Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Where's Francis?

You may have noticed that I've been a little quiet lately. I had been doing daily content and I'd planned to keep that up. However I recently got news of a death in my family and it's knocked my enthusiasm. I plan to get back to more frequent content when things improve a little.

My greatest regret in this is that it means there'll be no post from Francis today. What I can offer however is a brief OOC account of how he's doing;

Francis is still a coward, he's been running away from things a lot. He's explored Shaemoor and the nearby farms, picking apples, feeding cows, saving bunnies and fleeing bandits. The new daily achievement system is suiting him just fine as before he could only do the gathering part of the daily, now he can do things like dodging the people trying to hit him for some extra XP!

I've realised I should have picked a class that has buffs as utilities to get participation in events, but it's too late now, I like him as he is. Besides, it just makes things more challenging.

As for progression; with only a little play he's now level 6 is up to silver coins in his back pocket and I haven't even started any crafting yet.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way, Part 6

Continued from my previous 'Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way' journals.

By this point you should be fairly comfortable in your approach to levelling your crafting disciplines, you'll be hating that some level brackets eat your money but seeing that the profitable brackets cover that nicely. Levelling in this way is a slow process, which is why many just get lazy and throw their money at it to be done but I find doing it this way far more rewarding in the long run.

While crafting I ensured to keep making items that would progress my level as much as possible, as such my profits are the bare minimum of what I could make using this method. It requires very little effort to keep remaking profit-worthy items from brackets that no longer give you XP alongside those that do, maximising your profits as you go.

At the (roughly) quarter way stage of my levelling I had a total of 1g 30s 28c to my name. I say roughly as while my Huntsman was at 100 my Jeweler was at 150 as I got carried away and forgot I'd meant to do a 1/4 way progress report!

By the time I got to the halfway stage of both disciplines at 200 I had just over 2g in the back pocket of my new Krytan trousers (bought as a lovely friend gave me a gem card as a gift). On top of that the lovely Amber is now level 13, that's 7 levels earned without stepping foot outside Divinity's Reach.

I'm going to be taking a break from 'Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way' for now to focus on other guides and projects for Golden Griffon. I feel like I've given enough tips and shared my experiences enough that a person could comfortably get to their 400 crafting while maintaining a profit. That said, Amber won't be forgotten! When I have the time I'll be back to this project so you'll get at least one more post on the matter in the future even if it's just an end count on my gold!

I'd just like to thank my friends at GW2-Market for their encouragement in writing these guides, it was great getting your input guys and I was especially pleased to hear that from shiggidyshwa that my advice had been of use and that they were not only levelling their armoursmithing but using it to make money. I'm so glad to know the advice translates to other crafting disciplines!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Learning to flip items.

Once you have your seed money you're ready to start playing the market. In this post I'll be explaining some steps to get started in flipping items, if you're still unsure after reading I'll list some 'further reading' links at the bottom of this post for more guides/advice on flipping.

What is 'flipping'?

In my Black Market 101 post I mentioned how things can be bought cheaper by placing buy orders and sold for more by listing your own price rather than matching the highest bidder. 'Flipping' is buying items cheaply using buy orders and then selling them at a higher price, making a profit in the process.

It sounds simple enough but of course you can't just look at the difference between the highest buy order and the lowest seller, you need to take the Trading Post fees into account.

What should I invest in?

This is something you'll always be asking yourself as you learn to play the market. Eventually you may settle on some favoured markets that you consistently invest in but first you need to find those markets! There are two flipping methods for making decent money:

1) Buy low profit items that will be bought in bulk. Following this method your money will be made from selling in volume. This method is usually applied to things like consumables and crafting materials where there is constant demand for the items.

2) Buy higher profit items that will be bought one or two at a time. Following this method your money will be made as you make individual sales. This method is applied to things like armour, weapons and trinkets.

Today I'll be showing you my take on the second method, both are viable starting points though and I'll likely do another post in the future on the first method.

Step One: Buying Your Stock.

Our first step is investing in items to sell on. As you get used to playing the market you'll learn what margins between your buy and sell price you're comfortable with but while starting out a good rule of thumb for investment is buy at (roughly) half of the current selling price. This rule allows for the lowest selling price coming down while you wait for your buy order to be fulfilled.

I picked trinkets as my market as I learnt from my crafting that people tend to impulse buy their jewellery, they're reasonably fast moving items. I spent a while clicking through items, comparing the highest bidder price to the lowest seller price and sticking to my rule. A good thing to remember here is that I said 'roughly', you can go a little over half what the current lowest seller is at with your bids.

I found several items like this one. This ring was selling at 1s 58c, but I could order one for 68c. I only ordered one at that price, at this point it's good to be cautious, especially if you're just starting out and even if you're an established trader it's often best to test the waters with a single flip if you're exploring a new market.

At the end of my earning seed money I had 1g 4s 58c to invest. I went through the list of trinkets placing buy orders. I stopped when I only had 9s 9c left on hand. Always make sure you have a few silver left at the end of your ordering stock, otherwise you won't be able to afford to list your items!

