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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Weekend Post: A new glyphmas – perhaps not?

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The launch of Mists of Pandaria will give us Scribes a nice boost to income – but perhaps not the boost that we say back with Cataclysm.

In October 2010, upon release of the pre-Catacylsm patch and then again on release of Cataclysm Scribes everywhere made so much gold.

There is much talk of a new “glyphmas” upon the patch and release of MoP.

It is worth looking at what caused the “glyphmas” of 2010 and hence allowing us to compare to today.  I suspect we will see that there are few, if any, similarities.

When Patch 4.0.1 arrived in mid October 2010 glyphs went from an average 15 gold on my server to over 150 gold and held at over 100 gold for a year.  In my mind, there were five main reasons for this:

1. Announcement of the change of glyphs in the summer of 2010 led to a reduction of Scribes participating in the market: over the summer Blizzard announced that the glyph system was to be changed. At that time, glyphs were destroyed when they were swapped out – hence characters had to buy a new glyph every time they swapped one out. When the change was announced to the current system many forecast the death of glyphs. Hence, there were very few new competitors and existing competitors started to leave the market. The view was that glyph prices would collapse. Hence, when the patch arrived the number of scribes was low and indeed the scribes left had reduced their stock of glyphs.

That will not be the case this time – the number of Scribes participating in the market has, if anything, increased.

2. Demand went through the roof and the supply was not there: When the new glyph system arrived characters went to the AH to buy up a complete set of glyphs on the first day. What glyphs were on the AH ran out very quickly. Indeed, i could not post quick enough and hence the selling prices rose rapidly.

We are likely to see an increase in demand from returning players + pandas + Monks.  However, existing characters will only have a demand for new glyphs.  So a slight similarity here.

3. Players returned to the game: on Patch 4.0.1 and generally though the Cataclysm launches old players returned and so added to the demand for the glyphs. Indeed, there were various surges of demand as new patches came and old players came back into the game.

This will be the case this time too.

4. Inks from 1 to 3 per glyph in October 2010: the cost of crafting tripled but more importantly the demand for herbs rose firstly due to the tripling of materials required per glyph and secondly due to the strong rise in demand. Hence, herbs started to run low and their prices rose forcing the prices of glyphs higher still.

This will not be the case this time – the number of inks required to craft a glyph remains at 3.  Herbs may run low initially though.

5. Warden in summer of 2010: in the summer of 2010 Blizzard launched a program to catch and ban bots. It was very successful and overnight many bots left the game. However, their herbs remained on the AH and in their guild banks (i assume the AH posters were on different accounts to the bots though i guess Blizzard can now detect that?). Hence, whilst the bots were gone, the herbs were still hitting the AH at very cheap prices. The timing of those cheap herbs running out varied by server. On my server, it happened just at the time of Patch 4.0.1. Hence, the ongoing availability of herbs went through the floor which was a third factor pushing up the price of herbs and restricting supply to scribes trying to meet demand. Indeed, for myself, i was often in danger of being unable to meet demand on several occasions due to lack of herbs to mill.

On my server at least, there are no bots and hence there will not be an effect  from them disappearing this time.

In summary – demand will rise driven by returning players / pandas / monks but at a lower rate than was the case at Cataclysm.  There will be the usual effect on supply as the herb farmers start to farm the Mists of Pandaria herbs – but that will soon stabilise.


  1. I think it has to be said that the changes to the shoulder enchants will definitely make scribes far more viable as well looking ahead and after the initial surge of new glyphs hit the market and are snapped up, there will be ongoing gold made all through the expansion in the shoulder enchant market as well.

    I think MoP is definitely shaping up to be one, expansion long glyphmas for dedicated scribes, especially those who go into the xpac with a complete set of glyphs already researched before lauch.

    1. If glyphs can fall from the current 85% of sales (less during darkmoon) then that would be a welcome relief. I am hoping you are right here Mogram - though i dont have any strong views myself on this. Thanks for the idea.

  2. hi :D im having my glyphmas right now, since they anounce the launch of MOP it seem that all the players wants to prepare for launch by having a complete set of glyphs on all toons thus increasing the demand for glyphs that combined with the fact that most scribes in my server semm to be too focused on stockpiling and not in the market as it is right now has left a cople of major player on the market right now selling glyps at prices ive never seen before.
    Sorry for my grammar and good job on the blog

    1. It would certainly be wise for players to be buying their glyphs now instead of running the risk of higher prices after the new content is released. Perhaps another reason why demand after the new content may not be as high as hoped.

  3. Unlike most, I'm not preparing for the MOP launch. I like to wait until the market stabilizes and then enter it. This wait and see approach has served me well. I have amassed approx. 1.3M gold without much work. Of course, I probably would have a lot more if I took advantage of xpac and patch releases, but I prefer just to play the new comment without worrying about gold making. For that very reason, I opted not to do the Beta nor read anything about it.

    P.S. I like your blog because it's concise and informative.

    1. I like your style and would not be adverse to that course of action either. if there is a shortage of raw materials forcing their prices up then the prices of crafted items will soon rise to re-establish high profit margins.

  4. oops...content not comment

  5. 6. The Ink Trader was converted to accept only Cataclysm inks a month before the expansion arrived. Many scribes were left sitting on huge stockpiles of untradeable Ink of the Sea and were locked out of most of the market.

    A great deal of the (net) profits were from 4 and 6, as scribes that traded in their ink early and crafted a supply of 1-ink glyphs made out like bandits. Casual scribes ones who waited effectively lost 2/3 of their ink to the mats change.

    1. Good point Zamboni: yes - watch out for the first pre-content patch. that is the warning to make sure your Blackfallow inks are all converted.

      I plan to leave myself with very few Blackfallows. at the end of the day there is that farming spot in Uldum that can net 20 stacks of whiptail an hour = 120 Blackfallow inks per hour.

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