• (Not-So-Mini) Guide: Optimizing Glyph Operations on a Single Toon

    This is something that got talked about at length almost month ago, and I wanted to do a full write-up on it. In March, I sold my glyph business to my brother and left inscription entirely. A month ago, I transferred my L71 mage to a new server and got back into it. I learned a lot along the way.

    What I'll be going through today is how to run a targeted, full-scale glyph operation efficiently on a single bank toon. This method will scale, so everybody stands to learn something. I'll start basic and then quickly get to the meat of it. Expect to spend some time absorbing all this - I'll make it worth your while.

    1.0 The Issue:
    The primary logistical problem with glyphs is that there are just too damned many of them. With 344 glyphs currently craftable, juggling inventory is a chore. Patch 4.2 gave us some new bags to help alleviate some of these woes. A toon can now hold 160 glyphs in its bags and 280 in its bank. While the sum of those two is a lot more than 344, moving those glyphs around is tricky, and you're still stuck with 3 postings for each cycle, since 2 full postings will only handle 320 glyphs, max. On top of that, 36 slot bags are rare, if not expensive as S&*7, and dropping 10-20k on bags is a bit much for most folks.

    2.0 The Tools:
    To pull all this off, you will need:
    * 11 - shouldn't cost you more than 600g for all 11
    * The Addon Tradeskill Master (TSM) - and experience using it to make glyphs
    * The Addon Dumpster
    * Basic in-game macro knowledge
    * Basic Understanding of the Glyph Market and Glyph Research
    * Microsoft Excel (optional)

    I'll assume you already know the basics and have a bank toon in a major city with some seed money for AH fees and a mail-opening add-on of some sort.

    3.0 The Solution
    Simply put, we're going to be trimming the fat. Don't freak out - just keep reading. One of the things that scribes usually do in an effort to maintain sanity is make a 1-button milling macro kind of like this:
    /cast milling
    /use Cinderbloom
    /use Heartblossom
    /use Stormvine
    /use Azshara's Veil
    /use Whiptail
    /use Twilight Jasmine
    ^ That is in-game macro code for milling any Herbs.

    3.1 Trading Inks
    While similar macros can be made for lower level inks, most scribes choose not to do this. There are a few reasons for this, the most prominent being that it is a significant pain in the ass. The other reason being that inferno inks are worth a lot of gold too - even if you can craft cheaper using BC herbs, the you get is worthless relative to the you'd get by just milling to trade. I don't want to harp on that too much, though - post a reply if you'd like to discuss it further.

    3.2 Materials Costs & Fallback Prices
    Now that we've settled on a single ink, it makes life easier because it's more feasible now to calculate your materials costs for glyphs. Since every glyph requires 3 inks, and you're trading Blackfallow Inks for all your inks, it's easy to figure out your thresholds. Here's a breakdown of the amount of ink you can expect to mill from a single stack of the follwing Blackfallow Herbs:
    Item - # BF Ink // # Inferno Ink
    Cinderbloom - 5 // 0.5
    Heartblossom - 5 // 0.5
    Stormvine - 5 // 0.5
    Azshara's Veil - 5 // 0.5
    Whiptail - 6 // 1
    Twilight Jasmine - 6 // 1
    So, for example, if I want to keep my costs at 7g per Ink, I'll buy Whiptail and Twilight Jasmine at 42g/stack or less, and all the other herbs at 35g/stack or less. This puts my mats costs per glyph at roughly 22g, after accounting for the cost of parchment. Knowing this, I set my threshold at 29g for all glyphs. I could go as low as 25g, but 3g profit just isn't enough for me to bother with. Take some time to figure out what your materials costs are on your server, and what threshold you'd like to work with.

    Advanced Note: I have completely ignored the fact that you will get here - that's intentional, since we're focusing on glyphs, but I will discuss it briefly in more detail in the next section.

    3.3 Targeted Analytics
    This is the part where you need Excel. I noted that it was optional, but it is the heart of this entire exercise. If you have access to Excel, please go to this thread, and download my spreadsheet. Read & Follow the instructions on how to import data for your Realm from The Undermine Journal. Don't worry about the Ore Shuffler or any of the other worksheets - we're just going to focus on the "Inscription" tab.

