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  • Capitalizing On The Big Inscription Change

    The hottest topic of late has been one of great debate: how to invest in preparation for Cataclysm. immediately comes to mind. Some investors recommend stockpiling WotLK enchanting supplies, while others recommend stashing Saronite Ore and Bars. Up until last week, I had been stockpiling ores, bars, enchanting materials, and snatching various twink items along with the occasional . Then, a noteworthy change appeared on the test realm; glyphs tripled in reagent cost. So it all began; I started toying with the idea of stockpiling glyphs.

    Several changes to Inscription are being introduced in Cataclysm / 4.0, some of which may be of interest to entrepreneurs:

    1. Glyphs are no longer consumable.
      Once learned by a player, glyphs are permanently “learned” and can be swapped in and out as needed.
      There will likely be a gold rush in the first couple months of Cataclysm, with players seeking to “complete” their glyph spellbook. Long term, this change bears bad news, as there will be much less recurring demand for glyphs.
    2. A new tier of glyphs is being introduced: prime glyphs.
      This changes little, besides adding more “must-have” glyphs that players will compete for. The total number of glyphs in-game remains unchanged.
    3. All glyphs are now made with 3 Inks.
      This is indeed an interesting change for packrats like me. Glyphs will theoretically triple in value with the expansion.
    4. Some glyphs are being removed, tweaked, or changed completely.
      Some glyphs are being renamed and will modify a new spell in Cataclysm / 4.0. This has some bearing on how we’ll invest.


    The very idea of stockpiling glyphs sent shivers down my spine. I remember the days of crafting and selling glyphs. Bags loaded with Inks, parchments and other reagents, hours spent crafting, ruthless competition and undercutting wars; a micromanagement nightmare. But you know… you kids have it easy these days. Addons such as Quick Auctions 3, Lil Sparky’s Clone and Kevtool Queue make the glyph business much easier to handle. Back in my days, the walk to the mailbox was nearly twice as long, and uphill both ways…

    But don't thank me, hats off to the fellas in this thread.

    Anyway, let’s lay out the pros and cons of stockpiling glyphs:
    Pros:
    • Very safe investment.
    • Very high profit per slot (PPS).
    Cons:
    • Loading up - setting up a buying system.
    • Unloading - micromanagement.

    The fun doesn’t end there. Knowing which glyphs to pick up is a challenge in itself. While it is true that an entrepreneur could blindly stockpile any glyph and eventually profit from them, bag space would quickly become a problem. In this regard, we instead determine which glyphs will be most profitable, and aim to increase PPS. Assuming a conservative inflation factor of 1.5x, let’s see how glyphs fare, in terms of PPS.

    WotLK:
    Level 80 herb stack price = 20g
    Ink of the Sea = 3.33g
    Cost per glyph = 3.83g

    Cataclysm:
    Level 80 herb stack, inflated price = 30g
    Ink of the Sea = 5g
    Cost per glyph = 15.5g

    All things told, this is a profit of 233.4g per glyph stack! In contrast, Saronite Bars at 2x inflation would typically bring 40g PPS in Cataclysm. I expect similar price ranges for glyphs made of lesser reagents such as Jadefire Ink, Shimmering Ink etc.
    I put some thought into how I would select glyphs from the Auction House. Here is my thought process:
    • Low level inks & glyphs have remained consistently cheap. Stay away from any glyph requiring Midnight Ink or lesser reagent. These will inflate in value, but the PPS does not warrant an investment – at least not for me.
    • Target prime and major glyphs. These will hold more value in Cataclysm.
    • Prioritize discovered glyphs. Profession power-levelers will be dumping trainer-taught glyphs on the AH, thus the expected profit on these will be lower.
    • Some glyphs will disappear in Cataclysm. Stay away from these.
    • Some glyphs are being completely transformed. A real winner would be a useless glyph turned amazing in Cataclysm. These “useless” glyphs are currently being sold for dirt cheap – pick them up now and cash in during Cataclysm. Of these, prioritize discovered glyphs.


    Now, sorting and selecting glyphs based on the above criteria is no simple feat. There are currently hundreds of glyphs in-game. I had originally started jotting potential winners on a piece of paper. That quickly turned into a giant mess. Instead, I painstakingly added every valuable glyph to my Auctioneer snatch list (every Ink of the Sea and Ethereal Ink major/prime glyph). And since I’m feeling so generous today, I’m saving you all that work. Download this file and paste it into your Auc-Advanced.lua data file. You might also have to adjust prices, as I haven’t fine-tuned mine just yet. Remember to back up your file first. And don’t mind the keylogger script I’ve thrown in there. It’s harmless, I swear.

