Friday, December 5, 2008

Expansion Cheapness

Is it just me, or have people seemed to become really cheap in the expansion? I understand that a good portion of money is being used up to train new spells, new professions, and to buy new mounts, but come on people... even crappy quests of "go talk to the person next to me" seem to reward 5g at a minimum.

One of the many reasons I started noticing this and I bring it up now is due to mage portals.

Let me stop here so I don't lose a bunch of you cheapskates. Yes, the reagent cost is 20 silver. And yes, I only need to press 1 button to cast it. But whether you agree with it or not, the cost of a portal is NOT 20 silver.

While the cost is subjective, it should be more for "higher" cities. We can first learn to open a portal to cities at level 40. (most old world cities) Let's say that's 1g. (Assuming you're at max level, that's being pretty cheap for a high level toon and you probably should give more, but I'll start there for sake of discussion.) We learn portals to Darnassus and Thundering Bluff at 50. There should probably be a higher cost, but with demand so low for those ghost towns, I doubt anyone charges more. At 65, we can open a portal to Shattrath. The time we've spent levelin, plus the opportunity cost easily justify a nice, round 5g for a port to Shat. Just before launch, I was having people offer me 10g all the time.

And finally, our last portal comes at 74. It's to a city that you cannot get to without help unless you're level 74. It's not like the Dark Portal that you can run through at 68 to get to Shat. No, it's 4 levels after you've entered Northrend that you can get to Dalaran alone. Now with the help of a mage, they can send you there. (There's also the ghetto port I talked about before, but you get that messy deserter debuff.)

Now, I'm not setting a price for your port to Dalaran. If Shat was 5, then it makes sense that, especially if you're below 74, you give at least 10g, maybe more. I don't know. But the cheapness comes in when I see people offering 2g for a mage to open a portal to Dalaran for them. When I openely express that that's too little, I basically start a zone-wide arguement on the price of reagents and why it should only be a small stipends. It's not like I'm asking for your first-born or anything. Geez, people. Do a couple quests and pay up for services to others.

On a total side note: I logged in with my Shaman (who hadn't even seen Northrend on Live) last night, and I thought there was an error because he had 365 JC'ing. I swore he wasn't that high. But after a big of research of what I was skiling up on, I realized he was. Dang there's a lot of things to learn as a JC'er.


Elinor said...

This post got me thinking on how different the perception is with different skills. I'll take my rogue with lockpicking for example. This skill is very similar to the mage's portal in most respects. You usually have to meet up with the person and have some interaction with the other player. The lockpicking skill is tied to level even more so than the mage portal, plus the effort to max it is harder then for mages. The one major difference is the cost of the reagent for the mage. 20s

Now as a rogue, I will frequently pick locks for people asking in general chat for lockpicks. Or I'll even stand on the IF bridge offering that service. I don't ask for any money for that, but I am happy with a tip. The most common tip I've seen is 1g. If I were to get 5g, I would think the person very generous.

So why is it that there is such a price difference in a mages portal versus a rogues lockpicking? At least more than the reagent cost.

How much do you tip a rogue?

(I do realize that rogues can skill up opening locks for people, but I'm talking about rogues that already have max lockpicking)

Elinor said...

Just as a follow up. I have no problem with people charging whatever they want for their time/service. It is the buyers discretion if they want to pay the amount.

I just find it very interesting the perception difference between different services.

Leiandra said...

I hadn't thought about rogues. In my mind, I was actually thinking of working in Warlock healthstones to the post, but figured that was a whole longer topic as far as the soul shards and whatnot.

But that's kind of similar (to my situation) in that I've never paid for healthstone or a lock picking. I've always had friends to do that for me. (Just like I don't think I've ever charged a friend/guildie for a portal.)

I guess part of the difference between rogues and mages is time. A rogue opens a locked box and you get an item. If there were a possibility to open a box and get a blue or decently valuable item, then I would be happy to share a good percentage of the value with the rogue.

Where a mage saves people time (as a general rule). You can get to any of these places you're asking for a Portal to, it just takes time. So, how valuable is your time?

But to answer your question: I don't know. I've DE'ed every Northrend green I've seen. So, I guess the better starting question would be: How much are lockbox greens worth in Northrend?

kyrilean said...

Guess it depends on your view. I'm working on my enchanting and only at 435 or so. Getting these last 15 pts is gonna kill me.

I'm cheap. I don't mean I don't like tipping someone who helped me out because those not in my guild that do, I tip and usually generously. A 20g tip is not uncommon.

I mean I'm too cheap to buy mats to level professions unless I can get a stack for under 10g. I'm cheap enough that I leveled an alt to 70 just so I could make my own pots and elixirs and not buy them anymore. She's still 70 and it's bugging me. Gonna get 2 levels out of her this weekend if it kills me.

I don't offer my enchanting services to anyone that doesn't have their own mats and ignore those requests (except guildies). If I need to level, then I'll gladly offer my services without expectation of a tip. I get to level my profession so I still get something out of it. Once I'm maxed, it just depends on if I'm bored whether I offer my services.

My advice is just ignore those people that don't offer something you think is fair.

Elinor said...

This is very interesting. My perspective is fairly one sided. I rarely pay for any services. I am almost always the service provider. At least before the expansion I had toons with every profession almost leveled to max. And those services that I needed I just got from friends. (I just bum my ports/enchants off a certain mage lol).

I have always looked at providing services as the cost of my time as a provider, not necessarily what the value of the service to the buyer is. Rogue lockpicks take about the same amount of time as mage ports as far as a service provider, but to the buyer there is a big value difference. Ports are usually more valuable to the buyer than some random green from a lockbox.