Step Two: Wait.

I realise this is a frustrating step as you'll want to see quick results but depending on your market it could take a long time for your orders to fill. So relax and go find something else to do for a bit, it'll be worth the wait.

Thankfully for me trinkets is a fast moving market at times so I didn't have to wait too long (in fact some of my stock was arriving before I'd finished putting in my orders!)

Step Three: Pickup and List.

Here's just a small selection of the stock I picked up, as you can see the price per unit is pretty low in most cases allowing me to make a lot of offers on a variety of trinkets, increasing my chances of getting items to sell.

I listed my jewellery at 1c under the current lowest seller in most cases. If the current lowest seller was only selling 1 of the item I was usually matching their price on rings or earrings (as these items are often bought in pairs). When you get more comfortable playing the trading post you may list your items for a little more and wait for cheaper items to clear out, maximising your profit. However I'd recommend this method for those just starting out to get quicker sales.

Step Four: Wait Some More.

This wait can be even more nerve-wracking when you're starting out, this is the moment of truth where you're waiting to see if your investment will pay off or if your items will end up undercut. Try not to worry too much, sometimes you'll make losses but more often than not your profits will happily cover these. Just go off and do something else for a while and let your money roll in.

Step Five: Pick Up Those Profits!

Whether you're happy to pick up the money as it dribbles in so you can use it right away or you've got the patience to wait and pick it all up in a nice lump sum it's always gratifying to see your money come back to you, bringing extra coins in tow.

There's a lot to learn about playing the market, there a so many markets to explore and tactics to try, there are tools to help you along the way and methods that involve a good memory or a good spreadsheet. But it's all up to you how you approach it. The simple steps above will get you more money, flipping items is as complicated as you make it. Yes, more advanced methods will earn you more profit but not everyone has the time/inclination to pick them up, it's all up to you and what you feel happiest with.

A few more tips:

Repeat successful sales. While listing my trinkets some of them sold almost immediately, I could have just collected my profits and been happy with them, but whiles the market's active it's worth exploiting to it's full potential. To doublecheck what you just sold click on your 'Transactions' tab and then pick 'Items I've Sold' from the drop-down menu.

Click on these items to be taken straight to their trading post listing where you'll be able to place another buy order for one or two more. At the bottom of my example above you'll see the same Amethyst Silver Earring that's in my 'Pick Up and List' section of this post. I bought the earring for 36c and sold it for 1s 9c, that's a profit of 57c on that one item, so of course I wanted to duplicate the success. I went and bought two more of the earring which I bought and sold at the same prices within half an hour.

Don't remove listings. I know it's frustrating to see your item get undercut by someone else, but remember you've already spent money on your listing fee! The market fluctuates a lot, there's a chance those items that are cheaper than yours will clear out at a busier time of day. Of course sometimes the value of items doesn't recover well and you don't want your items gathering dust when they could earn a little money back, but I'd advise waiting at least a week or two to see how it goes before throwing away that original listing fee!

Clear your buy orders. Not all of your orders will get filled, be sure to check the 'Items I'm Buying' section of your transactions once a day, you don't want your money tied up in bids on items that aren't currently being sold/that others have put in higher order amounts on.

My Results:

Following the steps and tips above Roselli ended up with 1g 92s 31c, which is a profit of 87s 73c! That was with minimal repeating of successful sales and only buying one or two of an item at a time, I wanted to approach this cautiously, as though it really was my first time flipping items to give a realistic feel of what can be achieved when starting out.

Further Reading:

Guild Wars 2 Trading Post: Damn this is a Gold Guide. This is one of the first resources I found on flipping items and where I first learned to do it. I just reread it and realised that Marcko's tips must still have been in the back of my mind when writing my guide given some of the similarities in advice. So if you'd like to see flipping explained in a different way this guide is well worth the time.

GW-Market Forums.  I'm an active member of these forums and I've found the community there to be very helpful and supportive, so if you'd like to just ask for advice on starting out or if you'd like to join in on discussions on markets/tactics that may be profitable this is a good place to go.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Looking forward to Monday.

Monday brings a new patch, the Flame & Frost Prelude. I could do a summary of the content that's to come but instead I shall point you to The Egg Baron's post as that has everything all neatly laid out! My post is just a personal look at the patch beforehand and I plan to do one after to see if it lives up to expectations.

Story Progression.
I love GW2's story, I've just been slow in following it, favouring alts and experiencing as many of the early personal story arcs as I can so I'm a little (a lot) behind the curve on the overall story. I'm sure one day I'll get to level 80 and have seen and experienced more, but I'm taking my time savouring it.

The fact that the world keeps evolving, that things change and develop makes it so much easier to invest in the game. I'm already curious to see hints of whats to come in the future with this prelude involving the Norn and Charr.

