Tobold's Blog
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The cost of raiding

I want to Karazhan last night with my priest. Great short run, killing everything from Attumen to the Curator. I now got over 100 badges of justice, which might come in handy when patch 2.4 hits and I can buy great loot with them. Anyway, we also did the opera, and by some statistical fluke whenever I'm in the opera they show Romulo and Julianne. Only saw the Wizard of Oz once, and never have seen the Big Bad Wolf. So Romulo had as loot the Trial-Fire Trousers. Not really a healer item, but due to the 3 gem slots it ends up being better than the Hallowed Trousers I was wearing, so I applied for and got that loot. So far so good.

Now I had Silver Spellthread on my old trousers. But as the new trousers are epic, and will probably have to last me for a while, I should put the best possible enchantment on them: Golden Spellthread. Now that went for insane 450 gold on the Horde AH, so I bought it for a far more reasonable 230 gold on the Alliance AH and had my wife with her account help me to transfer it. Then I need to fill the three gem slots, preferably with Teardrop Living Ruby for maximum healing. 70 gold each.

So in the end upgrading my trousers will have cost me 440 gold. If I don't do much else, I can grind 100 gold a day, but given my other activities it's closer to a week of gold grinding. And that's just the pants, I paid also around 500 gold for the healing enchantment on my epic mace. And there are a couple of items I'm wearing which simply aren't enchanted yet because I can't afford it. If you gem and enchant a full set of epics with the best possible enchantments, which is kind of expected from you if you raid, you can easily spend thousands of gold! That is far, far more than potions, other consumables, and repair cost will set you back.

It is mainly the cost of gems and enchantments that make raiding so bloody expensive.
that is part of what ruined the enjoyment for me. Back when you had a ceiling on loot for many months, spending alot of gold on an item wasn't that bad. now they have so many paths to upgrades that why bother if you are not at a cap item for a long time? Its just another timesink they have in the game that is overused. Their belief is everyone playes 30hrs a week so they need something to always be working on. no thanks
If it's of any consolation.. the situation somewhat reverses itself when you get the instance on farm. Less time spent wiping = less repair and consumable costs, and your gold/hour from trash mobs increases. You do clear the mobs between Opera and the Back Entrance, right?

Being smart with consumables helps a lot. Depending on your clearing speed and wipe frequency, flasks might be cheaper than elixirs. You lose the elixir if you die, and you probably use both battle and guardian elixirs at any given time.

For a typical raid I usually buy two flasks, one weapon oil, 3 stacks of mana potions. I don't buy food, since I get enough from the cooking daily quest. To finance my raiding, I do dailies for 30-45 minutes before the raid, and that's enough to cover my costs. I even get a surplus that I can use on other stuff.

How big is that surplus? Well.. I've spent 6k on mount, 4k on weapon enchants, 1.5k on powerleveling Tailoring, 2k on Frozen Shadoweave, 500g on Spellstrike, 1k on Darkmoon Card: Crusade, 2k on Spellfire and a lot on gems and misc enchants. Without any exaggaration, I've probably spent at least 10k on pimping my gear. And I still have 6k spare cash. All of that I've gained by doing dailies, disenchanting random greens and killing Shartuul whenever I can.

Finally, remember that whatever you spend on pimping your gear should be evaluated accodring to the time you'll be using that piece of gear. 1k on a weapon enchant that you'll use for 3 days until you get an upgrade from a Heroic is a waste. The same enchant on the weapon that you'll be killing Illidan with is a different matter. Browse the loot lists and plan a bit ahead.
This is where having crafter alts or guild crafters help a lot. At least in my guild, crafters make things for guild members free of cost if you have the materials, and you also get nethers cheaper.

I often use cheaper versions for a while until I get better items or more gold. For your pants that could be silver spellthread instead of golden, teardrop blood garnet instead of teardrop living ruby.

The difference between a green gem and an empty socket is much larger than the difference between a blue and a green gem.

I didn't get a golden spellthread until I got the tier 6 pants, but then I'm cheap :-)
Welcome to the WoW endgame!
I decided months ago that if I can't beat 'em, I'd join 'em.
So now I buy enchanting mats and gems when I find them at low prices. After patch 2.4 I'll make a killing sell them off to people upgrading their gear.
Well it's nice to see you raiding. But let me offer some advice.

#1. Don't waste money on off-gear even if it's an upgrade.
-While those pants may have been an upgrade over blues you were wearing the fact is off Netherspite is a much better pair of pants for you
and as often as you'll be in KZ it's best spent simply getting the fire-trousers, socketing them with green gems and silver thread instead of golden. Sure it's not the best but spending money wisely to be able to afford things in the long haul is best. IMO.

Especially because alot of people will think you're out of your gourd for blowing 450gold on spell damage gear for a healing set.

Yes I fully understand that it is an upgrade, however I'm sure with green gems/silver thread it's still an upgrade and noone would blame you for not wasting the money on better gems/gold thread.
I'm well aware of the healing pants that drop of Netherspite. Unfortunately most of the time my guild doesn't do Netherspite. I only killed him twice yet, once I was in a raid that tried and gave up quickly, and all the other raids I was in just passed Netherspite by.

The Trial-Fire Trousers are better than they look, because they have 3 slots for gems, and if you ignore the socket color you can put three +18 healing gems and get to a better bonus than a "healing" trouser with less sockets.
atm i'm broke and i gain an improvement on my gear almost every week. for that reason i have only +6strength gems in most slots, simply because i cannot afford the better gems and the repair-costs of raids...

it simply means i have to accept whispers such as "omg your gems! lolz0r!"
Instead of just buying the Golden Spellthread off the AH, along with the gems, use trade chat or your guildies.

