Wednesday, 6 February 2013

20 Days of Goldmaking - day 12 - oops!

Nev asks, apropos gold-making,
What was your biggest 'oops' moment?

It was back in the early days of the campaign against the Lich King. Frozen Orbs were a expensive back then, the way Sha crystals are now. They were looted from heroic dungeon bosses in Northrend, and were in high demand for making ilvl 200 gear, back when ilvl 200 gear was a big deal; and also some ilvl 213 gear with +frost resistance. These were a very big deal indeed. Back in that time, frost resistance was important in both Naxxramas (the first raid in Northrend) and Ulduar (the finest raid instance ever). Without frost resistance, you took frost damage from various bosses, and this just wore the healers down.  So to reduce the strain on healers' mana pools, adventurers would stack bits of frost resistance.

Can you imagine any LFR raid nowadays where something like that could happen? Where damage dealers or tanks would spend their own money on gear to make healing them easier? This was also a time when tanks didn't automatically create massive threat just by clicking "tank" on entering the dungeon, and healers and damage dealers would actually get enchantments that would reduce their threat - rather than increase their HPS or DPS - to help the tanks keep aggro. Such co-operation was more common then, because your fellow dungeoneers weren't random strangers. Good times.

Anyway. The price of these orbs was fairly steady for a long time. Oh, yes, there were the occasional troughs and peaks, but they always came back to their steady price, over 100g each on my server. I made a lot of money just buying them when they dropped into a price trough, say 80g, and reselling them when they climbed again. But a time came when I bought them at 80g, and they dropped even further. I bought more at 70g, and again at 60g. But the price kept dropping. And dropping. There'd be the odd rally, and I kept buying them, expecting we'd seen the bottom. I realized that they were never going back to 100g, but at 30g, when you see a bounce, you figure that they've finally turned the corner. I bought them again at 20g, and 15g until I had filled a whole bank tab with stacks of Frozen Orbs. But they just kept tanking until they reached their vendor price of 5g each. Lesson learned: never try to catch a falling knife.

There was no big shock reason for this. It was just a chain of consequences that I didn't figure out until it was too late: the demand for frost resistance gear was drying up: raiders who needed frost resistance gear bought it early on, and didn't need more once they had it. Also, healers were getting better geared enough to be able to handle the demands of the raid-wide frost damage. And finally as more and more bosses died, higher ilvl gear was appearing, both from boss drops and newer crafting recipes that didn't require frozen orbs. At the same time, though,  the supply of orbs was dramatically increasing: thanks to the newly introduced dungeon finder, many more people were completing heroic dungeons and looting a frozen orb.

The addendum to that story is that one day some guy was calling in trade, offering to buy the orbs for 10g each. I'd whittled down my stocks by slowly crafting them into spellthreads or items for disenchanting, but I still had about a quarter of my stock left. He bought them all. The next day, I saw in the new patch notes that a new vendor (Frozo the renowned) would convert these orbs into more up-to-date materials. The price of frozen orbs was back at 25g. Double whammy!

Part of the 20 days of Gold Making series


  1. ouch and ouch....

    good read though.

  2. Thank you, it was quite painful while it was happening!