New Daily Achievement System.
As someone who used to go nuts chasing down innocent bunnies and obscure underwater fish just to get the 'kill variety' part of the daily done I'm looking forward to seeing changes in the daily achievement system. Seeing some variety in objectives for the day would make me more inclined to do my daily rather than putting it off to play with the market or roleplay!

As the daily and monthly will be giving a new currency, laurels, I can forsee a lot of my time going towards completing them and it ending in me pulling my hair out as I try to decide between buying something useful and buying pretty cosmetic things!

I'll also be intrigued to see what effects this system will have on the prices of dyes (both identified and unidentified) as screenshots of the system have shown unidentified dyes as one of the rewards.

New Gem Store Items.
It's almost like they know I spent all of my gems about a week ago and don't have the RL funds to buy any more! While the quaggan backpack is utterly adorable I don't think any of my characters will be wanting it so that's a relief at least. I'm just waiting to see what other items end up in the store and if I'm going to have to cut into my banked gold to get some shiny new things. (I'm never going to get that Golden title!)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way, Part 5

Continued from my previous 'Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way' journals.

Crafters love karma. While working away at my crafting today I got annoyed at myself for doing this project as a starter character. My meager starting funds had been painful but the blow I was dealt today was down to lack of karma:

These are items I could make at my current crafting level in Jeweler, lovely profit to be made all around. Unfortunately these recipes all require Embellished Intricate Jewels, the recipes for these can be bought with karma from your master craftsman.

I decided to stick with my original idea to show that anyone can do this and scrolled down (and down) the list of profit-worthy items and got to here:

A couple of these don't need Embellished Intricate Jewels so there is still profit to be made in this level range, just less of it! Of course I could run out and do an event or two and get some karma to buy one of the recipes but I'd rather show that you don't need to run content to make money and level your crafting discipline. Though going out into the wider world will of course augment your earnings, earning karma allows you to buy recipes and picking up resources from nodes is cheaper than buying them outright on the trading post.

Another Tip! When looking at crafting it's sometimes worthwhile checking the vendor price of what you're about to make. Take this necklace for example:

If I make this amulet for 1s 19c I'd make a loss when it came to selling on the Trading Post. However, the vendor price for one of these is 1s 36c. Selling to a vendor bypasses the fees involved in the trading post so I have the potential to make 17c per amulet for as long as I can keep crafting amulets at 1s 19c or less!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Francis' Journal: On my own

My name is Francis, I'm twenty years old and up until yesterday I was the youngest son of a prominent noble family. I realise I haven't been a shining exemplar, the sort of child that my parents would be proud to show off to their high-society friends but I really don't think I deserved to be disowned. Yes, in hindsight the rather.. compromising.. position father and his associates found me in likely didn't help matters but surely nobility and scandal go hand in hand?

Part of me was tempted to continue using my family's name to spite them but in the end I thought it best not to, I'm still a little hopeful that they'll change their minds in a day or two after all. Instead I've taken on the surname of 'Hawkins' for now. 

A rather lovely young man once told me that my eyes reminded him of a hawks', amber, watchful and deep. I just hope my eyes and my wits will serve me well outside the comfort of the family home. I have no idea how the common folk survive day to day but I'd best start learning and quickly.

Father had the staff pack a bag for me before I left, I'd hoped there'd be enough in it to start a new life, or at least my favourite silk undergarnments. But alas, my 'loving' parents have decreed I should learn to appreciate what I had by having it all stripped away. All I have to my name now is a change of clothes, a simple packed lunch, some copper coins (I'd never even touched a copper piece before today!), this journal with a cheap accompanying pen and a dagger. A dagger! What is father expecting to happen?!

No matter what he's thinking I was forced to take my first steps out into the world on my own today. Of course dramatic imperative demanded that it be raining, I make sure that the shirt on my back that I was allowed to keep was my best coat and already it's been soaked through. I'm starting to think Lyssa may be toying with me.

Thankfully a terribly sweet priest of Dwayna took pity on me and let me stay in his house for the night. Unfortunately this means I'm sharing a room for the first time in my entire life.. and I'm sharing it with what appears to be every single sick and injured person from Queensdale and beyond, it's a wonder he manages to fit all of these strays into a home with so few rooms.

Some of the injured here have the look of bandits or cutpurses about them, I shall definitely be sleeping with my bag as my pillow tonight. Seventy-two copper pieces is a paltry enough sum without that being taken from me as well!

OOC: Francis (eventually) completed the human introduction by running in circles, reviving falling seraph and breathing a sigh of relief when another player character came along to defeat the big bad for him. I didn't include this in his journal as I plan not to use any of the personal story, there aren't hundreds of Heroes of Shaemoor afterall (and he really wasn't a hero!). I did however steal the rain from the introduction as the idea of it raining on his first day out on his own amused me.