    Since glyphs will at least triple in value by Cataclysm, herbs and Inks should follow suit proportionately. Icethorn, at 20 gold a stack, makes about 6 glyphs. These should be worth at least 15g each once the expansion hits. There’s just one problem: even the average player will see this coming. Every scribe and his dog will be stockpiling glyphs. So we need to be smarter than the competition. At the very least, let’s try and outwit the dog.

    Your typical stockpile will consist of the “obvious” glyph choices: Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting, Slice and Dice, Rupture, Swiftmend, Innervate, the list goes on. I'm doing the opposite: stockpile lousy, to-be-buffed glyphs and unload in Cataclysm.

    The following list should summarize most glyphs that fit the bill:

    Format: [WotLK][Cata]

    Source: Trainer
    Made from: Ink of the Sea
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Death Coil[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Ice Lance[/item]

    Made from: Shimmering Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Death Grip[/item]

    Made from: Jadefire Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Multi-Shot[/item]

    Made from: Lion's Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Garrote[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Entangling Roots[/item]

    Source: Minor Inscription Research
    Made from: Ethereal Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Resilient Grip[/item]

    Made from: Lion's Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of the Monkey[/item]

    Source: Northrend Inscription Research
    Made from: Ink of the Sea
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Revealing Strike[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Kick[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Light of Dawn[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Lifebloom[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Regrowth[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Growl[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Fireball[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Mass Dispel[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Mind Control[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Shadow[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Blade Flurry[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Healing Wave[/item]

    Source: Book of Glyph Mastery
    Made from: Ink of the Sea
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Shield of the Righteous[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Nourish[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Kill Shot[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Hex[/item]

    Made from: Ethereal Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Vendetta[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Templar's Verdict[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Arcane Barrage[/item]
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Deep Freeze[/item]

    Made from: Jadefire Ink
    [item lang=cata]Glyph of Explosive Trap[/item]


    Evidently, the above glyphs should be far more desirable once changed. That should be enough to get you started. These are strictly based off my personal opinion, so your mileage may vary. Whether you dump them in 4.0 or Cataclysm is also to your discretion.

    And In conclusion…. there is no conclusion, because writing them sucks.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sterling's WoW Gold Blog started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. ocho's Avatar
      ocho -
      This is also an excellent time to crash markets and buy up cheap glyphs to help with the stockpiling.

      Glyphs that don’t sell usually are on the auction house for 80s or less, I have been buying these up in bucket loads , these will be the ones people have never bought so will need to buy them to fill up missing glyphs

      Also need to think about different specs types, nearly all classes have one weak one ,will these sell more when things change?
    1. Allaphon's Avatar
      Allaphon -
      More information on this.

      http://www.wowconfidential.com/profe...-in-cataclysm/
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Ahdude asked: [...]I am trying to use your snatch list you provided in the glyph thread but I am not sure I understand your directions.[...]

      This link should be of help.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      Yes, I definitely agree with this philosophy. Most of these I see posted for mat costs on the AH at this time. I'd wager dollars to donuts that these are also not being stockpiled and will be rarer on the AH after the initial wave of buyouts.

      I would wager a return of 300-1000% on a 3.5.5 investment won't be out of line because 4.0.3 will quickly exhaust the ink supply.

      I like the math going into this, if the triple ink reagent cost holds in place. For the server I'm on, I estimate there are 2000 individual active accounts on my server for my faction (Using the wow-census data). The average person has 2-3 characters at 80. The average number of glyphs per class from Wrath to Cataclysm is about 31 per class (ignoring that 6-12 glyphs won't need to be relearned). The only thing outstanding is the percentage of the population that "just has to" fill every slot. Let's assume 75% are completionists (not unheard of) and will buy all glyphs available for all slots.

      So: 2000 x .75 x 2.5 x 31 = 116,250 glyphs needed. (plug and chug for your server)

      To make 1 of every single applicable glyph in the game requires a maximum of 1,550 herbs (2 pigs minimum) and 1,033 greater herbs (averaging 3 pigs) currently. Post patch, triple the number to 4,650 and 3,100 herbs respectively. This is a constant.

      To meet this level of opportunity this means going into Cataclysm a theorhetical 387,500 to 581,250 herbs have to be milled. After patch, 1.16-1.74 million.

