everyone is out to be the best and not everyone is in it for the prestige.  Believe it or not some of us actually like what we're doing because of what we're doing, not what it brings us.

Bring back your blog roll.  Seriously, what is that accomplishing?  Don't get me wrong, I've already moved on to Flux's gold blog directory but it's a shame to see your blogroll go; as I would actually advise people to go to JMTC specifically for those links.  Tell me, what are you accomplishing by removing it?  You say it's to avoid drama. No, no it is not.  If you wanted to avoid drama you damn well know that you wouldn't post anything about the drama at all.  You had every ability to turn the other cheek but you stood up there and took it right in the face.  You could have been the bigger man in this, but you chose to resort to the same tactics as your accuser, posting something that says little more than "I didn't like playing with other kids so I took my toys and went home."  Your removal of your blog roll is cutting the nose to spite the face and you know it.  If us bloggers create so much drama in our quest to be the best then a removal of a blog roll isn't going to stop us, is it?  No, it's just going to rob your fans of a precious resource.  Face it, you're as petty in all of this as Cold.

Woooooo that felt good.  Okay, so, here's the thing.  I've been putting things similar to this in comments then deleting it all before I post them because I didn't want to put a target on my back or get involved in the drama myself. But I couldn't take it; watching this bullshit day in and day out.  My new motto has been  "If what you're putting out there doesn't create good, don't put it out there."  I wondered if this post was violating that.  I feel, though, that the weight of constantly having something to say but not allowing myself to say it has become quite heavy, and good will come of lifting it so that I can feel better as I go along my merry way.

I don't have a side I've taken in this drama.  As people, I've lost respect for both of them equally.  As bloggers, they are still great blogs I will probably continue to frequent. I just needed to put into writing the frustration I'm feeling every time I go looking for great gold tips and have to wade through all the shit and mud that's been being slung around recently.


To my readers who don't care about any of this: I apologize for making such a post, but I had to get it off my chest somehow.  I will return to regularly scheduled gold programming shortly.  I do want to keep WTFaid? going, but I assure you future posts will be much less drama-tastic, and much more about WoW.  (You know you want to talk about this.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nerf Faids now on Facebook!

Hey folks!
  Thanks to some help from Flux of Power Word Gold I was able to get a Facebook up and running; I'm not sure exactly how "serious business" I'll take it, but my intent is to use it as sort of an in-between; for stuff that's more substantial than a tweet but not quite "meaty" enough for a blog post.  Content should start popping up tomorrow! =]

Monday, June 6, 2011

WoW Gold Rush - Blacksmithing

The second profession in the series of my profession-centric WoW Gold Rushes, Blacksmithing!  I wanted to avoid being like "Um, belt buckles and PvP gear" so it was fun to go back and look through my profession list.

I had no idea what I was going to do until after I started recording.  This just goes to show that one of the best things you can do to learn to make gold with a profession is just sit down at the AH and look at it.  Gold guides, blog posts, and spreadsheets are all well and good, but don't forget you can usually turn a great profit by just checking the territory out for yourself!

(Haha, I love that you can totally see my bank toon sitting AFK in front of me while I'm browsing the AH.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm a very unimpressive gold-maker. (Oh, and 750k)

That's what 750k liquid in my guild bank looks like.  Fascinating.

So here I am, 75% of the way to the one million mark. Three quarter's of the way through! Woo!  

Requisite Self-Indulgent Milestone Reflection
Ah yes, it follows all milestones.  The self-indulgent discussion of reaching said milestone.  Well, let's get this over with!

What's really been on my mind lately is whether or not my blog and my views are an asset to the gold-making community.  Don't get me wrong, I'll keep writing because I enjoy doing it, but basically let me put it this way:

In a previous post I compared a person who has very little liquid gold but knows the AH like the back of their hand to the person who has a million gold from doing dailies every day but couldn't work the AH if their life depended on it.  Is one of them more gold-savvy than the other?

My implication at the time was that you don't need a lot of liquid assets to be considered a gold-maker, you just need the knowledge and skills, while on the other hand having a lot of gold doesn't necessarily mean you're a great gold-maker.