Currently Francis is a level 2 elementalist completely oblivious to his magical affinity, his one change of clothes is his town clothes and he still has that mighty 72 copper to his name. He's ready to get out there, try to work out how to regain his old life, and of course run away from any sign of a fight!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The non-adventures of Francis Hawkins

Meet Francis Hawkins, the coward. Starting tomorrow his journals will be appearing on my blog (roughly) every Wednesday. I realise this blog is mostly about money making and similar in GW2 but I am a roleplayer so I feel the need to do these things.

Francis, for reasons that will be detailed in his own words, has been thrust out into Tyria on his own for the first time with very little to his name. He can't fight, he doesn't like the idea of fighting and he has no real practical skills. How will he survive? Will he survive?

These journals will be an in character record of a little out of character experiment, I want to see how much XP Francis can get without fighting (and without me getting bored!). He'll be exploring Tyria as a person and not an adventurer and hopefully his journals will be an amusing read whether you're a roleplayer or not.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Review: Almar's Guides is a site crammed with guides for multiple games and is the first thing that pops up in google if you search for farming guides/locations. I'm going to be following a selection of his GW2 guides and seeing how they work out for me.

First stop was a look at his guide on Magic Find consumables. I always forget to have some food on hand and as I'm going to be testing out his farming guides I thought it'd be a good idea to invest in some consumables to help along the way with drops and XP. Unfortunately his guide was a little too general for my liking, he listed the foods he thought were 'best' rather than giving an overview of Magic Find foods. A cursory look at the market showed I could get more Magic Find for cheaper on different foods. I realise the market often shifts and changes but for longevity on a guide like this I'd have been happier with a list of more Magic Find foods.

Next I decided to look at the farming guides. I don't actually have a level 80 character yet (I'm such an alt addict!) so I grabbed Cefrey, my level 57 Warrior and picked three guides at random that she'd be able to do at her level:

1) Bandithaunt Caverns. Almar's low level farming area. I have to admit that I have run through these caves a couple of times in the past when my low level character's been a little shy of a level for their personal story but I've never bothered to stop and see how much XP & money I could squeeze out of the area.

Almar's guide is straight forward and less than 5 minutes long, he goes into a few basics that would be handy if you were new to the game though he does miss out on a couple of things I'd point out. Off of two of the three exits of the caverns are spots where you may run into a lot of enemies thanks to events. Off of one is a farmhouse which is in the area events linking to Queensdale's water supply go off and off another is a little camp where a lot of bandits spawn when there's an attack on the nearby ranch. These spawns can be pretty tricky going, especially if you are of lower level so I'd advise caution. Another thing to keep in mind is the level of the area, in the caverns themselves you'll be lowered to level 6 whereas at the camp mentioned above you can be up to level 11, this becomes a problem if you attack a bandit at the camp and back up towards the cavern, if you're unlucky your level will drop to 6 and you'll have a level 11 bandit hitting you, I saw a couple of people struggle in this transitional area.

Other than that it's a useful little overview. Almar believes that farming in this spot for an hour would net about 25 silver, which while not huge is quite notable for a lowbie. When I ran through I got the following results:

I deposited all of my money before starting so from an hour in the caves I earned 6s 79c and 48 different kinds of items including a mighty 88 Bags of Pinched Goods. I ran back to town and got to selling. After opening all of those bags (and drowning in the ensuing waves of jute scraps and sticks of butter) I got to work either listing on the Trading Post or just selling right to the vendor.

In the end I netted a total of 86s 20c, not too shabby. Of course some of my drops were at my level so sold for a little more but I don't think the gap between this run and one on a lower level character would be huge.

2) Ruins of Demetra. Level 40+ farming area. I'd never been to Harathi Hinterlands as Cefrey before so I got a little lost at first, the guide said Demetra was in the north-western area whereas I'd say it was more western. The guide does repeat itself on occasion on what drops to expect but gives a decent overview of the area.

The mobs were fairly consistant and I found an event I could trigger that spawned a veteran ghost to fight. I'm not sure of the conditions for repeating it, whether it's time elapsed since he last spawned or number of ghosts killed but I did the event 4 times in the hour I was in the area.

The event does give dimishing returns as well, this is what I got the second time I did it, by the fourth time I got 65 karma and 32c! It was still worth it however as I could take the veteran and these rewards were just a bonus on whatever he dropped. This event isn't mentioned in the guide however, this was just me going off tangent as I found some interesting things to click on!

In the end I earned 66s 69c, which isn't an inconsiderable amount of money, it just feels lessened by my luck on my trip through Bandithaunt. In hindsight I could have been more efficient in my approach to Demetra place as well, but we live and we learn.

3) Dredghaunt Cliffs. This time a gathering guide over a farming mobs guide. Unfortunately a glance tells me that this guide is a little outdated. There may have been a time where level 40 materials sold for similar amounts to higher level ones but a quick search of the trading post showed me this was no longer the case so I decided against going on a gathering run and picked another guide instead.

