Posts by Bigjimm:
Well kids, it’s true: I’ve been here for years.
So, Zekta and I had a conversation recently. It went like this:
ZEKTA: “Please come back! The Blogosphere is at an all-time low! They need you!”
Or, he said: “Wait, why are you texting me at 1am? I have to work tomorrow. What… okay, you can write again for P3P!”
So… yeah. I’m not back playing WoW yet. BUT, I think I will be soon. I have ideas. Indeed, I have ideas that I want to write about! And, in posts that will follow, I’ll tell you all about it, including which text above actually happened. But for now, I’ll say that it’s great to be back. And, furthermore, I’m now an American abroad, and as such I’ll link to some of my favorite songs about New York. Which songs?
Well, there’s the one by Billy Joel.
And then there’s the one by young Elton John.
And, finally, the one from Paul Simon, The Boxer. If you need more than the 1:41 in the video, then I suggest that you google it. And then buy the Concert in the Park set of albums. And then, please leave your comments.
Stay tuned! More to come!
(We’re back, baby!)
With that in mind, it is with true sadness I admit that my time blogging is probably coming to a close. Yes, Dear Reader, the end is nigh. I have a few days left in the US of A, and all of my time is devoted to preparing for anything and everything. Very little time is devoted to playing WoW. In truth, I don’t really know what to do in game- I’ve raided, been a main tank for a top-3 server guild (granted, it was a lousy server), made and spent fortunes, battled relentlessly with Netherweave Bags, and recently have become enamored of the solo aspects of WoW. I have most of the rare items that Archaeology currently has to offer, I’ve ground out the Tol Barad mounts and pet, I don’t care about any rep or gear, and I’ve thoroughly explored everything new that came with Cataclysm. *cough* Except Vashj’ir- I guess that will just have to wait.
(Note: Vasj’ir is a gorgeous zone. It’s great. I just didn’t get though it on a toon because I didn’t want to. I’m halfway on a bunch of toons, but I’m okay with that. Don’t skip the zone because I did.)
I’d like to post a few final thoughts before I set sail for the other side of the world.
Generally, P3P has been great for me, as has CTA. And, come to think of it, so too has WoW generally. I don’t have many in-game regrets.
My favorite thing about the game was always the character. I got lucky and got it right on my first character, the gnome tank that is and was Bigjimm.
But besides Jimm? Well, getting feedback from the community has always been a very rewarding thing for me. I loved being a part of WoW Insider’s Resource Guide. And being mentioned in The Daily Quest recently was a very happy feather in my cap. Truthfully though, the thing I’ve liked the most was always the comments. Dear Reader, I love reading what you have to say about what we write here on P3P.
My favorite post(s) here will always be the two posts I wrote about writing, asking if Elitist Jerks Is Right. I can not stress how much I tried to make those posts applicable to people who wanted to know about writing, and how much they meant to me as the author.
Other fun posts? There are really too many. I will say this- please, Dear Reader, take the time to go back through the P3P archives and look at what I’ve posted. I think that most of what I’ve written is worth re-reading, even though it’s outdated. Yes, the content isn’t current, but I like to think that the way the posts are written, the way they flow, the pictures and comments, and the general approach make most of my posts something that you will enjoy reading in the future.
Other favorites? There are a few- the NBA prediction column (and, btw, I was right about everything in it- HA!), the Pulling Back The Curtain column, and the inclusion of both the Idiot’s Guide and Starter Cash memes as ways to write about WoW. I am happy about all of that. I think that they worked really well, and I don’t think that any other WoW blogger was doing columns of that fashion.
The most rewarding? Probably finally getting the Rusted Protodrake after much toil and trauma.
The most fortuitous? Certainly my first post about Markco. Through sheer luck, I caught him at a moment when he was questioning his time in WoW. My post, apparently, encouraged him to redouble his efforts and to continue blogging. It also enabled me to become a host of Call To Auction, get to know both Markco and Euripides, along with a few other WoW celebrities- Mike Schramm, Turpster, and others. Being a minor WoW celebrity has been lots of fun, and it wouldn’t have happened without that post.
The best experience? Something I’ve never talked about- early in the days of Ulduar, my guild cleared through Hodir 10m and got every achievement. It was one of those magical WoW nights when we broke through all our previous boundaries and everything came together for a great raiding experience.
Finally, The Best? Well, Dear Reader, that should be obvious. The best thing I did was get married to Ms. Jimm. What more could a person ask for?