Lately, what's been on my mind, is what category I may fall into.  Now, I'm doing this bar vertically because it looks a lot better on the blog that way and I'm quite vain about my blog's appearance, not because I'm implying top is better than bottom.

Now allow me to explain this chart and all information contained within it.  Basically, I believe that there are several stages that someone goes through when they begin to care about gold. Most all of us probably started out at the base level of this chart, not really caring much about gold. As we learn more about gold making and progress through the mini-game that is amassing a fortune we move up through the chart.

Now, not everyone will hit every mark. Most of us probably never begged for gold. Many of us will never hit the Risky Business mark, which I will define in a moment. But I believe that, from my point of view, this chart is a good representation of phases of gold making a player may go through.

What are these phases exactly?  Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.

Why would I care about how much gold I have? - Pretty self explanatory of course.  Many people came from games like Diablo 2 where gold was pretty much the most worthless currency imaginable and the real dealing was done in SoJs and runes. Some people had never played an MMO in their lives.  The bottom line is, with each new game, you never really know how much of an impact currency will actually have on your play-style.  Even when we saw we needed gold to buy things, many probably didn't make the decision to go after this gold, they just decided to live with what they acquired normally.

Trade Beggars - Probably one of the phases fewest will go through.  This player knows he needs gold and knows he wants to get more of it but doesn't know how to apply his effort in a useful way, instead harassing the denizens of Stormwind and Orgrimmar to fund his purchases.  It's interesting, though, how many blog readers at one point were within this category.  Often, when someone asks me if I can spare some gold, I follow the "Give a man a fish/teach a man to fish" idea and instead point them towards gold bloggers. Trade Beggars want gold. Readers of gold blogs want gold.  There's likely a bit of overlap, if not much!

The Daily Grind - This was something I participated in in Burning Crusade, as most did.  The Isle of Quel'Danas gave amazing profits and there were added bonus greens and cloth and all sorts of things.  This person is likely not much more knowledgeable than the Trade Beggar, but is spending their time making guaranteed income from Daily Quests instead of begging other players.  Often players can amass large fortunes just from doing this day in and day out and be quite happy doing it. More power to them! But that's not necessarily for everyone.

The Farmers - We all know that guy on our server who is gold-capped and all he did was fly in little Sholazar circles for a year.  For those with the patience to do this, this can be a great way to make gold. I personally view this as slightly more savvy than the Daily Grind. While both are doing the same repetitive activity, the Farmer must change their tactics based on market trends, and may have a bit more of a handle on the way the particular thing they farm fares on the AH.

The Trend Followers - Most of us probably have a friend or guildie in this group; this is the guy who read about the Obsidium Shuffle on WoW Insider and eagerly chomped through the ore. Suddenly a player went from having 2k to his name to having 50k.  He can read blogs and follow trends easily, often reading blogs written by The Theorycrafters, and might know why this particular trend makes money.  But when this market falls through, they aren't savvy enough to easily adapt, and must instead turn to others for the next big thing.

The Dedicated Few - Do you have an Enchanter? Do you only have an Enchanter?  That's the situation I envision for The  Dedicated Few.  This person can only hit a few markets, or at least, they think they can only hit a few markets.  They make the best of limited resources and dedicate themselves solely to very few markets.  They probably don't know the  best way to get their materials and they may just sell whatever's profitable that day with no attention to trends, but they will turn a profit through slow dedication to their chosen field.

The Dabblers - I believe most people will go through this phase at some point; whether they are just starting out, or a favorite market has taken a hit and they want to see how best to diversify. This is the person who doesn't invest heavily in any one area, but may sell some bags, some glyphs, some flasks, a few cut gems, some raid food, and any cloth they pick up while playing.  They don't have a market they call "their market," they just sell a little of this and a little of that and turn a decent profit doing so.