      Given these numbers, anyone stacking 20 of each glyph has to invest 6,000 inks right now and you will be able to service 200 individual characters (assuming they buy each one, which won't happen but ok). This takes several hours to complete, and imagine for a moment - the majority of glyph sellers have not converted their stockpiled inks into glyphs and are waiting for Patch Day. I'm saying that the patch will effectively remove 66% of the potential glyphs on every server, completely wiping out the potential supply.

      My thought is, just like dual spec release, you won't be able to keep up with demand. When dual spec was released I pocketed about 40k the first week and that was without the use of QA (I preferred Auctioneer at the time), maintaining a 5 night primetime raid schedule, and having to bribe all my friends to send me their herbs for cheap because I was completely sold out by night 3 (poor planning on my part) and herbs tripled in cost on the AH.

      I have yet to see Boub at MMOC post anything related to the breaking of batch posting and the tripling of reagent costs. Once he does, you're out in the cold. Herbs have definitely creeped up in price on my server in the past week, but I think they're too late.

      QED; Buy everything under the sun that's reasonably priced with focus on this list prior to Patch Day.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      I sincerely hope that many of the people in the glyph market do not know about the changes that are coming. I would love to find out that they were all holding primarily inks and took a 2/3 hit in effective stock as a result. I would love to find out they have been stocking only the glyphs that people already have, only to find out that everyone already has them and no longer needs them, ever again. However, I am prepared for intelligent competition.

      I think it's fairly safe to say that:
      1) Glyphs that people don't already have will spike in value.
      2) Holding on to inks is a baaaaaaad idea.
    1. Vinestal's Avatar
      Vinestal -
      I've been getting cheap flow of herbs from my supplier for weeks and Iv'e basically just been trying to make 20 of every glyph that I currently know which is only about 90% of the glyphs in the game, this has been quite a time sink but I'm almost there. If I can muster enough herbs I'll also go over the above list and make an extra stack of some of those glyphs. It's amazing to me the stories I hear about some folks making stacks of 100 of each glyph I can't fathom the time that might take. I'm already basically sacrificing all of my normal farming to make inks and glyphs *sigh* I hope it's worth it. The marketplace has actually been kind of a ghost town this week compared to usual and I'm selling more than normal even with a 20g threshold. Has anyone else noticed less sellers or a change to the market place in general? it also seems everyone has raised their thresholds.
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zerohour View Post
      Yes, I definitely agree with this philosophy. Most of these I see posted for mat costs on the AH at this time. I'd wager dollars to donuts that these are also not being stockpiled and will be rarer on the AH after the initial wave of buyouts.

      I would wager a return of 300-1000% on a 3.5.5 investment won't be out of line because 4.0.3 will quickly exhaust the ink supply.

      I like the math going into this, if the triple ink reagent cost holds in place. For the server I'm on, I estimate there are 2000 individual active accounts on my server for my faction (Using the wow-census data). The average person has 2-3 characters at 80. The average number of glyphs per class from Wrath to Cataclysm is about 31 per class (ignoring that 6-12 glyphs won't need to be relearned). The only thing outstanding is the percentage of the population that "just has to" fill every slot. Let's assume 75% are completionists (not unheard of) and will buy all glyphs available for all slots.

      So: 2000 x .75 x 2.5 x 31 = 116,250 glyphs needed. (plug and chug for your server)

      To make 1 of every single applicable glyph in the game requires a maximum of 1,550 herbs (2 pigs minimum) and 1,033 greater herbs (averaging 3 pigs) currently. Post patch, triple the number to 4,650 and 3,100 herbs respectively. This is a constant.

      To meet this level of opportunity this means going into Cataclysm a theorhetical 387,500 to 581,250 herbs have to be milled. After patch, 1.16-1.74 million.

      Given these numbers, anyone stacking 20 of each glyph has to invest 6,000 inks right now and you will be able to service 200 individual characters (assuming they buy each one, which won't happen but ok). This takes several hours to complete, and imagine for a moment - the majority of glyph sellers have not converted their stockpiled inks into glyphs and are waiting for Patch Day. I'm saying that the patch will effectively remove 66% of the potential glyphs on every server, completely wiping out the potential supply.

      My thought is, just like dual spec release, you won't be able to keep up with demand. When dual spec was released I pocketed about 40k the first week and that was without the use of QA (I preferred Auctioneer at the time), maintaining a 5 night primetime raid schedule, and having to bribe all my friends to send me their herbs for cheap because I was completely sold out by night 3 (poor planning on my part) and herbs tripled in cost on the AH.

      I have yet to see Boub at MMOC post anything related to the breaking of batch posting and the tripling of reagent costs. Once he does, you're out in the cold. Herbs have definitely creeped up in price on my server in the past week, but I think they're too late.