    Play with it. I'll wait.

    Yeah, "holy s^&*7" is right. On my realm, Trainer glyphs go for ~30g on average while glyphs learned via Minor Inscription, Northrend Inscription, and Book of Glyph Mastery sell, on average, for 70g, 69g, and 78g, repsectively. Here's a breakdown:

    Trainer Glyphs - 143
    Minor Inscription Research Glyphs - 66
    Northrend Inscription Research Glyphs - 80
    Book of Glyph Mastery Glyphs - 55
    Total Glyphs - 344

    Here's the kicker - remember that threshold you came up with in the last section? Go ahead and sort the Trainer Glyphs by Price, and look at how many are going for less than your threshold. For me, there's over 100 glyphs in there - which is fantastic, because your job is now remove 94 from the crafting options in TSM.

    I know it sounds painful - especially since TSM only groups glyphs by class and ink, forcing you to hunt down a lot of them. Trust me, it's worth it. If you imported your realm's TUJ data, and 99% of the minor & northrend research and Book of GM Glyphs are over your threshold, you can simply run a quick scan on the Auction House with TSM, and then go into your crafting settings for inscription and disable any glyphs whose market price is below your threshold. I think this will work "good enough" for a lot of people.

    The goal here is to whittle your glyphs down to 250 different glyphs. Odds are that there are nearly 100 or more that you're not even posting because the market just sucks. It's not going to rebound, either - these are trainer glyphs - people craft them for skill-ups, and then dump them for whatever they can get. Once your stock is down to 250, we're in business.

    Advanced Note: You'll notice my dabbling in the realistic offset values of , where I presumed only inks that actually made a deck were worth anything. I haven't fully vetted it out, but it gives you an idea of how much offsets the cost of a stack of herbs.

    4.0 The Execution
    Hop on your bank toon and deck yourself and your bank out with the new bags. Your bank will hold 252 glyphs, and your will be able to hold 144. If you have any "extra" glyphs that you decided not to continue crafting - set them aside. An alt or a guild bank works, but if you can afford it, you can vendor them, too.

    Now, make those glyphs. How many is really up to you - keeping 4 of each of 250 glyphs takes 3000 ink to build up your initial stock - in my case, that's 21,000g in inventory. Just keep in mind a few things - how often you'll post (I post 3x a day), how many of each glyph you'll post (I post just 1 of each because I post so frequently), how long you will post them for (I post for 24 hours, just to ensure constant coverage), and how often you want to craft more. I keep 8 of each glyph in stock, and this allows me to go 3-5 days before crafting again.

    Note: Craft enough Glyphs so that you never have to cancel. Glyphs are not about camping, they're about loading a scattershot and being elated with 10% sales per post cycle. By targeting your glyphs, we're already increasing your profit-per-sale while decreasing the time spent to get there. A cancel scan on TSM takes just as long as a post scan. Even if you've been undercut - DON'T CANCEL. Just post more.

    Once you get all your glyphs made, mail em off to your bank toon. On your bank toon, we're going to use in-game macros that execute dumpster commands to push and pull 100s of glyphs at a time so that you don't break your mouse (or the wall) trying to do it manually. Make the following macros:

    Macro #1
    /dout glyph /t "Druid"
    /dout glyph /t "Paladin"
    /dout glyph /t "Warrior"
    /dout glyph /t "Death Knight"
    /dout glyph /t "Rogue"
    Macro #2
    /dout glyph /t "Priest"
    /dout glyph /t "Warlock"
    /dout glyph /t "Hunter"
    /dout glyph /t "Mage"
    /dout glyph /t "Shaman"
    Macro #3
    /din glyph /t "Druid"
    /din glyph /t "Paladin"
    /din glyph /t "Warrior"
    /din glyph /t "Death Knight"
    /din glyph /t "Rogue"
    Macro #4
    /din glyph /t "Priest"
    /din glyph /t "Warlock"
    /din glyph /t "Hunter"
    /din glyph /t "Mage"
    /din glyph /t "Shaman"
    ^ Bind these to some easy-to-reach keys and try them out for yourself. Nifty, eh? Now, you're ready to start. Make sure all your glyphs are in your bank, and that TSM is setup to post your glyphs. Walk to the banker, hit Macro #1. This will pull half your glyphs from your bank into your bags. Now run to the Auction House and post them. Now run back and hit Macro #3 to empty your bags, and then Macro #2 to pull out the other half of your glyphs. Run to the Auction House and post.