Causal Marketeers -  This is a term I adopted for how I treated the glyph market pre-Glyphmas.  It was my first real foray into seriously participating in a market and I was very wet behind the ears when it came to the AH.  I didn't know a lot of AH tactics; I would keep five of each glyph in stock, I was able to follow a guide to set up Quick Auctions 3, and I posted a lot.  I didn't know who undercut me, I didn't know how often. I didn't know the best way to deal with crashes in the market, I didn't know when best to buy supplies.  I just blindly crafted and sold glyphs.  The Casual Marketeer has a market in their eye that they want to be theirs, but they fumble through their attempts to use it to turn a profit. In the end they probably do okay, but they do not excel, and likely will move on, or expand, into other markets.

The Theorycrafters - These are the guys who come up with the trends that the Trend Followers latch onto. They come to the interwebs armed with spreadsheets, data samples, and enough math to make me vomit.  Or theyr'e that person who spends hours scouring profession lists, old quests, and Wowhead finding some obscure item to sell or some unique way to supply your profession.  These guys are awesome, enough said.

Single Market Hardcores - There is a player on my server that sells one thing, and one thing only.  He sells blacksmithing rods for enchanters.  I bet he knows more than I could ever fathom about market trends for people leveling enchanting and when to sell rods, when to buy the ore to craft them, etc. etc.  If you put him in unfamiliar AH territory he will probably be lost and confused, but he will outsell you any day on enchanting rods.  The Single Market Hardcores are those who only hit one or two markets, but they've been doing it for so long, and have devoted themselves so much to this market, that it has become enough to sustain all the gold making they could want or need.

Full AH Coverage - This is the person who does it all and does it well.  They hit pretty much every profession niche.  They are simultaneously selling gems, flasks, potions, cloth, PvP gear, glyphs, all while flipping BoE epics and sipping a cup of tea.  They likely spend a lot more time stocking their AH, but at the end, they see a great return for their dedication to diversification.

Risky Business - This is another phase not many will likely find themselves in. I've tried not to identify people by name in case some might take offense or something, but there is a perfect example of this type of gold maker I cannot fail to mention.  In this JMTC Q&A Meeting Catharsis discusses his plan for Pyrite Ore in preparation for epic gems.  (It's at about the 52 minute mark.) I'm not sure if he's still going with this plan, but basically he was investing over half a million gold in Pyrite Ore in anticipation of epic gems being prospected, with the idea he will double his gold investment.  In order to be able to move the stock he anticipates getting he intends to transfer to three different raiding servers simultaneously.  So, basically, he's putting massive amounts of gold and extreme planning into one massive gold-making plan.  If he is wrong he may find himself down half a million gold. (Granted, he'd totally make most of it back via belt buckles, but that's another issue.)  Basically, Risky Business is when people are going through massive efforts to make gold, and if something goes wrong, they can find themselves with egg all over their face. If everything goes well they will find themselves with massive profit.  That is risky business, as it is the essence of risk.

That was a lot of information, Faid. WTF did you tell me that crap for?
Basically I've been thinking about where I fall within this chart.  I believe the closest I come to any of the above descriptions is that I'm a Dabbler or still finding myself sometimes being a Casual Marketeer. I hit many markets on my server, but none am I wholly devoted to.  I turn my profits quite a bit but never really pay attention to how the market fluctuations impact my gold making.  I am, quite frankly, a casual gold maker.

Many out there will claim to be "gold gurus," and the more I've thought about it the more I realize I'm not one of these people.  I think I have some damn good ideas, some of them rather original, and I think I have a pretty good understanding of the Auction House.

However, I do not feel I have achieved an ultimate status in any way.  I've trudged through this 750,000 gold little by little.  I've not done anything amazing or particularly impressive, I've done the same thing countless people have already done before me.  (Then again, it's near impossible to find a completely unique and original idea, but that's another post altogether.) 

As I approach my goal I realize that I am not an impressive gold maker, I am a player with an impressive amount of gold.

Some day I would like to venture into Full AH Coverage, but as I am not a risk taker or a big investor this is not the time for me to do so.  Some day I may take massive risks, but that will not be when I'm nearing my goal.  At the end of the day, the more I think about it, the more I realize I'm not really that impressive of a gold-maker at all.