Venom Sacs in Blazeridge. Another place I'd never visited so it took a little running around. I'm not sure if this guide needed a full video, a written guide would have gotten the information across just as well a little quicker. This was however, as promised, a good spot to pick up venom sacs. In roughly an hour in the area I picked up 33 sacs as well as other drops and harvesting nodes. I sold the sacs at 2s 48c each, those along with other trading post worthy items got me this:

Along with the junk items and other vendor sales I netted a total of 1g 18s 11c from this area I wasn't aware of until now.

Overall Impressions of the site is that some of the guides are a little outdated, but that will always happen in evolving games, there's a decent amount of content but the layout is a pain at times (the dropdown menus at the top kept closing on me). Almar's Guides is a useful resource but is definitely not things to be followed blindly and a lot of his information is video based so you'll need to make the time to watch it rather than having a written guide to read in chunks if need be.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way, Part 4

Getting through that 25 - 50 gap in jeweller was very painful. It ate almost all of my money and I had to make items that were no longer giving me XP to cover this downfall. Once I hit 50 however my pace merrily picked up with so many profit worthy items I could craft and sell comfortably, before I knew it my level in jeweller was 75 and I continued onwards with ease.

One thing I did discover while crafting and selling was something you'll see crop up from time to time while crafting; immediate, easy money! I was crafting adorned garnets and as I was selling I spotted the highest buyer's offer:

Looking at the numbers requested and the difference between highest buyer and lowest seller this looks like someone wanting to flip the garnets. However I was in need of some immediate funds and I know what it costs me to make an adorned garnet:

42c. So if I make them and sell them immediately I make instant coin! In the end I sold all 175, the filigree went up to 14c a piece but even if I had made all of the jewels for 44c each that would still be a profit of 9s 27c, funds claimed immediately and no risk of anyone undercutting me. My profits would have been more if I'd listed as the lowest seller and waited but that would have left me open to gambling what the demand for the adorned jewels would be.
Besides, my buyer was offline/not near a trading post/crafting the adorned jewels into finished trinkets as I kept an eye on the market and sold a handful more of adorned garnets at a time at the 95c 'lowest seller' price comfortably. Some would argue that I put eventual profit in my buyer's pocket rather than my own but I quite like using this approach, profit is profit and sometimes you just want the immediate satisfaction of a quick sale to the highest buyer.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way, Part 3

After following steps in my previous two entries I've done enough to be at 25 in both of my crafting professions and have 21s 8c, I'm rich! (Well, not as poor as I was!)

At this point you'll start to see that some of your recipes won't give you XP any more. This is a big problem as far as my rank in jeweler was concerned. Here are my recipes as a jeweler:


All greyed out (and ignore the number next to the copper ingot refining, that's just copper in storage and not part of this little crafting experiment). Now I go to GW2Spidy to check my level 25 recipes and see this:


So anything that I make that will progress my level will lose me money no matter what I do, ouch! When I hit stumbling blocks like these I can see why a lot of people see levelling crafting as a bit of a money sink, an endeavor that just eats up their gold and doesn't even say thank you all that often. But if you look past this hurdle you'll see what's beyond. Here are the level 50 jeweler recipes:


Now that looks a lot healthier. All I need to do is be able to afford to get from 25 - 50 and I'll be back on track. This is where levelling two disciplines at once can be handy, the plus sides of one can cover the downfalls of another. And on the plus side some of my level 0 huntsman recipes will still get me XP:


It's all about keep an eye on things and balancing profits and losses when you hit a point like this. Or, if you started off with more seed money, powering through to more profitable grounds!

Additional Tip! Flip the undercutters.

While working on this journal this happened to me:


That's my pistol sat at 1s 20c and it's been vastly undercut by someone else! Ordinarily in this situation I'd go to my handy TPCalc and check the profit potential (in this case 26.7% or 32c). If I weren't doing this whole thing to look into profits on the crafting alone I'd buy the 70c pistol and flip it in a heartbeat!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way, Part 2

I took my teensy profit made in my previous post and decided to make something else. I went back to GW2Spidy after my a small break and of course prices on things had moved around but I decided I wanted to make an actual usable item this time rather than a crafting component. Mighty Bronze Pistols were less profitable than earlier in the day but still had a decent profit margin so I set to work making one.

Which brings me to my next tip on these things; check the details on the item on GW2Spidy, sometimes it's far cheaper to buy already crafted components than doing it yourself:


I realise I'm doing this to level up my crafting, but buying the pieces saves a lot of money and you do get progression from putting the pieces together. So far I've made and sold a couple of these for a little less profit than the prices above (because of undercutting for quick sale).

I kept making and selling pistols one or two at a time for profits between 25c and 60c a piece depending on rapid swings. I could have listed them all at a higher price in the hopes of getting about 60 every time but this way I kept levelling and there was a little less risk involved. I used my profits to get some cheap copper ore and refine some ingots as well which I left to sell overnight.