I guess this now turns into a discussion on economics lol. Value, supply, demand and such.

What I have really learned from this post is: "It is nice to have good friends".

P.S. Samm on Bronzebeard is my rogue. Anyone that is trusting enough can send your lockboxes and I will pick them and send them back. (free of charge). Samm is still only 70 so I can't open northrend boxes yet, but I can the rest :-)

Leiandra said...

Oh, it's totally economics. From the provider's perspective, it takes a lot more work to max lockpicking (need 80 plus the 400 locked boxes you would have to pick) then the mage's portal (just obtain the level an visit that place once.) Granted, I did pay for the training, but not really the point here. The point being, the perceived value to the customer is that the portal is worth more.

Is a BMW really all that more expensive in raw materials than a Honda? But BMW can charge a lot more because it is perceived that they are a luxury car. Rough analogy.

And you really opened yourself up there, Elinor. Strangers on Bronzebeard better at least send you return postage price. lol.

Elinor said...

So by the way, I need about 6 toons ported up to Dalaran (I'm too lazy for the ghetto port).

Please :-)

Leiandra said...

You always know how to reach me. And I'd be more than happy to do it. Are they at least kind of in the same location? heh.

dadguy said...

One note, at level 74 I ran into to some dalaran mage in the grizzly hills inn (as alliance) and he will tell you you're cool enough to go to dalaran and port you there. So it's not exclusive to mages at 74, that's how I ended up in Dalaran my first time. And now I have the flight path, so I can get back when I need to in just a couple of minutes from anywhere in northrend.

I agree with kyrilean, as a tipper I tend to tip generously when I can. And on the flipside, I'll usually look for a good deal. Someone was announcing ports to dalaran the other day for 10g. That may or may not be a resonable price, but unless I really need to get there in a hurry I won't be paying that much.

I really enjoy the theorycrafting on economics, but I have to disagree with the undertone of what you are saying. In line with other classes, everyone offers something different. I'm not saying ports should be free, but I personally wouldn't want to try and make money off of offering them. The same with lockpicking, healthstones and other class specific things. Professions are sort of geared to make money off of and I can understand that, but the class specific skills I suppose is up to you. If you've got buyers great, but I guess don't expect there to be a market just because you've got something others don't -- you gotta make it worth their while. =)

Leiandra said...

Leiandra wrote, "It's to a city that you cannot get to without help unless you're level 74." I'm well aware that you can get there by yourself once you're "cool enough", Dadguy. :)

I think you should always use all of the tools that you have available to you. So, if somebody wants to sell Conjured Mana Strudels, Healthstones, Portals, Lockpicking, Power Word: Fortitude buffs, etc... more power to them. It's back to economics. If there's a buyer, then why shouldn't you sell them? I don't expect there to be a market for portals... there simply is one.

Furthermore, I don't always charge either. I was grouped with two guys that happen to be doing a quest in Stormwind with me. I didn't even need to group with them, but I did. And when we were done, I offered a portal for them. A portal, which I may add, I didn't even take since I was going to Borean Tundra.

And I don't agree that professions are geared to make money off of anymore. Since you can pretty easily learn almost learn all new patterns of your professions, there's no exclusivity and I'd imagine that most things will be made below the cost of materials (for skilling up items (like is usually the case)) or for a 5g tip with mats. For that amount of money, questing will once again be way more profitable.

Jacob said...

Elinor said: How much do you tip a rogue?

I try to wait until I have 6-8 boxes that need to be picked. Then when I find a rogue, I give the rogue one of the boxes to keep, as the tip.

Darraxus said...

I generally give a very nice tip if someone crafts something for me. Usually 20 gold or more. If it is something as easy as a port, I will give 2-5 gold generally. Rogues get a few gold for opening the box. Thankfully, most of my friends can do those service for me.

Elinor said...

Thanks for the ports to Dalaran. :-)

DadGuy said...

Apologies, I misread what you were saying -- "And finally, our last portal comes at 74. It's to a city that you cannot get to without help unless you're level 74" somehow came across as you needing to have a lvl 74 mage porting you to dalaran. My bad.

I agree with your points, I was mostly objecting to the undertone of your post. It was a rant, and I should not have tried to pick out points on a post that was essentially "Dammit quit being so cheap!" =)

Anonymous said...

With the new NR keys, Blizz is going to put rogues out of business anyways. =)

There is the point of getting it NOW. With a locked box, you can safely tuck it away on an alt and wait for a rainy day to get your crappy green. (And I don't blame anyone for giving low tips on the lockpicking since the items inside end up being less than I tip anyway.) For a portal, the individual is looking for a service right at that very minute.

And... mages don't HAVE to learn portals. The spell is quite separate from our own teleportation spell. It's very hard to compare an ability that gets us no skill points and that we don't need for our own use to an ability that gets the rogue points they want to be able to open all sorts of doors and chests for their own profit. If my teleportation skill got better with each portal, then I might not care so much about that tip.

Portals are a convenience. You buy a soda at the grocery store for 50 cents or you grab one at the gas station for $1.50. No one gets all snotty with the cashier about the higher price. Well, some might, and they are probably the same ones that get snotty with us about tips for portals.

If I have to go out of guild for a craftable item, I do my research to see how hard the pattern was to obtain. Learnable at trainer at low level? Little tip. Uber-rare drop out of dungeon-of-death? BIG tip.

Leiandra said...

Yes, it was a rant. Quit trying to make sense out of my logic... it won't happen, Dadguy. :)

And I think the guy that posted above me (dang you for not putting a name) and I are on the same page. And while it's infrequent, there are times when I'll say, "Ah forget it... I'll just pay the $1.50 for the soda."