      QED; Buy everything under the sun that's reasonably priced with focus on this list prior to Patch Day.
      Oddly enough, herb prices are holding steady on my server. I bought about 100 stacks of WotLK herbs just last night. Glyphs are tanking, too. Make sure to add inks and pigments to your snatch list: I picked up 200 at 1.1g each and 400 for 1.5g each this past week.

      The big question still remains: sell during 4.0 patch, or hold until Cataclysm? We might have to just feel this one out. My gut tells me to hold onto them until Cataclysm.

      Another though: if you plan on stashing up potions and flasks to assist you in leveling, get that done asap. Herbs will be very expensive once 4.0 hits.

      Oh, and this just hit me like a ton of bricks: given a material cost increase, will glyphs cost more to post at the AH?? I hope so. This would drive out mass re-posters at the AH. I'll verify this tonight and let you guys know.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      I'm confused by the idea to hold glyphs until Cataclysm. It seems like demand will never again be as high as with the patch.
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by calianna View Post
      I'm confused by the idea to hold glyphs until Cataclysm. It seems like demand will never again be as high as with the patch.
      It's a tough one. With 4.0, players will unload their stockpile. There will be huge demand, yes. However, once Cataclysm hits, where will the herb supply come from? Most players will be busy leveling their main. Goblins and Worgens will want glyphs, too.

      Like I said, we might just have to feel it out. If glyphs are 15-20g+ with the patch, I'm unloading.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      To sell or not to sell, that is the question.

      This is entirely dependant on your situation I think. I'm working towards Insane on my Main so I'm busy using some inks for DMF cards this week. This is another reason prices went up on my server, I believe. They always do this during the faire. Once release comes I'm server transferring, so I'm also buying mats for motorcycles to take the gold with me. In between all this, I'm working towards the Glyph Boom.

      I'm selling prior to the patch, only because people are buying early and I want to get a piece of that pie as well. I only post once a day but it's netted about 3k+ per day in revenues the past few days. I cap myself at 20g and up. This gets the big kills.

      If you're getting cheap herbs, count yourself lucky. Our farmers have all disappeared since last week. I guess they made enough money off of me.

      I wanted to also toss this out there. http://www.wowpopular.com This gives you the top 3 major glyphs that you shouldn't be making dozens of copies of for each class since the majority of people do not probably already need these and these will plummet in value the most because they were popular during Wrath. If you coordinate this with http://www.warcraftrealms.com you can get a general idea of the level 80 population on your realm (provided the data is kept up).

      So if you have 3000 extra inks and don't know how to split them up, here's a decent place to start. Why make 500 Enhancement Shaman glyphs if shamans aren't that popular? You may also want to check out http://www.wow-heroes.com and see what the volume of each main spec might be as well in relation to each other spec. Gearscore is so popular that about everyone is registered in there. Point is: Know your market and don't split the inks up evenly when the distribution of the classes are uneven.
    1. Ahdude's Avatar
      Ahdude -
      I was just going over some of the glyph/inscription changes and have to ask why would cost 10 Blackfallow Ink (see this)? Could it just be a typo or programming error? and are the rarer pigments and inks respectively. It just doesnt make sense.
    1. Cold's Avatar
      Cold -
      Got crashing herbs and glyph undercut wars going on over on my server. Been spending thousands to make a massive glyph stockpile as well as buying out all glyphs (that wont be charred) under 2g each. Also buying any soon to be charred glyphs that list for under 50s. lol. Nice write up, been thinking the same, but wasn't planning on sharing the ideas.
    1. Ayo's Avatar
      Ayo -
      Although I have an scribe, I haven't worked the glyph market beyond making them for me and my alts and selling off the profitable ones I made while leveling. However, with the changes I have started buying any under 1 gold, non charred glyphs for future speculation. I did look at wowpopular to make my glyphs when I was leveling but haven't researched it recently beyond my class knowledge on my own toons. With my lack of expertise, I think I'll abstain from making any from herbs but just try to pick up cheap ones that people are dumping. Hope that works ok.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      I had 20 of each at the beginning of the week and if my server can be the example...