An extra tip! Advice on profitworthy items when crafting; items made from recipes from renown vendors tend to give steady profit. This is likely due to there being demand for different looking things (the armour pieces are a really good example of this), the fact some of these items come preloaded with runes and that these aren't readily available recipes for everyone, so there's less supply. To get you started on this the some armour sets are;

     Devout - This is obtained from Vasher Shadowsinner in the Diessa Plateau.
     Shadow - This is obtained from Undercover Agent Tulfar in the Snowden Drifts.
     Bloodsaw - This is obtained from Mara Ripsaw in the Diessa Plateau.
     Iron legion - This is obtained from Gon Rageshot in the Diessa Plateau.

The profit on these isn't as great as it used to be (I did sell several of the shadow sets when it was in lower supply for a good profit a few months back) but it is fairly reliable profit. Most items will net you a few silver so if you just make 1 of each item at a time and only make more when demand is high you can easily make profit measured in gold in relatively short order. I really need to get back to this soon, I just got too heavily into flipping and neglected my poor crafters!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Tools of the Trade: TPCalc is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to play the market in GW2. Whether you're an established trader or just starting out this program will do all your maths for you to let you know how potentially profitable an item is. This handy little site is very straightforward to use and I don't know where I'd be without it.

Even if you're not too bothered on exactly how much profit you'll make TPCalc will also let you know the minimum amount you need to sell an item for to break even:

Using this example I know at a glance that if I buy a garnet pebble (or any item) for 30c then I need to sell it for at least 36c to not make a loss on it. This works the other way around as well, if you put down a price you want to sell at the calc will give you a maximum price to buy at to break even.

TPCalc is absolutely free too, though you'll see there's a little unobtrusive 'donate' button there. This tool is so useful that if I had more RL money I'd consider donating a little in thanks for how handy this site is.

And as an extra bonus; if you use an android phone there's also an app version of the calc! Unfortunately I don't own a smartphone so I can't review the app (which is also free) but I've heard good things about it.

While I realise this was less of a review and more me telling you how handy this tool is I want to get into the habit of reviewing sites and resources so I'm going to end this as I plan to end all future reviews, with a little gold, silver or copper coin rating!

Levelling Crafting the Profitable Way

Inspired by the lovely sifrisk at GW2-Market's forums who posted up some great journals and ideas I thought I'd start a journal of my own. I wanted to show how you can level your crafting disciplines and make money along the way.

I'll start with a character who has no crafting skills to show how to get from 0 - 400 whilst still making money and to show that it can be done with any of the disciplines I will be picking two at random for her.

Starting Out:

To make this easier to keep track of I cancel all my buy bids and throw my remaining item stock at the market cheaply so I can utterly clear the trading post and better track how much money I'm making without being excessive with the maths! Then I grab my guinea pig:


Meet Amber Cunningham, level 6 engineer and utterly average lowbie character (if you ignore the fact I transmuted some pretty clothes to her as I'm an RPer!). I didn't even transfer startup funds to her from an alt as you can see so this is the type of character someone could have on a brand new account in fairly short order. Next I picked her disciplines. To make this utterly random I used's list randomizer and plugged in all of the disciplines and picked the two that came at the top after hitting randomize. And the winners are (drumroll) Jeweler and Huntsman.

My next step was opening 3 tabs up on my browser; GW2Spidy Huntsman, GW2Spidy Jeweler and TPCalc. While the third isn't needed persay GW2Spidy isn't always 100% up to date with the fast moving market and I find it best to have my calculator handy to see if an item is still profitable if it's come down in price a little.

I refine my GW2Spidy pages into level 0-10 recipes and organise by profit:



Now I know it seems like I've stumbled at the starting block on jeweler. Not so, what you need to remember is that GW2Spidy assumes you are buying at the lowest market price rather than placing buy orders. -1c profit looks like it could be turned into a way of breaking even or even a teeny profit. So I take a look at the trading post and see that I can place a buy order at 17c per piece of copper ore, so 34c per ingot - 4 copper less than what GW2Spidy thinks, so I throw the numbers into TPCalc:


Ta da! Potential profit. Now I find myself wishing I'd given myself startup revenue for this project. I can only afford with my meager funds to buy myself a few chunks of ore - so I grab myself 10chunks at 17c, refine them into ingots, list the ingots for 43 copper and now all I can do is wait. There are several ingots listed at 43 so it will take a while for mine to sell but as crafting materials are often bought in bulk I don't mind waiting in line for a while. If I was an actual new character I'd go out and do some questing while I wait for my ingots to sell to earn more money but the whole point of this journal is to show what can be done on crafting alone so instead I hop to an alt to pass the time.

NB: Most people will have more start up revenue than this and will be able to hit the ground running, I just want to show that anybody can do this.

Making your seed money.

Meet Roselli (and Beaky). I created this little Asuran to help me explain some basic hints and tips to help you make money in Tyria. She is a standard starting character for Guild Wars 2 and I've not given her anything from any of my alts.

So you've run through your introduction quest and you're eager to get out into the world and make some gold, what should you do?

1) Buy harvesting tools.