There has been a lot of bad, and I haven’t posted about it very much here. I will say that, personally, WoW was important to me when my life was at a low point. After Law School, I couldn’t find a job; I had, for the first time ever, really failed. I threw myself into WoW as a distraction. And I drank a lot. I mean, A LOT. I won’t belabor the point, but I will say that I consumed too much Haalani Whiskey and let things get hopeless for a while.
The other Bad? The only other thing that really gets me down is watching the blogging cohort that I know and love slowly die off, one by one. It a sad thing to watch unfold over time. When I started blogging there was a whole crop of bloggers that have gone the way of the Dodo- BRK, Veneretio, Alachia, Kadomi, Seth, and, amazingly, even Markco. I’ve watched other bloggers die the slow death of inactivity and lack of desire, and it’s a sad thing to see the people you admire pack it in. When I joined P3P, gold blogging was really just beginning to gain momentum. Now it is going strong- Euripides writes for WoW Insider (and he actually gets paid real money for it!), there is a whole new group of gold bloggers updating every day, and there’s even another gold podcast that’s churning out good content. With all the blogs, the Consortium, The Undermine Journal, the JMTC community, and even the endlessly entertaining Gevlon, the WoW blogosphere seems to be in good hands.
But the old guard? The old guard is gone. And that is a funny thing, because what I consider to be the “old guard” wasn’t, strictly, the first group of bloggers and podcasters- it was a group of folks that started blogging and podcasting as recently as TBC. That, in WoW terms, isn’t that old. But they’ve all moved on to things that are, hopefully, both bigger and better. And I’m sad that I can’t go to tankingtips to read Veneretio’s brilliance, or load up wowcast and hear Alachia keep a solo show interesting for hours (a very difficult task, btw).
The final straw, for me? It was Larisa recently calling it quits. After 700 posts, she’s done. Her retirement represents a true loss to the WoW community. She’s the smarter of the two of us gnomes, and I’ll take this opportunity to quietly follow her lead.
I am excited about my upcoming move to the Philippines. I worked there for a short time a few years ago, and I loved it. I’m looking forward to starting a new part of my life there.
When I posted about the move, a few comments to that post mentioned Balut. Balut, if you’re not aware Dear Reader, is a very specific piece of Filipino cuisine. It is a partially-mature, hardboiled, duck egg. It’s the richest, weirdest, and oddest dish I can think of. It’s part hardboiled egg, part baby duck. It’s something that most westerners think is revolting. However, I’ve had balut (more than once), and I like it. I think that when you visit a new place, you should suck it up and try something that matters to the people and place you’re visiting. So, to all the Pinoys out there, I say this: Thank you for your delicious Balut! I’m looking forward to having more in the near future. And if you come to the US sometime soon, I think you should try a Cadbury Creme Egg- something similarly regional, odd, and potentially rewarding/disgusting. Like Ron Burgundy said, “when in Rome…”
One final thanks to all the people and friends I’ve come across- Arkus (aka: Doodle), Elizaveta, Viknaszuu, Andregis, Tyraana, Darkangel, Jen and Dave, Mike the Deathknight, Mike’s dumb (but very fun) Hunter younger brother, Cookie, Bryn the woman who sounded like that guy from family guy, the scary Russian guild master, and even the entire guild that transferred off of my server for greener pastures without telling me (and then fell apart- HA!). Also, thanks to all the AIE guildies who’ve helped out- Tyberiuss, Sorvun, Ravanna (the uber-tank), Eade (the nicest guy in WoW), Maui, Southpaw (who did the best DPS I’ve ever seen), and everyone else I’m forgetting. It has been a great time for me, and I thank you all sincerely.
Finally, I give huge thanks to Zekta. He keeps letting me write, pays the bills, sends me e-mails and generally is kick-ass awesome. Zekta, buddy, soon I’ll be much closer to Hong Kong, and maybe we’ll finally get to share that bowl of noodles I’ve been dreaming of for so many months.
I guess that the best way I can close this is to evoke the great writer Robert F. Jones. In a 1977 Sports Illustrated editorial he mused about his time spent in Cuba at the Hemmingway museum. I’ll paraphrase him in answer to the question, “Jimm, if you could do it all over again- the blogging, the playing, the countless hours spent in front of the computer… would you?”
Dear Reader, I would. “I would go back.”
Dear Reader, Sovrun recently got in touch with me and asked if he could try a guest post on P3P. After a little back and forth, he crafted the following. Sovrun is a fellow AIE’er, has a ton of WoW gold, and is generally worth listening to. So, without further ado, let’s give him a chance to speak up!