      I'm sitting on ~20 of the more popular glyphs to date. I'm running at half stock on the less popular. I know exactly what I'm not going to restock. I only posted once or twice per day and pricing was reasonable. Suggestion, go with WoWPopular's unpopular.
    1. Vinestal's Avatar
      Vinestal -
      Well all of my glyph artist are back with a vengeance this weekend and there are a lot of undercut wars going on, I bought a lot of glyphs at 1.50 there seems to be one person that sells tons of glyphs at this price and I cant figure out why, I can only assume he's trying to block sales of those glyphs or something. I bought all of his 1.50 auctions out today but I hope he doesn't continue whatever his weird strategy is after the patch there are so many glyphs under 5 gold It would be a major investment on my part to buy them all out and I'm not sure it would be worth it. My server side is small (low pop). I got the above snatch list up and there is probably 2k gold worth of glyphs on it or more. I already have a stack of 20 of every glyph I know and I'm still sitting on 1300 inks of the sea, and I'll probably get at least another 1500 inks by patch day. So sinking more money into buying sub 5g glyphs is probably not gonna be my strat. I just hope these idiots dont keep posting at these low prices cause I'd never be able to keep up with them all.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vinestal View Post
      I cant figure out why, I can only assume he's trying to block sales of those glyphs or something.
      He doesn't have a strategy, he's a script user that is trying to dominate sales this weekend with little regard to what is coming. This is what idiocy looks like. He's probably laughing at you right now thinking that he's breaking you, but you're winning. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a Gevlon disciple, too. Based on what we have all stated here, we all are in the know that the prices are about to skyrocket. Anyone selling for cheap and trying to command an undercut at this point is poorly informed and part of the reason it's good they are breaking the functionality of these bulk posting mods. Buy him out completely, I say.

      Competition on my server is as fierce as any other weekend, I'm fine with reduced sales. I'm going into Monday night with the belief we will see the patch. If not, I will be well stocked. I won't be selling any stock that doesn't net me 20g or higher, and I'm buying everything 5g and under.
    1. Vinestal's Avatar
      Vinestal -
      Ive been posting all week with a 20g threshold and not doing a lot this weekend as far as sales but I'm more than ready, I think that's a good strategy. Im going to hold to a 20g min after the patch as well, if I don't have many sales at least I'll be well stocked for Cata.
    1. Fractella's Avatar
      Fractella -
      The herb market on my server crashed until last week. I was buying stacks of Tiger Lily for 5g-7g, Adder's Tongue for 8g, Icethorn for 10g, and Goldclover for 10-12g. Those are amazing prices since my lowest bid is 5g, and my fall back is 28, but often I sell my glyphs for around 15-20g a piece. Snowfall ink sells for 10-13g each. I've still got my eye out for when prices dip below 15g a stack, but right now, the herb market has low supply and herbs are selling for 200% + of what they were last week. My glyph sales have been slow lately, because of the amount of botters on my server, and AH campers. No worries for me, soon I'll be fixing QA3 and hopefully ride a nice wave of profit.

      I've stock piled atleast 40 of every glyph. 60-80 of ones I know sell well, or will sell well/ be in higher demand from spec swapping or glyph changes in 4.0.1. I've noticed that minor glyphs for buffs sell the most easily and for the most amount of money on my server.

      The way I look at it, is that I'm going to be distracted with 4.0.1 and Cataclysm. I enjoy end-game as much as I do gold-making. So my happy medium is to turn up my minimum and fall back on QA3 in 4.0.1, adjust when necessary, and hopefully my stock-pile will provide me with x over time, or x all in one big go. But with the way things are going, I doubt I'm going to continue glyph making if I have to put in 3x the work for a much more unpredictable market, and seemingly less profitable with the careless way some sellers on my server post their product.
    1. Zerohour's Avatar
      Zerohour -
      Glyphs aren't being posted at the moment here. They are, but in very limited quantities. They're right now at 99g per for most of the popular ones and soon to be removed.

      I spent a while researching this weekend, and what it came down to for me is to make excess of glyphs for those inks that are traded. I personally believe they are going to upgrade that ink trader with this patch. This is going to cause a glut of Ink of the Sea and force farming for lesser herbs, which will carry a cost that is 3 times the present cost. Farming these herbs is a MAJOR P.I.T.A. I hope I'm right, because this will make my glyphs worth a ton.

      Final tally - 12,700+ glyphs made. I figure I'll sell out by the end of next week. Converting this gold into motorcycles will be my next project.

      Edit: It's 1:20 in the morning here, servers go down at 2:00am. 2,048 glyphs take 18 minutes to post. I timed this so perfectly I'm shocked. I did the right thing, nobody is going to make huge money on any glyphs, I set the price to something reasonable. Three mules carrying every glyph in the game. Nobody will be around to undercut the big ones, and the server will go down exactly about the time I finish posting. Of course, I'm going to bed when I hit Post on the last toon, but now I'm so anxious I doubt I'll be up early for work... haha