While you don't have to buy tools right away I've found that doing this increases your earning potential right away. Roselli walked out of her introduction with 72c, exactly the right amount to pick up a Copper Mining Pick, Copper Logging Axe and a Copper Harvesting Sickle. I equipped all three right away and was eager to get going.

So off I went into Metrica Province to start enjoying the game's content.

2) Complete Renown Hearts.

As part of your personal storyline you'll be asked to complete a renown heart. There are NPCs throughout the world who need your help on various tasks, help them enough and you complete their renown heart. Upon completing your first heart you'll receive some mail with a thank you and some coins. The monetary reward isn't huge every bit adds up and you should hopefully have gotten some drops from mobs while completing the task.

While you could go out and find a good spot with lots of baddies to farm drops instead completing renown hearts has another couple of bonuses attached to it. A completed renown heart means that the related NPC becomes a karma vendor, exchanging goods in exchange for karma, some of these can actually be quite useful. Completed hearts also count towards map completion which is always worth aiming for (more on that later).

3) Harvest Everything.

Remember those tools I suggested you buy? Use them. Harvest everything you can get your grubby little hands on. There will always be a demand for crafting supplies so harvesting nodes is easy money for very little effort (especially if you're out questing and passing nodes anyway). A few copper coins for your copper ore may not seem like much but it all adds up! And on top of that you have a chance of picking up something that may fetch more money, while rummaging through some herbs I found some vanilla beans (currently selling for about 1s 50c each) and an unidentified dye, which are always nice to find.

4) Don't get weighed down.

Seeing that little bag in the top left of your screen go red can be an utter nightmare. This means your inventory is full and you won't be able to pick up anything else until you get rid of a few things. I've stupidly ended up in this position a few times so here are a few tips to help avoid this situation:

Get more bags. I know this may seem like an obvious suggestion but it can come in very handy. I know it's tempting to look at bags with as many slots as possible but you're only starting out and you're trying to make money. My advice is to look on the trading post for these:

Aren't they pretty? Just search the bag category on the trading post and order your results by price and these will be the cheapest. Coloured leather bags drop frequently from some group events and can be sold on after they've been used so there are loads of them out there. I bought three of these (a blue, a red and a purple as I'm a girl and decided to vaguely co-ordinate them) for 15c total which increased my carrying capacity by 15 slots.

List on the Trading Post.You can put your items up for sale from anywhere, just open the Black Lion Trading Company panel and start selling. You won't be able to pick up your funds unless you're near a Trading Post but at least the items aren't cluttering up your inventory. More about the Trading Post can be found in my previous entry Black Lion 101.

Sell Junk.While out and about you will pick up items that are, quite literally, junk. Small trophies from kills that aren't worth much but clutter up your inventory. They may not be worth a huge amount but they quickly pile up and every little helps. Every time you pass a vendor of any kind stop and check if you have any of these items. When selling to vendors there's a button at the bottom of the panel labelled 'sell junk' this will sell all of these items in one swift click and you'll be good to go again, less encumbered and with more coins in your pocket.

Deposit Collectibles.I was a little unsure over this one but I thought I'd share it nonetheless as it was something I wasn't overly aware of when I started playing the game. Even though you've just started out you may have a particular crafting profession in mind and want to save some crafting materials, or you may want to list all of your items later rather than putting them on the trading post right now. To put crafting materials somewhere safe just right-click on the item and choose 'deposit collectible' or if you want all of your materials out of your bag click on the little gear and choose 'Deposit All Collectibles'. This puts your items into your collection which can be accessed later through a banker or any crafting table.

5) Take part in events.

As you run around you'll always bump into ongoing events, if you're not in a hurry to do something else it's worth stopping and taking part, especially if you're playing a class with suitable Area of Effect attacks. Many events with have waves of bad guys or at least a decent number of mobs so they're great for picking up a lot of drops in a small amount of time. On top of that you get karma, XP and a small amount of money at the end of the event which is a nice bonus.

6) On to the selling!

So, you've done steps 1-5 for a while and your bags are still filling up, it's time to sell, sell, sell! While I covered some of the basics in my Black Lion 101 post here are a few more tips to consider while doing this.

 Check the vendor price of an item. Before you list on the Trading post check how much you'd get for it from a vendor. If you hold your mouse over an item's icon it'll have a listed value, this is what a merchant will pay for it. On the left is the minimum price I could list a bow I had for. The bow was worth 10c to a vendor but if I listed it for the 11c on the trading post I'd only get 9c after fees. While that 1c difference may not seem like much every coin counts and this difference gets larger at the higher levels so it's a good habit to get into.

Know when to undercut and when to price match. Look at the number of listings for a certain item before determining your listing cost. For items like crafting materials a buyer will buy several in one go so if there's not too many of an item listed at a certain price then it may be worth listing at the same price as the current lowest seller. However if there are lots of an item listed at the current lowest selling price then you want to be undercutting. Listing your item for less, even if it's by just 1 copper, puts you to the front of the queue to have your item sold.