Econ 101: Introduction to the WoW Economy
Hello all, I should really start off by explaining a little about myself prior to moving into the dirt. I have been playing WoW since the launch of Wrath. Yes, I am a Wrath baby. It’s okay. Call me what you want. I don’t have time for participate in the end game much. I guess this is what makes be an altaholic with a professions issue. A friend of mine asked my to take up writing about the WoW economy as a substitute for the typical 12 step program. So….here is step one.
The first step into any venture is to understand the market to see what opportunities exist and help to define your angle and strategy. Well, that’s a load of nothing specific. What does this mean? If you look at the market you will see that it behaves similar to many of the real world markets, but just not the ones that you are likely thinking of You are not going to make headlines because of the latest do-dad that your innovative team of engineers just came up with, no matter how thin you screen is. The WoW economy is a nuts and bolts industry. No really, it’s just like buying nuts, bolts, screws and nails. You are not going to find any cults of fruit that will buy anything that Harrison Jones is offering. You, nor I, have that kind of pull with our “Made by” tags.
So what do I mean by Nails… Nails are your typical bulk items that sell in high volumes, but have no real differentiation. Yes, there may be a nail built by some amazing designer, but most will settle of the less wonderful bulk item. They may be different size or for a specialized use, but they are still basic and no one cares were they come from. Did I just describe the Bag Market? Of course, I did. Items that fit into this category are the types of things that are in high demand with generally low margins. Think Bags, Fortune Cards, Belt Buckles when you put items into the Nails category.
Ok, but Screws? Have you ever bought a screw? Screws are more specialized than nails. Companies that are participating in the Screws Market must create different variations to meet the customer’s fickle demand. Are these descriptions hitting home or what? Yes, you guessed it. The screws market is similar to Gems, Enchants and Glyph. These items sell really well, but you need the breadth of scope to capture the sales. If you only sell one type of Gem, Enchant or Glyph, you can pretty much guarantee that you will not make much in the way of Gold. Even the rare recipes don’t sell as often or have as much profit potential as the group in general.
The Nuts and Bolt market is even further specialized. The main difference is that they are complimentary. This category is made up of item that may be subcomponents, most blues and epic items, recipes and pets. These items may warrant a premium, but sell at a lower rate than the other two categories. Yes, there are many niche items in this area that will do really well, but the risk is also higher than the other categories.
This can’t really just be about renaming groups of items into something you can find at the local hardware store. Again, you are way smart than…well, the small screen staring back at me. Once you understand which segment you are selling to you need to ensure that you are profitable. Add-ons will help understand what items are currently not selling for. But to ensure profitability, I recommend manually setting a minimum threshold that ensures financial growth. Feel free to undercut as much as you want as long as the item is still posted above you costs. Needless to say, companies don’t stay in business long selling everything at a loss. There is no such thing as a loss leader on the Auction House. I don’t want to go into pricing strategies at this time, but stay mindful of your ratio of Price to Cost.
Each segment requires a different strategy to attach.
Nails have high competition, but you don’t have to be to lowest priced supplier on the Auction House to sell. The demand will allow you to have long posting cycles with high volumes. Let’s just call it a low time investment category.
I also put the gathering professions in this category. Herbs, Ore, Cloth, and Leather are also additional examples of Nails. The real difference here is thinking about how these items are used in the professions and by popular add-ons. For instance, Trade Skill Master is gaining momentum for heavy Auction House Users. The TSM Shopping Scan will only consider herbs or ore stacks that can evenly create inks and gems during it’s semi-automated buying cycle. Based on this information alone, it doesn’t make sense to post Ore and Herbs in anything but groups of 5, 10, 15 and 20. Otherwise, you miss the opportunity to sell your raw materials to potential manufacturers.
Screws, on the other hand, have the demand spread throughout the category. These are typically fiercely competitive where only the lowest priced items will sell. My experience with the glyph market is that when you have complete glyph coverage, the 12-hour posting window is way too long. You actually will sell the vast majority of items within the first hour or two. These two characteristics combine to make this a high time investment category. Additionally, this category is ripe for price resetting, but I will cover this more under pricing strategies
Lastly, the Nuts and Bolts category is similar to the Nails in that long posting cycles are typical, but the demand is much lower. In fact, you may be the only item on the AH and not have a single offer.
In my next segment (no pun intended), I will go into pricing strategies. How do I price my items? Do I undercut? By how much? How can two hunters help? You got it. I’ll explain it all next time…. Until then, have fun and make more copper than the next guy.