Long overdue, but I have been coming at this from a number of different angles, so allow me to explain:
Upon realizing the sheer magnitude of the mess I had gotten myself into (doing 1 post per server, that is) I elicited some help from some of the other Wind Traders over at The Consortium.
Some of the feedback included:
- Not covering every single server (the kind of advice I like to hear) but rather, to highlight a select few, possibly our own servers, but maybe requests
- Making sure this doesn’t end up as a “hand-holding” exercise, but rather as a teaching opportunity for people to understand the thought process of some of the more experienced goblins out there.
- Offering a format that would be conducive to follow-up discussion, where the author could elaborate a bit more on their insights, etc.
A number of them also couldn’t really see what I was getting at, so I offered to take the lead and “set the standard” so to speak. So, this is my plan: I’m going to outline the analysis using Aerie Peak (A) here, as per Linda’s request. Then, I will point the other Wind Traders here for reference, and then any subsequent analysis will take place over at The Consortium forums. The format will be advantageous for that follow-up discussion, and also for future referencing/indexing.
I know it has been a few weeks now since I mentioned that I was starting this up, but the actual analysis hasn’t taken me that long. Getting all of the parameters established and coming up with a comprehensive spreadsheet to better streamline the process have kept me pretty busy, but now that they are in place, it shouldn’t be too difficult to reproduce more of these with different data.
Alright, “on with the show” (that one’s for you, Flux, and the Power Word: Gold Podcast)
US Aerie Peak – (A) Market Analysis
Server Type: PvE
Server Size: High Pop
Approximate Sum of AH Buyouts: 6,288,629.69g
Average Price per Item: 44.09g
Profession Ranking: (Highest to lowest)
Leatherworking – A
Despite what appears to be a rather mediocre Leg Armor market, Leatherworking seems to offer the most potential. It offers the best profit margins as well as raw gold values between the 3 PvP armor professions. Epic Chaos Orb gear also seems to be a healthy option. I would also look at turning any Borean Leather into either the LW or Mining bags, as the market for them seems to hold a nice little opportunity. Mats prices also seem to be quite reasonable, which suggests that the high market value for crafted goods is based on high demand and little competition instead of being supply driven.
Inscription – A-
The 2 major markets in inscription are glyphs and Darkmoon cards. The Aerie Peak glyph market leaves much to be desired. With an average glyph price of around 50g (that isn’t sold price remember, just list price) and a relatively high crafting cost of 20g per glyph, I probably wouldn’t spend ALL my time here. The crafting costs were based on cinderbloom market value from when I grabbed the data, so if you were able to get a supply of herbs for significantly cheaper than that, I might reconsider, but overall I think I only noticed 5 or 6 glyphs that had MV’s of 100g or more. Darkmoon cards, on the other hand, seem to represent the real opportunity for scribes. With a average ROI of 150% for individual cards, and nearly 200% for trinkets, I would probably recommend you focus on the DMF market and use glyphs as a means of burning through extra stock of blackfallow ink. Don’t bother with the off-hands and relics, it isn’t pretty…but that’s been pretty consistent across many servers, so just dump all your inferno ink into darkmoon cards for now.
Blacksmithing – B+
Looks like there is some pretty heavy competition for the Aerie Peak Blacksmith markets. Ebonsteel Belt Buckles seemed to be pretty volatile, so I wouldn’t dive too deep there. The PvP gear had pretty nice profit margins, with raw gold values only slightly lower than the average LW ones. The epic chaos orb gear looked pretty good, but the chaos orbs are again slightly more valuable as a leatherworker. The hidden gem here was actually enchanting rods, with mid-prof rods jumping in at nearly 500-1000% ROI.
Enchanting – B+
A lot of the more popular scrolls seemed to actually be selling below cost, which was why I would caution people about the enchanting market on this server. My suspicion is that a pretty active JC shuffle has led to a bit more saturation that usual, based on the other types of scrolls. For example, BiS or Maelstrom scrolls seem to have reached a pretty stable level, and Twink scrolls look great. Too me, that means that people are just hitting up the “volume” aspect of the shuffle and not really delving into some of the other corners of the enchanting market. When you combine that with what I’ve seen from JC, I wouldn’t expect a lot of positive movement from those popular, volume scrolls. One alternative might be the various Cata weapon enchants, as they had pretty strong numbers across the board.
Jewelcrafting – B-
Not a lot of really strong opportunities here. There were a few rare cuts that seemed to do pretty well, but again, the JC shuffle seems pretty busy on Aerie Peak. When you combine the gem prices and popular scroll prices with the average ore prices, my suspicion remains that there are a lot of people in this market. I would think you would be hard pressed to find enough ore at a low enough price to make a splash here. The one area that did offer a ray of hope was in meta cuts. So, if you focus on metas or choose the right cuts, you might still be able to grab a slice of the JC market.
Engineering – B-
I’ll be honest. Engineering is going to be hard-pressed to pull an “A” on any server – there just usually isn’t enough volume to warrant focusing on it or choosing it over other professions. I will say this, the pets seemed to have pretty high profit margins, especially some of the lower level ones, and the choppers seemed to sell for an average profit of about 3 – 4k, which is quite good. I just don’t know if the volume will be there to make it consistently viable.
Alchemy – C+
Potions – suck. Flasks – suck. Even Living Elements transmute seemed lackluster with Volatile Air prices down at 15g. The only reason I might suggest someone grab Alchemy would be for Transmute spec. and getting a leg up on the JC market.
Tailoring – C-
Yikes. What a lousy looking market. The PvP sets had marginal returns at best. Same goes for the Cata Spellthreads and the Epic gear. Some of the bags seemed to be in a good place, notably the profession bags. WotLK spellthreads also seem like a decent way to turn around an otherwise disheartening profession. Chaos Orbs are definitely of more value for both LW or BS, but if you have some, the Illusionary Bag seems like a decent way to use up your Dreamcloth.
So what does it all mean? Well, I hope that gives you a bit of insight into how to choose your professions or make better use of the ones you already have. I will caution you to remember that these figures aren’t a concrete roadmap to extraordinary wealth. For example, if all of the server’s tailors ending up reading this post and dropped it for leatherworking, that is obviously going to have a significant impact on the balance of the markets. This IS, however, exactly what I would do if I were one person looking to make some gold on Aerie Peak – (A), so take that for what it’s worth.
The other thing that I would like to mention is that it can sometimes be worthwhile to compare individual professions based on the amount of effort required to really make it worth your while. For example, inscription, jewelcrafting, and (to a lesser extent) enchanting, all require a pretty significant amount of time in order to keep your business profitable and efficient. So, I think you need to factor in the total amount of time you are willing to spend here. You might only be able to choose one of those volume markets to focus on and then choose to compliment it with some of the other ones, for instance.
Well, I’ve said plenty about this already, I’ll turn this over to the comments. I was intentionally vague and not specific about a number of the things I spoke about here, because I would like to see how my analysis is interpreted by you guys, and I would like to get some discussion going about any follow up questions/issues you may have. Also, feel free to offer up any server requests for future posts.