Sell to the highest bidder sometimes. Yes, you're out to make the biggest profit you can but sometimes the difference between the highest bidder and lowest seller is just a copper. Selling to the highest bidder at this point gets you immediate money.

A couple more tips.

If you pick up an Unidentified Dye (or a couple) in your travels, don't identify it. Instead put it right on the Trading Post. If you identify a dye there's a high chance you'll get a common dye that will sell for about 70c but unidentified it'll sell for several silver. I sold this one for 14 silver (I probably could have held out and got that up to 15s but I wanted to complete this guide so went for quicker sales).

You'll also likely pick up a Black Lion Chest or two. These sell for next to nothing but don't throw them away, keep hold of a few (even if you just throw them in your bank). At the end of the first part of your personal story you'll get a key to unlock a chest. A Black Lion Chest will contain random buff items and other such goodies. I advise keeping multiples of the chests as there is a chance your chest will contain another key!

Enjoy your seed money!

Roselli is now level 10, has completed the first part of her personal story and has explored 63% of the Metrica Province. I followed the steps I detailed above while doing this and she now has a chunk of money that could be used for investment, over a gold in fact!

Obviously results will vary based on the market and on luck but these tips should help you earn your investment money.

There are several things you can invest in but I'll get around to that in future posts.


I was going to do another journal/guide today but this got in my way. At least the blow of the Trading Post being down was softened by how utterly adorable the 'Down for Maintenance' picture is!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Black Lion 101

So, you're eager to make some gold but you don't know where to start? Don't worry you're not the first to feel that way and you won't be the last! Step one is familiarising yourself with the Trading Post and how it works. Just wander up to any Black Lion Trader or click the little lion's head at the top of your screen.

The interface is pretty straightforward though searching for some things can be a little tricky (searches for armours can't be refined by weight so you'll need to look through light, medium and heavy no matter what your character class). If you're new to the game I wouldn't recommend trying to play the market from the word go (though you could if you wanted!). I'd suggest going out into the world, getting a feel for the conent and earning yourself some seed money for future investments. I do have a few handy tips for earning that seed money however which I will detail in another post. For now we'll focus on the basics of the Trading Post.
Buying on the trading post is simple, you have one of two options;

  1. Buy imediately from a seller
  2. Place a buy order in the hopes a seller will fulfill it.
Buying immediately is straightforward, you simply type in how many of an item you need and click 'buy', you get the item for the listed cost, you just need to pick it up from a Black Lion Trader.

To place a buy order you need to click on 'place a custom offer' rather than buying outright.

This will take you to where you can put in an offer of how much you'd like to buy the item for. There's no guarentee that you'll get your item for this price but as long as the offer isn't too low there's a good chance you'll get it, but it won't be immediate. 

Selling on the other hand is a little more complicated. Your options essentially mirror the two above:
  1. Sell immediately to a buy order.
  2. List your item at your choice of price and wait for a buyer.
Something to remember with both of these options is fees, selling on the Trading Post isn't free, there are costs involved. When you sell an item you will be charged a non-refundable listing fee of 5% of your total sales price when you list your item and then a further 10% tax will be taken from you if your sale is successful. Keep this in mind when you're selling, the amount you get back will not be your original sale price.

Take this example. I'm listing my item for 1s 55c, but if it sells I'll be getting back 1s 31c (Projected profit 1s 39c minus my listing fee of 8c). Always keep an eye on your fees sometimes it's more profitable to sell an item to a vendor than it is to sell on the trading post!

Selling immediately to a buy order gets you coins instantly and is worth doing if there's a very small difference between the highest bidder and lowest seller. However if the price difference is notable I'd suggest listing your item for a price just under the lowest seller.

Sometimes you'll see a very large gap between highest bidder and lowest seller. In these situations many people place buy orders at the lower price just to sell at the higher one, more commonly refered to as 'flipping', but we'll come to that later.

Welcome to Golden Griffon Trading.

Welcome to Golden Grifon Trading, home of yet another Guild Wars 2 blog. I've been playing GW2 for several months now and enjoy many aspects of the game, one thing that really drew me in was that I wouldn't have to pay a subscription fee and I'd still get a lot of great content. I'm not the richest person so my glee doubled when I noticed that account perks like extra character slots could be bought using gems. The main way to get gems is to pay real world money for them but there's also a currency exchange where you can swap your ingame gold for gems.

This started my love affair with playing the market, I'd heard people say that some serious gold could be made by playing the Trading Post. Most play the market to get gold for high end gear and similar ingame rewards, but me, I'm a bit of an alt addict, more likely to have scores of lower level characters over focusing on one high level one.

My first step was finding out how to 'play the market', thankfully a quick google search gave me all sorts of returns, blogs, videos and more all offering advice on ways to make money. With time I'll update my blog to detail some of the resources I found and which of them were useful (and which were less than useful). I'll put the ones I found useful up as links over on the right of my blog so anyone can go use them.