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Friday, March 3rd, 2006
1:46p - Monitor
I got a new monitor for my computer today: a 30-inch Cinema LCD. I'm running at a resolution of 2560x1600.

Yowza, this is huge. I can easily have three pages of code side-by-side.

I am going to have to try playing World of Warcraft on this some time.

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1:53p - [WoW] Step 3: Profit!
All four of my characters have had noteworthy financial experiences over the past few weeks.


Mazumok has found a small and irregular market for black dragonscale shoulders for about 100 gold--which means that there's no profit in buying 45 black dragonscales from the auction house at 2g each for a set of shoulders.

But Maz encountered someone selling black dragonscales at 17 gold--and so bought 9 stacks. Selling those as shoulders has made him about 150-200 gold.

He's been making more profit, though, by teaming up with a tribal leatherworker guildmate who can make devilsaur armor. Maz goes on a devilsaur safari for a while. Aurochs makes gloves and leggings, we split the proceeds. This has made me at least 100-200g with just a few devilsaur safaris.

Devilsaur safaris are a very different experience than The hardest part of devilsaur safaris is finding the devilsaurs, because they roam widely, where black dragonkin stand fixed. (And devilsaurs are far more sneaky than one would expect a five-story monster to be.) And the devilsaurs' paths often takes them through other monsters, so you have to be very careful of the setting in which you engage them; black dragonkin usually let you set up a good pull (except for the occasional black drake flying through). And killing devilsaurs always produces devilsaur leather--but rarely anything else of value. Black dragonkin only yield black dragonscales about 15% of the time (and you need a lot more of them for their recipes than the devilsaur leather required by devilsaur recipes), but you get plenty of silver, you get nice green items, and you get enough rugged leather and other leatherworking materials that you're rarely short of those for crafting.

Maz is now a thousandaire, and already has an epic mount. I have no idea what he's saving up his money for, besides the fun of being rich.


Amalefica collected a lot of materials and got an escort into Uldaman to train all the recipes from skill 225 to 250 in one fell swoop. My planning was inadequate, though--I didn't have some of the cheap enchant-in-materials recipes that I thought I had, so I had to teleport out of the auction house, borrow 30 gold, and buy more materials for the training.

Now, though, she's finally at the point of being able to do enchantments that people actually want enough to pay money for. I don't spend much time spamming trade channels offering enchants; instead, when I'm logged on in a city, I'll respond to anyone wanting to buy enchantments, and switch characters if we come to a deal. (The SellEnchant addon has proven invaluable for looking up Amalefica's skills and materials when I'm logged onto another character.)

I usually work just for materials and tip, without worrying too much about price--because I've found that it's common for people to give a bigger tip than I would ask as a profit margin. I've even suggested a lower price than initially offered once or twice. In doing this, I've built up a clientele of folks who come to me for repeat business.

After months of being chronically impoverished (Maz had sent her 30g over that time) and a pricy spending spree to train up (30g from Maz for training materials, another 25g from him to buy the Fiery Weapon formula), Amalefica is now making good money. To my pleasant surprise, it appears that she will be able to buy her own mount at level 40, instead of having Mazumok buy one for her.

My cursory analysis is that enchanting is one of the most profitable endgame professions, because even when people are getting all their gear from exotic drops in high-end instances, they still want enchantments on them. On the other hand, it makes up for it with crippling poverty on the way to the top.

Of course, the really big money in enchanting comes from the recipes that are extremely rare or require huge amounts of reputation grinding. Amalefica may end up doing a whole lot of grinding.


Mahotala has been given little attention of late. He's learned the recipe for arcanite transmutes, which doesn't require much play time. dvarin was right about the difficulty of making money advertising arcanite transmutes, though; he wasn't getting much business with his ads, and he wasn't getting paid much when he did. He's making more profit by buying the materials and auctioning the arcanite--but that means that a lot of his wealth is tied up in illiquid arcane crystals at any time.


For Rajana, I tried the approach I've read of taking two gathering skills instead of taking any craft skills for the early game. She started with herbalism and mining, but switched from mining to skinning because two of her usual teammates are miner/engineers.

Gathering (and auctioning everything) has made her very rich. She has about 45 gold at level 25; it seems clear that she'll be able to afford her mount at level 40 and help her friends with theirs.

Being this rich has settled my prior waffling about whether to compete with my crafter friends for resources. When I team up with friends who are alchemists or leatherworkers, I let them gather until their packs are full, and offer them any resources that I have in my bags. There's no reason to regret my generosity.

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5:23p - Future Housework
Found myself thinking about what upgrades might come after our current big upgrades. Here's what I can remember of our list:

- The paint is peeling around the entryway, and it's going to look particularly conspicuous now that everything else looks good. (It's not being covered by the siding, because it's fancy.) We'd like to get that repainted.

- Similarly, the brickwork is stained in places, and the mortar used to patch the holes drilled for the blown-in insulation is unpainted and conspicuous. We'd like to get that cleaned and repainted.

- The French doors only have one lock, because the lock that broke is no longer made. They should be replaced--but that can cost $4500 or so.

- The front door is drafty. The single-pane glass around it and the mail slot are probably among our largest heat gateways.

- We would still like to rekey the doors so that one lock opens all of them.

- There's still an open heating register in the crawl space. Fixing this requires assessing and correcting the things that might go wrong if that register were sealed.

Living Room
- The wood around the portrait window in the living room has had its paint peeled by the gutter leaks we had. That too should be repainted.

- Lori would like to put scarves over the curtains in the living room. (I see no point to this, myself.)

Dining Room
- There are currently no live electrical sockets in the dining room. (There's one not-live socket in the floor, but making it live would be against code.)

- Once we redo the bathroom and are confident that there will be no more leaks, we should get the ceiling patched.

Family Room
- Lori feels sore aggrieved by the carpet and paint in ways that I do not, and would like to replace them.

- Lori also dislikes the curtains, though they don't upset me.

Powder Room
- The enclosure for the light fixture has been broken since we moved in. It would be nice to replace that.

- The bathroom is going to need to be completely redone. There have been leaks in the plumbing, the tile around the tub is admitting water to the walls, and bad drywalling is peeling the paint job that Lori did just a few years ago. This is the most expensive job we see on the horizon; I just hope that we can handle it after we've built up some savings and before we have an emergency.

- Still need to get a chimney liner for the forced-air furnace.

- Still need to get the gas line capped off.

- I have fantasies of installing a tankless water heater, though I'm sure that's a ways down the road.

Except for the bathroom problems that have started looming, this represents significant progress. We have fixed a lot of the things that were on my list five years ago.

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