While server prices vary, you can almost always save gold by buying mats (and paying for someone else's nether) and having the appropriate profession craft the item.

You will be paying a premium for items on the AH. Come on, Social Engineer, go interact socially on trade chat, and save some gold!
Tell me about it..

I got a new off hand sword from Mother Shahraz last night and had to buy 9..NINE large prismatic shards at the cost of 29 gold each.

Extortion I tell you.

Of course next patch these raid bosses will be dropping more gold, which is good because quite frankly 4-5 g per boss kill per player is far too low. One wipe is 5 g per player already...
You really don't miss much when you haven't seen the Big Bad Wolf. We have Karazhan with all its bosses on farm for month now, everyone has everything he could want and we only return for 3 hours a week because of the badges, but Wolf is the single fight where we have the most people dying, usually more than at Nightbane, Netherspite and the prince together.
It seems to take an insane amount of practice not to screw up the running and then it takes probably a month until the next wolf-event and you are out of practice again.
I feel for you, Tobold. Just last night I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy blue gems for my rogue's epic gear (just recently bought his epic flyer, so finally have some free cash). Cost about 400 gold. I still don't have Mongoose on my weapons either, because and the materials are around 600g for each of the two enchants I would need.

But I especially feel for casters. The materials for common glove and bracer enchants for melee characters are nominal: in the neighborhood of 6-8 arcane dust. That's it. But for spell damage enchants for the same slots, you need piles of enchanting mats AND expensive primals. It's ludicrous. This imbalance seems like a major oversight to me.
Personally, I wouldn't waste that much money on getting a pair of pants that aren't even for my spec, and use the Hallowed pants (which are perfectly good pants, in my opinion) until you get the ones from Netherspite. Makes much more sense, and then you're not out 400+ gold.
Raiding is expensive if your guild does not put forth a collaborative effort to equip its players.

My guild funnels disenchantable items to enchanters, and BoE rare drops and recipes to the guild bank. The BoEs rares and recipes are sold on the AH, which funds herb purchases for consumables. Primals of all types are deposited into the guild bank.

Enchanters are expected to give enchants to guild members for free, since they are getting materials for free. Jewelcrafters provide gems for free to guild members, under the correct circumstances (blue gear gets green-quality gems, epic gear gets blue-quality gems, etc.). If there is a need for anything like ore for prospecting, people in the guild take some time to help out by depositing it into the guild bank drop box for the jewelcrafters to cut. Alchemists are expected to help transmute for the guild. Anyone can choose to keep their stuff for themselves, but I (guild master) keep track of who takes what out, so I roughly gauge who takes more than they put in.

I guess the system is fairly exploitable if you have people who are more selfish than others in guild, but my guild's pretty close-knit. The real goal is "Help everyone achieve their goals". The group effort offsets the raid costs significantly; my guildmates almost always have all of their gear enchanted and gemmed appropriately, and I never even considered the cost because I (as guild jewelcrafter) get supplied with ore and have a good sized stockpile of gems for guild use.


PS. On a side note... Large Prismatic Shards are actually really easy to come by... my druid and my friend's druid duo normal Sethekk Halls regularly to get them. 3 shards per run, roughly 12 minutes per completion.
I don't see how this is limited only to raiding/PvE.

I primarily PvP in BGs and Arenas, and whenever there is a new season, it's enchanting/gemming time.

Considering that I upgrade most of my pieces each season of Arena, it usually costs me somewhere between 1500-2000 gold to gem and enchant all my pieces.

It's really a shared experience among all players, to be honest.
I'll take PvP over PvE for enchanting and gemming costs any day of the week.

Raiders who are running the treadmill of D3-T6 change out half their gear every few months if they are progressing.

As a PvP'er, once I have the appropriate resilience and stamina, its pointless to upgrade for 3 resilence and 20 health, so I'm actually done collecting gear. And it feels great. I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving it!

I raided for a little while, PvE is a hell of a lot more expensive than PvP for enchanting and gemming. Not to mention 3-10 gold repair bills per death when you die by some NPC.

So yeah, the cost of raiding is far in excess of PvP'ing...unless all you do is get killed by opposing faction guards, and upgrade from S2 - S3 for an extra 3 resilience and 20 health. Since I do neither, I have little use of more than a couple hundred gold. It's really nice, actually.
Dude, I feel your pain. I'm not sure if if's just limited to raiding though - gear upgrades across the board are becoming ruinously expensive.

Most of my toons are Alliance, but I have a Horde Hunter on Runetotem. I only play him 2 or 3 hours a week, PvP only, with friends I have on that server. Leveling him to 70 gave me a nice cash reserve, but as the PvP upgrades have been coming, I have seen my cash reserves dip lower and lower.

Next week, I'll be able to get S3 pants with Arena points, and S1 bracers with Honor points. Counting the 4 gem slots, and some decent enchants, I'm looking at 300-500 gold. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to start farming with him, just to pay for upgrades.

It's clearly a money sink, designed to siphon off cash you're expected to accrue by running 5-mans. Unfortuately, if your playstyle is very focused (log on to raid/PvP, then log off), you don't HAVE much spare cash, and farming/dailies are your only option. 3 hours of play becomes 6.
I actually never had much issue with enchantment costs. The trick is to do them as you get each piece. That spreads the cost out. the other trick is to have an alt that disenchants all those random drops you get out there which you can then dissenchant for mats. I use the mats, plus a reasonable tip (around 20 gold or so) to get almost all of my enchants done. Not bad at all really.
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