    You're done! Once you're up and running, you'll be getting a lot of mail back from expired auctions. Try to keep your mail clean and find a mailbox near the bank so you can empty your bags easily in case they fill up. Also, consider making a 5th macro with just "/reload ui" and hit it whenever you're waiting for your mailbox to refresh - by reloading your ui, you'll automatically refresh the mailbox and won't have to wait the full 60 seconds for it to refresh on its own. This usually saves me a minute or two every time I grab my mail if I'm not grabbing it while afk.


    6.0 Advanced Variations and Concepts
    I want to talk about some more advances variations that didn't make it into the original guide.

    6.1 Posting More Glyphs
    The first directly applies to a situation that @Sqaunch has encountered where there just isn't a whole lot of 'fat' to trim - tons of glyphs are making money hand-over-fist. Let's say you wanted to do 285 glyphs on 32-slot bags (This is roughly the max you can do with 32 slot bags on 2 post cycles). You can still accomplish this in two post cycles. The problem is that you can't push/pull half your glyphs at a time because (A) they'll 'run into each other' and (B) your bank won't hold them all.

    What you'll do is keep one class's worth of glyphs from each posting group in your bags, then, when you go to pull a group from the bank, you'll only pull 3 of the remaining 4 classes from that group, you'll dump the class in your bag from the group you're NOT using, and pull the last class for the group you ARE using out. Given my examples in the OP, if you kept Druid and Priest Glyphs in your bags while you're not posting, your macro for pulling the first posting group out of your bank would look like:

    /dout glyph /t "Paladin"
    /dout glyph /t "Warrior"
    /dout glyph /t "Death Knight"
    /din glyph /t "Priest"
    /dout glyph /t "Rogue"
    Chew on that and make sure it makes sense. I'll leave the remaining macros for you to come up with or modify, but if you understand how that's working and why it needs to work that way, you should be able to handle it. You can likely stretch this out to 300 glyphs if you're using 36 slot bags. The main impact of this is going to be in your mail gathering - you'll simply have to make more trips to the bank to dump glyphs out of your bags when grabbing the mail since there will be 50~60 glyphs living in your bags at all times.

    6.2 Scribe & Banker on a Single Toon
    ANOTHER thing that @Kathroman was talking with me about on RealID last night - You actually CAN accomplish all this on your scribe IFF your scribe has secure access to a GBank. Your scribe will just need 4 Embersilk or Herbalism Bags for milling. You can store these bags in your personal bank, and your inks, parchments, volatile lifes, and DMCs can all live in your GBank. This works best if you're not planning on playing your scribe, and you have a GBank that you own (I don't think you'd need more than 1-2 tabs). Most scribes can build up a 3,000 ink stockpile if they're industrious enough, and have to use a GBank for storage anyhow, so many may find this option attractive.

    You can even write Dumpster macros for pulling out your inks and parchments and Volatile Life - you can even set the quantity you pull out in your macros. A DMC Macro for making 30 cards might look like this:

    /dout Inferno Ink /only 300
    /dout Volatile Life /only 900
    /dout Resilient Parchment /only 30
    Note that dumpster takes awhile (up to 10 seconds per push / pull) to work on a GBank since all transactions have to be written to the GBank log. Likewise, a glyph macro may look like:

    /dout Blackfallow Ink /only 1200
    This will pull 60 stacks of Blackfallow Ink - then you fly to your Inscription vendor and trade & buy parchment and get to work.